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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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THE BRETHREN-WHAT IS SO UNIQUE ABOUT THEM!!

THE RIGHT EMPHASIS

1 Separation

With Protestant Reformation, an increasing
number of churches realize that their
doctrine needs to be right. Many of them
have produced statements of doctrine that
are highly biblical. However, for such a doctrinal stand to become effective, the right kind of
emphasis is needed. Just as prescription of medicine should be followed by regular consumption of
medicine, right doctrine becomes practical only when there is right emphasis in the church.
However, today the Protestant Christendom has become so corrupt that they have added man-made
sets of stipulations along with right doctrines. This in effect has totally destroyed the unique
character of the New Testament church and has made these churches resemble the Roman
Catholicism out of which we came out.
The Scripture is very clear that
salvation comes only and only
through Christ. Only Lord Jesus
is the mediator between God
and man. There is no other
mediator, and there is none
other than Christ who is
qualified to be such a mediator.
The Brethren have given emphasis to the essentials right from the beginning, and some of these
include:
· Separation
· Priesthood Of All Believers
· Autonomy Of The Local Church
· Necessity Of Evangelism
· Necessity Of Church Planting
We need to discuss each one in detail:
1. Separation: It becomes clear even to a
casual observer of the Scripture that God
wants His children to be in the world, but be
separated from the world in certain things. In
other words, we are people with dual
citizenships and therefore we need to be
careful in what we do and in what we avoid.
This is based upon the principle, ” If ye were of
the world, the world would love his own: but
because ye are not of the world, but I have
chosen you out of the world, therefore the
world hateth you.” (John 15:19). “I have
given them thy word; and the world hath
hated them, because they are not of the
world, even as I am not of the world.” (John
17:14).
The human race craves for pagan practices, as the
Old Testament history has repeatedly demonstrated,
but God’s children need to practice separation.
God’s children continue to live in this world
after their salvation. During this time they
enjoy dual citizenship, of the earth and of the
heaven, with totally conflicting demands. Thus
there is a constant battle within the Christian
life (and within the Christian society) to arrive
at a compromise between the demands of the
old and new citizenships of the Christian – a
compromise between Christian theology and
earthly outlook. This kind of a compromise
reduces the conflict, and is a great gain for the
world, but is a great loss for the church. Such
a compromising believer is never able to
attain the sanctification, maturity, and
spiritual effectiveness for which he/she has
been called by Christ. The Scripture warns
against compromise, against mingling with
error, and against certain types of fellowships.
We read in the Scripture:
· I pray not that thou shouldest take
them out of the world, but that thou
shouldest keep them from the evil.
They are not of the world, even as I am
not of the world. (John 17:15,16)
· I wrote unto you in an epistle not to
company with fornicators: Yet not
altogether with the fornicators of this
world, or with the covetous, or
extortioners, or with idolaters; for
then must ye needs go out of the
world. But now I have written unto
you not to keep company, if any man
that is called a brother be a fornicator,
or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer,
or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with
such an one no not to eat. For what
have I to do to judge them also that
are without? do not ye judge them
that are within? But them that are
without God judgeth. Therefore put
away from among yourselves that
wicked person. (I Corinthians 5:9-13)
.If there come any unto you, and bring
not this doctrine, receive him not into
your house, neither bid him God
speed: For he that biddeth him God
speed is partaker of his evil deeds. (2
John 10,11)
· Beware lest any man spoil you through
philosophy and vain deceit, after the
tradition of men, after the rudiments
of the world, and not after Christ.
Let no man therefore judge you in
meat, or in drink, or in respect of an
holiday, or of the new moon, or of the
sabbath days: Which are a shadow
of things to come; but the body is of
Christ. Let no man beguile you of your
reward in a voluntary humility and
worshiping of angels, intruding into
those things which he hath not seen,
vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
And not holding the Head, from which
all the body by joints and bands having
nourishment ministered, and knit
together, increaseth with the increase
of God. Wherefore if ye be dead
with Christ from the rudiments of the
world, why, as though living in the
world, are ye subject to ordinances,
(Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22
Which all are to perish with the using;)
after the commandments and
doctrines of men? Which things have
indeed a shew of wisdom in will
worship, and humility, and neglecting
of the body; not in any honour to the
satisfying of the flesh. (Colossians
2:8, 16-23)
· And I heard another voice from
heaven, saying, Come out of her, my
people, that ye be not partakers of her
sins, and that ye receive not of her
plagues. (Revelation 18:4)
From these it is obvious that God wants his
children not to be part of those forms of
Christianity which are contrary to the
Scripture. God also wants His children to be
away from evil and sin. What is more, He
wants His children not to have fellowship with
heretics who are within the family of God, if
the heretics do not give heed to doctrinal
correction and if they continue to perpetuate
their teaching in the family.
As a result though the Brethren are courteous
and friendly to all, they refuse to be part of
any endeavor that encourages sin,
compromise, error, or heresy. They do not
endorse ecumenism, and do not participate in
activities that are aimed to promote
ecumenism. They are also the first to spot
error within the assemblies and
outside and they are the first to
expose such error. The ultimate
aim of all this is to show the world
that God’s children do not
endorse sin, compromise, and
heresy within the assemblies and outside and
they are the first to expose such error.  There are very few
churches that are as strong in these matters
as the Brethren Assemblies are.
Ecumenism tries to unite all Christian denominations
under the Roman Pope, and the tries to bring all
religions under one roof and under one head!
Brethren are totally opposed to this compromise.

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