Rev 19:7-9            The Marriage and the Marriage Supper                7/9/2006         ßà   

  • What Is the Great Multitude Singing? (Rev 19:1-10, Psalm 18:16, Rev 17:1, 1:15, Ezek 43:2)

 

 

 

 

 

#1.       The Bridegroom (Rev 19:7, John 3:28-29, Mat 25:1, Lev 17:14, John 14:6, Eph 5:25-32)

 

 

 

 

 

  • The Bride (Rev 19:8, 11:1-2, 22:18-19, Psalm 45:10-16, Isa 61:10)

 

 

 

 

 

#2.       The Marriage (Rev 19:7)

 

 

 

 

 

  • The Marriage Supper (Rev 19:9)

 

 

 

 

 

#3.       These Are the True Sayings of God (Rev 19:9)

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 19:1 (2X). We have come to that section in Rev 19 where God speaks about “the marriage of the Lamb”. And here God also speaks of “the marriage supper of the Lamb”. Most people do not know that these two things are not the same. Therefore, I chose for the title of the sermon of today, The Marriage and the Marriage Supper (2X). Let us begin to read from the beginning of this chapter. Here we read about a great multitude, and:

  • What Is the Great Multitude Singing? (Rev 19:1-10, Psalm 18:16, Rev 17:1, 1:15, Ezek 43:2)

Re 19:1  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:

Re 19:2  For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.

Re 19:3  And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

Re 19:4-5  And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.  And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.

Re 19:6  And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

Re 19:7-8  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.   And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Re 19:9  And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Re 19:10  And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

We have here in these ten verses TWO VISIONS. The first vision is in verses one through five. It is a vision of all the saints in heaven who are rejoicing about God’s vengeance upon the harlot church, Babylon, and they are rejoicing that the smoke of her torment rises up forever and ever. We have covered this in a previous sermon titled, “Is There Joy About God’s Judgments?” And the answer is: “Absolutely Yes!” When we are in heaven God will not make us experience something that brings us grief. But we will not understand this until we have received our new glorified bodies.

The second vision is in verses 6 through 10, and it is a response to God’s command stated in verse five: “Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great”. How do we praise God? We praise Him for all the wonderful things He has done for us through the Lord Jesus Christ, by forgiving us our sins, and by lifting us up to the status of sons of God and Bride of Christ. This second vision, beginning in verse 6, is a new vision, primarily dealing with “the marriage of the Lamb” and with “the marriage supper of the Lamb”. This is what God has done for His elect whom He has chosen from before the foundation of the world. Verse 5 speaks of all God’s servants. Who are God’s servants? All the saints, and all the angels, and the 24 elders, and the four living creatures before the throne, are all God’s servants. And thus the great multitude in verse 6 is greater than the multitude in verse 1, which includes only the saints, for verse 1 says that this is the voice of people in heaven. But what the multitude is saying in verse 1 is essentially the same what they are saying in verse 6. It must be so, for we have all become likeminded with the angels in heaven. At this point in eternity we all have a full understanding of the ways of God, why He did choose some to salvation and why He passed by others, why His providence ruled all things in history according to God’s plan, and why Hell will be a just penalty for all those who remain unsaved. This vision also takes place in heaven, and the sound of praise from the multitude is “as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings”. When the Bible speaks of “many waters”, it refers to “the world of all the unsaved”. For instance, in Psalm 18:16 we read, “He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters”, and in Rev 17:1 the harlot church, Babylon, is said to be “sitting upon many waters”. But when the Bible speaks of the sound, or the noise, or the voice of many waters it refers to “the voice of God”. For example in Rev 1:15 Christ has “a voice as the sound of many waters”, and in Ezek 43:2 we read, “and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory”. The same can be said for the “mighty thunderings”. Therefore, we understand from Rev 19:6 that this great multitude has the same voice as the voice of God. We have become the perfect spokesmen for God, since we have now been united with Him in the marriage of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. And what does this great multitude say, or sing? They sing of God’s victory over Babylon, that the power of opposition to God has been broken and destroyed, and now God is revealed as sovereign, as King absolute. The judgment on the harlot church means that His Kingdom has now come. For a time that sovereignty of God has been disputed by the prince of darkness. But now the power of the prince of darkness has been destroyed. Christ has subdued all under Him, and has delivered the Kingdom unto the Father. This is the viewpoint of the vision, and therefore the vision begins with an exclamation of praise to the Lord God omnipotent. But the completion of the Kingdom means that the marriage of the Lamb shall take place. And thus the picture is that the great multitude, with glad shouting of rejoicing and with loud exclamations of honor and praise to God, this multitude, as it were, rushes to the wedding to be present as guests. But now we have to understand what is meant by this “Marriage of the Lamb”. There are four elements in this vision that we have to see clearly: The Bridegroom, the Bride, the marriage, and the marriage supper.

#1.       The Bridegroom (Rev 19:7, John 3:28-29, Mat 25:1, Lev 17:14, John 14:6, Eph 5:25-32)

Re 19:7  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

  The Bridegroom is the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a familiar concept in the Scriptures. For example,

according to John the Baptist, he is not the Bridegroom but he is only a friend of the Bridegroom. We rd

Joh 3:28  Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.

Joh 3:29  He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

John was sent to point out the Lord Jesus as the Messiah the Jews had been waiting for. And John called Him “the Bridegroom”. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Ephesians, Eph 5:25 (2X). Moreover, in the parable of the 5 wise and the 5 foolish virgins, which we shall not develop today, the Lord Jesus is portrayed as the Bridegroom they were waiting for. We read in Mat 25:1,

Mt 25:1 ¶  Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

When the Lord Jesus told this parable one of His objectives was to tell us that He is the Bridegroom and that we must always be ready for His second coming. And in this parable He tells us that the five foolish virgins were not ready for His coming, even though they are called “virgins”, which means that outwardly they belonged to the church that supposedly is waiting for Christ’s second coming, but inwardly they were not ready, which means that inwardly they were not saved. But when we read the Prophecy of Revelation, the Lord Jesus Christ is almost always portrayed as a Lamb, and very often He is portrayed as the Lamb that was slain, rather than the glorious Bridegroom from heaven. Here in Rev 19 the wedding is referred to as “the marriage of the Lamb”. This means that His marriage is very much tied to His work and His power, and the sufficiency of His Atonement on the cross is the central revelation of the love of God in Christ for His people. The emphasis therefore is upon the great love of the Bridegroom for His Bride. Christ, the Bridegroom, loved the church, His Bride, so much that He gave Himself for her. He loved His Bride unto death, yea, not only the death of the cross but even unto the second death, the payment for the sins of an unworthy group of people. Therefore, we must understand the Atonement of Christ very well. When we say that He “washed us from our sins in His own blood”, or that “He has purchased us with His own blood” we must also include from Lev 17:14 that “the life of all flesh is the blood thereof”. In other words, He did not just shed His blood, which He did, but He gave His life; He had to give everything He had. And the sins He atoned for in AD 33 were totally paid for there at Calvary, and thus they were unconditionally forgiven about 2000 years ago. He substituted for us, He did the work of paying for our sins, He provided the perfect sacrifice that would satisfy the righteousness of God, and He finished completely what He intended to do. To say that His Atonement is conditional upon our acceptance of Christ is a slap in the face of Christ. It is an insult to the Divinity of Christ and it is an insult to the wisdom and foreknowledge of God to think that Christ suffered the equivalent of an eternity in Hell for those who themselves are going to Hell. Think of the many Indians and Chinese and other nations who lived and died for thousands of years before Christ ever came on the scene; they lived and died in a Christless universe. They were never saved, for the Lord Jesus said emphatically, in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”. It means that if in ancient history people lived and died in a Christless universe they died unsaved, and therefore Christ did not pay for their sins on the cross. But for whosoever sins He did pay, He appointed them to belong to His eternal church. This is the church we are reading about in Eph 5:25-32. This is the church for whom He suffered and died. We read in Eph 5:25,

Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Eph 5:26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Eph 5:27  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Eph 5:28  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

Eph 5:29-30  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:           For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Eph 5:31-32  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.   This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Here is the ultimate definition of Christ as the Bridegroom, and here is the definition of the church that He suffered and died for. And when we say “the church” we must clearly define what we mean. The church for which Christ died was ordained to be His Bride. This is not the externally visible church. Please turn again to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 19:8 (2X). Who is:

  • The Bride? (Rev 19:8, 11:1-2, 22:18-19, Psalm 45:10-16, Isa 61:10)

Re 19:8  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Please remember that this is highly symbolic language. If Antichrist is described in Scripture as a single beast, but actually represents many human beings so that he makes his influence felt worldwide, and if the false prophet is described in Scripture as a single beast, but actually represents many human beings so that he makes his influence felt worldwide, so the church is described in Scripture as a single woman, but actually represents many human beings so that she makes her influence felt worldwide. We must, however, define our concepts of the church as it is used in Scripture. Please turn a few pages back to Rev 11:1-2 (2X). Allow me to bring back to your memory what we have seen in Rev 11. God used the picture of Jerusalem, and within it the temple complex with its court outside the temple proper, and within it the temple proper containing the sanctuary, or the Holy of Holies, where God dwells. God speaks here of a time during the FTP when the church goes apostate. We read in Rev 11,

Re 11:1 ¶  And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. (= The temple proper.)

Re 11:2  But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city (= Jerusalem) shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

God gives us here a picture of the church near the end of time. The area of the city of Jerusalem represents the false church, or the harlot church, Babylon. It used to be the apple of God’s eye, but because of her abominations God has declared it “the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird”. Then there is the court outside the temple, which represents the show church. The show church contains people who claim to believe the whole Bible, and who associate themselves with those who are the true believers, and they may even worship together with the true believers, but they have never been Born Again, which means that their actions show that their lives are still not centered on Christ, but on the world around them. As the time draws nearer to the end the show church will gradually shift closer to the false church, for they are not rooted in the Word. Then there is the temple proper, or the sanctuary, and this small area is only 30 feet wide, 60 feet long, and 45 feet high, which contained the altar of incense mentioned in Rev 11:1. This small place then represents the invisible church, or the eternal church, or the true believers, which is the body of Christ on this earth. But the court outside the temple and the entire city of Jerusalem shall be trodden down by unsaved Gentiles. How do we define unsaved Gentiles? We do not define unsaved people; God does. And God says that all those who are in the category of violating Rev 22:18-19 are, according to God, unsaved people and are on the way to Hell. These are the unsaved Gentiles who shall bear the name of the Lord in vain and who shall symbolically tread down the court and the city. This does not only refer to the leaders of those false churches who will add or take away from the Word of God, but everyone who follows them have believed their lies, and are also on the way to Hell.

Please turn in your Bibles to the prophecy of the Psalms, Psalm 45:10 (2X). At any point in time the group of people in the temple proper belongs to the Bride of Christ. These are the saints for whom Christ suffered and died. But at the point in time of the vision of Rev 19:8 Babylon has already fallen and has been destroyed, the last of the saints has been taken out of this world, and all the saints have been taken into heaven body and soul. The Bride of Christ is then complete, which means that the Bride of the Lamb contains all the saints from the OT time as well as from the NT time. This eternal church is the Lamb’s Bride as written in Psalm 45. God has a beautiful description of this church here i

Ps 45:10-13  Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house;       So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.   And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall entreat thy favour.      The king’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold.

Ps 45:14  She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.

Ps 45:15  With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king’s palace.

Ps 45:16  Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.

We read here that “The king’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold”. This is

highly symbolic language. We read in Rev 19:8, the clothing of the Bride of Christ is the righteousness of the saints. This fully agrees with God’s statement in Isa 61:10, where we read:

Isa 61:10 ¶  I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

Please turn again to Rev 19:8 (2X). The Bride of the Lamb is clothed in fine linen, which represents the righteousness of saints. This refers first of all to the fundamental righteousness of saints in the blood of Christ, the Lamb. It is their legal righteousness, which is imputed on the saints through the fact that the Lamb was slain and has laid down His life for them, and thus purchased them to be His Bride. But the reference is also to the righteousness of saints in the ethical sense of the word. She has kept her garments clean and unspotted from the world and from Babylon. She has harkened to the call to come out of Babylon. Thus the church, the Bride of the Lamb, appears here in garments of Justification and Sanctification. She has made herself ready. This cannot mean that the church has justified and sanctified herself, for this can only occur by the grace of God. And this is indeed what the text says, for we read in Rev 19:8 that to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen. But by faith and in love, and with a view to meeting her Bridegroom, through grace, the Bride has prepared herself, she has put on the garments that were provided by the Lamb Himself, and she has kept herself unspotted from the world. In this way she is ready for her marriage to the Lamb. Now let us consider:

#2.       The Marriage (Rev 19:7)

Re 19:7  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

We should bear in mind that this marriage of the Lamb is essential to heavenly glory. The union of the Bride with Christ is essential to heavenly glory, for to this end has God created everything. To this end the Father chose a Bride for His Son, and He did that before the foundation of the world, before He even created one speck of dust. That we shall be forever and perfectly united with Christ, and through Christ to God, is in fact the very essence of heaven. Therefore that union must involve all the saints, not just a fraction of the saints. In several passages of Scripture we read about one bride and many guests. From this some people have concluded that Christ will marry only a fraction of the saints and all the rest of the saints are guests at the wedding banquet. Also here in Rev 19:7-9 there is one bride and many guests. We need to keep in mind, however, that the picture presented is not literal but highly symbolic. Then we can understand that the Bride and the guests are on and the same group of people. In the figure of the Bride the church is presented as a whole, as a unity in her marriage to Christ, whereas the members of the church, when considered individually, are the guests at the feast which the Father has prepared for His Son, the Lamb. The marriage itself is an intimate union of fellowship of nature, of life and of love between Christ and His church, all this in the spiritual sense. #1. There is a union of nature between Christ and His church. Christ imparts His nature to the church, through His Spirit, so that His Bride becomes like Him, and thinks like Him, and is conformed to the image of God’s Son. #2. There is fellowship of life between Christ and His Bride. Christ’s life is the life of the church. The same Spirit that dwells in Him as the head, also dwells in His people as the members of His body. And through that Spirit Christ imparts His own incorruptible, heavenly, glorious, resurrection life to the entire church. #3. There is a communion of love between Christ and His church, based upon the communion of nature and the fellowship of life. Even as His church is like Him, and has life like Him, so He loves His church. And that love of Christ, which is always first, finds response in the heart and life of His Bride, and thus the church loves Him. Therefore this picture here in Rev 19:7-9 is the final and heavenly union of Christ and His church in everlasting and perfect glory, the final salvation. When the entire church shall be perfected in glory, and shall be perfectly like Him, perfectly united with Him spiritually, and when in perfect heavenly glory, body and soul, they shall be with Him forever, then shall the marriage of the Lamb take place. Then the Bride shall appear in the perfection of righteousness, clothed in pure and white linen, prepared as a bride for her husband. And then Christ shall take unto Himself His Bride forever. The Kingdom is prepared, for the Bridegroom must have a proper house where He can make His home with His Bride. He is ready to lead His Bride into that Kingdom at this very moment. And then Christ presents His church to the Father without spot or wrinkle and takes her as His Bride, to bestow upon her all the blessings of His love in His perfect and glorious Kingdom. Now

  • The Marriage Supper (Rev 19:9)

This is an element that is different from the marriage itself. We read in Rev 19:9,

Re 19:9  And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

John does not personally witness a vision of this marriage supper, but he is given knowledge of this supper and its blessedness through the speech of the angel, who actually is not an angel but is a fellow saint. Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel according to John, John 17:21 (2X). All the members of the church, but now considered as individual believers, are invited as guests of this great wedding feast. They are called to this marriage supper. This is the effectual calling of God Himself. And here that calling is viewed especially from the viewpoint of its blessedness. And John is especially instructed to write this. The saints must be reminded and assured of the hope of their calling, for the end goal of their calling is the blessedness and joy of the marriage supper of the Lamb. The picture is that the Father prepares the feast, He is the host at this supper, He invites the guests. Christ and His Bride are forever united in His Father’s home, which is the Father’s Kingdom. In celebration of their marriage the Father prepares this feast. Christ and His Bride are the guests of honor at this feast. Only we must remember that this feast is not a passing event, and its joy is not just for a moment. Eternally the saints will rejoice in the fact that now they have been perfectly united in life, and in nature, and in love to Christ, the Bridegroom. This covenant fellowship is the significance of the marriage supper. Through Christ we shall have eternally a perfect covenant fellowship with God, shall know Him as we are known, love Him as we are loved, shall behold God’s beauty, shall dwell in His house, shall walk with Him and talk with Him. The Word of the Lord shall be perfectly realized. For example, the Lord Jesus prayed to the Father in His High Priestly prayer, in John 17:21-23,

Joh 17:21-22  That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.            And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

Joh 17:23  I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one.

While we are here on earth we cannot imagine that these words shall be realized literally. But when we are sitting at this great wedding feast we shall see these words realized perfectly. Therefore, blessed indeed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.

And then we read at the end of verse 9,

#3.       These Are the True Sayings of God (Rev 19:9-10)

Re 19:9  And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

These words were written for our comfort. These words were written so that we will have a firm hope that will not fade away. And what sayings does this refer to? It refers to the series of visions that the angel showed John, beginning in Rev 17:1 all the way to Rev 19:10. All these are the true sayings of God. This does not imply that other sayings from the Bible are less true. But here it is emphasized. And this emphasis has its reason in the comforting of the saints who are in the midst of the FTP. All the salvation of the saints is declared in this prophecy and that in the name of God Himself. All that God has ever promised for His people, both for the present and for the future, is implied in the words of the angel. This testimony about Jesus and from Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. By this Spirit the angel can deliver the true sayings of God. And all the saints and fellow servants of this angel, or better this messenger, receive this testimony of Jesus, and will therefore also embrace the words of this messenger as the true sayings of God. What does that mean for us? Do we believe what God says in verse 7, “And His wife has made herself ready”? What is our preparation? Are we getting prepared to celebrate the marriage supper with our Lord throughout all eternity? Or do we have our eyes fixed on this world, like Lot’s wife? These are important questions. Are we longing to be with the Bridegroom? And are we longing to be with all the saints in one place? If that is so, why do we not have that feeling, or that desire, right now? What hinders us? It must be sin that hinders us. Why can we not cast those sins far from us? Why can we not come together as a whole family and enjoy one another’s company? Let me tell you why that is. Over time we have allowed things of the world creep into our life, and to occupy our time in such a way that we now think we cannot let them go. If in the past we have been able to attend a Bible Study faithfully, then now we have something better to do in that time slot. But can you see that this is exactly what happened to the seed that was thrown amidst the thorns? We must realize that those thorns and thistles are sin. Therefore, let us keep ourselves unspotted from the corruptions of Babylon, in order that we in the day of Christ may appear in the pure and white linens of the righteousness of the saints, prepared as a Bride adorned for her Bridegroom. Therefore, let us fix our minds on the blessed hope that is ours according to the true sayings of God Himself. Let us purify ourselves even as He is pure.

AMEN.                 Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.