The Wedding Garment: Ready for the Sky
22 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
2 O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.
3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7: 13-14) It is time for the Lord’s church to preach this great truth with abandonment. Woe to the preachers who do not preach Biblical holiness. Every standard in God’s Bible is the full picture of the wedding garment. From cross-dressing compromise to our worldly pleasures, everything must be judged by the Holy Bible. I have no right to preach anything but the Bible. Neither do I have the right to leave anything out that is in the Bible. It is infallible.
The wedding in the sky is the star-studded event. The Bride is the sanctified saints and the Bridegroom is the crucified but resurrected Lamb. The Father gave His Son that His Son might purify His Bride. He will come for that Bride any hour and she will be fully prepared in her wedding attire. Apostle Paul made it clear that she would be without defilement. His words could not be clearer. “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.” (Ephesians 5: 25-27) I beg you to be ready.
If there is one star-studded event of all the ages that transcends all others, it must be the “Marriage Supper of the Lamb.” The very heart of the Father in creating Adam and Eve and commanding them to multiply was out of a family passion. He had a family of angels that filled His eternal city with praise, but He also wanted a human family that His Son may be the Bridegroom. Nothing in His eternity is a surprise to Him. We were chosen from the foundation of the world to bring great joy to His fatherly heart.
It is fitting that the Bible ends in His New Jerusalem, a special city for a special people. It is the conclusion of His revelations and shows the eternal joys as the Father enjoys His family, both angelic and glorified flesh. This world is nothing but a sideshow, while the kingdom of God is in preparation to be revealed. The fallen prince, Satan, has had his time of rebellion, while the world makes their choice of whom to serve. Wickedness grows for its final harvest of sorrows, while righteousness climbs the stairs of grace to its triumph. The hour of finality is so close that the sense of majesty is in the air.
The Psalmist Spoke of a Wedding
The Psalmist David surely walked with God and was given a peep into the “Royal Wedding.” First, he spoke of this coming King/Messiah and declared Him with a glorious sense of His lofty statue. Read this description of the Bridegroom spoken hundreds of years before the virgin conceived in her womb this King. “My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever. Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; whereby the people fall under thee. Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.” (Psalm 45:1-6).
Such words are too high for me. They leave me with a glow into the marvel of our Father’s gift. He was very God. Already a King, grace poured from His lips. He was majestic in humility, mighty in battle, and truth was the essence of His person. He was from a throne and destined to return but with everlasting victory in His right hand. He is presently patient, but soon to ride the white horse of fiery judgment. His scepter will leave no room for exceptions. His victory is soon to be total because the price of this redemption is totally paid. He has uttered, “It is finished.” (John 19:30).
Anointed to be King and Bridegroom
By the spirit of prophecy, the Psalmist saw this future Wedding Supper and described the details. Every word of Scripture must be rightly divided if we are to receive the pure message. First, David spoke of the King Himself concerning His position after His cross was experienced. He wrote, “Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.” (Psalm 45:7-8).
This is the triumphant Savior, having endured the cross and now exalted above all created beings. He is the God/Man, both God and man and will forever be identified with His Bride. His identity is so intimate that He said, “… I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.” (Hebrews 2:12-13).
He is one of us forever to reign in glorified flesh. The Son of God has become the Son of Man forever without ceasing to be Eternal God and seated at the Father’s right hand. The person of our Savior is presently and forever unfathomable. His glory will eliminate the need of the sun in the New Heavens and the New Earth.
Song of Solomon 2
10 My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
11 For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;
When He comes to begin the “Times of the End,” His coming is described as “Out of the ivory palaces whereby they have made thee glad.” This statement does not speak of His birth, but of His second coming. He is presently, as I write, the joy of the City of God. The Heavenly City, where He is seated at the Father’s right hand, is full of joy because of Him. He is His Father’s greatest delight and those words, “whereby they have made thee glad,” speak of both His joy and the joy of those that worship and exalt Him. If He is the source of such joy now, can you imagine His joy, both to Himself and His Father, when He takes His office as the Bridegroom with His Bride?
Even His person is attired in the priceless ointments of the City of God. His robe is divinity, but His Sonship is like the most extravagant of human value. Myrrh, aloes, and cassia speak of His priceless person unstained by His walk among the lost souls of this sin-riddled planet.
The Queen: His Bride
Now, the prophecy by David begins to reveal the mystery of the Bride. This great truth is still hidden from much of the church because the level of spirituality is so weak. The great writers of church history have reveled in the lofty truths of this Queen/Bride, but not so in today’s church. Most of the prophecy authors reject what I’m trying to share. They are precious people, but unmoved by the call to holiness. I wish they would read from the past great Bible scholars like Hudson Taylor, Joseph Seiss, G.H. Pember, G.H. Lang. They would shortly discover that modern scholarship is woefully lacking.
The Brideship of Christ must be seen as a coveted promise for those willing to forsake all. David clearly shows the distinction between the Bride or Queen and the guest at the wedding. Notice carefully the prophetic words, “Kings’ daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the Queen in gold of Ophir. Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house; So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him. And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour. The king’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee. Gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king’s palace.” (Psalm 45:9-15).
These words are written in a complex manner but carefully show the Queen all dressed in the extravagant gold of Ophir. She stands forth among the virgins, the daughter of Tyre with her gift, and the multiple kings’ daughters. This singular (special) daughter, the Bride and Queen, is all dressed and prepared in raiment of needlework to be brought unto the King Himself. Not only is she attired in raiment of needlework but she is “all glorious within.” Twice, it is declared that her clothing is of “wrought gold.” All of this beauty is a work of grace and redemption that the King Himself wrought for her when He stepped out of eternity to enter the winepress of wrath as our sacrifice for sin.
What a prophetic picture of the “Bride of Christ” soon to enter into her glorious triumph of the ages. Isaiah saw her rising from the dust of death to enter her chamber of nuptial glory and said, “… Awake and sing … Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity …” (Isaiah 26:19-21).
The prophet Malachi spoke for the Bridegroom and called her “My Jewels.” He stated, “And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” (Malachi 3:17). These incredible statements reveal the heart of God all through the First Testament as the redemption story was perfectly moving toward the first crisis, the Messiah’s appearing and sacrifice.
The Perfecting of the Bride
Redemption is not cheap and neither is the product of redemption. His sacrifice took the Son of God from the City of God, the mountain of His holiness down to our sin-saturated planet where He would be despised, rebutted, and brutally slain. His grace cannot be mixed with our self-help psychologies. His redemption does not need AA’s support or schemes. The grace of God is totally sufficient to transform the vilest sinner into a glorious saint and prepare them to be His Bride. This is the New Testament message. Apostle Paul echoed the perfect solution. “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” (Galatians 6:14-15).
He is preparing a “glorious church” to “present to Himself.” His Bride will be “dressed in the gold of Ophir,” a beautiful Queen that He can lavish with love for eternity. The Ephesians church heard this clear call to be His chosen. “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 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.” (Ephesians 5:24-27).
11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
When we buy a new car we want it to be spotless. A contractor for a new home is unacceptable until his turnkey job renders unto you a home without blemish. Our clothing is purchased from the department store that guarantees the merchandise to be of the best quality. Yet, we speak of His Bride as a mixture of the world and the church. This generation rejects the ministers that call for holiness and Godliness and deceives themselves into claiming cheap grace and careless living. The infallible Word of God presents a totally different picture. It is of a “glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle … and without blemish.” And it is all by His “powerful cleansing blood” that transforms us into “new creatures.” There is no such thing as “positional righteousness” without “experiential righteousness.”
The Marriage of the Lamb
The climax of this great event is best seen in the Book of Revelation. The Revelation of Jesus Christ is His unveiling of Himself and those things that relate to His completed revelations. We are in the very center of this unveiling. He identified His espoused Bride in five different offices in this one book. First, we are seen as His church in Revelation chapters one, two, and three. At the very moment that chapter four begins we are called elders sharing in the unveiling of judgments to redeem the earth. After the seven years of the Great Tribulation (chapter 4 – 19:4), we are called His army (chapter 19:14) as we return with Him to subdue the kingdoms of the earth. During the millennial reign we are positioned as His kings and priests to reign on this earth with the King Himself. In the last two chapters, we become His Bride for eternity to enjoy with Him in our New Jerusalem. What a breathtaking picture!
Before the Marriage Supper, the false religious system must be judged and obliterated. This harlot woman (false church) will be utterly destroyed so that the one true Bride can be exalted to her rightful place. Nothing has plagued the church like the imitation and masquerade of the false. Everything that the true church has sought to do to exalt the Lord Jesus and raise the standard of holiness, the false religions have attacked and tried to destroy. It has been a battle to the death.
The Lord Jesus has promised to judge every expression of the “religious lie” and to cause that entire system to repent at our feet. Our Lord said, “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.” (Revelation 3:9). What an hour awaits His true saints when that false religious world finally must confess her error and repent of her deeds at our feet.
The worship of the saints will echo through the heavens when this blasphemous throng of the false bride and her entire organizations are judged in one hour. The words of Revelation nineteen begin with the testimony of Jesus or His prophecy. “And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.” (Revelation 19:1-3).
The false bride is forever gone. She will be no more, and her dark deceiving doctrines and lies will never plaque the people of God again. With this dark system removed, the praise of the saints takes on a glorious expression. Alleluia, Alleluia, and glory to the Lamb forever. The beauty of the church has been marred by the constant claims of the false. The world looks at the church and cannot discern between the two and normally sees us as a mixture of the false. The glory of His church will become manifest when there is no church of Satan to cloud the view. It’s almost time for this separation.
Let Us Be Glad and Rejoice
The day of the church’s greatest glory will have arrived. The false church is out of the picture. The saints that have paid the price of surrender and trusted only in her Lord are ready. Listen as the words of prophecy from the lips of our Lord Himself are proclaimed by one of His redeemed elders. “Let us be glad and rejoice, 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 saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” (Revelation 19:7-9).
Our first desire as we enter into this glory is to give honor to the Bridegroom Himself. We are not there because we chose Him but because He chose us. Giving honor to Him as the Messiah that came, the Sacrifice that died, the Intercessor that prayed, and the Father and the Lamb that has earned all redemption rights becomes the first order of the Marriage Feast celebration. My imagination goes wild as I try to imagine the setting in this Bridal Chamber. The multitudes of the saints begin to praise and rejoice in the presence of our Bridegroom with a kind of worship unknown to us in our skin tent. Apostle Paul came back from the third heavens with bated expression because he said the words he heard was unlawful to utter. This scene must be seen in the same light. Let’s just anticipate this hour with joy and expectation.
1 Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east:
2 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.
4 And the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east.
5 So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house.
“The Marriage of the Lamb is come and His wife hath made herself ready.” Those words are breathtaking. He chose us because there isn’t any capacity in man to come to Him except the Father draws him; yet, we have responsibility. This Bride has obeyed His calling of us to become His chosen. She hath made herself ready. How did His wife make herself ready? Jesus Himself laid the very foundation for an answer to this question. The Son of God said, “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” (Luke 21:34-36).
These words could not be any plainer. The Lord calls but He does not force and He does not act arbitrarily against our will. We have the truth in Holy Scripture and the Lord has almost begged of us to “take heed,” to “watch ye therefore,” and to “pray always.” Such words are empty if everyone is already safe. If believers cannot fall or miss the mark of Brideship, then the Son of God was wasting His breath to speak the words above. My friend, do not be a fool to think that our Lord uttered some kind of meaningless warning. It will be too late to beg forgiveness once the Rapture has come. You may indeed repent and be saved, but you will not get a second chance to be a part of His Bride.
The day that Jesus warned us of in this passage is clearly the Tribulation Period. Notice that He said, “For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.” (Luke 21:35). The twenty and four elders that sit before the Father’s throne in Revelation four are never added to in number after the Rapture. The number of thrones in the Brideship of Christ will never change after the Rapture of the Pre-Tribulation Saints. Others will be saved and be virgins that attend to the Bride at the wedding.
The wedding garment, not withstanding what the wife has done to make herself ready, is provided by the redemption of the Redeemer Himself. His grace is complete to make us absolute holy, but that grace is only given to the surrendered will. This wife or Bride is representative of the overcomers that stood strong against every temptation of the world. These are victorious saints. To them is granted the “fine linen, clean and white, for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” These saints are both overcomers in their own surrender and clothed in the righteous of the Lamb.
The Lord’s words continue to amaze. “… Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb …” (Revelation 19:9). These words clearly present a picture of a chosen crowd who have proved themselves worthy. These are not the saints of which Apostle Paul said, “If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (I Corinthians 3:15). If you cannot lose this reward, the ultimate Brideship of the Bridegroom, what reward can you lose? Every one of us will be rewarded according to our labor. This is the reward of being the Queen to the King. The saints of the ages have spoken of their passion to be a part of this Queenship. Apostle Paul said, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” (Philippians 3:10-11). The Bride is soon to reign with Him.
The entire last two chapters of Holy Scripture give us a picture of this reigning Queen in the city, which the Lord has provided her. Saint John gives us the only record of anyone viewing this city. Jesus has promised to prepare this place when He spoke in St. John 14. John saw the city and sent back His description. “And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I 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. 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 21:2-4).
The city and the Bride become as one. It is the wedding gift to the Queen from the King Himself. When the wedding feast is over, there appears to be a thousand years before the Bride enters into the descending city coming down to the renewed earth like a brilliant crystal palace. Such glory is too much for us as we continue to fight the warfare of faith. Only faith can grasp such a promise so full of hope. Above all else in my life and my walk of faith is my desire to attain unto the Queenship of my Lord and Savior. I give Him all I am because I want to receive all He is and all He has prepared for the chosen.