And the Two Shall Be One
by Mark Toohey
There is a great and profound mystery at work in the earth today; so great a mystery that it was first initiated in Eden's long ago garden and secured by a covenant of death. This ponderous mystery is a product of heaven itself, born out of the incomprehensible wisdom of God, and imparted unto man wholly by His grace; and yet this mystery is known unto all. Multitudes of men and women partake of its sublime reality every day of their lives, unaware of the magnitude of its portent. It is trampled under foot, mocked, and discarded as much as it is revered, cherished, and made sacred by those who have given themselves to it. In the realm of spirit it is the revelation of the highest calling of God upon the life of a man or woman, yet in the natural it is as common as the rain. And it took no less than an apostle of some notoriety to unveil its secret:
"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" (Eph. 5:31,32). The marriage of a man and a woman is, indeed, the greatest of mysteries, for it is, in reality, the unveiling of God's purpose unto humanity in this age the completion of THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST. Few who have repeated their vows and exchanged their rings have even the slightest sense of the immensity of their actions; yet the continuous repetition of that ceremony the world over, in every nation and every culture, gives perpetual testimony to the work and purpose of God in bringing humankind into oneness with Himself. Even the most unregenerate of men unwittingly bear testimony to the surety of God's word with the pronouncement, "I do." And while marriage may at best be a lifelong commitment to love, honor, and obey until death do we part for the average couple, it is for those of His calling nothing less than an open door to the heavenlies. It is among the most blessed opportunities that a man or woman will ever be afforded to ascend to the high realm of spirit and to enter in to the fullness of the reality of Christ which they so earnestly seek.
Here, in the union of a man and a woman, we see portrayed in the natural the higher spiritual marriage of Christ and the church, the sanctification of His most precious bride. The marriage relationship is the very exemplification of our own personal relationship with the Lord, the union of spirit by which we are begotten of Him and brought to the fulness of redemption. It is in the daily outworking of love's commitment that we experience the subduing and overcoming of the carnal man by the inner man of spirit, until both spirit and soul are wed in blessed harmony, a new creation in Christ Jesus. It is upon the proving grounds of marriage that we become schooled in that elusive unconditional love of God until we become that very nature of love for all the world to behold. Here we shall surely encounter the beast, the serpent of old, and become skilled in the mastery and dominion of the spirit over that ancient adversary. We will learn of death and partake of its sting; and having died, we will know the reality and power of a resurrected life. We will know the laying down of our lives, the emptying of ourselves, the bearing of the cross, and the discovery of an entirely new life not our own. In the procreation of that one flesh shall we see the revelation of the man child, the manifestation of the Son, brought to the birth. We shall know the Father's heart, His tender mercies, His unending grace, His corrective judgments. The simple format of marriage is one of the most effective avenues to spiritual maturity, one of the highest forms of spiritual instruction and understanding of which a mortal may partake.