Speaker: Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj
MAIN: Rev 19:7-9 says,
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)
Marriage of the lamb is the greatest event that is coming upon the bride of Jesus Christ.
Marriage of the lamb has come in our relationship with Jesus from the day you’re born again till the day of His coming. When you gave your life to the lord Jesus Christ that was the moment you were betrothed with the Lord Jesus Christ. An engagement took place between you and Jesus Christ the moment you said, “Come Lord Jesus, come into my life.”
2 Corinthians 11:2 “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to Him.”
In every engagement ceremony, what is an engagement without a ring?
Luke 15:22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.”
When the prodigal son came back to his father, the first thing the father did was he put the ring in his hand. In the same way when you accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior, when you espoused, betrothed, engaged to the Lord Jesus Christ as a bride, He put a ring on you, the seal of the Holy Spirit, the seal of the promise that is parablelized /symbolized as a ring.
Everything in the spiritual realm is parablelized. Words are not words. They are objects. It’s quite amazing, you know, every word is parablelized. They are not real but they look real. Do you understand? I hope you do. They are real but they are not real because they are real in its objectivity. They are not real in their substance. For example, this morning I told you that once as I was praying, an angel of the Lord appeared to me carrying a beautiful silver tray with 4 kinds of fruits. And he told me, “These fruits are from the tree of wisdom in heaven. Now, take and eat.” One of the fruit looked like a watermelon cut in a quarter and the other looked like big fat red grapes. There were 4 or 5 pieces of them. I can’t remember the other 2 kinds of fruits. They all looked very real, real watermelon, real grapes and when I ate it, even the method of eating was real but when it touched my tongue, it did not have the solidity like watermelon. It just kind of melted or disappeared or went inside my mouth, a spiritual substance. But when i partaken these fruits, many mysteries of God, of the universe, of creation were revealed to me in a faction of a moment. These are marvelous graces that God has. This is what the bible says the tree of life will bear 12 kinds of fruits. And every kind of a fruit is a spiritual blessing parablelized as an object for our eyes to see, for our senses to touch, but when partaken they are spiritual substances that reach to the spirit man. So likewise the ring, the seal of the Holy Spirit is parablelized as a ring. This is the first event that takes place when we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our savior. From that moment till the wedding of the lamb is a period of waiting and preparation, the bride prepares.
Verse 7 “The marriage of the lamb is come and his wife had made herself ready.”
This is the most important phrase in the entire marriage supper of the lamb that we can’t afford to overlook. The wife had made herself ready. The bridegroom is coming for his bride.
Rev 16:15 “I am coming like a thief.” Suddenly, He will, without pre-announcement. He will certainly come for His church. And only they who had made themselves ready will hear the sound of the trumpet that will be blown, not everybody.
In 1985, I went to Singapore for meetings. I landed at the airport. I took a cab to go to this pastor’s house. From the airport to the pastor’s house is a distance of about 15 kilometers. While we were travelling, I suddenly heard, it’s about 10 at night, I heard a sound of trumpet been blown so I turn and looked around where this sound coming from. Now the airport is in a reclaimed land by the sea and towards the left and right is just a barren land, airport land. So there’s no way anyone can be playing trumpet at that hour. So I thought I was just imaging stuffs, you know sometimes we hear ringing in the ear if we’re traveling on the plane, have you experienced that? So, mine sounded like a trumpet. That’s all, instead of ringing of a bell, it sounded like trumpets. A few moments later, again I heard a sound of a trumpet. So I asked the driver, “Excuse me sir, where is this sound of the trumpet coming from?” He turned around and looked at me and he asked me, “What sound?” I said, “Don’t you hear this sound coming, this trumpet sound?” I even described to him how it sounded by trying to imitate the sound of the trumpet. And he asked me, “Where are coming from?” I said, “India.” He said, “No wonder.” So I kept all the insults to me and I just kept quiet. Two minutes later, again I heard the sound of the trumpet. The third time, the Holy Spirit told me, “Now listen carefully…” As I quieted within and listen carefully, I could perceive very clearly this sound of the trumpet coming all the way from heaven. You know, our spirit is intelligent enough to sense the direction from which the source is coming from. And then the word of the Lord came unto me saying, “There are two of you in this car, only you heard the sound of the trumpet. Likewise in that day, two will be in the field, one shall be taken, and one shall be left behind. Two will be lying in the bed, one shall be taken, and one shall be left behind. Only you could hear the sound of the trumpet because you had made yourself ready and not this driver.” Only they who had made themselves ready will hear the sound of the trumpet calling the bride, “Come up!”
There are so many controversies about the rapture in Christianity everywhere. The Lord Jesus Christ very simply, clearly said in Matthew 24:40-41 about the taking away of the bride. Very simple so why are you fighting about it?
And Paul mentions it in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 “According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” The catching away has the same root word used by the Lord Jesus Christ ‘taken’. The Greek word for the word ‘taken’ is the only one word being used once in that one particular place in the entire New Testament. And that word means ‘to be removed and kept in a shelf for future use.’
Is there any biblical proof for the rapture, of course there is. Look at Enoch; he was translated without tasting death. Genesis 5:22-24 tells us like that. And look at Elijah, 2 Kings 2:11, translated, taken up to heaven in the eyes of everybody who were looking around, without tasting death. And look at the Lord Jesus Christ Himself in Acts 1:9-10; while He was blessing the people, He was taken up alive in fact in a slow motion manner so that they can all see there are no strings attached.
Furthermore, besides the rapture being in great controversy in Christianity, there is another controversy paying to injury concerning the rapture: pre-tribulation rapture, mid-tribulation rapture and post tribulation rapture. You know, we are already fighting our rapture, now here comes another war. Speaking of war, I want to tell you about something what God revealed. There lives a very saintly prophet of God in Australia. He’s a very dear friend of mine. Very recently, he was visited by the Lord Jesus Christ. This happened during the time when the US was going very hard after the Al Qaeda and Osama in Afghanistan. The Lord Jesus Christ came and told him, “Pray for USA that she will not make a plunder, if US goes after Saddam Hussein in Iraq, it will have great consequences on Israel, pray that US will not make this mistake.”
So while there is a rapture controversy, now we have this pre-trip, mid-trip, post-trip controversy. When will the church be raptured? Whichever you believe, the bible clearly states, “Before God’s wrath is poured out, He will always protect His people.”
I can give you 2 specific biblical examples. Before God poured out His wrath upon Sodom and Gomorrah, the righteous Lot’s family was removed. Before God poured out His wrath in the whole world through a flood, the righteous Noah’s family was removed. All throughout history, this is evident. God’s chosen ones will be removed because you see, it is written very clearly, “He that touched you, touched the apple of my eye.” So how can God allow his apple to be touched? He will not allow that. So I hope you found the answer to the controversy. Pre-trip, mid-trip or post-trip, which is the right trip? I always say like this, whether it is pre-trip, mid-trip or post-trip, if you want to make a trip, you must be ready. What is the use if you are so theologically wise and you can dissect all the trips but you’re not ready? What is the use? Suppose pre-trip is wrong and mid-trip is wrong and post trip is right, but if I am ready and you are ready, does it matter which trip? When the trumpet is blown, you are translated the next moment. You don’t have to wait for the rapture to take place, right now; you can have your rapture. Right now it is absolutely possible when your spirit is so transform and your soul is so transform and your body will be transform and you’ll be immediately transformed into light and be caught up into heaven. Just like this Chinese lady, Mrs. Jo that sister Gwen shared about, how she was translated. It’s taking place around the whole world. Many people are experiencing translations. Why should you taste death? You know death is the curse of sin. If we have been redeemed from the curse of the law then we should also be redeemed from tasting death. If you walk with God then you won’t taste death because there is no death in the Lord Jesus Christ, He is life. So if you walk with Him, you will receive life, more life, more abundant life, too much life. Eventually you’ll be so full of the Lord Jesus Christ and His light will embrace you totally.
The wife had made herself ready.
Only the bride will be caught/call away and not all who are part of the body of Christ. The larger body of Christ is different from the bride of Jesus Christ. Let me give you one example. Suppose there is a wedding in our midst. Now the bride is a woman, am I right? I know why all of you are laughing; it is dangerous to ask this question in the western world. I would have no problem asking this question in the east. In the west, now we do not know who the bride is. They all are alike. Let’s go by the original pattern. In the original pattern, the bride is a woman, right? Now the bride is a woman and the entire women guess who come on a wedding, they are also woman. The bride is a woman and all the woman who are guess in the wedding are also woman but only the woman who make herself as a bride will walk down the aisle, not all the woman who come for the wedding will walk down aisle but only she who make herself ready for the wedding day will walk down the aisle. In the same way, the whole body of Jesus Christ they who make themselves ready. How many? According to the parable of the foolish virgins and wise virgins, it’s 50-50. Five wise, five foolish. See one thing common about the 10 virgins is they were all meeting the bridegroom. But only 5 are ready, the other 5 were not ready. They claimed, they wanted, they desired like everybody else to meet the bridegroom but they are not ready, only 5 were ready. And the 5 heard the voice of the bridegroom calling and they went. You know, that is not so bad. The greater tragedy is this: when the other 5 came back and they cried and cried and cried, the Lord’s ear was shut. That is the greater tragedy when His ears were shut to all their cries and He did not show an ounce of mercy. If you are left behind because you did not make yourself ready, that will be the greatest tragedy in your life. All the crying, all the repentance after death is useless. When Noah preached for 120 years, nobody believed him. When they entered into the ark, the scripture says, “And God closed the door from the outside.” Why? Have you ever thought why God didn’t allow the door to be closed from the inside? Because God knows human heart. We can be move with compassion and pity and open the door. But God has a time for grace. When the time expires, God shows no mercy. No more mercy when the time expired. See, the moment one drop of rain came down; they would have suddenly realized Noah was right. Can you imagine every one of them going and banging on the door, “Open! Open! Open!” just like the 5 foolish virgins banging on the door, “Open! Open! Open!”
From the oldest to the youngest, can you imagine how much Noah must have hardened his heart to the cries of the little ones? I’m sure their hearts would have gone fighting to open the door by hearing the cries of the little ones but God closed the door. He closed the door.
My dearly beloved brothers and sisters, don’t play with God. You can play with anybody else in this world but don’t mess around with God. You don’t know whom you are messing around with. Don’t just think He’s an ordinary carpenter from Nazareth, don’t think like that. He is the Lord God of the entire universe. If you think you can mess around, fool around, play church, praise the Lord, you have all your fine, in fact you have plenty of playmates down in hell. They all are waiting to play games, not in heaven. God is a good God. His mercy and grace endures forever and ever, however He has appointed a time. Only she who had made herself ready would be caught up as the bride.
The wife had made herself ready, how?
Esther 2 says that Esther had 12 months of preparation to meet the king.
The day that you are espouse to the Lord Jesus Christ, from that day till the day you are married, it is your solid responsibility to remain as a pure virgin. That is the bride’s responsibility. This is how she made herself ready. She protected herself, kept herself chased and a virgin.
Your body could have been defiled but your spirit must be undefiled.
In the lineage of the Lord Jesus Christ, there are four prostitutes. How could this be? He the Holy One of Israel, how can there be a taint with His lineage? This was how the Lord Jesus Christ explained to me, “These four women were tainted in their body but their heart was clean. They did not embrace prostitution with all their heart forced by circumstances imposed upon them. Only their body was defiled, not their heart. In their heart, they were pure virgins. Their souls were pure virgin. That is the reason why they are preserved.” Even Rahab the prostitute, why she was chosen to be saved from destruction was another good example for the pre-trip rapture, saved before destruction. Why? Her heart was right. Her heart was clean. Her heart was pure before the all seeing eyes of God.
I can actually tell you many examples of some women who are battered and bruised in their soul who have come to me for prayer. Do you know, there was once a girl in our church. The Lord Jesus told me about her life. No one knows about her life. The Lord Jesus said, “This girl was sexually molested when she was a little girl. And she is so badly bruised in her spirit. Go and tell her that unless she lets go of that bitterness, she will not have a good married life in the future.” So I invited the girl to come and see me and I told her what the Lord said. She broke down and cried for 20 minutes for 25 years of pain in her heart, she cried terribly like a little baby. And when she lifted up her head, she told me a very heartbreaking story. It was her own brother that molested her and raped her. He worked as a seaman and every time he come back home, he’d rape his sister. And when she went and told her parents, her parents told her, “Just ignore what your brother is doing and submit to him because he is the breadwinner in the family.” Can you imagine how this poor girl must have felt? The very parents who supposed to protect her left her defenseless. Everyday every time he comes back, she will be driven in fear every time her brother comes back home because she will have to go through hell. That day when she opened up her heart to the Lord Jesus and allowed the healing hands of Jesus Christ to heal her broken heart, do you know the first miracle happened was her countenance change. There was kind of a life in her face, joy in her face. Today she is happily married and a mother of two children. The Lord Jesus showed me if she had not let go of the bitterness, when she will have sex with her husband, the thought of her brother will come before her mind and she will see her husband as her brother and she cannot consummate her marriage. That was the Lord was one thing to heal her. And she was healed. Totally set free. So many women are like that. You know somehow, the devil has single out a woman to destroy her of the thing that is precious to her. You see all the pornographic magazines that are in the world today, most of them portray woman in all her ugliness and the poor women with no better sense in their mind thinking that they are getting lots of money are willing to cast away their chastity and parade what they call showing off their assets. Do you know the angels covered their faces with great shame? But that is how the devil have deceived, corrupted our thinking to destroy woman. Why? Because she was going to give birth to the Messiah, corrupt her, destroy her. See, women are special to God. And I tell you today, all the women who are here, you don’t know who you are; you don’t know the inherent power that is within you. You don’t know. If you knew, you would not be so defeated in your life. You do not know the power and the ability that is within you to give birth to plans of God, visions of God, the purposes of God. The virgin Mary didn’t just give birth to the Son of God; she gave birth to the plan of redemption that which was given birth from her womb 2000 years ago. Till today the plan was executed. One woman, not a company of woman who yielded her body, her soul, her spirit to the purposes of God. One woman totally foregoing her reputation, good name, prestige, her self-image, everything laid down at the foot of the cross. She gave birth to the plan of redemption. That is why the Lord Jesus Christ gives her the highest honor ‘blessed among all women.’ not so much that she gave birth to the Son of God but because she chose to die. She chose to totally die to everything. Do you know what Mary did may not be a big thing in the western culture but in the eastern culture it is a greatest thing for an unwed young teenager to be pregnant. And on top of that she doesn’t even know who slept with her. That is the worst thing. She couldn’t even point a finger and say, “This is the father of my child.” She could not say. She could only point a finger up, who would believe that? Right? Such a thing never took place before in history. Who would believe that? But she died. Are you willing?
I tell you once again my dearly beloved sisters; within you is an awesome power of God, ability of God that you do not know. Within every one of you is a hidden diamond buried under the earth that is to be unearthed and brought out.
The bride of Jesus Christ must be pure virgin, undefiled in her heart and soul and in her body which means you have no other gods beside you. No other husbands beside the Lord Jesus, keeping your heart in single minded devotion. That is what it means the virgin bride of Jesus Christ–keeping your heart, soul in single-minded devotion, uncorrupted from the things of the world and the lusts of the world.
How to be the bride? How can we prepare ourselves as a bride?
Verse 8 gives us a clue, “And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen clean and white for the fine linen was the righteousness of the saints.”
I would like to call your attention to the first phrase, “…to her was granted.” when was it granted to her? After she had made herself ready. Not before. After she had made herself ready, to her was granted, to her was given the privilege. It is not an automatic thing that you receive. It’s a grant by God’s grace. A grant.
What is fine linen?
The scripture explains that it is the righteousness of the saints. Now the bible tells us that all our righteousness is like filthy rags and we have no righteousness on our own. If that’s true then why is it here it says that it is the righteousness of the saints.”? If our righteousness is filthy rags and we are only righteous in Christ Jesus, which is all true, then where in the world did we get this righteousness of the saints? The righteousness of the saints comes as a result of righteous deeds, righteous works that we work when we obeyed the word of God.
Rev 19:8 “…to her was granted after she make herself ready.”
Eph 4:24 tells us that when you put on the Lord Jesus Christ and practice what the Word of God preaches, you’re walking in righteousness, you receive the boldness to appear before the King.
Hebrews 4:16; 10:19 “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need…therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus.”
Secondly, the garment is clean means cleanliness from defilement (original sin and daily sins)
Ephesians 1:7 tells us that we were redeemed by the blood of Lord Jesus in our original sin but everyday of our walk, we’re committing sins.
Ephesians 5:26 tells us that the Word of God washes us continuously every time we’re cleansed from all defilement.
How are we defiled?
Galatians 5:17-21 describes the 17 works of the flesh that we practice in our everyday walk in life that defiles us. Our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, but only they who are clean can enter into heaven. Psalms 15; 24:3-6 tells us like that.
Thirdly, “…the garment is white…” represents holiness.
2 Corinthians 7:1-2 “Since we have these promises, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”
It is our duty, God is holy. And they who want to walk with Him must be holy. Holiness is inward beauty. Without it is impossible to see God.
In verse 8, bride wears a garment, fine linen which is clean and white. It is not just clean and white but a garment of light. The righteous acts we do are light, composes of light.
Psalms 37: 6 “He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”
When the bride puts on this garment, it is the garment of light, clean and bright, glistening color. There are billion colors in heaven and the saints of God wears different colors of robes according to their spiritual stature. Not everybody wears white. I have seen this in heaven. I have seen some very high-ranking saints in heaven. They were not wearing white, some of them were wearing blue, some wearing red and the martyrs in heaven they have different colored clothing that nobody else has the right to wear, and only they wear that. And the Lord Jesus Christ himself has different colored robes and each robe that He wears has a spiritual meaning. Many times I see the Lord Jesus, He always wear different colored robes and every time He manifests with one particular colored robe, it signifies the particular kind of work that He is accomplishing. Like this afternoon, while I was praying for you, I saw the Lord Jesus Christ wearing this beautiful golden robe and I knew that it signifies that He is going to work on holiness, a work of purity and that’s exactly what we did…to call you out of sin, out of self that you may embrace and put on holiness. So we must understand, we must not be foolish concerning spiritual things.., let’s not just be spiritual babes all the time. The apostle Paul wrote, “Let us go to perfection.” Let’s not be satisfied with spiritual goose bumps in the church. Spiritual goose bump is kindergarten Christianity, which is not for matured Christians. We must go on to perfection.
There are many things in the Christian life that God wants to give to His people. Bride will be adorned in the garment of light. Are you ready to meet your bridegroom?
When the Lord Jesus Christ gave me this message, He told me to emphasize what is contained in this passage. Please look at verse 9
Verse 9 says, “Blessed are they which are called…”
What about those who are not called? Who will be called? They who have made themselves ready. Not everyone will receive an invitation, no. This Canadian convention was so generous on the first night. They had their ladies dressed beautifully like a bride. They’re walking down the aisle with the basket in their hands and a nice little scroll giving out to everybody. Did you all get one? If you did not receive, they are all down here. Everybody got an invitation but this system is not followed in heaven, only in earth we can be very generous. You see this is a good example of what Noah was capable of doing. He wants everybody to come. God is not so generous. He is selective. Blessed are they who are called. I trembled with fear that the Lord Jesus Christ emphasized that one point, “Blessed are they who are called.” What about those who are not called? I pray and you should pray that you receive the invitation. Great and terrible are the days of it. That’s why the Lord said, “Pray that you’ll be counted worthy to escape the damnation that is going to come.” It is a privilege to be counted worthy, to be taken away, that you don’t face the damnation that is going to come.
The marriage of the supper of the lamb is come. The wife has made herself ready. Are you ready? If not, God has brought you to the right place in this convention to stir your hearts up with holy passion, holy desires to be ready as a bride so that together with the Holy Spirit you can look up to heaven and say, and the Spirit and the bride say, “Come.”