By Horatius Bonar
"Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ--for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, who accused them before our God day and night."--Revelation 12:10.
This is a song of heaven--of that heaven from which the dragon had been cast out. It was sung with a loud voice, that all in heaven and earth might hear. It is a song of triumph and gladness, like that which is sung over one sinner who repents. Yet it is not a song of consummation, as if the whole work was completed, and the last battle won. For the dragon is only cast down to earth, to do terrible things there in his last wrath. But it is a song of progress. Another victory won--another advance made--the glorious termination becoming nearer and nearer.
Often had such a song been sung. Even at the first promise--still more at each successive unfolding of it--at the covenant with Abraham, and again with David; at each prophetic announcement of Messiah; at His birth; at His death (He himself took it up, 'Now is the judgment of this world'); at His resurrection; at His ascension; at subsequent events both in heaven and earth; last of all shall it be sung at His second coming, when the development shall reach its fullness, the consummation be realized, the kingdom set up, and the glory revealed. It is like the feeling of seamen, at rounding some new coast which brings them more within sight of home; like soldiers, after defeating one and another squadron of the enemy's troops, and pressing on, flushed with victory; like climbers of some mountain-range, surmounting first one and then another of the intervening heights that lie between them and the object of their ambition.
Thus runs the heavenly song--'Now has come to pass the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ.' Let us attend to each of the notes separately.
I. The salvation. It is 'the salvation' that is here sung of--the salvation of Him whose name is Jesus, the Savior. It is salvation--not consisting of one blessing or one kind of blessing, but of many--made up of everything which can be indicated by the reversal of our lost condition. It is not done at once, but in parts and at sundry times, each age bringing with it more of 'salvation' in every sense; unfolding it; building it up; gathering in new objects; overcoming new enemies; occupying new ground; erecting new trophies. But little of it has yet taken effect; an 'election,' no more--yet something is doing, age after age. At each new development, or conquest, a new song in sung--'Now is come the salvation;' and if these intermediate shouts of triumph be so loud and rapturous--what will be the last of all?
II. The power. This is the more common rendering of the word (not 'strength'), as when Christ's miracles are spoken of, or 'the powers of the world to come.' As yet God's power has not been fully manifested; it has been hidden. Man's power and Satan's have been in the ascendant. The counteraction of and victory over these have not yet been conspicuously revealed. Many trophies, no doubt, it has won; many enemies it has defeated; many brands it has plucked from the burning; but the full revelation of its greatness is yet to come. When that day arrives, earth as well as heaven shall rejoice--'Now is come the salvation and the power.' That shall be the day of power--'the Lord God omnipotent reigns.'
III. The kingdom of our God. It is the kingdom--the kingdom of kingdoms; not of Satan or man, as now, but of God, no, our God. Our God, says heaven; our God, re-echoes earth. God's purpose is to have a kingdom and a king. The original grant or command to Adam involved this--'Have dominion' (Genesis 1:28); He 'put all things under his feet' (Psalm 8:6). Man in the person of the first Adam was declared king, with this globe for his dominion. He fell, and forfeited his tenure. The second Adam has come in his stead; and the kingdom of our God is yet to be set up. As yet it is but the kingdom of man and of Satan. Earth has not acknowledge God; but in the day when God's original purpose shall be fulfilled, shall be heard the loud voice in heaven and earth, 'Now is come the kingdom of our God.' Then shall the Church's prayer be answered--'Your kingdom come.'
IV. The authority of His Christ. 'The Christ of God' is the full name for Jesus of Nazareth--God's Messiah--He in whom all royal, priestly, judicial, prophetically power is invested. To this Messiah all power has been given, all authority entrusted, in heaven, and earth, and hell. But now we see not yet all things under Him. His authority is in abeyance until the fullness of the times shall come. Then it shall be put forth over all the earth. He shall destroy Antichrist; bind Satan; deliver creation; bring all the nations under His sway as King of kings and Lord of lords. His authority shall be supreme. His throne shall be above all thrones. His scepter shall be acknowledged everywhere. All nations shall submit themselves. Earth shall be as heaven. Then shall the loud voice be heard--'Now is come the authority of His Christ.'