Jean Stepnoski (26 July 2011)
"Bride or Friends to The Groom and Bride?"

Dear Doves,
      The ancient Jewish Wedding Model deals with a period of 7, in the 7 days are the events at the wedding canopy (the chuppah), then the intimacy of the wedding chamber. After 7 days, the groom and his bride would emerge from their seclusion and join those dear to them for the joyous wedding supper. Let us suppose some arrive late, after 3-7 days, and want to be part of the bride group? Are they? No, they would be friends to the groom and bride and they are not allowed into the marriage chamber. The events as clearly planned are well underway and will not be delayed for the unprepared late comers. In making reference to the body of Messiah/ Christ, is there a difference between the bridal group and the tribulation saints? The bridal group of the resurrected with The Blessed Hope would be the men and women and the wedding attendants of children. There is a distinction to be made. Not all  "professing" Christians want be bride, be soon resurrected, and go to their Wedding of the Ages. There are many "lukewarm" who will not be part of the Blessed Hope. Who might they be, the later tribulation saints, along with the other converted thereof? To believe that the wedding events are delayed (including the Assessments and giving of Wedding Presents( Crowns) at the Bema)  for the sake of the inclusion of the later tribulation saints, is questionable. Would you delay your wedding events over a period of 7 (the 70th Week of Daniel) until  3 of 7 or later? The tribulation saints (martyrs) will not be the earlier group of the bride. The status in the Kingdom and the roles are not the same. Defer resurrection and others will have to wait for you? What is that? It puts the emphasis on delay, insufficient preparation, wedding refusal, and beheading rather than on The Groom of Grooms, His Bride of the Ages, and the Wedding of the Ages, the Bema events, and the time of intimacy. Let us wait for the "lukewarm" who could have joined us but they did not want to when the hour had come? Make them the center of attention? Why? How much should we pity those who willingly chose to refuse The Blessed Hope? They will weep and mourn because they chose to make poor spiritual choices. Does the bride want to turn her wedding into a disaster for the sake of THE INVITED who refused to show up at the necessary time? How can the "lukewarm" delude themselves? I will have another chance to make this turn out well and will wait a few years and keep the others waiting for my martyrdom, before they can proceed. WAIT for ME! As Miss Piggy said, "It's all about moi." No, dear doves, according to the ancient Jewish Wedding Model, it is all about the groom/ husband. It is all about THE BELOVED MASTER! It is here comes THE GROOM!
      We are to desire to be part of The Blessed Hope, not to prefer to stay to be  "earth dwellers" and beheaded! The beheaded in the "hour of trial" are not the Bride of Messiah/ Christ. These are individuals who could have taken Luke 21 and other promises of The Master seriously. They did not. These were not "accounted worthy" or "have the strength to stand before the son of man." Being part of The Blessed Hope to Paul meant being gifted with one or more Crowns (Wedding Presents). He taught, " let no one take away your crown" and he really meant it. This means participation in The Blessed Hope, not the idea of a delay and a reprieve, with the necessity of beheading. If each of us has a choice of bride of The Lord or tribulation martyr friend, which would be preferable? The Groom of the Ages comes for His Bride. Bride or friend to the groom and  bride are not the same relationship, or role, or Kingdom status. We hope to soon exclaim, Behold The Bridegroom Cometh!
With Love and Shalom,