1. Last week we saw the destruction of Babylon, which marked the end of the history of this world in its present form. Babylon was destroyed forever.
2. Today we again see the destruction of Babylon, but from the perspective of heaven. Rather than a scene of lamenting we see a scene of joy.
3. The events of this scene are not chronologically after that of chapter 18. Although John says he sees this scene "after" what he saw before, he is shown the same event and how it effects response from those who are in heaven.
4. The scene is one of jubilation. And some may ask, why should there be rejoicing over the death and destruction of all that is on the earth. Can we enjoy the suffering of others? Is that Christ-like? Well, we can rejoice and we should. They rejoice in the righteous judgement of God. Babylon was evil and had rebelled against the God whom they loved. They had caused many others to sin against God as well. They had defiled the name of God and mocked Him. They had forbidden the worship of God. And they had persecuted and martyred the people of God. And now Christ could fully reign and they would be united with Him in that reign.
5. The scene is one that is filled with praise for God. John hears what sounded like the roar of a great multitude.
6. Four times we hear the shout "hallelujah." A Hebrew word found nowhere else in the New Testament. A word frequently used in the Psalms. Hallelu means "praise ye" and jah is a short form of Jehovah, the covenant name of God. They shout "Praise ye Jehovah; praise ye our covenant God."
7. Verses 1-5 praise God for the destruction of Babylon. Her destruction is complete. The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever. The shouts of praise are from all the saints of all time - vs. 5 says they are the servants of God, those who fear Him." And the 24 elders fall down and worship God as well as the four living creatures. And a voice comes from the throne saying "Praise God, all you His servants." God would not address Himself as God and so that voice must come from one of the four creatures, who was very close to the throne.
8. In verse 6 the praise continues but the focus is no longer on the destruction of Babylon.
Rev 19:6 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.
9. The praise is beyond description and John tries to find words to describe it. Like the roar of rushing waters, like the loud peals of thunder. Last Sunday morning I felt moved by the singing as you gave prise to the risen Lord. How much greater will be the praises of all the saints together.
10. The focus of the praise is that the Lord our God Almighty reigns. Now that Babylon is destroyed God’s reign is unchallenged and fully manifest. So let us rejoice and be glad and give Him the glory.
11. But along with His rule comes a wedding. The wedding of the Lamb has come. He is the bridegroom and His bride has made herself ready.
12. We read of the bridegroom through scripture.
Psa 45:6-9 Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; from palaces adorned with ivory the music of the strings makes you glad. Daughters of kings are among your honored women; at your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir.
John the Baptist says in John 3:28-29
You yourselves can testify that I said, 'I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.' 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.
13. The bride is the church.
Ephesians 5, Paul compares the relationship between a husband and wife as the relationship between Christ and His church
Rev 21:2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
The New Jerusalem is the church triumphant, the people of God.
14. The bride is given fine linen to wear.
Eph 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, just as 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.