"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: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints" (Revelation 19:7-8).
Contrast this Scripture about the church to Revelation 18:7, which is a picture of Babylon, or false religion. Remember, false religion is made up of men and women just as the church is made up of men and women. Therefore, when we see pictures of these women, we're not seeing just the women, but we're seeing symbolic expressions of many people who are living in a certain way. Revelation 18:7 reads, "How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow."
We are in one group or the other. Every one of us fits either the picture in Revelation 18:7 or Revelation 19:7. The Word is preached so that if we are in Revelation 18:7 we can get out and get in Revelation 19:7. We want to see whether or not we're a part of the church, not to exclude anyone, but that we can be awakened to our true position so that we might be sure that we're a part of the true church.
Revelation 18:7 pictures a multitude of religious folks going on in deception, glorifying themselves and living by their own religious works, or living deliciously, as the Scripture states. They're trying to get the best things out of this life, forgetting all about the fact that there's an eternity and there's a God whom we will meet in the Judgment, and forgetting that we're creatures God made to serve Him. They feel that no evil will befall them, so they live unrestrainedly with no fear of the judgments of God, nor hardly giving any thought of being subject to Christ or obeying His Word. They're just living to please self.
We have a picture of two kinds of people before us: some who are living it up in this world, and others who are making themselves ready. Wherever we find the true Church, we'll find a people who believe that time is running out and that there's much work to do, and a people who are not satisfied with themselves, but are working harder and harder in seeking ways to please God. It's on thing to say that we love Jesus and want to be with Him, and it's another thing to prove it by getting ready.
In Revelation 19:7, we see a group of people who believe in making themselves ready. Notice the word "wife" in Revelation 19:7. In the rest of the Revelation, the church is spoken of as a bride. A bride can be a woman who is preparing for marriage or a woman who is newly married, but a wife is always a married woman. Many people say they love Christ and would like to be His bride, but not to the point of matrimony. They don't want to set up housekeeping. They want to love Jesus, yet be "footloose and fancy free".
The Scripture states that the marriage of the Lamb is come and His wife has made herself ready. It's possible to be His bride and not be ready, but His wife has made herself ready. Revelation 21:2 reads, "And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared [ready] as a bride adorned for her husband." How did she get ready? The true bride, the true wife of Christ is getting ready by seeking out Christ's will for her life.
People claim to be the church, but they live like the world, act like the and even look like the world, and yet say they love Jesus. That's not possible! A true love for Christ will cause us to seek to please Him in every way we possibly can.
Righteousness Is a Grant
According to Revelation 19:8, it was granted to the church that she should be arrayed in fine linen, which is the righteousness of the saints. Throughout the Old Testament, we find there were many times that the priest and others operating in the tabernacle wore linen, but there were only three times that they wore FINE linen. The fine linen back then typified the righteousness that Jesus Christ would bring to us through His sacrifice on Calvary's Cross and His resurrection from the dead.
Notice that it was granted that she should be arrayed. So many are bound in sin. Too many today are like Paul when he was in the darkness of Phariseeism: they're trying to establish their own righteousness, trying to get victory over "this and that" in their own strength. God has granted to us through Jesus Christ a righteousness that "whosoever will" can wear in all its glory. Jesus Christ can still reach down in the deepest quagmire of sin, pick up a man, clean him up, and give him the righteousness of God within his soul.
In Luke the first chapter, we read where Zacharias (John the Baptist's father) was filled with the Holy Ghost, and he began to prophesy: "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation [power] for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, the we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life" (verses 68-75).
The Revelation says that it was granted unto her. Righteousness is a grant. Over and over, the Scripture teaches that Christ the Lord is our righteousness. The Bible tells us to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. We can have the righteousness of God. We can be holy as He is holy. We can be righteous as He is righteous. Read First, Second, and Third John. To make a long story short, when a sinner comes in old-time repentance, commits his life to God, ready to let Christ be Lord of his life (not only confessing his sins, but confessing Christ Lord of his life), a change is made. Christ's righteousness is imputed unto us for our justification. We're not justified by many works that we've done, but we're justified because of His righteousness. Then through the Holy Spirit, He will move into our heart and impart the very righteousness of God , and we can be righteous.
I think Paul makes that plain in Philippians 2:12-13. Verse 13 reads, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." The verse before it says to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, and that would be a terrible job if it were not for verse 13, which says that it is God working in you. Now, God works salvation in us, and we have to work it out; but we can't work it out if He doesn't work it in, and when He works it in, it's not hard to work it out. It's an impossibility to please God without God working righteousness in our heart and life first.
The Greek words for "the righteousness of the saints" mentioned in Revelation 19:8 mean "the saints' righteous acts." The church is to be arrayed, adorned; that's all on the outside. The fine linen is on the outside: the righteous acts of the saints, their godly attitudes, actions, words, and ways. God is working it in their hearts, but they are working it out in everyday life by the moves they make.
The Bible says to have a conscience void of offence toward God and man. God looks on the heart, and man looks on the outside; so let's keep our heart clear before God and keep the outside straight before man.
Righteousness is a grant. We can have salvation if we will. We can live perfect before God if we will. God will work it in us, but we have to put on Christ. We can't put in Christ. God has to put Him in, but we have to put Him on. God works this great salvation in our heart, but we must let it get on the outside.
Put on Thy Strength
In Revelation 19:7 there's great rejoicing over two things: it is possible to be married to Christ, and these people have met the conditions and gained the experience. His wife hath made herself ready, and that's something to be glad and rejoice about.
We can't truly rejoice in any more truth than we're walking in. God gave Canaan to Old Testament Israel, but they enjoyed only what they put their feet on. Now, in the New Testament, God hasn't given us "a land", but He's given us Christ. Ephesians 1:3 states that God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus. He has given us all of Christ. Every bit of Him is ours, but only what we appropriate to our life can we enjoy.
Isaiah 52:1 reads, "Awake, awake; put on they strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean."
I'm not speaking lightly of anyone that disagrees with our teaching, but this Scripture says that the uncircumcised are not even going to get in the church. People are holding on tenaciously to the theory that they need a second work they call spiritual circumcision, but the prophet said the day was going to come when the uncircumcised were not going to get in. In Colossians, Paul makes it plain that when we come in old-time repentance, we get heart circumcision, and he tells us what the heart circumcision is: God takes out the old heart and puts in a new one. Every born-again person has been circumcised.
When Isaiah talked about being awake, he meant just that. In too many cases, while the world is sleeping in darkness, the saints are sleeping in light. They're not awake to the strength they ought to have. They let too many little things upset them in life. Let's awake to the real strength that God has for us! Paul was human just as we are, and when the thorn came, his first prayer was, "Lord, take it away. It hurts." But God told Paul, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness." The grace of God is the strength of God.
There's nothing any more sorry than to see people who claim to be Christians, but so weak they fall down at every circumstance. There's nothing beautiful about that.
Let's awake to strength. Let's put on our beautiful garments. Let's awake from slumber! Awake from weakness! In the New Testament, Paul said, "Awake to righteousness and sin not." When Isaiah said to awake and put on our beautiful garments, he meant for us to get the nightgown off and get the wedding gown on.
Shake Thyself and Arise
Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 52:2, "Shake thyself from the dust; arise..." We'll be way ahead to shake ourselves instead of waiting and letting God shake us. Let's shake ourselves from the dust! Things get dusty by just sitting around. The wife has to dust through the house, but she doesn't dust a moving object. If we keep moving, we don't get dusty.
The saints haven't been on the move as they ought. God speaks out of Heaven through His Word and maybe changes their theory just a little, and what's the first move some of them make? "I'm going to sit down and watch this spin and see how it works out." Now, that's just exactly what the devil wants us to do. We don't need to sit down and watch anything spin! Let's keep walking! While the "sit-down" goes on, thousands of lost souls are dying that need to be reached by the church. Again, let's shake ourselves from the dust!
Dust, all through the Scripture refers to the flesh. There's a part of us that was made out of the dust, and we must live pretty close to God or our souls will get dusty. All we have to do is just quit practicing what makes us spiritual and we'll start getting dusty by the flesh wanting to "do this and wanting to do that".
Isaiah not only said to "Awake," but he also said, "Arise." Come up to a higher position in God. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 7:1 to cleanse ourselves, and this Scripture has nothing to do with any cleansing that the blood or the Spirit does. This is a cleansing we must do. God has given the Word, great promises, that we might obey them; and by obeying them, we cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness and coming to a greater state of holiness. I don't know a person who doesn't need some more perfecting to his holiness. Certainly, we have a perfection if we've obeyed God to every degree of light He has given us, but there's a much greater perfection to be attained as God reveals the Word to us and we measure to it.
Revelation 19:9 reads, "And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God." In Matthew 22:14, Jesus set forth the truth that many are called but few are chosen. It's a blessed thing to be called, but not every one that's called is going to get in. a time of preparation begins the moment God saves us, and it never stops as long as we live. Revelation 17:14 will tell us why. They that are with the King of kings and Lord of lords are called, chosen, and faithful.
Facing the Final Conflict
Revelation 19:7 says His wife has made herself ready. Ready for what? She has made herself ready for death, for the second coming of Christ, and for eternity; but this Scripture teaches us that she has made herself ready for something different. Here is where we need to find our true position. While she is ready for the marriage supper, Christ is calling the church out to a new expedition, a last and final battle. The vision didn't stop right here.
Verse 11-16 reads: "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."
Many are only thinking about getting ready for eternity, but Christ is working to get the church ready for this last and final battle of truth against error. And we're in it; so we might as well get busy and arise. Blessed are they that are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb; but before we go to the marriage supper of the Lamb, we have a battle to fight. Many people are bound in positions in their traditions and ideas and religious ranks, but truth is at stake. Christ is calling to a people who have been brought to a place of rejoicing, and we must be there. We can't fight this last battle in a beat-down, forlorn condition.
The angel encouraged John that these are the true sayings of God. We don't need to be afraid of them. There's a way that we can tell if something being preached is really truth. If it's the true sayings of God it will make us want to worship God: but if it's not sound doctrine, it will stir up a distaste in God's people.
There was something so loving, so deeply spiritual about the angel that brought this message to John. However, it wasn't an angelic being. It was one of the angels that had the seven vials. There was something so wonderful about his exposition that it got hold of John and he got right down and wanted to worship the angel. But the angel said, "Get on your feet, John. I'm just one of your fellowservants, one of your brethren. Worship God."
Then the vision kept right on going. There is prophecy to yet be fulfilled. John saw a white horse. When you see a horse in the Revelation, you know there' a battle on. We're in the final period of the battle of Armageddon. It's been going on since the Garden of Eden, and God is making the church ready for one last battle, and this one will lead us right up to the end. Are we ready? His wife is!
There's more to being the Church than just claiming to be. Every way Christ moves, the true church follows right behind Him. We may have been following Christ, but somewhere along the line, we were deceived and we're not following Christ now. There are people following "the beast" (religious confusion) today that think they're following Christ. Only as they get under the truth and the truth gives them a revelation of that deception can they see they're not following Christ. Many have been "switched off the track" and are following some man. We'd better take a look again and see if we're following Christ!
His wife has made herself ready to enter the final conflict of the ages. She has made herself ready to align to God's word, and by so doing, judge and make war on the ungodliness, the unrighteousness, and the falsity that are all around her.
The Faithful and True Word of God
It's needful that we be reminded of the fact that when we study the Revelation, we're dealing with a symbolic book. Those white horses denote purity and holiness, and also bring out the militant phase of the church. This One who rode on the white horse is called The Word of God, and those people on the white horses following Him are a picture of people following the Word of God today, no matter what men say or how men feel. They're fighting the good fight of faith, and they're following the Word of God.
The church is following Him who is Faithful and True. The Word of God has been faithful in the past. Every prophecy that reached the time of its fulfillment found its mate. He is called The Word of God, and He is called Faithful and True, teaching us how faithful God's Word is.
There are people tied with unbelief. They cannot receive their healing. They cannot receive deliverance. The promise is there, and they believe it is God's Word, but they can't claim it. "Loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion" (Isaiah 52:2). Every bit of the Bible except just a very few Scriptures has been fulfilled. Everything that God spoke has been faithful! We're the last generation that ought to have trouble believing God! We have less reason to doubt God's Word than any people that ever lived.
Christ has many names throughout the Scriptures, but here He is called The Word of God, and I believe there's a reason for it. As The Word of God, He made the worlds. Read John 1:1-3 and Colossians 1:15-17. He is the Word of God, and by the Word of God, salvation is offered to man. The eternal, living, omnipotent Word, moves to reveal to the universe one more time and forever the folly of resisting Christ, and sets before the world the indisputable preeminence of the King of Kings and Lord of lords. By rejection of the Word of God, sin was brought into the world. Sin, anarchy, rebellion, and godlessness are all, in one way or another, a repudiation of God's Word.
Our weapons are not carnal, earthly, or fleshly, and any time we pick up these kinds of weapons, we're out of the battle, because we're not in God's army. Many are not ready to fight because they don't have victory over too many conditions. They can't fight right because they get hateful and ugly.
Notice how John saw Christ in Revelation 19:12. He had seen Him like this once before. In Revelation 1:14, he saw His eyes were as a flame of fire; and in the sixteenth verse, John wrote that out of His mouth went a sharp, two-edged sword (which is the Word of God). John had spent time with Jesus, the loving Christ, but when he appeared in the Revelation with eyes as a flame of fire, John fell as a dead man before Him. He couldn't believe that was Jesus.
Read the letters to the seven churches that Christ gave to John and you'll understand why His eyes were as a flame of fire. Ephesus had left her first love, still claiming to be the Church. Pergamos was allowing false doctrine...teaching people to commit fornication, still claiming to be the Church. Thyatira was allowing false teachers to seduce God's servants and lead them astray, still claiming to be the Church. Sardis had a name to live but was dead, still claiming to be the Church. Laodicea was lukewarm, and God was so sick of her that He was ready to spew her out, but she was claiming to be the Church.
The Scripture says His wife hath made herself ready. Now, are we ready to follow One, whose eyes are as a flame of fire, eyes that discern the least thing? Not very many people want to keep company with that kind of Jesus. He sets us on fire if we don't obey Him.
Let's Fulfill Our Obedience
His wife has made herself ready, and I want us to see what His wife has made herself ready for. Second Corinthians 10:3-6 reads: "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal[fleshly], but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations [reasonings], and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience, of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled."
The world is in a pitiful shape, and we need to follow the Word of God, judging and making war against unrighteousness and ungodliness in the right manner. However, we can't take revenge (and I'm using the word as the Bible uses it here) or make one move against the condition in the world unless WE'RE obeying. When our obedience is fulfilled, then God will use us and our life against the conditions that are going on in the world.
We must never forget what our weapons are. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, fleshly means, but they are mighty through God. Let's recall when Peter was locked up in jail and the church wanted him out. If they had been like many religious people today, they would have said, "Lets get three bus loads and go up and stand in front of the jail and holler, "We want Perer! We want Peter!" However, that's not the way the church did it. They had a cottage prayer meeting, on there knees before God. The town didn't see any demonstration, but God must have said, "Look at that group down there. Look where Peter is. Gabriel, go down there." The angel just walked through the jail cell and told Peter to get his shoes on. He didn't have to hurry. If they were going to break jail, he would have told him to run barefooted, but they could take their time because no one could stop them.
The devil has moved too much of the church from her rightful position. Too many have forgotten where their power is, and they're trying to use weak, fleshly weapons to hold their position. The devil wants nothing better than to bring us down from that lifted-up position that God has put us in and to get us to use earthly, fleshly means.
The thing that's hurting the church more than anything else is the disobedience among the members. God is still omnipotent. Nothing can stop Him: He's the master of every circumstance. However, He's not riding the trail alone. He must have armies on white horses behind Him: men and women who are living in holiness and righteousness and using the weapons as God would lead.
When Paul said, "readiness to revenge" he wasn't talking about a hateful, get-even attitude. He was talking about a revenge whereby we can lift up something against the condition that's going on in the world. There's only one way to revenge (a better word is offset) the rebellion and disobedience that's going on in the world: Let's Honor Christ! Let's Love Christ! Let's Obey Christ! There's only one standard that can be lifted up against disobedience, and that's obedience. If we fail to obey, we'll get right in the muddle with the rest of the religious world.
Acts 17:10-11 reads: "And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went in the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." How can people get out of the confusion many are in? How are we ever going to help people? We must come back to the place where we're ready to receive the Word of God with readiness of mind; then in honesty of heart, search the Scriptures to see if the things being taught are so.
Readiness of mind means "without prejudice, with eager interest." Sometimes there's so much prejudice among people who claim to be the people of God that if a certain man gets up to preach, they wouldn't take anything he says. There's more prejudice than we realize against the Word of God when it crosses a traditional belief. We have readiness of mind to hear more truth when we've obeyed the last truth that we heard.
Second Corinthians 8:10-11 reads: "And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also..." For over a year, the church at Corinth had been talking about giving a missionary offering, but they hadn't done a thing yet. Paul said they not only must be ready and willing to do something, but do it.
Be Always Ready to Give an Answer
First Peter 3:8-15 reads: "Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrawise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. for the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear."
The reason more light has not been shed in more communities is that when people ask, for instance, why we do "so 'n so" or don't do "so 'n so", our answer is, "Our church teaches it...or our church teaches against it." but the Bible says for us to sanctify the Lord God in our heart and give and answer. How do we sanctify the Lord God? We lay hold of truth. Understand it for ourselves in our own heart and be ready always to give people that ask us the reason for the hope that lieth within us.
The battle isn't what false leaders would teach us: with sword and physical bloodshed. It's a battle of truth against error. God's only move against error is for His people to sanctify the Lord God in their hears and be ready.
Ready to be Revealed
First Peter 1:3-5 reads: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through Faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." Jesus let us know that only those who endure to the end will be saved. This Scripture is not referring to The Judgment. The subject of our message is, His wife hath made herself ready, and the last aspect we're dealing with is that she is ready to be revealed in the last time.
First John 2:18 states that it is the last time. The last time began at A.D. 33. This is the last days, the Gospel Day; eternity is beyond this. This is the last time and His wife has made herself ready to be revealed.
Now the question naturally follows: How is she going to be revealed? First Peter 1:6-7 reads: "Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith being much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ."
His wife is revealed by the great trials. Not a one of us knows exactly what we have until it's tried. We don't have any more faith than we can use. We live in the Laodicean age, when people say they're one thing and don't know they're something else. They say they're rich in faith, rich in spiritual things, and don't know they are poor. How do they find out? Through the trials. If we're a Christian we want to know what we have. We don't want to live a sham. We don't want to talk about a lot of faith and not be able to pray in our needs. The trial of the saints' faith is also one of God's ways of showing the world what the saints have.
Notice what Peter said. He said that we greatly rejoice in the thought that we have a reservation in Heaven, a place at the Lamb's supper on that day when all nations are gathered together and we have that wonderful time together. But he went on to say that sometimes, if need be, we go through heaviness while our faith is tried, just as gold is tried in the fire. It's necessary to try gold in the fire to see if it's pure gold, and the trying of our faith is MUCH MORE PRECIOUS than the trying of gold that perishes.
By the action of fire, gold is separated from any other alloy. When the gold goes in the fire, it doesn't lose anything of its true nature, color, weight, or any other property. Gold isn't hurt by the fire. The only things lost or separated in the fire are things that are not gold but look like gold. Peter brings up the equation that just as gold is tried in the fire, people who truly love God are ready to be revealed. They're ready to have anything taken away from their lives that doesn't belong to and is not conducive to true Christian living. Even as gold loses nothing in the fire, so genuine faith is proven by adversity and trials.
Gold, when exposed to the action of the fire, becomes red hot, and that's what Jesus is saying to the church today: "I would that you were hot." Continual action, no matter how long, on gold in the fire has no effect on any of its true properties. I read from history that it has been known for gold to be kept in the furnace in the sate of fusion (the hotter the gold gets, the more it comes together) for months, in some cases, without suffering the smallest change in any of its properties.
Salvation puts us in possession of greater blessings and more solid comfort than this earth can afford. God can give us an experience and allow us to be tried, knowing that the adversity we are put in will not harm our experience.
In the Book of Job, Satan is not a tempter. The word Satan means "adversary, opposer, and accuser," but not a tempter. He worked on Job through insinuations, insinuating that Job wasn't a child of God, insinuating Job only served God for what he got out of Him. Nevertheless, Job understood all about this gold. Satan said to God, in so many words, "If you will let me at him, not only will he give up on you, but he will turn and curse you. He will become rebellious." But God knew that Job would not.
Well, Satan tried everything, and poor old Job was so afflicted his wife said, "Curse God and die." But Job said, "I know that my redeemer liveth, and when he hast tried me, I shall come forth as gold." And he did! God blessed him and he had twice as much as he did before he went in the trial.
The Psalmist said, "We went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place." God is trying to bring the church to a wealthy place. The wealthy place is right on the other side of the trials.
Do we love Christ enough to take the trial, the persecution, the heartache, and the misery if God can be glorified in it and it will bring out the good in our experience? So much preaching is just in terms of Heaven and being ready to die, but we may not die for a while. The question is, Are we ready to live? Are we ready to battle this thing out, to stand for truth in the right attitude, and to follow the Word of God, the Faithful and True?