For at least six thousand years God has had his idea of what the Pentecostal Church should be. From the time he first viewed the wreck and ruin of the race, wrought by that miracle of hell, sin, he knew what was possible for Him to bring out of the debris. Just as a sculptor, before ever he touches the marble with chisel or mallet, has a clear conception of his statue; just as a painter sees his picture long before the brush begins to transform the face of the canvas; just as the architect conceives of his building in his mind, while as yet not a line has been drawn nor a stroke of work accomplished; so God saw from the first the possibilities of grace in the Church, the Bride, the Lamb’s wife.
Every pure and true man has his idea of what he desires to find in the woman who is to be his wife. Like the needle to the pole, her heart must be true to her husband. She must not flirt with other men nor cast adulterous glances at old lovers. Separated from all others, she must be loyal to him. No noble man will ever bear to the old homestead, to father and mother and loved ones, a wife whom he even suspicions as unworthy. She must not only be pure and true herself, but she must be capable of entering fully into the secrets of his life, of sharing his sorrows as well as his joys, of sympathizing with him, both in his sufferings and in his triumphs.
So Christ had his idea of what he would like to have as a bride. He has most emphatically expressed his wishes concerning the character of the wife who is to be his companion throughout eternity. Splendid preparations are now being made for the celebration of the nuptials; and she, whom the spotless Christ bears on his arm into the royal halls of glory, must fill his idea.
If we can know God’s opinion, if we can find out his thought concerning any matter, it is of no consequence to us what churches think or what creeds say. It makes no difference about the jargon of the schools. From the “Thus saith the Lord” there can be no appeal. God has not left us in the dark as to what his thought for the church is. He has taken every pains to give us a clear understanding of Christ’s wishes and desires in the matter; and whatever Christ has desired to see in his church, his bride, is made gloriously attainable and possible through the power of the cross.
In the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles we find plainly enunciated the characteristics of the “Ideal Pentecostal Church.” May the dear Holy Spirit anoint our eyes to seethe truth as it is set forth in this Scripture.