April 25, 202
The Lord’s Supper (vs. 19-20)
The marriage supper of the Lamb is a symbolic representation of the joyful, intimate,
and eternal fellowship that takes place between Jesus Christ (the Lamb of God) and
His bride (the Church). This future picture of a great wedding feast is drawn from
A. What it was!
A very simple rite as first observed was the Lord’s Supper. But for certain
passages in the Acts of the Apostles and in the Epistles, we should not
have known that Jesus Christ intended to create a permanent institution.
But though the simpler the ceremony is the more scriptural it is, yet are the
ideas associated with it and suggested by it many and important. They are
B. What it is!
· THE NEAR PRESENCE OF OUR LORD. Not in the elements but
presiding over the company. It is a table at which He entertains His friends;
and can He, the Divine Host, Himself be absent?
“Around a table, not a tomb,
He willed our gathering-place should be;
When going to prepare our home,
The Savior said, ‘Remember me.’”
And at that table, meeting and communing with His friends, we may feel
sure and can realize forcibly that our living Lord is, in spirit and in truth,
“in the midst of us.”
· CHRIST OUR STRENGTH AND OUR JOY. The chosen elements
are bread and wine, the sources of strength and of gladness. He, our Lord,
is the one constant Source of our spiritual nourishment and strength, of the
joy with which our hearts are for ever glad.
· CHRIST OUR PROPITIATION. The broken bread, the outpoured
wine — of what do these speak to our hearts? Of the “marred visage,” of
the weariness, of the poverty and privation, of the toiling and loneliness
of that troubled life, of the griefs and pains of that burdened and broken
heart, of the shame and the darkness and the death of the last closing
scene. We stand with bowed head and reverent spirit at that cross and see:
“Sorrow and love flow mingled down.”
And our hearts are full as we ask:
“Did e’er such love and sorrow meet;
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?”
And we realize that that sorrow was borne, that death died for us. “This is
my body, ‘given for you;’ my blood, ‘shed for you.’” It is the Propitiation
for our sins.
WORK. Each one eats of that bread and drinks of that cup. As he does so,
in and by that act he declares his own personal need of a Divine Savior; he
affirms his conviction that the sacrifice was offered for him; he renews his
faith in the Divine Redeemer; he recognizes the claim of Him that loved him
unto death; he rededicates himself to Jesus Christ and to His service; he
rejoices, in spirit, in his reconciled Father, in his Divine Lord and Friend.
· HAPPY AND HOLY COMMUNION WITH ONE ANOTHER.
Gathered round one table, in the felt presence of our common Lord, all
invited to drink of the same cup (Matthew 26:27), we are drawn to one
another in the bonds of Christian love. We realize OUR ONENESS IN HIM
as a strong bond which triumphs over all the separating influences of the
world. Faith, joy, love, are kindled and” burn within us;” and we are
strengthened and sanctified, built up, enabled to “abide in Him.”
C. What it shall be!
Question: "What is the marriage supper of the
Answer: In his vision in Revelation 19:7–10, John saw and heard the heavenly
multitudes praising God because the wedding feast of the Lamb—literally, the
“marriage supper”—was about to begin. The concept of the marriage supper is
better understood in light of the wedding customs in the
time of Christ.
These wedding customs had three major parts. First, a marriage contract was
signed by the parents of the bride and the bridegroom, and the parents of the
bridegroom or the bridegroom himself would pay a dowry to the bride or her
parents. This began what was called the betrothal period—what we would today
call the engagement. This period was the one Joseph and Mary were in when she
accompanied by his male friends, went to the house of the bride at midnight, creating
a torchlight parade through the streets. The bride would know in advance this was
going to take place, and so she would be ready with her maidens, and they would all
join the parade and end up at the bridegroom’s home. This custom is the basis of the
parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25:1–13. The third phase was the marriage
supper itself, which might go on for days, as illustrated by
the wedding at
in John 2:1–2.
What John’s vision in Revelation pictures is the wedding feast of the Lamb (Jesus Christ)
and His bride (the Church) in its third phase. The implication is that the first two phases
have already taken place. The first phase was completed on earth when each individual
believer placed his or her faith in Christ as Savior. The dowry paid to the bridegroom’s
parent (God the Father) would be the blood of Christ shed on the Bride’s behalf. The
Church on earth today, then, is “betrothed” to Christ, and, like the wise virgins in the
parable, all believers should be watching and waiting for the appearance of the
Bridegroom (the rapture). The second phase symbolizes the rapture of the Church,
when Christ comes to claim His bride and take her to the Father’s house. The
marriage supper then follows as the third and final step. It is our view that the
marriage supper of the Lamb takes place in heaven between the rapture and the
second coming (during the tribulation on earth).
Attending the wedding feast will be not only the Church as the Bride of Christ,
but others as well. The “others” include the Old Testament saints—they will not
have been resurrected yet, but their souls/spirits will be in heaven with us. As the
angel told John to write, “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper
of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:9). The marriage supper of the Lamb is a glorious
celebration of all who are in Christ!
· THE DESIGNS THAT ARE LAID AGAINST US. It was evidently in a
very solemn and earnest strain that Jesus said, “Satan desired to have you
[plural], that he may sift,” etc. The evil one longed with eagerness, and
strove with strength, to pass the apostles of Christ through the sieve of
temptation, that he might compass their overthrow. And Peter, at a later
hour, tells us that that is his attitude and habit in regard to all Christian
disciples (I Peter 5:8). We may take it that:
Ø All the unholy intelligences of the spiritual realm are bent on
securing our overthrow.
Ø In this malign intention they are supported by human agents. And this,
not only because evil naturally propagates evil, and because the wicked
feel stronger and more secure as they are more numerous, but because
they recognize the value of one human spirit and the advantage secured
by gaining it to their side. Hence there is a deliberate and determined
design often made upon the individual man by the forces of evil. This
is a fact by no means to be overlooked. As we go on our heavenward
way there may be an ambush laid for us at any point; at any time strong
spiritual foes may do their utmost to contrive our fall. The possibilities
of evil and of ruin are manifold. We may fall by:
o error and unbelief,
o worldliness and vanity,
o by departure in spirit from the fear and love of God.
There is room, there is reason, for vigilance on the part of him who
believes himself well on the way toward or even nearing the gates
of the celestial city. (I Corinthians 10:12
Signs of the Great Castatrophe (vs. 8-19)
Jesus described the end of the world and His Second Coming. The temple would
and wars would take place. Many people will be deceived by false messiahs and b
by tumultuous conditions. At just the right time the Son ofMan will come in
power and glory. Consequently, believers shuld be watchful and prepared at any
moment for His return. (living right)
The apparent signs which would show themselves, but which must not be mistaken
for the true signs immediately preceding THE CATASTROPHE!
Preliminaries of the Second Advent (vs. 5-38)
It would seem that, as an interlude amid His diligent
Jesus and the disciples, on their way back to
Mount of Olives and contemplated the temple. The building was a superb
one, and so well put together that the disciples and people generally
believed it would last till doomsday. Hence, amid their admiration for the
gorgeous pile, came their question about the end of the world, which
would, they believed, synchronize with that of the temple. Now, our Lord,
while prophesying its destruction, warns them not to be mistaken about
times and signs. (So also Paul - II Thessalonians 2:1-12
· OUR LORD WARNS THE DISCIPLES AGAINST FALSE ALARMS.
(vs, 7-9.) He indicates that many false Messiahs will arise, declaring their
Messiahship and the speedy approach of the end. They are to be for the
most part of the military type, for this was the kind of
wanted. The result will of necessity be “wars and tumults.” But the
disciples ought not to be alarmed at these mere preliminaries. The end
would not be “immediately” (Revised Version). It is well known that
between our Lord’s time and the destruction of
of military and mushroom Messiahs arose, “making confusion worse
confounded.” They were only the outcome of the people’s false hopes, and
of no prophetic import.
· THE DISCIPLES, AS THEIR LORD’S WITNESSES, WOULD
EXPERIENCE BOTH PERSECUTIONS AND INSPIRATIONS.
(vs. 10-19.) And here the Lord states that persecution of His people would
precede national and natural troubles. War, earthquake, and pestilence
would be the providential judgment upon unrighteous persecution. But the
persecuted witnesses should receive the inspiration needful to speak
resistlessly. They might be betrayed and martyred, but no real injury would
overtake them. “There shall not an hair of your head perish.” In this
remarkable deliverance of our Lord about persecution He implies that His
people are really imperishable. The world might do its best to annihilate
them by fire and sword; their bones might be scattered, no marble tells
whither; but the Lord who loves and prizes His people’s dust will
reorganize the scattered remains, and demonstrate how absolutely
imperishable His people are. (II Corinthians 5:1) Hence He urges patience.
“In your patience,” he declares, “ye shall win your souls.” So that it was
a most wonderful preparation of these marked men for martyrdom and all
preceding tribulation. Were we more dependent on Divine inspirations,
we should be there calm and influential before a hostile world.
THE DESTRUCTION OF
FORETOLD AS AN INSTANCE OF DESERVED VENGEANCE.
(vs. 20-24.) And here the Lord gives His people directions to escape
from the doomed city as soon as they should see the armies gathering
round it. The siege was drawn upon it by no misconduct of theirs, but by
the misconduct of their enemies: why, therefore, should the Christians lay
down their lives for a false policy and cause? Their duty was, if possible, to
escape. He also tells at the horrors of the siege, and how mothers with
their infant children would suffer terribly. The issue of the investment
would be the slaughter of multitudes and the exile of the rest, The Jews
became wanderers and exiles from that moment.
“Tribes of the wandering foot and weary breast,
How shall ye flee away and be at rest!
The wild dove hath her nest, the fox his cave,
Mankind their country —
· REDEMPTION MAY BE DISCERNED AS DRAWING NIGH.
(vs. 25-33.) Our Lord. indicates that distress of nations, perplexity, and
faint-heartedness through fear will precede His second coming. But His
people need be no sharers in this fear. So far from this, as soon as the
judgment-signs begin they are to lift up their heads, assured that
redemption is drawing nigh. The outlook may be wintry for the world, but
it is summer for the saints of God. And here we may notice:
Ø The parable of the spring trees. (vs. 29-30.) Our Lord reminds the
disciples that every spring, in the buds and shoots of the various trees
there is the promise of the summer. The progress is gradual, yet noticeable.
In the same way His people are to look for the signs of coming summer,
and to manifest a hopeful spirit in beautiful contrast to the despairing
spirit of the world. (Revelation 6:12-17)
Ø The imperishable character of the Christian stock. (vs. 31-33.) All
the world’s opposition and persecution will not annihilate the Christian
stock. As the martyrs fall before their persecutors, it is only to summon
fresh witnesses for the Master from the ranks of their enemies. The
Christian stock abides. There need be no fear. Let this be left to the
· THE LORD’S PEOPLE OUGHT CONSEQUENTLY TO BE
WATCHING AND PRAYING FOR THE ADVENT. (vs. 34-38.)
And in the conclusion of this discourse our Lord clearly indicates:
Ø That it is possible to escape the judgments which are coming on the
earth before the advent. For there is no merit in allowing one’s self to be
involved in judgments which others by their unbelief have invited. It is
our duty to escape, if possible, the catastrophe.
Ø It can only be by a watchful and prayerful spirit. Self indulgence,
everything that would dull our sense OF THE IMPENDING EVENT,
MUST BE AVOIDED! It is to come as a thief and a snare upon those
that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Hence the imperative
necessity of watching. And it is prayer which will help us in our
watching. We must wrestle with the coming King, that He may count
us worthy to escape the world’s judgments and to stand before Him.
Ø How great a privilege it will be to be permitted to stand in the presence
of the Son of man! No such privilege is afforded even by the greatest of
earthly kings. It becomes us, therefore, to be in downright earnest about
this privilege, and by persevering prayer to secure it.
· OUR LORD GAVE THE DISCIPLES THE EXAMPLE OF THE
WATCHFUL PRAYER REQUIRED. (vs. 37, 38.) For it would seem
that, in the closing days, the people came so early to the temple to be
taught, that He could not go as far as
out, therefore, at nightfall to the
watches more in prayer than in sleep. He was showing what persevering
prayer in the crises of history must be. Let our Lord’s
call each of us to privacy and patient prayer such as will alone secure the
proper public spirit.
shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! Thine enemies
shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places.”
In due time He brought this people into the best spot of land which the
earth knew-a country which indolence and tyranny have rendered barren,
but which anciently overflowed with superabundant fertility. He brought
them to a land of hills and valleys, of springs and rivers,-a land out of
whose bowels they might take iron and copper, and treasures in
abundance. He established them in a land which flowed with milk and
honey, so fertile that even its spontaneous productions, as exampled in the
grapes of Eshcol, rivaled the products of the choicest husbandry. Having
brought them into this goodly heritage, He drove out the former inhabitants
that He might plant His people, and make them dwell in safety alone. How
gracious He was to them in the days of Joshua, and in the years which
followed! When He mapped out their lots according to their tribes, He
rejoiced to dwell in the midst of them; He had His tabernacle in
His dwelling-place in
only unto this nation upon which His heart was set. He chastened them, but
He raised up judges for their deliverance. At last He gave them a king in His
anger, and took him away in Hs wrath; but He sent unto them David-a man
after his own heart, before whom their enemies were rooted out, and the
nobles among their persecutors were made like Zebah and Zalmunna who
fell by the hand of Gideon. Greatly He blessed the nation under David and
his immediate successors! Everything in the neighboring countries was
ordered only to bring peace and prosperity to the chosen land-thy land, O
God, which thou hast overshadowed with thy wings. Ofttimes they
provoked Him, but His anger waxed not hot against them. When Hhe lifted up
His rod, His strokes were few, and He repented of the evil which He did unto
them. At last, when they became incorrigible in their sins, and made their
brows like flint, and their hearts like adamant, for a season he gave them up
to captivity. They were taken to
in the bitterness of their soul. Still, even in their captivity He loved them.
When they had forgotten Him, He had not forgotten them, and in due time
He brought them up again out of the house of their bondage, once more to
set them in their land. It was about this time when He would give to His
people a fresh deliverance, as memorable as the coming out of
Zechariah testified “he that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of mine eye;”
as much as to say, “I smite you, but I hate the nation that oppresses you; I
take the axe to cut down your stubborn pride, but lo, I will break the axe
to shivers; I send against you the executioners of my anger, but I will
surely punish them also for the evil which they have done. He that toucheth
you-even though I be the great first cause of the terrible onslaught upon
you,-’he that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of mine eye,’ and I will be
avenged on him in the day of my wrath.”
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