Summary: Last message of The Two Witnesses Series, including review of prior Revelation 11 messages
Something To Look Forward To Rev 11:15-19
So far, we have gone through Revelation 11 and discovered:
That the measurement of the temple (the rebuilt temple, during the Tribulation period) by John
That the city of Jerusalem would be "trodden underfoot" by non-Jews for half the tribulation period
That God would raise up Two Witnesses, two men with the unique ministry of preaching the gospel to the world, prophesying the coming judgment and striking down those with even the intent of harming them with fire from their mouths
That their ministry would end after 1,260 days when Antichrist would kill them, then both he and the people of the world would leave their bodies to rot in the street for three and a half days during a celebration global in scope and in view
That after three and a half days (again, the Jewish superstition of the spirit leaving the body after three days) God would raise them from the dead with translated bodies fit for heaven, they would be called to heaven and go to heaven in a cloud
That following the ascention of the Two Witnesses that an earthquake will destroy 10% of the city of Jerusalem (one tenth of the buildings would fall down) and that "seven thousand names" (noted people, most likely leaders in "Antichristendom") would die; this being the second "woe" judgment.
Today, we begin the final teaching in Revelation 11 with the sounding of the seventh trumpet (the seventh angel sounded), which will yield a preview into the coming Millennial Kingdom.
This week, we will discover here in the latter part of Revelation 11 what Dr. Ed Hindson states in his "Revelation: Unlocking the Future" commentary: "From this point on, everything follows in rapid succession. These five verses (15-19) are among the most dramatic verses in the entire Bible. The are so powerful that George Frideric Handel took the words of verse 15, "and he will reign forever and ever" as the closing chorus of his great oratorio, The Messiah."--JH
Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" Revelation 11:15 (NKJV)
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.--J. MacArthur
I have to smile when I read Revelation 11:15. Why? It brings back some wonderful memories, but also is a promise that you my friend can take to the bank. I remember the fall of 1975 the practices and the performances of Handel's Messiah; it was a kind of magical time because that great music seemed to transport one into Heaven itself. In fact, "when he got to the Hallelujah chorus, his assistant found him in tears saying "I did think I saw heaven open, and saw the very face of God". Today of course it is the first two parts of this work that mostly get performed. The Hallelujah chorus is in fact the conclusion of part two, but in performances today it regularly is used to climax and conclude the Christmas performance of the first part of the oratorio." (Ben Witherington) I still get a thrill when I hear the Hallelujah Chorus, one of the most recognized pieces of music in all the world.
The blast of the seventh trumpet sounds, and in it the scene changes from earth at the mid point of the tribulation and fast forwards to the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus Christ. John hears loud voices (Koine Greek phone megale, from which we get "megaphone"). These are shouts of joy and proclamation! So often, we get focused in on the issues and worries of today and lose sight of the big picture: Jesus will one day rule. One day Jesus will sit on the throne of David and rule the world.
I love to study God's Word! Here in this verse we see that there is a difference in the translations, and although it may seem to be minor it really isn't. In the NKJV and the KJV translations, the Koine Greek term basileia is translated as kingdoms, but it is actually singular--kingdom--and is tranlated as such in the NASB and ESV. So it should read "The kingdom of this world". Singular. What this shows us is that although to us we may look at the different kingdoms (including all governments around the world) and realize that they are governed by one person--Satan. Satan is the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2) and the prince of this world (John 12:31). The term for world is kosmos, and in this particular context means culture or world system. The current world system is run by Satan. He is in charge of the culture; sometimes we look at people and the world system and we wonder "what are they thinking?". That is because Satan is in charge of the fallen world system.