Readers Question / Comment - Does each member of the bride have to make herself ready through righteous acts?

HI,

I read your comments on the “outer court”. You speak of this as our dwelling place while here on earth, and I can agree with that. What I am wondering about is the following verses from Ezekiel? Preachers say that we are sanctified by Jesus’ obedience (His clothing is draped over us – His righteousness is given to us), but this seems to disagree with that assumption.

Ezek 44:19 And when they (the Priests – JESUS) go forth into the utter court, even into the utter court to the people, they shall put off their garments wherein they ministered, and lay them in the holy chambers, and they shall put on other garments; and they shall NOT sanctify the people with their garments.

Ezek 46:20 Then said he unto me, This is the place where the priests shall boil the trespass offering and the sin offering, where they shall bake the meat offering; that they bear them NOT out into the utter court, to sanctify the people.

Rev. 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath 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.


The bride “made herself ready” which is repeated over and over again in the idea of each person “conquering”.

Ezekiel even mentioned how Adonijah was permitted to live AS LONG AS HE LIVED RIGHTEOUSLY.

Thanks,

John.

JPN Reply:

Hi John,

thanks for the email and hope things are well with you. There seems to be some misunderstanding in your email on what I said. You wrote:

"I read your comments on the “outer court”. You speak of this as our dwelling place while here on earth, and I can agree with that"

I don't believe I said that at all. It has been several years since I wrote those studies but I have never thought of the outer court as our dwelling place while here on earth. It is a type of the age of the Mosaic law. The church age is typified by the Holy Place, not the Outer Court. Your quotes from Ezekiel 44 & 46 need to be read in context. Ezekiel chapters 40-48 are prophetic of what takes place after Jesus' second coming.. ie the Kingdom age. They haven't been fulfilled yet and aren't speaking of this age of grace in which we currently live.

The Bible is clear that righteousness for salvation is a GIFT of God's grace for those who have placed their faith in the Lord Jesus. It cannot be earned. There are righteous acts that believers do (Eph 2:8-10) - works prepared for them to do before the foundation of the world... but these should NEVER be confused with the gift of righteousness by free grace at salvation without which no one can righteous before God.

Rom 3:19-28 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. (20) Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. (21) But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. (22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, (23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (24) and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Rom 5:17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

So when Revelation says the Bride has made herself ready, what is it speaking of? William Newell in his book 'Revelation - A Complete Commentary' writes well on this. Note specifically the true translation of 'righteous acts' of the saints (not righteousness) and how it is talking about the bride, the Church, AS A WHOLE. It is not that some true believers will be at the marriage without wedding garments or limited garments because their righteous acts were few. No. The bride as a single body is in view in her wedding and ALL righteous acts of the bride THROUGHOUT the entire church age constitute the one wedding garment that His bride shall wear! We always tend to read these verses as individuals instead of as the entire body of believers, but the Lord is viewing His marriage at the end of this age, to His one bride, the Church as a whole.

I'll leave you with Newell's comments.

Hope it helps.

Iain.


What Is the Bride’s “Making Herself Ready”? (from Revelation - A Complete Commentary by William Newell)

Rev 19:7-8 "Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready." (8) It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

We read, “It was given unto her.” The preparation for this marriage, “the supreme event for which the ages are waiting,” is an absolute bestowal of divine grace. It is not, of course, salvation, since those who constitute the Bride were saved long before, while on earth. But it is a special granting from God to prepare herself for this great climax.

Again, to “array herself in fine linen, bright and pure: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” The King James Version falls utterly short of the meaning, by translating the Greek plural word dikaiomata, which means “righteous things” or “acts” as if it were dikaiosunee, “righteousness.” These bridal saints were declared righteous in Christ when first they believed. The bridal array for the wedding is something absolutely different.

Garments are woven little by little; and thus were woven the materials for her, the Bride of Christ.

The Holy Spirit who indwelt the Church wrought what Paul calls in Php_1:11 “the fruits of righteousness, which are through Jesus Christ”; or, as in Ephesians 2-10, “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them.”

Now, although for our service each one in the kingdom will “receive his own reward according to his own labor,” yet all the works wrought through Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit in and by the saints of the Bride will all belong alike to that holy Bride: for the whole Church is the Bride. Linen represents manifested righteousness, and this is “fine linen, bright and pure.” It has that same “exceeding white and glistering” appearance as her Lord’s raiment had on the transfiguration mount-of glory as well as purity.

In other words, the Church will appear, all of it, in raiment wholly befitting Christ, her glorious Bridegroom. She herself had no righteousness; Christ Himself is her righteousness and her standing. She is one with Him. But now all those blessed Spirit-led works, those “righteous acts” of the saints while on earth, are wrought to produce an array manifestly befitting the Bride, herself, without “spot, blemish or any such thing”-in this unspeakable scene!