The Bride in Fullness - Part 3

There is a process of self-discovery which is not at all a discovery of self, but a journey of discovering the Christ within. It is a process of owning the beauty He has placed upon us – the beauty of absolution – so that we completely become that which He says we are. As we are bolstered in our true identity – what the mystics called the True Self, which is the church as Christ sees the church – we gradually begin to own that persona.

Until we can see ourselves – not in an intellectual or strictly theological position, but on a deep, heart level – as the spotless, perfect, impeccable one He loves, our outward lives never manifest that positional truth. But as we see, taste and understand this love He extends toward the beauty He has given us, that same love transforms us from one level of glory to the next.

Positionally, the blood of Christ has completely freed me from all sin, bondage and sickness, seating my spirit man in Heavenly places with Christ at the right hand of the Father. Outwardly, in the soul realm and the physical, natural world around me, may appear to be still working out the expression of this great salvation with fear and trembling - but it is actually the finished work of Christ that does this through me as well.

I am in a process of becoming. But in the meantime, Christ still sees me as fully perfected. He does not see my hypocrisy. He does not see my double-mindedness. He has intentionally limited His own vision, so as to place my sins as far from his sight as the east is from the west. I am washed clean and perfected. Dwelling in the consciousness of His adoration over my beauty is the thing that woos my heart into life.

Let us look at the next attribute of the bride, which relates to this washing of her redeemed state:

“Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn, coming up from the washing. Each has its twin; not one of them is alone” (Song 4:2).

This third aspect of the bride’s beauty in chapter four relates to the teeth. Teeth speak of discernment. They speak of “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). As teeth tear food, so is the sword of the Spirit sharp and penetrating, enabling us to devour solid spiritual food.

“But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to discern good from evil” (Heb. 5:14).

There is something about the word of God which, like a sword, slices deep and brings division. Remember that even the fiery tongues that came upon the apostles at Pentecost were cloven, or divided.

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).

There is something about the radical division between light and darkness, life and death, truth and fiction, which comes from the release of the word of God. Jesus Himself said, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword,” (Mt. 10:34). In Christ, there is no communion between light and darkness. He separates the sheep from the goats, the righteous from the unrighteous, the holy from the defiled.

Foreshadowed in the Song, we see this division properly balanced within the mouth of the bride, as each tooth has its twin. The word of God is set within her in absolute purity. There is division between the teeth, even as Jesus has a double-edged sword coming from His own mouth. While in the process of our sanctification, our tongues spew both fresh and salt water, good and evil – however, the Lord does not see us with this imperfection.

My discernment is still developing, but Christ sees me with already perfected discernment. This gives me confidence to speak His word with boldness and power. He sees my teeth as sheep come up from the washing – my discernment cleansed, my mind transformed and renewed. As His sheep, I myself become the very tool of discernment – His very agent in the earth to reveal and manifest his nature.

John Crowder, 11/8/2005