Rev  11- Narrative Part 2 

Rev. 11:14 "The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly." 

There are three woes declared in the book of Revelation, beginning back in chapter 8.  The first woe dealt with the total depravity of man.  The second woe dealt with the God's eternal judgment of sin.  The third woe deals with the God's timely judgment of sin. 

15 "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever." 

Now we know that in the end of time that there will be no more the kingdoms of this world and that all the elect will be in the kingdom of our Lord and he will reign over them in all eternity.  However, there is a sense that many are brought out from under the rule of the kingdoms of this world here in time and are brought into the rule of the kingdom of God.  Isaiah had this experience in Isaiah chapter 6: Is. 6:1 "In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple."  When someone is blessed to see the kingdom of God and presses into it, he comes under the authority of a greater king.  His laws are established in his heart and mind and he holds them to be higher laws than the natural kingdom in which he dwells.  If there is conflict between the natural kingdom and the kingdom of God, then he holds the laws of the kingdom of God have authority over the laws of the natural kingdom.  This is illustrated in the three Hebrew children who refused to bow down and worship the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.  They held God's law to have priority over the law of man.  In this manner the kingdoms of this world to many have become the kingdoms of our Lord.  Furthermore, since Christ dwells a King forever, he reigns in his kingdom not only in eternity, but also throughout time and according to Rev. chapter 20 there are a people who live and reign with him throughout time. 

16 "And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God," 

The four and twenty elders as we have studied before are a representative people and they represent God's covenant people both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament.  They worship him for many reasons, but here we see them worshipping him because of his eternal deliverance of them from their sins and because he has established his kingdom and reigns as a King over his kingdom for ever. 

17 "Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned." 

Thanksgiving is an integral part of worship and we thank God both for who he is and what he has done.  We thank God because he is our "Lord" and we are his servants.  We thank God because he is our "God" and we are his subjects.  We thank God because he is the "Almighty" and he has created us both naturally and spiritually.  We thank God because he is ever present and unchangeable (which art, and wast, and art to come), i.e., the I AM.  We thank God because he took unto himself his great power in His resurrection and in establishing His kingdom.  We thank God because he ever lives and reigns in His kingdom. 

18 "And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth."         

Not only is God an eternal judge in that he judged his elect in Jesus on the cross and reserves eternal judgment of the non-elect unto the resurrection of the dead and casts them into the lake of fire.  But God also metes out judgment in time.  Some have thought that timely judgment just involves chastisement on the elect.  But this is disproved by the flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the plagues upon Egypt, and many other judgments that came upon both the elect and the non-elect in time.  There was a timely judgment that came upon the nation of Israel about forty years after the resurrection of Christ.  God throughout biblical days sent forth his four sore judgments upon peoples, and nations, and even upon the world.  These same judgments come upon mankind even in this day and age in which we live. 

We are not rewarded in the glory world for the things we do in time.  Rather, we read that all the elect are joint-heirs with Christ.  Thus the glory world is not a reward for good works, but rather is solely and totally by the grace of God.  Reward for works takes place here in time. Gal.6:7  "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."  When we sow to the flesh we reap corruption.  When we sow to the Spirit we reap life everlasting.  Corruption is a product of the flesh.  Life everlasting is a product of the Spirit.  We must first have been born of the Spirit before we can reap of the spirit.  We don't sow in order to get everlasting life, but we sow in order to receive the fruit of that everlasting life.  This is a reward that we have in time.  Two passages come to mind when we think of destruction or reward based on our actions here in time: 

          1.  Matt. 7:24 "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it." 

          2.  Matt. 7:13 "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." 

From the above we see destruction to some and reward to others.   

19 "And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail." 

As we have before shown the temple is representative of the Lord's church.  In the Old Testament the Ark of the Covenant was a protective covering for the covenant of the law that God made with the children of Israel.  Today, Jesus Christ is that ark that protects, preserves, and executes God's eternal covenant of redemption: Rom. 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." 

The Lord is the one who chose a people before the foundation of the world and predestinated them to be conformed to his image.  It is also he who calls them by his grace and who justified them by his blood.  He also will glorify them in the resurrection.  These principles are manifests in his church.  This is one of the identifying marks of his church. 

The last part of verse 19 ushers us into the topic presented in chapter 12.  The earthquake, thunders, lightening, voices, and great hail were present with the giving of the law covenant. 

Now is time to start looking at the grace covenant as it is presented in chapter 12.