Wedding Garments – Like Queen Esther, We Need to be Dressed by the King’s Helper – February 2013

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by Batya and Angus Wootten

“The Banquet is ready, the Bridegroom, He cometh.
The Banquet is ready, the Bridegroom, He cometh.
Wedding garments, wedding garments,
Do you have on your wedding garments?
(From the song, “The Bridegroom Cometh” by Batya Wootten, © 2000-2013).

Many Believers teach about the Bride of Messiah and our coming wedding, but two important points are often left out of most scenarios:

The role of New Jerusalem and our required wedding garments.

New Jerusalem is said to be “the Bride of the Lamb,” we are called to be her “watchmen,” moreover, we are called to be one with her. Therefore, we cannot logically leave out New Jerusalem, nor our call to protect her, out of our “Bride Theories” (Psalm 122:6; Isaiah 62:1-7; Revelation 21:9).

In addition to this point is the fact that Messiah Yeshua warned that we will not be allowed to stay at the wedding if we are not properly dressed. Thus, we might say that our “dress code” here on earth will have much to do with this coming wedding.

Our required clothing is described in one of Messiah Yeshua’s parables:

“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come. Again he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.”‘”

“But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them. But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire. Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’

Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests. But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ëBind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:1-14).

Our Messiah compared the Kingdom of our God to a wedding feast. In His parable, the king’s servants were told to go into the highways and invite whosoever they could find to the wedding feast, and they found attendees – both evil and good. Then, when the king came in to visit with the dinner guests, he came upon one who was not dressed in wedding clothes. When questioned about how he had gained an entrance, the man was speechless, and the king had him thrown out, into the outer darkness.

This parable describes the state in which we now find ourselves: The wedding has not yet begun, the Messiah’s servants are busy inviting whomsoever they can find to the coming wedding feast. And, the guests among whom we all must wait consist of both evil and good. The Greek word translated “evil,” or “bad,” speaks of hurtful influence, degeneration of character, working mischief, malice, wickedness (Strong’s # G4190.)

Even so, there are some among those who await the Marriage Supper of the Lamb who work evil and are not properly dressed. But rest assured that they will one day be silenced by the Master.

Appropriate Clothing
Our God wants His children to be appropriately clothed. We see His concern for how we are arrayed in that, once Adam and Eve sinned, He “made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21). This first mention of clothing in Scripture reveals that our sin must be covered – and that our God is the One who offers us that covering

We again see the Holy One addressing clothing in Exodus 28. There, He gave detailed instructions about the way His priests are to be arrayed. Their clothes were called kadosh, or holy garments. Each item had special meaning, one article being an ephod, which the High Priest was to wear when he appeared before the Almighty in the Holy of Holies. His breastplate had twelve engraved stones set in it, one for each of Israel’s tribes. On each shoulder of his prescribed garment was placed a single stone, each one engraved with the names of six of Israel’s twelve tribes.

As Believers in the Messiah, we are called to be a “kingdom of priests.” Like the priests of old we are called to minister to our God (1 Peter 2:9-10). The priest’s breastplate teaches us how to do that, for, it depicts the truth that concern for the well being of all twelve tribes must always be on our hearts. We cannot choose only one tribe, or only one house, but must instead realize that we are a nation of many different tribes. We are two houses that are being called to a holy reunion. And for now, we must stand as intercessors before the Almighty, ever reminding Him of His beloved nation. As members of Messiah’s Body, the burden of the restoration of all Israel rests squarely on our shoulders (Isaiah 8:14; Ezekiel 37:15-28). To have a lesser attitude indicates that we are not properly dressed.

Clothed With Salvation

   The Holy One promised that He would one day clothe the priests of Zion with salvation. Messiah Yeshua is “Salvation” (Psalm 132:13-16; Matthew 1:21). Isaiah said of Him, “I will rejoice greatly in YHVH, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels” (Isaiah 61:10). Our God wants to wrap us in beautiful robes of righteousness – to even adorn us a bride.

When we are baptized into Messiah, we are “clothed with Messiah” (Galatians 3:27). We buy from Him, without cost, white garments to cover our nakedness. We are then called to walk with Him, dressed in white robes. The Word reveals that it is given to us to be clothed in fine linen, bright and clean, for “fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints” (Revelation 3:4,18; 7:9; 19:8,14).

How can we know if we are actually dressed in fine linen? After all, there are many opinions among Believers about what constitutes “righteous acts.”

The answer to our inquiry is suggested in the story of Queen Esther.

In Esther 1-2 we read that Queen Vashti refused to appear before King Ahasuerus. So his attendants advised that he replace her and that beautiful young virgins be sought for him to choose from. During this same time, a Jew named Mordecai was bringing up Hadassah, or Esther, his uncle’s daughter, because she had no father or mother.

Esther was very beautiful, and in response to the king’s decree, Mordecai took her to the citadel of Susa and gave her into the custody of the king’s eunuch, Hegai. Esther soon found favor with Hegai, the king’s assistant and personal helper.

Each of the young virgins that had been gathered from all over the land went through twelve months of beautification: six months with oil of myrrh and six months with spices and cosmetics.

Each young lady would go in to the king in this way: anything that she desired was given her to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace. In the evening she would go in and in the morning she would return to the second harem, and she would not again go in to the king unless the king delighted in her and she was summoned by name.

However, when Esther’s turn came to go in to the king, she did not request anything except what Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who was in charge of the women, advised. Thus Esther found favor in the eyes of all who saw her. When she appeared before the king, he loved her more than all the women, and he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen.

Our King’s Helper

What point do we need to see in this story?   “When the turn came for Esther…to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king’s eunuch… suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her” (Esther 2:14-15).

We too serve a king who is looking for a Bride who will follow His commands. And, He similarly has a “Helper,” Who is the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit – and He well knows what pleases our King.

Messiah Yeshua said of Him, “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” And, “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me.” “When He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7-8).

Esther allowed the king’s helper to choose how she would be clothed, and she was thus empowered to please the king. She caught his eye because the king’s helper knew what the king liked. And he graciously advised the one virgin who sought his council about how to dress herself.  We must be like Esther if we are to catch the eye of our King and bring Him pleasure, the Ruach HaKodesh must be the one who chooses how we are to be clothed. It is He who must lead us in our search for robes of righteousness.

Esther’s appearance on the scene resulted in the salvation of the Jewish people of her day. So it will be for a returning virgin Israel that is wise enough to allow the Ruach to choose her garments (Jeremiah 31:20-21; Zechariah 10:7).

The Problem…

BrideIn Esther’s day, the problem was that all of the virgins in the land had their own ideas as to how they should be clothed for the king – which ultimately led to their dismissal. The same is true for some today. They have their own ideas of how they are to be dressed – especially when it comes to a “move of the Spirit.” They decide. They do not look to the Ruach for wisdom.

Based on bad experiences, real and/or imagined, many do not want to have anything to do with the Holy Spirit. However, we must have the help of the Ruach if we ever hope to be the Bride of the Messiah of Israel.

We do not want to displease our King; and we do not want to be improperly dressed, nor be dismissed to the outer darkness. Instead, we want to be a beautifully arrayed bride, and this will require that we seek advice from the King’s Helper. Wisdom dictates that we ask Him to clothe us from on High.

The Speechless Ones

In Messiah Yeshua’s wedding parable, the king asked the man without wedding garments, “Friend, how did you get here without wedding clothes?”

When asked this question by the master, the man was “speechless.”

While we await our coming Bridegroom, there will be some who will trouble us and try to influence us to believe lies about our King. They will try to work their mischief and tell us that our King is not YHVH in the flesh, but that He is some lesser being. However, we who know Him know that He is “YHVH, our Holy One, the Creator, and our King” (Isaiah 43:15; John 1:1-5; 19:19).

When these errant ones stand before Him, they will then be speechless, their wagging tongues stilled in His Eternal Presence. They will also be speechless because they do not have a proper “testimony” about Him (Revelation 12:11).

With head knowledge alone they know about the wedding time and the wedding place, but they have never met the Bridegroom face to face.

Such people have not been washed in the blood of the Lamb. They have not put on the Messiah. They are not arrayed in His white robes of righteousness. A day is coming, friends, when head knowledge about the King will not suffice. A day is coming when all will have to be dressed in His freely given blood washed white linen.

The only way to obtain these precious garments is through true repentance. White robes are given without cost to those with truly repentant hearts.

Arrayed From On High

Messiah Yeshua said of the Holy Spirit, “Behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed/ endued/arrayed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).

We need the power of the Spirit in this hour. We need to hear the voice of the Ruach as He whispers in our ear, “This is the way, walk ye in it.” We need to be able to speak the wisdom of the Ruach to our beleaguered Jewish brothers who live in the Land. Most importantly, we must realize that our Father says the good things happen to Israel in the last days, will be done, “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty” (Isaiah 30:21; Zechariah 4:6).

We must not resist a much needed move of the Ruach because some have abused the idea in the past. People have used and abused the eternal truths of Torah and we do not throw out its wisdom – and neither should we resist a true move of the Holy Spirit. To make it through the hard times of the end, we must be clothed with power from on High and not be self-willed virgins who feel we know best. We want to instead yield ourselves to the wisdom of “The King’s Helper.”

Let us therefore beseech the Ruach HaKodesh to choose proper wedding garments for us at this time. Surely He will choose only the best for us.

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In Blessed Memory

With heavy heart we must report that Sheila Yaniv, wife of our beloved friend, Col. David Yaniv has gone on to Glory (01/13/13). With tears of joy we think of how happy the two of them must be to be reunited in Eternity!

Sheila often wrote and called to thank us for the help, especially during her season of widowhood. Now, we want to sincerely thank every one of you for your help for both David and Sheila. Without you, we could not have done it. Please know that both of them were always deeply grateful for the help you gave them. And now, we have one final request:

We want to place a fitting Memorial Stone on their graves that will honor this precious couple. We want it to be as special as were these two Pioneers in the faith. If you can help us with this project, it would be greatly appreciated. We will work with their son  – who also has expressed his heartfelt thanks for your help.

In addition, we added pictures to honor Israel to Nancy Honeytree’s classic song “Pioneer.” David’s picture can be seen with some of the “Pioneers” who helped to settle the Land. Please visit our site and see this stirring song:http://www.redeemedisrael.com/song-videos/.

To help with their Memorial, you can still donate to their name on our website, or you can send a check and specify the amount you want contribute.

May Abba openly bless you for helping us to help this precious couple!

Passover is coming and the best-selling book,
Israel’s Feasts and their 
Fullness – Expanded Edition, explains Israel’s feasts like no other book!

Inspiring and unique in its presentations, you will be greatly encouraged in your faith with this work! You will even see both houses of Israel in the feasts!

February Special:

Israel’s Feasts and their Fullness book, 
plus complimentary printed copies of four brochures from the book: Shabbat, Havdallah, Four Passovers, and the Messianic Jewish Seder. These brief and informative brochures will fit nicely in your Bible.

   A $25.00 value, Special Price: $20.00

Includes US shipping.

To order, see “Monthly Special” at www.redeemedisrael.com

Or call 800-829-8777

2012 MIA Gathering DVD’s!

Good News! We finally have six DVD’s available from the 2012 Gathering in Orlando. They are  of excellent quality. Unfortunately the way the video camera was set up it did not record copies of slides some speakers used to illustrate their talk. But great pictures of the speakers and excellent sound.

DVD #1 August 31, 2012 (EVENING)
Angus Wootten, Natan Lawrence, Batya Wootten, John Conrad

DVD #2 September 1,2012 (SHABBAT MORNING)
Wally Smith, Frank Houtz

DVD #3 September 1, 2012 (SHABBAT AFTEROON)
Natan Lawrence, Sandi Lawerence, MarvinTaylor, Monty Stratton

DVD #4 September 1st (EVENING) & September 2nd (AFTERNOON)
Craig and Jan O’Dell, Rich Altom. Dan Collier

DVD #5 September 2nd, (AFTERNOON AND EVENING)
Theresa Miles, Dennis Northington, Drs Georgina andAlex Perdomo, Batya and Angus Wootten. Daniel Calderon and Marvin Taylor.

DVD #6 Worship and Dance

To order DVD’s go to Teachings DVDs at the ARI Marketplace. Or phone 800.829.8777

 

Announcing the…
  
For more information and to register go to Events at redeemedisrael.com