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Frank Phillips
His Robe or Mine Study Guide

(Sample Chapter)

“The Wedding Garment”

Introductory Chapter

“Awake, awake! Put on your strength, O Zion;
Put on your beautiful garments…” Isaiah 52: 11
“So He said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here
without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.” Matthew 22: 12


Introduction

This series of studies is based on Frank Phillips’ book His Robe or Mine. Pastor Phillips spent his retirement years working as a full-time revivalist after serving the church for 45 years in a variety of pastoral and leadership roles. The subject of righteousness by faith was his passion. He said: “Because my entire life has been changed since I have believed and applied the principles of righteousness by faith, as taught by the word of God, I have decided to spend my full time sharing with others this glorious truth.” The “Wedding Garment” is the introductory chapter to his book and examines the purpose of the wedding garment and the necessity of wearing it. By way of clarification, the Bible calls the church His “bride,” a term which also collectively describes those individuals who have purported to accept the invitation to the wedding—purported since the invitees highlighted in the parable include an individual who accepted the invitation, came to the wedding without the wedding garment, and was surprised to find that his preparations were inadequate! Needless to say, understanding what the wedding garment is all about is vitally important; understanding how to wear the wedding garment is equally important.

Connecting With Others & God

Share your name and a little about your spiritual journey with another person. Why is learning about victory important to you and what do you hope to gain by pursuing these studies? Then talk to God about what you have discussed and ask Him to make this a life-changing experience for you and the others attending.

Establishing A Biblical Foundation

1. Matthew 22: 1–14 Why is the parable of the wedding garment of interest—in fact of “particular interest”—to God’s people today? (HROM 7:1)

2. What is the wedding garment that each guest must wear to the marriage if they are to be accepted by the King? (HROM 7:2)

3. Read John 19: 15, 19 The King sent His servants out on several occasions to invite guests to the wedding. What were some of these occasions and how did the invitees respond?

4. According to Pastor Phillips why were the invitations to the wedding rejected and what was the problem? (HROM 7:3, 4)

5. Who comprised the “bride” in Jesus’ time? Who makes up the “bride” in our time? Is it significant that SDAs feel especially chosen by God, just as the first “Bride” felt especially chosen? What are some of the similarities between the bride in our day and the bride of Jesus’ day? What are some of the differences?

6. Elder Phillips’ states “For the next approximately eighteen hundred years many servants were sent out to represent the Groom and to invite anyone to join the bridal party. It seemed the old question kept coming up—the wedding garment. Some said that it was ____ _______ to be so rigid. Some felt that their own garment was good enough.” (HROM 9:3) To what degree do you think people in our day struggle with the same thing?

7. Eventually the servants became __________ about the necessity of wearing the garment, and “were inviting the guests without even mentioning the garment that was necessary to be worn?” In fact some were saying, “Only ______ and you will be welcomed by the Groom.” (HROM 9:4) Why were they confused? To what degree does the confusion continue in our day? Why can’t the Groom welcome people who come without the wedding garment?

8. Elder Phillips suggests that the Groom sent his servants multiple times to invite the Bride to the wedding, including the SDA Church around 1888 and in subsequent years? To what degree was the invitation accepted?

In 1888 Elders Jones and Waggoner were used by God to bring the message of the wedding garment—they called it “Righteousness by Faith”—to the Minneapolis General Conference meetings, and Ellen White wrote extensively on the subject after that time. The degree to which the invitation was accepted and the robe put on is still a matter of debate within the church. At the close of the 1888 conference some attendees gladly received the message of righteousness by faith, others felt “uncertain about the new teaching,” and were in perplexity about it, and a third group “decidedly opposed it.” The fact that there was any debate suggests the invitation was poorly understood and only partially heeded. In 1924 A. G. Daniels was asked to compile many of the quotations that Ellen White wrote on the subject in a book that was eventually published as Christ Our Righteousness. Another time when God was working, Elder Mead MacGuire wrote four books on the subject—Victory in Christ, His Cross and Mine, Lambs Among Wolves, and Does God Care—in the early 1900s. These are wonderful books on the subject, but hard to find.

9. When the wedding finally takes place, one guest comes to the wedding wearing his own clothes. When asked about it, the guest is speechless. Elder Phillips states the wedding garment is like no other, for “it brings _______, _____, ___________ and _____ into the human heart. But it is _______ to the wearer, as well as to other members in the bridal party (the church).” (HROM pp. 10,11) Why was the garment invisible to the wearer as well as to the others? What lessons can we learn from this?

Digging Into More Data

1. What do the following quotations say about the necessity of wearing the wedding garment?

“I am instructed to urge the necessity of personal consecration and sanctification of the whole being to God. Let each soul inquire, Lord, what wouldst thou have me to do, that the vigilance of Christ may be seen in my life, and that his example may be copied by me, and that I may speak sincere words that will help souls who are in darkness and sin? O, how I long to see our church-members clothed with their beautiful garments, and prepared to go forth to meet the Bridegroom. I am in fear and trembling for those who have not yet put on the wedding garment. Many are expecting to sit down to the marriage supper of the Lamb who are unprepared for the coming of the King. They are like the blind; they do not discern their danger. ‘Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way," the Saviour declared, "which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’

“We must battle constantly in order to fight the good fight of faith. We can keep our souls in patient trust only as we put on Christ. A general faith is not enough. We must put on the robe of Christ's righteousness, and wear it openly, bravely, decidedly exhibiting Christ and not expect too much of finite man, but keep looking unto Jesus, and become ravished with the perfection of His character. Then we shall individually make manifest the character of Jesus, and make it evident that we are invigorated by the truth; because it sanctifies the soul and brings into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.--Letter 14, 1891, p. 11. (To Elder S. N. Haskell, December 11, 1891)”

“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." How is this? Fear lest you shall weave into the fabric your own threads of selfishness. Fear lest you shall err in choosing the timber for your character building. God alone can supply the solid timber. Well may mortal man be afraid of weaving into his character the miserable threads of his own inherited and cultivated tendencies. Well may he tremble lest he shall not submit all things to Him who is working in his behalf, that God's will shall be done in him. God welcomes all who come to Him just as they are, not building themselves up in self-righteousness, not seeking to justify self, not claiming merit for that which they call a good action, not priding themselves on their knowledge of what constitutes righteousness. Put on the wedding garment which Christ has prepared, and drop the old citizen's dress: then you can sit down in heavenly places with Christ Jesus.”

2. What does the following quotation say about the condition of the man who didn’t recognize the importance of wearing the garment to the wedding?

“The man who came to the feast without a wedding garment represents the condition of many in our world today. They profess to be Christians, and lay claim to the blessings and privileges of the gospel; yet they feel no need of a transformation of character. They have never felt true repentance for sin. They do not realize their need of Christ or exercise faith in Him. They have not overcome their hereditary or cultivated tendencies to wrongdoing. Yet they think that they are good enough in themselves, and they rest upon their own merits instead of trusting in Christ. Hearers of the word, they come to the banquet, but they have not put on the robe of Christ's righteousness.”

3. What do the following quotations say about the blessings that accompany wearing the wedding garment?

“Christ must be all and in all to every soul. Those who try in their own strength to solve the mystery of the creation of man, the mystery of redemption, the mystery of eternity, will be baffled. But those who put on the garment provided for them at an infinite cost, find an abundant entrance to the rich feast of spiritual blessings. By receiving this garment they acknowledge that in bestowing it God confers on them a great favor. And as they receive the righteousness of the Saviour, God places his stamp on them
Only one can bestow this priceless gift, but all may receive it, and thus become entitled to a place at the feast. The call to this feast is a call to partake of the richest spiritual provision. All who respond to this call will find awaiting them an abundant supply of grace, and the more grace they receive, the more they desire. Those who partake of this feast may turn to their heavenly Father, saying, Thou has kept the best wine until now.”

“God has made every provision whereby our thoughts may become purified, elevated, refined, and ennobled. He has not only promised to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, but he has made an actual provision for the supply of the grace that will lift our thoughts toward him, and enable us to appreciate his holiness. We may realize that we are Christ's possession, and that we are to manifest his character to the world. Prepared by heavenly grace, we become clothed with the righteousness of Christ, in the wedding garment, and are fitted to sit down at the marriage supper. We become one with Christ, partakers of the divine nature, purified, refined, elevated, and acknowledged to be the children of God,—heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.”

Applying The Data

1. On a scale of 1-10 how interested are you in accepting the invitation to the wedding?

2. On a scale of 1-10 how willing are you to receive the wedding garment and wear it?

3. Prayerfully read the following quotation and consider what hindrances may stand in the way of your receiving the wedding garment?

“A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work. There must be earnest effort to obtain the blessing of the Lord, not because God is not willing to bestow His blessing upon us, but because we are unprepared to receive it…. We must enter upon the work individually. We must pray more, and talk less…. There is nothing that Satan fears so much as that the people of God shall clear the way by removing every hindrance, so that the Lord can pour out His Spirit upon a languishing congregation…. Wicked men and devils cannot hinder the work of God, or shut out His presence from the assemblies of His people, if they will, with subdued, contrite hearts, confess and put away their sins and in faith claim His promises.”

Looking Forward

Elder Phillips states “This book is intended to clearly reveal how to receive and wear the wedding garment which all must have and wear if they are to meet the Lord in peace and not be speechless when he comes. As you read the next chapter you will discover who is behind all this confusion and how you may be free from his power.” Come find out as we study the next chapter, “Confidential! Top Secret Information.”

Further study:
White, E.G., Christ Object Lessons: “Without a Wedding Garment,” p. 307; “To Meet the Bridegroom,” p. 405.
Daniels, A.G. Christ Our Righteousness: “Christ Our Righteousness,” pp. 9-22.
Phillips, F., “The Wedding Garment,” audio sermon in “Righteousness by Faith” series.

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