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REVELATION OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE - Chapter 11 - Verse 17

Verse 17. Saying, We give thee thanks. We, as the representatives of the church, and as identified in our feelings with it, (see Barnes "Re 4:4") acknowledge thy goodness in thus delivering the church from all its troubles, and, having conducted it through the times of fiery persecution, thus establishing it upon the earth. The language here used is an expression of their deep interest in the church, and of the fact that they felt themselves identified with it. They, as representatives of the church, would of course rejoice in its prosperity and final triumph.

O Lord God Almighty. Referring to God as all-powerful, because it was by his omnipotent arm alone that this great work had been accomplished. Nothing else could have defended the church in its many trials; nothing else could have established it upon the earth.

Which art, and wast, and art to come. The eternal One, always the same. See Barnes on "Re 1:8".

The reference here is to the fact that God, who had thus established his church on the earth, is unchanging. In all the revolutions which occur on the earth, he always remains the same. What he was in past times he is now; what he is now he always will be. The particular idea suggested here seems to be, that he had now shown this by having caused his church to triumph; that is, he had shown that he was the same God who had early promised that it should ultimately triumph; he had carried forward his glorious purposes without modifying or abandoning them amidst all the changes that had occurred in the world; and he had thus given the assurance that he would now remain the same, and that all his purposes in regard to his church would be accomplished. The fact that God remains always unchangeably the same is the sole reason why his church is safe, or why any individual member of it is kept and saved. Compare Mal 3:6.

Because thou hast taken to thee thy great power. To wit, by setting up thy kingdom over all the earth. Before that, it seemed as if he had relaxed that power, or had given the power to others. Satan had reigned on the earth. Disorder, anarchy, sin, rebellion, had prevailed. It seemed as if God had let the reins of government fall from his hand. Now, he came forth as if to resume the dominion over the world, and to take the sceptre into his own hand, and to exert his great power in keeping the nations in subjection. The setting up of his kingdom all over the world, and causing his laws everywhere to be obeyed, will be among the highest demonstrations of Divine power. Nothing can accomplish this but the power of God; when that power is exerted nothing can prevent its accomplishment.

And hast reigned. Professor Stuart, "and shown thyself as king;" that is, "hast become king, or acted as a king." The idea is, that he had now vindicated his regal power, (Rob. Lex.;) that is, he had now set up his kingdom on the earth, and had truly begun to reign. One of the characteristics of the millennium—and indeed the main characteristic—will be, that God will be everywhere obeyed; for when that occurs, all will be consummated that properly enters into the idea of the millennial kingdom.

{b} "which art" Re 16:5 {c} "hast reigned" Re 19:6

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