Finding Hope Ministries

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Bible Doxologies: Part 8

A Biblical doxology is a short segment of Scripture praising God and extolling His glory.  Doxology means ‘word of glory.’  This article will present two popular doxologies from the Book of Revelation.  These are sometimes used in Christian worship services.  We will explore their deeper meaning, and set a foundation to give God the glory He so richly deserves.

Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen (Rev 7: 12).

The word “Amen” is a word strongly affirming the truth of what is said.  It can be used either in the beginning or end of a sentence.  In this instance, it is used both in the beginning and the end of the doxology, verifying the contents that it frames.  It also confirms the proclamation of the great multitude in the previous verse, Revelation 7: 10, ascribing the glory of salvation to God, and to the Lamb.

Chapter 7 of the Book of Revelation is very interesting.  The events of this chapter follow the Lamb’s breaking of the sixth seal as God’s wrath commences in the heavens.  The sun turns black and the moon turns blood red.  Other heavenly events also occur, including God’s pummeling the earth with meteorites.  What follows is a temporary calm as God’s angels seal 144,000 godly Jewish men who have accepted Jesus as their Messiah and Savior.  God will subsequently use them mightily to evangelize the world in the last days.

The next section of this chapter, Rev.7: 9-12, portrays a multitude of people, gathered from all nations, tribes, tongues and people, standing before God’s throne.

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice: “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb” (Rev. 7: 9-10).

Their number is so great they cannot be counted.  God has clothed each of them with a white robe of righteousness, revealing their sins have been atoned by the Lamb and they are clean.  They cry out in unison: “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb” (Rev. 7: 10).  The blood of Jesus Christ has saved and purchased each of these individuals.  Their chant attributes this great work to Him. Sinners cannot approach God’s throne, were it not for a Mediator.  That Mediator is Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1: 29).

Some prophetic scholars interpret this Scripture as revealing the timing of rapture of the Body of Christ—the Church in this world.  Certainly, that is a distinct possibility, as this multitude consists of people of all languages scattered over the entire world.  These would be the first fruits of Christ’s resurrection.  Jesus was the first to rise from the dead and the ‘first fruit’ of the resurrection (1Cor. 15: 20).  Here he has led this great multitude into God’s heavenly domain with triumph.  If this event is the rapture, its timing would follow the breaking of the sixth seal.  That would be after the mid-point of the 7-year tribulation.

Waving palm branches reminds us of the Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem days before His death. The multitude waved palm fronds before the Lord as He rode into Jerusalem. They chanted: “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord (God the Father); Hosanna in the highest!” (Matt. 21: 9); (John 12: 12-13); (Mark 11: 1-10); and (Luke 19: 29-38).  Hosanna is an Aramaic transliteration that means, “save now I pray.” Hosanna was their call to God for salvation.

The multitude in Rev 7: 9-10 is not asking for salvation. They are praising God for salvation received.  The palm frond is an ancient symbol of victory. This multitude declares the greatest victory of all times and waves palm branches before God the Father and God the Son.  John 12:13 portrays a similar event.

The next event in this chapter occurs in verse 11, when the angels, elders, four living creatures and the great multitude all bow prostrate before God’s throne and worship Him.  They spontaneously proclaim this wonderful doxology of verse 12 in unison.

Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen (Rev 7: 12).

Between the amen’s that frame this doxology is a seven-fold praise that exalts the eternal God.  The praise is identical to the one proclaimed in Revelation 5: 12, except amen does not bracket the doxology there.  The Holy Spirit intentionally placed these ‘seven’ qualities ascribed to God and to the Lamb in both these verses.  The Scripture repeatedly uses the number ‘seven’ to refer to God in various ways.  This is especially true in prophetic Scripture.  The number ‘seven’ is used in the Book of Revelation many, many times. ‘Seven’ is God’s number.  It denotes perfection and completion. God portrays the completion of His prophetic program in this Book. He uses the number ‘seven’ repeatedly throughout Revelation to emphasize that He owns the prophetic program and He will steer it to the conclusion He has planned.

The multitudes ascribe these seven attributes to God because He has completed His victory with the Body of Christ on the earth.  He will subsequently turn His attention to pouring out His wrath upon a wicked world and delivering the remnant of His nation, Israel, from the cauldron of His fury.

God has repeatedly showered His blessings upon His people over the generations.  This doxology directs the blessings back to Him for the magnificent victory He has wrought.  Thanksgiving of the multitude is similarly directed to God for His wonderful work.  The multitude ascribes all ‘honor’ to God because He so richly deserves it.  He has carried out His plan to perfection.  He has created all earthly and heavenly beings and has ultimate authority over them.

God already possesses the other four attributes—glory, wisdom, power, and might.  He does not need these qualities given to Him, because they are part of His very nature.  He exudes these qualities to the very highest degree.  The multitude and angelic host simply acknowledge this.  Because this is a doxology, we must understand the God of glory, whose very nature radiates glory in the fullest measure.  His glory permeates all the creation.  God reveals His wisdom through His creation, His prophetic program, His secret plan of Grace, and His authority over the heavens and earth.

God has exerted power to make all things out of nothing, to maintain the entire universe, to save and preserve His people, and to raise His Son from the dead.  God is mighty.  He is the ‘Rock of ages.’ He is the strength of Israel and the vitality of the Body of Christ in this world.  His omnipotence perfectly executes His program for His creation.

Amen concludes this wondrous doxology and affirms its truth.

After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God (Revelation 19:1).

Once again, this doxology must be understood in the context of preceding verses.  The previous chapter 18 chronicles the destruction of ‘Babylon the Great.’ Babylon is the city of evil.  Satan used Nimrod in ancient times to create this city.  The Tower of Babel was its hallmark.  At the top of this tower, astrologers mapped the stars and worshipped their pantheon of gods.  Satan created the city of Babylon to counter the one true God and to usurp His authority.  Babylon was the origin of all false religions.  It marked the beginning of false gods in the post-flood world.  Human deification, evolution, idolatry, astrology, humanism, child sacrifice and gross immorality all began and thrived in that wicked city.  God had previously instructed Noah and his family to disperse and have dominion over the whole earth.  Instead, Nimrod rebelled and forced mankind to inhabit cities in the Mesopotamian valley.  Babylon was the capital of his empire.

Babylon, as Satan’s evil city, is frequently contrasted with Jerusalem in Scripture.  Jerusalem is God’s city of peace and righteousness.  God’s peace, Shalom, is contained within the word Jerusalem.  The blood of the Lamb has purchased those inhabiting the ‘spiritual Jerusalem,’ and they will forever be at peace with God.  Babylon represents Satan’s attempt to overthrow God.  Perhaps his earthly throne is there.  Babylon embodies all that rejects God—all that is ‘anti-Christ.’  It is evil to the highest degree.  The destruction of Babylon in chapter 18 portrays God squashing Satan’s rebellion in this world.  God will bring Babylon and an evil world under His dominion.  He will utterly defeat Satan.  Only one God will stand with the smoke clears, and He will receive the praise of all His creation.  That is the context of this great doxology.

Verses 1-4 of chapter 19 pronounce the ultimate destruction of Babylon.  It is not only a complete destruction, but also an eternal one.  No created being, including Satan, will ever successfully challenge the authority of the one and only God.  Babylon will never be rebuilt.  Satan is defeated!

The great heavenly multitude of angels and God’s human children proclaim the ultimate Hebrew word of praise, Hallelujah!  The multitude begins this doxology with Hallelujah and ends it with the same word in verse 4.  Many generations of God’s people have prayed for God to take authority over His creation and utterly defeat Satan.  These prayers are now turned into praises.   Their previous hosannas (God save us) end here with hallelujahs (Praise God, it is finished!).

The word, hallelujah, is nowhere to be found in the New Testament.  Perhaps this is because God wraps up His prophetic program and takes authority over His creation in this Scripture.  This word is used to begin or end fifteen of the Old Testament Psalms. The Hebrew word Hallelujah contains praise and God’s name, Jehovah, in one utterance.

Hallelujahs are proclaimed because God has vindicated the truth of His Word.  He has saved His chosen people and taken authority over His creation.  Divine justice has fallen from His mighty hand.  God deserves all the glory!

‘Salvation and glory and power belong to our God!’  Only God can bring salvation to fruition. This proclamation triumphantly affirms the truth held by God’s followers for millennia. Hosanna—God saves!  This verse refers to God’s victory in the cross—redeeming His children from their sin. Salvation, glory, and ultimate power are God’s alone. He has manifested His power and glory by delivering His children from Satan’s evil grasp.  God has plucked them from the hand of the great harlot (false world religions).  He has avenged the blood of His servants—those who have given their lives for the Gospel over the generations. God’s power has utterly destroyed the harlot.  He manifests His glory to the world by establishing His everlasting kingdom.

Praise God and give Him glory for He will end Satan’s oppressive power forever!   Babylon will someday lie desolate—never to be restored.

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