But now you realise you are in a dilemma. You have not prepared for the wedding. Nothing is ready. What do you do?
Your personal affairs have not been taken care of. Your wedding clothes have not been selected, nor attended to. You are now in a state of shock, as you realise just what there is yet to be done, to prepare or your wedding. You then ask yourself, "What steps should I take to prepare for the wedding?
You know that this wedding is a very special wedding. You then begin to realise that you will be taken away to a Far Country, so there can be no 'loose ends' when you leave with the Bridegroom. You then sit down hurriedly, and scribble out a crude check-list, a To-Do List. You must have everything done at the proper time. You then understand that each item on your List is 'prophetic' of a certain characteristic describing the readiness of all who would be a part of the Bride company.
You pick up a tablet, and a pen, and begin your list. It might look something like this:
My Wedding Preparation To-Do List
The Bride's Personal Preparation
1. Pay off Monetary Debts
2. Pay off Unforgiveness Debts
3. Make Restoration where needed.
4. Be up-to-date on tithes
5. Give away imprudent excess to the poor
6. Make out a will
The Bride's Wedding Preparation
1. Wash the Body
2. Pick out the Clothes
3. Wash the Clothes
4. Iron the Clothes
5. Put on the Clothes
6. Put on the Belt
7. Put on the Bridal Veil
8. Be Ready and Watching
You then begin to put down details on your list. Now Your list looks something like this:
My Wedding Preparation To-Do List
Personal Preparation DetailsOur list of 'Personal' preparation details now looks like this:
1. Pay Off all monetary debts:
Owe no man anything, but to love one another (Romans 13:8).
2. Get all unforgiveness debts taken care of:
Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing (Matthew 5:23-26).
3. Make restoration where needed. Give to the Poor:
And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord, Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold (Luke 19:8)
4. Be up-to-date on the tithe, which is Yahuweh's portion:
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it (Malachi 3:10).
5. Sell all that you have, and give to the Poor:
Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me (Luke 18:22).
6. Make out a will. Good stewardship requires that the rest of the Father's house be provided for:
A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children...(Proverbs 13:22).
Our list of 'Wedding' preparation details now looks like this:
Wedding Preparation Details
1. The Bride Washes Her Body
a. The first part of the Bride's preparation is the washing of the body. Notice the command is for you to do the washing:
Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:16-18)
We see above that the washing of our body speaks of 'cleaning up' our doings, our daily walk. However, the cleaning is done from inside-out. The cleaning must first come to our innermost being — our 'heart.' But we then realise we ourselves cannot do this cleaning. Only by the Blood of the Covenant, sealed by Yahushua's Blood, can we be cleansed within (1John 1:7; Psalms 51:7; Exodus 12:22).
b. We then realise that we must cry out to Yahuweh to do the washing, the cleansing. He will do so when we acknowledge our sin.
Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. (Psalms 51:2-3)
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. (Psalms 51:7)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1John 1:9)
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood... (Revelation 1:5)
For everything regarding the bride's preparation must be by Yahuweh's Grace — by his own power, by the Holy Spirit, to accomplish.
c. We then realise that we have tried to wash under our own efforts, our 'own works,' but we have not really accomplished the required washing.
There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. (Proverbs 30:12)
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (Titus 3:5)
So we see the first step, of washing the body, is the Regeneration that occurs initially, and is the Righteousness Yahuweh imparts to us by the Holy Spirit.
d. Our washing must be accompanied with prayer and fasting.
But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; (Matthew 6:17)
e. Our own washing includes allowing 'Messiah-in-you' to wash the feet of others. It is in this way that we show the humbling of self:
And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. (Luke 7:44)
If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. John 13:14
...Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matt 25:40)
2. The Bride Chooses Her Clothes.
After washing the Body, the Bride must then choose the clothes, the Garments she will wear. We are told much in Scripture that we must have clothing, and we must wash our clothes before coming into the presence of the King:
And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai. (Exodus 19:10-11)In the above passage we see a very important principle. We must wash our clothes, before we may come into the presence of Yahuweh, the King. We are given a similar word in Ephesians:
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. (Ephesians 5:25-27)
Some today have thought the only washing necessary is the washing of the body—the Regeneration, and imparting of Righteousness, as seen in the first section above. Thus many have heard that if they have been Born-Again, they are 'ready.' Many have assumed that since a white robe was first given to them at salvation (See Isaiah 61:10), there is no garment-washing needed. When we were first redeemed, we were each given a Robe that was white. However, over time we have all soiled, spotted, and dirtied our robes—and they must be washed, and made white again.
There is now much washing needed for our clothes. Our Garments have become full of spots, and wrinkles, and full of blemishes. How has this happened?
"Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins…" (Psalms 19:12,13). Every day we face the possibility of sinning, and thereby 'spotting' our garments (See also Matthew 24:12 and James 3:2). Our garments need to be prepared. But in order to wash our clothes, and prepare our garments, we must know and understand just which clothes to wash. We must understand exactly what our wedding clothes—our garments, and our robe—really are. Let's look at these in Scripture.
What are the Bride's Garments?
Before we look at washing the garments, we must first understand what our garments are.
In this section we will give a brief recap of what we saw clearly from Scripture, in Righteousness Sown, Righteousness Harvested. We found that that the Scriptural, prophetic meaning [the 'now' meaning for us] of our garments, and our robe, is our works.
Garments, Robes, and coverings in Scripture speak of many things. In general, they speak of what we do. These 'works' consist of two types of Garments:
We saw that these garments can either be filthy rags — works produced from our own efforts, in our own strength, in trying to keep and observe Yahuweh's Word (Isaiah 64:6). Or they can be clean and white garments, works of righteousness produced by the leading and strength of Messiah-in-you, as He gives Grace for obedience to all of His Word (Isaiah 61:10; Colossians 1:27; Revelation 19:8).
- a. Filthy Rags (Isaiah 64:6)
- b. Fine linen, clean and white (Isaiah 61:10; Revelation 19:8)
In all cases, the clean and white garments of Righteousness originate only from Messiah, who gives the garments to those who desire them, and who willingly receive them.
We saw also that Scripture shows a parallel example, in that the Fruit we produce is likewise our works, both good and bad. The Fruit and the Garments are one and the same parable — to teach us that both garments and fruit can be either good fruit or bad fruit [bad fruit is evil or 'wicked' fruit]. They are good if they are works of Messiah-in-you, in obedience to Scripture. They are bad if they are works done in the imagination of our own heart, or by our own initiative or ambition [See 1Corinthians 3:9-15, showing the contrast of good and bad works].
We also concluded that our clean garments are NOT the works of Titus 3:5:
"...not by works of Righteousness, which WE have done..." (Titus 3:5)We saw clearly that it was 'not by works of Righteousness, which WE have done' that we are saved. No, these works are merely filthy rags and barren branches in the sight of Yahuweh, no matter how good, how Righteous, noble or sincere they may be.
We saw that the Garments we are to prepare, however, are the works of Righteousness as seen in Isa 61:10:
"I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness..." (Isaiah 61:10)We must make it absolutely clear, that what counts for our garments, or works of Righteousness — is ONLY what Yahuweh Himself has done, by His grace, and not we ourselves.
We found that the clean and white garments of our 'works' consist of two parts:
The net result is that both the initial work, as well as the ongoing, daily life of Messiah-in-you, is all by His Grace — His power in us to initiate and to finish His work in us. We saw that it is Messiah Yahushua Himself — as both the Seed and the Tree — who is our Righteousness.
- 1. The initial work of the Holy Spirit, "by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5).
- 2. The ongoing life of 'Messiah-in-you' to produce the Fruit of Righteousness in us, by His Life in us, and by His Grace to accomplish. This occurs only when we allow Him to walk in us, in obedience to the Father, in obedience to His Holy Spirit, and in obedience to His Word — in obedience to His own Commandments.
- We found that in order to identify which Commandments He refers to, we need only imitate Messiah, and do what He did when He was on earth 2,000 years ago, when He lived in His own body.
- We then saw that what Messiah did, was simply to obey the Torah that He Himself spoke to Moses — which He calls "My Commandments" — and that we are called to walk as He walked (John 14:15; Romans 5:9-10; Colossians 1:27; 1John 2:6-7; 1John 5:2-3).
Likewise, we saw that what He produces in us, becomes both the Fruit of works, and the Garment, or Robe of Works — of His Righteousness — of His obedience in us, as He lives in our bodies, and as He provides the Grace to accomplish His work.
With this understanding, we will go on to discuss the next step: the washing of our clothes, our garments.
3. The Bride Washes Her Clothes
We have seen that our works — what we do — are our Garments, our covering. So how do we wash our Garments — our works? We saw the answer above, in Ephesians 5:25-27. It is by the 'washing of water by the Word.'
This washing of water by the Word is not simply 'reading' the Bible. It is in reading, hearing, and in particular, the doing of the Word, that brings the cleansing of our garments — our works. However, again we must be warned, that even the cleansing of our garments can NOT occur by our own efforts:
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (Titus 3:5)
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14)Notice that any 'works of Righteousness, which WE have done...' can not, and will not, avail anything — because these are 'dead works.' It is only what 'Messiah-in-you' does, that 'serves the living Yahuweh.' It is only the Holy Spirit in you, that can make your garments clean. We are told why this is true in the following passage:
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isaiah 64:6)But we are told which righteousness does produce much:
Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:11)Remember, fruits of Righteousness are works; Garments and Robes of Righteousness are works. Filthy Garments [works of iniquity] will be removed, resulting in nakedness (Isaiah 59:6; Rev 16:15). Fruit and Garments are one and the same parable.
We must fully understand that it is ONLY 'by works of righteousness which HE has done' that will become clean garments for us. You ask, "How does this happen?" It is only when we allow 'Messiah-in-you' to do works of obedience in us.
The only clean garments we can have, are the works of Righteousness which 'Messiah-in-you' has done, when we allow Him-in-us, to walk in obedience to the Scriptures, as He lives in OUR body. This is the making of the clean Garment. This is the washing of water by the Word—by Messiah-in-you.
In order for you to wash our Garments — to produce 'good' works — we must Allow 'Messiah-in-you' to keep his own commandments today, while walking around in our body, in the same way he did when he walked around in his own body 2,000 years ago (Luke 4:16).
Therefore if we want to wash our clothes, we must allow 'Messiah-in-you' to wash our 'garments' — to bring the 'doing' of His Word into our life and daily practice. And that includes allowing 'Messiah-in-you' to observe His weekly and annual Sabbaths, while living in our body.
As was said previously, when we were first redeemed, we were each given a Robe that was white. However, during the long waiting period, we have all soiled our robes, and they must be made white again. Only Messiah-in-us can clean the Robe.
But Messiah-in-us will do only what we allow Him to do. He will not force us to do obey His Word. If our 'doctrines' prevent Him-in-us from walking in full obedience to all of His Word, He will not force us to obey. It is in this way that He knows who chooses to love Him, and who does not (John 14:15, 15:10; 1John 5:3).
At this point is would be good to summarise the washing that the Bride-Candidate must choose to do, if she would be ready.
Washing the Clothes - A Summary
In the list below, each item is covered in specific articles, along with the Scripture passages that give us the details.
My Clothes Washing List: Turning from Works of Darkness to Works of Righteousness
- Learn and understand who Messiah really is — and demonstrate my love for Him (John 14:15), by keeping the commandments Messiah spoke. These consist of all of Scripture [both 'Old' and 'New' Testament writings], as follows:
- Remove all Graven Images and Idols from my home and office — from my decorations, collectibles, and from the childrens' toybox (Exodus 20:4; Deut 7:26);
- Remove the abominations from my religious customs and practices — cease celebrating man-made and pagan holy days — such as Christ-mass, Easter, Saints' Days, and Lent (Leviticus 10:1; Jeremiah 10:2-4);
- Begin to observe the Biblical holy days — Yahuweh's weekly Sabbaths, and His annual Sabbaths — for example, Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot; Find others who observe these in a Biblical manner, and learn from them (Leviticus 23:1-43);
- Cease eating things sacrificed to idols, the man-made substitute or 'counterfeit' Passover meal initiated by Rome, also called communion — and begin to eat the true Passover meal (1Co 10:21; Rev 2:14, 20);
- Begin to discern clean from unclean — what is 'set-apart' by the Word of
Yahuweh, from what is common (Ezekiel 44:23; 2Co 6:17-18);
- Remove myself from, and have no fellowship with, those who continue to walk in darkness; Messiah exhorts His Bride to come out of Babylon, and to flee from the 'strange woman' congregations (2Co 6:17; Rev 18:4).
What is NOT included in this washing instruction is the special Robe-washing that will take place, for those Virgins that will come later — who do not ascend alive as the Company of the Bride. As a result, these Virgins must go through the furnace of testing, and perhaps physical death. This washing may be seen in (Rev 7:14).
After washing, the Garments are ready to be ironed.
4. The Bride Irons Her Clothes.
After the clothes are thoroughly washed, to remove the spots, they must next be ironed, to remove the wrinkles:
...not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5:27b)
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2Corinthians 4:17-18)The heat and pressures of the day are our 'light affliction, which is but for a moment' — and indeed it does work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. However, these afflictions do us good only on one condition. And that is ONLY 'While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen....'
These afflictions are our preparation and testing from Yahuweh, who is unseen. If, in our afflictions, we lash out at the affliction, or at those around us who cause the afflictions — we then tend to forget that the affliction is from Yahuweh, for our good. The final result of that affliction is, that the affliction does us no good at all!
In this example the garment has not been 'changed.' It is still 'wrinkled,' because it did not respond to Yahuweh's heat-and-pressure ironing of our garment. How we respond to the affliction makes the difference. Notice the result of patience [patient endurance] in the following passages:
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (James 1:3-4)We see above that the result of patience is 'perfection.' One of the hallmark goals of the Bride's preparation is the word perfect. The Bride's main goal of preparation is seen as perfecting of Love (1John 2:5, 4:12, 4:17-18), and how she accomplishes this perfecting of Love is revealed in her Garments.
With patient endurance comes perfection [of love], and we thus see that the wrinkles are gone, because of how she responded to trials and afflictions (See Revelation 3:10; Revelation 14:12). The Bride may now proceed beyond the ironing. She may now begin to put on her Garments.
5. The Bride Puts On Her Clothes
The Scriptures are abundant in describing the putting on of the Garments that are prepared for the Bride. In the first section above we saw one overriding Truth. This is the Truth that all of our Righteousness — both the washing of the Body in Regeneration, and the Washing of the Garments of Works — must be done by 'Messiah-in-you' in order to avail anything.
With this said, we will now look at the 'putting on' of these garments. Let us first be reminded that it is not merely 'Garments' that are to be put on, but proper 'Wedding Garments' as we see in this passage:
And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son... And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few chosen. (Matthew 22:1-2; 22:11-14)In this parable for the Bride, we see the importance of the 'Wedding' Garments. These are not just any Garments; these Garments are not just 'Good Works' that one may perform. We will look at the Scriptures, to confirm what the Bride has chosen, and to give us a further clue of what else she is to put on. First we will list the Scriptures, then note what we see in the Scriptures:
I put on righteousness <06664>, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem. (Job 29:14)
Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon? (Isaiah 51:9)
Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. (Isaiah 52:1)
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. (Romans 13:12)
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (1Corinthians 15:51-54)
For as many of you as have been baptised into Christ have put on Christ. (Galatians 3:27)
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Ephesians 4:24)
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11)
And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: (Colossians 3:10)
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. (Colossians 3:12-13)
But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. (1Thessalonians 5:8)
Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. (1Peter 5:5)In the above passages we see many things that the we are to put on. As Bride-Candidates, we should investigate each aspect of the above passages diligently. The one central idea is that we are to be clothed with, and put on, Messiah Himself. When this occurs, His attributes begin to shine forth through our own individual personality, as seen in the above passages.
As we saw in Righteousness Sown, Righteousness Harvested, the Hebrew words for Righteousness in Isaiah 45:8 are Strong's numbers <06664> and <06666>. The word <06664> is the noun of the masculine gender, and denotes the Seed, which is Messiah Himself. The word <06666> is the noun of the feminine gender, and denotes all that comes from the Seed — all that Messiah produces.
Now notice that the word 'Righteousness' in Job 29:14 above is Strong's number <06664>, the noun of the masculine gender. And as we saw in Isaiah 45:8, this Righteousness having the masculine gender is the Seed of Righteousness, Messiah Himself. We are then told in the above passage in Job, "It [Righteousness, denoting Messiah Himself] clothed me."
Indeed, just as we saw in Isaiah 45:8, and again in the parable of the sower (Mark 4:3-20), the masculine Seed of Righteousness [Messiah Yahushua] becomes planted within us, when we hear the Word of the Gospel. And when we respond by repentance, we become Born-again. That is, the Seed [the Spirit of Messiah Yahushua in us] sprouts, and brings forth Righteousness of the feminine gender, which is the tree of Righteousness produced by the Seed (Isaiah 61:3).
Then over time, this tree of Righteousness [Messiah-in-us, in union with our spirit] grows and matures, and goes on to produce further Righteousness of the feminine gender, which are the fruits of Righteousness, as we see in Isaiah 45:8. These fruits of Righteousness are the outward, visible works of Righteousness that are produced by Messiah-in-us, as we take footsteps day-by-day, to walk in obedience to His Word.
It is the fruits of Righteousness, the works of Messiah-in-us, that testify of our outward garments, and insure that we will not be found naked. It is in this way that 'He' [Messiah Himself] clothes us with the garments of salvation — and clothes us, and covers us, with the robe of righteousness (Psalms 132:9; Isaiah 61:10).
Again, as the apostle Paul confirms to us (Philippians 1:11), it is 'our' [fruit of] Righteousness, and 'our' Garments — ONLY to the extent that 'Messiah-in-us' has done the producing!!
But let us be warned at this point. It is the many 'Good' works produced by self, that could find us clothed in filthy rags.
With this understanding, we can see the many attributes expressed in the remaining verses — the 'one new man' that is Messiah-in-us; the attributes of righteousness, holiness, mercy, forgiveness, and love — are all attributes of Messiah, that Messiah-in-us desires to express, as He lives out His life in our bodies. It is these attributes that are produced by Messiah-in-us, that become the Wedding Garments that clothe us.
Let us now proceed to the Girdle, or Belt.
6. The Bride Puts On the Belt
The next item the Bride is to put on is the Belt, or Girdle. The Girdle is an outer belt, or band, used to secure the clothing, and to hold it in place during various activities. Like the clothing, the Girdle has many prophetic qualities very similar to those of the Garments. The one special quality we may see related to the Girdle is that of 'perfection' — perfection indicating wholeness, completeness, ripeness or finality of preparation.
Again, we will show a few of the Scripture passages, with highlighting, and then make a few observations. Let's look at the following passages:
And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. (Genesis 17:1)
And the curious girdle of the ephod, which is upon it, shall be of the same, according to the work thereof; even of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen. (Exodus 28:8)
And thou shalt embroider the coat of fine linen, and thou shalt make the mitre of fine linen, and thou shalt make the girdle of needlework. (Exodus 28:39)
He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these are holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and so put them on. (Leviticus 16:4)
Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. (Deuteronomy 18:13)
Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day. (1Kings 8:61)
It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. (Psalms 18:32)
And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. (Isaiah 11:5)
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. (Matthew 19:21)
And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. (Luke 8:14)
Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; (Ephesians 6:14)
Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. (Philippians 3:15)
And above all these things put on charity [love], which is the bond of perfectness. (Colossians 3:14)
That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2Timothy 3:17)
Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:21)
Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? (James 2:22)
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (1Peter 1:13)
But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. (1John 2:5)
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. (1John 4:12)
Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (1John 4:17-18)
And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. (Revelation 1:13)
Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.As we look at the passages above, we can begin to notice several things. First, the prophetic items that make up the Girdle appear to be similar to the items we saw as Garments in the previous section. Like the Garments, these qualities appear as both fruit and works, and include such attributes as Righteousness, Faith, Love, and Perfection [maturity and completion].
One great illustration of the Divine Commentary aspect of the New Testament can be seen in two companion verses above. Notice that one of the items of priestly Garments was the 'Curious Girdle' of Exodus 28:8. The name for this garment in Hebrew is chesheb, Strong's number <02805>, from <02803> meaning "devise, think, imagine, consider, purpose." This definition reveals the importance of our thoughts, and our motives — how we think, and purpose in our minds. The Apostle Peter tells us we are to "gird up the loins of your mind..." (1Peter 1:13a).
We then see in Exodus 28:8 that the 'Curious Girdle' shall be the "same work thereof — even of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen." These items are regarded by all as very costly or valuable, and are items to be guarded and treasured. The meaning thus portrayed is that for a priest ['Believer'], his thoughts and works are to be the same. They are to be of 'gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen' — all of which are prophetic terms, each of which speaks of one particular, treasured aspect of the working of 'Messiah-in-you' within our heart and mind [our thoughts], and our actions.
The one additional quality we see over and over in the above passages is that of perfection. This implies to us that the putting on of the 'Girdle' is the bringing to perfection — bringing to completion — of the Bride-Candidate’s Garments. She is now ready to put on her veil.
7. The Bride Puts on Her Veil
The Bride is the Glory of the Husband (1Co 11:7). As such, she has a covering, and even a hidden quality with regard to the rest of the virgins. There are several things we must know about the Bride's veil. First we will notice the following about the Bride:
She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. (Proverbs 31:22)This covering is first of all, of her own making. But in other passages, we have seen that the Bride's covering is given to her (Hosea 2:9; 1Co 11:15). So again we must conclude that the Bride's covering veil is the result of a co-operative effort, between the Bride-Candidate and the Holy Spirit.
The Bride's covering veil is a sign, or indicator, of one who is a Bride-Candidate. In this regard we must be warned: the Bride's covering veil, the token of her Bride-Candidacy, may at times be in jeopardy. Notice the following passage:
The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me. (Song of Songs 5:7)As we saw in The Bride-as Seen In Chavah [Eve], it is the 'Watchmen' - the Church Leaders - those that are charged with keeping of the 'Walls of Salvation' in the lives of the people - that smite the Bride. These 'Watchmen' going about the City are 'Shepherds' in name only, and they do not really guard the welfare of the Sheep (See Eze 34:1-10). The goal of satan is to use these well-meaning Leaders to remove the Bride qualities from the Bride, through the Leaders' ignorance of Scripture.
The Bride is hereby warned, that it is only by studying Scriptures for oneself, that will allow one to break free of the 'paradigms' that the Doctrines of Men have created. We must trust that we can hear from the Holy Spirit, who promises to lead us into all Truth (Psa 25:5; Psa 119:104,128; John 16:13; 1John 2:27).
Additional insights into the Bride's covering may be seen in Covering Principles for the Bride. As a finish to the preparation of the Bride's Clothing, we will list the final verses of Proverbs 31, without comment. Notice the great number of 'Bride attributes' that can be seen:
17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. 18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. 19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. 20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. 22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. 24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. 25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. 26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. 29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. 30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
8. Now Ready - Watching and Waiting
After going through the long process of preparation, the Bride is finally prepared. She hopes she is Ready for the Bridegroom's knock, but still she can not be sure. The Apostle Paul was not sure that he would make the First Resurrection Company, so how much less can we be sure? The only thing left to do, is to watch, and keep our Garments (Rev 16:15). We must keep the Garments, to prevent them from becoming spotted, or soiled. Then we must 'Watch.'
How does the Bride Watch? Let's look at a few passages, then comment on what we see.
Bind up the testimony, seal the law [Torah] among my disciples. And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. (Isaiah 8:16-17)
Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. (Matthew 24:44)
For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you, I say unto all: 'Watch'. (Mark 13:34-37)
And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. (Luke 1:17)
And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. (Luke 12:36)
Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. (Luke 12:40)
The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. (Luke 12:46)
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:28)It is apparent from the above passages that the Bride is to 'watch.' This is a process that involves seeking, waiting, making ready, and looking for His appearing. Above all, it includes the command to watch - a reference to several Old Testament Hebrew words. The word tsapha, Strong's number <06822>, meaning "watchman, watch, behold, and look," occurs 37 times. From Prophetic Numbers in Scripture, we understand that the number 37 speaks of the Word of Yahuweh. Thus we see the word tsapha refers to watching, beholding, and looking, to the Word of Yahuweh.
Another Hebrew word for 'watch' is shamar, Strong's number <08104>, meaning "observe, watch, beware, watchman, heed, and keep." The BDB Hebrew Lexicon gives further understanding: "to observe; celebrate; keep sabbath or covenant or commands; perform a vow."
From these and similar words for watch, we see that the one who is 'watching' is one who chooses to observe, keep, and heed, the Word of Yahuweh, and who is watchful to keep His Covenant Commandments!
After making ourselves ready, this now becomes the primary work of the Bride-Company — to watch, as we wait, and look for the Bridegroom.
How does the Bride Prepare?
She simply allows 'Messiah-in-you' to perform the work of obedience, by His Grace, as He lives within.
Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him:
for the marriage of the Lamb is come,
and his wife hath made herself ready.
for the marriage of the Lamb is come,
and his wife hath made herself ready.