(19.8)         And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 

1. See the word “righteousness”? It means righteous deeds.[1] This verse seems to indicate that the fine linen, clean and white, represents the good deeds that the saints have performed while on earth. This is what Paul referred to in Philippians 2.12:  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” And from our understanding of First Corinthians 3.11-16, we know that the context in which such good works were done was the local church congregation, identified by the apostle Paul as the temple of God. 

2. This might scare some people into thinking that this verse somehow detracts from the Bible doctrine of God imputing righteousness to you, or giving you the righteousness of Christ, when you trust Christ as your Savior and receive the gift of eternal life. Never fear, however, for this is not the case at all. 

3. To understand what John meant here you need to realize that there were two garments typically worn by people in those days. There was an inner garment, similar to our under clothes, and there was an outer garment, which the Romans referred to as a toga. 

4. The clothes analogy goes something like this: When Christ saves a person God places on that person, as representing the righteousness of Christ that is imputed to believers through faith in Christ, that inner garment. You get the inner garment, it must be understood, at the time you trust Christ. 

5. The outer garment, such as the toga, which stands for a person’s good works after he receives Christ, is something which every believer must sew for himself. It is rather like a girl with a hope chest who, throughout her life, collects various materials with which to someday make her wedding dress. 

6. When the Rapture comes, Christ will judge each piece of cloth/good works to evaluate whether it was acceptable service to Him or not. The acceptable pieces will be used to make our marriage garment, but the unacceptable pieces will be burned in the fire at the judgment seat of Christ. 

7. But remember, it is the inner garment that gets you to heaven, and that inner garment represents the righteousness of Christ which comes through faith. This garment that we work to prepare has nothing immediately to do with getting saved, but is related to the kind of Christian life you must live after you get saved. 

8. The bride making herself ready in verse 7 might represent church age Christians gone to heaven who are sewing those pieces of cloth together to make their individual wedding garments, their togas. 

9. Let me read a well-written summary statement from a noted Bible teacher: 

Hebrew weddings consisted of 3 phases: 1) betrothal (often when the couple were children); 2) presentation (the festivities, often lasting several days, that preceded the ceremony); and 3) the ceremony (the exchanging of vows). The church was betrothed to Christ by His sovereign choice in eternity past (Eph. 1:4; He. 13:20) and will be presented to Him at the Rapture (John 14:1-3; 1 Thess. 4:13-18). The final supper will signify the end of the ceremony. This symbolic meal will take place at the establishment of the millennial kingdom and last throughout that 1,000 year period (cf 21:2). While the term “bride” often refers to the church, and does so here (2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:22-24), it ultimately expands to include all the redeemed of all ages, which becomes clear in the remainder of the book.[2] 

(19.9)         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. 

1. This verse brings up an important point about those who will be attending the marriage of the Lord Jesus Christ to His church. As I mentioned previously, some of those present will not be a part of the bride. 

2. Some people say that others in attendance will be angels. In part, this is right, but remember that John the Baptist identified himself as a friend of the Bridegroom and not as a part of the bride. 

3. This indicates what many other verses bear out. Namely, that only those persons who are saved during the church age will be members of the bride of Christ. Old Testament saints will actually be guests at the marriage, as will angels, invited by the Groom, Himself. 

4. It is possible that tribulation saints, those saved during the seven years of tribulation, will not take part in the ceremony in any way. Certainly, those who died without Christ will have no part in the marriage. 

(19.10)       And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. 

1. When John saw the events surrounding the marriage of the Lamb he was apparently overcome with himself and fell down at some person’s feet to worship him, forgetting, I suppose, that it was only one of God’s creatures that stood before him. However, that individual would not allow such blasphemy, even if it were accidental or the result of ignorance. Remember people, Satan’s sin was in wanting this kind of adoration. This fellow, however, wanted no part of such misplaced adoration. 

2. Who is this fellow? What is this fellow? He is mentioned in verse 9 as the one who spoke to John. Apparently, he is also the one whose voice in verses 5-8 is so majestic and overwhelming. But just who he is, we do not know at this point. 

3. Is it not interesting, however, to consider by way of comparison the actions of the masses who gather around the so-called Vicar of Christ? No matter where the Pope of Rome travels there are teeming masses who bow down and worship or try to kiss his hand. Ever wonder why he does not do what this individual did, and tell those folks not to commit such sin? 

4. This person identifies himself as a servant of Christ just as John is. Such identification might suggest that he is a redeemed person and not an angel. He also says, “I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus.” But for the fact that Revelation 1.1 reads, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John,” I would be dogmatic about this necessarily being a redeemed man, most probably one of the 24 elders. 

5. In addition, notice the very last phrase of verse 10, which reads, “for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” This angel/man is telling John that the true spirit of all Biblical prophecy gives witness to, or gives testimony to, the Lord Jesus Christ. “Jesus is the provider of prophetic revelation in accordance with Revelation 1:1, and prophecy should always point to Christ with the purpose and intent to provide revelation of Christ.”[3] 

6. This verse shows us what we already know, that Jesus Christ is the focus of the prophecies of the Bible. Might I add that any religious persuasion that detracts from the person and work of Christ does not have the genuine spirit of prophecy.

[1] Fritz Rienecker & Cleon Rogers, Linguistic Key To The Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Regency Reference Library, 1980), page 855.

[2] See footnote for Revelation 19.7 from John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1997), page 2019.

[3] Bob Kollin, Revelation Unlocked, (Springfield, Missouri: 21st Century Press, 2003), page 184.

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