Bride of CHRIST (Part 3)

This week we are going to finish up our series of studying the parallels of The Ancient Jewish Wedding Tradition and the Marriage of the Church to JESUS CHRIST!  What a truly exciting study this has been with many lessons.  I pray that you all have been as blessed by this as I have been while studying this.  Remember, If you are born again, washed in the Blood of The Lamb, if you have accepted JESUS CHRIST as LORD and SAVIOR, you are married to HIM!  I pray by now you have really thought and now know in your heart what that means to be married to Christ and how serious your relationship to Him is.  Know that He loves you with a love like no other, He is the true lover of your soul and longs to be intimate with each and every one that He has purchased with His own precious life’s blood.  May God Bless each one of you. :O))

Handout: Bride of Christ (Part 3)

In the past two weeks we have studied and learned how God became married to Israel.  God, Himself, declared that He was the husband of this nation.  He made a covenant with Abraham many years ago and God is always faithful to His promises even when we as human beings are not.  We saw scriptures in the book of Exodus chapter 19, of the Betrothal stage which included the contract or Ketubah, as well as the second stages wherein the marriage was formally made public when Israel sanctified themselves and how God came down in the thick cloud to meet with them on Mount Sinai.   In part 2,  we continued this lesson and learned how the Old Testament is knit together with the New Testament of God’s Word and just how brilliantly He has connected the two, in His plan since before the foundations of the world!  We learned how Christ has created a new nation of priests which is called the church and has betrothed it.  When we left off we saw how Jesus told the disciples that He was going away and that He would prepare a place for His bride but that He would come back again when The Heavenly Father says it’s time, which is exactly what happens in the Ancient Jewish wedding tradition as the groom bids his bride farewell before he leaves her and goes to build a bridal chamber for her.   When the father of the groom says it’s time for him to go receive his bride, then and only then would he go to get her and bring her back to the new place he has built for her 

When God The Father looks at His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ and tells Him, Son go get your bride, then and only then will the trumpet sound and we who are born again will be caught up for that great assembly!  What a day that will be.  I am watching and waiting for that day!  God’s word tells us to watch and pray. 
Mark 13:32-33 “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.  Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.”
In the traditions of the ancient Jewish wedding, the bride will then watch and wait for her groom to come get her.  She will talk of Him and think of him, but everyday she remains faithful to him and waits for his return.  She behaves herself wisely knowing that he will come for her.
In Matthew we learn the parable of the 10 virgins.  Five were wise and five were foolish. 
Matthew 25:1-13 “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.  And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:  But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.  While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.  And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.  Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.  But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.  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.  Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.  But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”
In  many Jewish weddings there were six to ten individuals who would follow the processional with oil lamps attached to poles. 

You would put olive oil on the inside and put some kind of a linen flax in the opening and once it was moist with the oil you could light it.  However you had to keep the wick trimmed because if you did not, black soot would begin to form in the house and it would cause a terrible odor in the house, and turn the walls black and dirty. 

Keep your lamps trimmed and burning keep your garments spotless.  This was part of the virgin’s job.  They were to encourage the bride because she has to go so long without seeing her groom.

The church has waited now for over 2,000 years for the return of her groom.  Satan is on the rampage with his destruction and his lies.  We need one another.  We need to encourage one another in Christ.  When satan is coming at us on every side with temptation and we are weak it could be very easy for our flesh to slide right back into the sin pit we were rescued out of.

We can see that the temptation would be fun for a little while and so tired from the battle and you haven’t seen Jesus and you’ve heard it your whole life that He’s coming but HE’S not here, and you need to feel His arms around you, but you can’t feel Him at all sometimes and maybe you start to wonder…does He still love me, does He still care??  satan will try to make your eye wander back to the world…Oh but Praise the LORD…Your groom…He said He will come back…He will.  And we need to encourage one another with the promise that He will never leave or forsake us.  We know HE will come for us again Don’t Worry!!! That’s why the bible tells us not to fail to meet together.  (Hebrews 10:25)

Hebrews 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
We must encourage ourselves and one another in the LORD.  He will return, and I believe it will be very soon.  I’m so looking forward to seeing my Beloved Groom.  What a day that will be!  Praise You LORD!!!
In the parable of the ten virgins they expected the groom to come at a certain time, but his coming was delayed so they fell asleep they put off getting their oil.  Are you ready?  Have you been washed in the blood of the Lamb?  Have you accepted Christ as your own personal Savior, or will He come to find you asleep.  Be ready Dear One, put on the Righteousness of Christ so that you will not be left behind. 
Romans 10:13 “ 13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Romans 10:10 “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Marriages were called, Receiving, by the Rabbis.  That meant bringing the bride to the Chuppah, was considered the consummation.  Most grooms would return late at night Matthew25:36; Matthew 24:4 secret and unannounced.  The father was the only one that knew when it was time.  Remember what Jesus said?
Matthew 24:36 “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”
 In the ancient Jewish wedding traditions, when the bridal chamber was finished and the grooms father said the time had come, many times the bridegroom would send groomsmen in advance to announce he is coming that’s why in  Matthew 25:6  it says,
Matthew 25:6 “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.”
 So the cry would be made to let them know was coming, and often different ones with oil lamps would proceed the bride and sweep her up to meet the groom. Song of Solomon Puts it this way…
Song of Solomon 2:10-13 “My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
The Rapture, the great assembly, the catching away, whatever you may call it, it will be sudden and unexpected. 

Matthew 24:42 “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”
Matthew 25:13 “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”
We do not know the day or the hour because HE is preparing a place for us, but someday soon…God our Father will look at His Son JESUS CHRIST…our groom and say Son it’s time!  Go get your Bride!!!!  This next statement may not be “dignified” but I have to say…WHOOP WHOOP!  I can hardly wait for that day!  Thinking about it excites me so! Jesus Christ Himself comes for the Bride!! For the LORD HIMSELF shall descend from Heaven!

The parable of the 10 virgins represents those who are prepared and those who are not…the ones who are not ready to meet Christ…will be left behind.  ARE YOU READY!  HAVE YOU ACCEPTED CHRIST…ARE YOU WATCHING AND WAITING FOR HIM…HE ONLY COMES FOR HIS BRIDE! 
1 Thessalonians 4:16 “For The LORD HIMSELF shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:”
For the LORD HIMSELF Shall descend from Heaven with a shout…In the Ancient Jewish wedding just before the Bride was brought in, there is the trumpet sound to announce it and she was carried in on an Aperion this is a carriage the bride sat on and was caught up and carried in on the shoulders of four men to her groom!  (Praise the LORD!)

In the Old Testament we see this same picture in reading about The Ark of the Covenant which was carried on the four shoulders of the priest. 

The bride was caught up and carried to her wedding place under the Chuppah, or the covering…this is a very clear picture of what will happen in the Rapture of the Church.  We will be caught up and carried to meet our groom to have the final ceremony under our Chuppah!  Thank You LORD!  This tells us as do many other mysteries of God’s word that we are not going to be here during the seven year tribulation!  We will be with our LORD under the covering.

Psalms 27:5 “For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock.”

Let’s look at the prophecy of The Prophet Isaiah.
Isaiah 26:17-19 & 21 “17Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O LORD. We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen. Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.  Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.  For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.”
Isaiah talks about a woman in travail, Jesus said there would be birth pains before His coming.  Isaiah said men would awake from the dust. 
1 Corinthians 15:51 says “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.”
Isaiah says enter into your chamber... Revelation 4:1 we enter into heaven.  Isaiah said until the Indignation will be passed…after the tribulation Matthew 24:29

Isaiah 26:20 says my people enter into the chamber.  Remember the Bridal chamber that the groom prepares for his bride?  Jesus went away to prepare us a bridal Chamber, that New Jerusalem…The Chuppah the canopy…the covering…is in Heaven!  The GLORY OF THE LORD will be our covering.  It will be our chamber to remain in till the indignation, the tribulation is past!  Praise the LORD!

I think this is very interesting too that in the Ancient Jewish Wedding Traditions, the ceremonies lasted for seven days.  It was a continual celebration for 7 days.  Then the consummation and then the couple would return to make their public appearance. We will be in Heaven with our groom The LORD MOST HIGH for 7 years and then we will come back with Him for a public appearance!  (Revelation 19)

Before we end, here is another interesting thing about The Ancient Jewish Wedding Traditions, the couple drink from a cup to seal the wedding.  Jesus will be drinking from the cup with us at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.  He told His disciples so at the last supper here on earth just before He was crucified.

Matthew 26:29 “But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.”

One day soon this next prophecy will become reality for us who are believers.

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.”

Jesus Christ…our Beloved Groom is true to His word.  He will return and He will take us with Him, never to be apart again.  Keep the faith, watch and pray because our groom is soon to come!  If you are not betrothed yet to Christ, I beg of you to do that while there is still time.  He waits for you to accept His proposal of marriage to Him, He has done all He must do, the choice is now yours.  He is so lovely, don’t be foolish and miss ever lasting life with the Dearest and Best.  Jesus loves you and He waits for you.

Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man Hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to Him, and will sup with Him, and he with Me.”
As I close this lesson, I am reminded of one of my favorite songs…Soon and very soon, we are going to see THE KING…Soon and very soon, we are going to see Our King.  Soon and very soon, we are going to see our King.  Hallelujah, Hallelujah, we’re going to see our King!  What a day that will be!  God Bless you all!
Dear, Righteous, Father…
Thank You for choosing us.  Thank You for sending Your Dear Son to die.  Jesus thank You for paying the price for us with Your very life so that we could be married to you forever.  You are so good and we watch and wait for the day when You come to take us with You.  Father please help us to do Your will as we wait.  Help us to watch and pray and keep our lamps trimmed and burning.  Help us to share Your love with everyone we meet so that they too will enter this sacred covenant with You.  We are so excited for the day when we get to see You our beloved groom.  We are so excited to be able to fall at Your feet in worship and thanksgiving for all You are and for all You do for us.  We long to see Your face, to touch Your hand, and to kiss Your feet.  We long to see Your smile and look into those eyes of pure truth and know that we are safe forever in Your arms.  We love You and we praise You.  In Jesus name we pray.  Amen… Thank YOU LORD!

November 11, 2012