Revelation 11:15-19

Sunday Morning Bible Study

February 19, 2012


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision

The apostle John found himself caught up into heaven before the throne of God.

He saw Jesus take a scroll from the hand of God that had been sealed with seven seals.

As Jesus broke each seal and unrolled the scroll a little further, events begin to take place on the earth and the time that we call the Tribulation begins to unfold.

The Tribulation is a time when God’s wrath is poured out on an unbelieving world and God begins to make right all the things that have been so wrong.

Built within the seventh seal are seven trumpets.

We have now reached the moment for the seventh trumpet to sound.

11:15-19 Thy Kingdom Come

:15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”

:15 soundedsalpizo – to sound a trumpet

:15 kingdomsbasileia – royal power, kingship, dominion, rule

:15 have become

Wuest:  The kingdom of the world has come into the possession of our Lord and His Christ

:15 reignbasileuo – to be king, to exercise kingly power, to reign

:15 foreveraion – forever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity

:15 The kingdoms of this world

To understand this, we need to understand the history of the kingdoms of this world.

Originally, God created the earth and gave it to man to rule over (Gen. 1:26).
When man sinned in the Garden of Eden, Satan became king. (Gen. 3)
Ezekiel describes this king:
(Eze 28:14–15 NKJV) —14 “You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. 15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.
Jesus called Satan “the prince of the world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11).
He was the one who made this offer to Jesus:
(Lk 4:5–8 ESV) —5 And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6 and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. 7 If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “ ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’ ”
And now the voices are declaring that the kingdom has changed hands.


Voices of faith

Within the seventh seal were seven trumpets.  Within the seventh trumpet will be seven bowl judgments.
We think that chronologically we are somewhere about the middle point of the Tribulation period.  There are still plenty of things ahead.
The antichrist will reveal himself as evil incarnate somewhere around this point.
The world still has to get to the real Armageddon.
But in heaven they are declaring that the game is over and God has won.
And they even respond in praise.
Does God have things under control?  Is God at work in your life, even when things look grim?
Burning Hut
The only survivor of a shipwreck washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions. But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had  happened; everything was lost. He was stung with grief and anger. “God, how could you do this to me!” he cried.
Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. “How did you know I was here?” asked the weary man of his rescuers. “We saw your smoke signal, they replied.

We need to learn to offer up a “sacrifice of praise” even when we don’t understand how things are to work out.

Just as these voices are proclaiming God’s kingdom in the middle of the Tribulation, I think that God would like for us to learn to proclaim His kingdom in the middle of our world.  Listen to the words of this song …
Play Hallelujah Flash Mob video

:16 And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God,

:16 beforeenopion – in the presence of, before

:16 satkathemai – to sit, be seated, of a place occupied

:16 thronesthronos – a throne seat; a chair of state having a footstool

:16 fellpipto – to descend from a higher place to a lower; to fall down; to be prostrated, fall prostrate

:16 facesprosopon – the face

:16 worshipedproskuneo – to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence; among the Orientals, esp. the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence; in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication

:17 saying: “We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.

:17 give … thankseucharisteo – to be grateful, feel thankful

:17 Almightypantokrator (“all” + “power”) – he who holds sway over all things; the ruler of all

:17 is to comeerchomai – to come

Present participle.  “The one who is coming”

We might think that this is a future tense (“who will come”), but it’s present tense (“who is coming”)

This phrase isn’t in most translations (textual issue)

:17 who is and who was and who is to come

We saw back in chapter 4 the cherubim also refer to God this way:

(Re 4:8 NKJV) —8 The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!”

This speaks of God’s timelessness.  He has always existed.  He always is.

:17 have takenlambano – to take; to receive

Perfect tense – taken in the past and continue to have it in the present.

:17 powerdunamis – strength, power, ability

:17 greatmegas – great

:17 reignedbasileuo – to be king, to exercise kingly power, to reign

:17 taken … power … reigned

This is why the elders are giving thanks to God.

God doesn’t just have great power, He uses it.  He reigns with it.  He exercises His authority.

How has God taken His power and reigned?

We’ve seen it done through earthquakes, droughts, demonic locusts,  etc.
God has been demonstrating His power in the difficult times.
That’s how heaven sees it.

:16 fell on their faces

This was how the elders expressed their worship of God, on their face.


Mature worship

These individuals are called “elders”.  That means that they are old, they have position, they are important, they are mature.
These are not new believers.  They are not young converts.  They are “elders”. 

They aren’t just “mature” in the eyes of other men, they are “elders” in the eyes of heaven.

What does worship look like, coming from truly “mature” believers?

These “mature” individuals have an interesting habit.

They are always falling down before God.

Look at how they consistently express their adoration of God:
(Re 4:10 NKJV) the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne…
(Re 5:8 NKJV) Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb…
(Re 5:14 NKJV) Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.
(Re 7:11 NKJV) All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,
(Re 19:4 NKJV) And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, “Amen! Alleluia!”
Have you ever been in a place full of people when a very important person walked into the room?
What happens?  Don’t people start turning towards that important person.  Don’t people whisper to each other and point to that person?  Isn’t everyone’s attention in the room directed towards that person?

What would happen if you heard the door in the back of the room open and shut and you heard me call out to:  Albert Pujols?  Whitney Houston?

And yet there is Someone here right now who is far greater than any other.  Did you notice when He entered the room?

Does it make you tremble to think that God is here right now?

Some of us are a bit embarrassed when it comes to worship.
Some of us would never dare to raise our hands in church to God.
Some of us barely sing above a whisper because we’re embarrassed about our voice.
Sometimes the problem is that we are more concerned about what other people are thinking than we are with having God be the center of our attention.
Mature worship puts God in the center.  Mature worship responds to God.

:18 The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth.”

:18 nationsethnos – a multitude; a tribe, nation, people group

:18 were angryorgizo – to provoke, to arouse to anger; to be provoked to anger, be angry, be wroth

Aorist passive

:18 has comeerchomai – to come


:18 wrathorge – anger exhibited in punishment, hence used for punishment itself

:18 timekairos – time; a measure of time, a larger or smaller portion of time; a fixed and definite time; opportune or seasonable time

:18 should be judgedkrino – to judge

:18 should rewarddidomi – to give; to give something to someone

:18 rewardmisthos – dues paid for work; wages, hire; reward

:18 should destroy … destroydiaphtheiro – to change for the worse, to corrupt; to destroy, ruin

:18 The nations were angry

This reminds me of:

(Ps 2:1–5 NKJV) —1 Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, 3 “Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.” 4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. 5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure:

In Psalm 2, God responds to the anger of the nations with His own anger.

:18 has come …

In our passage, God responds to the wrath of the nations with four things that have “come”

1. God’s wrath

The nations expressed “wrath” (same Greek word), and God returns the favor.
The Tribulation period is the time of God’s “wrath”.  He will be giving the earth what it deserves.  He will be making things right.

2. Judging the dead

No one will escape God’s judgment.
Everyone will one day stand before God – more when we get to Rev. 20.

3. Rewards

While some will be judged with eternal punishment, there will be others who will receive rewards for what they’ve done with their lives. 

:18 You should reward Your servants


Earning Rewards

It’s a good thing to earn “rewards”
If you watch TV commercials, you have been learning about earning “rewards”
Play Jimmy Fallon Rewards commercial
Play Kylie watching herself clip.
To be honest, some of us are like little Kylie, and we act as if we don’t want “rewards”.  We think that somehow it’s wrong or unspiritual for us to be thinking about the rewards that God will give us.

But that’s not the way that Jesus saw it.

Jesus talked about rewards as an incentive to serve Him.
(Mt 25:14–21 NKJV) —14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.

“Talents” are an ancient form of money – about 75 lbs. of gold.

 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

Don’t be like little Kylie and think that you don’t need “rewards”.

God pays a good wage for a day’s work.

I’m longing for that day that I might hear Him say, “Well done”.

Paul used the idea of rewards to remind us that it will all be worth it when we get to heaven.
(2 Co 4:16–18 NKJV)16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Eternal weight of glory” is a good thing.  It’s a reward.

There will be a day when everything you’ve suffered through will pay off.

4. Destroying the destroyers

When God created the heavens and the earth, He entrusted mankind to take care of His creation.
(Ge 1:26 NKJV) Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
God’s plan was for man to take care of the planet that He created.
Some of us get caught up in politics and start looking at things as a Democrat or a Republican.

Being concerned about the environment is something that we all need to be concerned about, whether you’re a Democrat or Republican.

God is also concerned about the environment.  He’s put us in charge of it.

He will one day “destroy” those who have “destroyed” the earth.

:19 Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.

:19 was openedanoigo – to open

Aorist tense.

Is this referring to the veil between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies?

Could this be connected to what Jesus did on the cross?

:19 the templenaos – not the entire courtyard around the Temple complex, but just the building itself consisting of the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies.

In our daily reading we’ve been learning about the design of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, which was designed based on the actual Temple in Heaven.

:19 seenhorao – to see with the eyes; to see with the mind, to perceive, know

Aorist tense.

:19 the arkkibotos – a wooden chest or box

:19 covenantdiatheke – a disposition, arrangement; a testament or will; a compact, a covenant, a testament

:19 lightningsastrape – lightning

:19 earthquakeseismos – a shaking, a commotion; an earthquake

:19 hailchalaza – hail

:19 the ark of His covenant was seen

We know about the Ark of the Covenant because of a movie.

The original was built under the direction of Moses 3400 years ago.

It was supposed to be a model of God’s throne.
The Ark was made of wood, covered with gold, and was basically a box meant to hold the two stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments, which were God’s “contract” or “covenant” with the Jews.

It’s the box of the contract.

The lid of the box was made of solid gold and called the “mercy seat” – the idea is that this was where God sat.

God’s throne is all about “mercy”.

The Ark was kept in a tent called the Tabernacle for 500 years until Solomon built the first Temple, where it was moved into the inner sanctuary, the “Holy of Holies”.

The Ark has been missing since the time of Jeremiah when Solomon’s Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC.

There was no record of it being carried off to Babylon like the other parts of the Temple.  It was just missing.  MIA.
When Zerubbabel built the second Temple, there was no Ark.
In Jesus’ day there was no Ark.

What’s the point of John seeing the Ark in heaven? Perhaps it’s this …


God never changes

God keeps His promises.  He keeps His contracts.
Even though the “contract box” hasn’t been seen in 2500 years, God still honors His contracts.  He still honors His word.  It’s still valid in heaven.
There are people who like to claim that there’s a big difference between the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament, and that God’s rules and personality changed with Jesus.
But the more I read my Bible, I realize that God has never changed.
Are the Ten Commandments still valid?
You bet.  God still requires men and women to be “righteous”.  That has never changed.
What has changed is the truth that God had always planned on – that someone else would fix our “unrighteousness”.
God would send His Son to pay for our sins.

(2 Co 5:21 NKJV) For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

God has always required His people to have faith – in both Old and New Testaments.
In the wilderness, the people had to believe God and “look up” to the bronze serpent up on the pole.
(Jn 3:14–16 NKJV) —14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Are you ready to believe in Jesus?