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Church of the Living God

Ready or Not?

Revelation 19:7-10

“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”  And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.  Then he said to me, “Write:  Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!”  And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”  And I fell at his feet to worship him.  But he said to me, “See that you do not do that!  I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus.  Worship God!  For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

 

The Lord God has always intended for His relationship between Him and man to be lovingly relational and intimate.  Because of that He will often use human personal relationships as tools to teach us those eternal truths about Himself.  In His Word, He calls Himself our Father, and will use normal human relationships as examples to express His own love for us.  Our passage in Revelation 19 speaks about the marriage of the church (body of Christ) to the Lamb (Jesus Christ).  This concept though is not only found in the New Testament.  Throughout the Old Testament we read how God treats His covenant with His chosen people (Israel) like a marriage.  In the Old Testament (see Isaiah 54:1-6; Hosea 2:19; 11:8-9), Israel is called God’s wife, but in the New Testament) Ephesians 5:23-32), this metaphor is transferred to the church of which Jesus is head of.

 

The greatest command is found in Deuteronomy 6:5, You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”  Jesus even referred to this command when asked the question (Matthew 22:36-40, Mark 12:28-31) of what is the greatest commandment.  This command remains the central confession of Judaism to this day.  The foundational truth for world redemption is that there is one God who creates and redeems, and yet the New Testament shows that God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  There is a unity here that is representative of marriage, just like the unity of man who is made in God’s image, spirit, soul, and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23)  There is an oneness here, and in order for man to obey the greatest command, he must become one with God, as one would in a marriage.  In marriage we are to cling to the one forsaking all others, the two becoming one as ordained by God in Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

I feel that I must preface this next part with this; in a true godly marriage both parties recognize that God is the head and center of the marriage.  He is to be above husband and wife as well as the center of the marriage.  God intended His relationship with His people to be like a marriage.  As we look at the first three commandments we see how they focus on putting God above all else, just as we are to do in a marriage. The first command directs us in a spiritual marriage and is very direct, “You shall have no other gods before me.” (Deut.5:7)  God ordained physical marriage in the same manner, one man one woman; we are to forsake all others.  Nobody can nor should replace the worship of our God, or take the place of our earthly spouse.  The second commands deals with the worship of other idols and putting them over God.  In modern society, most people don’t gather around a carved image and worship it, with that being said, there are many things that can be called idols that we do put before God.  An idol is just that, whatever it is that takes all or the majority of our attention of which we pour our time and resources in to, and in doing so will allow that thing to take precedence over God.  The same thing happens in marriages where a spouse will neglect the other while pouring all their energy into anything other than the marriage.  Finally in the third commandment we are not to take the Lord’s name in vain (Deut. 5:11), such as using His name as a cuss word or speaking ill of Him, His name should always be revered never belittled by those who love Him.  It’s the same with our spouse’s, we should never speak ill of them, whether it’s directly to them or speaking to others about them.

 

Spiritual marriage and the marriage of one man and one woman represent a bonding where the two become one in unity with each other.  God desires to have an intimate relationship with man, and this is why he was created in the image of His likeness, unlike the rest of His creation.

 

As we study the Word of God regarding marriage we find that the Jewish wedding practices have amazing spiritual correlations to being married to God. 

 

 

The major steps of the Jewish wedding analogy are summarized below with related Scriptures:

Steps in a Jewish Wedding

Step

Description

Scriptures

Marriage Covenant

The father pays for the bride and establishes the marriage covenant.

Acts  20:28; 1Cor. 1Cor. 6:19-20; 1Cor. 11:25 Eph. Eph. 5:25-27

Bridal Chamber Prepared

The son returns to his father’s house and prepares the bridal chamber.

John  6:62; John 14:2; Acts  1:9-11

Bride Fetched

At a time determined by the father (Mat.24:36), the groom fetches the bride to bring her to his father’s house. “Although the bride was expecting her groom to come for her, she did not know the time of his coming. As a result, the groom’s arrival was preceded by a shout, which forewarned the bride to be prepared for his coming.”3

John  14:3; 1Th. 1Th. 4:13-18

Bride Cleansed

The bride undergoes ritual cleansing prior to the wedding ceremony.

1Cor. 1Cor. 3:12-15; Rev. Rev. 19:7-8+

Wedding Ceremony

The private wedding ceremony.

Rev. Rev. 19:7+

Consummation

In the privacy of the bridal chamber the bride and groom consummate the marriage.

Rev. Rev. 19:7+

Marriage Feast

The celebratory marriage feast to which many are invited.

MT. Mat. 22:1-14; Mat. 25:1-13; Luke  12:36

 

The invitation has gone out to all of mankind to be part of this great event.  Just like any invitation that we receive we have the choice to accept it and be a part of this great event, or to reject it and be left out.  This is one wedding you don’t want to miss!