James J. Barker

Lesson 20

Text: REVELATION 11:15-19


  1. In the book of Revelation there are seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven vials. The seventh seal contains the seven trumpets, and the seventh trumpet contains the seven vials.
  2. That is the basic outline for Revelation 6--19, with a few parenthetical sections added in.
  3. We have noticed that in chapter 9, after the sixth angel sounded the sixth trumpet the narrative does not advance. Chapter 10 and most of chapter 11 are parenthetical, a brief interval between the judgments of the sixth and seventh trumpets.
  4. During this interval we saw different prophecies, most notably the two witnesses who will prophesy during the latter part of the tribulation period (11:3-12).
  5. As an aftermath to the resurrection of the two witnesses, Revelation 11:13 tells us that a great earthquake will occur in which a tenth part of the city of Jerusalem will fall and seven thousand men will be killed.
  6. This will bring great fear to "the remnant" (those who remain, who haven't yet been killed by the various seal and trumpet judgments), and it is recorded that they will give glory "to the God of heaven" (11:13b),
  7. After the two witnesses ascend into heaven, and the great earthquake in Jerusalem, the second woe is brought to its completion (11:14).
  8. Apparently this is the final phase of the sixth trumpet. The third woe contained in the seventh trumpet is announced as coming quickly.



  1. When the seventh trumpet is sounded, John hears "great voices in heaven" announcing that the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever" (11:15).
  2. Previously a single voice (cf. 11:12; 10:8) would make an announcement, but here there is this great symphony of voices chanting the triumph of Christ.
  3. This will be more glorious and more wonderful and more majestic than the grandest choir singing Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus."
  4. The Bible teaches that all earthly rule will soon pass into the hands of God. Daniel 2:44 says "the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed...and it shall stand for ever."
  5. Daniel 4:3 says, "His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion is from generation to generation."
  6. Daniel 6:26 and 7:14 and 7:27 say the same thing.
  7. Zechariah 14:9 says, "And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one."
  8. If we think of the seven vials (which are poured out in chapter 16) as following the seventh trumpet, this announcement seems premature.  However, they do not follow the seventh trumpet; rather they are the seventh trumpet.
  9. John Walvoord says, "Chronologically the trumpets involved closely succeed one another and their judgments seem to fall like trip-hammer blows as the great tribulation comes to its close" (The Revelation of Jesus Christ).
  10. Therefore, the question of how the kingdoms of this world can become the kingdoms of Christ when the seven vials are yet to be poured out is resolved by understanding that the seven vials are comprehended in the seventh trumpet.
  11. The Lord's process of destroying the kingdoms of this world is under way. The kings of this earth will gather on the Plain of Megiddo where they will be defeated at the second coming of Christ (Rev. 16:13-16; 19:11-21).
  12. Revelation 11:15 says Christ "shall reign for ever and ever.” His reign will extend beyond the millennial kingdom, when He will reign over the earth from the throne of David in Jerusalem.
  13. The millennial reign, which will last for one thousand years will be succeeded by the new heaven and the new earth (Rev. 21, 22). "And he shall reign for ever and ever" (11:15).
  14. Never again will the earth be under the control of man. There will be a brief Satanic rebellion recorded in Revelation 20 at the end of the millennium, but it will be unsuccessful and quickly put down. God will send fire down from heaven and devour all the rebels (Rev. 20:7-10).
  15. After the glorious announcement in Revelation 11:15, the four and twenty elders "fell upon their faces, and worshipped God" (11:16).
  16. We were first introduced to the four and twenty elders back in Revelation chapter 4, where they were pictured sitting around the throne of God in heaven.
  17. Here in chapter 11 they are seen giving thanks to God as the eternal One “which art, and wast, and art to come,” because He has manifested His power and assumed authority over the earth (11:17).



  1. Wednesday evening we saw that Babylon is referred to in Jeremiah 1:13 as a "seething pot," boiling with anger and ready to spill out over Jerusalem.
  2. Babylon (Iraq) is still a seething pot, and so is Iran, and Afghanistan, and Syria, and Egypt and the entire Middle East.
  3. In fact, according to Scripture, all the nations are seething with devilish anger. Isaiah 57:20 and 21 says, "But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked."
  4. Verse 18 is considered a condensed review or a summary of the tribulation and the whole millennial period. Notice it begins with, "And the nations were angry..."
  5. All throughout Scripture we see references to the angry nations, furious at God, and refusing to submit to His authority.
  6. Their refusal to accept the Lordship of Christ is summed up in Luke 19:14: "We will not have this man to reign over us."
  7. Psalm 2:1 says, "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us."
  8. They are rebelling against God, "and against his anointed." Acts 4:25 says Psalm 2 was partially fulfilled at the cross. But it will find its complete fulfillment at the Battle of Armageddon.
  9. Revelation 11:18 describes the furor and anger of the Gentile nations at the end of the tribulation when the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ.
  10. The nations will be angry when the wrath of God comes down on this wicked, sin-loving, Christ-rejecting world.
  11. There is a notable contrast here: the anger of the nations, and the wrath of God (11:18). The wrath of men is wicked, but the wrath of God is holy.
  12. Other important events related to the judgment of God are mentioned -- the dead will be judged at this time. There are many references to judgment in Scripture and we need to be careful to distinguish them.
  13. For example, the judgment seat of Christ is for believers only. But the great white throne judgment, described in Revelation 20 will be for the unsaved only.
  14. The judgment seat of Christ will take place after the rapture, and the great white throne judgment will take place after the millennium.
  15. The context here in Revelation 11:18 seems to indicate that John is referring to the resurrection of the righteous dead, and not the wicked dead, who will not be raised until after the millennium.
  16. Verse 18 says, "And that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great" (cf. 22:12).
  17. Also, the time will come when God will destroy those which destroy the earth, referring to those wicked unbelievers still alive at the end of the tribulation. Many of these devil-worshipping rebels will have been killed already in the seal and trumpet judgments, but some will still be alive and will face the righteous judgment of God.
  18. The opening of the temple of God in heaven is related to sounding of the seventh trumpet (11:19). There are several references in the book of Revelation to the temple of God in heaven. According to Hebrews 8:5 and 9:23, the tabernacle in the wilderness was patterned after it.
  19. Though the earthly temple will be defiled and desecrated by the antichrist, its counterpart in heaven shall never be defiled.
  20. With the opening of the temple in heaven, there are accompanying lightnings, voices, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail, all signifying the judgment of God (11:19).



  1. As I said earlier, the seventh trumpet contains the seven vials.
  2. Before the seven vials are poured out in chapter 16, there is another parenthetical section, other important events during the tribulation period which chronologically precede the second coming of Christ.
  3. John Walvoord says, "Apart from the outpourings of the vials, which occur in rapid succession, there is little chronological movement from this point until chapter 19 and the second coming of Christ. Events and situations are now introduced which are concurrent with the seals and the trumpets. These serve to emphasize the dramatic climax of this period in the second coming of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ" (The Revelation of Jesus Christ).



  1. There is much curiosity over where the world is headed, and how it is all going to end.
  2. Unfortunately there are kooks like Harold Camping who confuse people with their false teachings and predictions.
  3. By the way, Mr. Camping has apologized for his date-setting but as far as I know he has not apologized for his other false teachings, such as his assertion that the church age is over.
  4. Let me conclude with a quote from Ray C. Stedman: "What a privilege God has given us to be able to read the last chapters of the history of the earth! You can read ahead and see where it is all going to end. The time is coming, this book teaches us, when Jesus shall reign over all the earth. Righteousness shall be the characteristic of the times, not unrighteousness as now. In that day: All drug traffic will cease, all abortion mills will be closed, divorce will be unheard of, families will live together in beauty, peace and harmony, wars will cease throughout the earth, crime statistics will drop to zero, sex scandals will never be known, truth shall be taught again in the schools, and many politicians and lawyers will have to find honest work! In the beautiful words of Scripture: 'Righteousness will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea!' (Isaiah 11:9, Habakkuk 2:14). Let us not lose hope, but encourage one another with the certainty of the glory to come."

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