(1) Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished.
(2) And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire—and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands.
(3) And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,
“Great and amazing are your deeds,O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways,O King of the nations!
(4) Who will not fear, O Lord,and glorify your name? For you alone are holy.All nations will comeand worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
(5) After this I looked, and the sanctuary of the tent of witness in heaven was opened,
(6) and out of the sanctuary came the seven angels with the seven plagues, clothed in pure, bright linen, with golden sashes around their chests.
(7) And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever,
(8) and the sanctuary was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the sanctuary until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished.
Exodus 15: 1-21(ESV)
The Song of Moses
(1) Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying,
“I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.
(2) The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
(3) The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is his name.
(4) “Pharaoh’s chariots and his host he cast into the sea, and his chosen officers were sunk in the Red Sea.
(5) The floods covered them; they went down into the depths like a stone.
(6) Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power, your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy.
(7) In the greatness of your majesty you overthrow your adversaries; you send out your fury; it consumes them like stubble.
(8) At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up; the floods stood up in a heap;nthe deeps congealed in the heart of the sea.
(9) The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them. I will draw my sword; my hand shall destroy them.’
(10) You blew with your wind; the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the mighty waters.
(11) “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?
(12) You stretched out your right hand; the earth swallowed them.
(13) “You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode.
(14) The peoples have heard; they tremble; pangs have seized the inhabitants of Philistia.
(15) Now are the chiefs of Edom dismayed; trembling seizes the leaders of Moab; all the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away.
(16) Terror and dread fall upon them; because of the greatness of your arm, they are still as a stone, till your people, O Lord, pass by, till the people pass by whom you have purchased.
(17) You will bring them in and plant them on your own mountain, the place, O Lord, which you have made for your abode, the sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established.
(18) The Lord will reign forever and ever.”
(19) For when the horses of Pharaoh with his chariots and his horsemen went into the sea, the Lord brought back the waters of the sea upon them, but the people of Israel walked on dry ground in the midst of the sea.
(20) Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing.
(21) And Miriam sang to them:
“Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.”
“Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense.” Psalm 141:2
This is the same thought elsewhere expressed in the Bible—that the prayers of God’s people rise up before him as a sweet perfume (Revelation 5:8).
The incense of old, which typified the prayers of the saints (Revelation 8:3), was composed of a rare mixture of spices, giving forth a peculiarly sweet odor and nobody was allowed to make that incense except the priests who were to offer it (Exodus 30:34-38; 37:29).
Thus again the Lord shows us that the privilege of prayer, of approaching him in an acceptable manner, and praying directly to the Heavenly Father through Christ, is confined to the anti-typicalpriests, called by Apostle Peter the “royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9).
“Only those of the Lord’s people who have consecrated their lives to him, even unto death, are thus represented as members of the sacrificing priesthood, to whom the Apostle wrote, saying,‘I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, and your reasonable service’(Romans 12:1). The Lord has pledged to this particular class that he will hear them… he will answer them—not necessarily according to their natural preferences, but he will heed the spirit of their cry and give tothem, according to his wisdom, the experiences and blessings most helpful” (R5692).
Luke 18:1 reads “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.”
“In thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand are pleasures forevermore,” declares the prophet (Psalm 16:11).
We must not grow disheartened and discouraged because of the delay in the answer to our prayers.
“Consider Jesus lest ye be weary and faint in your minds,”“for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Hebrew 12:3; Galatians 6:9).
The Motive Behind our Prayers
The Apostle James speaks of some who offer improper petitions. He says, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts“ (James 4:3).
The word lusts here signifies desires.
“We are not to ask to gratify fleshly desires. An example of this, could be praying to the Heavenly Father to send us a million dollars, telling Him that we knew what to do with the money, and how to use it in His work. The Lord probably would not give it—for we would probably be asking amiss. But it might be that we would think that we were asking wisely.
“Whenever we ask anything from theLord, we should scrutinize our motives to see if there is any personality connected with the matter. In our own case we should ask ourselves: Do we want that million dollars in order that we may shine in the use of it? If so, such a prayer would be a grossly improper prayer. We might offer such a prayer at the beginning of our Christian experience, and the Father would not chide us for it. We would excuse a child for doing what we would not excuse in one of adult years.
“In respect to this matter of prayer our Lord gives us a cue. It is this:
“If ye abide in Me and My Words abide in you, ye may ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you”(John 15:7).
“For God’s Word to abide in us implies that we have a knowledge of God’s Word. This necessitates the studying of the Word of God, that we may know what to pray for… We should consider what the Word of God teaches on this subject, and if any one has become well acquainted with the Word of God, he should know whether or not he has met the conditions which will sanctify his prayer. It is only after he has come to this position that he may continue to make his request, nothing doubting. But very likely he will then find that he has not a very large list of petitions that he can present” (R5311).
♦The New Creature’s Greatest Need
In order to pray properly, the child of God should know what he may pray for. The things that the heavenly Father is pleased to give to his children are heavenly things.
“The new creature is on trial for the new nature—for glory, honor, immortality. And he can receive these only as he is worthy. The terms on which he is received into spiritual relationship with the Father are that he shall mortify, deaden, the earthly impulses and seek to have the spiritual impulses quickened(R5311).
With persistence inour petitions to God we will know what is proper to pray for by studying the words of Jesus and the apostles and the prophets of old. The spirit-begotten ones may thus understand what are the rights and privileges of sons of God. To these the Heavenly Father is more willing to give the holy Spirit than earthly parents are willing to give good gifts to their children(Matthew 7:11).
“The holy Spiritis the one thing which the new creature needs” (R.5310).
Thus, the most important thing that the New Creature in Christ is to pray for, is for the holy Spirit—the spirit of holiness, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of the Truth, the spirit of a sound mind, the spirit of love. The Master’s words are, “If ye, then, being evil, know how to give good (earthly) gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the holy Spirit to them that ask him?”(Luke 11:13).
God is particularly willing to give us the holy Spirit, and especially pleased that we ask for it.
This does not mean that earthly interests will be ignored, since our Heavenly Father knows perfectly what things of an earthly character we have need of, just as He knows whatwe have need of for our spiritual welfare (R5311).
The child of God should feel that it is a privilege to have the Lord’s approval of every thought, every act, and every word (R5310).
“What we do is God’s work, not ours… Today the Lord may be leading us by the still waters and in green pastures… Tomorrow the pathway may be thorny and through rough places. Thus day by day we grow in knowledge and grow in love, and we should be ready for whatever experiences may come to us: ‘Content whatever lot I see, Since ‘tis God’s hand that leadeth me’ ” (R5312).
The prayer of one who asks only in harmony with the Lord’s Word is certain to be answered.
“It is best not to use any set form of words in prayer, but merely to think in advance what you desire of the Spirit—more faith, more patience, more meekness, more love.
♦Praying For Wisdom
In James 1:5, we are encouraged to pray for wisdom. “If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God, that giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not.”
By this wisdom we may be enabled to speak and act in a way that will be helpful to others.
“In order to have the holy Spirit in large measure, we must keep near to the Lord… The illumination of the Spirit will… become brighter in proportion to our realization of our own imperfections and to the degree of our consecration to the Lord. This we manifest by the zeal with which we study his will as expressed in his Word, and with which we practice that will in the affairs of life. These are the means by which we may supply the oil to keep our light burning brightly. But while we are endeavoring to do this, we must see to it that we do not come into contact with anything which will tend to extinguish the flame of sacred love in our hearts.
“The world, the flesh and the devil are all in opposition to the light of the holy Spirit. To whatever extent they are brought into contact with the light, to that extent they smother itt. We should ever be on our guard lest we allow anything to dim or to extinguish our love for the Lord, for the truth or for holiness and Christ- likeness” (R5129, R5130).
What else should be prayed for and what are the effects of this?
Here are suggestions of what we are to pray for.
Our affections must be upon the spiritual food—upon the bread which came down from heaven and upon all the precious promises of God of which Christ is the center and substance. These we must seek, these we must appropriate; and for these, therefore, the substance of our prayers will be. Thus our watching, praying and daily seeking will be in full accord. Moreover, thanksgiving must largely take the place of requests, from the time that we learn of the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the divine provision, for both the New Creation and for our dear ones according to the flesh, and for all the families of the earth. What could we ask for more or better than God has already promised?
♦ Daily bread—But is not this something for the flesh? This is a necessity, and the Lord has warranted us in praying for our necessities.
“We are to use our judgment the best we may; yet we are not to trust to our own efforts alone, but to the Lord’s supervising care. If, therefore, the temporal supply be scant, we are to learn the lesson of frugality and care of what we have.
“We should learn very early in life not to be wasteful. When Jesus fed the multitude with the loaves and fishes, and then instructed his disciples to take up the remainder of these in their baskets, he illustrated his economy.
“We are to eat with thankfulness what we have, if it is merely bread and water, or potatoes and salt. There is nothing to indicate that we are to ask for pie or cake or ice-cream, but for the necessities. If in God’s providence He furnishes the necessities and withholds the luxuries, then we are to be satisfied, to be thankful (R5311).
Let us also ask ourselves daily: Did we waste anything today? Did we eat too much today—twice as much as we had need for? “If so, the Lord will probably teach you some lesson, and it will be for your good as a New Creature. But if you have used wisdom and economy, He will provide the things needful. As the Prophet says, “Bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure” (R5311).
♦ “Deliverance from the Evil One—which should lead us to see that there is an Evil One, and that we are not sufficient of ourselves to resist his attacks successfully. We need the Lord’s help at all times, and we need to pray continually and not to faint (R5311).
♦ Forgiveness of our trespasses daily—which are the result of our fleshly imperfections. “Our trespasses of the flesh today should be a great deal less than similar trespasses with us ten years ago or five years or even one year ago” (R5311).
♦God’s Kingdom to come—By praying without doubting it, we are strengthening in our faith more and more.
“Let our affections be set on things above, and not on things beneath—upon the robe of Christ’s righteousness and our future glorious apparel, when we shall be like our Lord and see him as he is, rather than on earthly apparel” (R5311).
♦ Express thanks for Divine care and to request a continuance of the same.
“Prayer and praise should always go up to heaven arm in arm, like twin angels walking up Jacob’s ladder, or like kindred aspirations soaring up to the Most High” (Spurgeon).
“The prayers recorded in the Bible are generally not lengthy. God accepts as our prayers all the good thoughts and sentiments of our minds, as well as those expressed by our tongues” (R5311).
♦ Pray for each other—In relation to this point, “the Editor” in the Reprints (R2576) of the Original Watchtower and Herald of Christ’s Presence, writes an encouraging comment in relation to a letter received from a Brother in Christ (i.e. Br. W. E. Vanamburgh from South Dakota, USA):
“We cannot express in words our deep appreciation of the love of the brethren so often expressed in their letters… We assure these dear brethren and all that their love is most heartily reciprocated. We love the brethren and take pleasure in laying down our life in their service.We are glad to know that you remember us and the Lord’s ‘harvest work,’ which he as been pleased to center here in Allegheny, in your prayers. If we may judge from the letters received, thousands of prayers ascend daily on our behalf. We cannot tell you how deeply we appreciate this: it keeps us humble as we remember our needs, and it strengthens us as we remember the Lord’s sufficiency and his willingness to pour out his blessings in answer to your prayers and ours.
These prayers and the divine power to which they are attached are to our hearts a bulwark against the many Satan-blinded foes who beset you and us continually because of our loyalty to the Lord and his Word.”
“The Scriptures not only encourage public and audible prayers amongst the Lord’s people, but point out, also, that he who prays should remember his audience in connection with his ministry, and perform the service so that he who hears may be able to say ‘Amen,’ whether audibly or in his heart” (1 Corinthians 14:13-17) (Volume 6, Studies in the Scriptures, page 688).
♦ Pray for the peace of Jerusalem—“They shall prosper that love thee”(Psalm 122:6).
These words are as true of the Heavenly Jerusalem (government of peace) and her children of peace, as they are of the earthly Jerusalem—which now is, and is in bondage with her children (Galatians 4:25).
“But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother”(Galatians 4:26).
“Those who are praying the Lord’s blessing upon his cause are seeking to serve it and are proportionately blessed. Those who are indifferent to the welfare of Zion and the Lord’s cause now, are standing in a slippery place and are in great danger of falling” (R2071).
“The true worshipers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24).
Worship “in spirit and in truth” does not apply simply to prayer, praise, supplication and thanks giving. It goes deeper than all these. It takes hold upon the affections, upon the heart, and hence signifies not an act of worship but rathera life of worship—a life in which, through the begetting of the spirit and the knowledge of the divine plan, the individual becomes so at-one with God and all the features of the plan of God that it is, in the words of our Lord, his meat and his drinkto do the Father’s will. This is worship in spirit and in truth. It will find its expression… also in all the acts and words of life (R2071).
♦ Pray for God’s will to be done.
“We are not to tell God what to do for we have no means of knowing what is His will in matters in general.
“Our Lord Jesus did not pray in a mandatory fashion. With his petitions, he said, “Not My will, but Thine, be done”—I have no will of my own; for I have given up my will and I desire to have Thy will done. This is a prayer of full submission. It did not mean that our Lord did not pray in faith, nor that he would not get what he desired. It meant that he desired to learn the Father’s will; and he learned that the Father willed that he should drink the cup of suffering to the very dregs” (R5203).
Results of Prayer
It is the privilege of the Lord’s people to ask in order that they may have fullness of joy and the “peace of God, which passeth all understanding,”rejoicing greatly in hope of the glorious things which the Father has in store for us and which the holy Spirit reveals through the Word.
“The joyful Christian is the thankful Christian. The thankful Christian is the one who is making the best use of his life. By reason of having exercised thankfulness of heart, he will be the better prepared for the kingdom” (R5203).
It is truly an enormous privilege to have access to the presence of God, entering by faith into the Most Holy.
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need”(Hebrews 4:16).
Br. Charles T. Russell—The content of this post is derived from a combination of various Reprints of the Original Watchtower and Herald of Christ’s Presence.
“The more we feed our mind with anything in one direction, the more it will wander there. Let us feed our mind with good spiritual food and have it wander in the right direction”(Pastor Charles T. Russell, “What Pastor Russell Said,” page 159).
There is a saying “the grass is always greener on the other side.” It is like this with our natural dispositions—that whatever is “a little piece off” from us we are inclined to want, perhaps like a cow in a paddock who isfed the best grass in her own barn, but when beside the neighbour’s fence, she will try to break through the fence to get to the neighbour’s paddock of grass! But what happens then?! Let the following picture and the Scriptural admonitions on it do the explaining!
Dear friends, we want to fence ourselves off from the world that we will no longer desire those things, and as the Apostle says, “set our affection on things above and not on things beneath” (Colossians 3:2).
This word “set” suggests a continual setting. Set it today, and tomorrow morning set it early, and if it slips off, set it back again. If it slips off set it back again, and by and by we will be too busy to have time to wander.
Let us not become overcharged with the affairs of this life by very trifling things, things that are not worthy of our attention at all, but foolishness. Let us not give our mind to what another person imagines and made a story about, such as secular entertainment often is. In the Bible we have the most wonderful story, the most wonderful drama that was ever known.
The Bible could be said to have the best plot that any novel ever had or will have. It goes all the way back to the beginning of Creation and shows the garden of Eden in all its beauty and grandeur, then the coming in of the serpent and the temptation of our first parents. Mother Eve was deceived and father Adam, being perplexed, gave his very life for his wife, because he thought he could never live without her. Thus he proceeded against God’s command. He ate fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the midst of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9, 17).
A river watering the garden flowed from Eden, a name that means “pleasure” (Strong’s 5730), and separated upstream into four contributing headwaters (Genesis 2:10-14):
This river of Eden may represent the “river of water of life” that flows from the throne of God to bless mankind (Revelation 22:1). That river of life is the Gospel, or good news, of salvation through Christ. The life and work of Christ comes to us in four Gospel Accounts, that may be represented by the four headwaters contributing to the river of Eden.
Perhaps also, the four headwaters may somewhat reflect the four categories of humanity during the 1000 year millennial reign of Christ as is reflected in the four divisions of the Levitical priesthood, (explained in the post titled: “Study 6: The Levites”) whereby:
The Pishonriver that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold (Genesis 2:11) reflects the Amram Levites, who were situated on the eastern side of the Tabernacle and may represent the antitypical “Little Flock” and BRIDE OF CHRIST.
The Gihon river reflects the Merari Levites who were situated on the northern side of the tabernacle who “burst forth” in service to the Heavenly Father. The Gihon river flows through south-eastern Mesopotamia into Ethiopia – which from time immemorial has been a symbol of servitude so would represent the SERVANTS classbeforethe throne in heaven, the palm-bearers of Revelation who were also of the spirit-begotten class and “called out of Babylon” class—the “great multitude”class. These do not qualify as the Bride of Christ yet are a heavenly class “before the throne” (Revelation 7:15) who “burst forth” with joy in serving the Heavenly Father and The Christ—head and body, who shall then be complete in full glory.
The Tigris (Hidekel) River means “rapid” and it may reflect the Kohathite Levites who represent the Ancient Worthies who will be the “princes on earth” helping humanity make rapid progress by their work on earth to “rapidly” spread the Truth about righteousness and the need to obey God’s law of love in order to inherit eternal life.
The Euphrates River – reflects the world of mankind in the kingdom as reflected in the typical picture of the Gershom Levites on the Western side of the Tabernacle arrangement of Israel in the wilderness, who shall be fruitful in the 1000-year Millennium as they walk up the “highway of holiness” to gain eternal life choosing obedience to Godly principles.
The Plot Thickens
Then we learn about what disastrous effects of sin have come into the world as the result of Adamic disobedience. We could not have any deeper plot than to think how the Adversary and the fallen angels have conspired to blind and delude men and women from Eden to now.
The picture then reveals our great Creator looking down from His holy habitation, beholding our condition in sin and degradation, hearing the groaning of the prisoners, all going down to the prison house of death.
Can we find any novel more engaging than that?
Only God can help man out of his trouble. No power but God’s can open the bars of the prison‑house of death and bring the prisoners out. Only by choosing to obey God will life eternal, and eternal happiness, result.
God’s eye pitied us, and He extended his Arm to help us, in the person of his son, Jesus, who as our redeemer gave his life a RANSOM FOR ALL.
We read about Jesus redemptive gift toward every single human that ever lived, in 1 Timothy 2:6,
“Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”
Jesus Christ died the just for the unjust and thus satisfies justice. When the proper time comes for the Millennial Reign of Christ with his Bride class, then mankind will be released from the curse. This will occur, by God’s grace, after the sharers in the anti-typical “sin offering” shall have fulfilled their covenant of sacrifice until death and become the completed Bride of Christ united with their Head, Christ Jesus. Thereafter, the living among mankind who embrace the Kingdom can begin walking up the Highway of Holiness, without passing through the death experience. For the curse will be abated. Subsequently, those raised from the dead will also be invited to walk up that Highway to perfection, if they will (Isaiah chapter 35).
This grand novel provides still more!
What kind of Bride will the Heavenly Father have his Son to possess? She has only the filthy rags of sin and imperfection, yet she desires to be in harmony with God’s will. So Christ, her Bridegroom, provides for her purification, cleansing, and justification. He even provides her a wedding garment.
Is this not a great plot?
Now, what must the Bride do? She must receive this robe of Christ’s righteousness which is to be the wedding garment. A marriage is preparing, and the bride must get ready by getting a robe from the bridegroom.
Then what shall the Bride do with this robe?
She must embroider it.She gets the robe for nothing and has the stamped pattern given to her.
Christ is the pattern and she must do the embroidery work herself. She must work out her own salvation “with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12), seeing carefully that every stitch on the robe shall conform to the pattern the Lord has given her.
What does the embroidery represent?
It represents the fruits and graces of the holy Spirit. We know that unless we have those fruits and graces, we will never be counted worthy to be a joint‑heir in the Kingdom.
What are the fruits and graces of the holy Spirit?
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self‑control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22‑23).
How long does it take to embroider these?
It takes longer with some and shorter with others. Some can get their hearts fixed on this glorious pattern (Hebrews 12:2) and so appreciate it that it is the great desire of their lives to cultivate these graces of the holy Spirit. As they go to the Lord, the first thing in the morning they say, Lord help me to cultivate the fruits of Thy spirit today.
Because I want to be pleasing to the Bridegroom, and be ready when he claims his Bride, that I may be counted worthy to enter in as a member of that Bride class (2 Thessalonians 1:4-5). Then all the trials and difficulties we are obliged to pass through, will be finished. He allows us to be tempted in all points like He was tempted.
“14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Because He wants to have a Bride class who can endure temptation, endure hardness,show loyalty, and manifest that they are not merely so‑so Christians, butreallyovercomers,seeking to know and to do God’s will. He wants them to love righteousness and truthso that they would lay down their lives in this service, rather than receive the pleasures of sin for a time. He has taken nearly 2000 years so far, for this purpose.
God knew there would not be very many who would love Christ sufficiently to lay down their life in sacrifice with Christ, in difficult circumstances, and thus receive the reward of incorruption and immortality with Christ. Every one of the Bride members will be approved of the Father. Christ will present themblameless and unreprovable before God in love, after they have had all of the necessary trials that permit their share in the blessings (which come from the sufferings for righteousness sake) of Christ.
Christ invites whom he will, and marks them with the holy Spirit of God. This mark indicates who has been invited to run in the race “toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). They are called out of Babylon (Revelation 18:4) and enlisted in a “beauty contest,” like Queen Esther.
It is a beauty contest pertaining to one’s Christlikeness. The criteria are based upon a character of godliness and righteous conduct, reflecting loyalty, trustworthiness, and obedience to God’s will. The overcomers will constitute a loyal Bride of Christ forever.
This “calling out” or “marking” with the holy Spirit of God allows them to understand His Divine plan and character. This is part of the betrothal process. We are engaged to Christ now and everything depends upon our developing proper Christian character, upon wearing our robe, and upon showing our love and zeal by the embroidering our robe with the fruits and graces of the spirit.
Then comes the marriage of the Lamb when the Bride has made herself ready.
What is the marriage all about between Christ and His “little flock”?
The marriage will be our collective union with the Lord.
How will it be brought about?
By the change from imperfect human nature to Divine nature—“changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Corinthians 15:52). Then we are to be forever with the Lord.
And is there a supper, or something?
Yes, or we might call it a breakfast, as it is in the morning. The word “supper” comes from the terms “to sup.” You may sup in the morning, noon or evening. It means to eat.This supper is to be the first great banquet that we will have on the other side of the vail.
Who could ever imagine that such a most wonderful drama is found in the Bible?
And what next?
Well, before the supper begins they will wait a little while for the Bridesmaids, comprising a secondary company. They were part of the church at one time; they made a consecration and were begotten of the holy Spirit, just the same as the Bride class, but they failed to make their calling and election sure to the high position to which they were invited. They were not sufficiently zealous and loyal.
Were they disloyal?
Oh, No! No disloyal ones will be given anything at God’s hands. By and by they will come up through great tribulation and wash their robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb, and be before the throne instead of on the throne. They will have palms of victory instead of crowns of glory.
So we read in Psalms that after Jesus, the King, shall introduce the Bride before the Father, then the virgins, her companions that followed after her, shall also be brought into the presence of the King (Psalms 45:14). Oh, there is a grand drama there in all that Bible picture!
Then have we anything more? Yes, the King and Queen are going to reign for a thousand years, and everybody is going to be blessed. In all that empire there will be no attempt to take from the people their rights, and make everything subservient to the King, and the people poor. The very reverse of this. The King will take delight in lifting the people up, refreshing them, and bringing them to perfection. Then, by the end of the thousand years, when all the unfit ones are destroyed from amongst the people, all of these grand beings will show forth the praises of God.
Is there anything more?
Astronomers tell us that numerous stars are suns like our sun, with planets around them as the planets around our own sun. Are these worlds yet to be inhabited? If God formed the earth to be inhabited, might other planets someday be inhabited? We think so.
Then who is to do that great work?
God says that Christ shall be first in all things, so that will put Him first in that great work. Who will come next in God’s arrangement? The Lord says that the church shall be next to him. Now we have Christ and the Church and a great work for them for all eternity in peopling millions of worlds.
Can anyone make a greater drama than this?
My heart rejoices and overflows with gratitude to God for the privilege now of having a chance to become an heir of God and a joint‑heir with Jesus Christ, my Savior.
We have all been called in one hope of our calling (Ephesians 4:4), and this is the hope of our calling. Is it sufficiently grand for you? Do you know of any other kind of business in which you could become so rich as that?
The Scriptures are indeed right when they tell us about the riches of God’s grace, and when Jesus tells us of the pearl of great price, it is a valuable pearl indeed. If any man once gets his eyes on it, and appreciates the value of our heavenly calling, then let him dispose of everything he has in order to win that prize. So let us do, dear friends.
Br. Charles Russell. The content of the above post is based on the written content of Br. Charles Russell in “What Pastor Russell Said” (page 159), titled “CONSECRATION‑Proper Use of Time,” Question 158:1 (1913), Should Christians spend their time reading worldly magazines and newspapers?