Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready" (Rev. 19:7).
What a day!!! O how we anticipate that day; a day of great joy for the Lamb and His wife, and for the multitude of Christians who will get to attend the wedding. I think of the five wise virgins, of Matthew 25, as being sort of an allegory of "Her" bridesmaids; because of the five maidens who went with Abigail to her wedding to David the son of Jesse. Then I think of all of those people, bad and good, whom the King's servants gathered together to be the guests at the wedding, in the parable in Matthew 22:1-14. There will be great rejoicing!!!
But we have to get there first. Together with all of this expectation, we are given a note concerning the necessity of the fulfilling of a responsibility going before it. A preparation must be made by the wife. She must do something which she can do only if she is allowed to do it. For He said, in Revelation 19:8, "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." "The washing of the water by the word" must be achieved by the wife, before the marriage. (On the other hand, no Christian group can manage to accomplish that, simply by deciding to do it. However, all of those other groups who get to attend the wedding will be allowed to accomplish an acceptable level of "cleanness," although that level will vary from group to group.) This verse agrees completely with Hebrews 6:1-3, "Let us go on unto perfection. … And this will we do, if God permit."
Revelation 19:7-8 is just one of a number of passages which pose some difficulty with the doctrine that "the Bride, the Lamb's wife" (God's Church) is an un-definable entity consisting of all the Christians who have ever lived. The whole Bible is filled with events in which God made a choice between two or more people, or two or more groups, sometimes each of them receiving a particular blessing; showing that God's Church is a group, chosen of God from among all of the other Churches.
That parable, in Mathew 22, presents an amazing picture of what the mind-set of Christians will be immediately preceding the return of our Lord. "(The king) sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise." It is difficult to imagine any Christian passing up an opportunity to attend the marriage of the Son of God, but they will, because they have been conditioned to be looking for something besides what is actually going to happen.
It does not seem possible, does it? However, Jesus also told us that, when the end of this age comes, it will be "as it was in the days of Noah;" just business a usual. I am constantly amazed at how Christians will believe on Jesus, but will not study His words, nor believe what He said. Yet, this parable is speaking specifically concerning the Christians who are avidly propagating our trip to the marriage, yet preaching doctrines which will most certainly hide the truth from them, and prevent them from accepting their invitation to the marriage.
In contrast, there will be those who will like the idea, and will go to the marriage; who are possibly not Christians at all. This parable in Matthew 22 makes a marvelous assertion concerning the man who was not properly dressed for the occasion. Christians insist that the marriage takes place in Heaven. Yet, we must wonder how that can be, and a person manage to get there unprepared. According to the popular doctrine today, when Jesus comes, and the dead are raised, we who remain shall be changed, and we will all be immediately transported to heaven. It looks as if we want to believe some of the things which Jesus said about the marriage, but we do not want to accept everything He said about it in His parables.
Why do we not accept the obvious; that the wedding takes place here, in a place prepared of God, and the darkness into which the interloper is thrown is the darkness which is "upon the seat of the Beast?" After all, it is not our job to judge the people who hear the invitation being offered, and go in. Who knows how many unsaved people might believe, and go to the marriage without repenting. We can not know whether or not a person's name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life.
I think it is of particular importance that we consider what is said in Rev. 16:17. "The seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done." Well, it is the fifth angel which "pours out darkness" upon the seat of the Beast. Yet the conclusion of the work of the Christian ministry does not occur until He that is upon the throne declares it to be done, after the seventh angel pours his vial into the air.
This declaration, "It is done," is to the work of the Church, in getting ready for the marriage, what the phrase, "It is finished," was to the work of Jesus, in providing for our redemption. It is of particular note that He did one last thing after He said that: He spoke further, using the power of His words to make Mary and John, "mother and son," and, in so doing, He made John His brother.
You might say, What can the Church possibly do after "It is done?" That is a good question, and the answer to it is in Hebrews 10:35-39. "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. [That is to say, "He will not be late."] Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul." At some point we will be called upon to simply "Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord."
This passage certainly confirms the truth of the statement, "He that endures to the end, the same shall be saved." And again, "Show me your faith by your works." If you are waiting for a plane, to go on a trip, and you get weary of waiting, and leave the airport before they call for boarding, you will miss out. Even so, those who are diligent in the Lord's service, right up until very near to the coming of the Bridegroom, but decide that, even though they had done everything which the will of God required, He has delayed His coming, and walk away; they will miss the promised blessing.
This Christian walk is a walk of faith, and God reveals His righteousness, His will, in stages (Romans 1:16-17). When new light is revealed to us, we must walk in it, as "Jesus said unto them, yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you."
The light of the gospel continues to increase in brightness, as we near the coming of our King. It is as the prophet said. "The path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more unto the perfect day" (Prov. 4:18). Again the Lord prophesied, saying, "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" (Dan. 12:4). We readily accept the fact that world has increased in knowledge, and conversely accept the fact that our Christian ministers are studying but never bring us any newly revealed truth. They seem to "know nothing as they ought to know," and deny their followers any access to the "Key of Knowledge" (Luke 11:52).
This is of particular importance to the subject of the marriage, in the light of Ephesians 3:1-12. Paul said, "Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord."
This clearly shows that the Gentile "Church" does not exist for the sole sake of getting more people saved. There are several things for which salvation was extended to us, after the Jews had fully received their promises, and the benefits of the covenants which God had made with them. In Ephesians 3, it is asserted that we must labor to acquire knowledge and wisdom, until we come to know "the manifold wisdom of God."
Paul mentioned one of those things in Romans 11:11, which has obviously not yet been accomplished, nor do I hear any church groups talking about how they/we intend to accomplish that amazing feat. He said, "Salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them (the Jews) to jealousy." Can you imagine anything which would make the Jews jealous of the Gentiles having the blessings of redemption? Not in the last 1950 years!
One of the most well-known passages in the Bible is the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25. Jesus told, us in that passage, that Christianity would, at some time near the coming of the Bridegroom, get all stirred about His coming, and try to get ready for it. However, they would be off in their calculation, and be enough premature in their expectation that they would lose interest, and that they would all, figuratively, fall asleep.
Then Jesus declared the coming of a time when an alarm would be made to awaken all of Christianity. He said, "At midnight there was a cry made, 'Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.' Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, 'Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.' But the wise answered, saying, 'Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.' And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut."
The zealous furor of expectation of Jesus' coming which began in the mid 1800s, cooled during the last half of the 20th century, and Christianity is now snoozing in a condition of spiritual darkness. They preach that Jesus is coming, but they say that there is no way to know when that is. May I ask you why it is so difficult to believe the words of the parable, "at midnight there was a cry made, Behold the Bridegroom cometh?" Apparently someone is going to know when it is. And what about Hebrews 10:25, "Forsake not the gathering of yourselves together, … and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."
Perhaps it would help to think of it in conjunction with Jude 1:14-15. Jude said, "Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these saying, 'Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints.' " Apparently there is a man here, somewhere, who knows when Jesus is coming, Jude has let us know that he is a man who is the seventh in a series of leaders, of whom Jesus is the first" (Isaiah 41:44). Remember, Jesus is the second Adam (1 Cor. 15:45-47). Just as surely, there will be a second Enoch who will declare His second appearing, because those first seven generations are a prophecy of seven Prophets of God in the Grace Age, from the beginning of Jesus' Ministry, until He returns to be "with the last" (Isaiah 41:4).
Whether or not you believe what I have said about these "seven generations," you must know that Jesus told us plainly, in the parable of the virgins, that someone will herald the coming of Jesus, in time for Christians to wake up and study their bibles (trim their lamps), and prepare to go in to the marriage.
Satan has launched a grand campaign to try to prevent us from "hearing" the alarm. He has been pumping out new versions of the Bible which eliminate many passages altogether, and rephrasing others until they do not convey what was originally intended whatsoever. All of which diminishes faith in the Word of God.
When you come to the realization that you need to see what the Bible really says about these days in which we live: the days immediately preceding the coming of the Bridegroom, you will need to find a King James Version of the Bible, or something very close to it, wherewith you can truly "trim your lamp."
On the sixth day: the day God created Adam, before the sun had set, He made the woman, brought her to the man and sealed the marriage. We have now come to the end of the sixth "millennial" day, and God is now preparing the woman for the second Adam; Who's marriage must take place before this sixth millennium is finished, and that is a very short time from now. The trumpet of Jubilee will blow, the saints will gather, and that great year of rejoicing will begin. Go ye out to meet Him!!!