We should anticipate that the “spouse” of the Lamb and the “spouse” of the Beast to reflect the approach of each of their spouses. And for the most part, they do.
The Bride of the Lamb reflects the light of the Son of Righteousness.
The Beast however nurtures the heart and spirit of a Harlot or Whore.
The Book of Revelation spends significant space contrasting these two.
A bride is a woman who chooses her husband with love, volunteering in her new role. She is treated as an equal. She reflects the love she receives.
A whore is one who doesn’t love the man she is with but fakes it for the sake of security, social pressure or fear of abuse. A bride makes her own choices. A whore gets her choices forced on her. One operates as an equal, the other as an abused and controlled individual.
There is a lot of ways to unpack this Bride and Harlot contrast and connect it to our series on servant leadership and beastly powers.
Here I focus on the role of the bride to reflect light. If the major disease of beastly power, as my last post noted, is lying and murdering that grows out of resistance to hear and see the Light and Truth, the characteristic of the bride is she lives in the light and truth of God, operates without force and voluntarily serves the Lamb and others.
While the defining characteristic of a bride is this voluntary love and commitment it grows out of a love and commitment one has experienced from God, a God who operates in truth, transparency and service.
The followers of Christ have freely chosen to follow Him. They are not forced into this role. They select it based on evidence and truth.
AND for that reason, they will be like Christ.
And like Christ, they will be loved or hated.
They will be disliked by those who reject light and preferred darkness and evil.
A follower of Christ “who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim 3 v 12). As evil people and systems treated Christ so they will treat his faithful bride. They will grow more loving and that will be contrasted to those who follow Satan: “evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (v 13).
More candor and transparency characterizes the bride’s relationship to her husband, Christ. She is empowered more. She is given keys to heaven and hell. She is treated soooooo much better and therefore treats others sooooo much better.
Truth dispels deception in the relationship between Christ and his bride.
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (v 14, 15).
Believing, knowing, learning and following truth factors as a major characteristic of followers of Christs, His bride.
The whore doesn’t have that insight, understanding, and learning. She prefers to stay with her deceptions.
The whore stays attracted to beastly rule and its fear and use of deception.
The bride reflect the light of God–the openness, freedom producing qualities that make up his transparent and “servant leadership” kingdom.
The vivid reality is that the more we become like Christ, the more we experience the liberty of His character and the truthfulness and learning that operates in his system, the more we voluntarily say yes to God.
And that makes the beastly powers of force and deception and lying so much more repulsive to us.
We shun deception. We embrace freedom. We reflect light, like the moon on a dark night.
Prayer: God help us on our journey to be brides not whores. Help us to be soaked in a deep understanding of your grace and peace and liberty and faithfulness and glory and wisdom.