The Bride of Christ

By Jon Bowles

McMinnville, Oregon

26 June 2004


Well, good morning everyone. It's lovely to be here. In fact it really is a beautiful, beautiful day. And I really feel very, very bad for Mr. Berkey because when he came to us it poured and poured. Did he tell you about it? Did he tell you? No? Oh, he did? Okay. But it really, I mean, Wales lived up to its name. Basically what happens is that from about Buenos Aires all the way across the Atlantic, it picks up water and picks up water; and then it comes to the coast of Wales. It rises over a set of hills called Preseli, and it forms clouds; and it comes over our house, and then it drops it. [laughs] And that's the way things actually work.

Really, my brother lives here in Oregon. He lives ... Where does he live? Where? Lebanon? Lebanon. There we go. Lebanon. We went there just the other day, and he came from Colorado. He was living in Colorado; and he came up to Oregon, and he just saw how beautiful this country ... This country? Well, it is a country; but how beautiful this state is, and he fell in love with the place. And looking at it now ... I'm sure that it gets rainy, and wet, and miserable, and everything else; but looking at it now, I don't believe a word of it. So really it is. I can understand the settlers that I understood that, when they came into this area, they called it the Garden of Eden. I can also understand why Mr. Herbert Armstrong, when he came across to Bricket Wood, he fell in love with the place because the climate, I think, is quite similar; and Bricket Wood is very beautiful, beautiful place. So were the college grounds there.

In the last few weeks, and probably you haven't heard them; but I have been talking and giving a series of Bible Studies and also sermons on sex and marriage. Now some might have heard them. Certainly the ones that are hooked up onto the computer, I would have thought, would have heard them. But all the way through, as I was preparing this, there was one reality that kept on cropping up all the time; and that was the parallel between Christ and the Church, and also sex and marriage within the family, and the way the family is actually constructed. Obviously, the family is a picture of what happens between Christ and the Church and the Kingdom of God, the way in which the reproductive system actually works.

I know that nine weeks before our marriage, my wife and myself, we were talking and discussing because obviously neither of us had been married before. I say obviously we hadn't been married before. This was 32 years ago? 32 years ago [laughs] in my memory in the corner there. But 32 years ago now, it seems incredible because I said to my wife this morning, I said to her, "You remember nine weeks before?" She said, "Yep." [laughs] Because nine weeks before we discussed the fact that we were getting married in 9 weeks. And we thought, well, we'll look back on this particular conversation. It was something. It was like a little high-point in our conversations that applied to marriage, that we'd look back to this particular point in our romance, nine weeks before we married, when we were looking forward into a union in which we really hadn't gotten any experience with. And yet we were both eagerly looking forward to it, needless to say, as you do when you're in your twenties. And yet, you know, it finally came; and now here we are 32 years on, looking back on that.

You see, when we look at the life that we have today, and we're having that conversation now in that sense. I'm talking to you now as human beings. We're looking forward to a marriage. We're looking forward to a time when Christ will marry the Church. And, could it be, that you will come up to me one time, how many thousands, perhaps millions of years and say, "Do you remember that time in Oregon that you came through, and you talked about this? You just think about that because that is going to be a reality that we are going to look back. There is going to be a marriage between Christ and the Church.

But the real question ... And we're going to look back in a similar way to the way that my wife and I look back to the conversation we had nine weeks before. But the real question is, will you and I be part of that Bride? That's really what I want to talk about today. Will you and I be part of the Bride so that we can look back onto this time right now when we probably, and I would imagine, after services we'll be discussing to some degree? Will we look back? Will we be one of those that will be looking back as part of the Bride, having experienced married life as spirit beings, because that's what it will be. Our married life is only a type; and we're looking back on this time, at this time.


So let's go into this first point, the fact that it actually is a virgin. Turn over to II Corinthians 11, and we find here the apostle Paul, who was the apostle sent to the Corinthian Church. The apostle Paul was sent to the Corinthian Church to give the Corinthian Church what it needed from God. Now we, in turn, have had an apostle sent to us to give us, at this time, what WE need from God. We should listen in the same way. But notice how the apostle Paul looked at this and looked at the subject matter at hand.

II Corinthians 11:1-2 Would to God you could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. [Because he was getting some flack from the Church in Corinth.](2) For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Now his responsibility, as the apostle sent to the Corinthian Church, was to get them ready to be that chaste virgin that can then be presented to Christ.

II Corinthians 11:3 But I fear [And it's interesting that the sermonette was on fear.] lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Are we corrupted? Are we seduced by other ideas, ideas that are outside of what we have been given? What "the one that was sent" to us was given to give to the Church at this end time, for a very good reason? There was a certain way, a certain principle, certain things were given.

II Corinthians 11:4-5 For if he that comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit, which you have not received, or another gospel, which you have not accepted, you might well bear with him. (5) For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest [of the super-duper] apostles.

Really, the word chiefest means ... It's a sarcastic comment that Paul was using. He means these super-duper apostles, you know, they are way beyond. All the rest of us are just pale imitations of these boys.

II Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. [So you can see people that actually do transform themselves and give the impression that they are the apostles.] (14) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (15) Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

In other words, what are they actually doing? Are they presenting the Church as a chaste virgin to Christ? Are they instrumental in doing that? Are they preaching food in due season? That's what it boils down to. That's what it talks about. But obviously, from what we see here, they weren't.

Now if we turn over to II Timothy, we find Paul discussing the end-time and the problems that we will face at the end time, with this. And the indication is, from within the King James anyway, that there is a seduction taking place -- that we are seduced by certain individuals and end up no longer virgins. As they say, it is a chaste virgin that is presented to Christ. And yet we can be seduced. We can have ideas that twist away from what Christ has delivered to us.

And you and I are as open to this as anybody else. Don't feel that because we are holding fast to what Mr. Armstrong said that we couldn't be seduced; because they are very, very subtle. Satan is subtle. When I say hold fast to what Mr. Armstrong says, is the way that you hold fast merely just ticking off the list that YOU have compiled? That's what I'm talking about. I'm saying is it our list, in fact? We are misguided that we tick off our list, and we make our own list; when, in fact, what Mr. Armstrong had to say ... We're not going back and reading and listening to what Mr. Armstrong himself said. That's what I'm talking about. We can be seduced. You and I can. We can.

II Timothy 3:1-2 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come [times of stress]. (2) For men shall be lovers of their own selves.

It's going to be because people are loving themselves. In other words, you've got the Two Trees. (Just for those on the hookup we've got two trees. Are they real or not? They are not? I wasn't sure. They looked very, very real. We're got two trees on either side of me.) But, you know, the Two Trees: one is out-going, God-centered; and the other one is in-coming, self-centered. And the apostle sent to us went over and over and over it. And I think that some of you are going to have certain questions. What kind of background when we come into the Church, and all this kind of thing.

I remember sitting in services listening to Mr. Armstrong and thinking, "Oh, the Two Trees again." and turning off, just turning off; and I didn't get it. And he got up and he said that we didn't get it! I didn't. I really just did not get it. I couldn't understand what he was going on and on and on about. But it's only having lived through the things that we have lived through that suddenly he has learned so much. [laughs] And that really is the truth. That really is. That's what the impression is. It's us that are grown up. But men will be lovers of themselves. It's going to be selecting from that one Tree which is in-coming, which is the real problem.

II Timothy 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse.

We shouldn't put that on the back burner and forget about it. In the context of the marriage that we are to be chaste virgins presented to Christ as a Church, a united virgin. [laughs] You can't use anything can you? United? Global? Worldwide? You know, anything you take, you get a connotation. But a united, a truly united Church presented to Christ. But:

II Timothy 3:13-14 ... seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. [They aren't necessarily doing it deliberately, and we need to be aware of that.] (14) But continue you in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing of whom you have learned them;

That is the antidote that we've been given toward these seducers that will cause us to go off track, to go away from becoming the chaste virgin presented to Christ as His Bride in the future. It's only going to be the ones that are ready that will be there.

II Timothy 3:15-17 And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God [or God-breathed], and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect [or mature],thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

II Timothy 4:1-2 I charge you therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; (2) Preach the word ...

This word that was delivered to him. That is, as you say, continue in the things that you have learned in the way, and you've got to make sure that it's preached faithfully and loyally.

II Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.

They are wanting their ears scratched. Somebody scratches and tickles their ears; and therefore, "Oh, that's very pleasant. That's what I need to hear." That's what I mean by having itching ears. You have this itching ear; and you kind of put it towards somebody, and they can give it a good scratch. You ever had a dog? You scratch the ear, and you're never left alone. The dog will come back and want more and more, because it's got itching ears and it likes having the ears scratched. It says that's the way that human beings are as well, when they don't endure sound teaching and sound doctrine. They will turn their ears away from the truth and will turn instead to fables. So here is an antidote as far as the seducers that it says in verse 13.

And remember the context of this. This verse's context is that in the last days perilous times will come. It's not just the time back then. It's in the last days that these times will come. And do not feel like you cannot do that, like it cannot happen to you, it cannot happen to me. We can. We've got to go back and listen to what we were taught. We've got to align ourself with that foundation. And it's not enough to just compile our own lists. This is the problem, and this is the danger for us. We could have our own list. And if we've got our own lists, we can get off track. Don't think that we can't. We can -- every single last one of us in this room. So we've got to go back, and we've got to listen, and we've got to try and understand. And we've got to get on our knees as well, and make sure we are remaining as a virgin.

Now, turn to Revelation 14. I remember in college, we were always instructed and told that we don't know who the 144,000 are. I'm not sure. I'm certainly not sure. My leaning at the moment, at the moment my leaning is that these are talking here about the elect, the firstfruits in verse 4 [of Revelation 14]. When we're looking at the other one [in Revelation 7], it could be talking about physical Israel. Now I've heard this. It's not original from me at all. This has been floated by other people. I wonder whether that's right? That's my own wondering. That's hardly even speculation. So I wonder whether, in fact, that was right. But we were taught, we do not know. We can't categorically say who the 144,000 are -- whether they are one group, whether they are two groups; and how it all fits together. But this group here, what it says is very interesting.

Revelation 14:1-4 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. [So they're not having the mark of the beast.](2) And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters ... (3) And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand ... [It's a very special group. It certainly seems to be that this is the group that will form the Bride of Christ. It seems as if this is the case.] (4) These are they which were not defiled with women.

Now okay, when you're looking at a virgin, a virginal bride is not going to be defiled with women. But here, you're talking about, when you're looking at "women," you're looking at churches. It's not defiled with ideas from other churches, from satanic sources, from satanic churches.

Revelation 14:4-5 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goes. [So it certainly looks as though this were the Bride of Christ. It's the one who will be with Christ throughout all eternity, it almost seems from this verse.] These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. [It seems as if that's the firstfruits. It seems as if it is indeed the Bride of Christ.](5) And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

They've accepted the blood of Christ that washes away the sins that are there. If we turn over to Revelation 17, we find a very different lady. Here, as it says, they are "not defiled with women." We find in verse 1:

Revelation 17:1-2 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto you the judgment of the great whore that sits upon many waters: (2) With whom the kings of the Earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the Earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

So again, we're looking at something that ... This one isn't a virgin. This one isn't the chaste virgin that was mentioned by Paul. This is one that has actually gone ahead and slept around, and slept around with all the various other nations and the peoples of this Earth, the kings, the governments of this Earth. We're looking at a very, very different lady indeed. And you think, "Well, we're not going to be bothered by this kind of thing, are we?" Really? Aren't certain groups like this?

You know when I was in college, or shortly after graduating college, there was somebody that came to me from within the Church; and they had literature from the National Front. Now you probably don't have a clue who the National Front is. The National Front, which I only found out later, because he said, "This is wonderful material. This really is. It's on the right track and all the rest of it." It's the Nazi Party. Okay? It's the Nazi Party in Britain. It's the National Socialist Party. Well, they don't dare call it the National Socialist. So they call it the National Front, and they have the same kind of policies. And yet that was somebody in the Church giving that kind of information. You say, "Oh, okay. Fine. But they weren't really in the Church. They're long gone." Maybe they have. I'm not really sure. I don't know where this particular individual is today.

Let's take another group. I don't want to go ahead and point fingers, but what about the Temple Mount Faithful? Have you come across them? Nope? You haven't come across them? I get inundated with stuff from them. People that are actually associated, formerly associated with the Church of God, with Worldwide, who are now becoming political. I think Mr. Berkey gets inundated as well. But they're now becoming political. How are they becoming political? They are trying to have a temple built, because that's what they believe. They believe much of what we do. They believe Ephraim and Manasseh, England and America; but they are political. One of the people there has actually been chucked out of Israel, banned from ever coming back. These are the people that go up on the temple mount and start to cause problems with the Dome of the Rock and that kind of thing.

Do you see what I'm talking about? You get people like that and it reflects on every single Church of God. But it says here that these are "not defiled with women." You're not defiled. Again, you're a virgin. You're not going ahead and starting a mix-up with politics. Do we mix ourselves with politics? Are we aligned with certain political parties? Are you and I aligned, or are we separate from that? Because if we are virgins -- virginal -- to the ideas of this world, our ideas are along the lines and the way that God has given us. And if we're not, we're dabbling in areas that we might find ourself really excluded from that Bride; because that Bride is virginal.

You see how this goes and how it does apply to us, how it does start to sink home? How the knife does go in? How the Word of God is more like a sharp sword. It goes in; it divides; and it cuts to the core. It's when you start to really think about it that it really does cut to the core. Do we get involved in politics? What about local elections? You know, one time during Worldwide I voted. I voted in a local election. It was a referendum; and my reasoning was, "Well, I've got strong views about this." Which I did! But I shouldn't have done so. It's not my fight, the fact whether Wales should have a Welsh assembly or not. I didn't want Wales to have a Welsh assembly. I shouldn't get involved in that. That's their business, not mine. I've got a different Kingdom, a different way. And you know, a referendum, we could justify it. A referendum, what's your view? That's all they're asking. But are we really to be involved with that kind of thing, or are we to be virgins?

What about religious ideas? Are our ideas, religiously, from whatever background we came out of? If you were Catholic, do you look at the Church in a Catholic way? If you were Mennonite, would you look at it in a Mennonite way, or Pentecostal, or Seventh Day, or Jehovah's Witness, or whatever? What is our background? Do we look at it our way? Or is it God's way, the way delivered to us? You see, we can get sidetracked. We can think we're okay -- we're going ahead and we're following Mr. Armstrong; but we don't.

We get our own set of rules. We get our own list of whatever it is; and we go down and we think, "Well, okay, we're fine." And all of us are like that. But we've got to become virginal. We've got to make sure that, when we get to the point, we are not contaminated with this old whore and her harlot daughters that's gone ahead and caused the kings of the Earth to commit fornication with them. You go to Mr. Blair, Mr. Bush, they've got their religious ideas. They've gone to see the Pope. And believe you me, when the beast power arises and the Pope starts doing miracles, do you not think that they will go and court his favor? You know. But that's not our way. That's not the way we are to go.

If you turn over to Matthew 24, this is talking to the ministry primarily at the end here, at the end of Matthew 24. If there's anyplace I turn to when I think, "Well, what's my function? What am I doing? Why am I here as a minister? What should I be concentrating on?" -- I go back to this particular section, because I'm a Pastor. I'm somebody that gets up to teach. What do I teach? How do I teach it?

Matthew 24:42 [You]Watch therefore: for you know not what hour your Lord does come.

You do not know. You and I do not know what hour. We can see certain things happening, and that's why we've got to watch. It talks about a fig tree, and it talks about seeing certain things, knowing when those certain things occur.

Matthew 24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

The Church of God is broken up today. There's no question of that. It's shattered. You go into Daniel 12 and there's a shattering. When that shattering comes to an end, it says all these things will be finished. And if we do ever see all the Churches of God getting together, presumably under persecution, we'd better get our skates on because we are right at the doors, right at the doors. But it says here if he watched he would not have allowed the house to be broken up.

Matthew 24:44-45 Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes. [We've got to be aware of the political thing outside; but not getting involved with politics, but being aware of them.](45) Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has made ruler over his household, to give them [food]in due season?

So that the food that they've got to eat, I think Mr. Berkey's given sermons about the food, about how it's important that the food is right, that the food is going to nourish, that it is going to be correct and appropriate.

Matthew 24:46-49 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing. (47) Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. (48) But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart [It's out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. It's from the abundance of the heart that our actions proceed. So if he's saying in his heart something, what he therefore does, what he therefore says, is being coming out of that heart. That's what it's talking about. If he says in his heart:], My lord delays his coming [He starts acting and talking as if it's going to be some time yet]; (49) And shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken.

Now remember what we just read about the old whore, that she made all the nations drunk with her wine of her fornication. It is in this context -- the context of being virginal; and yet here it's saying, "Look. There's this other group." There are two basic groups. There is one group that is a faithful and a wise servant, giving food in due season; and the other group is mixing it (With what?) with what's coming out of the world, and the world's churches, and the world's ways. Every one of us could go down that route. It's a warning. We've got to be aware of what it says.

Matthew 24:50-51 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looks not for him, [he's not aware of] and in an hour that he is not aware of, (51) And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth [at that particular time].

It's interesting, if you want to put it in your notes; I'm not going to turn there, but over in Isaiah 52:8 {1} (Can't read my own notes. I just sort of scribbled it down; but I think it's in Isaiah 52:8, where it talks about how the watchman will see eye to eye when they bring us again Zion. Eventually there is going to be a coming together of the Church, the true Church. There's only one Church. It's not the shattered thing that we've looking at today. Whatever will happen (and I don't know what will happen, but whatever will happen) will bring the Church together.

Probably, from what I read in places like Luke 21, it could be in a time of persecution that will cause this coming together. But whatever it is, maybe the two witnesses suddenly appear on the scene very clear, for a month or two months, then the Church unites. I don't know. However it will work, I'm not sure. But when Zion is made (And Zion is the Church. In Isaiah certainly it signifies the Church.), the watchman will see eye to eye -- those that are in different fellowships, presumably, at the moment. We certainly have got to understand it is a virginal position that we must maintain.


Secondly, the Bride that Christ will have is going to have to be a help. It's going to have to be a help that is fitting for Christ. Now for that, let's turn over to Genesis 2. Genesis is the place where you really see this.

Genesis 2:18-22 And the [ETERNAL] God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an [that is fitting for him] help meet [as it says in the King James] for him. (19) And out of the ground the [ETERNAL] God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. (20) And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help [that was fitting] for him. [Remember it is the first Adam that we're reading about. It talks about in I Corinthians 15 {2} the 2nd Adam.] (21) And the [ETERNAL] God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; (22) And the rib, which the [ETERNAL] God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

Now, apparently, just from what I've read there are debates among the Jews as to how much. It doesn't actually say rib. It says side. It's the side, the side bit. And its how much of the bit was the woman. They debate endlessly about whether it went right down the middle or whether it was just a little bit of the side. The indication I would think would be a little bit of the side, which basically is nestled underneath the arm. It is someone who is called to be a wife, basically. That's what we're looking at. Somebody who is a help that is fitting along side the husband.

Genesis 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

But it was the fact that there was nothing else like a woman that would be the help that was necessary for the man; and it was done, remember, the marriage union as a type of what was going to be the spiritual. So when we're looking at the future, and we find in the future, here is this future relationship between Christ and the Church. The Church is going to have to be fitting. It's got to go right along side Christ. It's got to be of the same kind. It says over in chapter 1 of Genesis:

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.

The word image there is a word that means "like a shadow" or "in our shadow." Here I am; and I've got my hand there, and you can see the shadow there. And how much like me is it? It is. It's like my hand. You know, rotate it round. But how much like my hand really is it? You see, that's really it. We're merely a shadow of God. At the moment, we are made in His image. We are made like Him. When Christ appeared, He didn't appear like an elephant or something. He appeared as a human being. And we are made like Him. We are a shadow of it. We're not the same kind of glory that He has. Now, we will be in the future.

It's not just a case of a glory physically or materially or spiritually in that sense. It's very difficult to use the term. How do you talk about a physical spirit-being? It's not quite the way it is. It's not just that; but it's also the way in which we think, the way in which God thinks. That has got to be converted. It has got to be changed, and that is the process that we are in at the moment.

And here we see, yes, it is after the God-kind that man was made. We're in that process. It's not finished yet. That's just the first stage. It is only after the begettal that takes place that we are finally born after the God-kind, and we've got to become that right now. We see how Paul describes this process in Hebrews 2.

Hebrews 2:6-8 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that you are mindful of him? Or the son of man, that you visit him? [Quoting from Psalm 8] (7) You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor, and did set him over the works of your hands: (8) You have put all things [everything!] in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.

All is not under man. Are you going to go out and ... do you have snakes here in Oregon? Yeah. Rattlesnakes? No rattlesnakes. Okay. They have rattlesnakes over in Canada. You find a rattlesnake, a snake, a poisonous snake, say. Are you going to be able to go ahead and tame that wild one, or some wild bird that appears? Yes, you can do, if it's tame. But you see, you don't see yet all things put under him. We went to Niagara Falls. Are you going to command Niagara Falls to stop? How many of you have actually been to Niagara? It is phenomenal. If you ever get the chance, please go. It is just phenomenal. The water's about 3 foot, 4 foot deep as it goes over the top; and you stand literally about from here to the door from the edge as it goes down the 175 feet. And you see the water, it's just down here, racing over; and you can see the thickness of the water as it goes over the top. Yet God commands all that. He could simply stop it dead. But it says, "What's man? You haven't yet put all things under him."

Hebrews 2:9-11 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. (10) For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (11) For both he that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one.

They've got to be the same kind! Now we have got to be the same kind as Christ. If we're going to be the Bride of Christ, we cannot be a chimpanzee, or an elephant, or a horse, or something like that. It's not the right kind. We can't be human. We cannot be human! It's not the right kind. We've got to be God. We've got to be converted from human to God. That's the problem.

Hebrews 2:11 ... for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.

He went through the process of being human, but it cannot stay that way. Certainly, if you put in your notes Ephesians 5:30-32 {3}, it talks about, in the context of husbands and wives, about Christ and the Church being members of His body, members of His flesh and His bones (going back to Genesis and showing the fulfillment of what is found within Genesis).

1 John 3:1-2 Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew him not. (2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God [Notice, we are; but we are in embryo, as Mr. Armstrong always used to say.], and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Here we see total conversion having taken place -- from physical to Spirit, from human to God. But it doesn't end there. This verse doesn't stop there. It's not going to be a magic wand that takes place.

1 John 3:3 And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure.

It's looking at a spiritual, mental approach. If we don't get that mental approach right, if we are of a different kind, we can't become the Bride of Christ. Are we? Are we of the God-kind in our minds? Are we repenting when we find that we're not? Because it is overcoming by the blood of the Lamb; and we've got to be repentant, continually repentant. Is that not what we must always do? II Corinthians 3 talks about this particular process.

II Corinthians 3:14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remains the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament ...

Now the Old Testament has got masses and masses of spiritual information within it. It is filled with spiritual information. It's not just a physical covenant with physical laws only. They are within the context of spiritual information that was being relayed. But the veil was over their minds, was over their heart.

II Corinthians 3:14 ... the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.

In other words, once we actually have the Spirit of God, once Christ has actually begun the conversion process, the veil comes away and we can see in this Book what this Book actually is talking about.

II Corinthians 3:15-17 But even unto this day, when Moses is read,the vail is upon their heart. (16 nevertheless when it [when that heart] shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. [You start to see the spiritual side of life, things that humanly we cannot see.] (17) Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is [because He's working through the very Spirit of God].

Christ is working with His Church -- with the one that is going to be His Bride -- through His Spirit. He reveals information in the way that He decides to reveal. He decides to reveal through an apostle at this end time, but he also reveals it through His Word.

II Corinthians 3:17-18 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (18) But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

It's like looking in a glass, looking in a mirror. And in that mirror you see a reflection, which is a human being; but there's another Being there. That other Being is Christ. It is a God-being, and it's being changed day by day. That reflection should be being changed. We're talking about mental processes. He that has this hope within him, purifies himself, even as He is pure (as Christ is pure). We've got to be of the same kind.

II Corinthians 4:1-2 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; (2) But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully ...

Do we handle the Word of God deceitfully? Do we try and twist it to our own advantage (because it's happening really, so readily, in so many areas)? I want to just read something here. The actually title is Spelling out the Official Doctrine of Divorce and Remarriage {4}. It's an article Mr. Armstrong wrote back in 1979. I don't want to really go into divorce and remarriage at all. That's not the issue I'm bringing out now. I want to read the preamble. I read this actually last week in the sermon as well, but it is such a profound preamble to the subject. It lays out the way that it says here.

II Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully ...

It says here: "THERE IS ONE great difference between the law of God and the laws made by human government. [Just listen to the clarity that is in this passage.] God has given us His law in the form of general principles to be applied in various cases, whereas in national laws, state laws and city ordinances, MAN tries to make multiple thousands of laws, "spelling out" every little detail in a separate law."

So on the one hand, God's Law is a principle that you can apply anywhere. It doesn't matter where. Anything that you come across, you can go ahead and see God's mind in that approach and what the approach should be; but man's laws aren't like that.

"It is made clear for us in the third chapter of II Corinthians. "[God] also has made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit" (verse 6).

God's law is given in one single word -- LOVE. God is love. His law is love -- that word sums up God's CHARACTER."

The "love people" misrepresent this. Others think that we have got to develop character - and what they're really meaning is strength of will. But that's not true. We do have to develop strength of will, but that is not the character. The character that we have got to develop is God's character. It must be the mind of God, and only that mind. There is no other mind. As it says here "not handling the word of God deceitfully."

"God is love. His law is love -- that word sums up God's CHARACTER. The law then is amplified into the two Great Laws, love toward God, and love toward neighbor. God amplifies it a little further in the Ten Commandments -- the first four giving the broad principles of how to love God, and the last six how to love neighbor. But God intended us to understand the PRINCIPLE involved and apply it honestly."

You notice what he says? It's the honest application of the Word of God, and that's not being done in many cases. Do we? Do we apply it honestly? Do we apply it the way Mr. Armstrong applied it here? He's giving this preamble going into the subject on Divorce and Remarriage, so that it can be understood.

"Now it comes to my attention that many are finding gray areas in the D & R law. I will try to spell out a little further in a general way, and those who seek the WAY OF GOD instead of their own way will have, I hope, no difficulty in applying God's law properly according to its intended spirit. Otherwise, those who try to reason around God's law to have their own way will stand condemned in the sight of God."

Do you see the clarity this man had, the clarity and the depth and the breadth? This is not coming from Mr. Herbert Armstrong. I'm sorry, it just isn't. This is revelation. This is understanding which doesn't come from a human source. I'm not saying this is canonized. It's not. But his understanding was revealed, and we've got to respect that.

"GOD DOES NOT COMPROMISE WITH, OR WATER DOWN, HIS LAW. Rather than that, He GAVE His only begotten Son Jesus to pay the penalty of repented sin in our stead."

Now that was the preamble into, he then goes into divorce and remarriage itself. But I thought it was very interesting to read that to see how the Scripture here -- where it talks about not handling the Word of God deceitfully -- is certainly so very, very true. Turn over to Matthew 19. Remember this Bride that is going to be there in the future, that will marry Christ, composed of certain individuals, has got to be of the same kind as Christ. If it is not of the same kind as Christ, if there are individuals who are not being converted, and aren't converted (being converted) from human to God, they won't be there. I'm not saying we've got to be perfect. We don't. We can see that in the offering we made within Pentecost. But nevertheless we've got to be going that way, the way of conversion.

Matthew 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

In other words, give me a list. Give me a list, a list of the good things that I must do so that I can have eternal life. Again, which direction is this coming? Is it out-going? Is it "The Way?" Which Tree is it coming from, that he's talking about? "GIVE ME THIS SO I CAN GET!" That is basically what it's saying. And the answer that He gave was:

Matthew 19:17 And he said unto him, Why call you me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments.

Now do you really read and understand what that verse says? There is none good. That includes you. That includes me. That includes every other human being on the face of this Earth. There is none good but One. One! That is God. So what are you going to do that is righteous? Good, righteous -- synonyms. How are you going to become righteous? Is it by doing right things? No. It's not. It is by conversion! And this is what Mr. Armstrong was on about. So often he says, "Look, you're not getting it!" because people think that just by doing right things, that's all there is to it. Christ says "No. There is none good but One, and that is God."

If we do right things and we remain human, we will DIE. If we've got a list of things that are right (that are good) and we do them on our human strength (on our human character, because we are really strong and really powerful and we can really force ourselves down that route), we will die. We will not be part of that Bride, because that Bride is of the same kind as Christ; and Christ was God. We have got to be converted from human to God.

Now how do you tell whether that conversion has taken place? It says, "But if you will enter into life, keep the commandments." It says, "By the law is the knowledge of sin." That's how you tell. You can look down the Law. There's your list. You can go down the Law; but the Law, as Mr. Armstrong brings out continually, is spiritual. You go and the veil is lifted from the reading of the Old Testament, so you can see the spiritual part of it. Humanly we can't. All we do is read the list. We tick the list off. We reckon we've got it right. We're now righteous. No, we're not -- because we're not God, and there's only One righteous. ONE righteous. NOT YOU. Not God and me. IT'S ONE! And if we're not converted (That means changed from being human to being God, being of the same kind as Christ.), WE WON'T BE THAT BRIDE!

You know Mr. Armstrong used to get blue in the face, virtually, trying to get this point across. He says, you know, "You're just not getting it!" Just the degree of change that is necessary. And this passage goes into the change. It says, "Look! Okay, fine. You're going to be perfect, you say all these things you've kept from your youth up. Okay. Fine. If YOU are going to be perfect (This is this particular individual, the rich young ruler.), then, I'll tell you what YOU need to do. You go. You sell everything! Give it to the poor. Then come and follow Me." The man wasn't even obeying the first commandment, because he put another god before the true God. You see, that was directed to him and what he needed to do in order to be perfect. That's how he could tell whether he was on the right track or not. And it goes down and it says:

Matthew 19:26 ... With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

So there is, very, very clearly conversion. ONLY GOD IS GOOD. There is no human goodness. If you think that you can do it by human goodness, on our human strength, we will not be there. We will not be part of that Bride. It's got to be through God's goodness.


Turn over to Revelation 19, going into the next point: how the Bride has actually made herself ready. We have got to become ready.

Revelation 19:7-8 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife has made herself ready. (8) And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

That righteousness is not their own righteousness. It is God because they have got to be converted. They have got to come across from being human into being God. Everyone who has this hope in them purifies themselves, even as He is pure -- so that they are of the same kind. Here we see making herself ready, yes; but to her was granted that they should be arrayed in fine linen. Hanging on to that sacrifice that Christ has given us and making sure we continually hang onto that. So this Bride has made herself ready.

Let's turn over to Matthew 25. We've just been reading about the problem at the end-time, right in the time in which we find ourself today. There is going to be a problem with people, as it says here {5}, saying in their heart "My lord delays his coming." That go ahead and smite their fellow servants, that eat and drink with the drunken, that have ideas and concepts that are not in keeping with what has been delivered to them. There is also another group that is faithful, that is faithfully teaching as they've been taught and giving food in due season.{6}

Matthew 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins.

So the context is coming in from Matthew 24, and in that context ...

Matthew 25:6-10 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him. (7) Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. (8) And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. (9) But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go you rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. [Get yourself back on track in that sense.] (10) And while they went to buy [in this process, because it takes time.] ...

We are not going to go ahead and get back on track all at once. It will take us time, every single last one of us. It says, "he that has this hope in Him, purifies himself." It's a continual process. It's not something where you kind of wave a magic wand and it's done. It is conversion. It starts at baptism. Let's say it starts around baptism, when you turn. You turn from your own way, and you go in God's way. You're then baptized. And after baptism, hands are laid on you and you've got the Spirit of God; and this conversion process then starts and the conversion then takes place. The initial conversion is what? A fraction of one percent? It's only very small, but it grows. It becomes more. And that conversion takes place all the way through, until eventually you come to point where you're ready to go into the Kingdom of God as the Bride of Christ. Why? Because you are a different kind -- you're a God-kind. That's what it's all about.

Matthew 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; [Because they were in this process of conversion, but it was too late.] and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

So there is going to be a cut-off point, and we do need to be aware that that cut-off point will be there; and there is going to be those that are ready. The Bride has made herself ready. She has become converted. Those that are converted will be part of that Bride. Those that are not, can't be. It's impossible, because Christ is not going to marry a different kind. He is going to be marrying the God-kind, and it is a process that takes place. This is what Mr. Armstrong used to get absolutely apoplectic about, to try and get the point across; and we don't know. It says in verse 13:

Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore [be alert], for you know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man comes.

You don't know. How long is the process going to last? We don't know. We do not know what time we've got. We really don't. The indication is that, when it actually comes to the point of all collapsing around our ears, it's all going to come very, very suddenly.

Another parable that's given, which I think I'll just draw your attention to, is Matthew 22:11-13 {7} particularly. It talks about a marriage and a King's son; and one of them is there without a wedding garment, without a wedding garment. I'm not going to turn to there. (Matthew 22, the whole section all the way through to verse 14 {8}.) It's interesting. It talks about many being called, but few being chosen. But we do, in fact, need to have a wedding garment. We've got to make sure "the righteousness of the saints" is there. That we are converted. That we are, in fact. That we've made ourself ready and washed our robes, it says.

Ephesians 5, I will read this one. We find here a specific scripture regarding the Bride of Christ -- regarding the similarity, the type, which is a human marriage relationship between a husband and wife.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.

And we have. The reason why we can approach the Father, and the only reason we can approach the Father, is because of that sacrifice. Without that sacrifice, we would have no chance AT ALL. There would be nothing. So He gave Himself for it, that He may sanctify it. So He gave Himself for it. He allowed Himself to be sacrificed in order that He may then sanctify, make holy.

Now what did we just read? There is none good but One, that is God. So, if they're going to be made holy, be made sanctified, how is that to be done? The conversion is going to have to be made from human into God. And it says here:

Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it [HOW?] with the washing of water by the word.

So we see here that this aspect of washing of water by the Word, and we've just read the Scripture that talks about how we do not handle the Word of God dishonestly. It's handled in an honest way. We've seen how Mr. Armstrong reiterates that in this preamble, that he nails that problem, that we handle the Word of God in an honest way. And that is the way that he handled it and showed us how to handle it. But it says here:

Ephesians 5:26-27 ... washing of water by the word (27) 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.

Now we should be able to go into this Word; and we should be able to find areas within this Word where we are coming short, every single one of us in this room. We're all going to have different areas. But that washing, that Word, does cut like a two-edged sword. It goes right to the heart and the core. As I said about political statements, our political statements that we make, what are they like? Do we support a political party? Are we off track in that regard? You know, we need to ask ourselves "Is that right?"

Ephesians 5:27 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.

Ready to be used, in the future, to be the very Bride of Christ. That's the Church of God. That is the Church that Christ will marry in the future. It is a totally new creation. It says here that He gave Himself. He shed His blood in order to sanctify the Church. That's the purpose, the purpose of His sacrifice. The why of the Passover is so the rest of the plan could occur, so that there would be a Bride at that end-time. Turn back to John 14. We find that Christ is talking about this washing process, washing by the very words.

John 14:21-23 He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. (22) Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that you will manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? (23) Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words.

Now remember, this is the God of the Old Testament speaking. Remember what we read in II Corinthians 3, where the veil is lifted; and they are able to understand then the Old Testament. They are able to see the spiritual aspects within that. It's the entire Scripture. I say this because the wool was tried to pull over our eyes. If you remember, years ago, they were saying the commandments of Christ are something different from the Commandments of God in the Old Testament; but they are not. They are all the same.

John 14:23-26 If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (24) He that loves me not keeps not my sayings: and the word which you hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. (25) These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. (26) But [the Paracletos,] the Comforter [the one called to the side], which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, [it] shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

So it's a combination of both the Word of God and the Spirit of God. It's a living Word. It's a Word that washes. It is The Way. It is really what I read to you here. It is the principle. It is the, as Mr. Armstrong brings out, these Two Trees. It's what he's saying over, and over, and over again: The Two Trees. It is one Way, which is the Way of God; and the other way, which is the way of selfishness, in-coming selfishness. One is out-going and one is in-coming, the two divergent ways, completely. It is applying it in principle, and we've got to make ourself ready. We've got to make sure that we can then take that Word that we're being washed by continually, that we're being corrected by continually; and then teach it in the future -- that we, as the Bride, can then go ahead and instruct the children. That's what's going to happen. From this union between Christ and the Church will come children into the future.


And if we go finally, the final point, that we need to be ready to dwell for eternity in New Jerusalem. This is what we're getting. The wife has made herself ready. Ready for what? Ready to be teachers, in the future, of the children being begotten between the union between Christ and the Church. Ready to dwell within that New Jerusalem, when it comes, as the very Bride of Christ within that home; and to administer the very universe itself. We don't see all things yet put under Him. We see Christ, however, made higher than the angels; but He's the firstborn of many brethren. And this is the Bride of Christ. It is a special resurrection. It is a resurrection which, once those that actually partake of that first resurrection, the others that come afterwards, will not be part of.

It is not some light thing that we are a part of. What we are being called to is a major, major step within the very plan of God, a major step. And He is not going to go ahead and allow us to just go our own way and waltz our way into the Kingdom. We've got to be converted and changed from being human to God. We've got to be made ready, and Christ does that; and we must allow the process to take place. And as it says, we're ready to dwell for eternity.

Turn to Revelation 17, we'll read about Babylon.

Revelation 17:18 And the woman which you saw is that great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.

Now we know that a woman within prophecy is a type of a church, but here it's described as a city. So, we ask ourself, why is it described as a city? Well, it is a city. Babylon is being described as a city. If we turn back over into Isaiah 47, we see the destruction of Babylon, the destruction of this city -- of this church and her dwelling place, the dwelling place of this church, the one that administers its ways across the Earth.

Isaiah 47:5-9 Sit you silent, and get you into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for you will no more be called, The lady of kingdoms. (6) I was wroth with my people, I have polluted mine inheritance, and given them into your hand: you did showed them no mercy; upon the ancient have you very heavily laid your yoke. (7) And you said, I shall be a lady forever: so that you did not lay these things to your heart, neither did remember the latter end of it. (8) Therefore hear now this, you that are given to pleasures, that dwells carelessly, that say in your heart, I am, and none else beside me [He sits in the place of God, saying he is God, virtually. The Pope stands the Vicar of Christ, stands in the place of Christ. "I am and none beside me."]; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children: (9) But these two things shall come to you in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon you in their perfection [In other words, when it comes, it talks about the kings of the Earth standing outside the city for the smoke of her burning, not wanting to get in to that particular city. But it says it will come, in their perfection.] for the multitude of your sorceries, and for the great abundance of your enchantments.

So that is going to come. It's going to come; and this particular woman is going to be destroyed -- completely, totally, utterly, swiftly and completely removed. But contrasted there, if you'll just turn over a few pages to Isaiah 54:

Isaiah 54:1 Sing, O barren, you that did not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you that did not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.

You know, you and I look at the little group that we've got today. It's very, very small. We're not a big Church, at all. Even if you put all the different groups together, it wouldn't be anything but a drop in the bucket. But it says here, it says "Sing O barren, you that didn't bear." And you're looking at these things; and in fact, we're looking at a time that will come, where the entire Earth will be taken over. The entire Earth will come into the knowledge that is being distilled into us. This Word that we are being washed by day in and day out, that converts us, that changes us with the Spirit of God, that we become the sons of God, ready to be the Bride of Christ -- we will, one day, be there with Christ as the Bride of Christ if we submit to the process properly.

When I fly across and I look down, and see the trucks and the cars, and everything else in the city as you go over, I mean, there are millions and millions and millions of people. Millions of them! And that is our job eventually. You look at the churches of this world. They're big. They've got all kinds of members. They've got all kinds of ways. They are. But that's not going to be the Bride of Christ. There is a certain mindset that has got to be there.

Turn over to Galatians 4. We find that scripture that we just read quoted. It talks about the two Covenants. It talks about here the difference between the Jewish people of that time, and the Jewish heretics that were around at that time saying "justification by works," that you are justified by what you do.

Galatians 4:22-24 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. (23) But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. (24) Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which genders to bondage.

Now remember, this is not just the 10 Commandments. It is the Covenant that he's talking about. This is not talking about the 10 Commandments. It's talking about the Covenants.

Galatians 4:24-26 ... the one from the mount Sinai, which genders to bondage, which is Agar. (25) For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to Jerusalem which now is [That's physical Jerusalem.], and is in bondage with her children. (26) But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

Now that Jerusalem above is to be the mother of us all. It is the mother of us all. Eventually it is going to descend and become the headquarters of the Bride. So that Jerusalem above NOW is the mother of us all. But the physical location when it comes down, the Bride will be part and will dwell within that Jerusalem. That's our home for eternity.

Galatians 4:27-29 For it is written, Rejoice, you barren that bears not; break forth and cry, you that travails not: for the desolate has many more children than she which has an husband. (28) Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. (29) But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him ...

And we are going to find that there are going to be persecutions coming from outside churches, outside religions, outside philosophies, into the very Church of God. But we've got to keep in mind, we've got to hang onto the fact that, no, it is the Bride of Christ with the ideas being washed by the Word of God, being converted from human to becoming God. That she's going to be with Christ, and convert this entire world, and bring the entire Family of God to fruition. It will not be these that are doing the persecution.

Couple of scriptures in closing: Revelation 21. (If you want to put in your notes John 14:1-3 {9} where it talks about going to prepare a place for us.)

Revelation 21:1-2 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. (2) And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

This is the dwelling place of the Bride. You can see that the marriage of the Lamb takes place earlier on, but here is the dwelling place of that Bride.

Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle [the dwelling place] of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

And we will be part of that very God Family, part of that God Family as the Bride of Christ. That is the goal. That's what we're here for.

Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Revelation 21:9-10 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife. (10) And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.

That's our dwelling place. That is the Bride of Christ's home. That's where the home will be, between Christ and the Bride; and God the Father will be there as well.

Revelation 21:22-24 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. (23) And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. (24) And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it.

They are not going to be part of it. That's not the dwelling place of the kings of the Earth. That's the dwelling place of the Bride with Christ. This first resurrection to which we aspire is a much, much, much better resurrection. It really is! And we really need to understand it. God is not going to give it just kind of on a plate, "Oh yeah, well you're good enough. We'll give it to you because you were good enough." NO. We are not good enough. Humans are not good enough. We've got to become converted. God only is good. Only God is good. Not humans. Not you. Not me. But we can become converted. We can be changed by that washing of water. Final scripture:

Psalms 45:6 Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever.

Now you can go back into Hebrews and see very clearly that it's referring to Christ. It's referring to our Husband, Jesus Christ.

Psalms 45:6-10 Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of your kingdom is a right sceptre. (7) You lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows. [He's the firstborn of many brethren.] (8) All your garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made you glad. (9) Kings' daughters were among your honorable women: upon your right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir. [The finest gold. The finest garments imaginable. Woven gold. The gold of Ophir was the finest gold.] (10) Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear; forget also your own people, and your father's house.

Political parties, what have they got to do with it, our own way, the homes that we have? Our own families or whatever? It says, Look, forget your own people and your father's house.

Psalm 45:11-16 So shall the king greatly desire your beauty: for he is your Lord; and worship you him. (12) And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift [That's the one from this world, the daughter of Tyre, the one that has all the economic structure.]; even the rich among the people shall entreat your favor [because this queen will be over the entire Earth]. (13) The king's daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. [the righteousness of the saints] (14) She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto you. (15) With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king's palace. (16) Instead of your fathers shall be your children, whom you may make princes in all the earth.

In other words, you don't look back at where we've come from. When we finally reach this time, we'll look back on this day when we were talking about these times, about these things, just the same as Judy and I talk about 9 weeks to go. But you know, we're 32 years down the road now. We'll look back. And how many years down the road will we be when we look back at this time in Oregon, when I happened to come through for the first time to see the place?

Psalms 45:16-17 Instead of your fathers shall be your children, whom you may make princes in all the earth. [You'll have jurisdiction over even the human princes; and it may even be some of our own children, physically.] (17) I will make your name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise you forever and ever.

That's why you've been called -- why we are here, sitting in this little group. It's eternity as the very Bride of Christ, and the Queen will be there with Christ for eternity.

Transcribed by JF, 2006

{1} Isaiah 52:8 Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the [ETERNAL] shall bring again Zion

{2} 1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit

{3} Ephesians 5:30-32 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. (31) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. (32) This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church

{4} page 2 Good News Oct/Nov 1979.

{5} Matthew 24:48-49 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; (49) And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;

{6} Matthew 24:45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?

{7} Matthew 22:11-13 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: (12) And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. (13) 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.

{8} (14) For many are called, but few are chosen.

{9} (John 14:1) Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. (John 14:2) In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.