The 7th Trumpet of Good News
We are looking at the rest of chapter 11, from verse 15 and we are following on from the two witnesses. This section, in my mind, supports the conclusion made about who, or what, the two witnesses represent - the church! It doesn't necessarily prove or disprove either way, but upon reading the full chapter together, we get a better sense that the two witnesses represent the church age and our purpose until Jesus comes again. That is to witness to the ungodly world. And it's at the blowing of the 7th trumpet that we see this will happen.
Trumpets are often associated with the ascension of kings to their thrones (1 Kings 1:34-41, 2 Kings 9:13), and so it is here. The Good News that King David's kingdom will be forever and ever. God's promise to King David (the Davidic covenant) has been fulfilled through Jesus Christ. We see here God's final triumph over the empire - the ungodly world.
We see reference to God's eternity and omnipotence:
“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. (Revelation 11:17)
Then comes the vindication. What the saints have been waiting for. God's wrath comes, the time of judgement. When His people, both great and small will be rewarded. This term is used over 40 times in the Old Testament to describe, 'everyone' - all of the saints. This is where it ties back to the two witnesses, "your servants the prophets". Again a term heavily used (some 20 times). Linking the saints with faithful witness of God's holy name.
Now we see a verse that gets used (often out of context) by Christian climate control activists, "destroying those who destroy the earth". Now, I'm not advocating either way, and I personally lean heavily on us being called to be God's stewards of the environment, both its beauty and natural resources. But this can raise a question around our view of the result once New Jeruselum comes, where God will restore the earth for His people. Does this mean we can ruin the planet because, well, it's going to be restored anyway? As I say, I believe we are to steward what we have, given to us by God. However, it raises good thinking questions, challenging what we believe.
Either way, this verse probably points back to many Old Testament prophets, who advocated, (on God's behalf) to care for the widow and the orphan. We destroy the earth through poor relationships and through poor social justice ethics. Far more damaging is God's people's apathy towards others.
We close with a view of the temple in heaven, again, helping us to see last week's conversation as figurative rather than literal. The Temple mentioned early in this chapter not being a physical temple. We see the Ark of the covenant, and we see the weather not unlike what was seen at Mount Sinai when the 10 commandments, (God's law), were handed to Moses and the Israelites. Something big is happening or about to happen.
But for today know... God has triumphed, we are His faithful people and we will be His witnesses to the ungodly world until Jesus comes again.