Here we have a resume of the end times from the standpoint of the Lord God and it is provided by the Spirit. The key to the apocalypse and the order in which the divine Will shall be carried out is set down in this vision. For instance when we examine the verse.8 of the previous chapter we are given the testimony of Jesus Christ as given by his angel. ‘And he saith unto me, Write blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me these are the true sayings of God.”
We shall compare this verse: “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: ..(20:6) Here the Spirit supplies us the will of God the Father They shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
St John is shown what must happen at the end of the great tribulation. The war in the foregoing chapter where the heaven is opened (19:11) presents the white horse and the rider, same as in the Four Horsemen episode (Ch.6). Thus the Spirit while setting up so many visions in the book has visually tagged for our understanding while he elided over many other features. In the preceding chapter we focus on him rather than the other horsemen. He has a great army of saints clothed in ‘fine linen, white and clean’ indicating the righteousness of saints (19:8) At the end of that conflict we are told that the beast and the false prophet were taken and cast into the lake of fire. Needless to say that the Spirit elided over the period of time between the four horsemen episode and where the rider on the white horse has a name:the word of God. A crown was given to him in the chapter 6 now has multiplied and he is now shown wearing many crowns. He went forth conquering and we now understand the word of God was his weapon symbolized by the sharp sword out of his mouth. Elision explains compressing several details in order to make its significance clear. Instruction in righteousness is what the Spirit aims at.
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3 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.
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls 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.
5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 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.
(To be continued)