Friday in the Twenty-Fourth Week of Ordinary Time

Revelation 11:14-19

The Seventh Trumpet and Third Woe

Now that the saints have been gathered “up there” after being decimated on the earth by pagan nations, the end comes in which God’s judgment falls upon the wicked (the Third Woe) and His blessing upon His saints.  After this John will write a third interlude describing the trials of the saints on earth before seven angels pour the final seven bowls of plagues upon unrepentant mankind.  But for the moment, we see the joyous reward of the saints and the fulfillment of the saints’ prayers on the wicked (6:9-11).

The seventh angel sounds and loud voices in heaven declare: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”  Many of you will recognize this line as the inspiration behind Handel’s, “Hallelujah Chorus.”  We must understand that though Satan presently perverts and corrupts and rules his petty kingdom of lechery and vice upon the earth, it is God Almighty who reigns.  And one day, he shall make even this world His own when He regenerates it and heaven and earth become one (Romans 8:18-25). 

At this, the twenty-four elders fall on their faces and worship because Almighty God has “taken [His] great power and begun to reign.”  Understand that God reigns now and always has.  What the elders declare here is that God has finally judged the world, overthrown the wicked, and commenced His glorious reign with His saints absent sin and death.  Verse eighteen echoes Psalm 2:1-2: “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His anointed.”  They rage because the “Lord of vineyard” comes to reclaim what is rightfully his.  What Satan and his minions stole by deception, God has rescued and recovered through the death and resurrection of His Son.  Christ is the Victor and claims his due: God’s people and God’s world in a redeemed state.  And so the heathen rage, and they shall take their rage with them all the way to hell.

But the righteous, denoted here as “prophets and saints,” are finally rewarded—the small and the great—each one of them.  They are further described as those who fear God’s name.  We read that “God’s temple in heaven was opened and the ark of His covenant was seen within His temple.”  I read that this signifies “God’s faithfulness in fulfilling his covenant promises” as believers will need reassurance in the difficult days ahead (NICNT, 233).  We shall see this in the “Third Interlude.”

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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