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 Issue #71 Mon, 6 Feb 2006

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seeker of truth

Female Number of posts : 2309
Age : 26
Real Name : Alyssa
Location : Eastern USA
Registration date : 2006-12-17

PostSubject: Issue #71 Mon, 6 Feb 2006   March 11th 2007, 23:14

The Hour Of His Judgment Has Come!
(The Marriage Feast & The Wedding Garment)

Dear Youth,

In my last devotional (See Devotional #69 "Fear God and Give Him Glory") I dealt with the first part of the first angels message: "Fear God and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come." (Revelation 14:7) This week I would like us to look at the part of the verse which says: "For the hour of His judgment is come." (Ibid.)

Firstly, I would like you to notice that the verse does not say, "For the hour of His judgment WILL come", it says that it IS come, or in other words, HAS come! We know from this, that God's work of judgment has already started, but when did it begin? A careful study of the prophecy's in Daniel chapter 7 & 8 reveal that this judgment began in 1844 (Some time in the future we might have the chance to look a little more into the prophecies of Daniel 7 & 8 ), but today we're going to look at the prophecy Jesus foretold in the parable of the wedding garment.
"The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, 'Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage'. But they made light of it, ad went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, 'The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy'. (Matthew 22:2-8 )

"Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Matthew 10:5-6) The invitation to the wedding feast went first to the Jewish nation.

Even though the Jews themselves crucified Jesus, they were given another call after the death of Jesus, and this is represented by the second invitation we see here in the parable. When Jesus was just about to ascend into heaven, He gave His disciples a specific command that they were to go to Jerusalem FIRST, and then, by the power of the Holy Spirit they would eventually go into the whole world. "And ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:8 ) But instead of accepting this offer of mercy, the Jews began to treat the messengers spitefully, even to the point of killing them. This is described in Acts 8:1 as being a time of "Great persecution."

Faithful men of God, such as James and Stephen, were put to death. It was then, at the stoning of Stephen, that probation closed on the Jewish nation. They had rejected Christ throughout the ages, and now their time was up. Christ, looking out over Jerusalem from the pinnacle of Olivet, saw and predicted the destruction of Jerusalem: "Israel had turned from her best friend and only helper. The pleadings of His love had been despised, His counsels spurned, His warnings ridiculed. . . .As Christ looked upon Jerusalem, the doom of a whole city, a whole nation, was before Him; that city, that nation which had once been the chosen of God,--His peculiar treasure." (The Great Controversy, p. 20-21) The Jewish nation is no longer God's special and chosen people, in fact, Paul says that anyone who is in Christ is now of the seed of Abraham. "If you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:29 NKJV)

Jesus says in this parable, that the king was so angry that he sent forth armies to destroy their city. This took place in A.D. 70. It was on May 10, A.D. 70, that Titus, a Roman general, besieged the city of Jerusalem. The city was burned to the ground in August of the same year. Not knowing about Christ's prediction that: "There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." (Matthew 24:2), Titus ordered that the city be leveled flat. True to Christ's prediction, 40 years before, there was left not one stone upon another! Isn't that amazing?

"The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests." (Matthew 22:8-10) After the Jews had finally rejected the invitation for good, the gospel (invitation) was then to go to the Gentiles.

It was at this time that Peter received a vision. I'm sure we all know about this vision in which Peter saw a sheet come out of heaven full of all different kinds of unclean animals, so I won't go into any real kind of detail.* But as the story goes, a voice says to him, "Rise, Peter; kill, and eat." (Acts 10:13) Peter immediately says, "Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, 'What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common' " (Acts 10:14-15) I've heard some people try to use this vision to say that it is now alright for us to eat unclean foods, but that was not the purpose of this vision, for we can see clearly further on in the chapter that it was a vision referring to the Gentile nations: "Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean." (Acts 10:28 ) It was at his point that invitation went to EVERYONE, hence the servants being sent to the highways to bid everyone come.

"And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment." (Matthew 22:11) Here we see the king investigating the guests who had come to the wedding feast. This is a clear symbol of the investigative judgment which is now taking place in heaven, where Christ is investigating the records of those who profess to follow Him.

He says: "Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give to every man according as his work shall be." (Revelation 22:12) This judgment takes place before the second coming of Christ, because He says that when He comes He will bring His reward with Him.

In the parable, we see that the person who didn't have the wedding garment on, was cast "into outer darkness; [where] there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 22:13) So, what is the wedding garment? "And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints." (Revelation 19:8 NKVJ) "By the wedding garment in the parable is represented the pure, spotless character which Christ's true followers will possess. . . .It is the righteousness of Christ, His own unblemished character, that through faith is imparted to all who receive Him as their personal Savior." (Christ's Object Lessons, p. 310)

"The guests at the marriage feast were inspected by the king. Only those were accepted who had obeyed his requirements and put on the wedding garment. So it is with the guests at the gospel feast. All must pass the scrutiny of the great King, and only those are received who have put on the robe of Christ's righteousness. Righteousness is right doing, and it is by their deeds that all will be judged." (Christ's Object Lessons, p. 312)

Young people, if we want to pass the inspection of the King, if we want to enter the Promised Land, we must have one the wedding garment of Christ's righteousness. We must keep ALL of God's commandments, because this is the standard by which we will be judged. Those who have overcome and who have kept God's law are the ones who will partake of the Tree of Life. One beautiful verse in Revelation says this: "Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." (Revelation 22:14)

It is impossible to hide from God. We may think that we're making a good cover-up for our friends, but God sees into the deepest corners of our heart. We are told: "Be sure your sin will find you out." (Numbers 32:23) God doesn't and cannot overlook anything, "For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every SECRET thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." (Ecclesiastes 12:14)

When we put on the wedding garment, will there be a change in our life? Absolutely! This is the way Ellen White puts it so beautifully in Christ's Object Lessons, page 312: "When we submit ourselves to Christ, the heart is united with His heart, the will in merged in His will, the mind becomes one with His mind, the thoughts are brought into captivity to Him; we live His life. This is what it means to be clothed with garment of His righteousness."

--Stephanie Fox
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Issue #71 Mon, 6 Feb 2006
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