Preparing for the Wedding Day, Part 5
We want to look at what we need to do to prepare for this most important day of our lives. The days between the Spring Feasts and the Fall Feast days are the days that we are in now, the days of preparation. Yeshua (Jesus) died and rose and ascended and sent His Holy Spirit during the Spring Feasts; the Fall Feasts of Rosh Hashanah (trumpets), Yom Kippur (atonement), and Sukkot (the ingathering) are all about His second coming. There is a 30 day period before the Fall Feasts begin. This is the time to prepare our hearts. We are going to look, at this time, on how to prepare for not only these symbolic feasts, but for when Yeshua comes back to fulfill the days of His second coming.
For the thirty days leading up to Rosh Hashanah, we blow the shofar (the ram's horn) and recite, "Awake, you who are sleepy and consider your deeds." Paul tells us in Romans 13:11, "And this do, knowing the time that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we first believed." And again Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:14, "For this reason it says, ‘Awake, sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Messiah will shine on you.'"
So we must first wake up. This is a spiritual awakening of one's soul. Yeshua tells the parable of the Prodigal Son which Luke records in chapter 15. In verse 17 we read, "But when he came to his senses...". This is the same as waking up! What happened next in the parable is that after he woke up, He said, "I will go to my father, and I will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight.'"
When Yeshua began His ministry, the first teaching was to repent! Why? Because the kingdom was at hand. We find this same message taught by the apostles in Acts 3:19: "Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord." So we must repent. Repentance is exactly as the scripture tells us: a turning around. We have been going away from God and now we must return like the prodigal son back to the Father.
So after we awaken our soul and repent, then what? Luke 10:27 records a story about a lawyer who asks Yeshua, "What must I do to have eternal life?" Yeshua asks him, "What do the Scriptures tell you? You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." Yeshua tells the people as recorded in John 14:15, "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." As we go down our list we find that we must love God, not from our head but from our hearts deep within us. This message about love is very important because God is love and we His people must love as He loves. The apostles are recorded as praying and telling the people to love (Ephesians 4:15, Philippians 1:9, 1 Thessalonians 3:12, 2 Peter 3:18).
We read in Revelation 19:8 about the bride who has made herself ready: "And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints." Every bride wants to look beautiful on her wedding day and, of course, her dress helps her to look her best. We see here from the scriptures that the Bride of Messiah will be dressed in fine linen. Why fine linen? This is the same dress of the priesthood. They were dressed in fine linen and the High Priest was adorned with jewels on the ephod with gold medallions. Peter tells us that we are a royal priesthood. Paul tells us that we are to lay down our lives on the altar as living sacrifices as our spiritual worship, all of this a reference to the work of the priesthood who, by the sacrifices, took part in helping the offerer to draw near to God.
So what are these righteous acts? Yeshua tells His disciples in John 15 how to go about doing those righteous acts. He tells them that they need to abide in Him because without Him we can not do anything. He said, "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me will bear much fruit."
What if we don't? "If anyone does not abide in me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dried up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire." Yeshua goes on, "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love." He goes on, "This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you." Paul tells us in Galatians 6:9, "Do not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary." So we see that we are well dressed when we do good and abide in God, keep His commandments, and love one another as He has loved us.
And how do we do that? Yeshua told His disciples that He would ask the Father to send the Holy spirit, who would help us to walk in truth. Paul tells us in Galatians 5, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no need for the law. Now those who belong to Messiah Yeshua have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit." So let us live by the Spirit.
We have been looking at preparing for the wedding day. I hope you have considered it and you are preparing for that day. Is your name written in the Lamb's Book of Life? Have you made your garments white? Not sure? Then hear the sound of the trumpet and, "Awaken from your sleep and consider your deeds; remember your Creator and go to Him for forgiveness. Don't be like those who miss reality in their hunt after shadows, and waste your years in seeking after vain things which can neither profit nor deliver. Look well to your souls and consider your deeds; let each one of you forsake his evil ways and thoughts, and return unto the Lord, so that He may have mercy on you."
Awake, return, love God and neighbor (commandments), do good, and walk in the Holy Spirit: these will help you to prepare.