This is why the oneness of the Body of Christ is so essential. And it is the High Priestly prayer of the Son: "The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one;” John 17:22 The consummation (or culmination) of the ages - that is the full revelation of Him who was and is and is to come - shall not be made manifest until this prayer is fully realized in the earth. This is the true evangelical message - the gospel - and nothing short of it can make this claim. “That they all may be one, as thou, O Father, art in me, and I in thee: even that they may be also one in us, that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” John 17:21 GNV I heard someone say once, “Christ will appear in His church before He appears for her.”
Once again, Christ did not come to be our personal savior - “From heaven He came and sought her...To be His holy bride; With His own blood He bought her And for her life He died.” “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 5:27 He will present her to Himself - the One who is the Alpha and Omega; the Beginning and the End; the Author and Perfecter - He will accomplish this to the praise of His glory. And at the consummation: "Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready." Revelation 19:7
Charles Spurgeon elucidates: The Saviour who will keep His people to the end, will also present them at last to Himself, as "a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but holy and without blemish." All the jewels in the Saviour's crown are of the first water and without a single flaw. All the maids of honour who attend the Lamb's wife are pure virgins without spot or stain.
Through His Divine intercession - “because he always lives to intercede for them” - He will bring His Church into likeness with Him and He will adorn her for her wedding day: “It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” Revelation 19:8 How dear to the heart of the Father must be the petition of His Son: “I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours;” John 17:9
It is only the bride who can take her husband’s name...only the bride can fully represent him. “And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:22-23 And it has been said that Christ will return for a bride and not a harem.
Matthew Henry comments on Zechariah 4:6: “God brings to pass his gracious purposes concerning his church, without any art or labour of man; sometimes he makes use of his instruments, yet he needs them not. This represented the abundance of Divine grace, for the enlightening and making holy the ministers and members of the church, and which cannot be procured or prevented by any human power.”
Mid toil and tribulation,
and tumult of her war,
she waits the consummation
of peace forevermore;
till, with the vision glorious,
her longing eyes are blest,
and the great church victorious
shall be the church at rest.