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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sunday Words of Encouragement August 3, 2014

Our Sunday School leader taught on the Marriage Supper of the Lamb as mentioned in Revelation 19:6-9.  There isn’t much said there but when Brother G began to study the Jewish traditions of marriage it brought a great wealth of enlightenment to share a wonderful lesson. G presented the lesson in a little more fullness which I have tried to outline here.

• The groom’s father would choose a bride of integrity and purity for his son.
     *God choose the church as the bride of Christ.
• The groom’s father would invite the young lady to visit his home and negotiate the “ketubah” or marriage contract. There is a list of expectations that the bride agrees to perform and a (shorter) list of things the groom agrees to provide in the marriage. If the young lady agrees then the contract is signed. This signafies the beggining of the marriage although it might not be consumated for a year or more.
     *God invites us, individuals who make up the church, to meet and accept His son, Jesus. The New Testament is the marriage contract between Jesus and His bride, the church.
• The signing of the contract is celebrated and sealed by drinking from one goblet, the cup of unity.
     *Our commitment is sealed by Jesus blood and our acceptance of His gift. We are asked to remember this blood of covenant each time we take communion. We are to remember that the groom is waiting for His pure bride to come when He is sent “to take her home as your wife.” (As the angel said to Joseph about Mary in Matthew 1:20.) Jesus says He will not drink of the fruit again until we are together in my Father’s Kingdom. Matthew 26:29.
• The father of the groom gives betrothal gifts to the bride to signify her value and worth. This is called the “mohar” or bride price. The groom too gives gifts.
     *God paid the greatest price, the sacrifice of His son, as the bride price. Jesus gave the gift of His blood and also left behind the gift of the Holy Spirit to be with the believer until He comes again.
• The groom goes away to prepare a bridal chamber in his father’s household where he will bring the bride when his father says it is time.
     *Jesus left saying He was going to build a place for us in His father’s kingdom.
• The bride begins preparations including a bathing or immersion, the ‘mikveh’, which is a ritual bath designed for the Jewish rite of purification.
     *When a sinner accepts Christ they are told to participate in a water baptism to show the cleansing power of their commitment.
• The bride wears a veil to show that she is promised and no longer available to other men. She must continue to be ready, vigilant and pure, until the groom comes.
     *We must put on a spiritual veil to show we are no longer part of the material world. We are told to seek santification, as a process toward being holy and pure. 1 Thessalonians 4.
• Both the groom and the bride wait and anticipate the day with joy, neither knowing the true day or hour of the consumation as it will be the groom’s father who will finally say: “Son, go get your bride!”
     *Regarding the time of Jesus return: “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32.
• The event would normally occur at night and the groom’s friends would proceed him in the streets announcing “the bridegroom cometh!” The bride would have to be ready as she would not know when he would come.
     *The faithful church is to be prayed up, repenting continually and always ready like the wise brides rather than the foolish brides who were unprepared. Matthew 25: 1-10. We are to be alert and sober as the return will come like a thief in the night. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11.

This is an old hymn that Brother G shared with the lesson:
We Shall See the King!

Verses for Today:
1 Thessalonians 5:8-11.
8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Thank you God for choosing me to be part of the Bride of Christ. Help me each day to be vigilant in casting off worldly things and focusing on love and serving You until the wonderful day You return to claim Your bride.

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