18 The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small—and for destroying those who destroy the earth.” 19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm. ~ Revelation 11:18-19
Today, we conclude our study of Revelation 11 which closes out with the words of the twenty-four elders who are prostrate before God in heaven. Highlighted will be the rage of the world which will be front and center. The unbelieving man's hostility will escalate so much and so fast that they will openly fight Christ, thinking that they will somehow destroy Him.
So, while we will have on the one hand in heaven praise for God's just sovereignty, on the earth we will have this great hostility against God in the face of His judgment upon unredeemed man. This will be a world that has felt God’s judgment, but they will have felt it in doses that should have led them to repentance. But instead, they will have wasted their opportunities and privilege to believe in the One who gave Himself for them. They will have wasted the evident reality that they needed to make a choice for Christ in the wake of their impending disaster. Their hearts will be totally hardened by their continual rejection of His truth.
In v.18 we read, "The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small—and for destroying those who destroy the earth."
Seven trumpets blow, heaven praises, and earth begins to panic. At this point, it is clear, God's plan of judgment has unfolded. This verse is a condensed review of the Tribulation and the Millennium. At this point in time, the judgment of the Lord will be exacted upon those who have resisted every reason that He will have given them to render their allegiance to Him. This will happen at the end of the Tribulation and at the beginning of the Millennium.
When the Lord Jesus comes to earth, He will reward the ones who revere His name. His reward will with Him, to give to everyone who has been made righteous through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus on the cross.
For those who failed to revere His name, He will banish them to Hell. These are those who destroyed the earth not with their pollution of smog and trash. These will be those who polluted the world with their rebellion against God.
In v.19 we read, "Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm."
In the book of Exodus we learn that the earthly temple was opened only once a year and into that place where the ark was went the high priest to pour out the blood to atone for the sins of the people and to keep access open to God. The very thing which God used to provide communion with His people is seen here in heaven. The earthly ark was made of acacia wood and gold and it was placed in the Holy of Holies. According to Exodus 25, it was 45 inches long and 27 inches high. It was a symbol of God’s presence, covenant and atonement.
The temple will at this point will be open to all who have been made right with Him. The ark of the covenant will be there, and in the midst of all the judgment, God will open the Holy of Holies, so that His people may enter. The temple of God speaks of His presence, His throne, the place where He dwells. Included in this seventh trumpet is the promise that we are going to enter into unbroken fellowship with God forever.
History is not rambling on to some haphazard ending. History is moving forward with every detail formed fully in the mind of God and being executed in His own way to His own end. History is moving specifically down a path, culminating in the precise events described in the book of the Revelation.
After the awful days of the Tribulation, righteousness shall be the characteristic of the times, not unrighteousness as it is now. In that day, drug traffic will end, abortions will cease, divorce will be a thing of the past, families will live together in beauty. In that day, peace and harmony will be intimately known by the redeemed. Wars will cease throughout the earth, crime statistics will drop to zero, sex scandals will never again be known, truth shall be taught again in schools, and politicians and lawyers will have to find honest work.
And the message of the seventh trumpet will be the Lord Jesus Christ is sovereign, and He will reign righteously as King of kings and Lord of lords. And, it will be obvious that He will be the only One who will have the right to rule the earth.