The Battle for the Bride
Reviewing the Burden
In our first article The Burden for the Bride, the Lord showed us more of the eternal purpose behind the slaying of His Son from before the foundation of the world. The Great Purpose of the Lamb’s killing was to prove and Eternally Manifest the Son’s capacity to steward divine passion in perfect subjection to the divine will of His Father.
We also saw that from this Purpose derived the creational purpose of bringing forth a Bride for the Son who would indeed arouse His great passion—over Whose winning back from the dead His own Passion would be put on trial for proving that supreme loyalty to the Father. (She would be His Trophy of this accomplishment.)
By this, we saw that the Son’s perfecting forms the context of human salvation, not the other way around. We further learned how the Son’s perfect winning of His Bride directly counteracted the first man’s failure to the same task regarding the first bride, whose failure served in wisdom to trigger the Greater Purpose.
Once this was established, the Father showed us how the Holy Spirit, typified by both Eliezer and Elijah, has gone forth through the ages to both gather and then cull out the Bridal candidates for the Son in the image of Esther. In the culling process, we saw how the Bride-to-be must share in preparations of proving Her own capacity to subject Her passions to the Father’s Will, to make Her equal for companionship to the perfected Son.
Our study closed with the revelation of 5 tracks of historic purpose to which all end times signs are subject—purposes which the Bride-to-be must engage under Holy Spirit’s shepherding so as to grow up into Her perfection, thus enabling the Son to return for Her. These tracks included 1) the completed worldwide preaching of the kingdom gospel, 2) the completed number of gentile conversions, 3) the restored remnant of Israel, 4) the completed number of martyrs, and 5) the Bride’s own complete restoration through the Spirit of Elijah out of fallen waywardness typified by Israel’s seduction by Baal worshippers.
Onto the Contest
This fifth purpose of Bridal restoration by the Spirit of Elijah opens us to the theme of today’s article, the Battle for the Bride. Throughout the lore of human romance has been a role played by a third unsavory character. It is the part of “the villain” or the “false suitor.” The false suitor is ever in competition with the true suitor, the hero, to win over the maiden bride.
The reason this triad exists in human romance is because it is first found in eternal lore. We are speaking here of the devil, and his ultimate incarnation through the one known as the “man of sin.” From the beginning, the devil has sought to interpose himself between the heavenly Groom-to-be (the Son of God) and the eternal Bride-to-be (the redeemed overcoming Body of Christ, the fully completed Church).
So what do we find in the human lore about the maiden and the false suitor? We always find that the maiden has a choice to make. She is caught in the middle between the true suitor and the false suitor. And over this there is a contest.
Now in some cases, the spoiler is seen as a villain with whom the maiden wants nothing to do. The villain seeks to take the maiden by force and intimidation of some sort. But in other cases, the spoiler is seen as a deceiver, seeking to woo the maiden with false promises and negative aspersions toward the true hero, having hidden agendas of his own self-advancement that ultimately reveal him to be a villain. Either way, the presence of the villain stokes friction.
What does all this mean to the story of the Lamb’s Burden for the Bride?
The Necessary Role of the Villain
In order for the Lamb to win His Bride, not only must He die over Her, but He must experience that Death by way of a Deceiving Villain, the devil, to be incarnated as the man of sin, by whose hands the Lamb is actually put to death and whose goal is ever to keep Lamb and Bride-to-be from ever becoming one in matrimony.
Thus it has also been, that the Holy Spirit of Eliezer and Elijah has always had to contend with the devil and man of sin in gathering and culling out the Lamb’s bridal people.
The devil has done all in his power against the Spirit of Eliezer to keep a people from ever coming to know the Lord, failing which he has done all in his hand against the Spirit of Elijah to seduce that people back to himself, sullying them through materialistic idolatry and sorcery (aka the spirits of Balaam and Jezebel) into eventual manifest union with the coming man of sin.
In all this we see the necessity of the part of the Villain:
· It was the devil who seduced the first mankind into failing stewardship of passion to divine will, bringing sin into the world to trigger the Great Purpose.
· It was the devil who seduced the first people Israel, the Lamb’s original espoused wife to be, establishing the first battle with the Spirit of Elijah.
· It was the devil who through the first son of perdition from within Israel slew the Lamb in His Own course of seeking to re-win His fallen maiden, becoming the means of proving His perfected subjection of passion to Father’s will, fulfilling the Great Purpose.
· It has been the devil who has forever since opposed the evangelistic Spirit of Eliezer throughout earth’s generations from coming to the Lamb, yet only increasing Eliezer’s reach all the more.
· It has been the devil who, as with Israel of old, has contested the purifying Spirit of Elijah in God’s people since the first apostles, forcing the culling out of remnants against the majority possessed of the spirits of Balaam and Jezebel.
· And it continues to be the devil who seeks to bring forth and possess his final man of sin to establish his false union with the Lamb’s people as if he were the true suitor, but which is to culminate in his own demise before the true Lamb.
The mystery in the part of the Villain is that according to the divine wisdom, every contrarian act from first to last has served to precipitate and further the ultimate Great Purpose in the Lamb’s bid to become married to a pure, reborn, resurrected Wife in reward for perfectly subjecting His passion to Father’s will. The false suitor ultimately loses in the heavenlies, just as it is in the lore of human romance.
Once we understand the unpleasant necessity of the Villain to the Great Purpose, we are in position to understand the necessity of our own conflict in growing up into the Lord in hopes of qualifying to be part of His redeemed Bride. And as a prophetic people, we are especially made to understand our peculiar role in service to the Spirit of Elijah in advancing that Purpose. (Fostering such understanding is the core burden of First Love Ministry.)
Reviewing the Burden for Restoration
Again we review the fifth creatorial purpose over which the Burden for the Bride is played out. It is that in which the Spirit of Elijah restores the end time people of the Lamb out of fallen waywardness (“the restoration of all things”) enabling the Lamb to return to consummate His marriage in prize for His past obedience.
As a true prophetic end time people, we have been indentured to the Spirit of Elijah for calling the Lord’s people back to a state of “restored spiritual virginity.” This cleansing of spiritual restoration is referred to as the Bride’s “making herself ready” through the putting on of cleansed garments:
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." 8 It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
These garments are cleansed through washing in the blood of the Lamb who died for Her:
Rev. 7:14….And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 22:14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.
In course, we see the Lord’s own Voice contending with the churches in Revelation over this matter of cleansed garments:
3:4 '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. 5'He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.
That contention within the church is none other than the Voice of Elijah, and it is against the work of the seducing Villain in the midst of the church. The Spirit of Elijah is specifically contending with the spirits of Balaam and Jezebel:
Rev. 2:14 'But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. 16 'Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth. 20 'But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 'I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. 22 'Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. 23 'And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.
Please understand this is not a soft spoken contention. The severity of contention over the cleansing of the Bride’s garments is revealed to us in Malachi:
3:1 "Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming," says the LORD of hosts. 2 "But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap. 3 "He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness. 4:1 "For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze," says the LORD of hosts, "so that it will leave them neither root nor branch."5 "Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. 6 "He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse."
The Unavoidably Contentious Nature of the Restoration
Note above the reference to Elijah, tying everything the Lord says in Revelation about clean garments to the Spirit of Elijah. And further see how this is a severe cleansing, not a light washing. It is a scrubbing!
We of course see echoes of all these things in John the Baptist, even the very words of Malachi. John warned of the burning of the chaff. But here we are talking about the return of the end time Spirit of Elijah, and the contention by that Spirit within the heart of the end time church polluted by Balaamite and Jezebelic doctrine and practice. And all of this is on the threshold of the “marriage supper of the Lamb.” Christ cannot return and that supper cannot occur without this restorative cleansing!
People, this is what the Battle for the Bride is all about. It is a battle against the seducing work of satan within the church Herself whose goal is to prevent the Bride from coming forth, but rather to steal the Bride by trickery or force from the Lamb to instead take to himself as the man of sin. Thus we have Paul’s warning about the man of lawlessness within the midst of the church “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.” (II Th. 2:4).
The great originating picture of this Battle is the showdown at Mt. Carmel, which we do not need to rehearse again here. But as Elijah slew the “children of Jezebel” at Carmel when the fire fell before, so will the Spirit of Elijah rise up in this last time again once God releases His Holy Fire on the altar of intercession to expose the prophets of Baal and Jezebel for what they truly are in our midst. It is to such exposure and confrontation we have been called as a true prophetic people.
See how it is God that produces this cleansing division and distinction in the church. Such division is that which “makes for peace” with God (Lk. 19:42), the Prince of Peace. There can be no peace with God in the church without the decisive exposure and expulsion of the prophets of Baal. And the Burden for the Bride cannot be fulfilled without successful prosecution to the end of this Battle for the Bride against the man of sin now rising in our own midst.
Defending the Call to Battle
I stress the words “it is to such exposure and confrontation we have been called as a true prophetic people.” The burden of the Elijah Spirit is a very real burden of the Lord. Its divisiveness is of the Lord. Its battle within the body is of the Lord. We must not feel ashamed as true prophetic people for seeming to be a cause of “trouble making” in the church. Jesus the Bridegroom was a trouble maker. And so is the Friend of the Bridegroom.
Thus it is that this ministry and many others like it carry the burden for restoring righteousness in the church by exposing the villainous seductions being foisted on us in the form of lying signs and wonders supporting doctrines designed to strengthen our love affair with cultural and national flesh. We want the Lord to return more than anyone. But we know He can’t return until His Bride has made Herself ready through the cleansing ministry of Elijah against the man of sin within Her midst. And that only happens by contention.
My constant prayer of late is for the Lord to “get His Woman” and for Him to “evict the man of sin” from the midst of the church. I pray this constantly because I want the Lord to come back, I know He can’t come back until this happens (Acts 3:21), and I know there is nothing else worth living for in this world any more. And now after so many years of sounding forth, it’s not worth doing battle with every false utterance I encounter in a church service or a news article. They just proliferate. I just pray this prayer now in the face of each thing I hear out of the Baal wing of the prophetic church, whether among my own church acquaintances, or on the wings of Charisma, Elijah List, God TV and the like.
But pardon the digression. The conclusion of this two part article is to understand not only the nature of the eternal purpose behind the Father’s Burden for the Son’s Bride, but the reality of the Battle involved within us and on our parts inside the church as an end time Elijah class over that Burden. This is the point of penetrating articles such as Lest the Elect Should Be Deceived: A Look at Lying Signs and Wonders and the body of writings on Purified Identity and The Prophetic Under Seduction. (Be encouraged to constantly review the articles at FirstLoveMinistry.org all of which reflect this contentious Burden for the Bride in some way.)
In all this, I share the burden that Paul bore in desiring to “present every man perfect” and to “present a chaste virgin” to the Lord. It is imperative we be able to smell the difference between cultural Baal prophecy, Jezebellic doctrine and the real Spirit of Christ who makes us ready for His return and marriage. And it’s important we appreciate the genuineness of our calling in the midst of this perpetual Battle.
May all the thoughts captured inside these two articles inspire and anchor you even more in your role as a prophetic facilitator within God's Great Purpose to manifest the Trophy of His Son’s Preeminently Successful Obedience.
(You are that Trophy.)
New Meadow Neck, Rhode Island
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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