The Open Scroll - Do April Showers Bring May Flowers?

Do April Showers Bring May Flowers?

By Bob Schlenker  (Prints about 6 pages) updated 5/3/01

Have you heard the expression "April showers bring May flowers?" This simple expression which is true in many areas of the world came to mind the other day while meditating upon the meaning of April's events. As I explored the possibility of an allegorical meaning in the context of when it had come to mind, I found some very exciting passages that spoke to me of the Lord's coming as the Bridegroom for His Bride in May. I feel we are about to enter a second window of watching in May 2001. I hope this speaks encouragement to your heart as it does to mine.

Numerous scriptures speak of latter rains, the showers that come just before the Springtime harvest season. These rains are a spiritual allegory of the Lord's preparation of His people for a Spring resurrection harvest. These showers that water the earth typically come to an end in our month of April before Passover. These latter or Spring rains are the April showers.
Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. 8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near.  James 5:7-8
The Farmer patiently waits for the land to yield its most valuable crop - the Barley Bride. She will be harvested at his soon coming, so be patient and stand firm!

The April showers latter rain is the word of God that falls upon the hearing ears in due season, performing a cleansing work in the heart to ready this next crop to be harvested.
Listen, O heavens, and I will speak; hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. 2 Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.   Deuteronomy 32:1-2

They waited for me as for showers and drank in my words as the spring rain.  Job 29:23
The May flowers brought by these April showers symbolize the Bride. The Bride is brought to a state of readiness to meet her Bridegroom through the latter rain washing of water by the word.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  Ephesians 5:25-27
The radiant church Christ will marry is frequently referred to in the Bible as a flower. In specific, she is a lily. This is a spring flower, associated with the celebration of the resurrection of the Lord Y'shua. The traditional lily is white, the color symbolic of righteousness and righteous acts. According to The Meaning of Flowers web page it means "LILY, White - Virginity; Purity; Majesty; It's Heavenly to Be With You." It's a very showy flower, a flower that "exhibits glory" and a flower that blossoms after the spring rains. Most of the traditions surrounding the pagan Gentile Spring fertility festival can be discarded as useless, but decorating the altar by surrounding it with lilies seems quite appropriate as a symbol of the righteous ones gathering around the throne of God to worship him in spirit and in truth. The most popular lily in my mind is called the Easter Lily, notably a trumpet shaped flower, reminding me of the sounding of the trumpet that the Bride is called to do and the last trumpet of the Spring Feast at which the dead will be raised.

As the Lord enjoys being in the presence of those who worship him, he is seen in the Song of Songs as one who browses among the lilies, (Song of Solomon 2:16, 6:2-3 ) and is himself a lily. (Song of Solomon 2:1, Hosea 14:4-6) The Bride and Groom are of like kind! The lilies are not only the Bride and Groom, but also the flower of their wedding song, Psalm 45.

Psalm 45, the Bridgroom and Bride's wedding Psalm, is introduced in this way:
For the director of music. To [the tune of] "Lilies." Of the Sons of Korah. A maskil. A wedding song.
You should see the beautiful pair of white lilies on my wedding invitations. My bride and I had agreed that that was the perfect choice when we picked them out.

The lily is the flower that represents the spendor and glory with which God clothes the grass of the field. (i.e. temporal flesh bodied people)
Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!  Luke 12:27-28
These lilies are said to be clothed with a splendor and glory beyond that of the most gloriously arrayed of all in the manner of this fleshy realm - Solomon, drawing our attention to the song of Solomon Bridegroom in his wedding clothes. I believe that passage speaks of the Pesach Wedding Feast because after the Bride Theft, the grass of the field will be thrown into the great fiery furnace of the time of great tribulation.

The lily has been shown to represent the Groom, His Bride, the wedding clothes, righteousness and the time of resurrection after the Spring rains. It is a Spring festival flower, a wedding flower and, though not seen in full bloom as a Bride taken in April, the April showers bring hope as evidence of the coming May flower season of the second legitimate Pesach. The Bridegroom will receive His Bride in fulfillment of the appointed Feast - Pesach. There are two possible times for the observance of the Feast, the first month Nisan or Abib and under certain conditions, one month later. Note the reasons given for the delayed observance in Hezekiah's time.
Hezekiah sent word to all Israel and Judah and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, inviting them to come to the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem and celebrate the Passover to the LORD, the God of Israel. 2 The king and his officials and the whole assembly in Jerusalem decided to celebrate the Passover in the second month. 3 They had not been able to celebrate it at the regular time because not enough priests had consecrated themselves and the people had not assembled in Jerusalem. 4 The plan seemed right both to the king and to the whole assembly.  2 Chronicles 30:1-4
Now, at the time when "April showers bring May flowers" came to my mind, I was considering how that the latter rains had come, and how the hoped-for harvest on the Yom Tov of Pesach had not yet come. I considered the state of readiness of the Bride, and it seemed to me that the Bride had perhaps not been taken because she was not yet ready, according to the above mentioned reasons for a delayed Pesach. Perhaps we shall see the anticipated signal events in the upcoming weeks. I have observed another cycle of preparation on a very fundamental level, a shaking of the foundation, testing, refining and purifying. It is another time of separation. Who will bear up to this round of purifying the gold, melting down and removing the dross? Perhaps this is the final refining fire we are beginning passage through.

A riddle I remember from my childhood expands upon this saying. If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring? The answer - Pilgrims! Every child schooled in the US is taught that the Pilgrims came to America from England in a ship called the Mayflower.

From Plymouth: Its History and People: The Pilgrims were English Separatists who founded (1620) Plymouth Colony in New England. In the first years of the 17th century, small numbers of English Puritans broke away from the Church of England because they felt that it had not completed the work of the Reformation. They committed themselves to a life based on the Bible. Most of these Separatists were farmers, poorly educated and without social or political standing.

These people were Christian saints who escaped the Old World's religious persecution to come to the New World and freely worship God. They were, in a figure, Hebrews, as Hebrew means crossing over. This was an exodus into the promised land, promised to them by the King. They were promised land in Virginia, and it is the state motto that "Virginia is for lovers." The concept of pilgrimmage is found in the Bible. That is probably why these Separatists from England later were referred to as Pilgrims. The Bride people are surely Pilgrims and Separatists, broken away from the not nearly reformed enough church, and poor and lowly farmers as well. It seems to me that the Bride is indeed a Mayflower people. Truly biblical pilgrims.
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation  1 Peter 2:9-12 (KJV)
I am hopeful that what we watchers observed and learned in April as we prepared to meet the Groom will bring forth a May Bride, and then a June Shavuot harvest as well for those who miss the boat. (the Mayflower boat) God does work with the physical and natural things to teach us about the spiritual. Do you think all this allegory business is just silliness? Do April showers bring May Flowers? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Watch and Pray! Hey, you know, that ship could have been named anything at all, but it just happens to have been called the Mayflower! And it could have brought another class of people. But it was how it was. And the Lord is sovereign. And he is coming soon! Glory!


This is a Nov. 19, 1999 file picture of American Jeremy Bangs, director of the Pilgrim Museum pointing at the remnants of the Church of Our Lady, during a tour in Leiden, Netherlands Nov. 19, 1999. The Council of State on Wednesday Jan. 24, 2001, made public its decision rejecting an appeal against the planned bulldozing of a remnant of the 14th century church where the Pilgrims once prayed. (AP Photo/fls/Peter Dejong)
The church of the Mayflower Pilgrims was the subject of an AP news article on May 3rd, the US National Day of Prayer. Dutch Reconsider Pilgrim Church Relic brings the controversial issue of the preservation of their church in Holland to our attention. I cannot help but find rich symbolism in this. The church is called ''Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk'' - Church of Our Dear Lady. The physical is an allegory of the spiritual reality of our time. This Separatist Pilgrim church building represents the dear lady Bride.

The controversy is over whether the remains of the building will be preserved (saving the true church remnant) or destroyed in the interest of a commercial venture; building a shopping mall. (Babylon - Revelation 18) In this most recent development, the city's previous decision to raze the site is being reconsidered due to pressure by those who want it preserved. The destruction of the ruins was at least delayed and there is a possibility that some or all of the church remnant will be saved. The Council of State had announced on Jan. 24, 2001 that it had rejected ''an appeal against the planned bulldozing of a remnant of the 14th century church where the Pilgrims once prayed''. ( The latest news is as follows, excerpted from the above-mentioned AP article.

''The Dutch city of Leiden is reconsidering plans to demolish the ruin of a medieval church where the Pilgrims prayed before sailing to America, a city councilor said Thursday.

Bowing to a campaign to preserve the site, the Leiden city council was revising a plan that would have seen the remains of the 14th-century church replaced by a public square and shopping area.

The United Church of Christ, based in Cleveland, said the council had reversed its decision to raze the ruins. The Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk, or Church of Our Dear Lady, 30 miles south of Amsterdam, was deemed ''an important monument'' and would be preserved, the church group said, quoting councilman Alexander Pechtold.

Pechtold told The Associated Press, however, the council had not made a final decision, but was studying a new development plan ''to leave some of the remains'' of the historic church at the center of a public plaza.''

The following gives a view of some of this struggle's history, excerpted from an internet site devoted to preserving the church remains. ''The 14th century Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk in Leiden, The Netherlands, is on the verge of permanent, irreversible destruction. Aided and abetted by the giant, multi-billion dollar companies Fortis and ABN/AMRO, the scandal-plagued Leiden city government is intent on replacing this ancient monument with a shopping mall. With what can perhaps be best described as 'ineptitude that rises to empyreal absurdity', a coordinated effort to convince the public that the Vrouwekerk ruins are of no particular historical importance continues. Some of us quite disagree.. ''

Isn't this a picture of the final attempt by Babylon, the rich false church, to once and for all destroy the true church remnant, replacing her in the world by means of deceit? Of course, the true church will emerge victorious in this drama, but here we see the conflict on display for all to see.

This most recent development in the saga of the salvation of the Pilgrim church remnant comes on the heels of a related decision the Leiden City Council made to put up what looks like a token memorial to the church. This is all the scandal-plagued Babylon church would like to have remain. In an excerpt from ''The Leiden City Council voted Tuesday, 20 Feb, 2001 to allocate 150,000 guilders (approximately $70,000) to open a new 'Pilgrim Information Center' in the Leiden city archives. Leiden alderman Alexander Pechtold, who has become the leading defender of the city's plan to demolish the Vrouwekerk, said the new center will solve Leiden's international "image problem" by proving the city's commitment to the Pilgrim heritage. Demolition opponents, however, say the only way the city government can polish its image is by preserving the Vrouwekerk. Meanwhile, the city has allocated no money to clean up the Vrouwekerk remains, which are defaced with graffiti and splattered with urine.''

The present condition of the church is very telling! Did you note the description of the church remains? Is this not the present condition of the true remnant church? I can certainly relate to this, can't you? Many are now in a similar state of ruin!

Consider also the following, further validating the Pilgrim church as a remnant Bride symbol. According to the AP article, '''A mossy brick wall, the ruins of the nave and the buried foundations are all that remain of the church''. Each of these three things is an interesting witness. A mossy brick wall speaks to me of ''living stones.''
you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.  1 Peter 2:5 (from the same passage quoted earlier)
The nave is the central part of a church, flanked by aisles. The word ''nave'' comes from the Medieval Latin word for ''ship.'' This would be where the Separatists wor-ship-ped in spirit and in truth, in the ship - The Mayflower - the ark of salvation - where those who crossed over into the new world gathered on their pilgrimage journey. The buried foundations speaks to me of the solid truth of Jesus Christ taught by the Apostles and Prophets, buried to this day but known and valued by those who dig out the treasure.
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, (pilgrims) but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.  Ephesians 2:19-22

By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. 11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. 13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
  Hebrews 11:8-13 (KJV)
The city which has foundations that the Pilgrim Father Abraham looked to for his reward is associated with the Bride of which his fellow Pilgrim wife Sarah is a type. Here is a description of that glorious Bride city.
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. 16 The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. 17 He measured its wall and it was 144 cubits thick, by man's measurement, which the angel was using. 18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. 19 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.
  Revelation 21:2, 14-19
An excerpt from the AP article relates one man's view of the importance of this story of pilgrimage. '''The flight of the Mayflower Pilgrims to Leiden and their subsequent journey across the Atlantic is one of the foundational epics of American history -- an event that still shapes U.S. politics, culture and religion,'' said the Rev. John H. Thomas, president of the church group, praising Leiden's decision''. (to reconsider destroying the church remains) Hey, is his name actually two of the Apostles names?

The AP article brings to our attention another interesting and relevant fact. ''Records show ancestors of President Bush were married in the church''. Is it a coincidence that the man some consider to be the hope of salvation of all that is good in America can trace his ancestor's wedding history through there? I'm thinking... probably not! The sovereign Lord is doing a work in the earth today. God's Bride people on their pilgrimage will come out from Babylon!

I think the Lord is using these things to instruct those awake and watching about the spiritual realities of our time using physical allegories, expressions of His sovereignty and evidence of His intent to continue to reveal the present and future to the wise. If that is too much of a stretch of the imagination for you, perhaps you haven't been reading your Bible and paying attention to what's been going on closely enough.