The End-Times Campout at Old Paths Assembly in Lucerne Valley, CA was a remarkable week of worship, fellowship, and being immersed in the Scriptures in order to become both spiritually and physically prepared for the days ahead. Yahweh will always, always do again what He has done before. Ecclesiastes 3:15 says, "Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before." He is a God of perfect order; so when we learn to study the lessons He taught the Israelites who went before us, we can hopefully avoid making the mistakes they made, and learn from their journey. The apostle Paul tells us that all these accounts of the first exodus and the Israelites' wandering in the wilderness are given to us as examples, that we might learn from them. And so for five days in the Mojave desert we studied these scriptures, and learned from our teachers about everything from starting fires to identifying edible plants, to the power of our words to bring life or death!
But the thing that touched me the most was a teaching by Mike Clayton which he titled "The Bride Wears Combat Boots." Mike entered the room dressed as a bride that none of us imagined the Bride of Messiah would look like: with a sniper's net for a veil, camouflage for a "gown," and combat boots. His "bouquet" was his Bible in his hands, and on his back was his machine gun. At first it was funny. Then it became a bit shocking. And by the time Mike was finished teaching us, he had effectively jolted us out of our fantasy that as the Bride we are all soaked in perfumes and wearing white satin and dancing with the King to romantic music. If you ever saw the movie, "One Night With the King" you know what I'm talking about. We have romanticized and feminized the image of the bride to the point where men cannot relate to what it truly means to be the Bride of Christ.
Make no mistake, there will be a wedding one day! Even as Yahweh gave His Torah (His katuba or marriage covenant) to His people on Mt. Sinai, so He will solemnize the wedding vows between us and our Bridegroom when He returns. But in order for us to be spotless and white, a Bride made ready for the Lamb, we must not be found waltzing, dreaming, and soaking in perfume. We may be called to look more like the young men and women of the IDF in Israel, who at age 17 all don combat boots and machine guns before they ever walk down the aisle. They are called to defend Israel and to uphold the Torah, the covenant between Yahweh and His people. So are we.
Mike closed his message with these words below and I pass them on to you to ponder. Yeshua wrote many, many words to exhort us to: "Wake up! Watch! Be ready!" Why should we watch if nobody knows the day or the hour anyway? Because as Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:4-6, "You brothers, are not in darkness that this day should surprise you like a thief! So then let us not be like others who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled."
Let us truly be ready to fight for our Bridegroom in the days ahead.
Before the bride wears white, there will be combat boots and fatigues.
Before the chuppa, there will be foxholes.
Before the perfume, blood, sweat and tears.
Before the flowers, a sword.
Before reciting of vows, fighting for Truth.
May Yeshua return soon and find us alert, self-controlled and ready...with our boots on our feet and the Sword of Truth in our hearts.
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