Just as Adam was the firstborn of the old creation and was created in the likeness and image of God, the Last Adam "is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation" (Colossians 1:15 NKJV). On the sixth day of the old creation "Adam the son of God" (Luke 3:38) was formed from the earth and given life by the breath of God. A physical body that descended from the tribe of Judah was formed for Christ, but that was not all that God had in mind. He planned a spiritual body for His Son on the earth that Paul calls "the Body of Christ," the ekklesia of God, made of earthen vessels filled with the Spirit of God.
On the day of Pentecost God again breathed the Breath of Life into a lifeless body of Christ's followers and it began to move, walk, talk and live by the Life of its Creator. This is the eternal significance of the last Adam; a life-giving Spirit and of the body of Christ; the fullness of Him who fills all things. "The first man Adam became a living being. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit" (1 Corinthians 15:45). The first Adam bore offspring in his image (Genesis 5:3). And Paul introduced Christ as "the Last Adam," the progenitor of an entirely new Spirit-birthed lineage bearing God's likeness and image.
Paul compared the old creation of the first Adam with the new creation in the last Adam. First the natural, then the spiritual. "The first man is of the earth, made of dust: the second man is the Lord from heaven. . . As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly." All who are born of the last Adam, who partake of this new creation, have been given a great promise. "Just as we bear the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man" (1 Corinthians 15:49).
The Adam that God created toward the close of the sixth day was male and female, "in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." God created Adam to typify Christ. He created Eve to typify the Church. Neither is complete without the other.
In the old creation God created a helpmeet for Adam. The way God created Eve was also a prediction of things to come. God's old creation was good, but something important was missing. ". . . but for the man there was not found a helper fit for him" (Genesis 2:18-20). God saw Adam's incompleteness and loneliness and said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him." Unlike Adam's body, his wife was not formed directly from the earth.
"And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof. And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, 'This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.'" (Genesis 2:21-23)
Eve was not made of dust, but of Adam. She was made of the bone of Adam. Adam was the source of her existence. Without the rib from Adam, there would have been no Eve. So it is with the Bride of Christ. She comes totally out from Him. Whatever is not taken out of Him cannot be His bride. Whatever is not bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh is not a suitable helpmeet for Him. To all the most well-meaning, self-made Christians He will say in that last day, "Depart from me, you workers of iniquity. I never knew you."
Speaking of Jesus, John wrote, "This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that bears witness, because the Spirit is truth" (1 John 5:6 KJ2000). When the Roman soldier pierced Jesus' side on the cross, water and blood flowed out. The new Eve, the bride of Christ, was born of the water and the blood of Christ that burst forth from His side.
Before leaving the disciples Jesus said, "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world sees me no more; but you see me: because I live, you shall live also. At that day you shall know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you" (John 14:18-20 KJ2000). We are bone of His spiritual bones. Our spirits are born of His Spirit and He abides in us and with us.
First the Body, then the Bride
Here we see the prophetic order hidden in the old creation types and shadows. First; Adam's body was created. Secondly; that body was given life. Thirdly, a bride was taken out from that body. This is the end-time development of the Church. Out from the Body of the last Adam is taken a bride. The body is the fullness of Christ. The bride is complimentary.
Eve was presented to Adam as a bride at the close of the sixth day, the sixth generation of the creation of the heavens and the earth (See Genesis 2:4). Christ's Bride will be presented to Him at the close of the sixth day of the redemption week. God's announcement "Behold, I make all things new" in Revelation 21:5 is followed by the angelic invitation, "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife" (Revelation 21:9 NKJV). The Majority Text reads, "I will show you the woman, the Lamb's bride."
The Lamb's bride is the fullness of everything the woman prefigured. Many leaders in the church today equate organized religion with the bride of Christ. It is not. The church system as we know it is only the means to an end. Israel brought the Messiah, and the church brings the Bride of Christ. "Behold, the bride has made herself ready."
In Matthew 13 Jesus had no delusions that Pentecost would create the perfect bride who would go to meet her Husband at His final coming. He prophesied that His great harvest field would be defiled by an enemy sowing tares among the wheat. He also spoke of a catch consisting of good fish to be kept and trash fish to be discarded. He warned that some of the seed of the gospel would take root in stony hearts that will be offended with Him when tribulation comes. Other seeds will be choked out by the cares of this world. Only a quarter of the seed falls on good ground and grows to become part of God's final harvest. In this same chapter, Jesus spoke of the birds of the air stealing the good seed of the gospel before it could take root; later he described these birds building their nests in a mustard plant, which signifies the church itself!
No, the bride of Christ is the glorious church that is without spot or wrinkle spoken of in Ephesians 5. God is calling forth to Himself a chosen people out of all of Christendom fit to be a bride for His Son. These holy ones are not divided by the religious barriers we see around us today. They are pulled by the love of Christ to one another because Christ in each of them draws them to Himself. This is what Paul wrote about.
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we from now on be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, who is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body being fitly joined together and knit together by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:13-16 KJ2000)
We are in the betrothal period now. (See 2 Corinthians 11:2-3) The bride is in preparation. She is betrothed to one Husband but that marriage is not yet consummated. She is being made ready, awaiting the marriage supper of the Lamb. John wrote:
Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure"-- for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." And he said to me, "These are the true words of God." (Revelation 19:6-9 ESV)
I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband . . . Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, "Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb." And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, (Revelation 21:2, 9-10 ESV)
The Church is the Eve of the Last Adam and the primary target of Satan. The primary focus of Satan's attack isn't Adam. The Last Adam certainly can't be coerced by temptation. No, the thrust of Satan's attack is against the Church. Satan wants to attack Christ by seducing His bride.
Paul saw the falling away of the church and warned, "For I am jealous over you with a jealousy of God; for I myself betrothed you unto one husband, to present, a chaste virgin, unto the Christ,- But I fear lest, by any means, as, the serpent, completely deceived Eve, in his craftiness, your minds should be corrupted from the singleness and the chasteness which are due unto the Christ" (2 Corinthians 11:2-3 Rotherham).
Let us have faithful, loving hearts that are worthy of our Bridegroom and be careful not to be drawn away from Him by this world and its influences that can even be found in the church today.
Marriage, the Mystery of Christ and His Bride
One of the most amazing portions of scripture regarding Christ and His Bride is found in Ephesians 5:21-33. In it we see that natural marriage is also a figure of things to come. In verse 21 Paul exhorts the Church to assume her proper position as Christ's betrothed by submitting to one another out of reverence for Him. This is not submission to an autocrat by the rank and file, like serfs submitting to Emperor or king, but is a mutual submission. It does not mean submitting to pope, cardinal or clergyman. This submission is a result of our reverence for Christ.
"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands."
Today such language could get you in a lot of trouble. The very idea that a women should submit to her husband in our society is considered chauvinistic and demeaning to womankind. This is what Satan wants people to believe. By promoting this lie, he hides the mystery that husbands and wives are especially fashioned to model. Each member of Christ's body, the Church, is to submit to his or her own husband, Jesus, as his or her Head.
You husbands, how will your relationship to your wife reverence Christ?
". . . 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, so 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. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.." (Ephesians 5:25-29 ESV)
The natural figure of marriage that began when God initiated the union of the first man and woman in Eden is a type of the new-creation union of Christ and the Church. With this in mind, Paul went on to echo Adam's words:
"For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church" (Ephesians 5:30-32 KJV).
The revelation of this mystery is the cause and purpose for marriage. It was the cause behind the creation of Adam and Eve in the first place.
When a man leaves his father and mother, is joined unto his wife and loves her like Christ loves the Church, laying his life down for her, he is participating in the mystery. When the woman responds and yields to the love of her husband, she has the privilege of demonstrating the mystery of Christ and His Church. This is what Paul meant by submitting to one another out of reverence to Christ. Infidelity is unthinkable to those who truly reverence Christ and understand this mystery.to top