You are cordially invited to the marriage
feast of the Son of God.
Time: to be announced by servants of Bridegroom
Location: The heavens
Appropriate wedding garments required
Who wouldn’t want to attend the marriage feast of the prince. The finest food and drink are served. You are in a beautiful palace with the most incredible music you have ever heard. You meet family members you never knew you had. You go through the receiving line and are greeted by the Father and Mother of the Bridegroom, as well as the Bridegroom himself. It may seem hard to believe, but the first time the Father sent out invitations to this feast those who were invited were too busy to come, and they ignored the invitation. The Father sent them an invitation a second time. This time they not only ungraciously ignored the invitation, but mistreated and killed the servants of the Father who tried to bring them the news of the happy event. The Father sent out a third and final invitation to anyone and everyone who was willing to come, and they would be welcome guests. The only requirement stipulated in the invitation was that they be properly attired in the required wedding garment.
Matthew 22:2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. 3 “And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come. 4 “Again he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner ; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.”‘ 5 “But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business, 6 and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them. 7 “But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire. 8 “Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 ‘Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’ 10 “Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests. 11 “But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, 12 and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. 13 “Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
The last verse explains it all; “many are called”. The invitation went to everyone, both good and evil; “but few are chosen”(selected). To understand the precise meaning of the word selected or chosen, we need to consider another related parable.
Matthew 13:47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind; 48 and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach; and they sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away. 49 “So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, 50 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The dragnet represents the same element as the wedding invitation. The invitation was to all types of individuals, good and bad. The invitation stipulated that the evil would not be welcome, they first needed to become righteous and receive a wedding garment. No unrighteous/wicked person will receive the required garment. The improperly attired guest is bound and thrown into the same place that the “bad fish” are thrown. The chosen/select are represented by the good fish and are separated from the bad/wicked. This takes place at the end of the age. This also brings to mind an other parable.
Matthew 13:24 Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 “But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. 26 “But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. 27 “The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 “And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ 29 “But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 ‘Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”‘ ”
Here is depicted a field of wheat, which represents the kingdom of the heavens. Also present in this same field is a plant that resembles wheat, but is not. This plant, Darnell, is mildly poisonous, and when consumed it causes a numbing of the senses, much like alcohol. At “the end of the age”, which all of these parables include as their time of fulfillment, the toxic plant is uprooted and tied in bundles to be burned. The wheat is then harvested and taken into the barns.
The first thing we must determine is what exactly constitutes the wedding invitation. There really should be no doubt as to what the wedding invitation represents; it is the Gospel of the Kingdom.
Matthew 24:14 “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
This text includes all the information that is contained in the parable of the wedding feast. The invitation was sent to all nations, to both the good and the evil. The Father gave the words of the invitation to His Son. His Son gave these words to His disciples. Two of His disciples wrote down what they heard and saw. There is good evidence that a third gave his account to a friend who was able to write it down. The evil one, who sowed the weed seed (darnel) in the same field where the Master sowed the good seed, changed and modified the wording of the invitation. What appears to have happened is that the wedding guest who showed up without the proper required wedding garment had decided to follow the wording of the counterfeit invitation. He obviously thought that the required wedding garment would be provided.
The Son of God described and defined the two invitations, the real and counterfeit, in two different ways. One way was narrow and the gate/door was small (narrow), the other way was broad and accommodated all preferences and practices (wide), all, that is, except the truth.
Matt. 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. 15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 “So then, you will know them by their fruits. 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’
One thing is clear, the evil one does not want this wedding to take place. He was the one responsible for the insolence demonstrated by the invited guests of the first two invitations, and was responsible for the mistreatment and killing of the servants delivering those first two invitations. This time he just changed the wording of the required dress; he told all those who were invited that the gown would be provided.
Here is what I am talking about. The Son of God demonstrated by word and action that the specific requirement for admittance into the heavens (where the feast takes place) is righteousness.
The evil one also says that righteousness is required; but contrary to the testimony of the Son of God, the evil one says this righteousness is given as a gift, and is provided as a reward for your faith through the wonderful grace of the Father. “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound…”. What is truly ‘amazing’ is that people actually believe this.
According to His own words, the Son of God came to testify to the truth; “All who are of the truth hear My voice” (Matt.18:37). Not only did God’s Son come to give us the words of life, but He came to show, by His own actions, a demonstration of what is required to fulfill all the requirements of righteousness.
Matthew 3:13-15(TJB) Then Jesus appeared; he came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. John tried to dissuade him.’It is I who need baptism from you’ he said ‘and yet you come to me!’ but Jesus replied, ‘Leave it like this for the time being; it is fitting that we should, in this way, do all that righteousness demands’.
The demands of righteousness were clearly demonstrated by the actions of the Son of God, and described by His testimony which He received from His Father. According to His testimony, righteousness is not a gift handed out to all who have a strong faith. Righteousness is accomplished through a specific process of becoming a new being, a being born from above. A person is born of God at the end of this process, not at the beginning. This process is defined as sanctification/consecration. The Son of God told His disciples that “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). His meaning in this statement is that HE is the way, because He has demonstrated through His actions what is righteousness, and you must follow His example. He has told you the truth, and you must listen to HIS testimony and obey HIS commands and directives. It is only by this obedience that you will find life eternal in the kingdom of His Father.
Sanctification is the process of cleansing the impurities from your being; these impurities are your sins. The words of the Son of God are the food and drink (wheat/bread and the water of life). The words of the evil one (Darnell) cause a numbing stupor, a sense of well-being and assurance, and even include a claim as coming from God Himself. God has always required obedience to His commands. Never has God suggested that His commands are not to be kept, or that we, who are weak because of our flesh, would need a different way to salvation. Never has Jesus suggested that there is a way around the obedience requirement; a way around the Law of God. This would be a way to life that would be accomplished apart from the Law; it would be a lawless salvation. Jesus never taught this.
Romans 3:21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;…
Romans 4:14 For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified ; 15 for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation. 16 For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,…
Paul very accurately states that “Where there is no law, there is no violation”. The salvation that Paul preaches is a “Lawless” gospel. Paul is adamant that he is not saying that the Law has been done away with, it just is not the way of salvation for gentiles. The truth of the matter is that the words of invitation, given by the Son of God, was to go to all nations. Another word for ‘nations’ is gentiles. The Son of God never stated, implied, or demonstrated, that the way to salvation and eternal life was accomplished through anything but obedience to the commands of God. The Law, the Ten Commandments, is the covenant of the kingdom of God (Deut. 4:13). The covenant must be kept by all who would be in the Kingdom of the Heavens.
Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always , even to the end of the age.”
Certainly, any “gospel” that is not completely consistent with the gospel of the Kingdom as given by the Son of God, is a lie; it will lead all who are using it as their guide to the outer darkness and death by execution as described in the parables.
2 John 1:9 (TJB) If anyone does not keep within the teaching of Christ but goes beyond it, he cannot have God with him; only those who keep to what he taught can have the Father and the Son with them.
The last line of the parable of the wedding feast says, “many are called, but few are chosen”. Those who are chosen have learned the truth. They have met all the requirements of righteousness, they have completed the process of sanctification (and been ‘born again’), by consecrating themselves to God, through obedience to His commands. They have not allowed themselves to be deceived by the great deceiver, the evil one. They have demonstrated by their actions that righteousness is not impossible, they have followed the example set by their eldest brother, the firstborn son of God, Jesus Christ. They will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father.