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punishment, according to the prophet, is the sword—the sword, no doubt, or spirit of the mouth of God; that is, his revealed word—the revelation of the truth showing the accuser to be thus punished or cast out from heaven : a prediction probably to be accomplished through the instrumentality of this apocalyptic vision.
§ 282. • That old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world.' _Here we find, as we have anticipated, this great red dragon to be identic with the Devil and Satan ; Satan being a Hebrew name signifying the accuser, and diabolos (the devil) a Greek translation of the same name bearing the same import. The term indeed is sometimes supposed to be applicable to a calumniator or false accuser; but such a character it is evident could have no power in the presence of an omniscient Judge ; whereas, the devil is said, Heb. ii. 14, to have had the power of death, that is, of condemnation ; Death and Hades being, as we have seen, concomitant powers, ($ 158,) or rather results of the same cause. says an apostle, it is a small thing to be judged of man's judgment. If the power of Satan extended no further than to slander disciples before their fellow-beings, his operations would be hardly worthy of consideration ; but that which gives him importance is, that his accusations legally are well founded. He charges the sinner with sin, and this is no calumny. The falsehood with which he is chargeable does not consist in his accusing man falsely, but in his misrepresenting the purposes of God and the position of man. It is God that he calumniates, not nian ; it is the glory and honour of the Sovereign Lord and Redeemer that he would, if it were possible, undermine and destroy.
* That old serpent. The appellation carries us back to the account given of this deceiver, Gen. iii. 1, where we find it said of the serpent that he was more subtle* than any beast of the field, and where we find his subtlety employed in bringing man under the power of the law, persuading him that he may thereby become as God. As the disciple is sometimes deceived with the delusion that by fulfilling the law for himself, he may become perfect as God is perfect. The action of the accusing spirit, from the creation of the world to the present time, has been of the same character ; beguiling man into the persuasion that he is to seek his own glory, and to promote his own interests by the merit of his own works. This spirit we may say creeps into all systems of human suggestion ; as it deceived the Pharisee, going about to establish his own righteousness, so it was exhibited in the
More subtle, or wiser, Lat. usłułus, v. Trom. 'The term employed in the Septuagint version, pgoviuotatos, is that applied to the unjust steward, and to the children of this world, Luke xvi. 8; expressive of that kind of selfish short-sighted wisdom, hy which a cunning man aims at the accomplishment of his purposes, without regard to the principles of justice, or to the consequences of his actions in a future state.
Galatians, thinking to make themselves perfect in the flesh ; and so its influence is perceived in the idolatrous rites of pagan and heathen worshippers. Nor is this influence confined to past times or to unenlightened countries; we may detect the presence of the same spirit in the doctrinal views and systems of Christians of all denominations and of all ages. And no marvel, as it is said 2 Cor. xi. 14, for Satan (ó oatavās, the accuser) himself is transformed into an angel of light: with great professions of zeal for the fulfilment of the law, the real operation of this deceiver is to diminish the gratitude due to the Redeemer, by exalting the merits of man, and in effect ascribing to the sinner the glory of his own salvation. The self righteous man fattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful, Ps. xxxvi. 2.
" Which deceiveth the whole world ;'-or rather, as the original might be rendered, which leadeth astray the whole world-ó nhavõv rip oírovụérny öln—perverting the whole economy of redemption : making a legal dispensation of it, and thereby rendering it a field of legal accusation ;—the phrase, whether taken strictly or not, implying a universality of action, applicable to the present age as much as to any preceding age or ages, and to the whole of Christendom as well as to the benighted regions of Asia and Africa.
· He was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.' _We have had a specimen of these angels or ministering spirits of the accuser, in the descriptions given of the elements of the bottomless pit, and of the great river Euphrates. They are all with their chief of the same accusatory character, having the same destroying purpose in view; and proposing to effect this purpose by a maintenance of the same legal views and self-righteous principles, all in effect tending to the same end, that of the condemnation of the sinner.
They are cast out of the heavenly system. They are no longer to be supposed to have a part in the divine council ; they are no longer to be seen in the heavenly exhibition of God's plan of government; and it is implied that their ejection is a consequence of the defeat sustained by them in the contest with Michael and his angels. In other words, in the divine mind the accusing power is entirely overcome by the element of propitiation -Christ and his atonement—" Jehovah has conquered, his people are free!” It would not be difficult to draw an analogy between the liberation of the children of Israel from their state of Egyptian bondage, and the triumph of the elements of redemption over those of condemnation, represented by this defeat of the dragon; but perhaps the reference is sufficient.
So far, however, we have seen this triumph of the Saviour only as it is seen in heaven—as it is in fact—as it is and has been according to the purpose
of God, but not yet, as supposed, to be revealed to man, or at least as understood by man. The dragon is cast out into the earth. In the earth,
therefore, or in the earthly system, or in the earthly view of the divine system of government, we are still to find in some shape the accusing spirit, or his vicegerent, together with his ministering spirits—the elements of accusation and condemnation-transformed perhaps on some occasions as angels of light.
Vs. 10, 11, 12. And I heard a loud Και ήκουσα φωνήν μεγάλην εν τω ουραvoice saying in heaven, Now is come sal- να λέγουσαν· άρτι εγένετο η σωτηρία και η vation, and strength, and the kingdom of υur God, and the power of his Christ: for δύναμις και η βασιλεία του θεού ημών και the accuser of our brethren is cast down η εξουσία του Χριστού αυτού ότι έβλήθη which accused them before our God day ο κατήγως των αδελφών ημών, και κατηγοand night. And they overcame him by ρών αυτών ενώπιον του θεού ημών ημέρας the blood of the Lamb, and by the word και νυκτός. Και αυτοί ενίκησαν αυτόν διά of their testimony; and they loved not το αίμα του αρνίου και δια τον λόγον της their lives upto the death. Therefore rejoice, (ye) heavens, and ye that dwell in μαρτυρίας αυτών, και ουκ ηγάπησαν την them. Wo to the inhabiters of the earth, ψυχήν αυτών άχρι θανάτου. Διά τούτο and of the sea! for the devil is come ευφραίνεσθε, οι ουρανοί και οι εν αυτοίς down unto you, having great wrath, be- σκηνούντες· ουαι τη γη και τη θαλάσση, cause he knoweth that he hath but a short ότι κατέβη ο διάβολος προς υμάς έχων θυtime.
μόν μέγαν, ειδώς, ότι ολίγον καιρόν έχει.
$ 283. And I heard a loud voice.'-This loud voice, or, according to the Greek, great voice or sound, being apparently a chorus of voices of all the heavenly elements in unison. Not the voices of those who are themselves the subjects of this salvation, but of those who are the lookers-on, the heavenly spectators. They have been earnestly engaged in contemplating the process of the work of redemption, and they now rejoice in witnessing its accomplishment. As when the foundations of the earth were laid, “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy,” Job xxxviii. 7. This however is the language of a heavenly choir ; of those privileged with an insight into the purposes
of divine mercy; the mystery of these purposes not having been yet developed upon earth or to the mind of man.
• Now is come salvation.'— The expelling of the accuser and his ministering spirits constitutes in effect this salvation ; and the exhibition of this expulsion in the heavenly display of the work of redemption, is the manifestation of this salvation : “ Now is come salvation ;" that is, now it is manifested.
* And strength.' - The strength by which this work of salvation is effected is now also manifested : in heaven at least, corresponding with the exhibition afterwards to be made on earth; as it is said, Is. lii. 10, “ The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God ;"—this holy arm being
a figurative expression for the strength of Jehovah ; and that strength, as exercised in the salvation of the sinner, consisting in the imputed righteousness of the same divine Being, elsewhere spoken of as the saving strength of his right hand, (Ps. xx. 6,) and the right hand of his righteousness, Is. xli. 10. In allusion to which it is said, “ Trust ye in the Lord forever : for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength,” Is. xxvi. 4; “ He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might be increaseth strength," Is. xl. 29; “ Surely shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength," Is. xlv. 24.
* And the kingdom of our God.'—That is, now is come the manifestation of his kingdom, (in heaven.) For we cannot suppose a moment when God did not reign, or when his kingdom had not come. But although always existing, it may not always to certain classes of beings have been equally manifest. The inference to be drawn here accordingly is, that this expulsion of the accuser, this triumph over him, is a proof of the sovereignty of God. As if we should say, in reference to the work of redemption, Now is come the proof of the divine sovereignty ; now the mysteries of the kingdom of God are developed ; the principles upon which this kingdom is established and maintained are unfolded.*
· And the power of his Christ,' or, of his anointed.-Christ himself is said to be the power of God, which identifies him with the right hand, or arm, or strength of God. Not that this power of Christ has just come, but now is come the manifestation of it ; Christ personified as Michael, (3 279,) having just exhibited his power in overcoming the elements of legal accusation, or power of condemnation.
* The term kingilom of God is of frequent occurrence in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke ; althouyh in that of John it is met with but in one passage, where it is used in connection with the subject of the new birth. It is to be presumed, however, that John's gospel treats as much of this kingdom as either of the three others. The term kingdom of heaven occurs only in the gospel of Matthew; but as it is there used we cannot consider it other than an equivalent for the term kingdom of God.
The mystery of the kingdom of God is spoken of, Mark iv. 11, and Luke viii. 10, and the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, Matt. xiii. 11. Christ began his ministry with preaching the kingdom of God, that is, the mystery of this kingdom ; for except to his disciples he spoke of it in parables. So, after his resurrection, he was with his disciples forty days, speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God, (Acts i. 3.) So, Philip preached the things concerning the kingdom of God, Acts viii. 12; and Paul spake boldly in the synagogue at Corinth for three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. We conclude, therefore, that to preach the kingdom of God is to set forth the doctrines of the gospel, showing upon what principles God's kingdom or his sovereignty is established; the phrase, the kingdom of God is come, or is nigh at hand, being equivalent to the declaration that the exhibition of these principles of divine government are being made, or are about being made.
For for because] the accuser of our brethren is cast down,' or, cast out. The verb in the original being that employed in the ninth verse, some editions of the Greek have it combined with the preposition xuté ; but even this only gives intensity to the expression, not necessarily implying the idea of down or up. The accuser is cast out of the divine system of government. In heaven he is manifested to be so cast out, and that by the power of the element of substitution or propitiation ; hence the manifestation, or advent of the salvation, the strength, and the kingdom of God and the power of Christ ; the article in the original being prefixed to the words salvation and strength as well as to that of kingdom. It is not merely salvation and strength in general that is manifested, but the salvation and the strength of God
of Christ. The term now we suppose to be applicable to a certain stage in this development of truth, and not to a particular epoch of time. As soon as the accusing principle is shown to be cast out, then this power of Christ, and salvation, and strength, and kingdom of God, are manifested ; corresponding with that which Jesus himself described as a vision of his own mind, Luke x. 13, “I saw Satan as lightning fall from heaven."
$ 284. The appellation · Kariyog, or Kuríropos, the accuser, is from the verb κατηγορέω, a compound of the preposition κατά, against, and αγορεύω, to plead, and is used more particularly in reference to judicial proceedings, (Rob. Lex. 365.) We find it applied, John viii. 10, to those who urged the condemnation of the woman taken in adultery: “Woman, where are thine accusers ?” and in Acts xxiv. and xxv., to the accusers of Paul. The Greek term krope is applied to a court of judicature or forum, as well as to a market-place. So iyopstw sometimes signifies to speak in the forum, or to harangue, (Jones Lex. 19, 20, and 887,) whence xutnogéw, to speak against, arraign, impeach, denounce, accuse. This term as well as that of diabolos has been supposed to denote a calumniator, or false accuser, (Rob. Lex. 365 ;) but for the reason we have already given, ($ 282,) to confine it to that meaning here would destroy the whole force of the passage. As the verb is employed, Jolin v. 45, it signifies something very different from calumny: “ There is one that accuseth you, even Moses in whom ye trust.” Moses was no false accuser.
If he could have been so regarded by the Jews, they would have thought the appeal to him of very little moment. If the devil or Satan be a false accuser, then his power is exercised only against the innocent, and then this salvation and strength of God, and the power of Christ, are manifested merely in saving the innocent from the effects of calumny; a salvation for which the attribute of divine Omniscience alone would have been sufficient. But if this accuser be one whose office it is to bring criminals to justice, who argues and pleads for their condemnation, having the advantages of law and fact on his side, then those whom he