As we have noted, the repeated patterns of seven and parallels such as the pause between seals six and seven and between trumpets six and seven (Rev. 7; 10:1–11:14) most likely indicate that Revelation is not providing a strict chronology of end-of-days events. Instead, it is looking at the same things again and again from different perspectives. The visions John receives look at the entire era between Christ’s ascension and return, occasionally making references to first-century events such as the destruction of Jerusalem and the Roman persecution of Christians. In other words, Revelation shows us the kinds of things that have occurred, are presently occurring, and will continue to occur until Jesus returns.
We see this especially with the sounding of the seventh trumpet. John hears this trumpet in today’s passage, and it results in an announcement from heaven: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever” (Rev. 11:15). In turn, God and His Son are worshiped because they have begun to reign and to judge the earth (vv. 16–18).
It may seem strange to speak of the kingdom of the world becoming the kingdom of “our Lord and of his Christ,” for Scripture teaches that God has always reigned over the universe (Pss. 10:16; 29:10). Certainly, we must not forget that our Creator is sovereign over all, ordaining whatsoever comes to pass according to His perfect will (Eph. 1:11).
However, today’s passage does not have that sovereign, all-controlling rule of God in view. Scripture refers to another type of divine reign, God’s rule over a cosmos in willing subjection to Him. This rule is exercised through His appointed human king. Originally, this reign was given to all humanity through Adam, as we were commanded to take dominion over creation for God’s glory. When Adam sinned, we lost this right to rule, and the cosmos was subject to futility in rebellion against the Lord (Gen. 1–3; Rom. 8:19–22). Thankfully, God in His grace purposed to restore this rule and reign, preeminently in His Messiah, His anointed King who would be set over all nations. Psalm 2 tells us of the enthronement of this King and the submission of the nations to Him. Revelation 11:15–19 echoes this passage, pointing to its fulfillment in Christ. Jesus is the truly human King, who is also truly divine, in whom God’s reign over a creation no longer in rebellion to Him is reestablished.