How to dress for the wedding and the reception
We have studied a number of passages
in discussing what is happening during this sixth-plague announcement.
You might want to turn
back to look at them.
Another interesting parable tells about the wedding supper but focuses on the call and the required preparation for it. Read the story in the first part of Matt. 22.
In comparing this story to the parable of the ten virgins, we realize that the wedding was the selection process, here represented as separating those who have accepted the king's garment and those who have not.
We see the several events in the story:
|Preadvent (investigative) judgment||Verdict||Marriage feast in heaven for the righteous||Millennial judgment in heaven|
|Inspection of wedding garments||King's order to bind||The feast to which guests were called||The servants (righteous) bind and cast wicked into fire / darkness|
"Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments lest he walk naked, and they see his shame." (Rev. 16:15)
So what does this
warning in the middle of the 6th plague mean to us?
We have been studying the end-time selection or judgment process following the source of the imagery in our verse. This is represented by the day of atonement on the sanctuary calendar. I believe it has already begun re0610. It ends quietly like a thief, after the final challenge of the image to the beast and when the last decision is made for or against Christ. Then comes the noise as the seven last plagues fall.
If probation closes when the plagues begin to fall, why does the warning appear here? It is actually part of a separate scene (introduced by "And I saw" in verse 13). We are taken back in time in order to understand the final gathering of the kings under the sixth plague. The gathering apparently begins before the plagues begin but isn't completed until the end of the sixth plague.
The dragon, beast and false prophet, along with deceptive miracles (v.14), were at work in chapter 13 re13tr to set up the image. The establishment of the image is here the gathering of the kings for battle. God's response — the plagues — was the final wrath predicted by the third angel, re1409c.
Consider the following
As the four winds begin to build up, the three spirits or world religious powers feel (correctly) that the judgments of God are falling on the world. However, they do not acknowledge their own defiance as the reason. They rally the political powers and the inhabitants of the planet through miracles re1313a and human doctrine. As announced by the first angel, worship will be the issue, re1407. Instead of giving glory to God following the pattern He established, Sunday worship, already popular, will be urged, hoping to satisfy God. We remember that the sun was worshiped by pagans as the source of life — a challenge to the true Creator who had sanctified His special day. The new day was borrowed by Christians of the early centuries in order to provide a compromised religion all could accept, re1316f.
Sunday sacredness has already been urged by the Pope (1989). Most who echo the call have not yet understood what they are doing. Because this doctrine is developing like a crusade flag for modern Christianity, it is easy to see that it could be at the heart of the issue for gathering the kings.
Dear friend, wherever you are, I simply urge you to join me in watching and keeping our garments, as our verse advises, so that we not be found naked while thinking we are well clothed. My saying something doesn't make it true. Just study the Word for yourself. We all must have the robe of the righteousness of Christ (Isa. 61:10).
Sequence of events in being received into heaven
|Going with Christ into the wedding||Wedding||Exit from wedding — the time of coming as a thief||Plagues – study Dan. 12, below.||Banquet|
In the last part of Matt. 24, we find that Jesus describes the deception that Jesus would not return until later. Here we are warned again under the metaphor of the thief who comes and surprises the wicked because they did not know when he was coming. See mt2437ff. This is important.
Plagues after judgment and before celebration
Let's look at a piece of the
original story that helped us establish the time above. Then we will add
a passage to show how the plagues fit into the picture. We noticed that
the imagery in our thief statement leads us to Luke 12. First the thief
warning again. "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed
is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and
they see his shame." (Rev. 16:15).
The story: "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not." (Luke 12:32-40).
Peter describes the judgment, the plagues, and the reward for the righteous without directly specifying the order. 2 Peter 3.
|10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise,||Coming as a thief but noisy when he arrives.|
|10, 11 . . . in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation [behavior] and godliness,|| The Holy Spirit may not have
shown Peter the individual plagues, but this event at Christ's coming certainly
describes the end result of the plagues, in the day of the Lord. (Joel
We also see our responsibility.
|13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.||Our reward|
|14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.||The judgment. At His return, we will be found by Him either innocent, without spot, or guilty. We are that way when He comes because of the judgment which will have just ended. Our bodies are changed then (1 Cor. 15:50-53). Our characters are not (Rev. 22:11).|
|Dan. 11:45 And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain. . . .||Total defiance of God as at the end of Rev. 13.|
|12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble. . .||Standing for battle after being seated in judgment|
|12:1 . . . and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.||The righteous will be saved from trouble because their names will have been retained in the book of life by the judgment process, re1308c.|
|12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.||Reward of the righteous|
Keeping our clothes
"Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame." (Rev. 16:15).
The message to the final church, Laodicea, charged us to buy white clothes, re0318. We need to keep them. Are we once saved, always saved? According to our verse, only if we are diligent to keep our clothes. This means be faithful in our walk — our behavior.
We need not fear nakedness, however, because Jesus is eager to give us the power to walk in purity of character. Praise God.