Behold the BRIDEGROOM’ comes!
Shalom Partner and Friend of
FAITH is the key to ALL our provisions and with this special brand of "Last Days" Faith …we learn to believe the Promises of God - in spite of what is happening in the world today, in spite of our emotions, feelings and circumstances (Matthew 17:20). Few subjects are more important for us to understand than that of "FAITH!" Here are just a few of things that the Bible declares to come through faith; We are born into Eternal life through faith. We are declared righteous before God by faith. We are forgiven by faith. The just shall live by FAITH. We are healed by faith. We understand the mysteries of Creation by faith. Without faith we cannot please God. We learn God’s Word by faith. By faith we understand things to come. FAITH sees the invisible – believes the unbelievable – and receives the impossible! We walk by faith and NOT by sight. We overcome the world by faith. We enter God’s rest by faith. We are controlled and empowered by the Holy Spirit by faith. We can only please God by FAITH. Everything we try to do for God that is NOT rooted by faith is sin (Deuteronomy 32:20). Faith is the source. of our strength, our provision, our courage, our guidance and our victory over the world, the flesh and the devil. And, faith is the only thing that can sustain us in the trials and persecution predicted for these Last Days (Hebrew 11:1).
Why is the Bride of Christ FAITH more precious than GOLD? Because when gold is in its purest form it is transparent – perfectly clear with NO spot or wrinkle or anything hidden; "That the trial of your faith, being more precious than gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." - 1 Peter 1:7. As believers by FAITH we look forward to the soon return of our Lord and Saviour. We are always watching for the HARPAZO – Rapture …and those who long for Christ’s blessed appearing are rewarded "the Crown of Righteousness" (Titus 2:12-13).
Did you know the Bible contains more Prophecies about the Second Coming of Yeshua (Jesus Christ) than it does of His First Coming - 2,000 years ago? In fact, the Bible says specific "SIGNS" will appear just PRIOR to His Return, Our Lord, Himself commanded us in Matthew 24 and Luke 21 - "to look for those signs." Why? So, that we can be prepared and to know the "times and seasons!" The most important "signs" are related and connected to our generation!
In 1948 God’s "count-down clock" of Last Days began to tick loudly with the Jewish people back in Israel, after 2,000 years; 1967 in control of Jerusalem; 1973 Yom Kippur war when the Israelis captured the vast Sinai Desert from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria and the Judah and Samaria (West Bank) of the Jordan River and East Jerusalem from the Jordanians. Even closer to our time in 2017 US President Trump reversed nearly seven decades of American Foreign Policy and formally recognized Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel,
You see, Prophecy is being fulfilled right before our eyes BUT many are NOT even aware. Israel is the EPICENTRE and what happens in Israel will ultimately affect the entire world. Israel is where it ALL began and where it WILL all end. It is here where our Lord - Yeshua (Jesus) was born, circumcised and lived and died as a Jew and will someday soon return to Israel at His Second Coming when His feet will touch the Mount of Olives …BUT first He will come for His Bride – the true Church of Messiah who will be "caught up" in the air to meet Him at the Harpazo – Rapture!
Living by the shores of the Sea of Galilee we have often wondered what life must have been like 2,000 years ago during our Lord’s time …and how the Galilean people lived here two Centuries ago. Did you know that our Lord was well aware of the customs of the people in Galilee and used language associated with the Galilean customs? And so, the people of those days understood what He was saying to them? Yeshua (Jesus) was a Jew from Galilee as were all 12 of His Disciples and therefore in most of His teachings He used; words, symbols, analogies and Parables - that the Galileans would easily understand. Because of this, it is often easier to interpret the meaning of what He said by looking at it through the eyes of a Galilean.
Weddings are among the most exciting events of our lives and point to love, hope, faith, new beginnings… and of all the beautiful things in this life, not just for the couple being married but for all of us. Yet even in the midst of all the excitement, the couple must handle "the planning" and "preparation" NOT just for the ceremony itself, but also for the countless details that lead up to the ceremony. But unlike today’s modern wedding, the 1st century Galilean wedding ceremony had very different customs, traditions, and rituals. In order for us to better understand that when it came to weddings, the Galileans’ traditions were distinct from the rest of Israel. Learning more about these wedding customs from our Lord’s time can dramatically help us understand what the Bible has to say about the Return of Christ and the Harpazo - Rapture of the Church.
What are some of the similarities between a Galilean wedding ceremony and the Rapture? How does this shape our view of the End-times? Why is this important? We need to know about this ancient custom of a Jewish Galilean Wedding, to be able to understand what the Lord meant when He spoke to His Disciples as it gives us clearer understanding of the "Rapture" of the Church – true believers (Jew and Gentile) and Word of Yeshua (Jesus) to us for End times. The love story of the Galilean couple makes every other love story looks pale in comparison. The Church in the New Testament is depicted as "the Bride of Christ" and is earnestly waiting by FAITH and yearning for the Coming of the "Bridegroom" – Yeshua (Jesus) The Church is NOT just a religious institute …but rather, it refers to "born again" individuals that put their trust in Christ and are the true believers!
Now let’s examine what an Ancient Galilean Wedding would look like through the procedure as follows; The "Shiddukhin"– the FATHER chose a bride for the son… In the Old Testament we read that Abraham sent his servant Eliezer to find a bride for Isaac; "But you shall go unto my country, and to my kindred (family/homeland), and take a wife for my son Isaac." - Genesis 24:4. The servant is nameless, thus typifies the Holy Spirit. So, we see that in the New Testament the Holy Spirit goes out to choose the bride for Christ; "…for many are called, but few are chosen!" - Matthew 22:14. In the Old Testament Rebekah had NOT first seen her future husband Isaac when agreeing to be his wife; "Then they called Rebekah and said to her, "Will you go with this man?" And she said, "I will go." - Genesis 24:57-58. The same way in the New Testament we confess Yeshua’ Name even though we don’t see Him; "Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him…" – 1 Peter 1:8.
The bride’s consent; "Mohar" …. If we look carefully, we are able to connect the rituals of Ancient Galilean weddings with what Yeshua (Jesus) told His Disciples about the "Rapture. During the 1st Century AD Galilee betrothals between a young man and his future bride often took place near the Gates of the City because that’s where the Elders usually were and where contracts were signed. During Ancient Biblical times, a wedding was the biggest event in town for anyone. Everyone would rush to the betrothal at the main gate …whether you were invited or not, everyone will participate! The bride receives the covenant or proposal - an agreement stating that the couple would soon be wed was ratified and read aloud followed by an exchange of gifts, including a dowry (the MOHAR - an amount of property or money brought by a bride to her husband on their marriage). In the Old Testament the bride’s price was negotiable, but it raised her status, and it set her free of her current household. The groom had up to seven years’ time to raise it; "And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had for her." – Genesis 29:20. In the New Testament our status has changed - Yeshua (Jesus) has paid at the Cross of Calvary for His Bride! The Apostle Paul reminds us that we were bought with a price and that Christ paid for our Redemption with His Blood; "Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. - 1 Corinthians 6:20.
The "Dabar "– a glass of wine to seal the contract… After the covenant, gifts are exchanged, the Groom offers the bride a "Cup of Joy." The bride then has the power to accept or reject the offer of the Groom. The bride needs to drink from the cup of wine for the betrothal to progress. But, if she rejects the cup, the betrothal cannot be completed! If she accepts the cup and drinks from it, it is "a sign" of her acceptance of the betrothal! The bridegroom then takes a sip from the cup, solidifying their Covenant. Then the Groom seals with this; "You are now consecrated to me by the laws of Moses …and I will not drink from this cup again UNTIL I drink it with you in my father’s house." If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is remarkably similar to what Yeshua (Jesus) told His Disciples during "the Last Supper" when He poured wine into a chalice for them to drink from; "But I say to you, I will NOT drink of this fruit of the vine from now on UNTIL that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom." - Matthew 26:29.
The Ketubah; While the exchange of Covenant Vows between a man and woman who love each other is a blessing in any culture, there are aspects of the Jewish wedding celebration that are rich in spiritual truths. Signing the "KETUBAH" (marriage contract) in ancient times protected the rights of the bride by specifying the groom’s responsibilities in caring for her, and the amount of support that would be due her in the event of a divorce. In the Old Testament the Ketubah- Marriage Contract stated the promises of the groom, and the rights of the bride. The bride’s father, the groom, and the Synagogue kept a copy – with a seal – only a judge could break. "You ask, "Why?" It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant." - Malachi 2:14.
The New Covenant is our contract is sealed with the Blood of Yeshua - Jesus Christ. The Bible is the "document" that states God’s promises to us, and our rights as "His Son Yeshua’s Bride – the true Church." (Hebrew 12:24).
The "Eyrusin" – the Betrothal… In the Old Testament there was a legal bond between the betrothed couple. Even though they did not yet live together, the bride belonged to the groom and only a divorce could annul the contract (Leviticus 19:20). In the New Testament - the Church belongs to Christ even though we don’t live together yet, we belong to Him; "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ."- 2 Corinthians 11:2.
The "Matan" – Presents for the Bride… The Galilean bride would receive gifts to remind her of the bridegroom’s love for her during their separation; "I adorned you with jewellery putting bracelets upon your hands, and a chain on your neck, a jewel on your forehead, and earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown upon your head." - Ezekiel 16: 11-12. In the New Testament the bride (Church) received the gifts of the Holy Spirit while we are waiting; "There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them." - 1 Corinthians 12:4.
The "Mikveh" … In the Old Testament times the bride and groom is immersed in a cleansing bath a "Mikveh." This is a symbolic sign of "spiritual cleansing" before the wedding took place (Leviticus 15:18). In the New Covenant we are baptised in Christ that He might sanctify His Bride; "…to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless." – Ephesians 5:26-27.
After the betrothal contract the bride and bridegroom WILL live apart for a year while the bridegroom prepares for his bride… the groom goes to his father and builds a room onto his father’s house, builds new furniture for their new place, and purchases items for the feast and their home. He will prepare the “wedding feast” with oil lamps, and rugs that will take place in the new home. And, while the groom is preparing the Feast and their new home, his bride is busy making her wedding gown. This period of preparation during an Ancient Galilean wedding tradition of a long period of wait aligns with another statement Yeshua (the Bridegroom) told His Disciples (His Bride) during the Last Supper; “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 to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” - John 14.2-30.
Only the FATHER knows the time and hour… Neither the Groom nor Bride knew the day nor the hour that the wedding would take place! The Bride ALWAYS had to be ready. This may seem bizarre but it’s part of the Ancient Galilean Wedding tradition. No one in the entire town knew when the wedding would take place, except for one person, the Father of the Bridegroom! Only Galilean weddings had these customs. To them, it was a surprise wedding! The Father makes the announcement the day and the hour; “Son, go get your Bride.” The Father makes the final inspection if all is ready for the bride. Only He knows the day or the hour.
In the Ancient Galilee Wedding tradition, scholars have found that the hour of the wedding would be in the middle of the night! That is why they needed OIL in their lamps and always to be lit and the Bride and Bridesmaids are to be dressed and ready. Then the Groom would come for His bride in the night. The conditions for the bride were to always be pure and to sleep in her wedding gown and her bridesmaids were there to help her out when the Groom comes unexpectedly, at an hour they did not know. They were to always be ready! Yeshua warned His disciple to be ready for His Second Coming in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2. Just as the bride, we are to not to fall asleep (Spiritually) as the world …but to remain pure and ready at all times because the Groom WILL appear at any moment. Of course, the Lord’s Bride isn’t just the 12 Disciples present at the Last Supper …but ALL true believers. Since ONLY the father of the bridegroom in the ancient times of Galilean weddings “knows the day or hour” that the bridegroom can go retrieve His bride both the bridegroom and bride MUST be prepared.
In the same way only our Heavenly Father “knows the day or hour” when He will tell Yeshua (Jesus) “go forth” and fetch Your Bride – the Church. And, just as the Bride of Christ (like the bride in a Galilean wedding), we shouldn’t concern ourselves with the date of when our Bridegroom comes for us, but instead, we should focus on the preparation for His arrival and make sure we are ready to go with Him. From that moment on, we will always be with the Lord just like the bride and groom will be together forever. Are you ready? “For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready …Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” - Revelation 19:7, 9.
The Lord promises that He WILL return and take His Bride… to where He is and so we WLL also be! This introduces “the catching away” (Rapture of the Church) to us. Yeshua (Jesus) promises that He WILL return for His Bride - the Church of true believers on earth at the time are also those that will NOT taste death. Until the Bride is re-united with the Groom, much still has to take place! The bride (Church) must be prepared for hour of the coming of the Groom (Messiah). Materials and fabrics had to be bought for the bride’s wedding dress and this took lots of time in the 1st Century. The bride has to be pure and vigilant as she waits for her Groom …regardless of how long it takes for His Return. Like the Ancient Galilean bride and bridegroom, we too MUST wait UNTIL the FATHER says it’s time!
There is excitement as the bridegroom is preparing and as the bride awaits always prepared for her Groom… Here are some extracts from the Bible that tell us what that Ancient wedding was like; The bridegroom wore a crown or garland on his head; ‘Go forth, O daughters of Zion, at King Solomon, at the crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding…’ - Song of Solomon 3:11. We must like Israel be seen greatly rejoicing in this Prophetic verse; “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”- Isaiah 61:10. It is the remnant of the faithful in Israel who are depicted as rejoicing in the Lord because their time is coming when their (and our) promised Messiah - Yeshua WILL come to “tabernacle” among His people and will lead God’s Covenant Nation in joyful praises.
Now let’s first examine the difference between the “Rapture of the Church” versus “Christ’s Glorious Appearing at His Second Coming” … There are many questions asked concerning the difference between “the Rapture” (Harpazo) and the “Glorious Appearing” of Yeshua - Jesus Christ at His Second Coming;
1. Where is the Church found in each event? At the Rapture, Yeshua (Jesus) comes FOR His Church (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17) BUT at His Second Coming - Christ returns WITH His Church (Zechariah 14:5, Colossians 3:4, Jude 14, Revelation 19:14).
2. Where does Yeshua (Jesus) appear in each event? At the Harpazo - Rapture, the Church true believers are “caught up” to meet Yeshua (Jesus) in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) …At the Glorious Second Coming, Yeshua’ (Jesus’) feet touch earth on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:4; Revelation 19:11-12).
3. Who is taken and who is left behind? At the Rapture, believers are taken first and unbelievers are left behind (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) …At the Second Coming - Glorious Appearing, the wicked are taken first, but the righteous (the Tribulation Saints) are left behind (Matthew 13:24-30).
4. What will Yeshua (Jesus) do at each event? At the Rapture, Yeshua will gather His Bride, the Church, unto Himself in preparation of the Marriage of the Lamb (Revelation 19:6-9). At the Second Coming, He will execute judgment on the earth …and establish His Kingdom! (Zechariah 14:3-4; Jude 14-15; Revelation 19:11-21).
5. When does the Marriage of the Lamb take place? The Marriage of the Lamb takes place in Heaven AFTER the Rapture of the “Bride of Christ” - Church (Revelation 19:6-9) …War on earth comes AFTER the Marriage of the Lamb at His Glorious Appearing (Revelation 19:11-21).
6. How long will each event be? The Rapture will happen “in a moment,” – “in the twinkling of an eye” (Blink and its over!) (1 Corinthians 15:52) …The Glorious Appearing will be a slow coming. Everyone will see the Lord coming with great power and great glory! (Zechariah 12:10; Matthew 24:30; Revelation 1:7).
7. Who will see Yeshua (Jesus) at each event? At the Rapture – ONLY those who are looking for Him (true believers) will see Him (1 John 3:2; 1 Corinthians 15:52) BUT at the Glorious Appearing – Second Coming, every eye will see Him and those who have rejected Him will mourn (Revelation 1:7)
8. Will Yeshua (Jesus) shout? At the Rapture, Yeshua (Jesus) will descend from Heaven with a shout (calling for the saints at the resurrection) (1 Thessalonians 4:16) …At the Glorious Appearing, NO shout is mentioned, although the Lord does slay the wicked with the sword of His mouth (Revelation 19:11-21).
9. Will there be a Resurrection at each? At the Rapture, a Resurrection WILL take place (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54) …At the Second Coming of our Lord, there is NO Resurrection spoken of (Zechariah 12:10, 14:4-5; Revelation 1:7, 19:11-21).
10. What about the timing of each event? The Rapture CAN happen at any time ...maybe even now which is why we are to be WATCHING for the Return of our Lord! (Revelation 3:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:4-6) …The "Glorious Appearing" will occur at the end of the 7-Year Tribulation period (Daniel 9:24-27; Matthew 24:29-30; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8).
11. What role will the Angels of Heaven have? At the Rapture, NO Angels are sent to gather the Church …At the Glorious Appearing – Second Coming, Angels will be sent to gather people together for judgment (Matthew 13:39, 41, 49; 24:31, 25:31; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).
12. What about the resurrected bodies? At the Rapture, those who died in Christ - WILL return with the Lord to recover their resurrected bodies (1 Thessalonians 4:14-16) ... At the Second Coming, the believers WILL return with the Lord already in their resurrected bodies riding on white horses (Revelation 19:11-21).
13 White horse? Or, NO white horse for Yeshua (Jesus)? At the Rapture, Yeshua (does NOT return riding a white horse. BUT, at His Glorious Second Coming, Christ – the Messiah WILL return riding a white horse (Revelation 19:11).
14. What is the message each event will bring for mankind? The Rapture will bring with it a message of hope and comfort (1 Thessalonians 4:18; Titus 2:13; 1 John 3:3) …The Glorious Appearing will bring with it a message of judgment (Joel 3:12-16; Malachi 4:5; Revelation 19:11-21).
God’s Word is true! He IS watching to see how the nations are treating His people – Israel. God will have mercy on Israel through Gentile believers acting as mediators towards them! This is one of the most amazing revelations ever given to the Church – an opportunity to do something that carries the highest priority in the heart of God. Yet, sadly, so few have seen the potential and the rewards of serving God in this manner - as agents of mercy to Israel and the Jewish people! Israel was and still is despised today and a despised nation continually turning away from God BUT nothing ever altered the purpose of God for that nation. The despised element is always a noticeable element in the purpose of God. When the Saviour of the world came, He came of that despised nation; like Israel… He Himself was; "despised and rejected by men," …and there is that despised element; "…things that are despised God has chosen," 1 Corinthians 1:28. Now, more than at any time is the time to support Israel and the Jewish people - the Lord’s Brethren! We are witnessing the nations and people turning their backs on Israel. Thank you for your prayers and generous financial support especially during these very difficult times. With "lockdown" and difficult "recovery" still lying ahead we ARE reminded that the Wuhan Corona Virus has caused many dire needs and continue to increase here in Israel upon the already most vulnerable! Once again – Thank you!
We hope that you enjoy and become more informed by our work. We serve an awesome God and we are humbled by this opportunity to bring you this information. With Shalom to you and your family always,
Alf & Julie Saunders
01st February, 2023
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| The ARKS of Covenant | Behold the BRIDEGROOM Comes! | Bright Morning Star & Rapture! | Prophetic Significance of the Mount of Olives! | Genesis 1-11 The Foundation | The Restoration of the Throne of David | Consider the BIRDS! | Kingdoms Colliding! | Ancient Galilean Wedding & Bride of Christ | Fear God - Not Man! | Effects of Blood Moon Tetrad & Shemitah | Endtimes Separation of the Wheat & Tares | Ancient Biblical Gates | Tikvah - HOPE in a Time of HOPELESSNESS | Israel & End-Time Kings! | Trees Tell the Story of Israel & Nations! | God's Appointed Time! | Light EXPELS Darkness | The 12 Stones of the Jordan | The UNSEEN Hand of God! | The Temples of Jerusalem | God's Law of Seed-Time & Harvest | A Miracle of God - Israel! | The Holy Menorah! | God's Hebrew Alphabet & Prophetic Meaning | Bible Prophecy - KEY to Kowing the Future! | 5779 Tet - The Year of God's Goodness! | The Lies of Replacement Theology | A Time for Everything UNDER the SUN! | The Power of the Blood! | Loyalty & Faithfulness brings Honour | Why Christians should STAND with ISRAEL! | Pillars of Clouds and Pillars of Fire! | The Hand of God! | The New Jerusalem Coming Millennium Kingdom | The 10 Unchangeable Laws of God! | A Servant of the LORD! | God's Language of Hebrew Numbers! | The The Power of Worship! | Walking on Water! | Angels the Secret Agents of God! | Prospering Biblically | The Messianic Seal | The Bright and Morning Star | Animals in God's Plan! | Flowers Foreshadow the Messiah's Return! | FRUIT of the BIBLE | Biblical Covenants and Meals | Mighty Men of The Bible | Women of the Bible | The Treasure of God's Word | The Three Tree of Israel: Olive; Fig & Vine (Judge | Hebrew the Language of Creation | Significance of the Twelve Tribes of Israel | The Watchman of Israel | His Name is YESHUA | Ahavah - Love | The NAMES of GOD | Messiah the Light of the World | Visions and Dreams |
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