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The Revelation

of [ST.] JOHN [THE DIVINE]*





EXPLANATORY NOTE

This posthumous work of Pastor Russell (arranged for use as a textbook) is much condensed, including the extracts from the Pastor's pen, all of which are referred back to his works. The abbreviations used are:

A, B, C, D,E, FThe six preceding volumes of "STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES".
(Citations to E in italic figures refer to old editions, figures in ordinary type to later editions.)
B. S. M..........."THE BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY."
H....................."What Say the Scriptures ABOUT HELL?"
P-D................. "PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION" Scenario.
T....................."TABERNACLE SHADOWS."
S....................."SPIRITISM" Pamphlet.
Z......................"ZION'S WATCH TOWER," followed by year and page.

The citations to REVELATION and EZEKIEL refer to the comments herein, as well as to the Bible text.
Other abbreviations used are:

Barnes..........Barnes' "Revelation".
Brit................."Encyclopedia Britannica."
Buck..............Buck's "Theological Dictionary".
Coffin............Coffin's "Story of Liberty".
Cook.............Cook's "Revelation" ; a compendium of the presentations of seventy-two leading commentators on Revelation, in all languages and all ages of the Church.
Edgar............Edgar's "Pyramid Passages". Vol. II.
McC...............McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia.
Mosheim......Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History.
S. B. D...........Smith's Bible Dictionary.
Smith.............Smith's "Thoughts on Daniel and Revelation".
Weym............Weymouth's New Testament in Modern Speech.



REVELATION 20

299

THE THOUSAND YEARS REIGN

20:1. And I saw an Angel come down [from Heaven]. — The Messenger of the Covenant at His Second Advent — Mal. 3:1.
Having the key of the [bottomless pit] ABYSS. — Only Infinite Wisdom could provide the key to the solution of present difficulties in the earth. Here is a system of superstition and crime two thousand years old, and the praise and service of it ingrained into nearly every human being. AH literature is poisoned with it. Public opinion is for it. The educated, the refined, the wealthy, the powerful are all for it and all against any change that would give the lower strata of society a fair chance. To overcome conditions like this is a task for Divinity itself.
And a great chain in His hand. — The TRUTH, as contained in the Seven Volumes of Scripture Studies. This chain of Truth has been forged, link by link, over a period of forty years. Each volume has made it more certain that old systems can never hope to stand against it.
20:2. And He laid hold on the dragon. — The iniquitous system of civil government which has associated with it the principle of holding the masses in subjection by preying upon their fears beyond this life. The subject of special condemnation in this regard, the masterpiece of Satan, is the old Roman Empire, still living in the Papacy and the Church-State governments of Europe. This system is about contemporaneous with the (seven) Times of the Gentiles (2520 years ending in Oct., 1914), which began in the Fall of 607 B. C., or, as we would say, at the beginning of 606, Jewish Time. Rome was already well started on its upward path at that time. "Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, fifth legendary king of Rome, 616-578 B. C., appointed guardian to the sons of Ancus Marcius, he succeeded in supplanting them on the throne on their father's death. He laid out the Circus Maximus, instituted the great games, built the great sewers, and began the construction of the temple of Jupiter on the Capitol. He removed from Tarquinii in Etruria to Rome by the advice of his wife, the prophetess Tanaquil. Tanaquil was famous for her shrewdness and prophetic gifts, which enabled her to foretell the future greatness of her husband." (Brit)
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That old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan. — "While the name Old Serpent includes Satan, the prince of devils,' it is here evidently used as a synonym (or all the sinful agencies and powers which had their rise in him." (S32.) "Our Lord's declaration that Satan is the great Adversary, not only of God, but of humanity, is by no means a fancy sketch, but the plain truth. Satan alone is the wilful, intelligent plotter and schemer who uses a superhuman intelligence and, so far as permitted, super-human powers, in opposing righteousness and truth and those who are of the Truth. The inspired record asserts, persistently and consistently, that Satan began the rebellion against the divine law, and seduced our first parents into disobedience, through his own ambition for power; and that since man's fall this same Adversary has been the implacable opponent of God, of righteousness and of truth; and not only the ensnarer of mankind, but the opposer of the great Plan of Atonement which God devised and is prosecuting through Christ. From the Scriptural account it does not appear that Satan had any sympathizers or associate conspirators amongst the angels at the time of his secession and attempt to establish a lordship or dominion of his own in the earth." — F611.
And bound him. — "'The god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.' (2 Cor. 4:4.) God wills that all should be so saved from all the train of evils following Adam's sin and curse, that they may come to a knowledge of the Truth, Why does He will this? To the intent that having a clear knowledge of the Truth they may make the very best possible use of the new trial for life secured for them by their Redeemer's Ransom-sacrifice. It is for the carrying oat of this, God's will, that the Redeemer will inaugurate His Millennial Kingdom, which will first bind Satan (restrain all outside evil influences) and then release man from his blindness; — as it is written, 'the eyes of the blind shall be opened.' (Isa. 35:5.) For the same reason, viz.. that the new trial shall be most favorable for man, it is the Divine arrangement that its work shall be done gradually and require a thousand years." (E480, 470.) "The Millennial Day is dawning, with its change of earth's ruler-ship from the control of the 'prince of this world' and his faithful, to the control of Him 'whose right it is' (by purchase) and His faithful saints. We have seen that though the result of this change will be a great blessing; yet the time of the transfer, while the present prince, the 'strong man,' is being bound and his household driven out of power
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(Matt 12:29). will be a time of intense trouble" (C341,) "In reference to it Jesus said. 'No man can enter into a strong man's house and spoil his goods, except be will first bind the strong man, and then he will spoil his house.' Mark 3:22-27; Luke 11:22.) This effective binding of Satan is accordingly shown to be the first work of the New Dispensation." (A68.) "The Adversary's every deceptive and misleading influence will be restrained — so that evil shall no longer appear to men to be good, nor good appear undesirable, evil. Truth shall no longer appear to men untrue, nor falsehoods be caused to appear true." (D519.) 'The words of inspiration give us to understand that Satan's struggles to retain control of mankind will be especially desperate at its close." — S78.
A thousand years. — The Millennial Day, the Day of the Lord's rest, following the six thousand years of evil which ended in 1874. "One Day is with the Lord as a thousand years." (2 Pet. 3:8; Psa, 90:4.) "It was the claim of the Papacy that the thousand years of Christ's Reign, the Millennium, promised in Scripture to follow Christ's Second Advent, began in the year 800 A. D., under Pope Leo III., who claimed to be the representative of Christ, His Vicegerent, to begin Christ's Reign in His stead. In that year the 'Papal states' were ceded to the Church by Emperor Charlemagne. Their 'Millennium' ended, it was claimed, in the year 1799, when Napoleon confiscated the territories granted to the Church and took the Pope Pius VI., a captive to Prance, where he died. The succeeding freedom from Papal persecution, and the widespread circulation of the Bible in the languages of the people, was declared by the Papal leaders to be the 'little season' (Rev. 20:3) to follow the thousand-year Reign of Christ on earth; and they are hoping that soon they will regain their former power and prestige and once more reign supreme, and that their rule will be permanent. This Papal Millennium is known in history as the 'Dark Ages.' During those dark centuries millions were tortured, exiled and murdered for refusing to bow to the mandates of the apostate Church, under the leadership of Popes, Bishops and priests. Agents and spies were employed to apprehend and bring to punishment any who were found to express sentiments contrary to the Papal hierarchy, or who failed to bow in abject submission to their authority. Thus were the nations of Europe paganized, and steeped in error and superstition and in reverence for men who falsely claimed to be the special and authorized representatives of God en earth. They presumed to have authority to alter the Laws of God when it seemed advisable to them to do so, and
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thought to change the time for the Reign of Christ, as we have shown." (Dan. 7:25; Z.'16-181; B354.) "'Those who lived next to the Apostles, and the whole Church for 300 years, understood them [the "Thousand Years"] in the plain literal sense.' According to Jewish theology, as collected from the Talmud, Messiah is to gather in from the Dispersion all the scattered descendants of the Tribes, to discomfit their foreign oppressors, and from Jerusalem as a centre to rule over the whole earth which is to be a scene of temporal enjoyment and prosperity. Thus R. Salomon writes: It is fixed that the world shall stand for 6000 years, according to the number of the days of the week; but on the seventh Day is the Sabbath, and during the seventh Millennium the world has rest.'" — Cook.
20:3. And cast him into the [bottomless pit] ABYSS. — Oblivion. In this instance it signifies Satan's enforced idleness, which will surely be oblivion for him after the busy time he has had during the past six thousand years. How small he will feel when he sees the Lord Jesus undo in one thousand years all that he accomplished in six thousand!
And shut him up, and set a seal upon him. — The Spirit of Truth in the hearts of men; the desire to win the favor of earth's new King, will deprive Satan of all his subjects. All his evil companions, human and angelic, will be destroyed in the Time of Trouble. Alone, idle and humiliated constantly for a thousand years, is a punishment he richly deserves.
That he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled. — "Some have become so deluded by the sophistries of Satan, by which he has deceived all nations, that they do not believe that there is a God; others believe in Him as a great and powerful adversary, without love or sympathy, ready and anxious to torment them to all eternity; others are confused by the Babel of conflicting reports that have reached them, concerning the Divine character, and know not what to believe; and, seeking to draw near unto God, are hindered by their fears and by their ignorance." (E19, 18.) "The trial, or judgment, of the overcomers of the Christian Dispensation and of the Dispensation that preceded it, has been much more severe than the trial of the world will be in its judgment day; for these have had to withstand Satan, the prince of this world, with all his wiles and ensnarements, while in the world's judgment day Christ wil1 be reigning, and Satan will be bound, that he may not deceive the nations. These have suffered persecution for righteousness' sake, while then men will be rewarded for
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righteousness, and punished only for unrighteousness. These have had great stumbling blocks and snares in the way, which will be removed when the world is placed on trial. But though the trial of these two special companies has been much more severe than the trial of the world will be, the rewards are correspondingly greater." — A146.
[And] after that he must be loosed a little season. — To see who are in heart harmony with the Lord's will, and who are governed by other motives. As evil will be bound by the prompt infliction of punishment upon the would-be evil-doer, so we may presume it will be loosed by allowing evil deeds to go temporarily unpunished. — Rev. 20:8.
20:4. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them. — The thrones of present earthly kingdoms. — Z.'82-3-6.
And judgment was given unto them. — Judicial sentence was passed upon them as unfit to longer continue. (Z.'82-3-6.) This word is rendered condemnation in Luke 23:40; Jas. 3:1; Jude 4.
And I saw the souls. — Persons, beings. — Z.'82-3-6.
Of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus. — "All constituting the Kingdom class are here referred to as beheaded. The Apostle gives us the key, saying. 'The Head of every man is Christ; the head of the woman is the man; and the Head of Christ is God.' (1 Cor. 11:3.) As a woman who becomes a wife accepts her husband as the head of the family (loses her name, her individuality, to become his bride), so the Church accepts Christ as her Head, and each member of the Church thus comes into relationship with the Lord as a member of His Body. It is required of every one who would be counted in as a member of the true Church, that he should be not only beheaded (lose his self-will), but that he shall be united to the true Head of the Church and recognize himself as a member of the true Body of Christ — 'the Church of the living God, whose names are written in Heaven.'" — Z.'01-227; Rev. 1:9; 19:10.
And for the word of God. — On account of the Word of God and by means of it We are "Begotten by the Word Of Truth," and to live in fullest harmony with its every precept, at any cost to the flesh, is the distinguishing peculiarity of the overcoming Church of God. "Only now are Bible students beginning to emerge from under the great cloud of false doctrine which for fifteen hundred years has misrepresented God and the Bible, putting darkness for light Only now can Bible study be prosecuted in its true spirit without the fear of man, which brings a snare. Only now is there general education, which permits of Bible study in this true sense. Only now have we the con-
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venient Bible, cheap and in every home. Only now have we more leisure and opportunity for Bible study. Only now have we good light by which to study." — Z.'13-366.
[And which] IF ANY THEREFORE had not worshipped the beast, neither his image. — See Rev. 13:13-18.
Neither had received his mark upon their [foreheads, or in their hands] FOREHEAD AND ON THEIR HAND. — In years to come millions will be surprised to know that they had these marks of assent and service to Satan's empire. "The gospel of Satan is not a system of revolutionary principles, nor yet a programme of anarchy. It does not inspire wars and strife, but peace and security. It does not set the mother against her daughter and the father against his son, but promotes the fraternal spirit whereby the race is regarded as one great Brotherhood. It does not seek to drag down and degrade the natural man, but to improve and uplift him. To use a popular phrase, it appeals to 'the best, all that is good within us.' It aims to make this world such a comfortable and congenial habitat that the absence of Christ will not be felt and God will not be needed. It endeavors to make men so satisfied with this life that they shall be totally indifferent to the life hereafter. It propagates the principles of self-sacrifice, mercy, charity and benevolence, teaching men to live for the good of others and to be kind to all. For those who observe its conditions and obey its commands, it promises the development of certain inherent occult powers, the solution of the more recondite problems of man's constitution and the accumulation of esoteric knowledge which is withheld from the multitude. In short, it declares that all who will eat of the forbidden fruit shall 'be as gods.' The gospel of Satan is one of works. The Devil's Delusion is that we can be saved by our own works, and justified by our own deeds. Whereas God tells us, 'By grace are ye saved through faith, . , . not of works, lest any man should toast.' And again, 'Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.' — Eph. 2:8, 9; Tit. 3:5." — Z.'16-42.
[And] they BOTH lived and reigned with Christ. — See Rom. 8:17; 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 5:10.
A thousand years. — "The loss of this hope by our fore-fathers led on to all the grievous errors from which we are now seeking to escape. Do we not still pray, 'Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is done in Heaven?' The Messiah's coming Kingdom is the key to the world's blessing by Restitution back to human perfection in a world-wide Eden." — Pastor Russell. Observe how many times this period is mentioned in Rev. 20:2-7.
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20:5. [But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.] — "These words are not found in the oldest and most reliable Greek MSS., the Sinaitic, Vatican Nos. 1209 and 1160, nor the Syriac MS. However, the repudiation of this clause is not essential to the 'Plan' as herein set forth; for the rest of the dead — the world at large — will not live again in the full sense, in the perfect sense that Adam lived before he sinned and came under the sentence 'dying thou shalt die.' Perfect life without weakness or dying is the only sense in which God recognizes the word life. From His standpoint all the world has already lost life, is dying, and might now he more properly described as dead than as alive. — 2 Cor. 5:14; Matt. 8:22.
"The word resurrection (Greek, anastasis) signifies raising up. As related to man, it signifies raising up man to that condition from which he fell, to full perfection of manhood — the thing lost through Adam. The process of resurrection will be a gradual one, requiring the entire Age for its full accomplishment; though the mere awakening to a measure of life and consciousness, as at present enjoyed, will of course be a momentary work. And since anything short of perfect life is a condition of partial death, it follows that, although the above words are no part of the inspired record, it would be strictly true to say that the rest of the dead will not live again (will not regain the fulness of life lost) until the thousand years of restitution and blessing are complete." — A288.
This is the First Resurrection. — "It is impossible for the tongue to describe this great honor and dignity." — 1 Cor. 2:9; Pastor Russell.
20:6. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the First Resurrection. — "'We shall be like Him [the glorified "changed" Jesus], for we shall see Him as He is.' He is a Spirit Being, 'the express image of the Father's person,' 'far above angels, principalities and powers, and every name that is named,' and hence, far above perfect manhood. If we shall be like Him and share His glory and His nature, it means that we too shall be images of the Father's person, 'whom no man hath seen nor can see, dwelling in light which no man can approach unto;' but to whom we can approach and whom we can see as He is, because we have been 'changed.' (1 John 3:2; 1 Tim. 6:16, 1:17; Exod. 33:20.) Lest any should misunderstand him, the Apostle guards the above language by adding, 'As we [the Church] have borne the image of the earthly [one], we shall also bear the image of the Heavenly [One].' It is not the Apostle's thought that all shall bear the image of the Heavenly One, in this sense, ever. Such
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was not the design of our Creator. When He made man He designed to have a fleshly, human earthly being, in His own likeness [mentally, morally], to be the lord and ruler of the earth, as the representative of His Heavenly Creator." (Gen. 1:26-28; Psa. 8:4-7; F722.) "If we know how to reproduce the human voice, it gives us a little illustration of how God, with His unlimited Power, can preserve everything recorded by the convolutions of our brain, and of how these could be preserved in the future absolutely — everything by which, we could know ourselves in the future." — Z.'14-315.
On such the Second Death hath no power. — Aside from the Father and the Son, these are the only ones in the Universe that will forever be beyond the possibility of death. — Rev. 2:11; Rom. 2:7; 1 Tim. 6:16.
But they shall be priests. — "The antitypical consecrating of the antitypical priests is confined to the present Gospel Age. It has progressed steadily since our Lord and Forerunner 'offered up Himself' — and will be complete before this Age has fully ended. And if we fail to be among the priests now, during the time of consecration, we cannot be of them when they begin their service for the people in the Kingdom, when these same priests (now despised of men, but a 'sweet savor to God') will have the title of King added, and win, with their Head, Jesus, rule and bless all nations." — T47; 1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6; 5:10.
Of God and of Christ. — "No mention is made here of being priests of the Holy Ghost as it would undoubtedly have been mentioned if it had been the third person of the 'trinity.'"
And shall reign with Him a thousand years. — "The kingdoms of this world,' even while being crushed by the Kingdom of God, will be quite ignorant of the real cause of their downfall, — until, in the close of this 'day of wrath,' the eyes of their understanding shall open, so that they will see that a New Dispensation has dawned, and learn that Immanuel has taken to Himself His great power, and has begun His glorious and righteous Reign." — C129; Rev. 20:4.
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison. — "It will be for only a little season; for, his heart remaining unchanged, he will soon see a new avenue to the success of his long-cherished ambition. He will see not merely a perfect human pair with power to produce a mighty race destined to live forever, but a race restored to life and vigor. His thought will be, 'If I can win this mighty race to my standard, my triumph and exaltation will be speedily accomplished.'
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Again, therefore, he will figure as a leader, though, as now, unrecognized by men. Doubtless the temptation will again rest upon his old doctrine — that they shall not surely die, even if they do disregard the will of God." — Z.'94-251.
20:8. And shall go out to deceive all the nations. — "At the close of the Millennial Age there will be a 'harvest' time, for sifting and separating amongst the billions of human beings then living, each of whom will have enjoyed a full opportunity of attaining perfection. The Harvest of the Millennial Age will witness the complete separation of the 'goats' from the 'sheep.'" (D644.) "While the blessing of the Lord will provide an abundance for all, nevertheless we may safely assume that the provision will be in the hands of their fellows. It will he the 'sheep' that will be especially interested in, praying for and preparing for, those who are in the great prison-house of death. And by so engaging their time and energy these 'sheep' will be manifesting a purpose, a will, in harmony with that of the Creator. (John 5:28, 29.) Any one not interested in that work will be lacking in God's Spirit; and this is what is charged against the goat-class." — Z.'14-268.
[Which are] in the four [quarters of the earth] CORNERS, Gog. — Proud (Gog means high), Natural Israelites. (1 Chr. 5:3, 4.) " 'Ye [proud and unfaithful Jews] shall see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the Prophets in the Kingdom of God [the earthly phase], and ye yourselves thrust out.' (Luke 13:28)." — Z.'07-302.
And Magog. — Those who, during the Gospel Age, were nominal Spiritual Israelites, but at heart were never anything but "tares" and always remain such. Magog was the descendant of Japheth. (Gen. 10:2.) Europe was peopled by his descendants, and it was to them that the Gospel call of the Age now ending was by Divine appointment sent. (Acts 16:6, 9.) The Gospel was sent into Europe that it might be demonstrated that God could call and make into Christlike characters representatives of even the most cruel, bloodthirsty, quarrelsome, rapacious people on earth. Such they are. Japan is proof that contact with Europeans will in a generation transform a contented, peace-loving people into a people of unbounded ambition, imbued with the spirit of the very Devil. — Ezek. 38:2; 39:1.
AND to gather them together to battle. — "When at the close of the Millennial Age all the obedient of mankind shall have attained all that was lost in Adam and redeemed by Christ — then all, armed with complete knowledge and experience, and hence fully able to stand the test, will be tested severely (as was Adam), but individually, and only
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those found in fullest heart-sympathy, as well as in outward harmony, with God and His righteous arrangements, will be permitted to go beyond the Millennium into the everlasting future or 'world [age] without end.' All others will be destroyed in the Second Death." (E418, 402.) "We read, regarding that testing, that Satan will endeavor to lead astray all mankind, whose numbers will then be as the sand of the sea for multitude; but that many of them will choose evil and disobedience, with past experience before them, and unhampered by present weaknesses and blinding influences, we do not suppose." — H62.
20:9. And they went up on the breadth of the earth. — "Building upon a supposed weakness in the Divine character, these may be led to try to take advantage of the grace (favor) of God, and to use it as a license for wilful sin." — H62.
And compassed the camp of the saints about. — "Just as in Great Britain, the people have gone to Parliament to protest, so the rebellious faction of mankind will protest against their faithful princes. The separation of the Ancient Worthies from the rest of the world seems to imply that God has some special purpose in respect to them. The term camp itself implies that theirs is only a temporary condition or arrangement, and that God has some better thing in store for them." (Z.'13-53.) '"The noble work of elevating the race by sure and steady steps (under the direction of the unseen spiritual members of the Kingdom) is the high honor to which the Ancient Worthies are appointed, and for which they will come forth prepared soon after the final wreck of the kingdoms of this world." (A291.) "Israel as a nation will be the first among the nations to come into harmony with the new order of things; the earthly Jerusalem will be rebuilt upon her old heaps; and their polity will be restored as in the beginning under princes or judges. (Isa. 1:26; Psa. 45:16; Jer. 30:18.)" (A294.) "'Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the Prophets' and Ancient Worthies referred to by our Lord and by the Apostles (Matt. 8:11; Heb. 11:4-40), having passed their trial, will be awakened from death perfect.
"Just as Adam, while perfect, before transgression, could commune direct with the Heavenly powers, so will these Worthies commune, when restored to the same state of perfection." (D619.) "The veil which Moses wore before the people, but laid off when with the Lord in the Mount, would seem to typify the earthly phase of his Kingdom, the 'princes in all the earth.'" (D630.) "The friendship of David and Jonathan seems to be suggestive of that beautiful accord which shall exist between the glorified
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Church and the earthly princes who shall be next to them in the Kingdom of God. Each will be delighted to fill his honored place in the wonderful Plan of God, and will love the other as his own soul." (Z.'96-291.) "As we consider the heavens, the work of God's hands, and the innumerable worlds therein under preparation for inhabitants, we may reasonably suppose that these Ancient Worthies, who were faithful during the reign of evil, even unto death, will have some further honorable service, not only daring the Millennial Age, but subsequently. For various reasons, therefore, we rank them higher in honor than the Great Company." (Z.'04-313.) "These Ancient Worthies will be unlike the remainder of mankind, not alone in the fact that their trial is past while the trial of the world in general will just be beginning; but they will be unlike them also in the fact that they will have attained the reward of their faithfulness — they will be perfect men. When Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the Ancient Worthies have been resurrected, and shall appear amongst the regathered Israelites, their perfect minds will quickly grasp present-day knowledge and inventions. (John 7:15.) And as Jesus taught the people positively, definitely, clearly, and not doubtfully and in a confused way, as did the scribes, so it will be with the perfected Ancient Worthies, when they appear amongst men." — D625.
"Isa. 11:10 points us to the Millennial Day, and another root of Jesse, as connected with the blessing of the Gentiles. This latter seed seems to be referred to also in Heb. 11:39, 40. The Ancient Worthies shall not only be the princes, the representatives of the spiritual, invisible Kingdom, but also grand ensigns or standards Bet up before mankind, as illustrations of what all mankind may attain unto." (Z.'98-312.) "The painful experiences of the Ancient Worthies during the Jewish age will be a store of blessings, instruction and help, by which they, when made subordinate 'princes' in the Kingdom, will assist in the restitution work." (T111.) "While the Worthies are not in any sense part of the Sin-Offering, they are nevertheless connected with the cleansing from sin: their ashes (the knowledge and remembrance of their faithfulness unto death), mingled with the water of Truth, and applied with the purgative, cleansing hyssop, is valuable, purifying, sanctifying." (T108.) "The service which the Ancient Worthies will be given will be more than God would ordinarily entrust to a perfect human being. It will be a part of this service to deal with the imperfect, fallen creatures and to help them up out of sin and imperfection. While in one sense of the word this work is desirable,
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yet it is not what a perfect human being would prefer. These Ancient Worthies will come forth from the tomb perfect; but during the entire Millennium they will be amidst imperfect surroundings.
"A part of the evidence that the Ancient Worthies will be* made sharers of the spirit nature and become members of the Great Company class is built upon the fact that they seem to be represented typically by the tribe of Levi. The fact that this tribe had no inheritance in the land seems to imply that the Ancient Worthies will have no earthly inheritance. Since the Heavenly Father has been pleased to arrange for the Great Company a place on the spirit plane, and since He is operating according to some general principles of righteousness, we are inclined to think that He may have something more for the Ancient Worthies than will come to the remainder of mankind. When Abraham was called upon to offer up his son Isaac, he exhibited a degree of loyalty greater than the Great Company will be called upon to manifest. Furthermore, in Gen. 17:8, God said unto Abraham, 'And I will give unto thee and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.' Two thousand years later, St. Stephen said that God never gave Abraham so much as a foot of the promised land (Acts 7:5); but he implied that Abraham will yet receive that land and afterward leave it to his posterity. If the land is to be given to Abraham and his coadjutors, and then to be left to his seed and mankind in general, the thought would seem to be implied that the Ancient Worthies will pass to the spirit nature." — Z.'13-52.
"'O Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength! [After the Church, the Bride, has been glorified with the Lord, the faithful ones of the fleshly seed of Abraham will begin to come into prominence before the world by reason of the leaders whom God will then raise up for them.] Lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah [all who shall then be in covenant relationship with God], Behold! Your God is here!' [Thus the message now given by 'the feet' of Christ —that the Millennial Kingdom is already beginning its rule (Isa. 52:7) — will be taken up by the earthly class when the 'feet of Him' have passed beyond the veil.] — Isa. 40:9." — Z.'92-73.
And the beloved city. — "The 'beloved city' is the New Jerusalem, the Church in glory, not the Church in the flesh. The rebellion incited by Satan will be not only against the earthly princes, but also against The Christ," — Z.'13-53.
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And fire came down from God out of Heaven, and devoured them. — They will be instantaneously and mercifully electrocuted, not tormented.
20:10. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone. — "He is to be destroyed, together with all his angels — his messengers, all who follow his leading and his course. — Matt. 25:41; Heb. 2:14." — F619
Where the beast and WHERE the false prophet are. — Papacy and the Protestant Church Federation will have been in destruction a thousand years at the time this Scripture is fulfilled. — Rev. 13:11, 13, 14, 15; 14:9, 11; 15:2; 16:2, 13; 19:20; 20:10; Matt 24:24.
And shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. — The Seven Volumes of Scripture Studies are the instruments the Lord is using to bring these iniquitous systems to their end; and so long as these books remain, the torment of these systems will be in evidence. The systems will cease, but the "Seven Plagues" will continue forever. — Rev. 14:11; 19:3.
20:11. And I saw a great white Throne. — "The whiteness of the Throne indicates the purity of the justice and judgment which will be meted out" — B.S.M.
And Him that sat on it. — 'The Throne is Messiah's; it represents His Mediatorial Dominion of earth for a thousand years." — B.S.M.
From whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. — "The heavens and earth which will flee from the presence of the great Immanuel will not be the Heavens of God's Throne, nor the earth which he has given to the children of men. The heavens and earth which will flee away, and for which no place will be found, are, of course, the symbolical ones. The symbolic heavens represent spiritual influences — Ecclesiasticism, Churchianity. Thus interpreted, our text declares that when Messiah assumes control of the world, the result will be that the social system of to-day, as well as present-day ecclesiasticism, will pass out of existence — no place will be found for them." (B.S.M.) "'Heaven and earth': To our Lord's contemporaries the religious and social system under which they lived seemed almost as fixed and as eternal as the earth and sky. Indeed, 'heaven and earth' appears to have been a name which they gave to the then-existing order of things in recognition of what they deemed its permanence and fixity." — Weym.; Rev. 21:1; Dan. 2:35.
20:12. And I saw the dead, [small and] BOTH great and small stand before [God] THE THRONE. — What a grand
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privilege is that which awaits "Him whom man despiseth, Him whom the nation abhorreth, a servant of rulers," "That thou mayest say to the prisoners [the twenty billions in the prison-house of death], Go forth; to them that are in [the] darkness [of the tomb], Show yourselves." (Isa. 49:7, 9; Rev. 11:18; 19:5). (The dead are standing while they are dead. Sea Rev. 20:5 comments.)
And the books were opened. — "The books of the Bible will then all be opened — understood. All will then see that the Golden Rules laid down by inspiration through Moses and the Prophets, Jesus and His Apostles, are the very ones which God will require of men in the future and which Messiah will then enable the willing and obedient to comply with by assisting them up out of their sin and degradation." (B.S.M.) The entire Word of God will not be opened until after the Church is beyond the veil. Much of it (perhaps nearly all) will be opened by the Great Company class during the Time of Trouble, but some of it may wait for the Prophets themselves. Meantime, all that is necessary for salvation and service has been provided. — Dan. 7:10.
And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. — "In the great Day of the world's trial or Judgment another Book of Life will be opened. A record will be made of all who, by obedience, show themselves worthy of everlasting life on the human plane." (B.S.M.) "The First Book of life is called the Lamb's Book of Life, containing the names of the elect Church, His Bride. This other Book of Life will be the book, or record, of those who shall pass the restitutional trial or judgment satisfactorily." — Z.'00-239.
And the dead were judged. — "This judgment, or rulership, cannot begin until Christ, whom Jehovah hath appointed to be the Judge or Ruler of the world, has come again — not again in humiliation, but in power and great glory: not again to redeem the world, but to judge [rule] the world in righteousness. A trial can in no case proceed until the judge is on the bench and the court in session at the appointed time. — Matt. 25:31." — A345.
Out of those things which were written in the books. — "It is by the Word of the Lord that men are judged (John 12:48-50); and not by the opinions or precedents of fellow-men in any capacity. Therefore all should imitate the noble Bereans who 'searched the Scriptures daily' to see if the things taught them were true. (Acts 17:11.) 'To the Law and to the Testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.' — See 1 Thes. 5:21; Isa. 8:20," — D66.
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According to their works. — "The judgment of that time, the test, will not be of faith; for knowledge will be universal, and all the darkness and obscurity created by ignorance and superstition will have passed away. The test at that time will be of works, whereas the tests of the Church at the present time are of faith." — B.S.M.
20:13. And the sea. — The masses of mankind, not under religious restraint — the condition of the whole world in the time of anarchy due in its full severity in the end of the time of trouble.
Gave up the dead which were in it. — Earth's new Ruler will deal first with those who survive the Time of Trouble, reckoned dead, even though actually having a small measure of life. When the Lord said, "Let the dead bury their dead" (Matt. 8:22), He used the same word to describe both classes. Those under the death sentence are counted by the Lord in the same class with those upon whom the sentence has been already executed. None but God's people have "passed from death unto life." (1 John 3:14.) All the rest of the world, in God's sight, are dead.
And death. — "From the 'first, or Adamic death, a resurrection has been provided. All that are in their graves shall come forth. It was in view of God's plan for redeeming the race from that first death that in both the Old and New Testaments it is called a 'sleep.'" — H58.
And hell. — "The dark, secret condition, the grave, which in the present time speaks to us of a hope of future life by God's resurrection power in Christ" — Z.'10-41.
Delivered up the dead which were in them. — "Thus God tells us through the Prophet, 'I will ransom them from the power of the grave [Sheol]. I will redeem them from death. . . . O grave [Sheol] I will be thy destruction.' (Hos. 13:14.) The first or Adamic death shall no longer have liberty or power over men, as it has had for the past six thousand years; no longer shall any die for Adam's sin. (Rom. 5:12; Jer. 31:29, 30; Ezek. 18:2.)" — Z.'10-41.
And they were judged every man according to their works. — "Since all mankind will not be raised at once, but gradually, during the thousand years, each new group will find an army of helpers in those who will have preceded it The love and benevolence which men will then show to each other (the brethren of Christ) the King will count as shown to Him. (Rom. 13:10.)" — Z.'10-39.
20:14. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. — "The destruction of the first death and Hades commences with the beginning of the Millennial Reign and continues to its close. Hades (the grave) will be de-
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stroyed when all the dead in it have heard the Lord's voice and come forth. (John 5:25.) But 'death' will still have hold upon these, since every ache and pain and every mental and moral imperfection is a part of the inherited Adamic penalty. The millions awakened will be still under condemnation, still in death; but in proportion as they render obedience to the terms of the New Covenant, progress will be made toward health, perfection and life. On the other hand, those who, after full knowledge, refuse to accept and personally apply the merit of the sacrifice of Christ, will remain under condemnation; because their wills consent to evil, they will progress toward the Second Death. In the case of the obedient, death will be swallowed up of life. In the case of the disobedient, death will be swallowed up of the Second Death. (1 Cor. 15:26, 54, 55; Isa. 25:6-8.)" — H66.
AND this is the Second Death; THE LAKE OF FIRE. — "This destruction or death is called the Second Death in contradistinction to the First or Adamic death, and not to signify that everything which goes into it dies a second time. For instance, death (the first or Adamic death), and Hades, the grave, are to be cast into it, which work will require the entire Millennium to accomplish it; and in no sense will they ever have been destroyed before. So also the devil, the beast, and the false prophet, will never have been destroyed before." — H58; Rev. 21:8.
20:15. And whosoever [was] SHALL not BE found written in the Book of Life. — The writing, the judging, is still future.
Was cast into the Lake of Fire. — "The Second Death, during the Millennial Age, is a part of the utter destruction which will include every improper, injurious and useless thing. (Isa. 11:9; Psa. 101:5-8.) But the Second Death, the sentence of that individual trial, will be final: it will never be destroyed. We rejoice that there is no danger of this, but that Divine Justice unites with Divine Wisdom, Love and Power, to bring in everlasting righteousness on a permanent basis." — H67; Rev. 19:20; Psa. 50:22.



"A thousand years, earth's coming glory.
'Tis the glad Day so long foretold:
'Tis the bright Morn of Zion's glory
Prophets foresaw in times of old.

"What if the clouds do for a moment
Hide the blue sky where Morn appears?
Soon the glad Sun of Promise given
Rises to shine a thousand years!"
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