Are You Preparing Your Wedding Garment?

January 2019

 

Dear Brethren:


           We (Nancy and I) offer and extend another warm greeting from Minnesota, the land of
ten thousand lakes, the land where the elite meet the sleet. We take this opportunity again to
greet every one of you who know and love the Truth as it was originally revealed, and to express
our love and appreciation for you, wherever you are upon the face of this earth. You continue
to be worth every sacrifice required to provide instruction, inspiration and spiritual assistance.
Thank you for refusing to give in to the pressures trying to get you to abandon the faith
(doctrine) once delivered. If we will hold on firmly to Christ in the form of revealed doctrine
until the end, we will have a chance to be part of the Body which will be arrayed in fine linen,
clean and white.


           In this letter we are going to look at the finest, choicest, superb wedding garment of all
time. One of the most stirring moments of any physical wedding is seeing what type of gown
the bride is wearing. God (of the first part) feels the same way about the bride who will marry
His Son—those called out of this world today—before the rest of mankind.


Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb
is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she
should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white (Revelation 19:7–8).


           She was granted—given permission—to be arrayed, or adorned in this fine fashion. You
have here a description of the Bride (the Church—God’s Kingdom in embryo)—how she
appeared, not in the gay, chintzy, trashy and glitzy dress of the mother of harlots, but in fine
linen, clean and white, which is the righteous acts of the saints. The Bible has a lot to say about
linen. Fine linen garments were especially worn by kings and queens and members of their
royal courts. Those who ministered in the tabernacle and temple also wore fine linen. These
included the boy Samuel. “But Samuel ministered before the [Eternal], being a child, girded
with a linen ephod” (1 Samuel 2:18).


           Here is what the Nelson’s Bible Dictionary has to say about the ephod:


The ephod was a vest worn by the High Priest when he presided at the altar
(Exodus 28:4–14; 39:2–7). Worn over a blue robe (Exodus 28:31–35), the ephod
was made of fine linen interwoven with some threads of pure gold and other
threads that were blue, purple, and scarlet in color. The ephod consisted of two
pieces joined at the shoulders and bound together at the bottom by a woven band
of the same material as the ephod.


           The Levites “which were the [temple] singers,” were also arrayed in fine linen (2
Chronicles 5:12). The priests likewise were arrayed in fine linen (Exodus 28:39–42). They
were all surrounded in their places of worship by the veil and curtains made of the finest linen
(Exodus 26:1–37). The Bride of Christ, called a group of kings and priests, will be arrayed in
fine linen.


           Let us examine the parallels between physical fine linen and spiritual, righteous sacred
linen, clean and white. As the Bride of Christ, we must be making ourselves ready by putting
on this spiritual fabric. Here are some facts about linen from Wikipedia: Linen is a textile (a
woven material) made from the fibers of the flax plant. Linen is very laborious to manufacture.
These plants were usually pulled out by the roots, dried in the sun, then pounded until the fibers
separated. Then the fibers were washed and bleached, producing a fine fiber that could be
woven into fine linen. Guilds of linen weavers existed among the descendants of Judah (1
Chronicles 4:21). Palestinian weavers were so skilled that their fine linen was often preferred
to that produced in Egypt. Linen is a very durable, strong fabric, three times stronger than
cotton fabrics. This strength means it does not have much elasticity, which explains why it
wrinkles easily. When the tomb of the Pharaoh Ramses II, who died in 1213 b.c., was
discovered in 1881, the linen wrappings were in a state of perfect preservation after more than
3,000 years. Linen is resistant to moths and carpet beetles and it can withstand humidity and
the passage of time. As the Bride of Jesus Christ, we need spiritual strength, endurance,
willpower, self-control and courage in the face of adversity. When it comes to God’s
unalterable, unchanging Law, we should not malign, deflect or deviate from it.


           Fine linen—clean and white—refers to the righteous acts of the saints and Psalm 119:172
gives us an important key to righteousness. “My tongue [David’s tongue] shall speak of thy
word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.” Fine linen—clean and white—is an
outward reflection of righteous character and conduct which is developed in this life by living
according to God’s Law. Fulfilling the Law of God is righteousness. Spiritually, the keeping
of God’s Law is our wedding garment. Psalm 119, more than any other chapter in the Bible,
tells us how to put on the righteous acts of the saints. It tells us how to understand the Law,
appreciate it and be thankful for it! It tells us how to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white.


           If we live lawfully the way Psalm 119 describes, we will never allow the lawless Satan,
or the concepts of our own minds, to rule us. Throughout this psalm, many different terms are
used to describe and magnify God’s Law: Commandments, testimonies, precepts, statutes,
ordinances, the words of God, His promises, His judgments, His faithfulness, His justice and
commands—”The Way.” “Blessed [or happy] are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law
of the [Eternal]” (Psalm 119:1). The word translated “law” here is torah, which is also the name
for the first five books of the Bible, written by Moses. This is God’s legal system based upon
His Law. This world has a big problem with God’s Law. God’s apostate people also have a big
problem with God’s Law. They have forsaken God’s Law which was set before them in this end
time by His end-time servant, Herbert Armstrong. You cannot forsake God’s Law unless you
once had it and kept it. The biggest tragedy that has taken place within our parent church in this
end time, is that they have forsaken God’s Law as it was originally revealed.


           The whole Bible is based on God’s legal system of love—the Ten Commandments. Look
around at this world! There is so much misery and suffering because of people’s attitude toward
law. They call lawlessness “freedom,” but they are in bondage to sin (John 8:34; Romans 6:16;
2 Peter 2:19). God has a legal system of love. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his
commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3). God says keeping the
Law is love. If you do not keep the Ten Commandments, which is righteousness, you do not
have the love of God and you will not be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white. We must
embrace God’s Law and say: “O how love I thy Law! it is my meditation all the day” (Psalm
119:97).


           God’s Law is a “Law of liberty” freeing us from sin (James 1:25; 2:12). “Great peace
[great welfare, health, prosperity and God’s favor, Strong’s #7965] have they which love thy
law: and nothing shall offend them [cause them to stumble]” (Psalm 119:165). “Open thou
[Eternal] mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law” (Psalm 119:18). What
is so wondrous about God’s Law? Well, if we keep it the way Psalm 119 describes, we will be
arrayed in fine linen, clean and white, forever and ever. Isn’t that wondrous?


Blessed are they that keep judgment [the judgments that magnify and expound
upon the Ten Commandments], and he that doeth righteousness at all times
(Psalm 106:3).


Little children, let no man [no law rejecter] deceive you: he that doeth [or
practices] righteousness is righteous, even as he [Christ] is righteous (1 John 3:7).


Now no chastening [no reproof or correction] for the present seemeth to be
joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward [if we learn through chastening] it
yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness [law keeping] unto them which are
exercised [trained] thereby (Hebrews 12:11).


[Eternal], who shall abide in thy tabernacle [arrayed in fine linen, clean and
white]? who shall dwell in thy holy hill [Your Kingdom of kings and priests]?
He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness [putting God’s Law into
action], and speaketh the truth [the faith once delivered] in his heart [or mind]
(Psalm 15:1–2).


           David tells God: “Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the
truth” (Psalm 119:142). David says to God: “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness
[in Your family Kingdom]: I shall be satisfied, when I awake [in Your Kingdom], with thy
likeness [in righteousness]” (Psalm 17:15).


           Another remarkable quality of fine linen is that it gains softness and whiteness over time,
the more that it is washed. Plus, it also becomes less prone to wrinkles. That is another
characteristic of the gown in Revelation 19:8. It is clean through repetitive washing. The bride
is arrayed in fine linen, clean and white, symbolically clean and white inwardly.


Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto
according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not
wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might
not sin against thee (Psalm 119:9–11).


           A clean garment symbolizes repentance and an obedient response to God’s Law and His
Word. Only those living by every word of God will be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white.
“Clean” according to Strong’s #2513 means “free from impure admixture, without blemish,
spotless, pure in heart” (Matthew 5:8). Impure admixture has to do with the act of mixing truth
and error. “Clean” means freedom from corrupt desire and guilt (1 Timothy 1:5; 3:9); freedom
from falsehoods such as false apostles (2 Corinthians 11:13), false Christs (Matthew 24:23–26),
and false worship (Exodus 20:3–11; Isaiah 31:1; Jeremiah 25:7); freedom from the defilement
of sin (Isaiah 64:6); and freedom from the defilements of the flesh and the world (Galatians
5:19–21).


           We are being cleansed when we submit ourselves to God’s Word, resist the Devil and
purify our minds to think like God (James 4:7–8). The cleansing agent is the Word of God.
“Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you” (John 15:3). When we
meditate on the words Christ spoke, inward cleaning can take place through instant recall of
putting those words into ACTION. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the
church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify [set it apart] and cleanse it with the
washing of water by the word” (Ephesians 5:25–26).


           Jesus Christ has paid the greatest price—His sacrificial death on the stake—in order to
purchase a bride for Himself. Jesus Christ, our future husband, is cleansing us with the washing
of water (symbolic of the Holy Spirit and baptism) through His Word as it was originally
revealed to us. Linen needs a lot of washing because of its absorbency which makes it
susceptible to stain. It absorbs water and sweat easily (making it a cooler fabric to wear in hot
weather). It is also easier to iron out the wrinkles when it is damp. Likewise, we, as recipients
of God’s Holy Spirit, typified by water, must absorb God’s Holy Spirit and let it permeate the
fabric of our beings. We must let God’s loving heat (our fiery trials and experiences) press out
our spiritual wrinkles while we are saturated with the spiritual water of His Spirit. Then, like
linen, the more we are washed, the softer, whiter, shinier and less wrinkly we will become.


Let thy garments be always white [symbolic of righteous character undefiled by
Satan, self and society]; and let thy head [your mind] lack no ointment [oil of
God’s Holy Spirit] (Ecclesiastes 9:8).


He that overcometh [Satan, self and society], the same shall be clothed in white
raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess
his name before my Father, and before his angels (Revelation 3:5).


           If we do not defile our garments, we will be able to walk with Christ, our Husband. For
we will be worthy, if we are proven overcomers, through the use of God’s Word. Remember,
it was by the repeated sword thrusts of God’s Word that Jesus overcame His adversary (Satan)
in the wilderness (Matthew 4:3–10).


I [God] counsel thee [those in a lukewarm state] to buy of me, gold [acts worthy
of righteousness] tried [refined] in the fire [of trial and experience], that thou
mayest be rich [in godly character]; and white raiment [acts of righteousness],
that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness [your
lawlessness] do not appear [or may not be revealed]; and anoint thine eyes with
eyesalve [spiritual discernment through God’s Holy Spirit], that thou mayest see
[the wedding gown Jesus Christ is providing for you] (Revelation 3:18).


           White is symbolic of purity and indicates the glory of the wearer (Matthew 17:2; 28:3;
Acts 1:10).


All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine [for
spiritual growth], for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
That the man of God [the begotten of God] may [become] perfect, thoroughly
furnished [properly equipped] unto all good works [in order to be arrayed in fine
linen, clean and white] (2 Timothy 3:16–17).


           Those saints that were martyred for their acts of righteousness will be given white robes
(Revelation 6:11). A great multitude, which no man could number, that came out of great
tribulation, were clothed and arrayed in white robes (Revelation 7:9, 13–14).


And the armies [the resurrected saints] which were [should read “are”] in heaven
[the first heaven—the clouds] followed him [Christ] upon white horses [symbolic
of war], clothed in fine linen, white and clean [symbolic of their acts of
righteousness] (Revelation 19:14).


           Christ is preparing the Bride for His wedding and to ride with Him into war.


That he [Christ] might present it to himself a glorious church [a Bride arrayed in
fine linen when she has been glorified], not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such
thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5:27).


           Jesus Christ is preparing the Bride for His marriage and wedding. And how is the
Church (the Bride of Christ) itself described? Like fine linen fabric without its two most
prevalent flaws—spots and wrinkles! Thus, the beauty of this gown is symbolic of
perfection—of that day when Jesus Christ is going to draw us to Himself, cleansed and purified.
Cleansed and purified with the washing of water by the Word. Cleansed and purified through
the sacrifice of Jesus Christ—washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation
7:14). “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). Cleansed and
purified by the act of God forgiving sin. Cleansed and purified through grace—unmerited
pardon for sins that are past. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his
good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). God’s good pleasure is to have us arrayed in fine linen, clean
and white.


           Question: What are you doing to prepare your wedding gown? “That the righteousness
of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans
8:4).


The righteousness of the Law is that obedience that the Law requires.


For we are his [Christ’s] workmanship [His creation], created in Christ Jesus unto
good works [that obedience that the Law requires], which God has before
ordained [prepared afore] that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).


           Christ in us in the form of doctrine is our hope of glory. Christ in us is our hope of being
arrayed in fine linen. Christ in us is our perfect union with Him as our future Husband. Christ
in us is our participation in His holiness, His glory and His perfection. What a glorious time is
coming when God’s Bride will be showcased in her clean, white, brilliantly glowing, unwrinkled
and unspotted wedding gown. That is the type of righteousness that we, as Christ’s Bride, must
be putting on.


           Question: What are you doing to prepare yourself to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and
white?


Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Draw nigh to God [through living by every word of God], and he will draw nigh
to you. Cleanse your hands [through the Word of God], ye sinners [you law
breakers]; and purify your hearts [your minds, by putting on the mind of Christ],
ye double minded [you who are vacillating between natures]. Be afflicted, and
mourn, and weep [fast]: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to
heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the [Eternal], and he shall lift you
up [to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white] (James 4:7–10).

Your committed servant preparing to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white,
Robert J. Litz


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