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The Book of Revelation
“The Tale of Two Suppers”
At this time, at the culmination of this age, the Lord hosts two great suppers, one on earth, and the other in heaven. Immediately the question becomes, “Who’s invited? What’s the main course?” and “What’s the purpose, who’s behind them?”
Both are a part of Jesus’ return. Many have heard of Jesus’ return, and it is in this belief, or lack thereof, that will actually determine which of these two suppers they’ll attend.
Let’s begin with the first,
The Marriage Supper of the Lamb
Read Revelation 19:1-10
This great party is in heaven, which is the union of Jesus Christ and his bride, the church, and everyone who has believed in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord will be in attendance as the bride.
God has planned at this time the greatest celebrations ever. It’ll be the most celebrated and joyous event ever conceived, completely beyond anything we could ever imagine.
The entire heavenly host, and those who have been redeemed through the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, has gathered together to give honor and praise to Jesus.
And the supper begins with one big rousing chorus of Hallelujah, which means, “Praise God.” It comes from two Hebrew words, ‘Hallel,’ or praise, and ‘Jah,’ which is one of God’s names.
There are actually reasons behind these Hallelujahs.
“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.” (Revelation 19:1b NIV)
God brought salvation to the whole earth through His Son Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul said, “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15 NIV)
Glory because only God possesses all glory. King David said, “Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.” (Psalm 29:2 NIV)
Honor because He is the Source and Creator of all things, as He Himself proclaims. “It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts.” (Isaiah 45:12 NIV)
And power because He is the supreme power in the universe. The psalmist said, “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.” (Psalm 115:3 NIV)
“For true and just are his judgments … He has avenged on her the blood of his servants … Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever” (Revelation 19:2-3 NIV)
The Lord has just triumphed over the evil and the godless political, commercial, and religious systems of Babylon and has avenged the blood of the martyrs. Notice that His judgments are true and just, that is, they are righteous as He gives evil exactly what it deserves. Evil is now reaping what it has sown.
“And they cried: ‘Amen, Hallelujah!’ Then a voice came from the throne, saying: ‘Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great.’” (Revelation 19:4b-5 NIV)
The 24 elders and the four living creatures worship God simply because He is God, and they tell both small and great to do the same.
“Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.” (Revelation 19:6b NIV)
This has caused consternation with many, because if God is Almighty and He reigns then why all the evil in the first place? But what we need to remember is that when humanity blew it back in the Garden, we forfeited rule over to Satan.
But the Hallelujah here is that God is going to re-establish His rule and reign and will destroy evil forever. And though evil may have its day now, if we remain faithful, then we’ll receive the greatest of all rewards, and sit at one heck of a banquet to boot.
The Marriage Supper of the Lamb
This wedding and celebration will be a little bit different than what we’re all accustomed to. In our weddings all the attention is given to the bride. She’s the one decked to the nines, she has her own music she enters by, and every eye is upon her. The groom just stands up at the front, lucky to find a rental tux that fits.
But at this union the focus isn’t on the bride, but rather it’s on the bridegroom. Kind of makes you think. If Jesus is the center of the attention then, shouldn’t he be the center of attention in the church, rather than upon all the stuff of the church. He should be the focus of our time together.
The guest list are all those who died by faith in the Old Testament, or those who the Bible describes as the friends of the bridegroom, and the bride, or all those who have died by faith in Jesus Christ, or have been raptured.
When the Marriage Supper of the Lamb occurs has been highly debated, but for me I see it beginning at the start of the Tribulation and ending when Jesus returns to this earth. I’ll explain this more as we look at the marriage customs of Israel.
But when we continue to look at these and other questions, our focus turns away from what’s really important, and that’s what we’ll be wearing, because it’s all about the dress isn’t it?
Notice what it says,
“For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Revelation 19:7-8 NIV)
In the King James it continues the translation saying that this clothing is the “righteous acts of the saints.” It represents first of all the righteousness of Christ, because it’s only in His righteousness that we can even stand before God. What this represents is the choices we make.
So how do we make ourselves ready?
It’s when we come into belief in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. It’s when we truly believe in our hearts, without doubting, that Jesus died for our sins, paid the penalty due for our sins upon the cross, and believe He rose from the dead, we’ll be saved and will participate in this great feast.
“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 190:9 NKJV)
This belief must then be followed up by our taking up our crosses and following after Jesus. Jesus said,
“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23 NKJV)
It’s our willingness to die to ourselves and live our lives entirely for Jesus. This is what is making us ready for the wedding.
It is then through this belief in Jesus Christ, and taking up our crosses that we’ll receive these fine linens clean and bright, or rather we’ll be clothed in the righteousness of Christ.
To prepare ourselves and make ourselves ready, both of these are absolutely necessary. You cannot have one without the other. You cannot say you have faith, but not live for Christ in your everyday life. And you cannot work your way to heaven without first coming by faith to Him.
The Apostle Paul brings out this truth. He said,
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesian 2:8-10 NKJV)
Over the years what I’ve found fascinating is how this prophecy of the wedding feast matches so perfectly to the wedding customs of that day.
First there is the betrothal. In those days it was taken a whole lot more seriously than today. They were in a sense married, even though the ceremony hadn’t taken place. During this time of betrothal they were to remain chaste, that is, true to each other.
This is the period that we are in today. We enter into this betrothal when we come to faith in Jesus Christ. And as such we are to remain true and faithful to Him and Him alone, placing nothing in our lives before Him.
After the betrothal the bridegroom would return to his father’s house to build a bridal suite, and then build a home for he and his bride.
After His death and resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven to be with His heavenly Father there to build for us our new homes. Jesus said,
“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.” (John 14:2-3 NKJV)
Notice He said He’s coming back to receive us, that is, He’s coming back for His bride. Now the groom never knows when that will be. The day and the hour is set by the father, and it is only when the father says “go get your bride,” that the groom knows now is the time.
Of this time Jesus said,
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” (Matthew 24:36 NKJV)
After the father gives the okay, the groom goes and get’s his bride, but the bride needs to be ready.
In the parable of the Ten Virgins, it says that when the bridegroom came for his bride, those who were ready went with him, while those who weren’t were left behind.
“The bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.” (Matthew 25:10 NKJV)
The Apostle Paul said that the Lord will descend with a shout, and the dead in Christ shall rise, and those who are still alive will all be caught up with the Lord. It is then that the wedding feast will take place.
Why do I say that, because once the bridegroom returns to his father’s house with the bride, the marriage is consummated and then there is a seven-day feast? After the seven days, the couple heads to their new home.
The time of Tribulation is seven years, and so this is one of the reasons why I see the rapture of the church happening prior to the Tribulation, and why the Marriage Super of the Lamb will be for this entire time.
But now we find ourselves in our study at that time when the supper is over, and the bride follows Jesus back to earth.
Read Revelation 19:11-16
Jesus, along with His bride, who is now His army come back to earth. They are clothed the same, fine linen, white and clean. This launches the end of the era, and the time of Tribulation. It’s called “Armageddon,” the final climatic battle upon earth.
But the Lamb returns as King.
“He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:16 NKJV)
The white horse symbolizes victory. In ancient times the victorious Roman general would enter the city on a white horse, which meant He conquered the enemy.
Jesus is called faithful and true, which meant He can be trusted to faithfully judge, and that He will righty administer justice, which is what this war is now all about. His eyes of fire speak to His penetrating gaze and how it will burn away that which is false and in darkness. The many crowns are diadems, that is, crowns of kings, showing His rule and authority over the kings of the earth.
And from the words of His mouth will come great slaughter, and the words are none other than His name, “The Word of God.” He will speak His name, and like a sharp sword it will go and slay the wicked.
There is great power in God’s name, and only Jesus can use it. At the Garden of Gethsemane when confronted by the soldiers, Jesus spoke His name, the name of God. He said, “I AM,” and the whole procession that came against Him fell backwards to the ground.
Jesus will now speak His name, and the word will slay the wicked upon the earth, that is all those who have come to fight against Him.
Now, upon His return another great feast is set called
The Supper of the Great God
Read Revelation 19:17-21
Whereas the first supper, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, will be the most glorious event imaginable, the Supper of the Great God will be the most terrifying.
Listen to the preparations. The angel invites the birds to come and feast on the flesh of all those slain, both great and small, as the armies of the Antichrist are wiped out, and the Antichrist and False Prophet will be cast alive in the Lake of Fire.
The Apostle Paul talked about this very thing how Jesus will defeat the Antichrist with His words, that is, breath of His mouth.
“And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.” (2 Thessalonians 2:8 NKJV)
Jesus will speak the word, the word of His Name, and the armies of the Antichrist and the Antichrist himself will be defeated. It will be like blowing a little dust particle from your hand. One small puff of breath, and it is removed, never to return.
And so in chapter 19 Jesus lays out for us two suppers, and the question becomes, at which supper have you made reservations.
At the Marriage Supper of the Lamb we are the honored guests, whereas in the Supper of the Great God the birds of the air are the invited guests, and humanity is their meal. At the first we eat the food, at the second humanity is the food.
And so as I have been saying all along throughout our time together, the choice is ours. And which supper we will attend is our decision, and it all centers on Jesus Christ.
Wednesday Evening Bible Study