Tuesday, June 29, 2010
THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB IS COME
“...Come hither, and I will show you the Bride, the Lamb’s Wife.”
We have presented the origin, characteristics, nature, and spirituality of the Bride, the Lamb’s wife. With each member of His body, a “spirit of adoption,” is given, and they each wait in hope for the resurrection of the dead, wherein they will fully realize the adoption, the redemption of their body.
At some point in historical time, that day shall arrive with a shout!
With the rising together of that innumerable number of redeemed saints, the reunification of their departed spirits and souls to these now glorified bodies, an excitement unknown in the whole of the experience of mankind will commence.
There will be a gathering together of saints of all ages, they will be united as a gigantic host rise into the air, put on their new-made and glorified bodies, and pass through the second heaven, beyond the stars above, and into the eternal third heaven where Christ sits at the right-hand of the Majesty on high. He will arise and greet her, embrace her, comfort her, wipe all tears from her eyes, and an angel will announce: “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him.” (Matthew 25:6).
“Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb”...
And if the reader has a problem with this, “...These are the true sayings of God.” (Revelation 19:9).
Brethren, it is with fear and hesitation I have to enter into this chapter. I feel as if I am a “Uzzah” who put his unholy hand to steady the ark of the covenant, when the oxen shook it as they were carrying it home. I am not the one who ought to write upon these blazing sights of glorified scenes.
I will try to stay within reasonable limits that the word reveals.
God help me do it!
Down below in that dispensation of time, the Holy Gospel of the Almighty Savior was preached among every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation. Many were called, but few were chosen. Where the Holy Gospel went, many embraced it, some wise and some foolish. The main difference between the two was the wise had the oil of anointing in their lamps, and the foolish were nominal man-made professors, careless, unconcerned, and complacent about the realities of the Truth as it is in Jesus. Those of us who are here above experienced the most wonderful, astonishing, and marvelous drama unknown to mortal man.
The heavenly music echoes throughout the regions of glory, and “at the last trump, the dead was raised incorruptible,” and what a marvelous transformation began immediately. We were all changed. The mortality ceased, and we were clothed in glorious immortality as our Lord and Master; that which had been corruptible and corrupted was changed into incorruption in perfect harmony with our present condition; and “death” was “swallowed up in victory.”
What a wonder of divine power!
Words fail to communicate this awesome transformation.
We suddenly were all awakened with the sound of many voices, and excitement was all around. We gasped, as we saw our new-formed bodies arising out of the earth.
Many shouted “HERE THEY COME! EVERY ONE SO BRIGHT, AND GLORIOUS IN THEIR APPAREL!”
What a sight to behold!
Those are our new-made bodies, fashioned as His glorious body.
We are going home!
The clouds parted, the bodies came and we eagerly put them on, and were clothed in honor and glory. We passed through the starry heavens, and into the third heaven, the abode of the Lamb, and entered into the Bride-chamber.
Here, “to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” (Revelation. 19:8). We learned then that we “are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.”
How unbelievable, that such as we should have such an appointment!
While this was presented, an angel reassured us, saying, “These are the true sayings of God.” (verse 9).
How consoling this!
If God said it, it is a faithful and true saying.
It is really coming to past!
In all the expectant excitement the waiting Bride – all the members of the church, the body of Christ, suddenly saw heaven open, “and behold a white horse appeared, and on the horse the Bridegroom sat, and He was called “Faithful and True.” (Revelation 19:11). No more appropriate name could have been called, and she watched from her pavilion, for He had come “in righteousness” to “judge and make war.”
What a magnificent General and Commander, and Lord of Hosts!
“His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written that no man knew, but Himself.”
In love and adoration, with the greatest of desire and honor, she took note of how gloriously He was arrayed.
“He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called the Word of God.”
How she had been mocked and ridiculed on earth for declaring that He was the Father of all His children.
The worldly religions insisted that He was impotent, and He needed them to beget His children for Him.
They had various schemes of how they could do that; but we never believed a word of it!
We had by direct experience been given Life and Light, and made to cry, “Abba Father.” And as the glorious King was seen, and His name introduced to the Bride, the whole family of God exclaimed aloud, again, “Abba Father!” And she bowed in courtesy to Her Lord, King, and Bridegroom. She saw His magnificence, as the whole “armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. . . .and He treaded the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” (Revelation 19:15).
His royal ensign was very visible, it appeared on both His thigh and His vesture, and it read in bold letters, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:16).
The heavenly Bride saw Her Husband, Lord and King, execute judgment upon the devil and all those who hated the truth, and had persecuted her, many unto death.
When the judgment verdict had been executed, the Bride in waiting, saw a “new heaven and a new earth” for the “first heaven and the first earth were passed away.”
She had heard the prophecy that it would be so, for Peter had revealed that “the heavens and the earth were by the word of God kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:7) and now that judgment was executed, it was so, just as Peter had revealed to her. Even back then, “we according to His promise, looked for a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness,” and finally it has come into being for real.
As she watched the arrival of her new dwelling place, she saw the new Jerusalem “coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a Bride adorned for her husband.” (Revelation 21:2). What a glorious habitation was prepared for her. How sensitive, how rich is Her Lord and Master, Her Husband, her all.
Fleetingly she recalled the Apostle to the Gentiles once saying, “I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)
He was speaking that day about us, as children of God, and as new creatures born of God, that we had been made “subject to bondage” in that corrupt outward man, our vessel afore prepared unto glory; and what vanity it certainly was; and this was unwilling on our part by “reason of Him who had subjected us in hope,” (Romans 8:20).
He had, in those Gospel days, comforted us with the fact that “the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:21).
Back then, in captivity to the old man and his lusts and wicked works, all of us, “the whole creation, groaned and travailed in pain together...and not only they, but ourselves also, which had the firstfruit of the Spirit, even we ourselves groaned with ourselves, while we were waiting for the promised adoption, that is, the redemption of our bodies.” (verses 22-23).
He surely was true, when he told us of our experience then, saying, “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope; for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” (Romans 8:24-25).
We were so filled with infirmities of the flesh, doubts and fears, temptations and trials, both by inward sins and outward persecutions that hope was given us to keep us from despair. But even as great as that hope, this, our God also, (praise His eternal name,) was ever present in both darkness and light, as the “Spirit also helped our infirmities, for we did not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit itself made intercession for us with groanings which could not be uttered. He was the one who searched the hearts and knew what was the mind of the Spirit, because He made intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27).
Many weak doubting individuals just could not see the hand of God in His providence directing them safely – timid, fearful souls they were. But we certainly now know, “that all things worked together for good to them that love God, to them who were the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).
Many mocked us back then; they called us “those absoluters,” thinking that would bother us. But it didn’t, for we understood, “that He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brethren” and used all things together bringing this moment to pass (Romans 8:29). To us, it was our experience, and we certainly understand that great mercy in Christ Jesus, our Husband and our Lord.
While she meditated on these wondrous promises, her attention was snapped back to her present surroundings. In the Great Hall of the Bride-Chamber, she “heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Revelation 21:3)
She had wondered why she had not grieved, when she saw the judgment of the Great Whore, or the nations of them that believed not. On earth, in her flesh, she would have been horrified, but now she justified her Lord. She felt no sensation of pain, even when she pinched herself to see if this body was real. And the Great Voice somewhat answered that, saying, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
And He that sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” He had told the Apostle John to reveal these things, saying to John, “Write: for these words are true and faithful.” (Revelation 21:5).
The glorious Bridegroom sent an angel to us, desiring that we should as the “Bride, the Lamb’s wife,” behold the “Great city, the Holy Jerusalem, as it descended out of heaven from God.” (Revelation 21:10)
It possessed the “glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.” (Revelation 21:11).
It was designed foursquare, and the old encampments of the tribes of Israel were copied from her. It had twelve gates of pearl, four on each side; the walls had twelve foundations, and in the names on them were the twelve apostles of the Lamb; and the walls were also of jasper: and the city itself was pure gold. A fantastic sight to behold! The crowning glory of the city was enhanced by all manner of precious stones garnished in the walls, and the streets of the city was of pure gold, as it were transparent glass. (Revelation 21:12-21).
We used to laugh about the aliens thinking that the streets were of natural metallic gold, but when we actually saw them, we understood that metallic gold was never “transparent as glass!” Gold is a symbol of glory, and the whole city reflected the ultimate glory of the Eternal God, our Husband and Head, our Bridegroom.
The city had no temple in it; whereas on earth, there were religious structures all over the landscape. But here, such was of no use at all, “...for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it!” (Revelaon 21:22). Really, the city had no needs of any moon, stars or suns to shine in it: there was no darkness anymore; and “...the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” (Revelation 21:23).
We were made to understand that “the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it,” (Revelation 21:24) so that there is no more an elevation of man above others in the city.
“And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day...” for safety was fully assured for eternity now, and “...there shall be no night there” (Revelation 21:25) in the new heaven and new earth.
A very comforting fact for we who have all our past lifetime warred against sin, had our souls vexed by the abominations of nations, peoples, and so-called churches, is that “there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.” – the Holy genealogy. (Revelation 21:27)
Off at a distance from the mountain top (Mount Zion) upon which we viewed the glorious city prepared for us, we could see the majestic and glorious throne of God, and of the Lamb, and flowing right out from the throne, was a river of water of life, clear as crystal.
Amazingly, there was – and how shall I describe such a thing! – the Tree of Life, and it stood on both sides of the river. It had spiritual medicinal value for the healing of nations. By standing on both side, everyone has easy access to its fruit, which were continuous produced annually. Viewing that tree, I was reminded of Cyprus trees growing in creeks and streams on the old earth, and the water could flow through cracks separating the roots above the creek’s floor. Surely, I can say, that the streams of this river of life flowed through the wounds of our Savior God and Husband when He took my legal place and suffered for the sins I had committed in the body.
Every time I see it, I think of what He has done to redeem me and engage me to Himself!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this?
The river of life and the Tree of Life assured us that, there is no curse left; but the throne of God and of the Lamb stands in this city; and His servants serve Him: and they see His face: and His name is in their forehead in every thought. And there is no night anymore there, no one needs a candle, flashlight, neither light of any source; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they reign forever with Him. (Revelation 22:1-5)
In the old earth, the Jewish grooms espoused their brides, and then went and built a house for the bride. Here in the new, the Bridegroom had previously promised, “I go to prepare a place your you, . . . I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:2-3).
But, ah, what a preparation this city and mansion, stubbed in all manner of glorious riches, dazzling lights, eternal glories brighter than noon day suns.
He did prepare a place for me, and now the rapturous nuptials are really and finally mine!
How long I suffered in hope as a bride, longing, desiring to see my Beloved. And He has come to take me into the King’s chamber.
“Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth: for His love is better than wine.”
The glorious King brought me into His chambers: we were glad and rejoiced in Him; we remember His love more than wine: all of the upright love Him. (Song 1:4)
He whispered such endearments as to strengthen my love to Him: “Behold, thou art fair, My love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes. Behold, thou art faith, My beloved, yea, pleasant: also our bed is green. The beams of our house are cedar and our rafters of fir.” I sat down under “His shadow with great delight, and His fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love.” . . . “ah, I am sick of love! His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.” (Song 2:3-6).
“Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get Me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense. Thou art all fair, My love; there is no spot in thee!”
“His mouth is most sweet: yea, He is altogether lovely. This is my Beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of the new Jerusalem.”
She heard Him say:
“My dove, My undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens praise her.”
“I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me. Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages.”
By Stanley C. Phillips