She is bringing her witness to her Bridegroom before all who are present and watching. She is vitally, actively, and romantically involved in all of the festivities. Here is the gist of the matter. The true Bride of Christ loves her Bridegroom! She knows that it may cost her her life to sign on the dotted line beneath that of her Bridegroom. But she signs her life away anyway. She is a Bride! She is prepared to testify of her love for her Betrothed, come what may. And our returning Messiah has a glorious plan for His saints. Out there in her future is a magnificent destiny that beggars description!
So as the Church comes towards the eventual Marriage Supper of the Lamb she is not to remain just a slave. And she is certainly not just a purchased concubine. Up ahead in a climactic marital ceremony with the returning King the true bride walks in beauty and in grace. She has committed herself to Him forever! This, dear saints, is what the end time drama is all about. Blood covenant commitment unto death is what makes genuine Christianity awesome beyond words.
A prospective Bride, God's covenant people, will be the prime witness when the Ancient of Days sits and the courts of heaven are opened. And if need be she will bring forth her witness walking through blood and fire, before men and angels. She will demonstrate this marvelous unconditional Agape love her Bridegroom gave her.
And she will do so as long as she has breath within her. Yes, true Christianity goes beyond the salvation "deal". This is a level of faith that is higher than the just a purchase of a cheap "ticket to heaven". Blood covenant issues will come up for consideration in those awesome future days of the final seven years of this age. The New Covenant involves a relationship with God that is far deeper and more awesome than we as westerners know. The blood covenant we have entered into with Jesus Christ goes beyond any business style "contract". It is not a "deal" that is canceled on a whim such as we have in our present day merchant society.
Blood covenant is an eternal "blood covenant unto death". Blood covenant means "blood for blood". It is like our marriage ceremony. It is "Until death do us part". This, dear saints, is the true "bottom line". The relationship of true Christians to Christ is just as deep and binding as that of any true bride with her bridegroom. Her level of commitment in the marriage covenant is total. It is not dependent on how the bride-to-be 'feels' about it at the time. The marriage covenant is a blood covenant written in eternity.
It is a relationship of total commitment unto death. Marriage was instituted by God. With that picture in mind, here then is the question. Having purchased our salvation with His blood is it likely that our Savior is going to set forth anything different to the patterns He has already instituted in marriage? Are the roles for the Bride of Christ and her Bridegroom to be any different to the pattern God has established in marriage?
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Is the Bride of Christ passive and out of the loop, as we see in the pre-tribulation rapture scenario? Is Christ, our Bridegroom, going to stroll in, sign and seal the New Covenant all by Himself, and then just go in and "pick up" the bride and carry her off without her knowing what is going on? The end time drama is all about the covenant business of the Most High God.
Blood covenant in relationships - Part 1
Is the Bride of Christ to be left out of the ceremonies? Is the Wife of the Lamb "out of the loop"? Messiah is surely coming back again to this earth. He will judge the wicked. Then He will be coming to gather His single Elect and take them off to His mansions in the glory. But how about this pre-tribulation Rapture of an unsuspecting uninvolved 'bride' leaving early without Israel? Does it sound like the way our God does things? Is this all there is to the execution of the New Covenant? Have we heard the 'rest of the story'? The basic question comes down to this. Is the Bride of Christ merely a "tag along" "do-nothing" sort of woman who waits around waiting to be picked up?
Is she just a purchased possession awaiting transport? Is she not personally involved with proceedings. Sort of like a concubine? Here is another question. Do things just "happen" to this would be bride? Do events happen to her without her knowing about it? Is she surprised by the return of Messiah as if He were a thief in the night? Or is that just the experience of the wicked?
Is the woman absent from the final witness and the final showdown of this age? An awesome Blood Covenant end-time drama in God is up ahead in our future somewhere. It will unfold in the fall feasts during the autumn of some future year. And holy history will come to its glorious climax. God is still on the throne.
He is the Source of all our personal and cultural inspirations. We have inspirations for adventure and inspirations for romance. Who put these holy desires and powerful emotions in the bosom of men and women? Was it not our Creator? Were we not created in His own image? Are we not called into a consecrated relationship characterized by fidelity and devotion in love?
HAS JESUS 'DONE IT ALL'?
Pick up any great novel. In any great adventure or romance do we not see that great love put to the test? Is such an idea really all that strange to us? Well here we are. In times to come things will change. Our faith and patience could suddenly be put to the test very dramatically. At some point in our lifetime we could find ourselves suddenly thrust into the climax of history.
As we look at the end-time truths outlined in holy scripture we can initially become quite alarmed. We might complain, "Nobody warned us! Some might snarl, "This is a raw deal! But it is entirely possible that many who call themselves Christians could walk out on God in times to come. Moses warned of this in his closing address to the Church in the wilderness. The Old Testament prophets said that just "a remnant would return".
Jesus said that "strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, and few that be that enter therein". Our Apostle Paul warned us that their would be a 'great falling away' from the faith or a 'great apostasy'. Let us pray it never comes to this. The movie, 'Runaway Bride' starred Julia Roberts. The image is by Paramount Pictures. But as Western Christian believers we must not be despondent or disheartened.
There is some exceedingly good news to report. Contrary to what we have been told, God, by His Holy Spirit will be with us! He will be covering us right through to the very last day. That is when our commission, the Great Commission, expires. There will in fact be an End-Time Revival.
BLOOD COVENANT IS A TWO WAY STREET.
This will turn out to be a serendipity. He is God Almighty, the God who was, is, and evermore shall be. He has expressed Himself abundantly and quite clearly over these past four millennia. His Good News is one of total commitment and lovingkindness. We cannot avoid it. End Time Holy history is up there in our future. It will turn out to be a grand adventure. It is also a divine romance. God is in control. He is the Sovereign of the cosmos.
And He has written the play ahead of time, even the romance of the ages. Many of these romance elements are seen in the Song of Solomon. Awesome realities are destined to unfold. Whether we like it or not, the scriptures tell quite a different story to what we have been told.
We , as Christian believers, are due to go up on the stage of history. This is the divine drama of the latter days. This is the high adventure and the divine romance in God. It goes far beyond the cheap, low grade melodrama churned out by Hollywood. It is a romance and an adventure far more wonderful than what we see today in the depraved and debauched culture of the west. And we shall be there, center stage, before kings and rulers, and before men and angels.
So the would-be Bride of Christ is in the loop here. And she faces a crucial 'choice'. What is she going to do? This will be the burning question in times to come. Is the Church to be unaware and passive in the Rapture, as our present day Bible prophecy teachings have suggested? Is the end time merely a boring, ho-hum story of survivalist Christians scurrying around like rats after being 'Left Behind'.
Or is the truth something entirely different? What does the Bible tell us? Might the true Bride of Christ have a vital, even magnificent, role to play in the end-time drama? Moses said that God will "call out" His remnant Elect, even "a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. He will draw them out of the present day Church and out of present day Israel. His true Bride will come into unity and restoration as a glorious remnant Elect in the crucible of the End-time.
Rather, this peace and unity will come in the refining of the gold the crucible of the end-time. This will be the glory of the end-time, even as pure gold that flows forth from the crucible. Messiah Himself, as the Refiner, will be the author and the finisher of our faith. And He will do this strange work in the drama of the end time. He Himself will work in the hearts of His people.
And by this inner working of the New Covenant He will bring about the re-union and restoration of all Israel. God is at work in His people even now. And in the fullness of time the true Bride of Christ will emerge. She is in the world now. But like Cinderella early in the story she is not too obvious right now. She has been kept out of present day proceedings.
But nevertheless, she must go up onto center stage in the times to come.
There she will bring her testimony before kings and rulers. The Church simply cannot be absent or passive in the end-time. She cannot just walk out on her Bride groom like that. She cannot 'go AWOL'. She must be present in the bridal proceedings. She is the key witness and key player in the unfolding of that climactic future time. Holy history will call for her 5th seal testimony. When the four horsemen have finished their ride through modern history and the first four seals and four horsemen have completed their run then the 5th seal 'final witness' of the Church will be called for.
This is what has been written in the scriptures. It is an essential part of the story. So here we see the Bride of Christ. There she stands before the watching world. What will she do? Will she try to escape from her glorious destiny? Or will she stay? Will she testify of her love for her Beloved? Will she sign on the dotted line next to the signature of her Beloved? And will she follow-up on the commitment she made in Word and in deed? We know the answer. The scriptures are clear. The true Bride of the Lamb will be seen in glory. And the Bride will most certainly bring in her witness.
And what a vision of splendor the watching world will see! Who shall wear the starry crown? Click on the image to go to 'the rest of the story'. Art used by permission of Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright Visit her 'Revelation Illustrated' website. We see the woman of destiny all through the scriptures. A wonderful picture of her is seen in the Song of Solomon.
We see an overcomer coming to her moment of victory. The daughters of Jerusalem are amazed. In wonder they ask, "Who is this who arises as the dawn, fair as the moon, bright and dazzling as the sun, and as awesome as an army with banners?! He gave His body and His blood for us.
What is a Blood Covenant?
He is worthy or our most ardent zeal and devotion. He came out of heaven and into our cosmos. We saw Him in the flesh as Jesus Christ. The prophets of Israel saw Him as the Light to the Gentiles. What can we say about our God? He is the Ancient of Days, the sovereign Ruler who oversees all history? Is He not the Author of all drama, even the end-time drama? Has He not written "The Play" in which we now finds ourselves taking a part?
And didn't He "write the Book" on romance which all others have had to either follow or to twist? As we come into the final acts of this age we need to ask ourselves some serious questions. God has always called for a witness among men for the great things He has done in His covenant.
Shouldn't we expect our God to continue to do this? Shouldn't we expect Him to remain true to His divine character? Isn't this Jesus Christ we see expressed in the Holy Scriptures "The same yesterday, today, and forever"? And our Lord Jesus is a gracious Bridegroom is He not? That being the case, wouldn't it be expected that the Father would call for a witness? And wouldn't He give the Bride an opportunity to have her say in the matter? Let's think about the Bride for a moment.
How would she be expected to feel about this? Wouldn't a true bride cherish an opportunity to bring her witness before those assembled, even before a cloud of witnesses? Wouldn't a true bride actually desire with great passion to testify of the love she has with her beloved? Would she not actually seek an audience before men and the watching angels? And wouldn't her testimony and her bridal witness set her apart from a purchased concubine. This is sad to have to report but nevertheless true. There are many power hungry Christian pretenders out there who are grasping the authority of Christ.
They are in this for the sake of gaining power. And they want the power for themselves. There are also may are the "gold-digger" or "cargo cult' Christians. These people are like Simon Magus who asked the Apostle Paul to give him the spiritual gifts for him to make money. These are those who follow the way of Balaam for filthy lucre.
Magnificent events are set to unfold the times to come. The final drama will be acted out. And the woman of Revelation 12 will unveiled in all her magnificence. She will be revealed for who she really is. The Bride of Christ is a company of saints destined for a holy city more glorious than we can presently imagine. John sees a vision of the harlot church in the end-time.
As the end-time drama unfolds it will be plainly seen to be a story of two women. One of them is true and faithful. The other is not. Even in the midst of her trials the true Bride is more precious than rubies. She is quite a bit different from that other woman, the partially committed two-timing harlot. John saw the harlot emerge riding a beast of ten horns. Then he saw her destroyed by fire. Revelation 18 And so it must come to pass that Christian history will eventually cross a new threshold.
What is a blood covenant in the context of Christianity?MannaEXPRESS
Those future days will call for a level of commitment we in the modern or post-modern western church have never seen before. Our present society loves to ask questions about "feelings". Many a news reporter has asked the question, "How do you feel about that? And we often make our decisions based on how we answer that question. OK, lets get "sensitive" here and explore our feelings. How would you feel if - you attended a wedding with a passive non responding bride? What if the girl was given no opportunity to show her face at the ceremonies. What if she refused to turn up to be pictured with her beloved?
What if she refused to sign and publicly witness the marriage covenant she had with her bridegroom before God and before men? What if the bridegroom alone signed the marriage document? How would you feel if you saw the bridegroom sign the register all by himself? Meanwhile, the would-be bride is just standing idly by, chewing gum and looking out the window. You are at a "wedding". But something is missing. You clearly observe that the woman has been given no chance whatsoever to make a public profession of her love and her commitment to her bridegroom.
The bridegroom signs the book then closes it shut. Then snatching his 'tag along bride' he hustles her out the door. This is a strange sort of wedding isn't it? The wedding ceremony has come to an abrupt end. The show is over. But the bride has not been given a chance to witness or demonstrate the love and commitment she has for her bridegroom!
Well here is the question. How would you feel about that sort of a wedding? Would that be OK do you think? Dear brothers and sisters in Christ. If we are true to our God then our commitment to Him will also be total and absolute. As Christian believers we are all members of the Body of Christ. We have been redeemed. We have been purchased by the shed blood of the Son of God. Our Bridegroom came to this earth 2, years ago. He came bearing the bridal price, the gift of our salvation.
Now we are saved! We are born again into a new Life in Him. We are His witnesses! Heaven and earth will be watching us as this age comes to its appointed climax. So how do we respond to this? Do we just slip the New Covenant in our back pocket and forget it? Do we continue to view it as just a "ticket to heaven"? Is this great salvation merely a modern version "indulgence" sold to the crowds by the lukewarm latter day Laodicean church? Do we tell our Savior, 'thanks very much', and then turning our back on Him just walk back out into the world to go about our own business?
Is our relationship with the Bridegroom just a one way street with Him giving His Life and blood and us just grabbing the "ticket to heaven" and walking off to pursue our own business? God forbid that we should accept that low grade ecclesiastical "deal". We have a far higher calling and more glorious destiny than that. We are invited into a marvelous Eternal Covenant with the Everlasting God. Our ticket to heaven is very wonderful.
But it is just the beginning of our great salvation. He paid the bridal price for our salvation. This is not just a reprieve from hellfire. It is the pathway to eternal glory! Our salvation came to us because of God's love. He was the One who sought us out while we were yet sinners. Are we not to bear witness to Him in this? God sows His Seed upon the earth and into the lives of His covenant people. There is a harvest. For some it is 30 fold, some 60 fold, and some one hundred fold. Our salvation is just the beginning! He plans for us to follow Him. The pathway leads through a strait and difficult gate and along a narrow way.
It is not the broad way. And yes, it can be a road of suffering. But nevertheless, this is the road to glory! It is the Paradise Road. In the Everlasting Covenant we are His body, - we are His bride. We belong to Him. Are we just to continue on as passive non-responding recipients of His bountiful gift of salvation?
Are we never to grow up into maturity in the faith? Our God is a gracious God. And yes, it is true that the bridal price has been fully paid. The bill was taken care of by the Bridegroom, our Redeemer. His blood purchased our redemption completely and totally at the cross of Calvary. We cannot add to that blood of atonement. All our human efforts towards that end are fatally flawed and totally useless. The blood He shed for us is holy. In purchasing this great salvation our Savior could receive no help from sinful men. All our attempts to render ourselves acceptable to God based on our own dead works are in vain.
As the scriptures state, "All our righteousness is as filthy rags". Jesus Christ, our Redeemer has paid the bridal price for His church. But here is the question that calls out for an answer. In the outworking of that Eternal Covenant is there not a new life stirring in the heart of the future bride? And in the day in which her witness of the covenant is called for will she not step forward and sign on the dotted line?
These matters should be self-evident. Is it not to be expected that there will be a response by the Bride to this magnificent work of redemption? Is our witness to that purchase agreement of no consequence? Once the bridal price has been paid to the Father of the bride and that legal issue is settled and concluded is that all there is to the Covenant? Is the wedding over? Or does not the bride too have her part to play in the co-signing and the sealing of the covenant?
Well this of course is the essential question and one that our western Church of Laodicea has tried to avoid answering. After all, will not God's covenant people be present at that magnificent celebration at the end of this present age? Will she not be present, and robed in glory, at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb? And if so, how did she emerge from a wretched and wicked world with such wonderful character?
The Holy Scriptures prophesy that our Bridegroom will sit at table with a glorious bride. She is in the picture, she is in the loop, and she is responsive to her Bridegroom. She is, in fact, a bride who has made herself ready. AS Christian believers we are not passive in this Eternal Covenant.
By the Holy Spirit we are revived. The Life of Christ stirs within us, wooing us, drawing us onward towards the gates of glory. And we awaken, as if from a dream. We may have once been lost and drifting down the river like the Lady of Shalott Gomer. But now, in Christ, things have changed. And in His Presence we enter into a serendipity. Oh yes, we now know that as Christian believers coming to the end of the age our lives are in jeopardy.
But wonder of wonders! We find that we are now more alive than we have ever been before. In a divine epiphany we become aware of things happening around us that are exciting and unexpected. We have entered into a blood covenant. It is the same Eternal Covenant which Abraham our father knew. And in that blood covenant we discover that we are far from passive. And as the latter days draw near we have a vital and essential role to play.
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Our witness is being called for. And now we are being beckoned to the stage of history. There are two sides to any blood covenant agreement. This includes the Abrahamic Covenant which is ultimately fulfilled in the New Covenant. In our western church today there is almost no teaching on our faith as a two way blood covenant relationship with God.
Instead the New Covenant has been rewritten in the merchant language of contract law. In "the deal" we are taught that Jesus gave His all. Only the blood of God Himself could wash away sin permenantly. The most interesting blood covenant is the marriage covenant. It is supposed to be a blood covenant. However, most people now enter into blood covenant with a person they are not married to, nor will ever be married to.
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That is messed up. Many are in blood covenant with someone they are not even married to, and are not in blood covenant with the person they are married to. Not the way God intended it. Actually, scripture does not teach that marriage is a blood covenant, no animals were sacrificed, and neither does the taking of a young woman's virginity establish a marriage covenant. Furthermore, marriage covenants are established in different ways in different cultures. The original poster was correct in noting that there were many different types of covenants in the ancient near-east, of which blood covenants were one type.
But marriage is not a blood covenant. Marriage is a covenant, but it is not a blood covenant. The Bible teaches us that the life is in the blood Lev When we and ancient cultures ratified an agreement by shedding blood, we were saying that our life depended on this agreeement. These agreements are also known as contracts or treaties. The shaking of hands or the signing of a contract with ink on paper are all variations of the ancient blood covenants.
We just don't take them as seriously. When God entered into a blood covenant as with Abraham in the Old Testement, it was considered not only a matter of life and death, but eternal, because God was involved in the agreement. Man's blood was shed through circumcision of the flesh and God's blood was shed substitutionally through the animals.
God promised to protect Abram, grant him a family larger than all the stars that he could count in the sky, give his family a large area of land to live on, and they would become a great nation whose descendants will bear kings and ultimately the Messiah. If they took part in the covenant and broke it, then the was penalty death. A blood covenant was not entered into lightly.
This is all recorded in Genesis chapters This particular covenant is still valid today. People all over the world, mostly Jews, continue participating in it. Entering into a solemn promise with God is always a good thing. A pure virgin firstling of the flock is chosen to die for the sins of its owner. The blood is poured out onto the alter and the body is broken, then burned on the alter. This ritual is a foreshadowing of the perfect and complete sacrifice to be made for us by our Messiah.
More than a thousand years later, along comes Jesus our Messiah. He is from the flock of Israel, the firstborn in his family, unblemished and perfect. Jesus is referring to the prophecy about him in Jeremiah This passage is paraphrased in Hebrews I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.