OUR WHITE WEDDING GARMENTS

By Dan Luehrs

 

 

 

“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints” (Revelation 19:7-8 NKJV).

 

The Bible begins with the marriage of Adam and Eve in the book of Genesis and ends with a marriage in the book of Revelation between the Son of God and His bride, the church. I believe with all my heart that we are living in such a time when the bride of Christ is going to be manifested to the world with great power and glory. But before this can come to pass she will have to put on her wedding garments that are clean and bright as the Bridegroom Himself. The Father has waited long for the preparation of His Son’s bride, “His wife has made herself ready!" When I got married I did not dress my wife, she dressed her self, and so must we prepare ourselves for our marriage to Jesus. Our spiritual wedding garments are not like a dress a bride wears in an earthly wedding, but are garments that show how she has been changed from the inside out into a life of purity and devotion to God alone. We can in no way change ourselves by our own will power; God alone must do this from within our heart!

 

I am not talking about some holiness doctrine here, but that our nature will have been changed from the inside out as we put on our garment of marriage with Him. When we get married in the natural we put on a covenant ring to tell others that we are married or engaged, but with God He puts on us a covenant garment for all to see His glory in and through us and to announce to the world that we are His. When we gave our heart to Jesus the engagement process begun for us with Him and as we began to know each other by spending time in His presence, we are changed into His likeness. There is a long (engagement) purifying time of sanctification that we all must go through to prepare us for our wedding day. This is what I will endeavor to write about in this short article.

 

OUR RIGHTEOUS ACTS

 

“… For the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints” (Revelation 19:8).

 

We could tend to believe from this verse that living a sinless life is “The righteous acts of the saints.” But not if we know the Scriptures! “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags…” (Isa 64:6 NKJV). Not one of our good works can save or purify us from a sinful life because we were all sold into sin with Adam. But by the one righteous act of Christ He died on the cross to purify us from all sin forever! It is by His grace and blood that our sins are washed away daily!

 

So, what then are the righteous acts of the saints? We are called to pick up our cross daily and follow the Lamb wherever He goes; this is what purifies our outer garments from a fleshly lifestyle. A cross is an instrument of a bloody death! When we come to Jesus for salvation He cleanses our spirit man, but our outer shell, the flesh, the old nature is still hanging on and that is why we need to go through the process of crucifixion.  These cross situations in our life causes us to die to our flesh so that we have to live by faith and trust in the Son of God. Through this process of faith we are then cleansed from our self filled lifestyle, which we call sanctification. Sanctification may take many years to be worked out in our life-time and we will probably have to retake many of the tests that we flunk. The things that we go through in our life that do not make any sense to us at all are the very things that God is using to prepare us for Himself, this will require much faith and trust on our part as we rest in Him.  It probably will take our whole life-time to be prepared for the Bridegroom, so don’t get discourage after a few years of suffering as a Christian, it will be worth it, for the word promises it!

 

As we choose to die daily through this process of sanctification we mature more like Christ day by day, but the more we fight it, our refining and crushing goes on until we die in the wilderness as the children of Israel did. God revealed to them how to get out of the wilderness, it was through their obedience to follow the cloud of glory and defeat their enemies, but they would not do it. Their greatest enemy was FEAR! Fear kept them from going into the Promise Land and defeating the giants that were bigger than they. Fear crushed them, when the God of peace would have crushed their enemies under their feet! So God had to rise up a whole new generation after them that would obey His voice and receive the promises of God in a land flowing with milk and honey.

 

GARMENTS WHITE AS SNOW

 

 “Come now, and let us reason together," says the Lord, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18 NKJV).

 

There is an old song that goes like this, “What can wash away my sin, nothing but the blood of Jesus.” The song is an oxymoron to the natural mind because we do not think of blood as being a cleansing agent, but one of which makes stains that are hard to get out. But in God’s economy, only the blood of Jesus has the power to cleanse everyone’s garment darkened with sin. Even after we are saved we will still commit sin and must come to Jesus in a repentant heart and ask for forgiveness through His blood. The blood will never lose its power, that’s good news!

 

As Christians our spiritual garments have been symbolically made whiter than snow, but if we do not come to Jesus on a daily basis for cleansing and forgiveness our garments will be spotted by sin and shame. This is something we must take very serious or the Lord will remove our names out of the Book of Life (see Rev. 3:5). Jesus told the church Sardis, “You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments…” (Revelation 3:4-5 NKJV). Every person on earth sins, saved or unsaved, but the question is are we coming to Jesus for His cleansing blood each and everyday. Everyone has to take a physical bath or our body will begin to stink until we cannot handle the stench ourselves. Well, the same is true in the spirit; if we do not go to Christ for cleansing of our sin we will begin to stink in the spirit. Have you ever smelled a stinky Christian? Some who have gone to hell and have come back, say that it stinks so bad that they began to gag. On the other hand, people that have gone to heaven have told of the wondrous fragrance there because there is no sin. Let us keep our wedding garments beautiful and clean for our Beloved.

 

I want to make this clear before we go any farther. Our garments are cleansed only by the blood of Jesus, with no efforts of our own. Yet Jesus said in Revelation 3:18 for us to buy from Him white garments. “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.” If this is true and it is, how do we go about purchasing these white garments? By paying the price to follow the Lamb wherever He goes! Our obedience is the price we pay to God that cleanses our soulish mind of our fleshly ways, for He offends the mind to reveal what is in the heart. Obeying or disobeying? These are the supreme tests which like Abraham had when he was told to sacrifice his son and he passed it. He is now given a place of honor in God throughout eternity. These are what I call spiritual sacrifices that make no sense to our minds at all, but when we obey God they release spiritual authority in the heavenlies over our lives and over demonic powers. Because Jesus was obedient unto death as a High Priest He was given a name above all names. We too must be willing to sacrifice anything for His good pleasure!

 

We are now priests that offer ourselves up to God as a spiritual sacrifice, which is obedience to Him in faith.

 

 “You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5 NKJV).

 

 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service(Romans 12:1 NKJV).

 

We have been bought with the blood of Christ, we are not our own, we are His and our bodies are now a living sacrifice that must be cleansed from all defects that would defile the sacrifice of God. As we offer yourselves up as a living spiritual sacrifice it will cost us everything, our name, reputation, money, and yes even our future plans! God will test our heart on whether we will or will not obey Him so that He can bring us further into all that He has for us. There is a great price for us to pay and it will cost us everything to be obedient, but if we desire to wear the pure white wedding garments it is a must for us to mature so that we will fit into the garment of His likeness. “His wife has made herself ready!" This is the price, are you willing to pay it with your life? What a great exchange, His life, for our life!

 

GOD’S GREAT WINEPRESS

 

“Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? “I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, and trampled them in My fury; their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My robes(Isaiah 63:2-3 NKJV).

 

Anna Roundtree had a prophetic experience with an angel and a winepress that she wrote about in her book called, The Heavens Opened. She says to the angel, “Why is your robe stained at the bottom and on the sleeves?” “I am called to assist in child training--the kind that squeezes the child—like being in a winepress. Theses,” he looked down on the stains, “are the visible signs of the child’s development. The more the stains, the greater the work has progressed within the child. Obedience is not learned easily, Anna. Some on earth never learn it.” -- “Buy this time in you life, my robe should be entirely stained and my face and hands dripping, but there are only stains on my hem and sleeves.” (Page 55 end of quote).

 

In order for us to be prepared for this marriage we will have to be circumcised or sanctified by the cutting away of our flesh, for our sin has spotted our garments. That is why we must go through many trials and tribulations to enter the kingdom of God; this is God’s winepress, our tribulations! Tribulation simply means, “Pressure, anguish, or trouble.” Grapes and olives must be crushed so its self-life is squeezed out of them, and so must we. These tribulations in our lives are not because God hates us, but because He hates the sin inside of us that is holding us in bondage, this is the enemy of God. He will search for it in us and destroy it in the winepress of our life circumstances. Its only when we go through the difficult places in life that we really know what is inside of us. God’s wrath is turned against all sin, even that which is in His own people as we see in the Old Testament. God will deal with the sins of idolatry, fear, doubt, and unbelief in all people and will allow us to go through many trials to purify us from our sin nature. I believe that this is the cause of a lot of our sufferings that we just do not understand.

 

“Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, "Sit here while I go and pray over there." And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me" (Matt 26:36-38 NKJV).

 

Even Jesus had to enter into the Father’s winepress when He came into the Garden of Gethsemane. Gethsemane means, “Oil-press which comes from the word winepress.” He was sorrowful even to death. Hebrews 5:8 says that Jesus learned obedience from the things which He suffered. If it pleased the Father to crush His Son (see Isaiah 53:10), how could we not expect to be crushed also if we desire to be the bride of Christ? Jesus now crushes us in His winepress so that we may learn obedience to Him and when we have been crushed we will be used to bless others. “And whoever falls on this stone (Christ) will be broken (crushed); but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder” (Matt 21:44 NKJV).

 

Notice in Revelation 19:13-15 below how Jesus’ robe is dripping with blood and we His bride are clothed in white garments. How did this happen? “I have trodden the winepress alone…” “Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My robes(Isaiah 63:2-3).

 

“He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”

 

The wedding of the bride of Christ is revealed in Revelation 19; she is wearing white garments because she has come through great tribulation (the winepress) and has been purified by the dealings of God through her life-time of entering into the sufferings of Christ. “Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin” (1 Peter 4:2 NKJV). When the bride overcomes her tribulations she will have became like Him to fight in the great battle of the ages and have the right to ride with Him on a white horse. They together will trample sin under His feet into the great winepress of God’s wrath against sin; this is the calling of the bride. Jesus is not coming back to kill mankind as you might think or have been taught, but like us He is coming to trample underfoot in His winepress all those who are on the earth. We must remember all of God’s ways are redemptive.  In other words, the world’s sin will be purged out of them as was ours. This is our calling; this is our destiny to ride with Him on white horses with the word of God in our mouths as a great sword to destroy sin in the flesh of all mankind. The Bible says that Jesus will rule the nations with a rod of iron, not to kill everyone, but to love them as He has loved us into His great winepress. We must thank God and praise Him for His goodness to us and for the winepress so that we could share in His glory.

 

“And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer (Revelation 6:2 NKJV). 

 

Jesus is revealed here in the book of Revelation as a mighty conqueror wearing a crown, He has a bow to shoot forth God’s truth into our hearts. He has come to us on a white horse, as a man of war to conquer the man of sin that wants to rule in the place of Himself. Once we have been conquered by Him, we too, will go forth on white horses to help Him conquer others and to reap the harvest of the earth. “So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses' bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs” (Revelation 14:19-20 NKJV). We must remember that the book of Revelation uses much symbolic language and decoding of it is necessary to understand it. We liken wine to blood when we take communion, but in order to have communion a winepress must crush the grapes like our heart must be crushed by the Lord. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise” (Ps 51:17 NAS). The same decoding is true of the horse’s bridle. A bridle is used to control a horse’s movement, in other words it makes the horse become obedient to its rider. Well, the same is true of mankind; God will crush the self-life out of us so that He can use His bridle on us and the rest of mankind. A horses inner will must be broken before it can be ridden and so must we. Our brokenness must reach to the horses bridle in order for us to be used by the Lord in obedience, it’s that simple! God’s bridle is on us when He is directing our path in our in life and when we have become obedient to Him in all things and are broken; we are then ready to be harnessed for the Lord.

 

When we first got saved Jesus came into our heart with His sword and arrows to conquer us, He will do this again with all people who are reaped from the earth and put them into God’s great winepress. Just as we had to go through God’s winepress to squeeze the self life out of us, so will all nations, but we will be riding on the white horses so that their life blood will flow to Christ’s bridle (His rule and reign). This tells me that many people are about to be saved and sanctified in these next few years that will astound the mind.

 

WEARING OUR WHITE ROBES NOW

 

John saw a great multitude standing before the throne of heaven and was asked, “… Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” (Revelation 7:13 NKJV)? This is a question that must be answered by us as well if we desire to comprehend the white robes that we are called to wear. The first time we read of the white robes is in Revelation 4:4 where the twenty-four elders are clothed in white sitting on the throne. We know from Revelation 5:9 that the twenty-four elders are people who are redeemed by the blood of Jesus and are sitting on the throne of God where we are called to sit as overcomers. Just as the twenty-four elders were made kings and priests and were given white robes to sit on the throne because they were worthy to be the bride of Christ ruling and reigning with Him. “And have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth" (Revelation 5:10 NKJV). For anyone to be made a king or priest we will have to go through a processing to be made overcomers. This process is sanctification, which means for us to come through great tribulations and cleansing of our outer garments.

 

 “And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, these are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Revelation 7:14-17 KJV).

 

All those who have already come through great tribulation (God’s great winepress) and all who are yet to come will be shepherded by Jesus into the place of peace and rest in God. No more hunger, thirst, or stress from the heat of the day, which all means to me, no more winepresses! Take note and understand the scriptures here, our outer garments (the flesh) are made white in the blood of the Lamb through our tribulations. This is not pertaining to salvation by the blood, but the cleansing of our garments through our tribulations. We are to count it all joy when we face various trials because we are being prepared for Him! It’s through our suffering that our robes are dripping wet with the blood of Jesus that cleanses our outer garments (the flesh). When we have entered into His sufferings we can then enter into His glory. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us” (2 Tim 2:12 KJV). The Lamb of God promises to feed us now spiritually and lead us to the fountains of life giving waters. Please hear me; this is not talking about us going to heaven someday. In heaven there will be no need for us to be led by Him to the fountain of living waters because we will see Him as He is and be like Him. We need to come boldly to the throne room of God because we now sit in heavenly places and are receiving meat from His hand and we can drink from the river of the Holy Spirit to satisfy all our needs.

 

I will try to write this in a nutshell with the understanding that I have been given in the book of Revelation.

 

In chapter one John introduces himself as a “… Companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ…” (Revelation 1:9 NKJV). He being the disciple that laid his head on Jesus’ breast when they were eating the last supper tells us that he was very close to the Lord’s heart. And yet we find John on the island of Patmos suffering the will of God and at the same time having been given one of the most profound messages to the church. It was through his and Paul’s sufferings that they were able to receive such revelations of God that astound the mind and heart. Jesus said of Paul in Acts 9:16, “For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake.” In our Western Christian culture we are programmed to think and fight against such preaching on suffering because of our ease of life and understanding of the Scriptures. The doctrine of suffering is found in and throughout the New Testament, but our mind and flesh don’t and can’t receive this from a loving God. We say, “How can a God of love allow us to suffer?” Yet Paul writes in Philippians 3:10, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” How many of us really want to know the Lord in suffering and death? We may say we do with mouth service, but when we begin to suffer we start rebuking the devil! How do we know that God is not allowing suffering in our lives? This is what the book of Revelation is all about, us suffering the will of God for our lives so that we can have the full revelation of Jesus Christ in our heart. “Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:19 NKJV).

 

Chapters 2 and 3 of the book of Revelation describes most of the seven churches as sin filled and by the time the book of Revelation ends those same churches are the overcoming bride of Christ. What happened to make her an overcomer? One word, suffering! The events that are in the middle of the book of Revelation are the “Process” that we must all go through to be made overcomers. The seven churches were in a mess when Jesus addressed them; He only commended two of them that were suffering in their tribulations, but He gave hope to all the churches if they would overcome. Jesus told the church at Sardis very clearly that He will give them a white garment if they will overcome. As we have seen in this teaching the white garment is the preparation we go through for cleansing to be ready for the marriage of the Lamb. This is no small promise!

 

By the time we come to chapters 4 and 5 we find the twenty-four elders who have overcome through their tribulations sitting with white robes on the throne. By John seeing them there in white robes speaks volumes to us about how the Lord keeps His promises to them and us. This tells me that if they made it there by His grace and overcoming power, so can we! Our love for Jesus is that overcoming power.

 

In chapter 6 the Lord comes to us as the mighty conqueror on the warring horses to overcome our old sin nature and is putting us to death with the sword of the word of God. “When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held” – “Then a white robe was given to each of them…” (Revelation 6:9, 11 NKJV). Notice, a white robe was given to them that were slain! This does not mean that they were dead physically, but that they died to their flesh, and the word of God (Jesus) had become their life with their white robes on, for the white robe is His nature. Notice in chapter 7:1 it says, “After these things…” What things? After the people of God have been conquered by the Lord they were sealed with the seal of God upon their foreheads setting them a part to stand before the throne of God. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them” (Revelation 7:15 NKJV). So how is it that they could abide before the throne? Because they came through great tribulation and were washed in the blood!

 

“… These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God…” (Revelation 7:14-15 NKJV).

 

There is only one reason why I write these truths and that is because God has revealed them to my heart for me to understand why I am going through such sufferings in my life. And hopefully out of these writings you are able to have some understanding in your own tribulations and that this would give you some hope in believing that God has not forsaken you. Take your wedding garment seriously, for our calling is to obey God in all things and to die to our flesh so that we too might wear our wedding garment and not be found without one! You are called, now will you be chosen?

 

“So he said to him, “Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?” And he was speechless.  Then the king said to the servants, “Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” “For many are called, but few are chosen(Matt 22:12-14 NKJV).

 

 

 

Dan Luehrs

1717 Conifer Ave

Kissimmee, FL 34758

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