Dear Readers, Beloved of God,
Welcome to part two (2) of our study! I hope you have or will read part one (1). I know you will truly be blessed! I would imagine that if you have read the first part, you are beginning to view the beautiful picture that God has painted! In this part (2), I will tie all things together and show how the Lord intends to have a Jewish wedding with us, “the church”, or shall we say, “The Bride of Christ.” There are some that believe that the church is in fact not the “bride” and would say that she is “The New Jerusalem”, the heavenly city. I can’t agree with this idea, as I know the heart of God concerning His people, and what sense would it have been for Jesus to give His life, conquer death and hades, and rise again for a “city”? After all, God is a “people person!”
That said, I am going to show you that a wedding is forthcoming, you and I are the bride, and will be the most elegant of weddings ever known. God the Father, Creator of all things, knows best how to host a proper celebration. And you and I have been invited! In fact, you and I will be the “guests of honor”, of THE Guest of Honor!
We shall begin in our traditional manner:
Father, in the mighty name of Jesus, I ask for spiritual revelation of Your Word. Not only for me Lord, but those that read also. Let not one person leave this writing unfulfilled. I ask that through these words, we hear from the living God. I pray for lost souls all across the earth. Empower us to bring them into the fold and share this most beautiful and wondrous of occasions. Our marriage to the Lamb of God! Let there not be one empty seat at the table of the marriage supper. I thank you Dear God for you love! ~Amen
“The Bride of Christ” Shall Have A Jewish Wedding:
For this part of our study, I’m not going to focus so much on “elegant” writing, but will take a more “practical” approach. There will be a lot of scripture to support my teaching, but please don’t let this discourage you. These scriptures will show my points and bless you at the same time. I request this of you because oftentimes some will “skip over” the scripture portions. Please don’t do that with this article, as you will cheat yourself out of a beautiful blessing. I am going to take the Jewish wedding customs step by step to reveal the hidden marriage of the Lamb of God.
“The Selection of the Bride”
As previously mentioned, in most cases, the bride was chosen by the groom’s father. God the Father is no exception to the Jewish tradition. He chose the bride for His Son and it is you!
“…He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world…”
(Ephesians 1:4) NKJV
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you…”
(John 15:16) NKJV
“The Bride Price”
Let us not forget that the Groom had to pay an extremely high price for His bride! That was the way it was intended. It showed the Grooms true love for His bride! Jesus also willingly paid the Jewish bride price.
“…you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
(1 Peter 1:18-19) NKJV
“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in
whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”
(Ephesians 1:13-14) NKJV
“You were bought at a price…”
(I Corinthians 7:23) NKJV
“For you were bought at a price…”
(I Corinthians 6:20) NKJV
“The Marriage Covenant (contract)”
As with all Jewish marriages there was the matter of the covenant, or “Ketubah”. This was a written contract to provide the terms and conditions of the marriage. We also have received a covenant! Keep in mind that this covenant is continued to all of those who are the “spiritual” seed of Abraham and follow the Jewish Messiah. This covenant was such an important part of the marriage that the Apostle Paul repeated it in the New Testament.
“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah — not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘ Know the Lord, ‘ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.“
(Jeremiah 31:31-34) NKJV
“…Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah — not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘ Know the Lord, ‘ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.”
(Hebrews 8:8-13) NKJV
“The Bride’s Consent”
Although the bride was chosen, she still retained the freewill to refuse the covenant and the groom. This same freewill is true of us as The Bride of Christ. We don’t have to accept His covenant nor the Groom. We all must choose His offer willingly and of our own accord. Our Groom is a Gentleman and will not force Himself or His gifts against our will. We also, like the Jewish bride of old, have to announce our “I do”.
“…confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
(Romans 10:9-13) NKJV
“The Cup of the Covenant”
The cup of the covenant was used to seal the agreement between the bride and groom. They “shared” the cup of wine by both drinking from the same cup. The second cup was reserved for the wedding ceremony. Jesus also shares the cup of the covenant, the fruit of the vine, with His bride, but has taken it a step further. He sealed the covenant not only with the “fruit of the vine”, but in His own blood! Under the “Old Covenant” law, the blood of animals was sprinkled to ratify a covenant. Jesus has ratified the “New Covenant” with His own shed blood! And yes, His blood was also “sprinkled”, upon the earth, dripping from His body as He hung upon His cross.
“…He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.”
(Luke 22:20) NKJV
“…Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant…, …I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
(Matthew 26:27-29) NKJV
“Gifts Presented to the Bride”
Per tradition the groom presented gifts to his bride. This further confirmed and expressed his love for his betrothed. It is impossible to “out give” Jesus, and He to presents gifts to His bride! These gifts include eternal life, forgiveness, fruit of His Spirit, gifts of His Spirit, and countless others received by us individually. It is completely impossible to complete a detailed list of His many gifts. Just look into any mirror and one of His gifts stares back at you! He gave you your life!
“God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?”
(Hebrews 2:4) NKJV
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self- control. Against such there is no law.”
(Galatians 5:22-23) NKJV
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
(Romans 6:23) NKJV
“The Departure of the Groom”
Having everything in proper order, the covenant, the bride’s consent, the cup of the covenant, and the giving of gifts, it was time for the departure of the groom. He would reaffirm his love for his bride, assure her of his return, and say something like this, “I go to prepare a place for you.” He would then be on his way leaving his bride behind for a season, and return to his father’s house for further preparations. He would make ready the bridal chamber, or “little mansion”, which they would have for their future honeymoon. The groom would be away for an extended period. He had to make sure all the plans were in order and everything was perfect!
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
(John 14:1-4) NKJV
“And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them…”
(Matthew 9:15) NKJV
“Physical and Spiritual Preparation of the Bride: “Mikvah”
For physical and spiritual preparation the bride would immerse herself in water. This was known as washing in the “pool of living water”, or “Mikvah” in Hebrew. This “washing” represented her separation from the “old life” and entry into the “new life”. As the bride of Christ, we are also asked to prepare with a “Mikvah”
“He who believes and is baptized will be saved…”
(Mark 16:16) NKJV
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”
(2 Corinthians 5:17) NKJV
“The Consecrated Bride: “Lady In Waiting”
The consecrated bride eagerly awaited the return of her groom. She is referred to as “set apart”, and “bought with a price”. The longer his delay, the harder it was for her. Temptation was at every corner questioning whether or not her groom would return. She was confronted with scoffers who would cast doubt, telling her that her groom would not return. But, she had faith, and believed in her heart, that he would return, she had his promise! We too eagerly await the return of our groom, Jesus Christ! The bride wore a veil indicating that she was spoken for and unapproachable with another covenant. We too wear a veil. He is Jesus, our Holy Spirit!
“…scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation”
(2 Peter 3:3-4) NKJV
“For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be”
(Matthew 24:27) NKJV
“By a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,”
(Hebrews 10:20) NKJV
“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance…”
(Ephesians 1:13) NKJV
“…the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
(Ephesians 4:30) NKJV
“The Return of the Bridegroom”
After a long and difficult wait, at last, the wedding chamber was complete and the groom’s father told him to go and redeem his bride! Oh what a joyous time this was! Excitement filled the air and glee was all around. It was common knowledge that Jewish brides were stolen, or abducted for the wedding day. Not by any ole stranger, but by the one who loved her, promised his return, and had paid the price for her!
The groom made every attempt to “surprise” the bride, but it was customary to give her a little warning. Just before he arrived to steal her into the night, someone with him would give out a “shout”! She knew her groom would arrive momentarily. Our Groom will be returning also!
“…the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers”
(John 10:4-5) NKJV
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.”
(Matthew 24:36) NKJV
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
(Mark 13:32) NKJV
“For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:2) NKJV
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
(1 Thessalonians 4:16-18) NKJV
“Entering the Wedding Chamber”
When the bride and groom arrived at his father’s house they entered their wedding chamber. They would remain inside behind the closed door for a seven days. This was to consummate the marriage as Jewish law required that they “become one” before the marriage would be recognized. When our Groom returns for us we will also go to the wedding chamber! Our entering the wedding chamber is equivalent to the “rapture” and seven year “tribulation period”. We, the bride will be “hidden away” with our Groom, Jesus!
“Come, my people, enter your chambers,
And shut your doors behind you;
Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment,
Until the indignation is past”
(Isaiah 26:20) NKJV
“After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here…”
(Revelation 4:1) NKJV
“Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal…”
(“Sea” is symbolic for a large mass of people)
(Revelation 4:6) NKJV
“…Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?”
And I said to him, “Sir, you know.”
So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
(Revelation 7:13-14) NKJV
“The Marriage Supper”
The marriage supper was the celebration of the wedding, the climax of sorts! It was a joyous occasion marked with music and dancing. The second cup, or shall we say, the “new cup”, of wine was shared between the bride and groom. Our marriage to the Lamb of God will be celebrated in this same way! We also take the name of our Groom!
“And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thundering, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Then he said to me, ” Write:’ Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb! ‘” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”
(Revelation 19:6-9) NKJV
“…And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it”
(Revelation 2:17) NKJV
“The Bride, Groom, and the Kingdom”
At the completion of the marriage supper, the wedded couple departed the home of the groom’s father to live in their own new home. Our Groom will provide no less for us! In fact, He provides and entire kingdom!
“…The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”
(Revelation 11:15) NKJV
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away… …I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband …the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. …”It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts”
(Revelation 21:1-6) NKJV
Beloved of God we are the Bride of Christ and Jesus is our Groom! He has chosen us, presented the covenant, shared the cup, gave us gifts, departed for a season to prepare a place for us, washed us in blood and water, set us apart for His own, and promises to return for us. All that is left is for you to say “I do”, giving your consent to marriage. Each one of us must give consent to be included as His bride. What will be your answer? Will you marry Jesus? If so, say “I do!”
I know this was a long teaching, but I believe it was well worth the journey. I am not one for watering down and condensing the Word of God. I humbly thank you for reading to the end, and I’m sure you have been blessed. Not because “I” wrote it, but because God wrote it in His Word thousands of years ago. I pray the favor and blessing of God over each one of you!
Until we meet again…