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"And I beheld as it were the voice of a great multitude, as the voice of many waters, as the voice of many thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth, and give honour to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white; for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he said unto me, These are the true sayings of God." (Rev 19:6-9)

The scene before us is a future event. It is called "the marriage supper of the Lamb". There are three parties present. (1) The Lord Jesus who is the bridegroom. (2) Those who are called which are the guests. They may include the angels of heaven. I expect the Old Testament saints will also be in this group. (3) The bride.

This is about the bride - the Lamb's wife. We have always understood that the church will be the bride. The words of Paul make this clear.

"Husbands love your wives as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it. (Eph 5:25) Then he goes on to say, "For we are members of his flesh and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church." (Eph 5:30-32)

In the Genesis story of Adam and Eve, we see a precious truth about the bride's beginning. "And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and He took of his ribs and closed up the flesh thereof, and the rib which the LORD God had taken from man, made He a woman and brought her to the man." (Gen 2:21-22) It was at Calvary God caused the "deep sleep" of death to fall upon Christ. Out of His spear riven side as blood and water gushed forth, God took a bride for His Son.

It is the cross that gives the church value. Until His side was opened, there could be no bride. In all our talk about the bride of Christ, one thing should be first and foremost in our minds. Let us remember the tremendous price He paid so He could take out of the nations a people for His name. What were you and I worth? We were lost men and women, broken and ruined by the fall. But to Him we were worth the incredible suffering and shame of a criminal's death by crucifixion beside the wrath of God which was poured out upon Him unseen by the natural eye which caused Him to cry out, "My God, my God, why hast thou foresaken me?" (Matt 27:46) Why? Because He saw - not what we were - but what we could become. HE SAW THE BRIDE: Only the Holy Spirit can make this real to us. But when He does, we will say with the great hymn writer Isaac Watts, "Love so amazing, so divine, demands heart, my life, my all!".

The bride of the Lamb is destined to sit with Him upon His throne as the queen of the Kingdom age. The psalmist in his worship describes the glory of that age. "Thy throne O God is forever and ever; the sceptre of thy Kingdom is a sceptre of righteousness." (Ps 45:6) Then he goes on to say "All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad. King's daughters were among thy honourable women: Upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir." (Ps 45:8-9) Is the queen only a decoration or status symbol? No; she will share the king's rule over the nations just as God intended Eve to be an equal partner with Adam in his rule of the earth. We read "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion ... ... ... over all the earth." (Gen 1:26) "... ... male and female created He them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, ... ... have dominion ... ... over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." (Gen 1:27-28) To those who are that elite entity known as the bride of the Lamb, Christ has promised "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me upon my throne...." (Rev 3:21)

In Bible times, the engagement period was a time of probation. It could be broken by an act of unfaithfulness. The engagement was legally binding and was designed to give the bride-to-be a measure of confidence. But it could be terminated by the man if he discovered the woman had been involved with a third party. This is why Joseph when he found Mary was "with child" was going to put her away privately, meaning he was going to divorce her as quietly as possible to avoid scandal. But God spoke to him in a dream saying, "Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; For that which is conceived in her is the Holy Ghost." (Matt 1:20)

The bride elect is not home yet. In this world of sin she faces many dangers. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy. For I have engaged you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." (2 Cor 11:2-3) Yes, the bride-to-be faces temptations during this engagement period when her love, devotion, and loyalty for the heavenly bridegroom will be tested to the limit. Paul knew the purpose of true ministry is to help believers survive this age of perils. He was driven by the realization that - if possible - he was to present the church as "a chaste virgin to Christ" in that day. The purpose of true ministry is not to entertain! It is not to draw big crowds, increase the membership of the church, or raise money. The purpose of true ministry is to help people become part of the bride and to be the bride the Lord Jesus deserves; a bride worthy of His sufferings! The servant of God who understands this and is committed to it will take seriously Paul's admonition to "Preach the word; be instant in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." (2 Tim 4:2)

The bride has comforted herself with the parting words of her loved one "...I will come again, and receive you unto myself..." (John 14:3) So often she has repeated that promise to herself and to others. Soon now she will hear His voice! "For the Lord Himself will descent from heaven with a shout..." (1 Thess 4:16) Have you wondered what His first words will be? He will call out "Rise up my love, my fair one, come away." (Song of Solomon 2:10) As we sweep through the starry heavens, the angels looking down from the battlements of glory will ask, "Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness leaning on her beloved? (Song of Solomon 8:5)

The Bible says there will be many terrible things happening on earth in the last days. We are familiar with these prophecies. We know there will be false Christs and false prophets, wars and rumours of wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes. But wait! Something else is happening today. There is something special taking place on earth. It is something we are not hearing about. The bride - the Lamb's wife - is making herself ready! This is the most important single thing that is happening in our world today! John was "in the Spirit" and (prophetically) saw the marriage supper of the Lamb as if it was already in progress. He says "his wife HATH made herself ready." When did she make herself ready? Obviously she did it on earth! Look closer now. She has made HERSELF ready! The bride must take this responsibility.

Before the bridegroom comes "...the voice of the turtledove (will be) heard in the land." (Song of Solomon 2:12) In the month of March, a great swarm of turtledoves from the south would arrive in Palistine. Their gentle cooing was considered a herald of spring. Today a new sound is being heard - not by all - but by those who have an ear to hear. It is the call to a separated walk of total surrender to the will of God. It is the endtime message.

And what is God saying to the bride elect in this late hour? He says "Harken, O daughter, and consider and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; so shall the king also desire thy beauty; for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him." (Ps 45:10)

Then He says "Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments,... (Is 52:1)

Christ and Christ alone must be first in our lives. No human relationship can compete for our loyalty to Him no matter how dear or precious it may be. We love family and friends, but as much as we appreciate them all, it is Jesus we obey for He is our Lord. True freedom only comes from taking His will over ours. Every interest in life must be subjected to His word. We cannot allow any earthly influence to distract us from His call.

"Put on thy strength O Zion." If there is one lesson the bride will learn in these last days as she answers the call to total surrender, it is this. Submission does not bring weakness. She bears the name of He who said "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." (Matt 28:18) and she is a "joint heir" with Him. (Rom 8:17) The overcoming church will be clothed upon with power from on high. There will be supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit that will make the rulers of this world tremble.

"Put on thy beautiful garments." This refers to the fine linen in our scripture reading. It says "the fine linen is the righteousness of saints." This is not the imputed righteousness of God that is bestowed upon us when we believed. This is the righteousness of saints. We must put it on! The grace of God produces it in our lives but it is the result of the decisions we make to do the right and shun the wrong. It is us putting out of our lives everything that is not pleasing to God and doing His pleasure.

In the household of faith it is a time of unprecidented excitement. Behind closed doors the bride is preparing for that moment when He will present to Himself "... a glorious church, ... ... holy and without blemish." (Eph 5:27) It is a time of putting off the old and putting on the new. Has God been dealing with you about your life? Has He been putting His finger on things that have to go? If you yield to Him, He will bring you to the place where you can say with Paul "...I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me..." (Gal 2:20)

Even in this time of preparation the overcoming saints - the bride elect - has a job to do. John wrote in the last chapter of the Bible, "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come... ... take the water of life freely." (Rev 22:17) The bride in partnership with the Holy Spirit is calling the lost to Christ! It should not surprise us that the last day bridal saints share God's heart. The thing that is the most important to Him is also their priority. It's all about winning the lost!

Until He comes, evangelism and missions are the responsibility of the bride. Each believer individually must accept this as his or her own obligation. All can pray. Most can give. Some can go. All of us can in some way share the gospel with others. To help you do this I invite you to go to the right side of your screen and click onto the EAGLE COURSE. Go to Lesson Eight: LEARNING TO WITNESS. After you have studied this lesson and worked your way through it step by step, go back to the right of your screen and click on TRACTS. There you will find our salvation tract HOW YOU CAN BE SAVED. Our ministry provides these tracts free upon request to individuals and churches around the world. Christians who wish to help financially are welcome to do so. Requests for tracts should be sent to the address below. Cheques or money orders should be made out to LIVING HOPE MINISTRIES and sent to the same address.

Office: 705-325-8964
Mailing Address: P. O. Box 523, Orillia, Ontario Canada L3V 6K2
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Email Pastor Don Hill

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