His Bride will Share the Glory
God’s purpose for the Church has involved over two thousand of the seven thousand years of God’s purpose for man.
We have the privilege of living in the Last Days, just prior to the coming of the Lord, when the Church will come to her fullness and maturity.
The Church is the Bride of Christ. A bride is very important indeed to a man. She is his most precious gift, and she enhances his personality. In England, for example, when men are considered for promotions in the civil service, the wife is considered as well. The reason is because the wife plays such an important role in her husband’s life. She bears not only the name and title of her husband, but also his honour.
When we consider that the Church is the Bride of Christ, we realise that she is His most precious possession. Therefore, the Church is going to manifest the glory of the Bridegroom. There is a tendency of some to denigrate the Church. However, that is very foolish, because whoever speaks ill of the Bride is denigrating the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Church has been through some very difficult periods. But she is going to come out triumphant in power in the Last Days because the power of God manifests the glory of God. Christ said in John 14:11, “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.” People will believe that the Church is the Body of Christ because of the great power that will be released to the assembly of believers in the Last Days.
There is something concerning the power of Christ that I have meditated upon for many years: it is the thought that the power of Christ manifested through the Church will convert men and women. That was seen (in negative form) when the Lord was in Capernaum. He said, “If the mighty works that have been done here were done in Sodom and Gomorrah, they would have been converted” (Matthew 11:23). Thus, we see the key to the breaking free from sexual immorality – the power of God. When they see the power of God, they will repent and get delivered and cleansed, and will become fruitful members of the Church of Jesus Christ.
Therefore, God is going to manifest His power through the “greater works” (John 14:12). The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:10, “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection…” Now he develops the thought of power in the Ephesian epistle, praying that God may give unto the church the Spirit of wisdom and understanding that their eyes may be open, and that they might understand the greatness of His power that raised Christ from the dead (Ephesians 1:18-20).
Before His resurrection, Christ was in the midst of hell preaching to those who were sometimes disobedient in the days of Noah. On the third day, the word of God came, and Christ arose. He liberated all those Old Testament saints, taking a great company up with Him in His resurrection (1 Peter 3:18-20). The Apostle
Paul wants us to understand the greatness of the power of Christ. Nothing can stand before His power, and He will give His power to the Church in the Last Days.
In the natural, the foundation often reveals the key to what will happen later, in the same way that the seed reveals what the plant will be. The apostles make up the foundation of the Church. Even at a time when they were not yet born again or filled with the baptism of the Holy Spirit, God gave them power
to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out devils (Matthew 10:8). Thus, we see that the power of God is a very important aspect of the foundation of the Church.
The root is very wonderful, but the fruit is in the tree. God keeps the best wine for the last (John 2:10), and as we approach the end of the Church Age, it will be His pleasure to manifest a magnificent display of His power in the Church. However, having a believing attitude – that all things are possible with God – is a necessary ingredient for us to see Him move in His power. We must have His faith to bring to pass His will. We must not limit God as did the people of His own country. Because they limited Him through unbelief, He could do no mighty work there (Mark 6:5). We need to have a climate of faith in our individual lives and in our churches.
In Colossians 1:19, we see that it pleased the Father that all the fullness of the Godhead should dwell in Christ. In like manner, we are the Body of Christ and His Bride; it pleases Christ, the Bridegroom, to deck His Bride with clothes that enhance His glory. When His wife is admired, then it is to His glory. In the Last Days, Christ is going to come into His Church (into us, His members) in a way that He has never come before, to be admired by all.
In the natural, a wife reflects the glory of her husband. The clothes she wears, the way she speaks and acts, and
the works that she does, can glorify her husband. When a wife is complimented, it honours her husband.
In the Book of Esther, King Xerxes had a beautiful wife, Vashti, who was his prize and glory. As he was one of the richest men that ever lived, he clothed Vashti with beautiful adornment. When he was with the satraps and lesser kings at his great feast, he commanded that Vashti be summoned. He wanted all the rulers to admire her beauty and glory, as it was a reflection of his own power, glory, and majesty. When Vashti refused to obey the
king’s commandment, she lost everything.
In meditating upon that, we will understand Christ and His Church. When someone speaks in a way that denigrates a wife, that is a tremendous offence and wound to the husband, for she is his prize and glory; after all, he chose her to be his wife. If she is denigrated or despised by others, it is a terrible affront to the husband. In criticising the wife, one is (in effect) saying to the husband, “Could you not have made a better choice?”
When it came to speaking, my wife was held in high regard. In fact, in one country, I was told that I could come if I brought my wife. I was not offended, but thrilled, because it reflected well on my choice in marriage.
If you are speaking against the Church, you are speaking against the Father, saying that the Father did not know what He was doing. That is a terrible affront to God the Father and to Christ.
The glory of Jesus is the Church. Let us not forget that the members of the Church are hand-picked. In the Middle East, it is not the bridegroom who picks out the girl he will marry, but the father of the bridegroom. When I was in Japan years ago, the Japanese had the same custom. I asked one of the young men, “How do you feel about your father picking out your wife?” His response was, “My father loves me, and I know that he will pick out the best girl he can find. I know she will be right.”
In John 17:11, Jesus makes it very clear that it is His Father who chose His bride for Him. He prayed, “…Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We are.” If you are speaking against the Church, you are speaking against the Father, saying that the Father did not
know what He was doing. That is a terrible affront to God the Father and to Christ.
If anyone criticises your spouse, they are criticising you. If anyone says, “I am tired of Church,” they are saying, “I am tired of Christ.” The Church is going to be filled with all the fullness of God, because His beloved Son is filled with all the fullness of God.
Let us prepare for the coming glory of God, and have a clear vision of who the Church is. She is the Bride of Christ, the apple of His eye.
At the coronation of King George VII, his wife was sitting by him on the throne. When he was crowned, she was crowned, too. He was called “His Majesty” and she was called “Her Majesty,” and he entrusted her with all kinds of responsibilities. He, like most men, did not talk much, and so he used to stand back and let his wife do all the talking with the people. She won their hearts, and he got the glory.
Let us prepare for the coming glory of God, and have a clear vision of who the Church is. She is the Bride of Christ, the apple of His eye. Jesus is coming for a Church without spot or wrinkle, perfect in every way. When we look at ourselves as members of the Church, let us have faith that the Lord will set us free, decking us with His beauty and power. He will fill us with His love and with all the fullness of God. After all, He chose us to be a member of His Glorious Church; we did not choose Him (John 15:16).
One of the things taught to salesmen is that when they meet people, it is important to find out what those people are interested in, and to talk about that. This method has proven very successful in every type of sales experience. If we want to win Christ, then we talk to Him about His pride and joy – His Bride. Let us have a very healthy attitude towards everyone else in the Church, speaking well of them. As the Apostle Paul did, let us thank God for everyone, and in so doing, we will delight the heart of Christ.
......continue reading part two of the series
This article is an excerpt from Dr. Brian J. Bailey’s book, The Glory. It is the second part of a series featuring Chapter 17, “The Glorious Church in the Last Days”. It has been printed with covering permission from the late Dr. Brian J. Bailey.
This article is an excerpt from Dr. Brian J. Bailey’s book, The Glory. It is the first part of a series featuring Chapter 17, “The Glorious Church in the Last Days”. It has been printed with covering permission from the late Dr. Brian J. Bailey.