Bride or Harlot ? …Wedding parables pt 2

To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words; Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.  For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead.  None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.( Proverbs 2:16-19)

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.(Proverbs 31:6-8)

The Wedding Parables begin in the Old Testament. In prophetic imagery, a woman represents a spiritual body of people. Israel is ‘the daughter of Zion” and even the “wife of Jehovah”. The church is ‘the bride of Christ”. But there is also a theme of adultery and harlotry in prophetic imagery.

The book of Proverbs is just one example of this. There is a far deeper thread that runs through the proverbs, than merely various adages for young people. The real theme is the choice between the Bride and the Harlot.

The Son of David is being prepared to pick a bride, and we all hold our breath hoping He choses the right one.

Early on he is presented with ‘the strange woman’. She is faithless, and has abandoned a husband already, but she is beautiful and her lips are skilled in flattery.

For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:  But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.(Proverbs 5;3-5)

She looks good, and talks as though she is anointed, but her end is catastrophic, and behind her smooth words and smile, is malice and death.

She is always shifting and changing, this is part of her allure, she always follows the latest fashions and appearances, but this is so the young man will not have a chance to think about the course of his life.(I worry about the effects of technology in this area, our young generation is so absorbed in entertainment and stimulation, they do not have time to deeply think about their life).

Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.  Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:  (Proverbs 5:6-8)

In Proverbs 7 there is a parable I call, “The Death of the Simple” ,

“For at the window of my house I looked through my lattice. And saw among the simple, I perceived among the youths, a young man void of understanding. Passing along the street near her corner; And he took the path to her house, in the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night.” (Proverbs 7:6-9)

The naive young man wandering, “void of understanding”- as explained in the previous post, this means he has no sense of the Holy (Proverbs 9:9), no concept of the awful, transcendent majesty of God. He is drawn in his boredom and emptiness to the harlot church.

It is at first “twilight”, but darkness comes fast, soon it is evening, ere long it is “the black and dark night”.  The night is a metaphor for the Tribulation.  Before the dawning of the long awaited millennial Sabbath Day, the night grows black and dark, Evil is allowed to reach its zenith, the rebellion against the Holy God comes to a head. (I believe we are well into the “twilight”).

“There met him a woman with the attire of a harlot and subtle of heart.” (Proverbs 7:10)
She looks like a harlot, she is gaudy and overdone. She has subtlety in her heart – concealed motives. Look at TBN, or the tattoo covered and pierced Todd Bentley that thousands around the world considered to be a prophet of God. I know you can’t judge a book by its cover, and that only God knows the heart, but appearances do account for something. What does she want?
“She caught him and kissed him and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me, this day have I payed my vows. Therefore have I come forth to thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.’’ (Proverbs 7:13-15)
Hers is a mixture of flattery and antinomian salvation. “I have come to seek you”. It’s all about Y-O-U! (seeker sensitive church?) – But she professes a salvation that makes no moral demands, “ I have peace offerings” – (I have been saved by sacrifice, I am at peace with God!), but she then proceeds to describe the bed of her adulteries in sensual terms!  What kind of salvation is that?  It is the new all grace and no law salvation of the harlot church!
Come let us take our fill of love until the morning; let us solace ourselves with loves .For the Goodman is not at home, he is gone on a long journey; he has taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.” (Proverbs 7:18-20)
Her message is all love – there are no calls to repentance or obedience to the Lord. There are no moral demands made in the name of the holy God. It is an experienced based religion, light on doctrine, “dogma”, but heavy on sensual experience.
The only other theme is the denial of the immanent return of Jesus, “the Goodman”. Of course there is the obligatory acknowledgment that He “will come home at the day appointed”, but the harlot church doesn’t regard the coming of Jesus as an immanent, urgent, practical reality.
“With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straitly, as an ox goeth to slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks.” (Proverbs 7:21-22)

So many pastors I know have been flattered, seduced, caused to yield to unbiblical deceptions such as Toronto Blessing, Purpose Driven Life, the Pensacola delusion. What is it that they have been “caused to yield”? They have given up their critical faculties, the ability to discern. They have in the name of church growth yielded up their calling to protect God’s flock from the wolves who ravage them. They have yielded to the unbiblical fads, and even to destructive heresies so that they would not appear to be ‘Pharisees’, faultfinders and heresy hunters. Therefore they have yielded to the seduction time and again, and their flocks have been utterly ravaged.
These apostate pastors “go after her straitly” every time. No matter how wrong these false prophets prove to be, or how utterly undiscerning these ‘apostles’ constantly are, they will follow them. How does it feel to be one of those ‘leaders’ who publically endorsed Bentley, in many cases knowing his marriage was a disaster.  False prophets Paul Cain and Bob Jones both were exposed as sexual deviants, and even temporarily removed, but they had a ready constituency upon their re-entry into ministry.
This is a matter of eternal life and eternal death for many. It becomes a matter of the relevance of the church, God’s witness, the “pillar and ground of the truth” as Paul calls it. The consequences of consorting with the strange woman are extreme.
“Hearken unto me now therefore O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth, Let not your heart decline unto her ways, go not astray in her paths .For she has cast down many wounded; yea many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to Hell, going down to the chambers of death.”     (Proverbs 7:24-27)

By the time we come to the end of Proverbs, we are so relieved to be presented with “the virtuous woman” , the same one as mentioned setting a table in Proverbs 9,

Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars: She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table. She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city,  Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding. (Proverbs 9:1-5)

The King’s son chooses the good woman, the true bride of Christ, she is virtuous, industrious and modest. She is prepared for night, she has stored up oil,

The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.  She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.  She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. (Proverbs 31:11-15)

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8 Responses to Bride or Harlot ? …Wedding parables pt 2

  1. Is the church ‘the bride of Christ”.? Or is this just a doctrine that no one seems to question… after all said and done in Revelation the New Jerusalem is the Bride of the Christ and that after the millennium reign. I’d appreciate some solid scriptural answers as some teach that the “Church” must be perfect (if it is a bride) before the Lord returns – and that is an ever disappearing target it seems, so in this respect the Dominion Now heresies prosper..
    every blessing

    • billrandles says:

      Great question, First of all yes the church is called the Bride of Christ,

      *Ephesians 5: **30 for we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.* *and * *2 Corinthians 11:1-2 Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. 2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Chris*t.

      *Secondly- I know what you mean about the illusive target… the Word doesn’t really say the LORD is coming back for a perfect church… rather it says in Ephesians 5 “The Lord will present to itself a church without spot or wrinkle..” in other words the LORD will perfect the church at his coming- I hope this helps , Pas Bill*

      On Mon, Apr 30, 2018 at 1:36 PM, Pastor Bill Randles Blog wrote:


      • CSmith says:

        A cursory inspection of Scripture Greek and English suggests that Paul never used the phrase the “Bride of Christ” — the classic motif of the church.

        However, Paul does say “we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones,” i.e., “ye are the body of Christ (sōma Christos), and members in particular” (1Co_12:27).

        It is plausible we are not the “Bride of Christ,” in as much that it would be inconsistent with Scripture, and in addition redundant. However, we are the “Body of Christ” (cf. Rom_7:4; 1Co_10:16; Eph_4:12).

        Before addressing the “quintessential” “Bride of Christ” prooftext, it is essential to comprehend that which Paul had built and watched over so faithfully — Paul “in his time plays many parts,” a nursing mother, a father, and a husband:

        “We were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children” (cf. 1Th 2:7).

        “have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel” (cf. 1Co 4:15).

        “I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” (cf. 2Co 11:2 ).

        Paul, in 2 Corinthians 11:2, espoused the “Body of Christ” to “himself” that he “may present us as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

        Koine Greek scholar A. T. Robertson expounds this passage:
        I espoused (hērmosamēn). First aorist middle indicative of harmozō, old verb to join, to fit together (from harmos, joint). Common for betrothed, though only here in N.T. The middle voice indicates Paul’s interest in the matter. Paul treats the Corinthians as his bride.

        “Paul sees for himself the ruin of that which he had built and watched over so faithfully. He had spent himself for the assembly, accomplishing that which was behind of the sufferings of Christ; and he had to see that which he had so much loved (which he had cared for even as a mother cherishes her nursling which he had planted as God’s plant on the earth) grow feeble as to its condition and testimony in the world, depart from the source of strength, and become corrupt. What a painful experience! But it is that of the servant of God in all ages and in all dispensations.” John Nelson Darby (1800 – 1882)

      • Tim Netherwood says:

        The phrase Bride of Christ only appears once in our bibles, in probably the most important book for our time today, John’s Revelation detailing the things to come.
        One of the angels said to John, “Come and I’ll show you the Bride of Christ” (Revelation 21:9) and what did John see? A Holy City called Jerusalem descending from the heavens (verse 10). The Marriage Supper of the Lamb was all prepared and ready to go. (Revelation 19:7) and in verse 9 we are told about the invitees:
        Then he *said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he *said to me, “These are true words of God.”
        * you are blessed to be invited as Friends of the Bridegroom

        So let us examine the rest of Scripture to help us put into context the marriage.

        Adam was created as both male and female but he could not see how to obey the command to multiply, until God separated them into male and female bodies, so behold: we have the first son and daughter of God but no one as yet to invite to the wedding. Things soon became unholy and spiralled down with their ejection from Paradise’s Garden of Delights, but they did multiply.

        God was working on the solution, which involves a series of Promises and beginning with Abraham we see a future Seed and Blessings promised (Genesis 22:18). Abraham believed God and this was counted to him as Righteousness (Genesis 15:6) and also in various places as God’s Friend (Isaiah 41.8, 2 Chronicles 20:7 and James 2:23. So Abraham is a righteousness friend of God.

        After Samuel established a position of King over Israel let us jump forward to Psalm 45 which beautifully describes a King and His Bride. On reading the whole Psalm it is clearly not written about a present earthly King but of a future God-King.
        I will also refer to the same Psalm in it’s Greek original found in the Septuagint (LXX), this has been protected from heavy editing by revisionist Rabbis of the 1st and 2nd Centuries.

        The Psalmist’s heart is overflowing with a good theme as he describes the Grace pouring out from the King’s lips as He was blessed forever by God. This King rules with a sceptre of equity, loves righteousness and hates lawlessness (Torah-less).
        This King has a Queen standing alongside in “gold-woven clothing, decked out in many colors.” (NETS LXX).

        Also at this wedding are daughters of other earthly Kings, described as virgins who are attending the Queen, these are full of gladness and rejoicing and are led into the King’s palace (maybe this palace is the New Jerusalem?).

        Psalm 45 describes a heavenly wedding to a beautiful bride, attended by hosts of friends of the bridegroom. So His Bride is not the many guests, these are His friends; the guests at the wedding feast all go to live in the King’s Palace. The Psalm ends with a future vision of life in the New Jerusalem “In the place of your fathers, sons were born to you and you will appoint them rulers in all the earth. (NETS LXX).
        Jesus spoke of this too: Luke 20:34-36 “but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.”
        * so the sons of God are not given in marriage, even to the Bridegroom?

        Jesus (Yeshua) also gave a parable about a wedding feast. Matt. 22:8-9 ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’
        * He didn’t say go and find me a bride, instead “Bring Me guests!”

        “Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.****
        Matthew 25:1 – some manuscripts add bride, eg Latin Vulgate, Peshitta:
        “THEN shall be likened the kingdom of heaven unto ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom and the bride.” (the virgins are not the bride).

  2. CSmith says:

    “So many pastors… have been flattered, seduced, caused to yield to unbiblical deceptions … they have yielded to the seduction time and again, and their flocks have been utterly ravaged.”
    “These apostate pastors “go after her straitly” every time. … This is a matter of eternal life and eternal death for many. It [also] becomes a matter of … God’s witness, the ‘pillar and ground of the truth’”!

    A Hostile Takeover: a generally reviled tactic in the business world of taking control of a company for personal advantage and divesting its assets without regard for that company’s management, board of directors, shareholders, or workers.

    Unfortunately, the Hostile Takeover has a counterpart in the evangelical world. Consider how Rick Warren has disenfranchised those who have labored a lifetime in their local assemblies:

    “Be willing to let people leave the church. And I told you earlier the fact that people are gonna leave the church no matter what you do. But when you define the vision, you’re choosing who leaves. You say, “But Rick, yes, they’re the pillars of the church.” Now, you know what pillars are. Pillars are people who hold things up … And in your church, you may have to have some blessed subtractions before you have any real additions.”

    Warren, through his books, conferences, and simulcasts, has encouraged churches around the world to trash the gospel “once delivered” for his new improved version or as he calls it “vision.” And for those of us who oppose this gospel alien to His Word, he has a solution: make the place where we once worshiped our risen Lord so abominable that the Spirit within us will demand we leave.

    A Warren Takeover: what used to be a reviled tactic in the evangelical world of taking control of a local assembly for personal advantage and divesting its assets without regard for that church’s Lord, board of elders, shareholders in His Holiness, or fellow workers in the Truth.
    Why does the world recognize a “hostile takeover” when they see it, but so many who call themselves “believers” do not?

    “For the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light” (cf. Luke 16:8).

  3. standingfirm says:

    Excellent as always Pastor Randles. My personal experience has had me zipping up my bible case and walking out of any church that is teaching un-biblical doctrine. I didn’t care who stared at me leaving, I was not going to sit there amongst the thrill seekers! They were not there to hear the word of God, they were there wanting some “experience” to happen. If they went to a fellowship where sound doctrine is taught, they say it is “dry.” No wonder when the Lord comes back He wonders where there is much faith on earth? All I have seen from the “harlot’ church is rotten fruit! These people have been seduced by doctrines of demons and are on the broad road to destruction.

  4. Dmarie says:

    Amen to the above comments regarding the ‘hostile takeover’ by the harlot…
    13 years ago we were forced to leave a purpose-driven train wreck. Forced both by the Holy Spirit thank you, Lord!), as well as the leadership who did not appreciate our questioning of their ‘vision’.
    The Lord used that time for our good (Rom 8:28) – and showed me so many things I hadn’t seen before in His word. One thing He clearly showed me was that there would be a ‘false revival’ happening in “christendom” (purpose driven was one of the catalysts for that), and that “most” who called themselves Christian would go along with it – viewing the ones who dared to ‘rock the boat’ and call-out the error as divisive and even dangerous, even ‘standing in the way of God’ Himself. I could then see that in the future, when the rapture does occur, these so-called christians will be so deceived that they will believe that we have been taken out of the way to face our judgment so that God can finally proceed with “His plan” (which is really the harlot leading them en-mass to destruction). It is hard to believe that “christians” could be so deceived… but this is what they WANT! To have their ears tickled, feel good, and feel like they are part of something BIG (which they are). God says, “my people love it so” when they are being led by false teachers, and I have seen it with my own eyes.
    So, thank you for pointing this out to those who read your blog – and your warning about this harlot, her seductions, and who she REALLY is. So so so many are falling for her temptations… but those with ‘eyes to see’ and ‘ears to hear’ TRUTH will be rescued, praise the LORD! 🙂

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