The Bride and the Holy Spirit.
A picture of what the Holy Spirit is about TODAY around the earth…..
Once upon a time in a far off country, in a small town there was a young man who loved a young girl. He only had eyes for her. Each time he saw here something happened inside him an emotion would rise up that was so exquisite he never wanted to loose it. He would dream of her and see them together for the rest of their lives. The marriage customs of this country are different from our own. The young man knew that he had to speak to his Father about this girl, that he wanted to marry her, once this happened then his father would approach the girls Father and begin marriage negotiations. This is what he was so nervous about, would the girls father agree to starting proceedings, if he did his greatest fear then was whether of not she would drink the cup of acceptance at the betrothal feast. They had managed to speak to one another on quite a few occasions, as he carried her eathernware water pot for her from the well to her home. He sensed that she liked him, they laughed and smiled together as they walked home. They used to take their time. On several occasions they had actually sat down and leant against a wall of a house on the street where she lived to linger in one anothers company.
He plucked up the courage to speak to his father. His father agreed to speak the the girls father. Several days later the young man received the news that the girls father had agreed to prodeed with wedding plans, he was so relieved. Now the pressure was on for he and his father to organise a feast as lavishly as possible to impress the girl and her family. It was during this feast that he would also read out the marriage contract or covenant stipulations that he had to draft according to custom. This he could do easily, well he thought so, because this covenant was all about what he promised to do for her. Nevertheless it would be regarded as a legal document and she could hold him legally responsible to fulfill them! But of course he would he loved her so much. The thought went through his mind why the girl did not have to promise anything regarding him. But it did’nt bother him.
Finally the day of the feast came and he stood shaking with nerves as his father opened the dooor and the girl and her family entered. Everyone was so wonderfully dressed, she particularly was unbelievably beautiful, he stood staring all protocal went out of his mind! During the meal everone began to relax. Topics of conversation were readily at hand, it was only a small town and most people knew one another to some extent or other…..the gossip columnists would have had a field day!
Gradually the moment arrived for the official proceedings and the young man stood to read his covenant of proposal of marriage. With a dry throat and shaking knees he began to read out the stipulations he had composed. He confirmed his name and his brides name and the dates then went on to say that on entering holy covenant of marriage before these witnesses; “ I betroth you to me forever. I betroth you to me in everlasting faithfulness. In the spirit of our customs and tradition, I will be your loving friend as you are mine. Set me as a seal upon your heart, like the seal upon your hand, for love is stronger than death. And I will cherish you, honor you, uphold and sustain you in all truth and sincerity. I will respect you and the divine image within you. I take you to be mine in love and tenderness. May my love for you last forever……” finally after making more promises he ended by saying; “this ketubah (marraige covenant) has been witnessed and signed according to the laws and traditions that began with Abraham and Sarah and continued through Moses and the people of Israel. It is valid and binding.”
He continued to stand, the atmosphere was electric. His father passed a cup of wine to stand in place infront of the bride, would she accept by drinking or would she leave the cup alone. All eyes were on her. What would she do? She looked up and they looked at one another, a smile grew across her face, the one he had seen so often. She reached out her hand and touched the cup, then she clasped it and lifted the rim to her lips, she drank, the room erupted in applause and shouting. The young man nearly collapsed on the floor, he staggered aginst his father tears of joy and relief streaming down his cheeks. They were now legally bound in marriage to one another.
Custom allowed them to have some moments alone together before the parting. A parting that would be at least twelve months. Custom prescribed this time apart for a number of reasons. Firstly the young man had to build a new home for he and his bride, within which he had to furnish the bridal chamber for their nuptuals. Apart from this construction he had to work to put aside enough money to be able not to work for a whole year and to pay the costs of their honeymoon which was to last as long. Finally he was expected to lavish his bride with gifts during the seperation, such as providing a whole new wardrobe for her. Then there was the seven day wedding feast to provide for. Another reason for the customary twelve months was give time to reveal whether she was pregnant or not.
Nevertheless the hardest part was the parting. As they clung to one another in a final embrace he said, ‘I will ask my father to send you my wine skin for you in remembrance of me, to comfort you when you are lonely or want me, hug it, take a drink, it will ease your soul as you wait. I shall not drink of any wine until I meet with you in our home. I shall come back for you and take you to be with me, you will know when.’ Then they part and would not see one another again for a whole year.
When Jesus parted from his bride, represented by his disciples, he said he would ask his Father to send a comforter to them, lit. in Gk: ‘one just like himself.’ Let not your heart be troubled: believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I come again, and will receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:1-3
Jn.14:15-18 If you love me, you will (want to) keep my commandments (covenant). And I will pray (ask) the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth: whom the world (those who are not married to me) cannot receive; for it beholdeth him not, neither knoweth him: you know him; for he abideth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you desolate: I come unto you. (authors comments in brackets.)
Isn’t this beautiful, Jesus told his bride that his Father would send a comforter, who would release the love of the bridegroom in the heart of the bride. It would be as if he had never left! The experience of love does not need physical manifestations, although they are wonderful at the human level, but the real intoxication of love is on the inside, in the spirit where His spirit meets the spirit of the bride, this union fires the emotions and new highs of passion can be felt. wow! This is total completeness, total oneness. The experience of His love released in the heart of the bride (Rom.5:5) by his (Holy) Spirit is as great as the deep passionate kisses of his mouth which releases an intoxication more pleasurable than drinking wine, so says the bride in the Song of Solomon, (chapter 1: 2) and he will remain with the bride forever! Paul writes about it this way; ‘do’nt get drunk with wine….but ever be filled and stimulated by the Spirit.’ Eph.5:18 (Amp.)
Because of the legally binding marriage covenant the bride has entered into by drinking of the cup of acceptance, she really is married from this point. So it is with Jesus as the bridegroom, the moment you agree to receive Him as your Lord and Saviour, you accept the covenant he has made with you, which is legally binding on Him, sealed by His Spirit combining with your spirit. Eph.1:13-14 ‘…you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is an earnest (down payment) of your inheritance…’
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus living on the inside of you. Jesus will meet with you bodily when he comes to take you to the wedding feast, in the mean time he remains with you by his Spirit. He is your husband the one from whom you receive councel, he has promised to bring you into all truth, reveal the truth of His kingdom to you. He has promised to speak to you, be your helper, advocate, intercessor. He gives you His peace, the peace that only completeness in union with him can bring. John.14:26,27. He will speak with you, guide you and lead you. You are now a citizen of his kingdom, his bride, all you will ever need, spirt, soul, body…healing and financial provision is now his responsibility. Do you think a newly married bride is anxious? no!…’as long as we are together,’ is her only desire. A bride is to live by having faith in her new husband! Knowing the legal security of the covenant, that promise of provision, frees the her to relax and enjoy the intimate union.
Jesus said: Therefore I say unto you, be not anxious for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor yout for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the food, and the body than the raiment? Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value then they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto the measure of his life? And why are you anxious concerning raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: yout I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayoud like one of these. But if God doth so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Be not therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. But seek you first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matt.6: 25-33.
The Spirit of Jesus enables you to have a closer relationship with him and His Father, this is expressed by the word prayer, but the context gives it specail meaning. Jesus said: ‘But you, when you pray, enter into you inner chamber, and having shut the door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret shall recompense you openly.’ Matt.6:6 By using the language of an inner chamber, he defines this as your bed chamber, thereby expressing the desire for intimacy. The Holy Spirit is the one who comes along side you and moves you into the presence of the Father of the bridegroom, Father God Himself so He can enjoy your company.
During the twelve months of the parting, the bride is to busy herself preparing for her husband. She would hone her culinary skills and take much more notice of her mothers teaching about homemaking. The godly wife described on Prov.31 is quite an industrious woman. She is a business woman as well. Therefore the bride would learn skills so she could help run her husbands or her own business or as in this case the bridegrooms business was his Fathers business. Working with her husband may require special gifts which she could learn and put into operation during this period. As already alluded to above, the bridegroom would consistently furnish his bride with gifts during their parting. The bridegroom has sent gifts, imparted by the Holy Spirit, to his bride to enable her to be about ‘His Father’s business,’ during the parting.
‘therefore it is said when He ascended on high, He led captivity captive and bestowed gifts on men. His gifts were some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and some teachers, for the equipping of the saints….’ Eph.4:8,11(Amp.) ‘Having gifts that differ according to the grace given us, let us use them; (He whose gift is) prophecy, (let him) prophesy according to the proportion of his faith. (He whose gift is) practical service, let him give himself to serving, he who teaches to his treaching, etc. Rom.12:6-8 (Amp.) The gift of speaking in other tongues also is given so she can build herself up in her faith. Jude.20.
The Holy Spirit is the presence of Jesus in the hearts of every true believer. He is in the believer rather than with the believer as Jesus was ‘with’ his disciples. Jesus said that it was needful for him to part, not only to fulfill what was right before his Father, but that so the Holy Spirit could come and prepare the bride for the wedding nuptuals and a future together, ruling and reigning in heaven. The bride would also be enabled by the Holy Spirit be about His Fathers business, doing the works he did and greater ones. He also said to his disciples that if you have seen me you have seen the Father. This preparation of the bride through the work of the Holy Spirit, should intensify as the wedding day approaches, this also means that through the bride you should get a glimpse of the bridgroom!