All believers in the true God of the Holy Scriptures are part of Christ's Bride.
The analogy of believers as the Bride of Christ is possibly the most striking and colorful analogy in the Bible.
That millions of believers, from all nations of earth, from all time, are actually joined in unison as Christ's Bride is a fascinating concept.
Here's hoping you give a few minutes to study God's Word concerning this most important teaching about our place at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb.
Near the end of the coming Great Tribulation period, Heaven has been celebrating the defeat of Mystery Babylon, the Great Prostitute, who attempted to thwart the Groom's marriage to his Bride.
That's quite a contrast, isn't it? Believers are each a part of the Lord's Bride, while unbelievers are considered each a part of an adulterous harlot. Wow! There's only black & white in eternity.
Anyway, the victory is complete and Babylon's power is destroyed (Revelation 19:3). There are still people and nations existent on earth; but, their ability, whether perceived or real, to unite, fight and win is finished. Babylon is rendered helpless.
The earth is also completely shaken, scorched and melted into new land masses and sea formations. The cities of the world have been toppled into rubble and the people have scattered and fled, trying to survive in inhumane circumstances. The survivors continue resisting Jesus, though, and will continue languishing in their decimated surroundings (Revelation 16:8-10).
The Great Tribulation has been nothing short of unimaginable horror unleashed upon the earth for nearly seven years at this point (Luke 21:36).
God's judgmental destruction is nearly complete, and the Kingdom of God reigns victorious over Babylon, Satan's earthly kingdom.
A certain prophesied event is finally ready for its joyful fulfillment. The marriage of the Groom, Jesus Christ, to his Bride, the believers of all time.
The rapture happened when the angel blew the final trumpet (1 Corinthians 15:52) in Revelation 11:15, and from that point all believers are gathered in heaven ready to meet the Groom.
Jesus Christ and his wedding party arrive for the ceremony with great jubilation. And why not?! A final victory over the Great Prostitute, a wedding ceremony with the Bride, which are both followed by the marriage feast, are at hand (Revelation 19:6-7).
No greater joy has ever been known in the history of creation.
The Marriage Supper of the Lamb is the topic for this lesson, so let's get started with the Word Christ and his prophets and apostles gave us about this event.
So, who is this mysterious Bride? Who's fortunate enough to become the eternal partner of Jesus Christ, the Lord over all Creation?
All true believers of all time make up the Bride. That is, those people who believe in God, and were in turn forgiven and spiritually saved by God the Father.
These people believed in the God of Holy Scripture. They became his child by faith in His Son (John 8:24) and they loved his Word (John 8:47). They lived their lives according to His standards, serving Him with all their heart, mind, soul and strength (Mark 12:29-31).
Many of them lived before the time that Christ walked the earth. They looked forward to the promise of a heavenly home with Christ, their ultimate Savior (Hebrews 11:13-16). Now, after being in Paradise with Him since their death, they get to meet him as his Bride at the wedding.
Many members of the Bride lived while Christ walked the earth. They got to know him personally and hear his messages and see his miracles. They've since died while waiting on his return, lived with Him in Paradise, but now get to meet him again at the marriage ceremony.
There were also those who lived since Christ's death, knowing him personally through the Spirit, but who later died. They had Christ's Spirit within them and were a part of the Bride. Their bodies perished while on earth, and they also went to Paradise for a time to live with Him. But they now officially join Christ at the wedding as his Bride.
Finally, there will be, and possibly are now, many people who know Christ personally by his Spirit who will still be alive on earth when the Groom returns. For this group of people, they'll be snatched-away (i.e. raptured) in the twinkling of an eye, joining the Bride in the sky (Matthew 24:31,40; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17). True believers today could possibly find themselves as part of this group.
So, as we look ahead to the Wedding of the Lamb, during the opening of the wedding, ALL true believers will be brought together, as one Body, so that they can unite to Christ and his Father.
Is this all the people that will join the Family? Will any more people be added later? Keep reading and find out!
There's a story Christ told that's meant to intrigue us.
Jesus used a parable to explain, among other things, that the Hebrews are God's chosen people (Matthew 22:1-14) - they were intended to be the nation that became Christ's Bride. The Jews (individual Hebrews), though, mostly rejected their Messiah's salvation, to their demise (Luke 19:41-44).
Because of the insolence of the Jewish hearts, God invited the Gentiles (non-Jews) to become a part of the Bride (Matthew 8:10-12).
Christ's parable describes an individual who tried to join the Bride at the wedding on his own terms.
The man attempted to use a forbidden way to attend the Marriage Dinner.
The Groom entered and noticed the man's clothing - it wasn't the required pure white wedding clothes. The Groom peered at him, calling him out, "How is it that you're here without wedding clothes!?" The man was an imposter - an uninvited guest. The wedding crasher had no response, no invitation, and no wedding clothes. He was immediately kicked out by the Groom.
What's this pure white wedding clothes of which Christ spoke?
A person only receives the proper wedding attire one way - God's Way. Take note, because this is a present-day spiritual analogy that ultimately becomes a physical reality at this future wedding.
In other words, the spiritual nature of the wedding clothes during the Church age, of which we now live, becomes physical wedding clothes at the wedding. Yes, true believers will receive special clothing for eternity, which represents what Christ spiritually did for us during our earthly lives.
All people blessed enough to be invited to the Supper are personally approved by YHWH, through his forgiveness (Revelation 19:9) - it's a one-on-one relationship where forgiveness is granted to the individual.
The colorful analogies aren't anything new for the Lord. Isaiah 1:18 says, "Come now, let's settle this. Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool." He washes us and gives us new 100% cotton clothing.
Here are the ways a person properly dresses in preparation for the coming wedding: First of all, one has received the required wedding clothes and the jewelry of salvation (Isaiah 61:10).
Zechariah clarifies what this entails in telling the story about Jeshua, the high priest. Jeshua's sins were forgiven by God and he was then handed new clothing by an angel from heaven (Zechariah 3:1-10). All invited people must be forgiven of their sins and handed unspoiled wedding clothes from heaven (Revelation 3:4-5).
Secondly, Christ the Groom is righteous and holy (Isaiah 11:5); therefore, his Bride must be washed pure and holy, as well.
Jesus, teaching his disciples at the Last Supper, physically washed their feet, demonstrating that they must be washed by Him for forgiveness (John 13:6-11).
Any unforgiven person attempting to be unequally yoked to Christ will be banished from inclusion with the Bride and struck from the invitation list (Ephesians 4:21-24 & 4:30), which the above imposter demonstrated to us.
A person must be a forgiven, born-again child of God in order to become a member of the Bride (John 3:1-8).
All unforgiven, unclean prostitutes are the property of Babylon, and any who attempt to crash the wedding feast will be kicked into outer darkness. Revelation 16:15 says those who are unprepared for Christ's return, who still wear sin-stained clothing, will be left as humiliated and desolate children of Babylon.
Thirdly, Revelation 19:8 clearly describes the white linen worn by the Bride as representing the good deeds done by believers. All attendees at the Wedding Dinner will be adorned with this beautiful glistening white linen.
Implied in this vivid description is that true believers prepared by working hard and long for Christ's coming Kingdom.
Two of Christ's parables especially point out this fact: the Parable of the Ten Virgins and the Parable of the Talents.
Not supporting the work of the Kingdom disqualifies those who deluded themselves, thinking they could attend the wedding without effort (Luke 13:23-24; Romans 7:4-5; James 2:17).
One group that receives very special wedding clothes are the believers martyred during the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:13-14). They'll also rule from special seats of honor during Christ's Millennial Reign (Revelation 7:15-17 & 20:4). All martyrs are richly blessed for all eternity and they'll have the most decorated garments to wear (Revelation 6:11).
Let's take a more specific look at the guest list for the grand dinner.
The glory from heaven [New Jerusalem?] comes down and the city gates are opened for the marriage feast! (Mark 13:26-27).
Once the Father brings his Family together for the Wedding Feast, the joy will be overwhelming.
How will we handle ALL the excitement!?
Our eyes are going to see such glorious images of perfection. The angels will amaze us and we'll stand in awe of them. The City of New Jerusalem, which quite possibly hosts this banquet somewhere above the earth (Revelation 22:2), leaves us breathless. Our ears will hear the sounds of perfection, too - angels sounding the trumpets and the Bride praising the Groom (Revelation 19:1-3).
Then, the banquet room doors swing wide open. The wedding hall is massive, without question (John 14:2-3). Millions of redeemed souls will be in attendance (Hebrews 12:22-23) - including these people we've read about in the Scriptures:
John the Baptist will be Christ's Best Man (John 3:29). Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets will be there. Hebrews 11:13-16 tell us what was important to them and why they're attending the wedding feast. They wanted heaven with the Messiah, and they wanted it God's way, which is, by faith.
Would you like to hear the roll? How about Adam, Abel, Seth and Enoch, Noah and Shem. Jacob's twelve sons featuring Joseph and Judah. Moses and Elijah, Elisha and Samuel. David and Solomon, Isaiah and Jeremiah. You'll see Jonah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Joel, to name a few.
All of the forgiven people who trusted in YHWH and the coming Messiah will be there. Rahab the prostitute will be there (Hebrews 11:31), redeemed and beautiful - dressed in white wedding clothes. Hopefully, Rahab's story will encourage you as you contemplate your worthiness at the feast!
Jesus' era includes plenty of people who will be in attendance, too. Jesus' earthly family will be there, sitting at the table - Joseph, Mary, James and his many brothers and sisters. The twelve apostles, front and center, will finally dine with their Master again - their Groom had been taken away from them for a time (Mark 2:20). Mary Magdalene, Stephen, the believing thief on the cross, and the Roman Centurion who believed, as well. We'll see the Apostle Paul in a special seat of honor, probably with Timothy nearby.
So many people have come to know Christ during the last days, as well. Men like Justin Martyr, Origen, Ireneus, and Augustine. John Hus, John Wycliffe, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Jonathon Edwards, and Charles Spurgeon. Also, millions of other men & women who humbled themselves, by faith, trusting in nothing but Christ. They'll all be seated comfortably at the Table.
Don't forget the important biblical principle that the least on this earth shall be the greatest in heaven, while the greatest people on this earth will be the least in heaven. Take your seat at the end of the table when you enter the Banquet Hall, then, if you're moved closer to the Groom you'll be even more honored (Luke 14:7-11).
Of course, only the Father knows where everyone will be seated (Mark 10:40); and hopefully, He'll have the perfect place for you!
Friends, this is something upon which we should all meditate - our place at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
The Head Waiter will be Jesus Christ himself. That's hard to believe, for sure, but it's true (see Luke 12:35-38). Because Christ is a Servant Leader he'll personally serve all those millions who attend. Somehow, in the spiritual world the time and spatial logistics work themselves out.
After all guests are seated and served, the dinner prayer is heard and the meal commences. This could possibly be the penultimate Passover Meal (Luke 22:14-18), with the last Feast coming at the end of the Millennial Reign [note: more on that later].
Wine will be served at the marriage banquet (Mark 14:25) - for it represents Christ's blood (Matthew 26:27-29). Won't the teetotalers be shocked!!
Manna will be the bread (Revelation 2:17) because it represents his body (John 6:32-35). Fruit will be eaten (Revelation 2:7) for healing our bodies and souls.
Christ loved to cook and eat fish, so that could be the main dish (John 21:4-14; Isaiah 25:6).
Here's hoping for some coconut cream pie or German chocolate cake for dessert! Maybe a little ice cream, too? [no biblical references found for those thoughts - sorry].
No need to count calories. No worrying about gluttony. All portions will be perfectly prepared so they won't make us overweight! Those miserable "weight watching" days are going to be behind us forever! Yeh! Thank YOU, Lord!
The Bible teaches that leftovers are always plentiful when Christ hosts a meal (Mark 8:17-21).
Finally, read this passage and set your desire to dine with Christ and his Redeemed Bride: Isaiah 55:1-2.
As mentioned earlier, there may be a second, final Banquet - this one waiting until the end of the Millennium. The argument makes perfect sense, but, does it reflect biblical facts? Let's find out.
"Indeed, your husband is your Maker-- His name is YHWH of Hosts-- and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; He is called the God of all the earth" (Isaiah 54:5 HCSB). Keep this passage in mind as we consider Israel's seat at the marriage dinner table.
First of all, let's quickly review the surrounding events of the first marriage feast. Following the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, Christ performs a final, massive clean sweep of Babylon, leaving it humbled and powerless under a heap of physical destruction and death.
Earthly Jerusalem has been destroyed at the end of the Church Age, as well, with hardly a soul left in existence.
However, some people do survive - from both the Gentiles and Jews. At this early point of the New Millennium, they're submissive to Christ's Kingship over the Earth. But, as time passes, as the earth rebounds, and the people multiply and spread around the world once again, some of the people become saved, while others rebel. Sad, isn't it?
Those who rebel will be eliminated by Christ before or at the end of the Millennium. Christ will reign with an iron rod during the Millennium, so dissent won't be allowed to spread. Disobedience will usually bring the death penalty.
Those who believe in the Messiah will be welcomed into the New Jerusalem at the end of Millennium. Won't there be a Wedding Feast for these people, the Nation of Israel, who finally accept their Messiah during the Millennium? It makes perfect, God-honoring, sense.
The Bible seems to agree. Here's why. Many of Isaiah's prophecies are for the millennial era and this may be no exception. So, when Isaiah talks about a feast, such as in Isaiah 25:6-9, he seems to be talking about a joyful meal joining Israel and its Messiah. Of course, Gentiles will attend, as it states, but it's mainly for the elect nation of Israel's people - for Israel is whom the Millennium is intended.
Other Old Testament passages suggest the same. Joel 2:16 proclaims, "Gather all the people - the elders, the children, and even the babies! Call the Bridegroom from his quarters and the Bride from her private room!"
In summary, at the time of the Marriage of the Lamb, the Church Age, which we're currently experiencing, has passed. The Time of Jacob's Trouble, i.e. Israel's Great Tribulation, has seen God's elect nation's final punishment. The Millennium brings the restoration of Jerusalem and the Hebrews as God's elect people. Finally, Israel is welcomed into the New Jerusalem to live with YHWH, his Son, and all Gentile believers forever.
There MUST be a tremendous [marriage supper?] celebration when that day finally arrives! You have to believe that's exactly what Isaiah 25:6-9, 52:1-12, 54:1-8; and 62:1-5 are all conveying to us.
It's also possible that all of us who partook in the first Wedding Supper will help serve these people at the second and final marriage supper of the Lamb. That would be an honor.
Not until that moment arrives will ALL of God's children be together as One, united into one holy family with YHWH and their Savior Jesus Christ (John 10:16; 17:24).
There will be NO MORE people added to the Bride after this final celebration. Everyone, based upon their individual desires and activities, will be in their eternal abodes.
This isn't a fairy tale, dear friend, this is a biblical description of the spiritual/physical reality that's soon to arrive.
Are you part of the Bride? Have you been washed by Christ? (Hebrews 10:22). Are you wearing his glistening white wedding clothes? Hopefully, you'll be standing next to Him at the wedding.
Unbelievers of Christ and his Word have their part in the lake of fire (Mark 8:38; Revelation 21:8). Please don't count yourself among them - that would be such a disappointing waste.
Let's finish with this verse that finds Jesus specifically calling you, "Look, I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends" (Revelation 3:20).
Are you swinging the door of your heart open for the Groom? Will you sit at his table at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb?
Get hungry for Christ, he's the Bread of Life. Drink his Living Water and never thirst again.
Thank you so much for preparing a place at the table for those who love you and your Son. The joy that awaits us is unimaginable. O Lord, hold us tight - keep us in your Family. Keep your word in front of us, reveal your will, and empower us with strength from above to live righteously. The house is prepared for us, but Father help us run this race so we can enter with the Bride and meet our Groom, Yeshua, in whose name we pray. Amen.