“Let us rejoice and be overjoyed . . . because the marriage of the Lamb has arrived.”
1, 2. (a) Whose wedding will cause great joy in heaven? (b) What questions will we discuss?
IT ALWAYS takes time to prepare for a wedding. But we will now discuss a royal wedding that has taken about 2,000 years to prepare for! Very soon it will be time for the bridegroom to be united with his bride. Joyful music will fill the King’s palace, and heavenly voices 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.”
2 “The Lamb” spoken of in this scripture is Jesus Christ. (John 1:29) His marriage will cause great joy in heaven. 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 also be joyful? We are eager to know the answers to these questions, so let us continue our study of Psalm 45.
HIS GARMENTS ARE PERFUMED
3, 4. (a) What does the psalmist say about the Bridegroom’s wedding garments? What makes the Bridegroom even more joyful? (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 royal wedding garments. His clothing has a delightful fragrance like that of “the choicest perfumes,” such as myrrh and cassia, which were in the holy anointing oil used in Israel.
4 The beautiful heavenly music in the Bridegroom’s palace makes him even more joyful as the time for his marriage gets close. His joy is shared by “the royal consort,” that is, the invisible part of God’s organization, which includes “the daughters of kings,” that is, the holy angels. Voices from heaven say: “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 bride?
5 Read Psalm 45:10, 11. We know who the Bridegroom is, but who is the bride? She is not a literal person. Instead, she represents the entire group of 144,000 anointed Christians. Jesus is the Head of this anointed congregation. (Read Ephesians 5:23, 24.) These anointed ones will rule with Christ in his Messianic Kingdom in heaven. (Luke 12:32) They also “keep following the Lamb no matter where he goes.” (Revelation 14:1-4) They become “the Lamb’s wife” and live with him in his heavenly home.
The anointed will rule with Christ in his Messianic Kingdom in heaven
6. Why are the anointed called “the king’s daughter,” and why are they told to forget their people?
6 The bride is called “daughter,” and she is also called “the king’s daughter.” (Psalm 45:13) Who is this “king”? He is Jehovah. He adopts anointed Christians as his “children.” (Romans 8:15-17) The anointed are told: “Forget your people and your father’s house.” Since they will become a heavenly bride, the anointed need to focus “on the things above, not on the things on the earth.”
7. (a) How has Christ been preparing his future bride? (b) How does the bride feel about her future husband?
7 For many centuries, Christ has been preparing his future bride for the heavenly wedding. The apostle Paul wrote 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.” (Ephesians 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 Corinthians 11:2) Because her worship is clean and acceptable to God, the King Jesus Christ views his bride as beautiful. The bride bows down to her future husband and willingly accepts him as her “lord.”
Because her worship is acceptable to God, the King views his bride as beautiful
THE BRIDE IS “BROUGHT TO THE KING”
8. Why is the bride described as “absolutely magnificent”?
8 Read Psalm 45:13, 14a. The bride is “adorned for her husband” and looks “absolutely magnificent” for the royal wedding. At Revelation 21:2, the bride is compared to a city, New Jerusalem. This heavenly city shines with “the glory of God” and is “like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone shining crystal clear.” (Revelation 21:10, 11) The stunning appearance of New Jerusalem is beautifully described in the book of Revelation. (Revelation 21:18-21) What an “absolutely magnificent” bride! This is what we would expect from a royal wedding in heaven.
9. To whom is the bride brought? How is she dressed?
9 The bride is brought to her Bridegroom, the Messianic King. He has prepared and cleansed her “by means of the word.” She is “holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:26, 27) His bride must also be dressed appropriately for the occasion. And she is! “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
THE MARRIAGE HAS ARRIVED
10. What must happen before the Lamb’s marriage can take place?
10 Read Revelation 19:7. When will the Lamb’s marriage take place? Although Revelation 19:7 says that “his wife has prepared herself” for the marriage, the verses after that do not describe the wedding. Instead, they clearly describe the last part of the great tribulation. (Revelation 19:11-21) Does this mean that the marriage will happen before the King completes his victory? No. The events foretold in Revelation are not written in the order that they will occur. In Psalm 45, the King Jesus Christ straps on his sword and defeats his enemies first, and then the royal wedding takes place.
11. What will Christ do before the marriage can take place?
11 So we learn from the Bible that these events will happen in the following order: First, “the great prostitute,” Babylon the Great, that is, all false religion, will be eliminated. (Revelation 17:1, 5, 16, 17; 19:1, 2) Next, Christ will destroy the rest of Satan’s wicked world at Armageddon, “the war of the great day of God the Almighty.” (Revelation 16:14-16; 19:19-21) Finally, the King will complete his victory by throwing Satan and his demons into the abyss, where they will not be able to harm anyone. It will be as if they were dead.
12, 13. (a) When will the marriage of the Lamb take place? (b) In heaven, who will rejoice because of the marriage of the Lamb? (See opening picture.)
12 In the last days, anointed Christians who remain faithful until death are resurrected to life in heaven. Sometime after Babylon the Great is destroyed, but before Armageddon, Christ will finish gathering all 144,000 anointed Christians to be with him in heaven. (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17) Then, after Armageddon, the marriage of the Lamb can take place. What a joyful occasion that marriage will be! Revelation 19:9 says: “Happy are those invited to the evening meal of the Lamb’s marriage.” Yes, the bride is truly happy. And the King will rejoice to have all of his anointed associates with him in heaven. (Luke 22:18, 28-30) However, the bride and the Bridegroom will not be the only ones who are rejoicing.
13 As we read earlier, voices in heaven will sing: “Let us rejoice and be overjoyed and give him glory, because the marriage of the Lamb has arrived and his wife has prepared herself.” (Revelation 19:6, 7) What about Jehovah’s servants on earth? Will they also join in this celebration?
“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 last days, people all over the world would be grateful to serve Jehovah with the anointed remnant. 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.’” (Zechariah 8:23) At Psalm 45:12, these “ten men” are referred to as “the daughter of Tyre” and “the wealthiest of men.” They give the anointed remnant gifts, and they work to receive their approval and their help to serve Jehovah. Since 1935, the anointed remnant have brought millions of people “to righteousness,” that is, millions of people have been taught the truth about Jehovah. (Daniel 12:3) These millions of people, or “ten men,” are loyal companions of the anointed and have cleansed their lives of all false worship. That is why they are called “virgin companions.” They have dedicated their lives to Jehovah and have proved that they are faithful servants of the King Jesus Christ.
15. How have “the virgin companions” worked with the anointed remnant?
15 The anointed remnant have been very grateful to these “virgin companions” because they eagerly help to preach “this good news of the Kingdom” in all the earth. (Matthew 24:14) Not only do “the spirit and the bride keep on saying, ‘Come!’” but those hearing say, “Come!” (Revelation 22:17) This means that the “other sheep” have heard the anointed say “Come!” and have joined them in saying “Come!” to people all over the world.
16. What privilege has Jehovah given to the other sheep?
16 The anointed remnant love the other sheep. The anointed are happy that Jehovah has also given the other sheep the privilege to share in the joy of the marriage. These “virgin companions” “will be brought with rejoicing and joy.” Yes, the other sheep, who hope to live forever on earth, will rejoice with the whole universe when the marriage of the Lamb takes place in heaven. The book of Revelation describes the “great crowd,” who worship Jehovah on the earth, as “standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” They serve Jehovah in the earthly courtyard of his great spiritual temple.
“YOUR SONS WILL TAKE THE PLACE OF YOUR FOREFATHERS”
17, 18. How does the Lamb’s marriage benefit those who will be in the new world? During his Thousand Year Rule, Christ will become a father to whom?
17 Read Psalm 45:16. “The virgin companions” of Christ’s heavenly bride will have even more reason to rejoice when they see the marriage bring benefits in the new world. The King Jesus Christ will resurrect his earthly “forefathers.” Because Christ will bring them back to life, these “forefathers” will become his “sons.” (John 5:25-29; Hebrews 11:35) Christ will choose some of these “sons” to be “princes in all the earth.” We can also expect that he will choose some of today’s faithful elders to take the lead in the new world as “princes.”
18 During his Thousand Year Rule, Christ will become a father to others also. In what way? Those who exercise faith in Jesus’ ransom sacrifice will live forever on earth. (John 3:16) Christ will then become their “Eternal Father.”
Those who exercise faith in Jesus’ ransom sacrifice will live forever on earth
MOTIVATED TO MAKE THE KING’S NAME KNOWN
19, 20. How do the exciting events recorded in Psalm 45 affect all true Christians today?
19 Read Psalm 45:1, 17. All Christians should be interested in the events recorded in Psalm 45. The anointed still on earth are thrilled to know that they will soon be united in heaven with their brothers and with the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ. The other sheep are motivated to continue becoming more submissive to their glorious King. They are also grateful to be companions of the remaining members of the bride on earth. The blessings that Christ and his bride will give to all mankind after the marriage will be more wonderful than we can even imagine.
20 As we look forward to the fulfillment of the prophecies about the Messianic King, surely we are motivated to make his name known. Let us praise the King “forever and ever.”