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The Bride of Christ and the Jewish Wedding Models

 

Bride-on-fire1-300x183WILL THE BRIDE OF CHRIST BE TORMENTED IN THE TRIBULATION PERIOD?

The Bridegroom (Christ) and bride (Christian church) analogy given several times in the New Testament, infers believers escape the wrath of the seven-year tribulation period.

It is doubtful that Christ would come for a bride that has been battered, bruised, and tarnished from seven years of tribulation. Contrarily, it makes more sense that Jesus would return to rapture His believers before they are ravished by those judgments, that are specifically intended for unbelievers.

The bride’s worthiness is based solely upon her genuine faith in the Bridegroom, and not courageous works performed amidst the backdrop of tribulation judgments. Believers have nothing further to prove. They are not obligated to undergo the fiery trials taking place in the trib-period.

For by grace you [believers] have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9; emphasis added).

Many Christian expositors compare the Bridegroom example to the traditional Jewish wedding model. What could be more appropriate, considering Christ was a Jew? The following brief outline of the process was partially taken from notes provided within a related Chuck Missler article called The Wedding Model.(i) This article is taken from the commentary in Revelation Road, Hope Beyond the Horizon.

BETROTHAL

The groom negotiated a fair price (mohair) for his bride. In the case of believers, the price was paid by the Lord’s precious sacrificial blood upon the cross for the sins of believers.

SEPARATION

The engagement period was actually a time of separation usually lasting about twelve months. While the bride-to-be stayed home, the groom returned to his father’s house to make preparations for their future lives together. This gave the bride time to prepare her trousseau, and the groom to construct a place for the two of them to live happily ever after. Presently, Christ and the bride are separated. He is in heaven while she is on Earth preparing her wedding garments, which according to Revelation 19:8 are her righteous acts.

PREPARATION

The groom utilized the separation period to return to his father’s house to construct the couple’s new home on the premises. John 14:1-4 points out that this is a function Christ is presently performing in heaven. John 14 says Christ is building mansions at His Father’s house for His followers. Believers can expect to inhabit spectacular heavenly abodes because several Scriptures point out that Christ is no novice when it comes to carpentry.

Is this [Jesus] not the carpenter, the Son of Mary? (Mark 6:3a).

This question was asked by Jesus’ local countrymen who were astounded by His teaching in the neighborhood synagogue. They had identified Him as a carpenter in the past, rather than the prophet He had become.

He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. (Colossians 1:15-17).

The major premise that can be drawn from these Colossians verses is that Jesus can create anything, including thousands of stars, species, varieties of vegetation, and much more. Thus, the minor premise is, He can construct spectacular mansions for his faithful followers.

FETCHING

JEW-BRIDE1-300x195At the appropriate time, after the construction was completed, the groom came to fetch his bride. Although the bride knew the time would come, she didn’t necessarily know precisely when. This is the case with believers today; they know Christ is coming, but don’t know the day or hour. Also, the groom’s arrival was usually accompanied by the best man and several friends. When the party arrived to fetch the bride, there was often a shout from the friends to announce the groom had arrived. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 declares there will be a shout from His friend the archangel announcing Christ’s return.

CONSUMATION

Once fetched, the two returned to the groom’s father’s house where they were secluded in a bridal chamber (huppah). While inside the chamber they consummated their marriage by entering into physical union for the first time. They remained secluded in the chamber for seven days while the wedding guests enjoyed the wedding feast at the groom’s father’s house. This will be the similar case with Christ and his believers. Together they will be secluded somewhere in heaven consummating their union, while the seven years of tribulation take place on Earth. The seven-days seem to represent these seven years of tribulation.

CELEBRATION

After the seven days had elapsed, the groom brought his bride out of the chamber to greet the wedding guests and partake of the celebration. This will be the case after the trib-period; Christ will reign in His messianic kingdom and His bride will co-reign faithfully by His side.

This Jewish wedding model suggests that believers escape the seven years of tribulation, by being safely secluded somewhere in heaven.

Believers are promised by Christ to escape the wrath of God that is poured out during the seven year trib-period on unsaved humanity, but they receive important instructions from the Bridegroom in the Book of Luke.

But take heed to yourselves, [bride / believers] lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. (Luke 21:34-36; emphasis added).

Christ warns His bride to be sober, watchful, and prayerful while she prepares her trousseau (righteous acts). The promise is that she will be worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass,” alluding to the wrath that is to come. She is not being invited to endure all these things, nor is she being informed that she will escape only some of these treacherous things. No, none of the above; Christ’s bride gets a honeymoon suite specially prepared in heaven according to John 14, where she goes to escape the wrath of God. If you listen carefully you can hear through the sirens sounding out the signs of the end times and hear the Divine Carpenter, Jesus Christ, pounding in the finishing nails on our mansions in heaven.

…………..
(i) Chuck Missler article accessed from the Internet on 8/12/11 at: http://www.khouse.org/articles/2003/449/.

 on Saturday, April 28, 2012 by Bill Salus

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Rapture-Chuck Missler All in one.m4v

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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

And,

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.

**NOTES**
    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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Chuck Missler on Harpazo: the Restrainer, the Day of the Lord and the Antichrist [Part 2]

http://youtu.be/bqnHGFgyNx0

Uploader Comments (doulosOfMessiah)

This must be a challenge to all his children, this is our blessed hope. Many will lead others way from this fine truth. Satan has but a short time and he know, where we stand in our heart. Jeshua our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ and our soon coming only KING, who alone will rule this earth. He has prepare a place for us and promised to return and take us home to be with him eternality. That is worth patiently waiting for. We don’t have much long, he is coming soon…So come Lord Jesus!

Uploaded by on Sep 10, 2010

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Chuck Missler on Harpazo: Rapture vs Second Coming,

Post-Trib Problems, Premillennialism

http://youtu.be/vQPvx56dksw

Uploaded by on Sep 12, 2010

http://khouse.org
http://www.pre-trib.org/
http://www.lamblion.com/
http://www.gotquestions.org/
http://www.raptureready.com/index.php
http://www.rapturealert.com/index2.html
http://www.bibleprophesy.org/index.html
http://www.raptureforums.com/index.cfm
http://www.pretribulationrapture.com/pretrib/

Rapture Questions Answered Playlist
http://www.youtube.com/user/johnankerberg#grid/user/AD14C7B518941A5B

The History of the Pre-trib Rapture
http://www.essentialchristianity.com/pages.asp?pageid=21918
http://www.grantjeffrey.com/article/why_some_reject.htm
http://www.lamblion.com/articles/articles_rapture6.php
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15 Differences Between the Rapture and the Second Coming
http://www.bibleprophesy.org/15differences.htm

(1)
[Rapture] Jesus coming for His Church/Bride to take up to Heaven, before Tribulation (Luke 21:36; John 14:1-3; 1Thess 1:10, 4:14-17, 5:9; Rev 3:10)
[Second Coming] Jesus coming with His Church/Bride down from Heaven, after Tribulation (Zech 14:5; Col 3:4; Rev 19:7-8,14, 21:9-10; Matt 24:29-31; Jud 1:14,15; 1Thess 3:13)

(2)
[Rapture] Church is caught up with Him in the air, in the clouds; He appears to Believers only (1Thess 4:13-18; Mat 5:8; John 11:40; Heb 9:28)
[Second Coming] Jesus’ feet touch the earth, and He brings war, then peace; Every eye will see Him, including unbelievers (Zech 14:4; Rev 19:11-21; Rev 1:7, Zech 12:10, Mat 24:30 Luke 3:6 John 19:37)

(3)
[Rapture] Christians taken first, unbelievers are left behind a shut door (Mat 25:1-13; Rev 3:8-10; Rev 4:1, 1Thess 4:13-18)
[Second Coming] Wicked are taken first, the righteous (Tribulation saints) are left to populate the Millennium (Mat 13:28-30)

(4)
[Rapture] Purpose: To present the Church to Himself and to the Father in Heaven (2 Cor 11:2; Rev 19:6-9)
[Second Coming] Purpose: To execute judgment on earth and set up His Kingdom on Earth (Zech 14:3-4; Jud 1:14-15; Rev 19:11-21)

(5)
[Rapture] Purpose: to cast Satan out of heaven down to the earth, which will reveal Satan for the Tribulation as the man of sin (Rev 12; 2Thess 2)
[Second Coming] Purpose: to cast Satan to the bottomless pit, to bind Satan after the Tribulation (Rev 20:1-7)

(6)
[Rapture] Happens in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, no war, globally (1Cor 15:52)
[Second Coming] Slow coming, at war, to specific locations, from Edom, to Bozrah, to Meggido or Armageddon, to Jerusalem (Isa 63:1-3, Rev 16:16, Zech 12:9-10)

(7)
[Rapture] Christians are changed, and get spirit bodies, go to heaven and do not marry, and become immortal (Mat 22:30; 1Cor 15:52; 1John 3:2)
[Second Coming] People populate the earth during the Millennium, some people still die, not being changed to immortality as at the rapture (Isa 65:20)

(8)
[Rapture] Jesus descends with a shout (for resurrection) and trumpet noise (1Thess 4:16)
[Second Coming] No shout mentioned (Rev 19:11-21)

(9)
[Rapture] A resurrection takes place of all saints to immortality, to rule as kings and priests in Heaven over Earth (1Cor 15:51-54; 1Thess 4:13-18)
[Second Coming] Resurrection of the tribulation saints to immortality who worship day and night in the temple of God (Rev 7:15, Rev 20:4-6)

(10)
[Rapture] Occurs as a thief in the night, at the ‘no man knows the day or hour’ festival of the Feast of Trumpets (Mat 24:43; 1Thess 5:4-6; Rev 3:3)
[Second Coming] Occurs at end of 7 years of Tribulation; exact day predicted; 3.5 years or 1260 days after the abomination of desolation (Dan 9:24-27, 12:11-12; Rev 11:2, 12:6,14, 13:5)

(11)
[Rapture] Is likened to the abduction of the bride during the Jewish Wedding, and the union of the bride and groom, which occurs at the start of the 7 day bridal week (Gen 29:22-28, Judges 14:1-18)
[Second Coming] Is likened to the marriage feast, which occurs after the 7 day bridal week, returning from the wedding (Luke 12:36; Rev 19)

(12)
[Rapture] The dead in Christ rise and together with then living will be changed into their new bodies and leave Earth with Jesus (1Thess 4:14-16)
[Second Coming] Christians return with Jesus in already resurrected bodies riding on white horses (Rev 19:11-21)

(13)
[Rapture] Jesus returns as a savior from wrath (Luke 21:36; Rom 5:9; 1Thess 1:10, 5:9; Rev 3:10)
[Second Coming] Jesus returns on a white horse, full of wrath (Rev 19:11)

(14)
[Rapture] For the Church only (those in Christ) 1Thess 4:14-17
[Second Coming] For redeemed Israel & Gentiles Mat 25:31-46; Rom 11:25-27

(15)
[Rapture] A message of hope and comfort; Like the days of Noah and Lot, which show deliverance and salvation from judgment. (1Thess 4:18; Titus 2:13; 1John 3:3; 2 Peter 2:7-9, Mat 24:37-44)
[Second Coming] A message of judgment and woe;Like the plagues of Egypt, many of which are mirrored in Revelation, pouring out his Wrath, and He comes after the judgements (Joel 3:12-16; Amos 5:18; Mal 4:5; Rev 19:11-21)

 

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