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Arise And Shine

This study is part of The Sleeping Bride Bible study, and chapters 38-41 in my book The Resurrected Bride.


(This is chapter 38 in The Resurrected Bride.)

Peter Raising Up The Dead in Joppa (Acts 9:36-43)

(Also see Acts 3:1-10 and Luke 8:49-56.)


Long after Jonah’s attempt to run from God by going to Joppa and boarding a ship to Tarshish, a remarkable incident is recorded for us in the New Testament that occurred within the same city.

A woman named Tabitha who was a disciple of Jesus had died. The disciples sent for Peter who then came and miraculously raised her from the dead. The miracle alone is noteworthy in this description, but there is something else hidden within this story that I see pertaining to the Bride of Christ.

At the time of Tabitha’s death, Peter was nearby in the city of Lydda. By the name of Jesus Christ he healed a man who had been bedridden for eight years. Many who saw the man afterwards turned to the Lord. From here he would go to Joppa where the next miracle of healing would occur.

The Bible says that the two men who were sent to get him pleaded with him, saying, “Do not delay in coming to us.” (Acts 9:38) Our prayer regarding the condition of the seemingly dead Bride of Christ and His coming to her aid should be of the same urgent manner. The church in America is truly in a critical situation.

After Tabitha had become sick and died, her body was washed and placed in an upper room (Acts 9:37). Even though she had been cleansed, she was still a dead body at this point, void of any life. It is important to notice that it was those who were alive that washed her. Obviously, the dead cannot wash the dead. Only those filled with the breath of life have that capability. This is also true in the spiritual realm. We cannot give what we do not possess.


Acts 9:36-43In Joppa a woman named Tabitha (Dorcas in Greek) had died. The disciples sent for Peter.

36 Now in Joppa [from a word that means “to shine, be beautiful”] there was a disciple named Tabitha [“the gazelle”] (which translated in Greek is called Dorcas [“a wild she goat, a gazelle”]); this woman was abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which she continually did. [See Ephesians 5:14.]

37 And it happened at that time that she fell sick and died; and when they had washed [“to bathe (the whole person), to wash the body”] her body, they laid it in an upper room.

38 Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, having heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him, imploring him, "Do not delay in coming to us." [see Rev. 10:6]

39 So Peter arose and went with them. When he arrived, they brought him into the upper room; and all the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing all the tunics and garments that Dorcas used to make while she was with them.

40 But Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed, and turning to the body, he said, "Tabitha, arise [450]." And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up.

41 And he gave her his hand and raised her up [450]; and calling [“to invite”] the saints and widows, he presented [3936] her alive [2198]. [See The Presentation Of The Bride]

42 It became known all over Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.

43 And Peter stayed many days in Joppa with a tanner named Simon.

NASU


NT:450 anistemi (an-is'-tay-mee)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:303 and NT:2476; to stand up (literal or figurative, transitive or intransitive):

KJV - arise, lift up, raise up (again), rise (again), stand up (-right).

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

I. Transitively, in the present 1 aorist and future active, to cause to rise, raise up

a. properly, of one lying down: Acts 9:41

b. to raise up from death: John 6:39 f,44,54

c. to raise up, cause to be born Matthew 22:24

II. Intransitively, in the perfect pluperfect and 2 aorist active, and in the middle voice

1. to rise, stand up

a. of persons lying down (on a couch or bed): Mark 1:35

of persons lying on the ground: Mark 9:27

b. of persons seated: Luke 4:16

c. of those who leave a place to go elsewhere: Matthew 9:9

d. of the dead Matthew 17:9

2. to arise, appear, stand forth; of kings, prophets, priests, leaders of insurgents: Acts 5:36


NT:3936 paristemi (par-is'-tay-mee); or prolonged paristano (par-is-tan'-o)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:3844 and NT:2476; to stand beside, i.e. (transitively) to exhibit, proffer, (specifically) recommend, (figuratively) substantiate; or (intransitively) to be at hand (or ready), aid:

KJV - assist, bring before, command, commend, give presently, present, prove, provide, shew, stand (before, by, here, up, with), yield.

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

transitive: to present, to bring into one's presence, to show; to offer to yield, to dedicate; to provide, to send; to prove (Acts 24:13); intransitive: to stand by, to be present, to stand; to come; to stand before; to stand together (Acts 4:26);

paristeemi; paristanoo

1. The present, imperfect, future and 1 aorist active have a transitive sense

a. to place beside or near (para, IV. 1); to set at hand; to present; to proffer; to provide: kteenee (Acts 23:24)

b. to present (show) by argument, to prove: ti (Acts 24:13)

2. to stand beside, stand by or near, to be at hand, be present

a. universally, to stand by: tini, to stand beside one (Acts 1:10)

b. to appear: with a predicate nominative followed by enoopion tinos (Acts 4:10)

c. to be at hand, stand ready: used of assailants, absolutely (Acts 4:26)

d. to stand by to help, to succor (Romans 16:2)

e. to be present; to have come: of time (Mark 4:29)


NT:2198 zao (dzah'-o)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

a primary verb; to live (literally or figuratively):

KJV - life (-time), (a-) live (-ly), quick.

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

I. properly,

1. to live, be among the living, be alive (not lifeless, not dead) (Acts 20:12)

2. to enjoy real life, i. e. to have true life and worthy of the name -- active, blessed, endless in the kingdom of God

3. to live i. e. pass life, of the manner of living and acting; of morals or character:

II. Metaphorically, of inanimate things

a. living water, i. e. bubbling up, gushing forth, flowing, with the suggested idea of refreshment is figuratively used of the spirit and truth of God as satisfying the needs and desires of the soul (John 4:10)

b. having vital power in itself and exerting the same upon the soul (1 Peter 1:3)


Upon hearing what had happened to Tabitha, the Bible says that Peter arose and went to see her. The Greek for “arise” is anistemi (an-is'-tay-mee). It means “to stand up, to cause to rise, to rise up.” It is written that Peter turned toward the dead body first and then commanded her to arise. In this passage is a picture of the raising up of the Lord’s Bride and her presentation to the “invited” ones.

Again, this is similar to Ezekiel’s vision of the dry bones being filled with the breath of life from God and standing up on their feet as he prophesied. It is the word of the Lord coming through His anointed servants that will awaken those who are in a deep sleep in the church. Their spiritual eyes will be opened, enabling them to see the outstretched hand of the One who can raise them up.

Joppa happens to come from a Hebrew word that means “to shine, be beautiful.” I am reminded of Paul’s exhortation by the Spirit to the church in Ephesus when he said, “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine [“to illuminate”] on you.” (Ephesians 5:14)

Like Tabitha in Joppa, a remnant within the dead body of Christ will soon be washed through repentance and brought back to life. In her revived state she will then arise and shine with God’s glory, revealing His beauty that she has been covered with to the world.


The Upper Room


There are other notable events in the Bible that occurred in an upper room. The first was what most refer to as “the last supper” that Jesus partook of with the disciples. It was actually a Passover Seder that they ate together.

Before the meal His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare for You to eat the Passover?” Jesus then sent two of the disciples with the following instructions;


Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him; and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, 'The Teacher says, ‘Where is My guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?’ And he himself will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; prepare for us there.” (Mark 14:12-15/NASU)


It’s noteworthy that the man who led them to the upper room was carrying a pitcher of water, a depiction of the need for cleansing. As with Tabitha’s dead body that was washed in an upper room, Jesus, in an upper room was about to explain that He would be crucified in order to provide a way to wash His body of followers. He was the Passover lamb that, when applied through repentance, was sacrificed for the forgiveness of our sin.

The Greek interpreted in English “prepare” means “to make ready, the act of preparing, readiness.” I believe the Teacher is asking us the same question today, “Where is My prepared guest room within you that I may come and dine with you?” (Revelation 3:20) A prepared heart is one that has been cleansed through the blood of Christ and is “dressed in readiness” (Luke 12:35). Being made ready they are looking with great anticipation for the return of Christ.

Jesus used the same Greek word in His parable of the king who gave a wedding feast for his son. He said that a king sent some servants to tell those who had been invited that he had “prepared” his dinner and everything was ready. It was time to come to the wedding banquet, “But they paid no attention.” (Matthew 22:4-5) Many in the church of America are now acting in the same manner. Jesus has prepared His “feast” but not many have prepared their hearts. How many cities will He be enraged at because of this? (Matthew 22:7)

It was also in the upper room where the Spirit was poured out on the disciples. Those who prepare their hearts by faith, cleansing them by the washing of the word of truth in these final moments of this age, will also be among those who receive the final outpouring of the Spirit for the final harvest of the earth.


The Cleansing Word Of God


In Paul’s exhortation to the church in Corinth he tells them to separate from all that would keep God from welcoming them as sons and daughters. He writes;


Come out from their midst and be separate” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says the Lord Almighty. Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting [“to bring to an end, complete”] holiness in the fear of God. Make room for us in your hearts…”

(2 Corinthians 6:17-7:2/NASU)


Paul was saying to them, and to us, that it is crucial to cleanse ourselves through separation from all that would cause filthiness within us, staining our inner man. We are to perfect or complete holiness (sanctification) in the fear of God, knowing that without our “coming out from their midst” we will not receive the promise of being welcomed. Instead, like the foolish virgins who did not take serious the midnight call to prepare, we, by not making room for the Lord in our hearts, will not be allowed into the wedding feast.

In comparing Christ’ love for the church to the love a husband should have for his wife, Paul said to the believers in the city of Ephesus;


Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.”

(Ephesians 5:25-27/NASU)


This reminds me of the dry bones that came together as a body after Ezekiel prophesied over them with the living word of the Lord (Ezekiel 37:1-10). Even though a body came together, it was still lifeless. It wasn’t until Ezekiel prophesied the second time that the breath of life from God filled them and they stood on their feet as a great army. This is a picture of what will soon occur. By the word of the Lord spoken through His life-givers, the “exceedingly great army” of God will rise up and defeat all of His enemies.

The preparing and raising up of a pure and spotless Bride in all her glory, holy and blameless, is for the Divine purpose of the Lord presenting her back to Himself, as He did with Eve to the first Adam. Paul refers to this preparation in his letter to Titus;


He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal [“renovation”] by the Holy Spirit…”

(Titus 3:5/NIV)


It is the new birth and subsequent renewal by the Holy Spirit that will ensure the joining together of Christ and His Bride as one.

When Peter arrived in Joppa the local Christians spoke to him about all that Tabitha had done in the Lord’s name. It is written that she was “abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which she continually did.” (Acts 9:36) I think this speaks favorably toward some who are now sleeping in apathy in the church. Thankfully, the Lord is merciful. He remembers the deeds of kindness that we have done in the past.

In fact, He mentioned past deeds (works) when speaking to the seven churches in Revelation. Before His rebuke and call for them to repent, He would mention their works. It was a reminder to them to remember from where they had fallen and to wake up before it was too late. We need to do the same.


(This is chapter 39 in The Resurrected Bride.)

The Believer’s Metamorphosis


Matthew 17:1-3This passage is commonly referred to as the transfiguration. Jesus leads the closest disciples to Him, Peter, James and John, up a high mountain. This reminds me of Shelley’s dream (see the article Shelley’s Dream). In His transformation, Jesus’ face was literally changed. It “shone like the sun.” Ours will too, reflecting the light of Christ to those who are living in darkness, or a dark state of heart and mind. We are His light for the world (Matthew 5:14 below). The world sees the Way through His followers. If we hide the light through disobedience they cannot see and darkness will prevail.

The Greek for “transfigured” is metamorphoo (met-am-or-fo'-o) which we get our word metamorphosis from. It is defined as “to transform, to change into another form.” When used of Christians, “it describes our being transformed into the same image (of consummate excellence that shines in Christ), reproduce the same image (2 Corinthians 3:18).” (See the Bible study Spiritual Metamorphosis.)

1 Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves.

2 And He was transfigured [3339] before them; and His face shone [2989] like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.

3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.

NASU


NT:2989 lampo (lam'-po)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

a primary verb; to beam, i.e. radiate brilliancy (literally or figuratively):

KJV - give light, shine.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

to shine (Matthew 5:15, see right below)


NT:3339 metamorphoo (met-am-or-fo'-o)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:3326 and NT:3445; to transform (literally or figuratively, "metamorphose"):

KJV - change, transfigure, transform.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

to change into another form (compare meta), to transfigure, transform:

of Christ, his appearance was changed (A. V., he was transfigured), i. e., was resplendent with a divine brightness (Matthew 17:2; Mark 9:2: for which Luke 9:29)

used of Christians: we are transformed into the same image (of consummate excellence that shines in Christ), reproduce the same image (2 Corinthians 3:18)


Matthew 5:14-16Christians are called to be the reflection of Christ’s light, of His glory, on earth (see 2 Corinthians 3:18 below). We hide the light of His countenance (i.e. His “face” in Matthew 17:2 above) from those who are living in darkness when we walk in disobedience, not working together with the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 6:1). The Father is never glorified on earth because of this.

14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;

15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

16 "Let your light shine [“2989”; see def. above] before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

NASU


Luke 9:28-32In Luke’s account of the transfiguration he says something that is crucial to the awakening of Christ’ bride in the church. He states in verse 32 that Peter, James and John were “overcome with sleep.” The Greek for “overcome” is bareo (bar-eh'-o) which means “to burden, weigh down, depress.” It has the idea of being “oppressed with external evils.” To be asleep spiritually is to be weighed down internally through demonic oppression.

Luke then says that when they were “fully awake” they saw the glory of Jesus, along with Moses and Elijah. Those who enter into the fullness of Christ at the end of this age will also see His glory. Like Moses when he came down the mountain after being in God’s presence, they will “shine” forth with God’s glorious beauty in the coming age, distinguishing them as His Bride.

28 Some eight days after these sayings, He took along Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray.

29 And while He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming [literally “flashing like lightning”].

30 And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah,

31 who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.

32 Now Peter and his companions had been overcome [916] with sleep; but when they were fully awake [1235], they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him.

NASU


NT:916 bareo (bar-eh'-o)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:926; to weigh down (figuratively):

KJV - burden, charge, heavy, press.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

to burden, weigh down, depress

Used simply: to be weighed down, oppressed, with external evils and calamities (2 Corinthians 1:8)


NT:1235 diagregoreo (dee-ag-ray-gor-eh'-o)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:1223 and NT:1127; to waken thoroughly:

KJV - be awake.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

to watch through, to remain awake: Luke 9:32 to be fully awake,


2 Corinthians 3:12-18 After being in God’s presence, Moses’ face would literally shine.

12 Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech,

13 and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away [see Exodus 34:29-35].

14 But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ.

15 But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart;

16 but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

NASU


(This is chapter 40 in The Resurrected Bride.)

The Aaronic Blessing


Numbers 6:22-27 See the note below.

22 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

23 "Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, 'Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:

24 The Lord bless you, and keep [“to guard, protect, to preserve, to keep within bounds, to restrain”] you;

25 The Lord make His face shine [215] on you, And be gracious [“to show favor, to pity”] to you;

26 The Lord lift up His countenance [“the face, in front of, before”] on you, And give you peace.'

27 "So they shall invoke [7760] My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them."

NASU


OT:215 'owr (ore)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

a primitive root; to be (causative, make) luminous (literally and metaphorically):

KJV - break of day, glorious, kindle, (be, en-, give, show) light (-en, -ened), set on fire, shine.

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

to be light or to become light, to shine

a) (in the Qal)

1) to become light (day)

2) to shine (used of the sun)

3) to become bright

b) (in the Niphal)

1) to be illuminated

2) to become lighted up

c) (in the Hiphil)

1) to give light, shine (used of the sun, the moon, and the stars)

2) to illumine, to light up, to cause to shine,

3) to kindle, to light (a candle [properly, a lamp], wood)

4) to enlighten (used of the eyes, His law, etc.)

5) to make (cause) to shine (used of the face)


OT:7760 suwm (soom); or siym (seem)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

a primitive root; to put (used in a great variety of applications, literal, figurative, inferentially, and elliptically):

KJV - any wise, appoint, bring, call [a name], care, cast in, change, charge, commit, consider, convey, determine, disguise, dispose, do, get, give, heap up, hold, impute, lay (down, up), leave, look, make (out), mark, name, on, ordain, order, paint, place, preserve, purpose, put (on), regard, rehearse, reward, (cause to) set (on, up), shew, stedfastly, take, tell, tread down, ([over-]) turn, wholly, work.

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

to put, to place, to set, to appoint, to make

a) (Qal)

1) to put, to set, to lay, to put or to lay upon, to lay (violent) hands on

2) to set, to direct, to direct toward; to extend (compassion) (figurative)

3) to set, to ordain, to establish, to found, to appoint, to constitute, to make, to determine, to fix

4) to set, to station, to put, to set in place, to plant, to fix

5) to make, to make for, to transform into, to constitute, to fashion, to work, to bring to pass, to

appoint, to give

b) (Hiphil) to set or to make for a sign

c) (Hophal) to be set


In some churches, at the end of the service the pastor proclaims what is known as the Aaronic blessing over the congregation. The Hebrew for “shine” is 'owr (ore). It’s defined as “to be light or to become light, to give light, to illumine.” As we have seen, the Lord’s face shining upon us will not automatically happen. Neither will it remain upon us if we do not remain in Him, or should I say near Him, face to face.

In His rebuke of unfaithful Israel, the Lord said to Jeremiah;


They have turned their back to Me and not their face; though I taught them, teaching again and again, they would not listen and receive instruction.”

(Jeremiah 32:33/NASU)


To turn away from the Lord, not facing Him in our hearts and minds, is to not listen and receive His instruction. It is an arrogant, disrespectful heart that does what it desires rather than God’s will. To turn “face to face” with Jesus is to receive His glory. If we do not face Him we will not be transformed.

Disobedience, which is our turning away from Him, allows the darkness to prevail thereby causing the light within, after turning to Christ, to be hidden. The only way to become His illumined light-givers is to awake from spiritual slumber with a repentant, guarded heart and “arise from the dead” so that others may see Christ through us.

In Zechariah’s prophecy over his newborn son, John the Baptist, he made the following declaration;


And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring [“a rising of light, the east”] from on high has visited us; To give light to [“to shine upon”] those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

(Luke 1:76-79/NKJV)


To “go before the face of the Lord” is to go with Him looking upon you, in His power and authority. It is to go with His approval and favor with His watchful eye guarding and keeping you in His name, for His purposes. In this state His light shines on you, guiding those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death into the Way of peace, who is Christ.

According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary, the Hebrew interpreted above as “Dayspring” is used metaphorically of Christ as the One through whom light came into the world to dispel the darkness which was upon all nations. It also refers to the east which stands for that side of things upon which the rising of the sun gives light.

In the Day of the Lord when He judges all wickedness on earth by fire, He says that He, the sun of righteousness, will rise with healing on those who fear His name;


“‘But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing,’ says the Lord of hosts.”

(Malachi 4:2-3/NASU)


Psalm 67:1-2To have the Lord’s “face shine upon us” is to reveal His Way of salvation, who is Christ. It is to make Him known among the nations.

1 May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, Selah

2 that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.

NIV


Isaiah 60:1-3At the end of this age, when a deep darkness covers the earth and its inhabitants, the glory of the Lord will rise upon His faithful servants. All the nations will be attracted to His light that has illuminated His chosen people. In the end when an extreme evil presence is prevailing over much of the earth, the nations will be attracted to the light of Christ that has illuminated His chosen people. They will stand out in the dark as those who have what others need in the very difficult times of the last days. But, understand that you will not stand out if you do not come out from among the dead! (Rev. 18:4-5)

1 "Arise [6965], shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

2 "For behold, darkness will cover the earth And deep darkness the peoples; But the Lord will rise upon you And His glory will appear upon you.

3 "Nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.

NASU


Daniel 12:1-3 - The Hebrew for “shine” in this verse is zahar (zaw-har'). It is different in that it not only refers to a light shining but also refers to a word of warning from those who have been given insight from the Lord. It also is defined as “to admonish, to warn, to teach, to enlighten by caution.” It has the implication of a light of warning that will cause many in the church who have strayed with a divided heart to return to righteous living.

1 "Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.

2 "Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.

3 "Those who have insight will shine [2094] brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

NASU


OT:2094 zahar (zaw-har')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

a primitive root; to gleam; figuratively, to enlighten (by caution):

KJV - admonish, shine, teach, (give) warn (-ing).

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

to admonish, to warn, to teach, to shine, to send out light, to be light, to be shining

a) (Niphal) to be taught, to be admonished

b) (Hiphil)

1) to teach, to warn

2) to shine, to send out light (figurative)


(This is chapter 41 in The Resurrected Bride.)

Extending His Hand


The statement within Acts, chapter nine, that says, “And he [Peter] gave her his hand and raised her up,” is one of the most significant statements within this entire revelation.

I had thought about the cover for this book for a long time. What was on my heart was the hand of God coming down from above, reaching out and grasping the hand of His Bride who was being raised up out of the church from a prostrate position. She was being raised up from her lukewarm, lethargic state among the dead in spirit within the Body of Christ.

I was at a meeting recently with other believers who are part of a global missions movement. During a break before lunch I was speaking with a young couple from the Netherlands. While sharing back and forth, our conversation led to this book and the thought in my mind regarding the cover. The husband then looked over at his wife and asked her to share the dream she had the night before.

She said she dreamed that the Lord was reaching His hand out to her and that she in turn reached out and grabbed it. She then said that she wasn’t sure what it meant. I believe the Lord was reaching out to her because she was being called out to be a part of His Bride. I also believe this won’t be the only dream or revelation of this nature among the Body of Christ. We pray that God will give others the same encounter so that they will be deeply moved when they see with the eyes of their heart His outstretched hand.

In Song of Solomon, the great love story from God in type of He and His bride, Solomon describes a time of great torment when the two were separated. There came a time, though, when she heard her bridegroom’s voice;


I was asleep but my heart was awake. A voice! My beloved was knocking: ‘Open to me, my sister, my darling, my dove, my perfect one! For my head is drenched with dew, my locks with the damp of the night’… My beloved extended his hand through the opening, and my feelings were aroused for him.”

(Song of Solomon 5:2, 4/NASU)


Oh precious Bride of the King, do you hear Him knocking? Is your heart being awakened at the sound of His voice? Does He extend His hand to you as well, stirring your feelings of love and the desire for intimacy with Him in the closing moments of this age? Then reach out and take hold of your Heavenly Bridegroom because we know that He who raised the Lord will also raise you up through His power to sit and reign with Him on His throne. Praise the name of the Lord!

The Greek for “presented” in Acts 9:41 when Peter presented Tabitha alive is paristemi (par-is'-tay-mee) which is defined as, “to bring into one’s presence, to stand beside, to show.” I see in this a time when the Lord will present His called-out Bride back to His Body, by His side, which is where Eve came out from Adam, revealing her glorious beauty for all to see. Her time of being hidden and unknown will be finished. She will be filled with the life of Christ, her heavenly Bridegroom, causing many to believe in Him. Times of refreshing will happen as rivers of living water pour out of the Lord’s renovated life-givers. The river of life will flow from the throne of God which has been established within them, bringing healing to the nations that have been devastated because of sin.

In Colossians, chapter one, Paul speaks of the reasons for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for us;


He has now reconciled [“bring back to a former state of harmony”] you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach, if indeed you continue in the faith… We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete [“perfect”] in Christ.”

(Colossians 1:22-23, 28/NASU; see the Bible study Harmony In The Body Of Christ)


Paul emphasizes that the promise of being reconciled to Christ and our being presented complete in Him is conditional. Our perfection in Christ does not come without a warning of the need to “continue in the faith.” Through acceptance of the doctrines of demons as truth, many Christians cannot see or understand what we just read. It is completely hidden from them. Instead, they cry out, “Heresy!” It‘s a true statement that the farther people wander from the truth the more they hate those who proclaim it.


The King’s Release


Joseph was sent ahead of his brothers by God for a great deliverance of His people. Because of jealousy, they had sold him as a slave. He was taken to Egypt where he was falsely accused and placed in prison. While there he interpreted two men’s dreams that they had the same night. Even after the word of the Lord given to him came true and one man was executed while the other exonerated, proving him right, he remained in the prison, forgotten by man but not by God, for another two years (Genesis 40:5-41:14).

When he was younger he had received a word from the Lord through his own dream that his family would one day bow down to him (Genesis 37:5-11). The psalmist declares;


Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him.”

(Psalm 105:19/NASU)


The Hebrew for “tested” is tsaraph (tsaw-raf'). It’s defined as “to fuse (metal), to smelt, to refine, to test (and to prove true).” Anyone who has ever received a word from the Lord understands this. It’s the time in between, before it comes to pass, that thoughts of whether or not you heard from God or yourself can run through your mind. It forces us to check our heart and be more determined to hold our ground in submission to the will of the Lord and to wait for His timing. The true condition of our motives are exposed during this time period. Our response determines whose glory we are truly seeking.

Creating doubt of whether or not you really heard from God, or of what God really meant, has been the devil’s modus operandi since the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:4-5). Also, while waiting upon the Lord, he will most likely try to tempt the one who has been told something by God to bring it into existence through human effort thereby creating an “Ishmael.”

In God’s timing, a Divine opportunity occurred for Joseph to be released. Pharaoh had a dream that no one could interpret. The man that had been acquitted remembered that a young Hebrew man in prison accurately interpreted his dream. Pharaoh then sent for Joseph who was quickly prepared to enter his presence;


Then Pharaoh sent and called [“to summon”] for Joseph, and they hurriedly brought him out of the dungeon; and when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes [“a covering garment, a mantle”], he came to Pharaoh.”

(Genesis 41:14/NASU)


The psalmist also referred to this, saying;


The king sent and released him, the ruler of peoples, and set him free.”

(Psalm 105:20/NASU)


To my brother and sisters who have faithfully served God and now find themselves in a seemingly hopeless situation, know for certain that the Lord is able to “suddenly” release you too. Eventually the King of kings will stretch forth His hand and loosen His faithful ones from their imprisoned state, summoning them to arise and shine.

Our being raised up by the hand of God at the end of this age is the final perfecting of His people. He will come to set His captives free so that they may rise up and be eternally joined together with Him.

The Hebrew for “sent” in both of these passages is defined as “to let go, to let loose, to stretch out, to shoot forth (used of branches).” The definition of the Hebrew we interpreted “released” in Psalm 105:20 means, “to open wide, to loosen, to carve.” In both Hebrew words, “loose” and “loosen” appears in the definitions. What I see in this is the final loosing of our fallen nature among those who reach out and grab hold of the outstretched hand of the King of kings. He will come to set them free from all that which has held them back from entering His fullness, our completeness in Him, whether that be internal or external. Like Jesus on the mount of transfiguration, our countenance and our “covering garments” will change as this mortal puts on immortality and we finally gain His glory. That which has been loosed on earth will have been loosed in heaven (Matthew 16:19, 18:18). (See the Bible studies Binding And Loosing and Back To Jerusalem.)



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