13/05/18 Revelation 11:13-19 “The 7th trumpet and God is worshipped”
Revelation 11:13 – 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.
hour – hora (a certain definite time, especially of the year; of the seasons; a day; an hour; a point in time; that moment) “at the same hour” could also mean “at the same time” or “at that time”. Most likely this event occurs immediately after the 2 witnesses rise to heaven.
tenth – dekatos (the tenth) Some say that the tenth part refers to the tithe: that which was God’s by right (Eg Pulpit Commentary) and that this tithe was demanded by God before the city could give glory to Him. Other views say that the city represents the ruling power at that time, and not necessarily the actual physical city. Barnes says That is, the tenth part of that which is represented by the "city" - the persecuting power. Sounds very vague! Some say that if 7,000 died, representing the tenth that fell, that would assume 70,000 in Jerusalem at the time, which seems small in comparison with today’s figures of cities.
However, if we remove all symbolism to begin with, then the tenth part could simply be a part of the whole city physically, and that 7,000 died, leaving the remnant (those still left alive) terrified and giving glory to the God of heaven. It is also quite logical to assume that this remnant is Israel who have now turned back to the God of their covenant (Ezekiel 37; Joel 2:32) and are now ready to start behaving as God’s people, something they’ve never fully done before. For the first time ever, Israel is fulfilling her side of the covenant contract God made with them through Abraham. God had stated His ultimatum concerning Israel to Daniel: Israel had 70 x 7 years of time in which their transgressions would be finally dealt with.
Daniel 9:24 – Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
When Jesus was crucified, after 69 x 7 years, their timeline stopped ticking because of their rejection of their Messiah (Daniel 9:26), permitting the Gentile church to take their place. When the times of the Gentile church are fulfilled (Romans 11:25), Israel’s timeline will begin ticking again, with 7 years left to go to bring them to righteousness (see Romans 11:26-27).
Romans 11:25-27 – 25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27 For this [is] my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
Revelation 11:13 occurs about 30 days before Armageddon and the 2nd coming of their Messiah.
Those 7,000 killed may or may not be of Israel (although it is reasonable to believe that they may be the antichrist’s Gentiles such that Jerusalem is cleansed of non-Israel people). However, it is necessary for those remaining and giving glory to God to be Israel. The antichrist and his Gentiles have been treading Jerusalem for 3½ years, during which time Israel has been kept in safety, hiding in the wilderness. But in the leadup to Armageddon, the antichrist builds an army to attack Jerusalem which clearly is no longer under his control; instead, Israel has taken control of the city, forcing the antichrist to declare war upon them. So sometime between the 2 witnesses dying and then rising to heaven (3½ days), Israel has returned and the antichrist is gone from Jerusalem. The earthquake appears to be the trigger that turns Israel back to God.
Revelation 11:14 – The second woe is past; [and], behold, the third woe cometh quickly (without delay).
The 2nd woe was the 6th of the 7 trumpets. The 7th and last trumpet is the 3rd woe which ushers in the final and most terrible of all the plagues, the 7 bowls (vials) of wrath which culminate in Armageddon. The 6th trumpet – the 2nd woe – is the army of 200,000,000 which will kill a 3rd of all mankind. The earthquake marks the end of that woe. It is possible that this huge army is separate from the army of the antichrist, yet may join up with them for Armageddon. Or this 200,000,000 may represent the army the antichrist uses to get control of Jerusalem in the first place.
Or it is the antichrist’s army slaughtering all that stand in his way, with another huge army from the east also coming to the battle (Revelation 16:12). Once Israel, now the inhabitants of Jerusalem, has given glory to the God of heaven, the final trumpet is imminent, about to blow. We aren’t told just how soon that trumpet sounds after the earthquake, but once Israel comes back from the wilderness, only 30 days remain until Armageddon. Therefore that 3rd woe must come almost immediately after the earthquake.
Revelation 11:15 – And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great (megas) voices (phone) 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.
The 7th trumpet is sounded, triggering the final 7 plagues, the bowls (vials) of wrath. After Ch.11, we have some more interludes that overrule the prophetic timeline. Then, in Ch.15 we have the 7 angels having the 7 last plagues fulfilling or completing the wrath of God (Revelation 15:1), and in Ch.16 the bowls (vials) of wrath are poured out, culminating in Armageddon and the “It is done.” of Revelation 16:17).
But before taking the kingdom must come the victory over the enemy. Christ the Messiah will come down from heaven to judge and make war with His enemies.
Revelation 19:11 – And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him [was] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
And when Christ the Messiah has won the victory, He will then rule His kingdom, putting all His enemies under His feet.
1 Corinthians 15:24-25 – 24 Then [cometh] the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
And even after Christ has handed over the kingdom to His Father, He will still reign for ever and ever at the right hand of the Father.
Mark 16:19 – So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
and he shall reign for ever and ever – The 2nd coming is now imminent; once Christ the Messiah returns, He will never again leave. His reign will commence with the millennium, followed by His reign over the new heavens and new earth, replacing the old heavens and earth that were destroyed as by fire (2 Peter 3:7; 10-13). (This destruction as recorded in 2 Peter may be talking about the extreme destruction that comes upon the earth in the lead-up to Armageddon in Ch.16.)
Revelation 11:16 – And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,
These same elders are sitting around the throne in Revelation 4:4, and the word for seats (thronos) signifies thrones, not seats, in both places. It is translated “thrones” in 54 out of 61 occurrences. Also note similarity of this Vs and Vs 17 to Revelation 4:10-11 – 10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
These 24 elders are mentioned quite a few times in Revelation. On many of those occasions (Revelation 4:10; 5:8; 5:14; 11:16; 19:4) they are falling upon their faces and worshipping God on the throne. In each case, their actions happen when God is about to do something significant regarding the judgment of the earth.
4:10 – The scene is being set for God’s power and authority to be demonstrated, before He commences the plague judgments, starting in Revelation 6.
5:8, 14 – Judgment is about to commence with the 7 seals.
11:16 – The final 7 bowls of wrath are about to be poured out on the earth.
19:4 – The 2nd coming of Christ the Messiah is about to happen.
It is apparent that God is being worshipped because He is about to bring the sin of the world to full account. The elders praise God for His righteous judgments upon wicked mankind.
Revelation 11:17 – 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.
great – megas; power – dynamis (strength; power; ability) Cf dynamite!
The eternal God is praised because He has taken hold of His great power, showing Himself to be King by His right and authority to do so – note Revelation Chs 4 & 5.
Also note the praise of the 24 elders in similar circumstances elsewhere.
Revelation 4:11 – Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Revelation 5:9-10 – 9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
Revelation 19:4-7 – 4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. 5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. 6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
Lord God Almighty – (kurios theos pantokrator – Lord/Master God omnipotent) a similar statement in effect to Lord God of Hosts (Yᵉhovah ‘elohiym tsaba’)
which art, and wast, and art to come – a statement of the eternal nature of God. In particular, this relates here to God’s judgments.
Revelation 16:5-6 – 5 And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. 6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.
Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Revelation 11:18 – 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.
The praise and worship of God demonstrates that this is something very good (as in Genesis 1:31a – And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, [it was] very good.
Yet this worship is given in praise of that which God calls a “woe”! We must keep in mind that these woes, especially the final 7 bowls of wrath, are going to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness (Daniel 9:24) and this indeed is praiseworthy.
“And the nations (ethnos – ethnic groups) were angry (provoked, aroused to anger), and Your wrath (indignation; judgments and punishments as inflicted by magistrates) is come (is established; came into being), and the time (the time when things are brought to a head; the time when these things must happen) of the dead (spiritually dead), that they should be judged (have judgement pronounced upon them), and that You should give reward (wages due due as bestowed by God for service carried out) to Your servants (doulos) the prophets (those whom in the religious assemblies of the Christians, were moved by the Holy Spirit to speak, having power to instruct, comfort, encourage, rebuke, convict, and stimulate, their hearers), and to the saints (holy ones; those separated to God; sacred to God; set apart for God), and them that fear (phobeo) Your name, both small and great, and (that You) should destroy them who destroy the earth (for the sake of those whose prayers ascended with incense from the altar).”
Revelation 8:3-4 – 3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer [it] with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, [which came] with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.
destroy (diaphtheiro) them which destroy (diaphtheiro) – Note the similarity with
1 Corinthians 3:17 – If any man defile (phtheiro) the temple of God, him shall God destroy (phtheiro); for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] ye are.
It could mean that God will destroy them that destroy (= defile with their own defilements) the earth. That is, let the punishment fit the crime. Do to others as you would have that they do to you (see Matthew 7:12 & Luke 6:31). Also note for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Galatians 6:7).
Revelation 11:19 – 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.
temple – naos (used of the temple at Jerusalem, but only of the sacred edifice (or sanctuary) itself, consisting of the Holy place and the Holy of Holies) The Holy place and the Holy of Holies is now shown open, not closed (as it was on earth). That place which was closed to all except the high priest (and then only once each year), the Holy of Holies, is now manifested in heaven. No longer must God’s holiness be hidden from the eyes of mortal man, for our God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29) and dwells in light that no man may approach (1 Timothy 6:16). Once in heaven, glorified, immortal, God is approachable by those who will finally be holy as He is holy.
In that naos temple, the ark of the testament (covenant) can also be seen. The exhibition of awesome power is apparently in demonstration of God’s omnipotence, His power and authority and right as the only Creator of all, to do as He desires. And, His desire is that transgressions be brought to an end. Of those who observe, some will be praising God for His righteous judgment that is about to come to its climax, but most, when they experience such power and might, will realise that they have chosen the wrong side; that to oppose God is to ultimately lose. No matter how powerful they are, God is infinitely more powerful. The final 7 bowls of wrath will draw the earth into one last final battle before the 2nd coming of Christ the Messiah, who will come, not as the sacrificial Lamb this time, but as the mighty conqueror and judge of the whole world. And those who oppose Him will know that they have badly misjudged what they were (or rather, weren’t) capable of.
So what did those enemies of God misjudge? After all, man had been beaten, defeated by sin, and rendered incapable of entering heaven into the presence of holy God. But look what is coming in Ch.12: a nation (Israel) chosen by God to bear His Son, who would die upon the cross and buy back (redeem) all those who were incapable of returning to God’s holy presence. This is the central theme of the whole of the Old and New Testaments: the cross of Christ! This on its own is worthy of all lightnings, voices, thunderings, earthquakes and hail, and more besides. Not only are the 7 bowls of the wrath of God about to be poured out upon the earth, but those who have accepted that redemption in Christ will live in God’s holy presence forever. The end of the world as we know it is about to happen.
Hebrews 12:18-24 – 18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, 19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which [voice] they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: 20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: 21 And so terrible was the sight, [that] Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) 22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than [that of] Abel.
So why do just about all Bible commentaries try to explain Revelation using symbolism in attempting to demonstrate that it is to be applied to the worldly events of the past almost 2000 years?
Barnes says of Revelation 11:19 as it leads into Ch.12:
A woman is seen, clothed, as it were, with the sun - emblem of majesty, truth, intelligence, and glory; she has the moon under her feet, as if she walked the heavens; she has on her head a glittering diadem of stars; she is about to become a mother. This seems to have been designed to represent the church as about to be increased, and as in that condition watched by a dragon - a mighty foe - ready to destroy its offspring, and thus compelled to flee into the wilderness for safety. Thus understood, the point of time referred to would be when the church was in a prosperous condition, and when it would be encountered by antichrist, represented here by the dragon, and compelled to flee into the wilderness; that is, the church for a time would be driven into obscurity, and be almost unknown. It is no uncommon thing, in the Scriptures, to compare the church with a beautiful woman.
Gill says of the 24 elders (Revelation 11:16) that these are the representatives of Gospel churches in all ages, they were with the church in the wilderness during the 1260 days, or years:
Now, why do the 1260 days have to mean years? Probably because the calvinist interpretations of most of the commentaries available today could not stand up to scrutiny if they were to be interpreted as actual days! And because the calvinists cannot accept Israel coming back in her own right, all Israel prophecies have to relate to the Church instead.
Gill (Revelation 11:15) says: Brightman fixes the sounding of this trumpet to the year 1558, when the kings of Sweden and Denmark set up the Gospel in their kingdoms, and reformed them from Popery; and when Queen Elizabeth came to the throne of England, and rooted out great part of the Romish superstition: but it is certain that this angel has not yet sounded his trumpet, and therefore cannot refer to anything past, but to what is to come; we are yet under the sixth trumpet; the outward court is not yet given to the Gentiles; the witnesses are not slain, and much less risen and ascended; the earthquake, the fall of the tenth part of the city, and the slaughter of seven thousand names of men, with what will follow thereon, are things yet to come; the Turkish woe is not over, and antichrist still reigns, and the kingdoms of this world are far from appearing to be the kingdoms of Christ.
Note that the antichrist is already reigning in Gill’s time, and the 6th trumpet has blown. Their problem is that they have stated their calvinist doctrines, and everything else must now be made subject to their false doctrines! Make it fit or else!!?
Therefore, read the Bible for yourselves and ignore those ramblings that cannot be supported by the Bible alone (Sola Scriptura).