Choosing of a Bride.
Choice is a great thing.
Read the full account in...
Choosing of a Bride.
Now in the ninth verse of the twenty-first chapter of Revelation:
And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, and I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
In many things of life we are given a choice. The way of life itself is a choice. We have a right to make our own way, choose our own way that we want to live. Education is a choice. We can choose whether we are going to be educated, or whether we are not going to be educated. That's a choice that we have. Right and wrong is a choice. Every man every woman, boy and girl, has to choose whether they are going to try to live right, or not live right. It's a choice. Choice is a great thing. Your eternal destination is a choice. And maybe tonight some of you will make that choice of where you will spend eternity, before this service ends tonight. There will be one time-that if you turn God down many times-there will be one time that you'll turn him down the last time. There is a line between mercy and judgment, and it's a dangerous thing for a man or a woman, boy or girl, to step across that line; for there is no return when you step across that deadline. So tonight, it might be the time that many will make their decision where they will spend the endless eternity.
There's another choice that we have in life, that is a life's companion. A young man, or a young woman, stepping out on life has been given a right to make a choice. The young man chooses; the young woman has a right to accept or reject it. But it's still a choice on both sides, both man and woman. They have a right to choice. Also, you have a choice as a Christian. You have a choice of the church here in America, so far, that you can go to. That is your own American privilege to choose any church that you want to belong to. That is a choice. You don't have to go to any of them if you don't want to. But if you want to change from the Methodist to the Baptist, or the Catholic to a Protestant, or so forth, there is nobody can tell you, or make you, come to any certain church. That's our, that's our freedom. That's what our democracy is. Every man can choose for himself-freedom of religion. And that is a great thing. God help us to keep it as long as we can.
You have also a choice whether, when you choose this church, you can choose whether-you in this church-whether you will choose a church that will guide you to your eternal destination. You can choose a church that has a certain creed, that you might think that creed is just what you want. Or, the other church has their creed. And then there is the Word of God you have a choice of. You have to make your choice. There is an unwritten law among us, of choosing. I believe it was Elijah, one time upon Mount Carmel, after the showdown, in a great hour of the crisis, that we're just about to come to right now. And perhaps it may be to you, or I, tonight-that we make this choice like the Mount Carmel experience. Frankly, I think it is going on world-wide, now. But there will soon be a time where that you will have to make a choice.
And you men here of your denominational churches, just believe this: that the hour is right on you, when you're going to make a choice. You're either going to go into the World Council, or you're not going to be a denomination anymore. You're going to have to do that. And that choice is coming soon. And it's a dangerous thing to wait till that last hour too, because you might take on something that you could never shake out of it. You know, there is a time when you can be warned; then if you step across that line of warning, then you're already marked on the other side, branded.
Remember, when the jubilee year come, and the priest rode with his trumpet sounding, that every slave could go free. But if they refused to accept their freedom, then he had to be taken to the temple to a post, and an awl bored him through the ear. And then he served his master always. And it was put on his ear as a type of hearing. Faith cometh by hearing. He heard that trumpet, but he didn't want to listen to it. And many times men and women hear God's truth, and see it vindicated, and proven truth. But yet they don't want to hear it. There is some other reason, there is some other choosing that they have, than to face up to truth, and facts. Therefore, their ears can be closed to the gospel. They'll never hear it again. My advice to you-when God speaks to your heart, you act right then! Elijah gave them a choice which they should.... “Choose you this day whom you shall serve. If God be God, serve him; but if Baal be God, serve him.”
Now as we see that all of the natural things is a type of the spiritual things, that we went through in our lesson this morning-as the sun and its nature. That was my first Bible. Before I ever read a page in the Bible, I knew God. Because, the Bible is written everywhere in nature, and it just corresponds with the Word of God-how the death, burial, and resurrection of this nature, and the sun rising, crossing, setting, dying, rising again-just so many things that we could type God in nature, that we have to bypass for this message.
Now if the spiritual... or the natural is a type of the spiritual, then the choosing of a bride in the natural is a type of choosing a bride, the bride in the spiritual. Now it is a serious thing when we go to choose a wife, a man, for the vow here is, “Until death do we part.” That is how we should keep it. And you take that vow before God, that only death will separate you. And I think we should.... A man in his right mind that is planning a future, that he should choose that wife very careful. Be careful what you're doing. And a woman, choosing a husband-or accepting the choice of a husband-should be real careful what she is doing, and especially in these days. A man should think, and pray, before he chooses a wife.
I think today what has got so many divorce cases, now, that we lead the world, in America, in divorce cases. We lead the rest of the world. There is more divorces here than anywhere else. This nation, and supposed to be, and thought of, a Christian nation. What a reproach! Our divorce courts.... I think the reason of it is, because that men has got away from God, and women has got away from God. And we find that if a man prayed, and a woman prayed over the matter -Not just look at a pretty set of eyes, or big strong shoulders, or such as that, or some other worldly affection-but would look first to God, and say, “God, is this your plan?”
And if we would study what we're doing when we're going to get married, when we choose our wife or husband, if we would study it over. A man should pray earnestly, for he could ruin his entire life. Remember, the vow is, “Until death do we part.” And he could ruin his life by making the wrong choice. But if he knows what he is making the wrong choice, and is marrying a woman that isn't fit to be his wife, and he does it anyhow-then it's his fault. If the woman takes a husband, and knows that he is not fit to be a husband to you, then that's your own fault, after you know what's right and wrong. So you shouldn't do it until you thoroughly pray through.
The same applies of choosing a church. Now, you must pray over the church that you are fellowshipping in. Remember, churches have spirits. Now, I don't want to be critical, but I realize that I'm an old man, and I've got to leave here one of these days. I've got to answer at the day of the judgment, for what I say tonight, or any other time. Therefore I've got to be dead earnest, and truly convicted. But you go into a church, and if you'll watch the behavior of that church-you just watch the pastor awhile-and you'll usually find that the church acts like the pastor. Sometimes I wonder if we just don't get one another's spirit, instead of the Holy Spirit. You get to a place where a pastor is real radical, and carrying on-you'll find out the congregation is the same way. I'll bring you to a church where I seen the pastor stand, jerk their heads back and forth. You watch the congregation. They do the same thing. You take a pastor that will just gulp down anything, usually the church will do the same thing. So if I was choosing a church, I'd choose a genuine, fundamental, full-gospel Bible church, if I was choosing one to put my family in. Choose.
Again, the kind of a woman that a man would choose will reflect his ambition and his character. If a man chooses the wrong woman, it reflects his character. And what he ties himself to shows truly what's in him. A woman reflects what's in the man, when he chooses her for wife. It shows what's down in him. No matter what he says outside, watch what he marries. I go to a man's office, and he says he is a Christian-pin-ups all around on the walls, that old booglie-wooglie music going on. I don't care what he says, I don't believe his testimony, because his spirit is feeding on them things of the world. What say if he would marry a chorus girl, or what if he would marry a sex queen, or just a pretty, modern Ricketta? It reflects, it shows what he has in his mind-of what his future home is going to be -because he took her to raise his children by. And whatever she is, that's the way she will raise those children. So it reflects what's in the man. A man that takes a woman like that shows just what he is thinking of the future. Could you imagine a Christian doing a thing like that? No, sir, I could not. A true Christian will not look for such beauty queens, and chorus girls, and sex queens. He'll look for Christian character.
Now, then when we change back now for a moment to the spiritual side. And when you see a church that's in the world, acts like the world, anticipating in the world, partaking of the world, counting God's commandments as if he never had wrote them, then you can just imagine.... Christ ain't going to take a bride like that. Could you imagine taking the modern church today for a bride? Not my Lord! I could hardly see that. No! Remember, now a man and his wife are one. Would you join yourself to a person like that? If you would, it would certainly kind of disappoint my faith in you.
Then, how about God joining Himself to something like that? A regular denominational prostitute! Do you think that He would do it? Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof-He would never do it. She must have His character in her. The real true born-again church must have the character that was in Christ, because the husband and wife are one. And if Jesus did only that which pleased God, kept His Word, and manifested His Word, His bride will have to be of the same kind of character. She could not, by no means, be a denomination; because then, no matter how much you want to say “No”, she is controlled by a board somewhere that tells her what to do, and what she can't do-and many times a million miles off the true Word!
It is too bad that we ever got away from the real leader that God left us, to lead the church. He never sent state presbyters, He never sent a bishop, cardinal, priest, popes; He sent the Holy Ghost for the church, to lead the church. “When he, the Holy Ghost is come, he will lead you into all truth, reveal these things to you that I've told you, bring them to your remembrance, and will show you things that is to come.” The Holy Spirit was to do that. Now, the modern church hates that. They don't like it. So how could she be the bride of Christ? The people of today choosing a modern denomination-what it does, it only reflects their poor understanding of the Word. I don't mean to hurt, but I mean to let it go deep enough till that you will look at it.
Read the full account in...
Choosing of a Bride.
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: