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Prophetic Gleanings

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The Spirit and the Bride Say "Come"

"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen" (Revelation 22:17-21).

Here we have the last divine invitation to the thirsty souls of men to come and "take the water of life freely." The invitation is given through the Holy Spirit and the bride, not the Holy Spirit and the body. All who are willing to hear the invitation and accept the water of life will be privileged to join with the Spirit and the bride in saying, "Come."

Just as the Holy Spirit is now speaking through the body of Christ, which is the church, He will later speak through the bride of Christ, which will also be His church. The word "church" means an assembly or a company of called-out ones. God's church is always a company of called-out believers. Man's church may consist of either believers or unbelievers.

The Holy Spirit refers to God's church in Acts 7:38 where He speaks of "the church in the wilderness." He speaks again of God's church in Matthew 16:18 where He quotes the Lord Jesus, who said, "upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Again we find Him referring to God's church in Acts 20:28, where He admonishes the elders to "feed the church of God, which he purchased with his own blood." It is also God's church which Paul speaks of, through divine inspiration, in Ephesians 1:22-23, where he declares Christ to be "the head over all things to the church, which is his body."

After the completion and calling on high of the "church, which is his body," God will turn His attention to the "churches" or assemblies referred to in Revelation, chapters 2 and 3. These seven churches are definitely linked with the kingdom program and with Jesus as the "root and offspring of David, and the bright and morning star." We quote Revelation 2:26-28, "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star." This helps us to understand the meaning of the Lord Jesus in Revelation 22:16, "I, Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star." These references do not fit in with Paul's message concerning the ministry of the church which is the body of Christ. We are not to overcome and keep a set of works "unto the end." Our hope of glory guarantees to us the joy of the rapture even before the beginning of the end. That is, we are to be glorified before the beginning of the tribulation which shall mark the end of this age. However, the above verses fit perfectly with the ministry of "the Spirit and the bride" during the tribulation period and up to the very end of the age and the coming of the Lord to set up His kingdom.

As I understand the Word, all who are saved through the ministry of the Spirit and the body during this dispensation are added to the body of Christ, of which He, Himself, is the Head. All who are saved through the ministry of the Spirit and the bride during the tribulation period will be added to the bride of Christ, of which He is the Bridegroom. He will come to take His completed body unto Himself immediately before the beginning of the tribulation, and He will come with His glorified body to take unto Himself His bride at the very close of the tribulation. Both body saints and members of the bride will be glorified and joined to Christ before His crowning day as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Both the body and the bride will reign with Him for a thousand years and will be associated with Him in their respective spheres throughout eternity.

The Bride of Genesis and of Revelation

"And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" (Genesis 2:18-24).

The above quotation proves that from the very beginning, the wife has been the same flesh and bone as that of her husband. Adam declared his wife to be bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. That is, she was his body; and, in the light of 1 Corinthians 11:3, he was her head.

Since the husband is the head and the wife is the body, it is the scriptural privilege of the husband to love his wife "even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it." Since the wife is the body and the husband is the head, it is the privilege of the wife to look up to her husband and submit herself to him even "as unto the Lord."

It is the scriptural duty of the husband to nourish and cherish his wife as he does his own flesh, and the wife is scripturally duty-bound to reverence her husband. This truth is clearly brought out in the following quotation from Ephesians 5:21-33—

"Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the Saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband."

The truth set forth in the above quotation from Ephesians 5:21-33 does not state that the church is the wife and that Christ is the husband. The truth is that Christ loved His body (the Church) and that a husband ought to love his body (his wife). The Holy Spirit is here emphasizing the fact that Christ has a church which is just as definitely His body as the wife is the body of her husband.

The bride in Genesis 2:18-24 led the man into the sin that expelled him from the Garden of Eden, but in Revelation chapter 22, the bride is giving forth the invitation to "every man" that will hear to enter the Garden of Paradise.

In Genesis 2:18, God said, "I will make him an help meet for him," and in Revelation 21:9, He said, "I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife." In these, the first and the last, "I wills" of the Bible, God sets forth the tender relationship that exists between those that He joins together.

Only those who are willing to sit where Mary sat (Luke 10:39) will ever know and enjoy the full meaning of God's great lessons concerning Christ and His body and Christ and His bride. These two companies of saints have similar, yet distinctly different hopes and callings. The body is called to testify to the glorious gospel of the grace of God, and the bride will witness to the kingdom gospel of the grace of God. The body waits for His glorious appearing before the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel (Philippians 3:20-21), and the bride will be looking for His glorious appearing when the last trump shall sound at the close of the 70th week of Daniel (Revelation 11:15-19).

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36).

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