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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

THE HEAVENLY HOSTS REJOICE

Rev 19:1-7 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God: for true and righteous are His judgments: for He hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of His servants at her hand. And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye His servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.

Previous recordings of God's Revelation to the apostle John tell us of the prophetic fall of mystical Babylon, which assuredly referred to the civil and religious city/state of Rome. His writings also revealed the corrupt, apostatizing Catholic religious order, which, under its erring, but powerful, papal leadership, ruled much of the known world's temporal governments, and was prophetically referred to as the great whore or harlot. In the preceding chapter we found a great lamenting by those that monetarily profited from papal Rome for hundreds of years (Rev. 18:9-19). We also found a great rejoicing by the faithful members of the church of Christ, who had been mercilessly persecuted and slain by this same political and religious regime (Rev. 18:20:24).

As the nineteenth chapter of John's Revelation opens, we find recorded a great rejoicing by heavenly hosts over the prophetic destruction of mystical Babylon, the great harlot that had corrupted the earth, which symbolized Rome under the evil influence of its papal leadership. In the presence of God, as He sat upon His throne, we learn of these heavenly beings singing, with a great voice, a "Hallelujah Chorus" of praise to His holy name. "Alleluia"is the Greek rendering of "hallelujah," which properly means "Praise the Lord." Similarly, heavenly rejoicing celebrated great victories over the enemies of God, and His gospel message of eternal salvation through His Son, Christ Jesus, and is also found in this same book of Revelation (See Rev. 5:13, 11:15). Indeed, salvation from evil can only be ascribed to God. In its context, this great voice of praise to God was raised specifically for the impending deliverance of the church of Christ from papal-controlled Rome. It wasbecause of this eternal redemption extended to the world that glory, and honor, and power ring out in a heavenly chorus of praise and adoration for God, the Author of our salvation.

For centuries, mystical Babylon, which symbolized papal Rome, had been the world's center of indecent and lascivious living, the core of idolatry, the primary source of rebellion and apostasy against God's Holy Word, and the foremost instigator of persecution and cruelty against Jesus Christ and His church. Because of these civil and spiritual atrocities, God, in His infinite wisdom, exercised His divine justice over these worldly corruptors, For true and righteous are His judgments: for He hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of His servants at her hand.

Justice was to be meted out by God against the Satan-inspired religious leaders of Rome, and for this, the hosts of heaven rejoiced and praised His name. The final destruction of Rome, as foretold in these inspired passages, and symbolized by ruinous smoke rising up for ever and ever, was the reason for the heavenly angelic Hallelujah Chorus - And again they said, Alleluia. Also, because God was to exercise His divine justice on papal Rome, the four and twenty elders and the four beasts, introduced in Revelation 4:4, 6-7, who symbolically represented the New Testament church of Christ, also fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. And from the midst of the heavenly throne John beheld an unidentified voice with this extolment: Praise our God, all ye His servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great.

Just as the hosts of heaven rejoice when one sinner obediently repents and turns to God (Luke 15:7-10), so too is there joy in heaven when the church is victorious over earthly persecution. Indeed we can say that the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. Hallelujah, and amen!