Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Christ's Second Coming

"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." (Revelation 19:1-4)

The myriads of heaven ring forth the familiar praise of Hallelujah. Hallel means to praise and Jah is the abbreviated form of JEHOVAH. This compound word means Praise JEHOVAH! John heard the citizens of heaven praising God for true and righteous judgments. The world accuses God's judgments of being inconsistent and harsh (Ezekiel 18:25, 29, 33:17, 20); but the Scriptures present God's judgments as true and righteous. When the Lord's judgments are respected and practiced, peace and wellness are always the results. This reality may be observed in the home, society, church and government. Oppression, immorality and confusion are never the results of God's judgments being practiced. They are the results of man's sin. The Psalmist said, "Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me (Psalm 119:175)." The Psalmist recognized that God's judgments do not hinder; they help. In the context of the peace surrounding the millennial kingdom, Isaiah wrote,

Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee. With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness (Isaiah 26:8-9).

This is the third time in which the elders are seen falling down and worshiping God (4:10, 5:14). They send to every saint a timeless message in their actions of reverence - "Praise God and keep on praising Him!"

"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 honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints." 
(Revelation 19:5-8)

The command to praise has a continuous nature to it. "Praise our God, and keep on praising Him!" The need for continual praise is a theme which appears often in the Bible. The Lord knows how human nature struggles with this concept; therefore, He presents it often. As a commentator, it would be easy to pass by things that seem redundant; yet redundancy in Scripture exists for a reason.

These praises and rejoicings thundered through the air. The text is about to reveal the victory of the Lord Jesus Christ against the armies of the antichrist, and such an event calls for magnificent exultation of God's power!

The Lamb's wife is prepared. The coming verses will disclose her full identity. She is given a pure white marriage gown. Such clothing symbolizes purity. The righteousness of saints is not the self-generated righteousness of man but rather the imparted righteousness of Jesus Christ. Man's righteousness leaves one appearing ragged and filthy (Isaiah 64:6). This truth is clearly illustrated by the attire of Joshua the priest who stood helpless and guilty before a holy God. "Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel (Zechariah 3:3)." On the other hand, the imparted righteousness of Jesus Christ leaves one justified and secure. God's response to Joshua clearly teaches this fact.

And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment (Zechariah 3:4).

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