|Climax of this Armageddon Age
|The Marriage of the Lamb
v 7: The marriage of the lamb has come. What does that mean? Who is being married?
As stated earlier, the church is considered the saints, the believers, those following Christ, the raptured. In Ephesians, the "church" is portrayed as the Bride of Christ (Eph. 5:25-27); i.e. there is an eternal union between Christ and the Church. The marriage is coming. But, since all the believers have not yet been united with Christ, it has not started. God throughout scripture, from Adam and Eve on, has expressed the sanctity of marriage. Now the most beautiful of all unions will take place in heaven. Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians (Eph. 5:22-33)the marriage unity is divine and is similar to His union with His followers..
Assuming the rapture was pre-Tribulation, the Church was in Heaven during the Tribulation. There are, though, many believers from those "left behind" who later converted to follow God. D. Herman Hoyt has suggested "and his wife (the Church) hath made herself ready." referred to the raptured church's purification while in heaven during the Tribulation." Could be. However, there are additional persons from the tribulation. During the tribulation Israel finally returns to the Lord and the Lord will accept them (Hosea 2:19-20).
Think about this as a summary:
In Rev 17 the Great Harlot of false religion, Babylon, was destroyed (after mid Tribulation).
In Rev 18 the Great City (commercial and political), Babylon, was destroyed very near the end of the Trib.
Now both the religious and the political Babylon (powerful anti-God forces) have met their doom.
2 Cor 11:2; Matt. 19:3-8; Mark 10:2-12; Hosea 2:7 Jer. 31:31-32
v 8: Righteousness is now "granted" or "given" to the Believers (Saints). They were once sinners. But the penalty was paid by Jesus on the cross. Salvation and eternally in presence of God is the Great Supper in Matt and Luke. It appears the marriage celebration supper will take place during the millennium. Will the supper be a communion? literal vast celebration? both? Who knows?
"These are .... God" is a confirmation statement the these are His promises. The OT saints will also be present (Luke) with the martyrs during the Tribulation. Redeemed are the Israelites, at the end of the Tribulation; believing Gentiles saved during the Tribulation, and all previously raptured.
Remember, any grand wedding to which you have been (son, daughter, etc.). Such a joyous occasion, right? Think of how much greater this joy will be at Christ's wedding. Think of the preparations for clothing. Here John is saying that the Saints will be prepared in purity and perfection (fine linen, clean, white) to meet with their perfect Bridegroom, Jesus.
Matt. 22:1-14; Rom. 3:21-28; Luke 13:29; 14:15-24
v 9: Who is speaking to John? It appears an angel is stating the writing of the truth of God. This is confirmed by the next verse. The people called to or accepted to the marriage supper of the Lamb are blessed. John is being told to write this. Also, John is told to write that these are true words and visions he has seen and writings he has made.
This verse is based on the normal betrothals and marriages in Israel. In summary, the betrothal was normally arranged by the parents before the wedding. A marriage contract is developed and a payment of a dowry is made by the bride's parents. After some time (months or years) the date for the wedding feast would be chosen. At some point afterward, the bridegroom and his friends would to to the home of the bride. There, the chasted virgin bride would wait for the man with her own friends, all virgins. They would accompany her to the wedding supper paid by the father of the bridegroom. When the bridegroom comes with his friends, the parents of the bride release the bride to the bridegroom. The bridegroom now takes the bride to the bridegroom's father's house for the wedding celebration.
How is this analogous to the heavenly wedding? First of all, the "betrothal" was arranged by God before time began. He knew that all believers will be joined in a great union with Jesus. The marriage contract is that the saint will believe. Now the believer has no dowry to pay. However, the Bridegroom has paid the price of the dowry by giving His blood and life. Therefore, the saints have no price to pay. After some time (at least two thousand years), the Bridegroom comes to get the bride and all other "brides" on the earth and takes them to the home of the Father. There the marriage celebration occurs.
This story is familiar with a wedding feast parable of Jesus (Matt. 22:1-14;
Luke 14:16-24). The main point of the parable is that ALL people were invited; but, many decided not to go. Remember, there is NO excuse for rejecting the invitation.
There is another parable of the ten virgins that is used to illustrate preparation to be married (Matt 25:1-13). Five of the virgins were well prepared and took their lamps. The other five were foolish. They were shortsighted and too concerned with their immediate interests to prepare for the privilege of participating in the wedding. They accepted the invitation; but, they were not prepared. Some scholars believe the oil represents the Holy Spirit which was excluded by the five foolish virgins. Of course, no Holy Spirit means no second birth (born again).
v 10: The angel will not accept (they don't accept) worship. Only God can be worshipped. However; Satan, the fallen archangel, Lucifer; DOES wish to be worshiped.
Jesus accepts worship. Thismeans Jesus is either blasphemous and should be stoned to death OR He is God to whom we should bow. We have the key. We know He Is God! He was prophesied as the Messiah being both human and God. Even in the Old Testament, Christ accepted worship (Isa 9:6; Micah 5:2, Josh 5:13-15, Dan 3:14, Zech 12:10). The "testimony of Jesus" is referring to Jesus' life on earth. It has to do with the people, and of course, the apostles hearing what Jesus had to say when He was miniistering on earth.
Luke 5:8,10; Isa. 14:12-14; Matt. 4:8-10
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