« Prev Revelation 20:12 Next »

REVELATION OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE - Chapter 20 - Verse 12

Verse 12. And I saw the dead, small and great. All the dead—for this language would express that—the whole race being composed of the "small and great." Thus, in other language, the same idea might be expressed by saying the young and old; the rich and poor; the bond and free; the sick and well; the happy and the unhappy; the righteous and the wicked; for all the human family might, in these respects, be considered as thus divided. The fair meaning in this place therefore is, that all the dead would be there, and of course this would preclude the idea of a previous resurrection of any part of the dead, as of the saints, at the beginning of the millennium. There is no intimation here that it is the wicked dead that are referred to in this description of the final judgment. It is the judgment of all the dead.

Stand before God. That is, they appear thus to be judged. The word "God" here must naturally refer to the final Judge on the throne, and there can be no doubt (see Mt 25:31)that this is the Lord Jesus. Compare 2 Co 5:10. None can judge the secrets of the heart; none can pronounce on the moral character of all mankind of all countries and ages, and determine their everlasting allotment, but he who is Divine.

And the books were opened. That is, the books containing the record of human deeds. The representation is, that all that men have done is recorded, and that it will be exhibited on the final trial, and win constitute the basis of the last judgment. The imagery seems to be derived from the accusations made against such as are arraigned before human courts of justice.

And another book was opened, which is the book of life. The book containing the record of the names of all who shall enter into life, or into heaven. See Barnes on "Re 3:5".

The meaning here is, that John saw not only the general books opened containing the records of the deeds of men, but that he had a distinct view of the list or roll of those who were the followers of the Lamb. It would seem that in regard to the multitudes of the impenitent and the wicked, the judgment will proceed on their deeds in general; in regard to the righteous, it will turn on the fact that their names had been enrolled in the book of life. That will be sufficient to determine the nature of the sentence that is to be be passed on them. He will be safe whose name is found in the book of life; no one will be safe who is to have his eternal destiny determined by his own deeds. This passage proves particularly that the righteous dead are referred to here as being present at the final judgment; and is thus an additional argument against the supposition of a resurrection of the righteous, and a judgment on them, at the beginning of the millennium.

And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books. The records which had been made of their deeds. The final judgment will proceed on the record that has been made. It will not be arbitrary, and will not be determined by rank, condition, or profession, but it will be according to the record.

According to their works. See Barnes on "2 Co 5:10".

The fact that the name of any one was found in the book of life would seem, as above remarked, to determine the certainty of salvation; but the amount of reward would be in proportion to the service rendered to the Redeemer, and the attainments made in piety.

{b} "books were opened" Da 7:10 {c} "another book" Re 21:27; Da 12:1 {d} "according to their works" Jer 32:19; Mt 16:27

« Prev Revelation 20:12 Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |