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Revelation 19:7


7 Let us be glad [chairo] and [kai] rejoice, [agalliao] and [kai] give [didomi] honour [doxa] to him: [autos] for [hoti] the marriage [gamos] of the Lamb [arnion] is come, [erchomai] and [kai] his [autos] wife [gune] hath made [hetoimazo] herself [heautou] ready. [hetoimazo] KJV-Interlinear


7 "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." NASB


The marriage ceremony has been around since Eve was given to Adam and throughout history. Generally in Old Testament times, and even in our current age, the wedding ceremony has been an elaborate celebration of joy and happiness bringing two people together into a relationship that is supposed to last forever.

In our temporal realm, we know that this concept though celebrated, often times, does not last very long.

But in the spiritual realm, it has been passed down through the ages as a principle of Gods promise to have His people with Him, forever.

The wedding ceremony not only teaches the honor and integrity of a marriage relationship, but also teaches the principles of dispensations, and the fulfillment of Gods promises to those who believe in Him. This is also, a major component in understanding Gods overall plan for history, as taught through the imagery and parables of the marriage process.

But you need to understand the basics of the marriage process before you can understand the spiritual principles taught.

There are three distinct elements in the wedding process.

First, there is the betrothal. This is the engagement, wherein the parents enter into an arrangement, contracting the marriage of their children. It was a legally binding contract, and could only be dissolved by a divorce, Matt. 1:18-19. Note, that although the two parties were engaged, they were not married, nor had they consummated the marriage.

The betrothal was arranged by the parents long before the children were of marrying age and often times took lots of planning and preparation before the children were grown up. The boy had to be prepared for his bride and the girl had to go through a preparation period for her groom.

Second, is the presentation stage of the wedding ceremony. It was a time of time of festivities just before the actual wedding. This party or celebration could last for several days or weeks depending on what the parents could afford.

Third, was the actual ceremony in which the vows were exchanged. At the end of the presentation celebration, the groom would go to the Brides home, and take her and her brides maids to the actual ceremony. After the vows were exchanged, then the final meal would be eaten, followed by the consummation of the marriage

This is the typical marriage arrangement sequence from the Jewish times in the Old Testament:

The father of the groom chose the bride, for his son, Gen 38:6 .
Wedding "vows" are made (terms of the marriage), an "agreement" was drawn up.
A wedding "dowry" is established, which is a gift from the father of the groom to the bride, to complete the agreement.
A "betrothal" period begins. During this betrothal period, the groom prepares a home for the bride, and they do not see each other until the day of the wedding.
The actual presentation "ceremony" is when the groom goes to the house of the bride and takes her from her home to his home.
The presentation ceremony lasts for several days.
Friends of the bride gather outside the wedding chamber.
Friends of the groom gather outside as well.
The complete wedding party waits outside the wedding chamber, waiting for the bride and groom to come out, and the celebration, or wedding supper, begins.
The bride and groom consummate the marriage.

This is how the wedding process fits our dispensation:

Election. God the Father chose us to be the bride of Christ, Eph 1:4.
Terms, salvation. Believe in Christ, Rom 10:9.

Dowry. The Holy Spirit is our "down payment" on our relationship to Christ, 2 Cor 1:22,.
Betrothal. We are the betrothed, or espoused to Christ, and He has gone to prepare a place for us, John 14:2-3. The Church Age is the betrothal period , 2 Cor 11:2.

Presentation of the Bride. The Raptured Church, is not raptured until it is complete. The bride does not go to the marriage ceremony until she is fully dressed and ready, Eph. 5:25-27.
Bride Retrieved. The Rapture of the Church. We are removed from our "brides home" (earth) and taken to His "grooms home" (heaven), 1 Thess 4:16-17, Rev 4:1, Isa 26:19-21, Mark 2:19-20; Matt 9:15; Luke 5:34-35; John 3:28-29.

The presentation celebration will last for seven years, the duration of the Tribulation.
At the end of the presentation period, the seven years of the Tribulation, then the time for the final union will have arrived and the time for the great supper celebration, which will last for 1000 years. God is rich and can afford a party that will last that long.

Friends of the Bride. The Tribulation martyrs and those who physically live through the Tribulation are the friends of the bride. They knew Church Age saints in person prior to the Rapture.
Friends of the Groom. The Old Testament saints are the friends of the groom. Many of them knew Jesus in His earthly ministry.

So, having been betrothed in eternity past, and presented in heaven following the Rapture, the Church is ready for the actual wedding ceremony. That coincides with the Millennial reign of Christ.

This leaves the consummation of the marriage, and that will occur at the end of the Millennium, when the current universe will be destroyed and the new universe is created, and then not only the Church, but all of redeemed believers (Old Testament) will be restored to their rightful place as a wife, and thus the marriage will be complete and will last forever, never to be ended.

The parables of the marriage feast, Matt. 22:1-14, and of the ten virgins, Matt. 8:11-12, teach the principles of Israel's apostasy and her rejection of God (which rejection will be removed at the end of the Millennium), and of spiritual preparation or lack of it with regard to the five foolish and five wise virgins. These do not portray the wedding process as described above.

Throughout the Old Testament, the scriptures describe Israel as the faithless wife, who falls from grace and then is restored at the end of the ages. This is a separate principle describing the grace of God and the results of repentance to ones full and complete position in God.

Back to our verse then.

The wife has made herself ready. Then having been completed on earth (all of the believers who will be included in our current dispensation), then raptured to Gods home, then we will face the Judgment Seat of Christ, be cleansed, evaluated, rewarded and then completed with decorations as are fitting of a bride.

All of history paints a picture of our relationship with Christ. Those who abide with the terms of the betrothal (faith in Christ) will be included in the marriage. Those who reject the terms of the betrothal (rejection of Christ), will be divorced (unbelievers to the Lake of Fire).

Only the wife (believers) will enjoy the inheritance of eternity. Non-family members (unbelievers) will not.

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Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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