The Brides Dressing Room (Full Article)
The Lord is very interested how the bride is preparing herself in the dressing room of her heart. He is looking through the windows of our hearts and the various churches watching her final preparations.
Song 2:9 “My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Behold, he is standing behind our wall,
He is looking through the windows, He is peering through the lattice.
Although He does not know the day or the hour of His coming for her, He certainly is very interested in His brides condition. We may find we are surprised on how much our relationship with others in the body of Christ is relevant to her preparation for the Bridegroom:
Rev. 19:7 “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”
As with the saints past, we each should be excited to make ourselves ready for the Bridegroom, looking forward to His coming. At the same time, since we are a corporate bride, we are to keenly understand our destiny of being one bride, even though He already sees us as one. One can say we are to become a “mutual admiration society”. In other words, we are to “love one another” which is a big part of the bride getting herself ready. In order for the world to say, “See how they love one another” we must be connected in Kingdom relationships.
Christ is sanctifying His bride by the washing of the water with the word as we look in the word of God as in a mirror, spend time with Him and to be sure, the body of Christ in hearing the word of God:
Eph. 5:26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
I believe small gatherings will be a necessity in the future and not an option, returning to the days of the book of Acts and beyond to a closeness we have not enjoyed before. We will be taking our meals together and fellowshipping around His strengths in one another.
1Cor. 14:26 ¶ What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.
His Bride’s Transparency
First of all the Lord Jesus is coming back for one bride (1 Cor. 12) not His brides no matter how many denominations we perceive. In a covenant relationship such as marriage, we pledge ourselves to the other to love unconditionally with total acceptance of becoming one through mutual transformation to become one flesh. The same blood covenant relationship we have with Him, we have with one another. A systemic cleansing comes through the transparent fellowship and exchange we have with one another through us individually in our mutual repentance:
1 John 1:7 – but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
The life is in the blood (Lev.17:11) through a transparent exchanging of His life in us. It is this restoration of true fellowship as we walk in His light that will cleanse the poisons we have in the body of Christ from broken covenants, independence and superficial healings:
Hos. 10:4 – They speak mere words, With worthless oaths they make covenants; And judgment sprouts like poisonous weeds in the field.
Judging the Body Rightly
A big part of the bride making herself ready is in taking the Lord's Table in a covenant worthy manner by rightly discerning the body of Christ- that we are truly one.
1 Cor.11: 17-34 deals with unresolved divisions that existed among the believers when taking Communion together and resulted in sickness and even death of some because of it.
1Cor. 11:29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly.
The heart of unity was being addressed here. I believe the closer the final preparations unfold, it will once again become center stage along with the power to defeat the enemy that comes with it.
The Brides Complexion
Eph. 5:27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
The KJV transcribes the word wrinkle only twice, once in the NT (above) and once in the OT in Job 16:7-8 where his face had become wrinkled (Other translations use: haggard or shriveled) because of strained relationships with the company of people around him. I do not believe the bride Jesus is coming for will have “wrinkles” due to long term unresolved offenses and strained relationships with other members or companies of believers. Be ready, a purging is coming. Better to judge ourselves because the Judge is standing right at the door and the outcome of our day in court my not be as we think. The coming of the Lord is near:
James 5:9 – “Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.”
Jude 21 – keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.
22* And have mercy on some, who are doubting; 23* save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.
Who will wash His bride's feet? (It won’t be our Lord Jesus.)
Jesus left an indelible example of the servant relationship He desired His disciples to have with one another when He stripped Himself of His outer garments, girded Himself with a towel and washed and dried His disciples feet. He did this to everyone of His disciples; including the one He knew was about to betray Him (John 13:14-17).
14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one-another’s feet.
15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.
17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. (NIV)
Jesus spoke very clearly in His actions as well as His words. He did not leave out those who felt they did not need to be washed. He saw through Peter’s false humility and essentially rebuked him when he refused to let Him wash his feet (John 13:8). Meekness is a character trait that had not yet been worked in Peter’s life. v8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
Washing someone else’s feet and letting someone wash ours takes character in either case, humility in one and meekness in the other. It takes real spiritual character to let another man wash your feet. We all want to preserve a certain image of ourselves with our peers and those who are over us. Our pride is quick to reject submitting to any behavior that does not fit that image. I believe very strongly it becomes much larger than a character issue in the broader picture of the Body of Christ when we say, ”NO!” to one another.
This washing of the feet by Jesus was an absolute necessity and not an option, and is purely a relational aspect of our life in Christ. As servants, we need to submit to and be ready to provide this washing process. In addition, when God provides us His messengers we need to allow our feet to be washed and vise-versa. If we consider ourselves part of the bride of Christ, I trust we have had our bath with the washing of the water with the word by the Holy Spirit, but have your feet been washed in and through your relationships? Who will wash His brides feet? It won’t be the Bridegroom.
It is my conjecture that the unity that the Holy Spirit is accomplishing on the earth today between us will not be complete unless we are ready and willing to identify with one another in this way. Can we allow our petty differences to be a decisive factor when Jesus washed Judas’s feet while He knew he was going to betray Him unto death? Can we strip ourselves of our “denominational outer garments” and wash one another’s feet?
When Jesus answered in v8 “Unless I wash you, you have no part in me” I believe He is saying to us, “Unless you wash one another’s feet you have no part with me”.
What part of His life are we not partaking of? Worse yet, could it be that many of us are trampling on the blood of Christ because we regard one another as unclean in our hearts and we refuse to wash one another’s feet and are insulting the Spirit of Grace because of it?
We do not want to be caught unaware at His coming and be counted among those who shrink back (Heb. 10: 38-39) because we are not ready. We want to be dressed in readiness and have our lamps lit. If the Lord is delayed in His return, “Will He find faith on the earth?” from Luke 18 :8
Do we know what time it is? Have we heard the “SHOUT”?
Matt. 25:6 “But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’
*A Christian Love Story” by Zola Levitt is a beautiful rendition of the Jewish custom of matrimony in Jesus day.
It centers on Matt 25: 6 ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’
I will only summarize some of its content here:
After the fascinating and explicit marriage betrothal, it was part of the romantic custom for the Bridegroom to come at night to steal away his bride to bring her to the place he had prepared for her. He would send ahead part of the bridal party to “shout” an awakening call so she would have time to make herself ready and be dressed in her wedding dress. The surprise and anticipation was a big part of the Jewish custom and she and her bridesmaids would have their lamps trimmed ready to journey over the rocky terrain in the darkness with the groom, best man and his party. Seven days later after the wedding and celebration was complete they would return through the same streets. The Bride would then have her veil removed and every one would realize who had just gotten married.
(The author highly recommends this booklet because it explores many facets of the Wedding ceremony, Brides preparation and the return of the Bridegroom, which are timeless, yet more applicable to us today than ever before.)
Both the Holy Spirit and the bride must say, “Come”. We must be ready, waiting in anticipation and hear the Spirit’s call:
Rev. 22:17 – The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.
Luke 12:40 – “ You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.”
*“A Christian Love Story”: The Jewish customs of the Messiah’s time and how He fulfilled them in calling out His Bride, the Church. A new and deeper understanding of the bond between the Bridegroom and each believer- a spiritual “Love Story”
Zola Levitt was the most beloved and well-known Messianic Jewish Bible teacher and Middle East commentator of his day. He was a Jewish Christian thoroughly educated in the synagogues and brought to the Messiah in 1971. He held music degrees from Duquesne University and Indiana University (doctoral coursework completed), and an Honorary Th.D. from Faith Bible College. He played the oboe, English horn, recorder, and piano.