KINGDOM BRIDEGROOM

bridegroom-waiting

The first one to introduce us to introduce us to Yeshua (Jesus) being the Bridegroom is John the Baptist: “He who has a bride is the bridegroom; and the best man of the bridegroom is he who stands up and listens to him, and rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice; this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must become greater and I lesser” (John 3:29-30 Aramaic).

Yeshua also spoke of Himself as the Bridegroom and revealed that God’s Kingdom would come when He returns:

“Then the disciples of John came up to Him and said, Why do we and the Pharisees fast a great deal, and your disciples never fast? Jesus said to them, Is it possible for THOSE AT THE WEDDING FEAST to fast as long as THE BRIDEGROOM IS WITH THEM? But the days are coming when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and then they will fast” (Matthew 9:14-15 Aramaic).

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to greet THE BRIDEGROOM AND THE BRIDE. Five of them were wise, and five were foolish. And the foolish ones took their lamps, but took no oil with them. But the wise ones took oil in the vessels with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry, Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to greet him! Then all the virgins got up and prepared their lamps. And the foolish ones said to the wise ones, Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out. Then the wise ones answered, saying, Why, there would not be enough for us and for you; go to those who sell and buy for yourselves. And while they went and buy, the bridegroom came; and those who were ready entered with him into the banqueting house, and the door was locked. Afterward the other virgins also came and said, Our lord, our lord, open to us. But he answered and said to them, Truly I say to you, I do not know you. Be alert, therefore, for you do not know the day nor the hour” (Matthew 25:1-13 Aramaic).

Yeshua tells us that “to you has been given the secret of the Kingdom of God” (Mark 4:11). I believe that the Bride of Christ is more complex than we previously understood. Notice that in the original Aramaic version of Matthew 25 verse 1 portrays the bridegroom and the bride coming for the virgins with lamps (i.e., believers); but only the wise virgins with oil are taken into the wedding feast with them. Also, notice that even though the bridegroom and bride comes for the ten virgins, Matthew 25:6 only mentions the bridegroom. Of course, this speaks of the pre-eminence that the bridegroom should always have; but it can also communicate that God’s people (i.e. exemplified in the ten virgins) have a limited understanding of the bride when the bridegroom comes.

God is showing me that the Bride of Christ is made up of the 144,000 spiritually pure Hebrew souls who are first fruits to God and the Lamb (Revelation 14:4) as well as the wise virgins (Matthew 25:10). These are the ones taken into the wedding feast where the Messiah and these precious souls become one. These are the kings and priests of the Order of Melchizedek who have led their own inner fire bride forth. These are the fully mature sons, united as one, with Messiah Yeshua in the One New Man energetic matrix called Metatron.

For more on Metatron and the 144000 Firstfruits, please refer to the Third Book of Enoch and/or the MEL GEL Study Guide => https://www.amazon.com/dp/0578188538/ . Each chapter in the MEL GEL Study Guide is also available as a video => http://www.sapphirethroneministries.com/resources.html.

Give em heaven!!!
~ Robin Main

www.sapphirethroneministries.com
www.santa-tizing.com
www.mysticmentoring.com

Copyright January 23, 2017 – Sapphire Throne Ministries – Robin Main

Originally published => https://www.facebook.com/SapphireThroneMinistries/photos/a.436008649804968.101323.436004819805351/1391112264294597/?type=3&theater

*****
.
RESOURCES AVAILABLE:
.
• Ascension Manual book => https://www.amazon.com/dp/0578188511

• Understanding the Order of Melchizedek: Complete Series book => https://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Order-Melchizedek-Robin-Main/dp/0998598240/

 MEL GEL Study Guide book => https://www.amazon.com/dp/0578188538/

• MEL GEL Study Guide: Volume 2 book => https://www.amazon.com/dp/0998598232/

• Set of Hebrew Living Letter Flash Cards => http://www.sapphirethroneministries.com/art.html

• All STM Resources (usually cheaper than Amazon), including teaching videos => http://www.sapphirethroneministries.com/resources.html

• Blazing New Wine of Hanukkah: Bridal Restoration of DNA book => https://www.amazon.com/Blazing-New-Wine-Hanukkah-Understanding-ebook/dp/B010MHNZMK/

• SANTA-TIZING: What’s wrong with Christmas and how to clean it up book => https://www.amazon.com/SANTA-TIZING-Whats-wrong-Christmas-clean/dp/1607911159/

*****

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WATER INTO WINE MELCHIZEDEK SIGN

wine-water

Did you know that Yeshua’s first miracle was a Melchizedek sign? His turning water into the finest wine is connected to the priest of the Most High God – Melchizedek King of Salem – bringing bread and wine to Abram (Genesis 14:18; John 2:1-11).

At Cana, it was the Third Day, the day for ancient Hebrew weddings (John 2:1). It foreshadows a Kingdom Reality in our day with bridal overtones: “And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, ‘Allelia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the Marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb!’ And he said to me, ‘These are the true sayings of God’ ” (Revelation 19 6-10 NKJV).

Remember that both Jesus (i.e. Yeshua) and His disciples are called to the wedding feast (John 2:2). That means you, if you fit the bill: “By this all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love one to another” (John 13:35). A marriage is all about love, and the Bride and Groom becoming one. Love all. Serve all. The call is simple, yet encompasses all.

Notice that the servants at the marriage were told to obey whatever Yeshua told them to do before He turned the water into wine (John 2:5). This is connected to the Bride of Christ being clothed with the righteous acts (i.e. deeds) of the saints (Revelation 19:8). Appropriate wedding garments are required for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Matthew 22:11-14). The things we do according to the dictates of His heart flows like living water from the midst of who we really are. As this Water of Life flows from our midst, its essence transforms into the best saved for last golden new wine, which genu-wine believers have to offer (John 2:10).

Give em heaven!!!
Robin Main

www.sapphirethroneministries.com
www.santa-tizing.com
www.mysticmentoring.com

Copyright September 2, 2016 – Sapphire Throne Ministries – Robin Main

Originally published =>  https://www.facebook.com/SapphireThroneMinistries/photos/a.436008649804968.101323.436004819805351/1202235149848977/?type=3&theater

*****
.
RESOURCES AVAILABLE:
.
• Ascension Manual book => https://www.amazon.com/dp/0578188511

• Understanding the Order of Melchizedek: Complete Series book => https://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Order-Melchizedek-Robin-Main/dp/0998598240/

 MEL GEL Study Guide book => https://www.amazon.com/dp/0578188538/

• MEL GEL Study Guide: Volume 2 book => https://www.amazon.com/dp/0998598232/

• Set of Hebrew Living Letter Flash Cards => http://www.sapphirethroneministries.com/art.html

• All STM Resources (usually cheaper than Amazon), including teaching videos => http://www.sapphirethroneministries.com/resources.html

• Blazing New Wine of Hanukkah: Bridal Restoration of DNA book => https://www.amazon.com/Blazing-New-Wine-Hanukkah-Understanding-ebook/dp/B010MHNZMK/

• SANTA-TIZING: What’s wrong with Christmas and how to clean it up book => https://www.amazon.com/SANTA-TIZING-Whats-wrong-Christmas-clean/dp/1607911159/

*****

BRAZEN BELIEVERS – Heaven Meets Earth – Part 2 (Selfless Love)

Snow

First Corinthians 10:11 tells us: “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” What things? Passing through the Red Sea, eating manna, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. It’s what happened to the Israelites in the wilderness after they left Egypt, which is spoken of throughout the Old Testament, especially the first five books of the Bible. Yeshua (i.e., Jesus) and His disciples taught from the Old Testament and so did Paul. If it’s good enough for Yeshua, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Paul, it’s good enough for the followers of Yeshua too.

BRAZEN LAVER

The priests washed their hands and feet in the Temple Laver before they entered the tent where they met God. “You shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base of bronze, for washing; and you shall put it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and you shall put water in it.” (Exodus 30:18 NASB). Many Christian Bibles call the Temple Laver the Bronze Laver. This is a misnomer, for it was actually made of copper.

Laver - BrentKington

The copper laver was an open circular basin that was set upon a copper base. The Hebrew Sage Rashi[1] said it had two spouts at the bottom through which the water would flow[2] keeping it from becoming stagnant. In the Hebrew language the term “for washing” carries the idea that the laver was “for sanctification;”[3] therefore the actual purpose for the priests washing their hands and feet was for holiness and sanctity rather than cleanliness (Exod. 30:17-21).

The hands and feet represent the upper and lower extremities of the human body. By sanctifying their appendages, it was symbolic of the servants of the Lord’s total devotion to the service they were engaged in. It set apart their acts as righteous.

A most literal picture of this is presented to us in Exodus 30:19. The Hebrew Sage Or HaChaim said that the conjunction in the phrase “their hands together with their feet” (Exod. 30:19) indicated that the hands and feet must be washed at the same time.[4] Consequently, the right hand was placed on the priest’s right foot and washed together at the same time, followed by his left hand together with his left foot. Concentration and balance were key to accomplishing this hand-foot sanctification feat. Try it some time in your bathtub.  I had the kids in my Children’s Church class try to do this by simply standing next to their chairs. It was a lot more difficult than they thought and funny too. It’s quite the image of proper service to God requires all of a body’s faculties, and those faculties must be directed toward the same goal.[5]

The laver was not made of copper from the regular contributions. The laver was made exclusively from the brightly polished sheets of copper that women used as mirrors in Egypt (Exod. 38:8).[6] When the call went out for freewill contributions, devout women, who used to come to Moses’ tent to sit at his feet like Mary did with Jesus,[7] came with their copper mirrors and piled them up at Moses’ dwelling, which was the God’s dwelling place prior to the tent of meeting being built (Exod. 33:7). Moses was said to be reluctant to accept such gifts for the tabernacle due to his initial thinking that the mirrors had been used to incite lust.

Copper Mirror

The story goes that God told Moses that he was wrong, because these very mirrors had been instrumental in saving the nation. In Egypt, when the men came home exhausted every night from heavy labors, their wives used these mirrors to get all dolled up to entice their husbands to continue normal martial relations. Thanks to these brightly, polished copper mirrors, legions of Jewish children were born. God not only told Moses to accept these precious mirrors, but they were to be used exclusively to fabricate the laver. The Bible doesn’t give the specific size of the laver due to that fact that every single mirror had to go into fashioning it, no matter how big it would become – so sacred were those mirrors. [8], [9] Of note, these devout women could no longer gaze upon themselves with any vanity, because they had to fix their eyes upon the laver to see themselves. The laver represents bridal lovers fixing their eyes upon the Author and Perfecter of their faith (Heb. 12:2).

The extreme reach of the body of Christ should be set apart for a sacred purpose. The farthest boundary of the One New Man in Christ should be free from sin due to our special tie (i.e. connected relationship) with Yeshua. The word “tie” is from a Greek verb, which means “to bind.” It has many nuances. We can think of the concept of being restrained by authority, influence, agreement, or obligation. We can also think of a special tie that binds people together romantically. A marital tie binds two people together physically, mentally, and spiritually.

If our lives yield to the Lord of Love and His sacred purposes, then we will not be tied hand and foot to be thrown out of the wedding feast (Matt. 22:1-13). I sought My Love about what it means that one of his friends would be cast outside for not having the proper clothing, and I believe that He told me: Once the friend saw the glory of the wedding feast, “outside” the feast would appear as darkness for he or she would weep at glimpsing, yet not being able to partake of the marriage feast. It is noteworthy that this place outside the wedding feast is also assigned to hypocrites – where people’s actions don’t line up with their words (Matt. 24:51).

SELFLESS LOVE

The priests of old washing their hands and feet in the laver before entering the tent of meeting represents purity of what they did and where they went — obedience. Obedience in our actions is a symptom of the condition of our hearts. God cleans our hearts through confession of sin. “If we confess our sins, then He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). It is interesting to note that the Brazen Laver in Exodus was put between the tent of meeting and the bronze altar. We must first accept that Yeshua died for our sins before we can request to be cleaned up (Acts 22:16; 1 Cor 6:11).

In fact, our cleanliness, our right standing before God, is that Father God sees Yeshua not us. Yeshua basically runs interference for us. He is our covering before Father to the dismay of the Accuser. Believers have their own part to play.  Remember there needs to be relationship, or some say agreement, between heaven and earth, God and man.  Looking at 2 Chronicles 7:14 we see that God’s people have requirements for cleansing (i.e. healing). “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

First, believers are to admit the truth, which immediately leads to humble position. “I fall short. I’ve sinned. I can’t do it on my own.” C. S. Lewis is quoted to have said: Pride is the national religion of hell. Spirit inspired prayer will follow as a natural reaction to godly humility. Second, our spirit-led prayer results in greater intimacy with God. God says in Matthew 7:7 that if you continually seek Me, you will find Me. Third, believers are not just supposed to confess their sin; they are called to turn from their sin in repentance. This is not just an outward turning from sin, but a conscious shift from self to God.  Once these three conditions are met, God then hears the people’s prayer request(s) and cleanses the land from sin. Land can either be the physical ground or people.

Please stick with me as I re-iterate probably the most significant concept connected to the Brazen Laver. In the Old Testament, God gives us a picture in how the Mosaic purification vessel (i.e., laver) was made. “Moreover, he made the laver of bronze with its base of bronze, from the mirrors of the serving women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting” (Exodus 38:8).  These women served at the point of entry into the tabernacle where there was a screen separating those who could come into the tabernacle from those who could not. The screen’s material was hung upon five pillars.  Five has the spiritual meaning of grace. We can only come into God’s tabernacle by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9).

I believe the mirrors of the serving women represent earthly vanity. They could no longer look at themselves in their own mirrors. These women could no longer look at the temporal, material things when their copper mirrors were melted. They had to look at the laver to see themselves. These women had to look into the mirror of truth, Yeshua, which is a picture of Him purifying them through His shed blood. Their ability to look at self was taken away. They died to self, which is true humility.

All believers are called to die daily to self through the work of the Holy Spirit to be instruments of God. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20).

One other thing I’d like to zero in on is that these were serving women. These women serving at the doorway of the tent of meeting helped people to enter in and meet God.  We enter in and meet God through Yeshua — the Way, the Truth and the Life. We are all called to serve God by loving our fellow man and by pointing them to the cross. Christian service is always initiated by divine love, which overflows from our hearts when we commune with the Lord.  In fact, the only distinguishing characteristic Yeshua gave His disciples which set them apart is “all men shall know that you are My disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).

I believe the first New Testament saints to personify servanthood through love were the women who followed and ministered to Yeshua. Service based on divine love was the hallmark of these godly women. They waited on Yeshua, and I believe, his disciples at every turn during His three years of ministry.  These women had seen and experienced Yeshua’s deliverance from evil spirits and sicknesses. Yeshua knew/knows love is an action as well as a wonderful feeling.  In fact, the Hebrew Word picture for love ahav tells us that love is what the Father’s heart revealed.[10]

We, as Christians, are bondservants of Christ called to serve God and His people. I have yet to find in Scripture where Jesus asked these women for anything.  Do you think they intuitively knew Jesus’ needs and desires?  I do.  Do you think they studied his likes and dislikes?  I do.  I stumbled upon Gene Edward’s book The Divine Romance after I got this picture of service based upon divine love.  Listen to the heart of our Father through Edward’s eloquent words:

“About twenty men and four women accompanied wherever he traveled. From the day of her deliverance, she did not ask, she simply became part of that little band of followers.  Wherever he went, she went, and poured out her whole love and her whole life on him. In the earliest hours of the morning she could be found preparing his breakfast.  When he sat down to teach, she was there, at his feet.  When he departed, she departed with him. When those twenty men asked too much of him, she quietly, firmly, protested. She washed his feet, served his meals, cared for his clothes, placed fruit beside his bed in the evening.  He who said of himself, “I am the living water,” always had cool water to drink – brought by her hands. When nights were cold, she made sure the house where he was guested would be warm.  In the hot, blistering sun of summer, she walked with the little band of followers, village to village, city to city – always following him.

Why such devotion?

Because she adored him.  Fervently, single-mindedly, she loved him. She was totally enamored, completely enraptured, and utterly in love with her Lord and Master. She was embarrassingly, unembarrassed about the matter.

The others eventually grew used to the sight of her single-minded adoration and her uninhibited out-pouring of affection, which continued unceasingly from dawn to the last  light of night.

They even learned from her. Oh, they all professed a love for him that was equal to hers.  But they spoke of overthrowing Rome, of abolishing the present Hebrew state, of setting up a spectacular throne, of avenging the vicious rumors that seemed always to be spread about concerning the Lord.  They dreamed of wielding both political and spiritual power, of casting out demons, of throwing Caesar into a dungeon and Satan into a burning pit.  They professed love, but talked power and fame.  Little by little they changed. As months turned to years, they spoke less of conquest and got down to the business of loving their God.

The most amazing thing of all was this: He responded. He poured out love in return.  It seemed a little odd, the Son of God, caring, affectionate, loving, and returning love … so profoundly, so totally.  That God might love, with such ardor, was simply something that had never occurred to them.  Nor could they quite understand why they found it so difficult to express love toward him.  Her mother before her had failed at this same simple matter for centuries, but now, before all eyes, this simple girl was unfolding the highest order of the universe.  To love her God.

Watching her, they learned. For though she expressed her love in service and care, she expressed her love more in eyes, in heart, in soul, and in the fervor and passion of her whole being.  No abstraction, this love.  An unnerving thing this.  Unwavering, day after day, with total abandon loving him.  You saw it in her eyes, in her kneeling, in moments of praise and rejoicing, and when she looked into his face – which was almost always.[11]

This incredible woman deeply moved Yeshua to weep right before He rose her brother Lazarus from the dead (John 11: 32-35). Her name was Mary Magdalene. Her place was at Jesus’ feet. It is written that she chose the better part by sitting at Yeshua’s feet and listening attentively to every word that proceeded from His mouth (Luke 10:38-42).  There is some controversy over who Mary Magdalene actually was. I believe that she was the woman with a past where Scripture testifies that Jesus cast out seven demons from her (Luke 8:2; Mark 16:9), but I am open to correction, if proven otherwise. The Pharisees recognized her as an immoral woman (a brazen hussy), but Jesus saw her as a Brazen Believer after he had saved, healed and delivered her out of darkness into God’s glorious light.

Remember that I discussed the redemptive qualities of “brazen,” which includes contemptuous boldness — a state of being despised but being bold anyway. Can you imagine being publicly known as a harlot and being so bold as to enter a man’s house that had the authority to stone you to death? Why would she risk it? Only one thing could make her throw caution to the wind. Her beloved Savior and Deliverer, Yeshua, was in that Pharisee’s house. But, so were a houseful of legalistic men, who were probably among those who used and abused her. Now kick it up a notch due to the self-righteous, disapproving accusations over her “wasting” a year’s wages that could have gone to the poor when she poured out the expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet. She was definitely despised by this company of Pharisees, after all, they were the ones “worthy” of Jesus’ time and attention. If wetting Jesus’ feet with tears, wiping them with her hair, kissing them and anointing them with expensive perfume isn’t bold in the face of a bunch of the eyes full of daggers, I don’t know what is!

The quintessential example of a Brazen Believer is Mary Magdalene. Our Lord Jesus Christ said that she would be known forever as the one who anointed Him for His burial (John 12:7) as well as being the one who loved much because she had been forgiven much (Luke 7:40-43).

Mary Magdalene’s unwavering devotion led her to closely follow Jesus through His life, death, burial and resurrection. Mary Magdalene, Jesus’ mother and the Apostle John were the first to typify “the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes” (Rev 14:4). For example: [1] Mary Magdalene was among the small group to personally experience the agony, and thus, share in Jesus’ crucifixion (Matt 27:56). [2] Having moved Jesus to tears, it was Mary Magdalene turn to be deeply moved to weep as she watch Jesus’ dead body be placed in Joseph of Arimathen’s tomb (Matt 27:57-61). [3] Her and “the other Mary” were the first to return after Yeshua’s burial with the purpose of taking care of His body (Matt 28:1-10) to only witness the glorious appearance of an angel who rolled away the stone. While the guards shook with fear and became like dead men, the two Marys received an angelic message: “Do not be afraid; for I know you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said” (Matthew 28:56). All of this is amazing, but take another gigantic leap because this devoted heart — Brazen Believer — was the first person to see Jesus alive after His resurrection (Mark 16:9). Scripture tells us that she clung to Jesus when she saw Him (John 20:17). Can you imagine?!

The women following Jesus were so in love with their Lord and Savior that their acts of service were second nature.  Yeshua walked with the anointing of the Spirit on earth.  I feel that these women through their love and devotion to Christ tapped into that same Spirit to meet every need and desire prompted of God.  It seemed that the only other group besides the disciples, which were consistently closest to Jesus on earth, was the women who followed Him. These women were consistently meeting the needs and desires for all who Yeshua put on their hearts.  Their hearts overflowed with so much love for Jesus that they wanted and yearned to do anything and everything He asked or simply desired.

Before we move on, let’s re-emphasize that the Brazen Altar and Laver speaks of those made in God’s image keeping the priority of divine intimacy over and above anything else. Yes. We are called to do good works. In fact, if we do what Jesus did, we glorify the Father on earth by accomplishing the work that He gives us to do (John 17:4). This being said, please remember that Jesus did nothing unless He was given orders from His heavenly headquarters first (John 5:19). Even Jesus sequestered Himself away from the crowds and His friends to spend one-on-one time with His heavenly Father to see what He was doing.

We must take up our cross daily (Luke 9:23-25) to die to our own self-will in order that we can operate in heaven’s flawless will. There is a place where we will perfectly align with the flow of His extravagant Spirit as well as His faithful Word to such a degree that we will completely abide in Christ where the love of God is truly perfected within God’s Kingdom that’s within you and I. This is how Yeshua made His Father’s name known to men (John 17:6), and it’s something we need to emulate.

The Brazen Altar and the Brazen Laver were Old Testament pictures of the New Testament fulfillment of Jesus.  While here on earth, Yeshua was 100% God and 100% man. Yeshua walking the earth in bodily form is the perfect picture of heaven and earth agreeing to accomplish all that the Father had sent him to do. The earthly body needs to line up with its head — the Messiah. The Greek word for head is kephale meaning that from which everything proceeds.

~ Robin Main

www.sapphirethroneministries.com
www.santa-tizing.com
www.mysticmentoring.com

Copyright October 24, 1998 – Sapphire Throne Ministries – Robin Main

*****

.
RESOURCES AVAILABLE:
.
• Ascension Manual book => https://www.amazon.com/dp/0578188511

• Understanding the Order of Melchizedek: Complete Series book => https://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Order-Melchizedek-Robin-Main/dp/0998598240/

 MEL GEL Study Guide book => https://www.amazon.com/dp/0578188538/

• MEL GEL Study Guide: Volume 2 book => https://www.amazon.com/dp/0998598232/

• Set of Hebrew Living Letter Flash Cards => http://www.sapphirethroneministries.com/art.html

• All STM Resources (usually cheaper than Amazon), including teaching videos => http://www.sapphirethroneministries.com/resources.html

• Blazing New Wine of Hanukkah: Bridal Restoration of DNA book => https://www.amazon.com/Blazing-New-Wine-Hanukkah-Understanding-ebook/dp/B010MHNZMK/

• SANTA-TIZING: What’s wrong with Christmas and how to clean it up book => https://www.amazon.com/SANTA-TIZING-Whats-wrong-Christmas-clean/dp/1607911159/ w

*****


[1] Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki, c. 1040-1105).

[2] Scherman, The Chumash, 486.

[3] Harris, Harris, Archer, and Waltke; Theological Word book of the Old Testament: “2150 רָחַץ (rāḥaṣwash. With Times New Roman the transliteration might be more like: rachats. Derivatives 2150a רַחַץ (raḥaṣwashing (Ps 60:10; 108:10). 2150b רַחצָה (raḥṣâwashing (Song 4:2; 6:6). The initial occurrence is Gen 18:4, with over forty-eight occurrences in the Pentateuch, twenty-six in Lev. Among the parts of the body ritually rinsed were: the face (Gen 43:31); the hands (Ex 30:19, 21); the body (Lev 17:16); the feet (Gen 18:4ff). In the Levitical rituals the flesh of sacrificial animals was washed (Lev 1:9 et al.). This washing would normally take a great deal of water and perhaps suggests that Solomon’s great brazen sea was used as a reservoir for such water as well as for other rituals. Several interesting uses of the term appear in Song of Solomon giving details on Israelite cosmetology. The root rāḥaṣ describes the ritual foot washing (5:3) and an eye washing with milk (5:12). A similar usage of washing for romantic appeal appears in Ruth 3:3. But the much more serious use of the root is reserved for the notion of its representing the cleansing from sin (Isa 1:16; 4:4). It is this meaning which is carried throughout Ezek. (16:4, 9; 23:40) and on into the nt in the baptism of John and of Jesus. The nt has a number of references to the ot practices (Jon 2:6; Mt 15:2; Heb 9:10 etc.)”

[4] Scherman, The Chumash, 487: “Together with their feet. The conjunction ta, indicates that the hands and feet must be washed at the same time (Or HaChaim). Consequently, the Kohen places his right hand on his right foot and washes them, and then follows the same procedure with his left hand and foot (Rashi from Zevachim 19b). ”

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid., 527

[7] They prayed there and listened to the teachings of God.

[8] Scherman, The Chumash, From the mirrors of legions. 527.

[9] Exodus 38:30-31 lists the items made from copper from the regular freewill contribution: sockets of the entrance to the tent of meeting, the altar, the sockets of the courtyard all around, the sockets of the gate of the courtyard, all the pegs of the tabernacle, and all the pegs of the courtyard, all around. The laver is NOT included in this list; therefore it was not made with copper from the regular contributions but “from the mirrors of the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting” (Exod. 38:8).

[10] Hebrew Word Pictures How does the Hebrew Alphabet Reveal Prophetic Truths  by Frank T. Seekins, p. 14

[11] Excerpt from The Divine Romance  by Gene Edwards

Here Comes The Bride

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” And it was given to her to cloth herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”

~ Revelation 19:7-8 NASB

PASSIONATE LOVE

To love vehemently; wholly, speedily, especially when repeated; diligently, especially, exceedingly, greatly, louder and louder, mightily, utterly; to rake together; a poker for turning and gathering embers; a firebrand (i.e., torch). Doesn’t this Hebrew word for “strength”[1] sound like passionate bridal love? I discovered this description for carrying a torch for the Lord as I was beginning to dive deeper into what it really meant to love my God. What did He have to say about it? I was drawn to the scripture that Yeshua calls the first and greatest commandment: “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37). I noticed that this was first articulated in Deuteronomy 6, which frankly held the strongest attraction for me: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deut. 6:5).[2] As my whole being cried, “Yes!” I was already asking questions. Strength? Why strength? I heard a Bible teacher on the radio say that in the Bible the Hebrews usually listed items from easiest to hardest. Now I was really confused. This didn’t line up with the paradigm I had been taught. Isn’t loving God with all one’s heart the paramount demonstration of love? How could loving God with all my heart or soul be easier than loving Him with all my strength? I rolled up my sleeves and pulled out my concordance. This, coupled with some other resources I had on-hand, gave me the understanding that I needed.

The easiest way to love the Lord your God = “with all your heart.” The Hebrew word for heart is lev,[3] and its ancient word picture tells us that the heart is what controls the family or what controls the inside.[4] Your heart is known as the center of your being – the most interior organ.[5] Your emotions and desires can be ways of transporting your love. In the Bible, the heart is synonymous with the mind. Consider how our minds consist of our intellect, will, and emotions. When our brain processes information, many times our will is faced with a choice to make. Our decision results in an action, whether passive or active, and then that particular action[6] creates an emotional memory or pathway. We all have experienced how other people’s decisions towards us affect our emotional memories too. Scientists tell us that the deepest imprints come from exceptionally painful or joyful moments. … To come into the mind of Christ, we must subjugate our mindsets to the Spirit of the Living God. “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree… you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10 NASB). The “same mind” here speaks of being perfectly joined together in the mind of Christ. The “same judgment” equates to the appraisal that God puts on a situation. It’s his evaluation, his process.  Any veiled hostility in our mind toward the character of Christ must shift/change to form a new order for the future – eventually the restoration of all things in the Messiah. … We should welcome all of the righteous boundaries set by God, so we can fully connect to express His glorious nature.

The next hardest way to love the Lord your God = “with all your soul.” The Hebrew word for soul nephesh (neh’-fesh)[7] means a breathing creature. Its verb naphash (naw-fash) means to breathe or be refreshed.[8] Therefore, to love God with all your soul means to love Him with your very life’s breathe.  One may think of the authentic gift of martyrdom: “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death” (Rev. 12:11 NASB, emphasis mine). Even though loving God with your very life’s breath is an extremely admirable characteristic, this form of love stays at a soulish level; hence, it’s description “loving the Lord your God with all your soul.” How can loving God with all your strength be harder than that? Let’s take a peek.

The hardest way to love the Lord your God = “with all your strength.” The word “strength” in Hebrew basically means your resources. Say what?! It’s harder to love God with all your resources than the very breath you take? Think about it. The windows in the high-rise hotels in Las Vegas only open 3 inches. Why? Because the casino owners don’t want their clientele jumping out the window when they lose all their money. That’s just one example of people valuing money or resources more than life itself. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21).

When all is said and done, it’s about being fully connected to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in love. You and I must love God with all our strength in its fullness or our love will remain entangled with soulish shackles. The carnal cares of this world will weigh us down. I believe that God’s people demonstrate a bridal love for Him when all three of these areas of our lives are submitted to His lordship, especially our resources. My Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines the word “resource” as: a source of supply or support; a natural source of wealth; a source of information or expertise; an ability to meet and handle a situation. The word “resource” comes from the word resourdre, which means to relieve. It more importantly literally means to rise again, and my dictionary refers me to the word “resurrection.” I greatly value the cross of Jesus Christ, but sometimes I am grieved when the church stops at His death. We need to follow Yeshua in burying the dead, and walking in resurrected life. Now is the time for the spiritual resurrection of His corporate body. When we think of resurrection resources, we should search for clues by examining kingdom in God’s Word.

SPENDING OURSELVES

I believe that common sense shows us that the ultimate form of loving the Lord our God with all our strength is interchangeable with keeping the feasts of the Lord. Don’t we expend a tremendous amount of resources to celebrate any feast? Abundance is practically the definition of any celebration. Bridal love for the Lord our God is verified by how we spend our resources. It’s a godly submission of stewardship. It’s putting our money where our mouth is sort of speak.

Loving God with all our strength is fulfilled by spending our resources in Christ – as He perfectly desires. Anything and everything will be expended as worshipful acts of submission to our King. In the kingdom of God, we will adore the King diligently spending ourselves for His good pleasure, which will be our greatest pleasure too. Every day with the King is a celebration! Literally, there is a holiday or celebration each day on earth’s calendar somewhere in the world.[9] Celebrations set significant parts of the culture for both a pagan and a holy nation. The Bible shows us that any ungodly compromise will not be allowed in His dwelling place – the holy city called the New Jerusalem or in His holy nation consisting of the royal priesthood of believers. Mankind has been made in God’s image, and we all enjoy a good celebration. The Lord put the drive to celebrate within us. Many of us will go to great lengths to break a fun barrier. But will we go the greatest length by celebrating the Lord His way? The feasts of the Lord are God’s occasions for celebrating where we spend our resources His glorious ways. Remember that God’s feasts are fixed by Him in His Word. At His biblical feasts, the Lord our God is summoning His people to meet with Him, so we can be directed by Him into a certain place, situation or arrangement that are conducive for marriage. All people have been made to be spent on Him. “For the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh. 8:10 NASB). Over and over again in the Bible, the Lord articulates one theme more than any other in regards to the feasts of the Lord, and that theme is joy: “They observed the Feast of the Unleavened Bread seven days with joy, for the LORD had caused them to rejoice” (Ezra 6:22 NASB). Yeshua loves to have a good time, especially with His queen!

YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED

Jesus sends out an invitation to the marriage of the Lamb whenever anyone hears the message of the gospel. It is a wedding proposal by God to accept Him and be part of His Bride. The ancient Jewish wedding ceremony teaches us that the wedding of the Messiah consists of twelve steps, with the twelfth and final step, being the wedding supper for all the guests invited by the father of the Bride.[10] “And the angel said, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.’ And he added, ‘These are true words that come from God’ ” (Rev. 19:9 NLT). Those who believe in their hearts that God raised Yeshua from the dead and they confess with their mouths that Jesus is Lord (Rom. 10:9-10) have made their first step toward attending the marriage feast by becoming part of His family. Recently, I received a wedding invitation from a friend. In the vellum envelope were several items: a wedding announcement and invitation by the bride and groom’s parents, a map to the wedding and reception, and an RSVP card. To attend my friend’s daughter’s wedding, it is essential that I do a number of things. First, I needed to reserve the time by checking my calendar to make sure that day is open. Manners require me to return the self-addressed, stamped RSVP with the number of people attending. And last, but not least, I get to find an exquisite card, a gorgeous gift, and elegant clothing suitable for such a joyous event. Taking these real-life attendance prerequisites for a wedding and overlaying them over our spiritual lives, we can see some of the things that the Lord our God is requiring of us so we will be able to attend the wedding supper of the Lamb. Once you or I receive a wedding invitation, we must reserve that time. Of note: The king initially sends out His wedding invitations only to His friends, then to all who will come.

The kingdom of heaven is like a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son and he sent his servants to summon those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they refused to come. Again he sent other servants… but they were not concerned and paid no attention [they ignored and made light of the summons, treating it with contempt] and they went away… Then he said to his servants, The wedding [feast] is prepared, but those invited were not worthy. So go to the thoroughfares where they leave the city [where the main roads and those from the country end] and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find. And those servants went out on the crossroads and got together as many as they found, both good and bad, so [the room in which] the wedding feast [was held] was filled with guests”

~ Matt. 22:2-10 AMP

Once we reserve the time, we must tell the one giving the wedding and reception that we are coming. At formal occasions it is most inconsiderate to not RSVP. I feel that the biblical proclamation of the Spirit and the Bride saying, “Come!” in Revelation 22:17 can be likened to a self-addressed and stamped RSVP. Will you say “I do” to the Messiah’s proposal to you?

The excitement of receiving this awesome wedding invitation to the best event ever, and the pleasure of responding is just the beginning. Now attendees, including the Bride and Groom, must prepare themselves for such an august occasion. Have you ever considered that the marriage of the Lamb and the marriage feast is an incredible facet of the culmination of the ages? God has been preparing for this glorious moment since before the foundations of the world. He is readying a place for the Bride. The King’s son will be married to His helpmate, and the invitations have gone out throughout the entire earth. According to Scripture, God clothes His people with proper wedding attire: “I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorn herself with her jewels” (Isa. 61:10). The Lord provides us with garments of salvation and a robe of righteousness at the cross, but we must not forget that our lives are journeys.

RIGHTEOUS READINESS

In 2001, I was part of a corporate ascension experience. We came to the Lord as the Bride of Christ. In the Spirit, I saw an attic door open up and Yeshua peeked down. He asked if I’d like to come up early.  I hesitated; then realized it was Him. Yeshua reached down. I reached up. When we touched, I was immediately with Him in the Spirit. He said, “Let’s wait here for the rest of them. I looked around. We were on purple clouds and the stars above were bright. Yeshua sat cross-legged and invited me to do the same. Shortly, He exclaimed, “Come on!” as He took my hand and pulled me to my feet. We started to walk on the purple clouds. He at first held my hand as we walked side-by-side; then He stepped in front as I followed. We walked and walked and walked and walked and walked and walked. [11] We walked until the leader of the group declared, “The window is open!” I looked up, because a glaring brightness became visible in another layer of clouds above us. Yeshua led. I followed. As I climbed through the radiant opening, we were encompassed with light. Nothing else was visible. I remember knowing at the time that He and I had become one – the same essence.

As soon as I was aware of oneness, I saw myself in a dressing room looking into a mirror. The door opened, and in stepped Jesus. He presented me with a simple gold chain necklace. My Beloved said, “For purity,” as He raised the necklace up. He then asked me to turn around. I spun around and lifted my hair. Yeshua hooked the golden necklace around my neck, and promptly exited the dressing room. When I saw a simple white under-garment above my head, I raised my arms to receive it; then I waited for a little while longer. Something inside of me prompted me to get up and open the door. I started to walk clothed only in my white camisole and gold necklace. As I walked, different pieces of my wedding dress flung onto me: my upper left sleeve, lower right sleeve, et cetera. My wedding dress was simple, but very elegant. It was white and sparkled. Just as I reached out to grab the handle to this huge wooden door, the last piece completing my ensemble flung onto me. I was fully, properly, and gloriously clothed. I opened the door and immediately saw myself at the left side of Yeshua just as my wedding ring sits on my left hand. We were sitting at a banqueting table. I knew that there must have been a most sumptuous feast, but I truly didn’t care for I only had eyes for Him. I was literally “lost” in His eyes. I had a vague recollection that there must be many people in attendance, but still I just could not take my eyes off of Him. Everything paled in comparison. After a little while, Love told me to stand. I did. Then He told me to take a bow. I replied: “You are the One that is supposed to bow. You do it all.” My Love repeated kindly, yet unwaveringly: “Bow, My dear. I want to honor My Bride.”  I could not deny His easy request. As I simply bowed, the whole of heaven applauded. I was so humbled and overwhelmed. I remember that I looked at Him and He smiled. He was so magnificent and truly deserved all the glory and honor and praise. Yet, here He was sharing it all.

Please place yourself in my place if you have a bridal heart for this vision represents you as well. I’d like to point out how the Bride’s glorious wedding ensemble is pulled together as she walks (i.e. lives, moves and has her being in Him).  Revelation 19:7-8 tells us: “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. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)” Most other versions of the Bible say: “for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” The Bible also makes it clear that “those who are prepared went in with Him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut” (Matt. 25:10 AMP). So much for preparation being optional. Obviously, God’s people must make themselves ready for the marriage feast of the Lamb. Therefore, to be invited to the Lamb’s wedding through one’s acceptance of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and to not RSVP will make one ineligible to attend THE EVENT OF ALL TIME. Likewise, to simply RSVP to the Lamb’s marriage feast, but to not get ready by preparing in advance will be an insufficient effort as well. Know that it will not be enough to merely verbally ascent to Jesus being your Lord and Savior. We will have to do what He did and even greater works (John 14:12). In other words, we will have to walk the talk demonstrating the reality of our close relationship to God’s kingdom. “Someone may say, ‘I am a Christian; I am on my way to heaven; I belong to Christ.’ But if he doesn’t do what Christ tells him to, he is a liar. But those who do what Christ tells them to will learn to love God more and more. That is the way to know whether or not you are a Christian. Anyone who says he is a Christian should live as Christ” (1 John 2:4-6 TLB).

UNFAITHFUL FRIEND

The kingdom of heaven is like a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son …the wedding feast was filled with guests. But when the king came in to view the guests, he  looked intently at a man there who had no wedding garment. And he said, Friend, how did you come in here without putting on the [appropriate] wedding garment? And he was speechless (muzzled, gagged). Then the king said to the attendants, Tie him hand and foot, and throw him into the darkness outside; there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. For many are called (invited and summoned), but few are chosen.

~ Matt. 22:1, 10-13 AMP

The first thing that I would like to point out is that the wedding guest, who was thrown out of the wedding banquet, was called “friend” by the king. When I search the Bible, I see that only believers are called friends:

Abraham believed God …and was called the friend of God.

~ James 2:23 NKJV

He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice.

~ John 3:29 NKJV

According to these Scriptures, this friend of God believed Him and rejoiced greatly at the Jesus’ voice. It can be likened to a person receiving God’s invitation by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ; and they also probably RSVPed by rejoicing at the bridegroom’s voice saying, “Come Lord Jesus! Come!” But they were not prepared. They did not make themselves ready. They were not appropriately clad in wedding clothes. We can have faith that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. We can have hope in His coming, but unless we demonstrate our love for God and one another, the Bible says that it profits us nothing (1 Cor. 13:2). “But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:10, 12-13 NKJV). Faith and hope are necessary components to our Christian walk, but they only get us two-thirds of the way down our bridal path. The final, and most challenging, leg of our bridal journey leads us unto perfection. The manifestation of perfection is love:

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. ”

~ Matthew 22:36-39

Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of peace.

~ Colossians 3:14 NASB

By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself walk in the same manner as He walked.

~ 1 John 2:1-6 NASB, emphasis mine

This is My commandment that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

~ John 15:12-15 NKJV, emphasis mine

The friends, who do whatever the Lord commands, are being clothed with fine, clean, bright linen so they can attend the marriage and banquet of the Lamb. Remember it’s the righteous acts of the saints, which creates the fine linen that attires the Bride and the wedding guests. These are not good deeds we initiate showing the Lord how much we love him. We have all been there, done that, even bought the T-shirt when it comes to acting as an immature believer. “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things” (1 Cor. 13:11 NKJV). By the way, bridal attire is worn by those who choose to move unto perfection (i.e. maturity) manifesting His endless, unfailing love.  Let me re-iterate: “the righteous acts of the saints” are not acts, deeds, or works we have decided on our own to do. The Lord initiates them and they coincide with His Word. That means if the Bible says, “love your neighbor as yourself,” live your life abiding by that standard. We are to live our lives by the principles expressed in the Word of God, but we are also supposed to ask Him if any particular action is of Him and should we do it. Once a person consistently makes submitting to the Lord of Love a habit, maturing believers begin to just flow in His will and His way without the need of constantly asking Him. Communication is still necessary. It’s like when a married couple knows one another so well that not only do they finish one another’s sentences, they also know what actions will please or not please each other. The two have become one. Bridal love causes us to submit everything to Him. Yes, we are to cloth the naked, feed the hungry, look after widows and orphans; but we are finite and we can only be in one place at a time. If we are spending our time trying to please Him without asking the Lord what will actually please him at that exact moment in time, we will probably miss the perfect mark of doing what He did.  “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does” (John 5:19).

SURRENDERING ALL

Many words can describe bridal character, but there seems to be one word, which is unusually fit or qualified to describe it. That word is yieldedness. When we yield to Love, it means we surrender and submit ourselves to another (i.e. our Beloved). We relinquish possession of ourselves. We give the Lord whatever He requires as rightfully owed, rendering it as is fitting to our good and benevolent King of Kings. We are willing to give up our lives’ breath. We literally hand over control to Him so we can bear eternal fruit as a natural product of abiding in Him. Our yieldedness to the Lord of Love will actually determine the amount, quality, and return of our produce. The inappropriately dressed friend of the king in Matthew 22:12 is a believer, who has hope that the Messiah will come again. This friend probably heard what the Father is doing, because this sentiment coincides with Scripture, which says the Lord calls those who believe and hear Him His friend. But the king’s friend did not obey His instructions. This friend of the bridegroom heard, but did not do what the Lord commanded.

Don’t forget that Jesus called Judas Iscariot “friend” at His betrayal (Matt. 26:49-50). Judas believed that Yeshua was the Messiah. He believed in His coming kingdom. But Judas leaned on his own understanding and tried to force the issue of Jesus becoming Israel’s conquering king before His time. No one would argue that Judas didn’t do things God’s way.

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (Jam.1:22 NKJV).

Please note that hearing comes before doing. Our relationship with the Lord comes before our responsibility, but equally our relationship does not negate our responsibilities. (If you don’t know how to hear God’s voice yet, take time to learn. He is faithful and will teach you. All you need to do is set your heart to the task of hearing the Lord’s voice, spend time in His presence, and let Him guide you. I know I simplified the whole process of hearing God’s voice. Whole books have been written to help you do just that. I know that hearing God’s voice is a lot easier said than done, but the rewards are out-of-this world!) Let us remember that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God; but it does not stop there. In the end, love will remain. Another way to say this is: living and active faith results in righteous acts.  Deeds and actions are the true measure of anyone’s substance.

They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable and unfit for doing anything good.

~ Titus 2:16

… their words and deeds are against the LORD, defying his glorious presence.

~ Isaiah 3:8

Even a child is known for his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right.

                                                                                                                     ~ Proverbs 22:11

I believe that Christians in America need to become more balance between our having faith in Jesus and obeying His commandments (Rev.14:12). It’s obvious to the most casual observer that our pendulum needs to be corrected on the “doing” side. Please understand that legalistic behavior is not what I am promoting here. The “Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule; a little here, a little there – so that they will go and fall backward, be injured and snared and captured” (Isa. 28:13). No! I repeat. I am promoting living our lives in love towards God and our fellow man.

I have been taught that all believers will be at the wedding feast of the Lamb. That may be true. All believers are part of God’s family; but I don’t want to be simply invited.  I want to be a precious component of the bridal company that will ultimately be married to the King of Kings. Wouldn’t you rather be in the thick of the festivities? It’s going to be a whole lot of fun! I believe that the Matthew 22 passage may refute the idea of total inclusiveness for wedding participants: the Bride and guests, which may be one and the same (who knows). All believers need to re-examine the Scriptures and seek the Spirit of Truth to see what God is saying. The one thing that I do know is that the Bridegroom and the King will have the last say on who attends the marriage supper of the Lamb, and I don’t want to be left out! The only way I know of to be sure of being at the wedding banquet is to sell out completely. To love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength; and my neighbor as myself. Due to this lack of inclusiveness idea for the marriage feast being different than the church’s previous paradigm, plus the possibility of controversy, I’d like to bring some additional scriptural evidence to the table. The famous Christian apologist, Josh McDowell, calls his supporting facts “evidence that demands a verdict.”

First and foremost is the classic bridal passage of Matthew 25:1-13. Ten virgins are waiting for the Bridegroom, but only the five wise virgins with oil in their lamps went into the wedding banquet with the Bridegroom. “The virgins who were ready went in with Him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut” (Matt. 25:10). Tragically, those five foolish bridal candidates (i.e. believers) never got into the wedding supper of the Lamb.

SANCTIFICATION – CLEAN HANDS & PURE HEARTS

First Corinthians 10:11 tells us: “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” What things? Passing through the Red Sea, eating manna, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. It’s what happened to the Israelites in the wilderness after they left Egypt, which is spoken of throughout the Old Testament, especially the first five books of the Bible. Jesus and His disciples taught from the Old Testament and so did Paul. If it’s good enough for Jesus, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Paul, it’s good enough for Jesus’ followers too.[12]

Notice that the wedding guest with an inappropriate wedding garment in Matthew 22:13 was tied hand and foot. This is our clue that leads us to the portable tabernacle in the wilderness. The priests washed their hands and feet in the temple laver before they entered the tent where they met God. “You shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base of bronze, for washing; and you shall put it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and you shall put water in it.” (Exod.30:18 NASB). Many Christian Bibles call the temple laver the brazen laver. This is a misnomer for it was actually made of copper. The copper laver was an open circular basin that was set upon a copper base. The Hebrew Sage Rashi[13] said it had two spouts at the bottom through which the water would flow[14] keeping it from becoming stagnant. In the Hebrew language the term “for washing” carries the idea that the laver was “for sanctification;”[15] therefore the actual purpose for the priests washing their hands and feet was for holiness and sanctity rather than cleanliness (Exod. 30:17-21). The hands and feet represent the upper and lower extremities of the human body. By sanctifying their appendages, it was symbolic of the servants of the Lord’s total devotion to the service they were engaged in. It set apart their acts as righteous. A most literal picture of this is presented to us in Exodus 30:19. The Hebrew Sage Or HaChaim said that the conjunction in the phrase “their hands together with their feet” (Exod. 30:19) indicated that the hands and feet must be washed at the same time.[16] Consequently, the right hand was placed on the priest’s right foot and washed together at the same time, followed by his left hand together with his left foot. Concentration and balance were key to accomplishing this hand-foot sanctification feat. Try it some time in your bathtub.  I had the kids in my Children’s Church class try to do this by simply standing next to their chairs. It was a lot more difficult than they thought and funny too. It’s quite the image of proper service to God requires all of a body’s faculties, and those faculties must be directed toward the same goal.[17]

The laver was not made of copper from the regular contributions. The laver was made exclusively from the brightly polished sheets of copper that women used as mirrors in Egypt(Exod. 38:8).[18] When the call went out for freewill contributions, devout women, who used to come to Moses’ tent to sit at his feet like Mary did with Jesus,[19] came with their copper mirrors and piled them up at Moses’ dwelling, which was the God’s dwelling place prior to the tent of meeting being built (Exod. 33:7). Moses was said to be reluctant to accept such gifts for the tabernacle due to his initial thinking that the mirrors had been used to incite lust. The story goes that God told Moses that he was wrong, because these very mirrors had been instrumental in saving the nation. In Egypt, when the men came home exhausted every night from heavy labors, their wives used these mirrors to get all dolled up to entice their husbands to continue normal martial relations. Thanks to these brightly, polished copper mirrors, legions of Jewish children were born. God not only told Moses to accept these precious mirrors, but they were to be used exclusively to fabricate the laver. The Bible doesn’t give the specific size of the laver due to that fact that every single mirror had to go into fashioning it, no matter how big it would become – so sacred were those mirrors. [20], [21] Of note, these devout women could no longer gaze upon themselves with any vanity, because they had to fix their eyes upon the laver to see themselves. The laver represents bridal lovers fixing their eyes upon the Author and Perfecter of their faith (Heb. 12:2).

The extreme reach of the body of Christ should be set apart for a sacred purpose. The farthest boundary of the One New Man in Christ should be free from sin due to our special tie (i.e. connected relationship) with Jesus. The word “tie” is from the Greek verb de,w  deo, which means “to bind.” It has many nuances. We can think of the concept of being restrained by authority, influence, agreement, or obligation. We can also think of a special tie that binds people together romantically. A marital tie binds two people together physically, mentally, and spiritually. If our lives yield to the Lord of Love and His sacred purposes, then we will not be tied hand and foot to be thrown out of the wedding feast. I sought the Lord about what it means that one of his friends would be cast outside for not having the proper clothing, and I believe that He told me: Once the friend saw the glory of the wedding feast, “outside” the feast would appear as darkness for he or she would weep at glimpsing, yet not being able to partake of the marriage feast. It is noteworthy that this place outside the wedding feast is also assigned to hypocrites – where people’s actions don’t line up with their words (Matt. 24:51). A friend told me about a confirmation of this revelation. It’s in Rick Joyner’s book – The Final Quest: This great multitude are those whom the Lord called ‘foolish virgins.’ We knew the Lord, and trusted in His cross for salvation but we did not really live for Him, but for ourselves. … The grief that we experienced when we understood how we had so wasted our lives was beyond any grief possible on earth. … Such darkness is magnified when it is revealed next to the glory of the One we failed. … There is no greater folly than to know the great salvation of God, but to then go on living for yourself.[22]

Please don’t forget that we are talking about unrepentant or willful sin. The Lord’s awesome mercy, incredible grace, and humbling forgiveness is available to all of us, but one day, perhaps even today, each one of us will meet His Maker and we will be giving an account. Psalms 24:3-4 tells us that only people with clean hands and a pure heart, who do not lift up their soul to an idol, can ascend to where God dwells. “These are the ones who are allowed to stand before the Lord and worship the God of Jacob” (Ps. 24:6 NLB). The Bible re-iterates time and again that divine love is expressed through self-sacrificial service. All of God’s people are called to show they really love God by loving our neighbors. If a person’s hands and feet are immobilized being tied together, it signifies the antithesis of being united in marriage devotedly loving and serving your spouse. For Yeshua’s attendants (i.e. ones who performed pleasing service on the Lord’s behalf) to be directed by Him to tie up the hands and feet of the friend with the unsuitable wedding clothing that person had to have not served the Lord in an acceptable manner.

Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I  was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me. …Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.

~ Matt. 25:34-36, 40 NKJV

~ Robin Main

Chapter 10 of SANTA-TIZING: What’s wrong with Christmas and how to clean it up => https://www.amazon.com/SANTA-TIZING-Whats-wrong-Christmas-clean/dp/1607911159

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Copyright October 2008 – Sapphire Throne Ministries – Robin Main

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[1] “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deut. 6:5)  The Hebrew word for strength has the root idea of “very much.” Strong, The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, 3966: “me’od” [pronounced meh-ode’ or ma-od or ma-ode too since the ‘e’ on the end in English makes for a long ‘o’ and in Hebrew this is a long ‘o’]; from the same as 181; properly vehemence, i.e. (with or without preposition) vehemently; by implication wholly, speedily, etc. (often with other words as an intensive or superlative; especially  when repeated):– diligently, especially, exceeding (-ly), far, fast, good, great (-ly), x louder and louder, might (-ily, -y), (so) much, quickly, (so) sore, utterly, very (+much, sore), well.
[2] Commenting on Deut 6:5, J. McBride noted: “The three parts of Deuteronomy 6:5; lēbāb bb’le (heart), nepheš  vp,n< (soul or life), and me˒ōd daom. (muchness) rather than signifying different spheres of biblical psychology seem to be semantically concentric. They were chosen to reinforce the absolute singularity of personal devotion to God. Thus, lēbāb denotes the intention or will of the whole man; nepeš means the whole self, a unity of flesh, will and vitality; and mĕ˒ōd accents the superlative degree of total commitment to Yahweh.” Briggs, C. A., “The Use of npš in the OT,” JBL 16. 17–30. Becker, J. H., Het Begrip Nefesj in het Oude Testament, 1942. Buswell, J. O., A Systematic Theology of the Christian Religion, Zondervan, 1962, vol. II, pp. 237–41. Seligson, M., The Meaning of npsh mt in the Old Testament, 1951; cf. Widengren, G., VT 4:97–102. Murtonen, A., The Living Soul, 1958. Lys, D., Nepesh, 1959. Johnson, A. R., The Vitality of the Individual in the Thought of Ancient Israel, 1949. Wolff, H. W., Anthropology of the Old Testament. Westermann, C., “Naefaes” in THAT, II, pp. 71–95. Richardson, TWB, pp. 144–45. TDOT, IX, pp. 617–37. Please note that the idea of the “soul” of a person being one’s mind/will/emotion is a Western idea. It’s not an Eastern idea ala foreign to the Hebrew mind.
[3] Lev or leb is the shorter form of labab or lavav which is the longer more preferred form for bb’le.
[4] Seekins, Hebrew Word Pictures, 18.
[5] Strong’s, The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, OT:5315: “Nephesh [pronounced neh’-fesh]; from 5314;  properly a breathing creature, i.e. animal of (abstract) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mentally) :– any, appetite, beast, body, breath, creature, x dead (-ly), desire, x [dis-] contented, x fish, ghost, + greedy, he, heart (-y), (hath, x jeopardy of ) life (x in jeopardy), lust, man, me, mind, mortally, one, own, person, pleasure, (her-, him-, my-, thy-) self, then (your-)selves, +slay, soul, +tablet, they, thing, (x she) will, x would have it.”
[6] Coupled with your previous experiences, genetic make-up, belief systems, etc.
[7] Nephesh is a noun created from the root consonants: n-p-sh. Nephesh is a word that the sound of the word is the same as what happens. This is an ancient Akkadian or Babylonian word. When you inhale the sound is ‘neph’ and when you exhale the sound is ‘phesh’. The ‘ph’ sound is the transition sound from inhaling and exhaling. Try it. The Ancients knew that there was a part of you that they could not see and without it you were dead. That would be your ‘nephesh’ which one could tell if you had it or not. Thus when David states in Psalms 25:1 “Unto you oh LORD do I lift up my soul,” he was using nephesh. Thus he was lifting that part of his being that if he did not have it he was dead. Nephesh is your very life!
[8] Strong’s, The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, OT:5314: “Naphash [pronounced naw-fash’]; a primitive root; to breathe; passively, to be breathed upon, i.e. (figuratively) refreshed (as if by a current of air) :– (be) refresh selves (-ed).
[10] Chumney, The Seven Festivals of the Messiah, 125-135.
[11] “Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.” (1 John 2:6)
[12] I am just affirming the validity of the Old Testament for it is as much the Word of God as the New Testament. Some Christians have sought to minimize or invalidate its value, which is in actuality slicing and dicing (i.e. taking away from) the Word of God.
[13] Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki, c. 1040-1105).
[14] Scherman, The Chumash, 486.
[15] Harris, Harris, Archer, and Waltke; Theological Word book of the Old Testament: “2150 רָחַץ (rāḥaṣ) wash. With Times New Roman the transliteration might be more like: rachats. Derivatives 2150a רַחַץ (raḥaṣ) washing (Ps 60:10; 108:10). 2150b רַחצָה (raḥṣâ) washing (Song 4:2; 6:6). The initial occurrence is Gen 18:4, with over forty-eight occurrences in the Pentateuch, twenty-six in Lev. Among the parts of the body ritually rinsed were: the face (Gen 43:31); the hands (Ex 30:19, 21); the body (Lev 17:16); the feet (Gen 18:4ff). In the Levitical rituals the flesh of sacrificial animals was washed (Lev 1:9 et al.). This washing would normally take a great deal of water and perhaps suggests that Solomon’s great brazen sea was used as a reservoir for such water as well as for other rituals. Several interesting uses of the term appear in Song of Solomon giving details on Israelite cosmetology. The root rāḥaṣ describes the ritual foot washing (5:3) and an eye washing with milk (5:12). A similar usage of washing for romantic appeal appears in Ruth 3:3. But the much more serious use of the root is reserved for the notion of its representing the cleansing from sin (Isa 1:16; 4:4). It is this meaning which is carried throughout Ezek. (16:4, 9; 23:40) and on into the nt in the baptism of John and of Jesus. The nt has a number of references to the ot practices (Jon 2:6; Mt 15:2; Heb 9:10 etc.)”
[16] Scherman, The Chumash, 487: “Together with their feet. The conjunction ta, indicates that the hands and feet must be washed at the same time (Or HaChaim). Consequently, the Kohen places his right hand on his right foot and washes them, and then follows the same procedure with his left hand and foot (Rashi from Zevachim 19b). ”
[17] Ibid.
[18] Ibid., 527
[19] They prayed there and listened to the teachings of God.
[20] Scherman, The Chumash, From the mirrors of legions. 527.
[21] Exodus 38:30-31 lists the items made from copper from the regular freewill contribution: sockets of the entrance to the tent of meeting, the altar, the sockets of the courtyard all around, the sockets of the gate of the courtyard, all the pegs of the tabernacle, and all the pegs of the courtyard, all around. The laver is NOT included in this list; therefore it was not made with copper from the regular contributions but “from the mirrors of the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting” (Exod. 38:8).
[22] Joyner, The Final Quest, 89