Hallelujah

Revelation 19
All heaven affirms the righteousness of God in judging the religious and humanistic systems of the word, and all of creation rejoices, with a loud “hallelujah’, at the great celebration of those who love and obey Jesus.

Part Six of Revelation (Chapter 19) is only one chapter long, but it is rich and deep in what it presents. In this post I will simply overview the contents, but next week I plan to elaborate on the Wedding Supper of the Lamb.

The word ‘hallelujah’ is the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew ‘praise Yahweh’. The first eight verses of Revelation 19 are a hallelujah chorus of praise to Almighty God. This chapter starts by depicting a great multitude in heaven praise God for His condemnation of the ‘great prostitute’. Then in verses 4 and 5 the 24 Elders before the throne of God add their ‘Amen’ to the praises of heaven. The third group who praise God (verses 6 to 8) appear to represent all of creation. The reason I say this is that there is a very similar arrangement in Revelation Chapter 5 where first the church in heaven represented by the 24 Elders, then the angelic host, and finally all of creation sing a song of praise to the Lamb of God.

In Chapter 19, the first wave of praise is in response to God’s judgment of Religion and World. The next wave of praise expresses joy that ‘the wedding of the Lamb has come’. The first 5 verses are therefore a confirmation of the fall of Babylon (Religion and World systems) covered in detail in Chapter 18. So, the new material added in this current chapter concerns the Wedding Supper of the Lamb.

Verses 11 to 16 of Chapter 19 describe the Lord Jesus as the mighty conqueror of Satan and all evil. He is pictured as riding on a white horse, which the usual way of portraying a victorious Roman General. This is an image familiar to the readers of John’s day. The links back to Revelation Chapter one make it clear that Jesus, and not an angel, is the subject of this section. In both descriptions He is described as having eyes like burning fire and a sharp sword coming out of His mouth. What interests me most  in the depiction of Jesus in Chapter 19 are the names and ascription’s attributed to Jesus.

He is called Faithful and True; the one who judges and makes war with justice; His name is the Word of God; and He carries the ascription ‘King of kings and Lord of lords’. Jesus is the faithful, true, and just Word of God, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Hallelujah!

The last 5 verses on the chapter return to the demise of the religious and humanistic systems of the world. Their fate, both throughout history and more particularly at the end of time, is portrayed as ‘the great supper of God’. What a ‘terrible’ contrast – the Wedding supper of the Lamb for those who love and obey Jesus, versus the macabre vulture feast of those who do not love and obey him. I have written this elsewhere but it bears repeating here; ‘If you are not invited to the first supper then you are on the menu for the second supper’. Ouch!

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