John 17:1-3, 13-26: Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up his eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.
But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.
As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.
“I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.
The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me before the foundation of the world.
“O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”
The Father: The King of kings, GOD
Genesis 1:27-28: God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Genesis 2:18, 21-24: Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”
So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
Matthew 22:1-14: Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come. Again he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.’” But they paid no attention and went on their way, one to his own farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them. But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire.
Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’ Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests.
“But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”
John 3:16-17: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
Colossians 1:13: For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The Bridegroom: The Prince, The Son of GOD, JESUS
Isaiah 54:5-8: For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.
“For like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, Even like a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,” Says your God.
“For a brief moment I forsook you, But with great compassion I will gather you.
“In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, But with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you,” Says the LORD your Redeemer.
“For this is like the days of Noah to Me, When I swore that the waters of Noah Would not flood the earth again; So I have sworn that I will not be angry with you Nor will I rebuke you,
“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” Says the LORD who has compassion on you.
Matthew 24:35-51: Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.
“Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.
“Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But if that evil slave says in his heart, ‘My master is not coming for a long time,’ and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards; the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 25:1-13: “Then the kingdom of heaven will be compared to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep.
But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’
And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.
Philippians 2:5-11: Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Colossians 1:15-20: He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things and in Him all things hold together.
He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
Revelation 19:7-10: Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’”
And he said to me, “These are true words of God.” Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
Revelation 22:12-17: “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.
The Helper—The Holy Spirit
John 16:5-15: “But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.
But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
“I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.
All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.
Ephesians 4:30: Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Romans 8:9-11: However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Romans 14:7-9: For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord, therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
1 Corinthians 3:7-15: So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.
Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.
If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17: Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.
1 Corinthians 12:12-14: For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.
1 Corinthians 12:18, 27-28: But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now, there are many members, but one body.
Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.
Ephesians 2:8-10: For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Ephesians 3:1-19: For this reason I, Paul the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you; that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.
To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.
This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 4:10-16: He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.) And He gave some as apostles, and as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.
As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
Colossians 3:17, 23-25: Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive a reward of the inheritance. If it is the Lord Christ whom you serve. For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.
John 14:1-6: “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.And you know the way where I am going.”
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
John 14:23-31: Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.
“These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.
Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe.
I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me.
1 Corinthians 6:14-20: Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power.
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?
Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “The two shall become one flesh.” But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
Galatians 5:16-25: But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.
But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
Ephesians 5:22-33: Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.
So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.
This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.
Colossians 3:1-16: Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience,and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.
But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
1 Thessalonians 4:1-8: Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God;and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18: But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.
For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 5:4-11: But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief;for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.
For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.
For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
2 Timothy 1:8-14: Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher.
For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.
2 Timothy 2:8-13: Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned.
For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.
It is a trustworthy statement:
For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;
If we endure, we will also reign with Him;
If we deny Him, He also will deny us;
If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
GOD LOVES US with an everlasting love, and since the beginning of time, commencing in the Book of Genesis, He has always called us into RELATIONSHIP with Him, not into religion, because more than servants on earth, GOD desires His Family on earth—sons and daughters in CHRIST, ruling in HIS name, with power and authority, surrendering to His will and way, and submitting to His plan and purpose, which is basically enlarging His Family, expanding His influence, and bringing the kingdom of GOD to earth.
This was GOD’s original intent, even before the foundation of the world—reproducing Himself on earth—for in Genesis, chapter 1, verses 26 through 28 say, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
In essence, GOD, who rules and reigns upon His Throne in Heaven, created us from the beginning to rule and reign in His name, as children of GOD, on earth, and from the beginning, even with Adam and Eve, He equips us and empowers us to fulfill our purpose in His plan, and He even makes provision for our mistakes and bad choices, for even Romans, chapter 8, verse 28, says, we know that GOD causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. GOD watches over us, ensuring that we have every opportunity to succeed in life, to overcome as victors, and prevail as more than conquerors through Him who loves us, because He created us to be victorious—victors, not victims.
According to John, chapter 4, verse 24, “GOD is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth,” and according to Psalm 139 verses 13 through 18, GOD thought of man and CREATED him in the spiritual realm before He formed him on earth or even birthed him into the world through a woman’s womb, after the fall of mankind, for the Scripture says, “You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake I am still with You.”
Even in Jeremiah, chapter 29, verses 11 through 13, it is clear that GOD, who is all-knowing, has foreknowledge regarding all of us and His own eternal plan and purpose for each of us in His Family and in His kingdom, because He knows us intimately, even before we make our arrival on earth, and He knows His expected end for us—what He created us for initially—for GOD says, “I know the plans I have for you, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” So, even from the beginning, GOD created us for Himself, and He created us for a purpose—an assignment on earth—and our journey in life is all about finding our identity in CHRIST and completing our assignment, thus fulfilling our purpose for GOD.
Most of us often have these questions: Who am I? (What’s my identity?); From where do I come? (Where’s my origin?); What am I supposed to do? (What’s my purpose?); Where am I going? (What’s my destination?) And the answers to all of these are found in GOD’s WORD, from Genesis to Revelation, and they are found specifically in ONE PERSON, ONE PLACE—JESUS, the SON of GOD, who is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. Our story begins and ends with HIM, who is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the Author and Finisher of our faith.
And we see GOD’s original intent for mankind in the Book of Genesis, for GOD created Adam, in His image, according to His likeness, as a spirit, in the heavenly or spiritual, invisible realm, and He formed Adam, as a man, physically on earth, in a visible realm, and He put Adam in the territory in which he was created to live, succeed, and thrive—one in which mankind was destined, according to GOD’s original plan, to rule and reign as children, ambassadors, and stewards of GOD, bringing the kingdom of GOD to earth, for in Genesis, chapter 2, verses 7 through 9, the Scripture says, “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”
In essence, Adam wasn’t brought into earth through the womb of a woman, and he didn’t go through the process of childhood, learning how to be a man, how to rule and reign; GOD the Father created Adam in the spirit and formed him on earth, as a son of GOD, already equipped and empowered to rule and reign on earth, and GOD was with him and loved and honored him as His son more than His servant.
GOD loved Adam so much He wanted to bless him, so He held a conference among the Holy Trinity, just as He did when He was contemplating the creation of the man, Adam, and He thought of a companion—a helper—a bride—for His earthly son, and in Genesis, chapter 2, verse 18, it says, “Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Later, in Genesis, chapter 2, verses 21 through 24, it says, “So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’ For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”
Once again, GOD had a plan in place: He thought of a helper suitable for His son; He created her in the spiritual realm and formed her physically on earth, before bringing her to the man who would be her companion, her husband. From the onset, GOD’s intent was that man and woman would be companions, working together, helping each other; they were created to rule and reign in unity, not in competition, walking in GOD’s presence, completing their purpose and fulfilling GOD’s plan.
Life for us all changed when Adam and Eve sinned—first eating the forbidden fruit, then shifting blame when they got caught and refusing to repent. In siding with the devil over GOD, they essentially gave their trust and allegiance to the devil in the guise of the serpent in the garden of Eden, and in doubting, disobeying, and rebelling against GOD, the Creator, the Father, the KING, they essentially betrayed The Royal Family, committed high treason, and handed the keys to the earthly kingdom over to satan, which are crimes worthy of death, by GOD’s just and righteous standard.
After the fall of mankind, we find the most disheartening verses in the Bible in Genesis, chapter 5, verses 1 through 3: “This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created. When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own image, according to his image and named him Seth.” By this point mankind carries Adam’s sinful and corrupt nature, and mankind, though not physically dead, is spiritually dead and separated and alienated from GOD, who is Spirit, who is Holy, who is Righteous, and who is Just, by that sinful, rebellious, corrupt, wicked, and disobedient nature.
But GOD was never caught by surprise. Even before He created Adam and Eve, he knew they would sin, and He had already made provision and had a plan in place—namely, His only begotten Son, JESUS, the CHRIST—the Anointed One—the Messiah—the second and the last Adam, fully GOD and fully man, who would willingly pay the debt of sin all humanity owed GOD the Father and KING—that of death. Thus, JESUS, the SON of GOD, would give His perfect, sinless, and righteous life sacrificially on the Cross of Calvary in a great exchange for our corrupt, sinful, and rebellious ones, redeeming us, saving us, delivering us from satan’s control, and reconciling us to GOD the Father, thus reinstating us as sons and daughters in the kingdom of GOD, who are created in His image, according to His likeness.
Through Adam, the earthly son, sin entered the world, and through him, we’re condemned to death, punishment, hell, but as Ephesians, chapter 2, verses 8 through 10 proclaim, by grace through faith in JESUS, the heavenly Son, we are saved, redeemed, and reconciled to GOD, and through JESUS, we have eternal life, for the Scripture says, “by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
So, we have this truth in GOD’s WORD: GOD loved us so much He created us in His image, according to His likeness, and He loved us so much He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life, because He desires a relationship with us, and as John, chapter 14, verse 6 says, JESUS is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father, except through Him.
Unlike Adam, JESUS, though GOD, though uncreated—the same yesterday, today, and forever—came to earth through the womb of a woman, and He endured the process of birth and childhood—transitioning from baby to boy to man—equally GOD and equally man—not only to reveal GOD the Father to mankind but to reconcile GOD to mankind, restoring that spiritual connection and intimate relationship that was lost with Adam’s fall and reclaiming the power and authority that mankind had freely given to satan through Adam’s original sin.
Through the first Adam, we then have sin, rebellion, bondage, oppression, punishment, torment, and death, but through JESUS, the second Adam, we have redemption, salvation, righteousness, reconciliation, forgiveness, freedom, and life eternal, and Scripture explains in Romans, chapter 5, verses 12 through 21 this, saying, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned, for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.
For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.
The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
We find out the extent of GOD’s love for us in Colossians, chapter 1, verses 13 through 20, for the Scripture says, “He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”
So, from before the foundation of the world, we were created in spirit and formed on earth through JESUS CHRIST and for JESUS CHRIST—the SON of GOD—for Romans, chapter 14, verses 8 through 10, say, “For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself, for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.”
In 1 Corinthians, chapter 15, verses 20 through 28, we learn that JESUS is the First—the LORD of ALL—and Head of the Church, which is the believing community or BODY of CHRIST, for He is the LORD of lords and KING of kings, subject only to GOD the Father, for the Scripture says, “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death.
For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, ‘All things are put in subjection,’ it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him.
When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.”
Just as GOD the Father blessed His earthly son, Adam, with a “suitable” companion, helper, bride; He has blessed His only begotten Son, JESUS, the LORD of lords and KING of kings, with a “suitable” BODY and BRIDE—and that includes all of us—for in 1 Corinthians, chapter 15, verses 45 through 57, Scripture says, “So also it is written, ‘The first Man, Adam, became a living soul.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.
As in the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.
Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.
But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your victory? O Death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
In JESUS’ prayer to GOD the Father in John, chapter 17, we find out that eternal life, according to JESUS, is knowing GOD, personally and intimately, and we can understand that in knowing JESUS, we, indeed, know GOD the Father, and if we examine the historical or ancient Jewish roots of our Christian faith, we can better understand this concept of JESUS, the SON of GOD, as the BRIDEGROOM and we—the BODY—and we—the Church—as His BRIDE—a suitable helper and companion—and we can better understand some of JESUS’ parables about the kingdom of heaven, such as those parables of the ten virgins and the wedding feast found in certain books of the Gospel—the GOOD NEWS.
Historically, most Jewish marriages during the days of the Bible had two parts: first, the betrothal, which wasn’t an engagement as we know it today but a real, legally-binding marriage agreement, and second, the taking of the bride for co-habitation and consummation, where the two—man and woman—joined together in unity and became one in body and one in spirit.
During the betrothal, the couple, though married, lived apart, because the bridegroom was typically “preparing” a place for the bride in his father’s house, and the bride was typically “preparing herself” for the bridegroom’s return and her “new” home.
We see this arrangement in the relationship of the Virgin Mary and Joseph in the Bible. They were legally married when JESUS was conceived on earth through the HOLY SPIRIT, and that’s why Joseph initially considered putting Mary away or quietly divorcing her when he learned she was pregnant. Until an angel told him otherwise, Joseph thought Mary had committed adultery, and during that time, a sin of that nature, if discovered, meant the woman would face certain death, usually by stoning.
In the ancient Jewish marriage tradition, the bride never knew when the bridegroom would appear to claim her, so she had to be ready to leave at any time.
Eventually, the bridegroom would appear to reclaim her and take her to her “new” home, so she had to be ready to leave at any time, even at a moment’s notice, and after the bridegroom came and reunited with his bride, there would be a wedding feast or marriage supper or dinner and a celebration that would generally last seven days.
As we read through our Bibles, from Genesis to Revelation, we begin to see how this ancient Jewish marriage tradition clarifies our relationship as BRIDE to JESUS, the BRIDEGROOM: Like the bride in tradition, we as believers and the BRIDE of CHRIST are supposed to be preparing ourselves and making ourselves ready for JESUS’ return, even as JESUS is away at His Father’s House, making preparations and preparing a place for us in His Father’s kingdom.
Like the traditional bride, we as believers who have invited JESUS into our hearts and accepted Him in our lives are CALLED and CHOSEN by GOD the FATHER and we are BETROTHED to JESUS, the BRIDEBROOM, and His desire for us is UNITY, where He is ONE with us in SPIRIT and BODY: GOD IN US and GOD WITH US.
So, basically, GOD joins Himself to us, as in a real marriage, and He is ONE with us, and we are ONE BODY IN HIM, and we find this concept of ONE BODY, ONE SPIRIT—GOD IN US and GOD WITH US—in the New Testament or the New Covenant, especially in the Gospel of John, chapter 17, where JESUS prays, saying, “The glory which you have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.
Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me before the foundation of the world.
“O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”
Indeed, as the BODY of CHRIST, we are many members, under the authority of GOD, working in the name of JESUS, led of ONE Spirit—the HOLY SPIRIT, and we’re fulfilling our purpose in the plan of GOD on earth, and as the BRIDE of CHRIST, we are essentially BETROTHED to JESUS, SEALED by the HOLY SPIRIT—our Helper—until the day of redemption—and we’re getting ready and making preparations for JESUS’ coming—His Return.
However, some of us are great pretenders and we don’t even expect JESUS to return, so we are content to play the harlot or the prostitute instead of the BRIDE of CHRIST, and we’re more interested in using GOD to get whatever we want—provision, protection, wealth, riches—“stuff”—instead of sincerely seeking His Presence, getting to know Him, or building a real, intimate relationship with Him.
In this sense, we often cheat on GOD, even though Scripture tells us, He is a jealous GOD, and we rebel, disobey, doubt, and commit adultery, in a spiritual sense, finding love, comfort and riches in others—the idols of the world; seeking the treasures and pleasures of the world in foreign gods and foreign places, falling into the traps of our enemies, and yielding to the lies and the temptations of the adversary—satan—giving him our time, our allegiance, and our trust.
In our unfaithfulness to GOD, satan becomes the lover of our souls—our “friend with benefits”—and instead of joining ourselves primarily and exclusively with GOD and being sanctified—set apart for JESUS, our Eternal Prince and BRIDEGOOM, we’re often prostituting ourselves with the prince of darkness and the gods of this world, giving little or no thought to the eternal consequences of our wayward, cheating behavior. In the end, if we choose to serve, side with, and make our bed with the prince of darkness instead of remaining faithful to the PRINCE of PEACE, GOD will honor that choice, and He won't force Himself on us. Therefore, we WILL share our own part and place in the dark prince's fate, in his eternal destination, because GOD IS JUST and GOD IS RIGHTEOUS, and even though He is gracious and merciful, He will never overlook nor condone our continuous rebellion, disobedience, lawlessness, wickedness, immorality, or sin.
But here’s the GOOD NEWS in GOD’s WORD: GOD is GOOD, GOD is JUST, and GOD IS LOVE, and JESUS is the DOOR of HOPE, the HOPE of SALVATION, and this is the truth we have today: GOD will never leave us, nor will He forsake us, because in this moment, at this time, we have the hope of glory--GOD's AMAZING GRACE--all through faith in HIM: JESUS.
Therefore, there's still time, and GOD won’t give up on us, because He loves us, enough to pursue us, save us, redeem us, cleanse us, forgive us, heal us, change us, restore us, transform us, and reconcile with us, especially when we confess our sins to Him, repent, turn from our wicked ways, pray to Him, seek His face, His Presence, love Him with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, and worship Him in spirit and truth, not in hopes of personal gain but in reverence and respect for who He is--HOLY, RIGHTEOUS, GOOD, JUST, LOVING, FAITHFUL, KIND, ALL-KNOWING, ALL-POWERFUL, ALL-PRESENT, the LORD of lords, the KING of kings, the ALPHA and the OMEGA, the BEGINNING and the END—irresistibly and majestically—GOD.
But the GRACE PERIOD and the HONEYMOON won't last forever.
JESUS is COMING . . . SOON.
First, He'll return as the BRIDEGROOM, reclaiming HIS HOLY BRIDE.
Then, He'll come in all His Glory and Majesty as the DIVINE WARRIOR--THE LION KING, reclaiming His Throne, establishing His Kingdom on earth, and effectively putting all His enemies under His feet.
So, what we need to do is figure out or determine for ourselves before the clock of life stops and our time on earth comes to an end is this: who and whose we are? In relation to CHRIST, are we HIS BODY? HIS BRIDE? Or are we the prostitute? Are we children of GOD or pawns of the adversary—satan? Are we His allies or His enemies? Family or Foe? The answers to these questions will likely determine where and with whom we spend eternity.