April 18, 2017: Verse of the day


Though its effects on earth were delayed (as with the seventh seal; 8:2–5), there was an immediate response in heaven when the seventh angel sounded his trumpet. Expressing exhilaration at what was about to take place, there came loud voices in heaven saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” That dramatic proclamation is obviously connected to the effects of the seventh trumpet. There is unrestrained joy that the power of Satan is to be forever broken, and Jesus Christ is to reign supreme as King of kings and Lord of lords. With the defeat of the usurper, the question of sovereignty over the world will be forever settled. What Jesus refused to take on Satan’s terms (cf. Luke 4:5–8) He will take on His own terms. Heaven rejoices that the long rebellion of the world against God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ is about to end. The setting up of Christ’s long-awaited kingdom is the apex of redemptive history.

The use of the singular term kingdom of the world instead of the plural “kingdoms” introduces an important truth. All of the world’s diverse national, political, social, cultural, linguistic, and religious groups are in reality one kingdom under one king. That king is known in Scripture by many names and titles, including the accuser (Rev. 12:10), the adversary (1 Pet. 5:8), Beelzebul (Matt. 12:24), Belial (2 Cor. 6:15), the dragon (Rev. 12:3, 7, 9), the “evil one” (John 17:15), the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4), the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2), the roaring lion (1 Pet. 5:8), the ruler of the demons (Mark 3:22), the ruler of this world (John 12:31), the serpent of old (Rev. 12:9; 20:2), the tempter (1 Thess. 3:5), and, most commonly, the devil (Matt. 4:1) and Satan (1 Tim. 5:15). Though God scattered this kingdom at the tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1–9), Satan still rules over the pieces of the once united kingdom. While God ordains human governments for the well-being of man (Rom. 13:1), those same governments refuse to submit to Him or acknowledge His sovereignty (cf. Acts 4:26). They are essentially part of Satan’s kingdom.

Jesus affirmed that Satan, though a usurper and not the rightful king, is the present ruler of the world. In response to those who blasphemously accused Him of being in league with Satan, Jesus asked rhetorically, “If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?” (Matt. 12:26). Three times in John’s gospel Jesus called Satan “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). As he did at Babel, Satan will rule in the future over a united fallen mankind in one visible kingdom under Antichrist’s (the Beast of 13:1–4) leadership.

Satan will not relinquish his kingdom without a struggle. In a desperate and doomed effort to maintain control of the world, God will allow him to overrun it with hordes of demons during the fifth and sixth trumpet judgments (9:1–19). But his efforts will not keep the true King from returning and establishing His earthly kingdom (cf. 19:11–21; 20:1–3, 10). Jesus Christ will return to sit on the throne of His father David (2 Sam. 7:12–16) and take over the whole world from the satanically controlled people who now possess it. This is really the theme of Revelation —the triumph of God over Satan as evil is purged from the world and Christ becomes its holy ruler.

The tense of the verb translated has become is what Greek grammarians refer to as a proleptic aorist. It describes a future event that is so certain that it can be spoken of as if it has already taken place. The perspective of the verb tense looks to a point after the action of the seventh trumpet will have run its course. Though this event is future from the point of chronological progress reached in the series, it is so certain that the verb form used views it as an already accomplished fact (cf. Luke 19:9). The timeless heaven rejoices as if the long-anticipated day when Christ will establish His kingdom had already arrived, although some time on earth must elapse before that actually happens. The phrase the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ emphasizes two realities. Kurios (Lord) usually refers to Jesus throughout the New Testament, while in Revelation it more often refers to God the Father, thus emphasizing their equality of nature. This phrase also describes the kingdom in its broadest sense, looking forward to divine rule over the creation and the new creation. No differentiation is made between the earthly millennial kingdom and the eternal kingdom, as, for example, Paul does in 1 Corinthians 15:24–28. At the end of the thousand years, the millennial kingdom will merge with the eternal kingdom, in which Christ will reign forever and ever. Once the reign of Christ begins, it will change form, but never end or be interrupted.

The glorious truth that the Lord Jesus Christ will one day rule the earth permeates the Scriptures. In chapter 15 of Revelation John

saw something [in heaven] like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God. And they sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,

“Great and marvelous are Your works,

O Lord God, the Almighty;

Righteous and true are Your ways,

King of the nations!

Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name?

For You alone are holy;

For all the nations will come and worship before You,

For Your righteous acts have been revealed.” (vv. 2–4)

That they sang the “song of Moses” (cf. Ex. 15:1–18) indicates that as far back as the Pentateuch Scripture anticipated the moment when the Lord Jesus Christ would become King of the world.

Psalm 2, a messianic passage whose imagery and language permeates this section of Revelation (cf. v. 18; 12:5; 14:1; 16:14; 17:18; 19:15, 19), also predicts the coming earthly reign of Christ:

But as for Me, I have installed My King

Upon Zion, My holy mountain.

I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord:

He said to Me, “You are My Son,

Today I have begotten You.

Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,

And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.

You shall break them with a rod of iron,

You shall shatter them like earthenware.” (vv. 6–9)

The prophets also looked forward to that time when the Messiah would establish His earthly reign. Of that glorious day Isaiah wrote,

Now it will come about that

In the last days

The mountain of the house of the Lord

Will be established as the chief of the mountains,

And will be raised above the hills;

And all the nations will stream to it.

And many peoples will come and say,

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,

To the house of the God of Jacob;

That He may teach us concerning His ways

And that we may walk in His paths.”

For the law will go forth from Zion

And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Isa. 2:2–3)

Daniel wrote concerning that same day,

“You [King Nebuchadnezzar] continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.” (Dan. 2:34–35)

“In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.” (Dan. 2:44–45)

The vaunted empires of world history (the statue) will be shattered by the Messiah’s kingdom (the stone cut out without hands); they will crumble to dust and blow away, but His kingdom will last forever. In another vision, recorded in Daniel chapter 7, Daniel

“kept looking in the night visions,

And behold, with the clouds of heaven

One like a Son of Man was coming,

And He came up to the Ancient of Days

And was presented before Him.

And to Him was given dominion,

Glory and a kingdom,

That all the peoples, nations and men of every language

Might serve Him.

His dominion is an everlasting dominion

Which will not pass away;

And His kingdom is one

Which will not be destroyed.” (vv. 13–14)

“ “‘ls;But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.’ … The Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.” (vv. 18, 22)

Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him. (v. 27)

Looking forward to Messiah’s kingdom Micah wrote,

And it will come about in the last days

That the mountain of the house of the Lord

Will be established as the chief of the mountains.

It will be raised above the hills,

And the peoples will stream to it.

Many nations will come and say,

“Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord

And to the house of the God of Jacob,

That He may teach us about His ways

And that we may walk in His paths.”

For from Zion will go forth the law,

Even the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

And He will judge between many peoples

And render decisions for mighty, distant nations.

Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares

And their spears into pruning hooks;

Nation will not lift up sword against nation,

And never again will they train for war. (Mic. 4:1–3)

Summing up a lengthy discussion of the Day of the Lord and the coming of Christ’s earthly kingdom Zechariah wrote, “And the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one” (Zech. 14:9).

When the angel Gabriel announced the birth of Jesus to Mary he told her that He would someday be the great King over the earth: “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end” (Luke 1:31–33).

The monumental moment in redemptive history anticipated in the Old Testament prophecies, in the announcement of Christ’s birth, in the preview of Christ’s second coming glory at the Transfiguration, in Christ’s teaching and miracles, in the covenant promises to Israel, in the promise to believers that they will reign with Christ, in the promise to the twelve disciples that they would judge the twelve tribes of Israel, and in the promise of Jesus that He would return in glory will be imminent. And that will cause all heaven to praise God for the wonder of His sovereign plan that Christ should reig[1]

11:15 The blowing of the seventh trumpet reveals that the Great Tribulation is over and the reign of Christ has begun. The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever![2]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1999). Revelation 1–11 (pp. 310–314). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 2368). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

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