Yahuweh is a seeker, and He is seeking a Bride for His Son!
For those of us who are seekers, let's consider the following questions:
The answers to all the above questions are in the Scriptures, and they appear to be centered around Yahuweh's activities of seeking out and selecting a Bride for His Son. Let's consider some things revealed in Scripture.
- Why is much of the New Covenant spoken in a "hidden" way?
- Why are there many 'mysteries' and 'hidden things' and 'dark sayings' in Scripture?
- Why did Yahushua speak in parables?
- Why does Yahushua first close the eyes of all of mankind, and then open the eyes of some?
- Why does Yahushua tell His Disciples that His Word is hidden to some, but revealed to others?
- What did the apostle Paul see that was not 'lawful' to be uttered?
- Why is it unlawful to 'compel' anyone to obey any part of the New Covenant?
The Marriage CovenantYahweh's overall purpose is to redeem sinful mankind, and to bring people into fellowship with Himself, through His Son Yahushua. When Yahushua was crucified, he was wounded, and spilled His Blood, and died on our behalf, thereby paying the penalty each of us owed for our sin. Then by His resurrection, He made it possible for each of us to receive Him (become 'Born-Again'), so that He might live His life within us (Rom 5:9-10; Col 1:27).
Yahuweh also releases His people from the yoke of Bondage to sin, in the same manner that Yahuweh released His people from bondage in Egypt — by the applying of blood of a slain lamb over the doorposts of each house. This release occurs when a person believes in, and receives for themselves, the Blood sacrifice Yahushua made as the Lamb provided by Yahuweh.
After a man has been set free from a yoke of Bondage, that man is NOT to be brought back under (compelled to) bondage again. He may, however, choose to serve a Master, by his own free-will choice. (Ex 21:2-6; Ps 116:16; Jer 34:13-17; Gal 5:1). This is a fundamental Truth of the New Covenant, which is a Marriage Covenant based on the free-will choice of each party.
Yahuweh is looking for a Bride for His Son, to be chosen from among those He releases from bondage. Yahushua desires to bring His Bride into a Marriage Covenant with Himself.
However, the Marriage Covenant is a form of 'voluntary' yoke of bondage. In marriage, both parties voluntarily place themselves under the yoke of 'Bondage' of the Marriage Covenant, each under the yoke of bondage to the other.
The New Covenant is just such a Marriage Covenant. The Bridegroom requests the Bride to voluntarily place herself under the yoke of bondage to the Bridegroom (Eze 20:37; Mt 11:29-30). However, this is a 'new' yoke, and unlike the motivation for obedience seen under the 'old' yoke, Yahushua will not force her, or compel her, to comply. Just as required in Exodus 21:5-6; Joshua 24:15, the choice to serve the Master must be voluntary.
Since the Marriage Covenant (the New Covenant) is voluntary, it would be a violation of Torah to 'require' anyone to come under any of its provisions. Yahuweh will always abide by His own Torah, and His desire is toward those who do likewise.
The Old (external) version of Yah's Covenant was a covenant of 'required' or compelled obedience, with its blessings and curses based on obedience or disobedience. The New (internal) version of Yah's Covenant is one of 'voluntary' obedience.
The new version of Yah's covenant is 'new' in a similar sense of how Scripture describes the 'new' moon. The Hebrew thinking sees the moon 'renewed' or refreshed every month, and calls it a 'new' or renewed moon. We know from modern science that the 'old' moon is not destroyed at the end of its cycle every month, and replaced by a 'new' moon created at the beginning of each new cycle. No, the same old moon remains. The old moon is seen month by month. As it is renewed and refreshed each month, the beginning of each new cycle is called the 'new' moon.
Yahuweh's 'New' covenant is described just as the 'new' moon in Hebrew thinking. Yahuweh's covenant today is the same covenant He made with Abraham (Gal 3:14,16,29), but with many 'renewed' provisions and Better things, as detailed in the Book of Hebrews (Heb 7:19, 22; 8:1-10; 9:13-14, 23; 10:8-12). The New Covenant is 'new' in the sense of refreshed or renewed, but many of the same provisions of the old version of the Covenant remain in force as provisions of the New Covenant, as Yahushua reminds us (Matt 5:18; Matt 19:17; Rev 12:17). And because the 'New' covenant must be voluntary in nature, we see much 'exhortation' in the New Testament, but no 'compelling' or required obedience.
As the Father's Servant (the Holy Spirit) continues to look for a Bride for His son, He must determine who truly loves His Son. He watches to see who diligently seeks out, and then voluntarily chooses to walk in obedience to the New Covenant provisions that have been 'hidden' for the Bride to seek out and find, some of which are hidden within the Old Testament!
The Seal of the BetrothedThe wedding engagement ring is a special symbol of the covenant relationship between the Bridegroom and the Bride. It is only for the Bridegroom and the Bride — it is not for others. The 'wedding engagement ring' in modern culture has become the sign or visible 'seal' of the Betrothal between the Bridegroom and the Bride. This 'seal' openly and visibly identifies the one who is Betrothed, and is a continual reminder or remembrance for the Bride, as she awaits the return of her Bridegroom, and the fulfillment of the Marriage.
Scripture tells us the 'seal' is applied by the Holy Spirit to the Believer (Eph 1:13; Eph 4:30). But what is the seal? A thorough search in all of Scripture tells us exactly what it is. This seal consists of Covenant issues written by the Holy Spirit onto the heart and mind of the Believer, based on the free-will choice of a potential Bride-Candidate (Jer 31:33). This 'seal' applied by the Holy spirit also becomes a visible sign or 'seal of Betrothal' for all to see – as we might describe the wedding engagement ring.
In Scripture, we are told this same seal is given specifically to Yahushua's 'Disciples' (Isa 8:16); and finally we see that this seal is a 'signet' or sign, which Scripture tells us (Ex 31:13) is our (voluntary) participation in His Biblical Sabbath Days!
In a fitting display of this Truth, notice that the Holy Spirit was given to Yahushua's Disciples on one of Yahuweh's Biblical Sabbath Days — the annual feast of Shavuot, also known to the Greeks as Pentecost. The Holy Spirit was given to the Believers as they obeyed the words spoken by Messiah before He ascended, which were in accordance with the requirement of Scripture for all of Yahuweh's people!
These special days are the 'appointed times' of Yahuweh, and are occasions of communion and refreshing between the Bridegroom and His Betrothed One. These weekly Sabbaths, and the seven annual Sabbaths (Biblical Holidays or 'Holy-Days') are days the King has made a personal appointment for us to be with Him in a special way! The Bridegroom's special days are also as jewels of gold, and as raiment given to the Bride at her Betrothal, for they are the spiritual adornments that will ultimately distinguish the true Bride from the false Bride.
These are not 'Jewish' Sabbaths, as proclaimed by old-wives-tales and Doctrines of Men. These are called 'MY' Sabbaths as proclaimed by Yahuweh Himself, in 15 separate passages of Scripture!
Courting Encounters for the BetrothedThe Bridegroom's special days are, in effect, 'courting' encounters with his future Bride. These courting encounters with the Bridegroom are only for those who desire to be among His Betrothed. These Betrothal encounters are occasions of love and communion for the Bridegroom and the Betrothed Bride. Like the wedding ring, these encounters are not for others, but only for His Betrothed.
The feast of Passover is one of these encounters with the Bridegroom, and marks the beginning of the "I will" journey of the Bride-to-be, with the partaking of the Betrothal acceptance cup of wine. The false Bride would ensnare many with a substitute Betrothal cup. The true Bride, however, will not swerve away from her Bridegroom's true covenant Betrothal bread and cup of Passover. Is there any wonder why the Passover cup is called the cup of communion?
Some readily participate in these Betrothal encounters. Others refuse them. The Bridegroom will not allow others — either non-Believers or foolish virgins — to enter into intimate communion with Him.
For example, religious institutions have placed labels on Yah's special days. These labels read, "It's Jewish;" "It's Ceremonial;" "It's Done away with;" "It's Old Testament;" "It's Law;" "It's Works;" "It's Not 'New Testament.'" Note carefully that these labels speak of popular, man-made religious doctrines that oppose the Words of Messiah, and contradict the Truths of Scripture!
Father has allowed these labels to remain as banners of the Doctrines of Men, in order to prevent the half-hearted and unbelieving from coming near to Him during these Biblical Holidays! The Doctrines of Men serve as guards, to keep the unauthorised and unbelieving at arm's length.
For this same reason Father holds the eyes of all closed, even the eyes of His Disciples — that they might not 'know' Him — even as happened to the Disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:16). It is not until such time as Father allows, that ones eyes are opened (Luke 24:31). Thus many Scripture truths remain hidden to many, but opened and revealed to those who seek Father in Scripture, and who begin to walk with Yahushua, in obedience, even though remaining 'blind' in a sense.
It is for this reason also that Yahushua spoke in parables (Mark 4:11). The unauthorised would not understand, and so would not know Him in intimacy. Only those who earnestly seek Him, and who desire to have Messiah formed within them, will embrace obedience to His Word. It is only the fervent seekers who will overcome and prevail, and find victory over the many popular Doctrines of Men.
And so it is, that only the overcomers will press in to participate in these special days, in order to truly know the Bridegroom!
Hidden From ViewThus we see these Sabbath Days as a 'hidden' provision of the New Covenant, a provision found only by those who first become "DO-ers" of keeping the Biblical Sabbaths, and afterwards begin to understand the Scriptures about them (John 7:17). It is these, from whose eyes the scales fall, as happened to the apostle Paul; and whose eyes were opened, as happened to the Disciples on the road to Emmaus. It is these who diligently seek the Truths of the Scriptures, and who find them.
Yahuweh will open our eyes to understand, only after we have begun to walk in simple obedience to His Word, taking baby-steps to obey — even though we do not fully understand.
The understanding and knowledge of the Sabbath — as well as other hidden provisions and secrets of the Bridegroom found in Scripture — ultimately come to those who willingly obey, even while not understanding.
The knowledge and understanding come later, only after a time of obedience and testing. The truths of Scripture begin to be understood only after the seeker begins to walk in them, and as he seeks them out in Scripture, with wrestlings and prayer.
It is only through the narrow Way of obedience that the Bride will enter into the Marriage Covenant. The enablement for this obedience comes only by allowing 'Messiah-in-you' to become the ultimate identifying mark of the Bride.
In this way, all others will be identified by the absence of fullness of 'Messiah-in-you.' Father sees the avoidance of keeping His appointed times as a lack of voluntary obedience to Torah, showing Him that Messiah is not yet formed or manifest in that virgin.
Non-Believers and foolish virgins will choose to remain far away from these Marriage Betrothal encounters. Moreover, some of the foolish virgins will offer ridicule to those who would be among the Bride company, providing valuable opportunities for the Bride to exercise her overcoming abilities.
The JourneyWe are all on a journey, as the Prodigal Son returning to our Father. We have been living among the swine, as it were, but now it is time to return to our Father. We all begin our return-journey as a 'foreigner.' While we were yet sinners (transgressors of Torah - 1John 3:4), Father gave us His Forgiveness and our Redemption, by the shedding of the Blood of His Son.
When we return to Father, through the Blood of His Son, He then adopts us, and grafts us in, so that we are no longer foreigners, but a part of His Family, a part of His People. After grafting-in, we are no longer considered Jew or Gentile; all within the Body of Believers are grafted-in, and are called by the name 'My People Israel.' We are then expected to live as Israel, in obedience to the Scriptures, no longer living and walking as other Gentiles (Eph 4:17).
We must remember — there is only one New Covenant, and it is a covenant between Yahuweh and His People Israel. Yahuweh's New Covenant with Israel includes those grafted-in as wild branches, and those grafted-in as natural branches. After grafting-in, all of His Redeemed ones are then expected to grow in Grace, and learn how to walk in the New Covenant provisions Yahuweh has made with His People Israel (Jer 31:31-34).
Father also gives us of His Spirit of Holiness, even when we are still in our rebellion, in order to bring us along the Way. It is "Yahushua-in-us" who is The Way. He gives us His Grace – His enablement from within, as we allow Him to live in us – so that we might walk in obedience to the (new) yoke of bondage to Him, and to His (new) Covenant.
Of those Redeemed, a small number will seek, and find, and travel on the narrow Way. The majority, however, will continue to be deceived by their spiritual Leaders, who have taught them the Doctrine of Balaam (2Pet 2:15; Rev 2:14) — the man-made idea that the 'early' Words of Yahuweh have been done away with, in favour of only the 'later' Words. These will be as Ephraim — They have been redeemed, but continue to be disobedient (Hosea 7:11-14).
These of Ephraim had been redeemed, and are a prophetic picture and an example for us today, for we see in (Rev 7:5-8) that they are conspicuously absent from those who enter in to the City of the King, the Holy City, the close-in realm of the Kingdom.
So it is, that Father seeks a Bride for His son. The chosen Bride will be one who is not compelled to obedience externally, but who desires to give herself to obedience to her Bridegroom, from the desires of her own heart. It is because she first called His Sabbaths a pleasant, exquisite 'Delight' (Isa 58:13), that she later found the One in whom is all her Delight.
These are those whom the Father seeks, as the Father seeks a Bride for His Son.
Proceed to The The Wedding of the King's Son (A Parable).