Revelation 11:15-19 Part 1


1)    Then a reed like a measuring rod was given to me saying, ‘go and measure God’s temple and the altar and the worshippers in it.

2)    And cast out the exterior courtyard of the holy place; you shall not measure it, for it and the holy city have been given to the nations and they shall be trampled forty-two months.

3)    And I will give to my two witnesses and they will prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days having been clothed in sackcloth;

4)    these are the two olives and the two lamps standing before the Lord of the earth.

5)    And if anyone wills to harm them, fire goes forth out of their mouth and consumes their adversaries; this is how anyone who wills to harm them is doomed to be destroyed.

6)    The authority to shut the heaven belongs to them in order that it might not rain during the days of their prophecies.  And they have the authority over the waters to turn them into blood and to smite the land in every plague as much as they wish.

7)    And when they have completed their testimony, the beast which is coming up out of the abyss will wage war against them and will overcome them and will kill them,

8)    their bodies on the street of the great city (which is called, spiritually, Sodom and Egypt where also their Lord was crucified),

9)    their bodies being observed for three and a half days from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations suffering not their bodies to be entombed.

10) And those dwelling on the land rejoice and are gladdened; and they will send gifts to one another, for these two prophets did torment those dwelling on the land.’

11) Then after the three and a half days Breath of Life from God did enter in to them, and they stood upon their feet, and great fear fell upon those beholding them.

12) Then they heard a great sound from the heaven saying to them: ‘Come up here!’  And they did go into the heaven in the cloud, and their adversaries beheld them.

13) And in that hour great shaking did arise, and the tenth of the city fell.  And killed in the shaking were names of men… seven thousands.  And the rest became terrified and gave credit to the God of heaven.

14) The woe, the second, did go forth; lo, the woe, the third, comes quickly.

15) Then the seventh messenger trumpeted; and there were great sounds in the heaven saying, ‘the kingdom of the world of our Lord and of His Christ did come to be, and He will reign into the ages of the ages.’

16) Then the twenty-four elders that sit before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshipped God

17) saying, ‘we thank you Lord God the Almighty the IS and the WAS, for you have assumed Your mighty power and did prevail;

18) and the nations were enraged.  But Your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be brought to trial and to give the reward to your servants the prophets and the holy ones and the ones fearing Your Name, the menial and the great, and to destroy those who are corrupting the land.’

19) Then the Holy Place of God in the heaven was opened and the ark of His covenant in His Holy Place was revealed; and there were lightnings and sounds and thunders and shaking and great hail.



The two lamps and olive branches standing before the God of the heaven and the earth bear testimony of Israel’s great history-long rebellion, and bear testimony of the nations of the world poised to annihilate her… a rage designed and calculated by powers of hostility; yet the powers (beasts) are deceived; for the strong man’s household will be emptied of all his goods, because the “Victor” has ascended the throne and poured out His Spirit!  “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit says Yahveh of Hosts.”

And now the nations and tongues and tribes will all be included in the redemptive purpose of Triune God; and the hostile powers will have accomplished their roles in the divine decree!

In God’s perception, the beast coming up out of the abyss to make war with the two witnesses and overcome them and kill them, is indicative of a history-long line of conspiracy scenarios by which the covenantal decree is meant to be interrupted or thwarted.  In fact, this is a representation of the “cosmic” hostility toward God and His covenant.

And, you see, the beast is released from the abyss for that very purpose!  Indeed, it “overcomes” for a time… so it seems.  To all appearances it looks as if it overcomes in its effort to sabotage God’s covenantal decree; for the Word of God through the prophets is snuffed out.  That’s what has happened over and over again all through Israel’s history.

But what’s the first thing we see when the first seal of Daniel’s scroll is loosed (Revelation chapter six)?

The first Horseman (right out of the prophecy of Zechariah) – the crowned King of Kings – rides forth “overcoming and to overcome”.  The very first event in the scroll that was sealed in Daniel’s prophecy (sealed because it was only for the “last days”) is the “Overcoming” One!

The beastly, hostile powers, set on “overcoming” the covenantal decree for the salvation of the world are, themselves, deceived and tricked and overcome.  Their very “beastliness” is mockingly used by Yahveh Lord of Hosts in the accomplishment of His covenant.  Although they are used and deceived in overcoming the two prophetic witnesses here in the text, they themselves are overcome by the Overcomer!

But the two witnesses here in chapter eleven are testifying in the covenantal law-suit in the last days; and killing the prophets of God and leaving them in the streets of Jerusalem (to the delight of the people) is Israel’s defiance of God’s Word.  And that defiance is part of the Law-suit testimony against it!  It is a defiance that has been present throughout its history.

What our Lord is saying to John is His view of the testimony against Israel.  The testimony is that of a history-long rebellion; it is a history-long testimony.  This peculiar people with which Triune God established His covenant has fashioned its own law; and it has anticipated a false messiah, which are the two prominent matters in all the prophetic Word.  And this is law-suit testimony before the judgment seat… in the latter days!  This is the trial before the sentencing!

The Lord Jesus Christ, as promised throughout His Word, has “saved” Israel by marking and sealing and removing His remnant, and sending them into the nations to establish His Church.  Twelve thousand from twelve tribes from twelve sons of Jacob… a perfect twelve salvation!  He promised all through His Word that He would save Israel.  And the text of the Revelation confirms that promised salvation!

The covenant, you see, has been extended to the Gentiles of every nation, tribe and tongue.  And it is elect Israel in its Exodus from Jerusalem and “the land” that establishes His Church in all the nations!  And now the witnesses, subsequent to the rescue of God’s elect of Jacob, are testifying in the covenantal law-suit as to Israel’s history-long violations of the covenant.  It has broken the covenant; and this chapter eleven, through verse fourteen, is the testimony in the trial that will result in a death-penalty verdict for the harlot.

And what comes next in this very chapter (verse fifteen) is the sounding of the seventh trumpeter!

And what did our Lord say about the sounding of the seventh trumpeter?  Chapter Ten:


5)  Then the Messenger that I saw having stood upon the sea and upon the land raised His right hand into the heaven

6)  and promised in the One living into the ages of the ages, Who created the heaven and all that’s in it, and the earth and all that’s in it, and the sea and all that’s in it, that there would be no more delay,

7)  but that in the days when the sound of the seventh messenger is to be trumpeted, the mystery of God would be fully accomplished as announced to His Own servants the prophets.


So, what is the “mystery of God”?  Where in all of the older Scripture is the “mystery of God” revealed?  There’s only the one.  Listen to the words:


27) Daniel answered the king (chapter two): "No wise man, medium, diviner-priest, or astrologer is able to make known to the king the mystery he asked about.

28) But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has let King Nebuchadnezzar know what will happen in the last days.  Your dream and the visions [that came into] your mind [as you lay] in bed were these:

29) Your Majesty, while you were in your bed, thoughts came [to you] about what will happen in the future.  The Revealer of mysteries has let you know what will happen.

30) As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have more wisdom than anyone living, but in order that the interpretation might be made known to the king, and that you may understand the thoughts of your mind.


And what was the mystery revealed to Daniel the prophet concerning the last days (and, as he later says, the “time of the end”?)  King Nebuchadnezzar was the first of (what would be) four great civilization-changing, language-changing, culture-changing world dominions called out of the tumultuous sea of humanity.

But then there would be a fifth and eternal Kingdom over all the earth; one which would never be overcome.  In other words, a Savior of the world!  An eternal King over all the nations, tongues and tribes of the earth… Gentiles.

That’s the mystery revealed to Daniel and then to Nebuchadnezzar.  The only one; and therefore it’s the one referred to by the Christ in chapter ten!

And Nebuchadnezzar, you remember, was a “beast”; for he sought to be the “one” great king of all the earth rather than “faith” in the mystery revealed to him, and rather than anticipate the One promised by God Whose Kingdom would be forever, and would be greater than them all.  He wanted to impede the covenant; he wanted to interrupt it; he wanted to be “as God” and put an end to that which had been revealed to him (just as the serpent had done before him).  And therefore God gave Nebuchadnezzar to be the beast; and He gave him to be the appearance and behavior of the beast that he was.

And our Lord, the “Overcomer”, the very “embodiment” of the covenantal mystery of the salvation of the world, used the same language in describing the rulers and priests and pharisees and scribes of Israel.  It’s His history-long language of beasts that conspire to abrogate the covenant God made with His Own creation.

He called them serpents born of serpents; He called them jackals and wolves; He called them dogs and bulls; he called them roaring lions lying in wait for their prey.  They’re all beasts roiling up out of the abyss, gnashing their teeth in anger, persecuting and killing all of God’s prophets, turning God’s Law-word upside down, persecuting and killing God’s Own Son; and then, according to Jesus Himself, the worst of it all: persecuting and killing many of those for whom our Lord died, and who He kept for Himself of the twelve tribes of Jacob.  For that, the rulers and priests and pharisees of Israel would suffer the blood of all the righteous in history.  And it would so come to them “in this generation”.

So, in our Lord’s perception of His Own history, the first section (fourteen verses) of this chapter is the testimony that’s being presented before the throne of judgment “in the last days”.  In His perception this is the two officers of the covenant, a covenant which was established with this peculiar people; and they are Word and Spirit – the lamps and olive branches before the throne; and they are all the persecuted and murdered prophets of God to this people in history; and they are the very Word of God Himself - humiliated, persecuted and crucified and raised the third day; and they are the persecuted and murdered lost sheep of the house of Jacob who Jesus came to seek and to find and to mark and to seal – and to rescue.

The first fourteen verses is the testimony of two witnesses in the covenantal law-suit, for Israel (first) had never, in all of its history, been faithful to obey God’s Law-word.  And (second) Israel’s great hope was for its own messiah….one for Israel alone.  Its hope was not for a savior of the world.  Therefore its hope was in a false Messiah.

But the great mystery of God which, according to Jesus (and written down by John for the Churches), was for the One Who would take away the sin of the world… Who would be King over all the nations, and all the tribes, and all the tongues of the world.

And that mystery would come to its “fullness” in the days of the sounding of the seventh trumpeter!

Verse fifteen:


“Then the seventh messenger trumpeted; and there were great sounds in the heaven saying, ‘the kingdom of the world of our Lord and of His Christ did come to be, and He will reign into the ages of the ages.’”


Remember what our Lord said to John earlier:


“…in the days when the sound of the seventh messenger is to be trumpeted, the mystery of God would be fully accomplished as announced to His Own servants the prophets”.


Now John hears the seventh messenger trumpet.  And what should he expect to hear next?  The “full accomplishment” of the mystery of God!

And what was the “mystery of God” (it was announced to His prophets all through Israel’s history)?  In the midst of the fourth great kingdom of the earth, the fifth and eternal Kingdom would come to be; and it would never be overcome by another!

The fourth great kingdom of the world’s history would be crushed into many pieces and scattered… its many kings overcome by the sovereign Ruler of the fifth Kingdom.  And never again would there be another king over all the world but HIM!

And He is the One who John the baptizer (the return of Elijah) proclaimed when he prophesied: “Lo, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world”!

Before we go any further, once again I want you to hear the Lord speaking to the apostle at the beginning of the Revelation, because the clarity of His Words and His appearance there are enhanced by the three years of work that we’ve done subsequently in  the text.

And as you hear Him described, and as you hear Him speak, He is already the risen, ascended, glorified and crowned Lord of the heaven and the earth; He has found the lost sheep of the house of Jacob and moved them out of Israel and into the nations, and they are His “firstfruits” – His Church among all the Gentiles; His parousia is imminent (as He says to John); He sends stern warnings to the faithless, and great comfort to the faithful… for the King of Kings is about to do a mighty work.  And John is about to hear all about it from the perspective of the throne of Triune God in the heaven.

Listen to it:


5)    and from Jesus Christ the Witness, the Faithful, the Firstborn from death and the Ruler of the kingdoms of the earth  --- To Him Who loves us and has freed us from our sins in His blood

6)    and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father – to Him the glory and the dominion into the age.  Amen.

7)    LO!  He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, all who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him.  YES!  Amen.

8)    I Am the Alpha and the Omega, says Kurios God, the Is and the Was and the Coming, The Almighty.



12) And I turned around to see the voice that was speaking with me; and when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands,

13) and in midst of the lampstands like a son of man, having been clothed upon to the feet and having been wrapped at the chest with a golden girdle:

14) His head and hair white as wool, white as snow, and His eyes as flaming fire,

15) and His feet like burnished brass as in having been fired in a furnace, and His voice as a sound of many waters,

16) and having seven stars in His right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword proceeding out of His mouth, and His face as the sun shines in its power.

17) And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead; and He placed His right hand on me saying “fear not.  I Am the First and the Last

18) and the Living, and I became dead and LO, I am living into the ages of the ages, and I have the keys of death and hades.


You see, at the time of the writing of this letter to the Churches, the time is “near”.  Here’s what John says:


3)    Blessed the one reading and the ones hearing the words of the prophecy and keeping things having been written in it, for the time is near.


The One Who has all authority in the heaven and upon the earth appears to John in all His glory; and the Revelation about to be shown to Him (for the comfort of all the Churches) is the “last days” of the perfect “seventy” years between His birth and His Parousia, and the last days of the forty years between His resurrection and His Parousia… a time during which all the Father’s elect people of Israel were found and rescued, and during which all of our “new Testament” was written, and during which time all of the plagues and infestations and shakings and unrest and warfare occurred in Israel as prophesied by our Lord and recorded in Matthew twenty three and twenty four and in Luke chapter twenty one… all of which was prophesied from Moses all the way to the return of Elijah!

Now; since the sound of the seventh trumpeter announces that the mystery of God is about to be fully accomplished, God’s covenantal decree is made apparent.  Up until this time, the serpent-dragon has been given relative freedom in all the Gentile nations.  (I say relative freedom, because it’s always been under authority.)

The decreation of apostate Israel and its desecrated temple reveals that God is creating a new nation in which there is a new temple; it is a new Israel!  And it will include all of His elect from the twelve tribes of Jacob and Gentiles of every people and nation and tongue.

Remember that Jesus had told Israel’s treasonous leaders


“therefore I say to you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it” (Matthew twenty one at verse forty three).


And later on Jesus explains to His disciples: “at that time (meaning the time when the Kingdom would be given to another people) at that time will appear the sign of the Son of Man in the heaven”.  Note that “the sign” does not appear in the heaven; but it refers to the location of the Son of Man!  The decreation of Israel is the “sign of the Son of Man in the heaven”!

He has assumed the throne; and He has all authority; and He has established the Kingdom to include another people.  The apostle Paul had stated earlier in his letter to the Church at Rome (in anticipation of the promised parousia of the Christ) that the fall of the Jews would be the reconciling of the world.  Did you hear that?

Everybody needs to hear Paul’s words clearly; for here is the hope you see (the anticipation), of the Kingdom of the Christ of God – the Savior of the world.  The apostle reveals the mystery of God to the Church at Rome, in order that they fully understand the Gospel of God concerning His Son.

This is the Gospel, you see.  This isn’t “peripheral stuff” that the Church can just “set aside” as unimportant to the message.  It IS the message!  Our Lord arose out of death and ascended to the Right as King of Kings and Lord of Lords; and He “overcomes” the world; and His decreation of apostate Israel at His Parousia was the reconciling of the world (Paul’s words)!  He takes away the sin of the world!

That’s what the prophets prophesied; that’s what the apostles preached and wrote to the Churches; that’s what John sees and hears here in the Revelation of Jesus Christ… all to the understanding and comfort of the Churches and for their faithful anticipation of that which was to happen quickly – for the time is near!

The perfect “seven” is consummated; the seventh day sabbath is consummated; the seventh trumpeter has sounded.  And the eighth day liberation of the nations of the world is inaugurated (as prophesied in all the joyous feasts required of Israel in God’s Law-word.)

As we often do from this pulpit and in our second-hour discussions, we delve deeply into the history of God’s creation since the decreation of Israel in 70 AD.

In the fullness of the time, The Son of God – God The Son arose out of death.  Forty days later He ascended in the Glory Cloud and was crowned King of Kings.  And fifty days after His crucifixion, as Jesus promised, God the Spirit filled His new Holy Temple (just as the tabernacle and the temple were filled – and with all the same sights and sounds as before), baptizing its perfect entirety.

Three thousand sons of Jacob from every nation on earth were added to our Lord’s new temple that day (they were all in Jerusalem for Pentecost); and they proceeded to their various locations in the nations to begin our Lord’s “gatherings” – the Ecclesia, the Church.  They were the very beginning.

And for the next forty years, the apostles and elders and deacons of the Churches continued (as our Lord commanded) to seek and to find the lost sheep of the house of Jacob (Israel).  As they were found, they were marked and sealed and rescued from the wrath to come… being sent into the Gentile nations in an Exodus from Israel.  (Remember, Peter and James and John, on the mount of transformation, were shown Moses and Elijah conferring with Jesus about His Exodus.)  This was the promised “saving” of His remnant – elect Israel, those who God had kept for Himself.

And all of this occurred during the forty years of strife and war and shakings and plagues and infestations preceding the final desolation to come.  Every single one of them was spared the wrath of the Mediator/Executor of the covenant, although they were pursued and persecuted by Israel’s rulers and priests and pharisees.

At the time of the siege of Jerusalem, all of Israel had been laid waste; and then the horrific desolation of Jerusalem left nothing.

But our Lord’s perfect twelve thousand times twelve (plus Gentile converts) had established the Kingdom of God’s Christ in every nation and tongue on earth.

What had been promised?  The “mountain” (the authority) of The Lord would be established over all the mountains (authorities) of the earth.

The prophets had all preached repentance and obedience to God’s Law-word (faithfulness), and they prophesied the coming Savior of the world.

Jesus’ messages to the seven Churches (the full and perfect number) was exactly the same: faithfulness to God’s holy Law, and anticipation (hope) of the prophesied fullness of our Lord’s promises.

Yahveh Lord of Hosts prophesied through the prophet Zechariah: not by might or by power, but by My Spirit”.  And by His Spirit, through the preaching and teaching of this Gospel, the Roman empire was torn apart and scattered, as prophesied in Daniel.  The Church of Jesus Christ, free of persecution by declaration of Constantine, was in full bloom throughout the nations by 313AD; and the first council of the world-wide Church met at Nicea in 325AD.  The creed we read at the beginning of worship was formulated at that council.

As Daniel had prophesied, the fifth and eternal Kingdom would be established in the midst of the fourth, and it would never be overcome by another.  As the Church of our Lord grew stronger through persecution, the empire became more splintered and scattered.

And don’t let anyone ever tell you that the reason for that was by anything other than by decree of Yahveh of Hosts through Holy Spirit and the Word.

Further, no matter how many times the beasts have arisen from the abyss to sabotage the covenantal decree for the salvation of the world, there has never been a successful competitor to the King of Kings.  Yahveh prophesied that through Daniel.  The fifth Kingdom would be an eternal kingdom without interruption by a usurper!  And the work of the Christ of God will continue to its completion.  By Holy Spirit and the Word, He will overcome and prevail.  It’s not a war; for He has all authority over the beasts that arise from time to time.

Throughout God’s history there have been a number of attempts at world dominion; but our Lord laughs and mocks them; for they are deceived into thinking they can overcome Christ’s kingdom.

From mohammed’s “moon-god” world-wide caliphate ruled by a coming mahdi, all the way to communism’s great society, and then to the new age global family, all attempts at world empire are direct attacks on the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.  Whether they acknowledge it, they are what they are!

And they are all God-deceived and self-deceived into believing they can interrupt the decree of our covenanting God, and themselves build a world-society that evolves and progresses past the depravity of man.

It seems that we have one among us now who our Lord has raised to great power… for He has done so for His Own Glory.  For this newest deception to sabotage God’s covenant will suffer the same end as the others; for the One with all authority in the heaven and upon the earth will have no deceiver/competitor.

Not by might nor by power; but by My Spirit, says Yahveh of Hosts.  The same Word spoken by the prophets holds perfectly true in our time:  be faithful and keep My holy Law; and anticipate the fullness of the work of My Anointed One.  “Lo, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.”

The earth’s civilizations can’t be restored or reconstructed by might or by power; or by revolution or evolution; neither by equalizing the world’s wealth or cleansing its environment.  Man’s sin can’t be dealt with by any of those things.

But men and women and children can speak the Word of God while living faithfully and anticipating the nations acknowledging the Lord Jesus Christ as King of Kings.  By the Word and Spirit our God will bring this earth into submission to its real King… all to the glory of The Father.