The Wedding and Glorious Appearing of Christ
Babylon has been destroyed, Satan’s armies are gathered for battle, and all is now ready for Christ’s return. There is just one thing left before Jesus returns, He is going to get married. In
Revelation 19, after the heavenly beings are finished singing praises to God for destroying Babylon, verses 6-8 say;
Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “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 clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
Now, just before He returns to earth, Jesus (the Lamb) is going to get married, and it is going to be a cause of great rejoicing in heaven. But who will be the bride? Some say the bride is Israel, because Israel is called a wife in the Old Testament. A bride isn’t called a wife until after the wedding, and this wedding is taking place during the tribulation. Israel was once considered God’s wife, but because Israel went and worshipped other gods, the Old Testament wife was cast off for spiritual adultery. Hosea 2:2 says;
Plead with your mother, plead— for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband— that she put away her whoring from her face, and her adultery from between her breasts;
But Paul says in second Corinthians 11:2
For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.
The bride of Jesus is His church, all believers who have accepted His gift of salvation through His death on the cross for forgiveness of our sins. If you have accepted Jesus as your personal savior, this is you! The garments we will be wearing will be up to us, verse eight says; ; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. Some people think that once they accept Christ that they are saved and don’t need to do anything else. Well, we don’t have to do anything else to be accepted into heaven, but we will be clothed in all our righteous deeds for the wedding. All our good works will be judged by God. All that are deemed righteous, that is all that are done for the glory of God, will be rewarded with treasures in heaven. Jesus said in Matthew 6:19-21;
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
The angel then tells John more in verse 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.”
If we are the bride, then who are the ones to be invited? Guests at any wedding would be friends of the bride and groom. In John 3:29 John the Baptist said;
The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete.
John was the last of the Old Testament saints, the believers in God before Jesus came to earth. It is these saints who will be the guests at the wedding. As friends of the bridegroom, they will have their own special relationship with God, but are not members of the bride.
After the wedding, the bride and bridegroom always ride off on their honeymoon. In this case, they ride off to earth.
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. (Rev. 19: 11-16)
Right after the wedding feast, Christ and His bride will return to earth. This is what is known as the glorious appearing. It will be seen throughout the world. Jesus prophesized about this in Matthew 24: 27-31
For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
The stage is now set, Satan and his armies have gathered, Now Christ has returned with His army. The battle of Armageddon is about to begin.