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REVELATION 19:1-6

FOUR "ALLELUIAHS" IN ONE TEXT!

"And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, 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."

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LESSON 1, INTRODUCTION:

Our Text is found in the New Testament's last Book, Revelation.

And one word dominates that Text, being found there four different times!

"And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, 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." Revelation 19:1-6

I heard one old-timer, a godly Preacher of the Word, call this Text "The Four Hallelujahs" of the Bible!

Unbelievable as it sounds, according to the concordance anyway, these are the only times "Alleluia" occurs in Revelation! Doesn't that surprise you?

Let me quickly print the Text a second time, except highlighting, really capitalizing, the four "Alleluias."

"And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, 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." Revelation 19:1-6

Sometime recently I saw an analysis of this Paragraph, one in which the writer summarized all four of these bursts of praise!

That Preacher suggested that the first "Alleluia" was for our rescue! That's our salvation, of course! "Hallelujah, salvation belongs to our Lord!"

Then comes the "Alleluia" of retribution. Which means "judgment," from God upon sin! "True and righteous are His judgments. And the smoke rose up forever."

Next is an "Alleluia" for His reputation! That just means, "Who God is!" John wrote: "They worshipped the Lord our God, omnipotent." These two Names by themselves, "Lord" and "God" occur thousands of times in the Bible! In Greek "Lord" is "kurios" and God is "theos." In Hebrew they are "Adonai" or "Jehovah" (Lord) and "El" or "Elohiym (God)." The "omnipotent" part is "God Almighty!" Or "El Shaddai!"

Lastly, add one more "Alleluia" for God's reign! "For the Lord God reigneth!" Yes, He does! Right now on the heavenly Throne of God, literally! And some day in Jerusalem on the very Throne of David, literally here too!

I've simply borrowed a four word description, a succinct categorization of our Verses here, Revelation 19:1-6.

God rescues!

God repays!

God has reputation!

And God reigns!

Beginning tomorrow, the Lord willing, we will switch from short little outlines to a somewhat more involved series of expositions.

Let's dig into these Verses and see why Heaven's inhabitants are so very happy!

Their values system will seem a bit strange to us today!

But theirs is the one that will last for eternity!

Let's adopt Heaven's priorities!

Ready?

The four "Hallelujahs" of Revelation chapter nineteen.

I hope and trust this study will put a little more genuine "praise" down in my heart, and yours too!

Praise ... for all the right reasons!

Still, until I understand these four "Alleluias" better, I'll say one of my own. And mean it too.

I'll even translate it for us as well, "Praise the Lord!"

That's exactly what the Hebrew word "Hallelujah" meant to an ancient Jew.

"Praise the Lord!"

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, THE FIRST ALLELUIA:

Please notice the word "alleluia."

"And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God." Revelation 19:1

The phrase "after these things" occurs in John's writings seven times! No other New Testament writer uses it except Luke, then only four times.

Paul, in thirteen or fourteen different Epistles, does not employ it a single time!

It's a "temporal marker" for John. He divides his work into sections with the phrase.

This current "after these things" follows the dramatic judgment of God on both apostate religion and the vast commercial system she spawned.

Our verse describes a great "roar" in Heaven, much like the crowd's reaction in a sports stadium after the hard fought game has finally ended, with the home team winning!

Religious apostasy has been destroyed!

God-hating, money-worshipping commerce, headed by the anti-christ, has fallen too!

"Babylon" is gone!

And Heaven, amazingly, rejoices!

"And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God."

The adjective "great" is "megas," meaning "huge" or "extra loud!"

"Much people," in Greek "ochlos polus," just means "a crowd of multitudes." This hints at the population of Heaven!

There are going to be more people than we think!

Especially if little babies who died in infancy go there. And I sincerely believe they do!

And little unborn babies, too! Untold millions of them, mostly aborted!

Plus the saved of all the ages!

Yes, a group accurately described as "much people."

"Saying" is "lego" as a present participle. They keep on and on "declaring and telling and asserting and uttering" these things, these wonderful things about Jesus!

"And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God." 

The Greek word "alleluia" is borrowed from Hebrew! Except the Jews spelled it a little differently.

"Hallelujah" means "praise the Lord!"

Praising Him for four different qualities!

"Salvation" is first, as one would have imagined.

Saved by the Grace of God!

We shall talk about His Grace for eternity!

And Jesus is the Saviour!

"Soteria" is the noun, taken from the verb "sozo," meaning "to deliver, to rescue to save!"

Praise God for saving us!

Then comes "glory."

Here "doxa" might mean the brilliant light that radiates from God and His throne! A greenish colored rainbow effect being produced! His "glory" really "glows," visibly!

"Doxa" also can mean the "worth or value" due to a person!

Praise God for His Being, for His Essence, for Who He is!

"And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God." 

Then "honour," which is "time" in Greek, pronounced tee-may' the textbooks say. It means "precious" once in the New Testament. Hallelujah to Jesus for His very preciousness! Telling Him how sweet and darling He is!

And then we shall add His "power" to the list! "Dunamis" is the word. We have made it into the word "dynamite." Explosive power! Power on reserve, too! Available whenever needed! Potential power! Stored-for-future-use power! Never ending power!

Even after we get to Heaven!

We shall glorify God for that power, from now on!

"And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God." 

Worshipping God and His Son for a litany of things, beginning with our very "salvation!"

Thank you Jesus, for saving our lost souls!

Maybe it would be a good idea to start now, getting ready for Heaven of course.

Praising God for saving us!

Let's try it this September Saturday.

                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

lesson 3, the second alleluia:

The "Hallelujahs" continue to roll, in Heaven!

Revelation 19:2-3 describes the second one in detail.

"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."

This is a strange response, praise and thanksgiving and worship, all coming as a result of God's judging the wickedness, total wickedness, of this old world. A world perhaps in its most depraved state ever.

A problem always arises when God judges anything or anyone. The atheists and God-haters and Christ-rejecters and apostates all have critical things to say when God's wrath falls on iniquity!

Throughout time that unbelieving crowd has attacked Almighty God for such events as the Flood, the Tower of Babel, Sodom and Gomorrah, Pharaoh's Army drowning, Korah being swallowed alive into the earth, the annihilation of the Canaanites under Joshua, all the way up to Jesus cleansing the Temple!

They tell us, even if God exists, He is to be kind and loving and gracious all the time! Never adversely dealing with sin!

I imagine they feel that way because they are living in sin and debauchery ... and so-called enjoying it! At least most of them are.

Well, God's people feel differently!

When God judges unrighteousness, like the false world-wide Church of the Tribulation Period, "the great whore" of our Text today, the saints get excited!

Of course, to them God can do no wrong!

They believe like Abraham did in Genesis 18:25. "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

Certainly He will do right!

He has never done anything wrong!

If you do not believe in rejoicing when God judges the devil and sin and wickedness, please do not read the imprecatory Psalms! Like Psalm 58 and Psalm 83, just to give two examples.

Verbatim from heaven, John saw and heard and recorded it all!

Multitudes of saints crying out: "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."

This wicked Tribulation system, blended with religion and government and finance, will have declared God's people their number one enemies! They will have slaughtered many a saint!

Countless victims!

Martyrs!

Remember this?

"And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: and they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled." Revelation 6:9-11

When the wrath of God finally is unleashed, praise breaks out in Heaven!

And rightly so!

God's judgments are always "true and righteous!"

It will happen just like it's recorded, back in Revelation 17 and 18 to be precise! His judgments will be "true!' No exaggerations, no fabrications, no more delays!

It will happen without a single wrong on God's part, too! It will be "right" for Him to so judge such abhorrent iniquity!

That word for "true" also suggest "unforgettable" as well! It's spelled "alethinos."

And "righteous" is "dikaios," meaning "just" and "proper" in God's Eyes! Without any wrong!

"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."

Notice too that sin "corrupts." That's "phtheiro," to cause anything "to wilt, wither, waste away."

Sin destroys life and vitality and enthusiasm!

Creativity and zest too, I imagine.

"Fornication" here, "porneia" in Greek, means both literal sexual contact and spiritual unfaithfulness too. Professing the true God at times while passionately "loving" the false gods of this world, simultaneously!

Some day God is going to "avenge" the innocent blood that crowd has shed. And will yet shed in the future. "Ekdikeo" means "to make right," to execute sentence! It is ultimately derived from the word "deikuno," meaning "to put on public display!"

Wow!

To shame before all creation!

To this kind of righteous Wrath, the heavenly throngs say, "Alleluia!" Again, that's the Hebrew term "Hallelujah!"

It invariably translates as "Praise the Lord!"

A worship service based on God's Position as Judge of the universe! And, like Paul calls Him in 2nd Timothy 4:8 , the "righteous" Judge too!

And the great whore, now destroyed, is graphically depicted as smoldering forever in God's wrath. "And her smoke rose up for ever and ever."

God is good in His Grace!

God is good in His Mercy!

God is good in His Love!

God is good in His Salvation!

God is good in His Longsuffering!

But, also, God is good in His Judgments!

God is good in His Wrath!

God is good in His Retribution!

Yes, God is good all the time, in every way!

And if you are not in this mindset yet, you will be! By the time you get to Heaven!

"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 we shall say, Alleluia. And her smoke will rise up for ever and ever."

All of us will say it some day!

What a God we serve! He is always true to His Own Character! He is not a hypocrite!

His Righteousness will prevail.

As will His Grace!

He is perfect.

Praise be to Him this September Lord's Day!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

The word "smoke" is interesting, too. In Greek itís "kapnos," appearing only 13 times in the whole New Testament. Its origin is "uncertain," the lexicons say! But the Hebrew counterpart to "smoke" is "ashan," found 25 times in the Old Testament. It is from a root word, "ashan," spelled identically but pointed with different vowels, meaning "anger!" To be wroth, to be furious, to fume! See Godís Holy Indignation here. Even in punishing the wicked!

 

 

LESSON 4, THE THIRD ALLELUIA:

The Text contains four "Hallelujahs!"

But the New Testament, keeping with Greek pronunciation rules, spells the word "Alleluia."

In both cases the meaning is the same, "Praise the Lord!"

Today we must study the third in the series.

"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." Revelation 19:4-5

This Alleluia seems to be focused solely on God!

The twenty four "elders" probably represent both Old and New Testament saints. Like the twelve sons of Jacob from the Jewish Scriptures and the twelve disciples from the time of Christ.

They are "worshipping" the Lord God Almighty!

The verb "worship" is absolutely beautiful! It is "proskuneo" in Greek, meaning first of all "to kiss" someone! It blends "kuon," their word for a little "doggie," and "pros," a preposition meaning "to or toward," in the face likely! Or on one's hand! It's your family pet, that little dog, licking and kissing and loving on its master, so excited every time he sees its owner! That is, if he or she is a good master! Yes, "kuon," a "dog" becomes "kuneo," to kiss!

These folks in Heaven art getting excited abut the Lord!

Adoring Him and falling before Him and, if possible, hugging and loving Him intently! There are some kisses in there somewhere, too!

"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."

Notice that along with this "Alleluia" comes an "Amen" as well. Spelled "amen" in Greek, surprise surprise, it means "truthfully, surely, firmly, verily!" No doubt about the matter at hand!

And God is so much in agreement with their praise, so much wanting it to continue, that a "voice" is heard "out of His very Throne!"

It says, "Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great." Revelation 19:5

The verb "praise" here is framed as an imperative! God commands them to keep on glorifying His Name! I would say that's a pretty good sign that even today He is thrilled with our meager attempts to praise Him!

He likes it!

He wants more!

He even seeks it, according to John 4:23.

What about God has them so excited?

One word, I think, gives us the answer to that question.

It's the unusual verb employed by the Holy Spirit here, the one meaning "praise." It is "aineo." It only occurs in the Bible nine times, that's very rare considering all 1189 chapters of Scripture.

"Aineo" comes from its root word, the noun "ainos." It means ultimately a "story!" A story short as a single sentence, or as long as the teller wants to make it!

There is some ancient Greek evidence that "ainos" could mean something as brief as a "parable," but also as long as a "book!"

Wow!

These folks in Heaven, praising God as they are doing, are really telling "stories" about the Lord God Himself!

Maybe about, according to the Bible, how He created the world!

Or sent that great Flood!

Or called Abraham!

Or blessed Joseph, after so many years of suffering!

Or brought the Jews out of Egypt, after all those little lambs being slain!

Or led Israel through the wilderness, providing for them miracle after miracle!

Or called Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea all all the others, preachers of His Word!

Or, best of all, sent Jesus via a virgin's womb!

To the Cross, shedding His precious Blood, so we might be saved!

And telling the story of the Burial, and the Resurrection of our Lord!

And His return to Glory, His ascension!

Telling God's "stories," rehearsing His "great and mighty acts" back to Him, is a valid form of worship apparently!

God even commands it!

Oh, one more "story" we are all going to "tell" that day, no doubt!

We will relate how God saved us!

Our very own testimonies will ring throughout the halls of Heaven!

All this is implied by the verb "aineo," telling stories to the Glory of God!

And the Bible calls it "praise!"

But, to whom will we be telling these stories?

To the Lord Himself, of course!

Maybe also to the angels!

They have always been amazed at the Grace and Power of God!

And then, I'm pretty sure, to one another!

Here's why is say this. Isaiah 6:1-3. "In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims, angels: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory." These angels are praising God, saying ONE TO ANOTHER, "He is Holy, Holy, Holy!"

Wow!

Have your stories ready, fellow Believers!

Jesus is coming soon!

Oh, by the way, maybe you can tell your story to someone today!

Nothing wrong with rehearsing a bit, is there?

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, THE FOURTH ALLELUIA:

Revelation 19:6 describes God as "omnipotent," literally "having all power!" And this fact is so important, so thrilling, that its very thought causes multitudes of men and women and angels to break into praise!

"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."

The verb "saying," a participle here, pictures this "talk," this "praise," this "adoration" continuing for a long time. Maybe even forever!

Remember too that "alleluia" is a synonym to the Hebrew noun "Hallelujah," both meaning "Praise ye the Lord!"

The "many waters" and "mighty thunderings" both emphasize the awesome sound of this sanctified crowd!

Outside my motel room right now, with the door open, even from the third floor, I hear such a "roar." A mountain river, though a smaller one this year, is coursing down its channel, sounding mighty too!

Why this praise?

I want to say because God "reigneth." And that's certainly part of it. But it's not just any "reign" that's being described! It's the administration of an "almighty" God!

His Power is being celebrated, the Ability and Authority and Strength and Force of the King!

"Saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth."

This word, "pantokrator," blends "pas," meaning "all," and "kratos," meaning "power," into one major New Testament expression!

Thus so, God possesses "all power!"

That's the kind of King He is!

And Lord!

And Saviour!

And Friend!

The omnipotent One!

That fact alone should cause nearly any Believer to start praising!

I'm not far from saying "alleluia" right now, in fact!

Today as you drive or work or eat, whatever you do, reflect a while on these four "alleluias" of Revelation 19:1-6.

The Hallelujah of "salvation!"

The Hallelujah of "judgment!"

The Hallelujah of "faithfulness!"

And the Hallelujah of "omnipotence!"

And these four again, in order ...

In salvation God has made everything all right in my heart!

In the coming judgment God will make everything all right world-wide!

In His faithfulness God will then keep everything that way, perfectly straight!

And in His omnipotence, nothing will ever challenge His righteous Plan!

All then is well!

What's left to say?

But "Alleluia!"

My four descriptions of these "alleluias" differ slightly from the author I quoted back in Lesson one. But just slightly.

The main point is still the same.

In Heaven, forevermore, we're going to be praising the Lord!

Even to one another!

And having a wonderful time doing so!

Here at the end let's read our Verses yet again.

Carefully, slowly now.

"And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, 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." Revelation 19:1-6

Wow!

                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

                                                            ALLELUIA!

 

 

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