When you consider the church do you see her as a disheveled mess or as beautiful and spectacular?
I would venture a guess that for most of the church she is considered anything but glorious because of her multiple issues and sins. However, while this may be true from a physical or worldly viewpoint, is this true in the eternal third heaven, where Jesus sits and where He has elevated her to? Jesus said He is returning for a bride that is without spot or wrinkle or any other blemish.
In our famous chapter in Ephesians on how husbands are supposed to love their wives and wives are supposed to submit to their husbands we find the beautiful picture of how Jesus sees His Church. I know the Bible uses the words husband, wife, bride, bridegroom and marriage but this can often leave us with some terrible images in our minds which can cause us to have some serious problems relating to Jesus. These terms are ALL metaphors and not to be taken as literal. Marriage and its associated terms have to do with two people or beings coming into UNION with one another to where they think and move, talk and act like each other.
The “marriage supper of the Lamb” is NOT a wedding, Hebrew or otherwise! It is the completion of the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work in our spirit, soul and bodies, to where we have become ONE ENTITY in union with Him. In other words, there is NOTHING in our soul and our bodies that will ever be able to separate us from His love for us and from our perfect union with Him. What this will ultimately look like, I don’t know, but I believe that the physical resurrection of the church will be the crowning moment that Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit are working towards as we become ONE with Him, Him in us and us in Him, and us in each other. Don’t know how this will work, but there it is.
Also, note that in Ephesians 5 it instructs husbands to love their wives AS CHRIST LOVES THE CHURCH … PRESENTING HER TO HIMSELF AS A RADIANT CHURCH, WITHOUT SPOT, OR WRINKLE, OR ANY OTHER BLEMISH.
This whole marriage thing is a metaphor that Paul is using to try and explain the MYSTERY between the union of Christ and His Church. Jesus is not GOING TO present us as a radiant church, to Him we are ALREADY a radiant church. Neither does He beat us up while we are undergoing our sanctification process! Imagine if we saw each other as He sees us! Imagine being able to see past the physical failures of God’s holy people and only seeing each other according to who we are as a perfected, royal, holy, new creation, the glorious inheritance that Jesus has received from the Father! This is not a future reality; from God’s perspective it is a NOW reality. Blow your mind! I hope so! 😊
For too long we have judged each other according to the flesh and not according to the spirit. Worse than that we judge ourselves as unworthy little worms that have far too many issues for God to really love us. True, we still have many issues in our minds and our bodies that need to be sanctified and made holy, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT IS BUSY DOING THAT!
That’s the purpose of the trumpet – the VOICE of Jesus.
When He SPEAKS, He cleanses your body and His blood cleanses your mind. Just because the Holy Spirit and the Lord are still wiping away the stains of sin from your body and your soul does not make you less of a child of God than if you did not.
Now I want to write a little word picture that I saw when I looked at the meaning of the names of the seven churches. The first thing John heard was the names of the churches. I did not get these from Strong’s Concordance, that just says they were cities in Asia Minor. I got these from a brother in Christ so I cannot verify these meanings, but I hope you enjoy it. The meanings are in brackets.
Ephesus, My (beloved darling), to Me you are the aroma of Smyrna (myrrh, the sweet perfume of the Holy Spirit’s anointing oil and sanctification). Even though you dwell in the city of the Serpent (Pergamum) you are My Thyatira, My (daughter) and My Sardis, the one (I hold in My hand, even though the world thinks you are not perfect). To Me you are like Philadelphia, (a friendly city) where I can bring Laodicea the (complete new reign of My kingdom).
You are God’s beloved darling and like a sweet perfume you are His desire. Even though you face the many lies of the devil, You are His son/daughter and He holds you in the palm of His hand. You are His holy dwelling place and your heart is the place where He has chosen to set up His kingdom and there have you rule with Him on His Father’s throne, forever and ever, Amen!
Remember our flow, spirit – soul – body. Spiritually you are perfect, mentally you are being made perfect and physically you shall be made perfect. Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever, the One Who was, Who is, and Who is to come. There is a progression, not towards sin but TOWARDS WHO YOU ARE IN HIM – A NEW CREATION FULLY PERFECTED IN CHRIST.
Next: Jesus as He now is …
Scripture references: Rev 1:11; Eph 5:27; Col 1:22; 1 Pet 1:18-23
You are loved. 💞
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