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25.1 Clothed with the Sun



25.1 Clothed with the Sun
© 2016 Christ Revealed Bible Institute

Clothed with the Sun
We have established the immediate active presence of a determined Fathering God among mankind on this earth. The determination of our Father to be seen and known is beyond all ability we might possess to comprehend. And this determined God is moving mightily through His Sustaining Christ and through His Life-Giving Spirit to effect His purposes here and now among us. The present action of God’s determination is absolute and rules all things.

But, when we then look upon the earth to find the focal point of this most-intense determination, what do we see? We see a woman clothed with the sun, in travail to give birth.

The Church
We see the Church.

Now, I stated earlier that many Nicene definitions have been absent from my thinking for nearly 40 years. One such designation is the definition of “church” as a building to which a group of people go once or twice a week. Such an idea is simply not present in my mind when I use the word “church.” The Greek word is, of course, ecclesia, which means assembly. But a bunch of people getting together is not really what God means. Thus I prefer the word “Church,” meaning this heavenly woman who bears in her womb the very life of Christ.

John’s Vision
Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth (Revelation 12:1-2). – And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her child as soon as it was born. She bore a male child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her child was caught up to God and His throne (Revelation 12:4b-6).

One of the principles of interpreting Scripture is that we use what God Himself says in order to place meaning on the symbols God uses in any vision. This is a vision seen by John.

Two Women
And the first symbol in this chapter is that we are speaking of a heavenly woman. We know that Mary and the people of Israel as a whole were earthly women.

For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar—for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children—but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all (Galatians 4:22-26).

The Mother of Us All
I have quoted this entire passage because in this session we must look at two women, one earthly, the other heavenly. You have no idea how much this passage from Paul is hated by present-day Jewish Pharisees (all religious Jews today are of the faction of the Pharisees), and how much their hatred has blocked Paul’s gospel out of today’s Christian thinking. Remember, also, that this spirit of anti-Christ seeks to drive every possible wedge between Jesus as “the Christ” and you and me, the flesh of His body.

The Jerusalem above, the heavenly woman, is the mother of the children of promise – those who believe that Jesus is their only life.

Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Brethren, we (Christians) are not children of the bondwoman but of the free (Galatians 4:31). Paul makes it crystal clear that this heavenly woman is the Church of Jesus Christ and not the earthly woman of bondage, the Jerusalem on this earth and the natural Jew.

Then it says – a woman clothed with the sun. The sun is the light of the world; to be clothed with the sun cannot mean anything other than to be clothed with the Lord Jesus Christ. PUT ON the Lord Jesus Christ. – With all the enabling of the Holy Spirit, I have taught you to be this woman, to put the Lord Jesus Christ upon your entire self.

Church by Substance
What is the Church?

In this course, we are separating appearance from substance. In this session, we are looking only at substance and appearance as God intends, not in-part appearance.

What is the Church? First, the Church is all whom the Father has given to Jesus, Jew and Gentile as one together, inside this present age, whether they know that yet or not. That means that the Church very much includes all true believers in Jesus who have lost their physical bodies. Saints in heaven-only are as much with us as we are with us.

Two Metaphors
Yet this delineation gives us the makeup of “the Church,” but it does not really tell us what the Church IS. And remember that all the determination of a Fathering God, all the upholding of a Sustaining Word, all the work of a Life-Giving Spirit are focused absolutely upon this entity we call the Church.

What is the Church? God gives two metaphors for us to know what is this Body of people, clothed with the Son; those two metaphors are a plant bearing seed and a woman giving birth. I mix these two metaphors together all the time, back and forth, and rightly so; but let’s look at God’s intention for them.
 
Relating the Two Metaphors
The metaphor of a plant bearing seed comes first for two reasons. One, mankind did not know exactly how a child was formed and developed in the womb until the present age of science. And two, the metaphor of a plant bearing seed shows us how God establishes the context of the Church.

Then, the metaphor of a woman giving birth comes second, and is thus larger, for two reasons. First, the conception is one thing, but it takes a woman to bear the development of this child, Christ forming inside of us. And second, Jesus will not marry a plant, but a woman, and thus the larger picture of the Church is as His Bride.

A Passionate Husband
And so even though I mix these two metaphors all the time, speaking from one in one phrase and from the other in the next phrase, it is the Woman clothed with the Son upon whom our eyes are set.

That brings us to this thought. Maybe I should have called Session 23: What Is a Passionate Husband? Father, I DESIRE (John 17). There is no greater Passion in the universe, a Passion greater than all the flames of all the stars, than the Passion of this Glorious One who lives in our hearts, an utter intensity of Desire towards His Woman, the Church, walking this earth now in her hour of greatest need.

Jesus in Plant Form
Do you have any idea Who it is who is inside of you? This Reckless One, who hurls Himself into our rescue with NO regard for the cost, and who now fills you and me full with His intentions towards His own ones walking under darkness and caught in the mesmerizing power of the dragon’s eyes.

The Church is Christ Jesus in plant form appearance. People think that because the plant looks different from the Seed, that it is something entirely other. Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces many grains (just like itself) (John 12:24). Before the Seed becomes seeds, it is first the plant.

Seed into Seeds
What is a plant? A plant is that body, that vehicle, that form, through which LIFE operates in order to turn one Seed into many seeds.

You see, a definition, for it to have any accuracy, must begin with purpose. Once purpose is known, then filling in the details becomes a simple process. The Church is the Lord Jesus Christ in plant form as He provides the context in which the Holy Spirit forges many seeds inside the plant out of that first pattern Seed. Thus we are able to investigate all the details of the mechanisms of a plant by which the one Seed becomes many, in order to fill in the details of What is the Church.
 
Taken out of Me
What is a Woman? You see, a woman is much more than a plant, for a woman is her own person and lives forever; whereas a plant is only for a day. Let’s paraphrase a familiar Scripture from Genesis 2.

And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Jesus, and He slept upon the cross; and God drew from His side blood and water that fell upon the earth. And that blood and water which the Lord God had taken from Jesus, mixed with dirt, He made into a woman, and He brought her to the Lord Jesus Christ. And Jesus said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called My Church, because she was taken out of Me.” Therefore Jesus shall leave His Father and be joined to His wife, and they shall become one flesh.

One Flesh
Wow! I can read those words over and over and they go ever deeper into me.

A Woman is equal to a man in all ways, but at the level, first, of heart. It was out from Jesus’ heart that the blood and water came, His Woman, you and me.

And they shall become one flesh. Now, my wife and I each have our own body. And those two bodies are “one flesh,” but only in a symbolic or figurative way. HOWEVER – my wife and I are in all literal reality one flesh IN each one of our children.

Conception Becoming a Child
And thus we come to the purpose for the difference of a woman’s body. (I say it that way because in Christ there is neither male nor female; in Christ my wife’s purpose and my purpose are the same). The purpose of a woman’s body is to conceive, to bear, and to bring forth children into the world. Having walked with my wife through that whole process four times, I can claim a tiniest bit of knowledge of what it means.

The Church is the Wife of the Lord Jesus Christ, inside of whom He places Himself in Seed form. The Church then bears the Child of the Lord Jesus through gestation, and then through travail, brings forth a new Man into the universe.

One New Man
…So as to create in Himself one new man… (Ephesians 2:15). “In Himself” as the plant, “in Himself” as His Church.

Thus we are able to investigate all the organic and life processes by which a woman conceives a child, bears that child through its gestation in her womb, and then by travail brings forth a Manchild into the light of a new day in order to fill in the details of What is the Church.

But there are a few more facts about this Woman, the Church, that we must also consider.  First, how can a bunch of human beings on this earth bear and bring forth the Life of Almighty God? And second, what is this dragon doing in the birthing room?
 
Of His Same Species
And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper of his same kind” (Genesis 2:18). Jesus’ Bride must be of His same Species. God does not come into union with animals or with angels. God births His life only inside of humans; that’s why He made us just like Himself.

But making us like Himself, that is, Adam, was not the real deal with God. Before God could ever birth God-Revealed into the universe through us, Christ Himself must become us, ALL that we are, living us through death and into LIFE.

Giving Birth
A woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars…And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth to devour her child as soon as it was born.

I stood with my wife as she gave birth to each of our four children. I was mostly useless, but I think my presence gave her at least a little bit of help. I cannot watch scenes in movies of a woman giving birth; I have been through that enough. And yet my wife’s birthing rooms were safe and pleasant, and trained professionals stood before her ready to help her children as soon as they were born.

A Heavenly Dragon
God’s birthing room is entirely different. That dragon is also a heavenly dragon.

But God… because of His great love with which He loved us… raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-6). – A heavenly woman. – For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12). – A heavenly dragon.

Say what? How did we, pregnant with God’s Seed, end up in the same place as the dragon?

What Is the Church?
Here we are in utmost travail, screaming to give birth to all the fullness of God-Revealed, and instead of a professional there ready to help, we have a dragon standing there, ready to devour the very Desire and Purpose of God just as soon as it is born into the universe.

What is the deal? WHAT IS THE CHURCH???

I mentioned Agar earlier, the guy who wrote Proverbs 30, as he listed four things he did not understand. One of those four was the way of a man with a maid, that is, the conception and the birthing of a child.

I’m with Agar; I do not understand this God of ours.

Next Lesson: 25.2 The Bondwoman