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which is more than a thousand years before the ungodly are destroyed by fire (Rev. xx. 11-15), cannot be that of the saints, nor any thing which will take place at the coming of Christ. Third inference: The coincidence between the description which the Holy Ghost has given us in this passage, of the events which will take place at the coming of Christ, and the description which he has given us of the events which will take place at the time of the judgment foretold in Rev. xx. 11-15, is so great, in many striking particulars, that I cannot but conclude, he thereby intimates to us, that the events and times are one and the same. 1. As the Lord Jesus comes and is revealed (vers.7, 10), so he sits upon the great white throne (Rev. xx. 11). 2. As an exact and complete distinction of judgment between the godly and ungodly, according to their character, takes place (vers. 5–7), so the books are opened, and the dead are judged according to their works (Rev. xx. 12). 3. As a glorious manifestation of his people is foretold by his being glorified and admired in them, in the presence of the angels, of one another, and of all the ungodly (ver. 10. Note S.]; so the book of life is opened, and it is manifested who are written therein, (Rev. xx. 12, 15). 4. As the Lord Jesus takes vengeance in flaming fire upon all the ungodly (ver. 8), and they are punished with everlasting destruction from his presence (ver. 9); so those who are not written in the book of life will cast fron his presence when sitting upon the white throne, into the lake of fire. 5. As God will render rest, or his kingdom, to his saints, when Christ is revealed from heaven (ver. 7), so, when he sits upon the white throne, all who are written in the book of life, will enter into the blessed rest described. (Rev. xxi. 1-6, &c.) As there is such a striking coincidence be. tween the two descriptions in these five points, I cannot but conclude that the Holy Ghost intends hereby to
[S.] I need scarcely remark to the reader, how inconceivable it is that such a glorious manifestation of those who are written in the book of life, as the Holy Ghost describes in this passage, as taking place in the presence of Christ, and of the angels, and of the whole body of the saints, and of all who know not God, can be one moment before the time in which he describes the book of life to be opened, and the discovery to be made of those who are written in it (Rev. xx. 12).
mark to us one and the same event and time; and consequently that the first resurrection, which is more than a thousand years before the time of the judgment (Rev. xx. 11-15), must be also some event more than a thousand years before the coming of Christ, as described in 2 Thess. i.
Fourth inference : As the Lord Jesus will in flaming fire take vengeance upon all the ungodly at the time of his coming; and as they will at that time be punished with everlasting destruction from his presence, no ungodly persons can remain or spring up after the time of his coming. Therefore the gathering together of the nations to battle, which is described in Rev. xx. 7-9, must be before the time of his coming. But the first resurrection is a thousand years before the gathering together of the nations: consequently it must also be before the coming of Christ, both by the whole period of a thousand years, and by the time during which the events noticed (Rev.xx.7-10) take place.
XVII. 2 Tim. iv. 1 : “ I charge thee therefore before God, àņd the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom." [Note T.]
[T.] Although the kingdom over enemies noticed 1 Cor. xv. 24, Note R, which Christ will deliver up after the last enemy death has been destroyed at the resurrection of his saints, will, perhaps, teceive its most glorious manifestation in the complete and everlasting destruction of all his enemies, the devil, the world of the ungodly, and death and hades, which will take place at his appearing, yet, I conceive, his kingdom signifies that over his saints, called (ver. 18), his heavenly kingdom, which will then not only receive its full manifestation and glory, but will continue for ever and ever. In 1 Cor. xv. 24, the expression is the kingdom. Here the expression is his kingdom, which appears to me to signify his kingdom of the Gospel in this life, and of eternal glory in the life to come. The reader will find light by consulting the following passages, which are, I believe, all in the New Testament, in which the kingdom peculiarly his is mentioned, Matt. xiii. 41, and xvi. 28; Luke i. 33, and xxii. 30; John xviii. 36 ; Eph. v.5; Col. i. 13; 2 Tim. iv. 1, 18; Heb. i. 8; 2 Pet. i. !). These seem to point out that his kingdom does not refer to the kingdom over enemies which he will deliver up, but to his kingdom which he will never deliver up, and in which he will reign for ever, as king of saints (Rev. xv. 3). The expressions in what is called the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene, and the Athanasian, 'noticed in Note C, appear evidently to be taken from 2 Tim. iv. I.
From this I collect, that the Lord Jesus Christ will judge all the living and all the dead at the time of his appearing. Two inferences appear to me to follow from this. First inference : All the ungodly dead must be raised at the time of his appearing, in order to be judged, as well as the godly dead. Consequently the resurrection of the godly dead will not take place before that of the ungodly. Hence, what is called the first resurrection (Rev. xx. 4), cannot be the same as the resurrection of the saints at the appearing or epiphany of the Lord Jesus Christ. Second inference : The judgment of the living and dead, of which the Holy Ghost
here speaks, cannot but coincide with the judgment which he also describes (Rev. xx. 11, 12). Consequently, the time also must be the same of each. Therefore the appearing or epiphany of Christ, will take place at the time noticed (Rev. xx. 11,12), when he takes his seat upon the great white throne; and therefore must be more than a thousand years after what is called the first resurrection.
XVIII. 2 Pet. iii. “ 1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you : in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: 2 that ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour : 3 knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water : 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished. ✓ But the heavens and the earth which are now by the sameword are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment, and perdition of ungodly men. 8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to re
pentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burnt up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness? 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." [Note V.]
(V.) The reader should carefully notice the change of expression which the Holy Ghost has made in describing what will take place at the day of the Lord, from that which he uses in describing what did take place at the deluge. At the deluge, every thing living upon the surface of the earth, including the whole human race except Noah and his family, perished (Gen. vii. 20—23). But the material earth itself, whatever change its surface may have undergone, was not destroyed but remained (Gen. viii. 1-3). In agreement with this, when the destruction caused by the deluge is described in ver. 6 the word (yn), earth, which had been used in the one immediately before (ver. 5), in the sense of the material earth, is changed for another word (xogués) world, which usually denotes persons who live upon the earth. See John i. 9, 10, 29; and iii. 16, 17, 19; and iv. 42; and vi. 14, 33, 51 ; and vii. 4, 7, &c. Concerning this world of ungodly persons, it is said that by the flood it perished (arwaeto), which signifies the perishing or destruction of the existence of any thing, as its substantive, atwald, perishing or destruction, does in ver. 7. On the other hand, when the Holy Ghost foretells the events which will take place at the coming of the day of the Lord, the word (xoguos) world, which had been substituted for (yn) earth, in ver. 6, is dropped, and the word (yn) earth, is resumed from ver. 5. By this striking change and rechange he indicates to us, I conceive, that the burning up which he foretells, will not merely destroy the world of ungodly persons living upon the earth, as the flood did, which he describes (ver. 6), but will destroy the earth itself.
This same distinction as to the extent of destruction at the flood, and at the last day appears to me to be pointed out equally clearly in three other ways.
First, by the difference between the element (water) which Jehovah used to destroy the world at the deluge, and the element (fire) which he will use to effect the destruction at the day of the Lord. Water will overflow land, and will wash away any thing on its surface, which is the meaning of the word xaraxavobris, translated overflowed (ver. 6), in reference to the waters of the deluge, which wasbed away and overwhelmed the world of ungodly men, and of animals then living on the surface of the earth. But From this påssage I collect : First, That the present heavens and earth are reserved unto fire against (or unto) the day of judgment, and perdition (or perishing, afwletas) of ungodly men (ver. 7), of that and all other ages (compare chap. ii. 9). Secondly, At the coming of the day
water will not consume the earth itself. On the other hand, fire, the element which the Holy Ghost foretells will be used to accomplish the Lord's purpose at the last day, affects the very material and substance of the thing to which it is applied. The difference, therefore, of the two elements water and fire is one way by which the Holy Ghost indicates to us the same difference of extent of destruction, as by the change of the words world and earth.
The second way by which he marks to us the extent of destruction is by using the word (xataxanoetas) burned up (ver. 10). I cannot find a single passage in the New Testament in which this verb is used in any other sense than that which both its composition (xata, intensative, entirely or thoroughly, and xaww, to burn,) and its use in classical authors would denote, namely, that of consuming or burning up, either at once, or, as it were, by a continuing consumption: of this, however, the reader will be able to judge for himself, by referring to the following passages, which are all, I believe, in which it occurs in the New Testament, Matt. iii. 12, and xiii. 30 and 40; Luke iii. 17; Acts xix. 19; 1 Cor. iii. 15; Heb. xiii. Il ; Rev. viii. 7, and xvii. 16, and xviii. 8. It has been alleged that the element of fire is used for refining, and, therefore, we may sup. pose it will be used to refine the earth at the day of the Lord, and not to consume it. To this I would reply, that the other element, water, is also used for purifying. To suppose therefore, that, because the element of fire is used for refining, the fire which the Hold Ghost declares will burn up the earth (expressly using a word which always bears this sense), will be for rej ing the earth, and not for burning it up, would appear to me to be as entirely a groundless and unscriptural assumption, as if when the Lord declared he would bring a flood of waters upon the earth and would destroy all flesh (Gen. vi. 17), any one before the deluge had argued, that water is an element which is used for purifying, therefore all flesh will not be destroyed by the waters of the flood, but will be merely purified thereby. For myself I feel convinced that as the element of water did not purify the all flesh, whom Jehovah had declared he would destroy, but did actually destroy them; so the element of fire will not be for refining the earth, which Jehovah has expressly declared (xataxonO ET®) shall be burned up, but will actually burn it up. The use, therefore, of this verb (XQtaxa.w) signifying to burn up, or consume by fire, as well as the declaration concerning the elernent itself (fire) which will be used at the day of the Lord, convince me that the Holy Ghost thereby foretells that the earth itself will be burnt up or consumed, as fire consumes (xaTeXASEI) chaff, wood, stubble, &c. see Matt. ni. 12 ; and I Cor. iii. 12, 15, (Gr and Eng.) And this appears to me to be greatly confirmed by the other strong expressions, which the Holy Ghost uses in this passage, such as the heavens and the elements passing away, being melted, dissolved (vers. 10-12);