There is a reason that I gave you information on the Jewish feasts because we are headed for a Jewish Feast. You see, Passover, was when our Lord died and paid the Mohar. He was offered as a guilt offering. Then we had the feast of Unleavened Bread, He is the unleavened bread and that bread was buried. It was on First Fruits that He rose from the dead. He is the first fruit. The day of Pentacost was the first official harvest on the Jewish calendar and the day of Pentacost we had the first official harvest. Next, on the Jewish calendar comes the feast of Trumpets.
Let’s look again at John 14:1-3 1 “”Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”(NIV)
He’s coming back. Hallelujah! And He is not just coming back; He’s coming back with fanfare. It’s going to be a really big deal when He comes back. Let’s look at I Thessalonians 4:16-18 16 “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words.”(NIV)
These are encouraging words. He’s coming back with a shout, the voice of the arch angel and the trumpet call of God. As you can see Paul believed He was in the last days and I don’t think there has been a generation since who hasn’t believed the same thing. It is that eager anticipation, that eagerness that aches for our husband.
That brings us to the Jewish wedding, to Nissuin which is derived from the verb nasa, and it means to carry or lift. We are going to get carried away and lifted off our feet. Nissuin can also mean elevation and connects husband and wife to God Almighty. We will be elevated as husband and wife to God. The legal ceremony has already occurred, it’s the Kiddushin. The wedding is the lifting away. All that’s left is for Him to come get His precious wife. Remember Jacob said, “Give me my wife” and when Yeshuah comes for His we’ll be gone.
I Corinthians 15:51-53 51 “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed– 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.”(NIV)
Paul likes mystery, have you noticed that? Did you know that our husband and our oneness to Him is the greatest mystery this world has ever seen? That moment when we are lifted up off this earth, we’ll be changed. Why? We are going to see Him in all His glory. He will transform us to be like Him in an immortal body.
In Revelation 19:6-9 It says, “Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. 7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) 9 Then the angel said to me, “Write: `Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he added, “These are the true words of God.””(NIV)
The word we translate bride in our translations is actually “wife” in the Greek. I think we translate it “bride” because of how we think of a wedding, it has to have a bride. The day will finally come when the wife has made herself ready and our place in heaven is prepared and the Father says to the Son, “Go get your wife”. He’ll come down with a shout at the last trumpet call of God and He is going to lift us away and we’re not only going to get a new body, we’re going to get a beautiful robe. This robe stands for the righteous acts of the saints. We must be about His work, Amen.
I keep going back to how we started and what He said at His mikvah, “We must do this to fulfill all righteousness.”(NIV) He started the pursuit first, we didn’t. He had a desire for a wife, we had no desire for a husband. This was all His idea.
Isaiah 61:8b-10 says, “In my faithfulness I will reward them and make an everlasting covenant with them. 9 Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the LORD has blessed. 10 I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
I love that verse. Do you believe you will be beautiful on that day. How’s your robe coming together. You see when a Jewish man and woman would go through the Kiddushin, He would leave and go prepare a place, but guess what she set about doing? She began to make her wedding dress. She began to make her robe. How’s your robe coming together? How’s that wedding dressing looking? Are you about done? You ready for Him? Of course, He gets to put the finishing touches on it, we understand that. I want to look a passage that became very dear to me when I was leading an Esther study.
It is Psalm 45, it’s a wedding Psalm. Beginning in verse 2 it states, 2 “You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever. 3 Gird your sword upon your side, O mighty one; clothe yourself with splendor and majesty. 4 In your majesty ride forth victoriously in behalf of truth, humility and righteousness; let your right hand display awesome deeds. 5 Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies; let the nations fall beneath your feet. 6 Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. 7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. 8 All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; from palaces adorned with ivory the music of the strings makes you glad. 9 Daughters of kings are among your honored women; at your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir. 10 Listen, O daughter, consider and give ear: Forget your people and your father’s house. 11 The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord. 12 The Daughter of Tyre will come with a gift, men of wealth will seek your favor. 13 All glorious is the princess within her chamber; her gown is interwoven with gold. 14 In embroidered garments she is led to the king; her virgin companions follow her and are brought to you. 15 They are led in with joy and gladness; they enter the palace of the king. 16 Your sons will take the place of your fathers; you will make them princes throughout the land. 17 I will perpetuate your memory through all generations; therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever.”(NIV)
Did you catch where we are? We are at His right hand as He is on the right hand of the Father. We are going to marry the King.
Nissuin came to be called within Jewish culture, Huppah. Huppah means to cover. It can be translated canopy, chamber, or closet. It is the bridal chamber where the marriage is consummated or made complete. You see we have the legal documents and now we are waiting for that completion when those documents are going to be made fact. Scripture says, “Our faith will be sight.” We are waiting for that completion.
In Joel 2:16 we see, “Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber.”(NIV) The word “chamber” here is the word Huppah.
Another example of this is found in the book of Isaiah where it says in Isaiah 4:5, “Then the LORD will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over all the glory will be a canopy.”(NIV) Where will is this? It is over all of Mount Zion, which is in Jerusalem. The center piece of Jerusalem is the Temple and the greatest place there was the Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies, His chamber, is where we will come together under the Huppah of God’s Glory as husband and wife before God the Father. And because we are lifted up with Him in the Nissuin this is the Holy of Holies in Heaven the one true Tabernacle.
Nissuin is accomplished by a means of a symbolic act of intimacy that demonstrates the couples’ intention to create a new home and new life. It’s far less tangible than Kiddushin, it’s sealed not with documents, but with actions. It literally gives the Bride and the Bridegroom to each other. Nissuin consists of the Sheva Birkat or the Seven Blessings and the Yichud or time of seclusion. The major themes of the blessings are Creation, Eden, Zion, Redemption, Bridegroom, and Jerusalem. From beginning to end. We will look at these next time.
So how do we live that life that Christ calls us to live in Biblical Unity? We do that with the very attitude of Christ.
Philippians 2:1-5 says, “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:”(NIV)
We’ve been united with Him haven’t we? We have been through the Kiddushin. The legal document has been signed. The mohar has been paid. We are His. Legally we are His wife. We have been united with Christ. Be like minded here and now. Not in the by and by but right now. That’s what Paul wants to see in God’s people in this Philippians passage.
We should all be about building that one Temple. I don’t want to work with that church down the street because I want my church to grow first. If we worked together a little bit more maybe all of our churches would grow. Make sense? There wouldn’t be any empty spaces in our pews or chairs, as a matter of fact we wouldn’t have enough room. And he goes right on to talk about the attitude of the servant who was willing to humble Himself even unto death.
Romans 12 tells us a little bit more about how we should live this life, the life that gives living sacrifices. We must put our pride aside in order to be that sacrifice. Romans 12:1-5 & 9-13 states, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others…Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”(NIV)
The world likes us to be divided. Because it can talk about us that way. True? The media has a field day with this divided church. So how do we talk about those hard subjects together, I’m going to tell you how. We get on our knees together and if we get up after two or three times and we still disagree we don’t say, “Well we’ll just have to agree to disagree.” No. We keep praying together because there is one faith, one Spirit and that same Spirit is in each one of us, therefore, if our ideas are different than one of us, some of us, or even all of us are not listening to His Spirit. So we keep praying together, we keep talking to each other and we keep searching our Ketubah, searching His Word, and we keep praying on our knees together, together.
I know it just doesn’t sound practical does it? How can that really be? It’s called being full of the Spirit, living according to His will and not our own and about what pleases our husband and not what pleases us. This Christian life is not practical. Who ever said it was? Let’s face it, the things He asks us to do sometimes are not what we want to do. Do we love Him enough to do it anyway? Do we trust Him enough to do it anyway? When my son was younger we would often have this talk that went something like, “Trust me, you have to trust me! Son, you have to trust me. If you don’t trust me, how are you going to trust God when He tells you to do something that you don’t necessarily want to do? Mama’s practice.” You see you and I are practice for each other. When we do the things He asks us to do, He is letting us practice. He’s letting us practice being obedient. He’s letting us practice being the servant. In His mercy, He is letting us practice.
John 17:20-26 says, “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”(NIV)
That we may be one. That He may be together with my wife. That is His heart. There was a wedding in the garden. You see our human history began with a wedding and our human history on this planet is going to end with a wedding and wedding feast. From wedding to wedding, that is who we are. That was the whole purpose for which we were created. He gives us the whole picture of husband and wife on this planet while we are here so that we will understand what His hearts desire is for us to be with Him.
In Ephesians 5:31-32 Paul says, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery–but I am talking about Christ and the church.”(NIV)
About the Bridegroom and the Bride. That is the whole reason He gave us the wonderful privilege of marriage on this planet. So that we can have a picture of what He wants with us. I have a wonderful husband, but he is not perfect. But we do have a perfect husband and one day He is going to put a crown on our head and we are going to be one. Is that your hearts desire? More than anything else? I hope so.
I suspect the more we search out His heart and the more we seek His face the more we will look like Him and we will live much more like He lived. How did He live? He lived like a Torah observing Jew without the Tradition of the elders. We know that we will be living by His Biblical calendar and Feasts in His kingdom according to Zechariah 14 and other passages. Food for thought isn’t it!
We will be studying the Wedding and the Wedding Feast next.
This is where we live. This chapter is all about today. Not about what He did 2000 years ago. Not what we accepted when we came to Christ, but how we live in Christ today. Because, obviously, He did not take us home when we said, “I do”. So He expects some things out of us during this period of sanctification, during our period of Kiddushin, He expects some things out of us.
This is where we are and so it is a matter of upmost importance. This is the very heart of God for His wife, for His people, for His temple today. I want to start by looking at a passage out of Ezekiel 37:15-28:
“The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, `Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him.’ Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, `Ephraim’s stick, belonging to Joseph and all the house of Israel associated with him.’ Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand. When your countrymen ask you, `Won’t you tell us what you mean by this?’ say to them, `This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph–which is in Ephraim’s hand–and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Judah’s stick, making them a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand.’ Hold before their eyes the sticks you have written on and say to them, `This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms. They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God. `My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees. They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. Then the nations will know that I the LORD make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.’”(NIV)
The nations will know. I will make the two one, I will make a covenant of peace, an everlasting covenant with them. This is what I believe is the very heart of God, oneness with His people. He wants to be our God and for us to be His people and He accomplishes that through the marriage of His Son to His people.
As we start to look in the New Testament and our early church history, we see that the church was first thought of as a Jewish sect. That’s what we were. Most believers in that early first century were Jewish, they were Jews who recognized their Melech Yeshuah H’Messhia, their King Jesus the Messiah. So in that first century as Gentile believers started coming into the nation there had to be discussion about Jew and Gentile and so that is where we are going to start.
Ephesians 2:11-19 says, “Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)– remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.”(NIV)
Members of God’s people, of God’s household. Church hear me, the word ‘church’, the Greek word for ‘church’ in the Greek Septuegant, which is the Greek translation of the Old Testament, is used in talking about the congregation of Israel. It is not exclusively a New Testament term. The church is the congregation or assembly of Israel. God seeks to make all His children, whether Jew or Gentile, one. That is His purpose, to create in Himself one man out of the two.
I want to say very clearly at this point, I know there is a lot of talk out there in theological circles about replacement theology, which says that the church replaces Israel. That is NOT what I am talking about. I want to make that very, very clear. The church did not replace Israel. We have the awesome privilege of being brought into citizenship in Israel and to share in their covenant promises.
Romans 9:6b states, “For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.”(NIV) What Paul means by that is that just because one has the physical lineage of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob does not make them a member of the Spiritual nation of Israel. Because only in Christ, only in Messiah, does that happen. Even Jews must recognize their Melech Yeshuah H’Messhia, they must recognize their Messiah.
Romans 10:11-13 reiterates this, “As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.””(NIV) He takes the two and makes them one. Remember we are talking about the heart of God and what God desires for His own people. This is God’s desire for us as we live out this life of following Him and awaiting Him.
We then find in Romans 11:12 & 15-21 & 23-26a, “But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring!… For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.
If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted, but they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either…. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree! I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved”.
All Israel, the holy assembly of God’s people whether Jew or Gentile will be saved. The heart of God, oneness among His people. We have to be careful, the church has become awefully Gentile in the last 2000 years. True? True! But we must not forget our roots, remember it was already mentioned that in the first century we were Jewish. The church was Jewish. The Apostles kept going to the Temple, they continued to celebrate the Feasts. However as we became more and more Gentile we lost connection to the root. We must remember and not stand on arrogance that we are the Church. But remember that we stand on a root and they are our root and one day those branches that were broken off will be grafted back in. You see there are not two trees of the church and Israel. There is but one tree. And we will all stand together in that oneness and in His covenant of peace before God Almighty and marry His Son, those who have called on the Name of the LORD.
Later in that Romans 11 in verses 30-32 we find, “Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.”(NIV) Jew, Gentile it doesn’t matter. We all broke the first covenant. We are all in need of a new covenant, every one of us.
Now to the final segment from the Brides perspective. You remember His final step was leaving to go prepare a place for us, to intercede for us, to talk to the Father about us saying, “When is it time Dad, when is it time?” And so for the Bride, our last step is longing for Him. Do we ache for Him? Do we? Do we literally ache to see His face?
Can you imagine a young engaged girl kissing her finance goodbye as he goes off to war and then her not constantly asking, “when are you coming home?” Can you imagine a young engaged girl not doing that for the man she loves? Aching for him.
Our Betrothed did not go off to war, He went to prepare a home for us. But He’s coming back, He told us He would and He’s under contract to do so. Do we ache for Him as if it could be this very day? Do we look to the skies and go, “Come on, come on. Father give the word I’m ready to go home. I’m ready to see my husband. I can’t wait to see Him.” We long for Him. II Timothy 4:8 says, “Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”(NIV) How is it possible to not long for Him? If we are His and He is ours how can we not long for Him? How is that even possible? If we are truly living in the fullness of the Spirit, it is not! It is not possible.
In I Peter 5:4 Scripture also tells us that we have a crown of glory that never fades waiting for us on that day. The day when our royal position is solidified. The day He literally puts the crown on our heads.
II Corinthians 5:1-4 states, “Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.”(NIV) One day His ever increasing glory will so over take us that it will completely transform us. We long for that heavenly dwelling and to be home with our husband.
Philippians 3:20-21 says, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”(NIV) We will look on His glory one day and it will completely overtake us. Completely! We won’t just have a face that shines. It’s going to be completely overtaking. Completely!
Then Hebrews 9:28 reads, “so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”(NIV) We wait for the completion of our salvation. We wait for our wedding day when we will enter the Huppah and be complete in Him. We share in His glory having been set apart for Him through Kiddushin and now we await, we long for, His appearing when our faith will be sight and we will see Him face to face, our glorious Bridegroom.
Because we long to be with Him we are compelled to persuade men through our ministry of reconciliation. In Christ they too can be a new creation and God makes His appeal through us.
Therefore we implore all who do not believe, all who have not called on His name, to be reconciled to God who longs to be reconciled to them. Scripture says that today is the day of salvation. Today is the day you can say yes to that awesome marriage proposal. Be reconciled to God. To the one who redeemed you, who purchased you, the very one who asked you to marry Him, to be your husband, and so forever to be with you. Ever to be with His wife, ever to be with His Bride.
Now, how do we live as we long to see Him face to face?
A good background for this article is “The Kiddushin” article on this site. It will give you more information on the Ketubah and it’s signing. This article will focus more on what it means to the Bride.
Our God is an awesome God who not only loved us enough to pay the mohar, bridal price, for His bride. He also wanted her to be able to remember all He has done for her. In order to do that He left her with His Ketubah or marriage contract, The Scriptures.
When a Jewish man and woman were betrothed they would have the signing of the Ketubah. That’s right, this took place at the betrothal ceremony, or Kiddushin, not the actual wedding. Today the actual Kiddushin and marriage ceremony have been combined, including the signing of the Ketubah. This was done between the 11th and 12th century due to persecution.
When the Ketubah is signed by the witnesses it is literally handed to the bride. It is hers. It is hers to read as often as she likes in order to remember and cherish the promises of her bridegroom. John 17:17 again says, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”(NIV) The marriage contract is truth. Our Bridegroom came to fulfill His Ketubah. When all may be falling apart around us that contract is still true and binding. He has and will fulfill it’s terms. His contract has set her apart just for Him.
I heard a story once of a lady whose house had burned down and she ran into the burning house to retrieve one thing, her marriage license. The Word of God is our marriage license. If your house ever burns down this is what you run in to get, your marriage license. The Scriptures, the Ketubah is the Brides prized possession. Isn’t He awesome? He left something with us that we could read every day if we want to, to remind us of Him. To remind us of our husband, our bridegroom.
We have already discussed how Jesus went through the Kiddushin, the ceremony and period of sanctification or a time of setting oneself apart for another. As we said the Kiddushin consists of the Ketubah (marriage contract), Mohar (bridal price), Kiddush (the cup), the seal (The Holy Spirit), and the removal of the veil. Remember that for us the order is a little different and this post will begin the process of us looking at our part of the Kiddushin.
Our first step within the Kiddushin is our response to Yeshua’s Mohar, His bridal price. We must accept His acquisition, His payment, in order for it to be applied to our lives. We see this played out in Genesis when Rebekah had to be willing to accept the price offered for her and go with Abraham’s servant to her husband Isaac.
Jesus has bought us with a price and it was not a price of money, yet it cost Him everything. Remember, we have already looked at Isaiah 52:3, which tells us we were redeemed without money.
In Hebrews 9: 12 & 14-15 it says, “He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption…How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance–now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.”(NIV)
When we went through these steps as Yeshua our Messiah went through them we spoke of the communion cup that He gave to His disciples and that it was the third cup, the cup of redemption. We are all guilty of breaking the first covenant with our sin and so there needed to be a new covenant for everyone, Jew and Gentile alike. I Peter 1:18-19 told us that He redeemed us with His blood and Romans 3:22-25a again said, “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.”(NIV)
We must have faith in His blood. We must accept His Mohar. We must believe in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We must believe in Him!
Galatians 3:14 says, “He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.”(NIV) Also, in Romans 10:13 it says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”(NIV)
Therefore, when we accept His Mohar it redeems us and cleanses even the filthiness of our conscious. We then receive the inheritance promised to those who believe and are saved. Never forget, that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin (Hebrews 9:22 & Leviticus 17:11). So that by faith, by calling on His Name we (both Jew and Gentile) might receive the Spirit. The Spirit is our seal. This leads us directly into our next post where we will be discussing The Seal.
The final step in the Kiddushin is the giving of the seal. So let’s do a little background research on a seal.
The first time we read of a seal is in Genesis 38:18 and it’s not a good situation, none the less it’s there. It is when Judah says to Tamar, “What pledge should I give you?” She answered him, “Your seal and its cord, and the staff in your hand”. So he gave them to her and slept with her, and she became pregnant by him.”(NIV) This is Judah going to Tamar thinking she is a prostitute. Not a good situation, but none the less, both of them ancestors of our Lord. The seal during this time period was probably a small cylinder seal of the type to sign clay documents by rolling them over the clay. The owner would wear it around his neck on a cord threading through a hole drilled lengthwise through the seal. So when she says I want the seal and the cord. She is saying, “I want that thing around your neck.” And it has his name on it.
We also see the seal in the form of a ring. In Esther 8:8 Xerxes says to Esther and Mordecai, “Now write another decree in the king’s name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal it with the king’s signet ring–for no document written in the king’s name and sealed with his ring can be revoked.”(NIV) Nothing the king puts his name on and seals can be revoked. In this passage we once again see the name in the form of a signature tied to a seal.
So how did Jesus fulfill the giving of the seal? In John 14:15-18 Jesus is promising the Holy Spirit when He says to His disciples, “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever– the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”(NIV) He’s talking as the Bridegroom all right in this passage. Think about that first statement for a minute, This is our beloved Bridegroom, our husband saying, “if you love me you will obey me.” “You will obey my commands.” What did He command? To obey His Ketubah, His marriage contract.
The seal, of course, is connected to the name. Have you ever wondered why we sing songs about The Name? Not just Jesus, but The Name. Have you ever wondered about that? Jesus’ name is connected to this giving of the seal. Romans 10:9-10 & 13 states, “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved… for, Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”(NIV)
Now you may say what’s that have to do with the seal? Look at Ephesians 1:13-14, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory.”(NIV) In other words, when you heard the Ketubah, believed in your heart and confessed with your mouth, calling on the name of the Lord, you were saved and sealed. It’s all connected. It goes back to believing and calling on His name.
It is about possession! Why possession? He purchased us plain and simple, He paid the Mohar. Those who are “God’s possession to the praise of His glory”, Hallelujah! Yes, the giving of the seal was a sign of ownership and security. The Holy Spirit is our seal. He is a sign of ownership and security. For the Bridegroom it’s a sign of ownership. For the Bride, it’s a sign of security. We are secure in Him. He has placed His seal on us and therefore He has placed His name on us.
So the Kiddushin is the signing of the Ketubah by witnesses, the Kiddush or the cup, along with the blessing and the unveiling of the Bride along with the Mohar or the payment of the Bridal price and the giving of the seal. Jews today will give a ring as the seal. Our seal is the Holy Spirit.
The betrothal ceremony is known as the Kiddushin, which is both a ceremony and period of sanctification. It is a legal ceremony. It is the legal ceremony. The betrothal designates the bride and groom only for each other and forges the connection between them.
Many of us know that Joseph and Mary were betrothed and would have needed a certificate of divorce in order to break it off. Why? Because they were betrothed. Since this betrothal was a legal action and not just a promise of marriage, as we think of an engagement today, it was legally binding. Once they went through the kiddushin they are legally husband and wife.
So let’s learn what all this Kiddushin entails, shall we? The first part of the Kiddushin, or betrothal ceremony, is the signing of the Ketubah. The Ketubah is the contract for the bride, the bride that was chosen by the father of the groom.
In the mind of the Jews, the Torah, the books of Moses, is a marriage contract between God and the people of Israel.
Now isn’t that interesting? They see the Old Testament as a marriage contract between God and His people, Israel.
In Matthew 5:17-18 Jesus says this, “”Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”(NIV)
He is saying “I did not come to abolish my Ketubah. I came to fulfill it. It’s mine. My contract for my bride. It’s mine! And I came to fulfill it. I am under contract to do so.” You see He came to fulfill His Ketubah.
Consider if Jesus had come to abolish the Law and the Prophets. He would require a certificate of divorce. He would be breaking His covenant, unwilling to fulfill His role as the Bridegroom. If that were the case, there would be no need for the Cross!
Let’s take a look at Jeremiah 31:31-34 where it says, “”The time is coming,” declares the LORD,”when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, `Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.””(NIV)
Not only did Jesus come to fulfill His Ketubah, He also came to write a new one. A new covenant that would be precious and holy. In John 17:17 Yeshua says this, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”(NIV) Now the word “sanctify” means “to make holy”. It also means “set apart”. Jesus is asking that we be set apart by our Ketubah, by His word. Set His Bride apart for Him.
This new covenant would allow the old covenant to be written on our hearts. Remember He did not come to abolish but to fulfill. Also remember that on the road to Emmaus He spoke of how the Old Covenant was really about Him. The New Covenant would take the Old and put it on the hearts of His people thereby sanctifying them, setting them truly apart for Himself.
The signing of the Ketubah is also very important because it has to be witnessed. It is not valid if He only signs it Himself. It has to be signed by witnesses, ie. He has to have co-signers.
Look at John 5:31-39 where Jesus says, “”If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid. There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is valid. You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light. I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me.””(NIV) (The KJV uses the word witness instead of testify).
So in the signing of the Ketubah, the witnesses testify in essence saying, “This is who your bridegroom is, this is the one your Ketubah is about.” As we see in the text, the two witnesses are John the Baptist and the Father Himself.
John the Baptist was strictly for our benefit. He is the one, as far as earthly terms are concerned, that helped start the story of the bridegroom. So, that is the first part of the Kiddushin, the Ketubah or the marriage contract and it’s signing.
The second part is the Kiddush, you can see where they got the word Kiddushin, from the Kiddush or the cup. The cup is a prayer of sanctification.
Remember the Kiddushin is a ceremony and period of sanctification. The cup is actually a prayer of sanctification. What’s the cup all about? His blood. His blood.
So let’s take a look at the cup. Exodus 24:6-8 talks about the blood of the covenant, the Old Covenant. The blood of the Old Covenant was the blood of goats and calves.
But God said that the Old covenant was broken. So He was going to make a New Covenant. Oh the precious cup that it will take to bring sanctification.
Matthew 26:27-29 states, “Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.””(Matthew 26:27-29 NIV)
In this passage, Jesus is referring to the third cup of the Passover meal which is called the cup of redemption.
The 4th cup is the cup of Praise. Jesus had to fulfill the cup of redemption first. It was the blood of the Covenant. His blood is the foundation of the Covenant. Hebrews 10:29 tells us that the blood of the Covenant sanctifies, it sets apart.
However, within the Passover ceremony – which Yeshua was celebrating that particular night – there is also a cup of sanctification. Remember, the Kiddushin is a ceremony of sanctification or a setting apart, complete with the cup of sanctification, the Kiddush. This is the first cup.
The cup of Plagues – representing the judgement of sin – is the second cup. The cup of sanctification, the first cup, is the one in which Jesus says, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”(Luke 22:17-18 NIV)
At this time of the Kiddush, at the taking of the cup, they have the blessing of the cup and it reads like this within the Kiddushin ceremony:
Holy One of Blessing, Your presence fills creation forming the fruit of the vine.
And then directly following that is the Birakat Yirusim or Betrothal Blessing and it reads:
Praised are you Adonai, Ruler of the Universe, Who has made us holy through your commandments and has commanded us concerning sexual propriety (a warning to the husbands) forbidding women who are merely betrothed, but permitting women who are married to us through Huppah and Kiddushin. (This is the part I love) Blessed are you Adonai, Who makes Your people Israel holy (sets them apart, makes them holy) through Huppah and Kiddushin.
At this point, finally at this point, we have the actual drinking of the cup. There is the cup of sanctification with the blessings and after the blessings comes the drinking of the cup or the taking in of that prayer of sanctification, that is only accomplished by His blood.
And of course, I’m going to say a word at this point about the Bride because it is at this point that the veil comes back. She has to drink of the cup and so the veil must come back. Guess what… we have an unveiling and there is someone specific who does it.
II Corinthians 3:13-16 says, “We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.”(NIV)
Jesus removes the veil. That is His privilege. And of course, as soon as He died on the cross and shouted, “It is finished. Father into your hand I commend my spirit.” The veil at the holy of holies was ripped in half, literally ripped in half.
He removed the veil. So that when we come to Scripture, when we read our Ketubah, it’s precious to us, it is now a part of us and on our hearts and minds. It’s our marriage contract that He must fulfill, that He will fulfill. Not only is it precious to us, but He has also given us the ability to understand it. The veil no longer covers our hearts.
So we see that the Kiddushin so far includes the signing of the Ketubah, the Kiddush (the cup of sanctification), and the removal of the veil. We have two more parts of the Kiddushin to look at. We will do so in two separate posts.
Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, 23 for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. 27 He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless. 28 In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, 30 since we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. 32 This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.(HCSB)
Many people in our culture take offense at this passage because of how, on the surface and detached from the rest of the book, it would appear to be subjugating women. That is far from the reality of this passage. Never does God tell husbands to subjugate or lord it over their wives. NO Where! This passage is actually doing the exact opposite.
Imagine for me a human being. They have a head and a body, correct? If you detach the head from the body, what happens? The body dies. Both are vital and needed. Remember that Paul has already, back in chapter one, said that the Messiah is the head of the church, His body. Marriage here in chapter five is being used to illustrate a much larger truth than just how husbands and wives are to live with each other.
I want to deal with the specific issue of husbands and wives for a minute before moving on to the bigger picture. Notice what each are called to do. The wife is to respect her husband. She is to submit to her head. She needs him. To not respect is to say she does not need him and to effectually cut him off. She would be killing herself and him in the process.
Yes, she is submitting to the needs of her husband, his need for respect. This is a huge issue for men and it is the way God made them to be. It is their emotional blood flow, so to speak. They have a need for their wife to respect them because for them it is the wife saying, “I need you”. She is submitting to his needs above her own. Paul tells us that as believers we should allthink of each other as more important than ourselves.(Phil. 2:3) Obeying this mandate as a wife is doing nothing more than obeying the one in Philippians as a believer.
Next, God tells the husband to love his wife. Why? Because that is her need, her emotional blood flow. In order to live and thrive a wife requires love. It is how God made her. It is the husband saying, “I desire you in my life, in every area of my life. You are wanted”. In this the husband is to submit to her need above his own. Otherwise, he would be cutting off his own body and thereby killing himself.
In a marriage there must be this unity and this passage gives the way that is achieved. He, the head, belongs to the body and she, the body, belongs to the head. If they are going to survive they need each other and so each must be sure to give the other what the other requires to survive, respect or love. If this is done then the head and body function together with much greater ease and unity. In so doing they each survive and thrive.
That leads us to what God is illustrating to us. This relationship is what He wishes to have with His people. This is the story of the Bridegroom and the Bride. Yeshua is our Bridegroom and we who put our faith in Him, who follow Him, are His Bride. According to this passage, this is a profound mystery. Notice that our oneness with each other is called the mystery in Ephesians and our oneness with Him is called a profound mystery. This is beyond anything we could have thought of or imagined.(Chapter 3)
That is why it is so important to preserve the true picture of marriage because it speaks of the relationship He desires with us. To change the picture is to attempt to tarnish or twist the reality. For the last 50 years our culture has seen deliberate distortions and downplay of marriage.
Most prominently today, our culture, along with the enemy’s help in deceiving our culture, is beginning to accept more and more the distortion and calling it good.
Marriage is and from the beginning has been between a man and a woman, but our culture is debating redefining marriage to include being between a man and a man or a woman and a woman. What picture does that give of God? It is not two bridegrooms or two brides that offer us the accurate picture of the relationship God wants with us.
I am not saying that people in these relationships realize what they are saying, but to be sure the enemy does and he seeks to distort and twist all God wants for us. And to be sure God knows what it says, that is why this particular sin is called an abomination.
The enemy wants people to concentrate on their
“rights” to be happy and purposefully turns them away from what the reality of what they are doing says about God. That is why it is called deception. Eve sinned based on deception, but it was still sin.
The first relationship we see in Scripture is marriage of one man and one woman. The man represents the Son of God (Luke calls Adam the son of God) and Eve represents the Bride of Christ, the Bride of the Son. In the end we see the marriage of the Lamb and His Bride. One is the picture of the other and to distort and twist it into anything else is the enemy’s attempt to distort and twist what it represents, what it will be in the end.
It is for this reason the church must hold the line on true marriage because we must insist on reflecting the light of the true relationship God wants with His people. Anything else is from the realm of darkness and based on deception.
Bride of Christ – Hold the Line, no one said it would be easy to insist on the accurate picture to a world who desperately needs our Bridegroom when all it seems to want to do is reject Him.
Our Bridegroom wishes to have a spotless Bride, one without wrinkles or blemishes. He paid for us with His own blood. It is the least we can do to hold tight to His promise as His bride. One day He will come for us and call us to Himself.