A wedding is a time of joy. The joy of this wedding will surpass the total joy of every human ceremony that has taken place.
Even the thought of it brings joy, and in that joy a sense of encouragement, and with it, a sense of blessed urgency that motivates to greater zeal and endeavor in the preparation that precedes our completed union with the Lord. "The marriage of the Lamb is come." The sound of that glad proclamation, how it stirs our hearts! Now, in every way this marriage has to be the most remarkable of all, because the completion of union involves every faithful saint of the age.
Oneness ! A full assembly of the firstborn church.. the gathering home of the saints of light. Each one united with each other in perfect oneness.. oneness of mind, and of every deep feeling of the heart, one in every thought. Harmony and concord.. not of polite low-key and deferential diplomatic smiles from afar, but intensely alive sharing of deep love for truth and holiness and one another and, most of all, for the Lord Jesus. Each one perfectly in tune with the Lord.
The mind of Jesus --- perfection of accordance with the mind of God, a mind of purity and light, a mind totally full of wholesome holy thought, and yet so deeply aware of all that goes on in each other mind of that whole assembly of saints. An intellect full of understanding, rich beyond present thought in treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Creative of all that is beauty, capable of every perfect expression of all that is lovely.
This glorious mind of Jesus, reflected like the sun in 144,000 characters like gems, each one a precious part of His Father's peculiar treasure. A composite Christ, with one heart, and one holy anointing without measure, and in one mind, the mind of Christ. "I in them --- perfect in one.."
This present anticipation of that joy of full oneness in completed union is something that each saint has shared with the Lord. Fellowship with Jesus has involved a sharing of this desire, and the depth of that fellowship at each stage of the way could be measured by the depth of that joy and the sanctifying power of that hope. As the heart has been enlarged to comprehend more and more of the love of our beloved Bridegroom so that vail has seemed to grow thin before us, as though something of the brightness of that awaiting glory was shining through its folds as light of the most blessed reality sent forth to greet us, to welcome, and to bring us to His holy hill, into the radiance of the presence of His glory. Yet it is like looking at the sun through darkly smoked glass.
There is, there has to be, limitation in what the Lord is able to share with us in our present state .. or we, like Saul of Tarsus, would need to be led about, blinded by a glory this frail body was not designed to bear. This situation.. I suppose we could call it the Rebekah and Eliezer journey, is fertile ground for the development of that needed trust and confidence in the One calling us, sending His Spirit to bring us to a glory beyond the power of human mind to conceive or trace. As day followed day, Rebekah would ask more and more of Eliezer. Day after day the picture grew in her heart of the one who waited to share with her such mutual delight and joy.
But until that moment of meeting she knew only in part, and so do we. And we prophecy in part, we talk together now on the basis of a partial knowing yet to be swallowed up in the full brightness of perfect day. What will that meeting be with that One Who, having not seen, we love..? We have mentioned how we are told in Genesis 24;64, that at the sight of Isaac meditating (we think we know what about) in the field, she fell off her camel! One polite translation says she "dismounted quickly," but the word means to fall! Such were her emotions.. what will be ours?
So long has our Master waited.. waited for that moment of completion in every saint of the work of grace.. waited for that hour of total sharing with no limitation, with full mutual appreciation and comprehension of all eternal and divine truth.
"Father".. He had prayed so earnestly near His darkest hour, "Father, I want these to be with Me, I want them to see My glory, I want them to share it."
It is His desire ... my Master's desire ... that I should be with Him where He is, and that I should behold His glory.. without a veil. (Gen.24:65.) No language can describe the blessedness, the happiness, the deeply shared joy, when Jesus with each saint together realize the fulfillment, the filling full, of each other's heart's desire. This is the consummation, not of earthly love.. something grander, higher far than all earthly love, the consummation of uttermost love. That full measure of a Father's love was first expressed in Jesus.
It was Jesus Who first loved, and it is He Who undertakes by that continual immersion in this realization and every other sanctifying truth of the Word that needful cleansing of the mind, that singleness of heart-longing for Him.. the bringing of every thought to the adoration and obedience of Christ. All to one blessed end. And every thought of holiness that Our Lord inspires, and every attitude of praise and act of loving acclamation and desire, is a step along the aisle.
When, at last, the point is reached, the perfect merging of my every thought with His, the full triumph of divine grace within my heart, true holiness beautifying His dwelling place therein, it will be that "love for me once crucified" that will then joy over the fruitage of that same love's labor in me.
"Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her Beloved?" Leaning ... That implies trust, but more than mere knowing He is there. It speaks of loving confidence that He Who drew me from a spiritual desert into the pastures of love will still pursue in me His task, and at the end present me to Himself, not me alone, but all who have been drawn and captivated by that same love.. a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. Can we envisage ourselves without one blemish? "Able to present me faultless.."
In language so beautiful, yet familiar, of marriage, we have a remarkable illustration of the Lord's way to reach our finite minds without exploding them, for His thoughts are higher than ours as heaven is higher than earth. The language is human, the truth divine The eyes of our heart are open wide, yet when every spiritual sense has indulged that new mind of His creation and saturated and satisfied its hunger and thirst for the knowing of its Lord, each saint is well aware that yet there is more.. the half has not been told us.
The thought of a betrothal, a marriage, and its joy.. this is the Lord's selection from human experience. From man's beginning did the Lord institute what was ideally designed to be the most joyous act of human kind. And this He takes and uses as analogy to draw our minds away from every joy of earth to high above the loftiest realm of human thought.. to drift indeed in realms unknown to man, and glimpse the glories of eternity.
How can we grasp the concept of that "forever with the Lord"? The endless age composed of countless gemlike moments of perfect alignment of all thought and activity in heart delight and mutual joy. I in Him, enveloped in Him, and He in me.. When every saint will think as one, and act and speak in the unity of one single mind, that of the Lord Himself, and yet contribute, each its special part to play, to that one glorious Body, each supply according to one blest design that which will enrich each other part. Grace, unmerited and undeserved favor from a divine heart, grace is at work this moment, taking the things that are nothing, to make of each a valued part, a precious contribution, not one superfluous, to that glorious whole. Each step of this way, each day, has been our joy to find in Jesus our every want. "I need Thee every hour.." When we are not singing the words the sentiments are there expressed in hearts that ache for the Lord. That aching must be precious to the Lord.
But what is our emotion when we hear the Master's voice, as in a dream, and know it is of me He speaks the words, My glorious Head, as He surveys His work of grace in me, the least of those uncomely parts, "I, your Head, need you." So here eternally my utmost need and His together meet, and perfect love in perfect oneness flows.