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REVELATION OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE - Chapter 20 - Verse 10

Verse 10. And the devil that deceived them. See Barnes on "Re 20:3,8".

 

Was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. In Re 19:20, it is said of the beast and the false prophet that they were "cast alive into a lake of fire, burning with brimstone." Satan, on the other hand, instead of being doomed at once to that final ruin, was confined for a season in a dark abyss, Re 20:1-3. As the final punishment, however, he is appropriately represented as consigned to the same doom as the beast mad the false prophet, that those great enemies of God that had been associated and combined in deceiving the nations, might share the same appropriate punishment in the end. Compare Re 16:13-14.

Where the beast and the false prophet are. Barnes on "Re 19:20".

 

And shall be tormented day and night for ever. Compare Barnes on "Re 14:11".

All the great enemies of the church are destroyed, and henceforward there is to be no array of hostile forces; no combination of malignant powers against the kingdom of God. The gospel triumphs; the way is prepared for the final consummation.

(d.)—Condition of things in the period referred to in Re 20:9-10.

(1.) There will be, after the release of Satan, and of course at the close of the millennial period properly so called, a state of things which may be well represented by the invasion of a country by hostile, formidable forces. This, as shown in the exposition, need not be supposed to be literal; but it is implied that there will be decided hostility against the true religion. It may be an organization and consolidation, so to speak, of infidel principles, or a decided worldly spirit, or some prevalent form of error, or some new form of depravity that shall be developed by the circumstances of that age. What it will be it is impossible now to determine; but, as shown above, (b, 4,) it is by no means improbable that this will occur even at the close of the millennium.

(2.) There will be a decided defeat of these forces thus combined, as if fire should come down from heaven to destroy an invading army. The mode in which this will be done is not indeed stated, for there is no necessity of understanding the statement in Re 20:9 literally, any more than the other parts of the chapter. The fair inference, however, is that it will be by a manifest Divine agency; that it will be sudden, and that the destruction will be entire. We have no reason, therefore, to suppose that the outbreak will be of long continuance, or that it will very materially disturb the settled order of human affairs on the earth—any more than a formidable invasion of a country does, when the invading army is suddenly cut off by some terrible judgment from heaven.

(3.) This overthrow of the enemies of God and of the church will be final. Satan will be "cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, to be tormented day and night for ever." The beast and the false prophet are already there, (Re 19:20;) that is, they will have ceased long since, even before the beginning of the millennial period, (Re 19:20, compared with 20:1-3, ) to have opposed the progress of truth in the world, and their power will have been brought to an end. Satan now, the last enemy, win be doomed to the same hopeless woe; and all the enemies that have ever opposed the church —in all forms of Paganism, Mohammedanism, Popery, and delusion-will be destroyed for ever. The world then will have peace; the church will have rest; the great triumph will have been achieved.

(4.) It is possible that there will be a long period of continued prosperity and peace between the events stated in Re 20:9-10, and the final judgment, as described in Re 20:11-15. If so, however, the purpose of the book did not require that that should be described at length, and it must be admitted that the most obvious interpretation of the New Testament would not be favourable to such a supposition. Compare Lu 17:26-30; 1 Th 5:2-3; 2 Pe 3:3-4; Lu 18:8.

The great glory of the world will be the millennial period; when religion shall have the ascendency, and the race shall have reached its highest point of progress on earth, and the blessings of liberty, intelligence, peace, and piety, shall have during that period been spread over the globe. In that long duration, who can estimate the numbers that shall be redeemed and saved? That period passed, the great purpose contemplated by the creation of the earth—the glory of God in the redemption of a fallen race, and in setting up a kingdom of righteousness in a world of apostasy, will have been accomplished, and there will be no reason why the final judgment should not then occur. "The work of redemption will now be finished. The end for which the means of grace have been instituted shall be obtained. All the effect which was intended to be accomplished by them shall now be accomplished. All the great wheels of Providence have gone round —all things are ripe for Christ's coming to judgment."—President Edwards, History of Redemption.

{b} "lake of fire" Re 19:20

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