It was a rather strange thought that woke me up one morning early last year. I heard Holy Spirit say, “the woman caught in adultery”. I spent a few hours going down trails with Him in the Word, amazed at what He was revealing to me by His Spirit about Jesus and this woman. I tucked my scribblings away, knowing it was not yet time to release them. The Lord prompted me to release this revelation last weekend at a church in Maysville, Kentucky. I believe this word is not only for that region, but it is a word for the body of Christ. I truly believe the hour upon us as the bride of Christ is one of self introspection and purification, and that Jesus desires His bride to be known by a different drink.
In John 8, we find that Jesus is teaching in the temple when some of the religious leaders bring before Him a woman accused of adultery. Instead of failing their test to break the Law of Moses, Jesus fulfilled the Law by what followed. His response had me puzzled for quite some time, at least until the day Holy Spirit woke me up, nudging me to investigate this account.
Jesus responded to the religious leaders by writing with His finger in the dust of the temple floor. I have heard many speculations as to what Jesus was writing that day on the temple floor, but what I discovered next in the Old Testament painted a picture for me on a different canvas of my understanding, and I saw a prophetic masterpiece crafted for the bride of Christ.
The cup of bitterness
The Lord led me to Numbers 5:16-31. This passage was the test when a woman was suspected of adultery, or if the husband was jealous over the wife while bringing accusations of adultery. When the woman was brought before the High priest, the priest took holy water, also known as living water, into an earthen vessel. He then proceeded to take dust from the floor of the tabernacle, and He placed it into the water. The priest wrote a curse or an oath in a book, and he washed the written curse with the water. The woman then had to drink this cup of bitterness containing the living water, the dust of the floor, and the word curse. Time would tell if she was guilty as she would be left barren. If she were innocent, she would conceive children.
In that moment, the parallel hit me. Jesus, the High priest, was standing in the temple as the woman was set before Him, charged with the sin of adultery. He was not only the High priest, but He was the earthen vessel containing holy water. It was no coincidence that prior to this account, Jesus declares that those who are thirsty should come and drink, and out of them would flow rivers of Living water. (John 7:37-39)
As Jesus bent down to the temple floor, He completed the process found in Numbers 5. The Word made flesh became every element found in the test for adultery, and instead of washing a curse with the water, He brought cleansing by the washing of water with the Word. (Ephesians 5:26) He gave her a cup of redemption instead of a cup of bitterness. In one moment, as she was set before the Lord, she encountered forgiveness from the barrenness of sin, and she was given a chance to be fruitful for His glory.
Jesus did not destroy the Law, but He fulfilled the Law in that moment with this woman. He did not condemn her, but He redeemed her. Jesus has this way of offending our sensibilities. What is deemed unclean and untouchable under the Law is made whole by one touch from Christ. It happened time and again with lepers and a bleeding woman, and He was doing it again. He fulfilled the Law by displaying redemption through another covenant, a better covenant.
Redemption for His bride
I have been thinking about this revelation for quite some time, and what God would have me to say. I truly believe that the bride of Christ is entering a time of purification and cleansing. I say this not to bring condemnation, but to bring truth. The spirit of religion has brought charges against the bride for adultery against her Husband. If we were to be truthful, we all have committed adultery before the Lord at one time or another. Idolatry is consistently linked to adultery in the Old Testament, and idolatry has been prevalent in the body in some capacity. Whatever has our affection has our worship, and that is idolatrous in nature. There is a call to surrender to cleansing and to fidelity.
The other side of this is the cup of bitterness that the church has drank for too long, resulting in spiritual barrenness. Religion is sterile in every sense of the word. There is no intimacy in religion, and a lack of fruit proves it. Those who have been forgiven much love much. When we drink of bitterness, we forsake redemption, and we look for a reckoning. Jesus does not want bitter water mingled with fresh water. He wants us overflowing with His Living water to where we spill out and offer redemption to others we come in contact, and that only comes with unbroken intimacy with Christ.
Though we as the church have rightful charges and accusations brought against us, there is redemption when we take our place hidden in Jesus. When we operate in a pure state, our character can keep us where His prophetic declarations desire to take us. He wants us to be known by a different drink. He chooses to offend the religious with redemption, and redemption comes when we hearken to the words, “Go and sin no more”. He wants to purge the bitter waters from our midst, waters that contaminate the pure flow. He wants us fruitful for His glory. He desires us to be faithful and unwavering in our fidelity to Him. May we be found as faithful to Him as He is to us.