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Volume 14 - Page 138 of 167 Index | Zoom | |
power to substantiate their message with "signs following", for they work miracles.
These unclean emissaries go forth unto the kings of the whole habitable world to gather
them together in a place called Armageddon. We are not told in chapter 19: how the
Lord will come, and what the effect of His appearing will have upon this host. This we
learn in chapter 6: 12-14:--
"Lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and
the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree
casteth untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heavens departed as
a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their
These are the accompaniments of the second coming, as the Lord said in
Matt. 24: 29-31; only in that prophecy the other feature, namely, "the year of the
redeemed", is uppermost. The effects of these appalling sights upon the kings of the
earth and their armies are only faintly realized as we hear them, in the words of prophecy,
calling on the mountains and rocks to hide them from the face of Him that sitteth on the
throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. In Rev. 19: 20 we read:--
"And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before
him . . . . . These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone."
Here is fulfilled Psa. 110: 6 which says, "He shall shatter the head over a land far
extended", for the beast exercised dominion over the kings of the whole habitable world.
The summoning of the fowls of heaven to eat the flesh of kings, and captains, of mighty
men, of horse and rider, of free and bond, small and great, fulfils two other statements in
the same Psalm, viz.:--
"He shall fill the places with the dead bodies" (verse 6), and "He shall strike through
kings in the day of His wrath" (verse 5).
The scriptural descriptions of the beast show that he is the master stroke of Satan, and
that he rules in Satan's name and in Satan's interest (see Rev. 12:). The dragon does not
figure in the record before us; it is the beast and the false prophet who are cast into the
lake of fire. Immediately following the judgment of the beast we read of the binding of
Satan. An angel is seen descending from the heavens having the key of the abyss and
also a great chain.
"And he laid hold of the dragon, that ancient serpent, which is the Devil (Greek), and
Satan (Hebrew), and bound him for a thousand years" (Rev. 20: 2).
The thousand year reign of Christ will not be the final and perfect kingdom; it will be
preparatory, and in some ways a period of judgment and restraint. The beast and the false
prophet will never again work their deceptive ways among men. Satan will be bound for
the whole period. Outside temptation will be removed, but because of the nature of the
Millennial* kingdom Satan is not cast into the lake of fire until after this kingdom has
finished, as he is to be given a little season as a final test both for himself and for the
nations of the earth. Of this we shall learn more in its place.