Creation greater than redemption
The desire of God’s heart is expressed in creation. God’s goal, God’s plan and God’s predetermined will are all revealed in His creation. Creation reveals God’s Eternal Purpose, it shows what is He truly after. But redemption is different to creation. Redemption doesn’t bring anything new to us, it restores to us what was lost through the fall. Our focus can be upon redemption without regard to creation. If you were to ask an educated Biblical scholar, what is the central message of the Bible, many would reply it is God’s redemptive plan for man. Or closer still, it is about the love of God for the world, or it is about how we can have a relationship with God. Others might say it is so that we can know God. Of course all of these answers would be correct, yet we propose there is much more. If we focussed on redemption, then the question remains, redeemed for what, or who? Redemption is related to us; it benefits us by bring forgiveness of sins and the inheritance of eternal life. We must look to creation to find our answers, because creation is related to God and His purpose.
At what point does redemption become necessary? We know that Genesis 3 records the fall of Adam and Eve through sin. The relationship and position man enjoyed in harmony with God was broken when Satan disguised as a serpent brought deception, and Adam and Eve sinned against God. It is from this point that redemption became necessary, so we must look to Genesis 1,2 to see what Adam and Eve had lost, and what it was that needed to be restored.
Genesis 1-2 reveals the initiation of God in bringing His Eternal Purpose forth. It is not the end but the beginning of it, yet there are details of the end interwoven from the beginning, the eternal seed already in place from the first day, and continues ever since shaping history to our current time and in the times to come. So let us explore the footprints of the Divine left in these pages to form an understanding of God’s Eternal Purpose that we may gain hope, but also that we may align our lives to His, our hearts to His, and our plans to His plans, because in aligning to His purpose, we find new measures of grace and anointing for the task before us.
There are two main areas for our attention.
First, that God made man in His own image that is in the image of Christ. The first man is also known as the first Adam. But also notice how God saw it was not good for man to be alone, and so He brought forth Eve from within Adam and the two were united as husband and wife.
Second, God gave to Adam and Eve dominion over all He had created. They were authorised by God to rule over the Earth as caretakers on His behalf. And so in Creation we have relationship and responsibility. We have marriage and kingdom. The Bible also says that on the seventh day, God rested. His work was completed on day six, and the responsibility for what He had made was given to Adam and to Eve. The fact that God rested signifies completion at that point, and whatever God has completed is also perfect and that everything was now in place.
Adam and Eve were created to reign upon the earth, but there is more to it than this. Both Adam and Eve foreshadow a greater mystery to be revealed. They both typify and example something more.
1 Cor 15:45-50 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being” the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
Rom 5:14-15 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come. But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!
We read here, that Adam was a foreshadow or a pattern of the man to come which is Jesus Christ.
Equally the purpose given to Adam to rule is fulfilled and accomplished in Jesus.
Eph 5:23-27 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
If Adam typifies Jesus, then Eve must typify the church.
Creation records how it was not good for man to be alone, and that Adam should have a helpmeet. It was when Adam and Eve were working together that God’s plan was complete and he rested
God’s desire for Adam was that he should have a helpmeet, but more than a helpmeet Eve was also Adam’s wife. So also God’s desire for Jesus is that Jesus should have a bride, someone with whom he would become one with as in a marriage, and together they should rule. This is what Eph5 also teaches :
Eph 5:31-32 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery–but I am talking about Christ and the church.
What was Eve’s qualification to be Adam’s Helpmeet?
Gen 2: 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.
No suitable helper was found for Adam from all the creatures God had made, and so a new type of creature had to be made, one which was suitable for Adam.
The problem was compatibility. We read in 1 Cor 15:39 “Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another.” To be united with another, requires that they are of the same kind. It is a question of compatibility. And so Eve was made or brought forth out of Adam.
Gen 2:23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”
The Bride comes out of Christ
Just as it was necessary for Eve to be taken out of Adam as the only way to provide a suitable helper, so also the only suitable bride capable of being united with Jesus must also be of the same kind as Jesus himself. The Bride of Christ comes out of from Christ. There is no other way possible. That is the work of the cross, for redemption yes, but so much more, to bring forth His bride, and the dowry was His own blood. There are definite parallels between the Old and New Testament passages. Remember that the first Adam is a pattern of the second.
- Eve came out of Adam – the Church/Bride comes out of Christ
- Eve is another form of Adam – the Church/Bride is another form of Christ
- Eve is one body – the Church/Bride also is one body
- Adam was put into a deep sleep – Jesus was crucified upon the Cross
Adam’s side was opened and a rib taken – Jesus’ side was pierced and out flowed the blood and water. Note: this was after He had already died, signifying the spear was not part of redemption, but we suggest symbolic of the bride being withdrawn from Jesus’ side. The blood represents the purification from sin, and the water represents the life of God flowing out.
The Bridal Paradigm
From Genesis 1 to Revelation 22 and interwoven throughout scripture we find the bride. It has always been the intent of the Father to provide a bride for His Son Jesus. For us to have any understanding of what this means, God has provided the model of husband and wife, which Paul referred to in his letter to the Ephesians, that he used the picture of husband and wife to teach a higher truth and revelation.
Eph 5:31,32 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.
Paul is relating this to the actions of Jesus, that Jesus left His father to go and be united with his wife, that the two will become one flesh. May this truth touch us at the core of our being, for if we understand this one truth, we understand at last the highest revelation of who we are, and our ultimate destiny that just like Eve should reign alongside Adam over creation, so also we shall reign with Christ. This is central to the Time Out Mission mandate, to awaken the church to her bridal identity. That we should have a bridal consciousness, and see and understand life through the bridal paradigm.
We are the passion of His heart, the object of His affection towards us. He loved us so much that He went to the cross to bring us forth into a new creation (2 Cor 5:17), reborn back into the image of Christ (Eph 4:24), partakers of His Divine nature (2 Pet 1:4), flesh gives birth to flesh, but spirit gives birth to spirit (John 3:6)
This should be no surprise, yet it is a strange and unfamiliar concept rarely taught from the pulpit. Some may even find it offensive, yet it is central to God’s Eternal Purpose in Christ.
John the Baptist knew Jesus as the Bridegroom “The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.” John 3:29
And Jesus used various parables to teach us about the Bridegroom and the Wedding Banquet, but also making a direct connection with the Kingdom of God. Matt 25:1 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.”
There is a direct connection between the Kingdom and the Bridegroom, and both find their fulfilment in Jesus the Bridegroom King. If we are the Bride then there are profound implications for the way we view ourselves and the way we relate with one another. For we are all part of the same body, and each part needs the others, and no one part is more or less important than any other, for we are all one. And if we are not one, then we are not yet ready for the Bridegroom, for we cannot be finally united with Jesus until we are first united with one another. No wonder it was our Lord’s final and enduring prayer that he agonised to bring before His Father on the night He was betrayed.
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17:20-23
On that great and glorious day when Jesus returns we read
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) Rev 19:8
Notice here that the bride has made herself ready. There can be no wedding, and therefore no second return of Jesus to the Earth, until the bride has made herself ready. In Acts 3:21 we read of Jesus “Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.” Just think about that, Jesus must remain in Heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything promised.
Then in Rev 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” also Rev 22:20 “He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” The last thing that will happen before the second coming of Jesus is there will be agreement between Heaven and Earth. Both will, more than at any other time in history be saying “Come”. The Spirit has always been saying come, but the bride cannot say come, first until she knows she’s a bride, and secondly until she has made herself ready. This is the point of agreement that Heaven and Earth need to agree upon, more so than on any other point. For Jesus is returning for His Bride, Hallelujah. Oh, how we must understand this beyond doctrine or logical reasoning. It must move us deeper into a place of overwhelming desire and longing for His return. Is that a picture of the church today? Where is the Bride? Who is the Bride? This is the song of Heaven, and it is recorded for us in the Song of Songs, or the Song of Solomon. How His heart must break for us, when we are pre-occupied with so many other things that fill our hearts and our minds with anything other than the Lord himself. Or when we are divided amongst ourselves and our denominations deny us of our true self. We are not Baptist, or Anglican, or Pentecostal or any other title, but we are His! Why should we be defined by anything of man, or see ourselves in any other way than how our Beloved sees us. Yes, this is the “Now Word”, this is the ancient and Holy pathway than must be walked upon again, that others can follow and know Him, Jesus the Bridegroom King!