PART 9 ~ March 2014 – Women’s “Relentless” Retreat with Pastor Debbie; Learning about the Jewish Wedding and How it Relates to The Bride of Christ and The Marriage Supper of the Lamb!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
And a voice came from the throne, saying,
“Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants,
you who fear Him, the small and the great.”
Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude
and like the sound of many waters
and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying,
“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him,
for the Marriage of the Lamb has come
and His bride has made herself ready.”
It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean;
for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Then he said to me, “Write,
‘Blessed are those who are invited to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.’”
And he said to me, “These are true words of God.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
PEGGY’S TESTIMONY CONTINUES:
In March of 2014, I attended a tremendously fruitful Women’s “Relentless” Conference presented by Pastor Debbie. “Relentless” was the word that the Lord gave her that was to characterize her congregants. They were to be “relentless” in their pursuit of HIM!
Among the three lessons that were presented was one of awesome insight about the components of the Jewish Wedding and how that corresponds to Scripture for our insight about the Bride of Christ and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb! I will summarize some main points of Pastor Debbie’s lesson below as well as incorporating additional points which I learned later. I will place direct quotations from Pastor Debbie in quotations.
“Have you ever noticed that the Bible is full of weddings? There’s a lot of wedding symbolism and stories. We can be wildly amazed at how deep and brilliant our God is and how His Word is so amazing. We see in this portion of Scripture that there’s an actual Feast of the Lamb, and that is not mentioned anywhere else in all of Scripture. There were three Feasts that the men of Israel were required to always attend: Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. All Jewish men had to go to Jerusalem and bring an offering and worship God. Hidden within those three required feasts are the stages of the Jewish Wedding, but an explanation of that is for another time.
In Revelation 19, we see a Prince, a maiden, and a white horse. We are going to remove from our minds the American concept of a wedding. However, we’re going to see that there are a few things that we do that actually come from the Hebraic Wedding.”
By the way, who is the Bride of Christ? I think the Scripture below answers it.
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.” (Revelation 7:9)
In addition, the Bride of Christ would be comprised of both male and females born throughout all human history. They would be those that totally gave their hearts, minds, and souls to God’s use, and above all accepted Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God and received Him as their only Savoir. They would have recognized their need for a Savior because of Adam and Eve’s fall in the Garden of Eden.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
They would have known that without receiving this Savior, that they were naturally headed to a horrible eternity in hell. With this Savior, they knew they were naturally headed to Heaven and an eternity of bliss that is simply beyond description. Please know that it’s not too late to fully receive Jesus as your only Savior, and thus be counted as part of the magnificent Bride of Christ!
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the ancient Jewish Wedding customs.
The Jewish Wedding has three phases. As I go through these phases, sit back and be astounded at how these customs greatly correlate with Sacred Scripture. Be amazed and inclined to fall down on your knees and just worship HIM!
1.) The Shiddukhin or The Arrangement.
In ancient Israel, the common practice was that the father of the groom would select a bride for his son. The father would introduce or propose this union with his son.
“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.” ~ (John 6:44)
“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.” ~ (Ephesians 1:4)
Regarding the Scripture immediately above, my understanding of this arrangement made before the foundation of the world is not pre-destination, but rather a result of the Father’s foreknowledge of who would ultimately choose Him and who wouldn’t chose Him. We are given custom-made opportunities to do so according to His perfect knowledge. These opportunities are still being given.
There are many of you out there that have never done so before, but can say “yes” to Jesus now. He is waiting for you to do so. He knew from the foundation of the world that you would say “yes,” even at this point of the near closure of the Church Age.
“I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: My plan will take place, and I will do all My will.” ~ (Isaiah 46:10)
Remember the picture of Jesus on the cross, in between two thieves. Those two thieves represent the two choices open to all of humanity: to choose or reject Him. Remember that the one thief disbelieved and rejected Him and the other thief chose to call Him “Lord,” and said in the last minutes of his earthly life:
And he (the thief) was saying, “Lord, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He (Jesus) said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:42-43)
So it’s not too late for you this moment no matter what you’ve done or who you are. Jesus paid for ALL of our sins past, present and future by His awesome work on the cross. But, we must make the free-will choice to receive Him and believe Him. If you haven’t done that yet, I urge you to do that now in all repentance and humility. Please don’t play “Russian Roulette” with your ETERNITY!
Now, I will continue with the Jewish Wedding customs:
1.) The Miveh or The Ritual Immersion.
This was done separately by the bride and groom prior to the formal betrothal period. This was symbolic of spiritual cleansing. As this relates to Jesus and His Bride, Jesus went through the waters of immersion prior to His ministry:
“After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.’ ” (Matthew 3:16-17)
Also, the Bride of Jesus has undergone and continues to wash in the cleansing waters:
“..so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.” (Ephesians 5:26-27)
“And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11)
2.) The Eyrusin or The Betrothal.
The next thing that would happen is that the bride would have the opportunity to accept the invitation.
She would be invited to the father’s house where the father, his son, and the bride would sit at a table of meeting. On every table where a Betrothal was about to begin would be three items: The Ketubah (the marriage contract), The Mohar (the price of the bride) and The Cup of Wine.
~~ The Ketubah (This word means “written”)
It is the marriage contract or covenant. Included in it are the conditions and provisions of the proposed marriage. This contract began originally in Israel when Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with the covenant and all of Israel agreed to the terms of that covenant at that time.
“Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine;” (Exodus 19:5)
So this Ketubah is very clear about what the expectations are for the bride and the groom. They would hear it, they would know it, and they would either agree with it or disagree with it. A very key thing in considering the Ketubah is that she had to accept the offer for things to continue. She would have to think about the terms and conditions because certainly this Ketubah would change her life. She may lose some friends who don’t like the groom. She might not be able to do the things that she used to do.
The next thing that would happen is that the Ketubah was signed and they were essentially legally married. Regardless of the fact that there was no consummation of the marriage yet, in the spirit realm and in the culture of that time, it was a marriage.
The Apostle Paul states in 2 Corinthians 11:2 –
“I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to Him.”
“For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.” ~ (Isaiah 54:5)
~~ The Mohar (the price of the bride)
The price was determined by the father’s wealth, the bride’s worth, and the groom’s work. When applying this spiritually, we should ask the question, “what could God the Father give that He only had one of?” We know that He owns all the cattle on a thousand hills and all the silver and the gold. The answer would be to give His only begotten Son, Jesus!
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
The bride would promise to pay her dowry. Of course in spiritual terms, that translates to giving him her yielded life and keeping herself pure for him.
~~ The Cup of Wine
“Once the covenant was signed and the price of the bride was determined, then the fruit of the vine would be poured and they would both drink of it. The drinking from the cup of wine seals the agreement. It reminds everyone of what this contract is, what they’re settling for, what’s to be had, what’s to do. So it’s settled. It’s very clear on the table what is happening.”
“In the same way, after the supper He (Jesus) took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.’
Some additional comments about The Eyrusin or The Betrothal:
The Hebrew word “Eyrusin” means “Betrothal.” This period also means sanctification or set apart. A main purpose of the betrothal period is to set themselves apart in order to enter into the covenant of marriage. The Jewish understanding of this is very serious to the point that the bride and groom would need a religious divorce to annul the contract at this point.
Another point about the two drinking of the cup of wine: It was a cup of blessings.
“And having taken the cup and having given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you.”
After this was done at the father’s house, the bride and groom would not see each other from then on. In ancient Israel, the bride and groom would not buy their own house or apartment. The groom would build a room on his father’s house. In the following Scripture, we see Jesus’ fulfillment of His part of the Betrothal:
“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.” (John 14:2)
Also, the groom would abstain from cups of wine while he was away. The bride could drink of it as much as she wanted to in remembrance of him.
“In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ ” (1 Corinthians 11:25)
The groom promised to drink it again with her after he returned for her and brought her to his father’s house.
“And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. But I say to you, 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)
Now there is one last part of the betrothal that needs to be addressed:
The matan is the gift or gifts that the groom would leave for the bride just before he left after the betrothal. This was a gift of blessing, a gift to represent the pledge of his love for her. It was also a reminder to her of his love for her during their time of separation. This gift or gifts showed that he was thinking of her and had promised to return for her. The gift that Jesus left for his Bride was the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost:
“He (Jesus) commanded them, ‘Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift He promised, as I told you before.’ “
“… you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.”
In addition, Jesus left 9 other Gifts of the Spirit for the building up of the Body of Christ, His Bride:
“But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.” ~ (1 Corinthians 12:7-11)
Now the groom had gone away to work on the bridal chamber to be added to his father’s house.
“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.” (John 14:3)
An interesting point here is that it wasn’t the groom that would determine the time to go and snatch the bride away to the father’s house, it was the father that made that determination. In the Jewish wedding, the time of the groom’s arrival was to be a surprise. The bride knew approximate time, but the specific day and hour was uncertain.
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” (Matthew 24:36)
While her groom was away, the bride needed to keep herself occupied with the business of preparation for the wedding day. A major part of that was that wedding garments were to be sewn and prepared. She also needed to consecrate herself as she prepared these holy garments.
“Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.” (Ephesians 5:25-27)
Finally, the father would give the word to his son that the set time to return to snatch his bride to come to his house had come. One of the groom’s party would go ahead of the bridegroom, leading the way to the bride’s house with this shout: “Behold, the bridegroom comes.” Following that would be the sounding of the shofar (ram’s horn trumpet) or trumpet.
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” ~ (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)
3.) The Nissuin or The Final Step
This was a joyful celebration. It included seven full days of food, music, dance, and celebration. The hi-light of the seven days was a special Marriage Supper. Now, thinking of the seven days, and considering Daniel’s 70 weeks in the Book of Daniel, where each day translates to 1 year, it would appear that the Bride of Christ would be with her Groom, Jesus, in Heaven for seven years and then the Public Presentation of the Bride (corresponding to the Second Coming of Jesus) would occur (as was also the final act of the Jewish Wedding). We also know there is a seven year world-wide tribulation if we continue to connect this pattern of the Jewish Wedding with correlative Scriptures.
However, thinking of this, we know that “the cross,” persecution and times of tribulation are all part of the Believer’s walk if they are not luke-warm, but have a red-hot walk with the Holy Trinity. We should be careful not to let our thinking drift into a comfort zone that declares that we won’t have to suffer for the sake of the Gospel; that we will simply be whisked away from all trouble. After all, at least 60% of the Christians in the world are undergoing persecution this very moment as you read this. Why would the remaining 40% be immune? I think it is a very good idea to prepare for persecution.
I have one more point. Believers among us subscribe to varying positions on the Rapture and Tribulation: Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib, and Post-Trib. I think that we can express our firm opinions on these things in love, remembering as Pastor Debbie says, “I subscribe to ‘Pan Theology.’ It will all PAN OUT in the end!” Also, since this is Linda’s forum, I certainly respect her convictions on this. Linda has a REALLY good track record! Naturally, I welcome Linda Clay’s input on this topic.
Linda Clay’s notes:
The “pre-trib rapture” was a fairly new man-made doctrine, popularised by John Nelson Darby in the 1830s (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Nelson_Darby).
While I certainly had several “rapture dreams”, given to me by the Holy Spirit, the only time I was given an idea about the timing of the removal of the Bride of Christ was one that was prior to the Wrath of God being poured out on the earth. In that dream it was around the 6th seal, confirmed by an angel in Heaven; this is commonly known as “the Pre-Wrath Rapture”. However, NOBODY knew we were already in “the tribulation” when it occurred.
8-26-15: A Dream About “The Rapture” | believeacts2’s Blog
Sadly, our American self-centered mentality generally pushes the masses to believe we will be “poof, outta here before bad stuff happens”, not taking into account the persecution, tortured, rape, enslavement, burning, burying alive, beheading, selling into slavery that our brothers and sisters in Christ face DAILY throughout the globe. Why would we be “proofed outta here”, when they were not? We just haven’t seen the level of persecution that has been experienced in non-Western nations. . . YET, but it’s coming and indeed we’ll be here to face it and this sobering question: do we love Jesus more than anything or anybody else, including our very lives?
Additional thoughts – Just about anything Hollywood produces stems from the global elite who worship lucifer. Let’s go into analytical mode/logical mode for a moment and ask ourselves this: why would Hollywood produce a movie about the pre-trib rapture (the recent “Left Behind” movie with Nicholas Cage) . . Unless they had plans for deception, utilizing that man-made doctrine? Also, there WILL be a “fake rapture”, utilizing project blue beam. . . As well as a FAKE “alien invasion” produced by “the global elite”, So let’s add that up: one + one = “I smell sulfur here”. . . And MASSIVE DECEPTION!!!
I will not debate the rapture timing . . . That’s like worrying about dusting the basement furnace room, when your house is flooding with sewage . . . Too many souls are heading into hell EVERYDAY, while the professing “body of Christ” is busy bickering about man-made doctrines. For those who want to and like to debate I say: “if that’s what you choose to do, but that is TRULY wasting precious time that gets burned up at the Judgement Seat of Christ.”
Bottom line: NONE of us knows the day or the hour when it is time for us to head into eternity, much less when Jesus will be coming back, so it is wise to have our relationship clean DAILY and be ready DAILY for we don’t know if it is our day to face our Creator.
Back to Peggy:
Let’s consider these, which are really a very small sampling of Scriptures that declare that Believers WILL experience persecution:
“Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.” (1 Peter 4:12)
“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.” (John 15:18)
“Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12)
Also, let’s encourage ourselves with this Bible promise regarding persecution:
“Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” ~ (Matthew 5:12)
The Public Presentation of the Bride
The Public presentation of the bride is the absolute final step, where the groom presents his bride in the market place and in society. That’s a picture of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ just prior to the setting up of His Millennial Kingdom. That’s when Jesus touches down on the Mount of Olives with His White Horse, with His Bride coming behind Him on white horses also.
“I saw heaven standing open
and there before me was a white horse,
whose rider is called Faithful and True.
With justice he judges and wages war.
His eyes are like blazing fire,
and on his head are many crowns.
He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.
He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood,
and his name is the Word of God.
The armies of heaven were following him,
riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.
Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations.
“He will rule them with an iron scepter.”
He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.
On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:11-16)
Side Note, #1: At Pastor Debbie’s Conference that I referenced at the top of this section, there was a BEAUTIFUL Huppah (“hoo-pah”) in the conference room. The Huppah is the canopy under which the bride and groom have a marriage ceremony (I didn’t detail that in this installment) in the father’s house.
The first two talks at the conference had to do with “Untying the Knots” of unproductive and non God-ordained soul-ties to people in our lives. The final talk on the Jewish Wedding Customs was called “Tying the Knot.” That meant tying the knot with our true and Heavenly Bride-groom, Yahshua Ha Mashiach, Jesus the Messiah!
We were each provided with various styles of beautiful lace veil/scarves on the backs of our chairs. At the end of the final talk on “Tying the Knot,” we put them on as Paul Wilbur’s song about “The Beautiful Bride” played in the background.
Two lines were formed to go under the Huppah and take Bread and Grape Juice (representing wine) for Communion. We went back to our seats and took Communion together under Pastor Debbie’s anointed direction.
Prior to this, Pastor Debbie said: “And now it’s time to tie that knot, to go back to your first love and to stay under the covering that He has, because in the Father’s House, you are complete. There is nothing lacking. There’s Shalom in there: nothing broken, nothing missing, everything is complete, and He wants to cover you in a big way. You are all SO BEAUTIFUL!”
I loved taking this beautiful white veil/scarf home as a wonderful reminder of that very special conference and of the fact that I considered myself seriously betrothed to Jesus Christ! My earthly Wedding Day, which would happen about 1 year and 11 months later would find me placing that white lacy scarf around my neck as I rode to the church and walked into my preparation room with my Matron of Honor.
Side Note, #2: I would like to report that as I was typing many portions of this information about the Jewish Wedding, I saw beautiful lavender light, looking like a lavender hi-light on various sentences and lines. I interpreted this as a sign of confirmation about the value of the information and that perhaps the Royalty of Christ was being high-lighted. I reasoned that if it was dark purple, I wouldn’t have been able to see the typing. HE is so Royal and SO WORTHY!
If you would like to privately contact Peggy (or Linda), please fill out the contact form below:
ANY ADS LOCATED ON MY BLOGS ARE NOT MY CHOICE, NOR DO I ENDORSE ANY OF THE THEM. . . I have a free account from WordPress, which may place ads of their choosing on my posts. I suppose it’s a good example of “you get what you pay for”. Currently “free” is all I can afford, but THANK YOU JESUS, I’m able to do this at all.