Revelation 11:15-19 Part 4


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 was foreshadowed and prophesied in the entire older Scripture, in the fullness of the time took on our humanity in order to sacrifice Himself for us.  He made the sacrifice; He was the sacrifice; and He was the One to Whom the sacrifice was made.  He is the One Who the sacrificial system and its priesthood foreshadowed.  He is the One Who entered one time into the Holy Place having made the sacrifice for the sin of the world.  He is the Savior and High Priest of all His creation.

The One Who was foreshadowed and prophesied in the entire older Scripture took on the form of humanity and was immediately recognized, by Gentiles, to be the One Who would be King of the world and Whose Kingdom would be forever and Whose Kingship all the kings and nations of the world would acknowledge.

The One Who was foreshadowed and prophesied in the entire older Scripture became man; and in seven kingdom parables He pronounced woes and judgments against the nation with which He had established the covenant.  And we are witnessing, in the text of the Revelation, the Royal High Priest and Judge of the nations executing the very judgments which He pronounced.

Also, in this text we see the twenty-four creatures – elders (presbyters) – arrayed in white garments, sitting on thrones before the judgment seat, having crowns on their heads.

This is the “sanctuary” of God in the heaven.  Israel – the twelve sons of Jacob – having been “saved” from bondage and baptized in the sea and the earthly recipient of God’s covenant, was to be the image of the sanctuary in the heaven.  The sanctuary in the heaven was to be the pattern for Israel’s existence and life and worship; and, by the Revelation of that sanctuary, the nation was to keep God’s holy Law-word and anticipate the Savior of the world – the One Who would be the Royal High Priest and Judge of all the earth.

The sanctuary – the throne-room judgment-seat of Almighty God – Father Son and Spirit – is the “pattern” for which all else is to correspond; for His sanctuary is where God’s glory is.  And all that He’s made is to reflect that glory. 

And Israel… its very existence was, itself, to be a foreshadowing of a future Kingdom of God’s creation which would more perfectly image that which is God’s sanctuary… and all for His glory!

In that sanctuary (as it is revealed in His Word), the Lord of Hosts is over all His created realm; below Him is the Ark of the Covenant/Judgment Seat with the four magnificent creatures (called cherubim) at its corners; the myriads of myriads (ten thousands times ten thousands) of angelic-messenger creatures that form a glory cloud beneath and around the sanctuary; and the twenty-four elder-creatures arrayed before the throne.

There’s the original; there’s the pattern for the created realm… the cosmos.  In the Scripture, as is revealed in Israel’s existence, is foreshadowed, prophesied, that which would come to be in the Savior of the World.  And He would prevail; all His enemies would be put under His feet; sin and the curse and death would all be defeated; He would then present it – finished – to the Father for His glory.  And it would all then be the image of that which is in the heaven.

This cosmos was created to “look like”… to “resemble”… to “correspond to” God’s throne-room sanctuary.  Once again, that’s where His glory is!  And His covenant with His created cosmos is for the purpose of reflecting that glory!

The nation of Israel, with its tabernacle and sacrifices and priesthood, was a “lesser” covenantal image of the heaven… one which foreshadowed the coming of the “greater” covenantal image of the heaven.  That’s why the newer testament writers say that there is now a “better” covenant in Christ – the Royal High Priest. 

Those who say that there are “two covenants” make a serious mistake in reading Scripture.  They say that the word “better” means “another”.  But it’s just not the case.

But Israel never believed that there was a better covenant to be; it never believed the One Who would bring in the “greater” (or “better”) covenant; it never believed that the covenant would include “Gentile nations”!  Therefore its foreshadowing and prophecy of the coming image of God’s throne-room sanctuary was terribly degraded.  And needless to say, it’s not a good thing to provide a corrupt image of God’s sanctuary!   It’s not a good thing to disavow the Savior of the world.

The Revelation of it all was given to that nation, but it never obeyed; it never anticipated the “Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world” (as John the Baptizer proclaimed).

In the text before us the entire host of Yahveh fills the sanctuary with loud and joyous sound as the seventh trumpeter trumpets; and the twenty-four elders give thanks that the mystery of God is fully accomplished; for the kingdom of the world of IS and WAS… IS BECOME. 

The One prophesied in all of Scripture has arisen out of death; He has ascended to the Holy Place; He has been crowned King of Kings with all authority in the heaven and upon the earth; He has assumed His great power – and He has PREVAILED!

Upon His ascent to the throne, Holy Spirit was poured out (at Pentecost) on the entirety of His Church; all of elect Israel has been marked and sealed and rescued; and the Church – the New Temple and the New Israel (the one most like God’s sanctuary) – is established in every nation on the earth.

The nations are enraged and, in an attempt to cut off the coming Kingdom of Jesus Christ, they lay siege to Egypt and Sodom (where our Lord was crucified); and the nation that has broken the covenant is about to cease to exist in an event the likes of which will never be repeated.

The Kingdom of Jesus Christ IS COME TO BE (according to the heavenly presbytery).  His wrath toward the nation that so ravaged the image of the sanctuary in the heaven did come (according to the continuing speech of the twenty-four elders – verse eighteen); the trial and judgment of the dead of Israel is revealed and prophesied to the Church in the first fourteen verses of this chapter; and the time has come to vindicate the prophets, and the ones kept for Himself Who feared His Name (both lowly and great); and it’s time to destroy all who have corrupted the land, and to leave their bodies in a wilderness to be picked clean by vultures and beasts.  And there would not be a stone left upon another of the desecrated temple.

This is the wrath of the Executor of the covenant… all of which was prophesied from Moses to the return of Elijah – John the Baptizer.

In the previous chapter, all the righteous ones who were pursued and persecuted and killed join in imprecatory prayer for the wrath of Yahveh to be poured out on this nation which had spilled the blood of the all the righteous from Abel to Zechariah, and which had so spoiled the image of God’s sanctuary.  And those prayers were presented at the altar of incense directly from the hands of Jesus the Christ of God.

And the High Priest and Mediator of the (better) covenant took the censer from the table of incense and filled it with fire and brimstone from the lake of fire beneath the altar and poured it out upon the land; and Israel was made a wilderness.  Those who had corrupted the land were themselves destroyed.  The wrath of the Royal High Priest and Judge of the earth came to be.  And the covenant for the salvation of the world now incorporated all the nations of the earth.  His Kingdom was established over all the mountains, for Mount Zion, the mountain of God, was thrown into the sea of Gentile humanity.

At verse nineteen of our text we find the summary of the covenantal significance of the temple and Jerusalem and the nation being destroyed and decreated at the onset of the new Kingdom of God and of His Christ.

The earthly temple (the one made with hands) is gone; so the true temple in the heaven is revealed to John.  And the true High Priest of His Church is the One Who mediates the newer and better covenant.

Listen to Hebrews chapter eight at verse one:


1)    Now in the things which we are saying the chief point is this: we have such a high priest, who sat down at the right at the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,

2)    a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.

3)    For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is necessary that this High Priest also have somewhat to offer.

4)    Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all (seeing there are those who offer the gifts according to the law;

5)    who serve that which is a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, even as Moses is warned of God when he is about to make the tabernacle: for, ‘See’, He said, ‘that you make all things according to the pattern that was showed you in the mount’.)

6)    But, now, He has obtained a ministry the more excellent, by so much as He is also the Mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted upon better promises.


So, as the writer to the Hebrews says, since the earthy temple and the priests who serve in the earthy temple are only “copies” of the original (and which only foreshadowed the true), they are of no more use, since Jesus Christ (Who is not even OF the Levitical family) has ascended to the Right of Majesty.

And John sees that true and original temple open (here in verse nineteen); he sees it open, since now there is a High Priest and Mediator of the Covenant (all prophesied in Moses and the prophets!).

The old Holy of Holies was closed to all except for one priest -once a year.  Nobody else was allowed (upon pain of death).  But now the old is destroyed (as declared by the elders here in the text); and the true Royal High Priest and Judge of His creation has entered once to sit at The Right; and all IN HIM now have free access to that Holy Place.  (You see, it IS a “better” covenant.)

And now, in that Holy Place (open to all IN HIM), is the Ark of the Covenant below the Glory of Almighty God… the Ark with its four glorious cherubim and the Law of God.  And John immediately hears and sees the (now familiar) sights and sounds of the Glory-cloud/Sanctuary of Yahveh of Hosts.

And let me remind you of those sights and sounds of the Presence of Yahveh in His wrath; for they are readily seen throughout the text of Scripture.

In the mighty Psalm eighteen there is the prophetic pre-figuring of the Christ Himself as He suffers.  Listen to it:


6)    In my distress I called upon Yahveh; to my God I cried for help.  From his sanctuary he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.

7)    Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations also of the mountains trembled and shook, for he was wroth.

8)    Smoke went up from his nostrils, and devouring fire from his mouth; glowing coals flamed forth from him.

9)    He bowed the heavens and came down; thick darkness was under his feet.

10) He rode on a cherub and flew; he came swiftly on the wings of the wind;

11) He made darkness his covering, his canopy (the glory cloud) around him, thick clouds dark like water.

12) Out of the brightness before him hailstones and coals of fire broke through his cloud.

13) Yahveh also thundered in the heavens, and the Most High uttered his voice, hailstones and coals of fire.

14) And he sent out his arrows and scattered them; he flashed forth lightnings and routed them.

15) Then the channels of the waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were laid bare at your rebuke, O Yahveh, at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.


Having read that prophetic pre-figuring of the Christ, and having remembered that Jesus Himself had said that all those who crucified Him would see Him at His Parousia in the Glory Cloud/Sanctuary from the heaven, there is no doubt in my mind that the sights and sounds of the wrath of God from His judgment seat were evident to all in Jerusalem as the rage of all the nations on earth was unleashed on that city.  And it ceased to exist.

And from that time there is a better covenant; and a new heavens and a new earth; and a new temple; and a new Jerusalem; and a new Israel.  For there is now a Royal High Priest and Judge of the nations Who made atonement for the sin of the world.

And while He is “at work” redeeming the kings and nations of the earth to the glory of the Father, His Church is to “gather”, “assemble”, “congregate” on the eighth day (the first day of the week), which was prophesied all through the text of Scripture (even in the fiftieth year jubilee), and fulfilled in the fiftieth day (Pentecost) after the crucifixion.

In the gatherings of men there are always those who are false teachers and false prophets and some who will not obey God’s Law-word and some who refuse to anticipate the finished work of the Christ.

The Church of Jesus Christ is more or less pure, according to its preaching of The Christ and the rock foundation of apostolic doctrine.  But the author of the letter to the Hebrews wrote to the Churches and told them not to neglect the assembly of the righteous (i.e. those IN CHRIST); for it is there that the gathering gives thanks and praise in the sanctuary.  And it is there that we hear of the mighty work of the Christ in saving the world to the glory of The Father.  It is there that Holy Spirit enlightens us and points us to the Savior and causes us to be built up in Him… in His virtues.  It is there that we IN HIM hear God’s Law-word that was confirmed and enhanced by Jesus Himself; and, having heard, we turn from what is evil before God and receive forgiveness.  It is there that we hear of our suffering IN HIM, and our burial IN HIM, and our having been raised IN HIM, and our ascension to the Right of The Majesty IN HIM.

We who are In Him are always In Him; however (as the Psalmist says), Yahveh is most glorified in the public gathering – the Church – meeting on the Lord’s Day.  That’s not to say that private worship is to be ignored (by no means); but that the public assembly most resembles His sanctuary in the heaven.  And it’s also public to the world order (which brings Him glory).

It is in the sanctuary that we meet with God and He meets with us – IN CHRIST, for He is our Savior and Advocate.  We are no longer in Adam, but our new heritage is IN CHRIST.  As His brothers, we have an entirely new family; for we were raised anew out of the family and heritage of Adam.  So now we have the freedom to come boldly and confidently into the Holy Place of God to offer holy sacrifices in the Name of Jesus Christ our Royal High Priest.  It’s the duty and privilege of His Church to do so.

Listen now to the apostle Peter as he writes these very things to the Churches in the nations in his first letter, chapter two:


1)    Putting away therefore all wickedness, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speech,

2)    as newborn babes, long for the spiritual milk which is without guile, that ye may grow thereby unto salvation;

3)    if ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious:

4)    unto whom coming, a living stone, rejected indeed of men, but with God elect, precious,

5)    ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ;

6)    because it is contained in scripture, ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: And he that believes on him (faiths in Him) shall not be put to shame’.

7)    For you therefore that believe is the preciousness: but for such as disbelieve, ‘The Stone which the builders rejected, the same was made the head of the corner’;

8)    and, ‘A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence; for they stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed’.

9)    But you are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that you may show forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light….


Peter says that we who are In Him are a holy nation of kings and priests!  (A royal priesthood.)

One of the many indisputable passages of the older Scripture foreshadowing this royal priesthood (the word “royal” means kingship, or kingly) is Psalm one hundred ten in which the Psalmist refers to Melchizedek the High Priest without beginning and without end.  His name means King of Righteousness; and he is said to be King of Salem, which means “peace”.  (The king of righteousness and king of peace is a “high priest”!)

Without question Melchizedek is the pre-incarnation appearance of the One Who would be the Royal High Priest of His creation.

The writer to the Hebrews says that He came out of Salem to meet Abraham; and Abraham (having been promised by Yahveh in a former appearance that he would be the father of many from all the nations)  (Abraham) gave Him a tithe of everything.  And what did Melchizedek bring out to Abraham?  Bread and wine. 

The pre-incarnate Christ of God – the Royal High Priest – brings bread and wine to the one promised to be the father of many nations!  Abraham and all his house ate and drank of the covenantal sign and seal of the Savior of the world!  And here is foreshadowed the royal priesthood of all believers in the Royal High Priest and Judge of the creation.

And now hear the words of the letter to the Hebrews that were scattered abroad in all the Churches.  It’s chapter thirteen; and it’s one of a number of places in the newer Scripture in which the priesthood in Christ makes acceptable sacrifices in our Lord’s new Holy Temple.


15) through him, then, we may offer up a sacrifice of praise always to   God that is the fruit of lips giving thanks to His name;

16) and be not forgetful of doing good, and of sharing (of your substance), for with such sacrifices God is well-pleased.


In your consideration of all of these things, be aware that these acceptable sacrifices are within the fellowship of the priesthood of believers.  And the word “sacrifices” doesn’t have the connotation that many give it.

For some, sacrificing means self-deprivation; and it makes folks feel good to deprive themselves in order to give to those who don’t have anything.  Nothing against “charity”, of course; but that’s not in view here in the text.  The context is the sharing of one’s substance with others in the priesthood of believers; and that’s an acceptable sacrifice before God. 

“Sacrificial giving” is not the point.  The “acceptable sacrifice” to God is the point….as in “giving thanks” is an acceptable sacrifice… as in ‘sharing the bounty of God with others in the brotherhood’ is an acceptable sacrifice… as in “the tithe” is an acceptable sacrifice.

So the “weight” of the Biblical requirement of “sacrifice” is to be removed from what is known as “self-sacrifice”; and it is to be transferred to, or replaced by, what is acceptable to God.  The emphasis is off of “self” and on “God”.  The priestly sacrifice to “to God’; and He defines what is “acceptable”.

Now let’s go further.  Here’s Colossians chapter two:


1)    If then you were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated to the right of God.

2)    Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are upon the earth.

3)    For you died; and your life is hid with Christ in God.

4)    When Christ, who is our life, shall be manifest, then shall you also with him be manifest in glory.


Then from first Corinthians two:


9)    …as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined what God has prepared for those who love him".

10) These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.

11) For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person which is in him?  So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

12) Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.

13) And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, comparing spiritual things to spiritual things.

14) The natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

15) The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself by no means to be judged!

16) "For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.


We IN CHRIST are to have the mind of Christ; for we are judges having been resurrected In Him and ascended to the Right of Majesty in Him.  And remember that we are to judge the world with the Word of God Who is the Royal High Priest and Judge; for should we judge by some other standard, then we’ll be judged by the standard with which we judged.  (That’s not a pretty thought.)

So we are to judge by HIS judgments – by HIS Word – by HIS Commands… not by our own; for we are to have the mind of Christ.  And if we have the mind of Christ, then we will judge by His mind.

Now listen to the apostle Paul as he wrote the second letter to Timothy, chapter two:


8)    Remember Jesus Christ, raised out of death, of the seed of David, according to my good news,

9)    in which I suffer evil -- unto bonds, as an evil-doer; but the Word of God has not been bound;

10) because of this all things do I endure, because of the elect, that they may also obtain salvation in Christ Jesus, with glory age-during.

11) Steadfast (faithful) [is] the Word; for if we died together (In Him), we also shall live together (In Him);

12) if we do persevere (in Him), we shall also reign (in Him); if we deny [him], he also shall deny us;

13) if we are not steadfast, he remains steadfast; for he is not able to deny Himself.

14) Be diligent to present yourself approved to God -- a workman without reproach, rightly dividing the word of the truth….


Once again there’s the apostolic doctrine of EN CHRISTO, which is all through the letters to the Churches.  Since we suffered in Him and were buried in Him and were resurrected in Him and ascended to the Right of Glory in Him, therefore we “reign” in Him, and we are judges in Him, and we present spiritual sacrifices as a priesthood of believers.

Since this creation belongs to Him, it also belongs to us In Him; since He is the Judge of all His creation, we too are judges In Him.  And since our High Priest has made the One Sacrifice for all His elect, we don’t have to make blood sacrifices; but there remain spiritual sacrifices to be made in His New Holy Temple… those acceptable to God.

He has brought out of JeruSalem the bread and the wine to His people in the nations – in Abraham.  We are those people in the nations.  And we feed on Him and remember all that He has done and all that He promised He would do.

And when we gather on the “eighth” day, we gather (assemble) as the royal priesthood and judiciary of His Kingdom.