Revealing Revelation – Marriage Supper of the Lamb

13Jan11

After another scene of worship starts Revelation 19 the vision turns to the popular Marriage Supper of the Lamb. It should be noted that the picture of worship found in Revelation 19 is quite similar to the end of Chapter 11 following the seven trumpets.

Rev 19:6 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.7 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.

But our discussion here will center on the Marriage of the Lamb. Futurist place this event at the end of the age, sometime during the futurized Seven year Tribulation. In Dispensational ideology, with the strict contrasting of the Church and Israel, only the Church is present and the Old Testament saints are regulated to “outsider” status during this event.

The point obviously missed by the futurist and especially the Dispensationalist is that that context revolves around the contrasting of God’s new Bride and His former, unfaithful bride, now seen as the Harlot. The Harlot has just been made desolate by the Beast and the New Covenant is initiated with the new Bride, the Church.

This is NOT a future event, but rather a past event the began with the initiation and birthing of the Church at Pentecost and continues to today. This argument also understands that the modern day celebration of Communnion, or the Lord’s Supper, is lacking for it’s sparsity and not recognizing the connection between the two. When the Bride meets together they should be celebrating this supper together regularly.

But with that aside,m the primary focus of this image is to show the contrast between the harlot that has been divorced and the new Bride that continues throughout eternity. This was shown physically with the initiation of the new covenant, formerly administered with the destruction of the symbol of the Old Covenant, the Temple.

The best way to understand this is to examine the image being presented by John in this passage. When is a Marriage Supper celebrated? Some 2,000 plus years after the marriage takes place? that is what the futurist is asking the reader to assume. Is the celebration really postponed to the end of the celebration?

Rather, this supper celebration would be celebrated at the marriage, which should best be seen as Pentecost. This is a long and glorious celebration that continues throughout the ages and for eternity.

And the Old Testament saint is a part of this celebration. Those that are His partake of His body and blood (John 5) and that is the only way to the Father. Those forward thinking, faithful saints of the Old testament are not restricted because they are a part of “true” Israel just as the Church is through the new Covenant.

Chilton argues that the placement of this vision is perfectly positioned right after the final picture of the fall of Jerusalem. With the death of the Harlot, the Bride can then take her rightful place at the table and celebrate this new marriage rightfully. God is never without a Bride!

The new Bride, the church, is also called the New Jerusalem and as we will see she in introduced later to picture how the Heavenly Jerusalem replaces the earthly one covenantally. But this could only take place once the old bride was officially divorced and utterly removed. Jesus own words fit this motif.

Matt 8:11 I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Jesus predicted this feasting table, which should noted includes the Old Testament saints, and that the sons of the kingdom (the Jews) would be removed and thrown into utter darkness while others invited would partake. this motif is continued in Matt 21 and 22 in the stories of The Vineyard and Banquet Invitation. In fact, the Banquet Invitation parable lends itself nearly directly to the same image as presented in the Revelation.

Before finishing this post I wanted to note one potentially troubling doctrinal issue in this passage. Many have misunderstood the final verse of this passage to refer to a works righteousness. Even though that is not a topic of eschatological concern I do not want it to go forward unaddressed.

Rev 19:8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)

It may appear to some that the saints are adorned in their own righteous acts. I just want to make sure and note that they were “given” these linens to wear, they did not possess these linens on their own. It is best understood in relation to Eph 2:10.

Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Paul argues here that even the good works are a result of the workmanship of Christ and they were prepared far in advance for us to walk in them.

With this behind us we will next venture into possibly the most difficult and controversial section of the book outside of the the Millennium. We are given a picture of a rider on a White Horse coming in battle. Is this the Second Coming? This is where many in the Preterist camp may part ways and will prove to be a difficult but important study.

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2 Responses to “Revealing Revelation – Marriage Supper of the Lamb”

  1. 1 Christy

    I have to say that I agree with Chilton on the timing of the marriage celebration. It is my understanding that there is a betrothal period before the marriage is actually consumated and this would fit the biblical model of the betrothal beginning at Pentecost and the marriage taking place upon His return.

    • 2 low5point

      I think that’s reasonable and I have yet to come down very dogmatically on this issue. I also like the view in which it is a constant and on going supper throughout the entire age up until the consummation…but it’s most assuredly not some seven year Dispy Church only feast…


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