Thursday, May 19, 2011

Revelation 21:9 “ Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.”

Bridal showers can be such fun!  It is especially fun when the new bride is a former junior Sunday School Student.  It is thrilling to see your students go on in service for the Lord. Becky will be getting married in June and she and her future husband are already active in a church where he is now the assistant pastor and youth director.  After marriage, they will continue right on serving the Lord.   Becky also has a blog called “Life in the Big City”.

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The devotional at Becky’s shower was a comparison of a Jewish marriage  to us as the bride of Christ. A wonderful friend of mine, Mrs. B. Upton gave the devotional.   Below are some of the points that were made.  You can also find Mrs. B. Upton’s personal testimony of salvation following this devotional.

  1. The groom would travel from His father’s home to the bride’s house. -  Christ left His Father’s home and came to earth to gain a bride for Himself. John 6:37-38  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
  2. In a Jewish marriage the bride in uninvolved in the consultation or negotiation between the bridegroom and the father of the bride as they decide the price  the bridegroom had to pay for the bride. - Christ has to pay the price with His own blood.  We are bought with a price. 1Corinthians 6:19-20  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
  3. Marriage occurs at the moment of payment. There is a covenant established.  They are regarded as man and wife even though no physical union has taken place.  We have been declared to be sanctified or set apart exclusively for Christ.  We are His Bride!  The payment has been made!  Ephesians 5:25-27  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
  4. The Bride and groom drank from a cup over which the betrothal prayer had been pronounced.  This symbolized the covenant relationship had been established.  It was accepted. – Our Lord symbolized the marriage covenant through communion at the Last Supper. 1 Corinthians 11:25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. – The cup is the New Testament (covenant) in His blood (sacrifice)
  5. After the marriage covenant was in effect, the groom left the home of the bride and returned to his father’s house.  He remained there for 12 months, separated from the bride.  No exact date is set for the wedding; the groom could come get his bride any time. – Christ returned to His father’s house following the payment of His purchase price for us, His bride.  Matthew 25:13  Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
  6. During this separation, the bride prepared her wardrobe and made ready for married life.  The groom, during this separation was preparing a place in His father’s house for his bride. (a bride chamber) – Our Lord is preparing a place for us, His bride, while we, the bride, make ready for that day. John 14:2  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  Ephesians 4:11-13  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
  7. After the period of separation, the best man, groomsmen, and other escorts left the house of the groom’s father, usually at night and proceeded to the house of the bride. – Our Lord will soon come from His Father’s house in Heaven accompanied by an angelic host. John 14:3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  He is coming for His bride!
  8. The bride longs to see him and was watching for and expecting her groom to come for her, but did not know the exact time.  She was watching each day and night and listening for the shout which would alert her to His coming. – Our Lord’s return will be preceded with a shout. 1 Thessalonians 4:16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  We are expecting Him, but we do not know when so be listen for the shout!
  9. The groom now receives his bride who has veiled herself and she and the bridesmaids leave for her bridegroom’s house that he has prepared. – We will be caught up with the Lord to be with Him. 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 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.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  He will take us home to His father’s house and the place He prepared for His bride.
  10. The bridegroom and bride enter into the bridal chamber and in the privacy of that place, prepared for this night, for the first time they enter into physical union, thereby consummating the marriage. – Our Lord’s spiritual union with His bride (us) will take place in heaven for all eternity.1 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.
  11. They have seven days of celebration in their new union together s bride and groom.  Then they appear before all. – We will be with out bridegroom seven years in Heaven as a bride hidden away.  Then we will come forth with Him for our 1000 year reign upon the earth. Daniel 9:25  Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.     Revelation 19:6-9  And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.  And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.  WHAT A MARRIAGE THIS WILL BE!

 

Testimony of B. Upton

I wasn't saved when I first started singing in churches for I was singing with my sister when I was about four years old. She was only six.

When I was about twelve years old we had a neighbor named Lola with whom we played and many times would sing together while swinging like mad on her front porch swing. Lola's father was a Primitive Baptist evangelist and he asked us to sing in his gospel meetings. We became a trio then. 

We sang at one of his meetings in a little church in Orbank, TN one night. As was the custom of the Primitive Baptist during the altar call Christians would go to others in the audience who were lost and ask them to come forward to receive the Lord.

One of the men of the church came back to me and shook my hand asking if I were saved. I was scared to go forward and I told him YES, I was saved. He said nothing but just looked me straight in the eyes for a moment, turned and walked back to his seat. I couldn't get over his look for it seemed that he saw right down into my heart and knew I had I was not saved. It brought me under conviction for up until that time I had not felt a convicting spirit. I guess I thought that since I had been in church all my life, singing etc, that I was surely going to Heaven.

The very next night at the same gospel meetings in Orbank, I went forward to be saved. My sister and Lola's sister went forward at the same time. I was saved by God's grace and then my songs took on a completely different meaning. A young man was added to our singing group and we sang in churches, revival meetings, camp meetings, tent meetings, on radio and TV, wherever the Lord sent us. My life was different now.

I was offered a singing career in New York City when I was eighteen years old but turned it down for now I only wanted to sing for the Lord as Hebrews 2:12 says, "I will declare Thy Name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto Thee."

Isaiah 12:2

"Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation."

Praise His sweet name.

B. Upton

B. Upton playing accordion when 16 years old. B. Upton is in her 70’s now and still faithfully serving the Lord.

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