A study of sevens

Study 3: A marriage

The Life of Our Lord

Behold the Lamb of God who is to become the bridegroom. This theme of a marriage is found throughout the Scriptures. Read the story of the wise and foolish virgins in this regard.

Mat 3:16-17 (NIV) As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

John 1:29 (NIV) The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

Mat 9:15 (NIV) Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.

The disciples’ prayer: Your kingdom come.

These three words embrace the whole book and its revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Rev 19:7 (NIV) 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.

Rev 21:9 (NIV) One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

The marriage of the Lamb and the Kingdom of God are closely tied together.

Zec 4:6 (NIV) So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.

These Scriptures show how the Spirit of God will be involved with the building of His house (Kingdom).

Preparation complete

This third step in the prayer completes the stage of preparation. The prayer has up to this point been involved in the adoration of the triune nature of the Godhead and the exaltation of the. Lord God Almighty.

We are to pray…

a. Our Father

b. That His name be hallowed. This points to the name of Jesus. baptism into the name, at the name of Jesus, doing all in the name of Jesus.

c. The kingdom. To be built by the Spirit.

Throughout all three stages we are being led to the place where we can come into the unity or oneness that the church must have for victory. Not union but unity.

John 17:21 (NIV) 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.

Eph 5:31-32 (NIV) “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church

The Disciple’s Walk

Read the parable of the King’s son and the wise and foolish virgins:

Mat 22:1-2 (NIV) Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.

Mat 25:1-2 (NIV) “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise.

Two questions are immediate to our study. Why were five virgins foolish and what is the wedding garment? The number five speaks of the grace of God and oil of the anointing of the Holy Spirit.. Notice that the foolish ones only had oil in their lamps, there was no double portion.

Rev 19:8 (NIV) Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)

The parables: The Mustard Seed

Mat 13:31 (NIV) He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.

This is an interesting parable since a mustard seed does not naturally become a tree. It is however the smallest of seeds. The seed is likened to faith and we know that the kingdom of God is a kingdom of faith. The seed is planted in a field that has been used to portray the world.

Mat 13:38 (NIV) The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one,

In the Daniel story the small seed did not remain true to its nature instead it became a great tree of pride and the birds of the air came and nested in its branches. This happened in the early days of Babylon and so will it be in the latter days of the church. Nebuchenezzar king of Babylon had a dream about this tree.

Dan 4:10-15 (NIV) These are the visions I saw while lying in my bed: I looked, and there before me stood a tree in the middle of the land. Its height was enormous. 11 The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky; it was visible to the ends of the earth. 12 Its leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, and on it was food for all. Under it the beasts of the field found shelter, and the birds of the air lived in its branches; from it every creature was fed. 13 “In the visions I saw while lying in my bed, I looked, and there before me was a messenger, a holy one, coming down from heaven. 14 He called in a loud voice: ‘Cut down the tree and trim off its branches; strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it and the birds from its branches. 15 But let the stump and its roots, bound with iron and bronze, remain in the ground, in the grass of the field. “‘Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live with the animals among the plants of the earth.

The parable points to the joining of two natures. The nature of the mustard seed and the nature of the tree.

Nebuchenezzer failed to live by faith (the righteous seed) and his pride grew a egotistical tree.

The attempt to join (marriage) faith and pride brought downfall.

Pride speaking:

Dan 4:30 (NIV) he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”

The result

The tree (his kingdom) was cut down

15 But let the stump and its roots, bound with iron and bronze, remain in the ground, in the grass of the field. “‘Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live with the animals among the plants of the earth.

Faith speaking:

Dan 4:3 (NIV) How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation.

The result:

Mat 17:20 (NIV) He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

The seven churches: The Church at Permagos

( = a lofty thing, a marriage)

(Rev 2:12-17 NIV) “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. [13] I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives

False practices

This was the time in the life of the church during which the deeds of the Nicolaitaines became part of the doctrine of sections the church. The meaning of the word is significant. (to conquer the people.) False practices crept in and were held up as being necessary for the believer’s salvation. Many leaders of the church began to dominate the people and rule over them as ‘ Lords’ over the flock rather than servants. They ceased to listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and carnality polluted the church eldership.

[15] Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. [16] Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

The doctrine of Balaam

The doctrine of Balaam took hold in many places. This doctrine involves the union (marriage) of God’s purposes with the purposes of the world. An awful compromise!!

. [14] Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality.

The story of Balaam is in Num.22:5-22

v5-22 He was self willed. v22-33 saved from death by a miracle, the beast spoke, v23-24 double minded. He was eloquent in prophesy but presumed to alter God’s plan. Num24:10 he failed in his mission.

Num 31:16 (NIV) “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and were the means of turning the Israelites away from the LORD in what happened at Peor, so that a plague struck the Lord’s people.

2 Pet 2:15-16 (NIV) They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness. 16 But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—a beast without speech—who spoke with a man’s voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

Carnal ecclesiasticalism

Pergamos was a great centre of the official religion which was a mixture of carnal ecclesiasticism with echoes of the emperor worship of former days. A mixture of faith, carnality, paganism, politics and imperial pride laid foundations which still plague the church to this day. .

. [14] Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality.

2 Cor 6:14-17 (NIV) Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial ? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 17 “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”

James 4:1-5 (NIV) What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. 4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?

1 John 2:15-16 (NIV) Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.

Church History

From AD313 when Constantine received the church into the Roman Empire as the “official” religion until 500 AD this unseemly row went on as the church joined with the state

The church ‘married’ a worldly power and took on the trappings of the Roman Empire The church was every where free from persecution. Its steadfastness, its faith and its organization had carried it through its perils of the last ten years. But in winning its freedom it had become largely under the control of the Roman imperial throne. A fateful union had begun. The results will be seen in the study of the Thyatiran church.

Overcomer’s Condition

Rev 2:13 (NIV) Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city-

There were still some who held fast to the pure teachings and resisted the Imperial state domination. Particularly those who followed after the Holy Spirit, and held to basic doctrine as given by the Word.

Isa 4:1 (NIV) In that day(latter days) seven women will take hold of one man and say, “We will eat our own food (doctrine) and provide our own clothes;(righteousness) only let us be called by your name. Take away our disgrace!”

To hold fast to the name means to take on the nature of the name. In the prophetic sense there are, and will be, church groups who are willing to enter in to God’s provision e.g. the baptism of the Holy Spirit. but have problems with what the Holy Spirit reveals to them following this submission. Example are; baptism into the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, full immersion baptism. giving up of denominational names, rejection of a special priesthood and a multitude of practices directly traceable back to this marriage of the church and state. Practices which have no scriptural approval but were added to the church by “state religion”.

We have seen earlier that the taking of the name points to marriage.

Marriage involves two becoming one. The church must give up her nature and take on His nature. There is only one living Word. He is revealed by the Holy Spirit through the anointed written Word of God i.e. the Christian Bible. NOT the traditions of the church or the infallible teachings, so called, of any of its leader/s.

As with the overcomers we are not to deny His faith. There is a difference between ‘the faith’ and ‘His faith’. It is a commonly heard saying ‘keep the faith brother’ or ‘have you kept the faith’. Behind these are usually found a carnal faith, built on church rules and traditions. But this is not His faith … Read Hebrews 11. There is no Churchianity in this chapter.

A true marriage is a mixture but of like faith.

2 Cor 6:14 (NIV) Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

Overcomer’s Reward

Rev 2:17 (NIV) He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.

Hidden manna is the Word of God made manifest by the Holy Spirit. This is a very real experience as all who are baptised in the Holy Spirit soon discover. The expression ‘the Word lights up’ is often said by those who receive this blessing. There is also an inward communion of the spirit.

A white stone … In the courts a white stone meant ‘not guilty’ when the court made a judgement by lot.

A new name … but no one knows it except the one receiving. Note the ‘ knowing ‘ means understand, enter into, take the nature of. To receive it means more than just ‘know about’ the name.

A wife may know her husband’s name and receive it but until they enter into the full communion of body, soul and spirit, into a full marriage, the real nature of the person is unknown. Sadly, some never reach this state of unity.

Phil 3:8-10 (NIV) What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

The Feast of First Fruits

The first fruits are the best, those which are the choicest. These were holy unto the Lord. They were presented to the Lord first.

Rom 8:23 (NIV) Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

Jesus was the first fruits of many sons.

This feast completed the feast of Passover.

Eph 1:6 (NIV) to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

The first fruits have been offered up and if we are one with Christ we also are offered up in Him and made acceptable in the beloved. The marriage or joining of two natures enables us to freely enter into the next feast … Pentecost.