The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
"I am jealous over you with godly jealousy, for I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ." (2 Cor. 11:2)
Dallas Seminary theologian Chancellor and retired President, John W. Walvoord writes as follows:
"The use of the figure of a bride to represent the church in her relationship to Christ has in mind the oriental pattern in which marriage is contemplated as having three major steps: (1) the legal marriage often consummated by the parents of the bride and the bridegroom in which the dowry is paid and the young couple are formally married in a legal sense; (2) subsequent to the legal marriage, the bridegroom according to the custom would go with his companions to the house of the bride to claim his bride for himself and to take her back to his own home; (3) the bridal procession would be followed by the marriage feast which would often last for many days as illustrated in the wedding at Cana (John 2). In the oriental marriage, there was no ceremony such as is common in western civilization, but the legal marriage was consummated by the parents in the absence of the bride and bridegroom."Taking this figure as a spiritual picture of the relationship of Christ to His church, it is evident that for individual Christians, the marriage as far as its legal character is concerned is consummated at the moment an individual puts his trust in Jesus Christ as Savior. In the case of the Christian, the dowry has already been paid in the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, and the bride has been purchased and claimed in a legal way by the Bridegroom. The church is, therefore, already married to Christ as far as the technical relationship is concerned. The day will come, however, when the Bridegroom will come for His bride and this is fulfilled in the rapture of the church. At that time the Bridegroom will claim His bride and take her to His Father's house. This is the background of the statements in John 14:2,3 where Christ said: 'In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.' This passage contemplates that Christ in the present age is preparing a place for His bride. When this is complete and the bride is ready, He will come to take the bride to her heavenly home which will be accomplished by the rapture and translation of the church.
.. "The church which is made perfect by the grace of God will be delivered from the earthly scene and presented to the heavenly bridegroom on the occasion of the rapture of the church. The marriage union thus contemplated will result in the church being forever with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:17), and it will fulfill Christ's declared purpose "that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:3). The Word of God pictures the relationship of Christ to His church as the most beautiful of love relationships in human experience and contemplates unbroken fellowship throughout all eternity as the church enjoys the immediate presence of their loving Lord.
"Further confirmation is given that this is an event fulfilled in heaven rather than on earth in the millennium is the declaration in Revelation 19:7-9, at the time of the return of Christ to the earth to set up His earthly kingdom. The church is pictured as already the wife of the Lamb and as already arrayed in fine linen. The marriage of the Lamb is declared to have already come and now the invitation is extended to those outside the church, the body of Christ, to participate in the marriage supper (Revelation 19:9) which seems to be a spiritual representation of the millennium or at least its inauguration. As the marriage feast is the final stage, it should be clear that the Lamb has already come for His bride and claimed her previously in the rapture of the church. The marriage (Gr. gamos) is actually the entire ceremony subsequent to the coming of the bridegroom for the bride. In this marriage ceremony is the marriage supper (Gr. deitnon) which is the meal or supper proper." (John W. Walvoord, The Nations, Israel, and The Church in Prophecy, Zondervan, 1967)
Although the Old Testament does not reveal God's purpose in calling out a church comprised of Jew and Gentile, (Ephesians 3), a great feast prepared by God Himself for his people was described by the Prophet Isaiah nearly 700 years BC:
"On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of fat things, a feast of wine on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wine on the lees well refined. And he will destroy on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth; for the LORD has spoken. It will be said on that day, "Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation." (Isaiah 25:6-9)
While the church as the Bride of Christ is nowhere spoken of in the OT, Israel was called the "wife of Yahweh." The prophets eloquently describe God's nurture, courtship and betrothal of Israel (e.g. Ezekiel 16). They also dealt with the nation's spiritual adultery-and finally divorce from the Lord---(e.g. the book of Hosea). In spite of this "divorce" under the Old Covenant God promises to restore his beloved wife at the close of the age in which we now live. This restoration of Israel under the New Covenant is clearly explained in Hosea, in Jeremiah 31, and Romans 9, 10, and 11 to cite only a few references.
Ray Stedman in his commentary on Revelation notes that the Bride of Christ as described in the New Testament includes more than just the saints of the church age since Pentecost who comprise the church:
"It is a great honor to be invited to a wedding feast. It is a feast to which the entire human race is invited---but only a fraction of the human race will attend. The invitation is the gospel, and the gospel has gone out to all men and women everywhere, in every age of history. Some accept the invitation. Some reject it....The Spirit of God has been calling men and women throughout the centuries, from Old Testament times through our own New Testament era and on into the future, even in the tribulation period. The invitation goes out to everyone: 'Come to the marriage feast of the Lamb!' What a privilege that will be, to see the Bridegroom face to face, to be a member of His beloved bride, to share in the intimacy of fellowship with the Lord Jesus!" (Ray C. Stedman, God's Final Word, Discovery House 1991).
When it came time for Isaac, Abraham's son, to be married (he was 40 years old), Abraham sent his eldest servant back to his native land to select a bride for his son. Chapter 24 of Genesis is a remarkable picture of the way God the Father would later send the Holy Spirit into the world to call out a bride for His beloved Son, our Lord Jesus that most commentators on Genesis take note of this. For example C.I. Scofield says:
"The entire chapter is highly typical. (1) Abraham, type of a certain king who would make a marriage for his son (Mt. 22:2, John 6:44); (2) the unnamed servant, type of the Holy Spirit, who does not "speak of himself" but takes the things of the Bridegroom to win the bride (John 16:13,14); (3) the servant, type of the Spirit as enriching the bride with the Bridegroom's gifts (Gal. 5:22, 1 Cor. 12:7-11); (4) the servant, type of the Spirit as bringing the bride to the meeting with the Bridegroom (Acts 13:4, 16:6,7, Rom. 8:11, 1 Thess. 4:14-16); (5) Rebekah, type of the Church, the ecclesia, the "called out" virgin bride of Christ (Gen. 24:16, 2 Cor. 11:2, Eph. 5:25-32); (6) Isaac, type of the Bridegroom, "whom not having seen" the bride loves through the testimony of the unnamed servant (1 Peter 1:8); (7) Isaac, type of the Bridegroom who goes out to meet and receive his bride (Gen. 24:63, 1 Thess. 4:14-16)." (Scofield Reference Bible notes)
Jesus suggested a great marriage feast would be part of his final return to earth to be with his own. He used a number of direct and indirect references to this festive meal. The marriage supper was anticipated when Jesus celebrated the "Last Supper" with his disciples:
"Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is my body." And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives." (Matthew 26:26-30)
The universality of God's invitation for all men everywhere to come to the marriage supper is clearly implied by a famous parable related by Jesus in Matthew 22. The required wedding garment represents true righteousness imparted by faith which replaces that normal self-righteous we all have as a result of the fall:
"And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a marriage feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the marriage feast; but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, 'Tell those who are invited, Behold, I have made ready my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves are killed, and everything is ready; come to the marriage feast.' But they made light of it and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the thoroughfares, and invite to the marriage feast as many as you find.' And those servants went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good; so the wedding hall was filled with guests. "But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment; and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.' For many are called, but few are chosen." (Matthew 22:1-14)
The wedding feast, celebration, and intimate union with the Lord of the universe---who is Himself Love---will be so joyful, fulfilling and marvelous that all efforts should be focused on getting ready to attend:
"Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them. If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those servants! But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour." "Jesus went on his way through towns and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. And some one said to him, 'Lord, will those who are saved be few?' And he said to them, 'Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the householder has risen up and shut the door, you will begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, "Lord, open to us." He will answer you, "I do not know where you come from." Then you will begin to say, "We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets." But he will say, "I tell you, I do not know where you come from; depart from me, all you workers of iniquity!' There you will weep and gnash your teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves thrust out. And men will come from east and west, and from north and south, and sit at table in the kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.'" (Luke 13:22-30
"Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he marked how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, 'When you are invited by any one to a marriage feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest a more eminent man than you be invited by him; and he who invited you both will come and say to you, "Give place to this man," and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, "Friend, go up higher"; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.' He said also to the man who had invited him, 'When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your kinsmen or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just." "When one of those who sat at table with him heard this, he said to him, 'Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!' But he said to him, 'A man once gave a great banquet, and invited many; and at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, "Come; for all is now ready." But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, "I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it; I pray you, have me excused." And another said, "I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them; I pray you, have me excused." And another said, "I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come." So the servant came and reported this to his master. Then the householder in anger said to his servant, "Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame." And the servant said, "Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room." And the master said to the servant, "Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.'" "Now great multitudes accompanied him; and he turned and said to them, 'If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, "This man began to build, and was not able to finish." Or what king, going to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an embassy and asks terms of peace. So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. 'Salt is good; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is fit neither for the land nor for the dunghill; men throw it away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.'" (Luke 14:7-35)
In the parable of the Ten Virgins Jesus distinguished between professing and true believers. True believers have the endless resources of the indwelling Holy Spirit within them while those who have not yet enter a personal relationship with Jesus as Lord are merely enjoying temporary fringe benefits of associating with those who know Jesus personally:
"Then the kingdom of heaven shall be compared to ten maidens who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, 'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.' Then all those maidens rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise replied, 'Perhaps there will not be enough for us and for you; go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.' And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut. Afterward the other maidens came also, saying, 'Lord, lord, open to us.' But he replied, 'Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.' Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour." (Matthew 25:1-13)
The actual marriage supper of the Lamb itself is specifically announced in connection with the second coming (the epiphaneia) of the Lord Jesus:
"Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunderpeals, crying, "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure"-for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." And he said to me, "These are true words of God." (Revelation 19:6-9)
The Marriage Supper of the Lamb - Written by: Dr. Thomas Ice http://www.pre-trib.org
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." And 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. And he said to me, "Write, 'Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'" And he said to me, "These are true words of God."
Recently at a prophecy conference I was ask if there was a difference in the Bible between the marriage of the bride (the church) to the Lamb and the marriage supper of the Lamb. I answered that I believe that Scripture indicates that there is a difference in these things and that they are two events that will take place at two different times in history. Let me show you why I think this way.
The Marriage of the Lamb
According to Revelation 19:7, the bride, (which is made up of the corporate and collected members throughout the church age taken to heaven at the rapture), makes herself ready for an impending event. How is the bride or the church made ready? She is made ready by clothing "herself in the fine linen bright and clean," which is said to be "the righteous acts of the saints." This statement means that by this point in history (right before the second coming), the sum total of the bride, the body of Christ, is in heaven and has already gone through the bema judgment where church age believers are to be evaluated for their faithfulness to Christ during this present age (Rom. 14:10; 2 Cor. 5:10). The result of going through the judgment seat of Christ results in the bride being given fine linen that Revelation 19:8 says, "is the righteous acts of the saints." This is how "His bride has made herself ready." Ready for what? She has made herself ready for the marriage of the Lamb. Thus, within the framework of the symbolism being used in this passage, it means that the marriage (marriage ceremony) takes place right before the second coming.
Later, Revelation 19:14 says, "And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses." Thus, having been newly married to the Lamb, the bride begins her role in history of reigning at the right hand of Christ (Rev. 3:21) by accompanying her new husband in the heavenly accent from heaven on white horses in order to participate in the judgment of Armageddon at the second advent. Arnold Fruchtenbaum further explains as follows:
The wedding announcement will be made (v. 6) and the Bride will finally be made ready (v. 7). The reason the Bride will now be fully ready for the marriage ceremony is because she will have her entire bridal gown on (v. 8). . . . this also show that the marriage ceremony takes place after the Judgment Seat of the Messiah, when the saints are rewarded for their deeds on earth (1 Cor. 3:10-15). . . . This corresponds to the ritual cleansing of the Jewish wedding system. The ones present at the marriage ceremony are the "few," that is, only those in Heaven at that time.
The Marriage Supper
It is at this point that many Christians today often confuse the marriage of the Lamb with the marriage supper of the Lamb. But they are two separate events that occur at two different times in history. Revelation 19:9 says, "Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." This passage clearly has a forward look anticipating a future time. It cannot refer to anyone in heaven since the church (the bride) is the only redeemed entity in heaven. However, after the second coming when believers from other ages will be resurrected (Dan. 12:2) along with tribulation saints, both mortal and resurrected ones (Rev. 20:4), these will be the invited guest who will be guests at this celebration supper. I believe that the marriage supper will be during the first part of the millennial reign of Christ. Fruchtenbaum says:
Hence, the "many" who are bidden to attend the marriage feast on earth are all the Old Testament saints and the Tribulation saints resurrected after the Second Coming. While the marriage ceremony will take place in Heaven just before the Second Coming, the marriage feast will take place on earth after the Second Coming. In fact, it would seem that the marriage feast is what begins the Millennium or the Messianic Kingdom; the Church's co-reigning with the Messiah will start with a tremendous marriage feast.
There are some New Testament passages that speak of Christ eating and banqueting in the kingdom are in my opinion references to the celebration related to the marriage supper of the Lamb. What are some of these passages which strongly imply that the celebration of the marriage supper commences in the millennial kingdom? Matthew 8:11 This passage says, "And I say to you, that many shall come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven." Here is a picture of the redeemed of the ages (from Adam to John the Baptist) sitting down with Christ in the kingdom and enjoying a meal together. These are likely the invited guest that we see spoken of in Revelation 19:9, since they are redeemed human beings from the ages who are not part of the church, the Bride of Christ. In this way there will be guests at the marriage supper of the Lamb who will be able to celebrate the marriage of the second person of the Trinity to His bride-the church.
The statements made by Jesus in this passage have some parallels to the things He said in Matthew 8:11, but there are also some differences. It says, "There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth there when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being cast out. And they will come from east and west, and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God." This is in the context of Christ rebuking the Jewish leaders of His day who were advocating rejection of the Messiahship of Jesus to the nation. The leaders of Israel at this time thought that they were in league with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the prophets, when in reality they were opposed their message by not recognizing Jesus as their long promised Messiah. Therefore, others will come from the four-corners of the world and experience the fellowship of the kingdom. This dining with the Messiah will likely commence with the celebration that will take place at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Like in Matthew 8:11, these others are the invited guests mentioned in Revelation 19:9.
Luke 22:16-18, 29-30
This is an important passage in relation to the marriage supper of the Lamb. We read in Luke 22:16-18 the following: "for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, "Take this and share it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes." This is called the Lord's Supper, which Jesus inaugurated for the soon to be born church to practice until His return to get His bride. Christ's promise not to not eat or drink again until He does it when the kingdom comes, means that He will not be celebrating His marriage supper in heaven before He descends at His second coming with His bride. Here He says the next time he eats and drinks will be at the coming of the kingdom, which will start at the beginning of the thousand years of His reign upon earth.
The above stated idea is reinforced at the end of the Luke 22 passage when Christ says the following in verses 29 and 30: "and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Once again, Jesus speaks of eating and drinking during the kingdom. This is the time when we will commence personal fellowship with our Saviour. Thus, it follows that this will be the time when the marriage supper of the Lamb, celebrating with the various redeemed of the ages Christ's taking of a bride.
When the two parts of Luke 22 are combined it supports the notion that the marriage supper of the Lamb, mentioned specifically in Revelation 19:9 will take place during the millennial kingdom time frame. Matthew 26:29 is a parallel passage to Luke 22 and says, "But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom."
Parable of The Wedding Feast
Matthew 22:1-14 does not teach about a supper or feast in the kingdom, but this parable does picture a wedding feast (verse 4) similar to what most likely will take place at the beginning of the millennial kingdom when the Father's Son celebrates the marriage supper of the Lamb. Thomas Figart explains the purpose how this parable pictures the marriage supper of the Lamb when he says:
At first glance it may seem inappropriate to refer to the "kingdom of heaven" as a marriage feast for the son (Christ) of the king (the Father) since the Church had not even begun. Indeed, how could Christ be presented to Israel in this royal fashion before His death? But when the parable is take as a whole, it can be seen as including the rejection of the Son, the destruction of Jerusalem and the judgment of unbelievers at the return of Christ to the earth. . . . The fact is the Jews had already rejected Him by the time this parable was given, and it is His way of showing some of the events which pertain to the succeeding years, even up to and including His return to earth.
Thus, this parable is a picture of the wedding feast or supper that will take place in the kingdom, but many of those who thought they would be there (non-elect Israel) will be absent. Likewise, many who were thought to have not even been invited will show up as legitimate guests at this important event in history. This is why it says in Revelation 19:9, "Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb."
Conclusion Though the marriage of the Lamb to His bride (the church) and the marriage supper of the Lamb are closely related, they are separate events, just as the wedding ceremony and the wedding reception of our day are separate events. In fact, these two events are often held at two different locations, just as the marriage of the Lamb will be in heaven right before the second coming (Rev. 19), while the marriage supper of the Lamb will commence with the beginning of the millennium. Perhaps some are confused and fail to make these distinctions because the word marriage is used to refer to both events. By comparing Scripture with Scripture and distinguishing the things that differ, it appears clear that they are two separate events. The most important thing for anyone to consider is whether they will be invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. I hear there are going to be some interesting guests there. Make sure you are one of them by trusting Christ's gift of salvation through simple faith in Him and His gracious work on the cross that paid for the sins of all those who believer. Maranatha! (Added 8/31/06)
 Arnold Fruchtenbaum, The Footsteps of the Messiah: A Study of the Sequence of Prophetic Events, Revised Edition (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries, 2003), p. 597.
 Fruchtenbaum,. Footsteps, p. 597.
 Thomas O. Figart, The King of The Kingdom of Heaven: A Verse by Verse Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (Lancaster, PA: Eden Press, 1999), p. 402.
THE GREAT SUPPER OF GOD
The Marriage Supper of the Lamb is not to be confused with the Great Supper of God which is an invitation for vultures and other carrion feeders to gorge themselves on the dead bodies of the wicked men of earth slain in battle during the campaign of Armageddon:
Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly in midheaven, "Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great." And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who sits upon the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had worked the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword of him who sits upon the horse, the sword that issues from his mouth; and all the birds were gorged with their flesh. (Revelation 19:17-21)
This same "sacrificial feast"---for the benefit of the birds of prey---is described in Ezekiel. The time is after the great Northern invasion of Syria and Russian satellite powers which many Bible scholars believe is part of the campaign of Armageddon during the last half of the tribulation period just prior to the triumphant return of Jesus Christ to establish his kingdom on earth. The Ezekiel passage describes the destruction of the invading armies as due to the direct intervention of the hand of God.
"As for you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD: Speak to the birds of every sort and to all beasts of the field, 'Assemble and come, gather from all sides to the sacrificial feast which I am preparing for you, a great sacrificial feast upon the mountains of Israel, and you shall eat flesh and drink blood. You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth-of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bulls, all of them fatlings of Bashan. And you shall eat fat till you are filled, and drink blood till you are drunk, at the sacrificial feast which I am preparing for you. And you shall be filled at my table with horses and riders, with mighty men and all kinds of warriors,' says the Lord GOD.""And I will set my glory among the nations; and all the nations shall see my judgment which I have executed, and my hand which I have laid on them. The house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God, from that day forward. And the nations shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity, because they dealt so treacherously with me that I hid my face from them and gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and they all fell by the sword. I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their transgressions, and hid my face from them.
"Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for my holy name. They shall forget their shame, and all the treachery they have practiced against me, when they dwell securely in their land with none to make them afraid, when I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them from their enemies' lands, and through them have vindicated my holiness in the sight of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD their God because I sent them into exile among the nations, and then gathered them into their own land. I will leave none of them remaining among the nations any more; and I will not hide my face any more from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, says the Lord GOD." (Ezekiel 39:17-29)
- Jewish Wedding Traditions, Jesus Christ and the Church
- The Ultimate Wedding Guest Article by Bill Risk
August 23, 1993.