Marriage of the Lamb
The Bible uses a variety of figures to picture the relation between Jesus and the Church. Among these is the marriage relation. Among the ancient Hebrews the first step of this relation was the engagement proposed by the parents of the prospective bridegroom. The counterpart to this is the Church’s consecration proposed to her by God for His Son (Psalm 45: 10, 11). During the engagement period the prospective bride is to keep herself loyal to the prospective bridegroom, so during the period of the Church’s consecration she was to remain loyal to Christ (2 Corinthians 11: 2). As an earthly espoused is by the marriage made one with her bridegroom, so the Church was made fully one with Christ by her marriage with the Lamb. This occurred during the First Resurrection, typed by Eve’s being made one with Adam by her creation (Revelation 19: 7). The Marriage took place as each member of the Bride class, on being raised, was joined to our Lord in “the air.”
Invitation to the Marriage Supper
All of the spirit begotten during the Gospel Age received an invitation to the marriage supper of the Lamb, but an invitation went out after the entire Bride class had gone into the marriage (Revelation 19: 9). That invitation went out to the Great Company, who were invited as guests to share in the marriage supper. The proclamation of that message was made by the Great Company as a class, with the Youthful Worthies and eventually the Consecrated Epiphany Campers assisting. The proclamation of that message went forth immediately following the death of the last Little Flock member – Bro. Johnson, the Epiphany Messenger.
The marriage supper is a symbolic feast whereby under the figure of those participating in a sumptuous wedding banquet, Jesus, the Church and the Great Company are represented as partaking of very wonderful blessings that God has provided for them, from the standpoint of His Bridegroom Son, Bride Daughter and the Bridesmaids. These blessings, so far as the Bridegroom and Bride are concerned, are such as a very rich and generous father would provide for his son and daughter-in-law as their marriage provision as the founders of a house and the prospective parents of children.
On God’s part this would imply: (1) His providing for, and making of, a public celebration of the fact of the Marriage of Jesus and the Church before, and participated in by, the heavenly host and the Great Company; (2) His giving to Jesus and the Church a home (the earth) for their prospective children; (3) His giving to Jesus and the Church their own right (instead of that of Adam and Eve purchased by the Ransom) to generate the race with the right to life and the conjoined life-rights; (4) His giving to Jesus and the Church all the knowledge and powers whereby to arrange for the generation of such a race; (5) His giving to Jesus and the Church all the knowledge and powers necessary to provide for the race undergoing such a generation: (6) His giving to Jesus and the Church all the knowledge and powers needed properly to train the race undergoing such generation; and (7) His giving to Jesus and the Church all the knowledge and powers needed to continue in perfect life all of their obedient children.
The sharing of Jesus and the Church in this symbolic feast will be their accepting and appropriating of all the above mentioned honor, knowledge and powers as their own; and the share of the Great Company in this feast will be that of Bridesmaids and Guests, accepting and appropriating to themselves such honor, knowledge and powers as will be necessary for them to help the prospective parents as friends and household-companions in the care of their family.
Time of the Marriage Supper
The initial part of the marriage supper, that is, God’s providing for, and making of, a public celebration of the fact of the Marriage of Jesus and the Church and Their and the heavenly hosts partaking in it, (1) above, and the partaking of honor, knowledge and powers not included in (2) to (7) above, were probably entered into by Jesus and the Church before the complete deliverance of the Great Company.
The Marriage Supper could not have begun until after the deliverance of the Church, because a marriage supper follows after the completion of the marriage proper, which in this case implies the completion of the First Resurrection. But its main part is subsequent to the complete deliverance of the Great Company, because, first, the Great Company are Guests at this supper, and second, some of the things on which Jesus and the Church will in it feast can become theirs only after Jesus and the Church appear with the blood of the antitypical Lord’s Goat in the presence of God and sprinkle therewith the antitypical propitiatory. These are the things under (2) to (7) above, for these cannot be given to Jesus and the Church until after the sprinkling occurs, in other words, until the world is ransomed by the corresponding price being paid over to God. The deliverance of the Great Company must precede the purchase of the world, because they are secured before God by the imputation of the antitypical Bullock’s blood for the Church.
Another fact shows that the main part of this feast follows the application of the blood of the antitypical Goat: The garments of glory and beauty will not become the Christ’s as the World’s High Priest until after such application occurs. These garments under the high-priestly figure represent certain privileges and powers of the World’s High Priest that become His only after making atonement before God for the world; and these powers become the World’s High Priest’s in reinforcement of the powers that become the Second Adam’s and Eve’s at the Marriage Supper. Please note that under each different figure setting forth the Millennial powers of Jesus and the Church, powers differing from those under other figures are indicated. The above considerations prove that the Marriage Supper of the Lamb comes after the complete deliverance of the Church and its main part after the complete deliverance of the Great Company.
Some of the above considerations also prove that the Marriage Supper precedes the resurrection of the Ancient Worthies, who cannot come back until after the application of the blood of the antitypical Goat; for it is that which works atonement before God for the restitution world, a part of which the Ancient (and Youthful) Worthies will be. Moreover, from the fact that children are not in an orderly manner begotten until after a marriage feast, it follows that, since the Ancient (and Youthful) Worthies are a part of the restitution world, their bringing forth – which will be by an instantaneous resurrection to physical perfection (Hebrews 11: 40) – must, to be orderly (which it will be), follow the Marriage Feast. But let us note that the main part of the Marriage Feast, consisting of (2) to (7) above, will not be entered into until all the Youthful Worthies have finished their course in this life.
Length of the Marriage Feast
We believe that the Great Company finished their course in this life and were raised to the spirit nature in 1979, which means that they are now partaking of the Marriage Feast. The many features of the Truth the Great Company who died throughout the Age did not understand no doubt are being learned by them in heaven, as well as other honors, knowledge and powers subordinate to those received by the Little Flock.
As to the Marriage Supper knowledge and powers mentioned in (2) to (7) above, which are to be shared in by the Little Flock, it is evident that these powers cannot be given to them until the application of the blood of the antitypical Lord’s Goat on behalf of the world. God could give the pertinent knowledge to them beforehand in whole or in part, but whether He will do so is another matter. Usually He gives what is needed when it is needed, and not long before. At any rate, we know that all of the Marriage Supper knowledge and powers mentioned in (2) to (7) on the Little Flock occurs after the application of the blood of the antitypical Goat, but before the Worthies and the rest of the dead are raised.
This means that Satan must first be completely bound and cast into the bottomless pit, and his house, his empire, must first be completely annihilated in the present great Time of Trouble, which includes Jacob’s Trouble, Phase II, on Fleshly Israel. Plus, all of the elect and quasi-elect seed, the pre-Millennial seed, must first be sufficiently developed. It seems evident that the Marriage Feast will take a number of years yet.