I.   The prospective bridegroom took the initiative and traveled from his throne to the home of the prospective bride.

I.   God Himself came to earth to gain a bride for Himself.  (See Ephesians 5:25 - 28).

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

II.   The father of the woman then negotiated with the prospective bridegroom the price that must be paid to secure his bride.

II.   Christ had to pay the price with His own blood (1 Corinthians 6:19 - 20).

19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

III.   When the bridegroom paid the purchase price, the marriage covenant was thereby established.  At that point, the man and woman were regarded to be husband and wife even though no physical union had taken place.

III.   The belief has been declared to be sanctified, or set apart exclusively for Christ. (See Ephesians 5:25 - 28).

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

IV.   The moment the covenant was established, the bride was declared to be set apart exclusively for the bridegroom.  The groom and the bride then drank from a cup over which the betrothal benediction had been established.

IV.   Christ symbolized this marriage covenant through communion at the Last Supper.  (See I Corinthians 11:25).

25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

V.   After the marriage covenant was in effect, the groom left the home of the bride and returned to his fathers' house.  He remained there a period of twelve months separated from his bride.

V.   Christ retuned to His Fathers' house following the payment of His purchase price.  (See John 6:62).

John 6:62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?

VI.   During this period of separation, the bride gathered her wardrobe and prepared for married life.  The groom prepared living accommodations in his fathers' house for his bride.

VI.   Christ is preparing a place for His bride and is also sending pastors and teachers to perfect the bride for the coming wedding.  (See John 14:2; Ephesians 4:11 - 13).

VII.   After this period of separation, the groom, the best man and other male escorts left the house of the grooms' father, usually at night, and conducted a torch-light procession to the house of the bride.

VII.   Christ will soon come from heaven accompanied by an angelic host.  (See John 14:3). 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

VIII.   The bride was expecting the groom to come for her; however she did not know the exact time.  Thus the arrival of the groom was proceeded by a shout.

VIII.   Christs' return will be proceeded by a shout. (See I Thessalonians 4:16).  We expect his return, but we know not the day nor the hour.

IX.   The groom received the bride with her female attendants and returned to his fathers' house.

IX.   The bride will be caught up with the Lord to be with Him.  (See 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17). 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

X.   The bride and the groom then entered the bridal chamber, and in the privacy of that place, entered into physical union for the first time, and thereby consummating the marriage.

X.   Christs' union with the Church will take place in heaven for all eternity.(See 1 Thessalonians 4:17). and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

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