A Series on Divine Judgment
Before the marriage of the Lamb can be examined (Rev 19:7-9), it is important to
recognize how God portrayed Himself with the nation of Israel.
When God made the Mosaic Covenant, it was akin to a solemn commitment of a marriage vow after which He perceived
Himself as a loyal husband (Isa 54:5; Ezek 16:8-14).
"Behold, days are coming," declares the Lord, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and
with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of
the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the Lord.
However, the nation of Israel was unfaithful to their covenant vow and in the context of the marriage metaphor played
the harlot (Jer 3:1; Ezek 16:15-43;
With the last of God's wrath discharged, the apostle John learns that the time of the marriage of the Lamb has come
"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. 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." Then 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." (Rev 19:7-9)
When Jesus is teaching His disciples, He portrays Himself as the bridegroom
(Matt 25:1; Mark 2:19).
When John the Baptist speaks of Jesus, he portrays Him as the bridegroom (John 3:29).
When the apostle Paul describes the relationship of Jesus to the church, he uses the metaphor of the bridegroom and
the bride (Eph 5:22-32; 2 Cor 11:2).
So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;
for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His
body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This
mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. (Eph 5:28-32)
Because of the above, the marriage of the Lamb is best understood through the metaphor of an ancient Jewish wedding custom.
At the start of the process, an arrangement is made between the fathers of the bridegroom and the bride, and the
father of the groom pays a "ransom" for mankind's sin. The payment is either to the bride herself
(Gen 24:22, 47, 53) or to the father of the bride
(Gen 29:18-20, 26-29; Ex 22:16).
Consistent with this metaphor, God the Father sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay the ransom price for the bride:
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish,
but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Following this agreement between the two parties, the betrothal ceremony takes place where a commitment between the
groom and bride is made to make the marriage legal. However, the groom and bride do not live together and consummate their marriage;
instead, each returns to their respective fathers' home.
During this betrothal period, which lasts at least a year, both groom and bride prepare for the marriage. The groom
prepares his home typically by adding a room to his father's home. Meanwhile the bride sets herself apart to prove that she is a virgin,
and by examining and changing any personal behaviors that might lead her astray from her covenant of marriage.
In like fashion, Jesus returned home to make similar preparations:
In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare
a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be
also. (John 14:2-3)
And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for
her husband. (Rev 21:2)
Similarly, the church was sanctified in preparation for the return of Jesus Christ:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might
sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory,
having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. (Eph 5:25-27)
Determined by the groom's father, the day of the wedding was unknown to both the groom and bride. When the day is
approved, the groom would leave with his wedding party to fetch his bride. Expectant of the wedding but uncertain of the day, the bride
would be waiting for her groom's arrival.
Jesus teaches His disciples of being ready for His return in parables
(Matt 25:1-13) and metaphor:
But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. For
the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. (Matt 24:36-37)
Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the
head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed
his house to be broken into. For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He
will. (Matt 24:42-44)
Jesus' return would be visible and triumphant:
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the
trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. (1 Thess 4:16)
The festive wedding ceremony presented the beautiful bride in all her adornments:
At the end of human history, the marriage of the Lamb occurs in heaven:
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." 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. (Rev 19:7-8)
Thus, when Jesus makes His Second Coming in the clouds to gather the saints (Matt 24:29-31;
1 Thess 4:13), the metaphor of marriage between Jesus Christ and the church describes
the agape relationship between the two and when all saints of all time come into the physical presence of God with their white robes of
righteousness. However, note that no resurrection has occurred yet (Rev 20:4-6).
This event concludes the metaphor of reaping by Jesus (Rev 14:14-16).
After the marriage of the Lamb, the apostle John presents the opening of heaven and another separate appearance of Jesus Christ who,
this time, is upon a white horse.
Jesus arrives with several majestic superlatives:
And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True,…
… He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. (Rev 19:12)
… and His name is called The Word of God. (Rev 19:13)
And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."
Jesus is described with a fearful physical appearance which emphasized His divine purpose of carrying out His Father's
His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems;… (Rev 19:12)
He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood,… (Rev 19:13)
From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with
a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. (Rev 19:15)
Assisting Jesus Christ, in carrying out God's judgment, are the unfallen angels in heaven
And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.
Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly
in midheaven, "Come, assemble for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the
flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small
and great." (Rev 19:17-18)
Against the background that God's people do not possess their promised land (Dan 2:33, 40-43;
7:7-8, 11, 19-26), Satan, with the intent of denying Jesus Christ Jerusalem, the city
of God (Dan 9:19), arrays a huge army at Armageddon
(Rev 17:7-13; 19:19).
Because there is no description of the battle of Armageddon, the apostle implies that the battle is quick and complete.
So decisive was the military victory that the Antichrist and False Prophet were seized without having any time to escape and were justly
And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he
deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of
fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all
the birds were filled with their flesh. (Rev 19:20-21)
In view of God's wrath being final (Rev 15:1) and the angel
standing in the sun calling upon the birds to feed upon "the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great"
(Rev 19:21), it appears that all of humanity left on earth is destroyed.
Satan himself does not escape, and is sealed and imprisoned in the abyss for one thousand years:
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he
laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the
abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed;
after these things he must be released for a short time. (Rev 20:1-3)
This event brings to conclusion several events:
This concludes the metaphor of reaping by the angel (Rev 14:17-20).
This concludes the third cause of sympathy (third woe) expressed by the eagle (Rev 8:13)
and presumably by an angel (Rev 11:14).
This concludes, completes and fulfills Daniel's prophecy of 70 weeks.
Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an
end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the
most holy place. (Dan 9:24)