THE MARRIAGE SUPPER

Will you be there? Is there a question mark on your place-card? There seem to be many question marks on many placemats.

Luke 14:24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

There are two parables that deal directly with this end-time beginning-of-the-millennium scenario. There’s a lot of peripheral supporting information. The Bible is written for the end-time Christians:

I Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Also, Christ makes the statement that nothing is hidden that won’t be revealed:

Matthew 10:26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.

The marriage supper takes place at Christ’s return, after the cry at midnight and after Elijah and the two witnesses do their jobs…

Matthew 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

…and after the bride has made herself ready…

Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

This marriage banquet may go on for an extended period of time. Don’t think it will be over in a short time. According to Unger’s Bible Dictionary, under the heading “banquet” there are 6 subheadings, one of which is “time”: “The usual time for holding the banquet was toward evening, corresponding to the dinners of modern times. To begin early was a mark of excess. These festivals were often continued for seven days, especially wedding banquets. But if the bride was a widow, three days was the limit.”

But this is just peripheral compared to the absolute necessity of the situation—the situation is the marriage supper. Let’s suppose there are one million resurrected, saved beings at the marriage supper. There are the 144,000 of Revelation 7, the 144,000 of Revelation 14, plus the innumerable multitude. OK, let’s just do some simple math: there are 1440 minutes in a day, 525,600 minutes in a year. In seven years there are 3,679,200 minutes. If there are one million saved beings at the marriage banquet, this gives each individual of the one million saved 3.7 minutes to spend with Christ. That is 24 hours a day, seven days a week for seven years. We need to change our thinking about these things—this is for real. To me, it seems that 3.7 minutes is a short time for Christ to spend with each saved being, but after all we still have eternity ahead of us.

While these events are taking place, the unsaved are restrained in the environs of this banquet area. Remember the tares are tied in bundles at the harvest, which means “restrained.”

Matthew 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

The wicked and the just are to be resurrected at the same time:

Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

The five foolish virgins come beating on the door:

Matthew 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

Continuing on with Unger’s subheadings, the next one is “invitations.”

“Invitations were sent out through servants sometime previous to the banquet and a later announcement informed the expected guests that the arrangements were complete and their presence was looked for. This after summons was sent only to those who had accepted the previous invitation and to violate that previous invitation for trivial reasons could only be viewed as a gross insult.”

“Etiquette” is the next subheading:

“At a small entrance door a servant received the tablets or cards of the guests who were then conducted to the receiving room. After the whole company had arrived, the master shut the door with his own hand, a signal that no others were to be admitted. The guests were kissed upon their arrival, their feet washed, a custom in ancient Greece and still found here and there in Palestine, the hair and beard were anointed and their places assigned, according to rank. In some cases, each guest was furnished a magnificent garment of a light and showy color and richly embroidered to be worn during the banquet.”

Let’s get into the two parables that deal directly with this marriage supper. We will start with Matthew 22:2:

2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,

The parable in Luke 14 deals more directly with the end time, per se. In verse 2 of Matthew 22, God the Father is preparing a marriage supper for His Son. God has provided a continuous supply of servants, in the form of apostles, prophets, judges, etc. This has been an ongoing process since the first converted man, and has continued down through the centuries in an effort to salvage the people whom God has called:  

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Notice the parable of the sower:

Matt 13:3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:

Christ later explains this parable:

Matthew 13:18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. 20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. 22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

These are people God has called—four categories. Three out of the four eventually go bad. In Matthew 22:3-4, God’s “servants” are telling those people who have been called to repent, to “get your act together. God is offering you eternity, a chance to live forever.” What did they do? Notice verses 5-7:

Mat 22:2  The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 4 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. 5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: 6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. 7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.

What a gross insult! This process was described previously under the subheading “invitation,” by Unger. Notice to what depths a human can go after receiving the Holy Spirit and rejecting it. These people who were called of God, being in one of the four categories of good seed, went so low as to murder God’s servants. Punishment was severe—God takes the part of His people.

I’ll give an example of God taking the part of His people by recounting a personal example of three individual building contractors, myself being a general contractor. I had sub-contracted homes to each of these individuals. The total number of homes subbed out was 21, over a period of years. All three of these individuals were robbing me blind. All three in turn were fired, but then God took a hand in it. One individual lost everything, his whole business, and was working in a building supply store. The other two lost most everything, (business-wise, but not their homes) down to the point of both becoming general laborers doing framing. As of spring 1998, all three were on the rebound to some degree. Evidently God just punishes, then let’s nature take its course. In this case, the punishment didn’t last for more than 2-4 years.

Back to Matthew 22:8:

8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.

Apparently, three out of four of the good seed the Father called rejected the calling.

Now, a bit of digression, because this can be confusing if you don’t understand that there are two separate groups of 144,000. In Revelation 7, the tribulation is held up so one group can be sealed:

Rev 7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. 4 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.

This group of 144,000 is alive at the end time. In addition, a group that no man can number, of Revelation 7:9 and 14, are also alive at this point and have obtained their salvation at the end time:

Rev 7:9 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;

14….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.

Where do Moses, Abraham, Isaac, and David fit into this scenario? They are not alive at the end time. They are in the 144,000 of Revelation 14, redeemed from among men:

Rev. 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: 3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. 5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

This is the 144,000 that the parable in Matthew 22 is dealing with:

Matthew 22:2  The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,

3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

4 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. 5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: 6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.

7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.

10 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. 11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

13 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.

14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

These people qualified as they lived and died and are “put in storage,” so to speak. Notice Revelation 6:9-11:

9 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: 10 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? 11 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.

Any true Christian who dies before the end-time events will be in this group of 144,000 with all the ancient patriarchs.

Back to Matthew 22:

9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.

In this verse, God makes another effort. He sends His servants out into the mainstream of society—the grass roots, the general way of life areas, not specialized segments of society. “Highway” is Strong’s #3598. According to Zodhiates’ Complete Word Study New Testament, it means “a road in which one travels…” Strong’s Lexicon says of this word: “A road, by impl. a progress (the route, act or distance). Fig. a mode or means…”

It was just as it is today: there are good and bad out in mainstream society—“good” by human standards. In a cross section of mainstream society today, some would measure up to God’s standards better than others. At the marriage banquet we will see and understand how Matthew 22:11 applies:

11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:

I do not know how a person could gain entrance without the proper attire. Back to Unger’s under the sub-heading “etiquette”: “In some cases each guest was furnished a magnificent garment of light and showy color, richly embroidered to be worn during the banquet.” Revelation 6:11 shows what the saved will wear:

11 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.

Matthew 22:12-13 shows the conversation between the man and Christ. The conversation was one-sided, because Christ did all the talking—the man was speechless. The punishment is shown in verse 13 and is “outer darkness,” which is equivalent to death. What can be darker than the darkness of death to a human? No wonder there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth if this banquet goes on for 7 years! All the unsaved have time to contemplate their short, physical lives. Remember the five foolish virgins came pounding on the door:

Matthew 22:11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13 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. 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

Matthew 25:11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

Their time limit on repentance had run out. (Read my article Time Limit on Repentance) Matthew 22:14 should fill us with alarm and fear, as we see how it applies to the preceding verses:

“Many” is Strong’s #4183, and means “much (in any respect), many, largely…” Zodhiates’ Complete Word Study Dictionary says of “many”: “Much of number, quantity, amount…”

The word “few” is Strong’s #3641, meaning “puny (in extent, degree, number, duration, or value)…”

Webster’s II New Collegiate Dictionary says of “puny”: “inferior in strength, size, or importance.”

Zodhiates’ Complete Word Study Dictionary says of the same word “few” : “small or little, the opposite of Strong’s #4183…, the word for ‘many’.”

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary says of “few”: “used of number, quantity, and size. Denotes few, little, small or slight…” This should certainly make us tremble at the word of God and be highly alarmed that God has to call many to get a few. To get 144,000, how many million did the Father and Christ have to sift through? This surely makes me tremble at God’s word.

Now to the parable in Luke 14:

16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: 17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. 18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. 19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. 20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.

21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. 22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. 23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

The first thing we need to notice about this parable is the time frame. It is clearly speaking of the end time. Notice verse 17 says “at supper time.” Also notice that “servant” is singular. This is a one-man show with God the Father calling the shots. If you review the parable of the wedding banquet (Matthew 22) you will see that the word “servants” is used (notice “servants” is plural). The “servants” were dealing with the 144,000 of Revelation 14 down through the centuries. In Revelation 14:4, these people were redeemed from among men:

Revelation 14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

The 144,000 of Revelation 7:4 come from the 12 tribes of Israel. The tribulation is held up so this can be accomplished:

Revelation 7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. 4 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.

How do I back up my statement that the parable of the marriage supper is a one-man show at the end time, with God guiding and directing the man (servant) in everything? (In Luke 14:16-24, notice the word “servant” is singular). This will be a lengthy digression, but very important:

Malachi 4:5 contains a promise to send Elijah before Christ’s return:

5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:

Luke 1:17 is also a promise regarding Elijah:

17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Matthew 17:10-13 also is referring to Elijah:

10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

As you will see, these are references to the end-time Elijah. Notice his job is “to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17). This is a one-man show. 

Matthew 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

Now read the words of Christ in Matthew 17 again for a closer look:

Matthew 17:1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.

4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. 6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.

7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. 8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.

9 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead. 10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?

11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

Notice verses 2-3.  James, Peter, and John saw a vision of the resurrection. The disciples understood that Elijah would come before the coming of Christ. What they didn’t understand was that Elijah would precede both comings of Christ. They only expected the fighting, conquering Christ, not the suffering Christ. Notice the question they ask in Acts 1:6 after Christ’s resurrection:

6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

However, it IS for the end-time virgins to know the times and seasons, because the Bible was written for them:

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Now, back to Matthew 17:

In verse 11, Christ says Elijah will surely come first and restore all things. John the Baptist was dead and in the grave at this point. Yet, Christ is making the promise that Elijah would come. What did He say in verse 12? That Elijah had come already, and wasn’t recognized, but was murdered instead. And likewise He, Christ, would suffer by their own hands and be murdered also—the suffering Christ.

In verse 13, the disciples finally understand. In these four verses, Christ refers to John the Baptist and Elijah together. And for sure the end-time Elijah won’t be recognized by many, because the foolish virgins will be looking for miracles. But John the Baptist did no miracle:

John 10:41 And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true.

Will it be the same with the end-time Elijah? If the way Christ blends the two together in Matthew 17:10-13 means anything, maybe it will, and maybe it won’t be the same. But, beware of Satan’s counterfeits…they will be doing miracles. Luke 1:17 indicates that the end-time Elijah will be doing miracles because he comes in the “spirit and power of Elijah.”  Notice, in John 10:41 (above) that John the Baptist did no miracle, but the original Elijah did many miracles.

Luke 14:16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: 17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. 18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. 19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. 20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.

This great supper is for the marriage of the Lamb:

Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

Many have been called, but not chosen—yet. But in the process of being chosen, as the Tribulation is being held up in Revelation 7 for this reason, He sends His servant in verse 17 (not servants), at supper time. This equals the end time. To say to those that have been bidden, or called:

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

This is the after summons spoken of in Unger’s Bible Dictionary. It was only sent to those who accepted the first invitation. In this case, the last two categories of good seed—the seed among thorns, and the good seed—they both had born some fruit.

Continuing to quote Unger’s: “…to violate this acceptance, this after summons, for trivial reasons should only be viewed as a gross insult.” The rest of the seed among thorns and the five foolish virgins reject God’s final invitation to the marriage supper. The reasons they give for refusing would definitely be considered trivial to God. As they reject the servant God sends at the end time (verses 18-20), the cares of the world sweep them away, and they reject Elijah for whatever reason: he’s not the minister of their choice, he’s ugly or unrefined, he’s crude, he’s not politically correct… On and on the list of reasons will go as people miss their callings—as the five foolish virgins go back to sleep.

Apparently, Elijah prays about the situation in verse 20. Notice “servant” is still singular, and God has become angry and insulted at the gross rejection of His offer to give people eternity. “Anger” is Strong’s #3710, meaning “to provoke or enrage, i.e. (pass) become exasperated.” IS this anger directed more so toward the twelve tribes of Israel as God is trying to get the 144,000 to fill the empty seats?

Revelation 7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. 4 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.

Elijah will also be dealing with the multitude no man can number of Revelation 7:9 and 14. The reason no man can number this multitude is not because we run out of numbers. It can’t be numbered because God doesn’t know how many in the end time will reject the calling. So the numbers are yet to be determined. The number of actual humans alive at the end time could very easily be counted.

Revelation 7: 9 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;…….14….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.

Back to verse 21:

Luke 14:21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. 22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. 23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

God sends Elijah out on another mission: “Go out quickly to streets and lanes of the city”.

“Streets” is Strong’s #4113, and means “a wide plat, or place, i.e. an open square or street.”

“Lanes” is Strong’s #4505: “in original sense, it means an alley or avenue (as crowded), lane, street.”

God is making another effort to get these virgins to repent. Elijah is sent out again to the ten virgins, (the 144,000 Israelites and the innumerable multitude), and probably the heat will be turned up somewhat. The parable doesn’t say this except by showing that God is provoked and enraged at the rejection at His offer of salvation. God will choose the method Elijah will use to go after these virgins again. Remember God’s promises to send the end-time Elijah: Malachi 4:5-6, Matthew 17:10-13, and Luke 1:17. So this second effort will take a certain amount of time, maybe several years, because the virgins are scattered throughout the world.

In verse 22, the job is complete and the servant Elijah reports back to the Father. “It is done as you commanded, and there is still room.” This time God really turns up the heat in verse 23. God is really getting fed up with the attitude of the foolish and disobedient virgins, and things really go bad for them.

Notice in verse 23, the instructions that God gives his servant (Elijah). “Highway” is Strong’s #3598 and means “a road by impl. a progress, (the route, act, or distance), fig. a mode or means…”

“Hedges” is Strong’s #5418 meaning “a fence, or enclosing barrier, (lit. or fig.) hedge…” Zodhiates’ Complete Word Study Dictionary New Testament says of “hedges”: “to fence, a fence, hedge, a thorn hedge around a vineyard, beside which there was often a wall…”

Vines Complete Expository Dictionary says of “hedges”: “denotes any sort of fence, hedge, paling or wall (akin to phrasso, “to fence in, stop”)…” Webster’s definition of “paling” is “a row of upright pointed sticks forming a fence…”

This is very obviously talking of some sort of restraints, a prison situation, if you will. Now, why does God give this servant, Elijah, these instructions? A certain number of years has elapsed since this whole scenario began.

Luke 14:17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.

God sent his servant at supper time. This is the final invitation—the equivalent of Matthew 25:6, the cry at midnight, which wakes the ten virgins. The cry at midnight will take some time, maybe quite a few years, since this is a one-man operation, with God calling the moves. Elijah says the things that will make the bride repent and make herself ready:

Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

God receives many excuses from the virgins:

Luke 14:18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. 19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. 20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.

He then sends His servant, Elijah, on his second mission, to try to salvage all these virgins:

Luke 14:21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.

This effort will most certainly take some time, since the sheep are scattered worldwide. But after these two efforts, Elijah reports back to God in verse 22:

Luke 14: 22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.

Then God lowers the boom on the disobedient virgins, described in Luke 1:17:

17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Notice there is a disobedient element in this group of people who are made ready for the Lord. This disobedient element has to be turned to the wisdom of the just. They are part of the five wise virgins, but are disobedient when the cry at midnight goes out, and they don’t repent until God puts them in prison camps. He sends Elijah to them just before the resurrection, and may or may not take them to the place of safety.

These disobedient virgins in Luke 1:17 repent and turn to the wisdom of the just. These prison camps may not be as we might think. We would tend to think of them as the World War II variety, like the ones used by the Germans. Because of the massive numbers of prisoners, (if a tithe of Israel is to be saved, which some of the prophecies indicate), whole countries could be considered “prisons.” Assuming 500 million Israelites are alive at the time of the tribulation; this “tithe” could number as many as 40 or 50 million. (There is reason to believe it could be less.) Pick a country in central Europe, put 20 million prisoners in it. The whole country would be surrounded by hostile armies, so where could a prisoner escape to? Elijah will, no doubt, be spending a lot of time in the heat of the tribulation, for he is sent into these prisons (“hedges,” Luke 14:23). Also consider Revelation 7:9,14, the multitude which no man can number wash their robes and make themselves ready in the tribulation:

9 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;

14 ….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.

Go back to Luke 14:24. Who were these people that were bidden and did not taste of the marriage supper? They are the tares that were placed in the church by Satan:

Matthew 13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

The tares’ calling is sitting in the church in association with the good seed. The three out of four good seed that go bad also will be excluded from the marriage supper:

Matthew 13:3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. 20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. 22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Another group that will miss salvation and the marriage supper are the five foolish virgins, who go back to sleep after the cry at midnight awakens them. When the cry at midnight goes out, they are still considered virgins by God:

Matthew 25:11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

What an alarming thought! Half of the true Christians alive at the moment when the cry at midnight goes out will blow their salvation and waste their opportunity at eternity because of spiritual foolishness.

Published July 19, 1998

© Edgar Y. Bennett
PO Box 509
Black Hawk, CO 80422 USA
edgar@solidrockspeople.org
www.solidrockspeople.org