The Bride of Christ Revealed – Part 3 God’s Definition of a Woman
(Ver 1.2) This is now Part 3 in the series of lessons on “The Bride of Christ Revealed”. In my last lesson, I spoke about the identity of the Bridegroom and established several great scripture verses that taught us that Jesus Christ is the Groom that is getting married. We have learned that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh and that He is marrying a wife. We understand that a wife is always a woman. These are just some of the basics and today I want to explore the subject of what is a woman in the eyes of God in more depth. This will involve getting God’s definition of the subject which will change how we think about it. Most of the time in my Bible studies, I have found that God’s definitions do not normally match what we think the definition of the subject is. This is mainly because God is a Spirit and His ways are higher than our ways and we know the natural realm more than the spiritual realm normally. If you have not been reading this series from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you go back and start with Part 1, The Introduction.
Today’s subject ought to be fun. What does the Bible say a woman is? Most people have studied the book of Genesis and found out where the first woman came from. But, this woman Eve, was Adam’s natural wife and while she fits a pattern for God’s point of view, she is just a small example of what God considers to be a woman. Since this series of blogs is about the identity of the Bride of Christ we must figure out if the church qualifies as being a candidate. So, now we are ready to get past the basic introduction of the bride and the bridegroom and get into a brief explanation of what God says a woman is. One of the greatest errors that people make is coming up with human definitions for spiritual realities. Too many times a preacher will teach the Bible and not consult God, or even attempt to get God’s definition on the subject they are teaching. Hopefully you can understand how foolish this is. God has designed the Bible in a way that it interprets itself. As a part of this process, God also gives us spiritual definitions and descriptions on every conceivable subject. If the church is a woman and the bride of Christ this certainly will be relevant information and very important to know. I think sometimes people look at a subject and think they already have it all figured out before they hear anything that is about to be said. I’m sure this will be no different today. I will warn you again that I do not follow traditional teaching, I simply go into the Bible and find out what it says and teach what God shows me and most of the time this does not match what you learn in any seminary. I certainly realize that everything that I am about to say will probably be different than anything that you currently expect me to say. But that does not mean what I am about to say is not in the Bible, it just means you haven’t seen it before. Keep your eyes open and look for yourself.
Today I want to start with the second reason why ministers say the church is not the bride of Christ and go to the book of Revelation and see what we can learn on the subject of what God thinks a woman is, in the Bible? So let’s turn to the book of Revelation in the 21st chapter and start to read with verse 2:
Rev 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Reading this verse is very informative and it is very important to understand for many reasons. Some Bible teachers have read this chapter and concluded that here is the bride of Christ. They are usually thinking in natural terms and not spiritual terms when they see it. Of course with their natural reasoning, if the church is the body of Christ, they also conclude here is the church’s bride. They have raised the church in their mind to be the groom. But because they do not yet understand the scriptures they have jumped to an incorrect conclusion. What does this verse actually say and reveal to us? Let’s look at the verse and just simply see what it says. Verse 2 says that John saw a holy city coming down out of heaven from God and it calls her by name the “New Jerusalem”. That is a very interesting revelation right there and I could say several things about those words. The first thing we should realize is these are all symbolic references in this verse. If you do not understand what symbolism is you should go study how God uses symbolism from cover to cover and understand that the book of Revelation is almost all symbolic references to spiritual truths. Otherwise, for now let’s just at least try to agree on this, there is a symbolic woman coming down out of heaven, she is called a holy city, she came from God and her name is the “New Jerusalem”. Finally, it also says she is adorned or dressed for her husband. Of course this is still all symbolism and purely figurative language since we have already discovered that this woman is said to be a symbolic city and not a natural physical woman at all. The implication is given that this woman is dressed as a bride adorned for her husband. Here is where many preachers get the wedding gown picture fixed in their minds, but that is not what it says. I hope you can agree with those few statements that I just made about this first verse that describes this bride. Let’s look at the next verse to see what God says immediately following these descriptive terms about this woman:
Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Wow, did God change the subject or did someone just misunderstand what He just said? You see clearly within the context of a woman, the bride, a city being spoken of, God immediately starts talking about a group of people being the temple of God. He calls this city the “tabernacle of God” within the context that this tabernacle is a group of people. You can clearly see the implied meaning of the symbolic city as being a group of people who God indwells spiritually. This is so significant that I cannot even begin tell you. We will certainly explore what we have just learned later in much more depth. But, let us skip down a few verses and go on to the next direct mention of the bride in this chapter in verses 9 and 10:
Rev 21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
Rev 21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
We will not go word for word through these 2 verses, because they basically say the same things that we just read in verse 2. In verse 9, we do see the clear reference to the “Lamb of God” as being the Bridegroom. You should remember that the Lamb refers to Jesus Christ (John 1:29, John 1:36). Therefore, we have just identified again who the husband is. I’m going to stop right there and ask you this question again and maybe you can answer it because I haven’t been able to yet, “have you ever heard or read any scripture that says the church is the Lamb”? I haven’t seen any scriptures that say the church is the sacrificial lamb that takes away the sin of the world? So are we “The” Lamb? This city is called the bride of the Lamb, not the bride of Christ? You can see that there are significant differences between those two contrasting statements, can’t you? If it said it was the Bride of Christ, we know that the church is certainly the body of Christ, so we could conclude as others have, that this city must be the church’s bride also. But, no, it says the Lamb’s wife and nowhere in the Bible that I have found is the church called the Lamb of God. That is really a most interesting fact to put in your mind going forward. Sometimes I think I can ask good questions. I do know God asks really good questions and I’m trying to learn from the best. Ok, so here we find the same basic confirming information we read in verse 2. We have a woman, she is called a bride, she is called the wife of the Lamb, she is called a great city and her name is the “Holy Jerusalem”. I also found it interesting in verse 10, when it says John was carried away in the spirit in order to see this city. The implication is that we are looking at a spiritual reality and not a physical one. Chapter 21 of Revelation says a lot more and describes other characteristics that we may get into later in this blog series. But for now I just want you to agree with what I’ve said so far about what the Bible says about this woman. Until you learn some more I can’t go into the other parts of the description of this woman. Here is a quick synopsis of what we have just learned, see if you can agree with this:
- This woman is a city, this city is a woman
- This woman/city is to be married to her husband, who is the Lamb
- Her name is “New Jerusalem” or “Holy Jerusalem”
- This woman came down from God and Heaven
- This woman/city is a symbolic reference for a spiritual reality
Regardless of what else is in this chapter, can we agree with these basic facts from the scripture? If you have problem with any of these statements you are not going to do well going forward. If you can see what these verses are telling us then you will have a much easier time seeing the other verses that I will soon give you. Truth many times builds upon truth. So instead of attempting to figure out everything a verse or a chapter says all by itself, I try to write down the things that I learn from that verse and then go and look at other verses in the Bible that help to explain it. The Bible, like I said before interprets itself. That is why I reject men’s opinion so fast, if they can’t give me verses I really don’t want to hear what they thinks it says.
Where we are right now, if you did not realize it, we have just discovered the basic Bible definition for what a spiritual woman is in the eyes of God. There are many other things still left to learn and we will continue to build upon this definition with other witnesses from the scripture, but hang on to this basic definition for what God thinks a woman is. A woman is a city and a city represents a group of people who live there. We can fruther undersand that based upon the identity of the groom being Jesus the Lamb, that the bride city has a marriage covenant relationship with God. That is a spiritual definition of a woman to God and knowing this much changes our perspectives of many things found in the Bible and we will confirm what i have just talked about using many more scriptures.
Before I continue, I want to make a point and show what else these truths reveal to us from the verses that we just read. Many times you can read verses and never see what they indirectly are teaching us so I want to show you an example of this. Did you notice that the woman has been given a name? She has a name and she is called “New Jerusalem” and “Holy Jerusalem”. What does that tell you? If you understand the Bible and especially the Old Testament you know there is more than one city called “Jerusalem” in the Bible. Why would God call this city by the same name, but with qualifiers and prefixed descriptive adjectives? An adjective is a word class that qualifies a noun. So God uses adjectives of course to differentiate one city from any other city with the same name. It is unnecessary to call something “New” if there is not an “Old”. It is unnecessary to call it “Holy” if there is not an “Unholy” city with the same name. Did you understand what I just said? We have a city name being given to us with the clear implied truth that there is another city that is an opposite picture or a negative image of these positive adjective qualifiers. Wow, that is very strong language and I wonder who God is talking about? Or do you already know? This Old Jerusalem and Unholy Jerusalem must be something or someone else, a different woman in the Bible. I really hope you are understanding these very simple truths that you can read so plainly. I think I will give you another reference in Revelation to an unholy city for you to think about and to further confirm what we have just learned. This verse is found in Revelation 17 and verse 18 says:
Rev 17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.
Chapter 17 of Revelation is about a much different woman, but yet this woman still fits the pattern for our definition of a woman that we have just developed. This last verse in Revelation chapter 17 reveals to us that the woman God has been talking about in this chapter is a “great city”. This city is said to rule over the kings of the earth and I will not attempt to identify this woman at this time in this blog. If you read the first part of the chapter you see her name is a symbolic reference to “Mystery Babylon”. I just want you to see the pattern and the revelation that a city is a woman and a woman is a city. A city is made up of people, normally a nation of people consisting of males and females. A city can be the capitol of a nation. This nation and group of individuals live together in a named city and this city is called a woman in the eyes of God.
I understand that these concepts and definitions are not that complex, but since what I am saying in this blog is so radically new and different than anything you have heard before, it will probably be hard to understand. We have just seen two completely different cities described, these are two witnesses from the book of Revelation and both are called women. In my next blog we will expand our definition of a woman and research God’s idea and definition of marriage.
If you would like to continue reading this series, you can go to “Part 4“.
Posted on January 29, 2010, in The Church and tagged Bible, Bride, Christianity, Church, Covenants, God, Jesus, marriage, Religion, Revelation, understanding, woman. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.