Christ and the Church
Ephesians 5:32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Paul is saying that he wants to be clear about the things he just got finished writing. The references that he made were so that we would better understand the relationship between Jesus Christ and the church. So when a woman and man marry it symbolizes that future relationship. This is why God gave us this divine institution, so that we could better understand our destiny
So, let’s read the preceding verses with that in mind.
Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
Ephesians 5:24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
This whole thing about submission has been blown out of proportion by the world. Women have been told that they are equal to if not better than men so they should never have to submit. It was never about that. By this we are to understand that, in the future relationship with Christ, we will be like God in that He will be above us in authority, just as the Father is equal to him in power, yet above Him in authority.
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Philippians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Philippians 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
This is the extent to which He was willing to go in order that He could have this relationship with us. Out of LOVE, He gave up His godhood temporarily and became a man and laid down His life in an ignominious death so:
Ephesians 5:26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
Ephesians 5:27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
Christ made it possible that we could live a chaste life and become glorified and live with Him in this state forever
We can see why Satan hates marriage, because he knows that if the plan of God goes through, and it will, it spells out his demise and our eternal success.
Marriage was given to us for that reason. That is why this divine institution is under assault even by some that claim to be Christian. It is because they are blind to this mystery. This is why marriage is between a man and a woman, not between two men; not between two women; not between a man and several women; because the analogy breaks down.
Also, we can see why God hates divorce…because when the church, the bride, marries the bridegroom, it will be for eternity.
Ephesians 5:28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.
Ephesians 5:29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.
Ephesians 5:31 “FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.”
1 Corinthians 6:17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
Christ in us
As a result of His coming, the church was established (flesh and bones) on the Pentecost after Christ died when they received the holy spirit.
The church is the people that have God’s holy spirit, not the building or an organization. .
Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
From that time forward, His church would never die out
Matthew 16:18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades [grave] shall not prevail against it.
But it would go through a prophesied path until the return of Christ. This is another one of the Bible’s Mysteries.
Revelation 1:12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands,
Revelation 1:13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.
Revelation 1:16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
Revelation 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.
Angels are the messengers of God; it is what the word means and here we see that seven of them have a specific task each to one of the churches mentioned in Revelation 2-3
These seven different churches have seven different attitudes, personalities, or characteristics as it were.
Revelation 2-3 describes these successive eras of the church and what they would go through. This too is an identifier of the true church of God – other religions have not followed this same course.
His true church, in these chapters, is identified by their works! His true church is identified by how it continued to work towards being the bride of Christ. By the power of the holy spirit his people have continued to follow His law and have shown good works and each church showed specific works by which they could be identified.
Not only that but they were admonished to continue overcoming sin so that they could be “without spot or wrinkle and be holy and without blemish”
Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.
1 John 5:1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.
1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.
1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
1 John 5:5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
At the end of each message to the churches there are promises of what the future holds.
BOOK OF LIFE; NO SECOND DEATH; RULE OVER NATIONS; INHERIT ALL THINGS
These things too are a mystery. Our destiny is a mystery. We see this in:
1 Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.
1 Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—
1 Corinthians 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
Those who have been given an earnest of the spirit of God begin a transformation process that ultimately culminates in us becoming Gods and members of His family. Notice this in:
1 John 3:1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
At the point and time of the resurrection our human nature will become like God’s:
2 Peter 1:4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
And our bodies will be changed at this time as well:
Philippians 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
Philippians 3:21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
This mystery is our destiny. We are to be reborn into the family of God, in an instant, at the return of Christ.
Romans 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
He inherited all things
Hebrews 1:2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things…
We are co-inheritors
Romans 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Revelation 21:7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
Revelation 20:5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
This is yet another mystery to the world, one that they may have the most difficult time reconciling.
They see God as just, merciful and fair (and He is) and all-powerful (and He is) So why is it that He allows many to die, many not to be called into His church, and allow Satan to win, when it comes to saving the world.
The answer is a mystery that we are to understand.
All Will Have an Opportunity
Romans 11:25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery [Gentiles grafted in], lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
God wants all to be saved
Today is not the only day of salvation!
Even if you wanted to come to God, you can only come if He calls you (John 6:44)
Let’s look at this passage from a few verses up:
Romans 11:16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
Paul is making an analogy that if you pull a piece of dough from the lump of dough and the piece is good then it stands to reason that the lump is good. In the same way he begins to make the analogy of the root and branches of the olive tree which is Israel:
Romans 11:17 And if some of the branches [Israelites] were broken off, and you [Gentiles], being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, [the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who are the roots or foundation/beginning of the nation of Israel]
Romans 11:18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
Don’t think more highly of yourself than you should. God started out with Abraham specifically and is built upon that, not upon you who are now being grafted in.
Romans 11:19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.”
Romans 11:20 Well said. [Paul confirms that this is undeniably what God is doing] Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear.
Reiterating the fact that they should not boast as he previously said in :18 and issuing this warning:
Romans 11:21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.
Romans 11:22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God [chapter 9]: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.
Israelites were broken off for rejecting God and Christ. If the Gentiles were to do the same then they would not be allowed to remain on the tree. The bottom line here is that everyone needs to watch their attitude
Romans 11:23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
God is not unmerciful to give them this opportunity in the future when it is their time. Physical Israel will have the chance to become spiritual Israel
Romans 11:24 For if you [Gentiles] were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
contrary to nature… You don’t normally put the wild on the “domesticated or improved one, but vice versa. But in this instant, which is why it is contrary to nature, the wild olive [Gentiles] produce good fruit when they become spiritual Israel
Paul goes on say isn’t it then according to nature that the Israelites that were previously broken off be grafted back in?
Of course God wants to regraft Israel into spiritual Israel
Romans 11:25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness [fullness: plērōma; :12] of the Gentiles has come in.
Mystery… for the world today even though Paul is expounding upon it in the most read but least understood book on earth, but now we know why…because of the blindness that will remain intact until the completion of the time of the Gentiles, that will last until the return of Christ and the time that He will gather the Israelites from the four corners of the earth and make the Holy Spirit readily available to them.
All according to God’s Timing
Romans 11:26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “THE DELIVERER WILL COME OUT OF ZION, AND HE WILL TURN AWAY UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB;
Romans 11:27 FOR THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS.”
MY COVENANT … New covenant
I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS … They will have the same opportunity for forgiveness and justification that those who have been called now have had.
Romans 2:28-29 supports this: “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.”
The Bible does state that we can become part of the Israel of God in the following manner: “And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.” (Galatians 6:16 ). If we choose to follow the Way of God, completely and fully, then we are the Israel of God or in other words – Godly Israel or Spiritual Israel.
God is not a respecter of persons (1 Peter 1:17; Acts 10:34-35) and His hope is that ALL men will be saved (1 Timothy 2:4).
1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
1 Corinthians 15:23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.
1 Corinthians 15:24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.
1 Timothy 3:9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience.
Most will say that all you have to do is believe
James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
James 2:20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
Romans 16:25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began
Romans 16:26 but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith—
Romans 16:27 to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.
Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Your commandments are righteousness
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father [a previous mystery] in heaven.
Matthew 7:22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
Matthew 7:23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
2 Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.
1 John 3:4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
It is the breaking of the law, so therefore the law exists
Romans 3:23 All have sinned, so therefore the law still exists
(Romans 4:15 … for where there is no law there is no transgression.)
We understand that the law was not done away with and that it is still in effect today. The world does not believe this and live contrary to it.
Even those that say that they live by the Bible.
Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
They will even turn this around to say fulfill means done away
Turn around James 2:20 faith by works and say
Romans 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.
In fact what is the consequence of those that “do away with the law” and sin (break the law) willfully
Matthew 13:41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness,
Matthew 13:42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
This is how serious God is about it, because it is his character and divine nature that we trying to put on.
Why is man so inclined towards lawlessness? For that matter of fact why, outside of revelation, does man not see even some of the seemingly plainer aspects of the word of God? How have the Bible’s Mysteries been hidden in plain sight since the world began? That answer is found in our last mystery
Revelation 17:4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication.
Revelation 17:5 And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
Revelation 17:6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.
Revelation 17:7 But the angel said to me, “Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. hath the seven heads and ten horns.
So he proceeds to identify it for us:
Revelation 17:9 “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits.
Revelation 17:18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.”
*Revelation 18:10 standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’
True Leader of Babylon
Isaiah 14:4 that you will take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say: “How the oppressor has ceased, The golden city ceased!
Isaiah 14:12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!
Isaiah 14:13 For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north;
Isaiah 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’
Revelation 18:3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.”
Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.
This knowledge has been revealed to His saints! But what good is all this knowledge without action to go with it?
“Though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not [Godly] love, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2)
“God is love,” (1 John 4:8) and we are to become like Him and show this same love back to Him as well as to others—this is reflective of His law, the Ten Commandments. Jesus explained this to us when His disciples asked:
“This is the love of God, that we are obedient to His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous.” (1John 5:3)
James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
When we stand before God on our judgment day and give an account to Him, it is not to those that “understood more,” but to those that “did more” that God will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21-23).