At this point in chapter 11, Jesus returns to the WRATH, but remember, there will be no more delays; and yet, we have seen John measure the temple with an emphasis on leaving out the outer courtyard. I told you that this outer courtyard was the only place the women could go and it was the place where Jesus found all the vendors and money-changers and threw them out. It was also deemed the courtyard of the Gentiles, does that mean that when Israel gets attacked that the enemies will not try and get into the inner courtyards? I doubt it, but as I am writing this, it occurs to me that I was a Gentile once. Suddenly I am thankful that I could get close enough to receive His mercy and grace. So, maybe there is a brighter side to this outer courtyard.
And with that comment, we begin.
Revelation 11:14 NASB The second woe is past; behold, the third woe is coming quickly.
I have been doing this study on Revelation for several weeks now, with moderate breaks between sessions, and I will admit that? I have forgotten, at this point, what the other woes were. Let’s refresh my memory.
Revelation 8:13 shows us an angel with a loud voice saying, Woe, woe, woe, and he let us know that the remaining trumpet blasts will signal these coming woes. As far as woes go, Revelation 8:13 has to be what God considers the beginning.
If this is the beginning, what do we call everything that has happened from Revelation 6:1 up to this point?
In Revelation 9:1 the fifth angel sounds its trumpet. John tells us that he sees a star that had fallen to earth. If you recall, I mentioned that our sun is a star and a small one at that. Any star striking the earth should destroy it, so the practicality of an actual star falling to earth makes no sense, so there has to be another explanation, and there is. Isaiah 14 has quite the narrative about Satan’s demise, but the verse we want to pay attention to is verse 12.
Isaiah 14:12-13 NASB “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations! (13) “But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north.
God calls Satan the star of the morning and references the other angelic beings as the stars of God.
The entirety of Revelation 9:1 to 9:11 is the first woe.
Within that woe we got Satan thrown to the earth. You are wise readers so you know this occurrence probably happened before God put Adam on this earth. I say that because the serpent was there, in the garden, waiting to deceive Eve; and, if you were not paying attention you might think that this all happens within the seven years of God’s wrath. The other significant thing that happens is these locusts with scorpion-like tails. Because of their stings, humans long for death for five months but it does not come.
The second woe does not come to an end, (that is an odd way to look at it,) until Revelation 11:14.
Since Revelation 9:11 what has been going on?
With the blowing of the sixth trumpet, four angels, that were bound in the Euphrates River, is released.
We are told that these four angels kill one-third of humanity on the earth, but what Revelation 9:16 does not tell you, is that these an0gry angels are apparently high ranking demonic angels that command a Calvary of 200 million demonic beings.
Revelation 9:17 YLT And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and those sitting upon them, having breastplates of fire, and jacinth, and brimstone; and the heads of the horses are as heads of lions, and out of their mouths proceeds fire, and smoke, and brimstone;
This is not an army of humans, these are demonic hordes, and the horses with lion heads, breathing out fire, smoke, and brimstone should be a strong clue. Now pay attention to how they kill.
Revelation 9:18-19 YLT by these three were the third of men killed, from the fire, and from the smoke, and from the brimstone, that is proceeding out of their mouth, for their authorities are in their mouth, and in their tails, for their tails are like serpents, having heads, and with them they do injure;
We are aware that two-thirds of humanity continues to live; that is an undefinable number, because, since the catching away of the church the killing of people has been going on with vigor.
Revelation 6:4 NASB And another, a red horse went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.
Only a few sentences later we have this.
Revelation 6:8 NASB I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.
One might assume that by the time that Revelation 9:18 comes along over one-fourth of the earth has been killed by various means. If there are three-fourths left, then what happens in Revelation 9:18 is the death of one-third of that number.
Chapter ten is more informational, as it informs that,
It, in the opening verse shows us, Jesus in His splendor.
He tells us that there will be no more delays.
That the mystery of God is finished.
And that John, through his voice and writings, is to continue to preach this message.
Chapter eleven opens with the Apostle John measuring the temple that is to come, but not the outer courtyard, as this is given to the Gentiles to trample, and for a precise time period, forty-two months.
With Revelation 11:3 one might say there is a return to violence, as the two witnesses from God stand their ground in Jerusalem and slay anyone who tries to stop them. Read this on your own. (Revelation 11:3-14.) The two witnesses then, become a part of the woes, as they bring plagues, death, and stop the rain.
The third woe is coming quickly.
Revelation 11:14 NASB The second woe is past; behold, the third woe is coming quickly.
For God to be able to say, the second woe is past, that would have to mean that the damage the two witnesses do is significant and global, and it is.
This is the next thing we hear.
Revelation 11:15 NASB Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.“
There is nothing ominous about verse 15, in fact, my heart rejoices when I hear “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” But it is obvious that something has to take place.
Keep in mind that the seventh announcement of these perilous events has always included the next thing to happen. Considering that we were told that there should be no more delays, that should mean there is only one thing left, the return of the warring Messiah, but no, those going through the time of wrath still have the bowl judgments to go.
The twenty-four elders are worshiping and saying, you have begun to reign.
Revelation 11:16-17 NASB (16) And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, (17) saying, “We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign.
Again, you need to take a moment to think through what the spirit of the Lord just said.
“We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were,”
“Who are” is present tense, but while God does not change, was He something else at one point and another thing recently?
Some would say yes, even though those speaking against God, fail to consider the cross and how that “recently” aspect has everything to do with the cross. On the cross, all debts were paid.
Colossians 2:12-14 NASB (12) having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. (13) When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, (14) having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
It has taken me years to grasp the enormity of that statement and I do not think I will fully understand it until I meet Him face to face and see the love in His eyes.
So, ask yourself a question, have you ever perceived God as being gracious and merciful when you read about Him in the Old Testament?
Well, surprise, He was because He had to operate under the law (a clue to understanding why God had to put Israel through this retraining process, when they came out of Egypt they were effectively Egyptians. One of the proofs of that came from Stephen as he stood before the council defending himself.
He pointed out to them how “God’s” people brought the tent of Moloch out of Egypt, and, they brought their sex god Rephan along as well. No one disputed what Stephen said and they, under the direction of a man named Saul, stoned Him anyway,) there was little mercy could do to help you, you had to follow the commandments.
Many think that Christ did away with the law, however, Jesus answered that challenge when He said, I did NOT come to do away with the law, I came to fulfill the law.
Matthew 5:17-18 NASB “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. (18) “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
So, we then, live under grace, but that does not prevent the law from speaking to our spirits, as the law is now written upon our hearts. We live and breathe the perfect law of liberty, and it does not advocate foul mouths and bad attitudes.
“because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign.”
We have not seen the events, as we trek through the Revelation, that solidify this image in our heads, as yet, so how can they say this?
It is only possible because we have bypassed some details and jumped forward in time. These events only happen when we get to Revelation 19:11 through Revelation 20:4, and I am being conservative about this. Read this portion as it defines the warring Messiah that I speak of so frequently. It also describes the reign of, not only Christ but the martyred saints who will reign with Him.
Revelation 20:4a TLV Then I saw thrones, and people sat upon them—those to whom authority to judge was given. …
Here, the people sitting on those thrones are defined as those who had been martyred for their testimony and because of the Word of God.
Within the Revelation, the first place we see Jesus taking His throne is Revelation 11.
Revelation 11:17b NASB because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign.
The assumption is, that after coming to earth, with a sword in His mouth, slaughtering His enemies and throwing the antichrist, false prophet, and Satan into the abyss, that He is finally sitting on His throne. The problem is that we seem to forget that when He ascended into the heavens, He sat down on the right hand of the Father, never to relinquish that throne or authority again.
Ephesians tells us that God seated Him and God does NOT change His mind.
Ephesians 1:20a NASB which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
Hebrews conveys how He was done and sat down next to the Father.
Hebrews 1:3b NASB … and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
Since we Gentiles were not taught to despise the New Covenant, we should have a grasp on these representations of Christ on the throne, reigning. Now, if we have a problem grasping this, the difficulty could come from the fact that Satan, though thrown out of heaven and formally stripped of his power, is still running around accusing the followers of Christ. Perhaps this will help you understand. Here in America, President William (Bill) Clinton was impeached, the problem for my understanding is that nothing seemed to change. You might have thought, good, now he will be gone, but he did not go anywhere. It kind of made me wonder what was really supposed to happen in an impeachment. But here is what Satan did In a sense Satan, impeached with a perpetual prison sentence awaiting him, deceived Eve. He did NOT deceive Adam, and therefore gained sole and rightful ownership of the earth. Here in the problem lies.
But what about the Jews?
Most will NOT accept any aspect of the New Testament, however, if you were to ask me I would tell you that this book we call a bible is a very Jewish book; and, there is little in the New Testament that is not originally a theme within the law and the prophets. If the Jews cannot now see Him on the throne, then a day is coming when, before their very eyes, He will take His seat once again, and He will do it in a dramatic fashion, right after He slaughters His enemies at the wedding supper of the Lamb.
Watch this interaction.
Revelation 19:7-9 NASB “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” (8) It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. (9) Then he *said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'” And he *said to me, “These are true words of God.”
In what seems like only moments later, we see this.
Revelation 19:11-15 NASB (11) And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness, He judges and wages war. (12) His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems, and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. (13) He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. (14) And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. (15) From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the winepress of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.
And then an angel speaks.
Revelation 19:17-18 NASB (17) Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in mid-heaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, (18) so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.”
Let’s see if we can fly through these last two verses.
Revelation 11:18 NASB “And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.”
“And the nations were enraged,” This is a defiant rage.
Past or a future event? If it’s future it may be referring to a moment like this.
Revelation 16:10-11 NASB (10) Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast and his kingdom became darkened, and they gnawed their tongues because of pain, (11) and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds.
If this is talking about a time past, then perhaps 2 Kings has captured it.
2 Kings 19:27-28 NASB ‘But I know your sitting down, And your going out and your coming in, And your raging against Me. (28) ‘Because of your raging against Me, And because your arrogance has come up to My ears, Therefore I will put My hook in your nose, And My bridle in your lips, And I will turn you back by the way which you came.
“ and Your wrath came,” Violent passions.
You might think that He is referring to their wrath, but it is not. He is talking about the rage that He will pour out upon the nations.
Daniel 8:19 NASB He said, “Behold, I am going to let you know what will occur at the final period of the indignation, for it pertains to the appointed time of the end.
“and the time came for the dead to be judged,” The dead?
First you need to understand something, no one really dies as our souls are eternal. Death is a complete absence from God, and, as yet, no one has truly experienced that condition, as there has been no judgment. That day will come. So these have all been lying in silence until this day; some have been lying in state considerably longer, but time has been of no consequence to them.
Isaiah 26:19 NASB Your dead will live; Their corpses will rise. You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy, For your dew is as the dew of the dawn, And the earth will give birth to the departed spirits.
Don’t get all hung up on the idea that all dead will awake to joy. Matthew 25, where we see the sheep and goat judgment is the same scenario. No one appears to say anything, and then God separates them into what He refers to as sheep and goats. He grants the sheep (followers) entrance into the kingdom – something they did NOT expect, and they ask why.
Daniel 12:2 NASB “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.
Matthew 25 and Revelation 20:12-15 are the same story from different perspectives.
Revelation 20:12-15 NASB (12) And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. (13) And the sea gave up the dead which was in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which was in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. (14) Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. (15) And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
If you were among these dead taunted by these books, only to find that it was all a farce as you were all condemned to a fiery death, then that would make God a liar and worthy of death Himself. God, does not lie, He cannot, so we can know that there is hope for many.
By the way, the usage of the word judged in Revelation 11:18, seems inappropriate as it is the Greek word krínō and means to separate, distinguish, or discriminate between good and evil. This is what we see Jesus/God do in Matthew 25.
“and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great,”
If you have spent any amount of time in the church, then you have heard condemning sermons about the bema seat of Christ. You will find references to this in Romans 14:10 and 2Corinthians 5:10. They both speak of the judgment seat, which in Greek is the bema seat. This judgment that we see in Revelation 11 is NOT the bema seat it is the Greek word krínō, a separation, as I mentioned above. The Bema seat is the one that most understand to be in the moments after the rapture of the church. If it is included in Revelation 11, along with the wrath and judgment of the dead, then perhaps we have placed this event in the wrong spot, but I don’t think so as the context of the verse is about God separating the wheat from the tares, which look very similar to a city boy.
“and to destroy those who destroy the earth.”
Those who destroy the earth, have done so: in the name of greed and self will. They have shown no kindness to the earth and will be judged harshly, primarily because they have injured the people, the heart of God and His creation.
Revelation 11:19 NASB And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.
Sometimes I don’t know what to say. I wish I could say it’s done, but I know other aspects, like the bowl judgments will be discussed. For the moment I want you to see what Dr. J. Vernon McGee said about this.
“When we see the church again, it will be in the New Jerusalem, and we are told definitely that there is no temple there. Here there is a temple in heaven. The temple which Moses made was made after the pattern in heaven. “And the sanctuary (temple) of God in heaven was opened” means that God is dealing now with Israel.”