November 13, 2015
Continuing where we left off last week, we consider the number 12 in the picture of the Bride of Christ -- the number of Ekklesia, the number of preparation, and the number of governmental authority.
Last week, we said that the New Jerusalem does not only consist of Jews. Representing the call to, and gathering from, the nations are the twelve foundation stones, and on them the names of the twelve apostles who made up that first Ekklesia.
The dual groups of 144,000 represent the two Brides – now made One. The significance of the number, 144, is that it is 12 X 12; that is, a finished, a completed, a fully tested and tried people. The work of the Paraklete in Ekklesia has been accomplished. The time of Ekklesia has come to an end, and the finished Bride has been joined to her Bridegroom.
If you will recall the vision of Zechariah, he saw the Golden Candlestick between two olive trees. When he asked the angel of the Lord what the two olive trees represented, the angel replied, “These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” (Zechariah 4:14)
While I recognize that there are other explanations and interpretations of these two “anointed ones,” I am convinced that they represent the two segments of the completed and anointed Bride. The two olive trees are the source of the olive oil used in the Golden Candlestick. The Golden Candlestick was always representative of the flame of love burning night and day for the Bridegroom.
In Zechariah’s vision, there is only one candlestick – not two. The flame of the Bride is one. But it burns out of the oil from two source olive trees: the Bride taken from Israel, and the Bride taken from among the nations of the earth. The olive is metaphoric of the crushing process which takes place during Ekklesia as the Bride is prepared.
A corollary to this picture is the evidence of the two witnesses who appeared with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. Peter, James and John saw Moses and Elijah. Moses is representative of the Law, and the Bride of Law. Elijah typifies the Spirit, and the Bride of the Spirit.
John witnesses this in two other sets of measurements. The city is 12,000 furlongs (roughly a distance of 1,500 miles) long, 12,000 furlongs wide and 12,000 furlongs high. Thus you have the twelve multiplied by a thousand in triplicate. It is a square of twelve.
Then John sees as the wall of the city is measured, 144 cubits thick. Again he is shown the completion of the work of the Paraklete in Ekklesia as the city is protected by a barrier measuring 12 X 12 cubits (roughly 216 feet) in thickness. That barrier is the work of Holy Spirit in the erection, the building, and the fortification and complete protection wrought in the realm of the spirit within the Bride.
The picture of the city with its measurements, the makeup of the foundations in twelve specific precious stones, and the representation of the gates in pearls, all depict a finished, a glorified, a united people – all grafted and integrated together -- made One with Jesus Christ. The study of the New Jerusalem is a study of the completed Bride.
There is no more Bride of Flesh or a Bride of Law, separated from the Bride of Spirit, or the Bride of Love. Jesus Christ has reconciled all to Himself.
By this, I do not mean that the flesh and the Law can coexist with the Spirit and love. They cannot! This is not a picture of the Bride of flesh continuing to serve the flesh, or the Bride of Law continuing in her bondage to the Law. Jesus was the end – the completion of the Law. He was its objective! Jesus, however, has made it possible, and is making it possible, for the those who have served the Law and the flesh to have one more opportunity to reject them and overcome by the Spirit.
The New Jerusalem is that finished and prepared people, no longer divided by the Law from relationship with the Bridegroom, and subservient to the flesh. Flesh and Law, Love and Spirit have been reconciled together in and through Jesus Christ.
Do you see it? Do you see what the Lord is doing among us? Do you see why you have been going through the trials and afflictions which never seem to end? Do you see the objective of Jesus Christ, our Bridegroom? Do you see the two Brides, made One?
If you do, then you see what John was permitted to see in the Spirit! If you do, you are seeing the Brightness of the Lamb, the Glory of the Father, the surpassing greatness of His Love toward us. It has all been wrought because it is the will of the Father, the desire of the Son, and the purpose of the Holy Spirit. That will, that desire, that purpose are all summed up in Jesus Christ’s inheritance in us!
The picture of the two Brides really is just one complete story.
Jesus Christ has never had two plans. He has never had a plan “A,” or a plan “B” if the first plan did not work. Israel was not Plan “A.” Neither was the “Whosoever Will Bride” an alternative to Israel.
When the first words of Creation were spoken, Jesus knew, as did the Father and the Holy Spirit, that there was only one plan for one Bride and Counterpart.
Adam and Eve were not Israelites. Contrary to the opinion of some, Abraham and Isaac were not of the House of Israel, and they were not Jews. They were simply the forebears. (I’m not trying to shock you. I just want you to see past Israel to the reality of the Bridegroom’s call.) God’s purpose was never to call Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, and then -- if their descendants missed the boat – choose an alternative.
Abraham was the father of the Bride. Period! He was the father of Isaac, and the grandfather of Jacob, from whom descended the twelve tribes of Israel. He was also the father of those who walk by faith.
The fact that Israel followed after false gods and missed out so drastically in understanding the purposes of the Lord did not suddenly make them social outcasts in God’s sight. Neither did the Lord make a big mistake in choosing Israel. It has never been a case of Jew versus Gentile, or Hebrew versus Heathen.
From the beginning of time, Adam and Eve, Shem and his wife, Abraham and Sarah, Jacob and Rachel and Leah, Judah and Tamar (the Canaanite), Salmon and Rahab (the Jebusite), Boaz and Ruth (the Moabite) Joshua and his wife, Caleb and his wife, David and Bathsheba (the Hittite), Esther and Xerxes (the Persian king) and a slew of others too numerous to recount, were incorporated into a single plan, together with those of every generation since the time that Jesus Christ appeared in person.
Adam and Eve were the first picture of the Bride in the earth. Shem and his wife were the second. Isaac and Jacob were the third. Israel – the twelve tribes -- was the fourth. The “Whosoever Will” people are the fifth.
Along the way, the Lord incorporated into Israel those whose walk of faith and perseverance, love and overcoming exemplified His heart for a single people drawn from every nation on earth. The picture of Tamar the Canaanite girl, Rahab the Jebusite harlot, and Ruth the Midianite who descended from Lot, Abraham’s nephew, is a picture of those from condemned nations and accursed lifestyles being incorporated into the Bride because of the remarkable faith demonstrated in the face of death. In them is the most dramatic demonstration of the opportunity Jesus Christ has made – and is making – for the Bride of flesh to overcome by faith.
Tamar, Rahab, and Ruth were (ex-) citizens of those nations who had been judged, rejected and cursed by the Lord because of their sins of the flesh and their sins of the spirit. Yet these three women were incorporated not only into the Bride, but into the direct lineage of Jesus Christ because of their stupendous demonstrations of faith in God in the face of certain death.
That which occurred on the day of Pentecost was a follow-up to Tamar, to Rahab, to Ruth, to Esther. On that day, there were gathered together some seventeen different peoples or nationalities or ethnic groups, all of whom heard the praise and glorifying of Jesus Christ in their languages as they were uttered by the 120 gathered together in the upper room. Suddenly the Bride began to exist as Jew and Gentile, Israelite and Arab, bond and free, male and female without any regard for race, nationality or sex.
From that time to this, there has only been one Bride in the earth. Even though we all know that there is a very unique calling going forth among the Jews around the world, and an incredible response taking place even as this Coffee Break goes forth, it is happening only because they are being rejoined to Jesus Christ as a direct product of His everlasting Covenant.
The gifts – which represent His dowry to the Bride – and His calling of that Bride are without repentance. Even though we have seen what appears to be the processing of two, there really is only one Bride. The two parts of the Bride have become one.
Jesus Christ is receiving His inheritance!
Let me wrap up this discussion with a portion of a poem that I wrote for my wife on Christmas of 1995. It puts things in perspective.
BRIDEGROOM and BRIDE
That wonderful day, those years ago,
The Lord brought a bride -- a counterpart;
Eons had passed, it seemed, while incomplete:
This was a day designed to fill the heart.
Destined from the beginning, an Eve to be:
The picture of perfection, grace like a dove,
She came from the cry of a being in need:
The Lord Jesus Christ, who sought for His love.
Flowing in beauty, filled with desire,
Her whole being spoke, "I love you!
Adam's very essence leaped as he saw
God's gift to him, his delight, his concours.
Then as the years turned into millennia
A new cry was heard, a cry in the earth:
A cry for completeness with
She who'd be His,
A yearning which most surely would be brought to the birth.
This second Adam then went to the cross
To buy back a people in captivity,
Created for Him;
Pierced with a sword thrust into His side,
He foresaw the future -- love filled to the brim.
The process began, a people in fire:
A Bride in the making, a Bride to abide;
Years again became millennia,
But to Jesus ‘twas irrelevant:
He saw to the day they’d sit at His side.
A people came forth -- a people who loved -
A people who overcame all to say,
"I love you, My Lord!
Your onoma I take;
All that I am, or ever will be, is yours for eternity, going forth from this day."
The creator of all, the Lord Jesus Christ,
Now made complete -- having been joined to His Bride --
Sees destiny unfold, eternity resume,
His cry has been answered,
His love's at His side.
The future unfolds, a thousand years of time,
The throne of the heavens,
a new onoma presides;
The past is behind, the cry is fulfilled;
The need has been met,
In Bridegroom and Bride.
Know this: “that He who began a good work in you will perfect and complete it up to and until the day of Jesus Christ!” (Philippians 1:6, RAC Translation & Amplification)
It is happening! He is doing it! The work of perfecting and completing continues so long as we continue wholeheartedly responding to everything He says, does and requires in us!
Let us go on to the finishing!
Once again, here is the wrap up that we used last week. "When you want what God wants for the same reason that God wants it, you become unlimited and unstoppable!" Today, we will add to it the following: "When you want what God wants in your life, you will see the Glory of God revealed -- in yourself and in the earth around you."
Blessings on you!
I remind those of you in need of ministry that our Healing Prayer Call takes place on Mondays at 7:00 PM Eastern (4:00 PM Pacific). Our call-in number has changed to (712) 775-7035. The new Access Code is: 323859#. For Canadians who have difficulty getting in to this number, you can call (559) 546-1400. If someone answers and asks what your original call-in number was, you can give them the 712 number and access code.
At the same time, in case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:45AM Pacific. That conference number is (605) 562-3140, and the access code is 308640#. We hope to make these gatherings available by Skype or Talk Fusion before long. If you miss the live call, you can dial (605) 562-3149, enter the same access code and listen in later.
Blessings on you!
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