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"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."


Part 205






            “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor 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” (Rev. 19:6-8).


            The vision is introduced by “the voice as it were of a great multitude.”  The four living creatures and the twenty-four elders had issued the command from the throne for ALL of God’s people everywhere — including the millions upon millions just escaped from the ruins of Babylon — to give praise unto our God.  What a command!  What a change of ministry!  What a power and paradigm shift as the new regime of God’s kings and priests take charge over the masses of God’s people who hitherto have known only the word and control of the ministers of religious Babylon.  Suddenly — wondrously — gloriously John hears a great and mighty voice, as of a great multitude, and as of many waters, and as of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth,” — acknowledging in adoring praise the new  administration of HIS LORDSHIP!  Oh, the wonder of it!


            Now we come to an even greater wonder.  Not  only does the vast multitude express their praise to God, but now they speak as to one another, proclaiming with joy and gladness, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him…”  But WHY?  Is it because the Jews have all returned to Palestine?  Is it because we see a revived Roman Empire in Europe and thereby know that the end of the age is at hand?  Is it because the great increase of earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts, wars, immorality, terrorism, and evils and catastrophes of all kinds point unerringly to the soon return of our Lord?   Is it because the “rapture” has just taken place and we will escape the seven years of the reign of Antichrist and the indescribable hell of the Great Tribulation?  NO — not at all!  It is just because THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB IS COME, AND HIS WIFE HATH MADE HERSELF READY!  What a theme for the song of a multitude!  And John hears them exclaiming their praises.  It is truly an anthem of triumph!  The great system of evil and deception is overthrown.  The swaggering harlot, the great boastful Babylon is now a desolation and ALL of God’s people, both small and great, are now freed to truly KNOW THE LORD!  They give honor unto HIM and they now see His wife made ready in all her beauty and their hearts swell with gladness and they break forth into rejoicing.  The marriage of the Lamb is come!  What a glorious Day!


            Can you not discern the sequence?  As soon as Babylon falls — His wife makes herself ready for the marriage!  Individually and personally this happens within the experience of every member of the BRIDE COMPANY.  Corporately and dispensationally it takes place as the Lord truly brings an end to religious Babylon and moves to deliver all His people everywhere.  The “little flock,” the true church, the little virgin bride is now presented in all her beauty and splendor for all the Lord’s people, and indeed  for all creation, to behold!  Ah, my beloved, it is a question of readiness, fitness for the wedding, for the marriage.  “The marriage…is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.”  In what does this readiness, this fitness, consist?  “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.”  The preparedness relates to a garment.  I will quote it as it is given in the Greek and rendered in the Revised Version.  “And it was given unto her to array herself in fine linen, bright and pure, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”  In this text it says, “It was granted to her” — a privilege — “to array herself” — it was something SHE could DO!  There is one time in the life of a woman when she is extravagant in her dress; one time when she diligently and at great cost and with much patience and care arrays herself in garments of particular elaborateness and intricate beauty — and that time is on her wedding day!  So here the bride arrays herself in a garment of her own making.  She obtains the material from beyond herself, but she by her own effort fashions it, forms it, and clothes herself with it!


            There is an interesting passage in Isaiah 61:10.  “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in  my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself  with her jewels.”  This verse teaches us two things: (1)  that God has clothed us with the GARMENTS OF SALVATION and (2)  He has covered us with the ROBE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.  The Spirit here points out to us that not only is there a garment of salvation, but there is in addition a robe of righteousness.  Jesus Christ is our salvation!  We are saved by grace through faith, Paul tells us, and that not of ourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast (Eph. 2:8-9).  We are clothed with the garment of salvation as a free gift.  God clothed each and every child of God with the garment of salvation in that blessed moment when we believed on Christ Jesus as Saviour and Redeemer.  We are to greatly rejoice in the Lord that He has clothed us with the garment of salvation!


            As soon as man sinned, God made them garments, the Bible declares.  That means that God accepts men just as they are in their consciousness of their humanity and their fleshly condition.  He affirms them as carnal, sinful, as sheep gone astray, each turned to his own way.   But, blessed be God!  He does not permit them to stand before Him in the consciousness of their nakedness, of their exposed flesh — nor does He expose their flesh to one another in their nakedness.  Oh, no!  HE HIMSELF COVERS THEM.  By making garments for men God shows that He first of all accepts them  as they are, in all their fleshiness.  In this way He covers their flesh but does not destroy it.  God’s first action towards man is that He preserves him in his sinful state of being, with the physical body, the carnal mind, and the fleshly inclinations, giving him an “atonement,” that is, a “covering” to hide or take the attention away from his flesh, making him “accepted in the Beloved” — until he can be changed!  With the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden, having disobeyed the command of God, and partaking  of the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, their eyes were opened, and they saw their flesh exposed, they knew that they were naked, and went and “hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden” (Gen. 3:8).  How descriptive that is of the experience of every man!  To this day Adam’s race senses their shame, perceives the exposure of their fleshliness, and cannot stand in the presence of God without fear, UNLESS CLOTHED UPON WITH THE GARMENTS OF THE SALVATION OF  OUR GOD!  Gladly, therefore, do we freely acknowledge that “He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation.”  Aren’t you glad!   


            May I share with you now a revelation that has been a great  blessing and encouragement to me in my walk in  God.  First, let me say that the garment of salvation is the righteousness of Christ imputed to us by faith.  “For what saith the scripture?  Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.  Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.  But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, His faith is counted for righteousness.  Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are  covered.  Blessed is the man  to whom the Lord will not impute sin” (Rom. 4:3-8).  “Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.”  This word “counted” translates the Greek word logizomai which means to reckon, number, account, impute, all of which mean to credit to one’s account.  Because Abraham believed God, it was imputed or credited unto his account that he was righteous.  The Amplified Bible says, “Abraham believed (trusted in) God, and it was credited to his account as righteousness — right living and right standing with God…thus David congratulates the man and pronounces a blessing  on him to whom God credits righteousness apart from the works he does.”  Paul continues, “Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed if we believe  on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered up for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Rom. 4:23-25).


            This is the sphere with which most Christians are acquainted, and we bless God for this beautiful and precious truth, for it is the solid foundation upon which we can build as we experience God in His great dealings and plan and purpose in our lives.  Our practical, daily experience has revealed the undeniable fact that just because the righteousness of Christ has been “imputed” to us, “charged to our account,” doesn’t mean that there has been even one iota of change in our STATE OF BEING.  It doesn’t mean that we are any less carnal, any less sinful, any less bound  by weaknesses, habits, and addictions, any less likely to fear, be upset and angry, gossip, smoke, drink, lust, or be any more godly in thoughts, desires, and actions.   It means that we now possess by faith, and as a free gift, the GARMENT OF SALVATION, and clothed in this garment we are legally saved from (the guilt of, or punishment for) our sins, being forgiven, acquitted, and all our past, present, and  future has been covered by God’s matchless grace!  This garment of salvation was wrought out (or woven) on the loom of Calvary by Christ our Lord.  HE worked out this great salvation for us!  HE made the garment of salvation.  We never could.  We had absolutely nothing to do with it — it was His work, gracious, noble, profound, and eternal!  Ah, yes, my beloved, you have received all this as a gift, but you yourself have not yet been fully changed, transformed from the earthly into the heavenly, having experientially put on ALL HE IS! 


            So, while imputed righteousness gives us a clean slate before God, we soon discover by experience that this leaves us far short in our state of being of the image and glory of God, far short of either maturity or perfection.  We still find in our nature the law, the very working of “sin and death,” and all the old emotions and cravings of “the flesh” are continually surging, seething, bubbling up just beneath the surface.  In our salvation experience we have found mercy, goodness, graciousness from God, a  covering, an atonement, and yet, is it not true, dear child  of God, that our hearts are not satisfied?  Why?  Is it not because we know in our deepest heart that the garment of salvation has covered over all our sins, but beneath that garment still lies our flesh — our INNER STATE OF BEING STILL REMAINS PITIFULLY UNCHANGED!


            God dearly loves all His little children unto whom He has imputed the righteousness of Christ by faith.  And they are His no matter how they are living today!  But He doesn’t want to leave us in this unrighteous state!  His plan and purpose is to change us, transform us into His very image and likeness, to actually make us pure as He is pure, righteous as He is righteous!  He wants to impart His righteousness to us, not just impute it.  “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be MADE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD  IN HIM” (II Cor. 5:21).  Can you not see that there is a  world  of difference between being counted righteous and being made righteousness!   Every son of God is ordained and predestined to possess and become the righteousness of God, be righteous as He is righteous, to be holy as He is holy.  Who wouldn’t want to become this  righteousness?  Who would not desire to always be right in all we think, in all we desire, in all we say and do — to never again think anything wrong or have any wrong ideas, desires, or motives; but to always be pure, correct, and divine in everything.  What a blessed state!  Impossible?  Not at all!  It is what God has planned for us and is working on in us.  Of this very truth the Psalmist wrote when he said, “He leadeth me in paths of righteousness for His name’s (nature’s) sake.”   He leads me in paths that will bring me to this glorious state where my inward nature is righteous as He is righteous.  Blessed be the Lord!


            I thank God today that there is a righteousness, a divine righteousness that God can impart and inwork into men, and which can exalt a man to the image and  likeness of God.  In no other way can men ever be exalted or lifted up out of the power of sin, self, limitation, sorrow, and death.  So I gladly and thankfully this day record this truth that the righteousness of which I speak is the righteousness of God, which by faith we may possess; not merely a righteousness imputed, in which we can trust for our salvation, but a righteousness IMPARTED, INWORKED INTO THE NATURE.  All very good is this talk about imputed righteousness, but I cannot — will  not — settle for a righteousness that is only imputed.  If it is not imparted, it is not a power within us at all.  I thank God for the word of the Master Himself who told us that this kingdom of God would be within us, and defined it.  He said that we are to SEEK THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS.  He said that we are to HUNGER AND THIRST AFTER RIGHTEOUSNESS.  And Paul excellently words it when he says, “The kingdom of God is righteousness…in the Holy Ghost.”


            We want more than just to pile “coverings” over our flesh nature, we want our inherent nature changed into HIS, so that all that is contrary to Him shall be completely done away.  Multitudes have received the glad news of how the righteousness of God is imputed to us by faith, and have believed, but still in their daily life they know that within themselves there remains the rudiments of carnal mindedness and sin.  And with repeated failure and guilt-consciousness they keep on praying day after day, “Lord, forgive us our short-comings!  Forgive us our trespasses!  Forgive us our many sins!”  And year after year they never cease praying that way.  Why?  Because imputed righteousness is our possession as we believe on Him, but we must go on in to the second provision of His redemption, to not only be clothed with the garments of salvation, but to lay hold upon and appropriate HIS INWORKED RIGHTEOUSNESS, becoming covered with the ROBE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, which results in an entirely new state of being, making us like Him, transformed and transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor…from one degree of glory to another (II Cor. 3:18).


            To be covered with the robe of righteousness means that when men look at us they SEE NOTHING BUT RIGHTEOUSNESS!  Ah, it is easy to find people wearing the garments of salvation, for we see His salvation upon them, we can tell they have met the Lord, they know they are His children, they rejoice in sins forgiven, and they trust Him to help them and bless them in various ways.  They have been reconciled to God by the death of His Son, but few have gone on to the second step of His redemption of which Paul spoke when he wrote: “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved (from all sin, carnality, limitation, and death) BY HIS LIFE” (Rom. 5:10).  It means a laying down  of our lives, for when we are manifesting our life men are not seeing His life.  When we lay down our life, to manifest His life, then it becomes His life that is seen.  Now, if they see us they see a robe, but it is not a robe of righteousness, but a covering of flesh which is a garment of death.  After Isaiah speaks of our putting on the robe of righteousness, in the very next verse he declares, “For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God WILL CAUSE RIGHTEOUSNESS TO SPRING FORTH BEFORE ALL THE NATIONS” (Isa. 61:11).    


            God is going to spring forth righteousness until all the nations SEE IT!  Hallelujah!  This, beloved, can only be wrought by the power of the indwelling Christ.  Oh, yes, Christ Himself IS the righteousness of God!  And Christ dwells within our regenerated spirit.  So where do you suppose the robe of righteousness comes from?  Not from God up in His heaven, but right out from the Christ within you!  Oh, how near the robe of righteousness is!  Therefore are we admonished, “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof” (Rom. 13:14).  Yes, my beloved, the almighty Father Himself gave us this robe of righteousness right within our spirit and WE MUST PUT IT ON — ARRAY OURSELVES in  it so that what is true in our spirit appears outwardly, super-imposing our fleshly mind, will, and ways.  That is the mystery!  How wonderful are the words  John heard concerning the bride of the Lamb: “And it was given to her to array herself in fine linen, bright and pure, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”


            “Thy people also shall be all righteous: the branch of my planting, the work  of my hands, that I may be glorified” (Isa. 60:21).  To God be the glory, HE is bringing forth a firstfruit company, the work of His hands, the branch of His planting, to BECOME ONE IN CHRIST, and  of this very Christ, Head and body, the Son and the sons, the Lamb and His bride, we read, “this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jer. 23:6).  No more of our own self-righteousness, no more stumbling and blundering and falling, but so fully clothed with Him, that our very state of being testifies “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”  Certainly HE shall be glorified, because HE alone shall be exalted, magnified through the revelation of His grace and glory through the completed work of His hands.  This desire has been implanted by God, and HE shall certainly bring about its fulfillment!  We have tried to do it ourselves, but praise the Lord, He is now stripping us of all  our self effort and fig-leaf works, while the great hand of God Himself begins to work, raising up within us a righteousness that is neither self-appropriated nor self-proclaimed, but the finished work of His hands, and how it shall redound to His praise!    Yes, as His life alone becomes our life, all that we do shall be righteous.  There is no grand leap from the simple garments of salvation to the exquisite robe of righteousness, but there must be that active and experiential inworking of Himself. 


            When people see a  life that is beyond and contrary to any life they have ever witnessed, then the righteousness of Christ is revealed.  When people behold us in our problems, under the pressures of job, family, and bills; in the perplexities of trouble and the horrible disappointment of tragedy and loss — when they see us facing these things and never see a reaction from us of our flesh, but only the peace, joy, confidence, and stability of the Christ within  — then men see righteousness springing forth from us and they perceive that we are decked with the robe of righteousness for HE IS SEEN.  When nothing but HIM is revealed men will declare, “I never saw people act like these act, I never heard people speak like these speak; how can a person stand so calm, cool, and collected in the face of such difficulties, pressures, and testings — something supernatural is here!”


            Put ye on Christ!  To this you are called.  Seek to walk worthy of this calling.  Yield yourself to the mighty Christ within you to reveal the wonderful grace and  the omnipotent power of His life that enables you to be clothed in a divine righteousness.  Take time to realize that it is the King’s own robe that you are invited to wear!  It is the token that you are the chosen one whom the King delights to honor and to raise up to His side to sit with Him in His throne.  The Psalmist revealed the great truth that “Righteousness and judgment are the habitation of His throne” (Ps. 97:2).  His throne means HIS RULERSHIP in and through our lives, as His will replaces our will, His thoughts replace our thoughts, and HIS LIFE becomes the sphere of our daily activity.  The fruit of righteousness is the fulfilling of His will in us, and the filling up of our life with His rulership, His throne fixed in us, where He rules and reigns supreme.  Take time to remember that as much as you need it in the palace, in the King’s presence, and in the midst of His “many brethren,” no less do you require it when He sends you forth into the world, where you are the King’s representative.  Live your life daily in the full consciousness of being covered with the robe of righteousness, an object of honor, dignity, power,  glory, and delight in the kingdom of God!


             Let all who read this message know that Jesus Christ is our garment of salvation and He is our robe of righteousness.  He is also the fine  linen, bright and pure, with which the beautiful bride of the Lamb arrays herself!  Just as Eve was taken out of Adam, so our robe of righteousness is derived  out of Christ within our spirit.  As the soul puts on more and more this robe, the bride is adorned for her marriage.  Put on Christ!  This work must be done each day in the inner chamber of our communion and identification with Him.  No person changes clothes in public view!  And how better can we put Him on than by our constant living and abiding in fellowship and union with Him in the secret place of the most High?  Oh soul, take time to meditate upon this wonderful truth.  It takes great patience, diligence, and much time for a bride to array herself for her wedding.  This cannot be done hastily or superficially.  It takes great patience, diligence, and much time, my beloved,  to put on Christ!  It takes time, quiet time in  living in fellowship with Jesus, to realize that you have put Him on.  Take the time and the trouble.  Your reward will be great!  As our garments cover us and protect us from the wind and sun and cold, so Christ will be  our beauty, our defense, our joy, and our victory as we draw  nigh to Him in every experience and circumstance of life!


            Now, lest our investigation of truth should seem to miss the reality itself, I must point out clearly that although all who witness the marriage of the Lamb also behold  the beauty of the bride arrayed in her shimmering robe of fine, bright, pure linen — yet, it is not truly for their eyes that she is adorned.  The bridegroom has won the heart of His bride, and in royal glory He will own and display her.  But she is first of all for Himself.  It is the “marriage of the Lamb” and “His wife has made herself ready.”  Hear further the blessed words of John the beloved as he describes the glory of the bride under a different figure, that of the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, “prepared,” says he, “as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev. 21:2).  The bride is not seen here as made ready for display, but made ready for Him, even as Paul affirms, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it TO HIMSELF a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish…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. 5:25-27,31,32).  Can we not see by this that in her adornment the bride’s one and only thought is to be agreeable, pleasing, attractive, and desirable to HIM, to suffice for HIS HEART!


            The passage above (Rev. 21:2), in my opinion, is one of the most profound and awe-inspiring statements of all scripture, and yet very few Christians grasp the true significance of the scene.  John sees the bride-city coming down from God out of heaven adorned as a bride for her husband.  If we are to understand from this scene what John is describing for us, then what he sees is that the bride “adorned herself” IN HEAVEN.  She did not adorn herself and make herself ready on earth in preparation for being raptured away to a marriage  in some far-off heaven somewhere; rather, she adorns herself in the heavens of the spirit of the Lord and subsequently descends from that high and holy sphere to be glorified before men in the earthlies!  Strange, isn’t it, how the “traditions of the elders” usually get the truth of God turned around backwards!


            For many years I have loved the beautiful portraits of the bride and the bridegroom in the chapters of the Song of Solomon.  There are many facets and characteristics in the story, but in all the portrayals of the drama which is Solomon’s Song, the Lord is looking for the Shulamite, for that loveliest girl who ravishes His heart and who is going to share His love and reproduce His life in the earth.  She reaches for Him, is always and in every way seeking after Him, responding to His overtures, His advances, His wooing, as He seeks to express Himself in her.  In her search for her Beloved the lovely Shulamite maiden exclaims, “The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.   My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, showing himself through the lattice.  My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away” (S. of S. 2:8-10).


            There is precious meaning here for the upbuilding of our souls.  Before the eighth verse the bridegroom has withdrawn.  There are times when He withdraws or hides Himself that He may prod us into deeper depths of earnestness in seeking after Him.  And there are times when we do  not keep in touch with Him, as we are caught up in the cares of life and the clamoring of the world, and the calls and demands of our own flesh, and are not quiet enough before Him, so that we can discern Him and experience His work in us unhindered and undisturbed.  Christ the Bridegroom  is in our spirit, He is  not afar off, for He is nigh unto us.  Yet how terrible is the vast chasm between flesh and spirit!  Still, from within our spirit, across the great gulf, the voice of our beloved comes to us in terms of love and endearment, in words of wooing, as well as  in experience and dealings.  Now the bride hears the sound of His presence — she has not seen Him, but she hears His sound, she has not experienced Him, but she hears His voice and knows that He is drawing nigh.  Suddenly she sees Him — leaping upon the mountains; those impassable obstacles, which would prove insurmountable to anyone else, are stepping-stones for His feet.  He has, within Himself, overcome all things as the Son of man, from the manger of Bethlehem to Jerusalem’s tomb, and now He leaps from one craggy peak of victory to the other with the sure, swift feet of the roe or young hart.  He leaps over every obstacle of self, of flesh, of sin, of sorrow, of fear, of limitation, and death.  He leaps upon the mountains and skips upon the hills in the triumph  of the spirit!  The Shulamite is unable yet to identify with all those high realms of  victory, therefore to her He appears and disappears, now in sight and then not seen, but ever drawing nearer and nearer.


            Sometimes as we face the difficulties in our lives and the challenges that seem impossible, we wonder if we can surmount them, and sometimes we are sure that we cannot.  We seem so attached, so bogged down and held in captivity by the fleshly and the earthly.  But He who could surmount the mountains of man’s deception, sin, and limitation, of the cunning of the carnal mind, and the powers of death and the grave, can surmount every mountain and hill that is in your life and mine.  And now, from these lofty peaks of His triumph she hears His voice!  “My beloved spake, and said unto me…”  Can you not hear His voice?  He is speaking, He is calling, and He says, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.”  He does  not at this time call the bride to “come away with Him,” but to come away and meet Him.  “Rise up…come away!”  Leave everything, especially your own reasonings behind, and come away into communion with Him.  In that quiet communion of love He will lead you, lift you up, and guide your feet in higher places.  It is when we first hear His voice, that we must rise up and come away to meet Him.  It is when His presence steals  in upon us, and His whisper falls softly upon our ear, that we must turn aside from all else to spend time sitting at His feet.  God does not stand still, He is ever  moving on; and if we delay His voice will grow fainter and fainter, so that when we do arise to go to Him, we may not find Him in that place which He had prepared for us.


            Do you understand that every spiritual drawing you sense in your heart, is the voice of your Beloved calling you to “rise up and come away”?  Every moving and yearning from the depths of your spirit within you, is the voice of your Bridegroom urging you to hasten.  It is easier to settle down and rest upon the experiences we have had, than to run harder that we may attain to a higher height in Him.  Later the Shulamite hears His voice calling her to a specific place — not to meet Him now, but to be with Him where He is, to experience what He has experienced in union with Him.  “Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Herman, from the lion’s dens, from the mountains of the leopards.  Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart…” (S. of S. 4:8-9). 


            “Look from the top…” He challenges her.  In other words, now that you are in this place of experience come away and look even higher, and higher, for the things that I will do in you.  And He is just experiencing His divine joy through union with His love.  “Thou hast ravished my heart…how fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!” (S. of S. 4:9-10).  He is commenting on her reality, not as she sees herself, but as HE sees her.  Her reality is pleasing to Him as much as His reality is pleasing to us.  “Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell  of thy garments is like the smell of (the cedars of) Lebanon” (vs. 11).  Previously it was His lips that she saw.  But now He says, “Thy lips…”  And He continues, “A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.  Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard…and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all  the chief spices: a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon” (vs. 12-15).


            When giving instructions  for the blending of the holy  anointing oil Moses instructed, “Take all the principle spices…” (Ex. 30:22-25).  This addresses the ancient art of the apothecary.  The Bridegroom is whispering to the bride that she is God’s apothecary, the mixing and mingling of all His divine virtues, excellences, fragrances, and energies!  She is leaning upon her beloved, taking all of this in, He is loving her, making love to her, and she’s receiving it from Him.  She knows that Christ is in her, that within her spirit lies all the reality of all the glorious things He is speaking to her, but still she finds herself just as He described her earlier, “A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.” Have you not felt that way, dear one?  Finally, with great earnestness and with fierce intensity she prays, “Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out.  Let my beloved come into His garden, and eat His pleasant fruits” (vs. 16).  In other words, mix your apothecary, Lord; blow the winds of your dealings, move your spirit through me, come into your garden and let the spices flow out!        


            Can you not see what’s happened?  She is absolutely in  love, so she has yielded herself in totality.  This is the place God is bringing us to, where we say, “Lord, you can have my life.  You can do what you want to do with me.  I am yours and yours alone.  I forsake every other love, I denounce every vestige of Babylon, I keep myself unto you, and to you alone.  I am yours completely.  Take my life right now, today, in any way you please.  Do what you must do to release the spices of my life and make my garden the fruitful garden where you can dine with me and I with you, and all creation can come to our feast!”  Oh, yes!  Do you doubt that that is her intent, her prayer?  Then consider the very next verse: “I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O FRIENDS; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved!” (S. of S. 5:1).  “I am here,” He says, “I am in your garden which is my garden.  I’ve already mixed these spices, I have already tasted and eaten the sweetness of your life, I have drunk the wine and the milk of your joy and victory!”  All this represents Christ being raised up within us in higher and purer levels  of understanding, experience, and manifestation!  Oh, the wonder of it!


            People say, “Where is your God?”  We respond, “Oh, He’s in heaven, or He’s here, or He’s there.”  Do you know where He is?  He’s right here within us — in His garden!  Your Beloved is in your garden, He’s in your body, He’s in your soul, He’s in your spirit, in the fruitful places of your life which He has made fruitful.  He’s  not out there, not in some far-off heaven somewhere, He’s right there in the garden which you are.  You may not be aware of His presence, you may not have experienced the beauty and wonder of intimate fellowship and vital union with Him, but these words are here to awaken you, to cause you to rise up, to listen for His voice, to discern His presence, to yield to His love, to follow after Him in a whole new realm of reality and experience.  “The  voice of my beloved! behold, He cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills…my beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair  one, and come away…”   Some who read these lines are hearing His voice, receiving His call, even now…


            “Rise up…look from the top of Amana…thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart.”  Oh, yes!  It is up there — in the high places of experience in Him — that we are made one in Him.  Only in the heights of HIS VICTORY are we adorned in the robe of His righteousness.  It is upon the mountain tops of spiritual experience that we are perfected.  It is there, in the heavenly places of the spirit, that the bride is made ready for the marriage of the Lamb.  Can you not see the mystery?  That  is why John did not see the perfected bride-city “going up” to heaven prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  Oh, no!  In rapturous wonder John stands transfixed as he beholds the New Jerusalem bride COMING DOWN FROM GOD OUT OF HEAVEN PREPARED AS A BRIDE ADORNED FOR HER HUSBAND — ready for the marriage, ready for union!  Oh, the mystery of it!




            “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor 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 saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:7-9).


            We may notice that there are two distinct elements in the vision; first, that of the marriage and second, that of the marriage supper. Neither one of these is described as being witnessed by John himself; but they are pictured by him in terms of the words of the multitude and of the angel.  The multitude of the saints is pictured, first of all, as saying, “…for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.”  Then the bride of the Lamb is described, also in the words of the multitude who at this moment behold her in all her beauty and elegance.  And finally, the marriage supper is introduced into the picture as the angel commands John to write, “Blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”


            Once again we must keep in mind that we are dealing here with a vision, with a picture which is highly symbolic.  We cannot take the language of this passage literally without falling into all kinds of absurdities.  What we have here is a highly symbolic picture of spiritual union with our Lord — the marriage of the Lamb.  Should we try to take it literally we would see Jesus standing on a cloud with vast multitudes of saints standing before Him, while the Father, or an archangel, or one of the Patriarchs, or someone else recited the wedding vows.  The marriage would then be followed by a great wedding feast of earthly food set upon tables stretching into infinity, followed of course by the final act of the drama — sexual union.  Any thinking person knows that such is not the case!  Ray Prinzing once expressed it this way: “It readily becomes an allegory, but for many it reaches only their natural mind to be viewed after the flesh.  They talk of being a ‘bride,’ and see themselves someday walking down a pathway clothed in beautiful bridal attire, to where the Lord waits for them, and God performs the ceremony, and they, with Jesus, enjoy a thousand year honeymoon on the Beautiful Isle of Somewhere.  How they think that this ‘individual ceremony’ shall be repeated innumerable times for every other member of this bride-company, I don’t know.  And if they make it a great universal ceremony, just imagine the crowding in to be one of those ‘up front,’ with tens of thousands all around.  So who is the selected  one to walk hand in hand, while all  the others yearn to touch Him too?  Obviously all such thinking is of the carnal  mind, relating, or trying to relate spiritual truth to natural conditions of this present world.  No, we cannot do this, nor think of fulfillment in Christ according to the literalness of the flesh.  But there are beautiful applications to be seen for spiritual reality, and we find much to be desired in this relationship with Christ.” 


            These are all spiritual realities typified by earthly things!  And in that picture there are several elements, namely, the bridegroom, the bride, the attendants and guests, the wedding, and the marriage supper of the Lamb.  The light of inspiration and revelation must shine brightly upon each of these elements to give us understanding!


            The Bible begins with the marriage of Adam and Eve in the book of Genesis and ends with the marriage of the Lamb and His bride in the book of Revelation.  The marriage scene is one of the most joyful that we witness on earth, and among Eastern nations especially was celebrated with great pomp and magnificence, the joy and splendor of the occasion being enhanced according to the rank and wealth of the parties.  Modern day weddings attract varied responses.  The prospective bride waits eagerly the day.  The bridegroom is eager also, but perhaps a bit more apprehensive in view of the responsibilities he is taking on.  Mothers are tearful as their “little darlings” stroll down the isle.  Fathers are nervous.  Little brothers and sisters can’t understand why there is such a fuss.  Yet, the wedding day is one of the highlights of society’s functions.  But earth has never witnessed such an event as this special and unique marriage of the Lamb!  Well may the inhabitants of heaven and earth, in view of this sublime spectacle, swell the song of praise — “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready!”  The special preparations that the bride is making represents the “perfecting of the saints” which has been the theme of the great moving and prophetic voice of the Holy Spirit beginning especially with the “Latter Rain” visitation in 1948 and continuing on throughout the whole earth to this present time.  Purging the Lord’s called and separated elect from the errors of the carnal church systems of man; raising up the Christ-life within to overcome the flesh, the world, and the devil; drawing an overcoming company into the paths of His leading, into paths of righteousness, truth, purity, and power — truly His wife is making herself ready!


            In writing these precious truths relating to the marriage of the Lamb, we are reminded again of the words of the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, “Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep…” (Jn. 4:11).  Ah, what depths there are to every particular realm and relationship which is prepared for us to attain to in Christ!  There are beautiful truths — deep depths and high heights — to be explored as we ponder this special relationship of brideship and the marriage of the Lamb.  Is it an individual experience?  Is it a corporate experience?  Is it a present reality — or a future event?  Let there be no doubt in the mind of any man that it is all of these — and much, much more!    


            Just the sound of the words “The marriage of the Lamb” brings great joy, excitement, and anticipation to my heart, as it should to every member of God’s elect.  Beloved soul, we have rightly rejoiced in the beautiful truth of our brideship to Christ, however we must have anointed eyes to see and a quickened heart to understand that in the final analysis the bride, though beautiful and blessed beyond words to describe, is not the center of attention at the marriage of the Lamb.  It is the Bridegroom who is exalted there!  “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor unto HIM: for the marriage of THE LAMB is come…”  It is not “the marriage of the bride” that is rejoiced in, but rather “the marriage of the Lamb.”  It is the Lamb who brings the bride to His glory!  It is the Lamb who loved her, and gave Himself for her!  It is the Lamb who sanctifies and cleanses her with the washing of water by the word!  It is the Lamb who presents her unto Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing…holy and without blemish.  It is the Lamb who woos her and wins her!  She takes His name, she walks in His paths, she shares His life, she is made one in Him.  Oh, yes!  Truly, it is GOD who worketh in you, beloved, both to will and to do of His good pleasure!  It is CHRIST in your spirit who is drawing your soul, wooing you, and raising you up to live in Him!  Thank God, we are not left to our own devices to try and find our place in Him.  Of  Him, and through Him, and unto Him are all things!”  It is the Lamb who has taken the initiative!  It is the Lamb who has desired us, called us, proposed to us, planned for us, and determined the outcome.  Therefore — it is the Lamb that is exalted — exalted by the bride at His side and exalted by the unnumbered millions who fill the universe with their paeans of praise!  It is indeed wonderful!



To be continued…      J. PRESTON EBY



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Updated by Sharon Eby 11/02/2017 11:13:36 PM