“Then, in heaven, the Temple of God was opened and the Ark of his covenant could be seen inside the Temple. Lightning flashed, thunder crashed and roared, and there was an earthquake and a terrible hailstorm.” Revelation 11:19
John reports in this verse that the temple in heaven opened, and he saw the Ark of the Covenant in the temple. In Old Testament times the ark symbolized God’s presence. The ark disappeared during the Exile, but it never lost its significance. The appearance of the ark in heaven indicates that’s God’s presence and protection continue for His people. Wars and earthly calamities cannot destroy the ark’s significance. Similarly, no power on earth can rob believers of the presence and protection of their Lord. Hebrews 13:5 holds Jesus’ promise: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Because of His promise, the writer of Hebrews writes in verse 6: “So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?'”
With the opening of the temple in heaven, there are accompanying lightning, voices, and thundering, apparently in the earthly scene, as well as an earthquake and a great hail. The plain implication is that now God is going to deal in summary judgment with the earth. These same phenomena occurred at the end of the seal judgments (Revelation 8:5). It seems all nature gave it’s “amen” to what God was doing.
Before the details of the judgment to follow are unfolded in the seven vials in chapter 16, the divine revelation turns to other important aspects which relate to this period and which chronologically precede the consummation. Apart from the outpourings of the vials, which occur in rapid succession, there is little chronological movement from this point until chapter 19 and the second coming of Christ. Events and situations are now introduced which are concurrent with the seals and the trumpets. These serve to emphasize the dramatic climax of this period in the second coming of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.