The Marriage Supper of the Lamb
Marriage Supper of the Lamb – “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Marriage Supper of the Lamb (see Rev. 19:6-9). Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints). Then the angel said to me, “write: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God”.
At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev. 19:10).
The marriage supper of the Lamb is a subject greatly misunderstood, not because of erroneous teaching, but because it is almost neglected in preaching today. The main source of information concerning this coming event is found (in Rev. 19:7-10), which falls into two main divisions: (1) the marriage of the Lamb, and (2) the marriage supper of the Lamb.
The marriage supper of the Lamb is after the Rapture and following the judgment seat of Christ, where the members of the church will be rewarded for their faithful service (See 1 Cor. 3:10-15); 2 Cor. 5:10). A marriage will take place. The church, “the bride of Christ” and our Lord Jesus Christ will be officially married in heaven. While the earth is suffering through the last throes of the Tribulation, the church will enjoy a heavenly wedding. And then a feast!
The marriage supper of the Lamb was one of the themes on which the Lord Jesus loved to dwell. In many of His stories or parables, He spoke of marriage suppers. For instance, in the parable of the ten virgins, He told about the preparation for the coming of the bridegroom. (In Matthew 22:1-14), He spoke of the parable of the marriage of the king’s son. At this festive occasion the king sent out servants to invite people to come to the blessed event.
Who is the Bridegroom? The question has but one answer. The Bridegroom can only be “the king’s son” of (Matthew 22:1-14), the Lord Jesus Himself. (In John 3:29), long after John the Baptist had introduced Jesus as “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
John was asked to identify himself. He made it clear that he was not the Christ (in John 3:29), he referred to Christ as “the bridegroom,” to himself as: “the friend who attends the bridegroom [and who] waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice.” Clearly Christ is here referred to as the Bridegroom as well at the Lamb. Thus, Christ is the Bridegroom at the marriage of the Lamb.
Who is the Bride? A verse of importance is found (in Ephesians 5:32). The Apostle Paul, speaking to husbands and wives of their relationship together, likens the husband to Christ and the wife to the Church. He sums it up (in verse 32), by saying, “This is a profound mystery: but I am talking about Christ and the church”, clearly indicating that the perfect picture of the relationship between the Lord Jesus and His Church is that of a bride and a bridegroom.
Therefore, when a person accepts Jesus Christ, he or she becomes a member of the Church, the true invisible Church, and is automatically espoused or engaged to Christ. This engagement will be finalized at the marriage of the Lamb.
Where and When Will This Marriage Take Place? The marriage of the Lamb must take place in heaven, for (in Rev. 19:11), after the marriage of the Lamb and the marriage supper of the Lamb, we find the Lord Jesus coming in what we call “the Glorious Appearing” to set up His kingdom. For this reason, we must conclude that the marriage and the supper have occurred in heaven. Their location (in Rev. chapter 19), shows these events to have taken place at the end of the Tribulation, just before the millennial reign of Christ on the earth.
(Ephesians 5:27), indicates the manner in which the Bride will be presented to Christ: “a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” This condition will exist only after the judgment of Christ when believers have been completely cleansed and the Church is made whole.
For that reason, we believe that the Judgment Seat of Christ, which will take place during the Tribulation, will precede the marriage supper of the Lamb, and immediately after the judgment of reward has been presented to the last believer, the marriage of the Lamb will take place. All Christians who have trusted in Christ during the age of grace, from the day of Pentecost to the Rapture of the Church, will make up His Bride.
How Does the Bride Make Herself Ready? We ought properly to take periodic inventories to see if we are truly serving Christ. In that Day all unfaithful Christians will rue their unfaithfulness, for it will not only keep them from the position with Christ they might desire, but will limit the extent to which they rule and reign with Christ during the millennial kingdom.
The attitude of the Apostle Paul should characterize every Christian: “What shall I do, Lord?” (Acts 22:10). That kind of attitude will provide such motivation in believers that they will not only receive a “full reward” but hear the Savior say, “Well done, good and faithful servant! Come and share your Master’s happiness!” (Matt. 25:21).
The Identity of the Guests: Some invited to the wedding ceremony are guests and not the Bride. Obviously, a bride is never invited to a wedding supper, nor is a bridegroom. Those who are invited are the friends of the bride and groom. Who are these friends or guests? It cannot be the Church because the Church is the Bride.
John the Baptist, one of the last Old Testament saints, indicated that he was a friend of the Bridegroom (John 3:29). These Old Testament saints will be in heaven and will have their rewards, but they are not the Church, not the Bride of the Christ. They are the friends of the Bride and Bridegroom, who at this point, can be seen as the ones invited as guests to the feast.
So then, all the believing dead from Adam until the resurrection of Christ will be guests at this feast. In addition to them will appear those who have received the Savior during the Tribulation, both Jew and Gentile, many of who will have been martyred for the testimony of Christ.
Not to imply that the Old Testament saints are inferior to the Church, or the body of Christ, but merely to point out that this is a special blessing for the Church. Now Israel, or the guests at the wedding supper of the Lamb, have promises and relationships to Him in which we shall not share; however, the marriage supper of the Lamb is an experience reserved for the Church.