“And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.”
In our text, we see a character introduced that is described as “another angel”, whose origin is “heaven”. He is said to possess “great power” and enlightened the earth with “his glory”. This angel makes a clear public announcement that Babylon (the false religions of this world) have been brought to utter defeat at the hands of Christ.
Because this message is symbolically proclaimed by an angel that comes from heaven, we can be assured that his message comes from God Himself. What a wonderful truth…. God, Himself, has proclaimed that Babylon is defeated and Christ has won the ultimate victory on His behalf.
Speaking of this angel, we are also told that “the earth was lightened with his glory”. This phrase is taken directly from Ezekiel 43:2 (see also Nums 14:21, Psalms 72:19, Isa 6:3 etc) and is spoken of in relation to the Lord Himself…
“And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.”
Stop and think about what this must be like to see the wondrous glory of God shine, throughout the world! Ezekiel saw this in his vision as Christ was returning to the earth to dwell with, and be worshipped by, His spiritual nation (the Israel of God, all who are saved). This is symbolized by His glory entering the temple permanently (Ezekiel 43:1-9).
The Ezekiel’s description of Christ’s great glory on display at His second coming is being attributed to this angel, as he delivers the announcement of Christ’s final victory over the powers of darkness, which also takes place at His second coming.
Why is this? Why would the glory of Christ be attributed to the angel in John’s vision. It could be that Christ’s awesome glory was revealed to all men, as His great victory over the lost was announced. In other words, through his message this angel was revealing Christ’s glory to the world.
Or, it is possible that this angel is symbolic of Christ Himself, the Victor, announcing His victory over the powers of darkness. The three-fold description of this angel could easily apply to Christ Himself…
- come down from heaven – Christ was of heaven and came to earth to gain victory over the lost at His first, and second comings.
- having great power – Christ, as God Himself, possessed all authority over the powers of darkness allowing Him to gain the victory over them.
- the earth was lightened with his glory. – Throughout the Old Testament EVERY time glory is so great it is spread throughout the world, it is speaking of God’s, or Christ’s, glory.
In either case, the basic teaching is that Christ has defeated the powers of darkness and God Himself has affirmed this to us all. There should be no doubt or reservation of this truth on our behalf.
May we all give Christ the glory and honor He deserves as the Victor over spiritual Babylon. Whether at His first coming (Col 2:14-15), or His second coming (Rev 19:11-21) His glory was clearly revealed as He won the victory over Satan, his political powers, and his religious powers.
May we all serve Him with confidence knowing He has won the final victory over Satan and His kingdom. May we seek to declare His greatness and His victory over sin and death to all that all around us with confidence, knowing our message is true and the only hope for lost mankind.
For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation: