A Systematic Expository Study on the book of REVELATION
STUDY 29: THE PREVIEW OF THE FINAL ESTABLISHMENT OF CHRIST’S KINGDOM
“And the seventh angel sounded” (Revelation 11:15). “In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets” (Revelation 10:7). The events to be released by the sounding of the seventh trumpet will not be over in a moment of time. Revelation 10:7 speaks of “the days of the voice of the seventh angel.” Over a period of time, “the mystery of God” will be finished, accomplished, completed. The entire program to be completed during the period of the seventh trumpet includes everything involved in the completion of the whole mystery of God. It embraces and over-spans (1) the pouring out of the seven last bowls or vials of the wrath and the judgment of God; (2) the great final battle of Armageddon; (3) the personal appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ to establish His Kingdom; (4) the establishment of Christ’s Kingdom on earth; (5) the great white throne judgment of the dead; (6) the creation of the new heavens and the new earth; (7) the making and renewal of all things for the believers’ ultimate, eternal happiness throughout eternity. All these are encompassed and included, all these are to be accomplished in the days of the voice of this seventh and last angel and this passage is a preview. These verses in Revelation 11:15-19 are preview of what is to come in chapters 12 to 22 of the book of Revelation.
THE ACCLAMATION AND ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE KINGDOM
Revelation 11:15; Psalm 22:27,28; Isaiah 9:6,7; Micah 4:1,2; Daniel 2:44,45; Daniel 7:13,14,27; Zechariah 14:9; Luke 1:28-33; Hebrews 1:8;
Matthew 6:9,10,13; Revelation 12:10; 20:4
Here we have the acclamation of the King and the announcement of the Kingdom. The coronation of the King is not far in the distance. “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying,...” This is the last of the trumpets and under it are the divine acts which bring the reign of Satan to an end and bring in the reign of Christ. The grand consummation is about to come, and is now certain to come quickly; the period so long anticipated and desired when the Lord will reign on the earth has arrived and “great voices” of exaltation and praise break forth with joy and thanksgiving “in heaven.”
“Saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ.” The kingdoms of this world have been under the authority of Satan (Luke 4:5-8; John 12:31; 14:30; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2; John 16:11) God has the ultimate authority and sovereignty over the world and the time has now come to take control. The word “Lord” in our text implies ‘possessor, owner, sovereign, supreme ruler.’ The true and the living God now takes the Kingdom from “the god of this world,” from the usurper, from Satan. “And of His Christ.” God is the original source of authority and He gives the Kingdom to His Son, who He has anointed and appointed to rule and reign. “And He shall reign for ever and ever.” His reign over the whole Kingdom shall never be terminated, shall never end. What is stated here is the fulfilment of many prophecies in the Bible. A time is to come when the Lord shall reign on the earth; when His Kingdom will be universal; when His laws shall be everywhere recognized as binding; when Satan’s hold and dominion shall end and be forgotten forever.
THE ADORATION AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE ALMIGHTY KING
Revelation 11:16,17; 4:10,11; 5:13,14; 7:11,12; 15:3,4; 1 Chronicles 29:10-12; Psalm 66:1-4; Daniel 4:3,34,37; 6:25,26; John 4:22-24;
Mark 7:6-13; Revelation 14:6,7.
“And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats” - these represent God’s raptured saints in heaven. “Fell upon their faces and worshipped God.” The triumphant, raptured Church in heaven worship and praise God because the long-awaited time of His dominion and reign has now come. God’s people always rejoice when God is exalted and Satan is brought down. Here, God’s redeemed, raptured Church worship Him joyfully as He takes His place of authority and sovereignty and strips Satan, the usurper, of all authority and power.
“Saying, We give Thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art come; because Thou hast taken to Thee Thy great power, and has reigned.” Here, the twenty four elders in heaven praise God and give thanks because of the final defeat of Satan, the full and final redemption of the earth, the final triumph of righteousness, the final establishment of God’s Kingdom and Christ’s reign. God is acknowledged as the Almighty, the all-powerful One, because it is His omnipotent Arm alone that has accomplished this final triumph to establish the Kingdom.
The Almighty God is the eternally existent One, “which art, and wast, and art to come.” “Because Thou hast taken to Thee Thy great power.” Satan had reigned on the earth and disorder, anarchy, sin, rebellion and wickedness had prevailed. It seemed as if evil would always conquer good, as if Satan and his agents would forever have dominion over the world. Now the Almighty comes to resume and exercise dominion over the world, to take the scepter into His own Hand and to exert His great power in keeping the nations in subjection. By the demonstration of divine power, He sets up His Kingdom over the whole world, causing His laws to be obeyed everywhere. He reigns! He acts as King with final authority and power! He rules with unchallenged regal power! Through His Son and under His Son’s dominion the world is kept in subjection to Him! That is the reason why the saints give Him thanks.
THE ANTICIPATION AND ASSURANCE OF THE KINGDOM
Revelation 11:18,19; Psalm 2:1-9; Isaiah 34:1-4,8-10; Romans 1:18-32; Luke 3:7-9; Revelation 14:10; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 20:11-15;
Matthew 5:10-12; Revelation 22:12; Matthew 25:41,46; Revelation 16:17-21
Four different end-time events are mentioned in Revelation 11:18. (1) The outpouring of God’s wrath, (2) the judgment of the dead, (3) rewarding of God’s saints and servants and (4) the final punishment of those who destroy or corrupt the earth. These events are more than 1,000 years apart. Many times, events, which seem to be near because they are recorded in a single verse, may actually be thousands of years apart. See this principle of Bible prophecy illustrated in Isaiah 9:6; 61:1-3 with Luke 4:18:21; 1 Corinthians 15:23,24. There are thousands of years in between the events prophesied and recorded in these verses. Bible prophecies are like peaks of mountains. To a traveller who is far away from the mountains, there appears to be one mountain peak but when he gets closer he sees that there are valleys between the peaks and that there are actually two, three or four peaks.
“And the nations were angry, and Thy wrath is come.” The first event is the outpouring of God’s wrath on people and nations who were enraged against God and His Anointed. They showed their anger by their opposition to His laws, by their rejection of Christ, the Saviour, by persecuting His people, by killing His witnesses, by all the attempts, which they had made to destroy His authority on earth. “The wicked shall be turned to hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17).
The second event is the judgment of the dead. “And the time of the dead, that they should be judged.” This refers to the time of the final judgment of the dead when all the dead, both small and great, will be raised to appear before God, at the time of the Great White Throne Judgment. “And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).
The next recorded event is the rewarding of God’s faithful people. “And that Thou shouldest give reward unto Thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Thy Name, small and great.” In the end-time, at a time already appointed or determined by God, he will bestow the long-promised reward on His holy, righteous servants and saints.
The last recorded event in Revelation 11:18 is the final punishment of those who destroy or corrupt the earth. “And shouldest destroy (punish, send to perdition) them which destroy (corrupt) the earth.” Satan is the great destroyer or corrupter. So are his demons and all men who reject salvation and righteousness and follow Satan’s ways. They are all destroyers and they will be punished in “everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41,46).
“And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament; and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake and great hail.” His promises to the saints and threatenings to sinners will be fulfilled.
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