A WIFE BUT NOT QUEEN

A WIFE BUT NOT A QUEEN (Trumpet Ministries,Inc. / Word of Righteousness)

 

A WIFE BUT NOT A QUEEN Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

From: Revelation: Chapters Twenty-one and Twenty-two

The Lamb of God seeks a wife to rule with Him in the Kingdom of God, but not as a queen. The spirit of a queen seeks to gain an advantage, through her association with Christ, to act independently of reliance on Christ. The true Wife of the Lamb, however, will rule from a humble and submissive union with Jesus, a union that will provide life and light for the saved nations.

A WIFE BUT NOT A QUEEN

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, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. (Revelation 2:9)

"The bride, the Lamb’s wife"! This is the Church, the Body of Christ, the new Jerusalem.

The new Jerusalem is the center of government of the Kingdom of God. The King of the Kingdom of God is Christ. The Bride, the Lamb’s Wife, the wife of the King, is the queen of the Kingdom of God.

Kings’ daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir. (Psalms 45:9)

"The queen in gold of Ophir."

There is only one Wife of the Lamb, only one "queen" of the Kingdom of God.

There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number. My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her. (Song of Solomon 6:8,9)

Our point of view is that the "queen" of Psalms 45:9 indeed is the Wife of the Lamb. The two verses following seem to bear this out:

Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house; So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him. (Psalms 45:10,11)

No doubt the Apostle Paul was meditating on "forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house" when he wrote: "forgetting those things which are behind" (Philippians 3:13).

In the New Testament the Holy Spirit never refers to the Wife of the Lamb as the queen of the Kingdom of God. Jesus is King of kings, but His Wife is never referred to as a queen.

How does the Lord refer to His Church, His complement, His fullness?

The Wife of the Lamb is spoken of in the following terms: the Church, the elect, the saints, the sons of God, the royal priesthood, the woman clothed with the sun, him who overcomes, the new Jerusalem, the tabernacle of God, the Body of Christ.

In the present paper we do not, as in some of our other writings, make a distinction between the firstfruits of the Church and the entire Church. There is a firstfruits of the Church, as we understand it, that will be revealed with the Lord Jesus at His appearing (Revelation 14:4). But by the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age the entire Church will be the Wife of the Lamb, and the firstfruits who now are being called out from the Church will be pillars of the new Jerusalem and a wall of defense protecting the holy city.

The term "church" means that the Wife of the Lamb has been called out from the nations of the earth. She has not been called out in order to be saved from Hell, as so often is taught, but called out in order to be a royal priesthood of God. The purpose of the Church is to bring the Presence, Word, and will of God to the nations of the saved.

"Elect" signifies the choosing by the Lord of the members of the Wife of the Lamb, and has to do also with the predestination of the Wife, with her being chosen from the beginning of the world.

"Saints" speaks of the holiness of the Wife—that she is free from evil spirits and filled with the Holy Spirit of God.

"Sons of God" indicates that the Wife of the Lamb has been born of God the Father, that the members of the Bride are God’s offspring.

"Royal priesthood" shows that the Wife comprises the nobility of the Kingdom, and that these will stand before God and govern the nations of the earth throughout the ages to come. They are God’s servants who will reign over the earth forever.

A woman "clothed with the sun" speaks of the Glory of Christ on His Wife, on the Church, and that from her is born Christ in the saints—the male Son, the ruler of all nations with a rod of iron.

"Him who overcomes" reveals that the Wife consists of those who through Christ’s grace have conquered every enemy that has risen up against them. They have not yielded to any foe. They have not stopped at any obstacle.

The victorious saints always are addressed as individuals (him who overcomes) because victory can be attained only through means of an intense, prolonged interaction between Christ and the individual believer. The fellowship of the saints is necessary if we are to be victorious saints, but overcoming always is an individual matter.

"The new Jerusalem" portrays the Wife of the Lamb as a great city which governs and illumines all the creation of God. The fact that the city is "Jerusalem" shows the continuity from Abraham, through Moses, David, the Prophets, the Apostles—all the way to the new heaven and earth reign of Christ.

It always is Jerusalem, not another city, that God blesses and chooses for His rest. God does not change and His promises do not fail. God is faithful.

"The tabernacle of God" means that the Wife of the Lamb is the place of the throne of God from which He rules the universe, the house of God in which He finds rest, the Presence of God among the nations of the earth so He can wipe away the tears of the peoples whom He has created for His glory and pleasure.

"The Body of Christ" brings to our attention that the Wife of the Lamb is not to seek her own way, think her own thoughts, follow her own will. As the human body is to the head so the true Wife of the Lamb is to the Lamb. She obeys Him perfectly in every detail, every action, every word, every thought. She responds perfectly to the will of her Head at all times.

If in the human body, the members of the body do not respond perfectly to the head, a serious illness is present. So it is true that the Body of Christ has had a serious illness throughout its history.

What would church history have been like if the Christian churches had allowed Christ to be their Head? To this day the denominations follow their own wisdom, which they garnish with "prayer." Christ still is not the head of the churches that are called by His name—no, not by any means. However, Christ indeed is the Head of every true member of the Wife of the Lamb.

The term Body of Christ signifies that the Wife of the Lamb is an eternally integral part of Christ. She is the complement, the completion of Christ. His royal anointing has been poured on her. She will be built up by the several ministries of the body until she is the fullness, the completion of Christ.

The "precious ointment" of the Holy Spirit on the Head of Christ runs down on the Body like the holy anointing oil on the collar and skirts of Aaron’s garments (Psalms 133). The Wife of the Lamb is the body of Christ—the body, the fullness, of the High Priest of God.

The Wife of the Lamb is the most holy of the terms applied to the branches that are receiving their life from the true Vine whom God has planted. Christ refers to His Bride as "the light of the world."

"The Wife of the Lamb" speaks of the perfect, complete union of the saints with the Lamb. Human marriage is but a dim picture of the oneness of the Lamb and the members of His Wife.

It often is taught that in the future the millions of Christian believers (many—perhaps the majority—of whom are not in union with Christ) will stand before God the Father who then will perform a wedding similar to the Anglican ceremony. John the Baptist may be the best man.

It is true, rather, that we are being married to the Lord in the present hour. The manifestation of the marriage will take place in future ages.

The marriage of the Lamb is taking place now, as the believer is brought by the various techniques of the Holy Spirit into union with Christ. The complete marriage, the perfect reconciliation, will require the duration and full resources of the thousand-year Kingdom Age and no doubt is one of the principal reasons for the thousand-year period. (Who among us at this point is married perfectly to the Lamb?)

In Scripture the Wife is never spoken of as the wife of the Lion of Judah, the wife of Christ, the wife of the Word, or the wife of the King. She is always the Wife, or Bride, of the Lamb.

She is never referred to as the queen of the Kingdom of God.

Christ has an exceedingly complex Personality. What He is, He is. When He is Shepherd He is all shepherd. When He is Rabbi He is all teacher. When He is Redeemer He is all redeemer. When He is the Lord of Armies He is all commander of battle. He never is a mixture of these.

The gentlest, purest, most holy, most innocent aspect of Christ’s Personality is the Lamb. The Lamb is the aspect the Father prefers, the aspect that will endure throughout the new heaven and earth reign—that is, throughout ages upon unnumbered ages of eternity.

During the thousand-year Kingdom Age Christ will be King of kings and Lord of lords. He will rule with a rod of iron.

There is no rod of iron mentioned in the description of the new heaven and earth reign of Christ because the warfare has been completed. Christ is shown (in the concluding chapters of the Book of Revelation) in the manner in which God prefers His Son be revealed—the gentle, innocent Lamb possessing all authority and power in the heavens and upon the earth.

God much prefers love, gentleness, and innocence. This is why little children have no difficulty entering the Kingdom. God employs harshness only to the extent necessary for the accomplishment of His will.

When the center of government of the Kingdom of God, the new Jerusalem, descends from Heaven to the new earth, we would expect to see at least two thrones: one on which is sitting the King of the Kingdom; the other on which is sitting the Queen of the Kingdom.

Instead, we behold God’s choice—one glorious holy city. In the city is the throne (singular) of God and of His Lamb, not His King!

If any human being will keep the words of Christ, the Father will love him. The Father and the Son will establish Their throne in him forever. This is true of each living stone of the new Jerusalem. The Kingdom of God is God in Christ seated on the throne of the personality of each member of the Wife of the Lamb.

We are the Wife of the Lamb, never the Wife of Christ. We are the Body of Christ, the Body of the Anointed Deliverer. We are the Wife of the Lamb. We are the Wife of what is the finest, gentlest, most innocent, most loving, most holy aspect of Christ’s Personality.

We could not come into union with the fierceness of the Lion of Judah. We do not have enough capacity for wrath. Through the work of the Holy Spirit we can come into union with the Lamb, and that is what the Lord God of Heaven prefers.

We have stated that the Wife of the Lamb never is addressed in the New Testament as the queen of the Kingdom of God.

Why is this?

Our answer is found in the eighteenth chapter of the Book of Revelation. It is a terrifying answer, for here we behold the destruction of most of what historically has been considered to be Christendom—the denominations and churches that name the name of Christ. These are the self-appointed "queens" of the Kingdom of God.

The Christian denominations and churches, for the most part, contain many members of the Body of Christ, of the Wife of the Lamb. But the organizations themselves and much of their membership are not part of the Wife of the Lamb.

How can we make a judgment as broad as this? To be a member of the Wife of the Lamb one must be in union with the Lamb, living by His Life as He lives by the Father. To be a member of the Body of Christ one must be under the control of the Head—Christ.

These two conditions (which actually are one condition) are not true of most denominations and churches. It is apparent, when one considers the emphasis on loyalty to the group, the willingness to compete with other Christian groups, the trust in money as being the power of the Kingdom of God, the various assortment of schemes and programs that issue periodically, that union with Christ and submission to the Head are minimal if present at all.

During the days of the Protestant Reformers there was physical warfare between the Catholic and Protestant churches. Could anyone claim that the Body of Christ, the Wife of the Lamb, was tearing itself up under the direction of the Head?

There has been so much dishonest handling of money on the part of "Christian" ministers that the world has become skeptical of the integrity of the Christian ministry. Does this dishonesty proceed from the Life and guidance of the Head?

When the Spirit of God moves forward into new experiences and doctrines, as has occurred on several occasions throughout church history, the established denominations have fought bitterly the work of the Spirit, often claiming that Satan was the author of such work.

Today, many Christian churches are announcing that speaking in tongues and the healing of the sick, both of which are new-covenant graces, are of Satan. Can anyone claim that these critics are in union with the Life of Christ and under the direction of the Head of the Body of Christ?

Today we see a considerable degree of cooperation among Pentecostal and non-Pentecostal churches, such as in the area of Christian education. Meanwhile, each is denouncing the other as blinded by Satan. Can anyone seriously claim that these groups are in union with the Life of Christ and under the guidance of the Head—or even that they possess integrity?

How is it that they can work with each other in Christian endeavors when one believes the other is yielding to Satan? Are they willing to have fellowship with demons? They are inconsistent. Queens often are ready to sacrifice their integrity in order to accomplish their own will.

Today the Catholic and Protestant churches are endeavoring to establish rapport. Are the Protestants willing to worship the virgin Mary? Are the Catholic Charismatics willing to cast away the Immaculate Conception? Who are the Protestants attempting to please—man or the Lord Jesus?

If one were to consider the denominations and churches of today to be the Body of Christ, the Wife of the Lamb, he would be forced to conclude that the Body is ill, confused, disjointed, afflicted with paralysis and palsy at the same time.

The truth is, the Christian denominations are not the Wife of the Lamb, they are queens seeking their own glory, their own thrones.

When the record of church history is examined and the pertinent Scriptures are reviewed, it appears that Babylon the Great (Revelation, Chapters 17 and 18) is the name given to the Christian organizations. Throughout history the churches, with some exceptions, have demonstrated that they are not willing to be submissive to the Head, they are not willing to abide in union with the Life of Christ. Their behavior reveals that they intend to follow their own reasoning and that self-will, not Christ, is their motivation.

How many saints have suffered, and are suffering today, at the hands of the churches? God never will accept these self-appointed "queens" of the Kingdom of God. The Christian organizational structures, the manmade kingdoms, soon are to become the prisons of unclean spirits. They will be visited with the eternal fire of God’s wrath. Then will God’s holy apostles and prophets rejoice over the vengeance God has determined to take on the queens of the Kingdom.

Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. (Revelation 18:20)

The apostles and prophets will rejoice greatly because it is they who have suffered at the hands of the self-appointed leaders of the Lord’s flock.

The description of the "great whore", given in the seventeenth and eighteenth chapters of the Book of Revelation, does not fit the thousands of Christian congregations that have labored throughout the centuries doing good, giving of their substance to the poor, proclaiming the Gospel of Christ.

Many churches (perhaps the smaller ones are in the majority here) have been faithful to the Lord Jesus. They have borne a true witness, have been, to some extent at least, in union with the Life and wisdom of the Head, and have travailed in birth as Christ has been brought forth within the members.

But the corruption that is close to every Christian congregation and must be guarded against continually and diligently is revealed in the second and third chapters of the Book of Revelation. The record of church history tells the story of Nicolaitanism, of the Jezebel spirit, of lukewarmness, of leaving our first love—the Lord Jesus.

When we consider the deeds of the large Christian organizations and churches throughout history, and even today, we can understand that organized Christianity is every bit as evil as the seventeenth and eighteenth chapters of the Book of Revelation portray.

So much for the major Christian systems. How about the smaller groups? No doubt many of the smaller denominations and independent works are not nearly as corrupt. But Babylon is the "mother of harlots." Her daughters, even though they are smaller and not as mature in viciousness, aspire to her wealth and prominence.

How many of the smaller churches, although relatively innocent at this point, are not viewing with envy the ornate tabernacles (tombs) of their notorious mother? The spirit of their mother is in them.

It is not unusual for a little queen to desire to be a great queen, but her character may suffer in the process of becoming great.

How can we recognize the spirit of the queen when it arises in us? The spirit of the queen is the desire to gain an advantage, through means of our association with Christ, to act independently of reliance on Christ.

The spirit of religious ambition (whoredom) presents itself as the desire to "bring glory to God." The magnificent Christian edifices are constructed with the professed goal of "bringing glory to God."

But buildings do not bring glory to God, only to the builders!

Numerous Christian enterprises are motivated and guided by human strength and wisdom. This is true even of small missionary groups laboring in primitive surroundings. They vie for converts, money, and success. The vying reveals they are laboring in their own strength and will, not in the strength and will of Jesus.

It is not our purpose to discredit missionaries who give their lives to help lepers, the mentally retarded, and other victims of Satan in remote areas of the earth. Such little known soldiers of the cross have their reward with Jesus. Rather, our purpose is to warn all believers concerning a spirit that is ready to corrupt our labor in the Lord.

God is glorified only in Christ and in the people in whom Christ is dwelling. God is not glorified in a physical structure (Acts 7:48).

How many times do the "queens" of the Kingdom grind the faces of the poor so a monument to the glory of the queen may be constructed? On how many occasions has this happened in church history?

The Christian churches, being queens at heart, desire to sit next to Christ on the throne. They hope to show their own glory to the nations of the world or, in the case of the small assemblings, to the town or village where they are located.

For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. (Revelation 18:3)

The major denominations are involved financially and politically with the institutions of the world, supposing they are promoting the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. The small churches may attempt the same thing on their own scale. The small church courts the favor of the local community and its motive is the same as the gigantic federation of churches.

Such involvement with the world is an abomination to God. The true Wife of the Lamb does not commit fornication with the merchants of the earth. The Wife of the Lamb keeps herself pure and holy to the Lamb. Queens seek their own glorification.

In the future, the true Church will perceive this distinction more clearly than it does today. Then it will be time for the saints of the Lord to separate themselves from Babylon the Great.

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. (Revelation 18:4)

The Wife of the Lamb is mixed together with Babylon in the present hour. One day soon it will be time for God to judge the queenly spirit that has polluted the Wife of the Lamb. Then the Spirit of God will remove every true member of the Wife of the Lamb from the Christian denominations and churches, for there is only the one Body of Christ.

After that, God will burn the false bride with the eternal fire of His wrath.

The tormenting, destroying fire that will fall on Babylon will be administered by the ten kings who "receive power as kings one hour with the beast":

And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. (Revelation 17:16)

And then by the saints:

Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. (Revelation 18:6)

Church history contains many accounts of Christians being tortured and killed by other Christians "for the Glory of God." The Wife of the Lamb does not torture and kill herself. Rather, it is Queen Jezebel who is seeking to slay the prophets (I Kings 19:2). It is Queen Athaliah who is determined to do away with the royal seed (II Kings 11:1).

During the past two thousand years, millions of Christians have been put to death as the queens "glorified God." In the present century, numerous Christians were put to death in South America by a large denomination for no reason other than that of not belonging to the denomination. They were tortured and shot—all "for the glory of God."

When Pentecost fell in the first part of the twentieth century, the tongues-speakers were harassed and intimidated in many ways by the loyal members of fundamental denominations. The persecution was carried out "for the glory of God."

If the Spirit of God should call out the true saints from your denomination today, what would be the reaction of the leaders? Would they do all in their power to prevent the exodus, never considering the possibility it might be the Lord who was causing their problem? What does this tell us?

It is the righteousness of Christ that the tortured and slain saints of all ages should be the ones to administer the Divine wrath that will fall on these murderous queens. The saints will "double unto her double according to her works." Jezebel and Athaliah were slain at the hands of God’s servants. So will Babylon be slain at the hands of God’s servants.

As did Jezebel, Babylon will attempt to flirt with the saints, pretending that the religious organization is attractive and desirable. It may attempt to adorn itself in some manner so the true saints will tempted to turn to it rather than do the will of Jesus (II Kings 9:30). But the Holy Spirit in the saints will bring the judgment of God upon Babylon.

As did Athaliah, Babylon will cry, "Treason! Treason!" when the members of the Wife of the Lamb go forth to meet their King (II Kings 11:14).

But the doom of Babylon is written in the Scriptures. There are no queens in the Kingdom of God!

Queens love to live "deliciously," but the members of the Wife of the Lamb understand thoroughly that the true Christian walk is a rugged, cross-carrying pilgrimage. There is little in the Christian discipleship that is "delicious."

How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. (Revelation 18:7)

We can tell when the spirit of the queen is arising within us because we find ourselves attempting to glorify ourselves and to live "deliciously."

There is a tendency today among God’s people to want to live "deliciously," in sensuality. There are many symptoms of this tendency.

One of the symptoms is the spirit of covetousness being presented to the Lord’s people as though it were a gift from Heaven. The evidence of righteousness, of God’s blessing, according to this "strange fire," this "honey on the sacrifice," is material gain. The preaching of material prosperity has spread rapidly even though it is in direct opposition to the teaching of Christ and His apostles. The Lord’s people have accepted the "prosperity gospel" uncritically because they desire to live deliciously.

Another symptom is the overemphasis on the grace of God. This is an extreme, unbalanced application of Paul’s doctrine of grace. Any teaching of the Scriptures can become error if it is not balanced against the whole text. The words of life can become words of death, and this has happened with the doctrine of salvation by grace. The current emphasis on grace, to the exclusion of righteous works as the true index of faith, is an enemy of godliness, an enemy of the cross of Christ.

Another symptom of religious deliciousness is the belief in the pre-tribulation "rapture" of the believers. Although this doctrine can be disproved easily by anyone who is grounded in the Scriptures, it remains popular among the spiritually careless.

Another symptom of religious deliciousness is the disastrous overemphasis on God’s love. Associated with this error is a ministerial silence concerning the extraordinary, rigorous demands of Christian discipleship, the tribulation experienced by all who would enter the Kingdom, and the judgment and wrath of God that accompanies sin committed by Christian or non-Christian.

The Lord Jesus allows His Bride, His beloved, to suffer every inconvenience, every pain, every imprisonment. The promises of glory to the righteous are suspended while character is being formed in the members of the Body.

The current emphasis on "positive" preaching is from Satan, not God. The Gospel of the Kingdom of God is extraordinarily positive and extraordinarily negative. Any witness of Christ who stresses only the positive aspect of the Gospel of the Kingdom is seeking his own glory and bearing a false witness of the Person and way of God.

Ours is a day when people love pleasure more than they love God, and the hirelings among the ministry cater to their audiences, appealing continually to their love of ease, of pleasure, of partying, of "fun." The queen is attempting to live deliciously.

During the past few years the Spirit of God has given us greater freedom and fluency in worship. Our choruses are changing from speaking of Christ in the third person to addressing Him in the second person. We are singing directly to Him, not just singing about Him. Recently the choruses have taken a militant turn, speaking of war and conquest.

The current renewal of praise and warfare through music is wonderful. It is from the Lord. Prolonged, rapturous worship and singing and dancing before the Lord, flags and other pageantry, are necessary if we are to survive throughout the darkness that even now is upon us. The Lord Jesus is drawing near to the earth in our day and we are celebrating the coming of the King.

But worship can become self-fulfilling and sensual. It can become a form of religious deliciousness instead of the worship of God. Instead of coming to worship God and to learn of His righteous ways we come to enjoy ourselves.

If we are coming to the assembling of the saints to have a good time, what will we do when our assemblings no longer are enjoyable, when they result in torture, in the confiscation of our property by the state, in imprisonment?

Who among us is willing to uphold, encourage and support a pastor, evangelist, or teacher who turns from the current people-pleasing, "positive" gospel and begins to call his hearers to repentance, to godliness, to patient, cross-carrying obedience to Jesus?

If we are coming to church to have fun, to enjoy ourselves, what will we do when the assembling no longer is pleasurable to us? Will we continue to seek God and keep on pressing forward until we are certain His will is being done in our life?

The writer is enjoying the singing, dancing, pageantry, and especially the war choruses being introduced to our assemblings. But the high praises of God must be balanced with the two-edged sword of righteousness. Otherwise immorality will result. All art forms, including music, stir up the soul. It is the responsibility of the elders of the assembling to insure that the worship is carried past the soul into the Spirit of God.

We are pointing out that the Christian discipleship is not "delicious." It is a very rugged way, full of delayed gratification, delayed answers to prayer. Patient endurance is required. Those who bring the fruit of Divine Life to other people do so out of their personal death on the cross with the Lord Jesus.

There is no easy way. Life comes from death, in the Kingdom of God. The saint who steadily, consistently brings forth fruit from the tree of life has no place in his personality for religious deliciousness. Our role is to ascend the heights of Zion and hear from God so we may bring His Presence and Word to people. It is not rewarding to come down from that awful communication and find the people playing and dancing in religious deliciousness.

The self-willed, unclean church exclaims, "I sit a queen, and am no widow, and will see no sorrow."

She says she is no widow, but where is her husband? Who is the husband of institutional Christianity? It is not Christ. The queen spirit in the churches would murder Jesus if it could, just as the Pharisees murdered Him.

If Christ were to appear today to His churches, the spirit of the queen in the churches would seek to murder Him. How do we know? Because the queen spirit, the spirit of organized religion, always strives to murder the Spirit of Christ when He appears in the saints.

Babylon is a fornicator. She may claim the name of Christ but she never has been married to Him. Christ is nowhere to be seen. She uses His name but she is not in union with Him. This is true of much of Christendom and of the works of much of Christendom.

And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach. (Isaiah 4:1)

The queen boasts that she will see no sorrow. As we listen to the Christians of today state that God loves them too much to allow them to experience tribulation, that they must not suffer, that God wants them to be rich and comfortable in the present world, we know the queen is being exalted in our midst.

The Christian churches have been influential in the world’s commerce. Rather than fleeing from the worship of money, as Paul commanded, the Christian churches have embraced money in order to "glorify God."

And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: (Revelation 18:11)

The destruction of the great Christian organization of the last days, at the hand of the world powers of Antichrist, will be very harmful to the world economy. Today the merchants depend on Christmas sales to keep them prosperous. When there are no more Christmas sales, numerous businessmen will go bankrupt.

We can observe in the Charismatic churches of our day a disturbing trend. The "prophets" are stating that in the last days the wealth of the world will be given to the Christians and they will be the "head" and not the "tail" in the world’s economy. And this before the return of the Lord Jesus!

Can any Christian who loves Jesus, who knows what the Scriptures teach, believe this prophecy is of God? We know the False Prophet is to make his appearance and that he will work together with Antichrist. We think the prophecies concerning the riches to be given to the Christians in the closing days of the present age are from the False Prophet, from the spirit of religious deception.

In some instances, the Christians are so entangled in the economic system of capitalism they are viewing capitalism as a Christian system of economics. The Kingdom of God neither is democratic in philosophy nor capitalistic in economics.

We are not commenting on any Christian’s duties of citizenship or his loyalty to his country. Our purpose is to point out that the Wife of the Lamb is to have nothing to do with economic systems. It is Babylon, the queen, who is enmeshed in the Antichrist world system of finance. The true Church of Christ has nothing to do with any economic system.

The true Church is looking for the soon coming of the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom that will overthrow all other governments and economic systems.

The Christians of today who are advocating and practicing the amassing of material wealth, with the idea in mind that this is part of the Christian discipleship, are not in union with the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the queen who has led them into error. She is riding on the "scarlet coloured beast" of the world system of commerce, the Antichrist system (Revelation 17:3).

The Christian religion has been the inspiration for some of the finest of the art and music treasures of the world, as well as the sponsor of major educational institutions. But in some instances the architecture, art, and music have been and yet are a substitute for the Person and Presence of the Holy Spirit of God.

Today, music often is the substitute in the assemblings for the living Presence of the Holy Spirit. The churches are filled with music rather than with the Spirit.

Art and music come from God and have a role to play in the world. But art and music are of the soul of man, having been placed there by man’s Creator. They are not manifestations of the Spirit of God in the work of the Gospel of the Kingdom.

Any talented individual can fill a Christian church with inspiring music even though he or she may be very worldly, very sinful, very self-willed and self-seeking. But no worldly, sinful believer can bring the awe of almighty God into an assembling. Only the cross-carrying saint can do that.

There is a difference in kind between the inspiration of music and the Presence of the Spirit of God. Sometimes the Spirit of God does take advantage of a musical environment and work with people while their hearts and minds are open. This is not because the music is a manifestation of the Spirit. The Spirit has chosen this opportunity to perform His own work.

The writer, having a fairly extensive background in music, believes music is being employed in the Christian churches as a substitute for the Presence and awe of God. The music entertains the saints, it does not create Christ in them. The elders as well as the congregations appear to be unable to distinguish between the blessing of the Holy Spirit on the human being, and the inspiration of his soul by music or by another art form or medley of forms.

And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; (Revelation 18:22)

All the rich experiences of architecture, art, and music, and every other form of human productivity, will be stripped from the queen. She will inherit nothing of value, while the true saints will inherit all the good things the Lord God has created.

"Work! work! work!" the queen cries.

We believe in hard work and have little sympathy for the lazy individual. But ecclesiastical labor often is the construction of a source of glory for the queen. The worn-out believer comes to the Lord, and the Lord says, "Rest, rest, rest." How wonderful to rest in the Lord and be refreshed in His Presence!

The queen enjoys the sound of the millstone if she is profiting from the labor but she herself will not help turn it.

The only reason God has not judged these queens long ago is that the Wife of the Lamb, the light of the world, is growing up within the Christian organizations. As soon as the Spirit of God draws the Body of Christ out from the various church systems, God’s judgment will fall severely on those who are part of the whore.

God will remove all spiritual light from her. Her spiritual light has come from the Lamb’s Wife who has been in her. She does not understand this, supposing God is blessing her fornication with the world and her glorifying of herself.

And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. (Revelation 18:23)

Earth’s religious institutions are able to bring men and women into spiritual marriage with them. The bond, the relationship, is with the institution.

The members of the Wife of the Lamb are virgins. They are in the churches but not married to them. The Lord Jesus Christ will not permit one of His choice ones to be married in spirit to a Christian organization.

When the Lord Jesus calls out His Wife there will be no member of His Body left in the Catholic, the Methodist, the Episcopalian, the Baptist churches, or in your denomination or my denomination. There is but one Wife of the Lamb, one Body of Christ. She will be identified as such before the Lord Jesus returns, for the way of the Lord must be made straight.

We are not attempting to "call God’s people out of the Christian institutions." That would be to create our own Babylon. The Spirit of God will call out the Wife when the time has come.

Rather, we are emphasizing the true nature of the Wife of the Lamb—that she is not a queen. Christ will have no competitors, no queens. Christ reigns alone. His true Wife is not a great church that reigns in glory with Him. His true Wife is His Body, His complement, His completion. She is an eternal part of Him.

The Church never is termed the wife of Christ. The Church is the Wife of the Lamb. The saints become the Wife of the Lamb by eating the Passover Lamb. We are being married to Christ now, as we learn to live in and by Him in every area of life. We think that those who are looking for a wedding ceremony in the sky are heading toward disappointment. The marriage is taking place now!

When Christ appears He will be the "carcass," the slain Lamb. Those who live by His body and blood will ascend as eagles to meet Him in the air.

If you desire to be free from every taint of "queendom," from every trace of marriage to Babylon, then covet union with Christ. Seek earnestly to be under the control of the Head. Strive to share in His Life so you may live by Him as He lives by the Father.

Do not attempt to force Christ to go your way, to do what you want. Try to discover what He wants. He is not your servant, you are His servant, His bondslave. There is rest in this relationship.

How wonderful to be an eternal part of the Wife of the Lamb! How abominable to attempt to be a replica of Christ, a queen who seeks to "glorify God" by glorifying herself.

I would rather be a part of Christ than a partner of Christ. Wouldn’t you?