Preparing the Bride
by George Kirkpatrick  


Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Proclaiming the Everlasting Gospel of God's Kingdom

E-mail: vitalwords@aol.com
http://www.newfoundationspubl.org/titles.htm

For further study click on the following related books

The Day of Preparation                       The Marriage Supper                    Even The Very Elect

God's Called, Chosen & Elect             The Holy City                               Mt. Zion

Who Are God's Chosen People           Mystery Israel Revelaed               Joint Heirs

God Desires Truth in the Church          The Overcoming Sons of God      The Man Clothed in Linen


Today the earth is full of self-proclaimed prophets. These self-anointed prophets do not display the prophet's mantle, nor are they separated from the world or worldly activities to hear the voice of the Father. [see "Mouth of the Prophet" by George Kirkpatrick]

The prophets of old did not live in cities. They were separated, alone, hated, feared, and shunned, but the people knew they spoke with the authority and voice of God. When desperate situations arose the people went out to the prophet, or the prophet was called to inquire of him what he had heard from the Lord.

Today prophets are declaring many things and many happenings which do not come to pass. They make excuses for their obvious error, then set new dates for the next coming events. The people watch and wait, and again, nothing happens. This has produced mistrust, confusion, and anger in the body of Christ. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth:

"Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." I Corinthians 10:11

God gave us Israel as our example. In ancient Israel, when a false prophet prophesied and his prophesy did not come to pass, the prophet was either stoned or ignored. God gave Israel true prophets, but Israel failed to heed the voice of these true prophets. They continued in their sin until the judgment of God destroyed them.

Today God has His true prophets who are proclaiming, "This is the way, walk ye in it." But again God's people are failing to heed these voices. They continue down the same path ancient Israel chose. These, as ancient Israel, will suffer the judgment and the wrath of God.

When we study the Old Testament, it reveals how many times God sent His prophets to warn Israel of their sin. The message God's prophets proclaimed to Israel was to repent and turn back to God so His judgments and wrath would not come upon them. In our study of the Old Testament, we are made aware of how few times Israel heeded God's warnings to turn away from their sin. One exception was when God sent Jonah to Nineveh.

Today's prophets are setting dates, proclaiming events with no message of repentance. They believe man is going to enter into the next age through knowledge. If God would reveal unto man the exact day, hour, and minute of His coming judgement, this knowledge would not keep him out of God's wrath. Only those who have entered through the Spirit into God's protected place will be safe in the days ahead.

The Bible declares man must come to repentance and allow God to change Him into His image and likeness, or man will not enter into His presence. As long as God's people continue to listen to false prophets and false teachers, they will remain in their state of confusion and fear. The prophet Ezekiel prophesied against these false prophets:

"Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the Word of the Lord; Thus said the Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing." Ezekiel 13:2-3

Most of today's prophets prophesy out of their own heart, and have seen nothing. The prophets who follow their own fleshly spirit are those who desire to be lifted up in the eyes of the people to be recognized as some great man of God. Ezekiel continued to expose these prophets who stand up to be recognized and accepted in this last hour of time:

"O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord." Ezekiel 13:4-5

Today's prophets have not gone up into the gaps to hedge about God's people for the desperate days ahead. They have not spent time alone with God fasting and praying to hear His voice. God is raising up prophets today who will hedge up the whole house of Israel. God will have a people who will stand in the battle in the Day of the Lord, His judgment upon the sins of His people. The Apostle Peter, who was given the keys to the Kingdom, proclaimed:

"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" I Peter 4:17

God must judge His house first, before He brings judgment upon the rest of the world. We must look at God's Word for what it says. Those who obey not the gospel are not the unsaved, they are those who call themselves Christians, but do not live their life by the Word of the living God. (see "Those Who Obey Not the Gospel" by George Kirkpatrick)

Most of today's prophets want to be as the prophets who appeared in the Old Testament proclaiming, "Thus saith the Lord". God no longer moves in His prophets in this manner. The Greek word most used in the New Testament for the word prophet is PROPHETES and means "an interpreter of oracles, or of other hidden things". An interpreter of oracles is one who interprets the Word of God. He also holds the responsibility of revealing hidden mysteries. These mysteries have been hidden from the foundation of the world, but God is revealing His mysteries in the last hours of this age.

All things spoken by today's prophets must line up exactly with the Word of God. The prophet's words must also reveal the hidden mysteries of God's Word. The hidden mysteries can only be revealed by the Spirit of God. Jesus declared to His disciples:

"But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things." Mark 13:23

If Jesus has foretold us all things in His Word, what new thing can any prophet reveal unto us? God's people must come to an understanding of what God has already revealed through His Word. As Jesus spoke to John on the Isle of Patmos, "Hear what the Spirit is saying unto the churches."

As this last hour of our present age is unveiled, hearing the Spirit should become the most important happening in our lives.

Today we hear many of God's people proclaiming they are the bride of Christ, the Sons of God, the Holy Temple, and the Holy City, New Jerusalem. They proclaim to be born again of the Holy Spirit. Many also proclaim to be the people of Judah (the people of praise).

All these proclamations may well be true, but we need to ask, "What are the preparations we must make to become what we are proclaiming?" Those who declare "I am the bride of Christ" need to stop and consider,

Who is the bride of Christ?

They also need to consider what becoming the bride of Christ consists of. Jesus revealed the bride to John on the Isle of Patmos:

"And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And He carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God," Revelation 21:9-10

The bride is not an individual, nor is it a group of individuals. Then what is it? It is the whole body of Christ that will make up and inhabit the Holy City, New Jerusalem. Jesus proclaimed to John:

"And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." Revelation 21:2

John was shown the Holy City coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride. We need to ask ourselves:

How is the Lamb going to prepare His bride?

Those who are proclaiming to be the bride of Christ must ask themselves how does a king choose his bride? The King does not choose his bride off the streets. He does not choose some worldly woman who has known every man who has come her way. These women are known as whores, and the King will not be defiled by whoredom. When the Bible speaks of whoredom, it speaks of spiritual whoredom. Many times God uses whoredom to describe His people.

When the King chooses a bride or queen she must always be a virgin. A virgin is one who has never given herself to any man. She is pure, holy, and untouched. God used a virgin to conceive His Son, Jesus. The true church is spoken of as being virgins. Spiritually speaking, the bride of Christ will be made up of virgins. The virgin church our King chooses to be His queen will be chaste in every aspect of her life. She will be the most beautiful woman in His realm. Our God is looking for virgins who are the most desirable in all the earth.

Before a virgin could be selected to come before the king, there was always a time of preparation. This time of preparation is disclosed in the book of Esther. The book of Esther was written during the time of Israel's captivity in Babylon. Babylon's king at this time was Ahasuerus. His palace was in Shushan. In this application, the king of Babylon represents the King of the whole earth; or, he is a type of God, the Father.

King Ahasuerus already had a queen, and her name was Vashti. When the king summoned her to display her beauty before his guests, she refused, and spurned his command. Our King, too, had a former bride. This was ancient Israel. The prophet Isaiah proclaimed:

"For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is His name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall He be called." Isaiah 54:5

God had chosen Israel to be His chosen vessel in the earth, His chaste virgin, His chosen queen of the whole earth. The prophet Jeremiah also proclaimed God as the husband of Israel:

"Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which My covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord:" Jeremiah 31:32

God was a husband to Israel. Jeremiah further proclaimed:

"Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you..." Jeremiah 3:14

Although God had become one with Israel, Israel had other lovers. Because of this God accused Israel of whoredoms. The prophet Ezekiel recorded God's words:

"And they that escape of you shall remember Me among the nations whither they shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their whorish heart, which hath departed from Me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols: and they shall loathe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations." Ezekiel 6:9

This also speaks of today. Many who are claiming to be the bride of Christ believe God will become one with their harlotry. They are carnal, sensuous, and are playing the whore with the world.

Vashti was rejected as being queen because she refused to obey the voice of her king. Many would justify Vashti's actions because of their belief in women's rights. The church is female. Vashti is our example to the apostate church. We must obey our King's voice no matter what His command is. We have no right to judge His actions, nor question His purpose in giving the command. The Apostle Paul informed us:

"Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men." I Corinthians 7:23

When we accepted Jesus' shed blood for the forgiveness of our sin, He bought us with a price. We become His servants; first, last, and always. We are no longer to be servants of man.

"After these things, when the wrath of King Ahasuerus was appeased, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her. Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king:" Esther 2:1-2

There were three qualifications a young woman must possess to be chosen as the bride of the king:

1. she was to be fair
2. she was to be young
3. she was to be a virgin

The word fair is the Hebrew word TOWB and means "to be good, pleasant, agreeable, becoming, and of a higher nature." Only the best is good enough for the King.

She must be young. She must be a damsel, a lady, someone who is clean, chaste, not loud, rude, or boring; one who has been separated from all the world and worldly desires.

Lastly, she must be a virgin. The word virgin means "separate, undefiled, and pure.". One thing we are assured of, it matters not what we were in our past life before Christ. When we come to Him, He washes us clean through and through. The Apostle John wrote:

"But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." I John 1:7

The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all our sin, no matter how vile. It matters nothing what we were before we came to Christ. But it sure matters what we become after we have been washed clean. To become the bride of Christ one must be fair, good, pleasant, and of a higher nature. One must be young, a lady who is clean and chaste. One must also be a virgin, washed clean, separate, undefiled by the world, pure, and holy in every area of life.

"And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hege the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them:" Esther 2:3

The king sent throughout his whole kingdom to find the choicest and select young virgins to become his queen. The same is true of God's Kingdom. Our King is searching throughout His whole Kingdom for His precious jewels to inhabit and become His Holy City, the bride of Christ.

The king called all who would qualify to become his queen. Jesus gave direction for this gathering of all who would be washed clean by the blood of the Lamb:

"Go ye therefore in the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests." Matthew 22:9-10

God has called all, both bad and good. No matter who we are or what we are, we qualify for God's plan of salvation. God has invited the multitude to His Marriage Supper where He will select His bride. As Jesus proclaimed:

"For many are called, but few are chosen." Matthew 22:14

Many are invited to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, but only a few are going to be chosen. Only the select, the best will be chosen. As we look again at the words of Jesus we discover the wedding was furnished with guests, not brides. Although many fair, young virgins were guests of King Ahasuerus in his palace, not all would be selected as his queen. The King would select only one to be his queen. God only has one bride and that is His Holy City, New Jerusalem.

When all the fair, young, virgins were brought to the palace at Shushan, they were placed in the care of Hege the King's chamberlain, keeper of the women. Their things for purification were then given to them, Esther 2:3.

Even though all the virgins were fair and young, they were still given the things needed for their purification. They were the choicest, the most beautiful, the chosen, and select of the kingdom, but before they could enter into the king's presence there was a purification process that had to be completed in each of their lives. There must be a time of purification for every virgin before she is accepted in the King's presence. No impure or defiled virgin will enter into the presence of the King. Only the pure and holy will be partakers of the Kingdom of God. Jesus revealed this fact to John on the Isle of Patmos:

"And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." Revelation 21:27

Those who are written in the Lamb's book of life are those who have walked in, and have become the life of Christ on this earth. Those who refuse to deal with their uncleanness and defilement will not enter into, nor become part of God's Holy City.

God has given us a picture of those who are attempting to bring God's chosen into a place of perfection:

"Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite;" Esther 2:5

As we consider the typology God has given us in His Word, we discover Mordecai, Esther's uncle is a type of those who will bring forth the bride who will become the Lamb's wife. Mordecai was a Jew. We need to ask ourselves, "Who is a Jew today?" Paul revealed this truth to the church at Rome:

"For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:  But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God." Romans 2:28-29

God's Spiritual Jews are those whose circumcision is in the heart and in the Spirit, and not in the letter (Mosaic Law). God's Spiritual Jews are those who look to God for their praise. They look to man for nothing. These Spiritual Jews will be hidden in the day of the Lord's anger.

Many today are claiming they are God's chosen people because they are natural Jews of the lineage of the twelve tribes of Israel. When Jesus addressed the natural Jew, He revealed:

"But ye believe not, because ye are not of My sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me:  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand." John 10:26-28

Those who hear God's voice and have entered into His protected place (His hand) will be hidden in the day of His wrath.

God has given us numerous types and shadows of His coming judgment. Mordecai brought up his niece, Hadassah, whom we know as Esther. The name Esther means "I will be hidden." The name Hadassah means "myrtle." The myrtle tree is the symbol of God's blessing. Esther is a type of the true church who will bring forth God's manifested sons, His new creation man.

It was said of Esther, she had neither father nor mother, Esther 2:7. This same concept is seen in the Melchizedek priesthood. Those who become God's new creation man will become part of the Melchizedek priesthood. It was said of Melchizedek:

"Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually." Hebrews 7:3

Those who have entered into eternal life have their beginning in Christ. These will have no end. They are made like unto the Son of man. These will make up the Melchizedek priesthood. These are God's new creation man. Jesus spoke of these who will become part of His new creation:

"If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple." Luke 14:26

The word hate does not mean to despise or have hard feelings toward. It means "to love less"; or, in the positive sense, it means we are to love our God more than our father, mother, wife, children, brethren, sisters, and our own life. The Melchizedek priesthood are those who are totally sold out to God. Jesus spoke this same message through the pen of Matthew:

"He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me." Matthew 10:37

If we are to be worthy of God, then our life must be totally dedicated to Him, having nothing or no one we place ahead of Him. This is the place Esther had to come to if she was going to accomplish God's purpose in her life. Esther had all the qualifications the King was looking for. She was a maid (virgin), she was fair, and she was beautiful, Esther 2:7.

"So it came to pass, when the King's commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the King's house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women." Esther 2:8

When all the virgins were gathered, they were totally separated from their worldly surroundings. They were brought into the king's palace and put in the care of Hegai. Hegai was the keeper, protector, and guardian of the king's chosen property. Those who enter into the King's care, and come into the King's presence will never again return to their worldly surroundings. These will remain forever in the King's house. The Psalmist David wrote of those who come into the King's presence:

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever." Psalm 23:6

God will choose His virgins from those who are purified and made beautiful to dwell in His house forever.

"And the maiden pleased him (Hegai), and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her things for purification, with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens, which were meet to be given her, out of the king's house: and he preferred her and her maids unto the best place of the house of the women." Esther 2:9

Esther was pleasing in the eyes of all who saw her. She was given the necessary things for her purification and her seven maids (virgins). These, too, had been chosen by the king to go through the purification process. The seven virgins represent the seven churches in the book of Revelation. Although these churches were chosen, ordained, and anointed of God, they were not perfect. Through John, God sent His word of correction. God's Word was all that was needed for their purification.

We are not aware if these churches repented or not. But through His example of these churches, Jesus informed us of the things He does not want in His church. If any of these impurities are in any of us we need to repent. When these are dealt with, then the things of purification can be added to our lives.

Isaiah showed us another aspect of these seven virgin (maidens) churches:

"And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach." Isaiah 4:1

When the Bible states, "... in that day ... " we know it is speaking of the Day of the Lord, or God's judgment. Isaiah stated, "... in that day seven women ... ". These seven women speak of the seven churches in Revelation. These churches will take hold of one man. That man is Christ Jesus.

These churches declare, "We will eat our own food; or, we will decide what to feed our people. We will teach our doctrines. We will teach God's Words by our precepts."

Although today's churches use the name of Christ, they refuse to teach the meat of the Word. They only desire to keep their flock breast fed, never weaned from the mother church. Their flocks are willing to eat whatever is set before them. Paul spoke of these as those who are "ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth", II Timothy 5:7.

Isaiah states these desire to wear their own apparel. These do not desire to be clothed in God's righteousness. Paul wrote to the church at Rome concerning those who desire to wear their own apparel:

"For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." Romans 10:3

These seven church systems have established their own righteousness. The flock is told, "If you follow our moral code and do as we say, you will be acceptable in the eyes of God." This is a lie. God will accept no righteousness except His righteousness. Those who have established their own righteousness have become self-righteous. The prophet Isaiah spoke of those who depend on their self-righteousness:

"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." Isaiah 64:6

Those who are walking in their self-righteousness are unclean. They are as filthy rags in the sight of God. These will fade as a leaf, and the wind of the Spirit will carry them away. They will not become part of God's Kingdom, nor will they dwell in the house of the Lord forever. These seven churches who do not want to repent and be what God wants them to be, cry out...

"...only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach." Isaiah 4:1

They want to be called by His name (Christian), but they do not want to become a part of Him, and they will not allow Him to be part of them. They have their own religious ways, and He would only get in their way. Peter spoke of these on the Day of Pentecost:

"But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;" Acts 3:14

Those who do not want to be part of the Lord's true church, the body of Christ, have truly denied the Holy One and the Just. They have crucified Him in their lives as surely as they did on Mount Calvary.

They have desired a murderer. God's Word states satan was a murderer from the beginning. These have become the children of satan. As Jesus told the Pharisees, "You serve your father the devil," John 8:44. These are neither maidens (virgins), fair, or beautiful. These will never enter into the King's presence unless they repent and come wholly unto God.

Those whose total desire is to enter into the King's presence and be chosen as His bride must also desire the things of purification be added to their life. The things of purification change a person within. Peter spoke of the change purification brings to a person's life:

"But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." I Peter 3:4

Peter spoke of the hidden man of the heart. The hidden man of the heart is who we are in Christ. It is the new man created in righteousness and true holiness. We can only recognize this man by and through the Spirit.

The Jews were a captive people, not part of the Babylonian kingdom, or of the Babylonian people. When Mordecai took Esther to the palace, he instructed her not to reveal she was a Jew:

"Esther had not shewed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai had charged her that she should not shew it." Esther 2:10

Esther concealed who she was in God. Mordecai told Esther not to reveal her lineage. She was not ashamed of who she was, but she drew no attention to herself. There would be a day when Esther and her lineage would be revealed. Today the true body of Christ is hidden, but there is a day when their true identity in God will be revealed.

"And Mordecai walked every day before the court of the women's house, to know how Esther did, and what should become of her." Esther 2:11

Mordecai watched over Esther as any good shepherd. This was to be the pastor's job, to make sure the flock was cared for, nourished, and protected. Instead the pastors have become the fleecers of the flock, making sure their own needs are met, and not caring if the flock is cared for. All too often their sermons are purchased from the Christian book store or some mail order magazine. These messages sound good to tickle the ears of silly women (the church), but there is no life in their words. Sunday after Sunday, month after month, year after year; never applying the things of purification to the people's lives. Isaiah the prophet, spoke of these...

"But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore." Isaiah 42:22

When people are content to sit in the prison houses of their religious systems, they are robbed of their inheritance in God. The hirelings continue to fleece these every Sunday to make sure their religious system is maintained. These pastors never give the message of restoration or purification. Those who attend these churches have a religious spirit that tells them they are alright in the sight of God. This is not what God revealed in the purification of Esther.

"Now when every maid's turn was come to go in to King Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women." Esther 2:12

When the king chose his bride, he did not make his choice from a few local maids. Every fair virgin in the land was brought to the palace. What fair maid did not want to be chosen to share the throne with their king? The Lamb is going to choose His bride, but as Jesus revealed...

"...many are called, but few are chosen." Matthew 22:14

King Ahasuerus had called many fair, young virgins, but only one would be chosen to be his queen. Before any of the called could enter into the presence of the king, there was a time of purification. This purification was to take one year. One year is the symbol of a revelation of time. Our time of purification is not measured by time, but by results. How long will it take? The question is: "How hard do we fight against the Holy Spirit cleansing in our life?"

There were six months purification with the oil of myrrh. Myrrh is the symbol of suffering. All who come into the King's presence will enter in through suffering. Paul wrote to Timothy:

"If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us." II Timothy 2:12

Only if we suffer with Him, will we reign with Him. Suffering purifies the body of Christ. Without suffering the body of Christ will never come into the presence of their King.

After Paul was stoned at Antioch and left for dead, he arose and returned to Antioch...

"Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God." Acts 14:22

Paul knew we can only enter into the Kingdom through much tribulation. This is what the Spirit is speaking to the church in our day. The time of applying the myrrh is now. We need not shrink back from tribulation or persecution. It is the oil of myrrh that will bring purification. Peter, the Kingdom teacher, wrote:

"But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." I Peter 4:13

We are to rejoice when we are counted worthy of Christ's suffering. When we suffer with Him we will reign with Him. When His glory is revealed we are going to be glad with exceeding joy. Why? Paul revealed:

"And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together." Romans 8:17

If we allow the oil of myrrh to be applied to our lives, then we will be joint heirs with Christ, and be glorified together with Him. The "no-suffering message" in the church today has weakened the body of Christ. Because of this, when tribulation or persecution comes the body will not be able to stand. Jesus spoke of those who will not endure, in His parable of the sower:

"And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:  But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away." Mark 4:5-6

Those who have no depth or root in God's Word will not endure the time of tribulation that is directly ahead. They will wither away. These have made their only hope a false rapture, or dying and going to heaven. Both these teachings give no hope. Overcoming is our only hope. Being purified so we can stand in the presence of our King is our only hope. Jesus revealed to John on the Isle of Patmos:

"He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be His God, and he shall be My son." Revelation 21:7

The overcomers are the inheritors. The overcomers are the manifested sons. The church system is full of the overcome. They are overcome in every situation that disrupts their well-ordered lives. These have refused to be purified. The oil of myrrh has not been applied.

The Time of Sweet Odours

The purification process also consisted of an application of sweet odours. The sweet odours were to be applied following the oil of myrrh. As we study the meaning of the sweet odours, it becomes clear what we must become to enter into the presence of our King.

What are sweet odours to our God? This is shown in the Old Testament. Sweet odours to our God were burnt offerings. Israel was required to make two kinds of sacrifices: blood and meal offerings. Only the blood sacrifices were declared to be a sweet savour (odour) unto the Lord. The blood sacrifice was made for sin, trespass, and peace offerings. These sacrifices were totally burned. Spiritually speaking, this means total surrender unto God.

For the sin offering, God required a young bullock, a he goat (ram), a she goat, or a she lamb. In cases of extreme poverty God would accept a turtle dove or young pigeon. God's instruction for the sacrifice was...

"And thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar: it is a burnt offering unto the Lord: it is a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the Lord." Exodus 29:18

In order for the sacrifice to be a sweet savour unto the Lord, it had to be an offering made by fire. Sacrifices in the Old Testament are types of laying down our lives for Christ as He laid down His life for us. Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus concerning the sacrifice Jesus made for all mankind:

"And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour." Ephesians 5:2

Jesus applied the sweet odours to His life. This was not for purification, but as an example to us that we, too, must lay down our lives if we are going to become a sweetsmelling savour to our God. Paul proclaimed to the Corinthians:

"For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:" II Corinthians 2:15

We are to become the sweet savour of Christ. This is part of our purification. We do this as an example, not only to those who are saved, but to the world also. Our lives must become a sacrifice if we are to enter into God's presence. Paul spoke of this sacrifice in his letter to the Romans:

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." Romans 12:1

We must become a living sacrifice, totally consumed by the fire of God. John the Baptist declared:

"... I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:" Luke 3:16

When we are baptized with the Holy Spirit, then the fire of God begins to do its work in our lives. The fire of God cleanses, purifies, and makes us whole. Only then are we ready to enter into the presence of our King. The writer of Hebrews disclosed one of God's hidden mysteries:

"But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city." Hebrews 11:16

When we are purified and made ready, we will not be ashamed to enter into the presence of our King. The oil of myrrh (suffering) will have been applied. The sweet odours (the total sacrifice of our lives) will have done its work. We are now ready to enter into the King's presence. The bride of the Lamb will be those who are prepared to become one with their King.

Royal Apparel

The virgins had one last preparation before entering into the presence of the king:

"Then thus came every maiden unto the king: whatsoever she desired was given her to go with her out of the house of the women unto the King's house." Esther 2:13

The virgins could clothe themselves in any of the exquisite finery found in the king's house. All the royal apparel was there for their choosing:

"Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail, the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her." Esther 2:15

When it came time for Esther to enter into the king's presence, she took nothing with her; only what Hegai the keeper of the women appointed her. There is only one apparel acceptable in the presence of the King, and that is our robe of righteousness, the purity and holiness we can only receive from Him. Paul wrote of this righteousness to the church at Corinth:

"For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." II Corinthians 5:21

When we come into a rightstanding with God, then and only then, are we made the righteousness of God. Those who will enter into the presence of the King and become inhabitants of His Holy City will be clothed in their robes of righteousness. This was Jesus' revelation to John:

"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." Revelation 19:8

Those who make up God's Holy City, New Jerusalem, will be arrayed in their robes of righteousness. These robes are made of fine linen, white and clean. Jude spoke of those who would need to go through the fire of God's judgment because their robes were not clean:

"And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." Jude, verse 23

Their robes of righteousness had been spotted by the flesh. Because of this, they must suffer the cleansing fire of God's wrath. Only God's wrath will cleanse them of their works of the flesh. Today many teach "no judgment" and "no wrath". God must judge His own house. It is the only hope the body of Christ has of entering into the presence of our King.

When Esther entered in, she took only what was provided for her by the king. The other virgins partook of all the expensive clothes, the expensive jewelry, and the over-scented perfumes, but only Esther was chosen of all the fair, beautiful maidens in the land.

"And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti." Esther 2:17

Esther became the queen to rule and reign by the side of her King. God is only interested in the pureness of our hearts, not our fancy clothes, our big houses, our big cars, or any of the things of the flesh that spot our robes of righteousness. We are warned about trying to please God with the things and ornaments of the world. In his letter to Timothy, Paul warns:

"In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;" I Timothy 2:9

When the fair virgins try to please God with anything except their righteousness and true holiness, they will be rejected. The virgins who tried to please the king with such things were rejected. The writer of Esther declares what happened to those who were not acceptable in the eyes of the king:

"In the evening she went, and on the morrow she returned into the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king's chamberlain, which kept the concubines: she came in unto the king no more, except the king delighted in her, and that she were called by name." Esther 2:14

The virgins who were rejected by the king would enter no more into the king's presence until they became a delight unto their king. Then, and only then, would he call them by name. Peter spoke of those in whom the King will delight:

"Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. I Peter 3:3-4

If we are to delight the King, we must become as Esther. Our fancy clothes, our fancy hairdos, our expensive jewelry will not please God. Our outward appearance, our standing in the community, or our church will not please God. As God spoke to Samuel:

"But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." I Samuel 16:7

Our God looks upon the hidden man of the heart. We cannot fool God with our appearance, our mouth, or even our good works. God checks the heart, the inner motives of everything we do. The King knew Esther's heart. Her total desire was to please him with her total being, not just with her beauty. King Ahasuerus set the crown upon her head. Esther had become his all in all, the one set above every other in all his kingdom. Paul knew this crown awaited him for his faithfulness to his King:

"Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing." II Timothy 4:8

All those who are looking and longing for Christ's appearing in their lives can obtain this crown also. The crown of righteousness will be placed on His queen who becomes His Holy City. These will have clothed themselves in righteousness and true holiness. This crown of righteousness is reserved for His bride, the Lamb's wife.

Those who are seeking to please their King by their attendance record in their religious order will not enter in. Those who boast of how many generations have attended and supported their church will not enter in. Those who dress the best, smell the best, or live on the right side of the tracks will not enter in. Those who drive the biggest cars will not obtain the King's crown of righteousness. These are the things man sees. Our King does not look on the outward appearance, He looks on the heart. Our King is looking for those who come into favor with Him because they are clothed in His righteousness and true holiness. The Psalmist Korah decreed:

"She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee. With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the King's palace. I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever." Psalm 45:14,15, & 17

As Esther who obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her, Esther 2:15, we, too, can become a delight in the eyes of our King. We, too, can be called by His name and enter into His presence. We, too, can become the Mount Zion, His Holy City, New Jerusalem, the Lamb's wife. Those who are accepted into the King's presence will be a praise unto their God forever and ever.

God is calling His fair, young, beautiful virgins unto Himself to make up His queen company. He is calling all who desire to inhabit His holy mountain, Mount Zion. His righteousness will clothe His bride who has been chosen. These will be those who have been set apart, purified, and prepared to partake of His glory. These will rule and reign by His side for all eternity. To God be the glory forever and ever.

For Further Discussion

Modern Day Self-Proclaimed Prophets
The Characteristics of God's True Prophets
Dangerous Prophetic Proclamations
God's Former Bride
Who IS the Bride of Christ?
God's Spiritual Jews
The Seven Women of Revelation

Questions

1.Why did the prophets of old not live in the cities?
2.Those today who fail to heed the voice of God's true prophets will suffer .
3.God must first judge before He brings judgment on the rest of the world. I Peter 4:17
4.Are those who obey not the gospel the unsaved? If not, who are they?
5.All things spoken by today's prophets must line up with .
6.As this last hour of our present age is unveiled, should become the most important happening in our lives.
7.The bride of Christ is not an individual, nor is it a group of individuals. What is it?
8.When the King chooses his bride, or queen, she must always be . P 9
9.Many who are proclaiming to be the bride of Christ today are , and are playing the with the world.
10.Before the fair young virgins can be brought into the presence of the King the must be completed. What must this include?
11.Our King's former bride was . They were to be God's .
12.To become the bride of Christ one must be .
13.According to Romans 2:28-29 who is a Jew today?
14.The name Esther means .
The name Hadassah means .
The myrtle tree is the symbol of .
Esther is a type of the who will bring forth God's manifested sons, His new creation man.
15.God's is the only hope the body of Christ has of entering into His presence.
16.Both the teaching of the and the teaching of are false hopes. The only hope of God's people entering into His presence is .
17.Today the modern church is full of the . But God desires a people who will become .
18.Sacrifices in the Old Testament are types of for Christ as He His life for us.
19.Mordecai watched over Esther as a good shepherd. Today the pastor's job is to make sure the flock of God is .
20.What is myrrh the symbol of? The oil of myrrh is what will bring in our lives. The only way to enter into the Kingdom is through much .
21.Sweet odours unto God are our .
22.When does God's fire begin to do its work in our lives? Why does God put us through this fire?
23.What two things must be applied in our lives to prepare us to come into the presence of the King of the whole earth?
24.In order to present ourselves before the King of the whole earth what garment must we adorn?
Bride of Christ Answer Key
1.Why did the prophets of old not live in the cities?
They were separated, hated, feared, and shunned because they spoke with the authority and voice of the Lord.
2.Those today who fail to heed the voice of God's true prophets will suffer .
The judgment and the wrath of God
3.Godmust first judge before He brings judgment on the rest of the world? I Peter 4:17
His house
4.Are those who obey not the gospel the unsaved? If not, who are they?
No. Those who obey not are Christians who do not live their life by God's Word.
5.All things spoken by today's prophets must line up with .
The Word of God
6.As this last hour of our present age is unveiled, should become the most important happening in our lives.
Hearing the Spirit
7.The bride of Christ is not an individual, nor is it a group of individuals. Then what is it?
It is the whole body of Christ, the Holy City, New Jerusalem
8.When the King chooses his bride or queen she must always be .
a virgin, pure, holy, undefiled
9.Many who are proclaiming to be the bride of Christ today are , and are playing the with the world.
carnal, sensuous, whore
10. Before the fair young virgins can be brought into the presence of the King the must be completed. What must this include
Purification Process. All impurities and defilements must be removed.
11.Our King's former bride was . They were to be God's .
Israel, chosen vessels in the earth
12.To become the bride of Christ one must be .
fair, good, pleasant, and of a higher nature
13.According to Romans 2:28-29 who is a Jew today?
God's Spiritual Jews who are Jews inwardly, those whose circumcision is in the heart and in the Spirit and not in the letter of the Mosaic Law.
14.The name Esther means .
The name Hadassah means .
The myrtle tree is the symbol of .
Esther is a type of the who will bring forth God's manifested sons, His new creation man.
I will be hidden; myrtle; God's blessing; true church
15.God's is the only hope the body of Christ has of entering into His presence.
wrath or day of judgment
16.Both the teaching of the and the teaching of are false hopes. The only hope of God's people entering into His presence is .
rapture; going to heaven; being purified
17.Today the modern church is full of the . But God desires a people who will become .
overcome; overcomers
18.Sacrifices in the Old Testament are types of for Christ as He His life for us.
Laying down our lives; laid down
19.If we are to be worthy of God, then our lives must be totally dedicated to .
God
20.Mordecai watched over Esther as a good shepherd. Today the pastor's job is to make sure the flock of God is .
cared for, nourished, and protected
21.What is myrrh the symbol of? The oil of myrrh is what will bring in our lives. The only way to enter into the Kingdom is through much .
suffering; purification; tribulation
22.Sweet odours unto God are our .
total surrender unto God
23.When does God's fire begin to do its work in our lives? Why does God put us through this fire?
When we are baptized with the Holy Spirit; to cleanse, purify, and make us whole
24.What two things must be applied in our lives to prepare us to come into the presence of the King of the whole earth?
The oil of myrrh (suffering in our lives) and the sweet odours (total sacrifice of our lives) must be applied
25.In order to present ourselves before the King of the whole earth what garment must we adorn?
The robe of righteousness


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