LESSON XIX – PART 1 Revelation 19:1–10
Read More Than Conquerors, pp. 213–217
REJOICING IN HEAVEN BECAUSE OF CHRIST’S VICTORY OVER THE HARLOT
A. A GREAT MULTITUDE IN HEAVEN CELEBRATES CHRIST’S VICTORY OVER THE HARLOT, verses 1–3
This was probably a multitude of angels. The content of their wonderful Hallelujah-chorus emphasizes one point which is so often forgotten. It is this: in heaven those very attributes of God which here on earth are so often minimized are seen in their true and glorious significance. Here we so frequently place God’s love at the top of the list of his exalted qualities, as if the other divine attributes were of lesser importance. But in heaven the saving power, truthfulness, and righteousness of God are exalted, yes even his avenging (or retributive) righteousness, as this song indicates. Heaven has a far more balanced view of things than earth has. Filled with ecstasy the angelic choir even repeats its “Hallelujah.”
B. THE TWENTY-FOUR ELDERS AND FOUR LIVING CREATURES (CHERUBIM) RESPOND, verse 4
This is the response of joyful, enthusiastic approval. “Sometimes, while you are preaching, I would just like to shout Amen,” said the parishioner to his pastor. Well, one of the interesting characteristics of heavenly life will be exactly this that there will be no restrictions placed upon your outbursts of hearty agreement with the songs of the rest of the redeemed or of the angels. How wonderful that will be!
C. IN RESPONSE TO A SOLO VOICE FROM THE THRONE A GREAT MULTITUDE SINGS HALLELUJAH, verses 5–8
How majestic this mighty chorus of the redeemed!
They realize that the fall of the dragon’s allies spells salvation’s climax for the Church. And salvation’s climax is “the marriage of the Lamb.” (As this very important subject has been treated in detail in More Than Conquerors, I shall not use space to say more about it here. See pp. 214–217 of my book.)
A few points, though, require special attention:
1. Verse 5: “the small and the great.” Heaven honors both. How often on earth—even at times in the Church are not “the small” neglected? How seldom, in pushing the work of evangelism, do we contact “the great,” for example, the highly educated who are living apart from Christ.
2. Verse 7: “Let us…” Each of the redeemed exhorts his neighbor. I heard recently that the reason why in certain parts of Africa missionary work was so fruitful was because each convert told his neighbor about his new spiritual discovery. He would tell it with great enthusiasm and conviction! What a lesson for us all!
3. Verse 8: “And it was given unto her that she should array herself.” On the one hand, “It was given.” Hence, all honor to God and his sovereign grace. On the other, “that she should array herself.” Human responsibility is by no means minimized. “Righteous acts” are required, as fruits of gratitude.
D. JOHN IS TOLD TO WORSHIP GOD, HIM ALONE, verses 9, 10
When John, moved to the depths of his being by what he had heard and seen, was at the point of falling down before the angel-guide in order to worship him, he was stopped, and was told that not the wisdom of the angel but “the testimony of Jesus” was the inspirer of prophecy. Does not the Roman Catholic Church err greatly, then, when it kneels before images, prays to Mary and the other “saints,” and renders the kind of homage to the pope that hardly falls short of idolatrous worship?
1. What is meant by “fornication”? See verse 2.
2. Verse 3: What is implied in the words, “And her smoke goeth up forever and ever”?
3. Verse 6: In what connection was the expression “the voice of many waters and mighty thunders” (or something very similar) used before? What can you infer from this?
4. Verse 7: “And let us give the glory unto him.” How can we “give glory” to him who already has all the glory?
5. Verse 7: Who is the bride (prove this from Scripture), and how did she make herself ready?
6. Verse 8: What have “righteous acts” to do with our salvation?
7. Verses 9 and 10: How would you go about the business of trying to make a Roman Catholic see the error of his way?