There were great voices in heaven - All the heavenly host - angels and redeemed human spirits, joined together to magnify God; that he had utterly discomfited his enemies and rendered his friends glorious. This will be truly the case when the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of God and of his Christ, But when shall this be? Some say, that is meant by these words has already taken place in the destruction of the Jewish state, and sending the Gospel throughout the Gentile world. Others say that it refers to the millennium, and to the consummation of all things.
And the seventh angel sounded - See the notes on Revelation 8:2, Revelation 8:6-7. This is the last of the trumpets, implying, of course, that under this the series of visions was to end, and that this was to introduce the state of things under which the affairs of the world were to be wound up. The place which this occupies in the order of time, is when the events pertaining to the colossal Roman power - the fourth kingdom of Daniel Daniel 7:9-14, Daniel 7:27-28 should have been introduced. This, both in Daniel and in John, is to occur when the mighty power of the papacy shall have been overthrown at the termination of the twelve hundred and sixty years of its duration. See the notes on Daniel 7:25. In both Daniel and John the termination of that persecuting power is the commencement of the reign of the saints; the downfall of the papacy, the introduction of the kingdom of God, and its establishment on the earth.
And there were great voices in heaven - As of exultation and praise. The grand consummation had come, the period so long anticipated and desired when God should reign on the earth had arrived, and this lays the foundation for joy and thanksgiving in heaven.
The kingdoms of this world - The modern editions of the New Testament (see Tittmann and Hahn) read this in the singular number - “The kingdom of this world has become,” etc. According to this reading, the meaning would be, either that the sole reign over this world had become that of the Lord Jesus; or, more probably, that the dominion over the earth had been regarded as one in the sense that Satan had reigned over it, but had now become the kingdom of God; that is, that “the kingdoms of this world are many considered in themselves; but in reference to the sway of Satan, there is only one kingdom ruled over by the ‹god of this world‘” (Prof. Stuart). The sense is not materially different whichever reading is adopted; though the authority is in favor of the latter (Wetstein). According to the common reading, the sense is, that all the kingdoms of the earth, being many in themselves, had been now brought under the one scepter of Christ; according to the other, the whole world was regarded as in fact one kingdom - that of Satan - and the scepter had now passed from his hands into those of the Saviour.
The kingdoms of our Lord - Or, the kingdom of our Lord, according to the reading adopted in the previous part of the verse. The word “Lord” here evidently has reference to God as such - represented as the original source of authority, and as giving the kingdom to his Son. See the notes on Daniel 7:13-14; compare Psalm 2:8. The word “Lord” - Κυριος Kurios- implies the notion of possessor, owner, sovereign, supreme ruler - and is thus properly given to God. See Matthew 1:22; Matthew 5:33; Mark 5:19; Luke 1:6, Luke 1:28; Acts 7:33; Hebrews 8:2, Hebrews 8:10; James 4:15, al. saepe. And of his Christ - Of his anointed; of him who is set apart as the Messiah, and consecrated to this high office. See the notes on Matthew 1:1. He is called “his Christ,” because he is set apart by him, or appointed by him to perform the work appropriate to that office on earth. Such language as what occurs here is often employed, in which God and Christ are spoken of as, in some respects, distinct - as sustaining different offices, and performing different works. The essential meaning here is, that the kingdom of this world had now become the kingdom of God under Christ; that is, that that kingdom is administered by the Son of God. And he shall reign forever and ever - A kingdom is commenced which shall never terminate. It is not said that this would be on the earth; but the essential idea is, that the scepter of the world had now, after so long a time, come into his hands never more to pass away. The fuller characteristics of this reign are stated in a subsequent part of this book Psalm 2:8; Isaiah 9:7; Isaiah 11:9; Isaiah 45:22; 60; Daniel 2:35, Daniel 2:44-45; Daniel 7:13-14, Daniel 7:27-28; Zechariah 14:9; Malachi 1:11; Luke 1:33. On this whole subject, see the very ample illustrations and proofs in the notes on Daniel 2:44-45; Daniel 7:13-14, Daniel 7:27-28; compare the notes on Revelation 2022.
And of his Christ - Of his anointed; of him who is set apart as the Messiah, and consecrated to this high office. See the notes on Matthew 1:1. He is called “his Christ,” because he is set apart by him, or appointed by him to perform the work appropriate to that office on earth. Such language as what occurs here is often employed, in which God and Christ are spoken of as, in some respects, distinct - as sustaining different offices, and performing different works. The essential meaning here is, that the kingdom of this world had now become the kingdom of God under Christ; that is, that that kingdom is administered by the Son of God.
And he shall reign forever and ever - A kingdom is commenced which shall never terminate. It is not said that this would be on the earth; but the essential idea is, that the scepter of the world had now, after so long a time, come into his hands never more to pass away. The fuller characteristics of this reign are stated in a subsequent part of this book Psalm 2:8; Isaiah 9:7; Isaiah 11:9; Isaiah 45:22; 60; Daniel 2:35, Daniel 2:44-45; Daniel 7:13-14, Daniel 7:27-28; Zechariah 14:9; Malachi 1:11; Luke 1:33. On this whole subject, see the very ample illustrations and proofs in the notes on Daniel 2:44-45; Daniel 7:13-14, Daniel 7:27-28; compare the notes on Revelation 2022.
From the 15th verse to the end of the chapter, we seem to be carried over the ground, from the sounding of the seventh angel to the end, three distinct times. In the verses last quoted, the prophet glances forward to the full establishment of the kingdom of God. Although the seventh trumpet has begun to sound, it may not yet be a fact that the great voices in heaven have proclaimed that the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, except it be in anticipation of the speedy accomplishment of this event; but the seventh trumpet, like the preceding six, covers a period of time; and the transfer of the kingdoms from earthly powers to Him whose right it is to reign, is the principal event to occur in the early years of its sounding; hence this event, to the exclusion of all else, here engages the mind of the prophet. (See remarks on verse 19.) In the next verse John goes back and takes up intervening events as follows: —DAR 505.6
The signs of Christ's coming are fast fulfilling. Satan sees that he has but a short time in which to work, and he has set his agencies to work to stir up the elements of the world, that men may be deceived, deluded, and kept occupied and entranced until the day of probation shall be ended and the door of mercy be forever shut. CT 414.1
The kingdoms of this world have not yet become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ. Do not deceive yourselves; be wide awake and move rapidly, for the night cometh in which no man can work. Do not encourage students who come to you burdened with the work of saving their fellow men, to enter upon course after course of study. Do not lengthen out to many years the time for obtaining an education. By so doing you give them the impression that there is time enough, and this very plan proves a snare to their souls. CT 414.2
Many are better prepared, have more spiritual discrimination and knowledge of God, and know more of His requirements, when they enter upon their course of study than when they are graduated. They become inspired with an ambition to become learned men and are encouraged to add to their studies until they become infatuated. They make their books their idol and are willing to sacrifice health and spirituality in order to obtain an education. They limit the time which they should devote to prayer and fail to improve the opportunities which they have to do good. They fail to put to use the knowledge which they have already obtained and do not advance in the science of winning souls. Missionary work becomes less and less desirable, while the passion to excel in book knowledge increases abnormally. In pursuing their studies they separate from the God of wisdom. Some congratulate them on their advancement and encourage them to take degree after degree.... CT 415.1Read in context »
Through faith the children of God obtain a knowledge of Christ and cherish the hope of His appearing to judge the world in righteousness, until it becomes a glorious expectation; for they shall then see Him as He is, and be made like Him, and ever be with the Lord. The sleeping saints shall then be called forth from their graves to a glorious immortality. When the day of deliverance shall come, then shall ye return and discern between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not. When Christ shall come, it will be to be admired of all those that believe, and the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. FW 115.2Read in context »
When the Saviour was about to be separated from His disciples, He comforted them in their sorrow with the assurance that He would come again: “Let not your heart be troubled.... In My Father's house are many mansions.... I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself.” John 14:1-3. “The Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him.” “Then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: and before Him shall be gathered all nations.” Matthew 25:31, 32. GC 301.1
The angels who lingered upon Olivet after Christ's ascension repeated to the disciples the promise of His return: “This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11. And the apostle Paul, speaking by the Spirit of Inspiration, testified: “The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16. Says the prophet of Patmos: “Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him.” Revelation 1:7. GC 301.2
About His coming cluster the glories of that “restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” Acts 3:21. Then the long-continued rule of evil shall be broken; “the kingdoms of this world” will become “the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 11:15. “The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.” “The Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” He shall be “for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of His people.” Isaiah 40:5; 61:11; Isaiah 28:5. GC 301.3Read in context »