– By Deacon Eric Oparaoha
“And that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying we will eat our own bread and wear our own apparel only let us be called by thy name, to take away our approach.” – Isaiah 4:1
Isaiah, whose name means ‘salvation of God’, was the first of the greater Prophets.
He came on the scene around the 8th century B.C and his prophecy foreshadowed the coming of Jesus Christ, the Prince of peace. Several verses of the book of Isaiah contain his insights into the birth, life and times of Jesus Christ. For instance, in chapter 53:5, 8, 11 and 12, he mentioned the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ to take away our sins and open way to righteous standing with God, while in verse 9, he noted that Christ will be buried with the rich.
There is no doubt that Isaiah (true to his name) was bothered about man’s attitude towards God, his relationship with God and God’s plan of salvation through Christ. It is against this backdrop that we may be able to unravel the spiritual meaning of his prophecies, including the verse stated above. Perhaps for our purpose here, let us first look at the literal meaning of the verse to be able to fully understand the true figurative meaning, as it affects the body of Christ.
The above verse literally describes a situation where several women, frustrated with their lives as spinsters, and as an escape route from public reproach, would crave to be identified with a husband. Whether the husband is crippled, blind or wretched does not matter, since they are independent-minded, rich and can afford their own food, apparel, jewelries etc. For this generation of woman, they would care less about the ‘bread ‘and instructions of the (husband) man . They would retain their own desired apparel and remain unfaithful to the marriage vows because their purpose is just to do away with the public stigma of being regarded as unmarried or unmarriageable old harlots.
Much as this description apparently reflects the present estate of our unmarried ladies (especially the non Christians) in this age of woman liberation, it would be wrong to loose sight of the figurative cum spiritual insight of Isaiah’s prophecy.
Woman in the Bible represents the Bible which is the Church of Jesus Christ (Bride-groom). ‘Seven women’ signifies the seven church ages mentioned in Rev.2 and 3. The first age church of Ephesus which began with the fullness of the spirit became relaxed through the polluting ‘deeds’ of the Nicolaitanes (Rev,2:6) which sacrificed the Word and the Spirit at the altar of human wisdom, organization and government. From then to the present seventh Laodecian church age, the pollution has continuously manifested in new dimensions from one age to another. True to Isaiah’s insight, there is no age that has seen more multiplicity of churches all claiming to be bride of Jesus Christ than ours. It has become more of a fashion to be identified as a Christian or born-again Christian to avoid the reproach of being thought a ‘sinner’ in a society that is getting more religious than spiritual.
But just as mentioned, the seven women say “we will eat our own bread”. This refers to the church goers who are not interested in the “bread of life” which is the Word of God. They would still delight in quenching their reckless appetite with the rebellious independent ‘bread’ of adultery, fornication, idol-worshipping, human-philosophy, gross unfaithfulness etc. They get away with eating their own seductive, ‘bread’ rather than the ‘bread of heaven’ because of their enticing fat purse with which the members of the church, including the pastors, could be swayed to look away from their filthiness. Because the denominational churches prefer to ‘eat their own bread’ this has led to introduction of all manner of unchristian doctrines, precepts and practices which run counter to the apostolic doctrines. Holy Ghost leadership and simplicity of the gospel have been corrupted and in its place, pompous rites, ceremonies, Mariolatry, and worldly honours recognized. Gay Bishops have been ordained to shepherd the flock. As for the Pentecostals, it’s all about sensation, tongues, miracles, prophecies but no adherence to the Word!
The wives of the man declare “we shall wear our own apparel”. In fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, today, we are witnesses to the goings-on in (especially) several so-called Pentecostal churches that claim to have the ‘Word’ but allow their female worshippers (i.e. supposed brides), who detest the bridal apparel of ‘fine linen, clean and white (Rev. 19:7-9), to wear the rebellious attire of harlots’ (Prov. 7 :10). With their seductive attires, that unduly expose their sensual parts of womanhood, they claim to manifest the fruits of the spirit and are justified by their General Overseer with certain strange “it doesn’t matter” human philosophy or that “God looks at the heart”. This contradicts with the word of God in 1 Peter 3:3-4 which advises against the use of outward aids to make oneself beautiful such as the way you do to your hair or the Jewelry you put on or the dresses you wear. Again, in 1 Timothy 2:9-10, Paul specifically states that in every church, women ought to be modest and sensible about their clothes and to dress properly not with fancy hair styles or with gold ornaments or pearls or expensive dresses, but with good deeds, as is proper for women who claim to be religious.
No matter how righteous these “brides” with ‘own apparel’ may be or claim to be, it is important that their pastors draw their attention to 1 Cor. 10:31-32 which admonishes that whatever we do, whether eat or drink, do it all for God’s Glory; live in such a way as not to cause trouble either to Jews, Gentiles or to the Church of God. A woman’s immoral apparel can lead a brother to lust which is the same as committing the sin of fornication or adultery! But since the attention of the ‘Caretaker of the House’ is shifted to gathering more members and more material acquisition, the standards are compromised and rebellion against the Word of God is continuing and even allowing women to have authority over men in the body of Christ.
But God has allowed the tares to grow with the wheat. In His infinite Mercy, and as the Gentile period is running out, the voice of the 7th Angle (messenger) in the person of Bro. William Marrion Braham has sounded, warning all who claim to be the Bride of Jesus Christ to get out of the denominational system and get back to the Apostolic doctrines. For how long shall the bride remain ‘foolish virgins’ (Christians) but without revelation? (Matthew 22). God is now reconciling His chosen people to himself and for those who have reprobate (unrepentant) mind, He allows the spirit of delusion that they would believe lies since they have pleasure in unrighteousness!
As His Grace abounds, let us worship Him in spirit and in truth; let us reject the satanic lives and cares of human wisdom and arrangements while sticking to the incorruptible word to ‘make our calling and election sure’(2Pet 1:10).