A Wedding Invitation
With The Voice of Light podcast you can learn about the Hebrew roots of our faith in a Jewish carpenter from Galilee that walked this earth about 2000 years ago! While He already reigns now in the hearts and minds of millions of people throughout the earth, when He returns to rule and reign as King Jesus, it will be from a physical throne in a new temple located in the actual city of Jerusalem in the sovereign nation called Israel. Psalm 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; May those who love you be secure.
In my previous podcast titled Judgment Day, I wanted to dive into the meaning of the first cup of wine at the Passover Seder. The first Sanctification cup for Being Set Apart is comparable to the Cup of Joy at a wedding betrothal.
Thirty years ago I was involved in the various details of wedding preparation. For my own wedding that is. So many little things to consider!
The biggest hurdle we faced was scheduling the church. Already booked out for summer, the only available options were early May or late September. We chose May to have the spring feeling and went through the required marriage preparation classes. After all this is a sacrament, a sign to the world that we are uniting as one under God.
I consulted with my soon to be husband on most everything but the primary decision making was all on me. I confirmed what paperwork was needed by both the church and civil authorities. I selected the color theme, bridesmaids, the Bible verses to be read and the people that would read them. I hired the organist and told him what songs should be performed. The design and fonts for our wedding invitation and the guest list were decided. The reception was held at the church hall; just one location to manage.
Thankfully my mother took care of all the food, including the wedding cake. We also made a special, small cake with rice flour for the gluten free. Not something readily available in those days, mind you! My mother in law to be helped arrange the procession. She wanted to repeat how it had been done at their wedding; the mother of the groom walked in with her son while the father of the groom escorted the mother of the bride. My groom wore a white tuxedo because we felt it was a symbol of our unity.
I had so much fun with my wedding dress. It was tailor made in Chula Vista, CA. I went with a simple yet elegant princess style. It seemed to take forever to be ready. I remember going to the shop many times to check the progress and to make sure it was perfect. This was supposed to be my one and only wedding day.
The rehearsal went smoothly and everyone understood their roles and expectations. All systems go! The next morning I woke up early, happy and nervous too. That I had my earrings and necklace, slip and shoes. Getting to the church on time while singing the golden oldie “Going to the chapel and we’re going to get married”. Making sure my hair and make-up were just right. Then with my preparations complete it was a waiting game until the appointed time. My bridesmaids would take turns checking in on me and letting me know what was happening out there. As the bride I was kept away from all the excitement as the guests arrived and were seated. While the groom waited at the altar, the bride entered last with her father. All eyes on them as the wedding march played. Then the ceremony began.
Before the Wrath is an extremely engaging documentary film by Brent Miller Jr. about the approaching wedding of Jesus to His Bride. Narrated by Kevin Sorbo with many experts featured. I was familiar with two of the faith leaders interviewed. Pastor Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel in Chino Hills, CA https://calvarycch.org/ and Amir Tsarfati founder of Behold Israel located in the Galilee. http://www.beholdisrael.org
In all my years of studying the Bible and pondering the prophetic mysteries of God, nothing has moved me as strongly as Before the Wrath. Released in 2020 and available on DVD, it illustrates substantial evidence for the Rapture of the Church. Local customs of a Galilean wedding ceremony are perfectly portrayed. They are clearly connected to many relevant Scriptures from Jesus’ words and actions. If you are looking for answers to what is currently going on in the world and want to know what is coming, watch this movie! http://www.beforethewrath.com/
Remember that the disciples Jesus chose were all from that area so they knew the culture and readily understood His meaning. The sacred customs of a Galilean wedding depicted in Before the Wrath include many unique elements.
1. Betrothal - father and son meet with father and daughter at the City Gate. This is the location where the elders met and legal matters were decided.
2. Covenant - Ketubah written contract terms were read out loud by the father of the Bridegroom.
3. Purchase Price - He then provided payment to the father of the Bride. Funds to be used for her support, like an insurance policy payout if something happened to the Bridegroom.
4. Witnesses - the public event is seen and heard by all, nothing is hidden or private to the parties.
5. The Cup of Joy - The Bridegroom pours out a cup of wine and offers it to the Bride. If she accepts and drinks, then hands the cup back and the Bridegroom drinks, the deal is sealed. He then says “Be thou consecrated unto me by the laws of Moses and Israel.” This is the only culture in the Middle East that gives a bride the power to reject her suitor’s proposal.
6. Gift Exchange - Rings are blessed and shared.
7. Separation - They are parted until a future date, usually about one year. The Bride returns with her father and the Bridegroom’s promise to collect her when the time is right.
8. Preparation - The Bridegroom goes to prepare a place by expanding his father’s house. He is also busy gathering materials, crafting furnishings and purchasing supplies such as woven rugs. In addition to these duties, he is concerned with all the details involved with providing a week long banquet feast for their wedding guests.
9. Expectation - The Bride prepares her wedding gown, attended by her bridesmaids. Once the gown is complete, the Bride is set and ready for her Bridegroom. She even sleeps in her dress, to leave at a moment’s notice. During this waiting period, the Bride stays occupied. The primary duty of her bridesmaids is to help the Bride remain vigilant and pure. They are to be always ready for the Bridegroom and his Brethren to show up and proclaim their wait is finally over!
10. Completion - The Bridegroom informs his father when everything is arranged. He now waits for word from his father that the time has come to get his bride. No one but the father knew when that time would be. He alone determined the date. This surprise generally happened at night.
11. Procession - At his father’s word, the Bridegroom and His Brethren go forth with a strong blast on the shofar and a shout. There was a procession from His father’s house to the Bride’s house. These gestures served as a joyful announcement to those with an active part in the coming celebration. All who heard the shofar and the shout were aware and prepared to join in.
12. Journey - The Bridegroom and the Bride, together with the Brethren and the bridesmaids return to the father’s house. The Bride is actually lifted into the air carried on a litter! Once the wedding party and guests arrive and all enter in, the doors are closed. There is no entry or exit until the seven days of the wedding feast are fulfilled.
Cast of characters: The wedding party
The Church was originally made up of Jewish believers in Yeshua HaMeshiach. Jesus never stopped being Jewish and neither did His Mother Mary, Cousin John the Baptist nor any of His first followers.
The ministry of Jesus recorded in the Gospels, reveals the importance of the Hebrew Scriptures as it literally is His story. The Old Testament customs learned from Moses and the traditions added over the years had, at the heart, the intention of knowing the person of God on multiple levels. The prescribed festivals were a test of obedience to His will as well as foreshadowing Messiah’s activity.
As we see what is going on in the world right now, there is no doubt that we are in the birth pangs Jesus warned His apostles about in Matthew. The signs are all around us. The entire earth waits for this new life to be brought forth and we are in agony during this stage of travail. Just look at what happened in Israel over the last week with the rocket fire from Hamas in Gaza and a few rockets and drones attacking from their neighbors to the north in Lebanon and Syria.
Mother Church will be no more. Believers that come to faith in Messiah Yeshua after this, will be as the original locals gathered organically together in homes or at underground meetings for fellowship, worship, prayer and reading of Scripture. The Way was and still is a Branch of Judaism and not an entirely separate belief system. Unfortunately it has been packaged and sold in this manner for twenty centuries. More shame to us as Christians for not realizing sooner the continued significance of the land of Israel and her people! Remember we are grafted into the family and adopted as children of the King.
Make no mistake the Body of Christ is transitioning to the Bride of Christ. We are finishing preparations for our gown, waiting for the day or night when our Heavenly Bridegroom comes for us. Hallelujah! Let us occupy, vigilant and pure until He comes.
There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother is from Proverbs 18:24. The circumstances happening in the world that seem so unfathomable and bizarre are the very things that God will use to bring the Jewish people to the knowledge of His Truth that has been kept from them. When they realize they have been robbed of their own spiritual heritage, they will not be silent and I believe they will have a greater global impact than has been seen in the last two thousand years. While there are Messianic Jewish believers currently, just imagine what the world will be like when 144,000 men from the sons of Jacob go out and preach after they are SEALED with the HOLY SPIRIT of God on their foreheads!
Revelation 7:1-4 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.
Jesus is the only God Man. He often referred to Himself as the Son of Man. He identified with and elevated His humanity in a public manner. As a man, He ate and slept, He laughed and cried, He walked and talked. Jesus had friends and enemies. Many didn’t understand Him. Some wanted to use Him for their own personal gain. Still others were consumed with envy and couldn’t wait to get rid of Him. Through it all Jesus loved His fellow Jews, His Brethren. Those that believed in Him as well as those that did not. Family is still family even when the members don’t always think alike or even get along, right?! Ever hear the saying blood is thicker than water?!
The importance of weddings can not to be overstated. God reunites Himself to mankind in this manner. Jesus often referred to that reality from His first public miracle at Cana, in Galilee, where He created wine from water to raising the cup of the new covenant at the Last Supper Passover meal. “I will not drink of this fruit of the vine again until I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
Matthew 19:4-5 Jesus references Genesis 2:24 that a man leaves his father and mother to be united to his wife, they are no longer two but one flesh. Also in Genesis we find Abraham sending his servant to find a wife for his son Isaac. Later Rebekah sends Jacob out to her brother Laban where near the well, he comes across Rachel who becomes his wife as well as her sister Leah.
Matthew 22:1-14 Parable of the Great Banquet when wedding guests did not accept the invitation but rather made excuses about how busy they were. Servants of the Master were sent into the world and gathered all others to come. Those that willingly refused the invitation chose to be separated. Wailing and gnashing of teeth when realization dawns for all that turned down the offered opportunity as they are locked out in utter darkness.
Matthew 24:36 No one knows the day or hour, not the angels in Heaven or the Son but My Father only.
Matthew 25:1-13 Parable of the ten virgins, the bridesmaids waiting for the Bridegroom with oil lamps.
Jesus says in John 14:2-3 “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 unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
Revelation 3:3 He is coming as a thief in the night. The Spirit and The Bride say Come at the end of the book of Revelation. We are witnessing at that time the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Carefully consider and respond to this wedding invitation!
Just look at how far and fast The Way of Faith spread in the beginning from Jerusalem. At this late stage of world history, civilization has come full circle. Defiant spirits against God want to rebuild the Tower of Babel as one new world order. Dominating all aspect of every life on the planet. Our Holy God is not limited by time and space as we are. Precisely what He has planned no one knows but all eyes will be on Israel. We have only shadows and glimpses that are written in Scripture to guide us and the prophetic declarations of the Holy Spirit that He imparts to whomsoever He chooses.
Get in alignment with your assignment. Love the Lord with all your heart, your soul, your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.
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