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  • Writer's pictureLou Hernández

A HALLELUJAH CHORUS AND A WEDDING Revelations 19:1-9 March 26, 2023

Updated: Apr 9, 2023



So as we begin, let’s take a moment to see where we’ve been and where we’re going as we’ve been walking through Revelation. This chart gives us a reference point for how we are to unpack what we’ve been reading. We looked at a similar chart earlier, then the emphasis on the incredible accuracy of Old Testament prophesy (primarily the 70 weeks of Daniel) indicating the exact timing of Messiah’s first coming and then a sense of events leading to His coming again.

This chapter begins with some wonderful words, After this! Now those may not seem so great after the things looked at over the last few weeks, but they really are quite wonderful.

This chapter begins with some wonderful words, After this! Now those may not seem so great after the things looked at over the last few weeks, but they really are quite wonderful.

After the mess, after the terror, after evil shouting and evil destroying and thankfully, evil destroyed – something different. Far different because the place we are taken to is completely new yet there is a sense even now where we are still looking at things in a split screen view – a what’s coming and what was.

The was in what we saw only moments ago of angry fists and blasphemous voices raised to God. Not now, not here. Now in heaven, none of those heard or seen, now just thunderous praise coming from a great multitude in heaven. A great multitude who have been redeemed - rescued by Jesus. These rejoice in seeing what they’ve so waited so long to see – God’s judgment finally coming upon His enemies. Evil finally given the justice it deserves. No longer, God when will you act but Him doing what has long been asked.

In that context, the enemy’s voices many and loud, now silent and we hearing a multitude of the victorious. Making it clear to us that in Jesus we never have been just one among the many. Not when it felt like it - at our school; in our workplace; in that team; in our family.

All this time, despite the numbers, we, not they, a member of the victorious. This multitude who in the scene before us is erupting in praise, the 1st Hallelujah – praising God’s WORTH, Salvation and glory and power belong to our God :1. The word, Hallelujah - Hallel to praise / jah God. It’s interesting that until now, we’ve never read this word in the New Testament. We’ve seen other words that give some sense of praising God like Hosanna – Lord save us or Proskuneo – worship that bows knee or kisses the hand, such as what the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet did as she washed them with her tears. But Hallelujah - praise the Lord not heard until here in Rev 19 where it is heard 4 times in a Hallelujah chorus. Not expressed in song but in spoken word but I think in a very real sense, this does have every element of the music of praise.

This first Hallelujah not so much to what God has done, but an affirmation of who God is. Praise first and foremost given because of who He IS not because of something He’s done. That is the praise we’ve already seen in heaven. The 4 living creatures - Rev 4:18 Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God the Almighty. Rev 4:10,11, You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power and worthy. And then 5:10,11 praise to the Lamb. Praise of who God is, His worthiness are the songs of heaven.

There are at least two elements to this Hallelujah. The 1st are the declarations made – Who God IS. Truths recognized and affirmed. Truths anchoring us when everything that surrounds seeks to pull us under. Truths not contingent on what we feel. Affirmations of what’s true – He is Holy, He is Worthy, He is Sovereign. But left at declaration, our words fall short of where worship is to take us. Observation may inspire but left at that, it rarely transforms, which takes us to the 2nd essential element of praise, adoration given. And for adoration to mean anything, it must be given. We know that’s true in our relationships so how should that be any different with God?

Adoration is given. It’s not spoken about, it’s spoken TO. Changing our He into You. Changing the horizontal into the vertical. When that becomes true - as we praise, as we sing, the reality of who He is becomes experientially different as we enter into what it means to be loved by God. When we praise understanding that, God is magnified - not that He becomes greater - more worthy or more holy, but experientially He becomes greater to us then in us as we lay claim to the things we declare. Praise not for God’s benefit, but for ours.

Practically, try something when we come together to worship by making a slight change to how you join in with the singing. Consider a song for example that we sang a few weeks back:

Savior, He can move the mountains My God is mighty to save He is mighty to save

Forever, author of Salvation

He rose and conquered the grave

Jesus conquered the grave


Savior, YOU can move the mountains My God YOU ARE mighty to save YOU ARE mighty to save.

Forever, author of Salvation YOU rose and conquered the grave Jesus YOU conquered the grave

ADORATION given the One

who is TRUTH

The former – TRUTH. The latter EMBRACED and TRANSFORMATIONAL Truth.

That is the 1st Hallelujah of praise we first hear in heaven.

I want you to notice something else in :1. Your Bible reads, Salvation and glory and power belong to the Lord. Now there might be good reason for translators to render it as they have but as far as I can see, that is not what the Greek actually says. For whatever reason, they have omitted a small word, seemingly insignificant but I think not.

The verse actually says, The salvation and the glory and the power belong to the Lord. In other words, the salvation God requires for us to know Him, isn’t shared with another – it only exists in one place - with Jesus. He is it. The One and Only - the salvation. The glory that is given isn’t just brighter or better in Jesus – it belongs exclusively to Him. It comes from Him, it is resident in Him, and no one else can lay claim to it. And that same thing is said about His power – that He is the power. It is why we are told, That at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father. Phil 2:10,11

Those who bow and confess are not just Christians who have believed in Him, no this will be the case for all creation. Some bowing in joyous belief, others bowing in terrified realization that they have rejected Jesus, their only hope to escape God’s eternal judgment of sin.

So to reiterate - our Hallelujahs are given first and foremost because of who He is. These are the Hallelujahs of the magnificent. Though this may seem a poor way to put it, these are our Sunday School Hallelujahs – God most glorious, God most wonderful, God most loving, Jesus -God our Saviour. I say Sunday School because all of us, no matter how wise and important we think ourselves to be, must come with the faith of a child and bow in repentance before God Almighty. But Heaven’s Hallelujahs don’t just center there or stop there.

The 2nd & 3rd Hallelujahs praising God’s JUSTICE which will bring judgment. These Hallelujahs are the combined praise of the 4 living creatures angelic beings of great power and 24 elders both of whom we saw in Rev 4, these elders dressed in white, wearing golden crowns on their heads, surrounding God’s throne praising Jesus for His holiness and worthiness. Rev 6 also makes clear the 4 living creatures play an important role in bringing judgment which is the context for this Hallelujah! Here God is praised for His judgments, the smoke from her goes up forever and ever. This first reference to the judgment of the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality. This also gives insight into heaven’s view of sin for what it is and what it’s done. Heaven’s understanding far greater than anything we can possibly know.

We rightly say, it’s sin that’s ruined all that’s good. Sin that’s destroyed. Sin that’s abused. Sin that’s addicted. Sin that’s taken prisoner – but heaven knows in a way we don’t - the full cost of that sin. Heaven knows what was forfeited, how glory was exchanged for the tawdry. Heaven knows with first-hand awareness, the high treason that took place among their ranks.

And knowing that, they shout Hallelujah for God’s smoke of JUDGMENT that goes up forever and ever. No doubt their greatest Hallelujahs for the judgment of Satan soon to come and the judgment now given the great harlot and antichrist but don’t miss what we’re told elsewhere in Scripture that God’s forever judgment isn’t restricted to them. His judgment extending to all who have refused to bow in repentance of sin; to all who have refused God’s offer of salvation in Jesus. This view is discordant to those who want to believe in a different God but hear what we’re told in :2, His judgments are true and just.

In other words, no one will have evidence to prove God’s standard of justice is unfair. The Bible says, without the saving blood of Jesus, there is no remission, no payment for sin. Those who choose to believe something different will hear Jesus say, Depart from me, I never knew you.

The 4th Hallelujah praising God’s SOVEREIGNTY. Though it’s not stated, I believe this great multitude likely includes the raptured church, the angels, the 24 elders and the 4 living creatures all crying out, “Hallelujah! 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.

This Hallelujah is a look forward, the soon arrival of what Jesus said to His disciples, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it with you in My Father’s kingdom. Finally what has been known in heaven and prayed for on earth, is here - Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, this set in motion when in Rev 5 Jesus took the scroll to reclaim rightful ownership of what Eve give away to Satan.

Which makes the next part of what we are told here: 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 19:7

The imagery of a marriage is something Jesus speaks about often in reference to His return. In the parable of the virgins, He talks of 10 bridesmaids, 5 of whom were unprepared, not having oil in their lamps to welcome the returning bridegroom Matt 25. In Matt 22 He compares the kingdom of heaven to a king who invites people to his son’s wedding ceremony but they refuse his invitation. In response the king opens the invite list to the rich and the poor, the good and the bad, these attendees not having the pedigree worthy of a king but by accepting his invitation, they are welcomed to the celebration. But don’t miss that one among them was not dressed as required. He was among the group but not of the group. And the message to him, Throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Now here in Revelation we are again brought back into the image of a marriage, specifically, those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb :9. In the 2 verses prior to this we are told, His bride has prepared herself. It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 19:7,8.

So what are we to make of this? Well, a few things to note, 1st this supper is by invitation – the true words of God that we are the loved, the valued, the wanted but we must step into this because as the passages in Matthew remind, RSVP’s to this invitation have a shelf life after which the invitation is considered ‘null and void.’ Once the Supper has begun, there are no door crashers. 2nd, those invited even those who would seem to be unworthy are still required to provide validation of their right to be in attendance at this feast. Every so often you read about uninvited individuals who dress in formal attire so by pretence they can join in some prestigious event where they can enjoy the meal and enter into the dance. By appearance they have the right look, they can speak the right talk and can identify the right hosts. All well and good until the host steps in and unceremoniously, shows them the door. In the same way those who are invited to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb are identified by their dress, ‘clothed in fine linen, bright and clean’. And without that clothing, Depart from Me, I never knew you.

At first glance clothing like that would be a massive disqualified. I mean who has clothing like that? Who has clothes like that to come into the presence of a King? A King of overwhelming glory – of absolute holiness.

But don’t miss what we are told here that we are clothed in fine linen, bright and clean that has been GIVEN. In other words, I put on what I have been given. I stand in His righteousness not my own. In that, I stand, part of the Bride of Christ who will be presented faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy Jude 1:24. It’s by that I’m invited to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

So how are we to understand this as it relates to Revelation and most specifically to prophecy and the return of Christ? For that we need to understand marriage in biblical times.

At that time marriages were commonly arranged, the father of the groom selecting a potential bride for his son, however when the time came, the bride could refuse the arrangements. This process leading to marriage was called the ketubah involving the sharing of 2 cups of wine. The marriage offer made, she was offered the 1st cup of wine. If the bride disagreed with her parents’ choice, she could refuse the wine and the proposed marriage was over. But if she drank from the cup, the couple was Betrothed, their covenant was sealed with the groom also giving the bride money or a valuable object as a downpayment of their life to come. At this point the couple are officially married, the marriage only breakable by divorce. Yet though married, they did not live together or have sexual relations.

The next stage of the marriage was the Groom’s departure when he returned to His Father’s house to prepare a place in which he and bride can live. This time of separation usually lasted about a year. We are given this picture in John 14:2,3 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places… I go to prepare a place for you and if I go, I will come again and receive you unto Myself. I’m going but I’m coming back. We have a related picture that Jesus gives at the Last Supper, Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. Matt 26:27.

Here the 1st cup drunk – the marriage covenant made, the 2nd cup still to come.

Which brings us to the last stage, the Time of Return. As anxious as the groom is to return, it is the father who gives final approval for him to return to collect his bride and bring her home to the marriage supper celebration. The son just waiting on the father’s, It’s time! Just as Matthew 24 tells us about Christ’s return, But about that day or hour >no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Matt 24:26.

Not knowing when this might be, the bride kept her oil lamps ready at all times, just in case the groom came in the night, the sound of the shofar announcing his arrival as we ready to lead his bridal procession home.

Upon their return the marriage is consummated, the 2nd cup of wine is drunk – the same cup Jesus refers to when He promises, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom and the celebrations begin.

So in these pictures, as believers in Jesus, we are His betrothed. His unbreakable covenant that He will return for us His Bride, all waiting to hear His Father say, It is time! A time we are told will occur suddenly, when a trumpet will sound and He will return. Our need to be prepared and ready.

Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.

And then,

He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. Matt 24:42, Rev 1:7, Rev 22:12

And with that - the marriage supper of the Lamb, He and you drinking the most wonderful cup of wine that has ever been drunk.

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