Bible Prophecy and the Return of Jesus
The Rapture and the Jewish Wedding Model...
by I Gordon
 ↩ Just a quick comment... I'm not Jewish. So while I have tried to find out what I can concerning the Jewish marriage from their encyclopedias, I am in debt to other Jewish Messianic scholars such as Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum and Dr Renald Showers who know far more about their own culture than I ever would. In fact, Dr Renald Showers' article touches on other aspects that this one doesn't so you would do well to read through his article found here: http://www.biblestudymanuals.net/jewish_marriage_customs.htm
I also want to acknowledge Jerry Dart's book 'After the rapture' as this has a very good chapter concerning the Jewish wedding and its prophetic implications and it has helped in my understanding on this topic. Also the commentaries of H.A Ironside and William Newel on the book of Revelation have helped.
 ↩ I really like the fact that Rebekah agreed to become the wife of Isaac even before she had even seen him. It is just the same for us! See 1 Pet 1:8, John 20:29.
 ↩ See also 1 Cor 6:19, Acts 20:28. Think also of the parable that Jesus told of the merchant who sold all that he had to purchase the great pearl! Who was this merchant who did this? Yeah, you know! It was He who was willing to give His all for us!
 ↩ Please note that the words in bold in this quotation are not found in the earliest Greek manuscripts. Actually, they aren't found in any Greek manuscripts. They are simply the thoughts of the author :o)
 ↩ This feast or wedding supper back at the Father of the groom's house, is announced in Rev 19:6-8 where it seems that it is guests at the wedding which are making the announcement. This is most probably the Old Testament saints and possibly some of the martyred tribulation saints. (See John 3:27-29 where John the Baptist, representing the last of the Old Testament saints, said that he wasn't part of the bride, but was a friend of the bridegroom. Never fear though! Israel is to be a wife as well and will not miss out! I'll discuss this at the end of this study. )
 ↩ I read a great illustration recently that brought this back home to me. It was of the pioneers who were making their way across one of the central states in the U.S. They travelled in wagons pulled by oxen so progress was painfully slow. One day they were horrified to see a line of fire and smoke stretching out across the horizon in front of them. And it was being blown towards them at a great speed! No one knew what to do... they couldn't outrun it, and there was no river to take shelter in. Finally, one man gave a command to set fire to the ground behind them. Then when that spaced had been burned, the whole company moved back upon it. Some remained fearful saying 'are you sure that we will be alright?' But the man replied 'My child, the flames cannot reach us here for we are standing where the fire has already been!'
What a fantastic picture of those safe in Christ. The fires of God's judgement burned themselves out on Christ 2000 years ago, and all who are in Christ, are safe forever, for they are standing where the fire has already been. The church will not, and cannot experience the wrath of God for this very reason. He will make sure His bride is safe before unleashing His wrath upon the earth. See 1 Thes 1:10, 5:9, Rom 5:9, Rev 3:10, Psalm 27:5.
 ↩ H.A Ironside, in his book 'Lectures on the Revelation' (page 319-320) writes 'It seems very plain to me that the marriage of the Lamb takes place in Heaven... It also seems very plain to me that there is a very real difference between the wife of Jehovah... and the bride of the Lamb.'
In like manner, William Newell, in 'Revelation: A complete commentary' writes about Rev 19:6 saying 'Where is the marriage, with its attending marriage supper, celebrated? The answer can only be - in Heaven, for the scene is wholly heavenly. No one can read verse 6 without coming to this conclusion.' Newel also sees the difference between the bride of Christ, and Israel as the wife of Jehovah. He writes 'When Jehovah returns to Israel in millennium blessing, Isaiah 62:4,5 will be fulfilled, as will Isaiah 54:4,5... This is an earthly scene, and must be contrasted with the marriage of the Heavenly bride, the wife of the Lamb.' (Page 295-296)
Also see Dr. Renald Showers article here: http://www.ifca.org/voice/7Jan-Feb/lamb.htm
 ↩ Israel O'Israel! So blessed, so disobedient, and yet, so loved! In his book 'Footsteps of the Messiah', Arnold Fruchtenbaum discusses the six stages of Israel's marriage relationship with Jehovah. Here is a quick and nasty summary...
Stage One - The Marriage Contract - Deut 5:1-3. The prophets saw this covenant as a marriage contract and spoke of it in the words used of the wedding night. See Ezek16:8 for example.
Stage Two - The Great Adultery - Jer 3:1-5,20, Ezek 16:15-34
Stage Three - The Separation - Because of the adultery, in the days of Isaiah a separation took place. Isaiah 50:1.
Stage Four - The Divorce - Jer 3:6-10
Stage Five - The Punishment - Ezek 16:35-43, Hos 2:6-13
Stage Six - The Remarriage - The Jewish prophets did not leave things hopeless! They spoke of a time when the nation of Israel will again become the restored wife of Jehovah. This required a brand new marriage contract, which is found in Jer 31:31-34, Ezek 16:60-63. It is also described in Isa 54:1-8, 62:4-5 and Hosea 2:14-23.