GUESTS AT THE WEDDING FEAST
Secondly, we are the guests invited by God to the wedding feast of His Son (Matt. 22:1-10; Rev. 19:9). God the Father is now preparing a wedding feast for His Son and inviting many to attend it. Hallelujah! We are not only the children of the bridechamber, but also the guests invited to the wedding feast. Have you not received an invitation? On the day you were saved you were invited by God the Father. "All things are ready," He said. "Come to the feast!" And we are feasting now. Praise the Lord, whenever we come into His presence, we realize that we have come to a feast. Whenever we come together in a meeting, we must realize that we have come to a wedding feast. The church meeting must not be just a meal, but a feast, and not an ordinary feast, but a wedding feast. Whose wedding? The Lamb’s wedding. Do you come to the meetings for teaching or for learning? We must come to the meetings for feasting. Even while I am speaking in the meetings, I am feasting; I am feasting much more than you all. I do have a kind of enjoyment within my spirit. So in this sense, we are the guests invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Thirdly, we are the virgins going forth to meet the Bridegroom (Matt. 25:1-13). In one sense the Lord Jesus as the Bridegroom is with us, but in another sense He is away and is coming back. In one sense we are with Him and we are enjoying Him, but in another sense we are waiting for Him. And we wait for Him in the way of going forth to meet Him. We are the virgins. Whether I am male or female, as one going forth to meet the Bridegroom I am a virgin. We are all virgins going out of the world to meet Him. We are all virgins looking for His coming. That is our goal. He is the coming Bridegroom. We are the virgins—we love Him, we are waiting for Him, we are eagerly seeking His coming. We are the children of the bridechamber with the Bridegroom, we are the guests invited to His wedding feast, and we are the virgins going out of the world to meet Him.
We must realize that as virgins we are those who have nothing to do with this world. Our goal, our aim, is Christ; we are going forth to meet Him. If we are still involved in this earth, if our goal is something here, we all become gentlemen, not virgins. Sometimes I look at some of the sisters and say to myself, "You are a sister, but you are really a gentleman. You are full of earthly aims. Your aim is not the Bridegroom’s coming. Your aim is something else, perhaps even your missionary work. You are pursuing some business other than the Lord Jesus." We all must be virgins and have nothing to do with this earth. Our goal is His coming, our goal is Christ; we are aiming at Him. As such, He is our real enjoyment. If you are not such virgins aiming at Christ, you miss at least a part of the enjoyment of Christ.
In the first sense we are the children of the bridechamber, in the second we are the guests, in the third we are the virgins, and in the fourth we are the bride. We are not only the children of the bridechamber, not only the guests invited to the wedding feast, not only the virgins waiting for Him, but eventually the bride herself! Hallelujah! (Rev. 19:7-8; 21:2, 9) Brothers and sisters, have you realized that He is so much to us, and we are so much to Him? Because He is so much to us, we must be so much to Him.
FOUR PERSONS TO ENJOY CHRIST
IN A FULL WAY
These four aspects are all for our enjoyment of Christ as our Bridegroom. In the first sense we are the fellows in the bridechamber enjoying the Bridegroom. In the second sense we are the guests enjoying Him as our feast. In the third sense we are the virgins enjoying the coming of the Bridegroom. And eventually, we will all be the bride to enjoy the Bridegroom to the uttermost. Thus, to enjoy Christ as the Bridegroom we must be four kinds of persons to Him. By all these four ways we enjoy Christ so richly and sweetly. May the Lord impress us deeply with all these four aspects and bring us into the full enjoyment of Christ.
If we would enjoy Christ in a full way, we must be one of the children of the bridechamber, one invited to the wedding feast, one of the ten virgins, and a part of the bride. We are waiting for the day when our Bridegroom will return and take us to be with Himself as His bride. That day has not yet come, but we may at least enjoy Him now in the first, second, and third ways. Sometimes, however, we do have a real foretaste of enjoying Him in the fourth way, as His very bride.
(Christ versus Religion, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)