Excerpt From Mystery Bride & Mystery Babylon-The True Church and the False
Excerpt from the chapter: The Dead Church
The true church and the false grow side by side until the time of the end. The book of Revelation is Jesus Christ’s revelation and his bride’s unveiling. History is for his sake and the mystery of the bride. He holds everything in his hand. He created not only the planet on which we live, but he created us for himself. We lose sight of this to our own peril. Unfortunately, most of the Sardis church lost sight of this truth as a result the Judge said they were dead.
The church of Sardis believed they were alive. Possibly they had rousing praise services and marvelous liturgies. These were their actual deeds, which the Creator Lamb knows. Their deeds gave them a reputation with man, but God said they were dead. The nature of deception is that you may believe one thing about yourself, however, another thing, possibly an opposite thing is true. Hypocrisy or play-acting gave them a reputation for being alive. To those not tuned in to the Holy Spirit they may look holy. But, their deeds were not obedient to God’s voice.
The True Church and the False
Churches do this today. They are skilled at looking alive, “you have a name that you are alive,” but the focus is not on loving and knowing Christ and making him known to others. Jesus told the Pharisees that they made their converts twice the sons of hell as themselves (Mt.23). However, the Pharisees thought they were the enlightened ones. The people followed them and held them in high honor.
Even our efforts to bring people into the “church” could bring them into a dead, play-acting church with a reputation for life, but not the life of God. Often dead religion resembles relationship with Christ due to our worship of traditions in God’s place.
Excerpt from the chapter :The Judgement of the Harlot
The true church and the false grow side by side until the time of the end. The harlot sits on waters, kings and a beast since she is an economic and religious system. In our understanding the false bride is in her. The waters are people; the kings are kings throughout history and the beast upon which she rides will destroy her. Rev. 17:9-18:8 The kings who lived sensuously with her and merchants will mourn because no one wants their cargoes.
The harlot engaged in commerce and sorcery. She traded in the spices of the anointing oil and incense and bodies and souls of men. The blood of the slain upon the earth was in her. Rev. 18:9-21. God tells his people to come out of her. This means it is possible for them to be in her. Rev. 18:4. She often lures his people back in since she controls the monetary systems of the earth and seduces the elect.
The True Church Does Not Serve Money- Money Serves Her For She Has a True Focus on Christ
Think of the idol of mammon. The true church and the false think of money differently. Money is a huge lure to idolatry to take part in the harlot. Another lure is popularity or acceptance. The harlot accepts us but at a price. The price is a close relationship with God. To his people he says, “come out of her”.
Luke 12 marks for us the seduction of the harlot. A rich man stored up goods in many barns, so he could retire. He thought he was wise, but his wealth seduced him. Luke 12:20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ 21 So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
Again, Luke 12 tells us not to fear about what we eat, drink or with what we are clothed. 30 “For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. 31 But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. 32 Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.”
The nations seek these things. The harlot seeks these things. Believers are not to seek them, but rather seek the kingdom and the righteousness of God. “Come out of her my people.”
Seduction- The False Bride
The harlot has always been with us. God judges her, but she is active now in the church. In some locations she is the church. God is calling us out. Will we listen?
Her work is hard to see. Seduction obscures her activity. If we have a gap, an area of fear, she can work through this fear. The harlot tells us we have to accept this better job. That it’s ok that we will seldom see our family because we show love through providing; or she will tell us God is not providing so we need to provide for ourselves; or this new position is God’s provision. The area of weakness is fear. In fact, the enemy loves to use our fears to keep us away from God’s will which means keep us away from God. After a while we do not notice we are not rich toward God and our heart is captured by the idolatry of fear and performance-based living.
We must make our own way because we did not choose to know God and to seek his kingdom. We did not believe if we sought him, he would take care of our finances and our lives. Thus, we fell back on self-effort. The true church and the false grow together until the time of the end just like the wheat and the tares.
Excerpt from For the Bride
Excerpt from Bridegroom’s Song
The Joy Set Before Him
If troubled fellowships are your history, this next concept may be hard for you to accept. If you have been in complacent fellowships, you may not care. However, if you are at the right place in your journey, then this may change forever your understanding of His love.
Whether you can relate to this we were the joy, He viewed when He endured the cross. Even if you do not believe it or do not care, we were.
Let’s make this personal. You were the joy before Him as He died on Calvary. That is remarkable. You and all those flawed humans you fellowship with were His joy. Because of you, Calvary was worth it.
This passage describes the joy set before Him. It describes His bride, you. It is also the song the Bridegroom sang in praise of His bride on their wedding day. This was an eastern custom. The day He died the description that follows was singing in His heart as He viewed His bride, as He viewed you.
Intimacy Marks The True Bride
The description that follows is imperative to growth in intimacy. Scripture tells us we love because He first loved us. That is not just true in salvation, but also in the growth of intimacy. As He shows His love to us, we grow in love. This is a constant process. Intimacy with Christ marks the true bride.
Think of where our bride has been. Recently she was a slave because she needed men’s approval. Slaves lack love. In fact, the lack of love made her willing for slavery. When the Lord comes to us as Bridegroom, He comes to reveal His love.
The bride needed the revelation of His death provided in the last chapter, so she could hear of His love for her in this one. That shows us we cannot understand Him unless we keep His cross central.
Fixing Our Eyes
Hebrews 2:12 “Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Not only were we His joy, but He tells us to fix our eyes upon Him. We are to allow Him to be our joy when we face death of self. He has not called us to carry our cross without hope. He is our joy and our hope on the way to our personal Calvary.
Hebrews 12:3 “Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” As we consider Him, our focus is upon His cross. That focus shows His delight in us, and His love for us. That gives us encouragement to take up our cross daily.
Lack of True Focus
So many failures today are because we made our teachings the focus rather than the cross. It is the Lamb to whom we must point in all we preach and teach. This happens organically when intimacy marks the true bride. He must be the focus of leaders and the people, not building man made ministries and kingdoms.
Many worship success as a god, setting aside a focus upon the Lord. When a man’s vision becomes the focus of a work, the people worship the man and the vision. When we do this, we think we are still worshipping God. The focus is off God and onto what we can do. The true church and the false grow side by side until the time of the end. We become men who worship men. It does not take the New Age movement to worship self as a god. It happens regularly in our churches.
Refusing the Intimacy that Marks the True Bride- Wheat and Tares
This brings much loss to the Lord’s people. Intimacy requires a focus on the Lord. Without the Lamb central to all, we cannot hear what is the Bridegroom says.
The Lord cannot draw into intimacy those who refuse to be drawn. Those who hide from the truth about the relationship games they play refuse intimacy. In fact, playing games of power, superiority, domination, popularity and living in denial and deception keep the believer from entering the intimacy that the Lord died to provide.
Keeping the False or Embracing the Real
He yearns to speak face to face with each believer. He desires to make us His. This is pain’s purpose. It is not to fulfill the capriciousness of a vengeful God. Losing the false ideas we trust in brings pain. It is even more painful to hang onto the false. Yielding to God brings life. Yielding to the false brings more and more pain like a snowball rolling down a hill.
If we are adept at hiding from the pain, then we may become a source of great pain and hurt to others. Those who deny pain often become autocratic persecutors. Either way, holding on to the false is a losing proposition. Only in surrender to His love will we find wholeness. Will you surrender to the intimacy that marks the true bride?
The Beautiful Bride
Song 4:1 “How beautiful you are my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes behind your veil are doves.”
She is no longer a man pleaser. Transformation has changed her from likeness to the daughters of Zion mentioned in Isaiah 3:16 “…haughty, with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes.” Once she was a flirt, but many trials taught her where to keep her eyes. She is instead like the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah 6:1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord.” The other delights that would hold her attention are dead to her. Like Isaiah she sees only Him. Her dove’s eyes make her beautiful to Him.
True Focus Again
The word beautiful in this passage means bright. Those who see the Holiness of God as Isaiah did, carry His brightness on their countenance. Indeed, even as the glory of God brought purging to Isaiah’s life, it brings purging to the life of all who behold Him. He overshadows His bride with the glory of God amid many trials and it shows.
Matthew 6:22-23 “The eye is the lamp of the body, if your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is within you is darkness, how great is the darkness.”
God’s Light Developing Within Her
The bride’s eyes are full of light. That the light within could be darkness suggests what we consider light is not light but deception instead. The bride is coming out of deception by others and no longer lives in self-deception. Deception and self-deception were in her life as a slave. They were in her life in the tomb. In that tomb love for them died. In the tomb her eyes became dove’s eyes.
Though she is sometimes tempted to win the praise of men, she is quick to repent when she succumbs to the charms of men rather than the Lord because intimacy marks the true bride. His Bride has learned a true focus on her Lover.
Focus on Christ Helps us Forsake All Others
She set her heart to love and know the Lord. She lost her expectations of ministry and success. In fact, these do not matter to her anymore. She only wants to succeed in His eyes and that means as the word of our wedding vows go, “Forsaking all others.”