Chapter 20 "All Nations Shall Call Him Blessed."

Psalm 72:17.

It is written of Christ, “The Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever.” (Luke 1:32, 33.) But the sphere of His reign shall not be limited to the house of Jacob; for it is also written, “There was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him.” (Dan. 7:14.)

It has already been observed, that whilst at the present time an election out of all nations is being gathered to the name of Jesus, the nations, as such, are not blessed in Him; on the contrary, their condemnation is greatly increased, and their rejection of the light is only deepening the darkness in which they are enveloped, and preparing them to be hurried headlong to destruction under the power of the last “strong delusion.” (2 Thess. 2:10-12.)

But as it was promised to Abraham that in his seed should all nations of the earth be blessed (Gen. 22:18), so in confirmation again of that promise it is written, “Men shall be blessed in Him: all nations shall call Him blessed.” (Ps. 72:17.)

It is thus evident that all nations shall be brought into subjection to the lordship of Christ, and they shall go up from year to year to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts. (Zech. 14:16, 17.) It is not to be from this concluded that all upon the face of the earth shall be truly regenerate persons; on the contrary, it would seem as though some would even refuse to yield their homage to the King of kings, and incur the penalty written, even the plague of having no rain. Again, in Psalm 18:43, 44, the marginal reading is interesting, being made the “Head of the heathen,” the sons of the stranger will yield unto Him “feigned obedience.” Again, in Psalm 66:3, through the greatness of His power His enemies shall “yield feigned obedience unto Him;” a different character of subjection from that which is now yielded by those who know the constraining power of the love of Christ.

Doubtless very many out of all nations will be truly the Lord’s, and in His day shall the righteous flourish, showing that the righteousness which is called to suffer in the patience of hope now shall be dominant then. Those whose hearts remain unchanged shall not then be energized as now by the spirit of Satan (Eph. 2); for Satan during that period shall be confined in the bottomless pit, and not roaming about at will as he now is (Rev. 20:1-3), and this alone will occasion a mighty change from the present order of things, both as to the saved and unsaved. Evil, if it does exist, will be comparatively powerless, and will, through the omniscience of the King, meet with speedy and infallible judgment.

The saints living in the world will not then, as now, be subject to the assaults of the adversary, either through the injection into the mind of evil thoughts, or through his appealing to the lusts of the flesh, or by those sicknesses and pains which he has power, as in the case of Job or Paul, now to inflict upon the bodies of the people of God. It will be the world’s Sabbath—a rest from conflict in the presence and vision of the glory of God, and in the perpetual enjoyment of His blessing. “The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Hab. 2:14.) But a thousand years of the blessing and manifested glory of God and of rest from Satan’s oppression will not suffice to eradicate the corruption of the nature of man. The heart of all but those who shall have been created anew will yet be “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked,” and this will be fully manifested at the close of the millennial period.

“When the thousand years are expired Satan shall be loosed out of his prison.” Immediately he shall set about his ancient work of deception; for his long incarceration shall have wrought no change upon him, and multitudes will again be found in the four quarters of the earth ready to believe his lies. The evil of their unrenewed nature, though dormant and kept in restraint, ready to be fanned into a flame of opposition to God whenever the breath of the spirit of Satan should blow upon it, shall burst forth in a fearful and final insurrection against the authority of Christ.

The camp of the saints and the beloved city will again, as in the day of antichrist, be the object of envy and malice; for Satan’s opposition, first and last, is directed against the object of the favour of God.

In full view of the glorious presence of Christ the Lord, and of all that His grace shall have wrought for Israel and for man, with hardihood unparalleled, shall this innumerable host of Satan’s last dupes be marshalled to do battle with the living God.

But it is only for a little season. Power is now on the side of the saints, not on the side of the ungodly, and Satan and his hosts may compass the camp and the city about, but they cannot touch a hair of the head of God’s redeemed.

Their destruction is instantaneous and final: “fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.” (Rev. 20:9.)

So far as God has revealed, this ends the long conflict between light and darkness. Man has been tried without law, and found utterly ungodly: and the flood ended that test of man. Then in Abraham’s seed the trial is renewed with all the restraints that law could impose; but man is proven to be a sinner, and this trial ends in the murder of God’s Son.

Again, in the present dispensation, man is being tested by grace by the universal offer of pardon through faith in God’s testimony—God beseeching men to be reconciled to Him, and not imputing to them their trespasses. The result is only to bring out the utter enmity of the natural man. He will not only tread under foot the Son of God, but do despite to the Spirit of grace.

Finally, as we have seen, God reveals Himself in His glorious power to deliver from sin and Satan, and death and curse, ushering the groaning creation into the liberty of the glory of the sons of God.

For a thousand years He maintains unbroken calm; it is the kingdom of God, the reign of the Prince of Peace, the world’s great rest and jubilee. But, at its close, yet once more man is tested, through Satan being again let loose, and the issue proves the eternal truth of the verdict of God: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3.) “Neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” (Gal. 6:15.)

“And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev. 21:5.)