Rev. 11:15. “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices 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 sounding of the seventh trumpet announces that “the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord,” just as the angel explained: “In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets.” Rev. 10:7. Thus again it is seen that as the events of the sixth trumpet draw to their end and the events of the seventh begin, the work of the gospel (the mystery of God) is to be completed.
Rev. 11:16-18. “And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 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. 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.”
As illustrated on the cover page of this tract, the “four and twenty elders” are a part of the judicial tribunal of the investigative judgment in the heavenly sanctuary. (For a more ample explanation of the “elders,” study The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 2, pp. 187-221). Accordingly, the words which they speak at the time that the seventh angel begins to sound, reveal that the judicial work of the “Ancient of days” (Dan. 7:9; Rev. 4:3), of the Lamb (Rev. 5:6), of the “ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands” of angels (Rev. 5:11), and of the “elders” and the “beasts,” was about finished. Their words reveal also that the time of the resurrection — the time for the saints to receive their reward of eternal life, and for Christ to destroy those who destroy the earth — was come. Clearly, therefore, “the time of the dead, that they should be judged” (Rev. 11:18), is during the millennium, and is the final judgment of the wicked.
Rev. 11:19, first part. “And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament.”
The earthly temple’s being patterned after the heavenly, shows that the heavenly temple is divided into two apartments — the holy and the Most holy. On the day of the atonement (judgment) in the earthly temple, the door to the Most holy was opened and the door to the holy was closed. This service typified the commencement of the antitypical atonement (judgment), when the door to the Most holy in the heavenly temple was opened and the entrance to the holy was closed. In other words, when the inner door was opened, the outer door was closed, thus making the two apartments as one. (See Leviticus 16:2, 17; Revelation 4:1; 15:5; Early Writings, p. 42.) So the temple’s being closed while the judgment is in session, makes it impossible for one on the outside to see “the ark of His testament,” until after the judgment is completed, when the door which was closed will again, according to Revelation 15:1, 5-8, be opened.
Consequently, the fulfillment of the prophetic statement, “the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament” (Rev. 11:19), will, just as it was in the beginning of the Judgment, be realized after the judgment is finished; that is, after the close of probation, when the door of the temple is opened. And after the judicial tribunal leaves the temple, “one of the four beasts” will give “unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God” (Rev. 15:7), and the temple will be “filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from His power; and no man” will be “able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels” are “fulfilled.” Rev. 15:8. (For further explanation of Revelation 15 see The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 2, pp. 170-173.)
And finally, the fact that the seventh trumpet will not sound until just after the completion of the gospel, is clinching evidence in the proof that the subject of the trumpets treats of the destruction of the wicked, whose probation is closed by their rejection of a message which God sends them.
Can there be anyone who has ascended the present heights of divine revelation commanding full perspective on the conflict of the ages as it comes in review before the Judgment throne, and yet has not realized that upon his gladly complying with the message of the hour hangs his eternal destiny. If there be such a one, unpersuaded by this final warning, then “neither will [he] be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” Luke 16:31. He shall experience tragedy indescribable: His name shall be blotted from the books.
His life shall be in forfeit to the destroyers. His soul shall faint with “weeping, and gnashing of teeth.” Matt. 8:12. He shall perish from the earth — lost forever.
He, though, who is persuaded, and who walks in the light, will experience joy inexpressible: He will receive the “mark” (Ezek. 9:4), the “seal” (Rev. 7:2, 3), of God’s approval. His sins will be blotted out. His name will be ineffaceably written in the Lamb’s book of life. He will witness Michael’s standing up and delivering him from the “time of trouble such as never was.” Dan. 12:1. He will return midst the ransomed of the Lord, and come to Zion with “songs and everlasting joy upon” his head. He “shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” Isa. 35:10. He will inherit the earth — saved eternally!
“If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him.” 1 Kings 18:21.