Author: Ron Graham
Judgment of the Beasts (Revelation 12-20) >Seven Final Visions >3rd vision >The Lamb’s wedding supper
Our previous lesson looked at seven woe songs in Revelation 18 and 19, about the fall of “Babylon”. As soon as the songs ended, and “Amen! Alleluia!” was said, the multitude of heavenly voices announced the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:5). This is the third of the seven final visions.
Give praise... you slaves There is a voice from the throne saying, "Give praise to our God, all you bondslaves, you who fear him, small and great" (Revelation 19:5).
God deserves not only praise, but a complete and committed surrender of self to him. This is true not only of ordinary folk but also of great kings. Even the rulers on earth should be pleased to be the slaves of God.
God Almighty reigns Then the voice like that of a multitude is heard to say, "Hallelujah! for the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns" (Revelation 19:6). The voice sounded like many waters, symbolizing all nations of earth (cf Revelation 17:15). The kingdom of heaven is for the wide world.
The Lamb... and his bride The songs end with jubilation: "Let us rejoice and be glad and give glory to God, for the marriage supper of the Lamb has come and his bride has made herself ready" (Revelation 19:7).
The bride is a sign for the church of Christ. By the way, the word “church” in Greek (ekklesia) means “called-out” people —that is to say people who have heeded God’s call as portrayed in a previous song about Babylon, "Come out of her my people" (Revelation 18:4).
Clothe herself It was given to the bride to clothe herself "in fine linen bright and clean" which represents "the righteous acts of the saints" (Revelation 19:8).
The Bride’s bright and clean raiment reminds us of Paul’s assurance to the Galatians, "You have clothed yourselves with Christ" (Galatians 3:26-28).
The idea behind this is more than good works, as important as these are —the fine linen is a sign of sanctification or holiness, which means being set apart as sacred to Christ and suitable for him.
"Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, so that he might sanctify her... that he might present the church to himself in all her glory having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she should be holy and blameless" (Ephesians 6:25-27).
Invited to the marriage supper The angel commands John to write the beatitude, "Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb" (Revelation 19:9).
The lovely thing is that everyone is invited, and none is prevented from accepting. At the end of Revelation we come upon this invitation: "Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the water of life freely" (Revelation 22:17)..
True words of God The angel declares that the things he has told John "are the true words of God" (Revelation 19:9).
Again we are reminded that the book of Revelation is not the invention of a man or an angel, who are but servants of God. The visions and words of this book come from God through Christ (Revelation 1:1).
Testimony of Jesus The angel tells John that he and his fellow Christians "hold the testimony of Jesus" (Revelation 19:10).
Christians hold the testimony of Jesus in the sense that they believe and obey it (cf Revelation 12:17). The angel also says, "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (Revelation 19:10). This shows us what prophecy is mainly about: to bear witness of Jesus is the main purpose of prophecy.
The spirit or essence of prophecy is not history; it's not the prediction of kingdoms and wars and judgments. The spirit of prophecy, its essential purpose and message, is to give testimony of Jesus Christ the Messiah.
The book of Revelation has this same spirit. It's not about “end times” but about who Jesus is, what he is bringing to pass, how your painfull life fits in to his plan, and why you should give your full alegiance to him.
Worship God When John, awestruck, falls down to worship the angel, he is told "Don't do that!" (Revelation 19:10).
The angel declares himself to be a servant of John and his fellow Christians. Angels are ¶ "spirits sent out to render service for the sake of those who are heirs of salvation" (Hebrews 1:14). We are grateful to angels; but we are not to worship them.