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Adult Sunday School - Part 13 - The Rapture and The Bride
Adult Sunday School -
Part 13 - The Rapture and The Bride - by P.K.Odendaal - September 2012.
The rapture refers to a group of Christians, known as the
Bride of Christ, leaving the earth, in their transformed, bodies, whilst alive,
to go to Heaven, in order tobe the bride
at the Marriage of the Lamb.
It is not spelled out in detail in the Bible, but we have
quite a few scriptures which hints at it, and there are many stories and
prophecies out of which we can learn about it.
And it starts quite early in the Bible, because this is what
the Bible is really all about. Adam is created by God, and God prepares a bride
for him, out of his own body. God creates mankind and prepares a nation,
Israel, out of them, to be His wife - whom He has divorced subsequently. Lastly
God creates His Church on earth, from which he prepares a bride for His Son.
The same theme goes on and on, especially when you read the numerous Bible
stories related to a wedding.
Let us first look at the scriptures dealing directly with
1Th 4:16For 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: v:17Then 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.
15:52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the
trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall
be changed. v:53For this corruptible
must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
v:54So when this corruptible shall have
put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall
be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in
The stories we can read to know more about this rapture are
The story in Genesis 24 where Abraham (a type for the
Father, God), sends his servant Eliezer
(a type for the Holy Spirit) to a faraway land where his kindred lives (a type
for Earth), to prepare and bring Rebekah (a type for the Bride of Christ), home
(a type for Heaven), to be married to his son Isaac (a type for Jesus Christ).
There are quite a few things in this
story that we have to note:
Her blessing : Gen 24:60And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her,
Thou art our sister, be thou the
mother of thousands of millions, and let
thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them. It is clear that
this blessing from Rebekah's brothers, does not look on her fleshly descendants,
which can never be as much, but of her descendants as a type for the bride of
Her reception: Gen 24:63And Isaac went out to meditate in the field
at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were
coming. Jesus Christ will come (in the clouds) and meet us (in the air)
The wedding at Cana.
In this story we have Jesus Himself playing out the
prophecy. He attends a wedding at Cana, with His mother, and the host runs out
of wine. He then turns the water into wine. What we need to look at here are
2:1And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the
mother of Jesus was there. It was the third day, meaning that two days
or thousand years have passed, so it must be the Marriage of the Lamb. This is
borne out by His answer to His mother when she told her that there was no wine.
He immediately retorted that: Joh 2:4Jesus
saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
He is already at that ultimate wedding in the spirit.
This was His first miracle - quite befitting His last goal.
We may also hear Himself speak about the rapture, whilst he
was on earth:
Mat 24:37But as the days of Noah were, so shall
also the coming of the Son of man be. v:38For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and
drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into
the ark, v:39And knew not until the
flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man
be. v:40Then shall two be in the field; the one shall
be taken, and the other left. v:41Two women
shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
v:42Watch therefore: for ye know not
what hour your Lord doth come. v:43But
know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief
would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be
broken up. v:44Therefore be ye also
ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
I think it cannot be said more emphatically, and that is why
it is said that He will be coming 'like a thief in the night'. No-one will
expect Him or know when He came, but they will miss the 'stolen goods'.
Vision of the bride.
In Revelation we can see them gathered together:
14:1And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an
hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in
their foreheads. v:2And I heard a voice
from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder:
and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: v:3And they sung as it were a new song before
the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn
that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were
redeemed from the earth. v:4These are
they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they
which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among
men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. v:5And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before
the throne of God.
In this piece 'defiled with women' means 'used by the
Church' such as in persecuting people for not following the rules and dogma of
the Church. This piece also talks about the first fruits. It means the first
part of the crop which belongs to God such as in the first borns. We can see
how well this is kept a secret which not even the angels know of, except that
they expect the event:
Rom 8:22For we know that the whole creation groaneth
and travaileth in pain together until now. v:23And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit,
the redemption of our body.
I am not an expert on the Hebrew culture and customs. There
are people who are students of this, and you can do further reading on where
they compare those customs with the words of Revelation. The groom goes away to
prepare a house for his bride, returns to fetch her, introduces her to his
father, marries her and returns to the waiting guests to celebrate the wedding
feast. It is also reflected in the feasts of the Jews as set out in the Old
I conclude with the wedding.
The ten virgins are waiting for the Bridegroom and his Bride
to return from the wedding feast:
25:1Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took
their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. v5:2And five of them were wise, and five were
foolish. v:3They that were
foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: v:4But the wise took oil in their vessels with
their lamps. v:5While the bridegroom
tarried, they all slumbered and slept. v:6And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go
ye out to meet him. v:7Then all those
virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. v:8And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps
are gone out. v:9 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. v:10And 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. v:11Afterward came also the
other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. v:12But he answered and said, Verily I say unto
you, I know you not. v:13Watch
therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man
and the words of Jesus Himself:
22:1And Jesus answered and spake unto
them again by parables, and said, v:2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain
king, which made a marriage for his son, v:3And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the
wedding: and they would not come.
22:11And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which
had not on a wedding garment: v:12And
he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding
garment? And he was speechless. v:13Then 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. v:14For many are
called, but few are chosen.
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. v:8And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean
and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. v:9And 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.
We find the
wedding song in Psalm 45, of which I only quote an abstract.
Psa 45:10Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and
incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; v:11So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty:
for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him. v:12And the daughter of Tyre shall be there
with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour. v:13The king's daughter is all glorious
within: her clothing is of wrought gold. v:14She shall be brought unto the king in raiment
of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto
thee. v:15With gladness and rejoicing
shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king's palace. v:16Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children,
whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.
What I read here is that the children of the Messiah and the
Bride will rule the universe.