Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, and Part 8.
by John C. Whitcomb, Th.D.
“All Israel” shall see their Lord and Savior, first by faith (in response to the preaching of the two witnesses of Revelation 11) and then (more than three years later) by physical sight at His second coming. Soon after that, they will behold Him serving them at the inaugural kingdom banquet! Our Lord told the Jews, “(Be) like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them” (Luke 12:36-37, KJV).
Amazingly, the Lord Jesus will do this when He possesses a glorified body, just as He did with His apostles in the upper room before He experienced resurrection glory (John 13:4-5). “The devout German scholar Bengel regarded Luke 12:37 as the greatest promise in all God’s Word” (William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995], p. 1421).
Just before the glorious Second Coming of Christ and the establishment of His long-awaited kingdom on the earth, “the marriage (supper) of the Lamb” will have taken place in heaven (Rev. 19:7-9). This order of events will be patterned after Jewish weddings in Bible times, which occurred in two parts: a celebration in the home of the bride and then a celebration and consummation in the home of the bridegroom.
Heaven is the home of the bride of Christ, the true church: “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20). But the earth will be the center of government for the bridegroom: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10). Three thousand years ago, our Lord was told by His Father: “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession” (Ps. 2:8).
At the great marriage supper in heaven, the bride (the church) will be seen in a new light. All “the hidden things of darkness” will have been brought to light, and our Lord will “make manifest the counsels of the hearts” (1 Cor. 4:5) at the culmination of “the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Cor. 5:10; cf. Rom. 14:10; 1 Pet. 4:17-18). “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it” (1 Cor. 3:13).
A voice from heaven will exclaim: “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” (Rev. 19:7). How will she do this? “To her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints” (Rev. 19:8).
This represents a marvelous synergism (a working together) of God’s grace and the believer’s obedience. As the apostle Paul explained it, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:12-13).
Seeing Him in all of His glory at the marriage supper is a powerful motivation for godly living now! Paul represented all true Christians as he was “looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Tit. 2:13-14).
|Dr. John C. Whitcomb has been a professor of Old Testament and theology for more than 50 years and is widely recognized as a leading biblical scholar. He taught at Grace Theological Seminary (Winona Lake, IN) from 1951-1990 and gained much recognition for his work on The Genesis Flood (Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company), which he co-authored with Dr. Henry Morris in 1961. That book has been credited as one of the major catalysts for the modern Biblical creationism movement. His ministry homepage is Whitcomb Ministries, and his sermons are available at SermonAudio.com.