*All scripture references are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.
“Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me saying, ‘Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife’ (Rev 21:9-10).
Who is the Bride whom the Lamb will take for His wife? Will all born again Believers be a part of the Bride? Or, will all the various churches and denominations be a part of the bride as well? Again, who is she, or where is she found? John saw her from this great and tall mountain, but he gives no description of her to speak of.
When one attends a wedding, isn’t it the beauty and purity of the bride that captivates the hearts of the people? Is it not the beauty and the purity of the bride that qualifies her to be betrothed to her husband? She seeks no other, but is unconditionally dedicated to her beloved. Her one goal is to adore, honor, bless and serve him. In a wedding there is but one bride, yet many guests.
In like manner, Jesus will have but one wife, one that resigns her whole life to His service. It matters little how well received or highly acclaimed one is found among people. For, if our dedication to Christ is conditional it then disqualifies us from being numbered among His. Her affections do not vary or change with the seasons; rather her affections remain constant toward Him. He will never accept a wife whose affections are divided.
We are entering a day where the voice of the Bride is being heard, even though most ignore it:
“And I heard as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, ‘Alleluia! For the Lord Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.’ And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then He said to me, write, ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ And He said to me, ‘These are true sayings of God’ (Rev. 19:6-9).
Because she at times does not seemingly qualify to be hosted among the esteemed or elite among God’s people, her voice is often being ignored even as it thunders and crashes like waves against the sea shore. Because she is unassuming and largely unrecognized among the multitudes, many are ignoring her message. But her appeals come out of the simplicity of the humble heart, which often runs contrary to the intellectual and rational minds of our day. Despite her simplicity, her message is pure, unadulterated, and uncompromising. She is separated, sanctified, holy, and without spot or wrinkle. She rarely sits well within society at large—even in the church. Yet she is not legalistic, nor is she a moral watchdog, but her adoration and affections toward her Bridegroom remain unchangeable, reflecting the fine linen in which she is arrayed.
Her obedience is paramount; it does not falter in hard times nor in times of prosperity. She does not need the benefits of tribulation to keep her close to her Bridegroom, for she maintains a constant and intimate relationship with Him under all circumstances. Her affections for Him never vary. It is for this reason that Christ commanded us; to remember “Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:28-33). She, with her family, was on the way to the mountains, escaping the judgment coming upon Sodom (a foreshadowing of Christ coming for his Bride). Despite the favor and light she walked in, and possessed, her affections were still divided; things in Sodom still held her heart captive, disqualifying her from deliverance.
Our redemption with the Lord is not that rooted in possessing correct doctrines, as important as they may be, but rather in being in right relationship with Him—intimate relation. We may have our doctrines correct without being obedient.
“But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called but few are chosen’ “(Matt. 22:11-14).
There will be some walking among those who comprise the Bride, being exposed to the clearest light and purest love, performing and acting-out all that the Bride is doing, yet operating in utter deception, a level of deception that only the King, when He comes, can expose. These, when He comes, will be shackled without mercy, rendering them incapable of repentance. Their outward show in being equivalent with the holiness of the Bride, yet without the garment, will result in a most severe judgment.
“And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matt. 24:31).
“…in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Cor. 15:52).
Who are the elect, whom the angels will gather together from the four winds? Are they not those who are set apart, selected and chosen, from among those who have been called? I think so. The Lord recently spoke to me concerning His coming for His Bride. He said: “You are listening to the prophets of doom, and the coming hard times, most of which is true, and will come to pass. Yet, where do you read that hard times will precede my coming? As in the days of Noah–or–as in the days of Lot, these were days of prosperity, they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built, up to the day disaster struck. But they had already escaped. Many are beholding and preparing for the impending hard times, and consequently losing sight of My coming!
It is true, it will take disastrous times to bring the contemporary church to its knees and repentance, and those days are surely ahead. But even then, such times have little if no affect on the Bride, for she has nothing to save, spare, or preserve. She is dead to all earthly affections her life is found in Christ alone. In prosperous times or perilous times, she is constantly waiting, inquiring, and with great anticipation, looking forward to that great day of final deliverance. There is but a thin veil separating her from the earthly, to the heavenly realms.
“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first”. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1Thess. 4:16-18).
The shout of the archangel and the trumpet blast of God will be heard at the four corners of the earth; the Bride will instantly respond without hesitation and be taken up with Him. Obviously, the rest of the people will never hear it or even be aware of the moment of her translation. “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night” (1 Thess. 5:2,4, Rev. 3:3, Math 24:43, Luke 12:39). The treasures of this earth will be swept away long before they will be aware that their jewels are gone; they have silently been taken during the night. If we are to remain alert at His coming, we will find that the whole chapter of 1Thess 5, to be a very helpful exhortation of readiness for his coming and in preparing for this great day. He culminates this exhortation with these words:
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it” (vv. 23-24).
The Lord himself adorns and favors His Bride with the wedding garment, a garment of untold beauty. With unfeigned adoration she receives this gift made of pure and bright linen. (Reflecting their righteous acts) It is made of a texture and quality that has no earthly comparison. In eternity, she will hold this favored position, and will rule and reign with Christ. With this great opportunity we all have in this hour of grace, none of us need position or rank of any sort to qualify. In fact the less we are known the greater God will often use us—not that we need to go into hiding, but neither do we need to assert or promote ourselves. God Himself will safely place us in our proper ranks within His marching Army. He cannot and will not fail you. He loves, adores, cherishes, and favors you above angels, stars, and galaxies. You are His crowning work of creation! (Is. 57:15).