May 7, Thursday
ACT FOUR – The Plot Thickens
SCENE 1 – The March to Final Victory
- The seventh angel blew his trumpet and I heard loud voices declaring: “The kingdoms of the world have become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah, and He will reign forever and ever.”
Then the twenty-four elders who are seated on thrones in God’s presence fell on their faces and worshipped God with these words:
“Thank you, Lord God Almighty,
Who is, Who was, and Who is to come!
You have exerted Your authority and power
and established Your reign.
The nations shook their fists at You in anger
but Your wrath overcame them.
The time has come to judge the dead.
Now You will reward your servants,
the prophets and the saints,
yes, all who fear Your Name, great or small.
The time has come to destroy those who destroy the earth.”
Suddenly the innermost Temple of God in Heaven was thrown open so that the Ark of the Covenant was clearly visible. There were flashes of lightning, loud blasts, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a violent hailstorm.
SCENE 2 – Action Moves Continuously Between Stages
The image of a woman appeared in the sky:
- She was clothed with the sun.
- The moon was under her feet.
- She wore a crown with twelve stars on her head.
- She was pregnant and could be heard crying out in the labor pains of delivering her child.
Then another image appeared in the sky, a huge, red dragon:
- It had seven heads and ten horns.
- A crown was on each of his heads.
- With his tail he knocked one-third of the stars down from the heavens to the earth.
- He crouched in front of the woman, ready to devour the child as soon as it was born.
The moment the woman gave birth, her Son, Who is to “shepherd the nations with a rod of iron,” was snatched up to God and to His throne. Then the woman escaped to the wilderness where a hiding place had been prepared at God’s command. She remained there, secluded for three and one half years.
SCENE 3 – Freeze Action on Earth/War in Heaven
These events prompted a war in Heaven as Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and his angels could not overpower Michael’s hosts and were expelled from Heaven and thrown to the earth. I’m speaking of the same dragon, the serpent of ancient times, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. He and his angels were hurled to the earth.
A victory shout erupted in Heaven:
“Finally, the salvation and power and Kingdom of our God
and the reign of His Messiah have come!
The accuser of our brethren, who stood before God accusing them
day and night, has been thrown down.
They conquered him through the blood of the Lamb
and the word of their testimony.
They did not love and grasp onto their own lives
even in the face of death!
Rejoice, O Heavens, and all who live in the heavens!
But woe to you, earth and sea, for the devil has come down
to you in a furious rage, knowing his time is short.”
I meant to finish this comment by saying that I love this finale because of what is happening in the natural realm for Dan. He is in his last (or next to last) day on earth; and I wonder if he felt that as He wrote this. Enjoying God has become his absorbing reality, as he prepares to pass from this life into a glorious eternity. His longing for the presence of God becomes ever tangible. And now he joins the great cloud of witnesses, the throng of faithful saints, waiting for us; because they, without us, will not be made perfect.