In this post on "The Biblical Theme of The Bride" we will deal with that portion when the Groom comes for His Bride. When does the Groom come for the Bride? When the preparations on the Bridal Chamber were completed then it would be the proper time. But the Groom's Father would be the one to give permission. It was a common expression or saying, a Jewish idiom, that a man would say when his marriage would be. He would reply, "of that day or hour no man knows, but my father only." Christians are largely oblivious to the nuances of the Hebrew culture, the Hebrew text of the Bible, and what the Bible really has to say. I noted the reasons in my posts on Hermeneutics as to why Christianity in the west is out to lunch. "Covenant/Reformed" theology has reduced the Bible to being a book of platitudes, fables, stories, and myths.
The unknown day also is a reference to the Feast of Trumpets, which comes with the observance of the "New Moon". Since the "New Moon" has a cycle of 29.5-days, it is uncertain on whether it will be seen comes 29 or 30 days after the last new moon. Thus, the Feast of Trumpets is a two-day event. There is a verse of Scripture that supports the fact that the Feast is celebrated over two days. 1st Samuel, chapter 20 names it. There is only one Feast that falls on the new moon, all others occur on the full moon. So the new moon feast is the Feast of Trumpets, or Rosh HaShanah, which is celebrated on the first and second days of the month.
1st Samuel 20:5 - "So David said, "Look, tomorrow is the New Moon Feast, and I am supposed to dine with the king; but let me go and hide in the field until the evening of the day after tomorrow."
1st Samuel 20:27 - "But the next day, the second day of the month, David's place was empty again. Then Saul said to his son Jonathan, "Why hasn't the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today?"
1st Samuel 20:34 - "Jonathan got up from the table in fierce anger; on that second day of the feast he did not eat, because he was grieved at his father's shameful treatment of David."
Furthermore, since the Feast of Trumpets is also known as the "Wedding of the Messiah", this phrase, of the "unknown day or hour" is a Rapture reference in three ways:
1. It refers to the time in the wedding when the Groom would return to fetch the Bride,
2. It refers to the Day of the Feast of Trumpets,
3. It refers to the "Wedding of the Messiah" on the Feast of Trumpets.
Matthew 24:36 - "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."
Matthew 24:42 - "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come."
Matthew 24:13 - "Watch therefore: for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh."
Mark 13:32 - "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father."
Mark 13:33 - "Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is."
Luke 12:39 - "And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through."
Revelation 3:3 - "Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold that, and repent. If therefore thou shall not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee."
Now that two of these verse above include mention of the thief, and many of these verses say to watch. Note also that none of the verses say that no Christian during the end times will ever know, or that we will be in darkness regarding the coming... In fact, the exact opposite is implied by Revelation 3:3, namely that if we watch, we should know the time and not be surprised by the thief! In Luke 12:39, it says "If he had known, he would have watched! Those who believe that Jesus will return on the Feast of Trumpets will really purify themselves annually at that time each year, and re-dedicate their lives to the Lord each time that Fall Festival comes around.
1st John 3:3 - "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."
According to the Torah Calendar web site, this year the Feast of Trumpets is scheduled to be on September 25/26th of 2014. Today, we are able to determine the appearance of the "New Moon" just over Jerusalem through astronomy computer calculation. That was not the case in Biblical times because of cloud cover, rain, etc. This is why the Feast was a two-day event. The "New Moon" becomes visible over Jerusalem when the crescent reaches a 3-5-degree visibility in the early evening following the setting of the Sun. My spirit is quickened every year about a month or so before the Feast of Trumpets. Traditionally, the month before is a time of reflection and repentance by religious Jews.
When the Bridal Chamber was finished, and the Bridegroom's father gave permission, the Bridegroom would go to fetch his Bride, like a thief in the night. The trumpet would be blown to awaken and alert the bride, so she would be ready.
Some have asked, "sounds like a noisy thief?" Well, the trumpet was blown for several reasons in Scripture:
1. To gather the people together. Numbers 10:2-4,7; Jeremiah 4:5; Jeremiah 6:1.
2. To prepare the troops for battle. Ezekiel 7:14; 1st Corinthians 14:8; Numbers 9:13.
3. To announce the reign of a new King. 1st Kings 1:34; 1st Kings 1:39; 2nd Kings 9:13.
All of these things are also taking place simultaneously at the time of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. All of them!
1. The people are gathered together. - 2 Thessalonians 2:1; Matthew 24:31; Mark 13:27; as they are gathered together at the Feast of Trumpets, Nehemiah 8; Numbers 10.
2. God's angels make war on Satan and cast him out at this time. - Revelation 12:4,5, identified as stars and moon darkening in Ezekiel. Ezekiel 32:7-10; Matthew 24:29; Joel 2:31; Revelation 8:12; Isaiah 13:9-11.
3. Our Lord Jesus Christ begins reigning as king. - (Married people were also treated as king and queen for a day.). Zechariah 14:9; Revelation 4,5; Daniel 7.
God's trumpet voice will also awaken people from the dead. This awakening trumpet blast is the "last trump" of the Rapture. Awaken (resurrection) is a theme of the Rapture trumpet. This "last trump" was well known to be speaking of the Feast of Trumpets, the first of the Fall Feasts of the Lord, the time and season of which was well known; one of the themes is to stay awake during Trumpets, also know as "the wedding of the Messiah." After the Rapture, sudden destruction falls on the world in the "Seven Year Tribulation".
What follows is a commentary on the meaning of how 1st Thessalonians 5:1-11 demonstrates in several ways the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. This passage follows the key Rapture passage in 1st Thessalonians 4:
1st Thessalonians 4:15 - "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep."
1st Thessalonians 4:16 - "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:"
1st Thessalonians 4:17 - "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. [Caught up = "Harpazo" = Rapture].
1st Thessalonians 4:18 - "Therefore comfort one another with these words."
The Feast of Trumpets is a seasonal festival, like all of the Feasts of the Lord, with a set time.
1st Thessalonians 5:1 - "But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you."
1st Thessalonians 5:2 - "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night."
1st Thessalonians 5:3 - "For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape."
The travail upon a woman (birth pangs) is a reference to the "seven-year" Tribulation; the time of Jacob's trouble, the "Day of the Lord".
Jeremiah 30:6 - "Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?"
Jeremiah 30:7 - "Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it."
Matthew 24:8 - "All these are the beginning of sorrows."
Isaiah 13:6 - "Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty."
Isaiah 13:7 - "Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt."
Isaiah 13:8 - "And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames."
The day of the Lord is also known as darkness.
Amos 5:18 - "Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light."
Amos 5:20 - "Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?"
John 8:12 - "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."
1st Thessalonians 5:4 - "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief."
1st Thessalonians 5:5 - "Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness."
There are two clear meanings of "ye are not in darkness". The first is "you have knowledge". The second is "you will not enter tribulation".
"Children of the light" should know of the times and seasons of the Feast of Trumpets and know about the Wedding of the Messiah, so as to be able to be prepared at the coming of the Lord. Furthermore, they will not enter into darkness of the Day of the Lord, not enter the darkness of the Tribulation. Those two meanings are the subject of the previous verses, so this dual meaning should be clear.
Some have read the phrase "that that day should overtake you as a thief", and said that this means that Jesus will come as a thief on unbelievers. This notion seems to ignore that the day will come upon everyone! One difference is that believers, through prophecy, should not be surprised by the thief, while unbelievers will be surprised. The other difference is that righteous and worthy believers will be in Heaven during the Tribulation, so the "Day of the Lord", the darkness of the Tribulation, will NOT overtake them or come upon them ever!
Those who would apply the "coming as a thief" to refer to Jesus coming with destruction on the unbelievers, from verses 2 & 3, seem to forget John 10:10, which says Jesus is NOT come to destroy, but to give life abundantly.
John 10:10 - "The thief cometh not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
Our thief, who comes for us at the Rapture, comes to give life. We should always be ready, like a new Bride, and not be caught off guard and find ourselves ashamed at the Lord's coming.
1st John 2:28 - "And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming."
1st Thessalonians 5:6 - "Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober."
1st Thessalonians 5:7 - "For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night."
1st Thessalonians 5:8 - "But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation."
Being awakened is a theme in the marriage parable of the ten virgins of Matthew 25:1-13.
Matthew 25:5 - "While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept."
Matthew 25:6 - "And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him."
Matthew 25:7 - "Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps."
Being awakened is a theme of the resurrection, which precedes the Rapture.
Daniel 12:2 - "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."
Ephesians 5:14 - "Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light."
Once again, these verses stress a Pre-Tribulation Rapture.
1st Thessalonians 5:9 - "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ."
1st Thessalonians 5:10 - "Who died for us, that, whither we wake or sleep, we should live together with him."
1st Thessalonians 5:11 - "Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do."
The last trumpet awakening blast shout, cry, & "come up hither/go out to meet him" command is shown in parts, in all four of the following Rapture verses:
Matthew 25:6 - "And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him."
1st Corinthians 15:52 - "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
1st Thessalonians 4:16 - "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout [command] , with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first."
Revelation 4:1 - "After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter."
The awakening resurrection is also followed by entering the Bridal Chamber, which takes place after the Bridegroom comes for his Bride, followed by the Tribulation.
Isaiah 26:16 - "LORD, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them."
Isaiah 26:17 - "Like a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O LORD."
Isaiah 26:18 - "We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen."
Isaiah 26:19 - "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead."
Isaiah 26:20 - "Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers; and shut thy door about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast."
Isaiah 26:21 - "For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain."
Isaiah 27:1 - "In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent, and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea."
Earlier, I mentioned how the Feast of Trumpets was the Wedding of the Messiah. Throughout this study, I have noted in a few places how the Wedding and Rapture parallels include things that are referenced by the Feast of Trumpets. Here is one place in Scripture where the Feast of Trumpets is directly connected to a marriage.
The Feast of Trumpets was celebrated at Joseph's wedding, which took place "when he went out over the land of Egypt" to gather food during the "seven" good years for the "seven" bad years, and to make the Feast of Trumpets (the only new moon fesitval) a statute and decree in Egypt.
Psalm 81:3 - "Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our feast day."
Psalm 81:4 - "For it is a statute for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob."
Psalm 81:5 - "He made it a decree in Joseph, when he went out over the land of Egypt. I hear a voice I had not known:"
Genesis 41:45 - "And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him in marriage Asenth, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On. So Joseph went out over the land of Egypt."
Genesis 41:46 - "Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went through all the land of Egypt."
Genesis 41:47 - "During the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth abundantly."
What is the voice in Psalm 81:5? 1st Thessalonians 4:16; and Revelation 4:1 both mention a voice along with the trumpet.
It seems most unusual that in Genesis 41:45, two events are described in one verse, the Marriage and the Feast of Trumpets decree becoming a law in all of Egypt as Joseph "went out over the land of Egypt". Imagine your own marriage being mentioned as little more than a footnote! Actually, this links the Feast of Trumpets to the Marriage theme quite strongly.
There are many places where a feast is connected to a marriage. The Feast of Trumpets is one of the annual Feasts of the Lord, found in Leviticus 23. Would the Lord have His marriage when it is NOT a feast day? Also, keep in mind, the Feast of Trumpets is commanded to be a joyous occasion. Once I had comprehended the larger picture of "The Biblical Theme of The Bride"; and then afterwards, retracing my study through Genesis to Revelation, many passages read previously began to take on greater significance and meaning; whereas before they seemed to be of no real importance.
Numbers 10:10 - "Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God."
Nehemiah 8:9 - "And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law."
Nehemiah 8:10 - "Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our LORD: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength."
Nehemiah 8:11 - "So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved."
Nehemiah 8:12 - "And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them."
In the next post of this series we will see a particularly interesting group marriage at an annual feast in Judges 21.
The focus of our study on "The Biblical Theme of The Bride" is nearing its climax. In section #15, we will be dealing with Jesus Christ coming for His Bride as a thief in the night.