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Exploring Revelation
“Revelation 19: 8-9”
by Art Sadlier   
December 5th, 2010

The Parable of the Marriage feast   (Matthew 22: 1-14)

Verse 11-12, “And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.”

This parable is about the marriage supper, and that couldn’t happen in heaven. The marriage supper doesn’t take place in heaven; it takes place on earth at the second coming.

Verse 13, “Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away; and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” This is the sheep and goat judgment clearly revealed in Matthew 25. The sheep and the goat judgment take place, at the return of Christ to the earth at the close of the tribulation.

As we have said, the parable in Mt. 22 is about the marriage supper, whereas in this parable in Mt. 22, the invited guests were not interested in attending, in the parable of Mt. 25 the people are interested, but not prepared. The parable in Matthew 25 is a picture of Israel on earth at the end of the tribulation waiting for Christ to return from heaven with His bride, the church, and waiting for him to bring in the kingdom.  It is about entering into the millennial kingdom, and not entering into the Body of Christ. Some will be prepared to meet him and will be able to enter the millennium, but others will not be prepared and will not be able to enter the millennium. All the virgins had lamps of profession but not all were filled with oil. Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, those who are saved during the tribulation have the Holy Spirit, and those who are not, do not have the Holy Spirit.

The five virgins without oil represent those Jews who make a profession of faith during the tribulation, but are not saved. At the end of the tribulation they seek to enter into the marriage supper as guests of the bridegroom, but are rejected. Remember the marriage has already taken place in heaven, what is in view here is the marriage supper or celebration.

Verse 8, “And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” We see a special gown for a special occasion. This gown represents the righteous actions or service of the Church. The bride is clothed in the imputed righteousness of Christ for all of eternity. But for this special occasion, the bride is given this robe that displays the works that the Holy Spirit has produced in the Church saints. This represents the sanctifying work of the present time. Ephesians 5:25, “That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”  John 14:12, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”

Of course, these righteous acts are to the glory of Christ for He is the one who has produced them in us.

This gown is to be worn only at the wedding feast and not at the wedding itself, “That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:25)  After the marriage this garment is laid up for all of eternity and the bride is again clothed in the righteousness of Christ.

Verse 9, “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, “These are the true sayings of God.”

Three Important Questions

1 – When will this feast take place?

I believe we have shown from the parables that this feast will take place after the tribulation period, after Christ returns to the earth with His bride, and after the marriage has taken place in heaven.

2 – How long will it last?

We do not know for sure, but it could last through the entire millennial kingdom.  At the beginning of the eternal age in Revelation 21:9-10 the Church is still called the bride. Then, at that point the bride enters her eternal home.

3 – Who are the guests?

There are no verses that precisely name the guests. However, there are many indications.

John the Baptist – John 3:28-29, “Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.” John is an Old Testament saint and I believe he is representative of all the O.T. saints who will participate in the marriage supper. They will be raised from the dead at that time.

Luke 13:28, “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.” Along with the O.T. saints will be the tribulation saints who are also a part of the O.T. economy. Luke 13:29, “And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.” That would include the five virgins in the parable who had oil in their lamps.

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