Revelation 19:1-10 • The Marriage Supper of the Lamb

Introduction

Don’t rush through these verses to get to the return of Christ upon the white horse accompanied by His armies, otherwise you will miss something equally as important. These verses are not merely a passing introduction to what is to come in the rest of chapter 19, but are actually a formal conclusion to something that not just all believers, but the whole of heaven has been waiting for ever since Jesus’ first ministry on earth. It is important to note that as the fulfillment of all of God’s Word and plans since before the foundation of the earth come together, that the whole of heaven celebrates their fulfillment in three specific things, a list which might not match your own as a follower of Christ, but should.

First read verses 1-10

Revelation 18 vs. 19

Remember, in the original manuscript there were no chapter or verse markings. How do many of the elements in Rev. 19:1-10 mirror what came before in Rev. 18?

These two chapters are like the opposite sides of the same coin. Whereas Rev. 18 is the earthly perspective of those who are coming to terms with the futility of their hopes placed in the ultimate earthly kingdom of Satan, Rev. 19 is the heavenly perspective of those exact, same events which cause all their hopes to materialize in the fulfillment of God’s Word to establish His kingdom forever.

Read verses 1-4, 6-7

Q: What is the greater thing that “the great harlot” represents?

A: She represents the world system which primarily exploits the use of sin to corrupt everyone she can and to persecute and kill all those she cannot.

Q: So what is the greater thing being celebrated by the hallelujahs in v.1-4?

A: The judgment and victory over sin.

Point: Ever since the Garden of Eden every problem has been the result of man’s fall to sin. In order to return to God’s original intentions for creation and the original state of Adam and Eve, sin must be vanquished. Although the Flood in Noah’s time was a judgment of God which temporarily eliminated all the sinners on earth, it did not eliminate sin which quickly returned among Noah’s descendants.

Q: What is the second reason there is joy in heaven?

A: “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns”. (v.6)

Q: Who has been reigning on earth to this point?

A: Scripture clearly tells us that Satan is currently the “god of this world”. (Jn. 12:31; 2 Co. 4:4) This has been exemplified in Revelation as Babylon the world system controlled by the satanically-possessed Antichrist.

Point: When people ask why a loving God would allow evil things to happen on earth, we have to explain to them that it is Satan who is the god of this world causing these things, and the reason the true God of love relents in setting things right is because of His love for those who have not yet accepted Him. When God brings all things to justice He must also bring justice—eternal condemnation—upon those who reject Christ His Son as their Savior. The true loving God relents at bringing an end to the activities of the god of this world because of His love for the unsaved.

Q: What is the third reason there is joy in heaven?

A: “…for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready”. (v.7)

Point: There is joy in all of heaven who celebrate the fulfillment of the top three things which embody the fulfillment of all of God’s Word and promises: the judgment and end of sin, the establishment of God’s kingdom, and the presentation of the Bride to the Bridegroom.

Application: Our position as the Bride of Christ is not merely a sideshow or minor theme in the scheme of God’s plan, but one of the most important and anticipated events in the whole history of God’s plan. It fulfills God’s original intention of man’s place and relationship with Him.

Read verses 2-3

Q: What might be significant about the these three quotations from the Old Testament?

A: They are representative of the entire Word of God.

Revelation 19 OT Reference Category
because His judgments are true and righteous…” (v.2) Ps. 19:9 "The Psalms"
“…He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants on her.” (v.2) Dt. 32:43 "The Law"
“...her smoke rises up forever and ever.” (v.3) Is. 34:30 "The Prophets"

Point: After His resurrection, Jesus instructed His disciples in all of God’s Word. The Tanakh, or what we now call the Old Testament, placed all of its 39 books into one of three categories: the Law (or Torah), the Psalms (which included all the books of wisdom and history), and the Prophets (all four major and twelve minor prophets). By quoting something from each category, the greater meaning is that ALL of God’s Word has come into its ultimate and final fulfillment.

“These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled”.

— Luke 24:44

Application: The joy in heaven over the judgment of sin, the reign of God and the Bride of Christ is a celebration of the fulfillment of the entire Word of God.

Read John 14:1-4

Q: How is this related to our reading in Revelation 19?

A: The marriage supper of the Lamb is the ending—the fulfillment of what was originally begun—established here. The disciples to whom Jesus was originally speaking and the 1st century Jewish believers who first read John’s Gospel would have all understood that Jesus was clearly speaking as the Bridegroom to His Bride.

Q: How did a Jewish marriage take place at this time?

A: In three distinct stages: (1) The betrothal (engagement), (2) the marriage feast/nuptials, and (3) the consummation.

Q: How did this marriage process begin?

A: With a contract. From this point on they were legally considered as married even though it would still require completion of all three stages.

Q: During the first stage of betrothal, after the contract was established, what did the bridegroom do?

A: He went away to his father’s house. Property was handed down in each family through the sons, so the bridegroom would go and prepare an addition to his father’s property for his wife and family to live.

Q: How long was the bridegroom away?

A: Until his father gave his approval that the work was complete. (Hint: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” – Mt. 24:36) The bride did not know the exact day or hour the bridegroom would return but only knew the general time as it drew near. (Hint: “…so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.” – Mt. 24:33)

Q: When did the bridegroom usually make his surprise return?

A: In the night because when living in desert conditions, it is much more desirable to travel during the night than the day. Scripture repeatedly speaks of the Bridegroom coming at night as in the Song of Solomon, the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (Mt. 25:1-13), or simply that He will come “as a thief in the night”. (Mt. 24:43; 1 Th. 5:2; 2 Pe. 3:10; Rev. 16:15)

Q: What happens when the Bridegroom returns?

A: Very quickly the invitations go out for the wedding feast, the second stage of the process.

Point: Jesus’ promise in John 14:1-4 works in exactly this way:

Q: What does the bride do in the mean time until the bridegroom returns?

A: She remains faithful to him, doing the necessary things in preparation for his return. (Hint: “…His bride has made herself ready” and to clothed “in fine linen” which are “the righteous acts of the saints”. –Rev. 19:7-9)

Application: The marriage supper of the Lamb is the fulfillment in heaven of what began with our relationship with Christ first initiated here on earth.

Read Matthew 22:1-14

Q: In the Parable of the Wedding Feast which provides insight into what takes place during the second stage of the marriage process, who are the two basic types of people illustrated?

A: Those who accept the invitation and those who do not.

Q: What is the basic behavior which characterizes those who do not accept the invitation?

A: There are those who ignore it in favor of pursuing the interests of their personal life (v.5) and those who rebel and persecute the messengers carrying the invitation. (v.6) It is a picture of those who reject Christ by ignoring the message altogether and those who reject Christ by trying to silence those carrying the message.

Q: What is the basic behavior of those who accept the invitation?

A: There are those who are “dressed and ready” and those who are not.

Q: How do we know that this represents those who believe in Christ and prove it by the life they lead versus those who believe in Christ but continue to live exactly as they did before in the behavior of their old life?

A: Because Rev. 19:7-8 explains the meaning of the wedding clothes and, therefore, why the king found the guest in v.11-14 to be deficient.

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

— Revelation 19:7-8

Q: How do we know that it is not just any and every “good deed” that counts, but only those in alignment with His Word and ways?

A: That is the meaning of the clothes being “bright and clean”, that they are the result of “the righteous acts of the saints”, not just any and every act.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.

— Ephesians 5:25-27

Application: The Bride makes herself ready not by simply believing that the Bridegroom will return, but proving it by putting His Word into practice so that she is sanctified—devoted exclusively to Him.

Read verse 9

Q: Why is it called the marriage supper of the “Lamb”? Why not “the marriage supper of the King” or “the marriage supper of the Messiah (the Anointed One)”?

A: Of all the many titles of Christ, “the Lamb” is a particularly important one because it originated in eternity past and is to be emphasized in eternity future.

Q: How does this title inspire Believers to simultaneously see the future through the past and the past through the future?

A: We are always looking back at the cross where the Lamb of God took away our sins and from which point on we are living every day in preparation of His return and the marriage supper which will place us forever together.

Application: The work of the Lamb on the cross is our daily assurance He will complete the next stage of our relationship at the marriage supper of the Lamb set before us.

Read verse 10

Q: What is the angel saying to John about the authority of the information he has been giving to John?

A: It is just like the Word Christ has spoken through the Law, the Prophets and Apostles. Just because it is coming through an angel does not mean it has a higher authority than any other Word of Christ spoken through man.

Q: What then is the test of all prophecy?

A: The degree to which it conforms with ALL of Christ’s Word. “Prophecy” does not have the ability to nullify or change any basic doctrine or teaching of Christ. In fact, every basic teaching and doctrine of Christ “is the spirit of prophecy”—that is, confirms its authenticity.

Point: This is why every strange End Times doctrine or theory is betrayed by someone who commits basic errors in foundational areas such as salvation, sanctification, the gifts of the Spirit, God’s plan for Israel, and so forth. Their aberrational End Times beliefs actually betray their aberrational doctrinal beliefs.

Application: The Bride does not need a “new” Word but simply to put into practice the Word she has already been given.

Overall Application