After Babylon Falls

PRAISEAfter this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” And again they shouted: “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.” The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried: “Amen, Hallelujah!” Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!” Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come… (Revelation 19:1-7a)

After This – With the martyrs vindicated, the scene shifts from mourning on the earth to rejoicing in Heaven(1)After this” means
after the events is Revelation 17 (Mystery Babylon) and 18 (Babylon Has Fallen). Revelation 4–18 dealt primarily with the events of the Great Tribulation. Beginning in chapter 19 there is a noticeable change. The Great Tribulation is ending, and the focus becomes Heaven and the second coming of Christ. For the saints and angels, it is a time of rejoicing and victory,(2) because the downfall and disappearance of the Harlot dressed in red (the fallen Church) results in the coming and consummation of the Bride adorned in white (the triumphant Church).(3)

Hallelujah – In Hebrew, hallelujah means praise He who is.(4) The word hallelujah is repeated four times here in Revelation in response to the fall of Babylon, but is not used anywhere else in the entire New Testament.(5)

Led by a great multitude in Heaven, and joined by the twenty-four Elders and the four Living-beings, is a post-celebration of the downfall of the Harlot, leading to a pre-celebration of the glorification of the Bride.(6) Since the voice from the throne says, “our God,” the voice cannot be God. It may be the voice of one of the four living creatures, but it is not specifically identified.(7) The sound of the great multitude is described as “the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder.” This same phrase was used in Revelation 7:9 where the great multitude refers to the martyred dead of the Great Tribulation. For them, particularly, the judgment of Babylon is a great triumph(8) and the answer to the question the asked in Revelation 6:10 of “how long?” There is much to rejoice about and be glad for, including the facts that:

Sin Is Judged – “Babylon” has been the source of religious corruption, and has caused the death of a countless multitude of God’s saints. Now it has been destroyed.(9) The rejoicing has less to do with the fall of Babylon and more to do with the fact that God is “true and righteous” (Revelation 15:3; 16:7; 17:6) in His holy judgments.(10)

God Reigns – The great multitude, perhaps all of Heaven’s voices (who could possibly keep silent?) unite to praise God because He is God, and because He is on the throne.(11) This is the theme of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus. We also ought to praise God because He is on the throne. The literal translation is, the Lord God omnipotent has begun to reign,(12) and is an apparent reference to reigning on earth now that what was surrendered in Eden has been taken back from Satan.

The Wedding of the Lamb Has Come – The Church is the bride (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:22–33); and Jesus Christ is the Bridegroom (John 3:29). At most weddings, attention is customarily focused on the bride. In this case, it is the Bridegroom who receives the honor. “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him.”(13) The “wedding of the lamb has come” may be translated as the wedding of the lamb has been completed. The bride is now the wife, and the marriage supper can now be served. It is interesting that this is referred to as the marriage supper of the Lamb, and not of the King or the Lord. Apparently, the one title that Christ wants emphasized for all eternity is the Lamb, for it speaks of His sacrificial love for the Church and the price He paid to purchase it.(14) 

Up Next – Wedding Supper of the Lamb.

_______________

References

  1. Keener, C. S. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary: New Testament (Re 19:1–10). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press
  2. Walvoord, John F. (1985). Revelation. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 974). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  3. Lange, J. P., Schaff, P., Moore, E., Craven, E. R., & Woods, J. H. (2008). A commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Revelation (p. 331). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
  4. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 595). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
  5. Lange, J. P., Schaff, P., Moore, E., Craven, E. R., & Woods, J. H. (2008). A commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Revelation (p. 335). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
  6. Lange, J. P., Schaff, P., Moore, E., Craven, E. R., & Woods, J. H. (2008). A commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Revelation (p. 331). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
  7. Barry, J. D., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Mangum, D., & Whitehead, M. M. (2012). Faithlife Study Bible (Re 19:5). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
  8. Walvoord, John F. (1985). Revelation. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 974). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  9. Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (p. 850). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  10. Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 617). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  11. Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (p. 850). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  12. Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 617). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  13. Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 617). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  14. Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (p. 850). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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