A VIRTUOUS CHURCH
By Apostle Aje Pelser, June 2009, Feb 2020
Harvester Reformational Church, Cape Town
“Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.” Proverbs 31:10
“As you speak these words over the church I will form them into my image and prepare the bride for Christ.”
Essential reading for background regarding the mystery of Christ and His Church –the ultimate Bride and Bridegroom!
Rev 21:2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:9 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."
Rev 21:10 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,
Rev 21:11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.
Rev 22:12 "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.
Rev 22:13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last."
Rev 22:14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.
Rev 22:15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.
Rev 22:16 "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star."
Rev 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
Jer 33:11 the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who will say: "Praise the LORD of hosts, For the LORD is good, For His mercy endures forever"— and of those who will bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause the captives of the land to return as at the first,' says the LORD.
Eph 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
Eph 5:23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
Eph 5:24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
Eph 5:26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 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.
Eph 5:28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.
Eph 5:29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
Eph 5:30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.
Eph 5:31 "FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH."
Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Eph 5:33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Reading this passage we can detect the virtues of the bride of Christ, if we see with New Testament eyes!
Pro 31:10 Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.
Discuss the worth of Church today – where else can you find a group of like minded individual sincerely caring for each other in the name of a greater power, a Lod wo gave his life for hi followers, Jesus Christ? No wonder John describes the church as “having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone”.
Pro 31:11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain.
A deceitful wife squanders wealth just like men who squander their wealth on harlot. Looking into the Old Testament we find:
Eze 16:32 You are an adulterous wife, who takes strangers instead of her husband.
Eze 16:33 Men make payment to all harlots, but you made your payments to all your lovers, and hired them to come to you from all around for your harlotry.
Eze 16:34 You are the opposite of other women in your harlotry, because no one solicited you to be a harlot. In that you gave payment but no payment was given you, therefore you are the opposite."
The Bile tells us that godliness with contentment is great gain.
Pro 31:12 She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.
Some women only know how to do evil towards their husband, and actually end up breaking the man down. Some churches only know how to criticize and destroy, rather than build up the body of Christ.
Pro 31:13 She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands.
Wool… a good church has good shepherds taking care of the sheep and the sheep provide wool for winter. An accurate Church should not lack food and clothing during tough times. There is enough in the house or all.
Pro 27:23 Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, And attend to your herds;
Pro 27:24 For riches are not forever, Nor does a crown endure to all generations.
Pro 27:25 When the hay is removed, and the tender grass shows itself, And the herbs of the mountains are gathered in,
Pro 27:26 The lambs will provide your clothing, And the goats the price of a field;
Pro 27:27 You shall have enough goats' milk for your food, For the food of your household, And the nourishment of your maidservants.
Pro 31:14 She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar.
This speaks also of different tastes and food. Spiritually speaking, we seek the best food for the body of Christ and bring it from afar. The wisdom God has given to us comes a long way. We also send and receive apostles with insight into the kingdom of God and about the Bride of Christ, expressing the mind and wishes of the bridegroom.
Pro 31:15 She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a
portion for her maidservants.
A good church looks after the home cells or households, and good shepherds spend time early in the mornings preparing food for the household in their care. How do we treat the servants in our midst, remembering the words of our Lord, that the greatest amongst us will serve.
Pro 31:16 She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard.
I have seen women in our church in Cape Town, consider the price for a land and buy it! But a church as a virtuous wife can do the same!
Vineyards were part of the promised land rewards for Israel. But here we see the good use of profits, they are taken and used wisely to produce a vineyard that will keep producing, supposing that the vinedressers are Godly and faithful, unlike that of the parable of Jesus about the wicked vinedressers.
Pro 31:17 She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms.
Heb 12:11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Heb 12:12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees,
Heb 12:13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. See ht context of chastening here, we sometimes lose heart when corrected, but a virtuous church should “strengthen that which remains” and not be despondent. See also Revelation 3:2.
Pro 31:18 She perceives that her merchandise is good, And her lamp does not go out by night.
Good merchandise speaks about quality.
“Industrious” is a good description of a virtuous church. Lamp not going out speaks of the wise versus foolish virgins who kept their lamps trimmed and burning waiting for the bridegroom. Jesus understood these things!
Pro 31:19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle.
Weaving the tapestry of life takes consistency and accuracy…
Pro 31:20 She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
A virtuous church will do good to the household of faith first…
Gal 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
A book of Acts church experience:
Pro 31:21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
The red robe representing Christ’s bloody robe, but also royalty. Winter is not a threat but a challenge to prepare.
Pro 31:22 She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Remember Lydia, seller of purple in the Philippian Church of the Bible?
Pro 31:23 Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land.
An accurate church will allow Jesus to be known in Government.
Pro 31:24 She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies sashes for the merchants.
Priests were dressed in linen.
Pro 31:25 Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come.
Not merely outward adornment but inn strength and honour.
Pro 31:26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
A foolish women is loud and unashamed to open her mouth with violence. An accurate church has tamed the tongue and is therefore able to bridle the whole body.
Pro 31:27 She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.
A virtuous church carefully decides the right way to do things according to the Way the Truth and the Life, Jesus Christ and His Word –a manual for living.
Pro 31:28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her:
A virtuous church will be praised, and the descendents the next generation of churches that come from her shall call her blessed. This is a word for Harvester Cape Town.
Pro 31:29 "Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all."
Excel is a strong word meaning to “do extremely well”; “shine”; “stand out”; “outshine”; “surpass”; “outclass” and “outrival”. Microsoft Encarta Dictionary.
We are encouraged to shine our lights and let men see our good works to glorify our Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16
Pro 31:30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
The fear of the Lord I beautiful, and draws praise. Not merely looking at outward appearances and impressiveness but inward realities is the key to becoming a virtuous Church.
2Co 10:7 Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ's, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ's, even so we are Christ's.
1Pe 3:3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—
1Pe 3:4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
Pro 31:31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates.
The virtuous church is full of the fruit of the Spirit versus the works of the flesh as we read Galatians 5.
Works of the flesh:
Gal 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Gal 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness (indicating sexual interest or expressive of lust or lewdness),
Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance (the fact or quality of being different, divergent, or inconsistent), emulations (Effort to match or surpass a person or achievement without the relationship and impartation), wrath, strife, seditions (conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch.), heresies (Belief or opinion contrary to orthodox Christian doctrine),
Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Fruit of the Spirit
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance (Middle English from Anglo-Norman French temperaunce, from Latin temperantia ‘moderation’, from temperare ‘restrain’.) : against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Gal 5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
English Definitions from https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/variance
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