Monday, April 22, 2013

Jesus reigns

"The Two Witnesses"
Courtesy of the Digital Image Archive, 
Pitts Theology Library, Candler School of Theology, 
Emory University

The Two Witnesses - Revelation 11:12-13
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Revelation 11:1-19

TO CHEW ON: "Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven saying, 'The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!'" Revelation 11:15
 

In the midst of all the surrealistic happenings of today's reading—John told by an angel to measure the temple (Revelation 11:1,2); two men, witnesses, wearing strange clothing wreaking havoc with fire-breathing mouths and plague-producing powers that remind us of Moses (Revelation 11:3-6); the witnesses killed and the whole world seeing and rejoicing (Revelation 11:7-10 —trending on Twitter for sure); a great earthquake destroying a tenth of Jerusalem (Revelation 11:13-14)—we hear an angel shouting a familiar message: "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" (Revelation 11:15).

We've heard this or similar before:
  • "He shall have dominion from sea to sea" - Psalm 72:8 and Zechariah 9:10.
  • "For unto us a child is born …. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end…" - Isaiah 9:6-7.
  • "His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. And His dominion from generation to generation" - Daniel 4:3.
  • The devil's offer to Jesus: "…all the kingdoms of the world and their glory ….' will I give you if You fall down and worship me'" spurned - Matthew 4:8-10.
Because Jesus had the authority that came from His Father:
  • " Even the winds and sea obey Him" - Matthew 8:27.
  • "'… with authority He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey Him'" Mark 1:27.
  • "The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand" - John 3:35.
  • "Who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him" - 1 Peter 3:22.

There may be much about coming events as predicted in Revelation that we don't understand. But one thing is clear, not only from Revelation but all of the Bible: Jesus wins and will be the ultimate ruler of the kingdoms of earth and heaven! Let's take heart as we live with that fact in mind today.

PRAYER:
Dear God, thank You for the theme of Your victorious kingdom that threads through the Bible. Help me to live by faith in the fact of Your ultimate victory. Amen.

MORE: Handel's Messiah alert

Words from today's reading are part of Handel's magnificent Hallelujah Chorus:

Revelation 11:15 15. . . the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ: and He shall reign for ever and ever.

Here is a flashmob rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus, performed in 2011 by the Cowtown Opera Company, Calgary, Alberta Canada



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The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. - Used with permission.
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