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Rejoicing In Heaven

The Book of Revelation  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction:
The Bible lists many things as reasons to Praise God.
Because of the Perfection of His Glorious Being.
Hebrews 13:15 AV
By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
Psalm 7:17 AV
I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.
Psalm 7:17
2. He is to be Praised because of His Holiness
Psalm 30:4 AV
Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
Psalm 97:12 AV
Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
Psalm 106:47 AV
Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise.
3. He is to Praised because of His Mercy
Psalm 136:26 AV
O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psalm 107:8 AV
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Psalm 107:15 AV
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Psalm 107:21 AV
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Psalm 107:31 AV
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Psalm 118:1 AV
O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.
Psalm 118:29 AV
O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psalm 106:1 AV
Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
4. He is to bePraised for His Mighty Works
Isaiah 25:1 AV
O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.
But of all the things to be prised for, perhaps the lest expected is the destruction of the wicked.
Deuteronomy 32:43 AV
Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.
Psalm 48:11 AV
Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments.
Psalm 58:10–11 AV
The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.
Psalm 96:11–13 AV
Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.
Now, as the long awaited time for the destruction of the wicked approaches, the scene turns from earth (where it has been since Chapter 6) to heaven.
Revelation 12–22: The MacArthur New Testament Commentary 14. Heavenly Hallelujahs : (Revelation 19:1–10)

The intervening chapters have detailed God’s cataclysmic explosion of judgmental fury on the sinful world. That fury began to be poured out when the Lord Jesus Christ, the rightful heir to the universe, received the title deed to the earth from His Father (5:1–14). As He unrolled that scroll and broke its seven seals, terrifying judgments struck the earth. The seal judgments were followed by the equally devastating trumpet and bowl judgments.

Revelation 12–22: The MacArthur New Testament Commentary 14. Heavenly Hallelujahs : (Revelation 19:1–10)

Some might think heaven’s rejoicing over Babylon’s destruction to be insensitive and uncaring. But that shortsighted view ignores the reality that those sinners will have had the greatest opportunity to repent of any people who have ever lived. They will have experienced the unprecedented disasters of the Tribulation, which they will acknowledge to be God’s judgments (6:17). They will also have heard the most powerful preaching of the gospel in history, from the 144,000 Jewish evangelists, the two witnesses, the host of the redeemed saved during the Tribulation, and even a powerful angel (14:6–7). Yet despite all that, they will remain unrepentant to the very end (9:20–21; 16:9, 11), hardened into irreversible unbelief and defiant hatred of God.

Revelation 12–22: The MacArthur New Testament Commentary 14. Heavenly Hallelujahs : (Revelation 19:1–10)

The praise seen in heaven throughout Revelation (4:8–11; 5:9–14; 7:10–12; 11:15–18; 15:3–4; 16:5–6) reaches a crescendo in this text. The heavenly rejoicing is not over the damnation of those who reject God (cf. Ezek. 18:23, 32; 33:11), but because Jesus Christ will soon remove those obstinate sinners from the world. God will then be properly honored, the Lord Jesus Christ enthroned, and the earth restored to its lost glory. Heaven rejoices because history is finally going to reach its culmination as the true King establishes His kingdom on earth.

The first 10 verses of this chapter list five reasons why there is rejoicing in heaven and these are tremendous and we need to understand them.
A Complete Salvation
A Commendable Settlement
A Concluded Sedition
A Comprehensive Sovereignty
Ceremonious Spousal
I. A Complete Salvation (vs. 1)
Revelation 19:1 AV
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:
As always in the book of Revelation, when John uses the words “after these things”, he is referring to a new vision.
The vision takes place after the total destruction of Babylon (Chapters 17-18) and before the glorious return of Jesus Christ (19:11-21) to establish His Millennial Kingdom (20:1-10).
As the loud laments over the destruction of Babylon fade into the background, glorious praise erupts in heaven.
Now, the identity of the great voices that are heard in heaven are not given.
The assumption that one would make is that the eruption of glorious praise would be the redeemed saints.
But that does not seem to make sense here in this verse, since they are called to join in the praise in verses 5-8.
It would not make much sense to call someone in on the praise who is already praising.
So I do not believe that in verse one the ones that are erupting this praise are the redeemed saints.
These great voices that we see here are most likely the angels.
The countless millions of angels erupt in a majestic chorus.
The angels open the all important word, “Hallelujah”.
It is the Greek word, “ἁλληλουϊά” and means “Praise Yahweh”.
In the English we would call this word an “Interjection”, a word or a phrase used in exclamation, a word used to express emotion.
In the Greek, this is called an “Emphatic Particle”.
And all an “Emphatic Particle” does is to express the intensity of the emotion.
When these angels in heaven exclaim, “Hallelujah” I can just envision the gates of Hades quaking at the sound of that name.
And it is the same whenever one of God’s people say, “Hallelujah”. the gates of Hades shake.
Why?
Because of what the word means.
When these angels say (and when we say) “Hallelujah” we are saying, “Praise Yahweh”.
And it is the “Yahweh” that is so important.
It is the proper name for God.
That means that it is exclusively used only to refer to the one and only true God.
The false gods of the Canaanites or the Egyptians, may have been referred to by the name “the gods” but they were never called “Yahweh”.
This term appears as the name for God in every book of the OT, except for the Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes and Esther.
Many of the names of God contain the term “Yahweh”.

יְהוָה יִרְאֶה

“Yahweh Provides”

יְהוָה רֹפְאֶךָ

“Yahweh who heals you”

יְהוָה נִסִּי

“Yahweh is my Banner”

יְהוָה מְקַדִּשְׁכֶם

“Yahweh who Sanctifies you”

יְהוָה שָׁלוֹם

“Yahweh is Peace”

In Jewish practice since at least the first century, the four consonants that make up the divine name have been considered sacred and were never pronounced. To keep the reader from pronouncing and thus profaning the sacred name of God, the Masoretes put the vowel pointing for אֲדֹנָי (ʾădōnāy, “Lord”) under the consonants of the divine name יְהוָה (yhwh) to prompt the reader to pronounce אֲדֹנָי (ʾădōnāy) in place of the divine name wherever it appears in the text.

What makes this name so sacred and precious and why I believe the Gates of Hades shake at the sound of it?
Because it is the personal name of God.
We do not have the habit of referring to God as “Yahweh” but we usually use the term “Jehovah”.
And, again, because of the placement of the marking on the vowels we also use the term “Adonai” which means, “lord, master, one is given a place of authority”.
But here is the kicker and why this is such a sacred name.
This name is used with an emphasis on His relationship with His covenant people.
Every time that Satan hears the name “Yahweh” he is reminded that God has a covenant relationship with people that no matter that he does, cannot be broken.
When the angels exclaim “Hallelujah” it is reminder of the covenant relationship of God to His people.

Heaven rejoices specifically because salvation has come for God’s people, and with it the glory and power that belong to God (cf. 1 Chron. 29:11) have been put on display. The word salvation does not focus on justification or sanctification, but celebrates the final aspect of salvation history, the glorification of the saints in the kingdom of Christ. The imminent coming of Jesus Christ prompts this praise as the angels anticipate the glory of His kingdom.

II. A Commendable Settlement (vs. 2)
Revelation 19:2 AV
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.

Heaven also rejoices because God’s judgments are true and righteous (cf. 16:7), as evidenced by the destruction of wicked, deserving Babylon. That joy over the imminent triumph of God’s justice is something that all who pray and work for righteousness can relate to. Throughout history God’s people have been disturbed by the inequity, injustice, and unrighteousness in the world, and have longed for God’s justice to come. Anticipating the coming of the Messiah, Isaiah wrote:

Isaiah 9:6–7 AV
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Jeremiah also anticipated the time when Messiah would bring justice and righteousness to the earth.
Jeremiah 23:5 AV
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
Then there are the Tribulation Saints, whose also long for the time when Yahweh will judge the unrighteous.
Revelation 6:10 AV
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?

Like Isaiah and Jeremiah, they eagerly anticipated the day when God’s justice would triumph. God’s people hate sin because it mocks God and love righteousness because it exalts Him. They long for a world characterized by holiness and justice. But that will only happen when Christ establishes His righteous kingdom and rules with a rod of iron

The angel reminded John that Yahweh judged Babylon for two reasons.
Because she corrupted the earth with her immorality.
The system of AntiChrist (Babylon) seduced the world into believing the lie of Satan.
And because that system ruled the whole world, it is guilty of corrupting the whole world.

The evil of the commercial and religious Babylon will be pervasive and dominant, leading to equitable retribution from God.

2. Because of her mistreatment of God’s people
Revelation 19:2 AV
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.
Deuteronomy 32:42–43 AV
I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy. Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.
2 Thessalonians 1:6–8 AV
Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

It is both fitting and just that those who caused the moral ruin of the world and persecuted God’s people should face His vengeance.

III. A Concluded Sedition (vs. 3)
Revelation 19:3 AV
And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

Babylon’s judgment provoked the first outburst of heavenly rejoicing; the aftermath of her destruction prompts the heavenly chorus for a second time to say, “Hallelujah!”

That the smoke rises up forever and ever indicates that this judgment is final, permanent, and irreversible. The language is similar to that used of God’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19:28), and Edom (Isa. 34:10). The flames and smoke will eventually die out, but the judgment is eternal on the souls of the sinners destroyed.

And the Scriptures have this to say about that eternal destruction on the sinners.
Mark 9:48 AV
Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
Revelation 14:10–11 AV
The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

The destruction of the last and most powerful empire in human history marks the end of man’s day. The rebellion that began long ago in the Garden of Eden is finally ended (apart from a futile, short-lived revolt at the end of the Millennium; 20:7–10). There will be no more false religion, worldly philosophy, injustice, unrighteousness; all the sorry results of human depravity will be vanquished.

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