EDITOR’S NOTE: This groundbreaking series is being offered in celebration of a previously top-secret project and now unprecedented new 3-Volume book series (over 10-years in the making) from best-selling scholar Dr. Thomas Horn and acclaimed biblical history and theology majors Donna Howell and Allie Anderson: THE MYSTERY OF JESUS FROM GENESIS TO REVELATION—YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND TOMORROW
It would stand to reason that the voice from heaven will, in fact, be Jesus, as the next praise is thunderous:
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: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 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.” And [the angel] 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.” (19:6–9)
Please don’t skim over the implications of this glorious feast, even though it’s only briefly mentioned in Revelation. We’d like to point out a few things regarding the context and background so we can fully grasp the significance of this scene.
The word “marriage” in Revelation 19:7 and “marriage supper” in verse 9 is derived from the Greek gamos (“wedding,” “marriage,” “nuptials”) and deipnon (“supper,” “feast”). After consulting several expert lexicons, it means exactly what it sounds like: a celebration of symbolic marriage between the Messiah and His Bride, the Church. Scholars are not in agreement as to whether this feast will take place in heaven just before the Battle of Armageddon (as these verses seem to indicate), or afterward, just prior to the Millennial Reign. There are convincing arguments on both sides (but note that we agree with the former timing—immediately prior to Armageddon). Either way, we will look at it here, since it is the chronology of John’s writing.
Wedding feasts in the days when John wrote Revelation required the mutual blessing of the fathers on both the bride’s and groom’s side. (This is assuming the fathers were still living; if they weren’t, the bride was usually given away by the next of kin who chose for her, while the groom made his own decisions under the guidance of the men in his family). Once the couple were betrothed (like an engagement today), the marriage was legally binding, requiring divorce papers if there was any change to the arrangement, even prior to consummation. Between the date of the betrothal and the day the groom went to retrieve his bride and make the marriage official, there was a season of waiting. When the parents decided it was time, the groom would go and retrieve the bride from her personal home and escort her to their new home. Meanwhile, the groom completely relied on his father (or household authority) to tell him when that time was.
Remember, Jesus, Himself, submits to the Father’s timing regarding the day He will come for His Bride; even He does not know the hour (Matthew 24:36).
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW VIDEOS:
WOW! WATCH DR. THOMAS HORN and DONNA HOWELL INTRODUCE “THE MYSTERY OF JESUS FROM GENESIS TO REVELATION!”
BEHOLD HIDDEN MYSTERIES CONNECTING THE OLD TESTAMENT “OPENING MIND” WITH THE SCROLL “SEALED WITH SEVEN SEALS”
Earlier, in our look at Exodus, we explained the “threshold covenant,” regarding how the first Passover was actually a covenantal act drawing back to the earliest cultures of the human race (well before the tenth plague fell upon Egypt). As a reminder, a lamb (or other sacrificial animal) was slain on the very threshold of the door where the blood flowed freely into the steps of the home. If one trampled on the blood, it instantly dissolved the covenant. We showed excerpts from scholarly writings that showed this practice be done for both religious and contractual purposes, such as adoptions, oral agreements about land or livestock, and so on. It also applied to weddings:
Although variations of this custom are still practiced in some parts of the Middle East, over the years, the veracity of the threshold covenant’s history would be greatly blurred into oblivion in the West, even though there are quite a few traditions we still perform despite not knowing why.
For instance, the custom of a groom carrying his bride over the threshold actually began in the earliest records of human history as a woman stepping over the animal-sacrifice blood, right foot first, into her new husband’s home during or immediately after a matrimonial ceremony. No part of the threshold could be touched during the crossover, lest the covenant be then and there voided. However, because of the long veils involved in much of the wedding attire of the day, getting the bride from one side of the door to the other without disturbing the blood was a challenge. Thus, as a practical matter, the groom would lift his bride while she clasped on to any flowing fabrics; in this way, the couple completed the crossover as a joint effort, once again with their deity present (in their belief). As readers may have already imagined, because not every man is the buff jock he needs to be to carry out this tradition without clumsily bumbling and ruining the whole pesach [pass-over; origin of the word representing the feast by the same name] ritual for both of them, some cultures switched to seating the bride in a chair that was then carried over by the groom and several others (a custom still practiced in some tribes of West Africa). Because of its association with the altar, some countries traded the blood for fire (which, in accordance with not burning one’s house down, actually meant a red-hot blade or a few coals from the fire were placed at the door for a brief time, though the Romans somehow used a torch); this is how we arrive at some of the earlier Eastern ceremonies in which brides are carried over smoke.
Of course, over time, eventually the brides, grooms, adopted family members, contractual agreements, and so on would extend the rite to involving blood above the door, and not just where a foot can tread, as a way of coming under covenant (as in “under” the obligations of the promissory pact). Ironic, then, that “pass-over” now becomes its own opposite, “pass-under.”…
[A] bride being carried over the threshold is a tradition still practiced in the US today, so we chose that illustration because we knew it would be most familiar. (We can’t help but chuckle a little, however. Most young men today have no idea that it’s not just about carrying his bride through the door, but that it’s also about not allowing his feet to tread on the threshold. These authors can imagine many well-meaning gentlemen in their struggle unknowingly stomping all over the “sacred” place in their eagerness to show chivalry, symbolically canceling or insulting their union.)[i]
When Jesus, the Groom, is given the go-ahead by the Father that it is time to come for His Bride, He will not need to carry us over a threshold. Why? Because, as we showed in our study of Exodus, He is the Threshold (John 10:1–10; 14:6; Hebrews 10:26–29)! He will not have to carry us over blood. Why? Because His blood is the Covenant! He is the living personification of the entire wedding procession!
After the bride and groom had carried out the covenantal step-over of the threshold, a huge wedding feast with enormous spreads of food and expensive drinks would take place in celebration, like the one in Cana when Jesus turned water into wine. Because the bride was still a virgin (in those days, this was a must for a first-time bride, which is what the Bride of Christ will be in all spiritual matters), she was dressed in white for the threshold covenant as well as the feast. (We don’t think much of this tradition anymore. White is still by far the leading color brides in the West wear today, but it no longer holds precious the symbolism of virginity for a great majority.) In most cases, the dress or robe worn by the bride was paid for by her parents or next of kin. In our case, the white robes of “virginity” (spiritual cleanliness provided by the blood of the Lamb) are a gift given by the Groom in thanks for the saints’ endurance (Revelation 14:12). Essentially, we are dressed in righteousness (19:8).
The only “cost” we have in this wedding is our belief. From there, everything is purchased by the blood, and every saint from Adam forward will be there! (A minority of scholars dismiss the idea that the Wedding Supper of the Lamb will have Old-Testament characters present. We have found these arguments to be lacking in sufficient evidence. It is our outright, firm belief that all the people of God will be breaking bread together on that glorious day.) We will finally have access not only to the presence of God—which is enough by itself—but while we’re passing the heavenly mashed potatoes, we will be able to ask Peter, James, and John what it was like to walk in the presence of a Human who was also God; we can dip into the mind of Paul and have a final answer about what his “thorn” was, now that he is finally freed from it forever; our table will feature the very man who parted the Red Sea all those years ago with the angry Pharaoh in pursuit, and now that his arms will never more be tired, he can outstretch them over the banquet table to describe how God looked when He appeared as a pillar of fire or the cloud; Noah will be talking about his days among the animals on the ark, while Eve describes the perfection of the Garden; Joshua can tell us what that trumpet blast that crumbled the walls of Jericho sounded like, while Ruth and Naomi share a hearty laugh about shared wheat in the days of Boaz…
Can you even imagine?!
In one meal today between the grandest and most learned of all Bible scholars—even with the best-tasting, most mouth-watering dinner served to the most deserving servants of God who enjoy the richest of all possible fellowship—they part company still knowing nothing in comparison to that blessed, forthcoming day.
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW VIDEOS:
DOES “THE MYSTERY OF JESUS” INCLUDE THE WORLD PREPARING FOR ANTICHRIST?
GOD BROKE THE POWER OF “THE CHRISTMAS MAGI”? BUT IS SUCH “MAGI-CALISM” RETURNING NOW FOR THE RISE OF A DIFFERENT “CHRIST CHILD”?
We don’t know about you, but we are desperately looking forward to getting some of those nagging Bible questions explained, so we can see God for who and what He has always been, experience a love unlike any we’ve ever known on this earth, and praise Him with the fullness of understanding.
Think back to a moment when something you had never understood about the Word of God clicked into place for the first time. It’s life-changing! Actually, speaking on literal terms, it’s eternity-changing! Just one small moment in this human existence that points to the epiphany of the century for us that leads us into the most peaceful presence of God—a restful reassurance that there is Someone larger and stronger than us that provides—and we give our allegiance to Him.
Are you thinking of that moment? Good.
Now understand this: The Wedding Supper of the Lamb is going to produce a billion times that feeling in a split second; in the twinkling of an eye, you will be blown away forever, never to recover from that wonderful feeling that comes from the true knowledge of the Savior who died for the Bride.
Another feature of the Jewish wedding tradition was the reception, which took place at the groom’s home. It was also a grand and impressive event. Consider the parallel here: Whenever possible, a Jewish wedding took place in the father’s house on the groom’s side of the family. The Church just “married” the Groom in this part of John’s vision, and it occurred in the Father’s house (heaven). Though we don’t have a vision from John that details a reception, the analogous treatment the Bible gives to the relationship between God and His people on one hand, and the Jewish nuptial imagery on the other, makes what happens in the latter portions of Revelation an obvious twin to this concept. Jesus, after He receives His Bride, will take her home to His palace on earth during the Millennial Reign. In this light, then, the entire Millennium can be viewed as a celebratory reception period during which the saints live alongside, and rule with, Christ, the Husband. The eternal state that follows with the New Heavens, New Earth, and New Jerusalem descending from God’s current home will therefore be an eternal marriage following both ceremony and reception!
And folks, the wedding isn’t even close to the best part…
In closing this section: In verse 10, John falls at the feet of the angel to worship him as a reaction to the immense glory of the moment, but as all true angels of the Lord do, he refuses to be worshipped, identifying himself only as a mere “fellowservant” of God. He instructs John to worship God only, telling him that the true prophet gives testimony of the Son of God.
Jesus Returns! (Revelation 19:11–16)
After John witnesses the devouring of false religion, the downfall of commercial Babylon, and the praises of heaven for the consummation of judgment, the most incredible and long-awaited scene in all of Revelation—a true scene taken straight out of the annals of our own future—takes place. Before, we were introduced to the first “white horseman,” who turned out to be the false white horseman, or, Antichrist, who makes it his business to always mimic the Savior in every way he can. Now, we are introduced to the real One…
John sees heaven open up, and the White Horseman is there. The Rider is named Faithful and True, because He is just, and the war He wages is a righteous one. His eyes look like flames of a fire; from His mouth comes a sharp sword to defeat the nations whom He will rule with an iron rod; He wears many crowns; and His clothing is dipped in blood. On Him is written a Name that only He can understand, but on His thigh is written “King of kings, and Lord of lords.” He is also called the Word of God, and He will exact the wrath of God from the winepress upon His enemies. The entire army of heaven follows Him wearing pure, white linen. They, too, are riding atop white horses (19:11–16).
Reflect on this picture for a moment before continuing. Maybe some of you will find it helpful to re-read the previous paragraph. This is the moment, folks! This is going to happen in the future, maybe even within our lifetimes, and when heavens open up and the real White Horseman appears, it’s the best news for every saint in world history, including you. No words, in any human language, can truly capture what it will be like when anyone on the world can hear a great and thunderous noise outside, run to look at the sky, see the very heavenly realm tear open, and see the glorious Messiah on His horse with an entire army of holy warriors behind Him.
This Jesus, this “Joshua,” is Captain of the Host of the Lord!
And for the saints who died at the hand of those who couldn’t respect their beliefs—as well as those who lived their life faithfully in service to the King, even while they were taunted in this life for that service—His arrival on earth is the final completion of that great and blessed hope (Titus 2:13). The magnificence of His Second Coming is intense. There is an eight-to-one prophetic ratio here: For every one prophecy that revolved around Christ’s First Advent, there are eight that revolve around His Second Advent! Countless beautiful consequences will occur in this moment…
The vindication of all righteous confidence.
The assurance of things believed but unseen.
The acquittal of the insanity verdicts placed upon the heads of Christians from the book of Acts forward.
The absolution of expectations that the rest of the unbelieving world could never understand.
The salve on the wounds caused by the prostitute called “false religion.”
The branch of rescue extended to those almost swallowed up in their former lives by the quicksand of Babylon’s rich world system.
The sweet aroma from the altar of truth for those who nearly died from the stink of this fallen world.
The deep inhalation of oxygen by the suffocated and oppressed.
The fulfillment of every longing.
The absolute, indisputable, and permanent obliteration of every force, dominion, power, or rule throughout the universe that has ever once toyed with the idea of opposing the authority of God’s plan of redemption for all humanity.
The final, supreme, undefiled, matchless, untouchable, sovereign reconciliation of God to man.
The unconditional, unequivocal, unchangeable, conclusive consummation of all progressive revelation from Genesis forward.
The arrival of the sweet, sympathetic Crusher of the serpent whose stratagem for every person since Adam involves only maliciousness continually.
The trumpet’s blasting introduction to the Hero of the protevangelium whose eyes of fire scorch every hostile agent of malevolence and vice with a single stare.
The relief of all worries and concerns, forever.
Behold, the Jesus Christ of Revelation!
He is coming back!
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW VIDEOS:
HOW OBAMA, HITLER, AND THE THRONE OF SATAN ARE CONNECTED TO “THE MYSTERY OF JESUS FROM GENESIS TO REVELATION”
WILL BLOOD OF THE ANTICHRIST “SAVE” PEOPLE FROM THIS!?
…Just as He said. Every eye will see Him just as He is (Revelation 1:7; 1 John 3:2). Every knee will bow in subjection to the One who took the iniquity of mankind upon Himself through the power of the very hypostatic union that is God in the flesh (Philippians 2:10–11). No doubt will be entertained; no skeptic’s voice will ever be heard again. Every person on the planet—in a single instant! (Matthew 24:26–30)—will know the truth: that the Husband has come to complete the plan He set into motion for His Bride in Eden. His arrival will be marked by an external glory of the Father that He had set aside while He walked the earth before (John 17:5; Matthew 16:27; 24:30; 25:31). In those days, His appearance was unassuming and ordinary—He appeared as “a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he [had] no form nor [impressive, outward spectacle]; and when [they saw] him, there [was] no beauty that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2)—but next time, He will be wearing light like a robe (Psalm 104:2). And if followers of Christ thought He was powerful before, His sovereignty in the future will be all the more unimaginably all-encompassing, including authority over a royal escort, a limitless number of mighty and formidable angels under His employment (2 Thessalonians 1:7, 9; Matthew 13:41–43; 25:31; Revelation 5:11).
And before anyone assumes that His return is symbolic or in any way not literal, note that the angels of God in Acts 1:11 said “this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (emphasis added). This directly refutes any Second-Coming theories that contain over-spiritualized, allegorical, metaphorical ideas that: His Second Advent will be a quiet or invisible thing (like the “personal Second Coming” concept perpetuated in the “Conversion Theory” that teaches His Advent to be an internal one for the believer); He will be reincarnated through a future guru (“Secret [or Esoteric]-Wisdom Theory” that holds ties in pagan Gnosticism); His true return was linked to the downfall of Jerusalem in AD 70 (“Judgment Theory”); He really came back in 1874 (Jehovah’s Witnesses “Secret-Coming Theory” proposed by Nelson H. Barbour); He never really went away and is in hiding somewhere setting up His Kingdom (not-so-cleverly coined the “Never-Went-Away Theory” that assumes He didn’t actually die on the cross); and many other teachings that generally oppose a literal return and Kingdom.[ii]
Folks, you have our permission to get excited. He will return just as He ascended!
Oh yeah…and you will be with Him in this moment.
Most premillennialists distinguish Christ’s return in two “phases.” There is the first phase in Revelation 3:3, which refers to the Rapture of the saints meeting Jesus in the air (the fulfillment of 1 Thessalonians 4:17), and the second in Revelation 19:11–16 (our current focus), when Jesus returns to the earth—physically walking in the flesh as He did in the First Advent—to defeat Antichrist and set up the Millennial Kingdom. Following this teaching, the saints who were raptured away to meet Christ in the air and participate in the Marriage Supper of the Lamb will be with Him in the moment He comes back to claim the earth as His Kingdom (1 Thessalonians 3:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:7–10)!
If this immensely popular interpretive method is true, then we will be going about our lives one day, saddened by the intolerant hostility against the Christian faith and the aggressive increase of secularism within society, and in the blink of an eye, we’ll be gone from the planet. We will rise up into the air, welcomed by the very Lion of Judah, Himself. We will sit down to a feast with laughter, joy, and celebration in the presence of God, angels, and the saints—Old Testament and New. And then, a short time later, we will be by Christ’s side when He comes back down from the heavens to inaugurate a perfect world Kingdom. We will be exalted with Him (1 Peter 5:6), share His immense glory (Colossians 3:4), and reign alongside Him (Revelation 3:21)!
Our most intensely wonderful imaginings will only ever be pathetically insufficient in comparison to what this future reality will be like…
After the Battle of Armageddon comes the Millennial Reign.
UP NEXT: The Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19:17–21)
[i] Horn, Thomas, The Messenger… 32–34.
[ii] This list of theories, and the assigned names, are noted in: Hoyt, Herman A., The End Times, 50–55, 65.
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