I saw two things on TV last night that are a prophetic picture of what lies before the Bride of Christ. She has long been halting between two opinions but that is about to come to an end. She soon will be confronted with the opportunity to decide her destiny as she chooses between the road that leads to strict preparation to become the pure bride of the Lamb and the road that leads to on-going adulterous relationships with the world.
Her first choice was depicted through a news story about a storm, a bridal couple, a wedding dress in a closet, and a mess that needed to be cleaned up. The tornado hit the dwelling place that the bride and groom were preparing for habitation after their marriage. The news story showed them walking through the mess together, accessing the damage and talking about getting it cleaned up. One thing that was left untouched by the storm was the bride’s wedding dress, which was waiting to be discovered hidden away in the closet. The newscaster commented that the wedding was still on as scheduled and noted that although a lot of things had been destroyed, the bride and groom still had each other.
The second arena of choice that lies before the bride in this hour was depicted by a news story regarding the “new” movie in town called Sex and the City. The story showed a group of local wives all dressed up in their ‘sexy’ outfits and making ready to go and observe the movie version of what they had all been watching on a ‘smaller scale’ on the TV screen. They were imbibing on some martinis and showing off their apparel as they headed toward the limousine that would drive them to expected excitement and enjoyment.
If we put these two ‘stories’ together, we can see a line that is being drawn in a prophetic sense that will bring sharper and clearer distinctions in view for Christ’s church. On the one hand, we have the call for the bride to be to enter into the storm of the Lord in order to be made clean and ready for the upcoming Marriage Supper of the Lamb. This encounter with the swift winds of God will serve to rearrange our plans, our hopes, and our dreams. There will be pain and there will be discomfort as many ‘things’ are loosed from our grasp and allowed to dissipate in a whirlwind of purification. Out of this turmoil will come revelation of what is truly needed and important. Our Bridegroom will walk with us through the rubble of our selfish desires and lead us to discover the pure
white raiment that He has hidden away in His protective covering of endless love. Our hearts will be offered to Him in a new fresh way as the excesses of earthly living are trimmed away and we discover that possessing Him and being possessed by Him is enough. We will come forth as the ‘prepared bride’ to be forever joined to our Beloved Bridegroom.
The other side of this prophetic line shows a wayward bride who has eyes for an adulterous relationship with the world and continues ‘to make herself ready’ to encounter ‘pleasures of the flesh’ on a larger and larger scale. She has determined in her heart that she cannot be satisfied with the true Lover of her soul and so she becomes drunk with the wine of worldly enticements and finds herself caught up in a different whirlwind - one where she is spiraling out of control with her seemingly ‘innocent’ pretenses, soon to be caught up in a maze of swirling forces that will leave her ‘homeless’ as she wanders the streets of loneliness, offering herself as a cheap favor. Hopes and dreams will have been lost along with any semblance of purity as she mixes her strong drink, adorns herself
with the apparel of a harlot, and eagerly enters the fancy vehicle that will take her to her awaited destiny.
Two stories - two brides - two endings. The lines of distinction are being drawn. The finger of judgment is in the earth. He will have a pure spotless bride. He will sort and sift impure mixtures. What whirlwind will we be caught up in? One will make us pure - one will make us bitter. One will fulfill hopes and dreams - one will kill, steal, and destroy. Which road? Which opinion? Which destiny? The bride must decide. The answer will soon be blowing in the wind.
"Awake, O north wind, and come, wind of the south; make my garden breathe out fragrance, let its spices be wafted abroad. May my beloved come into his garden and eat its choice fruits!"
Song of Solomon 4:16
"I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh along with my balsam. I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk. Eat, friends; drink and imbibe deeply, O lovers."
Song of Solomon 5:1
"Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.
"However, I shall leave a remnant, for you will have those who escaped the sword among the nations when you are scattered among the countries. Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations to which they will be carried captive, how I have been hurt by their adulterous hearts which turned away from Me, and by their eyes, which played the harlot after their idols; and they will loathe themselves in their own sight for the evils which they have committed, for all their abominations. Then they will know that I am the Lord; I have not said in vain that I would inflict this disaster on them.:
Your ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wished to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places
And the serpent said to the woman, "You surely shall not die!"
And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
Like a bird that wanders from her nest, so is a man who wanders from his home
A man who wanders from the way of understanding will rest in the assembly of the dead
Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day. Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example, in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire
"Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world shall be cast out."
Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.
How dark the gold has become, how the pure gold has changed! The sacred stones are poured out at the corner of every street
Those who ate delicacies are desolate in the streets; those reared in purple embrace ash pits. For the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the sin of Sodom, which was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands were turned toward her. Her consecrated ones were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk; they were more ruddy in body than corals, their polishing was like lapis lazuli. Their appearance is blacker than soot, they are not recognized in the streets; their skin is shriveled on their bones, it is withered, it has become like wood
Harlotry, wine, and new wine take away the understanding. My people consult their wooden idol, and their diviner's wand informs them; for a spirit of harlotry has led them astray, and they have played the harlot, departing from their God
I know Ephriam, and Israel is not hidden from Me; for now, O Ephraim, you have played the harlot, Israel has defiled itself. Their deeds will not allow them to return to their God. For a spirit of harlotry is within them, and they do no know the Lord.
Then the Lord said to me, "Even though Moses and Samuel were to stand before Me, My heart would not be with this people; send them away from My presence and let them go! And it shall be that when they say to you, 'Where should we go?' then you are to tell them, 'Thus says the Lord: "Those destined for death, to death; and those destined for the sword, to the sword; and those destined for famine, to famine; and those destined for captivity, to captivity."'
"I AM the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit."
"Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready." And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. And he said to me, "Write, 'Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb'" And he said to me, "These are true words of God."
Revelation 19: 7-9