The virtuous body of Christ – Part 10


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The virtuous body of Christ” - Part 10

May 8, 2016

with Steven Crook

For most of the series we have been studying traits of the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 which seem to indicate she has her act together when it comes to her home and her marriage.

However, as we all know from living our own lives in the flesh, life simply isn’t easy and except we have the grace of God we could not keep going in most situations, and we are able to because of God’s grace. After all, we are who we are because of God’s grace.

1Co 15:10  But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
1Co 15:11  Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

Our verses today will cover the courage it takes to be the virtuous body of Christ. You don’t think it takes courage to be a member of a household which is reviled and HATED by all its neighbors yet stays put in the circumstance it is placed in? While being in this situation you also LOVE your neighbor as yourself? That takes only courage that the Lord can give.

1Co 7:20  Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.

Seeing the winter approaching and knowing that the Lord at times is not giving increase in the “snowy time” can cause many to go astray from their Husband, but those of the virtuous body of Christ who trust their Husband are “not afraid of the snow for their household”.

Her clothing is that of silk and purple and her husband is known in the gates.

Pro 31:21  She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
Pro 31:22  She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
Pro 31:23  Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

In our study today, we are going to cover these verses and how the apply to the body of Christ and to our lives each and every day.

Snow, scarlet, silk and purple

Pro 31:21  She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

There are a lot of spiritual meanings that are attached to the words found in verse 21.

There are always positives and negatives to scripture and that is true for this verse. I’ve read a lot of commentaries that say that the word used as “scarlet” here could be translated here are “double garments” for its implied warmth but that is not necessary when we just compare it to the other times it is mentioned in scripture. White and scarlet are mentioned many times in scripture.

Immediately, I think of us becoming white by being washed in blood.

Rev 7:13  And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
Rev 7:14  And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Rev 7:15  Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

With the positive application of white we know it represents purity, but in a negative application, it represents the change that comes about when the winter is happening and there is no growth but only survival of whatever that winter brings.

Our virtuous woman is prepared for these times and is not afraid or fearful of these times. The things needed for the flesh are being taken care of with this virtuous woman, but she also does it in a NON fearful way.

In the tabernacle, blue, purple and scarlet are the colors mentioned along with white. These are all used to show us that the tabernacle of God represents many different things at one time.

For example, all Israelites have to pass through a fine linen gate which was made of these colors while the rest of the perimeter was all white. Also, the innermost covering of the tabernacle itself was fine linen made in these colors.

Exo 26:1  Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them.

The Israelites immediately saw an altar that the sacrifices were offered on. Blood would have been a very common site here because all of the sins were being acknowledged and dealt with here.

What is one of the negative aspects and applications of crimson/scarlet/blood/red?

Isa 1:16  Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
Isa 1:17  Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
Isa 1:18  Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

It is through the blood that we are saved, just like with the story of Rahab saving her household.

Jos 2:17  And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear.
Jos 2:18  Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father's household, home unto thee.
Jos 2:19  And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we will be guiltless: and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand be upon him.
Jos 2:20  And if thou utter this our business, then we will be quit of thine oath which thou hast made us to swear.
Jos 2:21  And she said, According unto your words, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed: and she bound the scarlet line in the window.

Like Rahab in type, the virtuous woman we read about sees that winter CAN BE DANGEROUS and she prepares a way for her household to be “warm”. Scarlet, or bright red, represent warmth when you contrast it with the “cold white snow”.

Even while this virtuous woman is providing for her home, she is providing for their physical needs when she is keeping them warm. This is NOT a bad thing but needed.

When we talk about the spiritual meaning in the negative application, scarlet is speaking about things that pertain to the flesh and pertain to death and sin as we saw in Isaiah but which we can also see in Matt 27 and Rev 17.

Mat 27:27  Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.
Mat 27:28  And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.
Mat 27:29  And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

Rev 17:3  So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
Rev 17:4  And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
Rev 17:5  And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
Rev 17:6  And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

Always remember that it is through blood that we become white as snow, and a virtuous wife will desire to provide life for her household.

The blood on the doorpost is always something that marks a home as the home of one of the Lord’s own.

Not only is she providing for the natural need of needing clothing for household and for herself, but she also takes the time to make it a quality product.

 

Coverings of tapestry

 

Coupling this concept with the verse 22 really makes “this woman’s work” really start to make sense.

Pro 31:22  She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

The virtuous woman is always busy with the work that needs to be done. The “coverings of tapestry” is a bedspread and this can be seen in the only other time that this phrase is used in scripture.

The virtuous woman makes this for her bed and her spouse, but there is also a negative application of this phrase as well.

In the verses we are going to read here, the “coverings of tapestry” found in Proverbs 7 are those of a harlot versus a virtuous woman.

Pro 7:10  And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.
Pro 7:11  (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:
Pro 7:12  Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)
Pro 7:13  So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,
Pro 7:14  I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows.
Pro 7:15  Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.
Pro 7:16  I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.
Pro 7:17  I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
Pro 7:18  Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.
Pro 7:19  For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey:

Notice the harlot does not “keep herself at home” but rather she claims to have peace offerings and paid vows. Best of all for this harlot is that the “goodman” is not at home. Therefore, she entices this man with her bed and all the things she has done to prepare her bed for him and her.

Obviously, this is the opposite of the same attributes that the virtuous woman holds for her King and their bed together.

What we really are reading is the story of us desiring the ways of Babylon and that “bed” which causes us to run to the slaughter, as a bird to the snare, not realizing that our spiritual life is being forfeited when we sleep with a harlot.

Pro 7:20  He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.
Pro 7:21  With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.
Pro 7:22  He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;
Pro 7:23  Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.
Pro 7:24  Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.
Pro 7:25  Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.
Pro 7:26  For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.
Pro 7:27  Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

On the opposite spectrum, king Lemuel is told by his mother to seek this woman who properly prepares her bed for her husband and the way to know the difference is by looking on their “clothing”.

Sure a harlot can wear nice things, but usually a harlot looks the part of a harlot and most times has enticing attire on and not a “proper covering”. In contrast, the virtuous woman is dressed to the nines so to speak.

Our focus is not on that of the outward appearance but on what the covering of fine linen and purple represent spiritually. We do not want to be a respecter of persons but rather want to know how to judge proper righteous judgment concerning the coverings of someone (including their “bed coverings”).

Pro 31:22  She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk H8336 and purple.

The KJV translates silk in this verse but it does not translate this word any other time as silk but linen.

H8336
shêsh  /  sheshı̂y
Total KJV Occurrences: 42
linen, 37
Gen_41:42, Exo_25:4, Exo_26:1, Exo_26:31, Exo_26:36, Exo_27:9, Exo_27:16, Exo_27:18, Exo_28:5-6 (2), Exo_28:8, Exo_28:15, Exo_28:39 (2), Exo_35:6, Exo_35:23, Exo_35:25, Exo_35:35, Exo_36:8, Exo_36:35, Exo_36:37, Exo_38:9, Exo_38:16, Exo_38:18, Exo_38:23, Exo_39:2-3 (2), Exo_39:5, Exo_39:8, Exo_39:27-29 (5), Eze_16:10, Eze_16:13, Eze_27:7
marble, 3
Est_1:6 (2), Son_5:15
blue, 1
Est_1:6
silk, 1
Pro_31:22

The virtuous woman is covered in fine linen and purple, and purple is the color of royalty.

Exo 25:2  Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.
Exo 25:3  And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass,
Exo 25:4  And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair,

2Ch 3:14  And he made the vail of blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, and wrought cherubims thereon.

Jdg 8:26  And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold; beside ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that was on the kings of Midian, and beside the chains that were about their camels' necks.

Son 7:5  Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries.
Son 7:6  How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!

If we are looking into the spiritual meaning of our covering, it is of course Jesus Christ our Husband.

It may seem like I am making a bigger deal of this verse than what I should, but how we view “coverings” in respect to what a person is covered with is huge in our Christian walk.

In fact, if we do not properly know about this topic then it is likely that we sin daily in this one regard as it pertains to those we interact with.

Jas 2:1  My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
Jas 2:2  For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
Jas 2:3  And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
Jas 2:4  Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
Jas 2:5  Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
Jas 2:6  But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
Jas 2:7  Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
Jas 2:8  If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
Jas 2:9  But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.

How is it that we are become judges of evil thoughts if we are PARTIAL in our hearts and minds? Simply allowing that you are OKAY with making partial judgments based on a person’s looks, you have then judged that this is an OKAY way to think, but your judgement is corrupt.

Again, before we consider that these things are only speaking about physical attire, what then is this PARABLE about spoken by Jesus Himself?

Listen closely and consider that these verses are NOT about physical raiment ONLY and outward appearances.

Mat 6:25  Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Mat 6:26  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Mat 6:27  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
Mat 6:28  And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
Mat 6:29  And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Mat 6:30  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Mat 6:31  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
Mat 6:32  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
Mat 6:33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

The Lord tells us that He will provide for our needs when we seek first the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is made up of TWO MEN.

So, when we seek out the kingdom of God we are seeking how we are to be covered TODAY while our old man Adam dominates the flesh and looks for the things of the flesh and the NEW MAN ADAM seeks for only those things which benefit the spiritual man and the Kingdom of God the Father.

Why then do we SEEK to be CLOTHED UPON if it has been promised to us already? Why do we look to be FED and GIVEN DRINK if we are told that we are FIRST to seek the KINGDOM of GOD?

How this connects to those who have finen linen and purple royal clothing is that this represents that THEY THEMSELVES have done NOTHING to earn this.

When you connect the harlot we read about in Proverbs 7 with the woman that is rescued and given the highest seat in the home by her rescuing husband, it might become clear that this virtuous woman, was ONCE A HARLOT, who played the harlot. This is not a chronological story but a spiritual one.

Is that blasphemous? You be the judge in the Spirit of these spiritual matters.

Eze 16:1  Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Eze 16:2  Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations,

Eze 16:5  None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the lothing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born.
Eze 16:6  And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.

Eze 16:8  Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.
Eze 16:9  Then washed I thee with water; yea, I throughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil.
Eze 16:10  I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers' skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk.
Eze 16:11  I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck.
Eze 16:12  And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head.
Eze 16:13  Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom.
Eze 16:14  And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD.
Eze 16:15  But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was.

Eze 16:60  Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.

Eze 16:62  And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD:

 

The virtuous body of Christ has come to know and understand just how loving their Husband is because though we have been loved, and then played the harlot with all the abdominal doctrines of the world and earth, we are still welcomed into the home of a King who makes us His wife.

When we see others in our lives we are to no longer see them in the flesh though they will almost certainly be concerned with the flesh themselves.

Rather, our focus is always on what is happening in the heavens and whether or not someone is a part of the household of Faith. Regardless, we are not to be a respecter of persons in or out of the household of God.

Once we are able to look at others in this capacity, it is miraculous how much your outlook on others changes and your relationships with them.

Just like the harlot who is rescued by her Lord, we too hearken back to the time when we ourselves were shown mercy and given a Godly mansion in the kingdom of God.

In the next study, we are going to look at why the elders of the land “know who the Husband is” and how it is the virtuous woman is able to sell her fine linen goods to others so that they too can partake of the kingdom of God.

 

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