The biggest television viewing event of the year is the Super Bowl. I wonder what kind of breaking news it would take for the networks to cut away from the Super Bowl? Perhaps something like the event we are going to look at in Revelation 11 that will actually be announced as breaking news that will command the attention of the whole world.
The seventh angel will sound his trumpet in verse 15, which is the third woe pronounced from the great eagle in Revelation 8:13. John records a transitional verse: “The second woe is past; behold, the third woe is coming quickly” (Revelation 11:14). That is the seventh judgment that contains all of the bowl judgements that are yet to come. The end of the world and return of Christ are coming very quickly. In fact, it is so certain that in these final verses of chapter 11, they are treated as already having taken place.
At the sounding of the seventh trumpet we would expect an announcement for the first bowl judgment to be poured out. But it isn’t. There is a delay (Revelation 11:15–15:8). The sounding of the seventh trumpet is immediately followed by an interlude. However, instead of silence there is an announcement of victory.
The whole heavenly host announced that the long expected worldwide “reign” of Christ would soon begin. The verb “has become” (egeneto) is proleptic, meaning that “the kingdom of the world” hasn’t yet become “the kingdom of our Lord [God] and of His Christ,” but that its occurrence is assured. It’s just a matter of time.
The earthly reign of Christ will continue in the new heaven and new earth—“forever and ever”—when Jesus will turn control over to the Father, and “God will be all in all” (Revelation 21:1–22:5).
After the heavenly hosts announces the victory of the King, the twenty-four elders, as they continually do, prostrate themselves in worship before the coming King (Revelation 11:16-18). The twenty-four elders represent the entire redeemed people, serving God in rotation. They praise God with thanksgiving, for using His “great power” in finally bringing an end to godless powers and beginning His godly reign on earth. Up until now, God had allowed powers hostile to His people to control the earth, but now He will take control and rule directly.
In Revelation 11:18, we notice that while there is worship in heaven, there is rebellion on earth. The elders continue to anticipate the beginning of Messiah’s earthly reign by foreseeing how enraged the unbelieving nations of the earth will become. The rage of the nations will do no good, other than elicit God’s wrath.
The godly rejoice in the reign of God. The ungodly rebel against the reign of God. That is the difference between a believer and an unbeliever. A believer willingly submits his or her life in obedience to God—and is blessed. An unbeliever refuses to do so—and is condemned.
Finally, at the end of Revelation 11:18, the elders anticipate the destruction of the wicked—“those who destroy the earth”—who have been responsible for the divine judgments that have destroyed the earth.
God truly is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And we find timeless truths for life today by studying Revelation 11.
- God’s protection is promised. Obey Him.
In the darkest days of Earth’s history—the final three and a half years of the Tribulation—God selected two spokesmen to be His light, the two witnesses (Revelation 11:3-14). And He ordained down to the day how long they would minister—1,260 days. During that time, they were invincible—no one could harm them until their ministry was finished.
That reminds me of the words “Every man is immortal until his work on earth is done.” And even when the two witnesses were killed by the Antichrist, their death wasn’t final. Three and a half days later, God resurrected them from the dead. God makes the same promise to you. Your responsibility is to be a light for Christ wherever you are, and God’s responsibility is to protect you.
- God’s victory is certain. Trust Him.
When the seventh trumpet is sounded the announcement comes from heaven, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ and He shall reign forever and ever.”
What is so fascinating is, at that point in history, there will still be more judgments to be endured on earth—more catastrophes, more death, more heartache. But God is not bound by time. The ultimate victory of God over evil is so certain. God who is NOT bound by time sees His victory is completed. It’s a done deal!
That is true for you.
For those of us still trapped in time, it may seem that evil has gotten the upper hand. Sickness, broken relationships, unfulfilled dreams, and death appear to be the norm for Christians.
But the tribulation we are facing is only temporary. Our ultimate victory is certain.
To use a football analogy, Satan may have the ball in these final moments of the game, but Christ has run up the score so much and His victory is so certain, that the fans are already leaving the stadium.
The outcome has already been determined. The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ.
And He will reign forever and ever.