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Hounslow Road, Feltham TW14 9AD, Greater London, UK

Hounslow Christian Fellowship - Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit saith the Lord

The Fitness of the Bride

"'Let us rejoiceand 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 deeds of the saints"(7,8)

The whole stress in this passage is laid upon the moral fitness of the Bride for the grand occasion,"His wife HAS MADE HERSELF READY" for the union,"it was given to her that she should CLOTHE HERSELF".

Her bridal clothes are not the gaudy spendour of the great harlot,purple and scarlet robes,glittering with gold,jewels and pearls(Rev 17:4).The holy Bride only wears fine linen,shining,white and pure.

In the old testament that was the clothing of the high priest when he entered yearly into the Holy of Holies(Lev 16:4).His fine linen was spun by human hands(Exo 35:25) and in like manor the clothing of the Bride was of her own making.

Note that it says,"The righteous deeds of the saints"not "the righteous of God",thus showing that it is not speaking here of the righteousness of God we receive at salvation but something we achieve by our faithfulness and life of obedience.

In 1Cor 6:11 we read,"You were washed,you were sanctified,in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God"

The literal rendering of this passage :"You washed yourselves"(RV margin) emphasises yet more this truth and shows the harmony of Paul and John about this truth.

The imputed righteousness which justifies is put on the believer by God.It is not put on by the believer and takes place at the first act of faith but it is we who must work out this salvation unto a life of holy deeds and if we grieve and quench the Spirit then the fine linen will not be woven.

All this is shown in the life of Esther.From being a captive slave,she is exalted to be queen.Everything of clothing and ornaments that she needed  was the gift of the king for she had nothing suitable.But she had to put them on so as to approach to the king:"Esther put on her royal apparel"(Esth 5:1).

Christ purchased the Church that He might sanctify her might make her actually holy(She is already righteous through faith) and this work He effects by the laver.The laver in the tabernacle was a vessal into which water was put so that the priests could wash repeatedly and keep clean.They had to wash their hands and feet before they entered the sanctuary to do service. Thus also the Lord Jesus took a basin,poured water into it,and washed the feet of His disciples so as to impress upon us that actual holiness is indispensible to fellowship with Him:"If I wash you not you have no part WITH Me"(John 13:8).He did not say "IN Me"that would have made salvation dependant on our state of holiness but "with Me" as my companion and servant.

The laver is used in Eph 5:25  as a picture as a picture of the Word of God,"Water in the Word".The water(as always when a type) means the Spirit of God,"He who believes in Me as the Scripture said 'from his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water'this He spake of the Spirit"(John 7:38,39)

The Marriage Feast

"And He said to me,Write,'Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb'".(v.9)

The union of Ahasueras and Esther took place in the privacy of the royal palace:the wedding feast followed later(Esth 2:16-18).Thus here also there is simply an announcement of the honour of being one of the king's guests,it is not stated that the marriage supper takes place at this precise moment.It seems that the guests will include people on earth when the Bridegroom returns here(Matt 22:1-14,25:1-13).It appears that the Feast will take place on earth at the opening of the Kingdom era.In Matt 26:29 the Lord says to His disciples,"From now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's Kingdom".Since there are no vines or soil in heaven it seems likely He will eat it new with His disciples on earth.

To be continued