A Celebration For the Ages: What Is the Marriage Supper of the Lamb?
Everything You Need to Know About the Greatest Celebration That Will Ever Occur
The Marriage Supper of the Lamb has become, in recent years, one of the most talked about events in Bible prophecy. While many misconceptions exist as to where and when this event will take place, this article aims to quell those misconceptions and inform the reader of the remarkable details surrounding the most extraordinary celebration that will ever take place. I sincerely hope that after reading this article, you will desperately yearn to be a part of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, for which an invitation has already been extended to you by God the Father through his son, Jesus.
Would it surprise you to know that the Marriage Supper of the Lamb is only mentioned by name once in the New Testament? It’s true. This hugely talked about event is only specifically named once in chapter 19 of the Book of Revelation.
The Context of Revelation 19
In Revelation 19, we see Jesus returning to earth at the end of the age. There, he finds a bride prepared for him that is both spotless and pure, clothed in white garments that are said to represent the righteous deeds of the saints (19:8).
At this time, two things appear to happen simultaneously in the Revelation 19 narrative. The King of Kings judges the people of the world and their rulers, those who have resisted his persistent calls to join the faithful bride. He also weds those who have collectively become his spotless and blameless bride, those who have clothed themselves in white and been prepared by God as a perfect spouse for his son. Both events appear to take place on the earth.
These two events are represented in the narrative by two great feasts. Don’t get me wrong, I say these two events are represented in the narrative by two great feasts, but that does not mean that these feasts are only symbolic. These festal celebrations will undoubtedly occur at the end of the age when Jesus returns. But the critical thing to remember is that each feast is linked to an associated event.
One of these feasts is called the Great Supper of God. It is prepared for those who have been continually resisting God and His people in their ardent devotion to the Dragon and the Beast and are now being judged by the returning King of Kings whom they despise.
It is important to note that those who take part in the Great Supper of God will not be participating in their feast in the same way as those who take part in the Wedding Supper of the Lamb. In the marriage supper, the guests – those who collectively make up the Bride of Christ – will dine sumptuously with Jesus. In the Great Supper of God, the people invited to the feast will not eat the food. They will be the dish being served.
Revelation 19:17-21 "17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, ‘Come, gather for the great supper of God, 18 to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.’ 19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. 20 And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. 21 And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh."
How Has Christ’s Bride “Made Herself Ready?”
At the same time this event is taking place, we are also told that the Marriage Supper of the Lamb has come.
Revelation 19:7-8 "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; 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."
The Marriage Supper represents the wedding of Christ to his Bride, those who have collectively been transformed through faith into a spotless and pure bride ready to be married to her husband.
There are two essential things that we must remember about this narrative. To quote the excellent New Testament scholar, GK Beale, “The marriage could not take place without the removal of the Great Harlot, Babylon the Great, who up to this point has been demanding that the people of the world worship and serve her rather than the Lamb (19:2-3). It also could not have taken place without the coming of God’s kingdom in perfect and complete form, as described in 18:1–19:6.”
One aspect that is often hard for Christians living in relative freedom today to wrap their minds around is this: Babylon’s existence in the narrative was an essential element in the bride’s preparation for her marriage to the bridegroom. How so? Babylon’s seduction and oppression was the fire ultimately used by God to refine the saints’ faith to prepare them for the marriage feast in a new and perfect kingdom.
Now that you know precisely what the Marriage Supper of the Lamb is, and you know about the other feast that will be taking place around the same time as the marriage feast, let’s clearly answer any remaining questions that may still exist about the timing and details of this event.
When Will the Marriage Supper Take Place?
When following the flow of the narrative, it is clear that both events occur at the end of the age, when Jesus returns. Any suggestion that the Marriage Supper of the Lamb takes place during a secret, heavenly gathering sometime before the Second Coming of Christ is not rooted in the text of Revelation 19. Arguments for a secret, heavenly marriage supper may be attempted from other passages of the New Testament, but they cannot be made from this passage, the only one that specifically describes the event from a narrative perspective. Here, it is clear that the Marriage Supper of the Lamb is inextricably linked with the coming of God’s full and perfect kingdom to the earth. It is also evident that the bride’s preparation is only complete after the period of refining and purifying, what some call the Great Tribulation, is complete. Also, both the Marriage Feast and the Great Supper are directly associated in Revelation 19 with the second coming of Jesus.
Who Will Take Part in the Supper?
Those invited to participate in the Marriage feast are those who collectively make up the bride: faithful followers of Jesus who have been occupying heaven and earth since the ascension of Christ to His Father. Does this include Old Testament saints? It most certainly does.
Throughout the Book of Revelation and the New Testament, we are given indications that the faithful people of God have come together in heaven to form one new and perfect body in place of two (Ephesians 2:11-21, Romans 11:11-24, Revelation 7:1-17). In Revelation 19, heaven invades earth, and those who have been in heaven with the Lord are joined with those who have been enduring a time of great trouble on the earth. According to 1 Thessalonians 4, all are given new bodies, and collectively, the bride is now ready and fit to be joined by her husband.
While some suggest that the wedding guests (19:9) must be distinguished from the bride herself, this is not the case. Analogies in Scripture are often meant to be seen from various perspectives, and they seldom work themselves out in perfect compliance with their related object. In Revelation 19, the wedding guests are synonymous with the bride herself. The main point, as in Jesus’ Parable of the Foolish Bridesmaids, is that you want to be one of those individuals who participates in the Wedding Feast!
The Central Message of Revelation 19
At the end of the day, the most important takeaway one could have when studying the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and Revelation 19 is this: those who will be invited to the marriage feast are those who put their faith in Jesus during their time on earth. They will be those who trusted him, loved him, surrendered to him, and followed him.
When Jesus returns, everyone on the earth will participate in one of two events: one will be the saddest, most loathsome event that ever takes place in the history of the world; still, it will be necessary and justified. The other, which will also include those saints in heaven who return with Jesus, will be the greatest celebration in the history of the world. A grand party that may very well last for a thousand years.
You have been irrevocably welcomed to take part in the latter celebration. I hope you accept the invitation.
 While Jesus did often talk about weddings and wedding feasts during his renowned parables, the only place where The Marriage Supper of the Lamb is specifically named is at the very end of your Bible.  G. K. Beale, The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle, Cumbria: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press, 1999), 934.  Ibid.