The Virgin Shall Be With Child

By Francis Frangipane

The Bible is a book of reversals. Old things become new, the dead come to life, the lost are found. Even those who were the vilest of sinners are now empowered by grace to become the virgin bride of Jesus Christ.

The Virgin Bride Of Christ
We are called to become a holy bride, the spotless wife of Jesus Christ. But before we become a bride, we must first become a virgin. In the Bible a virgin was not just one who was free from the sins of premarital sex or immoral behavior; a virgin was also one set aside for another. The sense in which the church is to become virginal involves being uncorrupted, pure and undefiled by the world. It implies being untouched by man's ideas, traditions or sinfulness. To reach the goal of spiritual virginity, we must first be perfectly consecrated, wholly set apart for Jesus (2 Cor. 11:2–3).

Like everything in true Christianity, the purity of the church is not that which originates from herself; it is that which is imparted as virtue from Christ. It is true, living virtue, but it is Christ's virtue. Jesus, you will remember, was also a virgin. He had set Himself aside for us.

Indeed, it is with reference to Christ's union with the church, the marriage ceremony of the Son of God and man, that Paul wrote,

For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. ---Ephesians 5:31-32

Christ and His church: the two become one flesh! The apostle said, "This mystery is great." Do not presume you understand this just because you can read. This mystery is great. Jesus left His positional relationship and privileges as God's Son and clothed Himself in human flesh, that He might absorb and then resurrect humanity into His own divine stature: the two become one! Jesus will always be the Son of God, but in love He chose to cleave unto His wife, the church. And while He is forever one Spirit with the Father, He is forever married to the church. Indeed, has this not been the eternal purpose of God: to bring the Spirit of His Son into the church, thereby creating man in both the divine image and the divine likeness (Gen. 1:26)?

Scripture calls Jesus Christ the last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45). He is the first-born of the new creation as Adam was the first-born of the old creation. The first Adam, however, in cleaving unto Eve, fell with her in sin. But Christ, in cleaving unto His church, has redeemed us and raised us up, seating us with Him in the heavenly places (Eph. 2:6).

The marriage of Adam and Eve, where Eve literally emerged and was born out of Adam's substance, is a prophetic type of the church born out of the actual substance of Christ. Paul tells us that our bodies are the physical members of Christ (1 Cor. 6:15; 12:12). We are not simply metaphorically the body of Christ, but spiritually we are "bone of [His] bones, and flesh of [His] flesh" (Gen. 2:23).

This truth is not "New Age" theology; it is not heresy. It is the unalterable Word of God. Christ Himself is in us. To believe otherwise is heresy. The test of Christian orthodoxy, according to Scripture, is in 2 Cor. 13:5:
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?

We must recognize this about ourselves: Jesus Christ is in us. Yes, it is heresy to say we are Christ. Yet it is also error to deny He is within us. Paul expressed this mystery when he wrote,

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.     ---Galatians 2:20

The Preparation of Christ's HumanityChrist Himself is in us. However, for Him to come forth through us, we must become a pure virgin. Revival comes as Christ prepares for Himself a people; as He is raised up within them, He draws all men unto Himself. Their Christlikeness is a door through which Jesus Himself enters the world.

"Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, ‘Sacrifice and offering Thou hast not desired, but a body thou hast prepared for Me'" (Heb. 10:5). While descriptive of Christ's first coming, this verse is also applicable of His presence during revival.

Secure this thought in your mind: when the Spirit of Christ comes into the physical world, He must enter through a physical body. As was stated, the people or "body" Christ uses, of necessity, must be holy. They will have been prepared, set apart for Him, beforehand. The purpose of that body is not to offer ritual sacrifices typical of the time and customs of the people. Rather, when Christ enters the world through them, He repeats His eternal purpose: "I have come . . . to do Thy will, O God" (Heb. 10:7).

We must not despise this time of preparation. Jesus Himself lived for thirty years before He was revealed and empowered as the Messiah. Although Jesus was always the Son of God, He "kept increasing in wisdom" (Luke 2:52). He could not learn of the kingdom of God in the rabbinical colleges of His day; neither could any man teach Him the mystery of the miraculous. All this had to come directly from the Father Himself. Jesus was always sinless and obedient, but Hebrews 5:8–9 tells us, "Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered . . . having been made perfect." The destiny the Father planned for Christ was something Jesus grew into, just as we must.

Hebrews plainly reveals Christ as the pre-existent Creator; He is God from all eternity (Heb. 1:8). Yet, in the unfolding of Christ's earthly life there was a point in time when His Messianic calling was announced from heaven, where it commenced on earth. Until He was baptized by John, Jesus had been in "labor" to bring forth His destiny, "pregnant" with the promise of God within Him.

After the water baptism, while Jesus was praying, the Spirit descended visibly upon Him in power, heaven opened and out thundered the voice of the Father, "Thou art My beloved Son---" (Luke 3:22). And all those promises and dreams, prophecies and visions, the thirty years of learning obedience and becoming acquainted with grief, stood poised in perfect surrender, focused upon this one incredible moment in time "---in Thee I am well-pleased!" (v. 22) Instantly, the power of heaven flowed into the Spirit of Jesus and the ministry of the Messiah was birthed.

The voice of God spoke, not to the crowds, not only for the sake of John the Baptist, but to Jesus. The requirements and days of preparation were fulfilled. The ministry of the Messiah was birthed upon the earth in power.

Mary, A Type of the Church
In another sense, Mary, the mother of Jesus, also was "a body [God] hast prepared" (Heb. 10:5). When Christ first entered our world as a child, it was Mary whom God chose to give Christ birth. Mary's life symbolized the qualities the church must possess to walk in the fullness of Christ. She was humble, considering herself a bondservant of the Lord; she unwaveringly believed the word spoken to her (Luke 1:34–38). And, Mary was a virgin. These traits qualified her to be used by God in carrying, and giving birth to, Christ.

Like Mary, our humble state as the Lord's bondslaves is but a preparation for the coming forth of Christ in our lives. Yes, we have been "chastened" of the Lord. However, the goal of the Lord's chastening is not merely to punish; He seeks to make us chaste: pure and spiritually flawless. Indeed, our purity, our spiritual virginity as the body of Christ, is nothing less than God Himself preparing us, as He did Mary, to "give birth" to the ministry of His Son. Even now, in the spiritual womb of the virgin church, the holy purpose of Christ is growing, awaiting maturity; ready to be born in power in the timing of God!

Embracing the Pains of Birth
We live within a time frame the Bible calls the "period of restoration" (Acts 3:21). Since the Reformation, the truth of Christ has been progressively restored to His church. Since the dark ages of apostasy, every time Christ's presence has been more fully revealed, it is because a "virgin church" has been in labor to bring Him forth. The Holy Spirit impregnates a Martin Luther or a John Wesley, a housewife or a teenager in Bethlehem---a person whom God knows will continually say "yes" to Him---with a vision of the Living God. The vision spreads to others where it is tested with persecutions and refined with fire, but it spreads. Yes, those people are flawed. Truly, not a one of them is perfect. But along the way their vision of God possesses their souls. They become the "woman clothed with the sun," the virgin church who is "in labor and in pain to give birth" (Rev. 12:1–2).

As her hour nears, this virgin church lays aside her many tasks to focus on her one great commission. Through intense prayer and the agonizing of the Holy Spirit, in groanings too deep for words, she embraces her appointed destiny—until the very voice of Christ Himself is heard again through her prayers: "Lo, I have come to do Thy will, O God!" Birthed in His Spirit and in His power, fused together through love and suffering, this holy people becomes, as it were, a "body [God] hast prepared."

Even now, hell trembles and the heavens watch in awe. For I say to you, once again the "virgin is with child."

Before Jesus Himself returns, the last virgin church shall become pregnant with the promise of God. Out of her travail the body of Christ shall come forth, raised to the full stature of its Head, the Lord Jesus. Corporately manifested in holiness, power and love, the bride of Christ shall arise clothed in white garments, bright and clean. During this last and greatest move of God, great darkness shall cover the earth. Even as in the judgment of Egypt, it will be a "darkness that can be felt." Yet, in the midst of darkness, the visible, powerful glory of the Lord Jesus shall rise upon the virgin church. His glory shall be seen upon them. Nations shall be drawn to their light, kings to the brightness of their rising. Radiant shall they appear, for their hearts shall possess the beautiful star of the morning. In holy array, from the womb of the dawn, their light shall exult like the dew! (Eph.4:13; Rev.2:26-27; Ex.10:21; Isa.60:1-3; 2 Pet.1:19; Ps.110:1-3)


Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book, "Holiness, Truth and the Presence of God" available at www.arrowbookstore.com.