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Someday in the not too distant future, each of us who are born-again by the Spirit, saved from God’s wrath, justified freely by His grace, and forgiven forever: are going to join the ultimate, Heavenly Hallelujah chorus. The words for that chorus have been given to us already, written down in Revelation.
The term in English: Hallelujah Chorus, has become totally associated with an oratorio written 271 years ago in London.
It was in April, 1741 the German composer Handel was bankrupt, imperiled by paralyzing pain, betrayed by friends, and depressed. It looked like his composing career was over.
In this devastating time of Handel’s life, a friend presented him with 52 Scripture passages, and from a season of prayerfully reading those passages, Handel’s soul became enraptured with the beauty of the God Almighty who Reigns.
In the summer of 1741 his servants were quoted as saying that for those three plus weeks of writing: “He was praying, or he was weeping, or he was staring into eternity”.
When he booked a concert hall for his “farewell” composition, the word on the street was, that he was no longer thought able to produce anything worthy of London’s audiences.
That changed, after he emerged with the 250 pages of oratorio we now know as Handel’s Messiah. In those famed, three solid weeks of round-the-clock work, the most well know and performed choral composition of the Western world: Handel’s Messiah was produced, based on 52 passages from God’s Word.
Three of the passages have become the best known of them all. Please stand as we read these verses in unison, and ask God to unleash the truths of His Word into our lives with the same, heart-stirring worship that the Hallelujah chorus has prompted:
Revelation 11: 15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.
Revelation 19:6, 16 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. 16 And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, LORD OF LORDS.
The Ultimate Hallelujah
Chorus is in Heaven
We are going to be part of the real choir, singing the real Hallelujahs, in the very real place around the Throne of God in Heaven. Professional singers have been invited to sing those words on Earth, over the last two hundred plus years. But only saints are invited but only saints are invited to come before His Throne to sing the words of that closing Hallelujah Chorus.
People on Earth for two hundred plus years have stood to their feet at the sounds of these Hallelujahs, but we shall fall on our faces. In Heaven it is not an oratorio, it is the redemption driven song of our souls, forever freed from the penalty, power, and presence of sin.
Hallelujah! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
Hallelujah! The kingdom of this world is become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.
Hallelujah! Lord of Lords, for ever and ever.
Hallelujah! King of Kings, for ever and ever.
Hallelujah! King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, and He shall reign for ever and ever, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Now, move back in your Bibles to Rev. 5:9, that third doxology of the worship service captured in the Book of Revelation. This doxology is recorded differently than the first two, which were chants; this doxology is a song.
The Words of the First Song in Heaven
Starting in Rev. 5:9-10 we see the very first song in Revelation. This is a song that God sent to us, wrote down for us, and gave to us His church. Once again look at these inspired words:
And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
v. 10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.”
The Thrill of Experiencing the Hallelujah Chorus Around the Throne
Singing at the Met, Carnegie Hall, or in some renowned concert hall oversees must be a thrill. I have a friend who has done all of those and many more. But after a while, he tells me, it just becomes like any other job.
Not so for us. We will sing in Heaven after we are forever to be never the same. Redemption insures that we are forever changed. Forever grateful. Forever living to adore our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend.
One thing for certain, we are in that picture God sends us in Revelation 4-5.
The church era has passed as Rev. 1-3 portray. The time of Jacob’s troubles have started as Rev. 6 onward explains. But in between those two, Revelation 4-5 clearly portrays that the choir of the redeemed saints has been assembled.
The church of the first born, registered in Heaven are called before the Throne to sing for the glory of God, while He punishes the world for its sins, and wrests back the control of the planet from Satan.
What do these lyrics that God has written, teach us: we who hear them in our hearts, our souls, our spirits, and our minds?
Each of these seven phrases declares a facet of Christ’s eternal character, redeeming work, and justifying life as recorded in Scripture.
What we have before us in clear, plain, understandable language are the exact facets of Christ that we, as glorified saints in Heaven, will offer to Him in heavenly worship.
How They Worship Jesus in Heaven
These are the first targets of the glorified saints worship in Heaven.
1. They Worship Jesus as the Owner of the Universe: “You are worthy to take the scroll. Jesus Christ the Lamb is the only rightful Heir of all things. Only He can take the scroll. Jesus who is God the Son, Creator of all things, has the Name that is above all Names; and at the name of Jesus every knees shall bow.
2. They Worship Jesus as the Judge of All: And to open its seals. Jesus Christ is the Judge of all and thus has the right to open the seals which release the wrath of God. The Father has given all judgment into the Hands of the Son. Someday all the nations will hide from His Face as He comes to right all wrongs.
3. They Worship Jesus as the Lamb that was Slain for the world: For You were slain. Jesus is the Lamb that was slain for the sin of the world. Jesus is the Lamb of God, the once for all time sacrifice offered on the altar of the cross, to become the eternal payment for sin.
4. They Worship Jesus as the Redeemer: And have redeemed us to God by Your blood. Jesus is the One who alone could redeem us, and did so with His very own blood. Jesus who was holy, harmless, and undefiled became sin. He who knew no sin was made sin so that He could purchase us. In Him we have redemption through His blood, even the complete forgiveness of all sins.
5. They Worship Jesus as the Savior: Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation. Jesus said He came to seek and to save the lost. His Great Commission plan has succeeded, we see and hear those from every branch of humanity are around the Throne, safe in heaven. Jesus was moved with compassion. He called out to all those who were weary of their sins, and heavy laden with their frustrations: and promised them rest.
6. They Worship Jesus as the Great High Priest: v. 10 And have made us kings and priests to our God. Christ’s redemption brings us into the kingdom of God where we can come into His presence as His priests. Jesus is the new an
d living way. He has opened God’s presence to us. We are now able to come to Him bringing Him gifts of worship and adoration.
7. They Worship Jesus as the King of Kings: And we shall reign on the earth. Christ’s promise that we as His joint heirs reign with Him is accomplished. The weak of this world are strong in their King. The poor of this world are rich in their King. The promised rule over a world and a universe that are His is given to us who are joint heir with Jesus.
There is even more that this first song opens for us. The introduction to the very first song we ever hear the words for in Heaven, comes after the introduction of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Lamb before the Throne, and:
The Setting for the Song is First: The Throne of God
Look at Revelation 4:5 And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
First we see, central to Heaven, the Throne of God. Completely encircled by the emerald green rainbow that is over, around and beneath the Throne: we are overwhelmed by the massive rumble of power, as endless peals of thunder and flashes of lightning seem to radiate outward from within.
Listening carefully we hear with John the loud voices like roaring waterfalls rolling past the seven blazing pillars of flame that burn in a circle around God’s Throne.
The Setting for the Song is Second: The Sea of Glass
Look at Revelation 4:6a Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal.
Next, the FLOOR if it can be called that, is an ocean of completely clear and reflective glass.
In this crystal sea we can see all the colors, lights and objects are reflected and amplified.
The Setting for the Song is Third: The Endless Worship of the Living Ones
Look at Revelation 4:6a Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. Revelation 4:6b-11 And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. 8 The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!”
Then the LIVING ONES, that is what Cherubim means: capture our focus. As our eyes turn to follow the four glistening living beings each with four distinct faces: lion, calf, man, eagle, and completely covered with eyes.
They move like flashes of light with fire passing between them, gliding through the expanse around the Ancient of Days in theo-centric orbit always facing the Almighty One.
The Setting for the Song is Fourth: The 24 Elders
Look at Revelation 4:9-11 Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: 11 “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”
Now as we watch, 24 ELDERS rise and fall, under the awesome expanse of space over the Throne that sparkles like pure on the crystal blue pavement as it is called in Exodus. Then we see a circle just beyond the burning pillars of fire, and the four living creatures that surrounds God’s Throne–made up of 24 small thrones seated with white robed celestial men.
Each man holds a harp, wears a crown, and holds a golden bowl. These golden bowls contain the worship offered by God’s saints on Earth.
And repeatedly we see those twenty-four elders fall on their faces pouring out to the Lord, the collected worship of the saints as the hosts of Heaven loudly chant the Glory of God.
Finally, at a special moment every angel and every elder and every saint falls prostrate before him—those four great angels, those twenty-four elders, the hundreds of millions around the sea—and most of all, us! And we all join together to say with them:
Revelation 5:12 Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth
and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise! (5:12)
In the Bible, God is described as awesome, and when He is present there is such a sense of wonder: that it bordered on fear.
This awesomeness was an overpowering sense of God’s glory that could be felt.
Seven Lessons from the First Song of Heaven
What can we apply to our lives today from this first song?
1. Surrender back all you have to Jesus as your Creator & Owner: Jesus Christ the Lamb is the only rightful Heir of all things. Only He can take the scroll. “You are worthy to take the scroll. He is our Creator & Owner. Our complete and constant surrender belongs to Him.
I Cor. 6:19-20 (NKJV) Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
2. Reflect upon Jesus as the Judge of your life: Jesus Christ is the Judge of all and thus has the right to open the seals, which release the wrath of God. And to open its seals;
II Cor. 5.10 (NKJV) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
3. Be grateful that Jesus is the Lamb that was Slain for your sins: Jesus is the Lamb that was slain for the sin of the world.For You were slain.
I John 1:7b (NKJV) But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
4. Unleash Jesus as the powerful Redeemer of your life: Jesus is the One who alone could redeem us, and did so with His very own blood. And have redeemed us to God by Your blood.
Before the throne of God above I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great High Priest whose name is Love, Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands, My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands, No tongue can bid me thence depart.
When Satan tempts me to despair, And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there, Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died, My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied, To look on Him and pardon me.
C. L. Smith (1863)
5. Seek to show the same compassion for the lost as Jesus your Savior does: Jesus said He came to seek and to save the lost. His Great Commission plan has succeeded, we see and hear those from every branch of humanity are around the Throne, safe in heaven. Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me (#247);
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.
Daniel Iverson (1926)
6. Follow Jesus as your Great High Priest: Christ’s redemption brings us into the kingdom of God where we can come into His presence as His priests. v. 10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
FACE TO FACE (#549)
Face to face with Christ, my Savior,
Face to face—what will it be,
When with rapture I behold Him,
Jesus Christ Who died for me?
Face to fac
e—oh, blissful moment!
Face to face—to see and know;
Face to face with my Redeemer,
Jesus Christ Who loves me so.
Face to face I shall behold Him,
Far beyond the starry sky;
Face to face in all His glory,
I shall see Him by and by!
7. Worship Jesus as Your King of Kings: Christ’s promise that we as His joint heirs reign with Him is accomplished. And we shall reign on the earth.”
I love you Lord
I love you Lord, and I lift my voice;
To worship You, oh my soul rejoice.
Take joy my King, in what You hear,
May it be a sweet, sweet sound, in Your ear.
Someday in the not too distant future, each of us who are born-again, saved, justified freely by His grace, and forgiven forever: are going to join the ultimate, Heavenly Hallelujah chorus. The words for that redemption-driven chorus have been given to us already, written down in Revelation. We can sing the same praises today, we’ll be singing forever!