Who make up the attendees invited to the marriage Supper of the Lamb, since the Bride of Christ is already present and the supper is for the Bride and the Groom? Are OT saints included? Are Gentiles who are won to Christ by the 144,000 included?
The Wedding Supper (“marriage supper,” KJV) is referred to in Revelation 19:9, which reads—
Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’” And he added, “These are the true words of God.
The angel is responding to a thundering shout of praise from an uncountable throng of voices in heaven. Heaven’s inhabitants are glorifying God for His victory over evil (Rev. 19:1-4), for establishing His Kingdom on earth (Rev. 19:6), and for the impending Wedding Supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7, 9). Earlier in revelation, this multitude is identified:
Rev. 7:9 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.
This multitude praising God in heaven is made up of all the redeemed throughout all the ages, including the 144,000 Jewish believers in Jesus from the Great Tribulation (Rev. 7:4-8, 13-17). This is the Bride of Christ. These are the ones shouting at the tops of their resurrected lungs, “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’”
The “wedding” and wedding supper” (Rev. 19:7, 9) refer to the same event. This is not the marriage ceremony (i.e. “union”) of the Bride and the Bridegroom, but the celebration feast that traditionally followed a Jewish-style ceremony, and after the groom brought His bride home. Jesus accurately describes such a wedding banquet in a parable (Matt. 22:2-14). In fact, the “Wedding Supper of the Lamb” is what Jesus referred to when he said to His disciples at the last Supper:
“I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matt. 26:29).
Clearly, Jesus has His followers, the Bride of Christ, in view as those invited to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Collectively, we who are in Christ are called the Bride of Christ. Individually, we are the guests at the Great Banquet. This is no contradiction, but a joyful mixing of metaphors to describe the many facets of our relationship to Jesus.
And, yes, this great company of the redeemed also includes the Old Testament saints. Jesus’ death on the cross was effective for them as well. As Jesus reminded the people of His day in speaking of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, “He is not the God of the dead but of the living” (Matt. 22:32)!