Charles L. Monk, posts his excellent article, “Behold the Bridegroom
Cometh.” He lists the five phases of the Jewish Wedding and shows how Jesus is following this same procedure (http://www.believersweb.org/view.cfm?ID=801). Below is summary:
Betrothal: In Jesus’ day the groom usually contracted for the bride and a purchase price negotiated. Jesus has
paid the price for us. This establishes the marriage covenant. The betrothal benediction was pronounced and the
bride and groom shared a cup of wine as symbol of the covenant.
2. Preparation: Then the groom would leave for his father’s house. Both the bride and
groom had specific things to prepare. The groom had to prepare the living area and furnishings. The bride would
prepare her dress and other personal items. Her mother would instruct her in marital skills. Jesus has gone to
his father’s house in heaven to prepare a place for us, and he will return to take us there.
3. Groom returns for the bride: The groom and his
friends formed a procession usually at night with lighted torches. This would proceed through town so the townspeople
would be aware of the wedding. The bride would not know the time of the grooms return. She would need to be always
prepared and ready. We must be all set for our Lord’s return.
4. Consummation of the Marriage: The wedding party would then make the trip back
to the groom’s father’s home where the rest of the activities would take place. The consummation of the
marriage takes place immediately after arrival at the Father’s home.
5. Wedding Feast and Seven Day Huppah: The wedding feast begins right after the
consummation and is known as the “huppah.” This lasts 7 days. Monk, the author, thinks this symbolizes the
7 year tribulation period. In the following passage Jesus tells just how terrible the Great Tribulation will be. So
it is indeed the “Blessed Hope” for his body (the collection) of all true believers in Jesus Christ, the
Church, to be evacuated beforehand.
And Jesus went
out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said
unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall
not be thrown down. And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately,
saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars:
see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against
nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these
are the beginning of sorrows.
they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then
shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and
shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the
end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations;
and then shall the end come. -- Matthew 24.
ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth,
let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down
to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them
that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither
on the sabbath day:
For then shall
be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those
days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. Then if
any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets,
and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. -- Matthew 24:1-24.
The following passage is one of two that speak of the time believers
will be caught up together in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: Notice that the Lord signals
his arrival with a SHOUT. This is the SAME thing the Jewish Bridegroom did to
announce his arrival at the Bride’s house with his wedding procession. You may wonder where the people in the
Lord’s wedding party come from. I will answer that in a later paragraph.
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning
them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again,
even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we
which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with
the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and
remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the
Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (1Thessalonians 4:13-18)
The passage below is the other passage speaking
of the Rapture, or translation of the Church. The word “sleep” in the passages, both, above and below, is a
Biblical term for death. Nobody actually dies, because all souls live forever.
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh
and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We
shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet
shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought
to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved
brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not
in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:51-58)
The following passage shows God’s different
programs for gentile and Jewish believers. The natural branches (the Jews) will yet be saved, after the “fullness
of the Gentiles be come in.”
thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how
much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? For I would not, brethren, that
ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to
Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. (Romans 11: 24, 25)
After Christ’s death on the cross: And
the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection,
and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus,
saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God (Mt 27).
I believe this involved a token resurrection in accord with the Jewish Feast of First
Fruits. This would be the source of the Lord’s entourage at his coming in the Rapture.
Believe on the Lord
Jesus Christ and you will be saved (Acts 16) AND RAPTURED TOO.