Note: J. Preston Eby, in order to continue to devote his full energy to writing no longer works in the office and does not receive this email. He does, however, respond to any urgent correspondence via snailmail.
To be added to the mailing list to receive the current issue of Kingdom Bible Studies each month:
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB
“And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:9).
Who are those blessed, truly happy, and abidingly fortunate, who have been invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb? I turn to the only possible authority, that is, to the Lamb Himself. When Jesus told the parable of the king who gave a marriage feast for his son, and of the invited guests who gave various excuses as to why they couldn’t attend, while others made light of the invitation, and some even abused his messengers, he continued, “The wedding is ready, but those who were invited are not worthy. Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor, and the disabled, and the lame, and the blind. As many as you can find, invite them to come to the marriage feast.” And the servant said, “Lord, it is done just as you have commanded, and there is still room.” So the king said to the servant, “Go out into the highways and the hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”
question follows — who are those who
are invited to the marriage supper? One
thing is quite certain — they are not the
bride! The bride is
bride, on the other hand, is composed of those elect saints who live in most
intimate communion and union with the Bridegroom. Who can deny that there are vast multitudes
of believers who know Christ as Saviour and rejoice in the blessed knowledge
that they are forgiven and are redeemed children of God, but have
question is just this — Do we really love Christ, or are we merely using
Him? When we are mere children, we love
Him out of a childish, immature love. We
love Him primarily for what He gives us and
does for us. When you hear someone testify, “I love
the Lord because He saved me,” or “I love
the Lord because He healed
we know what it means to come into His
sweet presence, asking nothing for ourselves, but only reaching out to HIM with
gratitude and thanksgiving for loving us so completely? Haven’t we been most selfish and ego-centric
in our prayers? We will pray for God to
feel assured that the foregoing truths will aid us in understanding that there
are many guests at the marriage of the Lamb who are not the bride, but are very
dear friends and relatives of the Bridegroom and the bride. There are many saints who shall enter into
realms of glory in God’s great and eternal kingdom, but they will not be of
that elect company which makes up the bride of the Lamb. They know the Lamb, they love Him and have a
relationship with Him on some level, but are not drawn by that irresistible
love which craves ultimate union with Him.
sad my heart often gets when I hear someone trying to explain how we are all
“equal” in Christ. How often we have
heard the remarks that they who have received Christ as Saviour are all the
“bride of Christ,” or are all “sons of God,” or that irrespective of
denomination or spiritual experience we are all “going to the same place.” Such statements
the poetry of the Psalms the Lamb’s wife, the virgin bride, is referred to as
“the daughter of the king,” that is, the daughter of the king of
The 45th Psalm speaks of the King, who comes forth from the ivory palaces, whose qualities are described so graphically, with great vigor and animation. But there is also the Queen, the King’s Bride, standing on his right hand, adorned with gold of Ophir, clothed in wonderfully wrought garments of beauty and glory, and inwardly she is all glorious. But besides the Queen, the King’s Bride, there is another blessed company, who are also to enter with gladness and rejoicing into the King’s palace, and to share his favor and the light of his countenance. They are called “the virgins,” the “companions,” associates, and bosom friends of the Queen, but plainly distinct from the Queen herself. They do not go with her when she is “taken,” but “follow her,” — come after her — and are “brought unto the King” at a subsequent time, and in quite another capacity from that of the Queen and Bride. All of them are citizens of the kingdom, members of the congregation of the Lord. All of them find their joy in association with the King and Queen, but they do not share that one thing — total intimacy and ultimate union. The Queen is related to the King on a deeper and higher plane than any of “the virgins the companions” that follow her.
the scriptures we see great diversities in the attainments of the saints and
the rewards apportioned to them. Our
Lord Himself frequently spoke of those who would be greatest in the kingdom of heaven as well as those who would be least.
He also revealed that some would be first,
while others would be last. It should be obvious that there would be
many levels in between! There are some
who get crowns, and there are others who get none. As we have pointed out earlier, in the Revelation
there are those blessed overcomers who are granted to sit with the Lord in His throne,
while others are positioned “before” the throne, and besides these there are
vast multitudes of those who are characterized as “the nations of them which
are saved” who are completely outside the city but who “walk in the light of
it.” That there is no equality of
rewards in the
are truths that vitally concern all of God’s elect who have received the call
to brideship and sonship — the high
calling of God in Christ Jesus! Even
Our blessed Lord and Elder Brother has opened up the way into a realm of ministry that transcends all that we have hitherto known or experienced. “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, that we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK” (Heb. 6:18-20).
word “order” in the phrase “order of Melchizedek” is something like the word
“order” we use when we speak of certain religious orders, such as the
Franciscans or the
is a God of order, and not of confusion!
Truth has an order for all things that God made by Jesus Christ, who
upholds all things by His word and power.
So, with His word and power He keeps all things in their places, and in
their proper order, and in their times,
and in their seasons; the summer and the winter, the night and the day, the sun,
moon, and stars, as also billions of galaxies with their untold trillions of
stars and suns and planets and moons, all things are kept in order by the word
of God and his power; and the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness
thereof. “The Lord hath sworn, and
will not repent,” speaking of the
Christ, “thou art a priest for ever, after
the order of Melchizedek” (Ps.
110:4). And Christ is not called after
the order of
I have said all that just to say this: Melchizedek is a priesthood of ORDER!
Jesus Christ is made a priest for ever after the ORDER of Melchizedek! How important it is that every member of
God’s elect who is taught by the spirit of
came into this realm out of the bosom of the Father! Before the Creator formed you, He knew
you. He didn’t know you in your present
physical form as Joe Smith or Sally Brown, but He knew you as spirit. God spoke to you
about His plan for your life before ever
you were formed as an embryo in the womb of your mother.
Oh! How many realms of glory there are in God’s vast, illimitable, inexhaustible, and eternal kingdom! “But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. And there is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. SO ALSO IS THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD” (I Cor. 15:35,39-42). Let us not then lightly lay aside this truth of the MORE EXCELLENT GLORY, which the Holy Spirit has illumined and to which the word of God points the way. We may want to settle for just any degree of glory, but let us all who value the glory of God lay hold on the prize that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and the finisher of our faith.
let us return to our thought of the bride of the Lamb and the companies of
saints which surround her. Princesses
and queens, above all on occasions of their marriage, always have their
associates, companions, maids of honor, attendants, and friends, who, in a
general way, are counted with them as making
one and the same company, but who in fact are very distinct in honor and
privilege from those on whom they find it their joy to attend. Just as the Bridegroom comes not alone, but with
attendants, companions, and a long train of rejoicing ones who make up his party,
the whole of whom together are called “the Bridegroom’s coming,” while in reality there is a vast difference
between Him and those with Him; so it is
on the side of the bride. The great crowd
the beautiful Song of Solomon, from time to time the “daughters of
little later in the same chapter we are shown even more “companies” of the
bride’s companions. “There are
threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number. My
dove, my undefiled is but one; she is
the only one of her mother, she is
the choice one of her that bare
her. The daughters (of
“The daughters saw her, and called her blessed; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.” All the precious children of God on earth, all of those who could have been in the bride of the Lamb and are not, all the hosts of heaven, every creature in heaven and upon earth, shall behold her, even as they shall look upon the Christ when He is revealed through His “many brethren” in all of His glory. Those who love God will rejoice in her brightness, those who could have been in this blessed company, will rejoice that she has attained to that which they have missed. In the wonderful glory of that day there will be no regret, bitterness, or resentment in any heart of God’s people, and they will call her blessed, they will praise her; not because of herself, but because she shows forth the purpose and handiwork of God and is to His praise and glory as she bears the image of His Son.
Lord Himself has told us, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” Ah, “Blessed are
they which are called unto the
marriage supper of the Lamb!” Oh, how
bountifully blessed they are! Yet — can
we not see that these are the “called” ones?
“Many are called…” May I say it this way — in our present
application, the multitudes attending the marriage of the Lamb are the called ones. The bride, however, is the chosen one!
And the mystery is just this: “…few are chosen.” There is a little
company today, who have come out of all the defilement around about us, who
have forsaken man-made churches with their fears and fables, to be married to
their Lord, and to Him alone. These are
they who rule over His household, and who are now in travail to bring forth
(Isa. 65:8). And there is a great feast
spread, a feast wherein the wife and a portion of the “daughters,” the
“virgins,” will attend (Mat. 25:10). It
is the third feast of the
is calling many in this hour and He is also choosing a few. We are now in this place where God is
choosing, just as He chose Moses, David, the prophets,
— I show you a mystery! While we speak
of the bride, and what a glorious and illustrious company she is, and those
called, what a blessed company they are, let us not lose sight of the fact that
the marriage is the “marriage of the Lamb.”
It is the Lamb and His wife. It
is the celebration of their joy, of their love, of their union, of their
lives. The deep mystery which the Holy
Spirit would now make precious to our hearts is just this — there is a
corporate body of overcomers having a masculine character identified with the
Lamb and they share His holy mount of
Hawtin has so ably written of this, “This is none other than Jesus Christ, the
first begotten Son of God, together with all those other precious sons that
have come into His image and likeness throughout the ages. This is in truth the FULLNESS OF THE BODY of
the BRIDEGROOM, for the Bridegroom is more than Jesus of Nazareth. He is JESUS CHRIST AND ALL THE SONS whom God
has given Him now joined together as one glorious BODY OF SONS, the Bridegroom
of whom it was said, ‘Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him.’ Christ together with
This spiritually masculine company of overcomers are those sons of God, the manchild out of the virgin bride, of whom it is written by the prophet, “For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee” (Isa. 62:5). In this ONENESS WITH HIM in His headship there are positions and qualifications which denote a mature, spiritually masculine state of being in Him, with strength, authority, wisdom, and power. There are likewise positions and qualifications which denote a mature, spiritually feminine state of being in Him, with tenderness, compassion, mercy, succor, and love. The Father is choosing His GROOM COMPANY just as Christ is choosing His BRIDE COMPANY. The rest of God’s people are called to the marriage! That is the mystery.
THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB
“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” (Rev. 19:9).
is an incredible host. He throws parties
with the things we love: great food, great people, warmth, and laughter. God’s parties are lavish, extraordinary. Traveling through the desert, God’s people
the sound of the words “the wedding feast of the Lamb” brings great joy,
excitement, and anticipation to our hearts!
Weddings are a time of celebration, which usually includes a meal of one
kind or another. Because of tradition we
have visualized the bride of Christ whisked away into the sky, where millions
of Christians sit down at a physical table set high in the atmosphere upon a brilliant white cloud, the table stretching to infinity with
Jesus seated at the head and the saints of all the ages are with Him enjoying a
meal of heavenly filet mignon; the angels standing at attention, refilling our
glasses with living water and celestial wine.
Many say this feast lasts for seven years, while the great tribulation
is wreaking havoc on earth. Then, these
stuffed saints come back and watch while God destroys the world system in the
number of weddings are described in the Bible.
The first wedding was performed by a very special guest minister. Whatever ceremony He may have chosen, it did
not include those familiar words, “If man can show just cause why these two
should not be lawfully joined together, let him now speak, or else forever hold
his peace.” This statement was
unnecessary, for the minister was God Himself, and the couple was
Much has been said about the proceedings involved in the marriage of Christ and His bride, and it is rather natural that Bible students speculate about what actually occurs in the marriage. Some are prone to view the marriage of Christ in a rather literal way, after the pattern of a wedding in our modern society, in which there is a ceremony with the bride being given away and nuptial vows taken. Of course this is absolutely foreign to the scriptures! If we are to understand what the Bible means by a marriage or a wedding, we must view it as it is portrayed in scripture itself. There are some Bible examples of marriage which will, to this writer’s thinking, adequately depict the marriage of Christ to His bride, and will show what constitutes that marriage.
first is the marriage of Isaac and Rebekah.
The beautiful story is related in Genesis chapter twenty-four of how,
when Abraham was old, he sent his eldest and most trusted servant, the steward
of his house, into his own country from whence he had come, and among his own
kindred to select a bride for his son Isaac.
When the servant came to the city of
was no ceremony, no giving away of the bride, and no nuptial vows exchanged as
we see in formal weddings in o
Another beautiful example is presented in the book of Ruth. When Boaz, the kinsman-redeemer, redeemed both Ruth and the estate of Naomi according to the law of the kinsman-redeemer, he redeemed Ruth to be his wife. When the marriage occurred, there was no ceremony. The record simply states, “So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife…” The marriage consisted simply in the bridegroom taking his bride to himself. It is my deep conviction that, in keeping with these analogies, the marriage of Christ and His bride consists simply in CHRIST TAKING HIS BRIDE UNTO HIMSELF. The spirit of inspiration has stated it this way: “Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for it…that He might PRESENT IT TO HIMSELF a glorious church…” (Eph. 5:27). The Emphatic Diaglott expresses the thought beautifully and correctly: “…that he might PLACE THE CONGREGATION BY HIS OWN SIDE, glorious…” Ah, He draws us to Himself, to His side, He takes us unto Himself, into union, and that, my friend, IS THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB!
marriage of the Lamb is the revelation of Christ that causes you to know that
you are united to Him; it is the conscious knowledge and the experiential
reality. It is not a ceremony nor merely
an assent or agreement. You cannot
understand the marriage of the Lamb until you know
later times it became a custom in the
receiving the bride from her parents with their blessing the bridegroom
conducted the whole party back to his own house. There were demonstrations of joy all along
the road to the destination. On the way
other friends of the bride and bridegroom joined the party and there was much
music and dancing. When approaching the
bridegroom’s house, the bridegroom took his bride into the nuptial chamber.
They were then left alone and the bridegroom took his bride and the marriage
was consummated. At last, there was
lest you get the idea from this typology that Christ is coming to take His
bride away, to leave this earth and take a flight to some other planet for a
big supper of steak, baked potatoes, and apple pie a-la-mode, let me set things
straight. For long centuries the church
world has been telling us of a day in the sweet bye and bye, a time when we
would be “caught up” in the air and find ourselves feasting and dining at a
huge banqueting table in the sky. It
would be a wonderful time
Christians, unfortunately, are busily preparing themselves to go “up” to meet
the Bridegroom. Not knowing who or what
the Bridegroom is, they therefore cannot know how to go forth to meet Him. As we have previously pointed out, there is
not one scripture in the whole Bible that speaks of being “caught up” to meet
the Bridegroom, or to eat the marriage supper in the sky. This “marriage supper in the sky” business is
naught but an ignorant invention and senseless
harm is done to God’s children in teaching the coming of the Bridegroom and the
marriage supper according to the
This speaks to the heart. Our Lord prophesied of this, our day, “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom…and at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye OUT to meet him!” (Mat. 25:1,5). May our hearts be seized, my beloved, by this one compulsion — to detach ourselves from the world and its pressures and values, from self and its demands, from present things, from religion with its carnality, from ALL — to go forth, in the spirit of our minds, in the affections of our hearts, to meet CHRIST THE BRIDEGROOM! It is not a question of going forth from one physical or astral location to another; it is not a matter of soaring away into the skies to join Jesus on a cloud; it is not geographical at all, but deeply spiritual. It is the out-going of the heart to be uniquely joined in union with our Head and Lord. It bespeaks such a detachment from this world system that our one goal, our sole aim, is Christ; we are going forth to meet HIM!
preachers have the coming of the Lord all muddled because they cannot with
their carnal minds and static creeds distinguish the difference between the
facets of His coming. They know nothing
of the distinction between His coming as King and His coming as Bridegroom, and
His coming in many other ways and forms.
Therefore they know not how to prepare for His comings. This much is clear — in order to meet the
Bridegroom, one must go “out.” And “out”
does not in any way
One cry in the book of Revelation is for us to “Come up hither” into a higher realm of life and glory. The important truth for us to understand now is that in the Revelation there is both a coming out and a coming up. Pay attention to the Holy Spirit’s use of terms! “And I heard another voice from heaven saying, Come out of her my people, that ye be not partaker of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” (Rev. 18:4). That very word came to us in great power by the Spirit many years ago during the time of a most sovereign move of God in our midst. We were obedient to the word we heard from heaven and hasted to come out of the carnal confusion of Mystery Babylon, the old-order church system, and out of the whole religious order of man. God began in us a process of complete and total restoration of His truth, His ways, His will, His purpose, His mind, His heart, and the things of His spirit and His kingdom! The reason we must go “out” to meet the Bridegroom is because He is Himself “out.” The message of the Gospels is very clear — all things related to Christ are OUTSIDE of organized, man-made religion!
The natural mind is very dark and without understanding. Only the Holy Spirit can awaken it! May Christ who is the power of God open the eyes of all who read these lines, even as the scales fell from the vision of Saul of tarsus when Jesus purged them away. In Matthew 22:1-14 we are informed in the solemnest of tones about the marriage supper of the Lamb. Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to a king who invited different ones to a marriage feast for his son. A great number of people were invited and the wedding feast was filled with guests. Among the Eastern peoples, noblemen kept in their wardrobes a great number of garments which are called caftans. They are given at such occasions as this to be worn by the guests. It is a great affront for anyone to come and not be appropriately costumed for the occasion.
Since they were giving out wedding garments at the door, we can only assume that when this fellow Jesus told about came to the door, and the servant inquired, “What size are you — small, medium, or large — you look like a medium,” the man replied, “I don’t need one.” “Well,” the servant insisted, “The King expects you to use this.” “I don’t have to do that, don’t worry about it, the King knows me very well,” and with his heart full of neglect or rebellion he entered into the hall. Soon the King entered into the wedding chamber to welcome his guests. But immediately he noticed a man who was not wearing the wedding garment. “My friend,” he said, “how did you come in here without putting on the required wedding garment?” The king was simply enquiring whether he had an excuse, if there was a valid reason why he had no garment. “Did we run out of garments at the door? Did we have no garment that would fit? Did the garment not look good on you? Did you not like our color schemes? Were you allergic to something in the material? Friend, give account of your conduct!” The scripture says he was speechless — not because he could not speak, but because he was without excuse!
Brethren! Are we not told by the preachers that the marriage supper is celebrated someplace far away in the sky, and sometime after the “rapture” of the church? Were we not fervently taught that we are going to be in the air for seven years and have a wedding feast with the Lord? The question follows — If the wedding feast is after we are raptured, and somewhere in the sky, HOW DID THIS MAN WITHOUT THE WEDDING GARMENT GET IN THERE? WAS HE SOMEHOW “RAPTURED” BY MISTAKE? Did the Lord Jesus commit a terrible error and accidentally “translate” a man who was not adequately prepared or properly invested for the marriage supper in the sky? How preposterous! This parable proves beyond any possibility of contradiction that a so-called “rapture” has absolutely nothing whatever to do with the marriage supper of the Lamb!
This parable shows that the wedding feast takes place right down here on this earth, and there are people who are feasting on the riches of present truth and the depth of God’s revelatory word just as you are, and are standing right in the midst of those who are experientially entering into union with Christ, but they have not had a change of garment; they have not been clothed in the transforming righteousness of Christ; they have not put on that precious mind that was in Christ Jesus; they have not put off the old man with his works and put on the new; they have not died to sin and self and religion; they are neither living nor walking in the Spirit of the Lord! But they have come into the marriage hall of the Lamb!
These have presumptuously “jumped on the bandwagon” of the message of the hour. With unsanctified minds and fleshly zeal they grasp after the deep things of God; they are along for the ride; they mingle with those elect saints who have been apprehended of God to the high calling in Christ Jesus. They show up at every meeting and attend every convention; with unwashed hands they eat from the table so bountifully prepared by the Holy Spirit for those who forsake all to follow the Lamb; they parrot all the right words, and mouth the sacred secrets revealed by the spirit of truth, and may, with feigned piety appear as one of the choice vessels of the kingdom; but beneath the cloak of pretense there is no true consecration in their lives, no inworking of the holiness of God, no conformation to the image of Christ, no transformation of mind or heart or nature; they are clearly imposters, deceivers, usurpers, pretenders, hypocrites, and cheats.
They have no wedding garment! And now, exposed to the penetrating gaze of the King’s presence, the man of nice words and spiritual-sounding expressions no longer could conceal his true condition. In due time, prior to the event of the marriage of His son, the King dealt swiftly and effectively with the usurper. “Then the King said to the attendants, Tie him hand and foot, and throw him into outer darkness (the darkness outside the hall); there will be weeping and grinding of teeth” (Mat. 22:13). No, the poor fellow is not cast into hell fire, nor into Hades, nor into Gehenna, nor into eternal damnation — he is simply excluded from the marriage feast, outside the blessings and benefits of this realm of glory, devoid of true understanding and revelation, denied for that time the privilege of fellowship in the higher light of the kingdom of God and the glory of union with Christ. What a word!
To be continued… J. PRESTON EBY
Not finding what you need? SEARCH HERE