Revelation 11:15-19 Part 2


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 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” between Jesus’ birth and His Parousia, and the last days between His resurrection and His Parousia… a time during which all the Father’s elect people of the tribes 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!  It was the appointed time – the “fullness” of the time.

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.  Until this time in God’s history, the serpent-dragon has been given relative freedom in all the Gentile nations.  It’s had “free-reign”, so to speak.  (Note that I said it was “given” a certain freedom.)

Although responsible before God, the Gentile nations had been left in their degradation, the serpent-beast given freedom to walk on the earth doing its deeds.  But, you see, there was the covenant!  The covenant to save God’s creation had been decreed.

And all through God’s history, the serpent of old had done its best to cut off that covenant.  The persecution and killing of the prophets, the murder of God’s Anointed, and the pursuit and persecution and killing of The Lord’s elect of the twelve tribes… all of these events to stop the eventuation of that which God had decreed.

But in its rage against Triune God, it still had something left in its arsenal of sabotage; and that was the complete destruction of Israel, Jerusalem and the temple.  If it could destroy from the face of the earth the peculiar people with which God had covenanted, then the decree would be thwarted!  And if the temple that was the replica of God’s throne-room in the heaven could be made to totally disappear from the earth, then the serpent would have overcome God and His covenant.  Little did it know that it had been tricked into doing what God had decreed all along!

And how the nations, under the rulership of Rome, did rage against God and His Messiah!  But the serpent and the nations were deceived from the beginning.

The decreation of apostate Israel and its desecrated temple revealed that God was creating a new nation in which there is a new temple; it is a new Israel… a New Heavens and a New Earth.  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.”  That new “nation” would be a Kingdom of Priests.

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”.  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 from the heaven 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.

Everybody needs to hear Paul’s words clearly; for here is 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.  The serpent and the nations were deceived in order that there be a reconciling of the world!

This is the Gospel.  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!  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!  And it is still a great comfort to all the Churches in the nations; for what our Lord has done builds great confidence and faithfulness in us, and causes us to hope (anticipate) all that He will do (as He has promised).

It was a time of incredible stress for all the little Churches in the islands and nations of the world.  They needed to hear from the Lord and His apostles that this is what He was doing.  And the preaching of this Gospel is what all of us need to hear… especially during times of stress for us.

The perfect “seven” is consummated, for the seventh trumpeter has sounded.  The seventh day Sabbath is consummated, for the eighth day liberation of the nations of the world is inaugurated (as prophesied in all the feasts required of Israel in God’s Law-word.)  Hereafter the new temple-worship occurs on the first day of the week over all the mountains of the earth.

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 then 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.  And remember all the connections and similarities between the exodus from Egypt and the exodus from Israel.)  But 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 already 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) were exactly the same: faithfulness to God’s holy Law, and anticipation (hope) of the prophesied fullness of our Lord’s promises.

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.  And our Lord’s deception of the serpent/beast and the enraged nations had all been for the reconciling of the world!

Further, no matter how many times the beasts have arisen from the abyss to sabotage the covenantal decree for the saving of the world, they are always under authority!  And therefore 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 (although many have tried).  The work of the Christ of God will continue to its completion.  By Holy Spirit and the Word, He will overcome and prevail, for He is the Overcomer!

As I mentioned earlier, that’s what makes The Revelation so valuable to the Church of Jesus Christ.  It is the Gospel – the Good News.  And no matter how bad things look to be at any given time, God has been perfectly faithful to do exactly as He promised.

The beast is still flailing around, raising up potential competitors to our Lord’s reign; but the promise has been made!  He is the only One; and He will complete all the work which was decreed for Him to do.

All of the latest pretenders seem, at the time, to be the worst.  But as our Lord said, the worst of it all is here in our text.  There was never in previous history anything like it; and there has been nothing like it since.  So the world has only to look at God’s Word for its solace.  The worst is over; and the reconciling of the world is continuing.  Present-day pretenders are just the “leftovers”; and they, too, will be overcome as Word and Spirit proclaim the sovereignty of Jesus the King.

And all of this is exactly what John writes in verse fifteen, isn’t it?  The “great sounds” in the heaven are loud voices in proclamation!  God has caused John to hear the entire heaven erupting in cosmic joy at the “mystery” that is being revealed; for the first time the Gentiles have been enriched, and the world is being reconciled!

The catastrophe of Jerusalem and the temple signaled the beginning of a world-wide kingdom which separated out judaism from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  And I want to speak about that for a couple of minutes, because there are some very important distinctions to be made; and the commentators address them incorrectly.

First, though, it is to be understood from all of Scripture, and from the Biblical “covenantal continuity” perspective, that our God has never, in all of His history, relinquished authority over any part of His creation.  Therefore, to assume that His reign and rule over the Gentile nations of the world had been abdicated for all that time previous to our Lord’s Parousia is just too ludicrous.  Nothing could be further from the Truth.

A simple distinction has to be made when the word “kingdom” appears in the Scripture (like it does here in verse fifteen).  One only has to remember that all of the parables of Jesus Christ are “kingdom” parables; and they all have to do with a nation that won’t acknowledge His Kingship, and a new nation that will acknowledge it.

Heretofore, the nation with which He established His covenant (the kingdom of Israel), refused to obey His Law and refused to anticipate the One Who takes away the sin of the world.

But at His Parousia, the Gentiles of the world will be reconciled to Him and acknowledge His Kingship.  So the fine, Biblical distinction in the word “kingdom” has to be understood.  This whole creation (which has always included the Gentile nations) exists because God causes it to exist; and it all operates, in all of its parts, because God causes it to do so.  Therefore His “rule” is over it all.  However, the “acknowledgement” of His rule, and the “obedience” to His rule, more closely define His “Kingdom” (as is revealed in Scripture).

Also, the distinction has to be made between the words “kingdom” and “Ecclesia” (Church).  The Church of Jesus Christ is the worshiping, visible, public representation of the Kingdom.  All of those in the nations who acknowledge Him as their King, and live faithfully according to His Law-word, and who anticipate His work as Savior of the world, gather in public weekly (on the first day of the week) to give praise and honor and thanksgiving (emphasis on the word “give” rather than “receive”).  So there is also that Biblical distinction to be made between “Kingdom” and “Church”.

And then, another distinction that must be made (as opposed to most all commentators) has to do with the covenantally revealed Faith.  Even the best commentators on this passage include in their explanations that, at the Parousia of our Lord, the Christian Church was “separated out” from judaism.

That is a fabrication that does incalculable harm to the Revelation of God’s covenant; for it was judaism (a false religion and all its adherents) that was cut off and separated out from The Faith due to its idolatry and harlotry.  The Root of The Faith from which Israel was circumcised (i.e. cut off) is: obedience to God’s Law-word and anticipation of the Savior of the world… neither of which were adhered to by judaism (that false religion of Israel).  Therefore it was separated out for destruction.  And the nations were grafted in to the stalk (which is Christianity).  When Israel finally bows and acknowledges the King of Kings, it will be grafted back in to the original stalk.

The sounding of the seventh trumpet, which John would have recognized with great delight, had its history in the Revelation of the coming of the Anointed One; for each of the seven months of the festival year were begun by the sounding of the trumpet.  And the festivals ended after the eighth day (called ‘holy unto Yahveh’), indicating the coming resurrection on the first day of the next week!

In addition to the seven festival months of the calendar year, the seventh trumpet is sounded on the first day of the new year (Rosh Hashanah).

And to illustrate judaism’s defiance of God’s Revelation of the God the Son - the Savior of the World, orthodox judaism (agreed to by evangelical dispensationalism) still celebrates rosh hashanah with the sounding of the seventh trumpet to proclaim the day; after which three passages of Scripture are read (each comprising ten verses).

The first of the ten verses proclaim the kingship of God (looking forward to His Kingdom); the second ten verses remembering God’s covenant; and the third remembering the seventh trumpet when the Jews that have been dispersed all over the world will be gathered again in Jerusalem!

But you see, this is still judaism’s false religion, as is evidenced by John’s text here in chapter eleven.  The seventh trumpeting proclaims the Exodus of God’s people from Israel and Jerusalem into the wilderness nations in advance of Israel being separated out for destruction!  And the gathering of Gentiles from every nation into a New Jerusalem and a New Temple in God’s Prophet, Priest and King – as revealed in all of God’s Word from the beginning!

And just as an aside here, should we celebrate Rosh Hashanah, we must not celebrate it with judaists or dispensationalists – neither of which see the Kingdom of our Lord as yet having come to pass.  It’s still for the future.

If it’s celebrated at all, then it would needs be done in accordance with God’s covenantal Revelation!

And that, of course, leaves the question of whether it should be celebrated at all.  And according to what our Lord said to John in chapter ten, and then what we read here in verse fifteen, it’s already been celebrated!  The prophetic Word looked forward to His Kingdom; and that Kingdom did come to be.  And a good, Biblical case can be made that, like Passover, the sounding of the seventh trumpet at Rosh Hashanah has already sounded; and it is now obsolete; for it is “ceremonial” in nature (rather than moral law).  It looked forward to the King, Whose Kingdom has already been established.  That “seven” is now consummated and no longer of any use, for that which it prophesied has occurred.

Our Lord, in chapter ten, said that in the days of the sounding of the seventh trumpet the mystery of God would be fully accomplished! 

And here in verse fifteen of chapter eleven, the entire host of the glory cloud in the heaven already proclaims it accomplished at the sounding of the trumpet!  Here’s what all the creatures of the heaven loudly proclaim: ‘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.’

The next chapters of The Revelation of Jesus Christ reveal God’s perception of “the days of the sounding of the seventh trumpeter” during which time the idolatrous harlot would be separated out and destroyed, and during which time the covenantal Kingdom of Jesus Christ is established over all the nations.

Judaism and dispensationalism are still looking for the coming of the kingdom, one that will gather God’s people in Jerusalem at the sounding of the seventh trump, which John already saw and heard, and which he wrote to the Churches! 

Judaism, along with its evangelical supporters, still anticipates a false messiah!

Lastly this morning (in advance of communion at the Lord’s Table), let’s spend our remaining minutes in verse sixteen and the first part of seventeen.  Here’s what it says again:

Then the twenty-four elders that sit before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshipped God saying, ‘we thank you Lord God the Almighty….’


Please recall (from chapter four) that these are creatures of Triune God in the heaven.  They worship God in His holy place – the sanctuary.  They go almost completely undescribed in the Scripture until John says what they sit on, where they sit, what they have on, and what they have on their heads.  Otherwise their appearances as creatures continue undescribed.

But remember, that Israel with its tabernacle was to reflect that which was in the heaven.  God’s covenant was established with Israel; and that covenant included a correspondence between the nation and God’s sanctuary/throne-room in the heaven.

The first recognition recorded in Scripture of these twenty-four creatures in the heaven comes in First Chronicles chapter twenty four when David requires twenty four of Aaron’s great – great – great grandsons (I haven’t taken the time to figure out how many “greats” there should be there) to be chosen by “lot” (from all of Aaron’s progeny) to worship God in the tabernacle as representatives of the nation.

So not only was Israel to have Biblical worship and Godly priests and wise judges after the likeness of that which is in God’s heaven, but there was a future “likeness” there prophesied!

And John sees that which was prophesied in the twenty-four required by David; for these creatures sit before the holy place on thrones.  And their attire is of pure white.  And they all wear crowns!

At the fullness of the mystery of God at the sounding of the seventh trumpeter, the new Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ is populated by Jew and Gentile alike… all elect of the Father, and all priests in the Kingdom.  And they all are judges of the earth.

The teaching letters of the apostles to the Churches give great clarity to the fact that all those resurrected in the Christ are white stones in His new Holy Temple; and that they are priests of the Royal Priesthood; and that they are all kings who sit with Him on thrones; and that they are all Biblical judges of God’s creation!  And it’s all in the likeness of that which John now sees and hears in the heaven at the sounding of the seventh trumpet.

And now, what does John hear?  ‘We thank you Lord God the Almighty….’

The twenty-four creatures that our Lord’s Kingdom is to resemble now respond to the shouts of joy from all the creatures in the glory cloud (verse fifteen) by giving thanks.

At the Revelation of the mystery of God (i.e. the Kingdom of the Savior of the World), all the creatures in the heaven erupt in cosmic elation; and the Kingdom of Priests in Christ Jesus gives thanks.

We’ll take this up some more next Lord’s Day as we finish the chapter; but let’s conclude this morning with “thanksgiving and the Lord’s Table”.  The twenty-four creatures here in the heaven give thanks.  And we as a Kingdom of Priests in Christ Jesus (resembling them) gather to give thanks… not only in public on each first day of the week, but especially at communion.

The word found in the text of Scripture for “to give thanks” is eucharisteo.  The word “eucharist”, which the Church has used from its earliest beginnings, comes from that Greek word.  In all four texts in which the new sign and seal appear (Matthew twenty-six, Mark fourteen, Luke twenty-two and Paul’s first letter to the Church at Corinth, chapter eleven), “eucharistesas” (He gave thanks) appears prominently.

We’ll hear it shortly when we commune.  And we would have to be spiritually and theologically blind not to see the connection here in our text:  “we thank You Lord God Almighty….”  Same Word.

The twenty-four creatures give thanks to Almighty God for the Revelation of the “mystery of God” – the termination of the covenant relationship with Israel and the establishment of the covenant with all nations, tongues and tribes; the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ over all the authorities of the earth; and the reign and rule of Christ and His Kingdom of Priests to the end of the salvation of the world.

That’s the Gospel of God concerning His Son; and all of that is what we are to remember when we come together for “Eucharist”.  We are to give thanks to Almighty God for the One Who takes away the sin of the world.