Thursday, March 17, 2016

Revelation 11:13-19

But the Lord shall endure forever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness. The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. Sing praises to the Lord, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings. When he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them: he forgetteth not the cry of the humble. – Psalm 9:7-12

Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. – 1 Corinthians 15:24-28

After a brief interlude describing the two witnesses that would come in the end times, John’s vision of the trumpet judgments continued. Instead of telling what the judgment looked like for the inhabitants of the earth, John explained what effect the trumpet judgment had in heaven. Prior to this, the majority of trumpet judgments were described simply by their effects on the earth, but because this was the last of the seven, John explained what he saw taking place in heaven as a result of the seventh trumpet.
Through the execution of this final judgment, all the dominions and kingdoms of the world would be finally declared “the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ.” The prophetic glimpses of the Old and New Testament find their fulfillment in this one moment. Every nation that has existed in rebellion is finally subdued under the authority of Jesus Christ. It was not that they were not His possession, rather, the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. Rather, these kingdoms were in rebellion and considered themselves to be independent of his power. However, in this definitive moment they are brought under the indisputable power of the Almighty God.
The earth raged, but God’s justice and power was inimitable. He alone had the authority to reign and now he was executing that judgement over heaven and earth. Nothing could stand in His way, the final justice would be executed, and all the forces of rebellion would be turned in total submission to Him.
Now, we must understand that although we see finality of all kingdoms in this chapter, this is not the end of the Revelation narrative. Rather, we have merely reached the halfway point of the book. In this moment, we get a glimpse of the end that is coming. These few verses describe what happens in heaven, but the next several chapters will tell how the final trumpet resulted in unbearable judgment and agony on the earth. Perhaps this contrast might help us see the turning of events from the perspective of a Sovereign God. While the earth peals apart at the seams and rebellious creatures writhe in agony, God is plainly declared king over all. And as God sits on His throne, the heavens shake with the magnitude of His awesomeness. There is something truly fearful and awesome about the greatness of God.

Reflect: Read Psalm 104. Write out some observations of God’s greatness that you see in this psalm.