THE BRIDE VERSUS THE HARLOT
But on the other side, in Revelation chapters 19 and 21, we have another woman, the Bride, the wife of the Lamb. She is dressed in fine linen, bright and pure. There is nothing mixed about her. In chapter 21, we see that this holy female, the Bride, is the holy city, the New Jerusalem. That city is built up and constituted (not gilded) of gold, precious stones, and pearls. The city proper is pure gold, clear as crystal. There is no mixture, and there is nothing hidden. Apparently and actually, outwardly and inwardly, in any way and in every way, it is gold. The city is pure gold. And the wall is built firstly with jasper, which signifies the appearance of God (Rev. 4:3), and then with all manner of precious stones. As for the gates, every gate is a pearl in itself. How marvelous! This is not a gilded article, but one which has been transformed from center to circumference. This is exactly what it is—it is gold, it is precious stone, and it is pearl. Revelation 17 records the full development of the leavened meal in Matthew 13, and Revelation 21 records the full development of the pearl in Matthew 13.
These are the two signs. Never think that in Babylon there is no gold, precious stone, or pearl. Not only are there many who are saved in the denominations, but there are many precious stones there. But look at the picture: if you have seen the vision, could you take sides with great Babylon? Could you say that since there are so many precious stones in Babylon you should remain there? May the Lord open His Word and open your understanding. May the Lord grant you clear and transparent discernment that you may say, "Regardless of how much gold is there, regardless of how many precious stones and pearls are there, that is still the great Babylon, the great harlot, the mother of all the harlots." Some dear Christians are rather simple and think that as long as other Christians are in Babylon it is all right. You may say it is all right, but the Lord says NEVER. We must take sides with that which is solid and pure. Do not be fooled, do not be deceived, do not be cheated. You must see that there are two sides in the Bible, the mixture side and the pure side, the Babylon side and the New Jerusalem side. To continue to say, "Is that not a good work? Are there not many saved ones there?" simply proves that you have never received divine discernment. If you can say that, you have never seen what our Brother John saw.
In Revelation 17 John said in effect, "I was carried away in spirit into. the wilderness, where I saw that subtle female, that evil woman. Oh, she is so subtle! She stole the precious materials from the New Jerusalem with which to gild herself and cheat others. She is not for those precious things; she is for the devilish blasphemies, abominations, and filthiness." Brothers and sisters, we all must be carried away from today’s Christendom to the wilderness and look back. Look at it from a distance, look at it from God’s viewpoint. You will see that there are undoubtedly some saved ones and even some precious stones there. But you will also see that she is filled with the names of blasphemy, abominations and filthiness. You will become clear by being carried away in the spirit to the wilderness.
But John, our brother, was also carried away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, from which he looked down and saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, not gilded, but built up with gold, pearls, and precious stones. Which side would you take? Tell me, which side would you take?
(Christ versus Religion, Chapter 14, by Witness Lee)