The Glorious Church
E phesians 5:27
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
A glorious church is precisely that: a church filled with glory.
Consider earnestly this verse:
Ephesians 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.
Ye: not a building; a tabernacle or a temple, but a people. A people filled with all the fullness of God: the fullness of the Father, the fullness of the Son, and the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
And here it is!
Revelation 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
The Book of Revelation is the language of the symbol. The symbols appear in the former 65 books.
Consider the Majesty of the Symbol!
Genesis 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.
The sun is created to give light and heat to the earth.
Solar and lunar cycles fashion seasons and calendars.
But prior to any other purpose; preceding any other reason, is the underlying fact, the sun, moon and stars are created primarily for signs! Their first purpose is a sign, a symbol.
What is this picture in Revelation 12:1 portraying?
A woman in the bible is the symbol of a church.
The sun, an illustration of God the Father, or rather in this picture, the glory of God the Father.
All light, heat and sustenance for the earth is derived from the sun. Should the sun cease to exist, this planet would be frozen solid within 24 hours.
The moon speaks of God the Son, or rather in this instance, the glory of God the Son.
The moon does not generate its own light. It reflects the light of the sun. It has a marred, pitted surface, as if previously exposed to some type of cataclysmic judgment. It has no atmosphere. It is a dead, lifeless body. Its colour is silver.
What a marvellous picture is here revealed.
John 14:8, 9 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
Jesus express purpose was to reveal the Father. He sought to do the Father’s will. He was the very image of His Person.
Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
The Lord Jesus reflected both the image of the Father and the will of the Father.
He became a dead, marred body; so much so that it was impossible to recognize him; the judgment of God was thrust upon Him.
Isaiah 52:14 And many were astonished at thee; his visage so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
Little wonder God forsook Him! Little wonder he cried, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
Silver is indicative of redemption. It speaks directly of the work of the Lord Jesus on the cross of Calvary.
1 Peter 1:18,19 Forasmuch as ye know ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
He made the stars also.
Stars speak of the multiplicity of the Holy Spirit, and in this instance, portrays the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
So a church is revealed as being filled with all the fullness of God: the fullness of God the Father, the fullness of God the Son, and the fullness of God the Holy Ghost. A church impregnated with glory! But the church can not be filled with the glory, until it has been dedicated; and it can never be dedicated until it is completed. Here, the purpose of God is revealed.
Psalm 19:1, 2 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge.
The heavens declare the glory of God. And the church will yet declare the glory of God. And the latter glory will be greater than the former glory!
Haggai 2:9 The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.
T he Three Dwelling Places of God
Exodus 40:33-35 And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses finished the work. Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.
2 Chronicles 5:3,13,14 Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast which was in the seventh month. It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth forever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord; So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.
John 2:19-21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, an in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body.
Just as in Jesus’ day, the people confused the literal temple with the spiritual temple, the church.
Will there be a restored literal temple? I know not!
Will there be a restored church? Yes, yes, yes!
1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
Ephesians 2:20-22 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit.
What makes a glorious church, temple or tabernacle, is glory of God.
As surely as the glory of God filled the two former dwelling places of God, so will the church, the current, spiritual, dwelling place of God, likewise be impregnated with glory.
And the glory of the latter house shall be greater than the former two!
T he Glorious Church
The church is said to be:
1. Glorious The Greek word, endoxos, means in glory, ie.,splendid, noble, held in honour, of high repute, have glory, honourable, glorious, gorgeous. The English word is derived from the Italian, gloria, and French, glorie, glory; the Icelandic, glora, to glitter, splendour, brightness, magnificence, praise ascribed to adoration and honour, as to God. Exalted excellence and splendour, noble, illustrious, very successful or renowned, as a battle.
2. Without Spot The Greek word, spiloo, means to stain or soil, from the root, a stain or blemish. A spot or stain as in Jude 23: hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. The English word comes from the Dutch, spatten, to bespatter or splash; spat, a drop of what is splashed. A mark, a place discoloured, a stain; reproach; a blemish; a small extent of place; any particular spot.
3. Without Wrinkle The Greek word, rhutis, means fold, as drawing together, ie., a wrinkle. [The flawlessness of the complete church, as the result of the love of Christ in giving up Himself for it with the purpose of presenting it to Himself. The English word is derived from the Dutch, wrinckelem, to twist, to curl, and the Danish, rangle, to rattle; and the provincial Danish, uringle, to go unevenly, a small ...furrow formed on a smooth surface by shrinking or contraction, chiefly applied to the skin or the face; a crease; a fold or rumple in cloth.
4. Holy The Greek, hagios, means sacred, physically pure, blameless, consecrated, from the root, an awful thing. To venerate, separated from sin and therefore consecrated to God. The English word comes from the Icelandic, heilagar; German, helig; Dutch, heylig, holy. From the German heil and Dutch heyl, health. Good, pious, free from sin and sinful affections; sacred; perfect in a moral sense; consecrated to.
5. Without Blemish The Greek word, amomos, means unblemished. In the Septuagint, it has reference to the sacrifices to being balmeless in character and conduct. Without blame, unblamable, faultless, without fault.
The English word comes from the old French, blesmir, to soil or spot; to make livid with blows, from blesme, pale, wan. Icelandic, blami, the livid colour of a bruise. Any defect, any mark or smear that lessens the beauty and proportion, deformity, imperfection in character.
As surely as the priests inspected the sacrifices, confirming their acceptability to God, prior to their being offered, so God’s ultimate sacrifice was inspected to ascertain its measure of acceptance.
Luke 23:4, 14, 22 Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man. Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go.
John 8:46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?
Here, then, is a church that possesses the very same qualifications of both the sacrificial offerings, and the Ultimate Sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Think of it. It seems for many too glorious to believe, too highly attainable, out of reach. To them it is simply not plausible.
The focal point to be forever etched in the mind and the heart of every believer is, Jesus Christ has shed his blood, and it is in this day that the fullness of the powers of that blood will be made manifest.
The Lord Jesus can either descend to our level or, He can elevate His church, His people, His bride, to a level of co-equality with Himself. He has elected the latter!
Hebrews 9:11-22 But Christ being come a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he has entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
C ovenant or Contract?
A contract is based on distrust. A covenant is based on trust.
Contracts are used by people in their business dealings. The agreements are detailed and extend for the duration of the business undertaken. They are signed by both parties.
It used to be that a man's word was his bond. Now it is, trust no one!
The English word contract, is derived from the Latin, contractus, an agreement: from con, and tractus, drawn or dragged. Italian, contratto, and French, contrat. An agreement; a mutual promise; a bargain; the writing which contains the terms and conditions of the agreement between two or more persons; and act of betrothment.
Covenant, comes from the French, convenant, a contract. The Latin, conventum, means an agreement, from con, and venio, I come. A written agreement between two parties to do or not to do some act or thing; a stipulation; an engagement in writing; a solemn league; the promise made by God to man on certain conditions.
A contract defines limited liability. A covenant is binding with unconditional responsibility.
A contract may be dissolved by mutual agreement. A covenant is binding throughout life.
God gave us a new COVENANT!
T he First Woman
Genesis 2:21-24 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from the man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Matthew 19:1-6 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Ephesians 5:25-32 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of the water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing: but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth it and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 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. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Revelation 12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score days.
Revelation 12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
Luke 17:33-37 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall loose his life shall preserve it. I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.
John 6:53, 54 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
Watch for God to bring forth further revelation on the Communion Table!