Thursday, August 12, 2010

Revelation 19:9-10

Verse 9 “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.”

Here we have what could be called another beatitude. Blessed are.......those which are called. Notice is says called, not chosen. Being called is an invitation. Specifically this is an invitation to a wedding, and just like any invitation to a wedding it requires an R.S.V.P. This invitation is the gospel message. Those who accept it (R.S.V.P in the positive) are the chosen and blessed. So many people quote the verse that says, "Many are called, but few are chosen" as evidence that God elects us and compels us by his forcible will, not by anything we do. God's Word does not say that a few are chosen and the rest can go straight to hell, or that Christ only died for a few special people chosen by God. It says that God calls everyone. That Christ died for everyone. That everyone is invited to the wedding; however, He foreknows who will choose by their will to accept His invitation and therefore chooses to elect those particular people. (We have covered this before.) That is how and why we are chosen. Those that have been called to attend this marriage supper are blessed, both the bride and the guests, because they accepted the invitation, and God provided the way and the proper attire for them to come. Scriptures imply that Israel is God's wife, (whom He divorces) and prior Old Testament saints appear more to be friends of the groom, so it would appear that the Lamb is only marrying the church age saints. This would make sense, as the Old Testament saints did not know Christ, and Israel has her special relationship with the Father.

The marriage supper is about to take place. This is the event for which all Christians look forward, or at least should look forward. This is the event which is symbolized by the Feast of Tabernacles. This is the feast that God demands that everyone keep during the millennium, and if it is not kept, that nation will suffer severe drought. While now we celebrate the Lord’s Supper - or His sacrifice - from His first coming, then we will celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles - His wedding anniversary - from His second coming. Zech.14:16-19 “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen, that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.” This cannot speak of any other time than the future, as the whole earth is obligated to show up in Jerusalem to keep this feast, not just Israel. Note that Egypt is especially mentioned and picked upon by God for judgment above all the heathen nations. Egypt has long been a sore spot with God, and for good reason, which will not be entered into at the moment.

Here is a perfect example of how God's laws, which are meant for our good and enjoyment, can be obstinately perceived by people as a burden. If the nations were not going to try to ignore this feast, God would not have taken the time to put this warning in the Scriptures. He did so, because this is no doubt going to be a problem. How stupid is that? He gives everyone an eight day holiday to celebrate and people kick and feel put upon? Why is it people look forward to Christmas as a great holiday and love taking the day off from work (and this is a man-made holiday), but when God gives them a week off to celebrate they hate it? It is completely illogical. It's the same with the Sabbath. We have the perfect excuse to take a day off from all work, yet people gripe(d) about having to observe it. Honestly, how stupid and stubborn can the human race get? God certainly has infinitely more patience than I would have in His place.

Back to the is this marriage feast to which Christ was referring when He told the disciples at the Passover that He would not drink wine with them again until He drank with them in His Father’s kingdom. Matt. 26:29 “But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” Yes, there will be wine-drinking in the kingdom of God. Whether one believes alcohol is permissible in the here and now or not, (which is strictly a personal matter, and nobody should put an obstacle in front of a weaker brother) wine will be served at this wedding feast. In fact, an abundant supply of good wine is a sign of God's blessing according to Scripture, but that is another study for another time.

Here the speaker says that these are the true sayings of God. All of God’s sayings are true and are to be trusted that they will be fulfilled. His promises are kept no matter what Satan does to try to stop them from being kept. He is assuring us that no matter how bad things will get, we can count on (as long as we endure to the end) looking forward to this marriage. We will need to hold onto that promise in the days ahead to keep us faithful. That also means that Israel as a nation will have her promised reign over the earth as the premier nation, as God promised that to them and He is bound to keep His promise. No matter what "replacement theology" teaches (for those who do not know, they teach that Israel has been replaced by the church and has nothing to do with anything anymore), Israel will have her day, or more accurately, her millennium, as shown in the verses quoted above.

Verse 10 “And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

John falls down at the feet of this speaker. The speaker emphatically tells him to not worship him, as he is but a fellow servant and brother in Christ. This is interesting, as before these events either an elder, angel, or Christ spoke to John. Now a fellow saint must be speaking to John, as he identifies himself as one who has the testimony of Jesus and is a brethren and fellow servant. This speaker tells John to worship God, not him. It may be possible that John recognizes this person and is in awe of him, which is why he bows, but that is a serious mistake and he should know that. We are to worship none but the Godhead. He is appropriately chastised.

The speaker also tells John that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. This book of Revelation is the testimony of Jesus and it is all prophecy about that which is to come. So many Christians believe it is irrelevant or historical, but it is the most important book for a Christian to understand. The gospels are most important to the unsaved. Revelation is most important to the saved. It is their lifeline to the future, as only through understanding what is to come, can one persevere and endure it. That is why God attached a special blessing for those who read and heed what is written in it. It would seem superfluous to do so, if the book is irrelevant. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. These events will hit many like an unexpected tsunami and wash many of them away. There will be things happening that will destroy the faith of some, as they were not mentally, physically, and especially spiritually prepared to face them. So many today ride out their Christian faith based upon emotions instead of a will-based decision. It is a determined act of the will, faith that has intellectual reason and a complete grasp of the scriptures supporting it, not wavering emotions, that keep us going on in the Lord when everything around us is collapsing. Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” 2 Tim. 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” Knowledge is very important to God. It is essential for us. Of those who are not washed away (lose their faith) and do endure in faith, because their faith is not emotional but substantial, probably most will suffer martyrdom. This is in part because they still have not studied and lack knowledge of coming events, and therefore do not know how to prepare to endure and survive in a physical sense. Not that there is any guarantee of survival just because one does know, but it certainly increases the odds. Perhaps this is the very blessing which is referred to in chapter one of Revelation.

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