Wedding Clothes

This is something from J. Preston Eby

The natural mind is very dark and without understanding. Only the Holy Spirit can awaken it. May Christ who is the power of God open the eyes of all who read these lines, even as the scales fell from the vision of Saul of Tarsus when Jesus purged them away. In Mat. 22:1-14 we are informed in the solemnest of tones about the marriage supper of the Lamb. Jesus compared the Kingdom of Heaven to a king who invited different ones to a marriage feast for his son. A great number of people were invited and the wedding feast was filled with guests. Among the Eastern peoples, noblemen keep in their wardrobes a great number of garments which are called caftans. They are given at such occasions as this to be worn by the guests. It is a great affront for anyone to come and not be appropriately costumed for the occasion.

Since they were giving out wedding garments at the door, we can only assume that when this fellow Jesus told about came to the door, and the servant inquired, “What size are you – small, medium, or large – you look like a medium,” the man replied, “I don’t need one.” “Well,” the servant insisted, “the King expects you to use this.” “I don’t have to do that, don’t worry about it,” and with his heart full of rebellion he entered into the hall. Soon the King entered into the wedding chamber to welcome his guests. But immediately He noticed a man who was not wearing the wedding garment. “Friend,” he said, “how did you come in here without putting on the appropriate wedding garment?” The King was simply inquiring whether he had an excuse, if there was a reason why he had no garment. “Did we run out of garments at the door? Did we have no garment that would fit? Did the garment not look good on you? Did you not like our color schemes? Friend, give account of your conduct!” The scripture says he was speechless – not because he could not speak, but because he was without excuse.

Hearken! Are we not told by the preachers that the marriage supper is celebrated someplace far away in-the sky, and sometime after the rapture of the church? Were we not fervently taught that we are going to be in the air for seven years and have a wedding feast with the Lord? The question follows – If the wedding feast is the rapture, HOW DID THIS MAN WITHOUT THE WEDDING GARMENT GET IN THERE? WAS HE “RAPTURED” BY MISTAKE? Did the Lord Jesus Christ commit a terrible error and accidentally “translate” a man who was not adequately prepared or properly invested for the marriage supper in the sky? How preposterous! This parable proves beyond any possibility of contradiction that a so-called “rapture” has absolutely nothing whatever to do with the marriage of the Lamb.

This parable clearly shows that the wedding feast takes place right down here on this earth, and that there are people who are feasting on the riches of present truth and the depth of God’s revelatory Word just as you are, but they have not had a change of garment; they have not been clothed in the transforming righteousness of Jesus Christ; they have not put on that precious mind that was in Christ Jesus; they have not put off the old man with his works and put on the new; they have not died to sin and self and religion. These have presumptuously “jumped on the bandwagon” of the message of the hour; with unsanctified minds and fleshly zeal they grasp after the deep things of God; they are along for the ride; they mingle with those elect saints who have been apprehended of God to the high calling in Christ Jesus. They show up at every meeting and at every convention; with unwashed hands they eat from the table so bountifully prepared by the Holy Spirit for those who forsake all to follow the Lamb; they parrot all the right words, and mouth the sacred secrets revealed by the Holy Spirit, and may, with feigned piety appear as one of the choice vessels of the Kingdom; but beneath the cloak of pretense there is no true consecration in their lives, no inworking of the holiness of God, no conformation to the image of Christ, no transformation of mind or heart or nature; they are clearly imposters, deceivers, usurpers, pretenders, hypocrites and cheats. They have no wedding garment! And now, exposed to the penetrating gaze of the King’s presence, the man of nice words and spiritual-sounding expressions no longer could conceal his true condition.

In due time, prior to the event of the marriage of His son, the King dealt swiftly and effectively with the usurper. “Then the King said to the attendants Tie him hand and foot, and throw him into the darkness outside; there will be weeping and grinding of teeth” (Mat. 22:13, Amplified). The King James version reads, “Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Among the many symbols connected with the Bridegroom and the bride, none is more meaningful than the wedding garment, whether of guest, of bride, or of groom. Throughout the scriptures garments are spoken of in connection with character. There is some kind of intrinsic connection between the character of the people and the clothing they wear. The garment we wear in our marriage to Christ is being woven NOW, stitch by stitch. The righteousness this glistering garment portrays is not the imputed righteousness received by grace when our sins are first forgiven, but the ACTUAL RIGHTEOUSNESS, wrought out in the nitty-gritty of the dealings, testings, purgings, processings and victories of this present travail.

The garments of the Lord’s people correspond to their STATE OF BEING. When seen by the eye of the spirit in the spiritual realm, some glitter like the snows of Mount Hermon in the noonday sun; some shine as with flame; and those of others are resplendent as with light; others are of various colors, dazzling like the scintillating brilliance of precious stones, and some opaque. It is because garments represent states of being and character that they are so much spoken of in the Word. Thus in Isa. 53:1, “Awake, put on strength, O Zion; put on thy BEAUTIFUL GARMENTS, O Jerusalem.” And in Eze. 15:10 the Lord says of His people, “I girded thee about with fine linen, and covered thee with silk.” And in Rev. 3:4-5, it is said, “They who have not defiled their GARMENTS, shall walk with Me in WHITE, for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in WHITE RAIMENT.” And of the bride of Christ it is written: “And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in FINE LINEN, CLEAN AND WHITE: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints” (Rev. 19:8). What a depth of meaning appears in these passages when we remember the signification of garments!

The wedding garment speaks of character and fitness. The man without the wedding garment had no fitness or adequate degree of spiritual understanding or fellowship or relationship to move in the sphere of the wedding feast and all that this type represents. He had no garment – qualifying attributes to adapt him to the order of life suggested.

And note, too, the poor fellow is not cast into hellfire, hades, sheol, gehenna, the pit, or eternal damnation. “Outer darkness,” is the word. Some may ask, What is the outer darkness? You will find Jesus using the same term in Mat. 8:12. Here it does not refer to hellfire or eternal damnation. He is speaking of the lack of faith and appreciation on the part of the Jews. And because of their refusal to accept and move into the Kingdom of Heaven, they are cast into “outer darkness.” Any one knows that those Jews were not sentenced to everlasting hellfire, for Paul speaks of a glorious day when “all Israel shall be saved.” Those Jews were turned into “outer darkness” where they are yet today. As far as Christ is concerned, and the blessings of the gospel, and the Kingdom Christ came to set up in the hearts of men, they are in outer darkness, devoid of understanding or revelation. They are cut off, denied the privilege and fellowship of the Kingdom of the Spirit.

Eby