Saturday, July 6, 2024

The Bema Judgment, Wedding and Wedding Feast

 By Stan Feldsine -


In this section we will look at the scripture regarding the following:

  1. The Bema Judgment

  2. The Marriage of the Lamb

  3. The Wedding Feast

The Bema Judgment

Luke records the words of Jesus, indicating that the Tribulation period will come upon us suddenly, like a trap, and therefore we should all be prepared to escape it. We should be prepared to "stand before the Son of Man".

Luk 21:34-36 "Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. (35) For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. (36) Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."

The reason that we are to stand before the Son of Man is to give an account of our works. This is a rewards ceremony for those who are already believers, the church, which has just been brought to where Jesus is (Joh 14:1-3), and therefore is not the basis for salvation.

Rom 14:10-12 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. (11) It is written: "'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.'" (12) So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

Rev 22:12 "Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.

This accounting of our works is for the purpose of determining our rewards. The basis is not the quantity of works, but the quality.

1Co 3:11-15 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. (12) If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, (13) their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person's work. (14) If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. (15) If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved--even though only as one escaping through the flames.

The evaluation of works is based on:

  1. The extent to which our ministry and lives follow the Word of God.

  2. The extent to which we have been faithful stewards of all God has given us.

  3. Our motives.

We are encouraged to work for rewards.

Mat 16:27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

Mat 6:19-21 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. (20) But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. (21) For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Luk 12:31-34 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. (32) "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. (33) Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. (34) For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Luk 14:13-14 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, (14) and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

1Ti 6:18-19 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (19) In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

1Jn 2:28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.

Some rewards take the form of crowns.

1Co 9:25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

1Th 2:19 For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?

2Ti 4:8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Jas 1:12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

1Pe 5:4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

Rev 2:10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor's crown.

Rev 3:11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.

Some rewards take the form of authority and rulership. This authority and rulership is for the duration of the Millennial Kingdom. In the Eternal State, all believers will be equal.

Mat 25:19-21 "After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. (20) The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.' (21) "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

Luk 19:11-27 While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. (12) He said: "A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. (13) So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. 'Put this money to work,' he said, 'until I come back.' (14) "But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, 'We don't want this man to be our king.' (15) "He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it. (16) "The first one came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned ten more.' (17) "'Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. 'Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.'

The timing of this judgment is somewhere between the Rapture and the second coming. When Jesus returns to earth, His "holy ones and saints" are with Him, and already rewarded, so the judgment has to have occurred before His second coming with the saints.

Rev 19:8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God's holy people.)

Rev 19:14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.

The Jewish Wedding and the Lamb's Wedding

The Jewish Wedding

To fully grasp the eschatology of the Church and the Marriage of the Lamb, it is helpful to understand the ancient Jewish wedding. Jewish weddings were arranged marriages with an elaborate ritual.


The process of the wedding started off with the father of the groom establishing a marriage covenant with the father of the bride. This was called the "betrothal". This involved making arrangements for the wedding, and paying the bride price. The age this arrangement occurred varied, from when the bride and groom were young children, to a year before the wedding. Many times the groom and bride would not meet until the day of the wedding.

Once the marriage covenant was agreed to, the bride would then be set aside, or sanctified.

The groom would go to live in his fathers house, and there he would prepare a room addition for he and his bride to live in. This preparation is why the bride would be betrothed a year before the actual wedding. During this time, the groom is absent from the bride, and the length of time he would be gone is deliberately indeterminate, the bride does not know when he will return. His return is imminent.

In the meantime, the bride would prepare for the groom's return.

Surprise Gathering to Fetch the Bride

The groom's father is the one who determined when the groom would return to fetch his bride. This would ensure that the groom finished preparing a place for himself and his bride.

When the groom did return to fetch his bride, and since the bride did not know when he was coming, it would typically be preceded by a shout, which would warn the bride that the groom was coming.

The groom, best man, and a few attendants would leave the fathers house and proceed to the brides home to fetch her. The story of the 10 Virgins would apply at this point as well, as they were a part of the group of attendants.

The Wedding

The wedding takes place, and the bride and groom consummate their union, after which, they come out of the bridal chamber and announce it to the members of the wedding party. The wedding party would then announce it to the wedding feast guests.

Only a few people are invited to the wedding itself, but many are invited to the wedding feast afterwards.

The Wedding Feast

The wedding supper typically lasts up to 7 days (Jdg 14:12). In addition to the wedding party, a large number of guests are also invited to the wedding feast.

Jdg 14:12 "Let me tell you a riddle," Samson said to them. "If you can give me the answer within the seven days of the feast, I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty sets of clothes.

The Lamb's Wedding

In the wedding of the Lamb, Jesus, to the church, there are parallels evident to the Jewish wedding.


Eph 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (26) to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, (27) and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

In the Jewish wedding, the father of the groom negotiated a price for the bride. In the Lamb's wedding, God the Father paid the price for the bride by sending His son Jesus to redeem the bride.

In the Jewish wedding, some extended period of time would pass between the time the father paid the price, and the groom went to fetch the bride. During this time the groom is preparing a place for them. In the Lamb's wedding, it has been an extended period of time since the Father paid the price. The bride has been waiting some 2000 years for the groom to come fetch His bride.

Surprise Gathering to Fetch the Bride

1Th 4:13-18 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. (14) For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. (15) According to the Lord's word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. (16) For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. (17) After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (18) Therefore encourage one another with these words.

In the Jewish wedding, at some indeterminate time, the groom will finally fetch his bride. In the Lamb's wedding, the Rapture is the fetching of the bride, the church. Jesus will come in the air, and take her to where He is, where He has been preparing a place for the bride. As in the Jewish wedding, only the Father knows when this will occur.

The Wedding

As in the Jewish wedding, where the wedding between the bride and groom occurs with a small party, so it will be with the Lamb's wedding.

Rev 19:6-8 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. (7) Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. (8) Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God's holy people.)

There are a few points to consider here.

First, the bride has been sanctified. Being set aside, she has prepared for the coming of the groom.

Second, it is clear that the Bema Judgment has already occurred at this point, since the bride mentioned in Rev 19 has already been determined to have righteous acts, and as a result, she is dressed in "fine linen, bright and clean". In order for that determination to have been made, a judgment had to have taken place already. So we can determine that the wedding takes place after the Rapture, and after the Bema Judgment.

Third, the wedding takes place before the 2nd coming of Christ to the earth. In Rev 19:14-15 we read of those returning with Jesus riding on white horses, and again dressed in the "fine linen, white and clean". This shows that the wedding will take place after the Bema Judgment and before the 2nd coming.

Rev 19:14-15 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. (15) Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.

The Wedding Feast

After the Jewish wedding, there is a feast. While the wedding itself is attended by a small party, the feast includes many guests. So it is with the Lamb's wedding feast. Some points to note regarding the feast are:

First, the Rapture occurs before the Tribulation, and involves only the church in heaven and a small party of angel attendants.

Second, at the end of the tribulation the Old Testament and Tribulation saints will have been resurrected. These are the "friends of the Bridegroom". As resurrected saints, they will be present and able to attend the wedding feast, this will consist of a much larger party. This party, the "Wedding Feast" will take place on earth at the start of the Millennial Kingdom.

Isa 25:6-8 On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine-- the best of meats and the finest of wines. (7) On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; (8) he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people's disgrace from all the earth. The LORD has spoken.

Rev 19:9 Then the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!" And he added, "These are the true words of God."

Resurrection of OT Saints

The Old Testament friends of the bridegroom will be resurrected, they will be judged in the Sheep and Goat judgment as "Sheep", and they will be invited to the wedding feast.

Isa 26:19 But your dead will live, LORD; their bodies will rise-- let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout for joy-- your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.

Dan 12:2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.

Resurrection of Tribulation Saints

The Tribulation friends of the bridegroom will also be resurrected, they will be judged in the Sheep and Goat judgment as "Sheep" as well, and they will be invited to the wedding feast.

Rev 20:4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

The Parable of the Wedding Feast

This parable is given to symbolize the Messianic Kingdom. Those called, the religious leadership of Israel will not participate, while the crowds that believed will participate.

This parable should be understood from the context of John the Baptist's ministry. He made the invitation early in his ministry by calling Israel to repent and be baptized, stating that the Kingdom was at hand.

Mat 22:1-14 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: (2) "The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.

The "kingdom of heaven" is the Messianic Kingdom that John and Jesus proclaimed.

The "king" is the Father.

The "son" is Jesus.

(3) He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

The sent "servants" were John the Baptist and Jesus, still calling out to Israel to repent and be baptized.

The "invited" were the people of Israel.

The "refusal to come" represents the fact that in spite of John and Jesus announcing the arrival of the Kingdom, the people as a nation refused to believe it. Some believed, but for the most part the people and especially the Jewish leadership found excuses not to believe in the arrival of the King and Kingdom.

Mat 3:1-2 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea (2) and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."

Mat 4:23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

(4) "Then he sent some more servants and said, 'Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.' (5) "But they paid no attention and went off--one to his field, another to his business.

The sent "servants" this time were the 12 disciples who followed up after John.

Again, the "prepared dinner" represents the Messianic Kingdom. The invitation is still being offered.

The "invited who paid no attention" shows that the 12 disciples met the same response as John.

(6) The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them.

The "invited who mistreated the servants" were the religious and political leadership. This speaks of not just rejection, but persecution of Jesus and the 12 for bringing the good news of the kingdom to Israel. Jesus of course was crucified, and most of the 12 suffered horrible deaths for their beliefs.

(7) The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

The "Army" was the Roman army that sacked Jerusalem in 70AD.

Luk 19:41-44 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it (42) and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace--but now it is hidden from your eyes. (43) The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. (44) They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you."

Luk 21:5-9 Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, (6) "As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down." (7) "Teacher," they asked, "when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?" (8) He replied: "Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is near.' Do not follow them. (9) When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away."

(8) "Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. (9) So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.' (10) So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

The "invited who did not deserve to come" are those who were invited prior to 70AD.

The "Invited from the street corners" were those that believed after 70AD, both Jew and Gentile.

Again, the "wedding feast" represents the Messianic Kingdom.

This verse looks forward to the latter days, when everyone is invited, Gentiles included, not just the Jews in Israel. But even now, people will hear but still not believe. This would include those who were sinners such as the tax collectors and prostitutes as mentioned in the previous parable.

Mat 21:31 "Which of the two did what his father wanted?" "The first," they answered. Jesus said to them, "Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.

The timeframe for this invitation is following the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD until the end of the Tribulation period. These are those represented by the parable of the sower.

Mat 13:18-23 "Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: (19) When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. (20) The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. (21) But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. (22) The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. (23) But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."

(11) "But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes.

The "man not wearing wedding clothes" was an unsaved not clothed in righteous through belief. Entrance into the kingdom is based on righteousness. Proper wedding clothing are the white linens representing the righteous deeds of the saints.

Rev 7:9 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.

This man represents the unbeliever who rejects the King's requirement of righteousness through salvation, or is looking for another way in, such as self righteousness, or being a good person. Only those who accept Christ are allowed in.

The "bad persons" who are allowed in would be represented by the Tares in the parable of the wheat and tares, where instead of uprooting the tares, they were allowed to grow along with the wheat.

Mat 13:24-30 Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. (25) But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. (26) When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. (27) "The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?' (28) "'An enemy did this,' he replied. "The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?' (29) "'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. (30) Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'"

(12) He asked, 'How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?' The man was speechless. (13) "Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' (14) "For many are invited, but few are chosen."

The "darkness" is the Lake of Fire. As the parable of the weeds states, those in unbelief have only the destiny of Sheol for the 1000 years, then the Lake of Fire. The "sons of the kingdom" in Mat 8:12 refers to those of the generation that rejected the King and His Kingdom, unbelievers.

Mat 8:11-12 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. (12) But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

It is a sad reality that more will end up in the Lake of Fire then in the Messianic Kingdom.

Mat 7:13-14 "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. (14) But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.


The Marriage and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb

The Wife of Jehovah and Bride of Messiah

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