The Presence of the Triune God

 Chapter 12 

Who would not be shocked to hear that the ultimate intention of the Creator God is to be forever present with those He made in His image? “Far beyond the wildest imagination” does not express the utter preposterousness of such a concept. 

We humans have difficulty being in the presence of one another for extended periods of time, however strong the bond. There are exceptions, surely, but overall, I suspect that for the majority of us loving togetherness for ever and ever is questionable. 

Many rooms 

During the closing days of Jesus’ earthly ministry, He had long talks with His disciples. Part of one conversiation that suits our purpose is John 14:1–3: 

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 

After three-plus years of following Jesus, seeing Him raise the dead, heal all manner of illnesses, cast out demons, and break the fundamental laws of nature by multiplying food in vast quantities, walking on water, and calming storms with his command, they knew His word was not to be doubted. No, He would not lie to them or give them false comfort. 

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb 

The Church, that invisible Body of believers known only to God, is referred to as the Bride of Christ. The word “church” in the Greek is ekklesia and is feminine in form. 

Jesus is the bridegroom. He referred to Himself as such in Matthew 9:15: “And Jesus said to them, ‘Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The day will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.’” 

One of the last parables Jesus gave to His disciples is the parable of the wedding feast. It is found in Matthew 22:1–14, and in it He painted the picture of a wedding feast. The second coming of Jesus at the end of the age is likened to a bridegroom coming to take His bride away. And when this happens there will be a wedding feast, or as it is spoken of in the book of Revelation, a marriage supper: 

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. (Revelation 19:6–8) 

The Bride then joins the Bridegroom, and they are happily united forever. Here now is what was revealed to the Apostle John as found in Revelation 21:1–4: 

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 

The promise of the ultimate triumph of the “offspring” of the woman, depicted in Genesis 3:15, is fulfilled. By means of the completed work of Jesus the Messiah, the Word become flesh, God become flesh, that atoning death for sin, then the resurrection, and finally the ascension to heaven, the dwelling place of God, there is a Bride, the Church. 

No longer east of Eden, no longer in a world torn and tortured, no longer the presence of that hideous strength, Satan and his demons—no, it is paradise restored. 

It seems fitting to close with words that Paul wrote to the Church at Corinth: 

Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are deemed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit, for the Spirit searches everything even the depths of God. 1 corinthians 2:5–10

And so it will be forever and ever, says the Preposterous God. Amen! 

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