Cinderella, Are You Ready?
By Pastor F. M. Riley
Revised September 10, 2010
"An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah," Matthew 12:39.
"So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth [Succoth], and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city.
And the Lord God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd," Jonah 4:5-6.
In the last few days several of God’s people have written about "the sign of Jonah," pointing out that in the Book of Jonah there are possibly types and shadows of the end-times and the coming of the Lord. I have carefully read each of these articles, while asking the Lord for guidance and confirmation. This morning I received an email which gave me more insight into the "possibility" of the Lord’s coming for His people during these present Jewish holy days ending with the Feast of Tabernacles, exactly as I set forth in my recent study, Another View on the Last Trump. Praise the Lord! I want to share this insight with our readers.
Folklore, Myths, Fairy Tales, and Legends
Many years ago I came to realize that there is an element of truth hidden in the folklore, myths, fairy tales, and legends of the unbelieving lost pagan world.
For example, take the silly tale of…..
as an example. The so-called Superman came from another world into this one as a baby. In the tale Superman has superhuman strength and superhuman powers. He has X-ray vision which enables him to see right through walls, buildings, planes, etc. and look right into the hearts and minds of people. Superman can fly through the air, pass right through walls, and subdue anything and anyone with his mighty strength and power. He even has superhuman hearing, so that he can hear even a whispered conversation thereby knowing what people are doing in secret. And he cannot be killed. Bullets, swords, knives, and even bombs have no effect on him. I think this is a fairly accurate description of the fictitious Superman that exists in the wild tales of a lost world.
But now let’s look at…..
The real "Super Man"
The real "Super Man" is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ literally came from another world. Read John 17:5 and 2 Corinthians 8:9. When He came into this world, He entered this world as a baby. Read Luke 2:6-7. The Lord Jesus Christ has real supernatural powers that enable Him to look right into the minds and hearts of people. Read John 2:24-25. When the Lord Jesus Christ arose from the dead the Scriptures tell us that He "…..passed into the heavens….." "Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come." Read Luke 4:28-30, John 20:19, Colossians 2:15, Ephesians 1:19-21, and Hebrews 4:14. Our resurrected Lord can now fly through the air, pass
through walls, subdue anything or anyone with His mighty power, and in fact, is "…..upholding all things by the Word of His power," Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17. Even beyond this, as the Son of
God and heir of God He is now Lord over all, and ultimately "…..every knee shall bow….." to Him, and "…..every tongue shall confess….." that He is Lord, Romans 14:11; Philippians 2:9-11.
Need I labor the point any further? It is obvious that in the fictitious tale of "Superman" invented by unbelieving lost men is preserved a hidden shadow of our Lord Jesus Christ. The tale itself ought to direct "thinking" men to turn to and receive the true "Super Man" from Heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
Folks, I have found similar subtle truths to be hidden in most of the folklore, fairy tales, myths, and legends of men. I have come to believe that the Lord in His own majesty and power arranged it this way so that the lost world will be totally "without excuse" when they are called to appear before the Lord at their judgment. In every facet of life upon earth, mankind is constantly being directed to seek after the Lord. When the Apostle Paul preached to the pagan Athenians in Acts 17:24-28, he explicitly stated to them that the Lord "…..be not far from every one of us." Read the whole passage for yourself.
Now having made this explanation so that our readers will understand where I am coming from in this study, I want to remind our readers of another "fairy tale" which most adults today read from some children’s book when only a child. Let’s look briefly at the pagan fairy tale of…..
Cinderella and Prince Charming
It is not my intention in this study to relate the whole story of Cinderella and Prince Charming. Rather, I only want to briefly note those things in this fictitious tale which I feel can be used to emphasize real spiritual truth. Here is the gist of the story…..
Once there was a fine young prince in a great kingdom. He was strong, handsome, and filled with joy, except for one thing. He was terribly lonely because he didn’t have a soul mate [wife] as his companion. It was decided that a search would be made throughout the kingdom to find a suitable young lady to become the wife and companion of Prince Charming. In order to facilitate the search it was decided to have a great "ball" and invite all of the eligible young ladies in the kingdom to attend.
Omitting and skimming over many details, Cinderella, the poor humble servant, was magically given a beautiful gown to wear to the Ball. When she entered a carriage to go to the great "Ball," where she was to meet Prince Charming her carriage was magically transformed into a great pumpkin pulled by many white horses. She attended the "ball," met Prince Charming, and he was smitten with love for her. To make the story even shorter, omitting many details, Prince Charming and Cinderella ultimately married and "lived happily ever after." And so goes the tale…..
If any reader wants to know all the details in this story, then check through the children’s books in your local library until you find the story about Cinderella and Prince Charming and read it again for yourself. I have given only the details from this pagan tale that I want to use in this brief study. Now let’s expose these few details to the light of God’s Word and see what we find…..
The Lord Jesus Christ is the true believer’s "Prince Charming" [the Son of God] who came into this world to redeem fallen humanity and purge God’s Kingdom of sin and wickedness, Philippians 2:5-11.
While the Lord was here during His personal ministry, His Father in Heaven gave Him an espoused bride. Read the Law concerning the Hebrew slave in Exodus 21:1-6 and Deuteronomy 15:12-18.
The "Church of the Lord Jesus Christ" is the Lord’s "Cinderella"; His "espoused" bride, who will ultimately be married to Him following the resurrection and rapture of all New Covenant believers to glory, Acts 20:28; 2 Corinthians 11:1-2; Ephesians 1:6-14; Colossians 1:12-14; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Psalm 45:9-15. The inspired Word tells us that Christ Himself is "smitten" with love for His "espoused" bride, and is just as eager to come for her as she is to go to Him. Read the inspired account for yourself in the Song of Solomon, chapter 7.
When the resurrection and rapture takes place, the Lord’s church and people will find themselves dressed in beautiful white robes of "righteousness," even like the glorious garments of our Lord Himself, 1 John 3:1-2; Revelation 1:12-13; 19:8.
Also when the Lord’s people arrive in glory at the rapture, there will be a grand "ball" going on. It is called in the Scriptures "the marriage supper of the Lamb," Revelation 19:7-9. See also Matthew 22:1-14, and 25:10.
We also know from the Scriptures that when the Lord and His "wife" return to this earth to establish the Lord’s reign upon earth, they will all be riding "white horses," Revelation 19:11-16.
Folks, there is only one missing element in the story of Cinderella and Prince Charming, and that is THE TIME when Cinderella becomes the bride of Prince Charming. But perhaps there is even a clue given in that fictitious story. For that let’s take a look at…..
The Account of Jonah
The Book of Jonah is literally full of types and shadows setting forth dispensational truth. I have preached and taught the truths set forth in this book many times over the years, and every time I go over it the Lord graciously shows me something I hadn’t seen previously. How good and gracious is our God.
Jonah is a type of both Israel and the Lord Jesus Christ. For lack of time and space, in this study I am only looking at Jonah as a type of Israel. There is no question that Jonah was a true prophet of God, and I fully expect to meet him in glory one of these days. But Jonah, being a Jew, was very prejudiced against the Gentiles and especially against the Assyrians. The Jewish people had suffered bitterly at the hands of the Assyrian people over the centuries. So when the Lord commanded Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach to the Assyrians, Jonah at first rebelled because as he himself plainly stated, "…..I knew that Thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest Thee of the evil [the judgment that the Lord pronounced upon Nineveh]," Jonah 4:1-2. Jonah knew that if he preached the Word of the Lord to the Assyrians and they repented that the Lord would be merciful to them. Sure enough! They did repent and the Lord was merciful! That is the God we serve. Give Him glory!
After God spared Nineveh, the Scripture states, "So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth [succoth], and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city, 4:5.
Folks, this is exactly what the unbelieving Jewish people have been doing for centuries in relation to the whole Gentile world. They have been waiting to see what would become of the Gentiles, for in their supposed devotion to the God of Abraham they have convinced themselves that as a people they are far superior to and "more righteous" than the Gentiles can ever be. See Habakkuk 1:12-13, Luke 4:16-30, John 4:9, and 8:47-48 as examples of this truth. I am not saying this to put the Jews down or offend them in any way. They just need to read and believe their own Scriptures, Ecclesiastes 7:20. Every human being, Jew or Gentile, is by nature a lost sinner and stands in need of the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 3:9-12; 3:23; 6:23.
While Jonah was sitting in his booth [succoth] pouting, the Scripture states, "And the Lord God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd," 4:6.
Determining the Time Element
This may surprise some of our readers, but these two Scriptures [verses 5 and 6] hold clues to unlocking the "time element" in the Lord’s dealings with Israel and with His New Testament Gentile bride. Now let’s look at these clues……
The First Clue……. Jonah made a booth. The word translated as "booth" in this verse is the Hebrew word "sukka" [succoth]. The word literally means a booth or shelter constructed of branches, leaves, etc. for the purpose of dwelling in the open. See Gesenius Hebrew Chaldee Lexicon, page 585, Strong’s No. 5521. It is the exact same word translated as "booths" in Leviticus 23:39-43 where the Lord gave Israel instructions for the observance of the Feast of Tabernacles. The only time of the year when Israel was specifically commanded to dwell in "booths" was at the Feast of Tabernacles in the fall of the year. This is then an indication that Jonah himself may have concluded his ministry to Nineveh and built his "booth" in the fall of the year on or around the time of the Feast of Tabernacles.
The Second Clue…….After Jonah had built his booth the Lord caused a "gourd" to grow upon Jonah’s booth to give him shade from the heat of the Sun. The Lord Himself told Jonah that this "gourd" "…..came up in a night, and perished in a night." In the light of such passages as Romans 13:11-14 and 1 Thessalonians 5:1-7, much could be said about this statement. However, I want to concentrate attention just on the "gourd."
The word translated as "gourd" in Jonah 4:6-10 is the Hebrew word, "qiqayon." See Gesenius Hebrew Chaldee Lexicon, page 731, Strong’s No. 7021. The word literally refers to a cultivated plant still grown in the land of Israel and the Middle East today. There is some debate even today over the exact identification of this "gourd" plant. Some associate this plant with the cucumber, which in reality is a type of "gourd." But others identify it with various other "gourd" plants. Regardless of which "gourd" plant it actually is, in the field of botany the plant is regarded as a member of "the pumpkin family" of "gourd" plants. Hello! Did you catch that?
Folks, this "gourd" that grew up to shade Jonah was botanically a member of the pumpkin family. Wow! Anyone who has ever done any gardening should surely know that pumpkins have to be planted in the Spring after the soil has become warm enough, then they grow through the summer, and the pumpkin harvest is ready in the fall of the year right about the time of the Jewish holy days in their 7th month of Tishri ending with the Feast of Tabernacles. Hallelujah! Glory to God! Praise the Lord! Thank you Lord Jesus!
I have already pointed out in the pagan tale of Cinderella and Prince Charming the hidden parallel to the Biblical account of the Lord Jesus Christ and His "espoused" Gentile bride. Cinderella’s carriage that carried her to meet Prince Charming was a great pumpkin pulled by white horses. But how could her carriage have been a pumpkin unless "the great ball" was occurring in the fall of the year? The fall of the year is the only time of the year when pumpkins get ripe enough to harvest. Glory to God!
Cinderella in the pagan tale is a hidden type of the Gentile bride of Christ, the true church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Prince Charming in the story is a hidden type of our Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
Folks, even as Prince Charming took Cinderella to be his bride, so the Lord Jesus Christ is coming in to seek His "espoused," and take her back to His home in glory to become His bride, exactly as is prophesied in the living inspired Word of God. But when is Christ coming for His church; His "espoused" bride?
He is coming WHEN THE PUMPKINS ARE READY TO HARVEST! Now look around you today. Look in the grocery stores and the produce markets. Take a drive through the countryside and look at the fields where the farmers are harvesting the pumpkins. Hello! The harvest is ready! Significantly, we believers living today have now entered the Jewish holy days in the 7th month of Tishri on the Jewish calendar, which end with Feast of Tabernacles, a possible type of "the marriage supper of the Lamb" and certainly of the Millennial "rest" that all of God’s redeemed people will enter as Christ returns to the earth at the end of the Tribulation. Glory to God!
Folks, the churches today are filled with people who "profess" to be "Christians." But are they? Do you, dear reader, really know and have assurance that you are a true born-again believer, and ready to meet the Lord? The inspired Word tells us "…..to make your calling and election sure….," and to "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves, how that Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates." See 2 Corinthians 13:5 and 2 Peter 1:10. The sad truth is that those in the ranks of Christianity today who are not truly saved will not be taken in the rapture when the Lord comes for His own. So regardless of what you may "profess" or what "church" you may be a member of, my final question to every reader of this study is this…..
CINDERELLA, ARE YOU READY?
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"Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ," Acts 20:21
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Permission is granted to reproduce this study to share with others as the Lord leads, or to quote from it in context as written.
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All comments, questions, and correspondence should be addressed to: Pastor F. M. Riley, 184 County Road 108, Harrisburg, Missouri 65256, or I can also be contacted via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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