The Marriage of the Lamb
Revelation 19:1-10 ; Revelation 21:1-27 and Revelation 22:1-21
1. Old Testament analogies of the coming Marriage in the skies. It is not difficult to find, in both the Old and the New Testaments, delightful foreshadowings of the coming Heavenly nuptials.
(1) There is the first marriage in Eden. Eve was the bride typical of the Bride of Christ. Observe the following:
Adam was put to sleep; Christ was put to sleep.
Adam's side was opened; Christ's side was opened.
Eve was presented to Adam; The Bride will be presented to Christ.
Adam said, "Bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh." We are members of His body, His fleshy His bones.
Eve was taken out of the man; we are taken out of Christ.
Adam said, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife"; Christ said, "There is no man that hath left * * father, or mother, * * for My sake, and the Gospel's, but he shall receive an hundredfold * *."
(2) The marriage of Isaac and Rebekah:
Abraham sought a bride for Isaac; God seeks a Bride for His Son.
The aged servant of Damascus who had charge of all of Abraham's goods went to search for Isaac's bride; the Holy Spirit is seeking out Christ's Bride.
Rebekah left her home to travel over the desert sands with Abraham's servant; we have left all to travel over the earth's sands with the Holy Spirit (Paracletos) at our side.
The servant talked of Isaac; The Spirit talks of Christ.
Isaac went out to Lahairoi to wait Rebekah's coming; Christ will come adown the skies to the place of meeting (Lahairoi), to meet His Bride.
(3) In the New Testament there is:
In Matthew 22:1-46, the marriage of the King's Son.
In Matthew 25:1-46, the midnight cry, "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh."
In Revelation 19:1-21, the "Marriage of the Lamb is come."
2. The greatest Old Testament marriage scene is the one in Psalms 45:1-17 .
(1) There is the description of the Kingly Bridegroom.
The King is described as fairer than the children of men. Grace is poured into His lips. He is God blessed forever.
Then comes a picture of the King going forth to war. His sword is upon His thigh. He is now the Most Mighty crowned with glory and honor, and riding prosperously, because of truth and meekness and righteousness . His right hand teaches Him terrible things, because His arrows are sharp in the heart of the King's enemies.
Now we are ushered into the vision of the King's throne. "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of Thy Kingdom is a right sceptre." These words refer to Christ as He returns the second time to reign upon the earth (Hebrews 1:8-9 ).
Next we hear the announcement of the King's glory and joy, of His ivory palaces, with these words following: "Kings' daughters were among Thy honourable women; upon Thy right hand did stand the Queen in gold of ophir."
The Marriage is over, the Queen is crowned and stands with the King. The honorable women, the King's daughter, the daughter of Tyre, and many others are gathered round.
I. A TIME OF MASTERFUL PRAISE (Revelation 19:5-6 )
How the words ring out! "And a Voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye His servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him."
We remember how Christ once said, "Ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you." There will be a joy full of glory. There are many things that will make up the exceeding gladness of that hour.
We shall see Him whom we have loved and served see Him in all of His power and might. We will shout for joy as we look upon His face.
We shall see our own loved ones in Christ, whom we had for once, but lost the while. That will be a joy unspeakable.
We shall see those whom we led to Christ in the days of our earthly sojourn. They will be our joy and crown of rejoicing.
We shall see the Triune God in all His splendor, the omnipotent God. Once more our hearts will leap with joy.
We shall see much, but not all that God has prepared for those who love Him, and sound forth our song of gladness.
II. THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB HAS COME (Revelation 19:7 )
1. "The Marriage of the Lamb is come." Is this the Lamb of whom John the Baptist cried, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world"?
Yes, this is He. What then? Our minds go back to His Cross once again. The Lamb slain is He who now is about to be married. Once, at the end of the age, He was offered; once, when the fullness of time had come, He was slain.
During Christ's journeying toward the Cross, He often spoke of the "hour." and the "time" in which He was to die.
"His hour was not yet come" (John 7:30 ; John 8:20 ).
"Mine hour is not yet come" (John 2:4 ).
"When Jesus knew that His hour was come" (John 13:1 ).
"That, if it were possible the hour might pass" (Mark 14:25 ).
"The hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners" (Matthew 26:45 ).
"This is your hour, and the power of darkness" (Luke 22:53 ).
Now another hour has come. It is the hour of the Marriage. The expression, "The Marriage of the Lamb is come," certainly suggests that the great event toward which the Lord steadily marched has now arrived. He is glad, and He wants us to be glad with Him. He is seeing the fruitage of His work as the sacrificial Lamb, therefore we read "The Marriage of the Lamb is come." Thus the Marriage and the Cross are two great and separate events, which are, however, indissolubly linked. The one is the glorious consummation of the other,
2. His Wife hath made Herself ready. She did not, by any means, furnish all of the lovely raiment with which she is now clothing herself. She is clothed in the garments of His righteousness. That is, however, not all of her beautiful raiment.
Her garments include her own righteous acts as she, in the days of her pilgrimage, served her Lord. These are a part of her trousseau. How wonderful that the Bridegroom delights in the righteous acts of the Bride.
III. ANOTHER BLESSED (Revelation 19:9 )
1. There are many "blesseds" which have been given to saints. Here are a few of them:
"Blessed are the pure in heart."
"Blessed are the merciful."
"Blessed are the meek."
"Blessed are the peacemakers."
"Blessed are the poor in spirit."
"Blessed are the persecuted."
"Blessed are they that mourn."
"Blessed are they that do His commandments."
"Blessed are they that trust in Him."
"Blessed are they that keep His Testimonies."
Many other "blesseds" might be added. But these suffice to cover a wide realm of grace.
2. Blessed are they which are called unto the Marriage supper of the Lamb. John was so enraptured with the Marriage scene, that the angel had to cry "Write!" He was to tell us that the Marriage was not all. There was also the Marriage Supper. It is indeed something over which to rejoice "the Marriage," "the Wife," the Wife's raiment. These were for the while the center of attraction. Now that the Marriage is consummated, however, the Marriage Supper has come, and the invited guests are called "blessed" because they are invited to attend so great and magnificent a gathering.
3. The Marriage Supper. Some of us have enjoyed a few of these on earth. They have been happy hours. We felt thankful to be among the invited guests. Now, however, is the great climax of all weddings "The Marriage Supper of the Lamb." Blessed are the called.
Christ has already been happy to come and take up His abode with us, and He has gladly supped with us in the days of our pilgrimage. The Father, too, has come in to abide with us. Now we are invited to sup with Christ and with the Father in the skies.
IV. AFTER THE MARRIAGE THE LAMB'S WIFE (Revelation 21:10 )
1. John, in vision, was carried away from the scenes of the Marriage and of the Marriage Supper. The angel said, "Come hither, I will shew thee the Bride, the Lamb's Wife."
In order to get the vision, the angel carried John away in the spirit to a great and high mountain. From that advantageous position John saw the Bride.
To us, all of this is most significant. We do not take it that the City John saw was Christ's Bride. We do take it that the City was the Home of the Bride.
2. Are we not interested in coming things? Do we not delight in seeing the things which God hath in store for us who believe? Do we not rejoice in the certainties of our future rest?
To many, Heaven, and Home, and "forever with the Lord," may be of small value; to us it is our joy and rejoicing. Indeed, we all should live looking for the Blessed Hope and the glorious Appearing of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. The "many mansions" awaiting us are real, and the Word is true, or else He would not have told us.
V. THE NEW JERUSALEM (Revelation 21:2 ; Revelation 21:10-14 )
1. The Mew Jerusalem as in contrast to the Old Jerusalem. The old Jerusalem is located in Palestine. It will be the city of the King, when Christ returns to earth. From it Christ will rule and reign over all the earth. It will be the center from which the Law will go forth, and to which the nations of the earth will send their representatives, year by year to worship the Lord of Hosts. In that city the Man whose Name is the Branch, our own Christ will arise and build the Temple. It will be the joy of the whole earth.
2. The joys of the inhabitants of the New Jerusalem. God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain. Behold He will make all things new. The former things of earth will have passed away.
The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in that City, and His servants will serve Him. The one statement, "All things new" suffices us. The statement, "Former things are passed away" is enough.
VI. THE CITY DESCRIBED (Revelation 21:11-14 )
1. The Light of the City. The City has the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like jasper stone, clear as crystal. The fact is that the City will have no need of the sun, or of the stars, or of the moon, to give it light, for the Lord God giveth it light, and "the Lamb is the Light thereof."
Blessed hour of undimmed glory! There shall be no night there. We remember how John's Gospel says, "In Him was life; and the life was the light of men." Again it says, "That was the True Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." John's Epistle adds: "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all."
2. The walls of the City. Its wall was "great and high." The foundations of the wall were also great and high. They were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first was jasper, then sapphire, then a chalcedony; then an emerald, sardonyx, sardius, chrysolyte; beryl; a topaz; a chrysoprasus; a jacinth; and an amethyst.
The City had twelve gates, made of pearl. Each gate was a several pearl. Beauty, magnificence, and value, as men count value. None of it can be estimated. It is past human calculation. The City is real, the foundations are real, the wall is real all is real, and we shall really be there.
VII. THE SIZE OF THE CITY (Revelation 21:15-17 )
1. It lies foursquare. Its length, Its breadth, and its height are equal. This is a marvelous revelation. No such city has ever been known to men. New York City may be proud of its skyscrapers, but they are not worthy of note by the side of this City.
2. Its dimensions. It is twelve thousand furlongs (Revelation 21:16 ), that is, one thousand and five hundred miles long, and the same in width and height. On this earth that City would lie, east and west, from New York City to Omaha; and from north to south, from the Great Lakes to Miami, Florida.
3. A few other salient features. (1) There is a river of water of life clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. Wet water? Certainly, there is no other kind.
(2) The streets of the city are of gold, pure gold, transparent gold. And the streets will run throughout the length and breadth of the City.
(3) In the midst of the street will be fruit trees; and on either side of the river, will be fruit trees. They will bear twelve manner of fruit, and yield their fruit every month.
(4) In the city there shall be no curse. And in no wise anything that defileth, or worketh abomination, or a lie, will enter into it; but they whose names are in the Lamb's Book of Life.
The New Jerusalem! How wonderful it all will be His and ours.
Visiting his native town of Kirriemuir, Sir James Barrie told a very lovely story. He had been calling, he said, on the most gracious lady in the land. She was then celebrating her third birthday. It was the little Princess Margaret, younger daughter of the Duke of York, now King George VI. She was looking with delight at one of her gifts a tea table, with two painted flowerpots on it, each about the size of a thimble. "Is that really yours?" asked Sir James. With the sweetest smile she answered at once, "It is yours and mine."
The Battle of Armageddon
When we think of the battle of Armageddon, we are thinking of several Scriptures besides the one written in this study, Some of these are in the Book of Revelation.
1. The breaking of the sixth seal seems to touch this last great battle, as found in Revelation 6:13-17 .
(1) We read "The sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood." These words, in other Scriptures, mark the closing of this age, and Christ's Return. (Read Joel 3:9-16, with emphasis on 15; Zechariah 14:1-4 ; Zechariah 6:1-15, Zechariah 7:1-14 ; Matthew 24:28-31 .)
The great darkness of the sun and moon, and the coming of Christ to the Mount of Olives, and the last great battle, all describe the ending of the present age.
Joel in his second chapter speaks of a day of darkness, and of gloominess, and of thick darkness, and then he describes the same great concourse of nations as a battle set in array.
(2) We read "The kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men * * hid themselves * * and said to the mountains and rocks. Fall on us * *: for the great day of His wrath is come."
Once more we have the closing scenes of the tribulation, Psalms 2:1-12 speaks of the same kings of the earth setting themselves together; and then says, "He that sitteth in the Heavens shall * * have them in derision."
2. The sounding of the seventh trumpet in Revelation 11:15-19 , touches this last great battle. First, the angel sounds and there are voices in Heaven saying, "The kingdoms of this world are become the Kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ." Then we have end things once more epitomized, this time in Revelation: "The nations were angry, and Thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead."
3. The great final hour with Armageddon is seen once more in Revelation 14:15-20 . Here we read of a ripened harvest, and of the cry: "Thrust in thy sharp sickle," with the following words, closing the chapter words that speak the same things as the wine press in our study of today, in chapter 19. Compare this with Ezekiel 29:12, Ezekiel 29:13 .
During this age, as Daniel said in the Spirit: "Unto the end of the war desolations are determined." Again the Spirit, through Daniel, speaks of the king that shall "do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished."
Christ said, "ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: * * but the end is not yet." Then He said, "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be," Then He continued His discourse as given in Matthew 24:1-51 . There can be no cessation of war till Christ comes.
I. THE WHITE HORSE AND HE WHO SAT UPON IT (Revelation 19:1 )
1. The names of Heaven's great Warrior. His two Names shew the justice of His war: "And He that sat upon him (that is, upon the white horse) was called Faithful and True." That the Names refer to Christ's character as a Warrior, is settled by the closing words of the verse: He is faithful and true because "In righteousness He doth judge and make war."
2. Let us look at His two Names.
(1) His name is "faithful." He is faithful to His people; faithful to His enemies; faithful to the saints; faithful to His holy attributes; faithful to His warnings against sin; faithful in all things, in nothing truant.
(2) His name is "true." He is true because He is Truth. Faithful, but not faithful to an unholy tryst; but faithful and true. He is the same today as He was of old. He is eternally TRUE.
II. THE WISDOM AND GLORY OF OUR HEAVENLY WARRIOR (Revelation 19:12 )
1. His eyes are as a flame of fire. He knows all things. There is nothing hidden or covered to Him with whom the world has to do. He can be faithful and true in His judgments as He wars, because His eyes are as a flame of fire. We have read that "Our God is a consuming fire"; we read now that His eyes are a fire. Such knowledge is too wonderful to us. He knows all things. Every thought, every word, every impulse. He knows the very imaginations of the thoughts of the heart.
2. On His head were many crowns. He was crowned because He was worthy. His crowns were many because His reign and rule is large, and covers every phase of every dominion. He wears a crown because He met principalities and powers on the Cross and vanquished them, triumphing over them in it. He wears a crown as our Redeemer because He bore our sins and transferred to the believer His redemption and righteousness. He wears a crown because He was raised to the right hand of God and exalted a Priest forever, after the order of Aaron, and then after the order of Melchisedek. He wears a crown because He is Head of the Church, clothed with full authority over the millions who bear His Name and worship Him, He wears a crown of rule, for He shall sit upon David's throne and be crowned King of kings and Lord of lords.
3. And He had a Name that no one knew. We must let this Name alone; for, if no one knew it but Himself, we are sure we do not know. However, we do know of many precious Names He bears, and not one is without its meaning. He who knows the Names of the. Lord and lives in the assurance of their meaning, will be strong and do many exploits for his God.
III. THE THREE NAMES ACCORDED OUR HEAVENLY WARRIOR (Revelation 19:13 ; Revelation 19:16 )
1. His Name is "The Word of God." This Name is a Name given to Christ from the beginning, for, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
The eternity of the Word is a wonderful conception of truth. God's Word was not something hatched up by man, nor copied from some ancient writers; it is a Word forever settled in Heaven and given to men.
We wonder why this particular Name is fitting for Christ as He comes down to battle. Perhaps it is because He is warring in behalf of His Word, and against all who have assailed it, and counted it as false and untrustworthy.
2. His Name is King of kings. Here is a Name that carries with it all supremacy. Perhaps that is one reason the kings of the earth cry for the rocks and mountains to fall upon them and hide them from His face. They had been used to ruling, many of them, in unrighteousness; now the One comes before whom even kings must bow, for He is King of kings. He will be a King upon David's throne, even as it was spoken in Isaiah 9:7, and in Zechariah 14:9 . He will be King as it is written in Psalms 2:1-12, "Yet have I set My King upon My holy hill of Zion."
3. His Name is Lord of lords. There will be other kings upon the earth in His day, yet He will be King of all kings. To Him every knee shall bow. There will also be other lords, but He will be Lord of all lords, and all will have their power from Him. He will reign in things temporal and political; He will also reign in things spiritual and priestly. He will be a King-Priest, and we will be king-priests.
IV. THE VESTURE OF THE HEAVENLY WARRIOR (Revelation 19:13 , f.c.)
There are two things for us to consider:
1. When Christ's garments, in His sacrificial death, were covered with Blood. In Isaiah 63:1-19 we have a twofold vision. First of all we see Christ as One coming from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah, the wine press. Then the Spirit proposes the question: "Wherefore art Thou red in Thine apparel, and Thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?"
To this query the Lord replies, "I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with Me." This carries us back to Calvary where the enemy crucified Him, and where He, as it were, was covered with Blood. Now, however, there is another statement, "For I will tread them in Mine anger, and trample them in My fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon My garments and I will stain all My raiment."
Thus, first of all we must go back to Calvary where Christ was crucified. This is brought out abundantly in Revelation.
In Revelation 5:6 we read, "In the midst of the throne * * stood a Lamb as it had been slain. "
In Revelation 5:9 we read: "For Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy Blood."
In Revelation 5:12 we read: "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain ."
In Revelation 7:14 are these words, "And have washed their robes, and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb."
The fact is that in the Book of Revelation the Name given to Christ is, almost universally, "The Lamb," and every time it is used, it carries us back to Calvary.
2. When Christ's garments are stained by the blood of His enemies. At Calvary Christ's Blood was shed and it stained Him; as it covered Him from His head to His feet. Now, their blood is spilt, as God's judgments fall.
V. THE ARMIES OF THE HEAVENLY WARRIOR (Revelation 19:14 )
1. The saints who were raptured, are now seen as Heaven's armies. After the Rapture it is, "Forever with the Lord." If He comes down the skies, they are coming with Him; if He is riding a white horse, they, too, are on white horses; if He reigns, they reign with Him. His lot is theirs, and their lot is His.
This battle is like some of those of old, when it was said: "Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord." We shall have no fighting to do, but we shall be there to witness the majesty and power of the Lord our Saviour.
2. The saints raptured will be clothed with linen clean and white. Once again we are face to face with righteousness. Christ bears a Name "Faithful and True," for He wars in righteousness; we wear garments of linen, which, from the days of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, has stood for "righteousness."
Everything about the battle of Armageddon, from the Divine side, is a warfare based on righteous judgment.
3. The raptured saints, clothed in white, shall follow Him. On the earth they follow Him in Heaven they follow Him; on earth they followed Him in His isolation, rejection, and shame now they follow Him in His glory, victory, and power.
The fourteenth chapter of Revelation speaks of 144,000 who "follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth." The nineteenth chapter speaks of us all as following Him.
No greater delight could be ours, no higher privilege, than that of following Christ in the hour of His triumph.
VI. THE WRATH OF THE GOD WHO IS ENOUGH (Revelation 19:15-16 )
1. The sharp sword of His mouth. How significant are the words, "And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations."
This sword in Revelation must be the same as that in Hebrews. If so, it is the Word of God which gives life to the soul when it is received as His engrafted Word. It is the Word that is the lamp to our feet and the light to our pathway. It is the Word that is more to be desired than our daily food. It is the Word that is the basis of our faith.
That same Word will be His sword to smite the nations. Therefore, that which was given for life, will bring judgment and death. God pity the men who have been its foes and have sought to knife it, and to cut it asunder; for it shall yet cut them asunder.
2. The treading of the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of the God who is enough. Here is a similar analogy to that above. The Word that gave life, is the sword that cutteth. The Lord God Almighty; that is, the God who is enough, is the same God whose fierceness of wrath Christ shall tread out as He treadeth the wine press.
The same One. who died for all, will judge all who do not believe. We know that men often reject the judging Christ; yet the fact is still true, that God hath given all judgment unto the Son, and He will tread out the wrath of God.
VII. THE GREAT FEAST (Revelation 19:17-21 )
1. The great battle. Revelation 19:19 says: "And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army."
Here the battle is joined, and apparently it meets in the air, or at least as the Lord comes down from the air. Little of the battle is told here, save the results of the conflict.
The overwhelming of the man of sin and the false prophet is spoken of in many Scriptures. It is against these that the Lord will descend in flaming fire; and against them who follow with him.
2. The great supper. We now come to the last word: "And all the fowls were filled with their flesh." This is enlarged upon in Revelation 19:17 and Revelation 19:18 .
What a scene is this! How terrible to consider! Before we say that the God of old, whom Israel worshiped, the God of war, is not our God, let us weigh well these words.
Throughout the Prophets, the Gospels, and the Epistles, it is the same message in each case. Christ is coming in judgment against all who will not come unto Him, and cover their sins with His Blood. They refuse the Covert from the storm of wrath, and therefore they must feel that storm upon themselves.
Let us remember that the same God who is showing the fierceness of His wrath here, showed the same wrath upon His own Son when He hung, for us, upon the Cross, and suffered, the just for the unjust.
As we think of the "blood-stained" garments, our minds go from Armageddon back to Calvary and we see Christ dying for us.
A woman to whom I brought the message of the Cross had one look at that changing aspect of the One who hung upon the accursed Tree and cried in sudden fearful comprehension, "My God! I did not know a human heart could be so black as mine is!" All forgotten the fear of what her fellows might think only remembered that those were her sins appearing there.
An African chief, listening to the missionary's recital of the gospel story, in sudden comprehension, leaped to his feet and shouted, "Come down! Come down from that Cross! I tell You You have no business there? That's my place!"
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Neighbour, Robert E. "Wells of Living Water Commentary on Revelation 19". "Living Water". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany