Today I want to continue addressing the subject of leading the church as the ekklesia of God. Last week I proposed that the church is not just a group of Christian people gathered together to encourage one another in the Christian lifestyle and the principles of the Christian faith. She is a called out assembly of members of Christ’s body to make God’s governmental decisions in the earth. Simply stated, she is the means by which God brings life to the world. The church is God’s ruling bride in the earth. The church is the life-giving womb of God in the earth. She is the helpmate of Jesus Christ, the eternal Adam. She is in fact the eternal Eve. She bears the name of her husband. The body of Christ is in fact bone of Christ’s bones and flesh of His flesh. Jesus Christ the head and Christ the body are one testimony of the likeness and the image of God the Father in heaven and in the earth.
Ephesians 5:31,32 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.
As leaders in the church we must understand this truth. We do not lead to create mere institutes of the Christian faith. We lead to activate, facilitate, and release the body of Christ to be who she is with Jesus Christ her head. She is the Proverbs, Chapter 31 woman. She is the one who deals in the real estate of the earth on behalf of her husband. Jesus Christ is seated in the place that is above all powers. I believe that the apostle Paul understood this truth.
Ephesians 1:18-23 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
The church is the body of Christ. She, together with her head Jesus, is the fullness of Christ who fills all in all. She is one with Jesus Christ in His authority and has been given authority over every rule, authority, power, dominion, and name in the earth. This is the ekklesia of God. This is the church, the called out assembly of the members of Christ’s body that brings life to the world. She is the life-giving womb of God in the midst of the nations and the generations of men.
In order to understand this we have to look at the original mandate of God given to men. In the beginning God created mankind, male and female He created them. He did not make Eve to be a helper of Adam for Adam’s own purposes, but to be the feminine expression of God’s masculine/feminine nature in the testimony of mankind. God is both a life protector and a life giver. He releases the seed of life and He also germinates that seed of life. He is a good God and brings life to the world. Eve was to be a helpmate with Adam in the task of revealing the likeness and image of their heavenly Father in the earth.
Genesis 1:26-28 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.”
Genesis 2:7,8 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.
Genesis 2: 20-24 The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found 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.
These verses reveal that the joining of a man and a woman together is the means by which God commission’s men to fulfill the mandate in the earth. The mandate is not merely a task of purpose, but the fruit of relationship. That mandate is to be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue, and have dominion. The wife is not joined to the husband to fulfill the purposes of the husband. The wife is joined to the husband to fulfill the purposes of God the Father in the earth. The means by which this purpose is fulfilled is through a love of the man and the woman towards God and towards one another. This is the testimony of human kind. This is the testimony of Adam and Eve as the inheritance of God in the earth.
The ultimate commissioning of God’s redemption of mankind came at the last shedding of blood by Jesus Christ, the Son of Man. Jesus pronounced it “finished” and then He willingly gave up His Spirit. Just as the first Adam was put to sleep naturally in order to see the natural expression of Eve formed from his side, so this Jesus went to sleep both naturally and spiritually in order to see a Spirit anointed, naturally expressed bride formed as the body of Christ in the earth.
John 19: 32-34 So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him; but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.
I believe that the testimony of blood and water from the side of Jesus was a sign to the inevitable Spirit anointed body of Christ to be joined as bone of His bones and flesh of His flesh in the earth. The commissioning of the body of Christ in the upper room some fifty days after Christ’s resurrection was a testimony to the reality of the anointed bride of Christ in the earth. She is the ultimate expression of God’s purpose in the earth. It is about a man and a woman and that man is Jesus Christ the head and the woman is Christ the body in the earth. As leaders we must lead for this purpose. I will continue with this in next week’s blog.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson