B i b l e   S t u d y





Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, an ordained Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.

However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.

To see more Bible study outlines go to “The Archives Page”: More Bible Study Outlines.



November 14, 2021


SCRIPTURE: Revelation 11:15-19


KEY VERSE: 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.” (Revelation 11:15)


INTRODUCTION: Let’s study the Bible. Look at Revelation chapter 11.


In Revelation chapters 11-12, we are definitely on Jewish ground. We see the Jewish temple (Revelation 11:1-2), Jerusalem (Revelation 11:8), the ark (Revelation 11:19), the ruling Christ (Revelation 12:5), Michael (Revelation 12:7), and Satan’s persecution of the Jews (Revelation 12:17). If we spiritualize this passage and apply any of it to the church, we will be in serious trouble. At this point in the book of Revelation, we are at the middle of the Tribulation and the church is in heaven.


INSIGHT: Concerning God’s power and authority, Charles Haddon Spurgeon had this to say: “No doctrine in the whole Word of God has more excited the hatred of mankind than the truth of the absolute sovereignty of God. The fact that ‘the Lord reigneth’ is indisputable, and it is this fact that arouses the utmost opposition in the unrenewed human heart.”




A. The period of their ministry. (Read Revelation 11:1-4)


1. By now the Jewish temple has been rebuilt, and the nation (though in unbelief) is worshiping Jehovah again.


It seems likely that the two witnesses will minister during the first half of the Tribulation, preaching to the Jews and having access to the temple. At the middle of the Tribulation, the Antichrist will break his covenant with Israel and take possession of the temple area (2 Thessalonians 2; Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15). He will set himself up as god, thus bringing about the “abomination of desolation” that both Daniel and Christ predicted.


2. We see the temple overrun by the Gentiles for three and one-half years.


God asks John to measure the temple area, a symbolic action that goes back to Ezekiel 40-41 and Zechariah 2. To measure something means to claim it. Though the forces of Satan have taken over the Jewish temple, Christ will claim it again and restore it to His people. Notice the allusion in Revelation 11:4 to Zechariah 4-5 concerning Zerubbabel and Joshua, the high priest. These two men were God’s servants for reclaiming and rebuilding the temple and the nation after the Babylonian Captivity, a time of great national troubles.


B. The purpose of their ministry. (Read Revelation 11:5-6)


1. They will display God’s power to unbelieving Jews and Gentiles, and many will be saved through their witness.


They are called prophets (Revelation 11:6, 10) as well as witnesses. They will announce to the world the great events to come and will incur the wrath of the Beast and his people.


2. Because of the miracles they perform, these men have been identified with Moses and Elijah.


Moses turned water into blood in Egypt, and Elijah prayed for drought and for rain, and also brought fire down from heaven. Malachi 4:5-6 promises that Elijah will come to minister again. However, some believe the two witnesses are Enoch and Elijah, since neither of these men died, but were both taken to heaven alive.


C. The persecution in their ministry. (Read Revelation 11:7-10)


INSIGHT: Revelation 11:8 outlines what will happen in the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation period:


1. Sinful men have never wanted to hear or obey God’s Word (Revelation 9:20-21).


These two witnesses will be divinely protected until their work is finished; then God will allow the Beast to oppose them and slay them. Certainly Antichrist could not take possession of the temple unless these two prophets were out of the way.


2. The citizens of Jerusalem will not even give them proper burial (see Psalm 79), and the whole world will see their bodies and rejoice.


This period of three and one-half days will be a “satanic Christmas” celebration. People will host parties and exchange gifts and rejoice that their tormentors are dead.


D. The panic following their ministry. (Read Revelation 11:11-14)


1. In Revelation 11:11-12, after three and a half days of gloating over the slain witnesses, the party will end for the beast and his followers.


The breath of life from God will enter the two witnesses, bringing about a resurrection, and they will stand on their feet, causing great fear to come upon all who see them (Revelation 11:11). The beast’s bragging will be interrupted by God’s voice calling, Come up here. At that, the witnesses will be raptured (“caught-up”) in a cloud while their enemies watch (Revelation 11:12).


2. God raises them from the dead!


Think of the fear that will come to hearts around the world as people see two dead men come to life on the streets of Jerusalem! And then the two men will be caught up to heaven as their enemies stand and watch! Then will come an earthquake that will destroy one-tenth of the city and kill 7,000 people. What a day that will be! Our God is powerful!


INSIGHT: It will be worldwide news when these two witnesses with supernatural powers die in Jerusalem and their dead bodies lie in the main street. The wickedness of the city during the tribulation is highlighted by the reference to it as Sodom and Egypt (Revelation 11:8). Some peoples, tribes, languages, and nations will not allow the two witnesses to be buried, viewing their corpses for three and a half days (Revelation 11:9). Notably, just as some individuals from every “nation, tribe, people, and language” will be saved (Revelation 6:9), some from every ethnic group also will harden their hearts against God. The beast will mastermind all this activity in an effort to show he is superior in power to God’s two witnesses.




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. 16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 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.” (Revelation 11:15-17)


INSIGHT: (1) If we had been reading the book of Revelation, we would have been waiting since chapter 8 for this “third woe” that was promised. The seventh angel sounds the trumpet, and great voices from heaven announce that the kingdom (not kingdoms, for now the Beast has a united kingdom, Revelation 17:13) of this world is in Christ’s power.


(2) Christ does not gain control of the world until Revelation 19:11ff, so this is a declaration of events to come. In this section, we also have the anticipation of heaven as the elders look ahead to see what will happen. How wonderful it is to have the picture of heaven, and not of earth! All that happens from this point on leads up to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, taking the reins of government and conquering God’s enemies.


(3) This prophecy is followed by praise, as the elders glorify Christ for His power. This is the third of the heavenly praises. (1) In Revelation 4:10-11, they praised Him as Creator; (2) in Revelation 5:8-10, they praised Him as Redeemer; and here, (3) they praise Him as the King and Judge. The prayers of the martyrs will now be answered (Revelation 6:9-11), as well as the prayers of God’s people, “Thy kingdom come!”


A. National and international hostility.


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.” (Revelation 11:18)


“The nations (Gentiles) were angry!” Read Psalm 2, Psalm 83, and Joel 3:9-13. This means that the nations will show their hatred for Christ and His people and that persecution will increase. Of course, Satan is on the scene (see  Revelation 12:12ff), making a special effort to destroy the Jews. Satan has sought to destroy God’s people ever since Cain killed Abel (1 John 3:10-13).


INSIGHT: In Revelation 11:15 the seventh . . . trumpet announces the imminent arrival of Christ’s reign as loud voices in heaven declare, The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever. This sequence depicts events strikingly close to the end of the tribulation and the coming of God’s kingdom.


Take note that the rapture is not synonymous with the second coming. The rapture is when Christ will come in the air to receive believers into heaven. He will not come all the way down to earth in the rapture. He will only do that at the second coming, when he will be accompanied by the saints.


B. Resurrections.


The Tribulation martyrs will be raised (Revelation 20:4) as well as the wicked dead (Revelation 20:2ff). Daniel 12:1-3 seems to indicate that the Old Testament saints will be raised after the Tribulation.


C. Judgments.


1. The saints will have their works judged, and the wicked will be judged and condemned for their sins.


It will be a time of reward for the saints and of wrath for the sinners. Notice that the lost are described as “them which destroy the earth.” Satan is the Destroyer (Revelation 9:11), and all who follow him share in his program of destruction. God commanded man to care for the earth and use its resources for his good and God’s glory; but Satan has led men into destroying the earth and using its resources selfishly for evil.


2. The final three and one-half years of the Tribulation will climax the program of God.


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.” (Revelation 11:19)`


There will be delay no longer (Revelation 10:6). The chapter begins with the temple on earth, and closes with the temple in heaven. We have again the evidences of the coming storm: lightnings, thunderings, voices. We see this in Revelation 4:5 coming from the throne; in Revelation 8:5, coming from the incense altar; and now coming from the holy of holies in the temple.


Some believe that the ark here is the literal ark from the Old Testament temple, which vanished after the Captivity. But this is not likely, since none of the other temple furnishings in heaven have an earthly origin. The ark is the symbol of God’s presence and God’s covenant. It is called “the ark of the covenant.” On earth, Israel is going through intense suffering, and God is reassuring them of His government and His care. There were thunderings and signs when the Law was given at Sinai; there are thunderings now as God is about to judge the world for breaking His Law.


INSIGHT: In Revelation 11:19 the culminating preparation for Christ’s return occurs with the opening of the temple of God in heaven and the appearance of the ark of the covenant. This is accompanied by flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and severe hail. Now the stage is fully set for Jesus Christ’s return.


3. “Thy wrath is come!” is the statement of Revelation 11:18, and this judgment will be fulfilled in Revelation chapters 15-16 when God pours out the vials of His wrath.


The first three and one-half years are a period of tribulation. Then the last three and one-half years are known as the “Great Tribulation” or “the wrath of God” (Revelation 14:10; 14:19; 15:7; 16:1).


In preparation for Christ’s coming, the twenty-four elders who were introduced in Revelation 4:4 fall down in worship (Revelation11:16). Their praise announces that God, in this great power, has begun to reign (Revelation 11:17). Then they speak of another resurrection. This is not the resurrection of New Testament believers because that occurs at the rapture. This is the resurrection of Old Testament saints -- God’s servants the prophets, who will be given the reward they are due along with those who fear His name, both small and great (Revelation 11:18). The Old Testament has a unique connection to the tribulation because it prophesies this seven-year period (see Jeremiah 30:3-7; Daniel 9:24-27). Therefore, Old Testament saints will receive their resurrection bodies following the tribulation period.



By Dave Branon


“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” (Titus 2:11)


It’s a good thing our local library gives a grace period before it starts charging for overdue books. My family checks out books by the dozen, and sometimes we forget to get them back on time.


Recently one of my daughters passed the grace period -- by more than three weeks. When I went to pay the fine, I asked if we could get credit for the grace period and pay just for the days after that. I was told, however, that once the grace period ends, the full penalty is due.


According to the Bible, we live in the age of grace. God is withholding His judgment because He does not want anyone to perish. But someday the period of grace will suddenly be over and it will be time to “pay the fine” for the wages of sin.


During this age of grace, we have to acknowledge our sinfulness to God and put our faith in Jesus Christ, who has already taken the complete penalty on Himself. But if we die without receiving Jesus Christ as Savior, or if He returns and we’ve rejected Him, the “grace period” will be over and we will be judged for our sin.


Have you asked Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and to be your Savior? If not, don’t wait. No one knows when the grace period will end.


Don’t expect to have tomorrow

What is offered you today;

Jesus asks you now to follow --

Trust in Him and don’t delay. – Sper


-- Dave Branon, Our Daily Bread devotion, July 30, 1994


CONCLUSION: What have we learned today from our study of Revelation 11?


First, in Revelation 11:1-4 we learned that to measure something is to claim it for yourself, as when the new owner of a house measures it for carpets, drapes, and so forth.


John claims the temple in Jerusalem for the Lord even though in a short time the Antichrist will take it over (2 Thessalonians 2:3–4). God may seem to lose some battles, but He will finally win the war. We walk by faith.


Second, we learned that we do not know who the two witnesses are in Revelation 11:5-10, but they encourage us to be faithful to the Lord in difficult times.


God protects them and then permits them to be slain (Acts 12:1–10). God’s servants are immortal until their work is done. But Satan’s victory is short, for God takes the two men to heaven. Satan’s victory is defeat, but God’s seeming defeat is victory.


Third, we learned that no matter what the enemy may do to the temple on earth, he cannot touch the temple in heaven (Revelation 11:19).


The rejoicing of evil men soon becomes lamentation (Revelation 11:10–14), while the hosts of heaven proclaim the sovereign reign of Jesus Christ (Revelation 11:15–18). Let the nations rage (Psalm 2): The Lord Jesus Christ (the “King of kings and Lord of lords”) will reign forever and ever!


THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “God’s offer of saving grace is available for a limited time only.”


* * *


REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the Moody Bible Commentary, J. Vernon McGee’s Thru the Bible Commentary: (www.ttb.org), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: (http://www.intouch.org/), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, Dr. Tony Evans (https://tonyevans.org/), KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: (http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Dr. Robert Jeffress’ Pathway to Victory (https://ptv.org/), Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook (www.sermonnotebook.org), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, Radio Bible Class Ministries (http://rbc.org/), selected illustrations and other references.



E-mail: Ronald Purkey


·        Return to BIBLE STUDY OUTLINES


·        Return to HOME PAGE