By Gary Boyd
It seems many do not understand nor want to get the idea of Jesus coming in the Rapture for His true Church. Meaning the Church born at Pentecost, gestated for 2000 years and is about to be called home in the ensuing Rapture has always been what the true Church has indeed craved. The living in Christ will be called up to heaven at the last trump as the Rapture is coming very soon-as the world sinks into depravity, chaos, and confusion.
In many New Testament passages the relation between Christ and his true Church is revealed by the use of the figures of the Bridegroom (Jesus) and the Bride (Church). Revelation 19:7-8 states, “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.”
At the translation of the Church, meaning when we are changed into the eternal state, Christ is appearing as a Bridegroom to take his Bride unto Himself, so that the relationship that was pledged might be consummated so that the two might become one.
The time of the marriage is revealed in Scripture as falling between the translation (eternal state) of the Church and the Second Coming. Prior to the Rapture the Church is still anticipating this union. According to Revelation 19:7 this marriage has taken place at the time of the Second Coming, the end of the Tribulation seven years later. The declaration is: “the marriage of the lamb has come.”
This marriage is seen to follow the events of the Bema Seat of Christ, inasmuch as when the wife appears (Church) she appears in the “righteousness of the saints” (Revelation 19:8), which can only refer to those things that have been accepted at the judgment seat of Christ. Thus the marriage itself must be placed between the judgment seat and the Second Coming.
The place of the marriage can only be in heaven. Inasmuch as this follows the judgment seat of Christ, which has shown to be in the heavenlies and it is in the air when the Church comes when the Lord returns Revelation 19:14, “And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.” The marriage must then take place in heaven. No other place would fit a heavenly people. “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20).
The participants in the marriage are Christ (Lamb) and the true Church (Those who are alive at the Rapture). Read Daniel 12:1-3, a prophecy of the end-times:
“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince who standeth for the children of thy people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”
So the resurrection of Israel and the Old Testament saints will not take place until the Second Coming of Christ. Revelation 20:4-6 makes it perfectly clear that Tribulation saints will not be resurrected until that time also.
The Saints Reign with Christ 1,000 Years
“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4-6).
While it would be impossible to eliminate these groups from the place of observers, they can not be in the position of participants in the event itself.
The Difference Between the Marriage of Christ and the Marriage Supper:
In this connection it seems necessary to distinguish between the marriage of the Lamb and the marriage supper. The Marriage of the lamb takes place in heaven while the marriage supper involves Israel and takes place on earth.
The Parable of the Wedding Feast (Matthew 22:1-14)
“And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.’
But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.
But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.'”
The wedding supper, then is, a parabolic picture of the entire millennial age, to which Israel will be invited in the Tribulation period. That invitation many will reject and so they will be cast out. Many will accept and be received in. Because of the rejection the invitation will likewise go to the Gentiles so than many of them will be included. Israel, at the Second Coming, will be waiting for Christ to come from the wedding ceremony and invite them to the wedding supper, at which time the bridegroom will introduce his bride to his friends. Read Matthew 25:1-13:
The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins
“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose 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 answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”
In review, the marriage of the Lamb is that event in the heavenlies in which the Church is eternally united to Christ. The marriage feast is the Millennium to which Jews and Gentiles will be invited that takes place on the earth during which time the Bridegroom is honored through the display of the Bride to all his friends who are assembled there.
The Church, which was God’s plan for the current age, is now seen to have been translated to the eternal state, resurrected, presented to the Son by the Father, and had become the object through which the eternal glory of God is manifested forever. The present age will thus witness the inception, development, and completion, of God’s purpose in “taking out” a people for his name. Read Acts 15:14, “Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name.”
May God bless you for reading this to the end.