And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power…
After these things - the overpoweringly impressive vision just granted to the holy seer - a song as "of a great multitude in heaven" breaks upon the ear. it is a song of praise to God, ascribing to him the "salvation" wrought out for his people, and the "glory" of that salvation, and the "power" by which it has been accomplished - a song of praise for his "true and righteous judgments" upon "the great harlot," and the avenging of "the blood of his servants at her hand." And again and again loud "Hallelujahs" follow. The song is from the heavenly multitude rejoicing over the destruction of the kingdom and power of evil, and in its chorus is heard the voice of the universal Church represented by "the elders," and of the whole creature life by "the four living creatures." Now a voice is heard "from the throne" calling upon all the "servants" of the Lord, "the small and the great," to "give praise to our God." Then is heard the voice - a mighty voice - as "of a great multitude, as the voice of many waters, as the voice of mighty thunders." It is still a song of triumph and a song of praise - "Hallelujah: for the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigneth." He has laid low his adversaries. He has taken to himself his mighty power. Babylon licks the dust. As a consummation, the song bursts into a marriage song. The undying relation of Christ to his Church is herein anticipated; and our thought rests on the final blessedness of the Church as the bride of Christ. This condition is coincident with the destruction of the kingdom of evil. The harlotry of evil is at an end. The pure love of the pure and faithful bride, and her joyful union with the Lamb, form the antithetical idea.
I. THE CHURCH'S FINAL BLESSEDNESS IS FOUND IN AN INDISSOLUBLE UNION WITH CHRIST. It is a union that never loses sight of the redemption that is by Christ Jesus. He is ever, in the Church's view, "the Lamb." Hitherto the union has been by faith, and subject to all the fluctuations of the frail heart. Now the bond is indissoluble. It is eternal. It is a marriage which no death occurs to dissolve.
II. FOR THIS THE CHURCH IS PREPARED BY SANCTITY AND FIDELITY. The sanctity is seen in that she "hath made herself ready." She is arrayed in "fine linen, bright and pure," which symbolizes at once the pure spirit and faithful service: "the righteous acts of the saints."
III. THE ULTIMATE BLESSEDNESS OF THE SAINTS IS THE OCCASION OF JOY TO ALL. "Blessed are they that are bidden to the marriage supper of the Lamb." They who sang loud "Hallelujahs" because the harlot was judged now find a spring of new blessedness in the purity, triumph, and felicity of the faithful saints - the bride, the Lamb's wife. - R.G.
Parallel VersesKJV: And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: