What the Lord is after today is obtaining a beautiful bride, without spots or wrinkles or any such thing, which can be presented to Himself as the Bridegroom; the beauty of the bride is the expression of Christ in us, the shining our of Christ from within us.
Our natural man and living in the natural life is not pleasing to the Lord; what He desires is to be wrought into us so that He may be lived out of us. It is not an individual Christian who can express Christ or who can constitute the bride of Christ, but it is a built-up group of overcomers who are in harmony that can become the bride of Christ.
Therefore, we need to be built up with our fellow believers into the Body of Christ in the divine oneness so that the Lord may gain a corporate expression, the built-up Body of Christ.
God’s top attribute is oneness – He is three yet one, and all that He does and works is so beautiful and excellent because of the wonderful divine coordination in the Triune God.
The attribute of the divine oneness is a communicable one; the more we enjoy God’s divine dispensing, enjoy His transmitting as the Head, and allow Him to be built into us so that we can be built into Him, the more we are perfected into one, and the more we are built up together.
This matter of the divine harmony being enlarged to include us as the many members of the Body is beautiful, and whenever we are one with the saints into the Triune God, beauty is seen among us. There is much excellency, beauty, and virtue in the oneness and harmony among the saints in the church life.
The beauty of the king (Isa. 33:17) is being infused into the bride to make her beautiful (Psa. 45:11). May we have our concept changed from thinking that the more we do for the Lord, the more we are beautiful before Him.
May we see what does God consider as beauty, what He wants to be wrought into us as the church to make us beautiful, and what is the way that He takes to make us His beautiful bride for our wedding day.
Manifesting the Divine Attributes through our Human Virtues to be the Bride of Christ
In Song of Songs a few times king Solomon says about his lover, You are beautiful, and one time He even said, Don’t look at me, for I am overwhelmed and my heart is ravished… What the Lord desires to gain in the church as His bride is beauty.
The beauty of the bride is nothing else but the divine attributes saturating and being expressed through our human virtues. The virtues manifested by us Christians should be the manifestation of the glory and beauty in the divine attributes.
As believers we are those who have divinity as our element and reality, from which the divine glory and beauty are expressed through our human virtues (1 Cor. 10:31; Phil. 1:20-21; 4:5, 8).
The most beautiful thing that God sees in the church is Himself being expressed in man; when He mingles Himself with man and saturates man with His element, and then He is being lived out of man, this is beautiful.
How can we adorn ourselves to become a beautiful bride for our husband? To adorn is to make someone or something more attractive by adding something beautiful; we are adorned to be the beautiful bride of Christ by having Christ added to us and by ministering Christ to others and make them beautiful.
When we minister the Triune God to people, we add beauty to them, and we adorn them with Christ.
As seen in Song of Songs 1:10-11, there are some companions that help the lover to be adorned for her bridegroom; there are some perfected believers in the church life who coordinate with the transforming Spirit to perfect the saints by ministering the Triune God into them for their transformation, so that God’s attributes may be wrought into them and be expressed through their human virtues.
Christ is the universal Man, and He needs the church to be beautiful, with no spots or wrinkles. For this, He joined and mingled Himself with us, the regenerated tripartite men, to make us His counterpart.
Now both God and man share the same nature – divinity and humanity – and our human virtues are slowly being saturated and filled with the divine attributes. As believers in Christ we have divinity mingled with humanity; divinity is our content and reality within, and humanity is the manifestation and beauty without.
This is the great mystery – Christ and the church in an organic union, in which Christ as the Bridegroom and the Head of the church is working Himself into His believers so that God’s divine attributes would be mingled with and expressed through our human virtues, constituting us the bride of Christ.
We need to beautify ourselves and beautify others by enjoying the Lord and allowing Him to be wrought into us, and by ministering Christ to others for them to be part of Christ’s beautiful bride.
Lord Jesus, we open to Your inner working, Your dispensing, and Your beautifying work. Make us Your beautiful bride by working Yourself into us until Your divine attributes are manifested through our human virtues. Save us from living out in our natural man or in our self; save us from marring the temple of God by building with or living out anything of the old creation. Lord Jesus, may divinity be our element and reality, so that divine glory and beauty would be expressed through our human virtues!
The Beauty of the Bride is the Shining out of the Christ wrought into us Daily
Until that day, we all are learning to cooperate with the Lord to have our humanity transformed and uplifted by having Christ wrought into us to shine out of us as the beauty of the bride.
There are still many spots and wrinkles in us and in the church; these do not affect the function of the church but they detract from the beauty of the church. In order for the Lord to gain a beautiful bride, we all need to be washed by the water in the word to have any spots and wrinkles removed, and any blemish or stain expunged.
Surely at the time of her presentation to Christ, the bride will not have any wrinkles or spots. In His bride Christ will behold nothing but beauty. This beauty will be the reflection of what He is. The beauty of the bride comes from the Christ who is wrought into the church and expressed through the church. Our beauty is not our behavior; our only beauty is the reflection of Christ, the shining out of Christ from within us. What Christ appreciates in us is the expression of Himself. Witness Lee, The Conclusion of the New Testament, p. 3451
If we realize that what Christ appreciates in the Bride is simply the expression of Himself, the shining out of the Christ wrought into her daily, we will give ourselves to the Lord to eat Him, digest Him, and assimilate Him, so that He may constitute us and be expressed through us.
Christ is our food, and the only way we can become His beautiful bride is by eating His riches and partaking of Him in His word. There’s no other way but eating Jesus; eating Jesus makes us a beautiful and even glorious bride.
When we open to the Lord, eat Him in His word, allow His word to dwell in us richly, and let the element of Christ be digested and assimilated into us by giving Him the thoroughfare, we will be prepared as the beautiful bride of Christ.
The real beauty is not the highest morality or the best ethics, neither is it a good humanity that is kind and caring; the real beauty is the expression of the divine attributes through our human virtues.
The beauty of the Bride is the shining out of Christ from within us, the expression of divinity in humanity. The beauty of the bride is for the presentation of the bride to Christ as the Bridegroom (Eph. 5:27; John 3:29; Rev. 19:7-9), and it comes from the Christ who is wrought into the church and who is then expressed through the church.
How wonderful to realize that our only beauty is the shining out of Christ from within us (Psa. 50:2; 90:16), and what Christ appreciates in us is the expression of Himself (S. S. 4:7)!
When the Lord sees Himself wrought into the church and lived out as the second garment, the wedding garment, in the church, He will consider the bride irresistibly beautiful, and He will truly say, This time this is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, for she matches Me as My counterpart: this one I will marry!
Lord Jesus, we want to eat You and enjoy all Your riches for You to be assimilated into us and then expressed through us! Lord, our only beauty is the shining out of Christ from within us. Work Yourself into us and mingle Yourself with us until Your divine attributes are filling our human virtues to be expressed through them. We pray for morning mingling of divinity with humanity today so that the divine attributes may be manifested through our human virtues. Amen, Lord, wash us and cleanse by the washing of the water in the word until You gain a beautiful and glorious bride that would match You!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother Mark R. for this week, and portions from, The Conclusion of the New Testament, msgs. 343, 424 (by W. Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Direction of the Lord’s Move (2016 Thanksgiving Conference), msg. 3 (week 3), To Prepare the Bride as the Counterpart of the Bridegroom (1) – The Readiness of the Bride.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Lord Jesus, Thy redeemed ones / Are Thy Body and Thy Bride; / As Thy fulness, Thine expression, / In her Thou art glorified. / Thou, her all in all forever, / She Thy riches doth declare; / Thou dost fully saturate her / And Thy glory with her share. (Hymns #976)
# Keep my heart so soft, Lord, so open to You; / It would be the good ground to bear fruit for You; / Capture my friends Lord, and build us, I pray; / Your Bride, We’d match You in every way, / And corporately we tell You: / Jesus, Come quickly, / We’re waiting for You; / We’re the virgins to You, / So single and true; / Forever and ever / Your counterpart true. (Song on being beautified by Christ).
# As we eat Jesus, praise the Lord, / The transformation’s done, / Until at last, the work’s complete— / Christ and His Bride are one! (Hymns #1241)
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