As Yom Teruah nears in September (the Fall Feast that foreshadows Messiah’s coming on a future day of Trumpeting), we think about what it means to be ready for the Messiah as a Bride without spot or blemish. But to understand who the Bride is we must first understand who the Bridegroom is and who he says the Bride is not!
Who is the Bridegroom?
In the Gospel of John, Yochanan the immerser speaks of Yeshua as the bridegroom and mentions the bride.
“He that hath the Bride is the Bridegroom: and the friends of the bridegroom, which stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the Bridegroom’s voice: thus my joy therefore is fulfilled.John 3:29
That is the only place in the Gospels that the Bride is mentioned, but because a Bridegroom must have a Bride, all other mentions of the bridegroom imply the bride.
In the Gospels, when Yeshua is asked why his disciples do not fast, but the followers of John and the Pharisees do, Yeshua answers:
And Yeshua said unto them, Can the friends of the bridegroom fast, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the Bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.Mark 2:19
In Matthew 9:15, Mark 2:19 and Luke 5:34, the Talmidim (hebrew for disciples) are referred to as the friends, guests, or children depending on the translation, of the Bridegroom. In Judaism there is an understanding that one who studies under the tutelage of a great Teacher becomes like his child, imitating and emulating his example and following him wherever he goes. (Think of the description of the bride in Revelation 14:4 that says, ”
They follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They have been redeemed from among men as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb.”
In regards to students of Torah teachers being like children Deut. 29:9 states, “You shall guard the words of this covenant, and perform (literally, “make”) them, in order that you may prosper in all that you do.” Our Sages address this command in Massekhet Sanhedrin 99b: where “Reish Lakish said:
‘Anyone who teaches someone else’s child Torah is regarded by the Torah as though he made him’…
R. Elazar said: As though he has made him – in terms of Torah, as it is written: ‘You shall guard the words of this covenant and perform them’.”
What does it mean that the friends of the Bridegroom “stand” and “hears” in John 3:29 and that they are friends, guests and children of the Bridegroom? This is referring to the fact that they “hear” the Word of Yah and “stand” upon its principles, “doing” it and “applying” it – i.e. living it out! Is it possible that they are also apart of the Bride as friends of the Bridegroom or does this mean even they are in a seperated category? Rabbi Shaul says, “having done all, stand with the armor of God!”
The Bridegroom is also mentioned in the Parable of the Ten Virgins in Mt 25:1-13:
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.”
So it sounds at first glance that they are not apart of the Bride either…. and if the apostles are not apart of the bride and the virgins in this parable are not apart of the bride but representing the Kingdom of heaven who could possibly be worthy to be the Bride of Messiah? But remember that before the Wedding the Bride is building a relationship with the Bridegroom as a pure friend until the day it is revealed to everyone who the faithful pure Bride is!
In truth, there can be many symbols representing the same group of people referred to as the Bride. A bride is suppose to be a virgin with no other love… and usually becomes a best friend to the bridegroom, so it is possible to include the Talmidim as the Virgin(s) Bride with the Light of God’s Word! David confirms that the light of the virgins is the Word of Yah in Psalms 119:105,
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Let’s consider some other aspects of the Bride and her characteristics….
Who is the Bride and Is Not!
Contrary to many sincere believers in the “church”, the Bride is not the Church but comprised of humble pure individuals who believe in the testimony of Yeshua and are separate from the false system of paganism in the church, and they choose to keep the Commandments of Yah because of their great love for Him and His Word. As the Word made flesh, Yeshua says,
If you love me keep my commandments!John 14:15
Yeshua also said in his prophetic parable in Matthew 7:22-23,
Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, and drive out demons in Your name, and perform many miracles in Your name?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Get away from Me, you workers of lawlessness (Torahlessness)!’”
The church says, “Lord, Lord” but promotes doing away with the law, therefore they cannot be the Bride. The Bride and the Bridegroom have an intimate knowledge of each other. The Bride knows her husbands name and character as the living Torah. (To learn more about the Bridegroom’s name click here)
Symbols of the Bride as the Assembly of the whole house of Israel
- Jerusalem’s 12 gates – one for each of the 12 tribes of Israel. Note that there is no gate for gentiles or the church separate from Israel
- Shabbat – God’s sign between Him and His people (see Shabbat study)
- The Woman in Revelation standing on the moon – God’s timepiece for observing His Holy Moedim in Leviticus 23 (see New Moon study)
Characteristics of the Bride according to Scripture
- A part of Israel, either native born or grafted in
- A pure virgin (not defiled with the lusts of the flesh)
- A best friend to the Bridegroom
- A student of the Bridegroom’s Teachings about Torah
- Keeps the Torah Commandments
- Keeps the Sabbath and the Annual Holy Days and Feasts
A Beautiful Description of the Bride in the Tanakh
When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,” says the Lord GOD. 9 Then I washed you in water; yes, I thoroughly washed off your blood, and I anointed you with oil. 10 I clothed you in embroidered cloth and gave you sandals of badger skin; I clothed you with fine linen and covered you with silk. 11 I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your wrists, and a chain on your neck. 12 And I put a jewel in your nose, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. 13 Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. You ate pastry of fine flour, honey, and oil. You were exceedingly beautiful, and succeeded to royalty. 14 Your fame went out among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through My splendor which I had bestowed on you,” says the Lord GOD.Ezek 16:8-14 (NKJV)
We see here in Ezekiel’s description that the bride did not dress herself. God prepared the bride in her adornments. The wealth of the Father (Pure character of selfless love) is imputed to the Bride through the Spirit… just as Eliezer adorned and prepared the Bride Rivkah for the Son “Yitzchak” with the wealth of the father “Avraham”. Our own perfection, glory, and righteousness is a gift but we must choose to be betrothed and walk in purity to be worthy of such an honor! By the grace of God we are saved and by the grace of God we are made perfect and presented to His son as a beautiful bride. The grace of God extends beyond simply purifying mankind of their sins but preparing us all for eternity!
Hallelu Yah! What a privilege to be a part of the Beautiful Bride!
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Study by Rabbi Isaac. © 2020 Assembly of Called-Out Believers.
Website: CalledOutBelievers.org. Use by Permission