The day of Pentecost commemorates God’s people receiving God’s law and His Holy Spirit. But it is also an exciting prophecy about the Church marrying Jesus Christ.
How real to you is the marriage of Jesus Christ to His Church? Is it truly as real as a physical marriage? God gave us the book of Ruth to help make it more real to us.
In fact, Ruth gives us seven steps to becoming the Bride of Christ.
Ruth means to satisfy. She is a type of God’s Church. We must learn how to satisfy God. How can we do that? The book of Ruth really spells that out and shows us how to become Christ’s Bride.
There is revelation in the book of Ruth that you really have to study to understand. You have to dig into these scriptures in order to get the entire picture and make final preparations for our marriage! Our physical marriages are really insignificant compared to this. It is the spiritual marriage God really wants us to prepare for! The firstfruits are about to marry the Son of God and there will never be another marriage like it! God says the firstfruits must really study and work to understand everything God is teaching us. This is critical!
Ruth showed us through her example how to make ourselves ready for that spectacular wedding. If you follow these seven steps, you will be part of that marriage!
When Naomi decided to return to her home in Bethlehem, she tried to convince her two daughters-in-law to remain in the land of Moab: “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find a home, each of you in the house of her husband!” (Ruth 1:8-9; Revised Standard Version). Naomi was trying to get them to count the cost, because if they had followed her and then turned away, that would have created all kinds of problems.
This is a picture of how we must not make a commitment to God lightly; He demands that each of us count the cost first (Luke 14:25-33).
At first, both daughters-in-law said they would go with her. But after Naomi insisted that they return home, Orpah decided to leave (Ruth 1:10-14).
Verse 14 concludes, “[B]ut Ruth clave unto her.” Clave is a strong word. It means to be glued together, to adhere firmly or to follow hard. The same word is used to describe how one of David’s mighty men fought so long, so hard and so valiantly in slaying Philistines that his hand “clave” to his sword (2 Samuel 23:10). Ruth clave to Naomi!
Then Ruth expressed her total commitment: “Entreat me not to leave you or to return from following you; for where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge; your people [are] my people, and your God my God; where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if even death parts me from you” (Ruth 1:16-17; rsv).
This is expressed differently in the King James Version, but realize what Ruth is saying here! Again, Naomi is a type of God’s true Church. Ruth was saying, “I’m going to cleave to you—to the point where I’m going to be buried where you are buried! Not even death will part me from you!” The only way you can really understand this is to see that Ruth had the eternal vision represented in the day of Pentecost! She was one tough, immovable lady!
One: Ruth had the vision of Pentecost
In the passage about counting the cost, Christ warned that you may have to give up your mother, your father, your sister, your brother and even your own life! (Luke 14:26). He doesn’t usually make us give up everything, but this is the attitude God says we must have if we’re going to marry Christ.
Ruth is a wonderful example for us today. When someone is baptized in God’s true Church, this is the commitment he or she makes to God. When we get baptized, we are committing to move to a new land, becoming part of a new people, following the true God. We enter a new family—a new life! When God’s ministers counsel someone for baptism, we spell this out. Every person has to realize what he or she is getting into. God doesn’t want anyone to follow who cannot keep this commitment! It must be the very depth of commitment that Ruth had!
Is this the kind of commitment we have to marriage? Well, it should be—even to physical marriage! When you get married physically, you ought to have a real commitment to that marriage, a commitment akin to this—only this is far greater.
Ruth put a lot of emphasis on this: “I know this is God’s people, and I’m not going to leave you unless I’m dead.” Do we have this kind of commitment? Do you have such absolute dedication to God that you would say, “I’m not leaving this Church, this Philadelphia Church of God, and the people of God—unless I die!” This separates us from the Laodiceans. Like Ruth, we figuratively say, Our bones are going to be with this Church forever. That was what Ruth was saying! Not even death will part me from you, the true Church of God! In other words, Even if somebody took a sword and was about to cut my head off, I still would not recant! Ruth was willing to die for God’s truth. She let it be known that not even the threat of death would stop her.
Anciently, Israel never had this commitment, even by the letter of the law. Today, most of God’s people don’t have this commitment to God. The Laodiceans are “rich and increased with goods,” living in a time of great prosperity, and some of them gave up God and this marriage for such trivial things that it is embarrassing!
Christ says you may have to give up your family in this world, but He will give you 100-fold more in the Church of God. You may even have to give up your own life—but look: You’re going to marry Jesus Christ and sit on the throne of David for all eternity! Is that worth dying for? Of course it is! But you certainly have to have a deeper understanding than what the Laodiceans have.
Look at Genesis 12:1: “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee.” Notice the order here. God expected Abram to get out of his country—that is difficult. He also wanted him to leave his kindred—his relatives. Finally God asked that he leave his “father’s house”—that’s the most difficult of all, leaving his immediate family. The commitment we are asked to make is all-encompassing.
And, as Ruth said, the commitment involves the dead as well. These people had a very strong link with their father’s house, their ancestry. Abraham and Isaac and their wives were buried in the same cave. Jacob told his children that he didn’t want to be buried in Egypt—he wanted to be in the same cave as his fathers (Genesis 47:29-31). These people were committed to their family. When the Bible talks about sleeping with their fathers, that is literal! Their bones and dust mingled in the same grave. This was very important to them.
But it goes deeper than that. Ruth told Naomi, I won’t just embrace your God, because I could turn away from that like Orpah did. But I’m telling you, I want my bones buried where your bones are buried. I’m with you totally, and not even death will separate us!
This is the kind of commitment God wants from us!
If we are going to marry Christ, what’s the difficulty in dying for Him? We must be prepared to do that—to say, in effect, God, when I die, I want my bones buried with the Church that is following and trusting you. That’s where I’ll be when I die! This is not a partial commitment—this is going all the way. This is refusing to pass up the chance to marry Christ, no matter what happens.
If we do not have this attitude, we will not make it! Even the Laodiceans who are in the Tribulation will have to stand and say, If you want to kill me, kill me! I’ll die for God! (Revelation 12:11). And they will have their bones buried with God in that sense.
This is what God wants us to glean from the book of Ruth: to see the commitment we need if we are going to marry Jesus Christ. Even facing death will not keep you away from God and His way of life. It takes a lot of study and a lot of understanding to have this level of commitment.
What a beautiful message this is, and what a vision it is to inspire us. It is worth it. After all, who are we to be marrying Jesus Christ, and be given such honor for all eternity? We are the weak and the base of the Earth, yet God is offering us this magnificent glory. Given the magnitude of our calling, isn’t God worthy of the highest commitment from us? Luke 9:62 says that if we put our hand to the plow and then look back, we are not fit for this reward! If we wonder, hesitate or reason, Well maybe it IS better back there,then we are not fit for the Kingdom! These are strong words. We must be totally, absolutely committed.
Two: Ruth was an extremely hard worker, physically and spiritually
Ruth accompanied Naomi back to Israel. “And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband’s, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz. And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter” (Ruth 2:1-2).
In order to support her mother-in-law, Ruth humbled herself to glean with the poor. She went out into the field and worked. Gleaning corn, barley or wheat is hard work, and Ruth did it conscientiously.
Ruth’s example is really wondrous to behold. She had the faith to go out and glean and do whatever needed to be done, and simply trust God to take care of them. She worked, and she worked hard—and then expected God to bless her as He said He would. And how she was blessed!
God led Ruth into the field of Boaz, a well-respected and prosperous member of a royal Jewish family, a noble prince. Boaz noticed this young woman diligently laboring away. “Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, ‘Whose maiden is this?’ And the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, ‘It is the Moabite maiden, who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab.’ She said, “Pray, let me glean and gather among the sheaves after the reapers.” So she came, and she has continued from early morning until now, without resting even for a moment’” (Ruth 2:5-7; rsv). Ruth is a phenomenal example!
This is the pivotal turning point. Here Ruth is beginning to interact with Boaz. The symbolism changes at this point in the story: Ruth begins to become the type of the true Church, because we had to leave the church we were in, and follow Jesus Christ in beginning a new Work.
The May 1981 Good News made this point: “Ruth’s labor as a gleaner in the fields of Boaz, her future husband, is full of meaning for us. What does a gleaner do? A gleaner neither sows the seed nor nurtures the crop as it matures. Both these jobs are the responsibility of the husbandman who owns the field. Thus a gleaner is, by definition, one who is allowed to share in and benefit from the enterprise of another. What a wonderful analogy!” We are working in Christ’s field, and He has allowed us to glean His precious truth. If we take advantage of it the way He wants us to, we will proceed directly to our marriage with Jesus Christ! This is everything to really strive for!
How much are you gleaning from Christ’s abundant field? God’s people have never had as much truth as we have today. How thankful are you to be in Christ’s field gleaning this wonderful truth and reaping spiritual rewards? We had better do all the gleaning we can!
Three: Ruth had a bowing-to-the-ground humility before God
Boaz instructed Ruth to remain in his field and promised she would be protected, well treated and provided for. Notice how Ruth responded: “Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?” (Ruth 2:10). In the face of being so blessed by Boaz, a type of Jesus Christ, she bowed all the way to the ground in humility.
Boaz was truly impressed by her virtuous humility! Again, “Ruth” means to satisfy, and we have to learn how to satisfy God. How do we do that?
The root word for Ruth is rafof, which means to quake. Ruth satisfied God because she quaked, or trembled, at His Word. This is what God is trying to get His Church—the future wife of Jesus Christ—to do. Isaiah 66:2 says that God looks to the man who has a contrite spirit and trembles at His Word. When you read God’s Word, do you really tremble at it the way Ruth did?
“And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore” (Ruth 2:11). You can’t very well hide the virtue that Ruth was acting on. Ruth did not self-righteously try to get noticed. But she was demonstrating tremendous character, uncommon loyalty and admirable selflessness, dedicating her life to taking care of her mother-in-law. She had left her father and mother and her native land in order to do this. People knew exactly what she was doing, and they were thoroughly impressed. They knew she was obeying God, and they told Boaz of her in full detail. He was fully aware of her.
When we live righteously, God is fully aware—and many other people are as well. If somebody is doing good work, serving the Church and Work, stepping out and taking action, he or she cannot hide that. Good works are out there where people can see them. Not that you are trying to get people to see your works, but they are going to see them in many cases. This is what happened with Ruth. She is our example.
“The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust” (verse 12). A full reward! How many more rewards could we receive? Boaz knew she would receive a full reward because she gave 100 percent to all that she did! It was amazing what this woman did, and that of course is why her example is canonized in the Bible.
Ruth committed herself not to Boaz but to the living God!
Remember, this history is recorded specifically for us. How God blesses us if we are bowing to the ground in humility! It is extremely difficult to be the kind of person who will do anything God wants you to do and who will humble yourself in any way to obey Him! But Ruth did it and set the example for us.
The following verses show that the blessings Boaz provided went far beyond what the average gleaner would find in an already reaped field. He let her eat at his own table and instructed his workers to ensure she received extra provision (verses 14-16). When you throw your heart into gleaning the corners, God will soon give you abundant blessings from the whole field!
This generous, caring, godly man was a type of Jesus Christ. This is how He looks after us and how He blesses us. We all have trials and tests, but what blessings God makes available to us when we step out in faith and commit to Him! When we have Ruth’s attitude, loyalty, work ethic and humility, God blesses us! If you think you need more blessings, Ruth’s example shows you how to receive them! Most of all, God will give you wonderful spiritual blessings: the building of the very character of God.
The greatest blessing of all is what will happen when the day of Pentecost is fulfilled! There is only one Bride who will serve on David’s throne with Christ forever! That is a full reward! God is opening up a reward to those who have an attitude like Ruth today that is so full it will never be offered to anybody else, ever! It is unparalleled in the Bible! But can we comprehend it? It is truly a challenge to God’s people to even comprehend what God is offering us—but we can if we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us. God is doing everything He can to inspire us to live our lives the way Ruth did!
When her daughter-in-law returned home, Naomi was impressed with the bounty she had gained. Upon learning that it was Boaz who had been so generous to her, she realized that God had led Ruth to a kinsman. Soon after, she gave Ruth instructions on making known to Boaz her willingness to marry him (Ruth 3:1-4).
These instructions surely would have seemed unusual to Ruth. But her response was remarkable: “All that thou sayest unto me I will do” (verse 5).
Was this an obedient lady? All you tell me, I’ll do it—every little bit! Naomi told her to do something that was quite bold. If Boaz had been like many of the evil men in the world, he could have really taken advantage of her. But Naomi knew he would not. And Ruth trusted her and knew she was telling her the truth. She was a wonderful woman who just did what Naomi told her to do. She knew that Naomi had given up her whole family to death and was still loyal to God, and she felt very secure in listening to Naomi so she could follow God.
This is a picture of the true Church having such an obedient attitude! All that you say to me I will do! As long as I’m following Christ through men who follow Him, I’ll do it! We have to follow God’s Church very carefully and closely. When there are leaders who are leading you to God, follow them. Be willing to follow. True ministers of God are trying to help you.
Notice what the Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:1-2: “Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” This is the goal of the true minister: to bring you to the point where you are a chaste virgin, ready to marry Christ. To help you take on the attitude of, All that you say unto me, I will do. God actually inspires a jealousy in His ministers, as a man is jealous over his wife. God’s people should respond by following such men.
Ruth not only said she would follow her instructions, but notice: “And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her” (Ruth 3:6).
Four: You must show God that you want to marry Christ
“And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down. And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet. And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman” (Ruth 3:7-9).
Think about Ruth’s attitude here. She was deeply serving and humble, gracious and thankful for God’s blessings. She appreciated what God was offering her, and she went after this marriage! Ruth showed Boaz that she wanted such a relationship. She really had to go after Boaz. She had to go to him and lay herself at his feet.
Realize the spiritual parallels. This does not apply to an individual; Ruth represents a whole collective body.
Ruth had to really show Boaz that she wanted to marry him! Jesus Christ wants the same from us. He says, I want you to show me how much you want to marry me! Prove it to me! The way the world views it, we are going to have to do some strange things to be the Bride of Jesus Christ.
What an important lesson Ruth teaches us! God is telling us here that we must really, really want this marriage! He wants us to show Him we want it. God wants to see how much we want it and treasure it! He wants to know how thankful we are for it! He wants us to show Him our faith in our spiritual lives. If we don’t want it, then He doesn’t want it either.
When you enter into a physical marriage, if it’s the right kind of marriage, you really want it. You yearn for the marriage. God is saying, How about my marriage to you? How much do you desire it? And how much are you willing to do to marry me and be loyal to me? Because this is the kind of wife I’m going to have, and no other.
Do we really let God or Christ know how much we love Him? We all fall short in this at times. But God says, I’m not going to have a bride that doesn’t really want the marriage! If they’re lukewarm, I’m going to spew them out of my mouth!
Surely God’s loyal people truly want this marriage. But we have to understand it more deeply all the time, to make sure we have this kind of dedication—or how can God use us to teach the world? Look what our Husband went through for us! And now He wants to know what we’ll go through for Him. You have to commit your life to this.
There are times when we have to be bold about certain things; this is what God wants in His wife. He wants her to be bold when it’s legal, lawful and right, and sometimes maybe bold in a way that would be rather shocking to other people. I’m sure this was rather shocking to Boaz while it was happening. But Ruth was quite an assertive lady in the right way.
Ruth comprehended what God was going to give her in the marriage. This makes a difference in our lives. We must get this profound truth into our minds so we comprehend it! This takes a lot of thinking about it.
Five: You must build up the house of Israel, spiritually
Boaz redeemed Ruth from another, closer kinsman, and was able to make her his wife. He said, “Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon [her deceased husband], have I purchased to be my wife …” (Ruth 4:10). Boaz purchased her! God’s people today have been bought and paid for with the highest price possible—the bloody sacrifice of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 6:20). Our lives are not our own! You don’t belong to yourself. You belong to God!
“And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The Lord make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel …” (Ruth 4:11).
Ruth was a great woman, and people all around knew it and were amazed. They recognized what a great woman she was, and they dwelled on it. They said, She can build up Israel like Rachel and Leah did!
There is something God wants us to learn here about building. We are builders! Remember, this book is specifically for the Philadelphia Church of God.
When you read about Rachel and Leah, you can see that God is talking specifically to us today. What did these two women do? Why is God talking about Rachel and Leah in this context? It is a coded message, and God has decoded it.
First think about Rachel. In Genesis 30:22-24, we read how Rachel bore Joseph. Joseph was the father of Manasseh and Ephraim. Genesis 48 records how Jacob adopted Manasseh and Ephraim in a way he did not do with his other grandsons: “The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth” (verse 16). The nations that descended from these two became the end-time, prophetic Israel, which received the birthright promises. These two nations are Britain (Ephraim) and the United States (Manasseh)!
There is a reason God brings this into the book of Ruth. Where has God headquartered His end-time Work—the only Work on Earth that is publicizing God’s message of warning and of hope for end-time Israel and for the world? In America, one of the birthright nations where God has given all these blessings—the one with the most power since Ephraim (which was at one time greater than Manasseh) faded from the scene.
This Work is trying to save as many lives as possible by warning people of the punishment to come. We are pointing people to the God of Israel, and teaching the law of God by which they can build their lives the right way. We are building the faithful members of God’s Church with instruction on building their relationship with God, building strong families, building stable congregations. This Work of God is aimed at building the house of Israel, physically and spiritually! We need to do all we can to build this Work!
Even if the nations of Israel reject this message, it will still be a strong witness against them.
Ruth 4:11 also mentions Leah. How is that prophetically significant?
Leah gave birth to Levi, who became the father of the Levites. In a pivotal end-time prophecy (Malachi 2:4-7), God uses the name Levi to point to a man who was the spiritual father of the ministry in the Worldwide Church of God—as Levi was the physical father of the Levites.
This prophetic Levitical role was fulfilled by Herbert W. Armstrong. God used Mr. Armstrong to build His ministry. Mr. Armstrong was led by God to develop a system that educated and prepared the ministers whom God was choosing. He was a spiritual father to them—He either ordained the ministers or approved their ordinations. He set the example for me and many others today.
This prophecy praises him for his godly fear. Mr. Armstrong trembled before God’s Word! God says the law of truth was in his mouth, and he turned many away from lawlessness! (verse 6). God revealed His law to him, and He established the law through this man.
We ought to seek the law at his mouth! (verse 7). He taught the law, and the ministers could go to his mouth and receive the law and the teaching of God. They could really get the truth from him. He didn’t hold back. Go to his mouth! Read his autobiography and learn about his life. See how God used him. His is another example like Ruth’s, only greater!
God calls this man His messenger to deliver the law and teach us the government of God. This is more important now than ever before, because this Levi also gave us the new stone of destiny! The stone is a type of the throne of David and of Jesus Christ Himself! To have a successful throne of David, you must have a king who will implement God’s law and administer God’s government. Now you have the throne and the law together, and that is what makes it all work! Remember, there has to be a “God of the king”! (You can read about this in my book The New Throne of David.)
Mr. Armstrong was the messenger of God, and in a sense, he brought us the new throne. God’s faithful people today are to do all we can to promote what God did through this man. We print Mr. Armstrong’s autobiography and distribute it freely. We print and freely distribute The United States and Britain in Prophecy, Mystery of the Ages and many of his other works. How precious is the knowledge that God gave us through Mr. Armstrong! We have so much to glean, so much to absorb, and it’s so wonderful! And the more we learn, the more inspired, moved and stirred we are! These are blessings God has given to us, and we want to glean all we can and share them with as many as desire it.
Yet the Laodiceans cause people to stumble at the law (verse 8). They do not teach God’s law; they have their own ideas. When you see how sick this world is and all the terrifying events unfolding before our eyes, how can the Laodiceans still trust their own wicked, evil, unstable human nature?
We have a job to do in Israel. We have to build up the spiritual house of Israel—the Church of God and the Work of God—in any way we possibly can. That is why we are here. The Bible is a book about Israel and about God’s plan to use Israel to bring salvation to the whole world! What a magnificent message, what wonderful truth, we have the opportunity to deliver!
We have to build up the house of Israel. The Church will not be great if we do not use the power of God’s Spirit, keep God’s law, and glean from the fields that Christ has given us. If we do all we can to build up this Church, people cannot help but see it. If you are out there doing everything you can to build up spiritual Israel, it will be noticed. Of course, doing that also helps physical Israel, or the end-time nations of Israel.
Six: We must declare the scepter promise and the law
Genesis 49:1 says, “And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.”Here, in the first book of the Bible, Jacob delivered end-time prophecies about his sons’ descendants.
Verse 9 says, “Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?” Well, somebody needs to rouse him up. “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come …” (verse 10).
Christ is the descendant of Judah and of David, who will come and take the scepter and rule from that throne. The scepter promise is finally fulfilled in Jesus Christ Himself—the ultimate royalty!
But there is yet another way the book of Ruth is specifically prophetic for the pcg today: The mention of Judah’s mother, Leah (Ruth 4:11), points us to the change in the line of kings from David on down to the modern-day United Kingdom—to the throne being moved to God’s own Church today. We have the throne during this last leg just before Jesus Christ returns to Earth. God wants the throne to be spiritually more pure than what it has been, because after all, Christ is coming! Can you imagine Him taking the throne from carnal-minded people who don’t even know what it’s about and don’t know anything about Him? He has to have people here who understand the new throne and new stone, so they can easily relate to Him once they start ruling. The saints who are here when Jesus Christ returns have the new stone and the new throne. We have the wonderful law that Mr. Armstrong taught, and the government to make sure that law is taught properly.
Realize this: We are going to have a lot to teach even the prophets and apostles! We have a lot of truth God has given us that they never heard! Having this stone and throne is an awesome responsibility! God is going to begin to convert the entire world—everybody who has ever lived! That is what the scepter is really about! What a wonderful plan!
The reference to Rachel and Leah is really about the new stone and the new throne. This is all a coded message, and it is specifically for us today. The Church is going to marry Christ, and we will help Him teach the law. This all leads directly into our marriage to the Messiah! What a wonderful, thrilling journey this has to be for anybody who really sees what is going on!
The birthright promise does not offer us salvation. But the scepter promise does! God gave Abraham a promise of race (that his descendants would become physically great nations) and a promise of grace (that all human beings would be blessed through one of his descendants, Jesus Christ). But soon, the promise of grace will be fulfilled for the whole world! It is going to save most of mankind! How? Through the scepter and the law taught by Jesus Christ from David’s throne. We should not recoil from God’s law, which will bring us real freedom and peace: It’s the law of love, joy, happiness and fulfillment!
Ruth is a book about royalty—royalty greater than has ever been. This royalty will be right beside Jesus Christ, ruling from Jerusalem headquarters forever. This is the most majestic royalty there ever will be for human beings!
“So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bare a son” (Ruth 4:13). Who was that son? “[T]hey called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David” (verse 17). He was the grandfather of King David!
The book of Ruth closes by emphasizing this point: “And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David” (verses 21-22). Ruth’s marriage set the stage for the establishment of the house of David and all the kings who descended from him, culminating in the King of kings, the Messiah, who is about to return!
Realize the significance here. In a book that contains this glorious vision about the marriage of Christ and the Church, it ends by focusing not on that marriage, as you would expect. It zeroes in on the lineage down to David. Why is that? Commentaries say it is a mystery. That is true: It is a mystery—to everyone outside the one Church that has the key to the house of David!
When you have this key, then whatever portion of the story you are looking at, you see the whole picture. Without this key, it is impossible to recognize the right context. People read Ruth and see only a small slice of the story. They cannot recognize where it begins and ends. But to this last era of the true Church, God provided this marvelous key that opens up wonderful understanding! We see details that even Mr. Armstrong was not given to see. You can see why God would want to give that key to us, I think, because we see the ending of the book of Ruth. This key opens up everything! (Isaiah 22:22).
God’s people today are going to sit on the throne with Jesus Christ and rule the world with Him as His Bride! God is really giving us some special opportunities, just like He did for Ruth when she was out there gleaning in the fields.
You cannot unlock the full meaning of the book of Ruth without the key of the house of David. It is really a royal key and a wonderful opportunity, because it’s all about our marriage to Jesus Christ! This is the key of the house of David, and spiritually, we are of the house of David! This is the hope of the whole world!
Seven: We are here to serve the world
Obed means serve. Christ told the disciples, “[W]hosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant” (Matthew 20:27). We are here to serve the entire world!
This is what Mr. Armstrong was trying to get the Laodiceans to see! But they were too selfish and wrapped up in themselves to see what God was doing. Mr. Armstrong had such a battle trying to get them to understand that we are not here just to get ourselves saved. We are here to get ready to teach the world, serve the world, and give our lives to the world! Yes, we will lead them as God directs us, but we are going to serve them because we love them. This is God’s Family, and the one who will serve them most of all will be God the Father.
We are going to help God teach the whole world—and then, teach all those who have ever lived—and then, go on out into the universe and build and build! We will build up Israel and build up the universe as God rules us with His law of love!
This is what Pentecost is all about: It’s about giving yourself, giving to the world—even dying for the world if you have to—giving everything you have to God to get this Work done! This is what we will be doing forever from the very throne of David as the Bride of Jesus Christ. Then after the Millennium and the Last Great Day, we will go on to serve in the universe for all eternity—forever and ever and ever!