The Virtuous Body of Christ – Introduction

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“The virtuous body of Christ” – Introduction

March 5, 2016

with Steven Crook

Proverbs 31 has always been an interesting chapter of the bible for anyone interested in what the Lord says concerning the role of a woman in the lives of her children, her husband and to the Lord.

While much of the chapter is dedicated to one of these groups, “her husband” and how she interacts with him, there is much more to this entire chapter than just a physical woman’s relationship with her family.

Indeed there is much we can learn about the body of Christ’s relationship with their Husband. During this study, I will endeavor to share what the Lord has given me to share concerning our role as the bride of Christ and what that looks like as we live out our lives in this present age.

Of course, we will also be going over various practical applications of what it looks like to be a godly woman in an ungodly world according to the Word of God. These age-abiding Truths do not change due to the times we live in because the Lord does not change.

Mal 3:1  Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
Mal 3:2  But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:
Mal 3:3  And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
Mal 3:4  Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.
Mal 3:5  And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.
Mal 3:6  For I am the LORD, I CHANGE NOT; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

The pillar and ground of the Truth

I am here as a messenger of the Lord, to share with His temple just how important it is to the Lord to have a “kept house”. Before all the ladies’ minds run wild, I am not speaking of simply how clean a house is or isn’t, but much more importantly, I am speaking about how a house is run when no one is looking.

During this study, I am going to cover many aspects of being a woman without physically being a woman myself. I know, shocker! A physical man is going to attempt talking about being a woman and how a woman should act. Cue the horror music!

All joking aside, I cannot speak as a physical woman because I am not a physical woman, but I can and will speak as a spiritual woman who is the bride of Christ, the church of the Living God. The church of the living God includes married couples and single men and women.

I am now Timothy in spirit as Paul does his “grace and peace tour”, and I come to you all with a message from our Lord on how we “ought to behave thyself in the house of God”.

1Ti 3:14  These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:
1Ti 3:15  But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
1Ti 3:16  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

As members of the body of Christ, it is always incumbent for us to realize that the way we handle the house of God is the way we show how much we value the Truth and Love the Lord has shown us in this life.

Our Husband has taken us as His bride while we were proverbially on the “side of the street” being wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.

Rev 3:15  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

From the perspective of that wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked wife I am now going to get into the first verses in our series of studies.

Pro 31:1  The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.
Pro 31:2  What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows?
Pro 31:3  Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.

First we are told that this is a prophecy that king Lemuel was told by his mother. Scholars are not in complete agreement that this is an endearing name given to the son of this mother, but most appear to agree that this was King Solomon. Even if it is not, the context of Proverbs 31 does not change.

The name Lemuel is only used here in Proverbs 31 and the name means, “for God” according to the BDB.

Total KJV Occurrences: 2
lemuel, 2
Pro_31:1, Pro_31:4

BDB Definition:
Lemuel = “for God”
1) the name of an unknown king to whom his mother addressed the prudential maxims contained in some of the Proverbs
1a) might be same as king Solomon
Part of Speech: noun proper masculine
A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from H3926 and H410

Also, this is a prophecy that is taught to “for God” from “for God’s” mother.

In the spiritual type and shadow, who does “for God” represent, and who is the “mother”?

Mar 3:32  And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.
Mar 3:33  And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren?
Mar 3:34  And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
Mar 3:35  For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

It’s hard to fathom that the Lord who created the universe and all therein would use us, His wife, to bring the rest of His human creation into His kingdom in due time. We are the mother, brother and sister of Christ Jesus depending on who it is we are ministering to at the time and also the capacity we are ministering to them.

Just as Jesus can be the lamb of God and the lion of the tribe of Judah so too can we at one time be His wife and others His mother, brother and sister.

When we read in verses 1, “the prophecy that his mother taught him,” we can know who the mother is in this verse because this is the church/body of Christ/bride of the lamb.

Rev 21:9  And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
Rev 21:10  And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, DESCENDING out of heaven from God,
Rev 21:11  Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
Rev 21:12  And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

The mother giving the prophecy to the one called, “for God”, descends out of heaven where God the Father’s mind dwells. This mother is and has been a wife and is able to impart to her son, spiritually a Son of God, the things of the Spirit of which God …. IS …..

Joh 4:24  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

We are also told that the mother is prophesizing and this prophecy is considering what? What is prophecy?

Rev 19:10  And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Act 2:16  But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
Act 2:17  And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
Act 2:18  And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

Connecting this all together we see a connection between the temple of God, the pillar and ground of Truth, the body of Christ and both the son named “for God” and the mother. There are intricate connections being made in this one simple verse, and as we embark to discover what the Lord and our Husband is telling us in Proverbs 31, we should always keep in mind that there is a stark contrast between a faithful and true wife and one who is a harlot.

2Co 6:15  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
2Co 6:16  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
2Co 6:17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

In order for this mother to be able to give this prophecy to her son, she must spiritually have the testimony of Jesus Christ in her. The temple of God is not in agreement with idols and those idols must be purged, and Lord willing, they are purged over time.

Give not thy strength unto women

Pro 31:2  What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows?

(ESV)  What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb? What are you doing, son of my vows?

In the second verse of this chapter, we see the mother musing over what she is to tell her beloved son. She is questioning her son by approaching him with the concern she has as a mother.

Naturally, a parent is not going to have ill-will towards their children but have their best interests at heart.

We see this mother asking her son why he is doing what he is doing and in so doing she is also asking her son to reflect on his actions. She then calls him out with the intimacy she had with him in that she birthed him into creation, and he needs to take heed what she is saying. Lastly, she lets him know that he is a child who has been dedicated to God via her vows.

Vows are a way for the offerer of the vow to get something from God without currently having the payment for the vow. It is a sort of credit with God to vow to Him a certain action, deed, object or person if God would favor that person with grace and give them the need of the moment. The mother in Proverbs 31 is reminding her son that he is a product of her vow to God.

We will touch on this particular point more as we move throughout the series of studies, but one of the most important functions of parenting is saying what we mean and doing what we say.

There is nothing more detrimental to our own credibility than having our children realize that we are not people of our word.

Recently, I’ve been called before my wife’s family to discuss why Danielle has decided to abstain from holidays. During these times of discussion, I am able to accurately and decisively recall that from the beginning I have not taught that Santa was real, nor the Easter bunny and tooth fairy. No matter what their arguments against my beliefs may be, my family cannot call me a liar.

However, pointing out these actions on my end will inevitably lead them to face their own tendencies to lie to their children.

I am not mentioning this for any other reason than to say that children have a wonderful ability to see inconsistencies in our actions and words. I’ve been blessed to know not to teach my children these things before they were born, but even if I had taught them and then come to know that I should not act this way according to God’s commandments, I still can correct my actions and tell them the Truth about these things.

As spiritual parents to others being dragged into the body of Christ, it is extremely important that we are able to keep our word with sincerity and truth. I myself have been guilty of forgetting I had said I would do something or outright not doing it based on something else happening, but that does not excuse me from having made the vow in the first place.

If we follow what we are to do as Christians, we should never be making vows or sweating oaths.

Mat 5:33  Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:
Mat 5:34  But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:
Mat 5:35  Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
Mat 5:36  Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
Mat 5:37  But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

Getting back to the context of Proverbs 31:2, we see Lemuel’s mother is telling her son that he has always been important to her, enough so to make a vow to God; therefore, he needs to listen to his mother.

After bringing her son’s attention to full alert, and considering what she needs to say to him, she says:

Pro 31:3  Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.

When reading within the context of this statement, the mother is referring to “energy” as the strength which Lemuel should not be giving away to harlots. Equally important, he should not be doing things that destroy kings. She does go on to clarify what she is speaking of, and we’ll be covering those details in depth in the next study, but since we have linked this son and mother to spiritual types and shadows, what does the strength and way of the son represent?

Exo 15:2  The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

Psa 18:2  The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

Psa 27:1  A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Psa 28:7  The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.
Psa 28:8  The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed.

Psa 118:14  The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.

Isa 12:2  Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

Jer 16:19  (CEV) Our LORD, you are the one who gives me strength and protects me like a fortress when I am in trouble. People will come to you from distant nations and say, “Our ancestors worshiped false and useless gods,
Jer 16:20  worthless idols made by human hands.”
Jer 16:21  Then the LORD replied, “That’s why I will teach them about my power, and they will know that I am the true God.”

Hab 3:19  The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.

We are going to be confronted by the world for standing firm on the Word of God. We are being raised up as kings and priests for the kingdom of God; therefore, these admonitions are directed towards us.

When we read that we are not to give our strength over to women, we need to recognize the “women” we are talking about spiritually. If Lemuel’s mother is warning him of physical harlots how much more are we being warned about spiritual harlotry?

Mat 7:6  Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

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 17:6  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.

In our next study, we are going to dig deeper into who these women are that Lemuel is being warned about and the ways which destroy kings.

We are being raised up kings and priests, and we must heed “our mother’s” warning to not become “drunken with the blood of saints” with the mother of harlots.

Instead, we must be the clouds on which he comes to deliver the judgments of the earth in order to bring all of humanity to salvation.

Rev 1:5  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Rev 1:6  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Rev 1:7  Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

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