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intro to prefect prepared bride

Simeon had four characteristics that God mentions specifically. He was just, devout, waiting for the Messiah and had the Holy Ghost. This, plus the kind of faith exhibited in the first half of Daniel's prophecies (see Daniel end-times weapon faith), is the character God wishes for His end-times saints. They ought to be waiting for Jesus and filled with the Holy Ghost, but they must be living in the righteousness of Christ, covered by His blood and worshiping devoutly, in spirit and in truth. To live just lives we must flee youthful lusts, as it says in 2 Timothy 2, and walk even as He walked, as it says in 1 John 2. To be devout we must forsake all lying vanities and, as 1 John ends, keep ourselves from idols, living like little children trusting and believing Jesus for our very lives. Simeon had the Holy Ghost upon him. For us who await Jesus' return we are to have the Holy Ghost dwelling in us. If we do these things we will be directed by God, hear His voice, and be obedient to His commands to watch and wait for His return.


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What the bride is doing

Waiting for the Messiah is
Same as waiting for Bridegroom to appear

by Terry Smith

     Waiting is one of the hardest things for humans to do. Waiting for Christmas morning can be torture for children. Waiting to give birth can seem like an eternity to the expec­tant mother. Waiting to hear word about some important matter can actually be harder than handling the news itself. W-A-I-T is the most dreaded four letter word in the Chris­tian vocabulary. When spoken by God to the believer, the word has been known to induce a sudden self-imposed deafness in many Christians. Some of the most creative excuses ever devised by man to ignore God have been in response to God's counsel to WAIT.
      But if we are willing to be obedient to God's voice when He tells us to wait it can lead to the greatest possible victories of faith. Waiting is the one thing that the genera­tions of the first and second comings share with one another. Both generations have the notable position in God's plan of redemption to accept the great and awesome challenge of waiting for the Messiah. This Christmas The Christian Spirit stops to take a look at those who wat­ched and waited for the birth of the Messiah because they offer inspiration for our generation to wait patiently for the return of our dear Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Giants of Faith Waited for the Promises
The Bride will wait faithfully for her wedding day
      Waiting is one of the greatest acts of faith a Christian can perform for God. It began as early as Adam and Eve. They waited for their redemption through the seed of the woman, having had it promised to them by God when they were first cast from the Garden of Eden. Though they suffered the murder of their son, Abel, at the hand of his twin Cain, they saw the beginning of the redemption process in their third son, Seth, and they believed. Noah preach­ed for 120 years about righteousness and built the ark, waiting to be saved and vindicated by God. Abra­ham was promised that his seed would bless the nations and that he would inherit God's eternal promises. He waited until he was 100 years-old until Isaac was born and waited the rest of his life for the promise of inheritance knowing it was many, many generations off in the f­uture. Isaac did not have Jacob until he was sixty years old. Jacob waited and worked fourteen years to wed his beloved. The book of Hebrews runs through a very short list of some men and women waited patiently by faith for the promises never having received them but knowing the day of their inheritance of all things was coming nonetheless. David was anointed king by Samuel when he was a young lad but waited more than twenty years until he was crowned king over all Israel. He could have slain Saul and taken the throne on at least two occasions but refrained from the temptation to rush God’s hand, preferring to wait for the timing of the providential wisdom of God. Elijah was given the promise of being caught up to heaven and was c­ontent to wait without knowing the day or hour, or place in which the fiery chariot would swoop down from the sky to carry him home. Even Mary stored in her heart everything the angel of the Lord told her about her son and waited for the truth about Jesus to be revealed. Waiting is a fundamental part of the pilgrimage of faithful believers. The church of Philadelphia is highly commended because they have kept the patience of His word and not denied His name. Those that wait upon the Lord will rise up like eagles (literally when they are raptured) and they shall renew their strength, walk and not faint, run and not be weary.
But these are the exception, these people of fait­h, and not only in Israel at the time of Jesus' birth, but throughout all time and even more so today. The cares of this world choke out the fruit of patience and temperance. The lusts of worldly things rob believers daily of the joy and peace that meekness and goodness in the spirit breed. As the separatist pamphleteer and poet John Milton so beautifully proclaimed, “Those who sit and wait, they also serve.”  Though a wondrous, bright new star hung over the city of David and angels serenaded the world in the moonlit sky there was no mad rush of townspeople to see the new-born child wrap­ped in swaddling clothes. So too now, though signs burst out with regularity and clarity like multi-colored fireworks against a purple hewed skyline continually, this evil and wicked generation of these last days before the Second Advent of Christ, pay them no mind. When Joseph fled with his family into Egypt to escape the butchering of the children by Herod in Beth­lehem there were no royal emissaries or palace servants poised to greet the King of kings when he arrived. Nor were there any throngs of fawning women or crowds of cheering men when Jesus' parents brought him to the temple in Jerusalem to be circumcised. Now it is not just one woman who goes through birth pangs to present the world with the Savior of mankind, no, it is all of creation that groans, as the scripture says, to give birth to the second coming of Christ. But where are the waiters in the lobby, where is the enthusiasm, the breathless waiting, that ought to accompany so great a birth. No, even though God had preceded the birth of all births with signs and wonders there was very little notoriety or fanfare that first Christmas. Outside of a few farmers, poor people and a band of wise men mankind was too busy going about its business to pay any attention to the first coming of the Christ. So it is today, people will continue to give and be given in marriage and all things will continue was if nothing is happening and nothing is about to happen as important as the fiery judgment of the earth and the birth of a new age, and the paving of the way for a totally new heaven and new earth. Only the spirit of the bride was clued in at the first coming – and darn few at that – only the spirit of the bride will have the insight, freedom, heart and gumption to greet the Lord at His return.     

Waiting is a Great Ministry of Faith

In Israel there were only a handful of believers who earnestly waited for the Messiah though the event had been prom­ised by Moses in the Law and through all of the prophets. The prophets of old had told Israel that a Savior was coming. The scribes and priests were learned in these prophecies and in Scrip­ture. They knew where the Christ would be born and that He was of the house of David. The nation still looked for the Deliverer spoken of in Isaiah. Micah had promised that this man would be their "peace". Daniel foretold of His kingdom and that it would be estab­lished forever in righteousness. Malachi, talking of the "Sun of Righteousness" prophesied that the Messiah would "arise with healing in his wings." All of the religious leaders were schooled in prophecy concerning the Messiah. It was a tradition and a point of national pride and focus in Israel the way the 4th of July is a source of national observation and pride in America.
      At the time of that first Christmas Augustus Caesar had just levied a tax on every household in Palestine. The Roman yoke was heavy on every Jew's neck, the hope of the Mes­siah and the promise of His deliverance had to be in the heart and mind of most Jews. In every town a synagogue spoke of this hope on each Sabbath. How could this nation that had the tradition and teaching about the Messiah, not know their Jesus, their Emmanuel, was among them? Look­ing with carnal eyes, for their own idea of the vision of the Messiah, the nation looked right past the birth of the Christ child. Only a very few saw what was happening. Only a few had the eyes of faith to notice that the Savior had come into the world. But there were two people in particular who were looking and waiting for the coming of the Messiah. Both of these people lived in the city of God and both were in the temple the day Jesus was brou­ght in to be dedicated to God. These two humble saints, Simeon and Anna, stand as beacons of light to encourage the generation of the last days to wait patiently for the second coming of Jesus. They are examples showing us how we ought to live while we wait for our salvation to appear.

 Simeon: Just, Devout and Waiting

   "And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.

And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Gho­st, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.

And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, ac­cording to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gen­tiles, and the glory of thy peo­ple Israel." (Luke 2:25-32)

Simeon had four characteristics that God mentions specifically. He was just, devout, waiting for the Messiah and had the Holy Ghost. This is the character God wishes for His end-times saints. They ought to be waiting for Jesus and filled with the Holy Ghost, but they must be living in the righteous­ness of Christ, cov­ered by His blood and wor­shiping devoutly, in spirit and in truth. To live just lives we must flee youthful lusts, as it says in 2 Timothy 2, and walk even as He walked, as it says in 1 John 2. To be devout we must forsake all lying vanities and, as 1 John ends, keep our­selves from idols, living like little children trusting and be­lieving Jesus for our very lives. Simeon had the Holy Ghost upon him. For us who await Jesus' return we are to have the Holy Ghost dwelling in us. If we do these things we will be directed by God, hear His voice, and be obedient to His commands to watch and wait for His return.

Take note that Simeon was promised by the Spirit that he would not see death until he saw the Savior. Is this not like the promise of the rapture to the Church? Take note also, that it was the Spirit that brought Simeon into the temple that illustrious day to meet his Messiah. We who wait for the second coming are also invited into the temple, brou­ght by the power of the Holy Spirit, into the presence of the One True God. We are encouraged to come "boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." It is our Messiah's blood that now gives us access to the Father by the Spirit (Ephesians 2:18). The end-times saint will be like Simeon and take full advantage of being in the presence of God while we wait to see our Deliverer.
      When Simeon had seen his salvation in the child Jesus he declared the peace it brought to his soul. We who wait for Jesus' appearing will also be given great peace in that moment when we set eyes upon him. That is why the Scripture says, "but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pur­e." (1 John 3:2-3) Waiting for that bles­sed hope purifies us as it helped to make Simeon a "just and devout man". Jesus declared the spiritual necessity of waiting for his second appearing in this teaching from Luke 12. 

"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;

  And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.

  Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.

  And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

  And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.

  Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not." (Luke 12:35-40) 

Simeon's faith teaches us to be ready, to be clothed in truth, to have our lights burning, always waiting for that moment when the Lord will appear. It could be any time just as it happened to Simeon on an unsuspecting morning that day in the temple. Staying ready for that sudden and unsus­pecting moment is a marvelous purifying agent to those who earnestly wait for Jesus.

 Anna: Responded "in that instant"

"And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;

  And she was a widow of about fourscore and four ye­ars, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

  And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem." (Luke 2:36-38) 

Anna had been in the temple serving God with prayer and fasting for eighty-four years. The Scripture does not say she had been waiting for the moment when the Christ would be revealed, but it says she responded "in that instant". A widow in God's house she was as a bride waiting for her beloved, t­he bridegroom. Instantly, like we who wait for the Lord's return, she saw the Lord and gave God tha­nks. Her discernment of the Lord in an instant bri­ngs to mind the verses of 1 Corinthians 15 which talk about the rapture saying, "we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twin­kling of an eye, at the last trump". In a moment, in an instant we shall be delivered and look upon our redemption. For eighty-four years Anna served God with patience and when she saw the Lord she told everyone in Jerusalem that also looked for redemption about his coming.
Anna's ministry from that instant on was to tell believers and encourage them about the coming of the Messiah. It is a good ministry, in these last days, for saints to tell one another of the second coming and the soon appearing of the Lord in the clouds. Teaching one another to wait on the Lord is consistent with so many of the pleas that come forth from the Psalms. 1 Thessalonians 4 ends by telling us to comfort each other with the words of the rapture. This ministry of Anna is a good ministry.

Anna and Simeon truly loved Christ's first appearing. They are examples that we should remember Christmas with our mind’s eye turned toward the second appearing of Jesus. Take some time not just to thank God for the first coming of Jesus, but thank Him for the promise that He will return. God has promised a crown for those who love Jesus' appearing. Paul, in his second epistle to Timothy, put it like this: "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteous­ness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."

Keep looking up, "for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed."

Believing in the Rapture

See exactly how the Rapture figures prominently into spiritual Perfection