John’s vison of the wedding of Christ and His bride, the Church

Revelation 19: 6-10

Thursday, January 18

The sound of heaven: the cry of an immense gathering praising God and saying “Hallelujah, for the Lord our God the Almighty reigns!”

6-8   Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:

For our Lord God Almighty reigns.

Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and His bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear.”

(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)

  • 6-8  “The Lord Almighty reigns” – looking forward to Christ’s return and undisputed lordship of all.
  • The worship of thousands in a big top at New Wine or Soul Survivor, or many more thousands in a football stadium, can be a thunderous roar. These are little local expressions beside what John is seeing as he looks into heaven.
  • The picture of a wedding between the Lord and His people as the bride is found elsewhere in Scripture, OT and NT.

For further study see Isaiah 54:5-7; Hosea 2:19; Matthew 22:2-14; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph 5:25.

9  Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

  • This event looks forward to Christ’s return and His reign established without rival or opposition, 1 Cor. 15:24.

10  At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But He said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus.”

  • “Don’t do that!” literally “Refrain! (hora me), an abrupt rebuke. A visible encounter with an angel is nothing if not arresting – but in the Christian walk there is no scope for the worship of anybody or anything but God. Not an institution, not a high-ranking position, not a person of significant anointing – and not an angel, one of the heavenly company, who themselves are servants (douloi) of  God worshipping the godhead and bearing testimony to Jesus. There are differences but that is a shared priority.
  • “The testimony of Jesus” could be (1) the testimony He committed to His servants, His revelation of God, the “mind of Christ”. Or (2) it could mean the testimony we bear to who Jesus is. Either way, or combining both meanings as is often found in Scripture, the true spirit of prophecy always bears witness to Jesus. The meaning of prophecy on the most general level is our public proclamation. So true preaching must be Jesus-centred, bearing witness to Him.

The “wedding of the Lamb” and “His bride… made… ready” can seem a remote and future concept to us – hardly at the top of today’s priorities. However, heaven’s purpose and practice is intentional and ongoing. Everything is directed towards this end, when Jesus will return in glory and take hold of His church.

If our desire for stability and maintaining the familiar routine is what occupies our agenda, how does that hasten or inhibit what God has purposed to do? Worse, could it position us as an obstruction to His divine purpose?

At times when we consider our desire for God’s presence, favour, blessings, or even  dare we say, revival, joining in the praise to the Lamb of God and declaring wholeheartedly that “the the Lord Almighty reigns” both positions us to receive, and also gets our focus back on heaven’s preparations and the need for our own change into “clean linen” preparation.

Discussion starter

4.  If we knew that Jesus’ return to claim His bride was imminent, really imminent, how would that impact our expression of excitement and praise in gathering and worshipping together?

Also published on Medium.

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