Thy Kingdom Come

Revelation 11:15-19

240 years ago group of men enumerated 27 reasons why King George III could rightly be considered a tyrant; viewed as sufficient justification to seek freedom from tyranny using force if necessary. Am very thankful for God’s choice in ordaining USA to be place of my earthly citizenship. Many will celebrate national holiday and cause of freedom tomorrow. Are some important things to keep in mind: life under thumb of earthly tyrant can be painful and difficult, but is only temporary. King George not the only or even most evil tyrant; Satan is far worse tyrant than any human being. Freedom from bondage in sin far more important than freedom from any earthly tyrant. Human sovereign we recognize as having authority over us has little bearing on next life; whether or not we acknowledge King Jesus does have a bearing.

“When Britain’s Queen Elizabeth was a child, her parents held a garden party at Buckingham Palace, but a rainstorm forced the party to move indoors. Elizabeth and her younger sister wandered into the room where the guests had gathered and were politely bombarded by questions. During a pause in the conversations, Elizabeth pointed toward a nearby wall and a painting of Jesus on the cross. She remarked, “That’s the man my papa says is really king.”

Highlights primary reason why God’s last written word to us was given – Do Not Be Afraid! Why? King Jesus is the one with ultimate authority. For those who live in submission to Christ’s lordship, is easy to be disheartened, even fearful because of what John has described, how things appear in world today. For example:

“Christians in Russia won’t be allowed to email their friends an invitation to church or to evangelize in their own homes if Russia’s newest set of surveillance and anti-terrorism laws are enacted. The proposed laws, considered the country’s most restrictive measures in post-Soviet history, place broad limitations on missionary work, including preaching, teaching, and engaging in any activity designed to recruit people into a religious group. To share their faith, citizens must secure a government permit through a registered religious organization, and they cannot evangelize anywhere besides churches and other religious sites. The restrictions even apply to activity in private residences and online. Following a wave of Russian nationalist propaganda, the laws passed almost unanimously in the Duma, the upper house, on Friday (06/24/16) and in the Federation Council, the lower house, today (06/29/16).” Christianity Today

This trumpet, even though describes Second Coming, focuses on triumph – the joyous finale of Christ’s triumph. With that in mind, (read Heb. 12:1-3)

Revelation chapter 11 ends first half of letter and focus on temporal warfare; chapter 12 begins greater focus on spiritual nature of present conflict. As Lord Jesus reveals to John more of his plan for this age, will gain further insight into details. Opening of seventh seal introduced idea that God has awesome ending planned for this age. Sounding of seventh trumpet lets us know it will encompass both judgment and triumph. Final bowl reveals justice of God’s actions in light of spiritual condition of mankind.

After seventh seal, heaven was holding its breath waiting for God to move, to come “out from his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity” (Isa. 26:21). Not a mystery to those in heaven what comes next: prayers of the saints will be answered, their persecution over, God will receive glory due to him, opposition to God’s righteous rule over earth will end, effects of Curse will be removed and creation restored. These things and more cause for great rejoicing, now is the moment when God in time and space will have final triumph over sin and death.

The sounding of the seven trumpets signalled the fall of the city of Jericho, so the seventh trumpet signals the end of the “city of man”, the kingdom of the world. Labor pains are over, time for which creation has been expectantly waiting has arrived. God begins to move in a visible and universal way like never before since days of Creation. Righteous saints and angels celebrate God’s accomplishment of his purpose.

A. victory achieved v.15

God’s plan complete – Rev. 10:7

but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.”

no longer a mystery what God is about: plan and its outcome plainly revealed for all to see – read 1 Cor. 15:51-54

sin will be finally conquered, never more to have any power or effect on God’s people; all of Christ’s enemies will be forever subdued; death itself will be completely destroyed, nevermore to threaten any of God’s creation

even more important: God himself is revealed in his fullness to all mankind

God has come out of his place, Lord Jesus revealed in his exalted majesty as Sovereign Ruler over all things

during time of ministry, Jesus majesty cloaked by his humanity – partial glimpse came through at Transfiguration, yet not full display of his ascended exalted glory

when he returns, “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” Luke 21:27 – no holding back

also see 1 Cor. 15:24-25

think of Jesus as king on his throne, ruling from heaven; some say will rule as king for millennium; here says “forever and ever”

if there is a best kind of government, this is it: monarchy with King ruling over his subjects – in this case, perfect King ruling over perfected subjects forever

so what will eternity be like? King Jesus reigning over his blood-bought subjects; glorified saints worshiping Christ, serving Christ, obeying Christ, loving Christ, working for Christ, experiencing the joy of his presence, his pleasure, his provision eternally

B. joy in heaven v.16-19a

seventh seal vs. seventh trumpet – silent worship vs loud worship

is a time for silence in worship – “Be still… and know that I am God” Ps. 46:10; is hard for us to hear God when making noise

is proper to make noise, loud noise in worship… when we respond to God – what he has said, what he has done

proper worship has right object: true God, the almighty all-powerful one, unchanging and eternal who acts for own glory and good of his people

joy cannot be contained – must have release in worship and praise

consider what God has done – John paints with broad strokes: final judgment summed up in v.18, further detail to come later

wrath of the nations will be met by wrath of God, don’t need to wonder what happens, what outcome is:

they are judged, those who destroy/corrupt the earth will be destroyed; meanwhile God’s people of all walks and stations of life will be rewarded

how can we not be joyful – everything that has been wrong with the universe since the Fall will be set to rights by God’s overwhelming power

real temple opened to full view, ark of covenant the center-piece

remember from study in Hebrews – tabernacle/temple on earth a shadow of real temple in heaven where Jesus entered to appear in presence of God for us (Heb. 9:24)

both justice and mercy signified by ark of covenant – lid vs contents – demonstrates both “sides” of final trumpet/judgment

inside the ark… a copy of stone tablets with 10 commandments, God’s law and standard justice demands; on top… the mercy seat

God’s holiness demands justice be satisfied; God’s love makes provision of a perfect substitute, God satisfying his own demands for justice

on that day all who are in Adam, satisfied with their own goodness, will hear only words of condemnation: ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’ (Matt. 25:41)

all who are in Christ, depending solely on Christ’s goodness, will hear words of commendation: ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’ (Matt. 25:34)

represents presence of God with his people – further cause for rejoicing: Emmanuel, God with us without hindrance forever

further elaboration in Rev. 21:3Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.”

God himself, King Jesus, will for all eternity be physically visibly present with his people – will be their King, their God, their “all in all” (1 Cor. 15:28) “God will be all things to all his saints, immediately without the use of means” Gill

C. disaster on earth v.18-19

real destructive actions, parallel to Great Flood – God’s full retributive justice does not happen quietly

rage of nations met by burning wrath of God – “ lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.”

is time of destruction: the wicked who remain in their rebellion, all their corrupt structures and accomplishments

will also be time of renewal and restoration – must wait until later in Revelation for John’s description of that

time of mixed emotions – sorrow over fate of those who rebelled to end, joy that Christ has triumphed

we know that sorrow will be temporary – God will wipe away all tears – but sorrow will be genuine; at same time, joy not in our own achievement, is in what Christ has achieved for us

will be real sorrow that countless men, women, boys, girls determined to be free of God’s rule remain eternally enslaved in sin

real joy for God’s people that since the Son makes us free, we are free indeed – in part now, in full after that great Day

Don’t need to wait until second coming to experience some of joy of victory. Christ’s kingdom has come and it will come. Meanwhile, keep Horatio Spafford’s words in mind:

But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, / The sky, not the grave, is our goal; / Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord! / Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!

 

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