Philologos
Bible Prophecy Research
Title: The Guests of Matthew 22
Submitted by: pjbaker@worldshare.net (Charles)
Date: May 10, 2000
URL: //philologos.org/bpr/files/Misc_Studies/ms063.htm

The Guests Of Matthew 22

In order to "rightly divide" the word of truth it is necessary to consider all aspects of the scene in which the word is presented. In this instance, it is necessary to refer back to Matthew 21:23 and following.

And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?—Matthew 21:23

At the time Jesus spoke, He was in the temple in Jerusalem and He was speaking to the Chief Priest and the Elders of the Jews. In His first statements, in Matthew 21:24-31, Jesus prophesied that, just as they (the Jews) had rejected John the Baptist, they would reject Him and crucify Him. Then, in Matthew 21:42-44, He prophesied of the coming of the Church. Finally, in Matthew 22, He prophesied of His wedding feast which, I think, will be held in Heaven.

And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things. But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.—Matthew 21:24-31

Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.—Matthew 21:42-44

It is very important to note that Jesus was not speaking to the disciples nor to the 'multitude' but specifically to the Chief Priest and the Elders of the Jews and from Matthew 21:45, it is obvious they realized he was speaking of them and to them. I do not think that at a wedding feast either the Groom or the Bride can be considered to be 'guests' and, since the Church is to be the Bride of Christ, I think it can be concluded the 'guests' of Matthew 22 cannot be the Church, so the question arises: "Who are the Guests of Matthew 22"?

And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.—Matthew 21:45

And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, 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, and 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. 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. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: and he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.—Matthew 22:1-14

Where and when does the marriage take place?

In order for the king to state the marriage of his son has been 'made' the bride must have been chosen and the marriage consummated therefore, I think, the church, which is to be the bride of Christ, is in heaven. It must, therefore, take place during the 'end times' and the 'servants' of the king are sent out to call those who are bidden to the marriage (feast) for which the oxen and fatlings killed and 'all things ready'.

Who are 'them that were bidden'?

Since the parable is directed to the Chief Priest and the Elders, it is logical to assume those who are bidden are the Jews but, it is also reasonable to conclude, it will include anyone who is prepared to listen to and believe the servants.

Who are the servants who are 'sent forth'?

There are two sets of servants sent forth. I think the 144,000 of Revelation 7:3-4 are the first set of servants who will be sent out but for whom 'they would not come.' The 12,000 from each tribe will preach wherever there happen to be Jews and, I think you will find there are Jews dispersed worldwide. The second set, I think, are the two witnesses of Revelation 11:3-7 who will be 'entreated spitefully' by the remnant and slain. They will, I think, do their witnessing from the temple in Jerusalem during the last half of the 7 years.

Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.—Revelation 7:3-4

And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.—Revelation 11:3-7

When will the murderers be destroyed and the city burned?

This, I think, is the destruction spoken of in Revelation 11:13. It occurs at the time of the resurrection of the two witnesses, who have been slain, and includes an earthquake that kills 7,000 men.

And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. —Revelation 11:13

What is meant by 'Go ye therefore into the highways…'?

Up to this time the witnessing has been directed towards the Jews but, at this point, after the sounding of the 7th trumpet, the angels of Revelation 14:6-9 will be sent out to preach the everlasting gospel to and warn "them that dwell on the earth", i.e., the rest of the world.

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,—Revelation 14:6-9

How is the wedding "furnished with guests"?

As a result of the witnessing of the servants, including the angels, many will realize that Jesus is, indeed, the Son of God. There will be many who will bear witness to this fact and will be killed for their witness, these are the 'souls' of Revelation 6:9-10. Then, following the issuance of the decree regarding the mark of the beast and the additional requirement to worship the image of the beast of Revelation 13:15-17, many more will refuse to do so (some as a result of the preaching of the angel) and will be killed, as is prophesied in Revelation 6:11. All these, the 'souls' of Revelation 6:9 and those killed, of Revelation 6:11, will constitute 'the guests.'

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?—Revelation 6:9-10

And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.—Revelation 13:15-17

And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.—Revelation 6:11

What is meant by 'he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment'?

Who is this man? Most of those who refuse to take the mark of the beast or to worship him will do so because they have accepted that Jesus is the Son of God and if they take the mark or worship the image they know they will suffer eternal damnation. However, there will be some who will refuse for other reasons and they will not have on the white robes, the wedding garments, of Revelation 7:9 &13. Such is the man without a wedding garment. He will have been killed for refusing to take the mark of the beast or worship his image and will have been resurrected but he will not have done so believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God but for some other belief. He will not be wearing a white robe and will be cast out.

After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;...And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?—Revelation 7:9,13

Who are the guests?

The guests are those referred to in Revelation 7:13-14!

And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.—Revelation 7:13-14

Praise the Lord!

THE WILL AND WORSHIP

Men look with scorn, at idols born in ages past of mankind's need.
They're much too smart to even start to worship such. Oh no? Indeed?
Instead, they bow, of'times kowtow, to money, power, people, things.
Man worships still, despite his will, with worship that no comfort brings.
I only they would learn to pray to Him by Whom all things were made
They'd find the peace that brings release for which Our Lord's already paid.

 

Charles H. Baker 
pjbaker@worldshare.net

Comments welcome.

 

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