MARRIAGE IN THE TEACHING OF JESUS
Proverbs 18:22, "Whoever finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favour from the Lord."
Proverbs 31:10-12, 30, "If you can find a wife with strength of character, she is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband safely trusts in her, and she shall richly satisfy his needs. She will not hinder but help him all the days of her life . . . Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised".
The father of the groom normally chose a bride for his son (Ephesians 1:4) from the tribe or within the larger family circle (in accord with Leviticus 18). In order to maintain the purity of the family line a wife was usually taken at the onset of puberty, the age of accountability. Often the bride and groom did not even meet until their wedding day as is the case of Christians who cannot meet their Lord outside of revelation which is our new birth or spiritual marriage. Otherwise, when a young man saw the girl he wanted to marry he would consult with his father, and when the father approved the choice his son would go to the maiden's home and speak with her father.
Once consent was reached the young man would do three very important things:-
- He would make a covenant with the bride—or contract of marriage.
- He would drink a cup of wine with her which sealed the contract.
- He would pay a price to her father which should not be considered as a wedding gift as she was their
flesh and blood and her family was entitled to compensation for the loss of their daughter's labour.
As among Christians the betrothal is the legal marriage and no religious rite was performed (Matthew 1:20). Within the family circle the husband was lord while the wife was expected to help him and bear his children (Genesis 2:18; 3:16; Ephesians 5:22-23; Titus 2:5; I Peter 3:6). The husband's will was binding on the whole family. If the wife wished to express her wishes in contradistinction to her husband, she had to do so with dexterity (Genesis 27).
Preparatory to betrothal it was common for a bride and groom to take an immersion signifying cleansing, as John washed the Lamb of God in the river Jordan before He was offered (Matthew 3:13-17). And in accepting His proposal we plight our troth and take His Name, Lord Jesus Christ, in scriptural water baptism for the remission of past sins with the promise of the Holy Ghost which is our spiritual marriage as per Acts 2:38-39, fulfilling Matthew 28:19.
After the groom had made the covenant, drank the cup, and paid the price, he would address his bride informing her that they would live separately for one year's sanctification. He would return to his father's house where he would build a bridal chamber where they would have their first coming together in marriage. Before departing he would say: "I go to prepare a place for you." The contract, cup and money were her security that he would return no matter how long it took him to build the bridal chamber.
You will recall in Newsletter 966 we rehearsed Brother Branham's parable of the twenty-first century Armour girl (The Revelation of the Seven Seals, p. 401:1 – 405:6). This humble Christian girl, a type of the Bride of Christ, did the dishes and chores on the ranch while her [denominational] cousins tried to charm this Man, but He was looking for a Bride with character and He proposed to her. She accepted, and He said, "Now you just make yourself ready [Revelation 19:7], and a year from today I'll be back, and I'll fetch you and take you away from here. She kept track of the time of the year and got her garments ready [the Token of the Life of Christ on display]. The day finally arrived. A certain hour He was to be there [Matthew 24:36]; so she dressed in her garment. And she hadn't even heard from Him, but she knew He would be there. It was a mysterious thing to her denominational cousins [Revelation 10:7]. None of the girls had heard anything about His [parousia] Coming. But this girl just based it all upon His Word that He would be back for her . . .
Brother Branham said, "Oh, brother, give me a church full of the Holy Ghost. God will do in one year what all theology's failed to do in two thousand years. You wait till the anointing of the Church really strikes home to that faithful the little remnant. After the doors of the Gentiles is closed, oh, God will anoint a Church then. "He who's filthy, let him be filthy still. He who's righteous let him be righteous still, and he who's holy let him be holy still." And God will anoint the church with the power of God, and things will be taken place. Not only that then, but He's doing it now (COD, p. 145:203; Romans 8:19; Revelation 22:11-12; Isaiah 34:8; 61:2b).
The groom would have to build additional rooms to the family home and have them approved by his father. Until that time he could not go back and claim his bride who knew she was loved and was prepared to wait, secure in the contract sealed by the seal of their "last cup" as our Lord drank His last cup with our Brethren, "and told them, This is My blood of the New Testament, which is shed in behalf of many. Truly, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God" (Mark 14:24-25). He world pay the Price of His Bride with His Own Blood (I Peter 1:18-19). And she would have the surety of his bridal pledge, a ring or some such treasure as we have received the Gift of the Holy Spirit "which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession" (Ephesians 1:13-14).
During this time we are sanctifying ourselves, set apart, consecrated to Him like the little Armour girl. Veiled by the Holy Spirit lest some unwelcome stranger should attempt to initiate unwanted contract. "Our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in us, which we have of God, and we are not your own. For we are bought with a price: to glorify God in our body, and in our spirit, which are God's" (I Corinthians 6:19-20). Like the Armour girl we stay close to home, especially of a night as the time draws nigh, for Scripture promised the Lord would come as a thief, and He has (Matthew 25:15; Revelation 16:15).
Traditionally, the time of the groom's arrival was to be a surprise. The Bride knew it would be about one year after their betrothal, but only His Father knew the day and the hour. As the time approached she and her virgin bridesmaids would be waiting every night with oil in their lamps. It was customary for the best man to lead the way to the bride's house—and shout—"Behold, the bridegroom, come ye out to meet Him." This would be followed by the sounding of the shofar, typing "the trump of God" and our resurrection and translation to the Father's Home for the Wedding Supper in the Air (I Thessalonians 4:16c-18).
Her father and brothers would look the other way as the young man "stole" his waiting bride into the night followed by the entire wedding processional, passing noisily through the streets. Strangers and onlookers would not know the identity of the bride beneath the veil as today's world church system cannot recognise Christ's end-time Bride veiled by the Token of the Life of Christ, so few in number we will not be missed in the unprecedented cataclysm of nature when Christ takes His children Home.
The bride and groom entered the bride chamber while the wedding party waited without until the bridegroom told a trusty friend through the door that the marriage was consummated. John the Baptist was the "friend of the Bridegroom" who introduced Messiah's first Coming and rejoiced when he heard Him preach to those who would be the first members of His Bride (John 3:29). Then the guests could enter and the celebration would begin. All guests, regardless of station, were given special wedding garments, a type of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 22:11-14). Afterward they would place the bride's bloodstained garment out the window of the room for all to see that she had been a virgin. They would spend the entire seven days (representing Daniel's Seventieth Week) celebrating the grand occasion, after which bride and groom would depart to take up residence in the husband's house he will have prepared a place for them to live—his own kingdom—in our case this will be the millennium.
At the modern Jewish wedding:-
- "Chuppa," the canopy, symbolises the bridal chamber
- the cup is drunk at the wedding
- the honeymoon is at the home of the bridegroom's father
THE OLD AND NEW COVENANTS AND THE WEDDING CONTRACT
Read Hebrews Chapter 8, with special reference to verses 8 and 9: "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah not according to the Covenant that I made with the fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt".
Paul was quoting Jeremiah 31:31-32 to that God has replaced the old system of laws with a New Covenant sealed in His Own Blood (Revelation 1:5). When Abram received the Covenant from God confirming His promise to make his seed a nation in the land of Canaan, he divided the heifer, the she goat and the ram and stood between the halves to seal his oath (Genesis 15). And Moses had to sacrifice too. It is the blood that makes the Covenant have effect (Hebrews 9:16-18).
The Messiah came like a sacrificial animal and gave His Blood to seal the New Covenant. John the Baptist called Him; "the lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world" (John 1:29). Isaiah said the Messiah would come as a lamb to the slaughter.
The relationship of God and Israel has always been a marriage. The Book of Hosea spells that out clearly. And Jeremiah's language in announcing the New Covenant is very interesting, he says; "My Covenant they break, although I was a HUSBAND unto them" (Jeremiah 31:32b). God was a disappointed Bridegroom when Israel failed to keep the old Laws. But Paul, another Israelite, explained the marriage by saying, "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church" (Ephesians 5:32).
The proper relationship between the believers and the Messiah would constitute a happy marriage for God. The Church is called the Bride of Christ. When Israel slaughtered Jesus Messiah He turned to "whomsoever will of Adam's race" to call out a people for His Name," a Bride. Jesus is our High Priest; a priest in Israel could not remarry an adulterous woman, for she is dead to him, as if she had been stoned. Christ is only marrying a virgin to His Word, He cannot marry a denominational harlot. Ana as a type of Christ a Christian minister may only marry a virgin. So although Israelites may be baptised into His Body, the Church before the close of the Gentile dispensation, the Israel nation cannot now be His Wife. The 144,000 elect Israelites who will be baptised into Christ as a nation in one day in the second half of Daniel's Seventieth Week will be our attendants. Jesus Messiah lived under the Old Covenant when the Lord was dealing with an election of blood Israelites according to the Law because "He was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matthew 14:24).
The Tree of Life is Christ whence came the first Adam and his bloodline; the last Adam, Jesus Christ, is the Redeemer for those near KINSMEN kinsmen who lay down their earthly desires and by grace through faith become written epistles of His heavenly will. Following the Great Flood God began to refine an election through Noah to Shem, to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his sons, to Judah and David, to Jesus Messiah. When Israel as a nation rejected and murdered their Messiah, it was pruned from the Tree until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in (Matthew 27:25; Romans 11:17-19). Individual Israelites were not baptized into Christ, for the Church comprised mostly Israelite converts until 606 (Galatians 3:23-29).
THE NEW COVENANT IS A WEDDING CONTRACT
(1) The Messiah drank the cup at the Last Supper, and said; "This is My blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matthew 26:28). God promised that under the New Covenant "I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sins no more" Jeremiah 31:34. This promise to the Israel nation is in abeyance until Daniel's Seventieth Week; The Lord cannot deal with the nation outside the Land of the Covenant, and the Israelites dare not and will not return from their exile in the now Muslim lands of the ancient Roman Empire (Psalm 17:7; Isaiah 6:10-13; 11:11-16; 13:14; 27:13; 49:17; Jeremiah 3:12, 18; 16:15; 23:8; 31:8; Ezekiel 37:14; 39:27; Micah 5:3; Zechariah 10:9-12; Matthew 24:29-31) until the Land of their Covenant is vacated by the mass of their sworn enemy, the non-Semitic, anti-Semitic self-styled Jews (Genesis 27:39-41).
Meanwhile, individual Israelites and being "baptised in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ for the remission [not just forgiveness] of sins with the promise of Gift of the Holy Ghost" IF they press into Christ and are born-again (Acts 2:38-39). "Neither is there salvation in any other NAME under heaven given among man whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). God cannot remit the sins of Israel nation as Jeremiah prophesied until He has finished with us Gentiles, taken His Bride of all Ages Home, cast Satan down to earth, and anointed two Hebrew prophets to minister to an election of blood Israelites in Israel.
Israel is blinded "until until the last elect Gentile is born-again" (Romans 11:25); when they observe their Passover the do not comprehend the fact "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us" (I Corinthians 5:7). As our Bridegroom He ate of the unleavened bread and drank that cup of Redemption of which only those who are genuinely born-again may partake signifying they are at one with His Word and Spirit.
(2) Crucifixion was the Bride price Jesus paid. In the Garden of Gethsemane He prayed, "Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done" (Luke 22:42). And His sweat fell like great drops of blood contemplating the Cross. His crucifixion was the highest price any bridegroom paid. He was obedient to His Father's will. So you see, Jesus did not die for the world; He died for His elect Bride. Multitudes will be "saved . . . but strait is the gate and narrow the way, and few there be that find it" (Matthew 7:13-14). His Bride is a "little flock".
John 17:6-11, "I have made Your Name know to the men whom You gave Me out of the world: they were eternally Yours and You gave them Me and they have kept Your Word. Now they have recognized that everything I have is a gift from You. For I have given them the Words You gave Me; and they have accepted them and know in truth that I came from You, and they have believed that You did send Me. I pray for them: I do not pray for the world, but for those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours. And who are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am leaving the world, but these are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, preserve in Your Name those whom You have given Me, so that they may be one, even as we are one".
(3) In response to His prayer the Father sent an angel to strengthen His Son (Luke 22:43). Jesus paid the price for us. At death His soul descended to Hades as was the case of all departed souls under the Old Testament. Like Noah after God had shut the ark, Jesus continued preaching. He vindicating the prophets and Old Testament saints in paradise pending their redemption, and condemned the sinners in torment across the chasm. Then He rose, entered and glorified His flesh and ascended to the seventh dimension far above the visible heavens. He cleansed the heavenly sanctuary of the accumulated sins of the Old Testament saints which "the blood of bulls and of goats could not remit" (Hebrews 10:4) because they had no soul that could come back upon the sinner; once their mortal spirit was extinguished that was their end, hence we "may kill and eat".
Having remitted the sins of the Old Testament saints with His own blood He descended and led them from captivity to death (through Eve's sin and Adam forfeiture of his dominion to Satan) captives of Life in glorified flesh. They "appeared unto many" in old Jerusalem for about forty days then followed His ascencion (Matthew 27:50-53; Acts 1:3). Paul drew His prophecy of Ephesians 4:6-13 from Psalm 68 in the Old Testament thus establishing a type for us in the manifestation of the Sons of God during the resurrection of the Church Age saints prior to our body change and translation.
Before Calvary our heavenly Bridegroom had promised, "I will go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2b). And like the traditional Israelite bridegroom, He returned to His Father's house. After ten days, "when the Day of Pentecost was fully come" He inaugurated the Church, "sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory" (Ephesians 1:13-14).
John 14:1-3 was spoken after the Lord's Supper when Peter was humbled and silent, and his companions sadly shaken by the prophecy they had heard concerning the treason of their treasurer, the most trusted disciple, and Peter's forthcoming denial, plus the departure of their beloved Lord and Master. With all the thrilling solemnities of the night preceding the crucifixion these brave words held immeasurable power of comfort and consolation in distress bordering on despair. "Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me. [If others such as Judas Iscariot and Peter of whom Jesus had just prophesied (John 13:2, 10-27, 37-38) are overwhelmed and doubt you believe and rest in faith, for God will finish the work He has begun in you]. In My Father's house [Kingdom or domain—the Logos whence I came]—are many mansions [or permanent abodes. Jesus and His disciples were itinerant preachers of no fixed address. When you become a new creation in Me, My Father's house will be your Father's house, rest and permanent abode. It is not in heaven that one finds God, but in God that one finds heaven. God is our mansion or rest, and His abode is in us (I Corinthians 6:19-20)]: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare or make ready a [permanant] place [singular] for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am [in the bosom of the Father], you may be also. And you know where I am going, and the way to get there yourself".
When you are born-again, "God, who is rich in mercy, out of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, made us alive together with Christ, (by grace are you saved); and raised us up with Him, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:4-6). "Heavenly places" is your position in God's Word: "the present Truth" for your day (II Peter 1:12; I John 1:7). This diagram shows the places of the Church Age saints in the Body. "The way" was through a clear revelation of the Message of the angel to their dispensation (Revelation 1 – 3; I Peter 1:1-8; Ephesians 4:11-16). The diagram identifies the angels with their Age and nominates the most prominent virtue displayed by the saints of each Church Age.
This second diagram places each Church Age in history; it shows the duration of each Age and reveals that every denomination is apostate and impersonating the Word for a day gone by. Ephesians 1 explains how through His foreknowledge of our own decisions God chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, having predestinated us to recognition and placement as children by Jesus Christ to Himself "that in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and we who are alive and remain; even in Him." This is now! Matthew 13:30, 39-43 have been in process since the revelation of the Seven Seals "enlightened the eyes of our understanding so that we may know what is the hope of our calling, and the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and the exceeding greatness of His [resurrection] power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in heavenly places".
Jesus went away to prepare a place for the Church Age saints "chosen in Him before the foundation of the world." Their "place" was also prepared as John saw in Revelation 21:16. It was each elect predestinated to the Church Age divisions of the Body made up of PART-Word (I Corinthians 13:10b) who had to be prepared for their position in the Word for their Age by recognizing their day and its place in the Scripture. In the office Son of God Christ interceded for their ignorance of the fullness of the Word whilst the Bible was sealed (John 5:25). Jesus was not speaking of individual houses, or mansions as some think, for we are all one Body, sons and daughters of God's Family in Christ. There is room enough for the Bride of all Ages in our Father's house signified in the first diagram, that City where there cometh no night.
Christ's mediation was fulfilled in 1963 when the last saint predestinated to the Laodicean Church Age was baptized into Christ. He then claimed the Book, opened the Seven Seals and revealed their mystery through the Message of the seventh angel, William Branham (Revelation 1:1; 3:14; 10:7). Once again in the prophetic office Son of man He is Judge (John 5:27). Christ has prepared the place for His Capstone Bride; rather He is preparing us to make up the Capstone of the Body through the ministry His Prophet which restored the apostolic faith and "finished the mystery of God" (Malachi 4:5, 6b; Matthew 17:11; Revelation 10:7).
All seven Church Ages are fulfilled and Redemption is over. We now have the perfect interpretation of the Word with divine vindication (I Corinthians 13:10). Christ's end-time Bride (like the 144,000 elect Israelites) is predestinated to receive the fullness of the Word so we do not require mediation for ignorance of "that which is perfect"; therefore we were fully redeemed in Christ on Calvary.
Christ is no longer at His Father's house preparing our place, He has returned. The revelation of the Seven Seals brought Christ back to earth in W_O_R_D form. The "midnight cry" of Matthew 25:6, "Behold the Bridegroom; come out to Meet Him," was the "shout" of I Thessalonians 4:16 which was the Message of God's Prophet, William Branham "Come out of Babylon and her (once) Protestant harlot daughters and be filled with the Spirit" (Revelation 18:4). This is "lamp trimming" time. His second Coming is not the Man from Galilee; Jesus said, "Do NOT look for the Man! Look for Light on the Word" (Matthew 24:22-28). His unseen second Coming is a (Gk.) 'parousia' Coming; His second physical (Gk.) 'erchomai' return will be His third Coming as Son of David after the consummation of life when with the glorified saints of all ages He steps out on the nuclear ashes of the wicked for a thousand years of peace (Isaiah 13:9-10; Malachi 4:1-3; Matthew 3:12; Revelation 16:15; 19:20).
Jesus said, "He who overcomes will sit with Me in My Throne [on earth], as I have overcome and sit down in My Father's Throne [in heaven]" (Revelation 3:21). Other words, "I took the Holy Spirit within by which I overcame all the temptations of the world, and took over!" ("And in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily" Colossians 3:9). "All power in Heaven and earth is given unto Me" (Matthew 28:18). He said. All the power! Then God is powerless if He's another person. After His resurrection Jesus said, that "All the power in both Heaven and earth was given into My hand." Brother Branham explained, "And Jesus comes from Heaven with ten thousands times ten thousands of His Saints, and the Bible says "the Heavens was empty for the space of a half hour" (Revelation 8:1; Jude 14-15). Where is this big fellow God then? Uh-huh. See? He's in Christ. Sure" (The Sardisean Church Age, p. 348:96)!
(4) The Lord has returned to prepare His Bride (John 14:3; I Thessalonians 4:13-18). The Marriage Supper of the heavenly Bridegroom and His earthly Bride will be celebrated in a heavenly bridal chamber where we will be accompanied by the "friends of the Bridegroom," the Old Testament saints whose duty will be to provide and care for whatever is needed for our nuptial celebration. Here we will spend a week of years as a bridal party in Israel celebrated seven days. We don't go to the marriage, which has been the invisible union of the Bride and Christ throughout the Christian dispensation; we go to the Wedding Supper.
(5) We are waiting for the last saint predestinated to the end-time Bride to recognize her calling and take her position in the Capstone of the Body. When Israel's Seventh Trumpet sounds, the wheat harvest and the Gentile dispensation will be over; Los Angeles and a 1,500 x 300-400 mile segment of earth's crust will sink beneath the Pacific, sending tidal waves around the world. In three days the resurrection of the sleeping saints will commence and "we who are alive and remain" will manifest that we are the Sons of God. After a short and powerful demonstration of the Spirit our little hunted and persecuted group will go to be with Jesus.
SHAVUOT, or Pentecost, commemorated the giving of the Law upon Sinai (Exodus 12:2; 19:16) on Sivan 6, the fiftieth day after the holy convocation of Nisan 15, that is on Nisan 16 when the first sheaf of barley was harvested in the evening and waved before the Lord on the morning. The omer offering of flour made from the sheaf of barley waved on Nisan 16, signified Jesus Christ, "the firstfruits of the Old Testament saints that slept" (I Corinthians 15:20), and the prelude to the greater harvest offering at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit commenced the Spiritual redemption of His Wheat Bride, before which no other firstfruits could be offered.
The interval between Pentecost and Tabernacles was the time for offering firstfruits. Quoting Isaiah 49:8 Paul said: "Now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation" (II Corinthians 6:2). This was also the inauguration of the Church when "the Spirit of the living God wrote the new, magnified Law of Christ in fleshy tables of the heart" (Jeremiah 31:33; II Corinthians 3:3; Acts 2:1). The chief of the firstfruits are the two wave loaves of Pentecost signifying the ecclesia made up of Israelites and Gentiles (Leviticus 23:17; Ephesians 2:10-22). This was the last Israelite feast Paul observed. The fifty days of Pentecost marked the beginning of the barley harvest and the end of the wheat harvest.
The Day of Pentecost reminded the Israelites of their release from Egyptian bondage after the first exodus. It also marks the second Exodus when the Church was liberated from the Law of sin and death, and will mark the completion of the third exodus when "we shall all be changed . . . and death is swallowed up in victory" (I Corinthians 15:51, 54). The Prophet said, "Now, counting the time , we find that we have exactly (Listen.) seventeen years left, and we will have the same span of time given to us as God dealing with us in the power of the Holy Spirit since AD33 until 1977, the same span of time of 1954 years. God deals with us the same as He did with the Jews. See? How about that?
Now, mark down in your book a little Scripture here I want to give you. Leviticus 25, begin with the 8th verse. God calls a jubilee every forty-ninth year; the fiftieth year was the jubilee. We know that. We understand that. From the first jubilee of Leviticus 25:8, in 1977 will be the seventieth jubilee, making exactly 3,430 years. Jubilee means the going up, the release.
Oh, we're watching for the coming
Of that glad Millennium day,
When our blessed Lord shall come
And catch His waiting Bride away.
Oh, the world is groaning, crying
For that day of sweet release,
When our Saviour shall come back to earth again.
Did you get that? God has dealt with us exactly the same amount of time that He dealt with the Jews from the time He give Abraham the promise until the rejecting of the Messiah in AD33, was 1954 years. And now, we have seventeen years left. We had about 1930 something years. We got seventeen years left until '77 will be the seventieth jubilee since the beginning of jubilees. And what will it be? Oh, brother. Watch close now. Don't miss it. It'll be the Jubilee of the going up of the Gentile Bride and the return of Christ to the
JewsIsraelites, when they go out of bondage. Amen. Don't you see? From all the world they've gather there for that day. Oh, my. See where we're at? We don't know what time it might happen. We're at the end time" (The Seventieth Week of Daniel, p. 115, 196-198).
"Christ the mighty Angel descended upon Mount Sunset, Arizona on about March 8, 1963, clothed with a cloud and crowned with a rainbow (His Covenant sign in the days of Noah) . . . and He set His right foot in judgment upon [the Judaeo-Roman beast from] the sea, and His left foot on [her US Judaeo-Protestant image] that raised up from the earth . . . and swore by Himself (Colossians 2:16-18) that intercession will not further delay His Coming, for in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, William Branham, when he shall begin to sound his end-time Message, the mystery of God should be finished, as he has declared to His servants the prophets" (Revelation 10:1-7; 1:1).
Paul described the threefold PROCESS commonly called the 'rapture.' "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" (I Thessalonians 4:16-17).
The "shout" was Brother Branham's Message introducing Christ's second or 'parousia' Coming (Matthew 25:6; Revelation 10:7). The "Voice of the Archangel" is Christ in the heart of His Bride placing the Message from Genesis to Revelation to bring her to maturity in the unity of the faith for the manifestation of the Sons of God and the translation (Ephesians 4:13; Romans 9:18; I Corinthians 15:51). The "seventh Trumpet" (Revelation 11:15; 6:12) will end the Christian dispensation and commence "the time of Jacob's trouble" (Romans 11:25-27; Jeremiah 30:7) with the invasion and utter defeat of the faux Israel state allowing the children of Jacob to return safely to the Land of their Covenant for redemption (Leviticus 25:10; Zechariah 10; 11; 14:1-2).
All summer following Pentecost the Israelites harvest the fruit of the trees and vines so that the crops are in and the harvest is finished when the trumpet (not the seventh trump) sounds the first day of the Civil New Year on Tishri 1. ROSH HASHANAH, the Feast of Trumpets begins the ten days of penitence culminating in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Ours is a Pentecostal Jubilee whereas Israel's Jubilee will be a mourning for their forebears' rejection of Christ's atonement (Leviticus 23:26-32; Zechariah 12:10 – 13:9). Prophesying Israel's unbelief in the Saviour: Jeremiah 8:21 reads "The summer is ended, and we are not saved".
(6) When the Bride has been committed to the groom she takes off her veil and places it over His shoulder (Isaiah 9:6), signifying that not only is she under his dominion—that she has transferred her rights to him—that he is the head—but also that he bears the responsibility and the care and that HE AND HE ALONE—NO ONE ELSE—NO OTHER MAN—NO OTHER POWER—HAS ANY RIGHT AND RESPONSIBILITY. He chose her. She did not choose Him. He called her. She did not come on her own. He died for her. He washed her in His own blood. He paid the price for her. She belongs to Him and to Him alone. She is wholly committed to Him and He accepts the obligation. He is her head, for Christ is the head of His church. As Sarah called Abraham, Lord, even so the Bride is happy that He is her Lord. He speaks and she obeys for that is her delight.
We don't go to the marriage, we go to the Wedding Supper. We are now married to Christ through our invisible union or new birth and the union is consummated for we are already pregnated by the Word of God to bear sons who will finish the Body of Jesus Christ. To this end the Son of man descended upon Mount Sunset and caught up Brother Branham into a pillar of Cloud formed by the seven portions of the Spirit that had anointed the angels to the Church. He was told to return to Jeffersonville where he would receive the mystery of the Seven Seals which will unite the PART-Word Body with the Capstone and enable the end-time Bride to manifest that they are the Sons of God.
(7) At the Great Marriage Supper of the Lamb we will have all received our crown of eternal Life. Brother Branham said, "Even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, so we are to follow that example. See Him as He bows Himself over the apostles and washes their tired and dirty feet. He said, "You don't know now what I am doing, but you will know hereafter. What you see me doing, you ought also to do." He became a servant in order that God could elevate Him to the highest heights. And one day in the judgment of the saints we are going to hear Him say, "Well done, good and faithful SERVANT, enter thou into the joy of the Lord." It is hard to be always a servant. But those who spend and are spent for others will one day be seated with Him in His throne. It will be worth it all, then.
"Let us labour for the Master from the dawn till setting sun,
Let us talk of all His wondrous love and care,
And when all of life is over and our work on earth is done,
And the roll is called up yonder I'll be there"
(An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages, p. 223:3).
Brother Branham was speaking of the Judgement Seat of Christ before which all the Brothers and Sisters will stand; those who were resurrected and we who are translated when "the kingdoms of the world have become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever" (Romans 14:10; I Corinthians 15:52; I Thessalonians 4:16-17; II Timothy 4:1, 8; Revelation 11:15).
This is not a judgment to condemnation, for we were each judged in Christ on Calvary where we paid the supreme penalty, were acquitted and raised with our Lord when "He was raised again for our justification" (Romans 4:25; II Corinthians 5:13-21). Here each will be presented and recognized. For we must all appear [(Gk.) 'phaneroo' in our true character] before the judgment seat of Christ" [(Gk.) 'bema'; I Corinthians 4:5; Colossians 3:4]. Although we are always manifest to God, there we shall be manifest to the assembled saints of all Ages and to ourselves to receive His reward of grace in proportion to "the things done in the body" (II Corinthians 5:5-10; II John 1:8).
II Timothy 4:8, "There a crown of righteousness is laid up for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award me at that day, and not to me only, but [to Brother Chibueze and] also to all them who have loved His appearing".
So the 'bema' judgment is for the saints a judgment of reward in recognition of our service to Christ. The individual saints are personally introduced to the Man Jesus Christ and announced with approbation to the saints of all Ages at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb. The dignity of our station and reward will be determined by our motives and our objectives (not mere external acts) and the excellence or mediocrity of our character displaying the Token on earth.
We are at all times, even now, manifest to God; then we shall be so to the Church of the first born and to ourselves: for the judgment shall be not only in order to assign the everlasting portion to each, but to vindicate God's righteousness, so that it shall be manifest to all His creatures, and even to the conscience of the sinner himself.
At the end of Daniel's Seventieth Week when the Wedding Feast has concluded, King Jesus and His Queen will appear to those without, and by 144,000 elect Israelites will "anoint the most holy" with the joy of the Lord (Daniel 9:24).
Revelation 17:1 – 18:24 is in parenthesis describing God's judgment on the Judaeo-Roman Universal church and her harlot (once) Protestant daughter churches during the tribulation. The three Woes, three unclean spirits like frogs, Seven Seals, Seven Trumpet Judgments, Seven Vials, the casting down and incarnation of Satan and the ushering-in of the millennium are revealed after the PART-Word saints were finished in 1963 and redemption was over. Thus Revelation 6:1 – 19:21 are associated with Daniel's Seventy Weeks for Christ's end-time Bride was fully redeemed in Him on Calvary.
We will now meet the 144,000 elect Israelites who will be re-born and martyred in that time (Revelation 14:14:1 – 15:4). This revelation was given to John who represent's Christ's end-time Bride throughout the Book.
Revelation 19:1-16, "After these things [the destruction of Vatican City State (Revelation 17:1 – 18:24)] I heard a great voice of much people [Israelites fully redeemed (Revelation 14:1; 15:2) and] in heaven, saying, Halleluiah; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: for true and righteous are His judgments: for He has judged the great whore, which corrupted the earth with her fornication [idolatry], and has avenged the blood of His servants at her hand" [Revelation 6:10-11; 15:4; 17:1 – 18:24]. And again they said, Halleluiah. And her [atomic] smoke rises up forever and ever. And the twenty-four elders and the living creatures fell down and worshipped God who sits on the throne, saying, Amen; Halleluiah."
"And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude [Christ's Bride of all Ages], and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigns. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb has come [to pass], and His WIFE has made Herself ready [dressed in the THUS SAITH THE LORD of Brother Branham's Message with her Husband, King and Queen]]. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of saints [as announced to everyone at the bema judgment]."
"And he [Brother Branham, the angel of Revelation 1:1; 3:14; 10:7, etc., who guided John, representing Christ's end-time Bride throughout the visions on Patmos] said to me, Write, Blessed are they who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said to me [John, representing us], These are the true sayings of God [i.e. THUS SAITH THE LORD]."
"And I [John, representing Christ's end-time Bride] fell at [Brother Branham's] feet to worship him. And he said to me, Don't do that: I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
"And I saw heaven opened, and beheld a white horse whose Rider was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems [He was crowned King of kings] and He has a Name written which no one knows but Himself. And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood: and His Name is called The Word of God. ["In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God; and the Word was made flesh and dwelled among us." This is Jesus]. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him upon white horses. And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations: and He will rule them with a rod of iron: and He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of God the Almighty. And on His robe on His thigh He has a Name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS".
The Great Marriage Supper having concluded, as with the earthly type the Bride and Groom appear to those without, who say, "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His WIFE has made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arranged in fine linen, clean and white; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints."
Notice the Scripture says "WIFE", she is no longer a "BRIDE." The Wedding Feast has concluded, Israel recognize King Jesus and His Queen who will destroy His enemies and leave the Father's throne to return to His own throne for a thousand years of peace. What a time to look forward to! "Even so, come, Lord Jesus". marriage.htm