The fast-growing Messianic movement is a prelude to Latter-day Israel recognizing their Messiah. By 2003, there were at least one hundred-fifty houses of worship in the United States and four hundred worldwide. By 2008, the movement was reported to have between 6,000 and 15,000 members in Israel (Wikipedia). The movement is rapidly increasing. The Israeli Messianic Community now consists of more than seventy Hebrew-speaking, twenty-five Russian-speaking, and five Ethiopian Amharic-speaking congregations.
Yes, Israel is truly God’s hidden treasure. For now.
The Pearl of Great Price
The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who when he found one pearl of great price,
went and sold all that he had and bought it. (verses 45-46)
I’ve heard more than a few sermons preached, identifying Jesus as the pearl of great price. That can’t be. Jesus is not lost and He’s not for sale! You can’t put a price tag on Jesus. He’s priceless.
The pearl of great price is the Church. A pearl is a thing of great beauty. And its beauty is formed by the sufferings of another. I just described our Lord’s bride—the Bride of Christ. Again, the merchant sold all that he had and bought it. Christ bought and paid for His bride by the shedding of His precious blood. Out of love and devotion, He laid down His life for her.
A Sight to Behold
In these days, God is putting His Church, His Bride, on display for the entire world to see. As said, a pearl has no utilitarian value. Its purpose is for display and admiration. Yes, we’re in a season when God is showing off His Son’s bride. There are four metaphors for the Church in the New Testament. And each depicts a prophetic timeline.
- Bread (I Cor.10:16,17)
- Building (Eph.2:19-22)
- Body (Eph.1:P22-23)
- Bride (Rev.21:9)
God’s timeline has fulfilled three of the four. And it’s time for the fulfillment of the fourth. The Bride in these endtimes is being introduced to her Lover.
The early church was the bread of God. Even John referred to the Son of Man as “the Bread of God which comes down from heaven” (Jn. 6:33). The Bread of Heaven fed the early church personally.
The Reformation church was the building. “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Eph.2:19). Reformation believers realized they too were part of the household, as well as the clergy.
The charismatic church of the 1960s and ‘70s was the body. Individual members began developing their gifts and calling. “Body ministry,” as it was called, was discovered.
Today’s endtime Church is the bride. The bride is making herself ready, forsaking all others. God’s prophetic calendar is ready for Christ’s bride to step onto the stage of history. The marriage of the bride and bridegroom is, without much ado, taking place. This present worldwide move of God, when written about, will be a love story unparalleled in history. It’s headlines? . . .
“The Bridegroom Cometh”
The corporate church has not known Christ as its Lover.
Historically, we have known Christ as Lamb. For the past fifty years the Church has gotten acquainted with Him as Lord. Presently, she’s being introduced to Him as her Lover, and in the future (perhaps near future) she will know Christ as Lion—the Lion of the tribe of Judah who came to conquer the earth and rule it. These are wonderful revelations, some already in the past, some occurring now, and some yet to be unfolded in the future:
- Christ as Lamb (Reformation period)
- Christ as Lord (Charismatic renewal)
- Christ as Lover (Present move of God)
- Christ as Lion (perhaps near future)
Days of Intimacy
These are the days of intimacy with Christ, our Lover. Paul said we’re to be “rooted in love.” That’s a deep, intimate romance. It’s one thing to be in love; it’s altogether another thing to be “rooted in love.” I like the Amplified version,
“May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love” (Eph.3:17b).
Think on that—rooted deep.
There is a realm in God where Christ ceases to be your Lord and becomes your Lover. Christ “settles down, makes his permanent home in your hearts” and a newfound love relationship begins: a Divine romance.
May Christ through your faith actually dwell—settle down, abide, Make His permanent home—in your hearts!
May you be rooted deep in love And founded securely on love. (Ephesians 3:17; Amplified Bible)
Yes, that’s a new experience in God. And more than a few of the Lord’s people are entering into this love, a love rooted in passion and romance.