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1998, Elizabeth McDonald,  Bayith Ministries www.bayith.org  email: bayith@blueyonder.co.uk  You are very welcome to make copies of this article for personal research or for free distribution by print or email, but please respect our conditions that the content remains intact (including this copyright statement); that no misleading impression is given that we are necessarily associated with or endorse the distributor; and that proper reference is made to the title and author.  Website owners are encouraged to link to this page, but you must not incorporate this article into your own website without our prior written consent.  Thank you and bless you.

 

Christian Beliefs, Teachings, Doctrines, Christian Living, Christian Ethics

Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them ...
is like a [wise] man which built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundations on a rock:
and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock
(Luke 6:47-48)

Let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
For other foundation can no man lay that is laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:10b-11)

If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3)
 

The Lord's Return

Behold, the Bridegroom Cometh!

Elizabeth McDonald
17 May 1998

The Lord's Return: Articles   |   Foundations: Index

 

Forty days after the resurrection, the Lord Jesus ascended into heaven.  What a glorious event that was!  What rejoicing there must have been amongst the heavenly hosts as God the Son, who had "humbled Himself and became obedient unto death" took His place at the right hand of the Father, exalted and glorified, where "he ever liveth to make intercession" for us until the time appointed for Him to return to earth, to rapture His Church, destroy the Antichrist, redeem Israel, and set up His Millennial Kingdom as KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS:

"But He made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Philippians 2:7-8),

"But this man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God" (Hebrews 10:12),

"Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25),

"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. 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" (John 14:2-3),

"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" (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17),

"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" (Revelation 19:7-9),

"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew but He Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His Name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean" (Revelation 19:11-14),

"And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming" (2 Thessalonians 2:8),

"For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many" (Isaiah 66:15-16),

"Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations ... And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east" (Zechariah 14:3-4),

"And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son" (Zechariah 12:9-10),

"The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more ... Judah shall dwell forever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation" (Joel 3:16-21),

"For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name ... Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken: neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and they land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee" (Isaiah 62:1-5),

"Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? ... Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her: ... For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her lie a river" (Isaiah 66:8-12),

"And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take their sins. ... For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance" (Romans 11:25-36),

"And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a Name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS" (Revelation 19:15-16),

"And it shall come to pass in that day ... the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before His ancients gloriously" (Isaiah 24;21-23),

"And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled" (Revelation 20:1-3),

"...and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands: and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years" (Revelation 20:4-6),

"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together: and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:6-9).

The disciples were told that in the same way Jesus ascended to heaven so He would return to earth at the end of the age:

"And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven" (Acts 1:9-11).

And the New Testament is full of references to our need to watch and wait for His coming.  Jesus Himself, in the Gospels and in the Revelation to John, used the analogy of a bride waiting for her bridegroom.  We who are saved are the bride.  How should we prepare ourselves for our forthcoming marriage?  The following extract is from an email I recently received.  It is one in a series of discussions with a group of believers on the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus:

"In New Testament times, the bride was betrothed to her husband for something like a year or more before the actual wedding day took place.  The bride knew the day of the wedding, but she didn't know what hour the bridegroom would come to take her.  If I remember rightly, there was something like an eight hour 'slot' leading up to midnight, and the groom could come any time during that period.  Thus, the bride had to keep herself in readiness during all those eight hours, because she didn't know exactly when he'd arrive.

"This fits in so beautifully with what the Lord said concerning His return.  If we 'expand' the timescale somewhat, then we can say that the Lord was betrothed to His Church some 2000 years ago.  She, the bride, doesn't know exactly when He is coming back for her.  We will not know the day because the Lord Himself said so (Matthew 25:13).  As to whether we'll know the week or the month, well, who can say?  Time will tell.

"The important thing is that, like the Jewish bride of  New Testament times, we will know roughly when the Lord is going to return and we must hold ourselves in readiness for His return.  The Jewish bride put on her fine wedding clothes and we must do the same.  By this I mean, typologically speaking, that we must see to it that we lead holy lives, wearing the garments of righteousness that He has given us to wear.  The Greek word for 'watch' used in Matthew 25:13 - gregoreuo - has the meaning of being carefully vigilant lest some destructive calamity should overtake us through indolence.  It would be a very bad thing for the Groom to arrive and find that we were not dressed fit to receive Him (Matthew 22:11).

"It is interesting to note that the phrase, 'Behold, the Bridegroom cometh!' (Matthew 25:6) is the same phrase that was used to announce to the Jewish bride that her new husband had come!  This message was shouted - loudly! - by a friend of the groom, when the groom arrived.  I wonder if this is what the archangel will shout in 1 Thessalonians 4:16?

"Finally, there is the promise that the groom made to the bride at the beginning of the betrothal period.  John 14:2-3 is actually part of what he said, thus: 'I go to prepare a place for you, And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again.'  This is exactly what the Jewish bridegroom said to his wife-to-be.  He went back to his father's house, and - during the betrothal period - extended the size of the dwelling in order to make new quarters for the wife and husband.  Isn't it amazing that the Lord used exactly the same words when promising to return to us?" [Dave Jewell, May 1998, email on file].

Are we eagerly awaiting the Bridegroom?

"Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in heir vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so, lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh" (Matthew 25:1-13),

"So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 1:7),

"...and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation" (Hebrews 9:28b),

"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13).

Are we watching for the signs that tell us His coming is near?

"And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them ...  Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come" (Matthew 24:3-44),

"But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch" (1 Thessalonians 5:1-6).

Are we clothing ourselves in our wedding garments?

"But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation ... and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5:8,23),

"Seeing the that all these thins shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God ... Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless" (2 Peter 3:11-14),

"Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy" (Revelation 3:4),

"Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame" (Revelation 16:15).

Will we come to the Wedding Banquet when it is prepared, or are we so engrossed in worldly concerns that we will not want to leave them?

"And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son. And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, ands went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: ... Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy" (Matthew 22:1-8).

If we do come, will we find that we have, after all, no wedding garment?

"And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 22:11-13).

Many years ago we used to sing a chorus:

He's coming soon, He's coming soon, With joy we welcome His returning;
It may be morn, it may be night or noon, We know He's coming soon.

Do we know He's coming soon?  Or do we say with those who are perishing,

"Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation" (2 Peter 3:4),

...forgetting that,

"one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:8-9).

As the heavenly hosts longed for the glorified Lord to return from His earthly mission, let us, likewise, long for Him to come and take us home to be with Him forever!

 

 

 

 

Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way,
and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls
(Jeremiah 6:16)

 

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