|For we are God’s fellow workers (synergos); you are God’s field (georgion), you are God’s building (oikodome). According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder (architekton) I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation (themélios) can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”; and again, “The LORD knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come—all are yours. And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. (1 Corinthians 3:9-23)|
To Learn More about Michaelangelo (Wikipedia)
Michaelangelo's David (Wikipedia)
Imagine the skill and patience required to release King David
from a six ton block of Carrara marble where he lay entombed for ages.
Psalm 18 by David
Men and Women are not the same creatures.
Together we are bearers of the image of God.
This paper is actually about the Rapture of the true church which is coming soon on God's calendar.
The true Church is usually called the "Bride of Christ."
I suggest here that the Church is also the "Body of Christ" which is a decidely masculine symbol."
"Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father." (1 Corinthians 12:12-18)
For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased." (Ephesians 2:11-18)
“...For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:2)
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:22-27)
“Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west...” (Revelation 21:9-13)
The Glorious Church
"Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.' So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them...the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, 'this at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.'" (Genesis 1:26,27; 2:22-25)
The name of God used in Genesis 1 is Elohim, a uniplural noun. El is singular, Eloah is dual, whereas Elohim implies three or more persons. Yet the three Persons of the Godhead act as One God in all they undertake in creation, in redemption and in the management of the universe we live in (1). God is not a sexual Being, unlike pagan gods and the gods of mythology! He is also Holy. The creation of man was not an afterthought in the mind of God. From the beginning the plan and design of the cosmos had human being in view. The universe is God's house and men number among the inhabitants, in fact we are the highest of God's creations. A universe without man, empty for millennia makes no sense. Man has a recent origin and this is easily proven.
Volumes have been written "man made in the image and likeness of God." God is a Spirit and not a material being---we do not look like God physically. The image of our Creator which we all bear is primarily an invisible, inner likeness. In regard to attributes of personality, mind, creativity, capacity for love and express emotions, the existence of will, conscience, imagination, memory and moral responsibility, and capacity for worship---God has made us very much like Himself. God is also Personal and all of us are personally accountable to Him!
What is more important is that God also made the first man male and female. Paraphrasing Genesis 1:26, 27 we could say that God created (bara) the first individual human being as male/female. The creation of the man Adam was accompanied by the simultaneous creation of Eve.
Thus, the first man was originally Adam/Eve. Bara is a Hebrew word used only of God in the Bible. Man can himself invent and create because he has been made like his Creator, but only God can bring into existence the things that do not exist, only God alone can create ex nihilo, (out of nothing). God speaks, and matter, time and space spring into existence or life into being, where previously there had been nothingness. The word bara is therefore unique to God.
Genesis 2:22-25 elaborates on the creation of man. Adam, (the probable original author of this section of scripture), tells us that his body was first formed (yatsar) from the dust of the earth (2). Yatsar means to mold as a potter molds the clay, (Jeremiah 18:2ff). Man was created (bara), but in the process his body was also molded and fashioned by the hands of the Master Potter. Next, Elohim breathed into the man's body the breath (ruach) of life and man became a living being (nephesh, soul). One can think of the soul of man as springing up from the interaction of spirit and body. The soul is the realm of personality, of mind, emotions, the will, and the conscience. Man is thus both a material being, and also a spiritual creation of God. We are intended to live simultaneously into two worlds: the physical and the spiritual. The Bible reveals that man is a tripartite being, body, soul, and spirit. The presence of a living spirit in us is what determines the difference between a corpse and a living person (James 2:26).
The description in Genesis 2 of the origin of the woman Eve is preceded by Adam's naming of the animals. He was to study and analyze the thousands of kinds of animals God had made. He was to choose names that suited the characteristics of each of the animals. Adam may have been occupied with naming the animals and tending the Garden in Eden for years before Eve was brought into the picture! Adam's training was intended by God to show him his relationship to nature and help him in role of exercising dominion and stewardship over the earth.
The animals were already divided into male and female animals, birds, fish--so sexuality did exist at this time. But, Adam found no counterpart to himself in the animal kingdom. There was no one there who "corresponded to him." For the first time, God declared that something in the creation was not good. "It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make a helper ('ezer) corresponding to him." "Not good" does not imply that evil existed in the universe at that time. God is saying that further creative activity was now appropriate to bring the creation into its intended state of completeness. By the way we can assume that it was God who taught Adam speech and language.
The originally one human being Adam/Eve was now to be separated into two---differentiated in two separate persons. Both Adam and Eve already existed as a single unit---as the word bara implies. Having already created (bara) the soul and spirit of Adam/Eve, and after having molded the body of the first man, God now makes a division of this one compound man into male and female. Placing Adam into a deep sleep, God took a rib from the side of Adam and made a woman. The Hebrew root (banah), translated made, described God's making of Eve by taking her out of Adam/Eve. Banah means to construct or build, as when one builds a house or constructs an Ark---this word implies creative artisanship by God. Adam was formed but Eve was made!
The existence of two sexes and the fact that it takes male and female persons to adequately reflect the nature of God implies that the Being of God is as much masculine as it is feminine. This is a difficult concept because God Himself does not describe Himself as a sexual being. All the persons of the Godhead are called by masculine nouns and pronouns in our English Bibles. Furthermore the godhead consists of a union of Three Persons, not two, as in human marriage. More about the inner nature of God as containing both masculine and feminine attributes is found in the article Made in the Image of God.
According to the Bible, man and woman are alike in spirit, but not in soul and body. (For this reason the term "man" or "brothers" is often generic in the Bible when doctrinal teaching is in mind). The physical, anatomical differences between the sexes are well known. However man and woman are also quite different as far as the soul is concerned. One possible way of differentiating between men and women in terms of priorities and specialties is suggested by the following table. God has built a vast wealth of variety and diversity into the human gene pool. Many variations in physical characteristics as well as some personality and emotional characteristics are governed by genetic factors. In terms of behavior, there are wide ranges in what can be considered normal masculinity and femininity.
Leads, takes charge
Initiates: Hunts, Ranges, Thrusts
Values logical thinking
Bases decisions on reasoning more than emotions or intuition
Assertive, aggressive, outgoing towards the world
Provides outside support and protects (as a soldier)
Feels ill-at-ease in passive, receptive roles
May undervalue importance of emotions and intuition
Specialist in "Doingness," "Withoutness"
Mechanistic, scientific, digital-thinking
Divided left and right brain
The human race is fallen, self-centered, corrupted and mortally damaged by the sin of Adam. All aspects of our humanity have been affected. For the sake of discussion one can make a table of what might be considered archetypal aspects of our fallen sexuality. The table below is suggested as a model for discussion purposes and is not a description of specific men or women, obviously!
|NEGATIVE MASCULINITY||NEGATIVE FEMININITY|
Before rushing to judgment, remember half your genome (genetic inheritance) came from our mom, half from your dad.
A specific gene from your dad determined your gender.
Of course only true biological heterosexuals can enter into a marriage, since a re-union of complementary opposites is what God intended from the beginning. Marriage is the oldest institution in society since it dates to the garden of Eden. The Law of Moses and God's dealings with His people Israel reveal the Lord's ongoing commitment to marriage. In fact in books such as Hosea, God pictures Himself as the Husband of Israel who laments over an increasingly spiritually-adulterous wife. Malachi closes the Old Testament by lamenting over divorce while reaffirming God's love for the family. Because of her spiritual adultery, God was reluctantly forced to put away his wife Israel under the terms of the Old Covenant. However because of the abundant forgiveness and mercy purchased by Jesus the Messiah, under the New Covenant God is able to enter into a new marriage relationship with both Israel---and many others of us as well, who are gentiles, and who were previously outside the bounds of God's covenant love.
God's goal for the individual is wholeness (holiness). This is achieved only by an inner reconciliation and union of our broken, fallen M/F condition inherited from Adam and Eve. No man is pure masculinity and no woman all femininity. Rather, wholeness implies a balance between these qualities in each of us. Our biological sexual identity tells us which set of M/F characteristics is dominant and which is secondary. Christians are destined for wholeness whether single or married, since "You are complete in Christ who is the head of all rule and authority." The New Testament reaffirms the central importance of marriage and the family. But singles are as complete in Christ as the married are! The church constitutes a new family of mankind as well, Christians are brothers and sisters who have one God and Father. The true church, "Jerusalem above," is "the mother of us all." (Galatians 4:26) The relationship between man and wife in marriage is compared to the relationship between Christ and His Bride, the church in Paul's letter to the Ephesians:
"For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church..." (Ephesians 5:23-32)
Marriage pictures for us wholeness. This is to be more than the re-union of Adam and Eve but the creation of a mystical great communion and community between the Lord Jesus Christ and His people, the Bride of Christ. Inwardly in her relationship with the Lord Jesus, the church is feminine, that is submissive-a receptor, and responder. She is being made ready for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Individual believers love the Lord Jesus and follow Him in the same way that the Shulamite maiden follows Solomon in the love poem Song of Solomon. The Bridegroom calls to His bride,
"Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm;
for love is strong as death, jealousy is cruel as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire, a most vehement flame.
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.
If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly scorned."
(Song of Solomon 8:6,7).
Late in His life-work, Jesus announced e would build His church, His ekklesia."...I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:13-20)
The Church Jesus is building in not one Jewish girl, but quite a few men, (billions) of women, children, all ages, all ethnic backgrounds. The Bridegroom is perfectly male, no doubt about that! But His Bride...
This marriage will he holy, of course, but not sexual. Sexuality has served it's intended purpose which was to fill the earth! At the present time most of the world has ignored God's clear calling for us humans to limit our sexual expression to heterosexual marriage. In other words, we will probably see the end of sex very soon, in heaven to start with. See Sexuality and Wholeness Papers. The End of Sex 1, The End of Sex 2. In heaven, Jesus will relate to women as their head, friend, lover, older brother. To us guys, Jesus will be our Trailblazer, older brother, best friend, Commander of the armies of heaven, the loving Father
With these images in mind the big announcement about the Rapture of the Christ is introduced to you will a clear call to holy living. The Revirginized Bride applies to all of us!
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above,
where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ who is our life appears,
then you also will appear with Him in glory.
Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth:
fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience...”
The Rejoicing in Heaven
19:1 1 After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice
5 And from the throne came a voice saying,
9 And the angel said to me, ‘Write this:
Finally, brothers and sisters, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus that, as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God (as, in fact, you are doing), you should do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification (hagiasmos): that you abstain from fornication (porneia); 4 that each one of you knows how to control your own body in holiness and honour, 5 not with lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one wrongs or exploits a brother or sister in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger (ekdikos) in all these things, just as we have already told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God did not call us to impurity (akatharsia)but in holiness (hagasismos). 8 Therefore whoever rejects this rejects not human authority but God, who also gives his Holy Spirit to you.
9 Now concerning love of the brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anyone write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another; 10 and indeed you do love all the brothers and sisters throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, beloved, to do so more and more, 11 to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we directed you, 12 so that you may behave properly towards outsiders and be dependent on no one.
The Coming of the Lord
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. 15 For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. 16 For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord for ever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
The Wife of Jehovah and the Bride of Christ
The Glorious Church
Made in the Image of God
The Exchanged Life
City Living in New Jerusalem
Is The Rapture on Hold?
Software not Hardware
The Management of the Universe
The Left Hand of God
The Real Jesus
Stages of Manhood
Marriage Then and Now
Jesus and His Bride
God Saves Adam, God Saves Eve...
Wholeness of Person
The Sperm of God
In the Driver's Seat
The Return of Jesus (with Bride)
The Revirginized Bride
The Excluded Ones
Genders in Heaven
Jesus, The Light of the World
Our God is an Awesome God
A Glorious Church
Lambert's Other Diverse Musical Selections
Notes by Lambert Dolphin
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