v.14-17 The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly. Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever!” And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, “We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was and who is to come, because You have taken Your great power and reigned.”
This completes the second of three “woes” proclaimed for the inhabitants of the earth (8:13) as the third, the coming of Satan in great wrath (12:12), quickly approaches.
The seventh trumpet is now sounding, and God’s eternal plan to do away with evil and to restore all things unto Himself has initiated (see notes—Rev.10:5-7). The centuries old question “When?” no longer remains a mystery, the countdown to the end of this world has at long last begun.
It should be noted that all the judgments yet remaining occur during the last three and a half years allotted to this age, and do usher in the eternal Kingdom of Jesus Christ. The loud response of heaven is the joyful acknowledgment that this time has finally come.
v. 18 “The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth.”
This gives a vivid account of the world’s anger and hostility toward God and all that is His during the second half of Tribulation. According to the Psalmist, this is a time when the nations rage against Christ and His kingdom, His holy religion and all interests of it. When they set themselves against God in open defiance of Him, and counsel together for an unholy war that seeks to unseat His government and break His yoke. (See—Ps.2).
v.19 Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.
The ark of His covenant in open view here in heaven seems to be a reminder that God is a covenant-making and covenant-keeping God who will accomplish all that He has spoken on behalf of Israel. All the symbols of judgment surrounding the arc, the lightnings, noises, thunderings, earthquake, and great hail are probably meant to underscore the remaining judgments God is about to impose for the redemption of His people.