Summary: The disclosure of the Ark of the Covenant
Revelation 11 verses 15-19
Let us do a quick review of where we are in the book of Revelation. Back in September last year we began this journey with the opening chapters and the seven letters to the seven churches of Asia-Minor. We looked through the eyes of John through the open door of heaven and saw the book of destiny and order behind the helpless confusion of men. We saw into the dark hinterland of spiritual powers and principalities behind human history. Then we met the second set of 7 vision and we saw deeper still, beyond the principalities, powers and evil forces to the prayers of the saints and the fire of God as potent factors in the story of man. Now this morning we penetrate even deeper, right into the temple of God and the way He works out the redemption of mankind through the ages. So let us turn to our text this morning.
Verse 15- with the blowing of the seventh trumpet the parousia, the last day, has arrived. The total triumph of the Second Coming, the final and overwhelming display of God’s majesty is revealed for all to see. This seventh trumpet is also described in verse 14 as a the third woe. You see if men have not repented at the blowing of trumpets 1-6 then the blowing of the 7th, and final, trumpet will indeed be a woe to them. It is a final woe, the final trumpet and from it there is no appeal. Remember that this morning as we go through this text. From this trumpet there is no appeal, there is no turning back to God - time is no more, the day has dawned for judgment.
We have not heard a trumpet sound since 9.13 but with the blowing of the 7th trumpet great voices are heard in heaven - please note that - we are back in heaven here. The previous passage we were back on earth and watching from that perspective. We are back in heaven and the heavenly voices sound to announce the climax of the Revelation - but we will have to wait to hear what is happening. These voices herald the momentous consummation of all God’s purposes for mankind and the world as the Day of the Lord is reached. The absolute sovereignty of God is about to be clearly and decisive revealed to all creation.
The voices make and announcement - The kingdom of the world is become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ. The kingdom of the world - the place of chaos and confusion, of disorder, death, wickedness and evil has been replaced by the kingdom of the Lord God -- of harmony, peace, order and blessing. I want you to note the use of the past tense - even though it is speaking of the future. The heavenly voices speak int eh past tense because it is as good as done. There is absolute certainty about this when the seventh angel blows his trumpet. This is no temporary phenomenon - He reigns for ever and ever. This is an eternal change in rulers. This is the day all creation has been groaning for and awaiting since that dreadful day in Genesis 3, the Garden of Eden and the Fall of Man. The curse will now be lifted from all of Creation.
I want you to think about this for a moment. Think about when the soldiers dressed Christ up as a king and mocked Him, or when they put the notice above His head on the cross - king of the Jews. They mocked Him but this verse says there is a day, when the seventh trumpet sounds, that all creation will see He is the King of kings and He reigns eternal. In Matthew 4 Jesus resisted the temptation of satan to surrender the kingdoms of the world in exchange for worship. I do not know if you like Handel’s Messiah but one of the most powerful moments in that piece of music is when Handel has the chorus sing ‘And He shall reign for ever and ever.’ There will be no end to His rule. All the great empires of this world have faded and past away but His rule will never end. It is no wonder ‘great voices’ are heard in heaven declaring it. Here is the fulfilment of Isaiah 9.6 where we read, often at Christmas, that the government shall be upon His shoulders - it has come to pass.
Verses16 we encounter the 24 elders again. We last met them in 7.11. Normally the elders are seated but here they fall prostrate on their face before God and worship Him as the great voices in heaven proclaim the eternal reign of God. Now we hear their praise in verses 17-18.