THE BRIDE THAT CHRIST IS ATTRACTED TO

The following teaching was taught at Pillar of Truth Church on Wednesday Night, May 3rd 2000:


Isaiah 62:5 ". . . as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you."


Revelation 19:7 ". . . the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife has made herself ready."


The Scriptures plainly show us that the Church is called to become the Bride of Christ. The Scriptures further reveal to us that not everyone who is called to the marriage supper of the lamb will make themselves ready to enter therein. As a husband finds certain qualities that are attractive in a wife, so is the Lord attracted to His bride when she makes herself ready. The more that we attract the presence of Christ, the more He shows up. In the natural, a man tends to find certain characteristics or qualities attractive in a woman. When a man seeks to find a suitable bride, he looks for certain qualities in her that he is attracted to. When I met my wife, I was attracted to her meek, quiet, and submissive spirit. I was attracted to her powerful prayer life and faithfulness to God and to His Church. When my wife displays these qualities in front of me, it attracts me to her. Yet there are many women that are very unattractive in their unsubmissive, brazen behavior. They may appear beautiful on the outside but they are not beautiful on the inside. Jesus is primarily concerned about the inside of us, not the outside. Yet the outside will always reflect what is going on, on the inside. He is attracted to our godly inward characteristics which are always manifest on the outside by how we speak, by how we control our attitudes, and even by our external appearance in dress and hygiene. When we seek to please and attract Christ we will obey the scriptural command found in 1 Corinthians 10:31, "Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God."


I believe, according to the Word of God, that it is possible to only partially attract the presence of the Lord. Jesus can be present in a Christian or in a Spirit Filled Christian Church but that does not mean that the particular Christian or Spirit Filled Church is fully submitted to the Lord. The more we submit to Christ, the more He is attracted to us. And when He is greatly attracted to us, He will show up in greater glory.


ALL PROFESSING CHRISTIANS WOULD DO WELL TO ASK,

" WHAT ARE THE QUALITIES THAT CHRIST FINDS ATTRACTIVE IN HIS BRIDE?"


CHRIST IS ATTRACTED TO A SUBMISSIVE BRIDE


Ephesians 5:22-24-27 "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the Church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.


Brethren, does it not makes sense that if our wives are to be submitted to us in everything pertaining to this life, then the True Church of Christ must also be submitted to Christ in everything pertaining to New Testament Scripture? As the True Church is subject unto Christ in everything, so our wives are to be subject unto us in everything - as long as we do not tell them to violate God's commandments found in New Testament Scripture.


The New Testament is a very big book with a whole lot of commandments that have been given to the Church. It is essential that the Church is subject unto these commandments of Christ. Not some of these commandments, but all of these commandments. Most of Christendom has blatantly and rebelliously decided to ignore many New Covenant Commandments. Most professing Christians have chosen to pick the portions of scriptures that they wish to obey. The scriptures that they find displeasing, they decide not to obey by totally ignoring them.


Church, you know how I have taught you in the past. I have been honest to state that there are some things found in the Word of God that I do not particularly like. Some things I wish were not in the Holy Bible. Yet because I desire to be subject to Christ in everything, I must live by these new covenant ordinances and teach the same to you, whether I like them or not. It is not my right to choose only the scriptures that I like and teach them to you. I must teach and preach the whole counsel of God, just like the apostle Paul declared to the Ephesian Elders at Miletus in Acts 20:26,27: "Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God."


Shall we turn to Paul's Epistle to the Corinthians chapter eleven, verse one.


1 Cor. 11:1 "Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the ordinances just as I delivered them to you."


The word "Ordinances" is translated from Greek word "paradosis." It literally means "precepts", or "traditionary laws." Many have been deceived into believing that there are no laws or commandments that the church must be subject to. Yet the New Testament clearly commands Christians to keep the precepts, ordinances, or traditionary laws just as they were delivered in the first century. Those who do their very best to fully follow Jesus Christ's New Testament Laws are severely persecuted as alleged "Legalists," or "Pharisees."


But what does it mean to be a Legalist or a Pharisee? First of all, the word "legalism," or "legalistic" is nowhere to be found in the Bible, even though many Professing Christians regularly use this word. This word in the New Testament context would mean that one is putting a yoke upon the neck of New Testament disciples by commanding them to keep laws which the apostles "gave no such commandment (Acts 15:24)." A Pastor who teaches laws or commandments that the apostles clearly taught to the first century congregations as recorded in New Testament Scripture is not a Legalist or a Pharisee at all. If this were the case, we would have to call the apostle Paul a Legalist or a Pharisee. For he taught many of God's New Covenant Commandments.


A Pharisee is a teacher who likes to sit in Moses' Seat. He thinks he has the authority to either establish New Laws or nullify

God's Laws. He likes to take upon himself the authority to either add commandments outside of scriptural authority, or to make scriptural commandments of God "of none effect" by his tradition (Matthew 15:6). Jesus clearly rebuked the Pharisees for doing both. They added traditions to the Word of God and they took away from the Word of God by explaining Biblical Truths Away.


There are two kinds of modern day Pharisees today. The first type of religious Pharisee adds traditional commandments that are not taught in New Testament scripture. The Amish, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Seventh day Adventists could be called modern day Pharisees for adding unscriptural commandments. However, most professing Christian Believers have fallen prey to the other extreme. They have sought, by their traditional teachings, to nullify certain New Testament Commands of God. Jesus clearly condemned the Pharisees for doing both. When Jesus returns He will certainly condemn all professing Christians Teachers who are either adding or detracting form His Word today.


CHRIST IS STILL ATTRACTED TO A BRIDE THAT WILL KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS


There are many New Covenant commandments that were delivered to the Church by the first century apostles of Christ. The majority of twenty first century professing Christian believers have blatantly ignored many scriptural commands found in the New Testament. Although Christ will graciously give a measure of blessing to those who only obey in a measure, the greatest blessings will only come to those who fully carry out all of Christ's commandments. The True Apostolic Church that Christ will receive as His Bride will be fully submitted to Him in all things that were delivered to the New Testament Church in the first century. Many professing Spirit Filled Christians who profess to know Christ will be rejected by Him at His appearing.


Luke 13:24-28 "Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and has shut to the door, and you begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not from where you are: Then shall you begin to say, We have eaten and drank in your presence, and you have taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not from where you are; depart from me, all you workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. . ."


These professing Christian believers shall say, "We have eaten and drunk in your presence." Here we have positive proof that many believers will spiritually eat and drink in the presence of Christ. Yet they will be rejected by the Lord Jesus because they were not fully obedient to Him. Jesus will tell them to depart from Him. They will be rejected from the Marriage Supper of the Lamb because they worked iniquity. The word "iniquity" means "wickedness" or "lawlessness." Christ clearly has given commandments for the New Testament Church. He has given us laws that we must carry out as the true bride of Christ.


Matthew chapter seven verses 21-23 provides us with further proof that many professing Christians who have the Baptism of the Spirit and have eaten and drank in Christ's presence will be rejected from being the true bride of Christ.


"Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? And in your name have cast out devils? And in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity."


It takes the Spirit of God to prophesy and do wonderful works in His Name. There will be many who have the Baptism of the Holy Spirit who will not enter into the Kingdom because they are disobedient to Christ's commandments. It truly is amazing that many will pray for healings and miracles in the name of Jesus Christ but they will not baptize in the name of Jesus Christ as the scriptures clearly command. There are many areas of scripture that the great majority in Christendom totally ignore. We will only cover a few tonight. Let's turn to 1 Cor. 11:4-7;13-16 and plainly read New Testament commands that are being ignored by the majority in Christendom.


"Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. But every woman that prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. . . Judge in yourselves: is it proper that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Does not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God."


The apostle Paul did not waste ink and paper by writing unnecessary verses of New Testament Scripture. All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable to the New Testament Believer. Even nature itself teaches us that it is proper for a woman to have long hair and a man to have short hair. If these verses were not suppose to apply to the twenty first century church, then why did the apostle appeal to nature? Has nature changed in two thousand years?


Many false teachers have promulgated two false interpretations of this scripture. Many have falsely promulgated the view that if a Christian decides to be contentious about keeping this hair ordinance, then all of the churches of God suddenly have no such custom. Such a view is utterly preposterous, especially when we consider that the Greek word translated as contentious can also be translated, "disputatious," or "fond of strife." And the Greek word translated as "custom," is literally translated according to the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible as "force of habit," or "usage." Hence this scripture more literally reads as follows: "But if any man seem to be disputatious or fond of strife, we have no such force of habit or usage, neither the churches of God."


The apostle was not addressing the aforementioned hair teaching when he used the word "habit" or "usage." Paul was actually saying, "But if any man seem to be disputatious, or fond of strife over this scriptural hair teaching for men and women, we have no such bad habit of being disputatious over God's commandment, neither the rest of the true churches of God. Many others have erroneously stated that these verses of scripture were only for the first century Christians but not for the twenty first century Christians. Has God's Word really Changed? Does not even nature itself teach us that if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? Does not even nature itself teach us that a woman's long hair is a glory to her?


If we are duped into believing that these verses of scripture do not apply today, then what is to prevent us from believing that the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is not for us today either? This false religious reasoning can be very dangerous. All Christians would have the prerogative to choose only the New Covenant commandments and doctrines that they wish to obey while rejecting the New Covenant commandments and doctrines that they do not prefer by stating that they do not apply for the twenty first century church. Our Lord Jesus Christ was very serious about His Church Keeping His Commandments.


John 14:21 "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."


The more obedient that the Christian is, the more Christ will manifest Himself to the Christian. 1 John 2:3-6 "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments, He that says, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keeps his word, in him truly is the love of God perfected: And hereby know we that we are in him. He that says that he abides in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked."


Just as Jesus in his humanity was subject to the Father in all things, so must the church be subject to the Father in our humanity. Therefore all true Christians will walk in the Spirit, just as Christ walked in the leading of the Spirit.


James 1:25 "But whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."


The perfect law of liberty stands in contradistinction to the law of bondage in that the law of liberty gives us power by the indwelling Holy Spirit to keep God's laws, whereas the law of bondage had no power in that the Old Testament Believers lacked the power of the Holy Spirit. The prophet Ezekiel prophesied that the New Covenant Believers would be empowered to walk in God's statutes and keep His ordinances by the indwelling Holy Spirit.


Ezekial 11:19,20 "And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep my ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God."


The prophet Jeremiah further spoke of the power of the Spirit of God which makes it an easy yoke to keep God's Commandments:


Jeremiah 31:31-33 "Behold, the days come, says the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was and husband unto them, says the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: After those days, says the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people."


Beloved, it is the Baptism of the Holy Ghost that gives us this power. The prophet Joel prophesied that in these last days God would pour out of His Spirit upon all flesh. All flesh that would have faith to receive this promise. Peter declared by the Spirit, "This is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh." The apostle Peter was clearly commenting on the outpouring of the Spirit that all had plainly observed on the Day of Pentecost. All spoke in tongues as the Spirit gave the utterance when they received this experience on the Day of Pentecost. There is none other experience other than the Baptism of the Holy Ghost which endues us with such power. If you have not received this experience, you can receive it tonight. You can have power to keep God's Commandments without difficulty.


John 15:1-6 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that bears not fruit he takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, he purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me. . .If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."


According to the gospel of John chapter one, Jesus is the Word. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God. . . And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. . ." If we truly abide in Jesus we will abide in His Word. Brothers and Sister, we are commanded to abide in Christ's Words. If we abide not in His Words we will be cast away as withered branches and thrown into the fire. Do these words of Christ agree with the doctrine of eternal security? Certainly Not.