The Marriage Supper of the Lamb

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What is the purpose of the book of Revelation? Why was it written?
Revelation 1:3 ESV
3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.
Who was the book of Revelation written to?
Revelation 1:4 ESV
4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne,
The testimony of Jesus Christ given to John was for local churches. The message of this book is intended to be intensely practical for members of local churches. It is intended to bring blessing into our lives, right now (today), if we read, hear, and keep what is written in it! Must keep this in mind as we study Revelation 19.
Revelation 19:1-9 is actually the concluding section 17-18 which describe the demise of Babylon.
Revelation 18:20 ESV
20 Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, for God has given judgment for you against her!”
Revelation 19:1-10 is a response to the angel’s invitation to the heavenly host to rejoice! It is the description of the loudness of enthusiastic rejoicing that replaces the silence of the destroyed city of Babylon.
Revelation 18:21 (ESV)
21 Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence, and will be found no more;
Revelation 18:22 (ESV)
22 and the sound of harpists and musicians, of flute players and trumpeters, will be heard in you no more, and a craftsman of any craft will be found in you no more, and the sound of the mill will be heard in you no more,
Revelation 18:23 (ESV)
23 and the light of a lamp will shine in you no more, and the voice of bridegroom and bride will be heard in you no more, for your merchants were the great ones of the earth, and all nations were deceived by your sorcery.
In contrast to the deafening silence of Babylon due to God’s judgement is the enthusiastic rejoicing of the heavenly host!
This enthusiastic rejoicing is accomplished by means of four songs. One of the few times the NT deals with the idea of singing. I think we also learn much about the idea of proper worship from this passage as well.
Revelation 19:1 ESV
1 After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
Revelation 19:2 ESV
2 for his judgments are true and just; for he has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality, and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”
What is the content of this first song? What is the basis their praise? By what truths do they offer God worship?
The heavenly host is celebrating God’s judgement of the great prostitute! Let that thought sink it a moment. What will God’s judgement of the great prostitute, Babylon, involve?
Revelation 19:15 ESV
15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.
Revelation 19:17–18 ESV
17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, 18 to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.”
Revelation 19:20–21 ESV
20 And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. 21 And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.
How can the heavenly host offer worship to God for this?
Do we like worshiping God this way?
What kind of attributes of God do we normally like to think about when we worship God?
If we never worship God for his true and just judgments what kind of effect will that have on the church? On our lives personally?
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” —A.W. Tozer
“It is impossible to keep our moral practices sound and our inward attitude right while our idea of God is erroneous or inadequate. If we would bring back spiritual power to our lives, we must begin to think of God more nearly as He is.” —A.W. Tozer
“O Lord God Almighty, not the God of the philosophers and the wise but the God of the prophets and apostles; and better than all, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, may I express Thee unblamed?”
“They that know Thee not may call upon Thee as other than Thou art, and so worship not Thee but a creature of their own fancy; therefore enlighten our minds that we may know Thee as Thou art, so that we may perfectly love Thee and worthily praise Thee.” —A. W. Tozer
Proper worship requires replacing erroneous views of God with true views of His majesty as defined by the Scriptures
Song # 2
Revelation 19:3 ESV
3 Once more they cried out, “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.”
Who are the ones singing this song? “They” same great multitude of loud voices in heaven as in v. 1. Probably angels.
What is the content of the second song?
How is this song different from the first song? This is somewhat of an encore of the first song, but there is a heightening of the praise being offered.
In what way does the second song heighten the message of the first?
“The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.” Lit. “The smoke from her keeps on going up forever and ever.”
This song highlights that the city’s destruction is final, complete, and irreversible.
Will the smoke of the city of Babylon never burn out?
Revelation 20:11 ESV
11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.
What about when God destroys the present earth and sky (heaven)?
So the flames that destroy the city will burn out in time. So how do we understand forever and ever?
Perhaps for the following 1,000 year period of the Millennial kingdom the smoke of Babylon will billow as a testimony to the faithfulness of God, the certainty of his victory, and the permanence of His kingdom!
Beyond this 1,000 period of time we must view the eternal fate of individuals intimately connected with the city.
Revelation 14:11 ESV
11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”
Proper worship of God requires that we consider the outcome of the wicked
What happens to our worship when we don’t consider the outcome of the ungodly?
Ezekiel 20:32 ESV
32 “What is in your mind shall never happen—the thought, ‘Let us be like the nations, like the tribes of the countries, and worship wood and stone.’
Why would we want to be like the nations in our worship? Like the wicked? Like the ungodly?
In what ways can our worship be like the nations?
Song #3
Revelation 19:4 ESV
4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!”
Who is singing this song of worship?
Who are they worshiping?
What is posture of their worship?
Revelation 19:5 ESV
5 And from the throne came a voice saying, “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great.”
What voice is speaking in v. 5? From the direction of the throne, not the one sitting on the throne itself.
What is the attitude of right worship called for in v. 5? fear
Who is to offer praise to God? His servants/slaves, small and great.
Why are they offering such humble awe-filled worship to God? In response to what God is about to do! What is God about to do? Judge the wicked and bring in the kingdom! God is about to bring to fruition his eternal will of the kingdom! He alone is able to provide this kind of salvation. He alone has this awesome glory. He alone has this kind of unlimited power!
Proper worship of God requires a fearful respect of His awesome majesty
Song #4
Revelation 19:6 ESV
6 Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.
Who is singing this song? Redeemed church saints? Or all the heavenly host of angelic beings (part of the subject of this song is on the Bride herself, awkward for the Bride to sing about herself)
What is the largest chorus of voices you have ever heard? Dawson McCallister rally in DC (10,000’s of voices)
What is the content of their song? The Lord our God Almighty reigns.
This great and mighty song of songs is praising God because the Satan’s world-power is about to be demolished and the kingdom of God, promised for so long, is about to be established. God will REIGN!
Revelation 19:7 ESV
7 Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready;

The figure of marriage denotes the intimate and indissoluble union of the community of believers with the Messiah. The wedding image for the Jews was a more intimate aspect of the kingdom of God

When will the marriage supper of the Lamb take place?
Quotes from Robert Thomas:
The normal understanding would be that the event, coming after the destruction of Babylon and at the end of the Great Tribulation has the second coming of Christ to earth as its climax (Walvoord, Beasley-Murray). This fixes the place of the feast as on earth and the time as during the Millennium.

Yet it cannot transpire on earth in a completed sense until after the Millennium when the rest of the faithful from the thousand-year period combine with the martyrs and other saints to complete the body of the redeemed (Charles). The language of 21:2, 9 is quite explicit regarding the bride in the new heaven and the new earth (Lee).

The better part of wisdom is to include both the Millennium and the new heaven and the new earth as the prolonged wedding feast of the Lamb and His bride (cf. 19:9). It will commence with Christ’s glorious appearance to initiate His kingdom on this present earth.

One further matter of reconciliation requires a separation of the wedding itself (19:7) from the wedding feast (19:9).

Revelation 19:7 ESV
7 Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready;
Revelation 19:9 ESV
9 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”
Revelation 19:8 ESV
8 it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

It is necessary to have the marriage initiated in heaven after the Rapture of the saints, because when Christ’s army of saints return with Him to earth, they will have already put on their wedding apparel (19:8, 14).

Revelation 19:14 ESV
14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.

So the initiation of the union happens in heaven, but the celebration of that union with a grand wedding feast ensues on earth for the span of the millennial and eternal kingdoms.

Notice the theme of rejoicing and exulting are prevalent here.
Why are we to rejoice and exalt?
We rejoice and exult when we dwell on the FUTURE certainty of our marriage with Christ!
Revelation 19:8 ESV
8 it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
Why are we to rejoice and exalt in v. 8?
WAS GRANTED HER- past tense! When was it granted the church to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure? Putting on the righteous deeds was made possible by means of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. So there is a past element of our rejoicing.
Revelation 19:9 ESV
9 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”
What is the present element of our rejoicing? BLESSED ARE those who ARE invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Right now believer, you presently posses an invitation to the coming marriage supper of the Lamb!
How does that effect your live right now?
When you dwell richly on this truth how does that affect your thinking about the election results this past week? The sickness you are struggling with? Getting old? Inflation?
Proper worship of God results in rejoicing and praise when we dwell on the past, present, and future promises of God
You have been redeemed church, you have been ransomed with the precious blood of Christ! Your sins have been forgiven, the price has been paid. You have been robed in the righteousness of Christ. You have been united to benefits of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.
Because of all that, you have in your position right now, an irrevocable invitation to the coming marriage supper of the Lamb.
One day in heaven you will personally experience the marriage of the Lamb to His bride. He will clothe you in white garments! You will be at his side when He returns in great power and glory to the earth. You will hear and witness the power of his voice as he vanquishes every enemy and every foe. You will be present when the last enemy, death itself, is finally defeated.
Revelation 22:3–5 ESV
3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
What can we say? How can we respond?
Revelation 4:11 ESV
11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
Revelation 5:9–10 (ESV)
9 “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”
Revelation 5:12 (ESV)
12 “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”
Revelation 5:13 (ESV)
13 “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
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