Day 39 – Revelation 8-15 posted by Tim Sherwood
Revelation chapters 8 through 15 may be some of the most studied and debated passages in the Bible. Many sincere Christian scholars debate issues regarding the events outlined in these chapters of Revelation, including how literally we should interpret the images described by John and even if believers experience these events at all or will already be with Christ as a result of the rapture. These people, with much more academic acumen than I possess, have spent years attempting to understand what John’s visions are telling us about the detailed future of the earth and mankind as well as when these events are going to occur. I will readily admit that I am poorly equipped to even attempt such an undertaking and in addition, God has not wired me in a manner in which I find the exercise particularly intriguing.
What God has led me to understand about this portion of Revelation, I find fully satisfying and very comforting.
1. That God is fully in control of the events and when they will occur.
2. That Satan will be completely and utterly defeated.
3. That Christ’s victory is assured.
For me, anything beyond this is just details.
Throughout John’s description of events, we see that God is orchestrating the things that are occurring. In Rev 8:2 the seven angels with the trumpets “stand before God”, indicating to me that their actions are in accordance with the will of God. Rev 10:5-6 indicates that the angel is taking his action in accordance with the timing of God “Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven. And he swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said “There will be no more delay!” Additionally, we are told several times throughout the Bible that we will not know when these events are to occur. Matt 24:36 explains that the angels don’t know the time and that even Christ during his earthly ministry didn’t know. Only the Father knows. This tells me that we should not waste time trying to predict when these events will occur, but focus on being ready for when they do.
In Revelation 12, verses 7 through 9, the war in heaven between Michael and his angels and the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, underscores the weakness of the devil in the face of God. Satan is described as “not strong enough” resulting in being cast out of heaven. This foreshadows his ultimate destruction as described in chapter 20 of Revelation. While we should not underestimate Satan’s power and should be alert as we are warned in 1 Peter 4:8 because “…the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”, he is a defeated foe. He has been completely and utterly defeated, not by us, but by our Lord, Jesus Christ.
These chapters of Revelation describe many frightening consequences associated with the judgment and wrath of God. However, believers in Christ can take comfort from passages such as Rev 11:15 “The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.” And Rev 12:10 “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before God day and night, has been hurled down.” These verses show that while there will be great turmoil and suffering, there is no uncertainty as to the outcome. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords is coming and will prevail.
As I used to say to my daughters when they were younger and we would discuss the book of Revelation, “The only one you would trust with the future of the world and mankind is actually in charge of the future of the world and mankind.” If you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ that’s comforting.