God’s act of Creation was an epic of love that started with the begetting of Jesus Christ, the Light and the first Word of God, who was glorified thereafter with the colorful clothing of Creation itself.
There is a deeper purpose behind creation than material beauty. That purpose is to clothe Jesus Christ not only with the apparel of Creation, but to propagate Love, the essence of God, by endowing Him with a Bride of His own, the Church, with whom He can continue the epic of Creation as did the original Will and Spirit.
Scripture captures this notion in Matthew 9:14 and 15, Romans 7:4, and Ephesians 5:28-32, leaving no room for a lesser understanding:
“Then came to [Jesus] the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but thy disciples fast not? And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.”
“Wherefore, my brethren, you also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ, that you should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit to God.”
“So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes 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.”
Note from Romans 7:4 above that the marriage will be consummated, being far more than symbolic or a mere figure of speech. Further Scriptural confirmation of this future promise to the Church may be found in the preview of it in Jesus’ parable of the marriage in Matthew 22, the wedding at Cana, as described in John 2, and the Lamb’s wife in Revelation 21.
Just as Scripture suggests that the Holy Spirit was brought forth out of the essence of the Father as He parted Himself to form Her, and as Scripture describes Eve as having been formed from Adam’s pierced side, so did Jesus bring forth the Church from His pierced side as he suffered on the cross on Her behalf.
In his book Destined for the Throne, reviewed and recommended by Billy Graham, Paul Billheimer expands with eloquence on the theme of Jesus’ marriage to the Church. Excerpts from Billheimer’s Introduction and Chapter 1, as extracted from my book Marching to a Worthy Drummer, are given below:
“The following chapters present what some consider a totally new and unique cosmology. The author’s primary thesis is that the one purpose of the universe from all eternity is the production and preparation of an Eternal Companion for the Son, called the Bride, the Lamb’s Wife. Since she is to share the throne of the universe with her Divine Lover and Lord as a judicial equal, she must be trained, educated, and prepared for her queenly role.”
“From this it is implicit that romance is at the heart of the universe and is key to all existence. From all eternity God purposed that at some time in the future His Son should have an Eternal Companion, described by John the Revelator as ‘the bride, the Lamb’s wife’ (Rev. 21:9) John further revealed that this Eternal Companion in God’s eternal purpose is to share the Bridegroom’s throne following the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Rev. 3:21). Here we see the ultimate purpose, the climactic goal of history.”
“As in the case of Adam, God saw that it was not good for His Son to be alone. From the very beginning it was God’s plan and purpose that out of the riven side of His Son should come an Eternal Companion to sit by His side upon the throne of the universe as a bona fide partner, a judicial equal, to share with Him His sovereign power and authority over His eternal kingdom. ‘Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom’ (Luke 12:32). ‘To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with my Father in his throne’ (Rev. 3:21).
“To be given a kingdom is more than to internalize kingdom principles and ethics. That is only one phase of it. To be given a kingdom is to be made a king, to be invested with authority over a kingdom. That this is God’s glorious purpose for the Church is authenticated and confirmed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:2-3: ‘Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? . . . Know ye not that we shall judge angels?’ This is an earnest of what Jesus meant when He said, ‘The glory that thou gavest me I have given them’ (John 17:22).
“This royalty and rulership is no hollow, empty, figurative, symbolical, or emblematic thing. It is not a figment of the imagination. The Church, the Bride, the Eternal Companion is to sit with Him on His throne. If His throne represents reality, then here is no fantasy. Neither joint heir can do anything alone (Rom. 8:17).
“We may not know why it pleases the Father to give the kingdom to the little flock. We may not know why Christ chooses to share His throne and His glory with the redeemed. We only know that He has chosen to do so and that it gives Him pleasure.”
Billheimer stopped short of asserting that the Church, in her spiritual form, may be integrated into the Godhead, nor did he directly imply that a feminine element exists within the Trinity. For example in his Chapter 2, page 37, he commented: “As sons of God [speaking of the individuals within the Church], begotten by Him, incorporating into their fundamental being and nature the very ‘genes’ of God, they rank above all other created beings and are elevated to the most sublime height possible short of becoming members of the Trinity itself.”
But Billheimer came very close to those two intimately related associations. Two pages earlier, on page 35, he stated “Thus, through the new birth – and I speak reverently – we become ‘next of kin’ to the Trinity, a kind of ‘extension’ of the Godhead.” Even more telling, in a footnote at the end of that chapter, he claimed “There is a clear and convincing implication in Genesis 1:27 that sex, in its spiritual dimension, constitutes an element of the image of God.”
Regarding Billheimer’s comment on not knowing “why it pleases the Father to give the kingdom to the little flock”, I do believe that Scripture supplies the answer to that question as to why Christ chooses to share: because, in harmony with the selflessness intrinsic to the Him, the Father Himself chose to share, elevating love over majesty.
Published by Art Perkins