Wake Up, Behold the Bridegroom Comes With a Shout! (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
We shall not all sleep, but be changed! (1 Corinthians 15:51)
1 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet, until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, and her salvation like a torch that is burning. Isaiah 6:1
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:27
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 21:2
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” Revelation 21:9
Last week I said that the fall feasts and in particular Rosh HaShanah have multi-faceted traditions surrounding it. The reason is because so little is explained in Leviticus 23 about what these feasts mean and how to celebrate them. Of the ten traditions that I found, one is called Yom Hakeseh or the Day of Concealment (or the Hidden Day). Another tradition is Kiddushin or Nesu’in or the Wedding Ceremony.
Again, the genius Father God has set up another series of ancient traditions that herald the coming of our King, Jesus the Christ. Remember, first the natural, then the spiritual. (1 Corinthians 15:46).
Previously, I said when the Rapture of the Church occurs, it will also signal a judgment upon the earth. In Revelation, the Church, the Bride of Christ, is revealed at the time of judgment, but will be hidden and protected until the time of tribulation is over and presented to Heaven at the marriage supper of the Lamb.
The Rapture of the Church is a type and shadow of the marriage tradition of the Jews in the first century. The snatching away of the church is a parallel of the bridegroom coming for his bride only at a time designated by the father (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
There are 12 major sections of the traditional Jewish wedding. As you read them, you will see how each relates to us as the bride of Christ and where we get some of our traditions today. But for those of you who want the bottom line up front hiddeness issues are these:
First, during the betrothal period, the bride doesn’t see the bridegroom in person. As a parallel, when we get saved, we are in a betrothal period until the bridegroom comes for us. We never have seen our bridegroom face to face, (though we see through a glass darkly 1 Corinthians 13:12).
Second, the bridegroom doesn’t see the bride either, but is in his father’s house preparing the bridal chamber. This is what Jesus is doing for us, He is preparing a place for us in His father’s house awaiting our arrival, so let not our hearts be troubled, He will come (John 14:1).
Third, only the father knows when the bridal chamber will be ready. It is not up to the son, but up to the father, and he is the only one who has to be satisfied. Only our Father in heaven knows when the plans have been completed by Jesus our bridegroom for our arrival. (Matthew 24:36)
Fourth, the bridegroom comes like “a thief in the night” to get his bride when the father gives the thumbs up. (Matthew 25:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:17)
Fifth, the bride and groom “hide” in the chupah or wedding chamber that was approved by the father for a period of seven days until they are presented at the marriage supper.
Sixth, at the marriage ceremony, the bridegroom is crowned as the king of his household, just as Jesus the Christ will be crowned king of the universe and begin His millennial reign on this earth.
Can you see the hiddeness? The Bride is hidden from her bridegroom during the betrothal, the Bridegroom is “hidden” from his bride while in his father’s house, and lastly, the bride is “hidden” or protected in the the father’s house for seven days until the bride and groom is presented at the marriage supper. Can you see the rapture of the church and the start of the third part of Jesus’ ministry: Prophet, Priest, and lastly King?
The following are some more details. But hopefully you have gotten the idea that we are on the brink of greatest triumph and tragedy mankind has ever seen: the instantaneous catching away of millions of people from the earth and the ensuing madness of the judgment of God on those who are left.
First, the Bride was chosen by the father. The father would send his trusted servant to search out the bride. Abraham (a type of God the Father) secured a bride for Isaac (a type of Messiah) and sent his servant Eliezer (a type of the Holy Spirit) to find Rebekah (Genesis 24:2-4; 15:2). Just as the bride was chosen by the father of the bridegroom, so the believers in the Messiah are chosen. (John 15:16). No one comes to the Father except the Holy Spirit draws him. The bridegroom chose the bride and lavished his love upon her and she returned his love. Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself of it.” In Genesis 24, Rebekah consented to marry Isaac even before she ever met him. Today, the believers in the Jesus consent to become His bride even though we have never seen Him. First Peter 1:8 tells us, “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”
Bride price established.
Secondly, the bride price was established. The agreed upon price was called a mohar in Hebrew. Jesus, our bridegroom, paid with His life. Matthew 26:39, “And He went a little farther, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” First Peter 1:18-19 says, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, . . .but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” In 1 Corinthians 6:20 says, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
The bride and groom were betrothed.
Betrothal was the first of two steps in the marriage process. Betrothal in Hebrew is known as erusin orkiddushin. Betrothal legally binds the bride and the groom together in a marriage contract, except they do not physically live together. Historically, God betrothed Himself to Israel at Mount Sinai (Jeremiah 2:2; Hosea 2:19-20). Whenever you accept the Jesus as savior, you become betrothed to Him while living on the earth.
A written document is drawn up.
The ketubah is the marriage contract that states the bride price, the promises of the groom, and the rights of the bride. The word ketubah means “that which is written.” The groom promised to work for her, to honor, support, and maintain her in truth, to provide food, clothing, and to live together with her as husband and wife. The ketubah was the unalienable right of the bride. The ketubah must be executed and signed prior to the wedding ceremony. The Bible is the believer’s ketubah. All the promises that God provided for the believers are legally yours, in 2 Corinthians 1:20, “For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen….”
The bride must give her consent.
God betrothed Himself to Israel at Mount Sinai as stated in Jeremiah 2:2. Israel consented to the marriage proposal from God and said, “I do,” as it is written in Exodus 24:3. Romans 10:10 tells us when we confess and believe the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord we are saved.
Gifts were given to the bride and the cup of covenant was shared
The betrothal is complete when the groom seals the deal with a gift and bride accepts it. The gift most often given today is a ring. When the groom placed the ring on the bride’s finger, the rite of betrothal was completed. This completed rite is known in Hebrew as kiddushin, which means “sanctification.”
God gives the Holy Spirit as a guarantee or as our earnest money (John 14:26; 15:26-27; Acts 2:38; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22). He gives gifts to men (Ephesians 4:7-8): righteousness (Romans 5:17-18), eternal life (Romans 6:23), grace (Romans 5:12,14-15), faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), and other spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1,4).
The cup of the covenant was shared and also sealed the covenant between the bride and groom. Th couple drinks from a common cup of wine. The cup is first given to the groom to sip, and then is given to the bride. This cup, known as the cup of covenant, spoken of in Jeremiah 31:31-33. Jesus spoke of the cup of the New Covenant in Luke 22: We take it on a regular basis in church called Communion or the Lord’s Supper.
The bride was ritually cleansed.
Mikvah was a ceremonial act of purification by the immersion in water. It indicated a separation from a former way to a new way. In marriage, it indicates leaving an old life for a new life with your spouse (Genesis 2:23-24; Ephesians 5:31). Immersing in the mikvah is considered spiritual rebirth. The reason is that a mikvah has the power to change a person completely. Concerning the marriage to Israel at Mount Sinai, God said in Ezekiel 16:8-9, as it is written, “…I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee… and thou becamest Mine. Then washed I thee with water….” The washing, or immersion, here refers to that of Israel before the people received the Torah when God betrothed Himself to Israel at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:14-15). Jesus spoke to the Pharisee, Nicodemus, that he must be born anew (immersed) to enter into the Kingdom of God (John 3:1-7). The believers are to be immersed in the name of Jesus (Acts 19:4). The Holy Spirit is the baptizer of God (Luke 3:16; Acts 1:5; 11:15-16).
The bridegroom departs, goes back to his father’s house to prepare the bridal chamber.
At this point, the bridegroom leaves for his father’s house to prepare the bridal chamber. It was understood to be the man’s duty to be with his father, build a house, and prepare for the eventual wedding. Before he goes, he will make a statement to the bride. “I go to prepare a place for you; if I go, I will return again unto you.” This is the same statement Jesus made in John 14:1-3 before He went to His father’s house in Heaven.
The bride was consecrated and set apart for a period of time while the bridegroom was away building the house.
Before the bridegroom could go and get the bride, the groom’s father had to be satisfied that every preparation had been made by the son. Only then would he give permission for the son to get the bride. In other words, it was the father who “okayed” the final bridal chamber. The bridegroom did not know when his father would declare the bridal chamber fit and send him to go get his bride. This is exactly what Jesus was referring to in Mark 13:32-37.
Meanwhile, the bride waited eagerly for the return of the bridegroom. In the mind of the bride, the bridegroom could come at any time, even in the middle of the night. Therefore, she had to be ready at all times. Jesus referred to this in Mark 13:32-37 and Matthew 25:1-13. While waiting for her bridegroom to come, the bride had to have thought to herself, “Is he really coming back for me? Is he really going to keep his word?” Peter answered this in 2 Peter 3:1-13.
The bridegroom suddenly returns with a shout and the sound of the shofar.
The time of the return of the bridegroom was usually at midnight. When the bridegroom did come, he came with a shout (Matthew 25:6) and with the blowing of a shofar (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 4:1). The marriage between the bride and the groom would take place under the chupah or wedding canopy. Since Heaven is a type of chupah, we can see that when Jesus gives a shout for His bride, accompanied by the blowing of a shofar, the marriage between Jesus and His bride will take place in Heaven.
The marriage ceremony would have a sacred procession. For this reason, the bridegroom will be led to the chupah first. When the bridegroom approaches the chupah, the cantor chants, “Blessed is he who comes.” “Blessed is he who comes” is an idiomatic expression meaning “welcome.” Jesus said that He would not return for His bride until these words were said (Matthew 23:39). The groom is greeted like a king under the chupah. During this time Jesus, the bridegroom, will be crowned King under the chupah, which is Heaven.
He would abduct his bride, usually in the middle of the night, to go to the bridal chamber where the marriage would be consummated.
This is the full marriage, known in Hebrew as Nesu’in. The bride and groom will go to the wedding chamber, or chadar in Hebrew, where the marriage will be consummated. They will stay in that wedding chamber for seven days. At the end of the seven days, the bride and groom will emerge from the wedding chamber ( Joel 2:16).
The word week in Hebrew is shavuah. It means a “seven.” It can mean seven days or seven years. An example of the Hebrew word for week (shavuah) meaning seven years can be found in Daniel 9:24, as it is written, “Seventy weeks [shavuah, 490 years] are determined upon thy people…” and in 9:27, “And he [the false Messiah known as the antichrist] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [shavuah, seven years]….” The week referred to in Daniel 9:27 is known to Bible believers as the tribulation period. The Jewish people understand this time to be the birthpangs of the Messiah known in Hebrew eschatology as the Chevlai shel Mashiach. This is taken from Jeremiah 30:5-7. From this we can see that the believers in the Messiah will be with the Messiah in Heaven for His wedding while the earth will be experiencing the seven-year tribulation period, or the Chevlai shel Mashiach, in Hebrew.
Finally, the marriage supper for all the guests invited by the father of the bride.
The bride and the groom would be in the wedding chamber for seven days. When the bride and the groom initially went into the wedding chamber, the friend of the bridegroom stood outside the door. All the assembled guests of the wedding gathered outside, waiting for the friend of the bride-groom to announce the consummation of the marriage, which was relayed to him by the groom. John the Baptist referred to in John 3:29. At this signal, great rejoicing broke forth (John 3:29). The marriage was consummated on the first night (Genesis 29:23). The bloodstained bed linen from this night was kept as proof of the bride’s virginity (Deuteronomy 22:13-21).
On the wedding day, the bridegroom is seen as a king and the bride as a queen. During the consummation of the marriage, the bridegroom will be crowned King over all the earth and the bride (the believers in Yeshua, the Messiah) will live with Him and rule with Him forever. The crowning of the King and the marriage can be seen in Isaiah 62:3-7. At the end of the week (seven-year tribulation, or birthpangs of the Messiah), the marriage supper will take place. The marriage supper will not take place in Heaven. After the marriage, the bride and Groom will return to earth.
The marriage supper will be taking place on earth and only the invited guests of the Father of the Groom (God the Father) will be present at the banquet meal. This can be seen in Revelation 19:7-16 and 20:4. Jesus spoke of the marriage supper and the banquet in Luke 12:35-38 and Matthew 8:11.
The wedding supper is a theme of the festival of Sukkot, which will be discussed later if time permits. During Sukkot, the people were instructed by God to build a temporary shelter. One of the things God instructed the people to do there is eat. When they eat, they set a plate for seven people these include Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Matthew 8:11).The unbelievers in the Messiah will attend a separate banquet where the fowls of the air will eat their flesh (Revelation 19:17-18). You don’t want to be in that banquet!
What does all this mean? We as the bride of Christ must be ready and anticipating the coming of our bridegroom!