Archive for February 20th, 2012

The Wedding Model  

by Chuck Missler

In this second article in our series on the Rapture, we will explore another reason why we favor a “pre-tribulation” view of the Harpz, the “snatching up” of the Church.

All through the Gospels, Jesus relied on the ancient Jewish wedding pattern for many of His parables,1 climaxing in His promise in the Upper Room in John 14 (as reviewed in our previous article). Many of us miss the full import of these allusions if we aren’t familiar with the model of ancient Jewish wedding practices.

Jewish Wedding

The first step, the Ketubah, or Betrothal,2 was the establishment of the marriage covenant, usually when the prospective bridegroom took the initiative3 and negotiated the price (mohair) he must pay to purchase her.4

Once the bridegroom paid the purchase price, the marriage covenant was established, and the young man and woman were regarded as husband and wife. 5 From that moment on, the bride was declared to be consecrated or sanctified – set apart – exclusively for her bridegroom.6 As a symbol of the covenant relationship that had been established, the groom and bride drank from a cup of wine over which the betrothal had been pronounced.7

After the marriage covenant was established, the groom left his bride at her home and returned to his father’s house, where he remained separated from his bride for approximately 12 months.8 This afforded the bride time to gather her trousseau and prepare for married life. 9

During this period of separation, the groom prepared a dwelling place in his father’s house to which he would later bring his bride. At the end of the period of separation, the bridegroom came – usually at night – to take his bride to live with him. The groom, the best man, and other male escorts left the father’s house and conducted a torch-light procession to the home of the bride. 10 Although the bride was expecting her groom to come for her, she did not know the time of his coming.11 As a result, the groom’s arrival was preceded by a shout,12 which announced her imminent departure to be gathered with him.

After the groom received his bride, together with her female attendants, the enlarged wedding party returned from the bride’s home to the groom’s father’s house,13 where the wedding guests had assembled.

Shortly after their arrival, the bride and groom were escorted by the other members of the wedding party to the bridal chamber (huppah). Prior to entering the chamber, the bride remained veiled so that no one could see her face. 14 While the groomsmen and bridesmaids waited outside, the bride and groom entered the bridal chamber alone. There, in the privacy of that place, they entered into physical union for the first time, thereby consummating the marriage that had been covenanted approximately one year earlier. 15

After the marriage was consummated, the groom came out of the bridal chamber and announced the consummation of the marriage to the members of the wedding party waiting outside.16 Then, as the groom went back to his bride in the chamber, the members of the wedding party returned to the wedding guests and announced the consummation of the marriage. 17

Upon receiving the good news, the wedding guests remained in the groom’s father’s house for the next seven days, celebrating with a great wedding feast.18

During the seven days of the wedding feast, the bride and groom remained hidden in the bridal chamber19 (Cf. Genesis 29:21-23, 27-28) for the seven days of the huppah.20 Afterwards, the groom came out of hiding, bringing his bride with him, but with her veil removed so that everyone could see her.

The Ultimate Bride

The New Testament portrays the Church as the Bride of Christ in Ephesians 5:22-33 (Paul even quotes Genesis 2:24 as the union at the Parousia of the Bridegroom in v.31!); cf. Romans 7:4; 2 Corinthians 11:2; James 4:4. In the opening verses of John 14, the marriage covenant is confirmed. 21 Paul continually reminds us of the purchase price 22 and the covenant23 by which we, the Bride, are set apart, or sanctified.24

Ecclesiology vs. Eschatology

It is this distinctive nature of the Church that is often overlooked by students of prophecy: it is more a matter of ecclesiology than eschatology.

One thing that seems to highlight this distinctiveness is the strange remark Jesus made regarding John the Baptist:

Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. –Matthew 11:11

What does that mean? Jesus goes on to explain,

For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. – Matthew 11:13

It is John the Baptist that closes the Old Testament, not Malachi. 25 A profound distinction appears to be drawn between the saints of the Old Testament and those of the New.

One of the challenges in fully appreciating Paul’s epistles is the need to understand the staggering and distinctive advantages afforded the Church, in contrast to those of the Old Testament saints.26 And it is this role as the Bride of the Bridegroom that is emphasized in the parables and in the Book of Revelation.27

The Departure of the Bridegroom

The Bridegroom has departed, and His return to gather His Bride is imminent.28 He has gone to prepare a place for you and me. (He has been at it for 2,000 years! It must be a spectacular abode!)

This very doctrine of “imminence” is taught throughout the New Testament and is a cornerstone of the “pre-tribulational” view: there is no event which is a prerequisite condition for His gathering of His Bride.

The Great Tribulation

There are those who believe the Church will go through the Great Tribulation. In exploring this issue, it is essential to distinguish between persecution, which clearly has been the lot of the Church for 19 centuries, and “the Great Tribulation” of eschatological significance. The persecution – and tribulation – of the Church was clearly promised to us:

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. –John 16:33

The source of this tribulation is the world and, of course, Satan. However, “the Great Tribulation” of eschatological significance is quite another matter.

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. –Matthew 24:21

The context here is clearly Israel.29 Jesus is quoting from the Old Testament:

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book -Daniel 12:1

Note that “thy people will be delivered”: the focus of the “Great Tribulation” is Israel. That is why it is called “the time of Jacob’s Trouble”:

Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. –Jeremiah 30:7

Jesus (in the Old Testament) explains:

I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me earnestly. 30 -Hosea 5:15

To “return,” He must have left His place! The offence referred to is singular and specific: their rejection of Him. In “their affliction” they will ultimately repent and He will respond.31

The Great Tribulation also involves more than the wrath of the world or the wrath of Satan: it involves the indignation and wrath of God. 32 In contrast, the Church has been promised:

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,-1 Thessalonians 5:9


Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. -Romans 5:9

And, specifically,

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour [time] of temptation [trial], which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. -Revelation 3:10

Peter also emphasizes,

The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: –2 Peter 2:9

Here, Peter is using the judgment upon Sodom and Gomorrah “as an example,”33 as Jesus also did,34 in which the prior removal of Lot was a precondition before the angels could do their work.35

A complete study of this issue involves careful and diligent study of both the Church (ecclesiology) as well as the eschatology (end time aspects) of the Great Tribulation, which, of course, far exceeds the focus of this brief review. It requires precise definitions of the terms used, and great care to understand how each of the elements of the revealed truth relate to each other.

But the fundamental doctrine of imminence has to be forfeited with any view that requires the Great Tribulation – or any other precedent event – to occur prior to the Rapture.

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. -Luke 21:36

Are you going to escape these things that shall come to pass? If so, how? Or are you relying on the notion that the Lord is “delaying His coming?” 36 This could be a very dangerous presumption. Do your homework. It is important.

http://www.khouse.org/articles/2003/449/* * *

See our briefing package, The Rapture: Christianity’s Most Preposterous Belief.

    1. Cf. Matthew 22:1-14 and Matthew 25:1-13 for notable examples.

    1. The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, Isaac Landman ed., Universal Jewish Encyclopedia Co., Inc. New York, 1948, pp. 7, 372.
    2. David R. Mace, Hebrew Marriage, Philosophical Library, New York, 1953, p.167.

    1. The Universal Jewish Enclopedia, p.372.

    1. The Jewish Encyclopedia, Isidore Singer ed., Funk and Wagnalls Company, New York, 1907, III, pp.126,127. Cf. Mal 2:14; Mt 1:18-19.
    2. George F. Moore, Judaism, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, 1946, II, p.121.

    1. The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, p.373.

    1. Ibid., p.372.

    1. Ibid.

    1. The Standard Bible Encyclopedia, James Orr ed., Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids MI, 1957, III, p.1998.
    2. Emma Williams Gill, Home Life in the Bible, Broadman Press, Nashville TN, 1936, p.20.
    3. James Neil, Everyday Life in the Holy Land, Cassell and Company, Limited, New York, 1913, p.251.
    4. J. Jeremias, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Vol IV, ed. by Gerhard Kittel, trans. and ed. by Geoffrey W. Bromiley, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids MI, 1967, p.1100.

    1. The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, ed. Isaac Landman, Universal Jewish Encyclopedia Co., Inc., New York, 1948, pp. 10, 399.

    1. The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, p.373.
    2. Cf. Psalm 19:5; John 3:29.

    1. The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, pp.5, 504.

    1. Ibid.
    2. Ibid.
    3. Ibid.

  1. 1 Corinthians 11:25.
  2. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
  3. 1 Corinthians 11:25-26.
  4. Ephesians 5:25-27; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 6:11; Hebrews 10:10; 13:12.
  5. Luke 16:16.
  6. Ephesians 3:3ff.
  7. Matthew 22:1-4; 25:1-13; and Revelation 18.23; 19:7-9; 21:2, 9; 22:17.
  8. Cf. Matthew 9:15; Mark 2:19, 20; Luke 5:34, 35; John 3:29; Revelation 18:23.
  9. Matthew 24:16, 20.
  10. KJV: “early.” The word is shachar, to seek, seek earnestly, look early or diligently for.
  11. See our briefing pack, The Next Holocaust and the Refuge in Edom, for a detailed review of Isaiah 63, et al.
  12. Revelation 6:16, 17; 11:18; 14:10, 19; 15:1, 17;16:1, 19; 19:15.
  13. 2 Peter 2:6.
  14. Luke 17:28-37.
  15. Genesis 19:22.
  16. Matthew 24:48-51.

**RELATED ARTICLES FROM KOINONIA HOUSE**Rapture Questions Continue: Our Blessed Hope – Chuck Missler

A Concluding Review: The Harpazo – Chuck Missler

Your Questions Answered By Chuck Missler This Generation Shall Not Pass… – Chuck Missler

Israel’s New Year Begins: The Feast of Trumpets – Chuck Missler

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by Dr Daniel H. Smith

Chancellor of Emmaus Bible College

“(…) come together not for the better but for the worse.” – 1 Cor. 11:17

When Bonhoffer compared the nature of the relationship Christians had in the survival mode of the concentration camp with their previous relationship in better times ,he said that they had been ,,a league of pious strangers’’, rather than a fellowship of believers in those better times “

It is possible that the true believers in Christ may physically associate at meetings and not experience true fellowship? The Apostle Paul told the Corinthian church that they were actually worse off because of their fellowship meal then they will be without it. Problems in their attitudes and relationship displayed in that optional meeting were spoiling the essential of remembering Christ and he rebuked them.

Harmony and unity in the Godhead is the pattern for harmony and unity among believers. Our Lord taught us the self giving love among His people would be the central identifying feature of those who are truly His disciples.

For us who personally share a true faith in Jesus Christ for salvation there is the great privilege of fellowship together in Christ. Differences of all kinds are inevitable in any group of people. May we each give such high priority to our relationship with Christ that we will express and experience true Christian fellowship when we meet together! A ,,league  of pious strangers’’ does not attract people to Christ. But a world filled with conflict and division where each one is doing his own thing can be attracted to our Savior by true fellowship among Christians. This is according to Acts 2:42, is an essential function of a New Testament church.


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The Rapture of the Church

One of the most controversial topics in the Bible community is the timing of the rapture of the church. But it needn’t be. We have numerous articles on the scriptural support for the pre-tribulational Rapture. The rapture of the church is the secret disappearance of millions of Christian who have placed their faith in the completed work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Jesus will save the church from the wrath of God that is poured out during the coming Tribulation period. In the twinkling of an eye, we shall all vanish and be in Heaven with Jesus Christ forever.

Paul Was Pre-Trib

The Pretribulational Rapture

The Secret Rapture

The Cult of the Rapture?

Are You Ready for the Rapture?

Rapture or Tribulation?

Rapture Signs?

What is the Pretribulation Rapture?

What is the Mid-tribulation Rapture theory?

What is the Post-tribulation Rapture theory?

What is the Pre-tribulation Rapture theory?

What is the Pre-Wrath Rapture theory?

The Rapture

The No Rapture Theory

The Rapture is a Myth?

Tribulation After the Rapture

After the Rapture

Rapture Watch

Sounding the Rapture Alert

Are you Rapture Ready?

Defending the Pre-Trib Rapture

Defending The Pre-Trib Rapture (Again)

Catholic Attack on the Rapture

What is Imminency? The Rapture of the Church is an Emminent Event

The Origin of the Concept of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture

Rapture Timing

Secret Rapture?

What is the Pretribulation Rapture?

The Christian Rapture

What Secret Rapture?

The Harpazo

The Rapture – Our Blessed Hope

The Think-Not Generation

The Rapture – The Jewish Wedding Model

The Rapture of the Church

Q & A: No Rapture??

Q & A: Rapture On A Jewish Feast Day?

Q & A: How Can I Explain The Rapture?

Q & A: Isaiah 17 and The Rapture

Q & A: Believers Missing The Rapture?

Q & A: Partial Rapture?

Q & A: Pre Trib Or Post Trib?

My Fascination With The Pre-Trib Rapture

Q & A: Are Our Rapture Bodies Real?

Why Do Some Teach that the Church will Endure the Tribulation?

The Rapture of the Church is an Imminent Event

Margaret MacDonald is not the mother of the pre-tribulation rapture

Perhaps Today: The Imminent Coming of Christ

Why the Bible Still Prohibits Date Setting

Rapture: The 2012 Prophecy

Why God’s Purpose for the Tribulation excludes the Church

Is the Pre-Trib Rapture a Satanic Deception?

Preterism! I Can’t Believe It

“Pre-Wrath” Or “Pre-Trib” Rapture?

The Rapture: What you need to know

The Rapture: Thief in the Night

The Rapture vs. The Glorious Appearing

The Rapture – Answering the Critics

16 Proofs of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture

The ‘Great Escape’ Misunderstanding

Thou, Thee, The World, and Them

Has Bible Prophecy Already Been Fulfilled?

The Rapture and the Second Coming: An Important Distinction

The First Rapture Foundation: Consistent Literal Interpretation

The Second Rapture Foundation: Premillennialism

The Third Rapture Foundation: Futurism

The Fourth Rapture Foundation: Israel / Church Distinction

Literal Interpretation of Bible Prophecy: Help or Hinderance?

Examining an Ancient Pre-Trib Rapture Statement

Rapture Theory and Myths

The Rapture in History and Prophecy

Matthew 24 and “This Generation”

Israel’s Fall Feasts and Date-Setting of the Rapture

Rapture: Literal vs. Allegorical Interpretation

Imminency And The Any-Moment Rapture

Why I Believe The Bible Teaches Rapture Before Tribulation

A Little Used Rapture Passage

Yet, Another Pre-Darby Rapture Statement

Myths of the Origin of Pretribulational Rapture – Part 1

Myths of the Origin of Pretribulational Rapture – Part 2

The Three-Quarters Rapture Theory

Matthew 24:31 – Rapture Or Second Coming?

The Rapture in 2 Thessalonians 2:3

The Date Setters Diary


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Christian Links

We have included the following links to other end times ministries that we think will be beneficial to you in your quest for Christian and biblical end times learning. We hope you will find them helpful.

Note: Inclusion of a link on this page does not necessarily imply approval or agreement with EVERYTHING found at that site (unless otherwise noted). However, we have tried to do our best to help ensure that only truly sound and biblical end times ministries are listed below.

The Hal Lindsey Report — Hal Lindsey

Rapture Ready — Todd Strandberg

Rapture Ready Radio — Matt Buff

Preserved Words — Tim Morton (generously allowed us to use the Clarence Larkin material)

Bible Analyzer — Tim Morton

Ariel Ministries — Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum

Until Jesus Comes — Heidi Swander

His Forever — Peggy

Bible Prophecy Blog — Roger

Now the End Begins — Geoffrey Grider

Standing for God — Rocco T.

Pre-Rapture Commentary — Grant Phillips

End Times Bible Prophecy — Britt Gillette

Prophecy in the News — Chris Perver

Grant Jeffrey — Dr. Grant Jeffrey

Words of a Fether

Prophecy Central — Ron Graff

World School of Prophecy & News Events — Dominick Villapiano

According2Prophecy — Evangelist Donald Perkins

Prophecy Watch — Phillip Goodman

The TRUTH under FIRE

Lighthouse Trails Research

Lighthouse Trails Publishing

End of the World – Victor

Grace Thru Faith — Jack Kelley

Olive Tree Ministries — Jan Markell

Pre-Trib Research Center — Tim LaHaye and Dr. Thomas Ice

Lamb and Lion Ministries — Dr. David Reagan and Nathan Jones

Soldier for the Lord Jesus Christ — Sean

Rapture Alert — Mike Mickey

Bible Prophecy in the News — Rodrigo Silva

Divine Intervention — Keith & Nita Weaver

Hope for Today — Dr. David Hocking

Tracking Bible Prophecy — Amy VanGerpen

Crown and Sickle — Don McGee

Begin Living

Prophecy Update – Brother Randy

Rapture Notes

The Prophetic Years — Don Koenig

Hebrew4Christians — John Parsons

BrittGillette.com — Britt Gillette

Got Bible Prophecy?

Jews For Jesus — Jewish Outreach Organization

PreTribulation.com — Pretribulation Rapture Information

Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries — Mike Gendron

David Dolan – News from Israel — David Dolan

Prophecy Depot — Bill Salus

Prophecy Update Radio

Rapture Chat

Global Jesus Christ Network

Got Rapture?

Eternal Value — Wilfred Hahn

Sound Christian

Westside Baptist Church

The Amazing Bible

Prophecy Planet

Focus on Jerusalem

Sonrise Music

Logan’s Warning – Islam In Action

Christian Links Directory

En Defensa de la Fe — Donald Dolmus

Helping Hands Project

Christian Ear

Calvary Prophecy Report

Truth Ablaze — Pastor Henry

Test the Spirit — Test The Spirit, Apologetics – Proclaiming The Message Ministries

Berean Watchmen Ministries

Moments in Bible Prophecy — Pastor Shawn

Jesus Loves You Too – “Looking for answers? God knows the questions”

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem – Inner West Baptist Church (Sydney Australia) – Pastor Peter Rahme

Ask Barbara Henderson

Rapture Watch

Love Shine Radio

Omega Letter – Jack Kinsella

Reason For Faith International Ministries – Dr. Miguel J. Gonzalez

Christian Wallpapers Wallpapers4God

Hal Lindsey Cartoons — John and Patsy Rule

Take a Stand! Ministries — Eric Barger

John McTernan’s Insights — John McTernan

Armageddon Books

web directory list

Directory World


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