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that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth, and all the fowls (the remnant of Israel) were filled with their flesh,” – that is to say, the spoils of war was given to them.
DESTRUCTION OF THE TWO-HORNED BEAST, OR FALSE PROPHET
(REV. 19:20) The idolatrous kings of Israel and Judah survive the destruction of their kingdoms by the hand of the beast that rises out of the sea. The beast with two horns, that is, the king of Judah with the dragon, the king of Israel, as his ally and supporter,— which two kings form the two horns like a lamb called also “the false prophet,” because his multitude of false prophets, as a mouth, have cried “ Peace and safety” for him when sudden destruction was at the door,— is appointed to perish with the beast in whose honor he caused all those who dwelt upon the earth to make an image that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. He is appointed to utter destruction with the beast that he honored and glorified, as it is written of them saying, “ These both were cast alive into a lake of fire, burning with brimstone" (Rev. 19:19).
But before the beast is slain and his body destroyed and given to the burning Alame, he has on his hands an execution to perform which will rank among the first of his many famous acts which he will have done in his wonderful and checkered career before he goes into perdition. This consists in the execution of a great and notable king, one who, in the zenith of his power, made the earth tremble and did shake kingdoms, one that made the world a wilderness and destroyed the cities thereof; who also destroyed his own land and slew his own people, wherefore it is written of him "The seed of evil-doers shall never be renowned (Isa. 14:20).
The beast that rises out of the sea is the great and strong sword that God has provided with which to destroy him, and he will cause him to be slain in the presence of kings and princes of the earth, for thus it is written of him in Isaiah (27:1), “In that day the Lord, with his sore, and great, and strong sword, shall punish leviathan, the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the
Therefore under the similitude of the Prince of Tyrus, this prince of Jerusalem, who has said (Ezek. 28), "I am a god, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas” (of nations), received this reply, “Therefore, thus saith the Lord God, Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God, behold, therefore, I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. They shall bring thee down to the (bottomless) pit (the grave), and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas. Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I am God ? but thou shalt be a man, and no God, in the hand of him that slayeth thee. Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised (which shows that this prince is a circumcised person) by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God."
Moreover in the lamentation of this king of Tyrus, the Lord speaks again, saying to him (verses 17-18), “I will cast thee to the ground; I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries (the Temple), by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee; it shall devour thee; and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth, in the sight of all them that behold thee."
In the interpretation of these highly figurative Scriptures as contained in the prophets, and especially in the Book of the Revelation, which speaks of the character and destiny of individuals as well as of nations in the latter days, we should take especial note of what the Lord says of the Assyrian, and the manner in which he employs him in executing his own purposes, as it is contained in the tenth chapter of the prophecies of Isaiah, where he shows that he uses him as the woodman uses his axe, and as the sawyer uses his saw, and says to him, “O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation." And the Lord continues, speaking of this powerful combination of nations under the command of the Assyrian, saying (Isa. 10:5-6), “I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets." Now these sayings must be kept in mind if we would interpret aright what is said of the dragon in the Revelation. The hypocritical nation, the people of God's wrath that he sends the Assyrian against to punish in the latter days, is his own sinful nation, the rebellious house of Israel. After the mighty Assyrian has trampled the people of God's wrath as the mire of the streets, he will then complete his work and slay the dragon king of Israel.
Before proceeding further with the interpretation of the Scriptures which relate to the slaying and binding of the dragon, we will call especial attention to the work of the saints in the resurrection, as to what they are to do touching the kings, princes, and nobles of the people of Israel, as set forth in the one hundred and forty-ninth Psalm, saying, “Let the saints be joyful in glory (that is, having been sown in weakness and raised in glory, they are now said to be joyful in glory), let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people.” The people referred to here are the people of Israel, as it is proved by what is contained in the second Psalm, saying, "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?" In the fourth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles the people in this passage are shown to be the people of Israel. Even so also the people spoken of in the one hundred and forty-ninth Psalm are the people of Israel, and the kings and nobles there spoken of are the kings and nobles of the rebellious house of Israel in the latter days. And it is these kings and nobles that the saints are to bind with chains and fetters of iron, and to execute upon them the judgments written. This honor have all his saints. The first three verses of the twentieth chapter of the Revelation record the fulfillment of this very Scripture as contained in the one hundred and forty-ninth Psalm.
THE EXECUTION AND BINDING OF THE DRAGON (REV. 20: 1-3) "And I saw an angel come down from heaven having the key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years should be fulfilled, and after that he must be loosed a little season.” This angel which comes down from heaven is one of the saints referred to in the one hundred and forty-ninth Psalm, to whom God has given power to kill, or to make alive, to bring down to the grave, or to bring up again, which power is called the key of the bottomless pit. The grave is the bottomless pit which, when men go down into it, they can never come out again unless some one who has the power to raise the dead, brings them up.
The great chain that the angel hath in his hand, is the chain or power of death. This chain by which the dragon is bound for a thousand years is the same chain by which the antediluvian sons of God (called "the angels which kept not their first estate ") are bound. They are reserved in everlasting chains of death, under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day, then to be raised from the dead and judged by the saints, as Paul taught the church at Corinth. This angel who comes down from heaven with a great chain in his hand, does not lay hold of the dragon, that old serpent, the Devil and Satan, with his own hands but, as we have already shown, he employs the Assyrian to slay him; and when death has seized upon him and he has been buried in his grave, he will have been bound with the chains of death for a thousand years as the decree is that he shall not be raised from the dead till the thousand years are expired. He shut him up and set a seal upon him, just as the same old serpent had done before with Jesus, for they sealed the stone that was rolled to the door of his sepulchre, as Pilate said to them, “ Make it as sure as ye can.”
The Deceiver of Nations (Rev. 20:3) Jerusalem's idolatrous kings and their false prophets, priests, and princes will deceive the nations as it is spoken of her by the Prophet Nahum under the similitude of Nineveh, saying, “Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the well-favored harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts" (Nahum 3:4). And again in the Revelation (18:23) under the similitude of Babylon it is said of her, “By thy sorceries were all nations deceived.". And again (Rev. 18:3), "All nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” Therefore the great red dragon, the chief of the wicked kings and princes in Jerusalem in the latter days, who had his Gentile allies, the seven heads and ten horns, when he is slain is cast into the grave, or in figurative language is bound with a great chain for a thousand years, and cast into the bottomless pit, and shut up, and a seal set upon him that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years should be fulfilled, and after that he must be loosed a little season.
Bound for a Thousand Years
Now the great red dragon is the chief and head of a body of crooked serpents in Israel in that day which are like himself, who are also slain in the judgment and sleep with him through the thousand years. The Lord speaks of them by the hand of the Prophet Isaiah (24:21-23) as follows, saying, “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison (the bottomless pit), and after many days (a thousand years) shall they be visited. Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts (and all his saints) shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.”
Again in this same connection it is testified (26: 13-14) that the remnant of Israel will say in that day, “O Lord our God, other lords besides thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy
They are dead, they shall not live (again till the thousand years are finished); they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.” Again the Lord speaks in similitudes by the Prophet Jeremiah (51: 36-39), calling idolatrous Jerusalem by the name of idolatrous Babylon, saying, “ Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will plead thy cause, and take vengeance for thee; and I will dry up her sea, and make her springs dry. And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwelling place for dragons, an astonishment and an hissing without an inhabitant. They shall roar together like lions: they shall yell as lions' whelps. In their heat I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the Lord.”
Again in verse 57 the Lord says of them, “And I will make drunk her princes and her wise men, her captains and her rulers and her mighty men: and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the king whose name is the Lord of hosts.” That is, they shall sleep perpetually for a thousand years and not wake till they are fulfilled, as the testimony of Jesus fully shows. They sleep during the time of the reign of Christ and the saints, and have no part in the honor and glory thereof.
These testimonies go to show that there will be a host of those that have fallen in the judgment, consisting of the high ones that were on high, and kings of the earth, princes, wise men, captains, rulers and mighty men, who will rise also at the end of the thousand years and live again for a little season.
THE FIRST RESURRECTION (REV. 20:4-6) "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls (persons) of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” Then referring to the resurrection of those who live and reign with Christ a thousand years, he says, “ This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection, on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."
Now great care must be taken in the interpretation of this Scripture, as there is no reference here made to God's dealings with his people Israel in former ages, but this has especial reference to two classes of people in Israel who are manifest during the time of judgment in the latter days. The first class who rise and reign with Christ for a thousand years are those who, for a period of three years and a half, have stood before the enemy and been beheaded by the sword for the witness of Jesus and for the word of God because they would not, according to the laws of the rebellious house, worship the beast, neither his image, that they had made in his honor, neither would they receive his mark upon their foreheads or in their hands; consequently their heads were smitten off by the sword of the enemy and the avenger.
But the decree of God reads in chapter 13 (verse 10), touching those who slay the saints in that day, saying, “He that killeth with the sword, must be killed with the sword.” And therefore the Lord testifies against them by the Prophet Isaiah, saying, “But ye are they that forsake the Lord, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number (666). Therefore will I number you to the sword " (Isa. 65: 11-12).
Therefore when they have completed their work and the time has expired for the righteous, then their turn comes to be slain in like manner, to bow down in their turn before the Assyrian and to be beheaded by his executioners, and they will be sent down to the pit where they sent the righteous before them, as it is written of them, saying, “As thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee "; and again it is written of them saying, “Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou wast not spoiled, and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee! When thou shalt cease to spoil, then shalt thou be spoiled; and when thou shalt make an end to deal treacherously, they (the Assyrian or the beast) shall deal treacherously with thee” (Isa. 33:1).
The first and second resurrection that are spoken of in this Scripture (for speaking of a first resurrection implies a second) refer especially to these two classes that are manifested during the progress of the judgment,— first, the righteous that are beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God; second, the wicked in Israel who slay them, consisting of the dragon and his associates and helpers, the host of the high ones that are on high and the kings of the earth upon the earth. When these two classes are slain, the righteous and the wicked, and have gone down to the pit, the righteous are first raised to reign with Christ for a thousand years; but it is said, “The rest of the dead (that is, the Devil and his host) lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” Then again, it is written, " Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection, on such the second death hath no power.” That is equivalent to saying that those who are raised in the second resurrection at the end of the thousand years, the dragon and his host, are neither blessed nor holy, and that upon them the second death will have power.