Rev 19 THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB
So many questions have been asked about the marriage of the church to Jesus Christ. I admit I don't understand all of it but I want to try to explain to you the concept and compare it to the Jewish ritual of marriage. Our scripture concerns Revelation 19 beginning with verse 7. For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready. Then verse 9 tells us, Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb.
These scriptures, are concerning the love that God has for His people. In society today when two people love each other and wish to commit their lives to each other, they pledge themselves in marriage. The Jewish people have a much different view of marriage than we do in our society . It is this custom which the Jewish people have carried on for centuries that we should look at in comparison to the marriage supper of the Lamb.
There is no other occasion as happy and as joyous as a Jewish wedding celebration. There is dancing and singing, and food galore for all the guests to enjoy. And the celebration goes on and on for hours and sometimes for days. I think the Jews must not realize the implications of this joyous occasion, for it points to the coming of the Messiah and His marriage to the church’ (when we say church, we include all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Messiah.) But of course. the Jews by and large do not accept Jesus as Messiah at this point.
There is an interesting scripture and Jeremiah chapter 33 that prophecies of the future when the Jews will accept Jesus as their savior. In verses 10 and 11 we are told that “singing and dancing will once again be heard in the streets of Jerusalem with the voice of gladness and the voice of the Bride groom and the voice of the bride.”
In this 19th chapter of Revelation, we find the second coming of Christ compared to the ancient Jewish ritual for marriage.
A Jewish ceremony includes three parts. First there is a mutual commitment between the two parties. Next there is their engagement. And last, there is the marriage. So far it sounds just like our custom of courtship engagement and marriage. But what takes place in the Jewish ritual is much different from what takes place in our society.
Now the Lord told us in Genesis that it is not good for a man to be alone, so he made a helper for him. OK, so far, we're considering the man and his needs. However, as the father of the bride, you surely ask the groom to fill out a commitment in writing to protect the bride. In other words, their commitment was legal. Of course, in our society anybody can change their mind without any commitment whatsoever. However, in comparing Jesus Christ and the church, the commitment is mutual between Christ and the believer; however, Christ makes the commitment to the born -again believer with unconditional love.
Remember the genesis story of Isaac and Rebecca. Abraham arranged the marriage with Rebecca's father, however. if you recall the story, Rebecca was asked if she would return with Isaac as his wife. One wonders what Isaac and Abraham would have done if Rebecca had
refused to return with him. Even so today God will not force his way upon us. We must accept Jesus Christ willingly and pledge to follow Him wherever He leads for the rest of our lives or there would be no marriage. Today, it is the Holy Spirit who leads us to follow Jesus and to join Him in a covenant of marriage.
There is a little-known tradition in the Jewish ceremony which is called a mikvah. It is a ceremony in which both the bride and the groom are dipped in water as a symbol of spiritual cleansing. When I read this, I was amazed because it dawned on me that Jesus Christ has already been baptized in preparation for our wedding. He was baptized in the River Jordan by John the Baptist. As a member of the bride of Christ we, too, should be baptized. It is not a requirement for salvation. Don't misunderstand, but it is a tradition that Jesus participated in. Mark 16:16, says that “whosoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Since the word “baptized” is omitted from the last half of that sentence, I take that to mean “to believe” is the important thing.
Next the couple enter into a legal marriage contract. This begins the betrothal period which, believe it or not, usually lasts for a year. Many couples today, don't even know each other for a year before they are married. Even then the Jewish couple are considered married, however they do not live together are engaged in intimate relations
It was during this time in the marriage of Mary and Joseph that Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant. The Holy Spirit had spoken to her and came upon her, and she was carrying the Lord Jesus Christ. Joseph didn't know whether to believe her or not although he wanted to very much, so he debated on whether to put her away silently so as not to embarrass her in public. Instead, after a visit from an Angel, Joseph decided to go ahead and complete the marriage arrangement. I think, if an Angel visited me with advice, I surely would take it, wouldn't you?
So…. if the couple are not really married at this point, what happens next. The groom goes about finding a home for his bride while the bride focuses on a wedding dress and the right lamps and such. Now they have gotten to know each other pretty well but there still are some things about the groom that the bride anticipates. For instance, she does not know how long it's going to take him to prepare the home or when he might come for her after it is finished. It was the groom's father who gave him final permission to collect his wife. He might even come for her during the night and for this reason she had to keep her oil lamps trimmed and ready.
In Matthew 25, Jesus said that this special period in the marriage, when the groom comes for His bride, would be like His return at the end of time. We are also told” that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.”
Are you ready for His return? If He were to come tonight is there any oil in your lamp? The oil is a symbol of your readiness to be received into heaven. Would you be ready to follow Him if you heard the trumpet sound today? The trumpet blast will accompany our Bridegroom as He comes for us. (1 Thessalonians 4).
In the Adrian Rogers Legacy Bible, Dr. Rogers has written an article about this very event and what it means to us. I hope you will enjoy his words as much as I have.
The marriage of the Lamb, Revelation 19
The judgment seat of Christ is the first event for the church when we are caught up to meet him in the air. The second event is the marriage of the lamb. There are several things we should know as we anticipate this wonderful wedding feast.
First, The music will be magnificent. What do you think the wedding music will be? It will be the chorus of Hallelujah! The Bible says after these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven saying, alleluia, salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God. (Rev 19:1) This Bible chapter is the basis of Handel’s greatest work, the Hallelujah Chorus. Holy means praise and yah means Jehovah. Every time you say Hallelujah you are saying “Praise the Lord”. The wedding music contains 4 stanzas. The first is a Hallelujah for the redemption of the Saints. The second is a Hallelujah for the retribution of the sinner, (vv2,3) and the third speaks of the relationship of the saved (vv4,5). The 4th Hallelujah is the reign of the Savior (v 6).
2. The bride will be beautiful. Who is the bride? The bride is the true Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. And the bride will be lovely. “His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the Saints.” (Rev.19: 7, 8).
How are you going to get ready? Actually, there is a threefold beauty treatment. First, there's redemption. You get saved, if you aren't saved, you aren't part of the bride. In redemption, you receive the inner nature of the Lord Jesus Christ. Second, there's the rapture. When the rapture occurs, you will be changed in a moment, made like the Lord Jesus Christ. All of the sinful proclivities of this old flesh will be left behind. Thank God for that. And third, there's reward. At the judgment seat of Christ you will receive according to the deed you have done. You will be clothed in white linen, the righteous acts of the Saints.
Third, the guests will be glad. The Bible says, “blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!” Revelation 19: 9. There will definitely be guests at this wedding feast. Who are they? The guests will be the redeemed of all of the ages who were saved before and after the church age. the Old Testament Saints will be there, but they are not the bride, and the guests are going to be glad. What a marriage it is going to be.
Last, the Groom will be glorified. The bride will be beautiful. The guests will be glad. But the wedding won't really center around the bride, but around the groom. Notice that the apostle John made a breach of etiquette here. He saw the Angel sent to announce all this and “fell at his feet to worship him.” (Rev 19: 10). That Angel was glorious and majestic, but he ordered John to his feet. He said, (“see that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God!” (Verse 10). The Angel basically said, “Hey Buddy, get up now or we will both be in trouble,” There is only one who is to be worshipped and His name is Jesus.
Oh, dear friends, all of this is perhaps just a heartbeat away, just a trumpet sound away. An old evangelist named Paul Raider said it so well. “We are living so close to the second coming of
Christ” he said, “that I can hear the tinkling of the silverware as the angels are setting the table for the marriage supper of the Lamb.” Are you ready for the feast?
Dr. Adrian Rogers Legacy Bible
c 2009 by Love Worth Finding Ministries.Inc.
New King James Version
1892 c Thomas Nelson, publisher, Inc
All I can add is “Praise the Lord, come soon, Lord Jesus”. Are you ready, friends? Are you ready for the feast? Are you ready for the most beautiful wedding that you've ever seen? I hope so, and if you are, GO TELL SOMEBODY. Amen.