Monday, January 31, 2022

The Remnant Bride - Part 11

The Joy Set Before Us

What is it that could convince a person to turn his back on all that the world has to offer? What is it that could keep one steadfast in pursuit of a heavenly goal in the face of the most severe opposition and oppression? What is it that could cause a man to accept with satisfaction that he may never receive reward in this life, while he faithfully looks for reward in the next life?

We find an answer in the life of martyred missionary, Jim Elliot. He was a young, gifted man with talent and potential. The world was ripe and ready for his taking, but Jim Elliot turned his back on the world in his pursuit of Christ. He committed to spend his life to advance the kingdom of God among remote tribal peoples. An incredulous world did not understand. His answer to the world’s criticism was, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot had an eternal perspective and he had glimpsed that which awaited him.

King David was also a man with an eternal perspective. Although he had a whole kingdom, with all it had to offer, he was focused on a greater possession.

Psalms 16:5-6
Yahweh is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You do support my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.

David, in a beautiful and dramatic poetic form, drew a comparison of his inheritance in God to the inheritance of those who entered the promised land under the leadership of Joshua. When Israel took possession of their promised inheritance, the land was surveyed and divided into portions. The lot was then cast to determine which tribe would receive each portion.

David is stating that when the time came for the lot to be thrown to determine his inheritance that God was with him, supporting him. The survey lines that marked his inheritance fell along pleasant places. He received a beautiful heritage, his inheritance being Yahweh.

David chose the inheritance of a priest. The priestly tribe of Levi did not receive an inheritance of land along with the other tribes. Instead, God gave them something much better. He said that He would be their inheritance (Deuteronomy 18:2). All Christians are priests before God and are called a kingdom of priests (Revelation 1:6). Our inheritance is therefore a priestly inheritance. We can say with David, “Yahweh is the portion of my inheritance and my cup.”

This should excite the faithful saint of God. We have not been given an inheritance that is perishable, rather we have been given an everlasting heritage. The best of the best has been granted to us. Not only are we offered the best of creation, God’s most holy things, but the Creator Himself is our portion.

The Israelites were promised a special land flowing with milk and honey. They sent spies in to look over the land and they brought back some of the produce of the land.

Numbers 13:23-24
Then they came to the valley of Eshcol and from there cut down a branch with a single cluster of grapes; and they carried it on a pole between two men, with some of the pomegranates and the figs. That place was called the valley of Eshcol, because of the cluster which the sons of Israel cut down from there.

This land of promise was so fruitful that it took two men to carry a single cluster of grapes. It so amazed the men that they named the valley in honor of their find. However, because of the obstacles to be overcome to take possession of the land, only two of the twelve spies were desirous of going in. This percentage is indicative of the number who arrive at the Outer Court of the tabernacle and remain there, compared to the number who are willing to press forward to possess all that is offered them.

Like Israel, many Christians are freed from the heavy burden they were under. Even as the Israelites were freed from the oppression and slavery of the Egyptians, Christians are freed from their slavery to sin. This deliverance only takes them to the wilderness, however. The land of promise still lies ahead. There are obstacles and enemies in the way. It requires courage and faith in God to proceed.

Israel decided that she didn’t want to face her fears. Instead she longed to go back to Egypt, signifying going back to the world (Exodus 14:3). Even though there was bondage in Egypt, it seemed better than risking life and limb to obtain the prize God held out to them.

Many Christians have responded in like manner. Having been freed from sin, they would rather go back to what is familiar, bondage and all, than to embrace the cross and throw oneself unreservedly over into the hands of God. There appears to be relatively few with the heart of Joshua and Caleb.

Numbers 14:6-9
And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, of those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; and they spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, "The land which we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If Yahweh is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it to us-- a land which flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against Yahweh; and do not fear the people of the land, for they shall be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and Yahweh is with us; do not fear them."

Multitudes will forfeit the good things God has for them due to their fear and carnality. Among the whole generation of Israel, only Joshua and Caleb received the promised inheritance. When they could have had rivers and valleys, figs, grapes, pomegranates, milk and honey, this unfaithful generation received only wilderness and a diet of bread (manna) and water. We looked earlier at those among the Levitical Priesthood who incurred great loss. When they could have had God’s most holy things and served in the presence of God Himself, they were relegated to the service of the building. For these unfaithful priests, their loss was similar to the generation that forfeited so much in the wilderness. Wittingly, or unwittingly, many Christians today are making decisions that will lead to a similar tragic loss.

 We have a joy that has been set before us. This joy is to become possessors of God Himself. He is our inheritance. Yahshua said that His flesh was true meat and His blood was true drink (John 6:22). We are invited to taste and see that Yahweh is good (Psalm 34:8).

 Many saints, having received salvation, have hardly given a thought to getting to know the One who purchased it for them with His own blood. Salvation was meant to restore fellowship between fallen mankind and God. Many having received this gift, however, seem clueless as to why it was given to them in the first place.

God did not redeem fallen mankind so that they could continue on in their idolatry and bondage while receiving a free pass to heaven. He called them to walk in righteousness, to be transformed and conformed to the image of the One who saved them. He called them to fellowship and intimacy with Himself.

As we have read, the Bride consists of those who have received white robes and have kept them clean. The Bridegroom will come back for His Bride as a thief in the night and steal her away. Many of those who fail to make themselves ready will be caught off guard. They will be left behind. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. They will have a second opportunity to wash their robes, but it will come at great price.

Embracing the cross requires faith in God. Faith is the opposite of fear. Those who are walking in fear are not walking in faith. Those who are walking in faith have faced their fears and overcome them. It required faith for the children of Israel to take possession of their inheritance.

When Israel came out of bondage in Egypt she had to cross the Red Sea. God was gracious and He manifested His provision for them before asking them to cross the waters. Moses stretched forth his rod and only after the sea parted did all Israel cross on dry ground. However, when Joshua took the people through the Jordan River to enter their inheritance, God required that they make the first move, demonstrating faith.

Joshua 3:13
"And it shall come about when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the ark of Yahweh, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, and the waters which are flowing down from above shall stand in one heap."

As we go in to take possession of our inheritance God will require faith from us. We cannot say, “Show me your provision first, then I will follow you.” God requires that we constantly step out into that which we do not see. Only then will He manifest His provision. Only then will He take us into our promised inheritance.

To overcome the fears involved in a walk of faith, we must have a tremendous source of courage to draw from. The source of this wellspring of courage is love. ““Perfect love casts out all fear” I John 4:18. The apostle Paul said that the love of Christ constrained him, holding him to the course (II Corinthians 5:14). We will need to draw upon this same wellspring if we are to take up the cross and proceed into the temple to the place of the Bride.

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Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Friday, January 28, 2022

The Remnant Bride - Part 10

Embrace the Cross

The Bride’s dwelling is in the Most Holy Place. This is the place of habitation and abiding. This is the place where the veil of the flesh is torn apart and communion with God is the order of the day. Even as the literal veil in the temple was torn asunder when our Lord was crucified, our flesh must be crucified to open up the way for communion with the Father and the Son.

Some may ask at this point, “Why must we embrace the cross? Wasn’t Yahshua’s sacrifice sufficient?” It is certainly true that Yahshua has restored our access to the presence of the Father. The torn veil is proof of this. The veil was torn from the top to the bottom indicating that from God's end of the relationship between God and man all impediments to access into His presence have been removed. The way has been made open to us.

This is tremendously significant. However, Christ’s sacrifice in no way symbolizes that God has made peace with sin, nor that sin has now become acceptable unto Him. Christ’s sacrifice was not intended to make a way for man to remain sinful and yet have full and complete access to the presence of a holy God. No, Christ’s sacrifice was made so that we also could have the veil of our flesh torn asunder. Whereas we had been slaves to sin, a way was made for us to now become slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:19). Yahshua’s death was not for the sake of making sin acceptable to God, it was for the purpose of making mankind holy.

Hebrews 10:19-22
Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Yahshua, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Yahshua’s death was for the purpose of purifying us, to wash us, to make us clean. Before His death we were sold as slaves to sin. We could do nothing but sin. Our most righteous acts were counted as filthiness before God. Through His death, a new and living way has been opened up before us. We can now walk in holiness before God and even have our consciences cleansed from evil, but we must choose to appropriate what God has done for us. This calls for action and response on our part as is shown in the following scriptures.

Matthew 16:24-27
Then Yahshua said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it. For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds.”

As was mentioned in the last chapter, all those who are saved are offered an invitation to advance further into the temple or tabernacle, towards the presence of God. In verse 24 of the preceding scripture, we are told that those who would come after Christ must deny themselves and take up the cross. Further entrance into the tabernacle requires embracing the cross. Since the Bride’s residence is in the Most Holy Place, the Bride consists of those who have embraced the cross.

Again, in verse 27 we are told that reward will be meted out to every man “according to his deeds.” This passage links together the three elements of; pursuing Christ, taking up the cross, and reward. These three are inextricably bound up with one another.

What does it mean to take up the cross? Much understanding can be gained from the above passage. Taking up the cross involves denying oneself. It requires refusing to save one’s life. The literal meaning of life in this passage is soul life, which includes self-will, personal desires, and ambitions. We can also ascertain from the passage that taking up the cross is the antithesis of trying to gain what the world has to offer.

Going back to the image that we have already used, the new believer in Christ stands at the Outer Court of the tabernacle. At his back is the world with all its allure and its idols. At his front is the tabernacle wherein is the presence of God. These two stand in opposition to one another. They are both beckoning to him. He must choose which way he will go. Reward or loss hangs on his decision.

Satan would like the believer to think that having arrived at the Outer Court, having received the forgiveness of sins, that there is nothing else to be concerned about. The truth, however, is that there is much more. Intimate communion and daily fellowship with the Creator of the Universe is awaiting those who would traverse farther in. Access to all of the most holy things of God and access to God’s very presence are being offered to the saint.

It would seem that the world wouldn’t stand a chance in gaining the heart of the believer. What God offers makes the world appear pale in comparison. Paul described the things of the world as mere rubbish.

Philippians 3:7-8
But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Yahshua my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ.

The world, however, seems to shout at us while God speaks with a still, small voice. It would appear that among much of the church that the voice of the world is so loud that the voice of God is hardly heard at all. Few seem to understand that they are being beckoned to proceed further into the presence of God.

Those who would proceed into the temple must turn their back on the clamor of the world with its neon glare and seductive attractiveness. An alternate set of senses must be employed, senses that can see beyond the temporal into eternal things. Discipline, rigor, and patience must replace a desire for instant gratification, ease, and comfort. Above all, one must have seen a glimpse of what awaits him. It was said even of Yahshua, that He endured the cross for the joy which was set before Him (Hebrews 12:2). We too, must see the joy which is set before us in order that we may embrace the cross and proceed toward the Most Holy Place.

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Joseph Herrin
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Montezuma, GA 31063

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The Remnant Bride - Part 9

The Outer Court

We have stated that the Outer Court of the tabernacle is representative of those who come to Christ for the remission of sins. It is the furthest location from the Most Holy Place that is still part of the tabernacle. Many Christians have through ignorance or disobedience become content to remain in the Outer Court. The Outer Court is the part of the building that has access to the world outside. It rubs shoulders with the world.

Unfortunately, many in the Outer Court are looking the wrong way. Rather than looking farther into the tabernacle, into the Holy Place, and beyond to the Most Holy Place, they are facing the other direction. They are focused on the world. Because of their worldly focus, they are oblivious to the treasures that lie so close at hand.

Those who are called to salvation are all given an invitation to advance from the Outer Court, through the Holy Place, all the way to the Most Holy Place. Few make the complete trip, however. What hinders those who remain outside? As Paul told the Corinthian believers, “You are not restrained by us, but you are restrained in your own affections” (2 Corinthians 6:12).

Many, having received salvation, have clung tenaciously to their old affections. They have not allowed themselves to be transformed. The idols of the world are their idols. Some even believe that their relationship to God is of great benefit in pursuing the idols that they hold dear. In their deception they implore God to fulfill their lusts. James makes this clear:

James 4:3-4
You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

James is speaking to the church here. Why does he call such worldly saints adulteresses? Is it not because they are betrothed to Christ, but are unfaithful in their affections? Paul said, “For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin” (II Corinthians 11:2). All Christians are betrothed to Christ. Their love and their passion is to be reserved for Christ alone. Many, however, are pursuing other loves.

All who receive salvation stand at the Outer Court of the tabernacle with an invitation to come further in. At the moment of confession and repentance they are facing the Most Holy Place with their back to the world. The call to come in is a call to intimacy. It will require an emptying, a laying down of all things of the world as the Holy Spirit of God brings conviction. To progress further into the temple requires refining. It requires embracing the cross. It requires one to keep his back steadily fixed toward the world and his eyes fixed on Christ.

Luke 9:62
But Yahshua said to him, "No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."

The very furnishings of the tabernacle foretell of the necessity of embracing the cross. The furnishings are arranged in the shape of a cross. At the base of the cross is the brazen altar with the bronze laver just above it. These are in the Outer Court. Entering the Holy Place, on either side, forming the horizontal member are the golden candlestick and the table of showbread. Continuing on up the vertical member, entering the Most Holy Place, we find the altar of incense, and the ark of the covenant.

To progress further inward, one must embrace the cross. To turn and face the world is to turn one’s back on the cross. A decision must be made. Which way will the saint go? There is no possibility of compromise. One must discern the difference between the holy and the profane. Idols must be abandoned. Fears must be confronted. Lusts must be denied.

Unfortunately, many don’t recognize the idols to which they cling. Anything that is exalted in your life can be an idol. Success can be an idol. Material possessions of all types can be an idol. Leisure can be an idol. Comfort can be an idol. Security can be an idol. Health can be an idol. The respect and praise of men can be an idol.

When we stand at the Outer Court, the world and its idols are not silent. They shout at us. Family and friends tell us we would be fools to not pursue them. Our flesh also cries out with the memory of its lusts. As the flesh views the cross terror assails it. How foolish it seems to go this way. The world cannot embrace the cross and most of the church will not. Why should we?

Galatians 5:24
Now those who belong to Christ Yahshua have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Who are those who belong to Christ, referred to in the above verse? The Bride belongs to Yahshua. Those who belong to Yahshua must crucify the flesh with its passions and desires. To fail to do so indicates that our heart belongs to another, that we have idols in our life.

Satan has deceived many believers into thinking that their lot in eternity will be the same as all other Christians. They believe there is nothing required of them other than believing in Christ for the forgiveness of sins and confessing Him. They pursue the life of their dreams and lusts and anticipate a blissful eternity. What unexpected grief will be theirs when they realize that the choicest things of God are denied them, things that will make the most prized possessions on Earth seem as dung in comparison. Those who pursue the things this world has to offer are truly blind.

Paul spoke of pressing on toward the goal (Philippians 3:14). Those who would progress to the Most Holy Place must “press on” toward it. Resistance will be present. The heavenly goal must be kept at the center of attention. All diligence must be supplied to attain to the goal. Those who are at ease in Zion will not attain to the Most Holy Place.

The pattern and testimony of scripture is that the vast multitude remains at the Outer Court. It is a much smaller number that will enter the Holy Place and a mere remnant in comparison who will make it to the Most Holy Place. Knowing this should make the concerned Christian take heed. There is no room for resting on one”s laurels. Paul describes the intensity that should be a part of the Believer’s life, comparing it to an athlete running a race, a soldier going to war, and a hard-working farmer anticipating the fruit of his labors.

II Timothy 2:3-7
Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Yahshua. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules. The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

Paul is speaking to Timothy of the necessity of embracing the hardship of a soldier, the rigorous discipline of an athlete, and the patient work ethic of a farmer, always keeping the goal in mind.
The soldier desires to please the one who enlisted him. This is the key to his advancement. The athlete strives for a prize, and Timothy is reminded that there are rules that must be observed to avoid disqualification. The farmer anticipates being the first to receive a share of the crops that he has labored to bring forth. Each one focuses on his individual reward and applies whatever discipline, rigor, and patience is necessary, participating according to the guidelines set forth.

Paul is not speaking to Timothy of pursuing the salvation that is given freely to us by God (the remission of sins and the gift of the Spirit).  Paul is speaking of something beyond this. He is speaking of that full salvation which is the reward of the overcomers in Christ.

Hebrews 9:28
Even so it is that Christ, having been offered to take upon Himself and bear as a burden the sins of many once and  once for all, will appear a second time, not to carry any burden of sin nor to deal with sin, but to bring to full salvation those who are [eagerly, constantly, and patiently] waiting for and expecting Him.
[The Amplified Bible]

What is this "full salvation" that Christ will appear a second time for? There is a full salvation which must be worked out with fear and trembling. Christian man is comprised of three parts, all of which need to experience the salvation of Christ.

I Thessalonians 5:23
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is the desire of Christ that all who are called to life in Him might experience a full salvation of spirit and soul and body. As we have seen, this initial gift of salvation whereby men and women obtain the forgiveness of sin and they are born again of the Spirit of Christ, is a free gift. It is received entirely on the basis of faith. This completes the first part of mankind’s salvation, that of the spirit of man. That which is born of the Spirit is born of incorruptible seed. It is holy and seeks only to do the will of the Father. There remains the soul and the body of man which also must enter this fulness of salvation.

Philippians 2:12
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling...

If there were only one salvation and we are told that it is a "free gift, not of works, lest any man should boast," then why would Paul then say to "work out your salvation with fear and trembling?" This puzzle can only be unraveled when one discerns that there is more than one salvation being referred to in scriptures. This is also typified in the tabernacle. We have previously mentioned that the Outer Court corresponds to the initial gift of salvation, which includes the remission of sins. We can now affirm that the Holy Place corresponds to soul salvation.

The vast majority of Israel, eleven tribes, were disqualified from entering the Holy Place because they failed to sanctify God in their hearts (their inner man, the soul). Even though they were delivered from death on the night of the first Passover, which is a potent symbol of forgiveness of sins through the shed blood of Christ, they did not separate themselves to a holy life before God. The Israelites clung to their soulish desires. They still loved idols, and therefore they fashioned one in the wilderness and they acted in a sensual and fleshly manner as they reveled before it. This is a clear type of Christians who gladly receive the forgiveness of sin, but they fall short of living holy lives, crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires. Due to this failure they are disqualified from entering further into the presence of Christ. Access to the Holy Place is restricted to them.

I Corinthians 9:24-27
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.

The imperishable wreath Paul refers to represents the eternal prize toward which he is striving. He exercises discipline over his body so that he might not be disqualified. Again, this disqualification is not speaking of the remission of sins, or the receiving of the Holy Spirit. It is speaking of the fuller salvation of the soul. As Paul spoke to the Corinthians at an earlier place in the same letter, ““If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but his soul shall be saved, yet so as through fire” (I Corinthians 3:15). Much loss in the area of the salvation of the soul will be the portion of many Christians.

Satan has purposely blinded the eyes of the church to the issue of personal reward. If a saint believes that his lot in eternity will be the same, no matter how he lives his life before God, he will have an increased temptation to walk carelessly and with little regard to the ramifications of his behavior. He will have less motivation to walk in a circumspect and disciplined manner in pursuit of the high calling of God upon his life.

The effects of removing personal reward can be seen in many of the countries of the world under communism. When personal property is taken away and the profit motive removed, productivity drops precipitously. When all receive the same reward, no matter how diligently they labor, performance drops and mediocrity becomes the order of the day.

In the same way, the church has become mediocre. It is hard to tell the saint from the unsaved. Both groups are subject to the same maladies. The same idols are pursued. Values are nearly identical. There is little to differentiate the believer from the unbeliever.

 Some may question, “Isn’t it selfish for a saint to focus upon reward?” The answer is, “Not if the reward is something that the Father has told us to pursue.” In the book of Hebrews we are told of the great heroes of the faith. They were pursuing a goal. They were looking for a city not built with hands (Hebrews 11:10,16). They were looking to eternal reward. Yahshua also encouraged His disciples to lay up treasures for themselves in heaven (Matthew 6:20).

The average saint today is aware of nothing beyond the forgiveness of sins. Most have never heard a sermon on eternal reward. Most are under the false delusion that the same reward awaits all believers. However, Yahshua said, “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done” (Revelation 22:12). Failing to understand this has led to so many saints unwillingness to embrace the cross. It has persuaded multitudes to be content with the Outer Court.

Heart4God Website:    

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Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Monday, January 24, 2022

The Remnant Bride - Part 8

Evidences of Separation

Not all Christians will freely receive the message of a remnant Bride. Those who are content with the things of the world and who are enjoying the pursuit of their own interests will find the message to be somewhat threatening to their idyllic existence. The western church is full of “easy believism.” The message of the disciple’s cross is largely absent from our midst.

It is those who fail to walk in integrity before the Father who would cry foul at the notion of God treating individual saints differently. The righteous have nothing to fear. Those who are passionately pursuing their Savior have only longing and expectation for His appearing.

I John 4:18
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

The Bible is full of images of separation. God has always made a distinction between those who please Him and those who do not. Our error today is in assuming that everyone who has confessed Christ by faith to receive the forgiveness of sins is pleasing to the Father.

Galatians 6:7
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

In the design of the Tabernacle of Moses, which was constructed in the wilderness, God showed that there would be a distinction made among those who could approach Him. This structure was divided into three distinct parts: the Outer Court, the Holy Place, and the Most Holy Place. Each area represented a different level of intimacy with, and approach to, the Father.

I do not have the space to go into an exhaustive teaching of the design and significance of the tabernacle here. I will simply point out a few truths that are pertinent to an understanding of the Bride. I want you to see that there is tremendous support for the idea that Yahshua has chosen a special remnant out from among His body to be the Bride.

As has been mentioned, the Bride is made up of those who have made themselves ready. They are pure and radiant. They are holy and blameless before God. Those who have soiled their garments are forbidden from being a part of the Bride.

In the design of the tabernacle, holiness has everything to do with access to the different parts. The outer court is the least restrictive portion. Virtually all of the congregation of Israel had access to the Outer Court. In the church, the Outer Court represents those who come to Christ for the remission of sins.

The next level, the Holy Place, was more restrictive. Only  priests from the tribe of Levi were allowed into the Holy Place. This represented a significant decrease in access from the Outer Court. The priests who served in the tabernacle had requirements placed upon them. They had to be without defect or disease to perform service in the tabernacle. We see a double refinement here. Only one tribe of Israel could enter and only those who were without blemish or defect.

It was not God's original intent that only one tribe should have access here. God's original desire was that the whole nation should be priests before Him (Exodus 19:5,6). It was only after Israel refused to turn from the idolatry of Egypt that Levi was chosen. This transfer of the priesthood from the entire nation to the tribe of Levi occurred after the nation sinned when Aaron made the golden calf for them to worship. Levi alone proved themselves willing to pay the cost of separation unto Yahweh after the nation sinned (Exodus 32:25-27).

God's original purpose was that the firstborn male of every household should be holy and dedicated unto Him as a priest. After Israel sinned in their idolatry, God substituted the entire tribe of Levi for the firstborn of all Israel. God had every firstborn male of Israel numbered by tribe. They were then ransomed and released from their dedication as a priest before God by having a Levite male take their place. There were more firstborn males from Israel than there were Levite males, so the remaining number had to be redeemed with money (Numbers chapter 3).

The double refinement of the Holy Place was therefore a refinement that weeded out those whose commitment to obedience was lacking and only allowed access to those who were dedicated to God. Furthermore, these dedicated ones had to be without disease or defect (Leviticus 21:17-23). This is reflective of the Bride of Christ who is to be "without spot or wrinkle or any such blemish, but holy and blameless" (Ephesians 5:27).

The Most Holy Place represented a final refinement. Only the High Priest could enter here, and only after much preparation. His entry was further restricted to one day out of the year. The Most Holy Place was where the ark of the covenant was kept and it represented the presence of God.

We see in this picture that as one approached the presence of God, greater requirements had to be met. At each level the number of those who had access decreased tremendously. It was not treated as a trivial thing to come into God’s presence. The same is true in the church age.

Throughout scripture, the church, individually and corporately is referred to as a temple or tabernacle. God has designed this living temple along the same lines as the physical. The requirements for approach to the presence of God are the same.

I Peter 2:5
You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Yahshua the Messiah.

Ephesians 2:20-22
having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Yahshua Himself being the corner stone in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

The place of intimacy is the Most Holy Place. It is here that the Bride will consummate the marriage. The Bride that is allowed here is a Bride that has been made ready, a purified and holy Bride as described in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.

Ephesians 5:26-27
that [Christ] might sanctify [the Bride], having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the [separated out ones] in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.

We see in the pattern of the tabernacle that access to the presence of God is not given in the same measure to all individuals. Holiness and preparation were required to go deeper into God’s presence. The number of people who met the requirements for access dropped precipitously at each level.

In this temple of living stones that God is fashioning, we see three separate areas. This corresponds to three groups of Christians. Your access to the Father and to His most holy things is determined by what group you belong to. Your discernment of what is righteous and what is profane, and your diligence to walk in a manner that is worthy of the Lord are keys to further entrance into the holiest portions of the temple of God. Those who attain to the Most Holy Place are the Bride of Christ. For them there is no veil of separation.

Look again at the following verse:

I Peter 2:5
You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Yahshua the Messiah.

In this verse we are told that as Christians, we are members of a holy priesthood. However, even among the priests of Israel we know that not all priests were accorded equal honor. Some walked worthily and some did not. God made a distinction among them, even as He has among those who are called the church. The things of the Old Covenant are very relevant as types and shadows for us who are of the New Covenant.

I Corinthians 10:11
Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

In the book of Ezekiel we are told of God making a distinction among the priests of the tribe of Levi. The passage is prophetic, speaking of service in a future temple, a temple of living stones. Access to the most holy things and to God Himself was determined by how worthily one walked before God.

Ezekiel 44:10-16
"But the Levites who went far from Me, when Israel went astray, who went astray from Me after their idols, shall bear the punishment for their iniquity.  Yet they shall be ministers in My sanctuary, having oversight at the gates of the house and ministering in the house; they shall slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister to them. Because they ministered to them before their idols and became a stumbling block of iniquity to the house of Israel, therefore I have sworn against them," declares Yahweh God, "that they shall bear the punishment for their iniquity. And they shall not come near to Me to serve as a priest to Me, nor come near to any of My holy things, to the things that are most holy; but they shall bear their shame and their abominations which they have committed. Yet I will appoint them to keep charge of the house, of all its service, and of all that shall be done in it. But the Levitical priests, the sons of Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the sons of Israel went astray from Me, shall come near to Me to minister to Me; and they shall stand before Me to offer Me the fat and the blood," declares Yahweh God. "They shall enter My sanctuary; they shall come near to My table to minister to Me and keep My charge.”

What a tremendous loss was incurred by the disobedient priests who went with the people in the pursuit of their idols. They were relegated to the service of the building. They were forbidden to serve directly in God’s presence. They could not come near unto Him, nor unto any of His holy things, the things considered most holy. Their service was a service of the Outer Court as is indicated in verse 11:

Yet they shall be ministers in My sanctuary, having oversight at the gates of the house and ministering in the house; they shall slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister to them.

Your current love and passion for God will determine whether you see the above passage and its judgment on the idolatrous priests as tragic or not. Some may think that their punishment doesn’t sound too bad. After all, they were still priests and they were still allowed to serve at the temple. There is great tragedy in it, however.

The temple itself is nothing without the presence of God. The temple is merely a vessel that contains a great treasure and the great treasure is the presence and person of God. The idolatrous priests are being told that their service and access in the temple will be restricted to the building itself, the true treasure will be withheld from them.

It is much like being given a present of inestimable worth and then being told that you can only keep the box that the gift came in. This directly correlates to the judgment brought upon Queen Vashti in the book of Esther. She was a queen, but she was denied access to the presence of the king. What joy is there in being the bride of the king if you are denied access to him?

The idolatrous priests are not only forbidden from serving in God’s presence, they are denied access to the things which are the most holy things of God. Because of the abominations they have committed, they must bear their shame.

It would be reasonable at this point to ask what, if any, indication there is in scripture of God making a similar distinction among those who are His children in this present age. There is a parallel passage in the New Testament to the above scripture from Ezekiel, which reveals the same truths, bringing them forward into the era of the New Covenant.

Luke 12:42-48
And the Lord said, "Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. Truly I say to you, that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But if that slave says in his heart, 'My master will be a long time in coming,' and begins to beat the slaves, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk; the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him, and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers. And that slave who knew his master's will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, shall receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. And from everyone who has been given much shall much be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.”

This passage reveals that not all Christians will have access to all of God’s possessions. This is a privilege reserved for those who are faithful. What is it that will be withheld? It is God’s most holy things and God’s very presence. When Yahshua spoke of the faithful servant, "Truly I say to you, that he will put him in charge of all his possessions,” He was speaking of a great honor being bestowed upon him, an honor that not all would share.

Many Christians today have taken no thought to such things. Having obtained freely the remission of sins, they have become content and live much as the world does, pursuing the same idols of materialism, security, and comfort that the unbelieving masses pursue. It is but a remnant of the church that is actually pursuing God. It is but a few who are anxiously and passionately awaiting the return of the Son of God, keeping their robes unstained from the world.

God’s standards have not changed for His church. Those who think they can pursue the same idols that the world chases after and still be given access to the most holy things of God are mistaken. Service in the presence of God will also be withheld from them. They will not be accounted as worthy to be a part of the Bride of Christ.

We are priests before God just as certainly as the Levites who were referred to in Ezekiel. The same standard of holiness required of them is required of us.

I Peter 2:5
You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood...

Not all things are equal for all Christians. The remission of sins is God’s free gift, but there is much beyond this. Many Christians stand in peril of suffering great loss, loss of that which they did not even know existed and was being offered to them. The church must wake up or experience devastation. Access to the very presence of God is at stake.

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Friday, January 21, 2022

The Remnant Bride - Part 7

The Deep Sleep of Adam

In the formation of Eve we see many parallels to the formation of the Bride of Christ. One of the very striking parallels between these two brides is that they are both taken from a body that has been cast into a deep sleep. To examine this, let us begin with the description of Eve as she is removed from the body of Adam.

Genesis 2:21-23
So Yahweh God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place. And Yahweh God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. And the man 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."

In this passage we see described the formation of the bride of the first Adam. The primary things I want you to note in this description are: first, a deep sleep came upon Adam; second, a separation occurred in the body of Adam that resulted in a bride being formed. A remnant was removed from his sleeping body to form his bride.

In this very hour in which we live such a separation is taking place. One of the predominant scriptures being proclaimed by prophets and teachers of God in this hour is from the book of Revelation where God’s saints are commanded to come out of the great harlot which typifies the apostate church of our day.

Revelation 18:4
“Come out of her, my people, that you may not participate in her sins and that you may not receive of her plagues...”

Now, concerning that which we see in type in the deep sleep that came upon Adam, we see spoken of by Paul in reference to the body of the Last Adam, Yahshua the Messiah. Paul indicated that a similar deep sleep would come upon the body of Christ prior to the Bride of Christ being removed from it.

Paul spoke to the Thessalonian believers and said that those who were afflicting them would be judged at the appearing of the Lord. Their judgment would include their being excluded and removed from being partakers of the glory of the Lord which would be revealed IN those believers who were found faithful.

II Thessalonians 1:9-10
And these will pay the penalty of age-lasting destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed -- for our testimony to you was believed.

We see clearly in this passage that Paul is speaking of the day of the Lord’s return. Contrary to what many believers expect, Christ is to be revealed IN His holy saints at His next appearing, not in the clouds of the sky as many teach. The scriptures do say that Christ will return in the clouds, but He is first to be revealed in His saints as Paul describes here. As we will see, these ones who will have the glory of the Lord to rise upon them (Isaiah 60:1, 2) will be the remnant that constitute the Bride of Christ.

Returning to the scripture passage in II Thessalonians, we see that Paul is speaking of the day of the Lord’s return in His saints. Paul then goes on to describe what will occur just before this day.

II Thessalonians 2:3-4
Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

The key to understanding this passage is discerning what temple Paul is referring to. We know that Yahshua completely fulfilled the Law and by His sacrifice He abolished the need to anymore keep the ceremonial law. This ceremonial law was primarily focused on the temple which was located in Jerusalem. The passing away of this temple built of wood and stone in its function of being the location where God would meet with man was immediately demonstrated at Christ’s death by the veil of the temple barring the entrance to the Most Holy Place being rent in two as Yahshua breathed His last breath.

The covering of the veil of the Temple was mandated by God to prevent those who were unsanctified from gazing on the presence of God. To look on His presence was to invoke His immediate judgment, and death was the penalty. By the veil being torn and the Most Holy Place exposed, God was signifying that His presence no longer would be found in a building made of wood and stone. His temple was now the temple of man’s body, a building built of living stones. This was further demonstrated by God when forty years later, in AD 70, the temple in Jerusalem was COMPLETELY destroyed by the Romans so that not one stone remained upon another.

Since the death of Christ the temple that God has revealed His presence in has been exclusively a temple formed of the bodies of men and women. When Paul then speaks of the man of lawlessness taking his seat in the temple, he is not talking about a temple built of wood and stone, but one built of living stones. It would not offend God at all for a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem to be defiled because God’s presence will no more be revealed in such buildings. What angers God is for the man of lawlessness to take his seat in the living temple, the temple of man’s body where God’s Spirit dwells, for this is the temple where the glory of God is to be revealed.

The apostasy of which Paul speaks, which must occur before Yahshua is revealed in His saints, refers to a rejection of the truth by those who are of the household of God. The word apostasy is defined by Strong’s Hebrew/Greek Dictionary as: “defection from truth.” This is why Paul describes the last days to Timothy as being “perilous times,” for men will not listen to truth, but will heap to themselves teachers who will tickle their ears and tell them what they want to hear (II Timothy 4:3).

As the church experiences this defection from truth because they have not loved truth, the man of lawlessness will take a seat in the temple which is the bodies of God’s saints. This lawlessness is a rejection of the authority of God, a failure of obedience to the Lordship of Christ (remember Vashti?). Yahshua demonstrated that this was the nature of lawlessness in the following passage.

Matthew 7:21-23
“Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'”

These ones are lawless because they did not "do the will of [the] Father." They were prophesying according to their own will. They were casting out demons according to their own will. They were performing miracles according to their own will. No matter how much they said "Lord, Lord" it did not change the fact that they were not subject to the Lordship of Christ. Rather than being led of the Spirit of God in all of their activities, they were led by their own will. This is a great note of caution, for many are prophesying in this day, and casting out demons, and even performing miracles, but they are not all doing so by the leading of the Spirit of God. These are lawless ones, and Paul prophesies of the "man of lawlessness" being revealed, taking his seat in the temple of God, which temple we are.

A large majority of believers were wholly led into a confession of Christ that downplayed the Lordship of Christ and the message of the cross and which emphasized prosperity, self-fulfillment, and fire insurance to keep oneself out of hell. Such believers have never embraced a love of the truth, and a love of the person of Yahshua the Messiah, as well as a desire to be made holy and to be conformed to His image. These believers wanted to have a ticket to get into heaven when they die and the freedom to pursue the pleasures of the world while they walk on this earth.

Because these believers motives have been impure, not loving the truth, God has sent them a strong delusion.

II Thessalonians 2:10-12
Because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved...  for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

Many Christians misidentify who is being referred to here because of the statement, “so as to be saved.” They assume that this is speaking of faith in Christ for the remission of sins, and so they assume that it is not speaking of believers, but of the lost. However, the scriptures speak of salvation being both a free gift (Ephesians 2:8,9), as well as something that must be worked out. The saint is born again of the Spirit, receiving a new spirit within his being, and this is a free gift. Yet the soul of man must be saved as the Christian surrenders to the work of the disciple’s cross, crucifying the passions and desires that reside in our sinful flesh and make themselves known in the soul. The Scriptures speak of salvation existing on more than one level, spirit as well as soul.

Hebrews 9:28
So Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

The salvation spoken of in II Thessalonians 2:10 is the same salvation spoken of in Hebrews 9:28. This is a second appearance unto salvation. Having obtained the remission of sins through faith in Christ and being born again of the Spirit, there remains a further salvation of the soul. It is this deliverance of the soul from the bondage of sin that the saint might walk in righteousness and holiness, rather than continuing to live for selfish and sinful passions, that is in focus here. Christ died not just that men and women might be forgiven for sin, but that they might lead lives free of sin. Yahshua came to set the captives free.

Putting all this into perspective, we know that Christ is soon to come back for His Bride, a remnant Bride. In order for the Bride to be separated from the body, a deep sleep must come over the body, even as it did with Adam’s body. What Paul has described here as a deluding influence from God in II Thessalonians 2:11 corresponds to the deep sleep that came over Adam. Remember, it was God who caused a deep sleep to come upon Adam, and we are told that it is again God who sends a deluding influence upon those of His household who have not received a love of the truth.

To confirm the correlation between this delusion and sleep let us examine the following scriptures.

Isaiah 29:10-14
For Yahweh has poured over you a spirit of DEEP SLEEP, He has shut your eyes, the prophets; and He has covered your heads, the seers. And the entire vision shall be to you like the words of a sealed book, which when they give it to the one who is literate, saying, "Please read this," he will say, "I cannot, for it is sealed." Then the book will be given to the one who is illiterate, saying, "Please read this." And he will say, "I cannot read." Then Yahweh said, "Because this people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from me, and their reverence for me consists of tradition learned by rote. Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the discernment of their discerning men shall be concealed."

Note that here God speaks of pouring over the people a spirit of DEEP SLEEP.  It was a deep sleep that God brought upon Adam before He removed the remnant from his body to form a bride. This deep sleep is further defined in this passage as: shutting the eyes of the prophets; covering the heads of the seers; sealing up the vision; cutting off their wisdom and discernment. Isn’t this a perfect parallel to Paul’s words of God sending delusion to those who did not love the truth?

So we see that before the return of the Lord to appear in glory in His saints that a deep sleep will once more come from the Lord upon the body. This does not indicate that the body will just be lying around doing nothing, for many will be prophesying, casting out demons, and performing miracles, but they will be doing so of their own volition for the man of lawlessness will take his seat in the temple made of living stones. At this time a breach will be made in the body of Christ as is being manifested by God’s words to “come out of her My people.” God will then fashion a Bride for His Son from this remnant portion removed from the body. This is a marvelous thing. Just as Eve was separated from the sleeping body of Adam, so is the Bride of  the Last Adam being separated from His sleeping body. She will then be clothed with glory. A deep sleep was brought upon both bodies by God. Just as God took that remnant portion of Adam’s body and formed it into woman, so God will take the remnant removed from the body of Christ and form a Bride. This Bride of Christ will have a glorified body. She will be clothed with the glory of Christ.

I John 3:2-3
Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

We live in awesome days. The church is asleep and a remnant is being removed. We should live with an anticipation for what is soon to occur.

Even as the Jews at the time of Christ’s first coming did not recognize the day of their visitation, so the church of our day will not recognize the day of her visitation. They will be asleep. The Jews of Christ’s day were looking for Christ to appear in a form that was different from His actual appearing. They were looking for a conquering King to come and reestablish the throne of David and give them back their nation. Today the church has similarly embraced faulty ideas of the coming of Christ. They do not anticipate that His appearing will be IN His saints. They are looking for Him to come on the clouds of the sky.

Even as the eyes of the Jews were veiled to the presence of the Son of God in their midst, so will much of the church’s eyes be veiled. Not all will recognize the coming of Christ.

Hebrews 9:28
So Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

Did you note that Christ will appear “to those who eagerly await Him?” Not all will recognize His appearing. It will be those who are awake and alert and who are looking for His return who will see Him. As the church slumbers the separation is taking place. Christ will appear at an hour when the church thinks not and as a thief He will break into His house and steal that which is most precious to Him, His Bride. The others will awaken with a start and realize that they were not ready when the Bridegroom came for the Bride. They will seek to enter in, but the door will have already been shut. They will have to go through the cleansing of the great tribulation and by their patience and perseverance purchase robes wherewith to be clothed.

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Joseph Herrin
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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

The Remnant Bride - Part 6

The Remnant Bride

A deception has been foisted upon the church. The deception says that all Christians are equal before the Father. They will all share the same resurrection, the same reward, the same destiny. This is entirely untrue. Many have confused the remission of sins, which is given freely and in the same measure to all who believe, with sanctification and reward.

Being born of the Spirit is a free gift. It is a gift given equally to all who trust in Christ Yahshua for the forgiveness of their sins. It matters not how long you have trusted in Him, nor how faithfully you have walked before Him. This salvation is a free gift to those who believe. This is the subject of the following parable of Christ.

Matthew 20:1-16
"For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the market place; and to those he said, 'You too go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.' And so they went. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did the same thing. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing; and he said to them, 'Why have you been standing here idle all day long?' They said to him, 'Because no one hired us.' He said to them, 'You too go into the vineyard.' And when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last group to the first.' And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius. And when those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; and they also received each one a denarius. And when they received it, they grumbled at the landowner, saying, 'These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.' But he answered and said to one of them, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go your way, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?' Thus the last shall be first, and the first last."

The pay that all receive equally is the salvation of which we speak. Whether one lives his whole life in obedience to Christ, or whether one comes to trust Him while on his death bed, the pay is the same. Salvation belongs to the Lord and He can dispense it as He wishes. There is no basis for complaint concerning this.

Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.

In the area of reward, however, there is a great variation between what different believers will receive.

Revelation 22:12
“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.”

Not all saints walk with the same degree of faithfulness and worthiness before the Father. Their reward will therefore be different. The apostle Paul tells us that each man’s work will be tested with fire. The quality, or worthiness, of each man’s work will be revealed.

I Corinthians 3:10-15
According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each man be careful how he builds upon it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Yahshua the Messiah. Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. If any man's work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.

It seems that Christians today have given little thought to the issue of reward. There are many who live carelessly, pursuing the things of the carnal nature. Many believe that salvation is enough, that having obtained it, there is nothing else that God requires of them. They therefore walk in oblivion, ignorant of God’s voice and His desire for them.

Consider again the parable of the stewards from Luke 12:42-48. The Lord indicates that there are some who will be found faithful and waiting. These are called blessed. Additionally, there are those who will say in their heart that the master delays and they will begin to carouse and act wickedly, mistreating others. These will be cut to pieces and assigned a portion with the unbelievers.
There is another group, however. This group is those who were ignorant of their master’s will. They did things worthy of a flogging, but they received fewer stripes because they were unaware of their master’s will.

Without a doubt, it is desirable to be among those who are faithful. It is better to receive praise and reward than a reprimand and stripes. Many will suffer loss, whether their disobedience springs from wicked carnality or ignorance of God’s will. As we will see, this loss extends even to whether the saints of God will be counted worthy to be among those who are called the Bride of Christ.

Heart4God Website:    

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Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
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Monday, January 17, 2022

The Remnant Bride - Part 5

Many are Called, but Few are Chosen

How awful it would be to receive a summons to the wedding feast of a great king’s son, only to be singled out upon arrival for not being appropriately dressed. To have the attention of all upon you in such a situation would be embarrassing beyond measure. However, to then be seized as a trespasser, bound hand and foot, and cast out of this elect gathering would be devastating. It would truly be a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth.

This is a situation that we would all like to avoid. However, if I am correct, it will be the fate of a large portion of the church. The following passage gives us an indication of the fate that awaits many.

Matthew 22:1-14
And Yahshua answered and spoke to them again in parables, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king, who gave a wedding feast for his son. And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come.  Again he sent out other slaves saying, 'Tell those who have been invited, "Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast."' But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them. But the king was enraged and sent his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and set their city on fire. Then he said to his slaves, 'The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.' And those slaves went out into the streets, and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests. But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw there a man not dressed in wedding clothes, and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?' And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' For many are called, but few are chosen."

The “king” in this passage clearly refers to God the Father. He is giving a wedding feast for “his son,” Yahshua the Messiah. He sends his servants out to announce the feast and to invite the guests to come. The servants are God’s prophets, and the guests, referred to here, represent Israel.

Israel, however, does not respond, so the king sends more servants out with a more explicit and emphatic message. Again, his servants are met with indifference. Many of those invited are caught up in their own pursuits and are aloof to the king and his invitation. Some are even more wicked and take the king’s messengers and abuse them and kill some.

The king is infuriated at this. In response He sends out his armies, destroys the murderers and sets their city on fire. The city is clearly referring to Jerusalem and her inhabitants.

Matthew 23:37-38
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!”

The guests that have been twice invited are now deemed to be unworthy, so the king sends his servants out to the main highways to find guests to fill his wedding hall. This indicates that the gentiles throughout the whole world are now being invited.

The king’s servants bring in those both evil and good. Some have asserted that this refers to the lost and the saved. Many preachers and teachers of the word of God have difficulty describing any of God’s children as being wicked. God, however, reveals no such difficulty in calling a spade a spade. A look at the following parable will make it clear that there are both evil and good, worthy and unworthy in the household of God.

Luke 12:42-48
And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. Truly I say to you, that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But if that slave says in his heart, 'My master will be a long time in coming,' and begins to beat the slaves, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk; the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him, and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers. And that slave who knew his master's will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, shall receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. And from everyone who has been given much shall much be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.”

We see from this parable that there are servants in God’s house that are wicked or evil, as well as those who are faithful. These are both members of God’s house, the church. Likewise, those brought into the wedding feast are all from God’s house. Some, however, are not as worthy as others.

Returning to the wedding feast, we see that the wedding hall has been filled. It has been filled with members from the household of God. The king then comes in to look over the guests and finds one without a wedding garment. This saint does not have on a robe of worthiness.

Revelation 3:4-5
“But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white; for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall thus be clothed in white garments.”

As indicated in the preceding scripture, the garment indicates worthiness. To not have one reveals that the person has been accounted to be not worthy. The king’s question to the unprepared guest could actually be expressed in this way, “How did you come to be here at the wedding feast of my son, seeing that you are unworthy to be here?” The guest is speechless. There is no defense for his lack of preparation. He is hastily removed from the wedding feast.

Surprisingly, at the end of Christ’s parable, we are told that what happened to this man is not a rare occurrence. To the contrary, we are told, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” It is the remnant that are chosen, that are accounted worthy to be at the wedding feast.

A further note that must be mentioned from this parable is that the unworthy guest was apparently unaware of his plight. His judgment came upon him quickly. He was deceived in thinking that he was appropriately arrayed, when he was not. It is a similar deception, a lack of awareness, and a state of slumber that is preventing the majority of Christians today from realizing that they are in the same peril.

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Friday, January 14, 2022

The Remnant Bride - Part 4

The Bride’s Eunuch Ministers

This book is primarily focused upon the Bride of Christ, but it is prudent to take a brief look at those who are called as ministers to prepare the Bride. The way in which these ministers perform their service will greatly impact the preparation of the Bride. The book of Esther contains a type of these last days ministers. They are represented by Hegai, who was an eunuch in the service of King Ahasuerus.

Hegai’s responsibilities were very similar to the description given to those ministers whom Yahshua gave to the body of Christ to bring her to maturity and fulness of stature.

Ephesians 4:11-13
And Yahshua gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.

We see here that God’s ministers are equippers and are called to a work of building up, or preparing the body of Christ. This was Hegai’s duty as well. Hegai was charged with preparing the young virgins to meet the king in a most intimate manner. He was to equip them with the manners, behavior, and mindset of those called to intimacy with the king. The Apostle Paul recognized this calling on his life.

II Corinthians 11:2
For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.

Paul was an apostle, and he states that Christ gave apostles, as well as the other ministers mentioned, to perform a function in preparing the body of Christ to fulfill its calling and to come to maturity and the fulness of the stature of Christ. This calling on the body is too easily glanced over, so it won’t hurt to restate it. The body of Christ is called to attain to the fulness of the stature that belongs to Yahshua the Messiah. When one considers that Yahshua is the Head of the body, it makes sense to assert that the body is to attain to His fulness. The Head and the body are to be a perfect match for one another. It would be inappropriate to have a mature head attached to an immature body.

What must be the qualifications and character of these ministers whom Yahshua has given to bring forth this maturity? Imagine, these ministers are called to equip and build up the body so that it is an equitable match for the Head. What a tremendous responsibility. Indeed, apart from the grace of God, it is an impossible task to be charged with.

However, as awesome as the calling is upon the minister, the body has an even greater calling. For she is to “grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:15). It has somehow become overlooked in this passage, and in the exercise of the responsibilities of ministers toward the body, that the minister is really not the important one in this relationship. The minister is merely a servant of God who is given duties in regard to the body. It is the body that is the true focus. This becomes apparent when we look back at Hegai’s role in regard to the virgins he was entrusted to oversee and prepare. King Ahasuerus desired a bride, even as Yahshua desires a Bride. He wanted a queen that was suited to himself. This is true of Yahshua as well. He desired a beautiful, purified virgin who would respond in obedience to him. The parallel between Christ and His Bride is easily seen here.

The eunuch was a minister of the king charged with the responsibility of preparing this bride for him. The eunuch was not the focus of the king’s desire, the bride was. The eunuch’s ministry and calling existed only as long as there were virgins to be made ready to meet the king. The eunuch served the king, but he did so by serving the young virgins being prepared for the king. In a very real sense, the eunuch’s calling was inferior to the virgins’ calling. It was a much greater honor to be the bride of the king than to be an eunuch minister who filled the temporary position of preparing the virgin to be a bride. Paul gave voice to this understanding in the following verse:

I Corinthians 4:10
We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor.

Again, the clarity of the calling of ministers is brought forth as we consider that the king was pining away in his heart for a bride. After Vashti was removed, it is said that the king forgot his anger and he began to long once more for a bride. The king’s desire for a bride had nothing to do with a desire to see more ministers prancing around the palace. On the contrary, the ministers existed because the king desired to have a bride that was suitable for him. The king did not wish to see the eunuch paraded around in finery, he wanted to see the bride adorned. The eunuch was not the focus. The bride was the focus.

This is certainly clear enough when it is related to kings and brides of days gone by, but somehow it has become muddled and confused in the present day kingdom of God. To look at things today, an observer would have to conclude that the ministers are the very most important thing and those they “serve” are of lesser import. However, this is a perversion of God’s design.

Like the eunuch, the minister’s role is to prepare the Bride of Christ for intimacy with the King. The minister is given his charge because he knows what is pleasing to the king and what is not. He is to communicate this understanding to the virgin Bride. He is not to flaunt his role, or elevate his calling in an unseemly manner. He is not to appear superior to the other members of the body. He is called to be a servant.

The minister is especially to guard against any abnormal affection or attraction between himself and the Bride of Christ. He is to be as an eunuch in regard to the Bride. He is not to seek fulfillment through attracting the Bride’s affection to himself. He is to direct all of the Bride’s passion toward Yahshua the Messiah. To fail in this in the least way is to place oneself on dangerous ground for the Bride belongs to God and His name is Jealous (Exodus 34:14). Yahshua said,

Matthew 19:12
"For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.”

The minister belongs to the latter group. As he fulfills his calling to the Bride of Christ, he is to comport himself as an eunuch. He is not to lay hands on the Bride in an unholy manner, nor is he to be attracted to her, or to receive her affection to himself.

Today this happens all too often. Unfortunately, our current Christian religious system is constructed in such a way that the minister and the Bride are thrust into a detrimental symbiotic relationship with each other. It is not uncommon to hear of ministers having affairs with members of the bodies they are called to minister unto. Yet, these outward and visible trespasses are merely the tip of the iceberg. For every minister that commits adultery with a member of the body, there are a thousand more who have emotional and soul ties between themselves and those they minister to that are immoral and which are considered as adulterous in God’s sight.

In the last 2000 years the body of Christ and her ministers have deviated from the callings placed upon them. Peter proclaimed to the body of Christ, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (I Peter 2:9). Somehow, we have changed this to mean that the ministers are a royal priesthood, and the body is a sub-class we call laity. The ministers “proclaim the excellencies”” of God, and the body listens to them do it week by week.

This was not God’s purpose at all. God did not establish a laity in the body of Christ, nor did He establish a cadre of ministers who are superior to the rest of the body. The ministers are servants. They are to bring the body to the fulness of the stature of Christ. History clearly shows how we arrived where we are at now. Satan was the architect of the deception and the fleshliness of man was the motivating force that caused the church to adopt current forms. The error of the clergy/laity division was established largely due to two forces that both arise out of the flesh. There are some men who are driven by a desire to hold positions of honor and preeminence, and there are others who have found the requirements of discipleship too demanding and who have sought a way to lessen the demands upon themselves.

The first group finds their flesh gratified though the false classification of clergy, and the latter finds theirs fulfilled in the equally false and less rigorous classification of laity. The two have formed a symbiotic relationship that fulfills the fleshly desires of both groups. This arrangement works so well that it has remained in place for centuries and has withstood such threats to it as The Reformation and an assortment of revivals. This arrangement, however, is not according to God’s design. It keeps the Bride in a state of perpetual immaturity to the dissatisfaction of Christ.

Two things must occur to correct this error. Those who are true ministers of Christ must adopt the mindset of John the Baptist saying,  "I must decrease that the body of Christ might increase." Those who are among the body must rise to the calling upon their lives and embrace the rigors of true discipleship. Yes, being a disciple calls for a much purer devotion than calling oneself a layperson, but the rewards are such that Paul said, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us”” (Romans 8:18).

The minister is not to obscure the calling of the Bride, he is to clarify it. God’s true ministers are given their positions because they themselves have walked in intimacy with the Father and they have been given an understanding of what the Father seeks as He prepares a Bride for His Son. Though the minister is a servant, he is also accorded honor. God always gives honor with responsibility. A servant who is faithfully discharging his duties is to be accorded great honor and those who receive of his ministry are to honor him in the sphere of his duties.

It was clearly recorded for our benefit that Esther listened to the voice of Hegai, the king’s minister, and she responded to his words. We are told that when the virgins were presented to the king following their year of preparation, they could take anything in with them that they desired. It was to their benefit, however, to listen to the advice of the eunuch in this matter. Not all did so. Not all were found pleasing to the king. Only one delighted him so much that he made her his queen.

Esther 2:15, 17
Now when the turn of Esther... came to go in to the king, she did not request anything except what Hegai, the king's eunuch who was in charge of the women, advised. And Esther found favor in the eyes of all who saw her... And the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she found favor and kindness with him more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen.

Esther listened to the voice of Hegai. The king had appointed Hegai to his task for good reason. He knew what was pleasing to the king. His advice was to be taken seriously. To ignore his voice was to risk the king’s displeasure.

The Bride of Christ must likewise be attentive to the voice of God’s eunuch ministers. They will be given understanding of what is pleasing to the King. They will be entrusted with the wisdom to discern the qualities that the Bridegroom seeks in His Bride. The author of the book of Hebrews writes:

Hebrews 13:17
Obey your leaders, and submit to them  for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.

Not all of those who are called to meet the Bridegroom will be as attentive to this instruction as Esther was to Hegai, nor will all ministers be as faithful to discharge their duties as Hegai was. This calls for discernment among those who hear the call to intimacy with Christ. It is certain that a refining will come to both the Bride and the ministers assigned to her. Yahshua is zealous for His Bride. Woe to those ministers who have been stealing the Bride’s affection and who have touched her in an unholy manner. Among both ministers and the Bride it will be true that “many are called, but few are chosen.”

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Joseph Herrin
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Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The Remnant Bride - Part 3

The Bride as Seen in Esther

The Bible is full of images of brides. These images were given to provide understanding of the ultimate bride, which is the Bride of Christ.  In the book of Esther we read of a bride that was prepared for a king. Even so, the Bride of Christ is being prepared for her King.

The events of the book of Esther take place within the empire of the Medes and the Persians during the time of Israel’s and Judah’s exile. King Ahasuerus was a Mede. He was also known by the Greek name Xerxes. He reigned from 486 to 465 B.C..

 In the third year of his reign he gave a banquet and “displayed the riches of his royal glory and the splendor of his great majesty for many days...”” (Esther 1:4). On the seventh day of his great banquet he commanded his eunuchs “to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown in order to display her beauty to the people and the princes, for she was beautiful” (Esther 1:11).

The timing is important to note here. It was on the seventh day of the great banquet that the queen was commanded to come forth. We are told in scripture, “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (II Peter 3:8). The world since Adam has experienced 6,000 years; 4,000 before Christ, and 2,000 since His birth. This equates to 6 days. We are just entering into the 7th millennium, or the 7th day.

King Ahasuerus, in this illustration, is a type of Yahshua the Messiah, the King of Kings. On the 7th day Yahshua will summon His Queen to come before Him, but because she does not revere Him as Lord, she will refuse to answer His summons, presented by His eunuchs (which equate to God's ministers or to the seven spirits of God).

Esther 1:12-13, 15
But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king's command delivered by the eunuchs. Then the king became very angry and his wrath burned within him. Then the king said to the wise men who understood the times... "According to law, what is to be done with Queen Vashti, because she did not obey the command of King Ahasuerus delivered by the eunuchs?"

Even so, let the wise men and women of our day, who discern the times, realize that this same event is being played out. Notice what was determined to be done to Queen Vashti due to her failure to revere King Ahasuerus as her lord and to respond in obedience to his summons.

Esther 1:19
"If it pleases the king, let a royal edict be issued by him and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media so that it cannot be repealed, that Vashti should come no more into the presence of King Ahasuerus, and let the king give her royal position to another who is more worthy than she."

Due to disobedience, Vashti was no longer permitted to enter the presence of the king. Much of the body of Christ today also is failing in obedience to their King and they will be excluded from the honor of entering His presence. “Another who is more worthy” will be accorded this honor.
For all those saints who have been falsely taught that a confession of faith in Christ affords them all of the honor of heaven and access to God’s presence, as well as access to all of God’s most holy things, this is a wake-up call. It is those who are worthy who will be granted such honor.

It does not say that Vashti was killed, or imprisoned. She was simply stripped of her honor. How terrible to be betrothed to the king, yet denied access to his presence. Shame due to her folly followed her for the rest of her life. What tremendous grief she must have felt when her royal position was given to another. Many in the body of Christ are making the same error today. Shame and grief will be their portion as well.

Much of the body of Christ has been presented with a distorted view of God’s desire for them. They have been taught that expressing faith in Yahshua the Messiah to attain salvation is the pinnacle of what is set before them. Unknown to much of the church, salvation is only the beginning, it is not the end. Salvation is a loosing from the bondage to sin that we should forevermore become slaves to righteousness (Romans 6). We were formerly conformed to the ways of a fallen and sinful world, now we are to be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). This conforming comes as a process. Forgiveness of sin is but the first step in this process.

Many saints today, having confessed faith in Christ for the remission of sin, are then assured by others that they can now continue on to pursue personal happiness much as they did before salvation. They are even taught that God will be there to help them achieve the selfish longings of their hearts. The Lordship of Christ is overlooked, or given very minimal attention. Such saints ultimately fall into the pattern of Queen Vashti. They love the honor of being wed to the King, but they see the King as existing to meet their needs. Obedience is foreign to them. They obey only when God’s desire for them coincides with their own desire.

When Yahshua calls those who have been betrothed to Him to respond in obedience in this hour, many will refuse. Yahshua will then respond as King Ahasuerus; He will restrict access to His presence to the disobedient ones. He will then search for another who is more worthy to be His Bride. This obedient Bride will be given honor and afforded access to His presence.

We are told that after the anger of King Ahasuerus subsided that he remembered his queen. He could not repeal the royal edict, so his advisers counseled him to have a new queen sought out. Beautiful virgins from all over his kingdom were gathered to his capitol and they were placed under the care of Hegai, the eunuch in charge of the king’s harem. Hegai was charged with the responsibility of preparing these chosen ones to meet the king. Esther was among those picked for consideration to become the bride of Ahasuerus.

Once selected, these beautiful young virgins were not immediately ready to go into the king’s chamber. A preparation process was required first. For these young women the process lasted an entire year.

Esther 2:12
For the days of their beautification were completed as follows: six months with oil of myrrh and six months with spices and the cosmetics for women.

It was only after the virgin went through a year of preparation that she was ready to be presented to the king. The first six months of this process was marked by the pronounced usage of oil of myrrh. Myrrh should be recognized by believers as a spice that was used in preparing bodies for burial. After Christ’s crucifixion we are told that His body was prepared for burial and myrrh is especially mentioned.

I think it is significant in the description of this event found in the book of John that it repeatedly states that Christ’s body was taken away and prepared. The Bride is a remnant portion of the body of Christ, and, as is seen in the book of Esther, a preparation with oil of myrrh is an important part of her being made ready.

John 19:38-40
And after these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Yahshua, but a secret one, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Yahshua; and Pilate granted permission. He came therefore, and took away His body. And Nicodemus came also, who had first come to Him by night; bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight. And so they took the body of Yahshua, and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.

Myrrh, for the virgin bride candidates of the king, represented death as well. The one chosen to be the bride of the king was to live for the king’s pleasure. She was to respond to his summons with quick obedience. No longer was her life her own, she belonged to another. Essentially, she was to die to her own life. In the same way the scriptures tell those betrothed to Christ that they are no longer their own, “For you have been bought with a price” (I Corinthians 6:20).

Death is the first step of preparation that those who would become the Bride of Christ must go through. Salvation is not an end. It is a beginning. Our salvation was purchased with the blood of Yahshua. The purchase price was exceedingly high, but it was paid. We are now no longer our own. We must die to our own desires, goals, and ambitions. Christ’s life must become our life, His will our will, His desires our desires.

This death process doesn’t come all at once, nor in a single moment of time. The flesh’s desire to seek after self is firmly entrenched in our being. It takes considerable time just to identify all of the ways in which we have sought our own welfare. Some forms of selfishness are very subtle. The scriptures teach us that even our righteousness, that which we deem to be good, is as filthy rags in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6).

It is in this death process that obedience is learned and an end of personal initiative is brought forth. This time of preparation is designed to produce a suitable and compatible Bride for Christ. She must become like Him, conformed to His image.

Death to personal initiative was a characteristic of Yahshua. It was exemplified in His words at Gethsemane, “Nevertheless, not My will, but Thy will be done” (Luke 22:42). This was a characteristic which Vashti lacked, and it cost her that which was most precious to her. It is appropriate that this failure was the first thing addressed among those who would contend for the opportunity to replace Vashti. It will likewise be the foremost issue addressed among those who are called to be the Bride of Christ.

In the story of King Ahasuerus’ search for a suitable bride, we see some profound truths that are equally applicable to the Bride of Christ. The king’s first bride was rejected due to a failure of obedience. A more worthy bride was then chosen to replace the one who had disqualified herself. Those called to betrothal to Christ need to take this lesson to heart. As we will see in subsequent chapters, many are called, but few are chosen. Esther distinguished herself by her obedience. She listened to the voice of the king’s eunuch who was given charge over her, to prepare her, and she found favor in the eyes of the king.

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