The virtuous body of Christ – Part 6


Audio Links

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


The virtuous body of Christ” – Part 6

April 10, 2016

with Steven Crook

 

As I stare looking at the empty page set before me which will soon hold the contents of this study, I ceremoniously grasp the seriousness the Lord commands us with when he tells us to “become as little children”.

In order for any of the Word of God to take root in us, we must be empty of the things which might already fill the space which the Lord intends to depart to us His gifts and fruits of the Spirit.

In our study today, we are going to explore a few of these things which are so badly needed in the lives of Christians today and have been all throughout history.

In fact, we MUST “gather these things up” so that we can have life in Jesus Christ.

Though we are the virtuous body of Christ, we must also spiritually be children who are moldable into what the Lord tells us to become.

Become as little children

 

Notice the question posed to Jesus which prompts His very important answer to His disciples.

Mat 18:1  At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
Mat 18:2  And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
Mat 18:3  And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 18:4  Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 18:5  And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
Mat 18:6  But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Mat 18:7  Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

What follows this story is a litany of questions which were obviously on the minds of the disciples. Why is that? Didn’t the scripture they already had have the answers to these questions?

Many of those questions did have answers for the “old way”, but here is the Messiah giving all apparently NEW ways and ideas on how to view God the Father and what our relationship with Him is. So ask away they did.

The answer to who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven was answered with, “be converted and become as HUMBLE little children”.

Oh what an insult to our carnally minded natural man that is! Throw away all that makes us an adult and be like children?! What do you mean Lord?!

Our verses today will help us KNOW how to pursue this great and mysterious task of being silent women when our Husband Jesus Christ is present and therefore be humble in order to receive what it is He has prepared for us whenever we seek His answers.

Pro 31:13  She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
Pro 31:14  She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

On the surface it appears that verse 13 is speaking about clothing and being willing to work with your hands to shape these items into something that can be used to cover us up. Verse 14 just seems to be put there with no connection to verse 13, but it is very connected. How is that?

A part of “being as humble children” is looking into the things we are told with an acceptance that those things are being told to us honestly by those we trust.
So when we read she seeks wool and flax we might think, “Okay, but why wool and flax?”

Let us look at the Word of God and ask Him why a virtuous woman seeks wool and flax.

Pro 31:13  She seeketh woolH6785, and flaxH6593, and worketh willingly with her hands.

The Hebrew word used as wool is “tsemer” and is used 16 times.

H6785
tsemer
Total KJV Occurrences: 16
wool, 11
Jdg_6:37, 2Ki_3:4, Psa_147:16, Pro_31:13, Isa_1:18, Isa_51:8, Eze_27:18, Eze_34:3, Eze_44:17, Hos_2:5, Hos_2:9
woollen, 5
Lev_13:47-48 (2), Lev_13:52, Lev_13:59, Deu_22:11

This word is a root word and means “to be shaggy”.
H6785
tsemer
tseh’-mer
From an unused root probably meaning to be shaggy; wool: – wool (-len).
Total KJV occurrences: 16

What are some of the attributes of wool? Wool is the natural CLOTHING and covering of sheep. It is white but absorbs color dye very well (as well as blood), flame resistant and will not combust, water resistant and is very durable.

As few times as it is mentioned in the old testament, it is mentioned even less in the new testament.

Heb 9:19  For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,
Heb 9:20  Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.
Rev 1:14  His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
Rev 1:15  And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

Wool also is a great insulator but it is the air it TRAPS that makes it a good insulator. Air doesn’t allow heat to travel very well compared to other materials.

Those are some of the attributes of wool so what is our comparison/ and contrast of wool to flax?

Pro 31:13  She seeketh woolH6785, and flaxH6593, and worketh willingly with her hands.

Flax comes from crops and is a food and fiber. It can be cultivated and also produces oil.

Interestingly, flax in Hebrew is used the same amount of times as wool.

H6593
pishteh
Total KJV Occurrences: 16
linen, 9
Lev_13:47-48 (2), Lev_13:52, Lev_13:59, Deu_22:11, Jer_13:1, Eze_44:17-18 (3)
flax, 7
Jos_2:6, Jdg_15:14, Pro_31:13, Isa_19:9, Eze_40:3, Hos_2:5, Hos_2:9

It is also only used twice in the New Testament.

G3043
linon
Total KJV Occurrences: 2
flax, 1
Mat_12:20
linen, 1
Rev_15:6

Mat 12:18  Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.
Mat 12:19  He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.
Mat 12:20  A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax G3043 shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.
Mat 12:21  And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

Rev 15:6  And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen G3043, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.

However, in order to understand what flax is to us as a virtuous wife of Christ we must understand it’s root in Hebrew, literally and spiritually.

H6593

pishteh
pish-teh’
From the same as H6580 as in the sense of comminuting (common-ew-ting); linen (that is, the thread, as carded): – flax, linen.
Total KJV occurrences: 16

H6580

pash
pash
Probably from an unused root meaning to disintegrate; stupidity (as a result of grossness or of degeneracy): – extremity.
Total KJV occurrences: 1

H6580
pash
Total KJV Occurrences: 1
extremity, 1
Job_35:15

The definition of “comminute” is:

verb (used with object), comminuted, comminuting.
1.
to pulverize; triturate.
adjective
2.
comminuted; divided into small parts.
3.
powdered; pulverized.

What do we do with all this information? There are obviously no coincidences with the Lord. What do wool and flax have to do with willingly working with our hands?

Pro 31:13  She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

If you have followed my awesome hands series or heard the study I did on a “willing offering”, then you would have gotten a little bit more understanding of what scripture refers to when it mentions “willing”, because we know there is no free will outside of God’s will according to scripture.

So, what then is willingly working with our hands according to the sum of the Word? This word is actually a different word used than the Hebrew word used as “willing” in the awesome hands series, and this time in Proverbs is the only time it is actually translated as “willingly”.

Here then is the true usage of the word:

H2656

chêphets
khay’-fets
From H2654; pleasure; hence (abstractly) desire; concretely a valuable thing; hence (by extension) a matter (as something in mind): – acceptable, delight (-some), desire, things desired, matter, pleasant (-ure), purpose, willingly.
Total KJV occurrences: 39

H2656
chêphets
Total KJV Occurrences: 39
pleasure, 16
Job_21:21, Job_22:3, Psa_111:2, Ecc_5:4, Ecc_12:1, Isa_44:28, Isa_46:10, Isa_48:14, Isa_53:10, Isa_58:3, Isa_58:13 (2), Jer_22:28, Jer_48:38, Hos_8:8, Mal_1:10
desire, 9
2Sa_23:5, 1Ki_9:8-11 (4), 1Ki_10:13, 2Ch_9:12, Job_31:16, Pro_3:15
delight, 3
1Sa_15:22, Psa_16:2-3 (2)
purpose, 3
Ecc_3:1, Ecc_3:17, Ecc_8:6
desired, 2
Psa_107:30, Pro_8:11
acceptable, 1
Ecc_12:10
delightsome, 1
Mal_3:12
desireth, 1
1Sa_18:25
matter, 1
Ecc_5:8
pleasant, 1
Isa_54:12
willingly, 1
Pro_31:12-13 (2)

This verses actually means and should say that this virtuous woman, who seeks out wool and flax, also pleasurably and desiringly works with her hands.

That not all though. This word “pleasure” or “desire” has a root.

H2654
châphêts
Total KJV Occurrences: 74
delight, 17
Gen_34:19, Num_14:8, Deu_21:14, 1Sa_18:22, 2Sa_15:26, 2Sa_24:3, Est_6:6, Psa_40:8, Psa_68:30, Psa_119:35, Pro_18:2, Isa_1:11, Isa_13:17, Isa_58:2 (2), Jer_6:10, Jer_9:24
delighteth, 12
Est_6:6-7 (2), Est_6:9 (2), Est_6:11, Psa_37:23, Psa_112:1, Psa_147:10, Isa_62:4, Isa_66:3, Mic_7:18, Mal_2:17
delighted, 10
1Sa_19:2, 2Sa_22:20, 1Ki_10:9, 2Ch_9:8, Est_2:14, Psa_18:19, Psa_22:8, Psa_109:17, Isa_65:12, Isa_66:4
pleased, 8
Jdg_13:23, 1Ki_9:1, Psa_51:19, Psa_115:3, Psa_135:6, Isa_42:21, Isa_53:10, Jon_1:14
desire, 6
Job_13:3, Job_21:14, Job_33:32, Psa_40:6, Psa_73:25, Jer_42:22
please, 5
Son_2:7, Son_3:5, Son_8:4, Isa_55:11, Isa_56:4
pleasure, 3
Eze_18:23, Eze_18:32, Eze_33:11
desirest, 2
Psa_51:6, Psa_51:16
like, 2
Deu_25:7-8 (2)
will, 2
Rth_3:13, Pro_21:1
desired, 1
Hos_6:6
favourest, 1
Psa_41:11
favoureth, 1
2Sa_20:11
moveth, 1
Job_40:17
pleaseth, 1
Ecc_8:3
well, 1
Isa_42:21
would, 1
1Sa_2:25

Pro 18:2  A foolH3684 hath noH3808 delightH2654 in understanding,H8394 butH3588 H518 that his heartH3820 may discover itself.H1540

Pro 18:2  A fool hath no delightH2654 in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.

How then does this all come together? I could read a lot of these verses but I believe the following verses really bring this together nicely.

Pro 3:13  Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
Pro 3:14  For the MERCHANDISE of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
Pro 3:15  She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire H2656 are not to be compared unto her.

1Co 1:22  For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
1Co 1:23  But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
1Co 1:24  But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, AND the wisdom of God.

1Co 1:28  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
1Co 1:29  That no flesh should glory in his presence.
1Co 1:30  But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
1Co 1:31  That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Merchant ships carry merchandise. What is the virtuous woman like that seeks wisdom and understanding?

Pro 31:14  She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar

All of these words are symbols, types and shadows, of the things which they also represent in the physical world.

The negative application that this woman seeks wool and flax, things of the flesh (wool from sheep) and of the earth (flax that grows from the earth), is that they provide for our physical covering and give us something to do in the flesh (work with our hands).
These things are not negative alone except they provide for US to take credit for whatever work we do.

However, the positive and spiritual reason this virtuous woman seeks wool is for Jesus Christ as our HEAD and COVERING. She spiritually seeks flax because we want to SHAPENED into the VERY IMAGE of our Husband and that takes PULVERISATION of whoever “WE” are as Steven Crook or whoever we are known as in the flesh. We want to be ONE with Him which has been a very common theme and thread throughout all of these studies in this series.

Isn’t this concept told to us in scripture and even proven to us in the aspect of marriage where a woman drops her maiden name to take on the name of her husband?

The “merchandise” of this woman’s ship IS the food she is bringing from “afar”. When we see that this merchandise has a positive and negative application, then we can see the true meaning of seeking wool and flax, working with our hands delightfully and bringing the “true food from heaven” from afar off.

Joh 2:12  After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days.
Joh 2:13  And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,
Joh 2:14  And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
Joh 2:15  And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;
Joh 2:16  And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.
Joh 2:17  And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
Joh 2:18  Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?
Joh 2:19  Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

What we, as the virtuous bride and body of Christ seek is to have our Husband’s wisdom, understanding and knowledge. We want to KNOW God the Father and His Son.

Contrast this “merchandise” of wisdom, understanding and knowledge with that which is TORN down as Jesus described above and replaced with the true temple of God.

Rev 18:9  And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
Rev 18:10  Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
Rev 18:11  And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

Rev 18:15  The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,
Rev 18:16  And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!
Rev 18:17  For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
Rev 18:18  And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!

In what hour do you suppose, that the great riches which come from the GREAT WHORE Babylon, which include FINE LINEN and SCARLET WOOL, come to and end and brought to nought?

Luk 10:18  And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
Luk 10:19  Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Luk 10:20  Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
Luk 10:21  IN THAT HOUR Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

Mar 13:11  But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

Joh 16:21  A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.

The wool and flax we seek is our covering Jesus Christ and His crushing us to powder so that we can be made anew, but we seek this not only for OURSELVES but for the ENTIRE HOUSEHOLD we have been placed to oversee spiritually.

See, this virtuous woman we have been reading about wants these things so the WORK she DOES with her hands can produce a PROFIT for her home and her home is the KINGDOM of God which has MANY children. Then, we can give all glory to God and present back to Jesus Christ the talents He has given us.

We know that we do not know “the hour” of visitation of our Lord AND Husband, but we want to be prepared when He comes.

In our next study, we will continue to see how we are to remain diligent with the work the Lord has given us to look well after his household.

Other related posts