#12 Christ Consummates His Marriage

by Dr. Stephen R. Phinney 

The Hebrew marriage ceremony is one of the most touching and powerful symbols of intimacy our Father has given His children. If you read through this information quickly, you WILL miss the important details. I, alone, have spent almost eight years researching, in order to write you these highlights. Learning about the Hebrew marriage needs to be taken as seriously as your relationship with Christ Jesus – for it is one and the same.

After the ceremony was completed and the Rabbi had blessed the marriage, the groom and his bride went into the room he had prepared (attached to his father’s house), closed the door, and consummated the marriage by going into her and depositing his seed, in order to form one flesh union (Matt. 25:1-10; Rev. 19:7). The groom would then come back out with a blood-stained sheet in hand and hold it up before the fathers, proving he had married a virgin. The fathers would agree, bless the son once again, and leave the groom and his bride for further intimacy.

Jesus Christ Coming for His Bride 

When Christ comes to get His bride (the Rapture), we will be given perfect virgin bodies - taken, or formed, from the side of Christ. As with the body of Eve, this will make us one flesh from the moment of receiving our “glorified” bodies. 

Our Lord corrected many false notions that existed on the subject of marriage (Matt. 22:23-30) and placed it as a divine institution on the highest grounds. The apostles clearly stated and enforced the nuptial duties of husband and wife (Eph. 5:22-33; Col. 3:18-19; 1 Peter 3:1-7). Marriage is said to be honorable (Heb. 13:4). The exclusion of it is noted as one of the marks of degenerate times (1 Tim. 4:3). We live in those degenerate times: women with women and men with men, all committing indecent acts that come against the holy and prophetic institution of marriage.

The Father gave us a commission to protect the Bridal members of the Groom. The enemy, the Antichrist, will work diligently to captivate the Bride into believing half-baked ideas, distracting her from living and preparing for the Groom. The enemy wants the Bride to cast a die. One example is opening the Bible at random to determine a point of duty or doctrine. This practice opposes the Truth. The phrase “the trickery of men”  is understood to be by the mere chance of people or holding to opinions that match the way one feels on any given day. The enemy is a crafty and deceitful teacher, who lies in waiting to deceive - literally, “unto the method of deceit.” His teachers use plausible pretenses and would, if possible, deceive the professed Bridal members of Christ with ill-conceived ideas that match the role of the Antichrist himself. The Father gave us officers, equipping us to guard against such teachers, and living not by their opinions or ideas, but by the Word of God alone. 

It is time to bring back the foundational and traditional roots of God’s ordained plan for marriage. It starts in our heart, our home, and in our community. 

Reviewing the Stepping Stones of a Hebrew Wedding:  

1.  Go out and meet the bridegroom – After waiting at length (most commonly near midnight), the very words of Scripture were announced by someone in the community “‘Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him” (Matt. 25:6, KJV). The bride took a preparatory bath (Ezek. 23:40). "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless” (Eph. 5:25-27).

2.  Lighting of the lamps – All of the persons engaged now lit their lamps, or torches, holding them in their hands while running to take their place in the procession. Some had lost their lights and were unprepared, but it was then too late to find or replace them. 

3. Off to the bride’s house – Typically late in the evening, like a thief in the night (1 Thess. 5:2), the bridegroom came with his groomsmen ("companions" in Jdg. 14:11; "children of the bride chamber" in Matt. 9:15, KJV), singers, and torch/lamp bearers leading the way (Jer. 25:10). The bride, in the meantime, was with her maidens eagerly awaiting his coming.

4. The betrothed couple’s garments - The bridegroom was carried in by a magnificently dressed horse, flaunting all of his colors. The bridegroom wore an ornamental turban (Isa. 61:10 - "ornaments" or "a magnificent headdress") like that of the high priest, appropriate to the "kingdom of priests" (Ex.19:6). He had a nuptial garland or crown. Song of Solomon 3:11 states, "the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals (wedding)” [parentheses added] and was also richly perfumed (Song 3:6). It was not only tradition, but a requirement, for a bride to wear a white robe, sometimes embroidered with gold thread (Rev. 19:8, KJV; Psa. 45:13-14) and jewels (Isa. 61:10). White symbolized purity (virginity) and the gold thread was the statement of wealth of the bride’s father. With all of her dress readied and in order, it was now time for the groom. The bride’s father would then call his daughter out from his home to give her hand to the groom.

5. The groom sees himself – God called woman the "help meet (mate) for him” (Gen. 2:18, KJV, parentheses added). This means that in her preparation, she adorns herself in the groom’s image, so the groom may recognize himself when he sees her. I hope you understand this Hebrew clarity. For example, when Adam saw woman for the first time – he saw himself. When Christ looks at you, assuming you are saved, He sees Himself in you. Christ (or an earthly husband) is to love, honor, and cherish His(his) bride. The bride of Christ (or an earthly wife) is to be helpful, be in reverent subjection, and have a meek and quiet spirit. Together, the bride and groom are the fellow heirs of the grace of life (1 Peter 3:1-7; 1 Cor. 14:34-35).

6.  Party time – Once the bride was brought to the groom, the father of the bride announced the “time of celebration – the feast of marriage.” In the pre-Mosaic times, when the proposals were accepted and the marriage price given, the bridegroom could come at once and take away his bride to his own house (Gen. 24:63-67). In general, the marriage was celebrated by a feast in the house of the bride's parents, to which all friends were invited (Gen. 29:22, 27). On the day of the marriage, the bride (concealed under a thick veil) was conducted to her future husband's home. (NOTE: In the case of Christ and the Church, the party will be held at the home of the Groom – heaven. This is because the Father of the bride is also the Father of the Groom. This concept and truth leads us back to the Garden of Eden, where sons married daughters. Adam’s children married Adam’s children to populate the earth.)
  • With the bridegroom having received his bride, his cloud of witnesses (Heb. 12:1) rejoiced and were fulfilled in hearing the bridegroom's voice of joy and triumph (John 3:29).
  • The feast lasted for seven days and was enlivened by riddles and stories (testimonies) of the bride and groom (Song 3:11; Jdg. 14:12). 
  • Wedding garments were provided by the groom’s father and choosing not to wear the “garment of praise” was an insult to him (Gen. 24:53). This was a direct connection to God, the Father, covering Adam and Eve: “The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them” (Gen. 3:21). The garment, or robe, literally translates out as the covering of redemption, or the robe made by a righteous father. All wedding guests needed to be purified with the covering of the father. No impure person or thing could be part of the celebration. 
  • Large water pots for washing the hands and for purifying ablutions (the ritual cleansing of a priest’s hands or body, or of sacred vessels, during a religious ceremony) were provided (Mark 7:3). As with Jesus, these had to be filled before Jesus changed the water into wine; the minor circumstances were in keeping with one another; the feast being advanced, the water was previously emptied out of the water pots for the guests' ablutions (John 2:7). An interesting point: The water Jesus turned into wine was the same water that had been used to purify the guests. This meant that the water was the symbol of “washing of the Word,” the voice of the groom’s Father, and the Word being transfigured (to transform the appearance of somebody or something, revealing great beauty, spirituality, or magnificence) to the wine, or “blood of Christ.” After being washed in the Word of the Father, we (His bride) had to drink from the same cup Jesus was required to fill with His own life source. When, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ asked His Father about “this cup,” He knew the cup required of Him to drink His own blood. Jesus had to be the first, once again, to drink from the wedding cup. Moreover, the Father needed wine (blood) to fill the wedding feast cup.  
  • Jesus knew that the bent of man was to “clean the outside of the cup” while filling it with “robbery and self-indulgence” (Matt. 23:25). The cup itself symbolizes the Groom’s body (His bride), the cleaning of the cup is the washing of the Word, and the filling of the cup is the blood (identity of a life source) of the Husband, who was to lay His life down for His bride.    
7.  Groom takes his bride to his father’s house - To remove the bride from her father's house to that of the bridegroom, or his father, was an essential part of the ceremony. 

Next: Divorce - Division by Force

All Scriptures, unless otherwise stated, are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. 

Scriptures marked KJV are taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version, public domain.