Thursday, 18 February 2021
Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” Revelation 11:15
The last verse mentions that the second woe, which came at the blowing of the sixth trumpet, was past. It then said that the third woe is coming quickly. Now it says, “Then the seventh angel sounded.” This means the third and final woe is to be ushered in. That was noted in verse 8:13 –
“And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, ‘Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!’”
As noted in the previous verse, however, the word “quickly” does not necessarily mean “immediately.” In relation to the biblical narrative, there is an extended set of interludes before the pouring out of the bowl judgments. To open up those various scenes, John next says, “And there were loud voices in heaven.”
This is the exact opposite of the loosing of the seventh seal. At that time, it said, “there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.” What is interesting is that the seventh trumpet is a trumpet of woe and of judgment on earth, and yet for now there is silence. On the other hand, the voices in heaven resound.
We are not told whose voices are heard, but it is possible that they are the voices of the four living creatures. This is because in verses 4:9 & 10 it says, “Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne…”
The response to the voices now heard will be recorded in the coming verse. Whoever’s voices they are, John records them as “saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ.’”
Here, manuscripts vary saying either “kingdom” or “kingdoms.” If the singular is correct, it would mean that the kingdom of Satan that held sway over the entire world has now moved to the authority of Jesus. If the plural, it would be referring to the many dominions of the world now falling under the authority of the Lord. Either way, the sense of total rule and spiritual dominion has moved to that of Jesus.
Saying “our Lord” speaks of the ownership rights of Jesus. He is the master of all. Saying “and of His Christ” refers to the anointed status of Jesus as the rightful Heir. The term, “the Lord’s Christ,” was used to indicate this in Luke 2:26. This follows on from the Old Testament term, “the Lord’s Anointed,” and it gives the sense of what is now conveyed. For example, Psalm 2 says –
“The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
3 ‘Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.’” Psalm 2:2, 3
The idea is also conveyed in Psalm 110 –
“The Lord said to my Lord,
‘Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.’” Psalm 110:1
Jesus is “His Anointed” and He is the “Lord.” John’s words assure the reader that Jesus has reclaimed full authority over what was lost at the fall, “and He shall reign forever and ever!” The term “forever and ever” is from the Greek phrase “to the ages of the ages.” It reflects eternity itself and is something that has no end. The authority of Christ over the earth is complete, absolute, and eternal. What was lost will never be lost again.
Life application: What might seem confusing is that this cry is made before the third woe. In other words, there is still rebellion, judgment, and destruction coming. However, this is an anticipatory trumpet and it includes the seven bowl judgments. It encompasses what is yet ahead.
Remembering what just occurred concerning the resurrection of the two witnesses, there can be no doubt about God’s promises or about the truth of His word at this point, and so before the bowl judgments come, the proclamation is made.
Also, the seventh trumpet here is not the “last trumpet” Paul refers to when speaking about the rapture. That trumpet was a trumpet of the church age and was one of salvation. This trumpet is during the Tribulation period and is one of woe and more coming judgment. However, despite the coming trials, the victory is assured.
Each part of the unfolding narrative tells us that God has a plan, that it is being worked out, and that it cannot be thwarted. Things are stated as a certainty at various points in redemptive history because those things are certain. For example, Paul tells believers in Ephesians 2:6 that God “raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
In other words, even though we are still in the world, living out our earthly lives, in God’s mind, we are already raised up and seated in the heavenly places. This is the note that is conveyed concerning the certainty of Christ’s position that is found in this verse of Revelation. The thing is accomplished, and the victory is won. The Lord’s Christ shall reign forever and ever because He is JESUS!
Victory belongs to our Lord. His kingdom will reign on earth forever and ever. But how wonderful it is to know that, even now, we can participate in that glorious kingdom! Oh God, You have offered peace and reconciliation to the people of the world through the shed blood of Jesus. Thank You, O God, for the victory of our Lord over the cross of Calvary! Hallelujah and Amen.