Rejoicing in Heaven
19 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.”
The Marriage Supper of the Lamb
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.
And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
The Rider on a White Horse
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.” And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.
Revelation 19 Commentary
by Hank Workman
The darkness of man’s hearts and ways had reached the darkest of times. He no longer looked toward the God of their fathers, but instead searched the god of their heart. They were king of their castle, master of their destiny they answered to no one except themselves. They had wandered far from the truth of God and His ways. Left to their own devices they embraced the dark.
It became the norm, became the way life was; as unbelievable as it sounds, the dark became comfortable. They slipped from the shadows and into the pitchest of black. Their lives were empty, unfulfilled, without purpose. Somehow they simply didn’t know there was an alternative.
Yet, there would be no denying, as the darkness had settled in upon the people, God was at work. Yes, He was at work, even for those who rejected Him, raised their fists in hatred towards Him. He was quietly preparing for his glorious light to shine from Him on His people. Spectacularly, Isaiah had prophesied of this; he spoke of the change from darkness to light. One would come He said, who would institute a new government of God – where His peace reigned, his justice firm, His ways sure.
It was on an abnormally normal night that the cry of a baby punctured the air when things would forever be altered. The Light had come. The Word of God which became flesh was brought into this world in of all places, a stable. Hope dawned. None were expecting this, save the parents.
But the piercing of the darkness was something not understood. This Light that shown upon all men cast its rays across the darkness of their hearts. The naysayers, the intelligent, the people who were corrupt with themselves simply could not grasp the significance of it all. They maybe never would. In fact, the very people that He came to save retreated further away from His light.
So hardened were their hearts, so misled by their own ways, for many, this event hurt rather than comforted, became a nuisance rather than a hope. So determined to keep things the status quo within their lives, they simply built fortresses around their hearts, denied the truth, and knew Him not.
The Word, the actual Word that spoke and galaxies formed; the Word that brought destiny parted the seas, gave way for future plans of a people and spoke Hope despite arrogance and hardness, became flesh. Jesus entered our world. The Word took on the life of a baby from the embryo and was born. Immanuel, God with us – had come.
The name of Jesus brought hope and deliverance. The name of Jesus brought redemption where all things in the earth and under the earth and above the earth would bow to His name. And the right, the right, was given to anyone who believed in Him, chose to embrace the name of Jesus were given the full rights of adoption to God the Father.
There is hope. There is absolute hope for those whom we love but have rejected the Christ. For you see, His coming was not just for a select few. It was for all people. And even though many still do to this day want nothing to do with Jesus – He still reaches out to them. He still loves them. He still intercedes for them. Until their last breath – He is reaching out toward them.
And in the darkest of times of our own lives – where maybe we are found to be in confusion, found to be in need, found to be questioning – that hope of Jesus – that Light of Jesus still beams across our darkness.
The Light had come. When least expected. When for many it was not even a thought or a whim or a hope, but a forgotten promise, the Light arrived. Much like a thief, few were ready.
This battle with man’s preference to darkness has always been. We tend to enjoy the shadows, enjoy the living with our own thoughts and desires and what God wills and wants for our lives. You see, embracing Jesus as Lord means we surrender ourselves completely to Him. It is not just taking up our cross and following Him, it is allowing Him to sit on the throne of hearts.
Many don’t want to give up that lordship. It is allowing Him to have control of our lives and destiny. It means we allow this Light of Him to shine brightly in our lives – which in turn means it exposes every area of our hearts. The Light of Christ permeates all areas.
And on some fronts, it’s odd as it’s like a definite reversal of things – where the world goes back to what it was like even before Jesus was born. Hate for truth will be prevalent. Determination to follow the darkness will rule.
Yet one thing is for certain, as there was preparation in the throne room for Emmanuel to come and live among His creation – there is a final preparation taking place even now – for the true Light of Jesus to return. And this light will not come through a whimper of a child born, nor the angelic choir declaring to a few of this spectacular event. No, as the world slowly revolves and draws closer to the end of time as we know it, the true Light of Jesus will burst across the sky one last time. It will come when least expected, least looked for.
This time will be different. This time instead of a cry from a baby his mouth will have a sword to level the nations. Instead of swaddling clothes He will wear a robe dipped in blood. Instead of a manger, He will be mounted on a white horse. For this time, Jesus will be the conquering Warrior!
This time, when least expected, He will arrive and fulfill the final will of the Father – the judgment of the earth; the separation of the sheep and the goats. Where our allegiance has rested will be brought His light. There will be no more chances. There will be no ability to bargain. People will have determined where their loyalty rests – and Jesus Christ will ride victoriously as the King of all Kings and the Lord of all Lords.
This is a firm reminder – He didn’t stay in a manger, He grew up. He turned the world upside down with His teaching. He died a horrible death to bring redemption for all people. He rose from the grave and lives victoriously. By His stripes, we are healed. And Jesus is coming back. He will reign. He will not return as a baby but as Warrior. And He will conquer.
Revelation 19 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, 2 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.”
3 Once more they cried out, “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.” 4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” 5 And from the throne came a voice saying, “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great.”Revelation 19:1-5 ESV
Welcome to the celebration! On the surface, it seems there’s not much going on here other than a song of praise. But let’s dig deeper. The layers of this heavenly church service echo from the multitudes in heaven down to the inhabitants of the earth. This is not just a heavenly song; it is an invitation for the entire universe to reverberate a joyful noise of praise and worship to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
Who kicks things off? It is the great multitude in heaven. This is the same multitude from Revelation 7:9 that no one could number. They are the same martyred believers who were slaughtered by the Antichrist during the Great Tribulation and cried out for God’s righteous judgment back in Revelation 6. This heavenly choir raises a hallelujah, literally. ‘Hallelujah’ is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word for “praise the Lord.” That Hebrew word is found all throughout the OT, but interestingly, ‘hallelujah’ is not found anywhere else in the NT other than here in Revelation 19!
This is the nature of worship. The innumerable multitude stirs up the 4 living creatures and the 24 elders and they can’t contain themselves. They join in with not only their voices, but by falling down on their faces before the Lord. Their worship is unrestrained because of the fact that God has done everything that He said He would. He made good on every promise. He rescued and protected His children. Not one was lost. He destroyed the beast, the worldly kings, the harlot, and all others who waged war against Him.
This worship goes far beyond just personal deliverance. It is the cosmic realization of God’s comprehensive perfection. It is the culmination of God’s entire plan, every single detail, which now comes into full view after so much suffering and upheaval. The previous chapters of destruction and turmoil seem miles away as the dark clouds begin to clear on the horizon. The party has officially kicked off, but as I mentioned before, this isn’t just a heavenly party.
After we hear from the multitude, the 4 living creatures, and the 24 elders, a voice calls out from the altar of God. This voice summons for a response to the pinnacle of God’s plan of redemption. We are slowly approaching the fulfillment of everything God has promised for all eternity. We are about to climb to the apex of universal praise. We read of a call to worship directed at the rest of God’s people on earth!
And from the throne came a voice saying, “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great.”Revelation 19:5 ESV
The Wedding Feast
Finally, the wedding feast has come! Historically, the church has been described as the bride of Christ, and John picks up on this point painting a picture of what that wedding day will look like. Many OT and NT writers wrote of this moment.
“I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion, 20 And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the LORD.Hosea 2:19-20 NASB
“For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.Isaiah 54:5 NASB
FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.Ephesians 5:31-32 NASB
As opposed to the prostitute in Revelation 17 wearing purple and scarlet with gold, rings, and jewels, Christ’s bride is adorned with bright, clean, fine linen. The clothing was significant. The text says that the linen represents the righteous acts of the saints. It does not say that the bride was given the linens to wear, but rather, that she was granted the ability to array herself with them.
Spiritually speaking, our lives translate the same way. We were created to do good works which Christ prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them (Eph 2:10). They are not given to us, but rather, we are given the ability to accomplish them through the strength of Christ.
John is overcome with emotion at the sight of the marriage supper. So much, in fact, that he falls down and begins worshipping, only to be stopped by the angel. He is corrected by the angel because it is God alone who is worthy of worship.
What a glorious sight when we are reunited with our Lord and Savior!