CHAPTER NINETEEN. The Seven Dooms are interrupted with a set of three parentheses within the parenthesis:
(1) the Wedding of the Lamb; (2) the Return of Christ and Bride; and (3) the Great Supper of God. AFTER THIS (19:1-8) refers to the fall of Ecclesiastical Babylon and Commercial-Political Babylon. The roar of a great multitude may indicate the martyred Tribulation saints, or all the redeemed if this answers the command to rejoice in 18:20, or all the hosts of heaven.
HALLELUJAH (allhlouia) comes from the combined Hebrew: hy wllh (Praise Yahweh or Praise the LORD). The four Hallelujahs center on the themes:
1. Redemption (19:1-2)
2. Retribution (19:3)
3. Realization (19:4-5)
4. Relationship (19:6-8)
The first time Hallelujah appears in the Bible is 1 Chronicles 16:4:
He [David] appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, to make petition, to give thanks, and to praise the LORD, the God of Israel.
The ark of the LORD signified for those who feared God the realization of His presence in redemption, retribution and relationship.
These outbursts are expressions of heavenly joy of what has taken place on earth and in heaven. The best rendering of Handal’s great oratorio The Messiah and its very famous “Hallelujah Chorus” are dwarfed by these Hallelujahs.
The voice from the Throne might be God’s or the Lamb’s. Again, the fear of God is ultimate in one’s life. It has been said, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. “ Those who fear God, glorify Him!
He will bless those who fear the LORD—small and great alike (Psalm 115:13).
THE WEDDING OF THE LAMB AND HIS BRIDE (19:6-8). Often marriage is used in Scripture as a metaphor for relationship. The Hebrew wedding consists of three phases: (1) betrothal; (2) presentation; and (3) ceremony. The Church was betrothed to Christ as part of God’s plan of salvation (Romans 9) in the New Covenant (Hebrews 9:15). She is presented to Christ at the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) and the marriage ceremony takes place (hlyen, prophetic aorist: “come at last”) when Christ and His Bride enter the house for the marriage supper.
Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless (Ephesians 5:25-27).
Fine linen stands for ta dikaiwmata (the righteous acts or the righteousness) of the saints; either translation is possible. It does not imply, however, any kind of meritorious works that would bring about salvation. Since not all saints will receive a reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ, it cannot stand for rewards. The Church’s clothing is distinct from the Great Prostitute’s purple and scarlet clothing.
THE WEDDING SUPPER OF THE LAMB (19:9) refers to the millennial reign of Christ as King on the earth. Notice the angel’s instruction (for John to write) immediately precedes the Second Coming of Christ, indicating the Wedding Supper will take place on earth.
Christ and His bride (gunh, wife) are joined by the invited guests. Many holding a Post-Tribulation Rapture of the Church, place the Rapture here. Here occurs the fourth beatitude of Revelation.
Those invited to the Wedding Supper are OT Saints and Tribulation Saints—the Bride is not invited to her own wedding. The Parable of the Wedding Banquet (Matthew 22) and the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13) describe those who are invited to share in the Millennial Kingdom with Christ and His Bride (the Church). By this point, the OT and Tribulation Saints must be resurrected (Daniel 12:1-3). John the Baptist will be one of the guests according to his own testimony in John 3:29:
The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.
God does not treat all saints alike! There are different groups, rewards and opportunities to serve in His kingdom.
THE COMMAND TO WORSHIP GOD (19:10). John is so impressed with the scene that he falls at the angel’s feet to worship him. “Worship God!” is the angel’s straightforward command. “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy,” that is the very nature or purpose of prophecy is to testify of Jesus Christ and bring glory to God.
Historicists believe the Marriage of the Lamb either represents the future state of the true Church after the fall of the papacy or the true Church at present, in a relationship to be intensified in the future.
Preterists hold the Marriage of the Lamb is the opening of the Temple and the full establishment of the New Covenant.
Idealists perceive the Marriage of the Lamb as the day of Christ’s Second Advent. Those who are faithful to Christ are at the same time the Lamb’s bride and guests.