Summary: John once again needs to be lifted up and encouraged. So God gives him a broad overview of what is yet to come.
The end time will be one of great horror and tragedy. We have watched scene after scene of catastrophe take place. Imagine what John was going through. He had to look upon these scenes and be an eyewitness of these horrors. That is why every so often Christ gives John a scene of hope and of the glory that is to come. That is what this passage is about tonight.
John once again needs to be lifted up and encouraged. So God gives him a broad overview of what is yet to come. So John gets a sketch form of the glory with the horror. So tonight we look at the overall picture of things to come. READ 14-15.
Remember that there are only three woes, and we are told that the third woe is coming soon. As a recap:
• The first woe will be the demonic locust-like creatures that sweep the earth and torment people.
• The second woe will be demonic military horse-like creatures that sweep the earth, and kill one third of the ungodly and evil population.
• The third woe is the seventh trumpet, the judgments that result from the blast of the seventh trumpet.
But note that the 7th trumpet blasts and there is no judgment that comes forth. Why? Because there are some things that need to be seen before the judgments actually take place. What we are going to see is a continuation of a sequence of events. The judgments and woe of the 7th trumpet are actually the seven bowl judgments. The 7th trumpet will blast forth 7 more judgments. The bowl judgments will bring the climax of human history and the end of time as we know it.
Before that happens, there are some things that we need to see and understand. The first thing we see is in tonight’s passage. The present passage leaps ahead and shows us in a broad sense what is to happen over the next ten chapters. God was preparing John for the terrible events that were yet to be revealed to him. He prepared him by showing that God would triumph over evil and establish His kingdom forever. So John, and we, are given five scenes of what is yet to come.
In verse 15 we see the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord. The Greek used in this verse is actually past tense as though it has already happened. The scene jumps over all of history and shows our God and His Christ ruling over the whole world. All the kingdoms of this world are done away with, and all the people on earth live and work as citizens of God’s kingdom.
If you look at our day and time, human governments involve:
• Authority and rule and reign: some are good and some are bad.
• Laws: earthly laws favor some people and treat others unjustly.
• Work: some have jobs and others don’t.
• Economics: some earthly economics are healthy and others are bad.
• Protection: Some are protected, others are abused and enslaved.
• Provisions: some earthly governments provide for the people, others don’t.
• Services: some governments provide roads, sewage, water, jobs and health care and others don’t
The point is that earthly governments are imperfect and weak and unable to bring utopia to man. But the kingdoms of this world are going to become the kingdom of our God and His Christ. God is going to reign over the world, bringing heaven to this universe. When? During the millennium. The millennium simply means the period of time, 1,000 years, that Jesus Christ is to return to this earth and rule over the nations and people of the earth.
Now I want you to just think about that for a moment. Utopia is coming to earth. Peace and prosperity are coming. There will no longer be hunger, thirst, homelessness, disease, war, murder, or any of the evils on earth. But utopia will only come when Jesus Christ returns to rule the earth.
Man fails and fails miserably in his attempts to clean up the world and to establish peace. But God loves man and is going to help man. He is going to send His Son back to earth to establish peace and prosperity for all. This is the glorious promise of this passage. READ 16-17.
Scene two: The Lord God Almighty is acclaimed. As soon as the angel gave a glimpse that showed the victory of God, the 24 elders fell on their faces before God. They worshipped and praised Him for three things:
1. They praised God as the Lord God Almighty. He was the Ruler over all lives. He was the Creator and Maker of all and He was the only one who deserved to be worshipped.