Christ Shall Reign Forever

Key Verse: “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.”
—Revelation 11:15

Selected Scripture:
Revelation 11:15-19

IT HAS BEEN GENERALLY held by many sincere students of the Bible that the symbolic sounding of the trumpet by the “seventh angel” in our Key Verse, along with the “great voices” also mentioned, have a connection to similar prophetic statements by the Apostle Paul where he speaks of the “last trump” and the “trump of God.” (I Cor. 15:52; I Thess. 4:16) Revelation 11:18 goes on to tell us of conditions in the earth at the time of the seventh angel’s sounding: “The nations were angry, and thy wrath is come.” A similar setting is described by the Prophet Daniel, when speaking of the time when “Michael,” a prophetic reference to the glorified Jesus, would “stand up” at his second advent. Then, the prophet says, “there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation.”—Dan. 12:1

In all of the passages cited above, including that of our lesson, in addition to a time of great trouble, there is reference made to the effect that the same period includes the rewarding of God’s faithful people. Further, a time of judgment is mentioned in Daniel’s prophecy, and specified in John the Revelator’s testimony. Both allude to the judgment of the faithful people of God, as well as a subsequent period of judgment for the rest of the world. (Dan. 12:1-3; Rev. 11:18) In II Timothy 4:1, Paul similarly speaks of the time when Christ “shall judge the quick [the living] and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.”

Taken in total, the foregoing statements of Daniel, Paul, and John point to the time of the return and second presence of our Lord, and to some of the conditions and works associated therewith. At his First Advent, Jesus made prophetic reference to Daniel concerning a coming time of “great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matt. 24:21) How faith-strengthening to know that all the trouble associated with the initial phase of our Lord’s second presence is in preparation for his long-promised kingdom of righteousness and peace to be established upon the earth.—II Pet. 3:12,13

Jesus willingly offered himself as a “ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (I Tim. 2:5,6) Being obedient unto death, “God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.” (Phil. 2:8,9) He returns to set up his kingdom, both the heavenly phase and the earthly phase—“in earth, as it is in heaven,” Jesus said. (John 14:3; Matt. 6:10) During his second presence, both the heavenly resurrection of the “firstfruits” class, as well as the raising from the dead of “all that are in the graves” to an earthly paradise, come to pass. (I Cor. 15:20-23; John 5:28,29) After mankind has been taught of God and learned obedience on “the way of holiness,” will come the complete elimination of sin and death.—Isa. 35:1-10; I Cor. 15:24-26

The Prophet Isaiah says of Christ’s reign: “The government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end.”—Isa. 9:6,7