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May 3, 2022 12:00 am
In Revelation 2, Christ commends the church at Ephesus for their pure theology and their love for sound doctrine, but He condemns them for losing sight of their first love. So if Jesus isn't the reason we're studying Revelation, we're studying in vain.
The church who faithfully serve Christ who will live with a sense of devotion to him whether it is emptying a single, dirty dishes.
Whatever it is it is dotted of the glory of God had well effectively show up, you will reveal the glory of God through you in this radiant the tire. I couldn't help but think as I as I study this. I wonder what my down is gonna look like maybe you're wondering what your book of Revelation is filled with amazing we learn about some future characters that are described for us were fascinated when we think about all the events that are described for us. It's amazing to know that they will unfold in God's timing. All of that makes it easy to miss this key truth. The book of Revelation was written to teach us about Jesus. One of the things we learn about him is how much he loves the church. That's the theme of Stephen's message today on wisdom for the heart. This is the conclusion to Stephen's message called here comes the bride throughout human history.
Weddings, wedding ceremony's wedding arrangements wedding decorations wedding apparel have all been significant moments. In fact they been the highlight of the human race, and you have some pictures to show if you been married you look back at them every once in a while, one of my favorite wedding pictures was when that photographer captured the moment when the wedding march began a my bride descended the steps from the balcony downward. Her dad waited for her at the bottom of the stairs and the photographer captured the moment when she was walking down but if you look closely at the picture you can see her eyes are looking appear toward me. My heart was racing about 120 did in Slidell after the wedding cake.
Never forget that when our funniest memories was after the wedding march and I spent away from the church to her childhood home where her parents were living in where you change clothes and then take off for our honeymoon.
Only after we got to her parents home. We realize we've forgotten the key to the house to get in. We walked around that house.
It was it was locked the front door was locked.
We walked around the back of the little home in the back door was locked but we noticed the bathroom window is open was about 8 feet above the ground and I can still remember putting my hands together and hoisting my bride Doris she could just get a hold I went.
I climbed through the wet client to that window. Wedding dress and all present a picture of that that would be great. When my wife and I were married I gave her something that she had never owned before.
I'm not thinking of our matching wedding bands. I am thinking of my name all her life up to that point, her name had been Marsha Gladney good Irish name but yet is that wedding ceremony came to a close.
We were introduced for the first time as Mr. and Mrs. Stephen, Daisy, and from that point on her name change from Gladney to Davie. Christ promised the church in chapter 2 that he would give them effect individually, a precious gem of some sort with an new name inscribed on it. A unique name given by the groom to the bride. When I told her name is. We will find out later that most wedding ceremonies. The wedding attire is what many people come to see. It's magnificent in that the groom who will be described for us later on. In chapter 19 we dressed as the King for he is a king. The Jewish groom would dress as much like a king as he possibly could dress, he would borrow the finest clothing we rent tuxedos today and he would borrow jewelry he would in fact he would send his garments in frankincense and myrrh that was their culture and custom that we most often think of gold, frankincense and myrrh as those gifts given to our Lord when he was a little boy by the Magi as a significant market is coming always royalty what is coming suffering and death because frankincense and myrrh. If you're wealthy enough are part of your burial. However, there's more to it than that.
These were the elements of a groom coming for his bride.
So even from the time of his childhood. These gifts not only spoke of Jesus Christ. Death. They spoke of his great delight his own is not only signified his burial but his bride John provides for us and will look at this very brief statement of the bridal apparel because that is significant as well. Go to verse seven in the latter part of said his bride has made herself ready.
Verse eight 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 never given three descriptive words about her bridal dress. This is the bridal gown of the church and each individual will be marked as I'll show you in a moment the first descriptive word is translated fine linen. This was expensive, beautiful cloth Joseph when he was elevated to Prime Minister were told he put on fine linen. Genesis 41 verse 42 King David of the royal king of Israel war fine linen as part of his kingly dress first Chronicles 15.
This was the fabric of the powerful. This was the closing of the wealthy royalties.
So we arrived we royalty connected powerfully to the King of the universe will be wearing fine linen. The bridal dress is also referred to as bright lamp trusts, which gives us our word lamp is used in a way that can be translated not just bright but but shining there is a glowing. The bridal apparel. There is a radiance about it that is magnificent to behold. Finally, were told of this text of the bride is dressed in a clean garment this word is the word translated pure notice of the beginning of verse eight it was given to her to clothe herself in this and other words theologically understood our righteous purity and radiance must come from God.
It must come from the bridegroom who credits to our account. His righteousness Philippians chapter 3 verse nine but notices well.
The latter part of this verse. Notice how there there seems to be that implication then that this is something given to us, but it is uniquely marked by the obedience of the bride that is the last part of her stay for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. In other words, there is both the gifting of Christ in our wedding. Yeah but there is the responsibility of the Christian which will evidently be apparent to everyone else. There is both a corporate sentence to this wedding attire and there is a personal, individual sentence reflected by our obedience on as well. See, this is the fullest picture of Ephesians 2 we know verses eight and nine. We camp out there and it is a wonderful place to camp out for by grace are ye saved through faith right not of yourselves, it is the gift of God not as a result of works, lest anyone should boast. But verse 10 says this. We then those who are saved are his workmanship, we the bride than those who are saved are created in Christ Jesus for a while for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Since good works do not get a person into the bridal party. Many have wondered how good works make any difference at all in the future kingdom is one clear indication is our unique display as individual members of this bridal party based on our attire that reflects our commitment and obedience to Christ the many evangelical scholars place the bema seat during the tribulation. While the bride is being presented to the father in heaven. Paul wrote it in first grade. In chapter 3 and second grade. In chapter 5 are the people of God will be rewarded individually for their good works. This is not to determine whether or not you're going into heaven.
You wouldn't get the bema seat.
If you are going to have in fact you are already but it will determine your position in the coming kingdom. How did you use your one talent your five talents, your 10 talents. How do you use that which was distributed to you by sovereign God to bury it. Did you use it. Did you multiply it in the water use, it will be given more. This is a reference I believe to the bema where those who faithfully serve Christ will be uniquely displayed with this. This sense of glory in her wedding attire as they are being Road for the wedding ceremony and celebration. I like to think of this. This garment then and help you understand it correctly immediate illustrated by means of something that I think is appropriate. That would be a graduation gown.
How many of you have graduated from somewhere. Okay I believe you flunked out and I want asked that question okay if you graduated you got that blackout and frankly it was plain and it was simple and you were thrilled, weren't you. You are in the graduation line and you got that thing zipped up and and you got your Capt. and they told you where to line up in the and and eventually you took off now if you look closely, there are's many people had the plane down and and yet there were some with embroidered work signifying honors. There are some with medallions hooked to their down, signifying the highest honors. There would be those in the graduation procession of those who live a longer serve longer had more opportunity represented by the faculty they would be wrote then and there would be colors in their down, representing their distinctive study in their degree. Whenever I marched in the shepherd seminary commencement exercises on wearing my bike down my my robe and I have stripes on my arms. Each stripe signifying something. The color red is woven in signifying that my degree is theology embroidered by Golden and there at the bottom of the sleeve. There is a a strike representing the fact that I serve as the president of shepherd's theological seminary.
Fortunately, none of that reveals my grade point average while I was in school. That's a good thing. That's the point. All the bridal gown is not negative is not informing anybody of something you didn't do it is reflecting what you didn't do for Christ. Nobody's going to weeping down the aisle. All my dress no enemy freehold the grace of God has enabled us by means of our faith. Would you gave us in Christ to be wrote, however, those of the church who faithfully serve Christ, who live with a sense of devotion to him whether it is emptying a sink of dirty dishes. Changing a diaper serving in some way capacity, the body of Christ. Whatever it is it is done under the glory of God. It will effectively show up in a way and you will reveal the glory of God through you in this radiant attire.
I couldn't help but think as I as I study this. I wonder what my down is gonna look like maybe you're wondering what yours is going to look like.
We know that martyrs for Christ will wear unique crowns for their testimony uniquely rewarded elders faithfully serve the sheep will be uniquely rewarded those who persevered under severe trials will be uniquely rewarded those who pursued a holy lifestyle will be uniquely rewarded. Those were even told who long for his coming will be uniquely rewarded it. It's as if God really wants to put a lot of stuff into the attire.
So when the bride marches in the procession per gallon will simply reflect the glory of God. She allowed by her obedience to work through her while on earth, one author said the reality this doesn't sink in that in a way we weave on earth what we where in heaven. God gave us on earth what he gave us on earth, and his gifts will determine the way we are presented with the bridegroom when he comes. This is a challenging thought reminds me, he wrote of the familiar lines, only one life will soon be passed on was done for Christ will last no not told exactly of the wedding ceremony takes place in heaven after the rapture of the church and the subsequent bema seat or if the wedding ceremony takes place on earth as the millennial kingdom begins and of all the commentaries and all the study I did, I could probably put one stack for each view, and all other good reasons.
When John's vision to me implies in Revelation 19 it seems to indicate that the wedding ceremony is just taken place in heaven. Prior to the dissent because I would throw my hat in with those who would say she's already wearing her wedding attire for wedding garments. By the way either side would argue this is a wonderful argument for pre-tribulation rapture. How otherwise do you get the church descending with Christ from heaven. If there on earth. Having just survived the tribulation.
Another descending with him there attire. They are rewarded indicating the bema has taken place strong proof for the church, having already been presented in the father's house.
When the tribulation unfolded on earth like it's interesting that the church hasn't been mentioned since chapter 6 when the church was seen in heaven singing before the throne of God. But now chapters later. Now in chapter 19, where Christ is returning from heaven.
Guess what the church is clearly mentioned again that unique expression. The bride is with were in the wedding party. I guess you could say the wedding march is now reached the point where Christ will present us to all the world, reflecting all his glory now were heading for the final stage of the wedding December 4 and final event in this succession of events. It's the wedding feast verse nine that he said to me right. Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. In other words, his death and sacrifice gave us the ticket so that we can be part of this now. I don't suppose you can have a wedding without a wedding reception right just wouldn't be right with it in order to prepare for the right amount of people of the right amount of of food and beverage you got have a guest list. John writes here a special blessing to all who are invited to participate in the wedding feast celebration that will last throughout the kingdom will. Who are those these people who have RSVPed for the reception will can't be the bride of bride is not invited to her own wedding reception. She's the honored guest along with her groom right this would be the friends of the bride put the clues together and discover that it will involve some resurrected Old Testament believers in Matthew eight and Luke 13 both refer to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is being in the kingdom is the kingdom, lengthens toward the end you find the terminology Revelation expanding to include Israel here. Initially, we have these mention the guests will include the heroes of faith and he was 11, John the Baptist described himself as a friend of the bridegroom John 329 will be there all those who accepted Christ during the tribulation who survive will actually end her the feast enter the kingdom in their mortal bodies.
Israel, who converted to Christ as a nation, looking upon him whom they've pierced as he descends will be guests at the feast as well.
They will command John Phillips writes it descriptively they'll file in rank after rank. They'll meet the groom and the bridal take their places at the table. They are full of joy. Also, they are blessed of God.
This wedding feast will literally last thousand years of the speak it will culminate in the new heaven and the new earth.
John the apostle is so overwhelmed that verse 10 tells us he fell down he fell down at the feet of an angel.
He is so moved by this and in it's hard for us to understand but just consider for the front for the moment that the John has been exiled on the island of Patmos. The church is being beaten its suffering. It is struggling through difficult days of it as any gardener will be torn and blinds so and John is transported to this vision of a of a ceremony in a feast and involving the bride of Christ. Try row in all of her glory. He just wipes out, we probably would to Becky he he. So you become so unfocused that he begins the worst of the angel, praising the angel. The angel says in verse 10, don't do that told worship me worship.
Worship God. I'm just a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship. Worship God. Then he ends by saying it's interesting phrase for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. What is he mean he means that prophecy is at its core about Jesus Christ. He means that that the coming of Christ. Both the first time and this second time is the content of prophecy. Jesus Christ is the culmination he is the climax of prophetic Scripture. You can go any higher than him, you can't speak of anyone greater then him.
That's why the book is rightly named from the very first phrase in verse one of Revelation chapter 1. This is the revelation Jesus Christ.
It is and it isn't just the revelation of kingdoms and coalitions in antichrist and in the Dragon in the tribulation and the bowls and the trumpets and in all that this is at its highest point in its deepest meaning as a revelation Jesus Christ.
We miss him we miss everything we we can get all tied in to all of the details and miss the beauty of prophetic Scripture.
It is, it is Jesus Christ. Prophecy finds all its delights and joys and fulfillments in him. I close with this, quite close, as it is a part of the Orthodox Jewish wedding as I researched in my study for this message came across so much that I'm not even able to bring to the money when he give you a couple of interesting things is a time to Scripture the ceremony of an Orthodox Jewish couple involves seven blessing. The saying of seven blessings in a different times, different people come forward and quote them there just sentences.
The last one signifying the end of the ceremony and the beginning of this wedding feast is this statement and I quote in this seventh blessing we pray for the time Messiah will come to redeem us from exile so that peace and tranquility will reign over the world and here you have it will come true and it comes true. In Revelation chapter 19 when more in a typical Jewish wedding is the wedding feast is about to begin.
The bride and groom will drink from a cup of new wine as a sign of their rejoicing fresh squeeze could never think of the promise of Christ who said to his disciples, centuries earlier there in that upper room is that, unlike in a drink of the fruit of the vine till that day when I drink it where kingdom that is Christ fulfills his promise that the church is been commemorating every time we lift that little cup to her lips Jesus Christ that I'm not in a drinking until I drink it with you and so now here is I envision him lifting the ceremonial cup to his lips filled with wine fulfilling with his bride. A promise is made at least 2000 years in the wedding feast in the reign of the Messiah begins with our Bible teacher, Stephen Devi Stevens working his way through a series from revelation called thy kingdom come. Today's message is entitled here comes the bride if you missed the beginning of this message, or if you want to listen again. We have it posted to our website wisdom online.org all of Stephen's teaching is on that site we make it available to you free of charge as audio that you can listen to or as written transcripts that you can read again, you'll find all that and much firstname.lastname@example.org if you prefer to have sermons on CDs we have those as well give us a call and we can help you over the phone. Each teaching series including this one called thy kingdom come, is available as a set of compact discs. The phone number to our office is 86 648 Bible. That's 86 648 Bible will give you all the information you need when you call, we'd really enjoy hearing from you and learning how God is using this ministry to build you up in the faith.
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