PMW 2021-010 by Milton S. Terry (Biblical Apocalyptics)

Gentry note: In this article I continue presenting some helpful postmillennial material from Milton S. Terry (1840–1914) as presented in his book, Biblical Apocalyptics. Below I will be directly citing his material, except that I will break it into smaller paragraphs (as I noted was necessary in my last article).

So here is a direct citation of Biblical Apocalyptics, pp. 453–54:

The five scenes of the millennial period thus far presented form a closely connected series and are to be thought of, not as chronologically successive, but rather as simultaneous and supplementary in their logical relations. Thus, the moving forth of the great Conqueror (19:11–16) results in the great slaughter of the numerous enemies of God (19:17,18); this involves at the same time the destruction of the beast and the false prophet (19:19–21) and the binding of Satan (20:1–3). These are different aspects of a world-wide conquest, for the Messianic King of Old Testament prophecy is to “have dominion from sea to sea and from the river unto the ends of the earth” (Psalm 72:8).

Navigating the Book of Revelation: Special Studies on Important Issues

Navigating the Book of Revelation (by Ken Gentry)

Technical studies on key issues in Revelation, including the seven-sealed scroll, the cast out temple, Jewish persecution of Christianity, the Babylonian Harlot, and more.

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But the great events symbolized are not sharply separated from each other in time. Most of them, if not all, are coetaneous and extend through the entire period of the Messianic era, the symbolical thousand years. Through what historic stages the conflict is to pass; what particular forms of government may arise and exhibit more or less of the spirit of the beast and the dragon; what mysteries of iniquity may work against Jehovah and against his Anointed during the thousand years — these and such like are not written and their details do not seem to come within the scope of prophetic revelation. But the millennial era of conflict and triumph is prophetically presented in one great field of view.

7,8. When the thousand years are finished Satan shall be loosed — The millennial era is to end with the utter defeat and destruction of the old serpent, the Devil, thus fulfilling at the last the prediction of Genesis 3:15. With this final defeat of Satan all his allied forces are also destined to perish (cp. Matt. 25:41). In order to enhance the final and decisive character of this victory over Satan the writer represents him as loosed out of his prison, in which he had been shut up for the long period (cp. verse 3). The old enemy is thus granted a second probation in order to show that “the deceiver of the whole world” (12:9) is at the end, as from the beginning, “a liar and the father thereof” (John 8:44).

His going forth once more to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth implies that the millennial era, with all its world-wide triumphs, is not destined so to eliminate all evil from among men, but that at the very last there will be found in all quarters of the earth those who can be deceived and led by Satan into conflict with the people of God. These nations, which are thus marshaled to the war against the Most High, are called by the symbolical names Gog and Magog, taken from a similar prophetic picture in the Book of Ezekiel (cp. Ezekiel 38:2). Any attempt to find in these symbolical names and pictures of battle a reference to particular peoples and provinces of the earth must needs be utterly futile. Both here and in Ezekiel we have an ideal scene.

The number of those gathered for the final battle is as the sand of the sea. In Ezekiel they are represented as “many people,” “a great company and a mighty army.” They come up “against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land.” They are “gathered out of many people against the mountains of Israel.” The corresponding passage in Ezekiel (38:18–23) deserves transcription here, as showing beyond question its metaphorical character:

“It shall come to pass in that day, when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord Jehovah, that my fury shall come up into my nostrils. For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken. Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking upon the land of Israel; so that the fishes of the sea and the fowls of heaven and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep upon the earth and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence and the mountains shall be thrown down and the steep places shall fall and every wall shall fall to the ground. And I will call for a sword against him unto all my mountains, saith the Lord Jehovah: every man’s sword shall be against his brother. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him and upon his hordes and upon the many peoples that are with him, an overflowing shower and great hailstones, fire and brimstone. And I will magnify myself and sanctify myself and I will make myself known in the eyes of many nations; and they shall know that I am Jehovah” (Ezekiel 38:18–23).

9. Went up over the breadth of the land — The language has allusion to Habakkuk 1:6, where the Chaldean armies are spoken of as “marching through the breadth of the land to possess the dwelling places which are not their own.”

Compassed the camp of the saints about — The imagery here is of a fortified camp rather than of a moving army, as in 19:14, thus affording variety of description and at the same time conforming to the corresponding picture in Ezekiel of Israel dwelling safely in the day when the armies of Gog come up against their land (cp. Ezekiel 38:14).

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By Larry E. Ball

A basic survey of Revelation from an orthodox, evangelical, and Reformed preterist perspective. Ball understands John to be focusing on the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70. Insightful. Easy to read.

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And the beloved city — The figure is that of a city with a camp outside of it, as if set there for defense. The city is the new Jerusalem, already mentioned in 3:12, but to be more fully described in following visions. It is called the beloved city in allusion to such scriptures as Jeremiah 11:15; 12:7 and Psalm 78:68. In point of fact this beloved city is to be understood as descending from heaven to earth (21:2,3,10) during the entire period of the millennial era; but the artistic proprieties of the book required that the full description of the city of the saints follow the record of the overthrow of all her foes.

Fire came down … and devoured them — Allusion to the event in Elijah’s history (2 Kings 1:10,12), which has been already referred to in these visions (cp. 11:5). Thus these saints have only to stand still and see the miraculous judgment of God upon their enemies. Thus will God ultimately crush Satan under their feet (Romans 16:20).

10. Devil … cast into the lake of fire — Not now “cast down to the earth” (12:9,13), where he may still persecute the saints of God, but cast into final and irretrievable perdition and visited with the terrible fury which Ezekiel thus portrays: “I will rain upon him and upon his bands and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain and great hailstones, fire and brimstone” (Ezekiel 38:22; compare also Genesis 19:24).

Where are also the beast and the false prophet — As described in 19:20. Tormented day and night unto the ages of the ages — Another form of expressing the perpetual torment so vividly portrayed in 14:10,11. See the notes on those verses.

These verses 7–10 depict the last great struggle of Satan and his forces to overcome the saints of God and their overwhelming defeat before the manifested power of heaven. The obvious purpose is to show the final and decisive victory of the seed of the woman over their ancient foe. It is a great symbolic picture and its one great teaching is clear beyond the possibility of doubt or misunderstanding, namely, that Satan and his forces must all ultimately perish. This is written for the comfort and confidence of the saints. But that final victory is in the far future, at the close of the Messianic age and it is here simply outlined in apocalyptic symbols. Any presumption, therefore, of determining specific events of the future from this grand symbolism must be regarded as in the nature of the case a species of worthless and misleading speculation.

The Beast of Revelation (246pp); Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation (409pp); Navigating the Book of Revelation: Special Studies on Important Issues (211pp).

In the Logos edition, these volumes by Ken Gentry are enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

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  1. Alvin Plummer February 3, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    Reblogged this on Acrosss the Stars and commented:
    This is not only good outline of the end of the millennium, but the necessity of recognizing biblical symbolism, metaphors, and allegory in the book of Revelations. If you want to strongly grasp Revelation, you had better master the symbology of Daniel and Ezekiel!

  2. Sanjeev Dhawan December 18, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    Is the beast in Revelation 19 the same as the beast coming out of the sea?

  3. Kenneth Gentry December 27, 2021 at 8:22 am

    Yes. Rev 13 presents features tat re-appear in Rev. 19.

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