The Bride of Christ
This Bible study goes over the main scriptures connected to the bride of Christ and explaining who she is. There are several points surrounding the body of Christ, the church, that support the overall view of end-time events as well and label for us the general timing of the brideís catching away to the marriage of the Lamb. This study is my attempt to put together all relevant scriptures pertaining to the bride.
Who is the bride of Christ?
I believe The church is the bride of Christ. We are the bride-to-be now waiting for the Bridegroomís return. I just have a hard time getting past the obvious parallel connection made between Christ (head) and the church (body) and the husband and wife. Here it is in context:
In Ephesians 5:15-32 above, we see a relationship between husbands and wives laid out:
This is our marriage where we become one with Christ. There is also this kingdom of heaven parable that is very similar to ancient Jewish wedding custom. A good look at Jewish wedding tradition and how it relates to our relationship with Yeshua and prophecy can be found in the book Lost In Translation: Rediscovering the Hebrew Roots of Our Faith.
And in Matthew 25:1-13 we see the relationship of virgins waiting for the bridegroom to come. Half of the virgins are foolish and have let their oil run out over the night. When they are called to go out and meet the bridegroom, they donít have oil meaning they donít have light, which means they canít see and therefore donít go out to the bridegroom. They donít try to get oil until after itís too late to get the oil, Christ is the only way to receive this oil. Hebrews 1:9 I believe the oil represents the Holy Spirit Then we see those five virgins that did have oil go with the bridegroom to the marriage and the door shut. This is a kingdom parable meant to show how the kingdom of heaven comes.
I think this is the picture of the end-times church. There are some who really love God and there are some that are too content without Him to have much to do with Him. What does it mean to love God? John 15:10-15 says that to love God is to obey His commandments, the Shadows of Love. Obedience to His Word, which leads to imitating Christ, brings the Holy Spirit to bring to remembrance what He commanded from His Word, the Bible. 1 Corinthians 8:3 says, ďBut if any man love God, the same is known of him.Ē Those who love God know Him because they know His Word. Through prayer we communicate and listen to the still, small voice. It is not just us who do the talking. When you understand how thought is the voice of the spirit realm, communication becomes easier to comprehend, but we must take time to communicate -- pray in stillness meditating on His Word and taking in who He is in communion with Him.
When you understand the customs, the parallels to the harpazo are pretty amazing. But does the Bible tell us who the bride of Christ is? I sure believe it does...
Christ is the head, and we are the body of Christ. We see this relationship of husband and wife incorporated with the union of the head (Christ) and body (church). This doesnít mean if you go to church, youíre part of the bride of Christ. Only those who worship Yeshua in Spirit and Truth as their personal Savior are the bride. They are filled with the Holy Spirit, being the oil in the lamps. They are the ones called out in the parable of the 10 virgins. According to the parable, 50% of those who consider themselves to be the bride donít have the oil and will have the door shut on them. Matthew 25:1-13
This shouldnít scare you if you love Jesus. The Bible says we love Him because He first loved us. I lived in fear much of my life because I hadnít read the details for myself from the Bible. I had no understanding with which to stand against the lies with so I accepted some of them. We have a sword though, God did not leave us defenseless.
If you believe that is true, then nothing Satan says can change it. Rebuke that spirit in the name of Yeshua! The Bible says that God dwells in you and perfect love casts out fear. God is our strength and He has not left us in darkness! Your love for Him and obedience to Him make you the bride and nothing can take that away except you yourself withdrawing from Him. The Holy Spirit fills a true believer who sets their sights on Yeshua. They are obedient and believe the Word, by faith they are saved through the grace of God.
I believe there is a reason we are told to watch for His coming. We should all as Christians understand the importance of watching according to Godís Word.
Ref: TrueLight Ministries
There are some who believe that New Jerusalem is the bride of Christ based on these passages:
If John is viewing all of the bride and the bride resides in New Jerusalem, then seeing the bride, the Lambís wife as a whole would be to view them through the crystal clear New Jerusalem adorned as a bride for her husband.
In addition, Malachi associates them that fear the Lord and think upon His name with jewels. To me it seems that when John is shown the Lambís wife and sees New Jerusalem, the bride of Christ together dwelling in New Jerusalem are what is seen. I donít think it fits Biblically that New Jerusalem itself is the bride given the rest of this page.
Is there a medium in this study that falls in line with Truth? As I mentioned before, some think the bride is New Jerusalem, and others look at Christians as the bride of Christ. Iíd like to point out a couple of things.
First, in Revelation 21:1-2 New Jerusalem is seen by John ďprepared as a bride adorned for her husband.Ē I would like to point out the word ďasĒ which shows a relation without stating that New Jerusalem is the bride. Also that New Jerusalem is a city. Is Christ marrying a city?
The 12 gates of New Jerusalem mirror the 12 tribes Revelation 21:12 and the 12 foundations of it are named after the 12 disciples Revelation 21:14. This means New Jerusalem is designed around the people who founded Godís people and represented God on the earth. These are all they who lived by faith. Why would the bride have parts of her named after these things? Wouldnít the bride be the center? You donít create a city that you marry thatís named after the ones you love, you marry the ones you love and name cities after them.
This brings me to the second question. What is Godís most precious creation? All of history is played out for the benefit of redemption of humans to God. All other things will pass away except those who love God. Marriage, in my mind, is based on love and thatís what God is. He so loved us that He sent His only begotten Son to die for us. Do you marry a city or do you marry those created in your image, such that marriage is the joining of two into one. We have Christ in us when we place ourselves in Him by giving our lives to Him. So is the bride a city, or those people that love God?
I believe the convergence of these two is the answer. God loved us so much that He sent His Son who willingly died so we could live. When we accept that, He sends His Holy Spirit, the comforter, to be with us while He is preparing His Fatherís house with many mansions for when He comes back for us.
He loves us so much and names the city gates of New Jerusalem after the 12 tribes of Israel, who were responsible for Godís Word being available to us. It was through the Jews that salvation came, and itís through the gates named after them we must enter the city through.
By the way, the Jews can be grafted back onto the root, just as all Gentiles who have accepted Christ have been, and therefore be part of the church. (Romans 11) They just need to accept Christ as their Meshiach Nagid. All who accept Christís sacrifice on the cross for their sins and obey His Word are part of the church, regardless of where they go to church. The true believer will not be caught in lies though, because their Bible is the foundation of all their beliefs, not what other people say. In Christ there is no Jew or Gentile, but we are all one in Christ.
The 12 disciples were the foundation for salvation being spread across the whole earth. So too are their names written on the foundations of the city of New Jerusalem, symbolic for the body. In this way, the beloved part of Godís creation who obey His voice and love Him with all their hearts reside in the Fatherís house with many mansions. When New Jerusalem is adorned as a bride for her husband, it symbolizes the completed body, Christ the head (cornerstone) and we the body joined in marriage to one. It is the habitation of God, Christ, and all that are His, and apparently the only place that isnít destroyed before the new heavens and new earth. So it makes sense that New Jerusalem the city in which the bride resides would descend out of heaven AS a bride adorned for her husband and indeed represents the purpose of Godís creation who reside inside of it with Him.
Christians are also called, as the church, the body of Christ. We are linked to the idea of being the body and Christ the head many times through scripture. Indeed, the communion we take as believers is a symbol of that and the marriage is when we are no longer two anymore, but married to Christ, one with Him. This is represented, I believe by New Jerusalem, a 1,500 mile cubed pyramid, with Christ represented in the capstone (chief cornerstone) and the body of the pyramid below it. Here are some more scriptures linking the church/body/bride under the Chief Cornerstone (Capstone)/Head/Groom.
There is reason that this theory of the pyramid may be incorrect...
Is this ďsquareĒ talking about the whole shape? Or by saying the city ďlieth foursquareĒ does it mean that the base of it is a square? To be honest, I donít know, but the information Iíve shared leads me to just present what Iíve found and make it clear that I donít feel this is something we can know for sure and it really doesnít matter that much anyway. I found The Great Pyramid-Lost Legend of Enoch to lay out a very interesting possible connection to this theory. So continuing on...
Here we see several groups of people mentioned.
The mother is the one whom the Lord is not betrothed to because of her whoredom.
The only reconciliation I can see now with my current understanding of the bride of Christ is if this is speaking specifically to particular individuals out of Israel who find Christ before the harpazo. This canít be after the harpazo because the marriage of the Lamb is before Christ returns in glory. Revelation 19:7-14 I think this is verified by the first 13 verses of Hosea 2. Keep in mind that within a people there are both believing and unbelieving. For instance, not all Christians live their lives as Christians are supposed to and therefore are not truly Christians because they donít live by faith. This is shown Biblically in the kingdom parable of Matthew 25:1-13, where five of the ten virgins have the door to heaven closed on them. Those who do not have the door shut on them are the bride of Christ, comprised of Jews and Gentiles. They are also called the just.
Who are the just? The answer is those who live by faith in Christ, or Christians, Jew and Gentile. However to be clear, national Israel is yet blinded, Luke 19:41-44 and Romans 11, until the fullness of the Gentiles. Romans 11:25 So the majority of Jews will not accept Christ until after the harpazo.
What is faith then?
Nobody alive has seen Yeshua, yet we believe He is God. That is faith. Our faith is built upon belief in the Bible. Our belief in Christ, whom the Bible is all about Revelation 19:10, is the evidence of what we canít see. Faith is what we cling to because it is promised to be connected to our salvation, which is what we all hope for. So the just are those who accept Christís sacrifice for our sins and we repent for them. Thatís what He died on the cross for. They arenít just in themselves, but only through believing in Christ.
The Harpazo Tie-In
Now the marriage aspect is limited by certain time constraints because the marriage of the Lamb Revelation 19:7,8 happens before Christ returns in glory. Revelation 19:11-14 Therefore, our harpazo to the marriage of the Lamb must happen before Christ returns in glory if we are to even attend our own marriage. Since we also are not appointed to Godís wrath 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 which is coming on the children of disobedience Ephesians 5:1-7 dwelling on the earth, we must be removed from the earth before it comes. Godís wrath starts before He returns in glory, in fact, according to scripture, the sixth seal comes before the day of the Lord (Joel 2:31) and the day of the Lord is the beginning of Godís wrath as also laid out in Isaiah 13:9-13. So there must be a catching away spoken of in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 before that point. For more detail on the harpazo, visit here.
This brings me to an aspect to our gathering to the Lord Iíve noticed in a couple of passages that seems to attach the importance of watching to being caught up.
This is just one of the many watch scriptures that seem to attach watching with not being caught off guard regarding Christís coming. We donít know the day or hour of that coming, but we are also not in darkness regarding it either. So the medium point seems to be that weíll know just about everything as the day gets closer except the day or hour of this time. This is what I have found in my study of Bible prophecy, that God has not left us in darkness regarding the coming times.
The key is to think in terms of the Bible and not the 21st century. There are so many opinions of scripture that confuse what it actually says so there is division and some just give up worrying about it. This is why I started from scratch taking the Bible for what it says and interpreting what is symbology with scripture.
In doing so, many foundational points became clear without which none of Bible prophecy would fit or make sense. First and foremost was the belief stated above that God means what He says. This destroyed the replacement theology deception that skews many peoplesí view of Bible prophecy among many other issues.
Iíve found that the more I study Bible prophecy, the more I see that Yeshua truly IS the Word, and all that the prophets wrote was focused on Him. The more I recognized Israel when God spoke of her, the more clearly I saw that events of the end would focus around her. To study Bible prophecy accurately requires a love of Godís Word and deep respect for it as written. It also forces one to learn the whole council of God.
To me, this shows a true love for God and our Bridegroom Yeshua. Many people out there have no idea what Godís Word says. One important thing is that if we love God, we will obey Him and keep His commandments. If we donít know what He said or what His commandments were, how can we obey? If we arenít really interested in obeying, conforming our mind to that of Christ, how much love does that show for Him?
The bride of Christ is a group of people who love God, His ways, and His Word. Not everyone who says they are Christians obey His Word, and not everyone that says they are a Christian will enter the kingdom of heaven, even some who cast out demons in His name! The parable of the 10 virgins shows that half of those who were waiting for the Bridegroom (Christians) are shut out of the door because they have no oil to light their lamps. The Holy Spirit is that oil, without which there is no flame and no light. We only receive the Holy Spirit through Christ. Some ďChristiansĒ just arenít interested in acquiring said oil because they are content where they are...in the world.
Now Iím not judging anyone without placing myself at the top of the list because the majority of my life was spent in the world and focused on it over God. I changed my mind though (repent is 2 words in Greek, change mind), and God has been faithful to answer my prayers for understanding regarding His plans, not my wishes or vain imaginations. Again it boiled down to taking God at His Word, the Bible. Which again points back to Christ and Godís plan for our future and layout of Godís dealing in Israelís past in the world.
Christís blood covers our sins, but if He doesnít know us, we will not enter the kingdom of heaven. How does He ďknowĒ us? Associating this to our relationships with each other, can we say we know someone if we never communicate with them? Of course God knows our innermost thoughts. I believe the thrust behind Christ saying He doesnít know someone is to point out to them that they never made an effort to communicate with Him. Todayís world is hustle-bustle and nobody has time anymore it seems. How many Christians take time out of the world to make time for Yeshua? I have no idea, but my best guess would be about 50%. Itís a struggle for believers more in this generation than probably any other in history.
This is not advocating ďworks,Ē but rather recognizing relationship and unity in Godís Word and obeying and following that Word. The blood of Christ is all we need to cover our sins, but true relationship with Christ begins right now and continues for eternity!
I think much of this is brought on by a lack of understanding, which is how Godís people perish. I believe that lack of knowledge has been the result of millennia of Satanís attacks on Godís Word and the continuation of the Babylonian system in itís myriad of forms. See History of the Mystery of Iniquity.
This is where the church must speak up, repent, and obey Godís Word. I think much of the church is asleep because the Word of God is not central to them. I know for me, I grew up in the world without understanding the spiritual influences of that world and much of my own selfish desires mixed in, a deadly combination without Christ. I never tried to outright disobey Godís Word, but I never really studied it either. How do we obey what He said if we arenít sure what He said?
I believe the bride of Christ is starting to wake up now and as prophecy is fulfilled more will recognize the signs of the times. At the same time, the Bible is clear that in the end there is a falling away from God, one of the prerequisites to our gathering to Him. The key is to have the Word of God as our foundation in these coming times because deception is one of the main warnings of the end times. Many will be deceived and teachers will tickle the ears of those looking for a belief system that will fit their desires rather than the Truth. So as the bride of Christ, let us be girded about with the Truth of Godís Word and prepared with understanding of what God says is coming so that we can see through the deceptions and be a light in the darkness that is prophesied to take over the world.
What is the difference between the bride of Christ and the rest of those saved and going to heaven?
If we are sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, then would this still apply when faith is no longer required?
During the millennium, will there be faith in Christ Jesus? He will be dwelling on the earth among us as the Meshiach Nagid, having taken the kingdoms of the earth to rule with a rod of iron. This will be after the marriage of the Lamb. Revelation 19:7,8 So if faith is the evidence of things not seen, can there be faith when Christ is seen and known throughout all of the world? Everyone will be required to travel to Jerusalem to worship Him.
People will still have to accept Christ when He dwells among us, but this will be after the bride of Christ is married to Him. This doesnít mean that nobody else will go to heaven and we must put on our immortal bodies for that, which are what the fallen angels disrobed from to come to earth in Genesis 6:1-8 according to Jude 1:5-7.
The term ďsons of GodĒ refers to direct creations of God, which we will be when given our new incorruptible bodies. In the case of Genesis 6, they were the fallen angels. Angels are directly created by God while humans are born of their mothers and fathers. Through faith in Christ now, we are born again. We are already born again now in the spirit, but we are awaiting our bridegroom to come back for us to consummate the relationship and give us our new bodies, which are direct creations of God. Then our spirit will reside in these new temples, one with Christ as two become one in marriage.
So more than just the bride will be ďsons of God,Ē but I believe the distinction between ďthe redeemed that comes out of the millennium and the redeemed of todayĒ is that the redeemed today are the bride of Christ and the redeemed from the millennium are not, even though they are saved by accepting the atoning sacrifice of Christ. The bride of Christ is differentiated by those who live by faith. That state canít happen during the time when faith is not required because what is real is evident and apparent among us.
would like to first direct you to a book I just found,
In Translation: Rediscovering the Hebrew Roots of our Faith,
which goes into this topic in greater detail regarding the Hebrew
marriage customs and the parallels in scripture regarding the bride
of Christ. Moreover it clarifies the responsibility of the bride to
accept a series of covenants as in the marriage tradition that show
the brideís desire to complete the marriage. The page linked above
are some excerpts from this book which
you can purchase at Amazon for $10.87. I highly recommend this
book to expand greatly on the ideas expressed above.
Be not overcome
of evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21
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