Fabric prints and garments remind us of those gone to heaven as part of sign of faith of their rest and sleep in God. Progress into heaven is marked by change of garment and robes. To qualify to enter heaven one must wear garment of holiness, wholeness and righteousness. The covenant of salvation is a sign between Christ and believers who belong to God so sanctified by righteousness.
They make holy good works yet once seen as filthy rags by God. For holiness of Christ redeems by blood so cleanses as white as snow. The resurrection life in Christ Power is revealed through believers to a sinful dying world to repent as believer gain in presence of God and Christ in heaven. God bears grief and sorrows through Holy Spirit in Christ Jesus.
In the same way, God has changed the names of men and women whom He has transfigured. It will likewise be the foremost issue addressed among those who are called to be the Bride of Christ. The Bride's Eunuch Ministers. Salvation is a free gift, but reward and honor are according to our deeds. It is not true if one discerns that it is only those who have made themselves ready who will be caught up and protected by the Lord. Esther listened to the voice of Hegai. Only those who have been purified and refined can enter into the Most Holy Place.
It unbelievable the amount of money, clothing, food, shopping, jewels, trinkets, treasures, sewing machines, personal belongings buried with people with misconception they need things to equip them on journey of eternal life in heaven. Many believe they need boats and river crossing fares, numerous changes of clothing on trip to heaven.
Funerals have become a multi-million dollar industry with preparations sometimes taking years to plan. In order to finally get all people together on agreed suitable date for ceremony seems to glorify death. God makes it clear the only criterion for heaven is garment of Salvation and Righteousness, holiness virtues God judges.
Awake, awake put on beautiful garments in Isaiah Jesus said that we are to bear much fruit and thereby glorify His Father John Whether we bear little fruit, or much fruit, we are still children of God, but it is to our benefit to bear much fruit. Some in teaching the grace of God have erred in negating the importance of works and obedience in the life of the saint.
Jesus has not lessened the importance He attaches to these things. This is why Jesus states that a tree is known by its fruit Matthew It is not trees that Jesus is interested in, but people. My hope for you as you read this book is that you might be provided with some encouragement to more passionately pursue Jesus Christ. Much of the current teaching of the church actually does much to discourage a sold out life to Christ.
By neglecting the teaching of personal reward, or by teaching falsehoods such as that which asserts all believers will share the same honor and glory for eternity, the body has been lulled into complacency. After confessing Christ as Savior and Lord there seems to be little else that many Christians are encouraged to seek. Being born of the Spirit is but the beginning. This salvation corresponds to the Outer Court of the Tabernacle. The true glory is where the presence of God is found.
This is in the Most Holy Place. Only those who have been purified and refined can enter into the Most Holy Place. Only those who have allowed the working of the cross to put to death the deeds of the flesh can abide in the presence of God. This is the calling of the Bride of Christ. If you have a passion for the Lord Jesus Christ, if you long to know what the Father is looking for in fashioning a Bride for His Son, then this book is for you.
May you be challenged by these words and may your heart be stirred with a more passionate pursuit of the One who is pursuing you. The Bride and the Butterfly. Look again at the cover of this book. Note how distinctly different the caterpillar and the butterfly are in appearance. They would seem to not be related in any way, yet they are one and the same creature. An awesome transformation takes place in the life of this amazing insect. The transformation is so radical and complete that this insect has two different names.
At one period of its existence it is called a caterpillar. At another, it is called a butterfly. In the same way, God has changed the names of men and women whom He has transfigured. Their names were changed after they were transfigured by an encounter with God. In these last days before the return of Christ, there is another amazing transfiguration which must take place. A Bride will be fashioned and formed; a Bride that is radiant; a Bride without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
This Bride will be awesome to behold. She will be a fit Bride for the Son of God. The metamorphosis that must take place in order for the Bride to be revealed is no less radical than that of the caterpillar into a butterfly. The world will see the change and stand in awe. The Holy Spirit, even now, is at work to call forth a Bride out of the church, to wash her, to transform her, to make her ready. Some who read of this transformation will be incredulous. They will look at the caterpillar that the church now resembles and balk at the prospect of a butterfly coming forth from her.
Some will believe it is merely wishful thinking. Others will believe the timing is off; they will believe that the church will be transformed, but only after the saints get to heaven. There will be those, however, who read and believe. There will be those who, being washed by the water of the word, find faith arising in their hearts. It is these who will receive a new name. It is appropriate that these receive a new name. They are in actuality a whole new type of creature. They will be as different from the mass of nominal church goers and half-hearted confessors of Christ as the butterfly is different from the caterpillar.
They will not be content to remain in the Outer Court of the Tabernacle, satisfied with salvation and a promise of heaven. These will have a passion for knowing intimately the One who gave all for them. It is this passion that will hold these faithful ones to the path of transformation.
The path is difficult and comes at great cost, but the end is glorious and promises an assured habitation with the Son of God. There is an in-between stage that occurs as a caterpillar begins the process of becoming a butterfly. This stage is most vital. The caterpillar will never become a butterfly without this period of its existence. The caterpillar spins a cocoon around itself. This cocoon becomes a hidden chamber where the miracle of metamorphosis occurs, out of sight. But the cocoon seems to be lifeless.
It appears as a sarcophagus of death. Those who desire the appearance of constant activity will not eagerly enter into the cocoon. Those who seek comfort above conformity to Christ, or who live for the opinions of men, will not willingly enter into this place. It is uncomfortable, confining, and does not make sense to the world, nor does much of the church understand its function. For these reasons, and others, many will shun this place of death and they will forfeit the greater glory and resurrection life that can be attained by no other way.
For the remnant portion of the Body of Christ who will follow wherever their Savior leads there is a cocoon stage, a death process, that they must submit to. This stage is vital and cannot be skipped over.
It correlates to the wilderness portion of the trip from Egypt to the promised land of Israel. God will lead all of His children through this part of the journey, but few appreciate its significance. Some will not survive this part of the journey. Some will want to turn back.
It is here that transformation takes place. It is here that flesh is stripped away and a spiritual being arises. As with the butterfly, the Bride of Christ will be prepared in a hidden chamber. Her transformation will be veiled from the eyes of the world, and from much of the church, as well.
These will see her emerge and will wonder at the miracle that has taken place. But even in knowing, many will not submit to the process required for the glory of God to be revealed in them. This death is not an end.
It is a glorious beginning. After death comes resurrection life. After shedding the fleshly form of the caterpillar, the glorious butterfly emerges. What then will be the form of those children of God who allow the same process to work in them? Their end will be glory. The Bride as Seen in Esther. The Bible is full of images of brides. These images were given to provide understanding of the ultimate bride, which is the Bride of Christ.
In the book of Esther we read of a bride that was prepared for a king. Even so, the Bride of Christ is being prepared for her King. King Ahasuerus was a Mede. He was also known by the Greek form of his name, Xerxes. He reigned from to B. The timing is important to note here. It was on the seventh day of the great banquet that the queen was commanded to come forth. The world since Adam has experienced 6, years; 4, before Christ, and 2, since His birth.
This equates to 6 days. We are just entering into the 7th millennium, or the 7th day. On the 7th day Jesus will summon His Queen to come before Him, but because she does not revere Him as Lord, she will refuse to answer His summons, presented by His eunuchs which equate to God's ministers or to the seven spirits of God. Even so, let the wise men and women of our day, who discern the times, realize that this same event is being played out. Notice what was determined to be done to Queen Vashti due to her failure to revere King Ahasuerus as her lord and to respond in obedience to his summons.
Due to disobedience, Vashti was no longer permitted to enter the presence of the king. Much of the body of Christ today also is failing in obedience to their King and they will be excluded from the honor of entering His presence. It is those who are worthy who will be granted such honor. It does not say that Vashti was killed, or cast out. She was simply stripped of her honor. How terrible to be betrothed to the king, yet denied access to his presence. Shame due to her folly followed her for the rest of her life.
What tremendous grief she must have felt when her royal position was given to another. Many in the body of Christ are making the same error today. Shame and grief will be their portion as well. They have been taught that expressing faith in Jesus Christ to attain salvation is the pinnacle of what is set before them. Unknown to much of the church, salvation is only the beginning, it is not the end.
Salvation is a loosing from the bondage to sin that we should forevermore become slaves to righteousness Romans 6. We were formerly conformed to the ways of a fallen and sinful world, now we are to be conformed to the image of Christ Romans 8: This conforming comes as a process.
Salvation is but the first step in this process. Many saints today, having confessed faith in Christ, are then assured by others that they can now continue on to pursue personal happiness much as they did before salvation. They are even taught that God will be there to help them achieve the selfish longings of their hearts. The Lordship of Christ is overlooked, or given very minimal attention. Such saints ultimately fall into the pattern of Queen Vashti. They love the honor of being wed to the King, but they see the King as existing to meet their needs.
Obedience is foreign to them. When Jesus calls those who have been betrothed to Him to respond in obedience in this hour, many will refuse. Jesus will then respond as King Ahasuerus; He will restrict access to His presence to the disobedient ones. He will then search for another who is more worthy to be His Bride. This obedient Bride will be given honor and afforded access to His presence.
We are told that after the anger of King Ahasuerus subsided that he remembered his queen. He could not repeal the royal edict, so his advisers counseled him to have a new queen sought out. Hegai was charged with the responsibility of preparing these chosen ones to meet the king. Esther was among those picked for consideration to become the bride of Ahasuerus. A preparation process was required first. For these young women the process lasted an entire year. It was only after the virgin went through a year of preparation that she was ready to be presented to the king. The first six months of this process was marked by the pronounced usage of oil of myrrh.
Myrrh should be recognized by most believers as a spice that was used in preparing bodies for burial. The Bride is a remnant portion of the body of Christ, and, as is seen in the book of Esther, a preparation with oil of myrrh is an important part of her being made ready. Myrrh, for the virgin bride candidates of the king, represented death as well. She was to respond to his summons with quick obedience. No longer was her life her own, she belonged to another. Essentially, she was to die to her own life. Death is the first step of preparation that those who would become the Bride of Christ must go through.
SERMON I. GoD's LITTLE REMNANT KEEPING THEIR GARMENTS CLEAN IN AN EVIL DAY. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis, which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white; for they are worthy.—Rev. iii. 4. S E R MI O N S, S E R M O N I. GoD's LITTLE REMNANT KEEPING THEIR GARMENTs clean IN AN Evil DAY.” Thou hast a few names even in Sardis, which .
Salvation is not an end. It is a beginning. Our salvation was purchased with the blood of Jesus. The purchase price was exceedingly high, but it was paid. We are now no longer our own. We must die to our own desires, goals, and ambitions. It takes considerable time just to identify all of the ways in which we have sought our own welfare. Some forms of selfishness are very subtle. It is in this death process that obedience is learned and an end of personal initiative is brought forth. This time of preparation is designed to produce a suitable and compatible Bride for Christ.
She must become like Him, conformed to His image. Death to personal initiative was a characteristic of Jesus. This was a characteristic which Vashti lacked, and it cost her that which was most precious to her. It is appropriate that this failure was the first thing addressed among those who would contend for the opportunity to replace Vashti. It will likewise be the foremost issue addressed among those who are called to be the Bride of Christ. A more worthy bride was then chosen to replace the one who had disqualified herself. Those called to betrothal to Christ need to take this lesson to heart.
As we will see in subsequent chapters, many are called, but few are chosen. Esther distinguished herself by her obedience. The Bride's Eunuch Ministers. This book is primarily focused upon the Bride of Christ, but it is prudent to take a brief look at those who are called as ministers to prepare the Bride.
The way in which these ministers perform their service will greatly impact the preparation of the Bride. The book of Esther contains a type of these last days ministers. They are represented by Hegai, who was an eunuch in the service of King Ahasuerus. Hegai was charged with preparing the young virgins to meet the king in a most intimate manner.
He was to equip them with the manners, behavior, and mindset of those called to intimacy with the king. The Apostle Paul recognized this calling on his life. The body of Christ is called to attain to the fulness of the stature that belongs to Jesus Christ. When one considers that Jesus is the Head of the body, it makes sense to assert that the body is to attain to His fulness.
The Head and the body are to be a perfect match for one another. It would be inappropriate to have a mature head attached to an immature body. What must be the qualifications and character of these ministers whom Jesus has given to bring forth this maturity? Imagine, these ministers are called to equip and build up the body so that it is an equitable match for the Head. The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments , and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. Then at the end of the same chapter, where as a part of the severe letter to Laodicea, Christ points out that the church in Laodicea was wealthy in temporal terms, but the in spiritual terms had no clothes:.
Clearly, the metaphor of clothing is incredibly important and as Revelation 3: To this end, let us briefly consider other instances of the garment metaphor that we find in Revelation:. After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes , with palm branches in their hands.
Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Blessed are those who wash their robes ,so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. In Genesis, this clothing was necessary for entrance into a covenant with God. In Revelation, one must be clothed in a similar, though now even more clearly metaphorical garment in order to enter Heaven.
Thus, at a minimum we can conclude that the worst possible scenario for a human being is to be found in a state of undress before God.
But this is not the only truth to be gleaned from the biblical clothing metaphor. This metaphor also answers questions such as, how do we get dressed in this garment? How do we know that we have it?
Can we defile it? Is it possible to remove it? There are no coincidences in Scripture. Therefore, the frequency, consistency and depth of the clothing metaphor indicate that it cannot be easily dismissed and that its implications must be fully explored. Then after the exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt, we again find clothing being cleansed prior to making covenant with God: Once his clothes are pure, symbolizing the removal of his iniquity, God says to him: In 2 Corinthians 5: Here Paul points out a close relationship between this right standing and the sacrament of baptism: For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.