Rejoice Over the Marriage of the Lamb!
“Let us rejoice and be overjoyed . . . because the marriage of the Lamb has arrived.”—REV. 19:7.
1, 2. (a) Whose wedding will be a particular cause for joy in heaven? (b) What questions arise?
IT ALWAYS takes time to prepare for a wedding. But we will focus on a very special wedding—a royal one at that. Just imagine! It has been in preparation for about 2,000 years. Now the time is rapidly approaching when the bridegroom will be united with his bride. Soon, joyful music will fill the King’s palace, and heavenly throngs will sing out: “Praise Jah, because Jehovah our God, the Almighty, has begun to rule as king! Let us rejoice and be overjoyed and give him glory, because the marriage of the Lamb has arrived and his wife has prepared herself.”—Rev. 19:6, 7.
2 “The Lamb” whose marriage will be a cause for joy in heaven is none other than Jesus Christ. (John 1:29) How is he dressed for the wedding? Who is his bride? How has she been prepared for marriage? When does the wedding take place? This marriage will cause joy in heaven, but will those who hope to live forever on earth join in that rejoicing? With eager anticipation, we will consider such questions as we continue our examination of Psalm 45.
‘HIS GARMENTS ARE PERFUMED’
3, 4. (a) What is said of the Bridegroom’s wedding garments, and what adds to his joy? (b) Who are “the daughters of kings” and “the royal consort” who share the Bridegroom’s joy?
3 Read Psalm 45:8, 9. The Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, puts on his glorious royal wedding garments. Fittingly, his attire gives off a delightful fragrance like that of “the choicest perfumes,” such as myrrh and cassia, which were among the ingredients of the holy anointing oil used in Israel.—Ex. 30:23-25.
4 The heavenly music that fills his palace adds to the joy that the Bridegroom feels as his marriage approaches. His joy is shared by “the royal consort,” the heavenly part of God’s organization, which includes “the daughters of kings,” that is, the holy angels. What a thrill it is to hear celestial voices declare: “Let us rejoice and be overjoyed . . . because the marriage of the Lamb has arrived”!
THE BRIDE IS PREPARED FOR THE WEDDING
5. Who is “the Lamb’s wife”?
5 Read Psalm 45:10, 11. We have identified the Bridegroom, but who is his bride? She is a composite bride made up of the members of the congregation headed by Jesus Christ. (Read Ephesians 5:23, 24.) They will become a part of Christ’s Messianic Kingdom. (Luke 12:32) These 144,000 spirit-anointed Christians “keep following the Lamb no matter where he goes.” (Rev. 14:1-4) They become “the Lamb’s wife” and reside with him in his heavenly abode.—Rev. 21:9; John 14:2, 3.
6. Why are the anointed referred to as “the king’s daughter,” and why are they invited to ‘forget their people’?
6 The future bride is addressed not only as “O daughter” but also as “the king’s daughter.” (Ps. 45:13) Who is this “king”? Anointed Christians are adopted as “children” of Jehovah. (Rom. 8:15-17) Since they are to become a heavenly bride, the anointed are instructed: “Forget your people and your [fleshly] father’s house.” They are to keep their minds “fixed on the things above, not on the things on the earth.”—Col. 3:1-4.
7. (a) How has Christ been preparing his future bride? (b) How does the bride view her future Bridegroom?
7 Over the centuries, Christ has been preparing his future bride for the heavenly wedding. The apostle Paul explained that Christ “loved the congregation and gave himself up for it, in order that he might sanctify it, cleansing it with the bath of water by means of the word, so that he might present the congregation to himself in its splendor, without a spot or a wrinkle or any of such things, but holy and without blemish.” (Eph. 5:25-27) Paul told the anointed Christians in ancient Corinth: “I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy, for I personally promised you in marriage to one husband that I might present you as a chaste virgin to the Christ.” (2 Cor. 11:2) The Bridegroom-King Jesus Christ appreciates the spiritual “beauty” of his future bride. And the bride recognizes him as her “lord” and ‘bows down to him’ as her future husband.
THE BRIDE IS “BROUGHT TO THE KING”
8. Why is it appropriate that the bride is described as being “absolutely magnificent”?
8 Read Psalm 45:13, 14a. The bride is presented as “absolutely magnificent” for the royal wedding. At Revelation 21:2, the bride is compared to a city, New Jerusalem, and is “adorned for her husband.” This heavenly city has “the glory of God” and is radiant, “like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone shining crystal clear.” (Rev. 21:10, 11) The resplendence of New Jerusalem is beautifully described in the book of Revelation. (Rev. 21:18-21) No wonder the psalmist portrays the bride as “absolutely magnificent”! After all, the royal wedding is taking place in heaven.
9. Who is “the king” to whom the bride is brought, and how is she attired?
9 The One to whom the bride is brought is the Bridegroom—the Messianic King. He has been preparing her, ‘cleansing her with the bath of water by means of the word.’ She is “holy and without blemish.” (Eph. 5:26, 27) His bride must also be fittingly attired for the occasion. And she is! Indeed, “her clothing is adorned with gold,” and “she will be brought to the king in richly woven garments.” For the marriage of the Lamb, “it has been granted to her to be clothed with bright, clean, fine linen—for the fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the holy ones.”—Rev. 19:8.
‘THE MARRIAGE HAS ARRIVED’
10. When is the Lamb’s marriage due to take place?
10 Read Revelation 19:7. When is the Lamb’s marriage due to take place? Although “his wife has prepared herself” for the marriage, what is stated subsequently does not describe the actual wedding. Rather, it provides a vivid description of the final phase of the great tribulation. (Rev. 19:11-21) Does this mean that the marriage takes place before the Bridegroom-King completes his conquest? No. The visions in the book of Revelation are not presented in chronological order. In the 45th Psalm, the royal wedding occurs after the King Jesus Christ girds on his sword and ‘goes on to victory’ over his enemies.—Ps. 45:3, 4.
11. In what order will Christ complete his conquest?
11 We can therefore conclude that the order of events will be as follows: First, judgment will be executed upon “the great prostitute,” Babylon the Great, the world empire of false religion. (Rev. 17:1, 5, 16, 17; 19:1, 2) Then, Christ will go forth to execute God’s judgments on the rest of Satan’s wicked system on earth by destroying it at Armageddon, “the war of the great day of God the Almighty.” (Rev. 16:14-16; 19:19-21) Finally, the Warrior-King will complete his conquest by abyssing Satan and his demons, reducing them to a state of deathlike inactivity.—Rev. 20:1-3.
12, 13. (a) When will the marriage of the Lamb take place? (b) In heaven, who will rejoice over the marriage of the Lamb?
12 As anointed Christians finish their earthly course during Christ’s presence, they are resurrected to heavenly life. Sometime after the destruction of Babylon the Great, Jesus will gather to himself all the remaining members of the bride class. (1 Thess. 4:16, 17) Before the outbreak of the war of Armageddon, therefore, all members of the “bride” will be in heaven. After that war, the marriage of the Lamb can take place. What a joyful occasion that marriage will be! “Happy are those invited to the evening meal of the Lamb’s marriage,” states Revelation 19:9. Happy indeed will be the 144,000 members of the bride class. And the Bridegroom-King will be overjoyed to have the total number of his royal associates symbolically ‘eating and drinking with him at his table in his Kingdom.’ (Luke 22:18, 28-30) However, rejoicing over the marriage of the Lamb will not be limited to the Bridegroom and his bride.
13 As we noted earlier, heavenly throngs unitedly sing: “Let us rejoice and be overjoyed and give him [Jehovah] glory, because the marriage of the Lamb has arrived and his wife has prepared herself.” (Rev. 19:6, 7) What, though, about Jehovah’s servants on earth? Will they also share in such exultation?
“THEY WILL BE BROUGHT WITH REJOICING”
14. As mentioned in Psalm 45, who are “the virgin companions” of the bride?
14 Read Psalm 45:12, 14b, 15. The prophet Zechariah foretold that in the time of the end, people of the nations would gratefully associate themselves with the remnant of spiritual Israel. He wrote: “In those days ten men out of all the languages of the nations will take hold, yes, they will take firm hold of the robe of a Jew, saying: ‘We want to go with you, for we have heard that God is with you people.’” (Zech. 8:23) At Psalm 45:12, these symbolic “ten men” are spoken of as “the daughter of Tyre” and “the wealthiest of men.” They come to the anointed remnant with gifts, ‘seeking their favor’ and spiritual help. Since 1935, millions of people have allowed the remnant to ‘bring them to righteousness.’ (Dan. 12:3) These loyal companions of the anointed Christians have purified their lives, becoming spiritual virgins. These “virgin companions” of the bride have dedicated themselves to Jehovah and have proved themselves to be faithful subjects of the Bridegroom-King.
15. How have “the virgin companions” worked together with those of the bride class still on earth?
15 The remnant of the bride class have been particularly grateful to these “virgin companions” for their zealous help in preaching “this good news of the Kingdom” throughout the inhabited earth. (Matt. 24:14) Not only do “the spirit and the bride keep on saying, ‘Come!’” but those hearing say, “Come!” (Rev. 22:17) Yes, the “other sheep” heard the members of the anointed bride class say “Come!” and have joined the bride in saying “Come!” to earth’s inhabitants.—John 10:16.
16. Jehovah has granted the other sheep what privilege?
16 The anointed remnant love their companions and are happy to know that the Bridegroom’s Father, Jehovah, has granted these other sheep on earth the privilege of joining in the jubilation over the heavenly marriage of the Lamb. It was foretold that these “virgin companions” would be “brought with rejoicing and joy.” Yes, the other sheep, who hope to live forever on earth, will share in the universal rejoicing when the marriage of the Lamb takes place in heaven. Appropriately, the book of Revelation represents the members of the “great crowd” as “standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” They render Jehovah sacred service in the earthly courtyard of his spiritual temple.—Rev. 7:9, 15.
“YOUR SONS WILL TAKE THE PLACE OF YOUR FOREFATHERS”
17, 18. How does the Lamb’s marriage become fruitful, and to whom will Christ become a father during his Millennial Reign?
17 Read Psalm 45:16. “The virgin companions” of Christ’s heavenly bride will have further cause for rejoicing when they see the marriage become fruitful in the new world. The Bridegroom-King will turn his attention to the earth and will resurrect his earthly “forefathers,” who will become his earthly “sons.” (John 5:25-29; Heb. 11:35) From among these he will appoint “princes in all the earth.” Doubtless, Christ will appoint others from among faithful elders of today to take the lead in the new world.—Isa. 32:1.
18 During his Millennial Reign, Christ will become a father to others also. In fact, all earth’s inhabitants who receive everlasting life will gain it because they exercise faith in Jesus’ ransom sacrifice. (John 3:16) He thus becomes their “Eternal Father.”—Isa. 9:6, 7.
MOVED ‘TO MAKE HIS NAME KNOWN’
19, 20. How do the exciting events mentioned in Psalm 45 affect all true Christians today?
19 Read Psalm 45:1, 17. Indeed, the events recorded in Psalm 45 concern all Christians. The remaining anointed on earth are enthralled by the prospect of soon being united in heaven with their brothers and with their Bridegroom. The other sheep are moved to be ever more submissive to their glorious King and are grateful for the privilege of being associated with the remaining members of his bride on earth. After their marriage, Christ and his Kingdom associates will bestow untold blessings upon the inhabitants of the earth.—Rev. 7:17; 21:1-4.
20 As we look ahead to the fulfillment of “something good” concerning the Messianic King, are we not moved to ‘make his name known’? May we be among those who ‘will praise the King forever and ever.’
THE WATCHTOWER—STUDY EDITION