PENTECOST AND THE BRIDE
PROPHECY IN THE NEWS
A Case Study for a Pentecost Rapture
by Luis B. Vega
for PostScripts News (PSN) | www.PostScripts.org
‘When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.’ – Acts 2:2-4
The purpose of this study is to highlight a teaching series from a vintage 1990s airing of the Prophecy in the News with Gary Stearman and J.R. Church called the Marriage of the Lamb. It is by far one of the best teachings on the typology of the Rapture and the Bride of Christ. This study was specifically entitled ‘Pentecost and the Bride’ as one of the 7 festivals of YHVH starting with the teaching of ‘Passover and the Bridegroom’. The following will be a general paraphrase of the study based on the research and typology of how Pentecost has a very convincing ‘picture’ of the rapture of the Bride of Christ -more so than any other of the 6 feast of YHVH.
‘The Bride is most important in this marriage ceremony. The Bride is not seen on Passover, the Bride is seen at Pentecost. To most Christians, the notion of Pentecost has the affiliation of how the Church was born, then the giving of the Holy Spirit, the Tongues of Fire, the speaking of Tongues to all the nations, and from there the message of the Gospel being spread throughout the world. Pentecost as a feast of Israel has a much deeper significance than that in terms of its meaning. In fact, it may be of great prophetic significance. The original Pentecost is very fascinating because GOD in Exodus 19 came down from on top of Mt. Sinai and gave a ‘marriage contract’ to His Bride, Israel. This makes Pentecost and the Bride interconnected.
In the book of Ruth, there is a story of a Gentile girl. She is widowed and comes to Boaz, the Kinsmen-Redeemer at night with a proposal of marriage. In Ruth 3:8-9 it states the following. ‘And it came to pass at midnight that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet. In addition, he said, who are thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid: for thou art a near kinsman.’ This took place on Pentecost night. It is therefore significant that the Bride is uniquely connected to Pentecost in both of those ancient occasions. The Jews to this very day read the book of Ruth at the Feast of Weeks which is what they call Pentecost or Shavuot. There are various reasons why the Jews read the book of Ruth.
1. The story is set at a harvest time, as Shavuot is a harvest festival.
2. Ruth’s conversion to Judaism, as she was a Moabite is analogous to the voluntary acceptance of the Torah. One has to accept the Torah by faith; it cannot be commanded.
3. Also, King David was born and died on Pentecost and it is done to honor King David and because Ruth is his ancestor.
4. The reading of Ruth reminds the Jews that the Torah, that is the 5 books of Moses are tied to the Writings as the book of Ruth is not part of the Torah. Thus, the reading of Ruth is used to bridge the Torah and the Writings.
Interestingly, the Jews read the book of Ruth without a blessing in the morning services of Shavuot. The other Scriptures that are read are read with a blessing. However, with the reading of Ruth there is no blessing. In the synagogues, a prescribed blessing is recited throughout the services. On the 1st or 2nd day of Pentecost, depending on the Jewish sect, some sects keep 1 day while others, most notably the Orthodox keep 2 days. The morning on the 2nd day the book of Ruth would be read but there would be no blessing. Is it possible that since Ruth is a Gentile Bride that the Jews are somewhat jealous? It could be the case that the Jews do not want to bless this Gentile convert to Judaism that married their Kinsman-Redeemer and become the progenitor of King David of the tribe of Judah. A blessing is also a part of a code or a series of principles or legal obligations and/or observations.
One reason why the book of Ruth is without a blessing is that Ruth speaks of grace, which is the central message. Boaz, the Kinsman-Redeemer acts in pure grace. He reaches out to Ruth and becomes a type of the Redeemer, Christ. The idea of grace is a blessing in itself and needs no further blessing, etc. Ruth can also be seen as a type of Gentile Christianity. God told Israel in the Song of Moses that He was going to turn to a ‘People that where not a People’ that is to the Gentiles in order to make Israel jealous. The Apostle Paul mentions this in Romans 9, 10, 11 of how GOD has turned to the Gentiles. Thus it may have to do a little bit with this jealousy of why the Jews do not give a blessing to Ruth when it is read. However, it is read on Pentecost, which means that the Bride is a ‘June Bride’, and intimately connected with Pentecost.
Pentecost is a harvest festival and in Matthew 13:39, Jesus said that the ‘harvest’ is the end of the world. Thus, Pentecost has this prophetic connotation to the ‘end of the world’. Pentecost is also considered to be written in Heaven as the ‘Day of the Judgment of the Fruit’, the fruit of the trees. This is also reminiscent of the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians chapter 5. A person can likened to a man that like a tree planted by the living waters producing fruit’. The metaphor of the judgment of the fruit suggests some kind of the opening-up of the Heavens, a momentous occasion because judgment is always associated with some momentous change.
The Jews also refer Pentecost to a ‘Day of Revelation’. Why? Because on this day, GOD revealed Himself on Mt. Sinai. This occurs back to Exodus 19, and one finds out that it was on the 3rd month and on the 3rd day of the month. ‘And it came to pass on the 3rd day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightning, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.’ This event was on Pentecost. The actual observance of the feast can occur on the 2nd and as late as the 7th day of the Jewish month of Sivan. It is a revealing of GOD that is likened to a marriage. This is why the reading of Ruth can be compared to the revealing of the Torah. They may seem 2 contradictory ideas yet the Jews view Mt. Sinai as a wedding canopy.
Interestingly, in the book of Revelation, the opening is called the revealing of Jesus Christ. What one has here is that of GOD revealing Himself on the 50th day. The number 50 is a transcendent number. It is 1 above 49 which is 7 x 7, perfection x perfection which is 1 above the best perfection men can put together. The 50th day has many names. It is called the Day of Celebration, the Jews call it the Jubilee. It is a day of great rejoicing, of freedom. It is a day of celebrating the final resolution of obtaining the redemption. Several revelations took place in the past. It begins with Noah. In Genesis 8:14-16 it states the following. ‘By the 27 day of the 2nd month the Earth was completely dry. Then God said to Noah, come out of the Ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives.’ Noah stepped out of the Ark and built an altar.’ No time is given as to when Noah did this but it is speculated to have been in the 3rd month of Sivan. There is no approximate time but 7 days from the 27th day of the 2nd month would be Pentecost.
Thus, at that time, GOD gave to Noah a covenant as seen in Genesis 9:1. The Jews say that traditionally this Covenant was given on Pentecost. This is the Noetic Covenant that marks the importance of Pentecost to the Covenants GOD makes. It turns out that those Covenants are a typology of ‘marriage covenants’. In the book Jewish Holidays by Michael Strassfeld, it states that the Midrashes or commentaries state that it is a ‘problematic imagery of GOD holding the Mt. Sinai over the Israelites heads while saying, accept my Torah or else is transformed in romantic symbols. The mountain becomes a Chuppah, a wedding canopy for the marriage’. According to this view, Moses smashes the 2 Tablets when he comes down the mountain because they are GOD’s Ketuvah, the marriage contract to Israel.
Moses, the messenger choses to smash them rather than deliver them to Israel thereby completing the marriage of Israel with GOD. A 2nd set of Tablets was made but what was important is that 2 things are revealed according to the Jews at Mt. Sinai.
1. The Law is given.
2. It is a marriage contract.
It is not just hard cold law; it is an actual marriage with all of the attendants symbolizing marriage to include love and a loving relationship. Yet, it contained 10 Commandments for the Bride to keep but the Bride, Israel did not keep. Israel was supposed to be a ‘June Bride’ but turned out to be a ‘September Bride’.
The question remains, does one want to be a ‘June Bride’ or a ‘September Bride’? Many Christians are looking for that day called the Rapture of the Church when the Bride of Christ is going to be taken in an elopement-type ceremony to the ‘Heavenly Chuppah’ where one will have the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Thus, on Pentecost one had the following Covenants of GOD given.
1. Covenant given to Noah.
2. GOD’s Covenant made with Israel.
3. The New Covenant made with New Testament Christianity when the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost.
The question is, is Pentecost finished? Or is there something yet to come in the future on the day of Pentecost? A lot of people have thought that perhaps the Rapture could occur on Rosh HaShanah in September. It is not possible to know when the LORD is to take His Bride home. However, Pentecost is as good a symbol of that Rapture as Rosh HaShanah is in September. Interestingly, the Jews stay up all night on Pentecost on the 1st night. They read a specific portion of Scriptures, a Tiku which is a collection of Scriptures that has to do mostly with the relationship between GOD and Israel celebrating the marriage, if one wills.
Concerning the staying up all night, Strassfeld further writes that ‘the sense of preparation for Sinai is heightened by mystical traditions holding that the skies opens up during this night for a brief instance. At that very moment, one is told, GOD will favorably answer any prayer’. He also adds, ‘therefore, they stay up all night to ‘Decorate the Bride’. It is rather interesting that Israel should stay up all night because in the parable of the 10 Virgins, they are attendants to the Bride and they all feel asleep. When the Bridegroom came at midnight, half of them had to stay behind because they did not have any oil in their lamps. One of these days, the Bridegroom will come and it will be at a midnight hour.
The question is, will it be on a Pentecost? At least Pentecost is a prophetic overview of that future Rapture when the Heavens will open for a split second. Will the Jews be caught asleep without oil in their lamps or will they be found awake when the Bridegroom comes for the Bride? The ‘Decorating of the Bride’ certainly speaks of Pentecost being the festival for the ‘June Bride’. One of these days, the ‘LORD will descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Arch Angel and with the Trumpet of GOD. And the Dead in Christ will rise first and those which are alive and remain will be caught-up together with them in the clouds to meet the LORD in the air. And so shall one be forever with the LORD’.
Then there is the ancient custom of a Jewish young man when he choses the love of his life. He goes to the house of the father of the Bride, negotiating a price for her and he buys her. Once the negotiation is made, then the Bride is brought out, as it has to be a freewill acceptance of this marriage proposal. The Groom cannot just pay the money and buy her, as she would then become a slave. The Bride is not a slave and has the choice to say ‘no’, and the deal is off. If she says ‘yes’, then a cup is brought out and they drink from that ‘Cup of Betrothal’.
In the book of Ruth, Boaz meets the near kinsman at the gate of the city of Bethlehem and he says, ‘will you redeem the land?’ And the near kinsman says, ‘yes I will’. Boaz replies that if he does, he also has to take Ruth with it. The kinsman says that he cannot mar his own inheritance. Of course, this was good news to Boaz because he wanted to redeem the land and redeem Ruth. In Ruth 4:10 Boaz speaks to the Elders of Bethlehem saying that he will redeem Ruth to be his wife. There is a purchase to be made of the Bride. Jesus Christ came to die as the Lamb on Passover. The fact that He was as a ‘lamb’ means that He purchased the Bride with His own blood.
The Sephardic Jews have a custom that at every Pentecost they write their own Ketuvah. That is a given synagogue will write their ‘marriage contract’. The Rabbi will set down with the Elders and write this Ketuvah. They will start out with a date and they will begin to enumerate the promises of GOD, of how He will redeem His People in the Latter Days. This Ketuvah celebrated the marriage of GOD with His People. Thus, Pentecost is a blending of the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai and a writing of a marriage contract. The old marriage contract, because of the faithlessness of Israel was rendered null-and-void for a time. However as noted in Jeremiah 31:31, ‘behold a day is coming says the LORD when I will make a New Covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah’. In other words, a new marriage contract. Could this come on a future Pentecost?
It did come on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured-out in Jerusalem. That Covenant was established then and one is thus betrothed to the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ. One of these days, He is coming back to get this Bride. The question is will the Rapture take place on a Pentecost or will be occur in the fall of the year around Rosh HaShanah? It is argued by these studies that the Fall Feasts of Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot represent the ‘Honeymoon of the Bride’.
In summary, without a doubt the festival of Pentecost, Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, indicates a turn in dispensations or a giving of a Covenant. There is the Covenant with Noah, then the Covenant with the giving of the Law of Moses and the New Covenant with the Church. Could this pattern infer that in a future, could it be possible that the LORD will seal the Righteous to be His chosen people in some Pentecost? What is fascinating is that GOD still needs to make this New Covenant made 2000 year ago with the Church, to write it in the hearts of the Jews. Thus, the redemption of the Bride, that of Israel is yet to come.
It is currently a Gentile ‘Ruth’ type of Bride at this time and the LORD is coming to get His Bride but there is still another marriage contract; it is actually the same contract found in the New Covenant. The Church’s Ketuvah will be given to the Jews specifically in their coming redemption. It is possible that this could occur on a Pentecost. Pentecost speaks about the Bride of Christ. In the book entitled by J.R. Church, Hidden Prophecies in the Song of Moses, page 311, it discusses this idea of the day of Pentecost and the concept of the Bride and connection to the Bride. In fact, the Jews also observed this day as a prophetic picture of the future battle between the Leviathan and the Behemoth.
In a quotation from the book entitled, the Jewish Festivals by Hayyim Schauss it states the following. …‘They see golden thrones approached by 7 steps. Seated upon the thrones are the Saints gleaming and shining like the stars in Heaven. Above are spread the canopies of light and below are streams of fragrant balsam. There is no end to the joy and happiness of the Saints. They dance in Paradise, arm and arm with GOD Himself. He entertains them with a mammoth spectacle arranged especially for them; a combat between the Leviathan and Behemoth. It tells of a feast GOD will prepare after the coming of the Messiah’. And its imagination makes it more vivid and colorful even than its description. He pictures the Saints sitting around a table made of precious stones eating the flesh of the Leviathan and Behemoth.’ This is from a Jewish source.
The fact is if one reads the book of Revelation, one has the Leviathan and Behemoth. There is the Serpent in Revelation 13 that rises out of the sea, which is ‘Leviathan’. Then there is the Beast coming from out of the Land, the ‘Behemoth’. The ‘battle’ would be the 7-year Tribulation period. Yet the Jews say that the Saints are sitting with the Messiah in Paradise watching this ‘combat’. This is a pre-Tribulation Rapture scenario. Thus it is an incredible picture of the observance of Pentecost as a future rapture of the Bride and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb as they sit around eating and observing the spectacle that GOD has prepared for them, the ‘combat’ between the ‘Leviathan and Behemoth’.
In a final note, as the Jews used to reckon the calendar, they would observe the New Moon and then count a certain number of days. Utilizing the observation of the New Moon and counting from Passover, counting the Omer all the way to the Feast of Pentecost results in one interesting fact. Pentecost is called the ‘festival with no fixed date’. As mentioned prior, the festival could be celebrated between the 3rd and the 7th day of Sivan. Thus, there is an uncertainty about the date of Pentecost leaving one just guessing just a little bit, of when it will happen. This is of course the question of every Christian, when? Pentecost is the time when they take the Omer of the First Fruit that was picked 50 days before and waived them as a Wave Offering before the LORD. They take that gleam and they bake it into 2 loaves which is a beautiful picture of Israel and the Church as they are presented to the LORD on Pentecost.’
The study concretely links Pentecost with Passover and the congregation gathered on Mt. Sinai. This study also suggests that even the very distance from the topography of the Exodus typifies the 50-day observance. The Passover lamb that was slaughtered and the blood applied to the doors of the Hebrews in Egypt signified the purchase of the Bride and how the First Born was to die. It foreshadowed the First Begotten of GOD, Jesus Christ who died at Calvary as the ‘Lamb of GOD’. The 7-day journey sojourn of the Hebrews and mixed company took them out of Egypt to the edge of Nuweiba. Thereafter the whole company as it were, were ‘baptized’ as they went down into the depths of the Red Sea on dry ground. They emerged up on the other side as a type of the ‘resurrection’ on the 3rd day as Jesus Christ rose from the depths of the Earth on the 3rd day. In essence the first 3 Feasts of YHVH, where observed in Exodus up to that point in time. However, the Mt. Sinai gathering happened on Pentecost on the 50th day. The 40 days of Moses receiving the Law was the ‘marriage contract’, etc.
The chart associated with this study will show that from the shores of Nuweiba to Mt. Sinai is 50 miles. Moreover, the distance from the crossing point of Nuweiba to Mt. Sinai has an approximate phi ratio correlation that focuses on the Slit Rock of Horeb. Both Pentecost on Mt. Sinai with the liberation of the Hebrews from Egypt and that of the Disciples of Jesus, speak of the Jubilee and how there is a liberation to be had. It is also very striking that in 2017, Jerusalem celebrates the 50th year anniversary of its liberation from the Muslims in 1967. This liberation, by some calculation was said to have occurred on Pentecost. The Body of Christ or that of the Bride of Christ is seen and described by the Apostle Paul and John in the book of Revelation as the New Jerusalem adorned as a ‘Bride’. Will such a 50-year time marker also signify a coming liberation of Christ’s Earthly body as a type of Jerusalem on a Pentecost season?
Prophecy in the News, Pentecost and the Bride Episode
The Jewish Festivals, Hayyim Schauss
The Jewish Holidays, Michael Strassfeld
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