Sun, Oct 29, 2000

The Marriage Supper: Revelation 19:1-10

Ministry of Pastor Joe Guglielmo teachings through the Bible, verse by verse for a better understanding of Gods Word.
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THE MARRIAGE SUPPER

REVELATION 19:1-10

Please turn in your Bibles to Revelation chapter 19, as we continue our study through the book of Revelation. And in our studies so far we have seen the judgment of God being poured out upon a Christ rejecting world. The seven seal judgments destroyed a fourth of the earth’s population. Then in the trumpet judgments we saw more destruction unleashed where a third of the earth’s population is now destroyed. And by the time we get to the bowl judgments we see that the wrath of God is complete, in fact we read that "It is done!" Nothing that man held onto is left anymore, and that which he has rejected has judged him.

Now, as we move into the first part of Revelation chapter 19 we see a break in the judgment as the scene shifts from earth to heaven. And as we see heaven, it is filled with worship, the worship of God. And from there we move to the marriage supper of the Lamb and then we will see the Lord return with His bride, the church, to put down the rebellion of man at the battle of Armageddon, and then to establish His kingdom here on the earth.

Now we are going to split chapter 19 into two studies, first looking at this great feast with the Lord, and then next time the carnage of this great battle. And the question you need to ask yourself is this, "Would you rather have dinner with the Lord or be dinner for the birds of the earth?" Over the next two studies we will see these two meals being prepared, and the choice is yours in which meal you will partake of. With that said, let’s begin reading in Revelation chapter 19, starting in verse 1.

REVELATION 19

VERSE 1

Chapter 19 has a few different groups of people shouting out praises unto the Lord. Heaven is a place of worship. Now, for some, that is very disturbing. Worship to them is boring. It is that fill time before the message is given. It is a way to set your watch by so you can enter the church service as the message begins. How wrong that is.

Worship is born out of a relationship, and you can usually tell how a relationship is going by the words that are spoken about another, the actions that are done unto them. For instance, your spouse. Do you have to force yourself to say nice things about him or her? I hope not! Do you have to force yourself to come home at night from work? I hope not! Within a marriage relationship there is love, and that love is manifested in the things we do and the things we say!

The same is true with our relationship with the Lord. We are so in love with Him that we want to tell people. We are so in love with Him that if we had pictures of Him in our wallet, we would show everyone! And I guess we do have pictures of Him, it is called the Bible, the Word of God! You see, if you can’t worship God here on this earth, what makes you think you are going to love to worship Him in heaven?

I love to worship God through music, through song, besides many other ways. And even though my voice may not sound good, by the time it gets to the ears of God it is perfect, He has a great sound board! He can make any voice sound good, and God tells us to "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord" and I think that my singing qualifies for that! You see, the key, of course, is your heart. King David had a heart of worship towards God and it was manifested in his life. He wrote many Psalms, brought the ark of God back to Jerusalem. May we have a heart like David in regards to the worship of God. May God put those new songs in our hearts, and like David, desire the presence of God or the ark of God back in our life, in a sense.

Now John tells us that this first group of people in heaven that are worshiping the Lord is "a great multitude." Who are these people? I believe they are the tribulation saints that have been martyred for their faith in Jesus Christ during the tribulation period.

The reason I say that is in Revelation 7:9-10 we are told "After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, andtongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, withpalm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongsto our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"

And if you are still unsure who this great multitude are, look at Revelation 7:14-17, "...‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." So this first group of people that are worshiping the Lord are the tribulation saints who have been martyred for their faith in Christ during the tribulation period.

Now the word "ALLELUIA" comes from two Greek words: HALLEL which means "praise" and JAH which is a contraction of the name JEHOVAH. So the literal interpretation of this word is "PRAISE THE LORD!" Not just empty words, but from the heart. Now why are they shouting this out? Verses 2 and 3 tell us.

VERSES 2-3

God has not only saved them out of their sin by His mighty hand, but He is also going to pour out His judgment upon those who have rebelled against Him, those who have put His people to death. And their judgment is eternal!

Now when we look at the judgments of God they do seem brutal, severe. And I think the reason some feel that way is because they are looking at these things from an earthly perspective. You see, as these people stand before the Lord in heaven they see His judgment as true, as righteous, because they have a heavenly perspective of the situation. Gold is holy, He is perfect, and when man, unrighteous man is before Him, God’s actions are seen as perfect, as just.

And I don’t think we need to ask the question "Why Lord is you judgment so brutal?" but "Why Lord are you so patient and longsuffering with us?" Some look at the patience of God as God is approving of their actions, wrong! Others see it as God not caring, wrong! While still, others feel that God can’t do anything about it, He is not able to intervene, wrong!

Then why? Peter tells us "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." II Peter 3:9. Do you understand that? Do you see God’s tremendous love for us? I hope so! God’s desire is for all to come to Him and receive the free gift of life that is found only in His Son, Jesus Christ. If you refuse that gift, then you will be judged, and it will be a righteous judgment, you will only get what you deserve! For almost 2,000 years now God has been patient and longsuffering, and like in the days of Noah, the time is almost up, His righteous judgment is about to be poured out. You might say, it is beginning to rain!

Now as Christians we do go through some difficult times. And God is teaching us through them, showing us how to walk, He is strengthening our faith so we don’t walk by sight, but by faith in Him. You see, God is molding and shaping us and preparing us for heaven. And do you know what the will of God is for you as you are going through those things? Paul tells us in I Thessalonians 5:18, when he says "in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God inChrist Jesus for you."

Now don’t misunderstand what Paul is saying here. Some praise the Lord for everything they are going through, kind of like a bad country and western song. You know, "My truck died, my dog ran away, my wife left me, I lost my job, PRAISE THE LORD!" Sorry to those country and western music fans.

But understand this, and I think you do already. I can’t praise God FOR everything, can you? The death of a child, the loss of a parent, a deadly disease, a divorce, a rebellious child, the loss of a job and-so-on. I can’t believe anyone, with a sincere heart could stand up and shout "PRAISE THE LORD!" Nor do I believe God wants us to.

Paul tells us that IN everything, as you are going through those times, PRAISE THE LORD! Why? Because it changes your whole perspective from you to Him! It gets you focused back on the only one who can help, the Lord. And I may not know why those things are happening but I do know God’s love for me and I will praise the Lord for that and walk by faith!

VERSE 4

Here we see two more groups of people shouting with a loud voice, "Praise the Lord!" The first group are the twenty-four elders, and as we looked at this group back in Revelation chapter 4, we said they represented the church from the time of Pentecost until the rapture of the church, all those believers in Jesus.

The other group are the four living creatures that we also looked at in Revelation chapter 4, as they too are around the throne of God, worshiping the Lord.

And these two groups of people are shouting out "Amen! Alleluia!" or "So be it! Praise the Lord!" In other words, let sovereign God fulfill His plan and purpose to establish His kingdom here on earth, just as it is in heaven!

VERSE 5

Could this be the voice of Jesus? It is very possible as He calls for all of heaven to join in the worship, and we will see that in verse 6.

VERSE 6

As I read this I see all of heaven praising the all-powerful God. I can’t imagine how loud this will be, but our ears will be able to handle it, as all of the heavenly host will shout unto God with a voice of praise. It is like the "Hallelujah Chorus" from Handel’s Messiah, only turned way, way up!

VERSES 7-9

Marriage feasts or celebrations are a wonderful, joyous time with much activity, fellowship and eating! I know what a joy it was for me some 22 years ago as I saw my wife coming down the aisle towards me, she was the most beautiful person in that whole building! And then the celebration afterwards, I couldn’t imagine it could get any better, until I became a Christian and was introduced to what the Bible calls the Marriage Supper of the Lamb! You see, as believers, we are called a chaste virgin who is awaiting our wedding day and the feast that follows as our bridegroom, Jesus Christ, comes for His bride, the church, you and me!

(II Corinthians 11:2).

In fact, Paul in Ephesians chapter 5, speaks of the wife’s role in marriage and then the husband’s role. And then in verse 32 Paul says this, "This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church." In other words, our relationship with our spouse is likened to Jesus’ relationship with us, He is the bridegroom and we are the bride, the church, who He is coming back for!

To understand this more fully we need to understand the 3 phases of a Jewish wedding that took place during the time of Jesus:

1. THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT

Now the marriage contract was usually arranged by the parents when the children were very young because they felt that a decision like this could not be left for someone without the skills, the wisdom to make that decision. So as the contract was set, all that was left was for these young children to grow up and be introduced to each other.

2. THE BETROTHAL

As the time came for the couple to be legally married, they would enter a phase known as the betrothal period. During this time they are legally married but they have not consummated their marriage physically yet. And during this year long period of time she would prepare her dress and he would prepare a home for them to live in, alongside his fathers house. The bride did not know the day or the hour her husband would call on her, so she waited in anticipation, always being ready, listening for the sound of a trumpet. You see, she did know the season, usually after the harvest!

3. THE BRIDEGROOM COMETH

This phase of the Jewish wedding was the formal occasion when the bridegroom came to take his bride home and consummate the marriage. And with trumpets blaring the groom and his friends would come to the brides house, and she would put on her wedding dress, rise and receive a blessing from her father, and run out to meet her groom in the streets as he came for her.

This couple would then make their way to the Huppah or a four posted canopy from which they would be married under. And here they would read the contract which their parents put together and then a blessing. Then this group of people would follow the couple to their new mansion or home, and the best man would stand outside the door while the marriage was consummated, and he waited to see if the bride was a virgin. If she was a virgin, the wedding celebration would last another seven days. If she wasn’t, there would be either a divorce or the women would be stoned to death!

Now what does that have to do with us today? A lot, as you will see. You see, in a spiritual sense, we see this same relationship between the Lord and His bride, the church. Let me explain:

1. THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT

God has chosen us, predestined us into the family of God before the foundations of the world were established. In John 15:16 we are told "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you." God has done this for each of us! (See also II Timothy 1:8-9).

2. THE BETROTHAL

It is the Holy Spirit who is drawing us to Christ, and when we come to that saving knowledge of Jesus Christ we are given the Holy Spirit as an engagement ring or a down payment for the contract of marriage that has been made. We read of this in Ephesians 1:13-14, where Paul says"In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory."

3. THE BRIDEGROOM COMETH

The next step is the bridegroom coming for His bride, we call it the rapture of the church. It is a time when the Lord will come for us and bring us into the new mansions, the new homes that He has prepared for us, for our spirits to dwell in. We see Jesus speak of this in John 14:2-3, where we read "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." These bodies we now dwell in are just tents, temporary dwelling places, but God is preparing a eternal dwelling place for us, He calls them mansions!

And understand we don’t know the day or the hour that the Lord is going to return, but we do know the season! Thus, we must be prepared, we need to keep looking up for our redemption draws near. The Lord is coming back for His bride, you and me! And it is then we will join in on this joyous feast, the marriage supper of the Lamb, which seems to come at the end of the tribulation period, some even believe it will take place on the earth. I tend to believe it is a heavenly meal, but whatever the case, it will be awesome!

Now what takes place after the rapture of the church is the judgment seat of Christ or the BEMA seat, where the believers will be rewarded for the work they have done. Paul tell us back in II Corinthians 5:9-10, "Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad." God will put our works through the fire, we don’t lose our salvation, but if our works are done out of the wrong motivation, with a wrong heart, the works will be burned up, you will lose that reward. (See also I Corinthians 3:10-15).

Now our garments, the brides dress, is always of great importance. When I saw my wife standing in her wedding dress, I was speechless. And here too we are seen in a wedding dress, and once again it is the talk of the town. First of all we are saved by faith, it is the Lord’s righteousness that has been imputed to us, we don’t stand in our own righteousness which is like filthy rags. It is as Isaiah 61:10 tells us, "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall bejoyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered mewith the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as abride adorns herself with her jewels." And yet, here in Revelation we read "And to her itwas granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteousacts of the saints." Revelation 19:8. Then what is this all about?

I believe John is speaking of the things we have done that prove we are saved. The good works don’t save us, they are just the evidence showing we are saved! And thus, our wedding dress will contain the rewards of our faithful service to the Lord! And thus, on to the marriage supper!

VERSE 10

We must understand this, God alone is to be worshiped! We are not to worship any other person, place or thing. Not any saint, not Mary, nor anyone except the Lord! John makes that mistake and he is quickly corrected. May we not forget that!

Now some like to say Jesus is not God, and thus He is not to be worshiped for the Scriptures tell us we are only to worship God. Now there are many Scriptures that I can give you to show you that Jesus is God, but I will only share one, that should be sufficient. In Hebrews 1:6 we are told"But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: ‘Let all the angels of God worship Him." Why are the angels worshiping Jesus? Because He is God! Simple enough!

Now why is prophecy so important? Because it has to do with Jesus! In fact, it is all about Him! The Psalmist said "Then I said, ‘Behold, I come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me." Psalm 40:7. And in John 5:39-40 Jesus said "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life." And finally, in I John 5:10 we are told,

"He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son." If you believe, you have life. If you reject Jesus, you make Him a liar because the Scriptures testify that He is the way, He is the truth, and He is the life, and without Him you will never get to heaven.

That is the whole point of the illustration that Jesus gave of the kingdom of heaven being likened to a marriage supper that a king gave for his son. And he sent out invitations and some refused to come, others were busy and still others ruffed up and killed the kings servants. So the king sent more of his servants out to the highways and byways to compel people to come to this feast. And in Matthew 22:11-14 we read "But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen."

The garments here are given to us by Christ, by receiving Him into our lives. You see, without Him we can’t attend the feast and the consequences for not coming with the proper attire on is being cast into outer darkness, eternally separated from God. But you don’t have to travel down that road, for Jesus said in Revelation 3:20, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." Won’t you enter in?

You see, you can either enter into this meal with the Lord, this marriage supper of the Lamb, or as we shall see next week, you will become dinner for the birds of the earth as the Lord returns to set up His kingdom here on this earth. Which meal do you want to partake of? The choice is yours!

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