I have been surprised in recent years to discover that several well known Bible prophecy experts whom I highly respect have started teaching that the Marriage Feast of the Lamb, which is recorded in Revelation 19:7-9, will be held on earth after the return of Jesus — despite the fact that this event is clearly pictured as being held in Heaven before the Second Coming.
Their argument seems to be based primarily on a statement in Luke 22:28-30 where Jesus promises believers that they will “eat and drink at My table in My kingdom…” This statement certainly leaves the impression that the feast will be held after the Lord returns and establishes His kingdom here on this earth.
Additionally, some point to Luke 13:28-30 where Jesus says that the saved will one day “come from east and west, and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God.”
They conclude their argument by pointing to Isaiah 25:6, which is a Millennial setting and which refers to a “lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain” — referring to Mount Zion in Jerusalem (Isaiah 24:23).
One or Two Feasts?
As you can see, the argument in behalf of the Marriage Feast being held here on earth is certainly grounded in the Scriptures, but I believe the conclusion is unwarranted. That’s because I believe the Bible is prophesying two great feasts in the end time.
The first will be the Marriage Feast of the Lamb in Heaven when Jesus will celebrate His union with His Bride, the Church.
The second banquet, which I call The Zion Feast, will take place here on earth in Jerusalem after the return of Jesus. It will include Old Testament Saints and Tribulation Martyrs as well as Church Age Saints. Its purpose will be to celebrate the Lord’s return and the inauguration of His Millennial Kingdom.
A Third Feast
There is a third end time feast that is prophesied in the Scriptures. It is mentioned in Revelation 19:17-18.
This feast is one that no one should hope to be a part of. It will occur at the Second Coming of Jesus, when He returns to this earth to pour out the wrath of God on those who have rejected His grace, love and mercy. The passage says that an angel will cry out in a loud voice for all the birds to “eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.” This feast is referred to as “the Supper of God.”
In other words, those who participate in this feast will be the meal themselves! Such will be the terrible fate of unbelievers when Jesus returns.
Which feast will you be invited to attend? The Marriage Feast of the Lamb where you will be the honored guest of the Bridegroom, Jesus, or the Supper of God where you will be the meal?
Personally, I have an invitation to the Marriage Feast of the Lamb because I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. My prayer is that every person who reads this article will also put their faith in Jesus so that they can join with me in the greatest feast and celebration the cosmos will ever witness.
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Dear Dr, Reagan, This concern has been festering in my soul for quite some time, sir. What about my Catholic brothers and sisters, who are exposed to Replacement theology, and don’t believe in the Rapture of The Church, nor honor God’s eternal promises to Israel in Genesis; yet, they love our Lord Jesus Christ? Will they be Raptured or will they be left behind to go through the seven-year Tribulation Period? Is this a matter of the believer’s heart and individual relationship and faithfulness to our Lord Jesus?
Incorrect, sir. A careful study of Israelology will reveal that the celebration in Heaven is a week long (see Samson’s story in Judges) but that this week long celebration culminates on earth with the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Note that according to the Hebrew wedding tradition, the week long celebration is private and the bride remains hidden (veiled). At the end of the celebration she is presented publicly (unveiled) “Behold the bride, the wife…” As with the narrative in Revelation, the church, the bride of Christ returns WITH him and he sets his foot down on Mount of Olives, etc. No where does it say the wedding party then leaves and returns, ascending back up into Heaven.
Isn’t the Samson story about a Philistine wedding, rather than a Jewish one?
The gospel of the kingdom, with authority to heal, etc., will be preached again just prior to Jesus coming for His bride. (Mt. 24:14) Those having the anointing oil will participate. Those, like the five foolish virgins (Mt. 25), will not be ready to. While these are preparing, the wise will be ushered to the marriage. This isn’t a split-rapture because. as Paul said, the general rapture will occur after the first resurrection. The first resurrection includes those who are martyred at the order of the man of sin. (Rev. 20:4-6) Therefore, we must conclude the general rapture follows the Great Tribulation.
Jesus repeatedly said that His return for the Church would be a surprise, when believers are generally not expecting him. (taken up in the blink of an eye.) (caught up together in the clouds,) first the dead in the graves rise, and then we who are still alive. 1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17. The Any moment language doesn’t fit the Post Tribulation Rapture. If Jesus were prevented from coming until after the battle of Magog, the rise of the Antichrist, and the Mark of the Beast, we would have no need to watch for Him before the Tribulation. If the Church were required to go through the seven-year Tribulation, we would expect the New Testament writers to have warned us to be prepared for trying times. The New Testament writers repeatedly tell the True Church to be comforted by the coming of the Lord, (1 Thessalonians 4:18.) The word comfort alone, strongly implies that the Rapture will take place before the Tribulation. Maranatha in Hebrew or Greek is a greeting, which means “Lord” ; ana, which means “our”; and tha, which means “come”. “Our Lord Come” The Church wouldn’t be comforted with these words, if they were intended to go through the Tribulation.
“HALLELUYAH!” I TOO HAVE BEEN INVITED TO THE MARRIAGE FEAST! I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO THAT TIME, WHEN I CAN SIT WITH MY BRIDEGROOM AND CELEBRATE “ETERNAL LIFE!” AND….TO BE WITH THE REST OF THE BRIDE IN THIS CELEBRATION, IS A MIND BLOWING CONCEPT! AMEN!!!
Amen Brother, WE will all be with the Lord in his Kingdom with Peace, Love, Harmony, and Unity.
Indeed The Marriage Feast of The Lamb is the one I pray to attend!!Father I pray that I and my house will be found worthy through the blood of Your perfect righteous Son to escape the hour of trial which is soon coming to test all those still in the world who have not loved the truth….
I might suggest a more detailed examination of the customs and practices of what an actual Jewish marriage, in the time of Jesus, entailed, both before and during the ceremony. It was reading one such explanation that finally convinced me of a pre-tribulation rapture.
Just wondering what scriptures do you reference for the first feast?
For a detailed answer, check out http://christinprophecy.org/articles/the-feasts-of-israel/.
“Will (all) Christians go in the rapture? I highly respect you (Dr. David Reagan) and you (Nathan E. Jones) work in the gospel. I thank God for you all. I’m sending a link to Perry Stone’s teaching. This has clarified some things for me. My hope: It will be a blessing also.
Best Regards, Dan Bradburn
Yes, all who are saved are members of the Body and Bride of Christ and so will be caught up to Heaven at the Rapture.
Great commentary….I’m so glad you wrote about it.
I have also heard a Pastor that I used to trust say that the marriage supper of the Lamb will be on earth….which was puzzling to me. He also wrote that it was irrelevant if the marriage supper takes place in Heaven or on earth. That made me stop following his teachings. It DOES matter where the marriage supper of the Lamb takes place. That was when I learned about the dispensations…..it’s very important to know about dispensations….it cleared up every question I had about so called contradictions in the Bible. Study to show thyself approved.
Thank you again
Do you believe the feast on earth after the second coming will be the fulfillment of the feast of tabernacles, i.e. on the fall date of that year
Also Jesus talks about a guest trying to get into the wedding without a wedding garment, and being removed. I had thought this would occur on earth
Edward, for a detailed response, check out http://christinprophecy.org/articles/the-feasts-of-israel/.
Excellent Topic to discuss, Dr. Reagan, the Wedding Feasts of Christ. If you are at the Table with Christ, you are a true believer who has walked in the ways of the Lord. Jesus explained that although many people know something about God, only a few have acknowledged their sins and accepted his forgiveness. We may not necessarily see the people we expect to find in the kingdom of God. Some people or leaders claiming allegiance to Jesus will not be there because they were not true followers and secretly were morally corrupt. Just listening to Jesus words or admiring his miracles is not enough…we must turn from sin and Trust God to save us. God’s kingdom will include people from every part of the world. How do your values match what the bible tells you to value?
The proponents of Lamb’s Wedding Feast at the beginning of the earthly Millennial Kingdom are relying on the Future Tenses of the Verb in Rev. 19:9 Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.”
As Rev 19:7 states the Marriage of the Lamb has already occurred by Rev 19:7 due to the Aorist Indicative Active tense of the verb “has come”:
Rev 19:7 “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come (V-AIA-3S) and His bride has made herself ready.”
These two verses in Rev 19 are telling us that the Wedding of the Lamb has already occurred and that we are looking forward to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb at some time in the future.
Immediately after these verses we see the Heavens Opened and the 2nd Coming occurring. So really doesn’t look like a Wedding Supper in Heaven is anywhere indicated here. (or anywhere else that I can find.)
A second scriptural witness to the earthly Wedding Supper is that the Lord is always shown to be on the way to a earthly Wedding Banquet and picking up the Trib Saints on His way (Matt 25:1-13).
Therefore Rev 19:9 points to a future Wedding Banquet. Not one that has already occurred before the 2nd Coming. (The Wedding itself is declared to have already come (in the past to Rev 19:7).
I have never seen any proponent for a Heavenly Wedding Supper point to any supporting scripture.
Those that are invited to the Wedding Supper are called Blessed in Rev 19:9. Dan 12:12 states: [I]And blessed are those who wait and remain until the end of the 1,335 days.[/I]
Again Matt 25:1-13 demonstrates that the Bridegroom collects the surviving Trib Saints (5 Bride’s Maids) (The Sheep) on the way to the Banquet.
So it looks like those that make it to the 1,335th day (the Sheep) will be invited into the Kingdom (as mortals) and will also be among those that are Blessed at the Wedding Supper along with the Bride & the resurrected OT Saints & Trib Saints.
Matt 26:29 points out that the Lord will not drink wine until He drinks it with us in the Kingdom. Would He really have a Wedding Feast in heaven without wine? The example He demonstrated on earth says nope.
Those who teach that the Lamb’s Wedding Feast to be in the earthly Millennial Kingdom include John Walvoord, Dr Ice, and Dr Fruchtenbaum.
“Further confirmation is given that this [the marriage itself] is an event fulfilled in heaven rather than on earth in the millennium is the declaration in Revelation 19:7-9, at the time of the return of Christ to the earth to set up His earthly kingdom. The church is pictured as already the wife of the Lamb and as already arrayed in fine linen. The marriage of the Lamb is declared to have already come and now the invitation is extended to those outside the church, the body of Christ, to participate in the marriage supper (Revelation 19:9) which seems to be a spiritual representation of the millennium or at least its inauguration. As the marriage feast is the final stage, it should be clear that the Lamb has already come for His bride and claimed her previously in the rapture of the church. The marriage (Gr. gamos) is actually the entire ceremony subsequent to the coming of the bridegroom for the bride. In this marriage ceremony is the marriage supper (Gr. deitnon) which is the meal or supper proper.”
(John W. Walvoord, The Nations, Israel, and The Church in Prophecy, Zondervan, 1967)
Dr Ice states:
[QUOTE]It is at this point that many Christians today often confuse the marriage of the Lamb with the marriage supper of the Lamb. But they are two separate events that occur at two different times in history. Revelation 19:9 says, ” Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” This passage clearly has a forward look anticipating a future time. It cannot refer to anyone in heaven since the church (the bride) is the only redeemed entity in heaven. However, after the second coming when believers from other ages will be resurrected (Dan. 12:2) along with tribulation saints, both mortal and resurrected ones (Rev. 20:4), these will be the invited guest who will be guests at this celebration supper. I believe that the marriage supper will be during the first part of the millennial reign of Christ. http://www.pre-trib.org/articles/view/marriage-supper-of-lamb [/QUOTE]
[QUOTE] Hence, the “many” who are bidden to attend the marriage feast on earth are all the Old Testament saints and the Tribulation saints resurrected after the Second Coming. While the marriage ceremony will take place in Heaven just before the Second Coming, the marriage feast will take place on earth after the Second Coming. In fact, it would seem that the marriage feast is what begins the Millennium or the Messianic Kingdom; the Church’ s co-reigning with the Messiah will start with a tremendous marriage feast. Fruchtenbaum, Footsteps, p. 597 [/QUOTE]
Dr Ice states:
I look at all the things that are happening in our world and believe the Rapture is very close. Mankind is like it was in the Days of Noah. Every nation is having Distress with Perplexity. Luke 21:25.
To be ready for any of these soon to come events we must be disciples of Jesus and as disciples witnessing the truth of the gospel message to the lost.