Revelation 11:1-19


The Two Witnesses

Revelation 11:1-14

A graphical representative of some events relating to the temple of God in Jerusalem is located at the end of this file.


Verse 1-2 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. 2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. 

I.    This instruction is given to John. 

A.     John has previously been an observer of the events of Revelation, now he becomes a participant. 

B.     John was given a reed like a rod. 

1.       The reed probably speaks of a cane stick of a certain length. 

2.       The rod speaks of a walking stick, or a rod used to beat another person, or the sceptre of a king, used in judgment. 


II.    John is instructed to measure the temple of God; which temple? 

A.     Believers are the temple of God. 

1.       I Corinthians 3:16 affirms, Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. 

2.       II Corinthians 6:16 states, And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 

3.       I don’t believe believers are the temple of God referred to in Revelation 11:1, because worshippers (believers) are also measured. 

B.     This temple is not the temple during the millennium, or eternity, because there is no temple there. 

1.       It is not the temple during the millennium as Revelation 21:22 speaks of New Jerusalem by stating, And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 

2.       Revelation 11:19 reveals there is a temple of God in heaven, but this doesn’t seem to be the temple spoken of in Revelation 11:1, which appears to be in Jerusalem. 

3.       It appears there will be a temple in Jerusalem during the Great Tribulation, as II Thessalonians 2:4 states that Satan will sit in the temple of God, showing himself to be God. 

4.       There is no temple of God in Jerusalem now. 


III.    The temples in Jerusalem. 

A.     There have been three temples in Jerusalem. 

1.       I Kings 7-8 and II Kings 24-25 – The temple planned by David, built by Solomon and destroyed in 583 B. C. by Nebuchadnezzar. 

2.       Ezra 3:11-13 – The temple built by Ezra, Nehemiah and Zerubbabel which was destroyed by Antiochus Epiphanies in 168 B. C. 

3.       John 2:20 – Herod’s Temple, the temple standing when Jesus lived but destroyed by Titus in 70 A. D.

B.     There is no temple in Jerusalem today. 

1.       Acts 7:48-49 – Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,  49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? 

2.       God will allow the temple to be rebuilt so the Jewish people can see his grace and mercy toward them. 

C.     Since the capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in 606 B. C., Jerusalem has been continually under the control of the Gentiles until the “Six Day War” in June, 1967. 

1.       The Mosque of Omar presently stands on the temple site, a place sacred to many peoples. 

2.       The Mosque must be destroyed some day in order for the Jews to build a temple to God. 

a.       It is unclear how the Mosque will be destroyed. 

b.       There would be an earthquake or some other natural catastrophe. 

c.       The temple could be destroyed in a war. 

3.       II Thessalonians 2:4 states, Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 

a.       This passage refers to a time when the Anti-Christ kingdom shall be established. 

b.       For this passage to be fulfilled, there must be a temple in Jerusalem where the Anti-Christ shall sit and proclaim he is God. 

c.       In order for Satan to proclaim he is God, he will probably convince unbelievers he has killed God and taken over his kingdom. 


IV.    John is instructed to measure:

A.     the temple of God, (the holy of holies and the holy place)

B.     the altar, and

1.       It is significant there is an altar in this newly constructed temple. 

2.       Daniel 9:27 states the Anti-Christ will cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, therefore it must be understood that blood sacrifices and oblations shall be reinstated during the beginning of the Great Tribulation. 

C.     them that worship therein. 

1.       These are true worshippers of God, whether they fully understand or not. 

2.       It appears from Revelation 12:6, some Jewish believers will flee from Jerusalem to Petra, where they will safely hide for 1260 days or 3 ½ years. 

a.       Revelation 12:15-17 states that Satan will pursue the faithful of Israel, casting a flood out of his mouth in an effort to destroy them. 

b.       Daniel 9:26 speaks of this flood. 

c.       Revelation 12:16 describes the victory given to the faithful Jews, as the earth consumes the flood. 

d.       Revelation 12:17 confirms then the dragon will return to make war with the remnant of the seed of Israel, those who worship in the temple dedicated to God. 

3.       During that time the destroyed Mosque will be rebuilt as a temple to God, and at the end of that 3 ½ year construction, the Anti-Christ will sit on the throne dedicated to God, proclaiming he is God. 

4.       At that time, he will break his seven year covenant with the Jewish people, according to Daniel 9:27. 

D.     It seems obvious the measuring John does is not to discover the dimensions of the temple, the altar or the people. 

1.       Rather, the measuring seems to be to “measure” that which belongs to God and the Anti-Christ. 

a.       John is instructed to not measure the court because that will be trampled by the Gentiles for 42 months, which is 3 ½ years. 

b.       This will likely be the time needed to build the temple of God after the Mosque has been destroyed. 

2.       John measuring the altar points to Christ accepting the sacrifices the Jews offer, because they ignorantly offer in faith. 


Verse 3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. 

I.    There has always been a lot of discussion about who these two witnesses are: Moses, Enoch, Elijah, or the Apostle John. 

A.     Evidences for Moses. 

1.       Numbers 16:35 – Under his ministry, God destroyed 250 men by fire. 

2.       Comparing Revelation 11:6 to Exodus 7:19-20 – both Moses and the two witnesses turned water into blood. 

3.       In Matthew 17:3, Moses appeared, with a physical body, with Elijah and Christ at the Mount of Transfiguration.  

4.       Deuteronomy 34:5-7 records the unusual death of Moses while Jude 9 reveals the discussion between Christ and Satan concerning his body. 

B.     Evidences for Enoch. 

1.       Genesis 5:24 records, And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him, revealing that Enoch did not die. 

2.       According to Hebrews 9:27, it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. 

3.       It is logically concluded that Enoch must return to the earth, be killed as recorded in Revelation 11:7, so the scripture will not be broken. 

C.     Evidences for Elijah. 

1.       Comparing James 5:17 to II Kings 1:9-15, reveals the ministry of Elijah is similar to the two witnesses. 

2.       I Kings 18:36-38 reveals that Elijah had power to call fire down from heaven. 

3.       II Kings 2:9-11 and 17 reveals that Elijah was taken to heaven in a whirlwind, giving the appearance he did not die, as required of every man, Hebrews 9:27. 

4.       Matthew 17:3 states that Elijah, with a physical body, appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration with Moses and Christ. 

5.       Malachi 4:5-6 and Matthew 17:10-11 prophesies that Elijah must come before the Day of the Lord. 

a.       Matthew 11:14 clearly states that the prophecy concerning Elijah coming before the Day of the Lord refers to John the Baptist – the forerunner of Christ. 

b.       Therefore this argument for Elijah being one of the two witnesses is void. 

D.     Evidences for the Apostle John. 

1.       There is no evidence he ever died. 

2.       John 21:22-23 gives some indication (to some) that John might not die. 

3.       Revelation 10:11 specifically states that John shall prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.  [1]

E.      Other thoughts concerning the identity of the two witnesses. 

1.       Some say the two witnesses are Moses and Elijah as representatives of the Law and the Prophets, combined with the miracles they perform. 

2.       Some say Enoch and Elijah are the two witnesses, because they were both prophets of judgments and the only two men who did not die, but were taken bodily into heaven. 

3.       Some believe the two witnesses are two special prophets, not identified in the Bible. 


II.    If the identity of the two witnesses was important, God would have revealed their identity to us. 

A.     The importance of the two witnesses is not in who they are, but in what they are doing. 

B.     Jewish law required two witnesses for evidence to be considered as valid. 

1.       Deuteronomy 17:6 - At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.

2.       Deuteronomy 19:15 - One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. 

3.       II Corinthians 13:1 - This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. 

4.       Therefore God sends two witnesses as a final indictment against this earth, especially the nation of Israel, and to faithfully record the facts. 

C.     The 1,260 days. 

1.       360 days times 3 ½ years = 1260 days. 

2.       This time period is also described in Revelation 12:6. 

3.       This time period is the first 3 ½ years of the Great Tribulation. 


Verse 4-6 – These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. 5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. 6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. 

I.    Zechariah 4:1-6 gives understanding as to the strength of these two witnesses. 

A.     They receive their power directly from God, as they stand beside the holy place of worship. 

1.       Their receiving power from God is revealed in Zechariah 4:1-6 and Revelation 11:3. 

2.       The two witnesses are not personally vindictive, as they have the mind of God, not their own mind, as revealed in verse 6. 

B.     The means of how men will die who oppose the two witnesses is fixed by God. 

1.       Some would ask if the fire is literal that comes from the mouth of the two witnesses. 

2.       I think it is, and is a reflection of the power of God. 


II.    Fire from the mouth of the two witnesses is also something Satan will use to deceive the world into worshipping him. 

A.     Satan always duplicates the good gifts of God to deceive unbelievers. 

1.       II Thessalonians 2:4 states that Satan will sit on the throne of God, declaring that he is God. 

2.       It is my opinion that Satan will appear to have defeated God, revealed to the world when he kills the two witnesses who have “plagued” the world because of their continual stubbornness and rebellion against the message of God. 

3.       He will then establish himself as a god to be worshipped. 

B.     Exodus 8:19 is an example of a miracle Satan was unable to perform. 

1.       Exodus 8:19 states, Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said. 

2.       This is the miracle of lice. 

3.       If the time had been right, God could easily have allowed Satan to perform this miracle so the Egyptians would continue to be deceived. 

4.       It is amazing, but it didn’t make any difference to the Egyptians whether Satan could duplicate the miracle or not – they would not believe God, regardless! 


III.    The Principal of Power Manifestation

A.     In the very beginning of time, God manifested his power in a very great way, by creating this world in six days. 

1.       But since then, the miracles of Christ have been steadily decreasing in manifestation of power. 

2.       I am not saying that God has less and less power, for his power is always exactly the same. 

3.       I am saying that God is revealing less and less of his power as the end time approaches. 

4.       Satan is exactly the opposite. 

B.     As time progressed, the miracle manifestation by Christ has decreased and the miracle manifestation by Satan has increased. 

1.       On a scale of 1-10, with 1 as the lowest power manifestation, and 10 as the greatest, the revealed power of God was a 10 at the beginning of the world and will be a 1 as the tribulation begins. 

2.       Satan’s revealed power started out as a 1, but has steadily increased to a 10 as the tribulation gets closer and closer.

C.     About 2,000 years ago, at Pentecost, the believers spoke in tongues and the apostles did miracles and signs, but miracles and signs were not new in that day. 

1.       Mark 2:12 reveals that “somebody” was healing people before Christ. 

2.       Acts 19:13-16 reveals that exorcism was a fairly common practice. 

3.       Matthew 12:24 – When Jesus cast a blind and dumb demon out of a person, he was accused of using the power of Beelzebub, the prince of devils. 

4.       What we find is that Satan can, and does, perform miracles! 

5.       II Timothy 3:13 – Paul warned Timothy about the perilous times of the last days, telling him that ...evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 

6.       Matthew 24:24 – As the Great Tribulation nears, ...there shall arise false Christ, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 


IV.    Fire From Heaven and the Principle of Power Manifestation

A.     There are many examples I could use to show the principle of power manifestation, but to conserve time and space, I will use only the miracle of fire from heaven.

B.     Fire coming down from heaven has always been reserved for God alone, to show His power over all. 

1.       Genesis 19:24 - Fire and brimstone upon Sodom and Gomorrah.  There is no doubt that God destroyed these wicked cities because of their great sins against Him and each other.

2.       Exodus 3:2 - Moses seeing the burning bush that was not consumed.  A sign that God was in the fire.

3.       Exodus 9:23,24 - The seventh plague on Egypt.  Fire running along the ground.  Hail and fire mixed.  A sure sign that God is judging Egypt.

4.       Exodus 13:21, 40:38, Numbers 9:15-17, Deuteronomy 1:33 - A pillar of fire leading Israel by night, which is a sign of God’s authority and continual leadership over Israel.

5.       Leviticus 9:24 - Fire consuming the offering in the tabernacle, which reveals that God accepted the work of Moses and the people in building the tabernacle and in giving the offering.

6.       Leviticus 10:2 - Abihu and Nadab (sons of Aaron) destroyed  by fire from God for offering “strange fire” before God, which reflected it was not yet time for this “Satanic fire.”

7.       Numbers 16:35 - Fire from the Lord consumed those associated with Korah in his rebellion against Moses, who offered incense. 

8.       I Kings 18:38 - Fire consuming the offering in the days of drought in Elijah’s day, which proved that God was stronger than the false god “Baal.” 

9.       II Kings 1:10,12 - Fire from God destroying Elijah’s enemies, which certainly put fear in the hearts of unbelievers concerning God and His servant, Elijah.

10.   I Chronicles 21:26 - When David sinned in numbering Israel, God sent a plague of death on the Jews.  This was stopped when David offered an offering to God and God accepted the offering by sending fire from heaven to consume it.

11.   II Chronicles 4:1 - Fire in the days of Solomon marked the acceptance of the temple prepared by David and built by Solomon.

C.     The above Scriptures make it very clear that fire from heaven has been reserved for God’s particular use.  As the last days draw near, however, God will relinquish this miracle to Satan so people will be deceived.  Note the following Scriptures:

1.       II Thessalonians 2:11 - And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 

2.       Matthew 24:24 - For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were  possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 

3.       Revelation 13:13-14 - And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of  those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 

D.     Now, compare Revelation 11:5 - proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed, speaking of God’s two witnesses, with verse 7: the devil himself comes out of the bottomless pit to kill them. 

1.       This act supposedly shows Satan’s power over God’s servants and over God Himself. 

2.       The devil causing fire to come down from heaven in their sight (Rev. 13:13) deceives the unbelievers into thinking that he has defeated God and now God must do all Satan tells Him to do. 

3.       The Scriptures also tell us that Satan, God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. (II Thessalonians 2:4). 

4.       During the tribulation period, Satan will be allowed the miracle of fire from heaven to deceive the people who have refused Christ as their personal savior.


V.    Satanic Miracles. 

A.     There is a difference in the miracles of Satan and Jesus.  The miracles of Jesus were done in order to show that He is God and He is in control of everything; but Satan’s miracles, the Bible says, are always done in order to deceive.

B.     Satan’s miracles are always a mirror image of God’s miracles. 

1.       A mirror image reveals two things. 

2.       First, it is exactly the opposite of the real thing. 

3.       Second, it is a reflection of the real thing. 

4.       We have to look past the real image to see the image in the mirror. 

5.       We must see the real miracles of Christ, then look past His miracles, in order to see Satan’s miracles. 

6.       If we look at the miracles of Satan without first looking at the miracles of Jesus, we will probably be deceived into thinking Satan’s miracles are genuine. 

7.       Satan will always use something in order to reflect a true miracle, just as the mirror is not the real image, but a reflection of something that is real.  [2]


Verse 7-10 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.  10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.

I.    Satan cannot overcome the two witnesses until their time is finished. 

A.     This same marvelous truth applies to us. 

1.       Satan cannot defeat us until the time of our testimony is over. 

2.       Until that time comes, we must continue to be faithful to God in everything he gives us to do, never holding back, but completely trusting in God for all our daily needs. 

3.       God will always provide exactly what we need, when we need it. 

B.     The beast from the bottomless pit refers to Revelation 9:11, which states, And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. 

1.       Hebrew – Abaddon – " destruction"

a.       ruin, destruction, of the place of the ruined dead. 

b.       The name of the angel-prince of the infernal regions, the minister of death and the author of havoc on the earth and is rendered in the Greek Destroyer. 

c.       Greek – Apollyon – “destroyer", the angel of the bottomless pit. 

2.       Satan is king of the bottomless pit, but his power is limited to what God gives him. 

3.       The only reason God allows Satan out of the bottomless pit is so he can kill his two witnesses, which is a part of the eternal plan of God. 

a.       It seems strange to us that God would allow such a death to his two faithful witnesses, but we do not understand God’s eternal plan. 

b.       We like the part where the two witnesses are raised from the dead, and they ascend into heaven, because we call that victory. 

c.       We must understand that even when the faithful are killed, or die, they have the victory. 

4.       In Revelation 20:1-2, an angel put Satan back into the bottomless, where he will be confined for the entire millennium reign of Christ. 


II.    The method of Satan’s victory over the two witnesses. 

A.     He shall make war with them, which suggests an intelligent approach to conquering them. 

B.     He conquers them, which indicates the two witnesses fell into his hands in defeat. 

C.     He kills them, or takes their life. 

D.     He discards their bodies in open shame in order to reflect his victory over the two witnesses. 


III.    This city is none other than Jerusalem. 

A.     The various names given to Jerusalem. 

1.       Ariel, Isaiah 29:1. The name means “lion or lioness of God”, as being victorious under God, referring to the invincibility of Jerusalem when protected by God. 

2.       City of David. II Samuel 5:7 and Isaiah 22:9. 

3.       City of God, Psalm 46:4 87:3. 

4.       City of the Great King, Psalm 48:2. 

5.       City of Judah, II Chronicles 25:28.

6.       City of Truth, Zechariah 8:3.

7.       Holy City, Nehemiah 11:1. 

8.       Holy Mount, Daniel 9:16. 

9.       Jebus, Joshua 18:28, Judges 19:10.  An early name of Jerusalem. 

10.   Perfection of Beauty, Lamentations 2:15. 

11.   Salem, Genesis 14:18, and Psalm 76:2.  An ancient name of Jerusalem, later applied to poetry.  Salem is the oldest name of Jerusalem, then it was called “Jebus”, then Jerusalem. 

12.   fThrone of the Lord, Jeremiah 3:17. 

13.   Zion, I Kings 8:1, Zechariah 9:13.  II Samuel 5:7 states that Zion is the same as the city of David, which is Jerusalem. 

B.     Jerusalem is called Sodom and Egypt. 

1.       The Bible states this is a spiritual description of Jerusalem, so called because they have departed so far from the truth of God’s word. 

2.       It is a horrible thing when the people of God are identified, by God, with very, very wicked sinners. 

C.     The testimony of the two witnesses is toward the nation of Israel. 

1.       Many nations in the world will oppose their testimony, just as Herod opposed the preaching of John the Baptist and finally killed him. 

2.       The testimony of the two witnesses is not confined just to Israel, but to all those nations that are against Israel, therefore the world will rejoice when the two witnesses are dead, because they consider their preaching harmful to the welfare of the entire world. 

D.     Take warning, because this is exactly what the world thinks of Christianity. 

1.       If the world can only get rid of real Christianity, and substitute a fake Christianity, they think everything will be much better. 

2.       They are wrong, but they will never believe the truth. 


IV.    In days gone by, it was impossible to understand how it would have been possible for the world to view the dead bodies of the two witnesses as they lay in the streets of Jerusalem. 

A.     Today, however, it is easily understood as news is almost instantaneously transmitted throughout the world via satellite. 

1.       The decaying dead bodies of the two witnesses will not be buried, but will lay in the streets of the city, so all can view their dead bodies, rejoice, and anticipate the victories over God (that will never come, of course). 

2.       There is apparently no mourning over the death of these two witnesses, because these two have continually and faithfully been a witness against them, even “tormenting” them with their preaching and power. 

B.     Putting a dead body in a grave helps remove the thought of the dead from the immediate memory. 

1.       Genesis 23:4 – Abraham requested a burial place for Sarah, to put her out of his sight. 

2.       The fact that the people of the world would put up with the stench of a decaying body, rather than bury the bodies, reveals their continual joy and rejoicing because of their deaths, and their intense hatred for the people who preach the truth of God’s words to them. 


V.    This verse seems to indicate the all who dwell on the earth shall rejoice, indicating there are no believers on the earth at the middle of the Great Tribulation. 

A.     All the people saved during the Great Tribulation must have been killed at this point. 

B.     Some believe this time of merry making and gift sending occurs during the Christmas season, but there is no scripture that indicates anything of the sort. 

1.       Gift giving at Christmas time is nothing compared to this gift giving. 

2.       Many believe they are celebrating the birth of Christ at Christmas time, not understanding Christmas is a pagan holiday, changed by Catholics into a “Christian” celebration in order to include pagans in the fold of “Christianity”. 

3.       This gift giving has nothing to do with the present day Christmas gift giving, but involves merriment, rejoicing, and great relief because God’s two witnesses are dead. 

4.       There is no indication any sort of governmental law or decree is passed to initiate gift giving, rather gift giving is a natural urge of everybody as a result of the death of God’s two witnesses. 

5.       There is world-wide relief and rejoicing. 

C.     There is great rejoicing when Satan kills them. 

1.       Here is an odd thing, that should reveal the wickedness of Satan’s act. 

2.       It is not good to kill, but Satan thinks it is and the world thinks it is a good thing when people they disagree with are killed. 

3.       God desires sinners to come to him, confess their sins, and receive everlasting life, which is freely offers. 

4.       Satan desires to kill, maim and destroy. 

D.     World-wide rejoicing reveals the total depravity of unbelievers. 

1.       The word “torment” is interesting as it refers to the testing of materials to determine exactly what it is. 

2.       The word “torment” has to do with getting at the truth of the matter by means of extreme testing, or torture. 

3.       The two Godly witnesses put people to the test, not so they will see what they are “made of”, or that God will know, but that they people will be forced to determine which side they are on – of God, or of Satan. 


VI.    The rejoicing of the inhabitants of the world takes two forms: making merry, then sending gifts one to another. 

A.     Rejoicing indicates an exceeding gladness that fills the entire person. 

B.     Making merry indicates to put into physical action that which is felt in the heart, therefore there is open, not hidden rejoicing, and such rejoicing that causes funds to be willingly spend on gifts for others. 

C.     The true spirit of Christmas! 


Verse 11-14 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. 13 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. 14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly. 

I.    Just as the two witnesses had a particular job to do, and a particular way to die, and a particular time to die, so their dead bodies have a particular time span to lay in the streets of Jerusalem. 


II.    The Spirit of life from God enters into them. 

A.     Not just physical life, or life of the body alone, but the Spirit of life from God, as the life that God breathed into Adam when he was made a living soul. 

1.       In my mind, I see the still dead bodies of the two witnesses being viewed, when suddenly there is a stirring in the bodies, both stirring at the same time. 

2.       Both of the two witnesses rise to their feet in the view of those that stand by. 

3.       Cameras whirl, pictures are snapped, and news reporters grab their microphones in a rush to get this latest news to the world. 

B.     There was great rejoicing and making merry just 3 ½ days previously, but now the world is filled with fear and dread as the world watches these two witnesses stand upon their feet. 

1.       Such a thing has never happened before, even in these extra ordinary times, therefore the world is filled with great fear and wonderment. 

2.       The word “fear” can easily be expressed as terror – and terror as men have never known before. 

3.       Yet there is no repentance mentioned, there is no belief in Christ expressed. 

4.       Men are depraved, totally depraved, and without the leadership of the Holy Spirit of God, coupled with the preaching of the gospel of Christ, both of which have been rejected by the inhabitants of the world, there will be no repentance, no faith in Christ, no salvation. 

a.       It is too late to be saved. 

b.       It is too late to turn to Christ. 

c.       The eternal doom is sealed. 


III.    There is no doubt the two witnesses hear the voice from heaven calling for them to “Come up hither”. 

A.     There is little doubt in my mind that the world also heard the voice, but there is little doubt they understood. 

1.       As Paul heard and understood the voice of God in Acts 9:7, the people that stood by heard the voice (probably without understand the message) and saw no man. 

2.       John 12:29 reveals that when the voice from heaven spoke to Christ, some said it thundered, and others said an angel spoke to Christ. 

a.       Jesus expressed the voice was heard, not of his necessity, but for the sake of those that heard it. 

b.       It seems correct to state the inhabitants of this world heard the voice from heaven as a further means of their judgment. 

B.     The two witnesses ascent into heaven in a cloud, just as Christ ascended into heaven in a cloud. Acts 1:9. 

1.       Ascending into heaven in a cloud is further testimony the two witnesses are from God and go to God. 

2.       God allowed his enemies to see this great victory, yet not participate in the victory or have any joy in the victory. 

a.       It is too late for them, they have rejected too long. 

b.       II Kings 7:1-2, and 17 – Elijah prophesied the lord who said Elijah’s prophesy was false would see the victory, yet not partake in the victory. 

C.     Immediately there was a great earthquake and 1/10 of the city of Jerusalem was destroyed, 7,000 men slain, all the rest were frightened, gave glory to God, but none repented. 

1.       Here are unbelievers who realize they see a great miracle performed by God himself. 

2.       They cannot deny what they have witnessed, and give glory to God.  Yet they are not saved. 

3.       People are not saved by terror, but by faith in Christ, the free gift he gives, which allows unbelievers to trust in him. 

D.     The second woe involves all the events from the sounding of the sixth trumpet. 

1.       There is little respite when the seventh trumpet sounds, announcing a continuance of the plagues of God upon the earth during the Great Tribulation. 

2.       Men do not understand what they are facing on this earth, or in the eternal damnation that quickly follows.  [3]


The Sounding of the Seventh Trumpet

Revelation 11:15-19


I.    Introduction.

A.     The seventh trumpet includes everything from the middle of the Great Tribulation to the establishment of the eternal kingdom in the new heaven and the new earth. 

1.       Verse 15 is a synopsis of the detail given in Revelation 12-20. 

2.       Verse 18 will be completely fulfilled in Revelation 20. 

3.       The revelation of verse 19 will be revealed in Revelation 21-22. 

B.     All these events do not happen immediately when the seventh trumpet sounds, but events are established which will cause all these events to transpire. 


II.    All the events are future, but are related as if they have already happened. 

A.     In the mind of God, there is no past, present, or future. 

B.     As far as God is concerned, all these things have happened, but we live and operate in time, therefore we wait on them to happen. 


Verse 15  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.

I.    Many use these verses to prove the Mid-Tribulation rapture of the saints, stating this is the time when the saints are raptured out of this world. 

A.     The symbolism of the trumpet. 

1.       The trumpet is used for many different reasons, but it is always used to draw attention to a particular event, or to announce a change of direction. 

a.       Exodus 19:13, 16, 19, 20:18 relates the use of the trumpet on Mt. Sinai to introduce the presence of God. 

b.       Leviticus 25:9 – the trumpet sounded on the day of Jubilee. 

c.       Joshua 6 – the sounding of the trumpet announced God’s power when the walls of Jericho fell down. 

d.       Judges 7 – Gideon’s army used a trumpet to announce the triumph of God’s army against their enemies. 

e.       I Samuel 13:3 (King Saul announced to Israel that Jonathan had smitten a garrison of the Philistines), II Samuel 2:28 (Joab blew a trumpet to stop the battle between Israel and Judah) – The trumpet announced a change of plans, or method of operation. 

2.       I have given only a few examples of how God used the trumpet. 

3.       To link the seventh trumpet of Revelation 11:15 with the rapture reveals misunderstanding of the use of trumpets in the Bible. 

B.     The following three passages are linked together revealing the proper use of trumpets at the rapture of the saints. 

1.       Matthew 24:31 states, And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. 

a.       Many believe this passage speaks of the rapture, but Matthew 24:27,28 speaks of the rapture. 

b.       Matthew 24:31 speaks of the gathering together of all the saints of God at the beginning of the millennium. 

2.       1 Corinthians 15:52 relates, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 

3.       I Thessalonians 4:16 states, For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 

C.     Mid-tribulationists often associate I Corinthians 15:52 and I Thessalonians 4:16, stating the trumpet of those verses is the seventh trumpet of Revelation 11:15. 

1.       Their “logic” seems reasonable, but their misunderstanding of what a trumpet means in the Bible leads them to erroneous conclusions. 

2.       Many people also believe the church was organized on the Day of Pentecost, but they are a little short of the truth, as the church was organized by Jesus Christ during his personal ministry, not by the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. 

3.       Mid-tribulationists also forget verse 14 is directly tied to verse 15. 

a.       The seventh trumpet is the third woe, which is directly tied to two other woes. 

b.       All of these woes are linked together in sequence, and must not be taken out of sequence from the rest of the book of Revelation, including the opening of the seven seals and the sounding of the six trumpets which precede the seventh trumpet.  

c.       It is not possible to understand the scripture is we take our own meaning apart from the context of the passage. 

d.       It is also impossible to understand the book of Revelation if we take our own meaning apart from the context of the passage. 

D.     Compare Joshua 6 and Revelation 11:15-19. 

1.       God gave only one other place in the Bible where seven trumpets are associated with victory. 

2.       There were seven priests with seven trumpets in Joshua 6:4, 6, 8, and 13, and seven angels with seven trumpets in Revelation 8:2. 

a.       In Joshua 6, the victory was not given until the seventh day, but all the people had to obey God’s command in encompassing the city each of the previous six days, just as the kingdoms of this world are given to Christ when the seventh trumpet sounds, but it was necessary that all the events of the previous six trumpets be completed. 

b.       It must be understood that the victory of the seventh day is the result of many previous events.  [4] 


II.    The great voices out of heaven. 

A.     It must be noted at the beginning of this discussion that voices from heaven are rare. 

1.       There are some folks who seem to think hearing voices from heaven occur frequently. 

2.       The fact is that voices from heaven happen only on special occasions, and are at the epicenter of great events. 

3.       The times when God speaks from heaven occur because of the impending doom, or valuable instructions. 

4.       The modern charismatic movement is full of people who cling to special events, and special revelations from heaven, but the Bible is our revelation from heaven. 

5.       If men will not hear God’s word, they will not hear if they are given special voices, or special revelations from heaven. 

B.     Revelation 19:1 is the only verse that speaks of the great voice in heaven coming from people. 

1.       Revelation 19:1 states, And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: 

2.       Saints rejoice in the final victory of Christ over his enemies, and the eternal salvation he has so graciously given to them. 

3.       Comparing Revelation 19:1 (voice) with Revelation 11:15 (voices). 

a.       Acts 4:24 records the church lifted up their voice (singular) in prayer to God. 

b.       More than one person prayed, but because they prayed in unity, God heard only one voice. 

c.       I do not know who the voices in heaven represent, but it appears that God is speaking with voices, relating the plurality of the Godhead. 

C.     Verses that speak of voices from heaven that are not from saints. 

1.       Deuteronomy 5:22 - These words the LORD spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me. 

a.       Moses is here reminding the people of Israel of the time when God spoke to them from heaven when he law was given from Mt. Sinai. 

b.       Moses reminds the people that God did not add to the ten commandments, even though it might seem the rebellious people needed more commandments than ten. 

2.       Jeremiah 51:55 - Because the LORD hath spoiled Babylon, and destroyed out of her the great voice; when her waves do roar like great waters, a noise of their voice is uttered: 

a.       Babylon has two voices and God will destroy both of them. 

b.       The context of Jeremiah 51 reveals one voice of Babylon is the voice of power, as Babylon gives orders to the world. 

c.       The other voice from Babylon is the cry of misery when God destroys them. 

d.       This passage also speaks prophetically of God destroying pagan Babylon during the Great Tribulation.

3.       Revelation 1:10 - I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, 

a.       There is no doubt this voice belongs to God as instructions are given to John concerning what he is do with the vision he is receiving. 

b.       The voice of God is distinct from every other voice in the world, being impossible to not understand. 

4.       Revelation 4:1 – After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. 

a.       This verse does not use the words “great voice”, but the implications are present. 

b.       John heard the great voice, as of a trumpet, giving him instructions as to further actions. 

c.       The voice instructed John to do that which he could not do, but by the power of God, John was able to obey. 

5.       Revelation 11:12 - And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. 

a.       This passage speaks of the resurrection of the two witnesses whose dead bodies have laid in the streets of Jerusalem for three days and three nights. 

b.       Satan used fire from heaven to prove to the world he had defeated God, but the great voice from heaven and the resurrection of the two witnesses tell a completely different story.

c.       I wonder who heard the great voice from heaven. 

1)      Acts 9:7 – the men with Saul when the Lord saved him heard a voice, but did not obey because the voice was not speaking to them. 

2)      John 12:29 – When God spoke to Jesus Christ, the people that stood by heard what they thought was thunder, while others said, “An angel spake to him”. 

3)      Those who need to hear will hear. 

6.       Revelation 16:1 - And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. 

a.       Satan tried to convince the world, through the death of the two witnesses, that God was dead, but he lied – again. 

b.       God continues to execute his wrath upon this world by giving instructions to the seven angels to pour out the contents of their vials upon the earth. 

c.       God is still in control of this world. 

1)      God continues to give instructions to his angels to pour their vials of wrath upon the earth.  

2)      Satan continues to rage against God and the people of God, but God doesn’t change his method of operation. 

3)      Satan rages today, but God is in control, and continues to give his people power over Satan, as they obey every command of God. 

4)      God continues to instruct his people to do their job, regardless of how much Satan rages, or what happens. 

7.       Revelation 16:17 - And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. 

a.       When the seventh angel pours out the contents of his vial on the earth, God speaks again, informing all, “It is done.” 

b.       John 19:30 – When Christ had paid the sin debt, he cried, “It is finished.” 

c.       These words mean there is nothing yet to be done – all is over. 

8.       Revelation 21:3 - And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 

a.       This final proclamation from heaven informs all that the eternal kingdom of God is established. 

b.       All the wickedness which began in the Garden of Eden when sin came into the world is finished. 

c.       God rules with his people as he intended before sin came into the world.  [5] 


III.    The Kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of this world. 

A.     Why would Christ want the kingdoms of this world? 

1.       They are full of corrupt people, who do not want the Lord to rule over them. 

a.       These people have made all kinds of laws against God and his righteousness. 

b.       The nations of the world, as a whole, have done all they can to remove the idea of any higher power from their presence. 

2.       There is no difference in Christ wanting his kingdoms and Christ electing us to salvation and dying to secure that salvation for us. 

a.       Individuals are as corrupt as the nations, because individuals make up the nations. 

b.       Romans 3:10 is true, but Ephesians 2:4 is also true. 

B.     The scriptures would be fulfilled, which speak of Christ ruling this world. 

1.       Revelation 11:15 speaks of Christ openly displaying is great power in the presence of sin as he overcomes/judges all men. 

2.       Christ has never openly displayed his power for all to see before, but when this happens, it cannot be denied. 

C.     Four phases of the Kingdom of God, Christ, and Heaven (the same kingdom). 

1.       The present spiritual reality for individuals/churches. 

2.       The present spiritual rule of Christ over his creation in the presence of the power of Satan and his evil kingdom. 

3.       The future physical rule of Christ over his creation, the nations of this world during the millennium, in the midst of sin/rebellion. 

4.       The future physical/spiritual rule of Christ over his creation, the nation of the new heaven and the new earth after he has put down all sin/rebellion. 


Verse 16-18 - And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17 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.  18 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. 

I.    The twenty four elders worship God because of this great proclamation. 

A.     The twenty four elders are representatives of believers of all ages, their seats being their thrones, from which they rule, yet they get out of their seats to worship God, revealing their subjection to God, never making any mention of their God-given position. 

1.       We worship God because of who he is, not because of what he has given to us. 

a.       If we are given nothing, we can still rejoice in Christ. 

b.       If we only worship God because of what he has given to us, we will cease to worship him when we lose what we have. 

c.       Job worshipped God in plenty and in poverty, so should we. 

2.       Revelation 5:10 relates, And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth, yet they never mention anything they have done to deserve such a position. 

a.       They shall be kings – secular rulers; and priests – spiritual rulers. 

b.       They shall reign on the earth with Christ, yet they do not brag on themselves. 

3.       Matthew 19:27-30 – Christ assures the apostles of their eternal position, not because of what they have done, but because of what God has allowed them to do for his sake. 

a.       These promises do not produce pride, but humility. 

b.       When God fulfills these promises during this life time, we are all the more grateful to him, because we understand more clearly we have experienced the grace and mercy of God in these things. 

4.       Matthew 25:14-30 – Christ teaches the equality/fairness of his kingdom decisions based on the faithfulness of his subjects according to their ability. 

5.       Luke 19:11-28 – Christ teaches his disciples not to think he will immediately establish himself as King of Israel, but that the earthly kingdom was a while off. 

a.       In the course of this lesson, Jesus instructs his disciples to faithfulness because there is a judgment day coming. 

b.       A part of the meaning of the lesson concerns ruling with him over cities, according to faithfulness, based on ability, on this earth. 

6.       Matthew 13:22 – Have the cares of this world caused any to fail to be good stewards of God’s gifts? 

B.     They fall on their faces. 

1.       The physical act of falling on the face before another reflects an indefensible position. 

a.       The person falling on their face cannot act in their own defense because they would be completely unaware of any offensive action against them. 

b.       Weapons are not available because of the posture of falling on the face. 

2.       The physical act of falling on the face before another reflects total trust and reliance. 

a.       There is no way to see what the other person, or any other person, is doing; therefore no way of understanding any reaction to the action of falling on the face. 

b.       This reflects a complete submission to whatever comes next.  [6]


II.    The reason for their worship. 

A.     They give thanks. 

1.       We should get in the habit of thanking God for everything that happens to us, regardless of what it is, because nothing happens to us that is not good for us (in the long run!). 

2.       Whenever we face difficulty, we always pray that God will give us strength to endure the hardship before us. 

a.       I Thessalonians 5:18 – In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 

b.       Philippians 4:6 – We are commanded to pray in everything with supplication and giving of thanks if we are to receive the peace of God. 

3.       When the difficulty is behind us, it is always good to pray thankful prayers to God because he has given us power to be faithful.  

a.       II Corinthians 12:9 (verses 1-8) – If we truly thank God for whatever difficulty befalls us, we will continue to thank him if the difficulty is never removed from us, as Paul thanked God then rejoiced in his infirmities. 

b.       If we truly thank God for whatever difficulty befalls us, we will also truly thank him when he removes that difficulty from us. 

4.       The beginning of giving thanks to God is to remember he is the eternally self-existing one, as the twenty four elders remember. 

a.       Proverbs 13:12 – Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. 

b.       Since the beginning of the world, hope for the ruling Christ has been deferred, therefore there is great rejoicing, great relief, and great joy when Christ takes his power to himself and begins to rule as he has promised. 

B.     Because God is the eternal one. 

1.       God is here referred to as he “…which art, and wast, and art to come…”. 

2.       This phrase emphatically states that God never had a beginning, exists in the present, and will exist forever more. 

3.       It is marvelous to have a God that is eternal, will  never be defeated, and will always be compassionate to his people.  

C.     God has taken his great power to himself and has reigned. 

1.       All of God’s creation know God has more power than they have ever experienced. 

2.       When God exhibits his power and begins to reign, the desire of the people of God will be fulfilled. 

3.       Saints have watched the power of Satan manifest itself and have longed for God to destroy sin and the results of sins. 

4.       When saints see God exhibit his power, it will be a time of unparalleled joy. 


III.    The twenty four elders progress in their worship as we should progress in our worship. 

A.     Revelation 4:10-11 – The 24 elders worship because God has created all things for his own pleasure. 

1.       Revelation 5:8-10 – The 24 elders worship because Jesus Christ is worthy to open the seven sealed book because he gave his life a ransom for the unworthy and fulfills the promises given to them. 

2.       Revelation 5:14 – The 24 elders agree and finalize the worship of themselves (Revelation 5:8-10), the angels of heaven (Revelation 5:11-12), and every creature on the earth (Revelation 5:13). 

3.       Of all God’s creation, only humans can worship because of redemption. 

B.     In Revelation 11:17, the twenty four elders worship because Christ has taken his great power to himself and has reigned. 

1.       This is what has been eagerly anticipated and longed for. 

2.       This has not happened before, but will happen now. 

3.       The twenty four elders are not angry with the nations (but the nations are angry), rather are thankful Christ has revealed himself as the greatest power, and has finally reigned. 

C.     Revelation 19:4 record the worship of the twenty four elders at the close of the Great Tribulation. 

1.       It would be a great relief to actually see the promises come to pass. 

2.       There would be joy inexpressible when Christ actually takes his power to himself and rules.  [7]


IV.    Verse 18 – A recapitulation of the events to come. 

A.     The Bible is not making various categories of lost (and their judgment) and saved (and their rewards). 

1.       It might appear, at first glance, that the Bible makes two categories of judgment against the dead – those that should be judged, and those that destroy the earth. 

2.       It might appear, at first glance, that the Bible makes various categories of those that shall receive a reward – prophets, saints, and those that fear God’s name. 

3.       It is obvious the twenty four elders are rejoicing over the fact that God is now taking his great power to himself and in the beginning of his kingdom will “straighten out” all that has been in error. 

4.       There are two things mentioned that God will do when he establishes his kingdom on the earth: judge the wicked, and reward the righteous, whoever they are or whatever they have done. 

B.     Why were the nations angry?  (Notice the great division between those that are redeemed and those that are not Redeemed!) 

1.       Compare the past tense verb “…the nations were angry…” with the present tense verb “…and they wrath is come…”. 

a.       Anger often comes when we do not get our way, and the nations of this world have not gotten their way, therefore they are angry at God. 

b.       God did not immediately answer the anger of the nations, but gave them space to repent, but when they did not repent, they face his fierce wrath. 

2.       Luke 19:14 – But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. 

a.       In this parable, Jesus explained to his disciples that he would not soon be establishing his kingdom because the nation of Israel does not want him to rule over them. 

b.       This world would accept the rule of Christ IF that rule meant Christ would supply all their needs, and they would not be required to obey any of his precepts. 

3.       God has never done anything hurtful to any nation, but has been very good to every nation and person, but the sinful nature of men keep them from recognizing the goodness of God toward them. 

a.       God has provided every person in every nation, even evil nations, with everything they needed for daily existence: heart beats, breath, food, clothing; etc. 

b.       Matthew 5:43-48, especially verse 45 - That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 

4.       Psalm 2 describes the anger of the nations. 

a.       Verse 2-3 relates that world leaders assemble together for the explicit purpose  of deciding against God and his Christ in an attempt to break their bands and cast their cords away. 

1)      Bands and cords are those instruments of life, which connect all humans together. 

2)      This connection is part of the creation, and cannot be removed, yet unbelievers so hate their integral connection with God and believers, they unite together in an attempt to sever the connection. 

3)      Romans 1:20, which relates that all unbelievers understand the eternal power and Godhead of God, is a part of the makeup of all unbelievers, but they emphatically hate and deny that which they know is true. 

4)      This proposal by unbelievers is so outlandish and impossible that God laughs at them, and mocks their attempts to separate themselves from the realities of life. 

5)      Sin separates from God and the things of God. 

b.       There is no reason given in this Psalm for the anger of the nations; they simply do not want Christ to rule over them. 

5.       Psalm 83 describes the hatred of the nations toward God and the nation of Israel. 

a.       Verse 1-4 is a prayer for God to avenge those people who unite together to conspire against the people of God. 

b.       Verse 5-8 mentions 11 nations that have joined together in an attempt to destroy the tiny nation of Israel. 

c.       Verse 9-11 mentions 7 nations that have previously attempted to destroy Israel, yet God intervened and destroyed those nations and preserved Israel. 

d.       Here are 18 nations against Israel, yet they will all be destroyed by either tiny Israel, or the God of little Israel! 

e.       Verse 12-18 explain the victory is for the glory of God, not just for the preservation of the nation that belongs to God. 

1)      The anger of the nations extends to the people of God. 

2)      They are fully unified in their hatred, yet they will be completely defeated. 

f.        Verse 18 states that when all this is finished, all men will know that JEHOVAH is the most high God over all the earth. 

6.       The Bible, in this scripture, does not state God is angry, although it is the time of his wrath. 

7.       God’s anger is different from the anger of men, as God’s anger is completely just, good and right. 

C.     The wrath of God is come. 

1.       The wrath of God has been promised for 6,000 years, but has not come. 

2.       Ecclesiastes 8:11 states, Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. 

3.       Joel 3:9-17 speaks of the judgment of God in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, probably the Battle of Armageddon or of God and Magog. 

a.       The millions of this world will be drawn to battle against God, beating their plowshares into swords, and their pruning hooks into spears. 

b.       Verse 17 records all this will be done so the world will know it is God who dwells in the holy mountain of Jerusalem. 

c.       Zechariah 14:2-4 describes the assembling of the armies of the world against Israel while the remainder of the chapter describes their defeat and the establishment of the millennium reign of Christ. 

D.     The time of the dead (both saved and lost) that they should be judged. 

1.       The time to judge the dead. 

a.       The word “dead” properly speaks of those that have breathed their last, whether they are in heaven or hell. 

b.       Putting this word in context, however, seems to speak of those that are spiritually destitute of life, especially those that are alive at this point, and who face the fire of God’s wrath, as related in I Thessalonians 1:8. 

2.       The time to give reward to all believers and faithful servants. 

a.       The various positions of the righteous. 

1)      The prophets of God – these have faithfully prophesied what God revealed to them. 

2)      The saints of God – these are saved people, some more faithful than others, but all saints will be judged righteously in love and mercy. 

3)      Them that fear the name of God, both small and great – another description of believers, as all prophets and saints fear the name of the Lord. 

b.       The time of rewards spoken of in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:19-30) and the parable of the pounds (Luke 19:15-26) has finally come. 

3.       The time has come for God to destroy those who would destroy the earth. 

a.       Genesis 1:26-28 – God gave man the authority and responsibility to have dominion over the earth, and God will bring every man into account for how he has used or abused this authority. 

b.       Any person who has resisted man’s God-given authority over this earth will be destroyed. 

c.       Environmentalists are correct when they say every person is responsible to take care of the earth we live on, but they are incorrect when they state the earth is more important than humans, or we should not use the natural resources God has so richly provided.  [8]


Verse 19  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. 

I.    In Revelation 6:12-17 the sixth seal is opened and the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together. 

A.     A full discussion of the heaven departing as a scroll when it is rolled together is found in my notes on Revelation 6:14.  A partial discussion is given here. 

1.       When a scroll is rolled together, it becomes narrow and reveals whatever is behind it. 

2.       God has hidden his throne from the very beginning of this world, but will reveal his throne in the end of this world, therefore men will have no excuse. 

a.       Job 26:7-9 states, He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing. 8 He bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them. 9 He holdeth back the face of his throne, and spreadeth his cloud upon it. 

b.       Psalms 104:1-2 repeats, Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. 2 Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: 

c.       Psalms 18:11 states, He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. 

B.     Revelation 11:19 states it is the temple of God in heaven that is opened, not heaven; because heaven is already opened. 

1.       According to Revelation 6:14, men were able to look into heaven when the sixth seal is opened and they know the wrath of God is upon them. 

2.       In Revelation 6:16, men call for the rock and mountains to fall on them to hide them from the wrath of God and the Lamb. 

3.       As the events of the Great Tribulation unfold, men are able to see more and more of God and his coming wrath, yet none of these things move them to repentance. 

C.     This temple of God in heaven is the same temple viewed by Moses when he received instructions to build the tabernacle, “according to the pattern”. 

1.       Hebrews 8:5 states, Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. 

a.       Psalms 11:4 confirms God’s temple in heaven, The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. 

b.       Revelation 14:17 relates the judgments of God comes from the temple in heaven, And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 

c.       Revelation 16:17 relates the temple is still in heaven at the Battle of Armageddon,  And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. 

2.       It is evident when the temple of God is opened in heaven that the inhabitants of the earth will be able to see it, plus the ark of his testament.  Even if the inhabitants see the truth, they will not agree with it, nor do they like it. 


II.    Definitions.

A.     Table of the Testimony – The stone tablets upon which the Ten Commandments are written. 

1.       Exodus 31:18 – And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God. 

2.       Exodus 32:15-16 – And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. 16 And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee. 

3.       Exodus 34:29 reveals the testimony is the stone tablets containing the ten commandments, And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. 

4.       Deuteronomy 10:1-5 relates that Moses made an ark of shittim wood which he took to the top of Mt. Sinai, in which he placed the replacement stone tables containing the Ten Commandments. 

a.       Exodus 25:10-16 gives instructions for making an ark of shittim wood, overlaid with gold, which would contain the two tables of the Ten Commandments. 

b.       There is no mention whether the ark of Deuteronomy 10:1-5 is the same as described in Exodus 25:10-16, a “remodeled” one, or a different one. 

c.       It is likely they are the same, but there seems to be no way of knowing for sure. 

d.       One thing we know for sure: God is instructing Moses through symbolism the only way to keep the Ten Commandments is through Jesus Christ, who is represented by the ark of shittim wood, even if that ark is not overlaid with gold. 

B.     The Ark of the Testimony – The wooden box covered with gold which contains the table of the testimony, the manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded. 

C.     The book of the law – A book written by Moses that was placed in the side of the ark. 

1.       Deuteronomy 31:26 (verse 24-26) states, Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee. 

a.       Some believe this “book of the law” is the book of Deuteronomy while others believe it is the entire Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible (which seems more probably to me). 

b.       The “book of the law” is placed in the side of the ark of the covenant, which appears to be beside the ark, not inside the ark. 

c.       This “book of the law” is written by Moses and contains more detail instructions of righteousness and condemnation than the Ten Commandments. 

2.       II Kings 22:8 – the book found by Hilkiah the High Priest in the days of Josiah. 

a.       The reaction of King Josiah to the reading of the law of God in II Kings 22 and 23 reveal there was much more to the “book of the law” than the Ten Commandments, as he understood about the Passover and many other of God’s commandments. 

b.       The reaction of King Josiah and the things he did after he read and understood God’s will reveals the extend of ignorance of true religion in that day. 


III.    There are many pieces of furniture in the temple, but only the ark of the testimony is mentioned. 

A.     Some of the articles in the temple. 

1.       Lamp stand. 

2.       Brazen altar. 

3.       Candlestick. 

4.       Altar of Incense. 

B.     Why is the ark of the testimony the only item mentioned? 

1.       Exodus 25:22 – This is where God meets with men.  And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel. 

2.       Men must deal with God, whether they are ready or not, or whether they choose to or not. 

3.       The context of Exodus 25 reveals God has prepared this place for communication. 

a.       God prepared the Ark of the Covenant, which contains his law, mamma (his daily provision of grace), and Aaron’s rod that budded (his authority). 

b.       God also prepared the mercy seat (typifying his mercy) surrounded by the winged cherubims (representing his unspeakable majesty and power). 


IV.    There are three items inside the ark of the testimony as revealed in Hebrews 9:3,4 – And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; 4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; 

A.     The pot of manna – Exodus 16:33,34 –, And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the LORD, to be kept for your generations. 34 As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept. 

1.       The pot of manna represents God’s gracious provision of food for the nation of Israel during their wilderness wanderings. 

2.       When Israel could not provide for themselves, God graciously provided for them. 

3.       When Israel did not deserve for God to provide for them, because of their rebellion against him, God continually provided daily food and physical necessities. 

4.       These things are a symbol of God’s marvelous grace that is available to all, when nothing is deserved. 

B.     Aaron’s rod that budded – Numbers 17:10 – And the LORD said unto Moses, Bring Aaron’s rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not. 

1.       Aaron’s rod that budded is a symbol of God’s authority to control the affairs of men, even intervening in their rebellion to force obedience to his statutes. 

2.       When men see inside the ark of the covenant during the last days of the Great Tribulation, they will see God’s authority to rule over them, even intervening in their affairs, because he has eternal authority. 

C.     The table of testimony which is described above. 

D.     The book of the law is not inside the ark of the testimony, but placed beside it, as described above. 


V.    This is the place where God meets with man – Exodus 25:22 states,  And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel. 

A.     The mercy seat is separate and distinct from the Ark of the Covenant. 

1.       Instructions for building the Ark of the Covenant:  Exodus 25:10-16. 

2.       Instructions for building the mercy seat:  Exodus 25:17-22. 

B.     When God meets with men without the mercy seat on the Ark of the Covenant, there are terrible consequences. 

1.       Men see the law of God without the mercy seat covering of blood bought forgiveness, grace and love. 

2.       Men see the manna, symbolic of God’s eternal spiritual food (sustenance), grace and blessings, when it is impossible for men to provide for themselves, because of their stubborn rebellion. 

3.       Men see Aaron’s rod that budded, the symbol of God’s authority to rule in the affairs of men. 

C.     There is no mention of the mercy seat in Revelation 11:19, therefore we know the world is facing the wrath of God without any mercy. 

1.       I Samuel 6:19 states, And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter. 

2.       The Philistines faced great suffering when they captured the ark of the Covenant and removed the mercy seat in order to look inside. 

3.       God judged them and they did not know what to do, certainly they did not know to repent, nor did they repent. 

4.       Instead they faced the judgment of God and suffered the consequences of removing the mercy seat and looking into the perfect law of God and the blessings of God. 

5.       They saw the law of God, God’s continuing provision of grace, and God’s authority; without the mercy of God, therefore endured the wrath of God.  [9]


VI.    There are lightings, voices, thunderings, an earthquake, and a great hail, but there is no mention of any repenting. 

A.     This is the only scripture in the entire Bible where all five of these plagues appear in the same verse.  When these things take place, it will be too late for repenting, as “…now is the accepted time”. 

1.       The significance of these five things all happening at once is that the final judgment of God is come. 

2.       God’s wrath has always been “tempered”, but in the last days, there will be no tempering of his wrath. 

3.       A condensed study of each of these five things will reveal that God exhibits himself and his judgment to this world, yet they refuse to repent and believe. 

4.       There are hundreds of passages that use some of the five things to reflect the judgment of God. 

B.     There is a difference between God’s chastisement and God’s judgment in wrath, just as there is a difference between parents chastising their children and abusing them with beatings. 

1.       Deuteronomy 28:22 – Moses warns Israel of God’s chastisement if they will not hearken to his voice (verse 15).  Deuteronomy 28:22 states, The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish. 

2.       I Kings 8:35 – When Solomon dedicated the temple, some of his prayer reveals how God will chasten Israel when they depart from God’s eternal truths.  1 Kings 8:37 emphasizes, If there be in the land famine, if there be pestilence, blasting, mildew, locust, or if there be caterpiller; if their enemy besiege them in the land of their cities; whatsoever plague, whatsoever sickness there be; 

3.       Amos 4:9 reveals God’s chastisement, yet Israel did not heed.  I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. 

4.       Haggai 2:17 repeats how God chastened Israel, yet they did not return to him.  I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands; yet ye turned not to me, saith the LORD. 


VII.    God’s judgment in wrath. 

A.     Lightings.

1.       If we take significance in the sequence of events, lightning is first, then voices, then thunderings. 

2.       Exodus 19:16, 20:18 speaks of lightning on Mt. Sinai when the law of God was given to Israel. 

3.       In Job 38:35 God informs Job that he is in charge of lightning.  Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, Here we are? 

4.       Psalms 77:18 states, The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook.  As physical lightnings lighten the earth, so this “spiritual” lightning lightens and terrorizes the soul of rebellion men. 

5.       Revelation 4:5, 8:5, and 16:18 relate the lightning of God’s wrath, to which men will not submit. 

B.     Voices.

1.       A few of the many Bible verses reveal these are multiple voices, not just a few. 

a.       Judges 21:2 – And the people came to the house of God, and abode there till even before God, and lifted up their voices, and wept sore; 

b.       1 Samuel 11:4 – Then came the messengers to Gibeah of Saul, and told the tidings in the ears of the people: and all the people lifted up their voices, and wept. 

c.       Luke 17:13 – And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 

d.       Luke 23:23 – And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed. 

2.       It seems these voices come from heaven and declare the greatness of God and the righteousness of his wrath. 

a.       Revelation 11:15 – 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. 

b.       Revelation 16:18 – And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. 

C.     Thunderings. 

1.       Exodus 9:28 – Intreat the LORD (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer.  The mighty thunderings and hail convinced Pharaoh he should obey the Lord, but not the rebellious people during the Great Tribulation. 

2.       Exodus 20:18 – And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.  The mighty thunderings on Mt. Sinai convinced the Israelites of God’s great majesty, but made them afraid instead of giving them confidence. 

3.       Revelation 4:5 states there were thunderings surrounding the throne of God. 

4.       Revelation 8:5 records the thunderings when the seven angels prepare to sound their trumpets. 

5.       Revelation 19:6 describes the voice of mighty thunderings when God is revealed as the eternal king.  

D.     Earthquake. 

1.       Isaiah 29:6 prophesies that when God visits Jerusalem with judgments, they will be accompanied with earthquakes. 

2.       Zechariah 14:5 compares the fleeing of Israel from the Lord at his second coming as when they fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah. 

3.       Matthew 24:7 prophesies earthquakes as a sign of the end times. 

4.       Matthew 27:54 records an earthquake occurring when Christ died on the cross. 

5.       Matthew 28:2 notes an earthquake happened when the angel rolled the stone away from the tomb of Christ. 

6.       Acts 16:26 reflects the power of Christ when the earthquake occurred and the foundations of the prison was shaken when the Philippian jailer was saved. 

7.       Revelation 6:12 tells of the earthquake when the sixth seal was opened. 

8.       Revelation 8:5 informs of the earthquake before the sounding of the seven trumpets. 

9.       Revelation 16:18 prophesies of the greatest earthquake the world has ever known when Pagan Babylon is finally destroyed. 

E.      Hail is often used to reflect the power of God or his great wrath. 

1.       Exodus 9:18-34 reflects the power of God revealed in the land of Egypt by great and terrifying, destroying hail. 

2.       Psalms 18:12-13, 78:47-48, 105:32, 148:8 speak of God revealing himself through hail. 

3.       Isaiah 28:17 reveals that God will use hail to sweep away the refuge of lies. 

4.       Haggai 2:17 states that God will smite Israel with blasting, mildew and hail because they have reject him. 

5.       Revelation 8:7 states that hail accompanies the sounding of the first trumpet. 

6.       Revelation 16:21 records hailstones weighing a talent (between 50-125 lbs, according to which standard is used), but men do not repent. 

[1] Preached to here 1-14-2009 IBC Wednesday Evening

[2] Preached generally verses 3-7 Olmstead Baptist Church, January 23, Friday evening, Jim Duke, Pastor. 

[3] Preached to here 01/28/2009 IBC Wednesday Evening

[4] Preached to here 02/11/2009 IBC Wednesday Evening

[5] Preached to here 02/18/2009 IBC Wednesday Evening

[6] Preached to here 02/25/2009 IBC Wednesday Evening

[7] Preached to here 03/04/2009 IBC Wednesday Evening

[8] Preached to here 03/18/2009 IBC Wednesday Evening

[9] Preached to here 03/25/2009 IBC Wednesday Evening