In this the first of a short series of bible studies Ian explains how easy it is for Gentiles to miss the significance of things we read in the bible whereas Jews would immediately understand the message.
Jewish marriage comprises certain procedures and in these studies Ian will talk about Betrothal, Preparation, the Wedding and the Feast.
Betrothal - involving a legally binding contract where the couple are viewed as married although they are not living together and the marriage has not been consumated. The couple are expected to be faithful to each other.
The Father chose the bride for his son and Ian gives biblical examples. In the precise procedure of 'courtship' the man approached the woman with a contract and would be required and willing to pay a price to demonstrate the value he placed on her. The woman had a choice as to whether she would accept.
The couple showed they had a covenant (agreement) by drinking a cup of wine together with their arms entwined.
Why is all this important to us?
The Bible tells us the Christian church, comprising all true believers, is the bride of Christ.
We are living in the betrothal period.
We have the new covenant of Christ, drunk the cup and are in a faithful relationship born out of love. It is essential that we remain faithful.
|Listen to this bible-study by Ian on 21st April 2016|
Now betrothed the bridegroom and his bride have their own preparation to do for the wedding. He will return to his father's house and on leaving he says to his bride, "I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself"
The bridegroom goes to prepare the bridal chamber for their honeymoon but this is no quick process. It takes considerable time and there is no set time that he can tell his bride he will return. That time is known only by the bridegroom's father who makes his decision when all preparation is complete.
The first wedding invitations are issued but no date is known.
The bridegroom sends letters of love and encouragement to his bride, reminding her over and over of his love for her. Both he and his bride are thinking of each other, missing each other and looking forward to the day they will be together.
She will repeatedly read his letters and when she goes out she will wear a veil. This is a sign to others that she is betrothed, she belongs to another. How is she to resist the attention of a handsome and wealthy man that approaches her with many tempting promises? She reminds herself of her bridegroom who has paid a high price in demonstration of his love.
The bride makes her wedding dress. When finished she will wear it in expectation of the bridegroom's sudden and surprise return. The bridegroom may return at night so lamps are lit and additional oil is to hand. She is to be watchful and ready.
Ian questions why the bride (much of the general 'church') have a dampened love towards the bridegroom (Christ) and do not eagerly await His return.
If Christ returns today / tonight - how will He find you? Will you be 'sober' or drunk with the stuff of this world?
Are you wearing your veil? How do you resist the temptations? Do you continue to read the letters?
Do you remind yourself of the covenant made and price paid?
Is your lamp filled with oil? Are you ready for His return?
|Listen to this bible-study by Ian on 28th April 2016|
(2) 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.
(3) And 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.
(36) "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
(42) Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.
Jesus gave us the parable of the ten virgins.
Ian details the significance of their degree of 'readiness' for the arrival of the bridegroom and what it meant to have oil for their lamps.
The bride is ready and she knows the bridegroom will surprise everyone by arriving for her at an unknown time but she will receive a sign immediately beforehand by way of the sound of a trumpet (shofar, ram's horn). His arrival may well be during darkness, those who have sufficient oil are wise, those who don't have enough oil for the journey will be left behind. They are the foolish ones.
When Christ returns for His bride at the Rapture there will be many who have the door closed to them and they will hear His words, "Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you."
Ian reminds us of the prophetic significance of the seven feasts of Jehovah in the marriage of the Lord.
1) Passover: Prophesied the sacrificial death of Christ. He died before the day of Passover was over.
2) Unleavened bread: The prophetic significance being the burial of Christ.
3) Firstfruits: In the year that Christ died it was exactly the time of His resurrection. Paul refers to Christ as 'the first fruits'.
4) Pentecost (Feast of weeks): Prophecy fulfilled with the receiving of the Holy Spirit by disciples resulting in 3,000 being saved in one day and the church came into existence.
Ian also gives us the significance of the last three feasts.
|Listen to this bible-study by Ian on 5th May 2016|
(3) Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them,
(4) but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
(5) But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
(6) "And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!'
(7) Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.
(8) And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'
(9) But the wise answered, saying, 'No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.'
(10) And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
Jesus gave us the parable of the wedding feast.
This evening Ian tells us about the wedding guests. Who may come? Who will come? What will they wear?
The bride represents the church. We as individuals are represented by the guests. Some do not accept the first invitation but all receive a second.
Spiritually we are all dressed in the filthy rags of sin but suitable clothing is provided for all guests - just as it is sometimes provided in our ceremonies for the groom, best man, etc to be similarly dressed.
Ian reminds us of the prophetic significance not only of the marriage of the Lord but of what happens when the bridegroom and bride emerge from the bridal chamber after seven days. She no longer wears a veil and can be seen for who she is.
A procession leaves the father's house and will collect others on the way to the marriage supper.
Have you accepted the invitation?
Are you suitable dressed?
This is the final Bible-study in this series.
|Listen to this bible-study by Ian on 12th May 2016|
(4) Again, he sent out other servants, saying, 'Tell those who are invited, "See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding."'
(5) But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business.
(11) "But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment.
(12) So he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless.