The Wedding of the Lamb
Several passages compare Christ's advent to a Jewish wedding of antiquity.
Revelation 19:7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come,and his bride has made herself ready.8 Fine linen, bright and clean,was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) 9 Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” (NIV)
This is a prophetic parable where end time believers are informed that there will be similarities in a Jewish wedding of antiquity and Christ's advent.
Jewish Weddings of Antiquity
Jewish weddings of the first century were quite different from today's weddings. The process began with a contract. Marriages were arranged, usually between the parents of two children. With the signing of the contract, the children would be officially married. All that remained to fulfill the contract was the ceremony.
The contract sometimes took place years before the actual wedding when the children were pre-teen. However, the official ceremony was usually completed around the time the girl entered puberty, usually 12 or 13.
The ritual itself would begin at days end, with the completion of the banquet preparations at the parent’s home of the bridegroom.
For comparison purposes, the Jewish Wedding of Antiquity and the advent of Christ, can be viewed as a three step process:
Four Groups of Participants
The prophetic scriptures identify four groups that will participate in "the wedding of the Lamb":
Christ identifies Himself as "the bridegroom"
Matthew 9:15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast. (NIV)
John identifies "The holy city", "the new Jerusalem", "the tabernacle of God" as "the bride"
Revelation 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. (NIV)
Revelation 21:9 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God (NIV)
Revelation 14:4 These 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. (KJV)
When John identified The 144,000 as "virgins" he wasn't referring that they were celibate. The term "virgins" is a prophetic catchphrase which ties this verse together with other verses which contains the catchword “virgins”, specifically the parable of the ten virgins.
The 144,000 represent the male count of the survivors that will be on God's place-of-refuge, Mount Zion in Jerusalem for the 3½ years of The Great Tribulation. Their number will consist of 12,000 men from each of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Revelation 7:4 Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.5 From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben 12,000, from the tribe of Gad 12,000, 6 from the tribe of Asher 12,000, from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000, from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000, 7 from the tribe of Simeon 12,000, from the tribe of Levi 12,000, from the tribe of Issachar 12,000, 8 from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000, from the tribe of Joseph 12,000, from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.(NIV)
Isaiah 4:1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach. 2 In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.3 And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:4 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.5 And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence.6 And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain. (KJV)
7 x 144,000 = 1,008,000 women
1,008,000 women + 144,000 men=1,152,000 individuals that will be on Mount Zion for the 3 ½ years of The Great Tribulation. This combination (1,152,000) of men and women, also represents the number of virgins in the parable of the Ten Virgins.
The resurrected believers are the invited "guests" of the Bridegroom.
Matthew 9:14 Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 15 And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.
Judas Iscariot, because he betrayed Christ, will not be at the wedding banquet. However, the remaining 11 disciples and all believers who participate in the First Resurrection will be welcome "guests: of the Bridegroom at "the wedding supper of the Lamb".
Christ's Journey for the Bride
Now that we have identified the participants in this ritual, let's compare Christ's journey with the Jewish wedding of antiquity.
1. The Bridegroom of antiquity, starting where the procession will finish, journeys to receive the bride.
Christ Started from the Mount of Olives
Christ began His journey for "the Bride" (the tabernacle of God) when He ascended from the Mount of Olives two millennia ago.
Acts 1:9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” 12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city.
The purpose for Christ's journey for "the Bride" (my father's house) was to "prepare a place" for believers.
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. 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.
2. The bridegroom of antiquity receives the bride at her parents house.
Christ Received the Bride
According to the wedding ritual, the receiving of the bride is the halfway point of a round trip journey. The rebirth of nation of Israel is one of many signs which indicate that Christ is about to finish the second leg of a round trip back to the mount of Olives. This being the case, then Christ received "the Bride" (the Tabernacle of God) approximately one thousand years ago.
3. The couple are joined by "the virgins" on the trip back to the wedding banquet.
Christ will be Joined by Half the Virgins
“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
This parable provides us with details of end time events that will occur at Christ's advent on the Day-of-the-Lord. This parable is not a description of the resurrection of the dead in Christ. We know this based on verse 13 where we are instructed to Watch (the-dead-in-Christ can't watch).
The virgins represent individuals that will be alive at Christ's advent. The five wise virgins represent believers in Christ. The unwise virgins appear to be religious by their familiarity with the bridegroom. However, these individuals, according to the parable, fall short of making it into the kingdom.
Only half of the virgins, according to the parable, of the 1,152,000 (1,152,000/2 = 576,000) will enter the kingdom. These 576,000 "wise virgins" are the "Elect" and will be the only believers alive at the advent of Christ. (note: All of the 144,000 males will make it into the kingdom)
To find more information concerning the parable of the ten virgins we need to locate scripture that describes an event which:
Which brings us to:
The Future Siege on Jerusalem and Christ's return to the Mount of Olives
Zechariah 14:1 Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
3 Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. (KJV)
Separating the Foolish from the Wise
The predicted fortress siege on Jerusalem and the earthquake caused by Christ setting foot on the Mount of Olives is how "the foolish virgins" will be separated from "the wise virgins".
Those on Mount Zion will have been protected from the armies of the anti-Christ for the 3 1/2 years of The Great Tribulation. The foolish virgins will mingle among the wise virgins for that time. However, that protection will be dropped at the end of The Great Tribulation, the two witnesses will be killed and the armies of the anti-Christ will restart it's siege on Jerusalem.
An apparent breach in the wall of "the old city" will drive "the foolish virgins" to one extreme of the fortress. These "foolish virgins", unaware of Zechariah's prediction, will flock to the half of the city which will go into captivity. "The wise virgins" will shift toward the predicted side of the city that "shall not be cut off".
An Earthquake will split Jerusalem
An earthquake will occur the moment Christ sets foot on the Mount of Olives.
Zechariah 14: 1 Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.3 Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. (KJV)
This earthquake will aid in protecting "the wise virgins" from being "cut off from the city". According to the prediction, it will split the Mount of Olives half to the North and half to the South. The earthquake will extend to and split Jerusalem, separating "the foolish virgins" from "the wise virgins".
The question is, which side will "the wise virgins" be on: North or South? And the answer is
The Sides of the North
Psalms 48: 1Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.3 God is known in her palaces for a refuge. (KJV)