|The Seven Angels With The Seven Trumpets|
This announcement is the announcement for which all of creation has been waiting! Since Adam and Eve first trusted Satan more than they trusted God, until the moment of this announcement, the kingdoms of this world have been under the rule of the enemy. Jesus Himself called Satan "the ruler of this world" (John 14:30) and John affirmed that "the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one" (1 John 5:19). Satan made no empty boast when he tempted Christ by "show(ing) Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And said to Him, 'All these things I give You if You will fall down and worship me'" (Matthew 4:8-9)
How thankful we should be that Jesus did not yield to Satan's offer but chose to wait on His Father's timing! In the final redemption He will be restored as King of kings. Scripture declares that the literal kingdoms of this world rightly belong to this King of kings. "The earth is the LORD's and all its fulness; the world, and they those who dwell therein" (Psalm 24:1). God Himself proclaimed,
"I have set my King on My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, today I have begotten You, Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession.' " (Psalm 2:6-8).
Interestingly, though Revelation describes future events, the announcement [that the kingdoms of the world will be restored to Christ] is made in the past tense. Even the grammar underlines the absolute certainty that full redemption will occur according to God's plan!
|The Elders Bow Down in Worship|
Do the elders really know what is coming? Are they really thankful for the millions who will die and be eternally condemned because of the massive that God is about to bring to pass? YES! For Revelation confirms that the elders are aware that "the nations were angry, and Your wrath has come ... and [GOD] should destroy those who destroy the earth" (Revelation 11:18). Then why do the elders give thanks? Because not only do they understand God, but they also understand His work.
Note, "the nations were angry." Even in the Old Testament times David wondered, "Why do the nations rage and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against His anointed" (Psalm 2:1-2). The world has always been angry with God! Yet mankind's innate consciousness of God, and since the time of the apostle, the minstry of the Holy Spirit, have restrained somewhat the full boldness of the wicked. During the Great Tribulation, however, their anger will no longer be suppressed. The world will vent its ultimate rage against God because of His full judgment against its sin.
Therefore, at the final destruction, the elders will give thanks and worship their triumphant LORD. No one will question, at this point, how a Christian can be joyful in heaven when others are suffering in hell. Indeed, as the elders fall down before God and worship Him, they will do so in the knowledge that:
"the time of the dead [is come], that they should be judged, and the You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great." (Revelation 11:18)
All men will have their due from God, whether for good or evil. In fact, this truth is explicitly affirmed at least thirty-four times in the Bible. Those who spurned His LAMB and chose to persih in their sins will be raised for their sentencing (Revleation 20:12). Judgment will come also to those who in life threw themselves on the mercy of God and atoning sacrifice of the LAMB. But their judgment will be for reward rather than for condemnation (2 Corinthians 5:10, 1 Corinthians 3:13-15).
The twenty-four elders will worship God as they rejoice in His triumph. Do we rejoice in His coming triumph as well? Does the thought that God will judge sin and restore rightful rule cause us to give thanks and bow before His great power? God's WORD gives us marvelous details about His work in the last days. If our worship is true, it will illustrate knowledge of what God has done and of what He will do to complete His plan of redemption.
(an extract from TRUE WORSHIP by David Whitcomb & Mark Ward, Sr.)