Revelation 19:8-10 – Invitation to the Wedding Feast

(8)  it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

    Her clothes of “fine linen, bright and pure” are identified as “righteous deeds.” She is covered in good works. She was once lost in sin, but now walks the earth in righteousness. She has “put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:24).

    “It was granted her.” This detail explains that her beautiful appearance of righteousness and holiness was granted to her. She could not have lived in holiness before God without the work of Christ.

    “To clothe herself.” Just because it was “granted her” to be clothed in righteousness, does not means that she has no work to do herself. She must respond to the Lord, and do the work which is befitting the holy bride of the King of kings. The Christians must work to clothe themselves with righteousness deeds. This verse pairs well with Titus 2:14, “to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”

 

(9)  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 the true words of God.”

    This symbolism of those invited to the wedding feast is borrowed from the words of Jesus in his parable of the wedding feast (Matthew 22:2-14). The parable is enlightening for this chapter and a grand exposition of this verse. In the parable, the first to be invited to the marriage supper was the house of Israel, “but they would not come.” They were given additional opportunity to respond to the invitation, “but they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business.” Jesus prophesied that the rest of the Jews “seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them.” Jesus also speaks of his response to the Jews and the avenging of his servants, saying, “The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.” (Matthew 22:7). Notice closely what happens after Jesus burns “their city” Jerusalem, he says, “then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready'”. Jesus’ doctrine harmonizes with the situation seen in Revelation, as long as we look at Revelation contextually. If the burned city of chapters seventeen and eighteen are interpreted as any other city than Jerusalem, then the wedding feast of chapter nineteen makes no sense. If the city is Rome, then we have not only ventured off passed the timeline of the book (1:1; 22:6), but we now must place the marriage of the Lamb and the church to be after the fall of Rome. As we can see, getting just one detail wrong can pave the way for us to adopt even more false doctrine. Getting back to the parable, the city was burned, the marriage supper is now ready, but those who were invited first were not worthy to attend, therefore the king says to his servants (the Christians),

“‘Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ (10)  And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.” (Matthew 22:9-10).

This brings us to Revelation 19:9, “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” These are blessed for they accepted the invitation of the Lord to be united with him in glorious communion.

 

(10)  Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

    There is likely a reason for this occurrence that is beyond that of John simply making a mistake. Seeing how this is a text about the invitation call of the gospel to communion with Christ, it is interesting to see this rebuke about the worship of angels; for the writer of Hebrews also addressed this point, as did others. The first two chapters of Hebrews argue for obedience to the Son of God and to his word, rather than obedience to the angels. This was an obvious problem in those days among the Jewish people (Colossians 2:18); for they knew that the angels were instrumental in delivering the old covenant law to Moses on Mount Sinai (Deuteronomy 33:2; Acts 7:53; Galatians 3:19; Hebrews 2:2), and this caused many of the Jews to worship a creation instead of the creator, and the messenger rather than the one who gave the word (see this discussed in the first two chapters of Hebrews). Here in Revelation, the principle is taught again, reminding the brethren to not be involved in the worship of angels or idols, but to worship God alone. Recall that this is a book geared toward application (1:3), it’s not just information. What is acted out in this verse provides much needed application in the daily life of the saint.

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