“And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.” (Revelation 11:13-14).
One can imagine the great consternation men and women will experience during the next sixty minutes. How would the beast (Antichrist) and his government explain this event? What great reasoning of minds must have plagued the unbelieving nation? However, before they could formulate a believable account for the next news hour, God sent an earthquake that shook the city to its foundations. This gave some added news to cover.
No doubt this is the same earthquake of the seventh vial in 16:17-21. A tenth part of the city fell and seven thousand people were killed. In Elijah’s day, seven thousand were protected from the beast, Ahab, and Jezebel. Here, seven thousand unbelievers who follow the beast were killed in a few minutes.
A remnant of Jews is terrified and they give glory to the God of heaven. This “wakeup call” may have brought about real repentance of some within the city. However, just because one is frightened and calls out to God is not evidence of true heart repentance. We have all heard of “fox-hole” prayers and “jail house” religion. God alone sees the heart and knows who is truly repentant. Matthew 7:21 says, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
The second woe is the sixth trumpet (v.14), and the third woe, which is the seventh trumpet, is coming quickly.
The Scene In Heaven —
The Sounding of the Seventh Trumpet (11:15-19)
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O LORD God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.” (Revelation 11:15-19).
he scene shifts back to heaven where the seventh angel sounds the seventh trumpet (v. 15). At the sounding of this trumpet, John describes a scene of jubilation and anticipation.
Voices, perhaps, like peals of thunder ring from heaven declaring that the kingdoms of this world have been conquered by Christ and have become His. This forward-looking scene is the fulfillment of God’s promises from Genesis 3:13 to the Second Advent. The kingdoms of this world are, at present, under the dominion and rule of Satan. He is the god of this world as described by Paul. “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:4). Jesus called him the Prince of this world. (See John 16:11; 12:31; Colossians 2:14-17; Romans 16:20; Revelation 20:10-15.)
It must be understood that the kingdoms of this world do not belong to Christ today, and have not since Adam forfeited them to the Devil. During the temptation of Christ, Satan offered these kingdoms to Him if He would serve him as second in command. He offered Christ a “constitutional monarchy.” Satan would establish the laws and Jesus would endorse and enforce them. He clearly stated that the kingdoms of this world were his and that he could give them to whosoever he would. (See Luke 4:6.) “And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.”
Jesus did not dispute Satan’s claim. It was true and will be until “the time of the Gentiles” ends. Jesus refused his offer. He knew His Father would give the kingdom to Him in due season. He overcame the temptation offered by the Devil. He was the Kinsman Redeemer and had the right of redemption as near kin, and the power of purchase. In Revelation 11:15-17, that season has arrived.
Jesus Christ will defeat Satan and reclaim His creation. His kingdom will remain forever. It should go without saying, that the kingdom mentioned here is not the church, the body of Christ. The kingdoms of this earth are political and earthly. The Kingdom of Heaven, over which Christ will rule, is also political and will rule on this earth with Christ as its King.
Israel is the object of God’s affection (vv. 16-17). The twenty-four elders are the same as those in chapter 5:4, and they are a symbolic representation of the governors of Israel. They appear as governors (Deuteronomy 31:28) and local magistrates (Deuteronomy 16:18). They represent the new government under the new King. They worship the Lord day and night. They serve God and represent Israel before the throne, as long as the nation exists. (See 1 Chronicles 24:1.)
The worship in these verses is in anticipation, and is stated as an accomplished event. The elders are praising God for what He is doing under the seventh trumpet and seven vials. Although it is written in the past tense, the completion is a few days off. Verses 17-18 says, “…because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.”
One may understand the passage by an illustration of a family held hostage. When the police arrive, the people cheer because help and rescue has arrived. If this is not convincing enough, perhaps an illustration from Scripture will do. In Isaiah 53 we read of events as though it were in the past, when in fact they were written over seven hundred years B. C. The acknowledgment recorded in the passage is yet in the future.
The first part of this verse is clarified in Psalm 2. The nations under the rule of the Antichrist spew out their wrath and hatred toward God and His Christ. They fight Him, to the last man, in the battle of Armageddon. Their resistance is vain and He that sits in heaven shall laugh at their attempt.
God’s wrath is poured out during the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation. However, His final wrath is at the Second Advent in Revelation chapter 19:11.
Some commentators think the judgment and the rewards spoken of here are a reference to the Great White Throne Judgment of Revelation 20:11. This, we believe, is not the case. We are told that there will be a judgment prior to the thousand year Kingdom of Heaven. The purpose of this judgment is to destroy Christ’s enemies and to give out rewards to His faithful servants. This judgment is referred to repeatedly in the Gospels, and to the seven churches.
In the Beatitudes, the “meek” inherit the earth. The first installment of that is the Kingdom of Heaven. In the Gospels those who would enter the Kingdom of Heaven are told that they would be rewarded when the King returns. (See Matthew 10:41; 20:8; 24:47; 25:21, 23; Mark 4:24; 10:30; Luke 14:14; Revelation 22:12.)
John sees the temple in heaven (v. 19), with the Ark of the testament inside. The purpose of this vision is to reassure the remnant of God’s faithfulness. They will be able to connect God’s mighty working with the Ark. There are five names given to the ark in the Old Testament.
1. The Ark of the Covenant. It contained the tables of
2. The ark of Testimony. It testified to God’s presence
3. The ark of God. It was a visible reminder of His
4. The ark of God’s Strength. Many mighty works are
connected to it.
5. The Holy Ark. It was where the mercy seat was
located, and their God met in holiness with Israel.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.