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A Strange Nature

(This is part of the Bible study The Nephilim And The End Of All Flesh.)


The Wedding Dress Dream


A friend of ours recently had a dream that, as we discussed it, the Lord began to unravel and reveal its meaning. She said that someone brought a wedding dress to her with a noticeable hole that needed repairing. Being someone who knew how, she said that it was actually a pretty easy fix, as long as there was a remnant piece of the original cloth to sew into it. It was crucial, she noted, that the patch was of a matching material, that they were of the same kind. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be possible.

Most of us are familiar with the expression “cut from the same cloth.” Figuratively it means “sharing a lot of similarities.” It’s also defined as “seeming to have been created, reared, or fashioned in the same way.” If two or more people are cut from the same cloth, they are said to be “very similar in their character, attitudes, or behavior.” The one definition, though, that stood out to me above the rest was, “to be of the same nature.” The spiritual significance of this cannot be overlooked.

The first thing to notice is that the person within the dream who possessed the wedding dress acknowledged their need (i.e. confession). They knew that something was wrong and was actively seeking out someone to help repair the obvious hole. Admission of our destitute condition and the desire to change is what moves us to look for an answer. It’s an act of humility on our part that releases the power of God to fix the holes in our lives so that we are appropriately dressed for the upcoming marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7-9).

A repentant heart is the only way to obtain the wedding clothes necessary to enter in and remain within the upcoming marriage of the King and His bride. It is that which grants us access to the required garment before God. The Lord declared through Isaiah the prophet, “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18/NASU) Through the forgiveness of our sins found in Jesus Christ we are made ready to enter His Presence, covered with His garment of purity, and live.

When we turn in repentance to the Lord, we come as we are with a need for Him to repair our many flaws. After turning to Him, we are granted the right to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. We then work together with the Holy Spirit to fix in our lives that which needs to be altered, so to speak. This is called the process of sanctification. It’s the lifelong process of being conformed to the righteous image of Jesus Christ.

Without this continued process, aided by the remnant who are of the same nature in Christ (i.e. discipleship), of the same cloth, we will not be properly dressed at the approaching wedding of the Lamb and will face the possibility of being cast out from His Presence. Jesus spoke of this in His parable of the wedding feast (Matthew 22:1-14).

He began by comparing the kingdom of heaven to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, meaning Himself. He sent out his servants to tell those who had received the invitation that everything was prepared for them to come to the feast. Jesus said that “they paid no attention and went their way,” even going so far as to mistreat and kill the king’s servants. The king was enraged by their response and sent his armies to destroy the murderers and set their city on fire.

His servants then went into the highways and gathered together all they found to fill the wedding hall with guests. Jesus continued, saying;


But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called [invited], but few are chosen.’”

(Matthew 22:11-14/NASU)


You might say that the man thrown into the outer darkness had at least come with those who heard the call. The problem, though, was that he didn’t take seriously the need to come properly dressed. His lack of respect for the king’s son revealed through his inappropriate dress would cost him his place at the wedding feast. There are many Christians in the church today that desire to come to the marriage feast of Jesus Christ at the end of this age but are not taking serious their responsibility to be dressed appropriately in the garments required by the King (Rev. 19:7-8). Only those among the called who respond favorably to prepare their hearts by faith, and dress internally through an obedient heart, will be looked upon with favor and be chosen by the King to enter into the joy of their Master. (See Matthew 25:14-30 where Jesus taught about the “worthless slave” who was also thrown into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Also see the Bible study Outer Darkness.)



The Wake Up Call


Revelation 3:1-6See the note below.

1 "To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: 'I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.

2 'Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed [4137- “to make full, to perfect”] in the sight of My God.

3 'So remember what you have received [2983- “to take to oneself, to make one’s own, lay hold of, gain, to receive (what is given)”] and heard [191- “to hear, to perceive, to comprehend, to understand”]; and keep it [5083- “to attend to carefully, take care of, to guard”], and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.

4 'But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled [3435- “to pollute, stain, contaminate, defile”] their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.

5 'He who overcomes [3528- “to conquer, prevail”] 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.

6 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'

NASU


This message to the church in Sardis is one of the letters from Jesus to seven churches. He begins by rebuking them for their deadness, warning them to wake up and “strengthen the things that remain” and are about to die. Their deeds/works were not yet completed. We see this spiritual laziness often in the church today.

Jesus then exhorts them to remember what they have “received and heard; and keep it, and repent.” To receive is “to take to oneself, to make one’s own, lay hold of, gain, to receive (what is given).” This is not referring to an unbeliever, but those who have, like the people in Matthew, chapter 22, received the Lord’s invitation (i.e. received Christ). They have received what has been offered them but have become dulled in their hearts toward the Lord. If they do not wake up from their spiritual apathy they will be caught unaware/unprepared at the time of His return.

Jesus says their spiritual deadness toward Him will affect their garments, or their covering in Him. He compares them to those who have not “soiled their garments.” The Greek for “soiled” is defined as “to pollute, stain, contaminate, defile.” These are the followers of Christ who, especially at the end of this age, were more careful to guard their hearts from becoming stained/polluted by the world (James 1:27). They are therefore worthy of walking with Christ in white and have become His chosen Bride that is “without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:27).

(See the Bible study Honduras; Washing And Mending The Nets which compares dead fish left in the nets to those in the church with soiled garments.)


Disappearing Ink


A very serious, and less taught declaration from Jesus is then written for us. He says that if we are not of those who overcome through obedience to the Lord’s will, bringing to completion our deed/works in His sight, that our name will be erased from the book of life! Not everyone, as some teach, are written in this book (Rev. 13:8), only those who turn to Him in repentance. This means that it is possible for a follower of Jesus Christ, a disciple, a Christian can have their name erased. Through continued disobedience, without repentance, your name can be removed. Instead of receiving the Lord’s invitation of eternal life, you will be cast into the lake of fire (see chapter 28, Disappearing Ink, in my book The Resurrected Bride).

Called And Chosen


The Greek for “chosen” in Matthew 22:14 above is eklektos (ek-lek-tos'). It’s defined as “select; by implication, favorite; picked out, chosen, elect.” I believe we can say that among the called in the church are the chosen, the elect who because they chose to obey God per His will when called have become the Lord’s favorite, or favored ones that become His chosen people.

Jude warns Christians of the necessity to remain near the Lord by using the fallen angels as our example (see the Bible study The Nephilim And The End Of All Flesh). By not keeping their Divinely determined positions, or boundaries of authority, they were cast out of their place of origin near the Lord. Their choice to rebel against God, not keeping their “first estate” before Him through obedience, would result in their being kept in eternal bonds under the power of darkness for the judgment of the great and terrible Day of the Lord (Jude 1:6-7).

Jude describes for us what exactly it was that placed these fallen angels in “eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day.” The great day mentioned here is the day of the Lord when the Bible tells us that He will execute His wrath on all that is wicked.

He compared these angels’ actions to that of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them. Jude says their lawbreaking deeds were that they “indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh.” The Greek for “strange” is heteros (het'-er-os) which means, “the other, another, i. e. one not of the same nature [similar to the definition for “cut from the same cloth”], form, class, kind; different.”

On the other hand, those angels who chose not to rebel against the Lord became His chosen angels. Their choice to remain devoted to the Lord would result in their being chosen by Him. Paul mentioned them in his first letter to Timothy;


I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality [see Malachi 2:9].

(1 Timothy 5:21/NASU)


These chosen angels of God are for our example, revealing that choices have consequences. You do not reward bad behavior. As we near the end of this age and our being gathered together to the Lord, our response to the call of the Holy Spirit will have eternal consequences, whether it be of great joy or of great horror.


Foreign/Strange Garments


Zephaniah 1:7-9See the note below.

7 Be silent before the Sovereign Lord, for the day of the Lord is near. The Lord has prepared a sacrifice; he has consecrated those he has invited.

8 On the day of the Lord's sacrifice I will punish the princes and the king's sons and all those clad in foreign [5237] clothes. [Foreign clothes are a picture of strange flesh/covering not of God.]

9 On that day I will punish all who avoid stepping on the threshold, who fill the temple of their gods with violence [2555- “violence, wrong, cruelty, injustice”; see the section Come Up Before The Lord in the Bible study The Nephilim And The End Of All Flesh] and deceit [4820- “fraud, deceit, treachery”].

NIV


OT:5237 nokriy (nok-ree')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from OT:5235 (second form); strange, in a variety of degrees and applications (foreign, non-relative, adulterous, different, wonderful):

KJV - alien, foreigner, outlandish, strange (-r, woman).

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

foreign, alien

a) foreign

b) a foreigner (substantive)

c) a foreign woman, a harlot

d) unknown, unfamiliar (figuratively)


In this part of Zephaniah’s prophecy, he discusses the judgment of God on the Day of the Lord for all who are clothed with foreign or strange garments. Foreign has to do with “different, alien, a foreign woman, a harlot.” In the New Testament we are told to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:14). Any other garment/covering than Christ is a foreign or strange garment of spiritual harlotry (see the Bible study Eve; The Life Giving Bride). Without Christ you and I will be unprepared and unprotected in the day of His wrath on earth.

Many in the church falsely assume, through false teachings, that they have all they will ever need when first turning to Christ. What they do not understand is that they have been given the right to become the children of God (John 1:11-13). But as the children of Israel found out in their wilderness journey, the right alone to the Promised Land can be removed if, on the way, we rebel against the Lord’s leading.


(The following insight is from the Bible study and article entitled Freedom In Christ.)


Freedom To Choose


The Gospel of John begins by proclaiming the deity of Jesus Christ, and that all things came into being through Him. It declares what occurred when He, the Light which enlightens every man, came into the world He made. John tells us that;


He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:11-13/NASU)


In this passage, John’s subject is clearly those who received Christ. They believed in His name and were born of God. By definition of the Greek word that we interpret into English as “received”, they have laid hold of Christ, making Him their own. Those who receive Him are the only ones that have been given “the right to become the children of God.” This is interesting because it would be assumed that they are instantly, at the choice of receiving Christ, to be His child. Per John, there is more in regards to bringing this right to completion in Him.

The Greek that we interpret as “right” is exousia [ex-oo-see'-ah]. It’s defined as “privilege, power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases, the power of rule or government.” Freedom in Christ, therefore, is the “authority, power of choice, privilege, liberty of doing as one pleases” that is only granted to those who turn in repentance to Jesus Christ, taking Him as their Lord and Savior. The unbelievers do not have this freedom to choose.

Without Christ, all of mankind is said to be slaves to sin and are held captive to do the devil’s will (2 Timothy 2:26). The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus came to give freedom to the prisoners and to release the oppressed (Luke 4:18). Receiving Him as your Lord and Savior releases His power in your life to say “no” to sin and “yes” to the Father’s will. The “right to become children of God” is the right of access to the power of the Holy Spirit. When we say “no” to sin we are saying “yes” to the power of God that enables us to become an overcomer and partake of His Divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4).


Malachi 2:11-12Could this be the same as the daughters of men in Genesis 6, a daughter of strange flesh? And does “marrying the daughter of a foreign God” equal clothing/covering yourself in a foreign garment, not of the Lord. In any event it is one more deed that will cause one of God’s people to be cut off from Him, “even though he brings offerings to the Lord Almighty.” He will not escape the judgment of God (see Ezra 9:10-14 and the Bible study The Escaped Remnant).

11 Judah has broken faith. A detestable thing has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem: Judah has desecrated the sanctuary the Lord loves, by marrying the daughter of a foreign [5236- KJV; “strange”] god.

12 As for the man who does this, whoever he may be, may the Lord cut him off from the tents of Jacob—even though he brings offerings to the Lord Almighty.

NIV


OT:5236 nekar (nay-kawr')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from OT:5234; foreign, or (concretely) a foreigner, or (abstractly) heathendom:

KJV - alien, strange (+-er).

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

foreign, alien, foreignness, what is foreign

a) foreignness, foreign gods

b) an alien, a foreigner

c) foreign (vanities)


Malachi 2:15“…But not one has done so who has a remnant of the Spirit…” The remnant of God did not marry/join together in union with “the daughter of a foreign god.” Therefore they are able to help those of the same cloth/nature because they are covered in the strength and authority of the Lord (see chapter thirty two, Clothed With Power in my book The Resurrected Bride).



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