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Making Ourselves Ready - The Book of Revelation
Week 17, 2018
Now we are coming to some of the most encouraging prophecies from the Book of Revelation, beginning with:
And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, "Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!
Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready."
And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints (NKJV).
First, a “great multitude” declares that the Lord reigns. This is the gospel of the kingdom not just going to the multitudes, but coming from a multitude. The whole earth will resound with this greatest of all messages to be preached on the earth.
The gospel of the kingdom is not the same as the gospel of salvation. The gospel of salvation makes Him known as Savior, but the gospel of the kingdom reveals Him as King. The gospel of salvation is about what God has done for us—which is so wonderful that we will celebrate it forever—but the gospel of the kingdom is about what we are called to do for Him.
He came the first time to be the Lamb, but He is coming back to be the King. When we see the message going forth that emphasizes His kingdom coming, then we will know that the time is indeed short to conclude this age and prepare for the next one.
After declaring that the Lord reigns and proclaiming His glory, the emphasis turns to the immediate and first great event of the kingdom—the marriage of the Lord to His bride, the church. The kingdom age will begin with the biggest celebration and feast there will ever be.
Because this is such an event for the ages, one of the signs we can look for is the bride becoming focused on preparing for her King. As we are told here, she has “made herself ready,” and to be ready she must be “without spot or wrinkle” (see Ephesians 5:27). Without spot speaks of her purity, as she is to be a pure chaste virgin. This is the basic contrast between her and the “great harlot” that married herself to the spirit of this age rather than keeping herself pure for the King.
Of course, the bride is the whole church, not just the church in any one country or period of history. Even so, at this time a case could be made that the church overall is in bad shape, far from this picture. There are some great churches and great church movements that are doing well, but if we’re going to become the pure bride we are called to be—and the timeline suggests we’re fast coming to the end of the age—then what has to happen?
I think Don Potter has great insight into this. Don has officiated a number of weddings, and he once told me about a remarkable miracle he witnessed in many of them. He said that just five minutes before the wedding was supposed to start, he saw brides in such bad shape that he didn’t think there was any way for the wedding to start on time. Then a miracle happened and she emerged perfect and right on time, seemingly transformed in the last five minutes!
There does seem to be a special miracle that the Lord gives to brides to be such a mess just minutes before their wedding, but then everything comes together and she emerges as the glorious bride. This could be the way will seem at the end of the age with the bride of Christ.
Even though there may be a special miracle for brides, I don’t think it is all miracle. As the Scripture above stated, she “makes herself ready.” All of the preparation she has done to prepare for the most special event in history got her to the place where it seemed like it would take a miracle, but everything comes together quickly at the end. My point is that we should not judge the church just by appearances. She may be closer to everything coming together than we think.
next week 18