The Last Trumpet
14 The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe comes quickly.
the second woe is past – we have returned to the seven trumpets, after an interlude that began in Revelation 10:1. The second woe, the sixth trumpet, has passed. We have arrived at the final woe, which is flaming fire from heaven; and the judgment of mankind when Christ returns.
This statement is in no way connected with the preceding passage. The story of Revelation jumps from one period of time to another without introduction. This Book is like a collection of puzzle pieces. It can only be assembled by those who love the truth. They are bondservants of God, to whom this Book was written.
15 The seventh angel sounded, and there followed great voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ. He will reign forever and ever!”
the seventh angel sounded – “the last trumpet” see 1 Cor 15:52.
there were loud voices in heaven – shouts of joy from those who had resurrected.
the kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our LORD and His Christ – here John calls God “the LORD” again, for we have returned to the LORD’s Day, and Jesus Christ is no longer our Lord. See also Daniel 7:14,27; 1 Corinthians 15:23-28.
16 The twenty-four elders, who sit before God on their thrones, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying: “We give you thanks, Lord God, the Almighty, the one who is and who was; because you have taken your great power, and reigned.
who were and who are – in Revelation 1:4,8; and 4:8, the similar salutations say: “who is, who was and who is to come.” This passage emphasizes that God has become “the Last Lord” – for “who is to come” has been dropped: “You have taken Your great power and You have begun to reign.”
18 The nations were angry, and your wrath came, as did the time for the dead to be judged, and to give your servants, the prophets, their reward, as well as the saints, and those who fear your name, the small and the great; and to destroy those who destroy the earth.” 1
the time for the dead to be judged – this is the third woe. The three woes were introduced in Revelation 8:13, and Revelation 9:12, and again in Revelation 11:14. However, the first two woes were separated from the third, by the interlude of Revelation 10 to Revelation 11:14.
The first woe was the release of Satan, described in Revelation 9:1-11 (the Fifth Trumpet); the second woe was described in Revelation 9:13-21 (the Battle of Armageddon); and the third woe is the judgment of the dead.
19 God’s temple that is in heaven was opened, and the ark of the Lord’s covenant was seen in his temple. There followed lightnings, sounds, thunders, an earthquake, and great hail.
And the temple of God…was opened – see also Rev 7:15; 21:3. This may have the meaning of Joel 2:32, “whoever calls on the Name of the LORD will be saved,” in the final day. In Revelation 15:8, we are told that the no one was to enter the temple until the seven plagues were finished.
and an earthquake and a great hailstorm – described under the seventh bowl of wrath, in Rev 16:17-20.