Question: What is the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19: 6-9)?
Answer: We can better understand this question if we recognize that the Bible uses a variety of figures to picture forth the relation between Christ and the Church. Among these is that of the marriage relation. Among the ancient Hebrews the first step of this relation was the engagement proposed by the parents of the prospective bridegroom. This finds its counterpart in the Church’s consecration proposed to her by God for His Son (Psalm 45: 10, 11). During the period of the engagement the prospective bride is to keep herself loyal to her prospective bridegroom, free from all unchaste and unseemly relations with others. So during the period of the Church’s consecration she was to remain loyal to Christ in holy symbolic chastity, free from all alliances with others (2 Corinthians 11: 2).
As an earthly espoused is by the marriage proper made fully one with her bridegroom, so the Church is made fully one with Christ by her marriage with the Lamb. This full making of these twain one occurred by the First Resurrection, typed by Eve’s being made one with Adam by her completed creation (Revelation 19: 7). Therefore, the First Resurrection is the marriage of Christ and the Church.
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 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 Christ and the Church before, and participated in by the heavenly host and the Great Company; (2) His giving to Christ and the Church a home (the earth) for their prospective children, Adam’s race; (3) His giving to Christ 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 Christ and the Church all the knowledge and powers whereby to arrange for the generation of such a race; (5) His giving to Christ and the Church all the knowledge and powers necessary to provide for the race undergoing such a generation; (6) His giving to Christ and the Church all the knowledge and powers needed properly to train the race undergoing such a generation; and finally (7) His giving to Christ and the Church all the knowledge and powers needed to continue in perfect life all of their obedient children.
The sharing of Christ and the Church in this symbolic feast will be their accepting and appropriating of all the above-mentioned honor, knowledge and power 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 power necessary for them to help the prospective parents as friends and household-companions in the care of their family.