Summary: Praising God in this day is preparation for our eternal occupation of praising the Living God. Our praise will no longer be a labour, but a source of eternal joy.
“After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out,
Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
for his judgments are true and just;
for he has judged the great prostitute
who corrupted the earth with her immorality,
and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.’
“Once more they cried out,
The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.’
“And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, ‘Amen. Hallelujah!’ And from the throne came a voice saying,
‘Praise our God,
all you his servants,
you who fear him,
small and great.’
“Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,
For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure’—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.”
My wife and I came to faith among saints that were considerably more voluble, more vocal, more vigorously expressive than are normally encountered among Canadian congregations. I do sometimes miss the enthusiasm, the evident zeal, the fervency, the obvious joy that was expressed through joyous shouts of God’s people that I recall from those earlier days. I assure you that this preacher is encouraged when he knows that he has spoken to the heart of those seated before him. Among the churches we frequented in that long past day, members of the assembly were prone to affirm their approval of what was preached with frequent shouts that revealed agreement with the message that was delivered. The loud exclamations of the worshippers gave evidence of an assembly that was united and one that openly agreed with what was being taught. Such expressions served to encourage the preacher. Hallelujah!
In each church there likely was an “Amen Corner” composed of a saint or several saints who were especially vocal in registering their agreement of what was said from the pulpit. Nevertheless, exclamations were heard at various times throughout the assembly at any given service. Among the shouts that would be heard was a shout of praise that predates even the Faith of Christ the Lord. The praise heard within those churches in which we came to faith are exclamations of praise that shall be heard before the emerald throne. And those exclamations of praise will be heard throughout eternity as men and angels express their agreement with all that the Lord our God has done. You who worship the Risen Saviour today, get ready to loudly praise Him. Hallelujah!
The vocal affirmations I heard in that earlier day was not mere exclamations shouted in such a way that the worshippers could hear their own voices; those shouting were active participants in the proclamation delivered from the pulpit. The preacher was not a performer presenting entertainment for the benefit of the audience; he was a part of the congregation, serving to give expression to the Faith they had received. And as he spoke the Word of God, those who listened weighed what he was saying and revealed their agreement with their voices. Hallelujah!
Without question, I do delight to hear the people of God as they praise the Lord. And undoubtedly, the people of God will join in praising God by shouting “Hallelujah!” If this is not done now among the faithful, we may be assured that there is coming a day when all the redeemed will unite in shouting “Hallelujah!” Hallelujah, indeed!
I am careful to caution that I am not speaking of interruptions of the service for the sake of interruptions; interrupting the delivery of the Word simply to appear pious does not honour the Lord. Neither am I speaking of noisy chaos during the services of the assembly. There is quite enough theatrics in some assemblies to suffice for years to come. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the assembled saints in Glory are witnessed praising the Saviour with loud shouts. And if the redeemed when they are gathered before the throne of God are shouting for joy and expressing their agreement with what is said from that throne, then we should be practising for that eventuality now. Hallelujah!
“AFTER THIS…” — What did John witness? He has just described the divine judgement poured out on Babylon, the religiopolitical entity that is prophesied as coming in the last days. Suddenly, without warning, the Apostle of Love heard a loud shout, and he lifted his eyes to see what would precipitate such a commotion in Heaven. John is turning from retribution to rejoicing, from affliction to adoration, from damnation to devotion. And he is bringing with him all who are reading and who believe what he writes. Hallelujah!