"... THE BRIDE, THE WIFE OF THE LAMB..." (Rev. 21: 9)
The book of Revelation, which has been the subject of innumerable expositions and explanations, ends
with the presentation of one radiant Church, wholly satisfying her glorious Head. And it has a message
for us all.
The revelation committed to John gave him a drawing aside of heaven's curtain to disclose to him the
beloved Saviour, Who is here described so many times as The Lamb. The Lamb unspotted in His
character, beautiful in His humility, and wholly selfless in His loving sacrifice, is the center, not only of
this book, but of the whole universe. Our hearts are indeed captivated by this presentation of the
centrality and supremacy of this One, Who is now designated, "The Lamb". He is here seen as the
reigning Redeemer, the Master of world events, the Overcomer of all evils, and the rejoicing Bridegroom.
To be His Bride is the Church's glorious destiny.
The Book begins with those seven churches of Asia, which as representatives of all local assemblies,
were marked by virtues, disfigured by blemishes and rebuked for failures, and yet were the objects of the
Lord's concern and love. They remind vividly and painfully too, of the present conditions, which prevail
among the churches today. At long last we are permitted to view the end product of all the Lamb's
activities:- "And I John saw the holy city the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven,
prepared as a Bride adorned for her husband" (21 :2). So the purpose always in view and wonderfully
realised at the end is the love union of Christ with His Church.
It is one of the wonders of union with the heavenly Bridegroom that it is eternally fresh. The symbols of
the city reinforce this truth, for the picture is given of its main street being characterized by a great
sparkling river proceeding from the Throne (Rev. 22:2). Stand in a river and the water, which passes over
your feet, will never return again. The flow is constant, it is fresh and original.
The simple moral of this is that, as believers we need and can have -constant renewal. Think of Ephesus,
so active and yet its love gone cold, (2:4) think of Sardis, with a name that it lived, but only a dead name
(3:1), and worst of all, think of the lukewarm Laodiceans (3:15). What deep needs those epistlse reveal,
and all needs of renewal. But the Word of God is living and powerful. Even if the saints in Ephesus were
not immediately affected by the Spirit's individual message to them, can we not hope that by the time
they reached this great climax of the Revelation, their hearts were aroused to a revival of love for Christ.
Years before, Paul had written to them of the length and breadth, the height and depth of Christ's
surpassing love, (Eph.3: 18) and had set before them the promise of being presented to Him, without spot
or wrinkle (Eph. 5:17). But now, perhaps, the very momentum of their activities and their zeal for correct
doctrine had led them to think more of their church, than of their Lord. They needed to be delivered from
stale orthodoxy and be filled with fresh love for Christ. The Lord on the Throne Who promised to make
all things new, (21: 5) could do this for them.
What shall we say of the church in Sardis, which was living on a dead reputation? (3:1). Was there really
any danger of having their names blotted out of the Book of life? We would hope not as mere words
could not do, and brought victorious renewal to those ready to die. Concerning Laodicea, their words and
expressions run similar and close to the boasts of the corrupt Babylon, which said, "I sit a queen, and am
no widow, and shall see no sorrow" (18:7). For they boasted, " I am rich... and have need of
nothing"(3:17). We would like to think that this whole church might, have been revived from its greed
and self- satisfaction, but, at least, we may believe that some of its members opened their hearts to the
cleansing and renewal offered by their patient, gracious Lord.
No doubt, things of this kind could be said about most of the churches. They needed the miracle of
spiritual renewal. We too need. Constantly to be renewed. if we are to measure up to our destiny as the
Bride. In that day the Lord Who sits on the Throne will declare, "Behold, I make all things new" (21: 5).
But since He is already on the Throne, He is able right now to renew us in the Spirit of our mind (Eph.
4:23). This will never happen automatically. We have got to work for it.
The Lord enable us all to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, lest we come short of this
glorious destiny, -"the Bride, the wife of the Lamb" (Phil.2: 12,13).
YE ARE MY WITNESSES—8
Some believers in the early Church began to call themselves after Paul, Cephas, and Apollos (1 Cor. 1 :
10-13) .That is how divisions came among the early believers at Corinth. The result was that all kinds of
sin entered into them. It is unscriptural to be called by the name of any person. No one died for us, only
the Lord Jesus Christ. How can we be called by any other name? There are hundreds of divisions among
the Christians today. That is why there is so much strife and hatred. The same thing, we find in India at
the time of marriages and other occasions; believers are much more concerned about their caste and
community. Some believers call themselves Harijan Christians, to get scholarships and other benefits
from colleges. Because the Government gives special concessions to such castes. Many Christians have
the same temptation to call themselves Scheduled Caste to get a job or a seat in the college. Whatever one
may gain materially in that way, they surely lose spiritually. They still take pride in their community like
the Corinthians. Such believers are infants spiritually. "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto
spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ" (1 Cor.3:1).
It is only by remaining as one family, that we can enjoy divine favour and God's blessings. Every
believer, is equally precious before God. That is why the testimony of baptism is very important.
Only at that time can this truth be brought to us in reality. We as God's servants should take more time
and diligently teach people about baptism and make sure that they are spiritually joined with the Lord
Jesus Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. When they are baptised into one body they are no more
Jew or Gentile, high or low. This should be our daily experience and not for some time. But that is only
possible when we give the Headship to the Lord Jesus Christ.
And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, sayjng, Arise, and go toward the south, unto the way that
goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of
Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all
her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship"(Acts 8:26,27). Here we see how Philip quickly
and immediately obeyed God. God never told him why he had to go away from Samarla. He only said,
"Arise and go towards the south". At that time he was very busy, because through him the Lord saved
many souls in Samaria. He could have said, "How can I leave such a great work and go to an unknown
place, a desert?" He never asked for one or two days leave for preparation but he went immediately. He
did not wait for his wife's permission. Like Abraham, when God spoke to him, he obeyed straightway.
Many God's servants lose their privileges in God's service, because they do not obey God immediately.
Even though God speaks to them in a meeting or in some other way to go to a difficult place or if God
asks them to go at nighttime, they listen to their wives or friends rather than God. This is very sad. How
many God's servants are in that condition! They will not obey God at once. God has every right to send
us anywhere any time. He can send us to a nearby place or a far off place without giving us any reason.
Our duty is to obey Him. Philip went on obeying God and the Lord showed him why he was called.
Philip was not only fruitful but very fruitful in the ministry. "But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing
through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea"(Acts 8:40). He preached in all the cities.
God does not make a mistake. By obeying God implicitly, we become fully fruitful.
Philip never demanded his traveling expenses. Many God's servants have many demands. They will obey
provided they are given money for themselves and also for their children. But Philip never said, "What
about my expenses?" First he walked. We donot know how long he walked. Then the Lord told him to
join the chariot and so he ran (v.30). So he got a free lift in the chariot (v .31). He never asked for it. He
never said, "Sir, I am tired, please give me a lift". Neither did he say, "I have walked many miles and
have run a long distance. Please stop for a while". It was the eunuch who might have said. "Please help
me. I want to understand this Scripture portion. Will you kindly come into the chariot?" There is no need
for you to give any hint to anyone that you want something. It is for a purpose we find these details in the
Word of God. It is not just a history book. It is for our spiritual instructions. If we obey God, and do what
He tells us, we are fully blessed.
" And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the
eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing" (v.39). If we obey God He blesses us
abundantly. First of all he walked, then he ran, then he got into the chariot for some time.
He got the
fastest vehicle. He went comfortably straightway. What a privilege to be in God's service. Sometimes we
have to walk, sometimes we have to run, sometimes we have to go by bus, and sometimes by train. But
God Himself will lead us in His own way. If you are called by God, there is no need to be worried or be
anxious about your needs. Do not allow your wives to weaken your faith. In many cases the wives of
God's servants weaken the faith of their husbands and go on worrying them. They say, "Think of your
children. How about their education? How about their marriages? Do not be foolish". That is how many
wives mislead their husbands. Thus by listening to their wives they lose their faith. Also some so-called
servants beg for money. They do not ask for it. They put on a sad face, when they go for visiting. They
look very very miserable. Please take warning. Do not be offended. If God is calling you for service,
serve Him faithfully. You cannot serve God and man. But whenever you obey Him, obey Him fully. Do
not question Him. He is responsible for all your needs. You only have to see how He works.