Begun in 2002 at a prayer and worship conference the painting called “The Burning Bride” was never fully finished. In it, Jesus was wearing a victor’s wreath in the crown of thorns. His eyes were fire and His arms were outstretched lifting the Bride. Her arms were raised and she was one with Him in mutual adoration. The Bride was in Jesus and Jesus was in the Bride. She rested between His shoulders and in her breast bone was the dying of the Lord Jesus. (Deut.33:12, 2 Corinthians 4:10) Around her was the fire of the Holy Spirit and glory. Within her chest was the ark of the covenant; the Mercy seat and the rod of Aaron sprouted. The Burning Bride, by virtue of abiding in love with Jesus, was a living sacrifice sharing in His suffering with Him. The joy set before her was Jesus and He shared His heart and Holy Spirit with her. (Ezekiel 36:26) For almost 14 years the unfinished painting was displayed at prayer gatherings and remained an important fixture for the Portland Downtown House of Prayer. I looked to the Lord and waited for the day I was supposed to finish it. Finally, the morning of the 2016 Portland 24/7 Prayer gathering as I was leaving to pick up a canvas, I understood that I would be painting over the unfinished “The Burning Bride.”
At the conference I knew I was to start with the painting upside down. I painted the cup of the New Covenant in His Blood from the dying of the Lord Jesus within the Bride's breast. She, seated with Him in heavenly places, is rooted in heaven as the planting of the Lord. He took our cup of trembling He made us holiness unto the Lord. Then I saw that I was to paint the Statue of Liberty. In my life, through dreams, visions and in prophetic words, Holy Spirit has used The Statue of Liberty to represent the Bride of Christ in the United States. At first I was taken aback since she seemed "too American" in nature for such an international gathering. I was reminded that He has lead me to paint prophetic things about England, Scotland and Brazil when I have been there for prayer events. This painting exemplifies the Bride of Christ in every nation and also carries a word specific to the United States.
The second painting declares the fruit, so to speak, of the first painting. His head and His victor's crown are in the crown of the statue. He is our Head filling us all in all... our light and our salvation... our glory and the lifter of our head. The Statue of Liberty has a crown of seven points to represent the The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. Isaiah 11:2
The ark and a spot of color from the first painting were mixed with the folds of the statue's drapery to form shapes like the ribs of Jesus sacrificed body on the left. The purple and blue on the right form the kingly and priestly garments prepared for us through His blood. (Rev. 5:10) The folds on the right created the shape of lilies, As a lily among thorns, so is My love among the daughters. (Song of Songs 2:2) This mixture of His body and the Bride illustrate His words in Psalm 110: The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” The Lord shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies! Your 'people' shall be volunteers in the day of 'Your power'; in the beauty of holiness, from the womb of the morning”. Notice that He is seated and we are the volunteers in the day of His power when His enemies will become His footstool.
This is the intimacy that gives birth; it is the direct opposite of Isaiah 26:17 where we read about a people who in pride try to give birth alone, As a woman with child Is in pain and cries out in her pangs, when she draws near the time of her delivery, so have we been in Your sight, O LORD. We have been with child, we have been in pain; We have, as it were, brought forth wind; we have not accomplished any deliverance in the earth, nor have the inhabitants of the world fallen. The next verse holds His redeeming promise from Romans 8:11 that if the same Spirit Who raised Jesus Christ from the dead dwells in us He will quicken our mortal body. Isaiah 26:19; Your dead shall live; together with my dead body they shall arise.
When the painting was turned upright the cup of His blood was poured out to make all things new. I could feel the Bride carrying the world like a priest carries the twelve tribes on his chest but the Lord said the Bride is pregnant with the Word. Just as Mary was pregnant with the Word so we carry Him and His word dwelling in us. We are the Bride who gives birth to the nations; the crown His mother will give Him on His wedding day. (Song of Solomon 3:11)
Finished, “The Burning Bride” became “The Bride in Liberty” her upraised face and resolute focus embodies Isaiah 60; Arise shine for your light has come and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. “Lift up your eyes all around, and see: They all gather together, they come to you; Your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be nursed at your side. Then you shall see and become radiant, and your heart shall swell with joy.
As this prophetic word concerns the United States, “The Bride in Liberty” stands upholding the standard of the Lord, a torch and the Word of God. The United States of America at its conception was dedicated to “God our Father and Jesus Christ his Son.” Our sovereign call to liberty for all, refuge for the outcast and unity is even engraved on the foundation of the Statue of Liberty:
The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus
Not like the brazen giat of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisioned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, you storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homelesss, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"