Monthly Archives: February 2010
Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight — Understanding God’s Methods of Hiding Information in the Bible! Pt 3
(Ver 2.1) This is part three of a series of lessons on advanced studies concerning the methods that God has used to conceal information in the Bible for us to find. By studying these methods we will greatly increase our ability to understand the truth of God’s Word. The first technique I discussed was “Widely Dispersed Information”. This is the method of spreading out and not covering a complete subject in any one location of the Bible. Next, I talked about “Symbolic and Allegorical References”. These are very common practices of calling spiritual things by natural names, descriptions and titles and not telling you that is what is occurring. So we have gone through two fairly complex methods of hiding information in the Bible, and today I want to shift gears and slow down and show you something more basic, but yet still very effective. Today, I want to talk about another common method called “Figure of Speech”. If you did not read this series from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1“.
Technique 3: Figures of Speech
Like in other writings of the English language, the Bible often times uses language and phrasing which is known as “figures of speech”. Figures of speech are words that usually cannot be taken literally. A figure of speech is one technique that can be used to conceal or hide the truth or true meaning of a verse of scripture while using words that clearly describe something to you in very expressive terms.. Here is a definition for a figure of speech that I found on the internet:
A figure of speech is a use of a word that diverges from its normal meaning, or a phrase with a specialized meaning not based on the literal meaning of the words in it such as a metaphor, simile, or personification. Figures of speech often provide emphasis, freshness of expression, or clarity. However, clarity may also suffer from their use, as any figure of speech introduces an ambiguity between literal and figurative interpretation. A figure of speech is sometimes called a rhetoric or a locution.
As you can see from this definition the usage of “figures of speech” can bring clarity or they can introduce ambiguity to the interpretation and I have seen both of these. I have often times heard preachers try to take a verse of scripture that uses this technique of “figure of speech” and attempt to make it a literal truth found in the Bible. It was obvious to me that they were wrong, but obviously they did not see it that way at all. So I think that I should try to give you some examples of this type of writing found in the Bible that to me is obvious not to be taken literally. For example, the Bible describes events where God tells Israel that if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, they shall be “thorns in your side” (Numbers 33:55, Joshua 23:13). God was not speaking in literal terms, was He? God did not mean that these people would literally be a natural thorn in their natural flesh. The people of Israel would not be walking around with sticks and thorns poking out of their robes or their clothing made from the people found in the land. That would be an incredibly bad interpretation of the Bible to try to take this literally. Here is a sample of one of these verses from the Old Testament:
Num 33:55 But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.
God uses two figures of speech in this verse found in Numbers. We see a reference being made to pricks in their eyes and thorns in their sides. Neither of these can be taken literally, because they are purely “figures of speech”. This is just another literary technique that God has implemented in the Bible to make things a little bit more difficult for us to read and to understand. What God is referring to here, is a people that would become a spiritual hindrance and a distraction from them obeying the Law of God. These people would become stumbling blocks of potential temptations that would introduce them to other gods, idols, religions and things that were presented to deceive them. God knew the dangers and warned the people about something using figurative wording from what they could understand. Almost everyone in the world has had a time when they got stuck by a thorn and this is a very unpleasant experience physically. God is saying that this is what will happen to them in the spiritual realm if they do not do what God said to do. If you have ever had a thorn under your fingernail you can understand that this is a pain that you are better off not ever having this to occur. This is the idea that God is trying to convey by writing to the people using this technique. This usage consists of the fact that a word or phrase is used differently than the ordinary way that it is normally used within a context that is only done to create an added emphasis. Therefore, when God declares people to be thorns and pricks, He is not speaking literally. Figures of speech always represents departures from the given laws of normal language in order to communicate an emphasized point.
People today use figures of speech in their everyday conversations all the time. I often times hear someone say something like “She is a real pain in the neck.” That is a figure of speech and it means something else other than a literal pain in their flesh. Do you understand figures of speech? Have you ever been guilty of using a figure of speech? We can clearly see the usage of “figures of speech” throughout the Bible and we have to be smart enough to recognize them and treat them accordingly and to interpret them correctly. In my example that I have given you there is another similar occurrence in the New Testament where Paul wrote about a thorn in his flesh that was given to him.
2Co 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
I’ve heard so many confused individuals who try to imply that Paul was sick, crippled, and blind or that he had some other physical imperfection based upon this clear usage of a figure of speech. People please wake up and realize the difference between literal words and figurative language. Paul is clearly speaking in the same terms that God spoke to Israel in Numbers. This is a figurative explanation for a spiritual reality. Paul tells us what his “thorn” was, when he says it was a “messenger of Satan”. That sounds like a spiritual force and not a physical imperfection. If you take a figure of speech and attempt to make it literally true, you cause confusion to occur. You can promote a lie or a fabrication of a misinterpretation and that is a key problem occurring in the Body of Christ today. What you must do, is first understand the concepts behind “figures of speech” and then be smart enough to recognize them when you are reading through your Bible.
There are many different literary styles and techniques and God has used them all in the Book that He has given to us. As a part of studying the Bible we are required to be smart enough to read a verse and analyze it correctly in order to truly understand what is being said. One of these techniques that causes people trouble is what is known as this “figure of speech”. I do not claim to have done an exhaustive or comprehensive study on the usage of this technique; I merely wanted to introduce you to it so that you become aware of it as you read and study your Bible. Become intimately aware of God’s techniques and writing styles. Try to discover the methods that God has used to conceal information in the Bible and this will help the church to become united with one mind.
Php 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
God bless you and continue to prosper you through the knowledge of Jesus Christ. I will hopefully endeavor to expand this subject in my next blog.
If you would like to continue to read this series, please continue with “Part 4“.
Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight — Understanding God’s Methods of Hiding Information in the Bible! Pt 2
(Ver 2.1) This is part two of a series of lessons on methods that God has used to conceal information in the Bible for us to find. By studying these methods we will greatly increase our ability to understand the truth of God’s Word. Today I want to talk about a subject that I have taught on before, but this is so important and you should be able to see why I feel that it fits with this series to do again. If you did not read from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1“.
Technique 2: Symbolism and Symbolic References
Another technique in the Bible widely utilized by God is the usage of symbolism. Symbolism is usually an interesting coded message. Biblical symbols often times describe spiritual things in the terms of natural things, events or people. God uses symbols of things that we can naturally see and understand to describe and point us to the things that we cannot see in the spiritual realm. Daniel and Revelation are both covered with symbolic references and are probably the books of the Bible that come to people’s mind when describing this subject. In Revelation we have a harlot, the great dragon, a beast, the serpent, the sun, the moon and the stars, a woman, a city, a bride as well as many other symbolic references. Why did God use this type of writing? It is interesting to see how this writing style makes it so challenging for us to figure out what God is talking about. Most people who just read the verses in Revelation without studying them are very confused and do not understand very much about what is being said. So interpreting symbolic references correctly is critical to understanding these references in the Bible. So how do we interpret symbolic references correctly? I believe that we must use other interpretation rules that I have not really discussed yet. One of these rules is that we let the Bible interpret itself. Another rule is, we use the law of first mention to help determine the definition. Still another rule is that we look at other descriptions and related dependent symbols to help point us to the true identity of the main symbol. Often times by figuring out a descriptive symbolic reference first, it will help us discover the bigger symbolic reference. For example, if you want to identify the symbolic woman in Revelation 12 you must first start by correctly identifying the “sun” that she is wearing and the “moon” that she is standing upon. By correctly discovering the identity of the sun and the moon we can only then correctly identify the woman. The error that most people make is that they assume that the woman is Israel and then try to make the other symbols fit their erroneous assumed interpretation. But, I learned by the help of God that this is not the correct approach to take.
I mentioned Daniel and Revelation as being heavily symbolic books. But there are symbolic references in almost every book of the Bible. For example, Genesis contains heavy symbolism in the first three chapters of the book and I will briefly go into a few examples to help you to start to look for and recognize them. You see the first three chapters are largely all symbolic references with some real events and people mixed in among the symbols. There are 6 days of creation and the 7th day God rests. If you read your Bible carefully you will discover these 6 days are all symbolic. The division of waters from land is a symbolic event. The division of day from might is a symbolic event. The Sun that rules the day and the moon that rules the night are both symbolic references to spiritual truths. The mention of fruit and trees are strongly symbolic. The serpent in the garden is symbolic coded reference to a hidden spiritual being. The woman is symbolic; the seed of the woman is symbolic. The marriage of the first woman and the first man is also a symbolic event. I could go on and on, but I hope you get the message.
But, please do not misunderstand me. I’m not saying these symbols did not occur in Genesis. Adam is a real man. Eve is a real woman. Dividing the waters was a real event. On and on I could continue to go. What I am trying to say is that there are parallels of truth in almost every statement. One truth is a natural truth and the other truth is almost always a greater spiritual truth. Anyone can see the natural, but the spiritual truths are the messages that were hidden from our plain sight. Let’ look at a new example of this next.
Let’s look at another important Bible reference which describes a different type of symbolism. But this time it speaks of another usage of symbolism that is called “allegory”. Allegory is always a Bible story with two meanings. The first meaning of the story is the literal description of the subjects given. The second meaning of the story is a symbolic reference to a much greater spiritual truth. Notice what God said in the book of Galatians:
Gal 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
Gal 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Gal 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
You see from these verses God specifically shows us how he has used allegory in the story of Abraham to demonstrate a much larger spiritual truth. In these verses in Galatians 4, we are told that the story of Abraham having two sons is a story that contains an allegory. We are then told that the two women Sarah and Hagar represent two covenants. Sarah is called the freewoman, and Hagar the slave woman who is in bondage. Hagar represents the earthly Jerusalem and the Old Covenant wife of God. Therefore we know that Abraham represents God in this scenario. We are told that Sarah represents the heavenly Jerusalem who is called the spiritual mother of the church. There are certainly many other spiritual truths to learn from these verses, but I will not elaborate further in this blog. So an allegory is an extended metaphor in which actual people, places, objects, and actions in a story are equated to meanings and truths that lie outside of the realm of the story. In other words an allegory is a real story in which the people, places, and things represent spiritual concepts, individuals and moral qualities that we cannot see or perceive with our natural senses. We can see from this great example that God gives us a view of something that is of extraordinary value through an actual event and the people in a story that happened in human history without telling us this in the story.
You see there is absolutely nothing found in the book of Genesis that tells you the story of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar is a picture of God and his spiritual family, but when you read in Galatians 4 you discover that God has encoded this information within the story in a hidden format. Remember point 1 was widely dispersed truth and now point 2 is about symbolism and allegory. Therefore we can clearly see how God combined two different methods together to hide a greater spiritual truth. Do you understand these concepts?
This is a very important lesson key for correct Bible interpretation. These are very prevalent methods that God has created and used in concealing spiritual truths in the Bible. The story of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar is not the only allegory in the Bible. It is however, the only one that God tells you about so that He can give you a clue into how He has hidden information for you to search and to find. God uses real historical true stories with real people and places to reveal some very powerful spiritual truths that have been hidden in the Bible for thousands of years. The book of Ruth is heavily allegorical information. The book of Genesis has significant amounts of allegorical information throughout it. The books of Exodus and Numbers are widely interspersed with allegorical content. I do not understand how God is able to do this; I just know that He did it. God obviously is not bound by time and He could see human history before it happens. To say that God caused it to happen this way would violate man’s right to choose and his right to freewill; so I do not believe that God manipulated people to get things to happen the way he wanted them to happen. But, that is my opinion.
Please understand the difference between symbolism and allegory. A symbol is a reference to something that you might understand, but it might not actually exist in the natural realm. For example, in Revelation a prevalent symbol of Satan is a dragon and I have never seen one of these in the world, but I understand what they are because of books, movies and cultures like those that are found in China where they parade a large dragon figure down the middle of the street. So a dragon is a fictional character representation of the real spiritual being called Satan using a coded name. An allegory is quite the opposite, because it is always a real Bible story where each character named in the story represents something else in the spiritual realm. An “allegory” is always real historical people and “symbols” can be either real or fictional representations for real spiritual things. They are both very similar while being totally different at the same time. They both convey a truth that is well hidden on the surface only reading that most people do when they read their Bible.
The usage of symbolic references is widespread and can be found in almost every book of the Bible. Especially the books that contain prophetic scriptures where the prophesies concern the coming future events, people, things or places. Of course practically every book of the Bible contains some prophetic verses and you should be aware of that also. Because of God’s usage of allegory where any story found can represent a greater future spiritual story you will have to read every story in the Bible with new ways of looking for how does this potentially fit into what is going to happen in the future.
You see there are scriptures in the Bible that declares “the thing that has been, is that which shall be and the things that were done is that which shall be done again” (Ecc 1:9). In other words God said history will repeat itself. What happened naturally in the Bible is that which will happen in the spirit realm. This kind of information causes you to look at things in the Bible with some totally new perspectives; if it does not do this then you are clearly spiritually blind. Surely you can see the importance of learning how God has hidden information in the Bible and I pray that you will benefit as I have from knowing this.
If you would like to continue reading this series, please continue with “Part 3“.
Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight – Understanding God’s Methods of Hiding Information in the Bible! Pt 1
(Ver 1.5) This is Part 1 in a series of basic important Bible lessons that deals with the question “Why is the Bible so Hard to Understand?” Many of us have certainly discovered by reading and studying the Bible, that everything that is presented in the Bible, is not always clearly perceived or self evident. In other words, everything in the Bible is not easily understood using natural human reasoning or logic. I am personally convinced that the Bible contains many outstanding truths, even though the Body of Christ hasn’t been able up to this point, to agree on a lot of them. I can at least hope that you too can see and understand the challenge that we all face in studying the Bible. Based just upon the number of Christian denominations in the world you can see that God has chosen to conceal Himself not only from the people in the world, but He has also chosen to hide Himself in His Word to give the church, the opportunity to search for Him and to discover Him. By searching for the truth we come to know Him who is the Truth (John 14:6). We can conclude that God, if He wanted to remain a mystery forever and keep men in the dark all that He would have to do is to stay silent and not speak to us. But we can clearly see by the Bible alone that He has given to us, that He has not chosen to do that. Let’s briefly establish the fact that God has hidden information in the Bible.
Pro 1:23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
To make something known implies something was first hidden from plain view. To make God’s Words known implies that what we read in the Bible we need God’s help to understand. There is an implied unveiling process in this act. There is an intentional act of uncovering also implied. To “reveal” that which was hidden. The Bible is God’s Words written down by chosen men. These words are not encrypted in a modern coded system of unreadable text. Yet these words according to the Bible must be revealed in order to be understood.
Eph 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
In Ephesians we are told that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was a mystery. Even Jesus confirmed this reality when he told the Jews to search the scriptures because these were words that testified about him (John 5:39). If they had to search to find Jesus it is very clear that Jesus was hidden in the words that were written in the O.T. As we have seen the Jews did not understand the scriptures and did not embrace the Gospel of Jesus. We can clearly see that while Paul and the other apostles used the Old Testament as the basis for their message, very few of the Jewish leadership understood it. So was it hidden from them only? Or did they just choose not to see it?
Rom 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
In this letter to the church, God declares that which was being preached came as a result of a revelation being given. A revelation is a revealing of that which was hidden from plain view. It was written in their language, but they did not see it or perceive it. Why is that so important to understand?
Pro 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
Here is an Old Testament reference that describes the nature and character of God. This verse declares that it is to God’s glory to conceal or hide information. But in the same sentence it also declares that “kings” are intended to search it out? Who is the King of kings? Jesus is the King of kings. Who are these “kings” that Jesus is King of? Who are these kings that need to do this searching for this hidden information? I believe we are these “kings”. So I have given you several scriptures that all point you to hidden information in the Bible. There are certainly many other scriptures that I could have included and you can find them if you search.
There are a large number of reasons that I believe God has hidden information in the Bible. One reason is to conceal the information from His enemies. Another reason is to give man a choice in what they believe. Still another reason for hiding information is to allow God to reveal the information at the right time to the right people. There are certainly other reasons for God doing this, but as long as you see and understand that He has done it, you will at least be far ahead of a lot of other Christians in the world that do not understand this.
So knowing God has concealed spiritual truths within His Word, we should be smart enough to recognize some of the techniques that God has used to hide these truths. I call this concealing or hiding the truth in plain view. Every word in the Bible is clearly readable by anyone that picks the book up, but every word is also equally hard to understand because of the methods and techniques that God has selected to record His words in a book format. It is much like a game of hide and seek where everyone that you are looking for is out in the open in plain view, but many of them are wearing camouflage and have blended into their surroundings so that you don’t see them clearly. They are there right in front of you, yet you walk right by them. So it is with the Bible, just because we can see all of the words and read them, it is clear to me that we need to follow some very strict rules in order to understand what they say, correctly. Satan can read the same words that we can and he didn’t understand them and he is doing everything in his power to make sure that you don’t understand them either. If Satan would have understood what was written, he would not have crucified Jesus.
In reading Proverbs 25:2, it reveals to us one of God’s intentions and purposes for giving us the Bible. This verse specifically informs us that it is God’s Glory to conceal information. This Hebrew word translated as “conceal” means to keep secret, or to hide from plain view.. When you conceal something that means it is not clearly visible or self apparent. The US army often times camouflages themselves and their equipment to conceal them from or cause themselves not to be seen by the enemy. If a government in our world wanted to conceal information from their enemies they would have probably created a code or an encryption system that would in effect make the textual message unreadable to others. In this way the encoded message is only readable to the intended person to whom the message is sent using the decryption method and the key that would unlock the true meaning. While many have done crypto analysis of Old Testament scriptures and have seemed to have discovered encoded messages, I am not talking about this method of hiding information. While I do not discount these or attempt to preach against them in any way, this is not the information that is hidden in plain sight that I am talking about. Being a computer programmer I understand the complexity behind creating a readable textual message with embedded ELS coded messages. Without a very, very powerful computer it would be impossible to find them, much less try to create them. The Bible Codes are to me just an additional proof that God exists and He has written something for us, to us that only He could have done. To those who don’t believe in God, it is a sign that someday they will understand.
So what I want to do in this blog series, is to explore some of the primary ways that I have discovered how God has hidden Himself in plain view for us to find. By studying some of these methods we can use them to unlock more of the truth and to see and know Him better. So did God encode things in the Bible for us to discover? You might still not understand code concepts, and that is OK. I’m not here to teach you computer algorithms. What I want you to see is some general concepts and methods that God has implemented in the Bible to hide information and truth. By understanding these concepts we can then apply them to our Bible study and hopefully learn whatever God wants us to know before Jesus comes back for us very soon.
Earlier I mentioned a common trait of codes and encryption. This has to do with knowing the key that unlocks the code. The key is the electronic word, phrase, numbers, symbols, or combination of all of these that we use to unlock the encrypted information. That is what we are going to explore in this series of lessons. I want to show you some keys. By understanding the methods that God has used to hide information it will give us the keys that we need to unlock it and to understand it. Jesus makes this statement:
Mat 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven:
I know I pulled a part of a verse to make a point, but take this information and understand the concept given. Jesus tells us that there are keys to the kingdom of heaven. That implies there are hidden or locked things within the kingdom that are not readily available to all. What Jesus is doing is giving us a simple concept lesson and He is telling us that it is our responsibility to open the doors that these keys are associated with. You never hand someone a key, either a physical key that unlocks a lock or an electronic key to unlock a code and not expect them to use it. Are you grasping the concept? So let’s explore some of the key methods that God uses to hide information in the Bible.
Technique 1: Widely Dispersed Truths
One method that God uses frequently to hide truths in His Word, is to spread out the information so that a subject is not completely covered in any one location of the Bible. The Bible is a significantly large book with a lot of words and subjects within it. Finding specific related scriptures is not always as easy as you might think. By spreading the information out in a widely dispersed random pattern, it become exponentially more difficult to grasp the correct meaning of anything. Spreading out information in the Bible is just one of the many techniques that God has used to hide things for us to find. One advantage that we have today over previous generations, is the proliferation of computers within our society. By using a computer’s database indexing and search engine capabilities, we are blessed with a tool that makes it much easier to explore the Word of God and to find truths that are spread out over 783,137 words in the King James Bible. If you don’t study the Bible using a computer you should, it will help you tremendously once you get over the initial learning curve of using a computer to read and study the Bible. What we discover in our search is there are scriptures everywhere in the Bible that speak to, or comment directly on other passages in the Bible. In other words we have the commentary of the author, the Holy Spirit given to us on any given subject. God did not leave us in the dark, he just made it a little challenging to find. I also made mention that the commentary and related information may appear in any random order. Information can be given on any subject in any book of the Bible. This certainly is a very tricky method of hiding information.
Let’s take creation and the story of Adam and Eve. If you search the Bible you will soon discover that both Adam and Eve are referred to in other books of the Bible by name. These are God’s direct commentary on the Genesis story given to Moses. But by studying these verses we can gain a significant amount of insight into the original story. But of course that is not all the information, we would have to search for all of the subjects found in creation, like: man, woman, temptation, sin, serpent, gardens, fruit, seeds, trees, and all of the other subjects that are mentioned in the book. By omitting these facts from our study of the subject we are lacking vital clues to what God intended for us to understand. This example is just a simple sample of a much larger truth that God has spread out the information so that while it is in plain sight, it is not easily found, related or understood. This is one of the most important lessons from this blog that you should take away and learn to put into practice. Don’t read a single verse and attempt to say I understand that, without researching and looking for the related passages and God’s commentary on the subject.
Think with me and consider the hidden reference to the serpent in Genesis chapter 3. I have heard people say that this is not Satan while others say it is Satan. However, there is absolutely no way to know this by only reading this chapter of Genesis. If you read the Bible cover to cover, it would take you a long time to finally find the answer to who this serpent is. This infromation is not revealed until Revelation chapter 12. God finally sees fit to reveal the identity of the hidden serpent in the last book of the Bible. This is a clear example of a widely dispersed truth. Where God introduces you to a subject in the 3rd chapter of Genesis, but does not reveal the identity of the being until the 12th chapter of Revelation. I hope you are beginning to understand these tricky concepts that God has implemented in the Bible.
Widely dispersed truths are an essential part of finding the hidden information in the Bible. You see the Old Testament is a large set of books that Jesus told the Jews to search, for he said these are they that testify about Him (John 5:39). But if you read the Old Testament you will not find one chapter called the story of Jesus. While there are hundreds of prophetic verses of the coming messiah, not one said you will call his name “Jesus”. Yet if you have eyes that see, you can find Jesus on almost every page of the Old Testament in some form or reference. Some are more easily found than others, but none are in plain view and self apparent. The Bible is a complex tricky book written with complex and tricky techniques that record truths in a manner that is not easily recognizable. We have just touched on this subject in this blog and talked about one of these methods. By putting little pieces of information here and little pieces of information elsewhere in a large random order you can certainly understand that this would make it very challenging for us to find anything of value. This one technique alone would make the Bible very difficult to understand, but God has many other techniques of hiding information that we will get into later.
If you would like to continue reading this series, please go to Part 2.
(Ver 1.2) I will continue to talk about Unity and the Keys to Understanding today. Today I want to explore verses found in the book of Proverbs. Proverbs contains a lot of the Wisdom of God. It was written down by Solomon, the son of David the King and Bathsheba. God used Solomon to give us many valuable spiritual truths. I’ve heard several ministers recommend that we should read from the book of Proverbs on a daily basis to gain the wisdom of God. I believe, that by renewing your mind to God’s wisdom you will be able to make better choices and decisions in this life. Today I want to discuss the process that God uses to make His Word known to us. We will begin with the first chapter of Proverbs and verse 22:
Pro 1:22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
Who are these simple ones that God is talking to in this verse? If you did not know that was you, you are already deceived into thinking too highly of yourself. People on the earth are the simple ones that God is talking to. It doesn’t matter how many degrees that you have or how many universities that you have attended, God calls you a simple one. According to God, people love simplicity. They want everything served up fast in a simple neat package to them. However, God is not a part of your simple box concept. You may want God to come down to your simple level and He might for awhile to help you. However, God wants you to come up higher and to see and understand the more complex subjects found in God’s Word. The implication given to us in the beginning of this verse is that God’s word is not simple. I have heard many try to make it simple and reduce it to a human level of intelligence, but they were mostly just confused in what they thought God said. There are many complex spiritual truths in the Bible and these are not always presented in simple terms using simple methods. However if you learn this fact, you can at least become aware of what to look for.
Proverbs 1:22 says that fools hate knowledge. I have seen a lot of fools in the world today. We are in fact raising a generation of fools. It has been rare for me to run across a young person that is truly hungry for the knowledge of God. There are just so many distractions in the world today. Television, movies, games, electronics, music, concerts, the internet, entertainment, sports and on and on I could go. It would appear that words on the pages of the Bible are the last thing that anyone would really want to spend time with these days. There are a huge number of distractions that keep young people’s mind off of anything that is productive or valuable. School is the last thing that most of them would call fun. But, God said fools hate knowledge. Knowledge involves learning, Learning involves hearing. Then when you throw in understanding on top of all of this, that is beyond the mindset of any modern teenager.
Pro 1:23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
Here is a key to knowing and understanding God’s Word. It involves you doing something after God does something and then God doing something in response to what you have done to solve the problem. This is the way God works in most normal cases in the Bible. God offers man reproof or correction and people are required to “turn”. Notice that unless you turn, God will not do anything else. If you think He will, you would be wrong. So you knowing anything from God will involve you turning. To turn implies a correction in your course and action. It could be a new way to think about something. It definitely involves you changing. I believe this is a continual process within life. Since God rarely gives us very much information at one time, we may need to make many course corrections as we continue our walk with God.
Proverbs 1:23 ends with God making known His Word to us after we turn. The middle part of the verse says if we turn, then God will pour out His Spirit upon us. So we can clearly see and understand that in order to know God’s Word it will take the Spirit of God to reveal it to us. From these two verses in Proverbs I have learned several spiritual truths and I will list them again for you to see. Here is my TOP 10 List of THINGS I LEAREND FROM Proverbs 1:22-23:
- The Bible is NOT SIMPLE!
- The SIMPLE DO NOT Understand the BIBLE!
- FOOLS do not want to Learn the BIBLE!
- God offers ALL of US Reproof!
- We MUST Turn and make Changes in order to Learn!
- IF WE CHANGE, God WILL then Pour Out His Spirit Upon US!
- The BIBLE Contains HIDDEN and CONCEALED INFORMATION!
- God will MAKE Known these Secret Things to ceretain individuals that qualify.
- Only With God’s Help Will We KNOW and UNDERSTAND God’s WORD!
- Understanding the Word of God is CONDITIONAL!
I do hope that you can see and understand what these verses are telling us. In order for the Body of Christ to come into unity we will require God’s correction first. We WILL have to HEAR God’s correction. We will need to be OPEN to change. Then we will need to CHANGE. God will pour out His Spirit upon us and then we will all KNOW and UNDERSTAND the Word of GOD! It is not a long process, but it is a process none the less. People will need to put down their ego’s and become open to correction. Accepting reproof is not easy for anyone. Admitting you were wrong and changing will certainly be another challenge for others. What God is informing us in these verses is, that it is more up to us than it is up to God on how much we understand in the Bible. Understanding the Word of God is conditional. If you think UNDERSTANDING is automatic you will never achieve it. God is FAITHFUL, so He will do His Part, NOW YOU DO YOUR PART! God Bless!
(Ver 1.1) Why is it that there are so many varying opinions on what the Bible means? How can I see one thing in the Bible and you fail to see it? If we could somehow solve this dilemma we would all have to get into harmony and finally become one in Christ Jesus. Jesus prays this prayer to the Father concerning His bride and these are His words:
Joh 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
Jesus informs us that He and the Father were one in the same. Jesus said if you have seen me you have seen the Father (John 14:9). Jesus was claiming He was God. But now Jesus is praying and He makes a specific new request. He asks that all of those that are given to Him should also become one. Has this happened? Will it ever happen? Does Jesus get His prayers answered? That is some interesting things to consider. Looking around in the world today it certainly does not appear that the Body of Christ is one. What does it mean to you to be one? To me it means someone that is unified in purpose. The disciples after Jesus ascended were said to be in one accord while tarrying in the upper room in Jerusalem. I would have to say this is what Jesus was praying for, but what happened to this show of unity between believers? Is it just a problem of sheer numbers? Could 120 get into unity but 2 billion not do the same? Has God shrunk in size or ability? What does it mean to be in “one accord”? According to Strong’s this word means to be unanimous, to be of the same mind. Everyone doing the same thing for the same reasons and motivation. That so far does not resemble any of the church that I have seen in recent years. I have noticed some glimpses of partnerships and unity, but there certainly needs to more effort in unifying the Body.
So what is the main problem? Why does one denomination embrace speaking in tongues and one preach it is of the devil. Those kind of differences are clearly a huge issue to unification. One group of people see and perceive the truth and the other group chooses not to see it. What is the solution? Where do we start to amend? How can we resolve these differences? How can we become reconciled to become one bride who has made herself ready? I believe we can at least start by understanding the problem. By seeing what the Bible says the problem is we can hopefully avoid repeating a failing pattern. But of course even this involves seeing and understanding and therefore we are really back to the original problem. Unless God does something to help us overcome this problem we will not. But that was my opinion of the situation.
Here is a scripture from the book of Acts that describes the situation that they faced while teaching the truth of the God’s Word to the people in the nation of Israel. Paul tried to reach his own people, but encountered great resistance and opposition. Was what Paul was teaching the truth? Did it come directly from God? Was this the same God that gave these Jewish people their law? Was this the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? So why was this new message so easily dismissed as being false and not from God? It would appear that by studying their reaction and reasoning we might see some patterns that could be avoided in our daily routines. After all is God still the same today? Does God still teach or reveal anything new? So in the book of Acts Paul is speaking and says the following about the nation of Israel:
Act 28:26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:
Act 28:27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
You read these verses and it describes a people in a sad condition. These were people who had normal natural senses of sight and hearing, but they are described to be a people who were not using them to learn and understand. God is actually implying that we have a spiritual set of eyes and ears that need to be open and receptive. These people are described as their hearts being “waxed gross”. Here is the definition for this word in the Strong’s:
From a derivative of G4078 (meaning thick); to thicken, that is, (by implication) to fatten (figuratively stupefy or render callous): – wax gross.
It is a fascinating word that has a widely applicable association with the human spirit. It is really a symbolic reference given to us of a spiritual state that we are unable to see. To make thick or to fatten something implies a hardening process. If you think in modern medical terms and cholesterol and the ill effects that it has on the human body, then you can kind of see what this is referring to. The thickening of the arteries and blood vessels in the body with cholesterol causes the walls to become thick and eventually clogged. The results of this is a major physical problem and even death. Believe it or not this is describing a spiritual clogging and thickening process that will also result in another type of death. This word has a figurative meaning of being stupid or acting foolishly. That also applies to the spiritual realm and we all need desperately to learn this lesson. Finally another meaning of the word is to become callous. We can understand this term by looking at the process of creating natural calluses. By working with a specific tool for example long enough you repeatedly wear a specific surface of your skin. This worn area can develop blisters and eventually calluses so that the area is much less sensitive to feeling. This is another lesson to apply to spiritual principles. How can a spirit being become calloused against the truth?
Let’s analyze how people learn. The Bible tells us that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom 10:17). This verse is a simple lesson in learning. People hear what their teacher says and either accept it or reject it. By rejecting the truth you cause a spiritual callous to begin to form. Your heart becomes thicker in that area and the next time you hear the truth it is easier for you to reject it since you have less feeling in that area. People’s heart eventually can become so hard in areas that they have absolutely no feeling when presented the truth of God’s Word. This is why the Bible speaks of God taking out the “stony” heart and putting in a heart of “flesh” (Eze 11:19). People have allowed their spirits to harden against certain things and even the truth and as a result have become very difficult to reach.
So learning starts with hearing. What is hearing and how does it work? Can we hear anything? Jesus taught us that we must be careful what we hear (Mark 4:24). Then Jesus told us to take heed how you hear (Luke 8:18). Jesus is saying there are two factors to consider about what we listen to. God says it matters what we hear and how we hear it. In other words don’t listen to every teaching from every religion and think that you are helping yourself to grow spiritually. All you end up doing is confusing your spirit, clouding your mind and deceiving yourself. No, hearing starts with listening to the Word of God and to those teachers anointed to teach it. If you can’t tell who those are then just study and read the Bible.
Learning starts with hearing or reading out loud to yourself. But there is certainly more to learning the Bible than just reading or hearing. The only part of the Bible that is going to do you any good is the part that you come to “know”. To “know” in the Bible is an important word that means an intimate relationship with. In the Old Testament it is often times used as “Adam knew his wife and they had a son”. You can see that to “know” a subject implies a deep understanding of it. The verse in Acts tells us that if the people would have heard and they would have understood what was being said in their “heart” or “spirit”, then they would have been converted and God could have saved them. However, since they closed their own eyes and refused to see, they were cut off. So understanding the Bible is the next key element to being saved. I believe this is the next key to unity also. If we can gain understanding from God we will be of one mind and then we will have a singleness of purpose.
Pro 4:5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
We are commanded to get wisdom and understanding from God’s Word. God’s Word contains all of the knowledge that we need to live. Wisdom and Understanding are two benefits of knowing God’s Word intimately. If you asked me why do I need to study the Bible, this would be my answer, “to get wisdom and understanding”. We have too many people on the internet that have neither of these qualities, yet they cloud our network with words of confusion. By introducing you to their opinions and personal interpretations to God’s Word they cause more harm than they do any good. This is what we are faced with, this is what we are challenged to do. We are commanded to get wisdom and understanding, so if a website or a blog is not helping you to achieve either of these goals I would recommend that you not waste your time in reading them. May God give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ Jesus. May your eyes be able to see and perceive the deep spiritual things of God. May your ears hear from the Spirit of God so that you can clearly understand. May you understand with your heart and be converted and be healed.
(Ver 1.3) Today is a subject that contains some very deep water concepts. As you can see from my diagram in this post, these are warning signs concerning water hazards. So please be advised that this is an advanced Bible study lesson with some new concepts that forces you to get into things that may be over your head. So many times I have heard ministers in the pulpit accuse Abraham of being a liar because of one story in the book of Genesis that they clearly misunderstood. In this story, we find that Abraham is faced with what he perceives as a threatening situation and he makes a decision that many have thought was a lie. But, what we have is an example of how preachers can take a part of a story and try to make it the whole story and as a result they have jumped to some erroneous conclusions and an incorrect interpretation of the Bible. I do not attack these preachers personally, I just attack their ignorance. Truth will always prevail if you want to see it. We will pick up with the story of Abraham starting in Genesis chapter 12 and verse 11:
Gen 12:11 And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon:
We can see in this verse that Abraham is traveling about and he comes near the country of Egypt. Abram begins to speak to his wife and this is where it starts to get good. Abram tells his wife Sarai that she is very beautiful and this must have been the truth. No one that I know of has ever questioned the beauty of Sarai his wife.
Gen 12:12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive.
Abram begins to speculate and imagine some very negative things as he approaches Egypt. Egypt is a type of the world, if you did not know that, keep that in mind as you read accounts in the Old Testament about Egypt. We can see that Abram’s fear is that the men of this country will see how beautiful his wife was and kill him in order to take her to be theirs. So Abram was very concerned about his own personal well being and safety and did not think much beyond that, it appears. So Abram comes up with a plan or so the ministers said, he lies about who his wife was.
Gen 12:13 Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.
We can see that Abram asks his wife to tell everyone that she is his sister and not to mention that they are married. Abram thinks that he will be spared and be safe if anyone in Egypt wants his wife Sarai. So this was Abram’s plan, a plan or work of some sort of alleged deception to save himself from being killed, or was it? You see if you only read these verses and come up with a sermon based upon this limited information you would probably conclude that Abraham was a liar. That he out of fear chose to purposely lie to a group of people because he was afraid of being killed. This would in affect make Abram a type of Satan, the deceiver. I just can’t go along with that picture because it doesn’t fit his character. Nowhere in the Bible that I know of is Abram ever called a liar. So if God does not call Abram a liar, I do not feel it is right that a preacher should call him a liar. So we have to come up with another explanation or interpretation of the verses or at least some more information that helps us to understand what the real truth is about Abram and Sarai. So we continue to read the book of Genesis and we read chapter after chapter and finally come to the answer later in Genesis 20. During these chapters and this time period, Abram and Sarai have a lot happen to them. God changes their names. Abraham enters into a covenant with God. But, it seems that Abraham repeats the same plan when he comes to another country called Gerar, ruled by Abimelech the king of Gerar. We can see that Abraham didn’t learn very much from his Egypt experience and he repeats the same plan.
Gen 20:2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.
So Abimelech believed what Abraham said, that she is my sister and he takes Sarah to be one of his wives. God again saves the day and keeps the king from doing anything to Sarah with a dream.
Gen 20:3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife.
Apparently God frowns upon one man taking another man’s wife. I guess that is putting it very lightly since God told Abimelech that he was a dead man. Apparently God thinks it is very serious to take another man’s wife. That would be a very strong lesson for many Christians to learn, I don’t think God has changed his mind any time in the last 6000 years. So as we continue down the chapter we discover that Abraham gets his wife back and he is not killed. God saves the day again and preserves the linage of Christ. But did Abraham lie? We still haven’t resolved the situation or the circumstances that he was faced with. I believe the answer to the question and the solution to the problem is finally solved by reading Genesis 20:12:
Gen 20:12 And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.
You see from this verse the solution to the problem that Abraham never lied. Abraham did marry his sister. However, she was a half-sister, the daughter of his father, but not the daughter of his mother. Abraham had a different mother than Sarah, but she is still called his sister, legally and truthfully. Abraham could call her, his sister and omit the wife part and still not be called a liar. If you omit part of the truth and only tell a different part that is true, what would you call that? I call it being very tricky. I do not defend what Abraham did at any time. It seems if it was not for God saving the day that Sarah would have ended up in someone’s harem. God is faithful though to save them both.
I had one reader write me a comment that Abram was guilty of the sin of omission. In other words by not telling all of the truth he committed a sin. I thought that was an interesting misinterpretation of the Bible again so I spent time studying the subject in more depth. I looked for any scripture that said withholding information was a sin and I could not find any. Then I went and studied the subject of deception and I learned some new things found in the Bible that are very profound. While Satan is called a deceiver, the Bible does not indicate that every deception is a sin. I could give you more examples found in the Bible, but I wrote a blog on this subject and you should go and read that to find out more about the subject of “Righteous Deception“.
We can really learn a whole bunch from this story of Abraham if we look for it. I will not go into all of it, but I will tell you that Abraham is a type of Christ a picture of Jesus the man born of the natural woman Mary. God is both the spiritual and physical father of Jesus Christ. Mary is Jesus’ natural mother in the flesh. The church is called the spiritual children of the “heavenly Jerusalem” in Galatians 4. We can see that if there is a spiritual mother there also has to be a spiritual father in order to have spiritual children. So the picture of Abraham as being a type of Christ with the same father of his wife Sarah, but with different mothers, actually fits the pattern given to us of Christ and the church. The Bible is full of little complex imbedded hidden truths like this. If you understand how to look for them you can learn a lot. In another blog I told you that Jesus married his sister. I told you that Solomon was also a type of Jesus and that 3 or 4 times in the book of Songs that Solomon calls his lover bride to be his sister. Interesting isn’t it? Why are things like this written in the Bible for us to figure out? So I’ll end this blog with a picture diagram of Abraham’s family and hopefully you will that this is a pattern of another family that I will talk about in the future:
(Ver 1.2) This is now Part 11 in the series of advanced Bible lessons on the subject of the Bride of Christ Revealed. In my last lesson in this series we came full circle back to the New Jerusalem and today I want to address this bride city in more depth. This will probably be the last lesson in this series on this subject for now. Today’s lesson will cover the city of New Jerusalem mentioned in Revelation 21 as the Bride of the Lamb and how she is representative of the church. This city has long been a point of controversy since she is described symblically and these symbols can potentally be interpreted to mean many things. However if we use the Bible to interpret the Bible we will only come up with one true identity that she can be. We have really covered a tremendous amount of new information found in the Bible in this series. If you have not read the first 10 parts of this series I would strongly recommend that you go back and start reading with Part 1.
I have already given you a lot of scriptures and references that the woman in Revelation 21 appears to represent the church. But we have certainly not exhausted the scriptures on this subject and probably would not be able to if we tried. The Bible is much more complex than what people see on the surface of the text. So let’s go through some more of the scriptures in this blog and see if we can find other confirming verses of the identity of the New Jerusalem.
Let’s look at some other scripture that I’ve heard does reflect the identity of the bride. In fact it is almost impossible to ignore since it directly reflects this title.
Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
It is very interesting to note that God finds it necessary to create a new heaven and a new earth. There is an implied problem with the old heaven and the old earth. Why buy a new car if your old car is still in great shape and useful. Why create a new family or a new covenant if the old is in such good relations. There lies the problem that God had and the solution that He has implemented with the establishment of a new heaven and new earth. If is also noteworthy that this verse says the “first” and not just the “old”. That actually tells us there were none others before this first heaven and earth. But yet it does tells us that there will be a second.
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.
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.
I can’t emphasis enough the reality that this city is called the wife of the Lamb. We already have a good understanding of who the Lamb is, but many may still be struggling to figure out the identity of the city called New Jerusalem. So let’s look at some other verses in this chapter that describe this city:
Rev 21:12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
Rev 21:13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
Rev 21:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
Revelation gives us significant additional information that I think we should take a look at now in some depth. If the church is the bride and Jesus is the bridegroom, then God is also calling the church the “new Jerusalem” the new covenant city of God. I’ve heard some say that here in these scriptures it proves that the “new Jerusalem” is the bride and not the church. If this is true this doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I’ll put it to you this way why couldn’t the church be both? In fact if you look at scriptures accurately I believe you will find out that the church is both. Someone said that we are the body of Christ and therefore, if Christ has a bride we have a bride. You know based upon scripture that I’ve shown you that this is not true. We have been called the body of Christ, but we are never called the Lamb. I don’t know of any scripture that says we are the Lamb of God and here in Revelation Jesus is referred to as the Lamb more than once. I’ve given several scriptures that demonstrate how the church became the body of Christ and that was clearly by a marriage covenant. So we have already established that the church is the bride of Christ, but now we need to further confirm that the church is also the New Jerusalem.
In Biblical days a city was usually a walled dwelling place where all the human people of a common nation lived. The reason for building a wall was for safety to keep enemies from stealing from them and killing them. This city is said to have 4 walls as if a square or a rectangular structure. Each of the 4 walls has 3 gates. Each Gate has an angel. It still appears that God is guarding the way in an out of this city. But all of these can also be taken symbolically. If we are talking about a symbolic city with symbolic gates, symbolic walls and symbolic foundations we really have a lot more to learn. I believe we make a mistake if we think of this spiritual city in terms that it is a physical place.
We have already discussed that a city represents a covenant and is referred to as a woman. The covenant is not with the city however, it is with the inhabitants or residents of the city. I could give you several good scriptures, but I’ll choose one that I liked and one that stood out to me. Let’s review the Word of God in Isaiah:
Isa 54:11 O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.
Isa 54:12 And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.
Isa 54:13 And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
These scriptures are an amazing parallel to the description of the city found in Revelation 21 called the New Jerusalem. We see the mention of many of the key qualities of a large city with stones, foundations, windows, gates and borders. We also see the mention of key stone types meaning they are valuable, precious and rare. These key elements describe a city for sure in verses 11 and 12 of Isaiah 54. However, did you notice the reference found in verse 13? It speaks of this city as a woman with children. Isn’t that an interesting commentary. I tell you when you see what the Bible is describing as a woman you begin to see a lot more clearly the things that are symbolized in the Word of God. We again see in Isaiah that a city represents a woman and not just any woman in our case it is called the bride of the Lamb in Revelation 21:9. A woman has children and that is one of the primary reasons for marriage.
There are so many good things within these scriptures in Revelations, but I saw a definite significance of the number 12 mentioned, did you notice that too? It is not an accident that there were 12 tribes in the nation of Israel for this was a type and a shadow of the spiritual Israel to come. It is no accident that Jesus choose 12 Apostles and the book of Revelations informs us that their names are written on the 12 foundations of this new city Jerusalem. If the names of the 12 apostles are written on the foundation doesn’t that describe the church? Who started the church if it wasn’t Jesus breathing on the apostles (John 20:22) I don’t know who it was. We also see the reference of 12 angels and of the 12 tribes of Israel so the new Jerusalem is comprised I believe of, at the least a part of all three of these groups. So if we get right down to it, I don’t think that the Gentile Church is the entire city, only a big part of it. Hopefully you will understand this more as the Word of God is revealed further. Let’s look at just one part of this new city and see the part that the church plays. Once you finally realize that this woman represents a covenant marriage relationship, then you can easily associate the role of the church to this woman.
Here is a good time to remind you of what we read earlier when God said my wife “Jerusalem” committed adultery (Ezekiel 16:32). Who did God call his female wife? The earthly city Jerusalem was referred to as “her”. This physical city is in no doubt a foreshadowing of the new Jerusalem the spiritual city that we just read about. The reference to a city is the a reference to the people within the city who were in covenant with God, Yes? The people living in the earthly city Jerusalem were in covenant and married to God. God calls all of these people by a name of Jerusalem and says she is my wife. This was the Old Covenant people or the earthly nation of Israel. So, who is in the New Covenant with Jesus Christ? It is those people in covenant or marriage with Jesus that are the residents of this new Jerusalem. The distinct parallels between these two cities are very numerous and cannot be ignored, unless you just want to remain ignorant.
Do you remember in the Old Testament the life of David the king of natural Israel? In the book of Acts David is called a type of God. If you understand the significance of Biblical Typology these Old Testament stories have meaning for us in the church today. The Bible in Acts 13:22 says that David was a man after God’s own heart. David had it in his heart to build a temple in Jerusalem, but God said it was not for him to do, but for his son Solomon (1 Kings 8:17-19). Solomon represents a type of Christ as I said before and he was the builder of the physical Temple of God in Jerusalem. But Christ Jesus was the builder of a spiritual house for God. Natural types are only God’s patterns or foreshadows of that which was to come. Jesus today is the builder of a new spiritual temple and we can prove this by reading the New Testament:
2Co 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Here is a most significant scripture with great revelation. The implied reference is that of a building. But buildings are many times built within cities. It says God will live in them and walk in them. That sounds like a really big house or a city to me. If you live in Dallas Texas, and wanted to go for a walk, where would you be walking? But this is not a physical building or temple, for God in the same context speaks of this temple in the terms of people. In other words the temple is built with people. People are the spiritual building blocks that make up this structure. Do you understand that concept?
1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
Here is another scripture that says we are the dwelling place of the living God right here and right now. There is a clear implication of a building or a house or even a city within both of these verses. After all what does it mean to “dwell”? When it says God dwells in us what does that mean to you? If I said I dwell in Dallas Texas what does that mean? It specifies the location of my home. If I said I dwell in a big white house on Jones Rd. What does that tell you? It describes a building or house that I live in and helps give you the location of that house. I don’t know how we can be the bride and the temple and the city and the body of Christ and all of these things at the same time, but I believe we are.
What is a temple? A temple is a building or a structure that is created to be inhabited or occupied by someone. Modern temples are called places of worship many times. However, the original temple was put together by Moses according to God’s instructions and made out of tents. A tent represents a temporary dwelling place. It was not until Solomon, that the permanent dwelling place was built in the earthly Jerusalem. Both of these are representative of what the church is experiencing now and foretells that which is to come. Look at these scriptures:
2Pe 1:13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;
2Pe 1:14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.
This is a very interesting pair of scriptures and I believe they give us some light on the subject of the temple of God. These scriptures say that Peter was dwelling in a tabernacle. This is not talking about a physical house or a building made by the hands of man. In fact he is not talking about any kind of physical building at all with walls, doors and windows. No, it is speaking of his body that he and God dwells in. God has showed him that he was soon to die and leave his body and go and be with the Lord. The tabernacle represents a temporary dwelling place. The Greek word translated “tabernacle” comes from another root word that contains the meaning of a “tent”. A tent represents a temporary dwelling place and we know that if Jesus doesn’t come we will all die. However, when we are raised from the dead and given a new glorified body then we will have a permanent dwelling place for God.
2Co 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2Co 5:2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:
2Co 5:3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.
2Co 5:4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
2Co 5:5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
2Co 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
2Co 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
2Co 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
These are very powerful scriptures and teach us many of the things that I’ve been attempting to convey. They speak of our current mortal bodies as a temporary home and even calls them an earthly tabernacle or tent. What is an earthly tabernacle? It has to be a tabernacle made of earth or dust as it says in Genesis that God formed the body of man from the dust of the ground. But it also gives us the hope of a new house that was not built with man’s hands, but it will come from God and will be immortal. So we see a pattern from the Old Testament where Moses established a temporary tabernacle for God made of tents. Then came Solomon and he built the permanent tabernacle. These are types and shadows of what Jesus has done and is doing.
Eph 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Eph 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Eph 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
These are some of the most interesting scripture references comparing the church to a symbolic building and they say that we (the church) are ALLL the habitation of God. Notice first in chapter 2 verse 19 God is referring to the church as being fellow citizens with the rest of the saints. A citizen is a resident of a city. Which city are we now citizens of? Isn’t that very relevant to what we are talking about in Revelation? God then implies that this city is where we were once on the outside of the walls being called strangers and foreigners but, we have now become a residential part of this implied city of God. Then notice all of the symbolic architectural terms and references in these verses. There is a clear reference to the act of constructing a building. Also notice in verse 20 the reference to the symbolic foundation of the 12 Apostles and prophets. Doesn’t that sound familiar? What about the description of the city in Revelations coming down from Heaven? It also had a foundation of the 12 Apostles of the Lamb. This is no accident, but demonstrates a confirmation of the relationship of the church to the city New Jerusalem. Going back to verse 19 you see the connection to the household of God and the spiritual building that God is putting together. These verses also further imply the members of the church are symbolic building blocks in this construction being joined together laid upon the foundation. These are amazing verses to remember for our study of the New Jerusalem. Let’s review an earlier concept and remember what God said in 1 Corinthians using new light:
1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
Don’t you know that you are the temple of God? What does that now mean to you? That means to me that each and every one that is born again represents a living stone in a new temple dwelling place for the True Living God. I know the natural earthly Jerusalem contained the temple of God as one of its key components. So at the minimum the temple of God is within the new Jerusalem and to say it is not the entire city would be difficult in my perspective. So if we are this new temple then we are at minimum a major or significant part of the new Jerusalem referred to in Revelation.
1Co 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
I included these scriptures as a contrast to what I was talking about previously. For they contain more building and architectural terms, but the reference is given in much different context. We see a foundation which is clearly Jesus Christ. Then there are references to other builders that continue to reveal the word of God. So does these scriptures contradict the others or complement them to give a different perspective or view. I say they only complement. I’ve spent a lot of time and effort showing multiple scriptures that at the minimum shows the church is a significant part of the new Jerusalem, if not the entire city. I don’t feel like I’ve exhausted the subject but I feel I’ve given enough scriptural evidence to justify the claim. So now I want to stir up a different point of view and look at some other scripture that seems to indicate to me that the church is this woman mentioned in Revelation 21.
Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Verse 26 in Ephesians 5 specifically mentions the church as the bride and says she has been made clean by Christ. In verse 27 we see another inference of marriage in direct relationship to the church with the word “present” her. Present in the Greek means to stand beside. So if the church was only the body of Christ then there would be a direct contradiction, because how can a man stand beside himself? In a marriage ceremony usually the bride is standing beside the groom when taking the vows. Finally in verse 27 there is a reference to the church not having spot or wrinkle, holy and without blemish. I know that is speaking of God’s righteousness that was bestowed or given to the church and not something that we earned or achieved on our own. But did you notice a distinct parallel to another verse in Revelation 19 where it speaks about the bride in this regard:
Rev 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
Rev 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
This is a most interesting choice of words. It speaks of a cleansing process that has taken place. You might could infer a washing. Fine linen infers a garment that is spotless without stains, imperfections, rips or holes. Isn’t this what Ephesians was saying also? Also notice that it says in the last part of verse 8, the righteousness of the saints, not the righteousness of God. I fully understand it is God’s righteousness I’m just making a point. The word “saints” is used in other places in direct reference to the church. Look how God addresses His people in Rome:
Rom 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I think the similarities and parallels between the scriptures in Revelation describing the bride as a city to other scriptures that are written directly to the church in the epistles are so amazingly related that they complement each other. They simply give a different perspective of the same thing. God simply uses symbolism that we can grasp hold of and shows us some natural things to help us to understand these spiritual realities. In this verse in Romans 1:7 that is written to the church, we are called saints of God. I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard anyone besides the church ever referred to as saints. Have you? Then I noticed something very interesting in this verse, God calls the church “His beloved”. I don’t know if you noticed this or not, but this is a term used some 27 times in the Song of Solomon. The beloved is often times used in conjunction with a direct reference to his bride. Is this a coincidence or a clue to God’s purpose and plan? I believe it is a valuable clue to see. The church is this beloved, God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”. To love someone that much to give yourself for them is an incredibly unselfish act.
Before I end the discussion in this blog, let me show a verse of scripture that has tremendous significance to the identity of the “Lamb’s Wife”. As you read this verse notice that Jesus is speaking and who Jesus is speaking to. I believe you will see Jesus is talking to the church:
Rev 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
I don’t know how you can read this verse and not see clearly that Jesus is speaking to the church. Jesus is telling the church some very specific things. These specific details confirm in other words what we read in Revelation 19 and 21 about the New Jerusalem. Again the city is referred to as the city of God and it comes from above. But the name of this city will be written on or given to them that have overcome. Who is it that has overcome? What city name was it that was to be written on them? Of course Jesus says that to those who overcome, He will write the name of the New Jerusalem upon them. Jesus also said these same people will be living stones or pillars in the temple of God. This confirms that the spiritual temple of God and the spiritual city New Jerusalem are one in the same thing. These are totally complementary views of the exact same spiritual structure. If you can see it you will understand some very powerful spiritual truths. Then there is the whole name changing operation that takes place at a marriage between a husband and the wife. The wife traditionally always takes the name of the husband and isn’t this what this verse is saying? The church is taking the name “New Jerusalem” and becoming the wife of the Lamb. This is all New Covenant language and spiritual truths that have been overlooked by many. I hope you have enjoyed this lesson the identity of bride of Christ. I know I did not cover everything that I could have, but hopefully I gave you some new things to think about and study.
(Ver 1.2) This is now Part 3 in this Bible series on understanding the subjects of Night and Day and the spiritual heart of man and this will be different than anything that you have ever heard before. If you have not read from the beginning of this series I would suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1“. Today’s lesson wa a revelation that God taught me almost 20 years ago, when I was working for a small software company. I had a co-worker that had graduated from a large seminary and he was a very confused individual. For someone who could quote a large part of the Bible, he understood practically none of it. He even studied the Hebrew and the Greek and still knew nothing of who God was or what He said in His Word. He was a prime example of a man with two good eyes that could read but who couldn’t see what the words meant. God and I tried to help him and teach him the truth, but he did not want to see it. It is funny how God does things, especially for people who trust in their own ability or their own wisdom. God will most of the time send some lowly nobody that does not fit the pattern that they esteem or hold as valuable. You can recognize this was the same problem that the Jewish leadership had when Jesus walked among them. Most of them looked down on Jesus as a nobody man from Nazareth and he certainly did not fit their inner circle of self appointed importance. So what did they do? They crucified their God and their creator. They did not recognize the one that gave them their Holy Book of the law. Even though this book contained so many verses that pointed them to Jesus, they did not see it. I hope you are not like any of them. Look for foolish things sometimes as a source for the greatest wisdom and you will more than likely see it is from God.
So today I am going to talk about spiritual blindness from a familiar story found in the Bible in John chapter 9. In this story Jesus is said to heal a physically blind man. My seminary co-worker told me that this chapter proves that God causes some people to be sick, so that Jesus could heal them. That was a very confused interpretation and from what God showed me a clear misunderstanding of what this chapter was about. People read and see what they want to see. The seminary graduate was looking for verses that proved God caused some people to be sick for His glorious purpose. It was very sad to see people treat God with such disrespect. According to him, God would do something so perverted and illegal in the eyes of our court system that if tried, He would have to be found guilty and thrown into jail as a child abuser. Let’s start reading this story starting with verse 2:
Joh 9:2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
In this verse the disciples asked Jesus a difficult question. It is apparent that the disciples believed that sickness came as a result of someone’s sin so they asked Jesus as they passed by a blind man, who sinned? This man or his parents to cause him to be born blind? So here is the answer that Jesus gives to their question:
Joh 9:3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
Here is where you need to start to pay attention to what is said very closely, for Jesus does answer their question, but not the question that they had in their mind. Jesus told them “Neither this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him”. You may recall that the Bible says in Roman 3:23 that ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God, so we know Jesus is not saying these people never sinned. You see Jesus answered the question that He heard in His mind and not the question that come from their minds. Do you understand the difference? If you do you are doing better than most. The answer was from God’s perspective on the situation. God’s perspective is always a spiritual perspective first and foremost. This is an extremely valuable lesson in correct Bible interpretation. God tells us in His Word, “My thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are not your ways” (Isa 55:8). So Jesus, who was God in the flesh was not thinking naturally like they were. The disciples were seeing a naturally blind man and asking a question about what caused his physical blindness. But, Jesus was looking at the man’s heart and what caused his spiritual blindness. The disciples asked a natural question and Jesus gives a spiritual answer. My co-worker from the seminary never saw it either. Jesus told the disciples that his spiritual blindness was not caused by anyone’s sin and then starts talking about working the works of God. Verse 3 is where the seminary graduate said it proved that God made him blind so that Jesus could work and heal him. But, look at what else Jesus teaches us as he continues to answer their question. Notice Jesus did not stop talking, but says the following:
Joh 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Jesus starts by talking about working God’s work and we will look at that in a second. But, you see in this verse Jesus starts talking about the spiritual day and night. This is not the natural day and night that Jesus is talking about. If you start to realize that Jesus is speaking symbolically of the spiritual day and night then you will begin to understand the rest of this chapter. Again in this verse Jesus mentions the “work of God”. Automatically preachers and readers (as well as the disciples of Jesus) think naturally and see the work of God as being a physical healing. But, let’s continue to the next verse and the final statement in the answer to the question of who sinned?
Joh 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
This statement is an incredibly informative verse that is a combination of natural and spiritual things. You see Jesus was in the natural physical world. God made manifest in the flesh. But, then he says “I am the light of the world”. Did Jesus tell the disciples that he was our Sun that lights our natural day? Or did Jesus continue to show them a spiritual truth. I believe Jesus was speaking that He was the spiritual Sun light of the world. This is exactly why the Bible is so tricky to correctly interpret. We have a verse that combines natural things and spiritual things and we are given the assignment to figure it out. This is an example of rightly dividing God’s Word. Thank God, He helps us.
If you continue reading in the next few verses in the chapter you see that Jesus spits and makes mud from the ground and then rubs it in the blind man’s eyes. Jesus tells the man to go and wash in the pool of Siloam and the man did and it says that the man came back seeing. So was that all of the story? Is that where the story ended? Of course it is not and that is the problem with trying to take one Bible verse and trying to say God made him blind so that Jesus could heal him. People need to do a much better job of studying and seeing what the Bible says. According to a lot of preachers I heard this is where the story should end. They were focused in on Jesus healing the natural man’s blindness and did not see the rest of the story. What if Jesus healed the man physically and 35 years later the man dies and goes to hell? Would Jesus have been pleased with giving this man sight for 35 years and him still going to hell for an eternity. No you see Jesus was focused in on people’s spiritual blindness. Jesus cared more about the man’s spiritual eyesight than He did about healing the man’s physical blindness.
So what was the work of God that Jesus was interested in doing? Was it healing the people’s physical bodies or was that just an introduction to help them to see who they were dealing with. Jesus gives us a definition for the work of God in this same book of the Bible. So instead of making a wrong assumption by thinking we know what the work of God was that Jesus was here to accomplish, let’s go find out what God said about why He was here. If you can find it, this will be an absolutely critical piece of the puzzle. In order to correctly interpret the Bible you must get God’s definitions for every subject. Let’s go and find that definition and see what Jesus said was the work of God that He came to do:
Joh 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
You see the disciples ask Jesus another question and this time they want to know how to work the works that Jesus was here to do. Jesus is about to give us the definition for the work of God in his answer and it is not the answer that most are expecting to hear:
Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
Here is God’s definition for work and it is not healing people physically. Jesus tells his disciples that the work of God that He was here to do was to get people to believe in the one that God had sent. This of course was Jesus speaking of Himself. Learning this truth alone changes your perspective on the entire story of the blind man in John 9. Once you see that Jesus only heals the man physically to get him to see spiritually you can begin to see the true meaning of the chapter. Now we know what to look for. We also can begin to understand how Jesus did what he did and why. Jesus said that the Work of God was to get men to believe in the One that God sent. So why didn’t Jesus just open the eyes of the blind man and ask him if he believed? You see the man would not have had any opportunity to believe anything. Jesus spit and made mud and rubbed it into his eyes to get his attention. When Jesus told the man to go and wash. The man had an opportunity to say “what are you crazy, I’m not going to waste my time”. The man obviously believed something by traveling to the pool of Siloam. The pool was not that close and the walk to the pool would present many opportunities for the man to question what he was doing. If he would have doubted and not gone to the pool he would have never been healed. The blind man had exhibited some level of faith by just obeying Jesus’ instructions. That is believing in something that you haven’t seen yet.
Let’s quickly review spiritual blindness. We know from the New Testament that Satan is the source for spiritual blindness.
2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
You see in this verse God tells us that Satan who is called the god of this world has blinded the minds of everyone that refuses to believe on Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus is again called a light in this verse that will shine into the hearts of men who let him in. But, we can see that is why Jesus could answer in John 9 that neither this man sinned or his parents to cause the man’s spiritual blindness. It was Satan that caused the man not to see spiritually. Jesus was answering their natural question with a spiritual answer.
So what happens in this story of the man that was born blind? How does it end? The blind man goes and washes in the pool and comes back seeing. Everyone is amazed and there arises a great debate of the religious minds and leaders of the day. They question the man repeatedly and bring in his parents and question them. They have tremendous curiosity of what happened and they are focused in on the fact that Jesus did all of this on the Sabbath. They call Jesus a sinner for working on the Sabbath and not keeping God’s law. If they only could see who they were talking about. Well the conversation and questions continue for many verses and they eventually end up with them casting the formerly blind man out of their church. I guess it was technically a synagogue, but I just wanted to get your attention. What did Jesus do immediately after all of this? You notice Jesus did not show up to defend the blind man or to testify to the religious zealots. Jesus in effect knew they were not reachable and he did nothing to defend himself either. Jesus finds the formerly blind man and asks him this question:
Joh 9:35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?
Did you see what Jesus was interested in? Jesus didn’t ask him about how do you like seeing the world. No, Jesus said “Do you believe in the Son of God?” Jesus is dealing with his spiritual blindness and solving the problem of the man’s eternal destiny. We can finally see the real work of God being performed. Jesus was interested in getting the man to believe that He was sent from God. The man immediately asks who is this Son of God that I might believe and Jesus tells him it is the one that you are looking at right now and talking with. So the man says “Yes Lord I believe” and worships him. This was a man whose spiritual eyes were opened to know the One True Living God of Creation. His eternal destiny is established and I plan on seeing him in heaven some day.
The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were spiritually blind, but Jesus couldn’t help them to see. Real seeing is an act of the human spirit. Believing in someone that you have only heard about and have never seen. This is God talking to you right now. Do you believe? I’m not God, but He is using me right now to say something to you. Believe in Him!
Luk 8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
Choose to be a believer!
(Ver 1.2) This is a series of lessons on a basic spiritual truth that reveals the hidden conditions of the hearts of men and women in the world. God reveals this spiritual truth using the things created and found in the natural universe. These natural things are clearly symbolic and represent a far greater spiritual truth. I am convinced that this is an essential basic truth that every Christian should become intimately familiar with. This is now part 2 of the series and I would suggest that if you have not read from the start that you go back and start with Part 1.
There is a real man or a real woman inside of the physical bodies of every person on the earth. These real people are spirit beings that will live forever somewhere after their body dies. However, most people in the world today don’t know about this fact and are oblivious to this stated reality found in the Bible. The Bible often times speaks of these spiritual individuals in the hidden terms of the “heart”. The “heart” of a man is the spirit of the man. God is not talking about the physical blood pumping organ, God is talking about the center of your being, as in the heart of an apple or the heart of a tree. The “heart” term used by God is a figurative Bible term and describes the center of a human. This center of your being is the real you that you can not see. When a physical body dies, the person’s spirit is immediately transported to one of two possible places. One place is very good location called heaven and the other one is a very bad location called hell. The spiritual things are the real eternal things, the natural things are the temporary things (2 Cor 4:18). God has designed a system in the world that limits humans to a three dimensional realm with specific time constraints. All of these constraints represents natural boundaries and laws. When your body dies, you leave the natural realm you enter into the spiritual realm and you normally never come back (2 Cor 5:8). I have heard of a few people dying and going into the spiritual realm and then they are revived or come back to life in their physical bodies, but I would not put all my eggs in this basket hoping that is what will happen to you. Many times these people can see in both realms simultaneously. These people can see the hospital room, the doctors, the nurses, their family and their body but usually they are above all of this looking down on it all. These people are either sent back by God or God has allowed them to see and experience this in order to tell others that there is more to life than these few years we have on the earth. So this was a brief explanation of the spiritual realm.
In my last blog I introduced you to a number of scriptures that reveal the hearts of people to be either in darkness or in the light of the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Darkness and Light are symbolic references and are synonymous terms for Night and Day. Today we will explore more scriptures found in the New Testament that further enlighten us to these truths.
Isa 9:2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
I’ll start with this prophecy from the Old Testament. This verse is speaking about Jesus coming to the earth personally walking among us. This verse calls Jesus Christ the “great light” and that is of course a very significant statement. In my last blog we read verses that showed Jesus to be the spiritual Sun, the spiritual light of the world. Just as the physical sun is the source for all natural light on our planet, Jesus is the only source for all spiritual light on our planet. In this verse in Isaiah the people are described as being in the darkness. The darkness is caused by something that is blocking the light and causing a shadow. You do understand the concept of shadows? A shadow is an area where the direct light is not shinning. The direct light has been blocked by another object that casts a shadow on the ground. We were the people in this shadow and this shadow was caused by “death” and Satan. If you read the New Testament you will find verses that describe Satan as holding the power of death. So that is why I related the two together. The Bible says Jesus was made manifest in order to destroy him that had the power over death (Heb 2:14). So we can clearly see who is causing the darkness in the spiritual realm, it is Satan. So the term “great light” let’s explore that term to learn more about the spiritual hearts of men.
Gen 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser lightto rule the night: he made the stars also.
You see in the fourth day of creation God makes a prophetic and symbolic reference to spiritual things that were to come. God makes the “greater light” AKA “great light” to rule the “day”. God then makes a “lesser light” to rule the “night”. These lights are very significant to see and understand for other Bible interpretations. The “greater light” is the Sun and represents Jesus Christ. The “lesser light” is the moon and represents Satan. These two spiritual rulers are over their own separate domains or kingdoms. The Sun rules the Day (Ps 136:8), the moon rules the night (Ps 136:9). These separate 12 hour periods represent two different spiritual realms and conditions of the hearts of people. So the planet earth is a type and pattern of the human heart. The sun shines on the earth in a constant and consistent manner and the earth revolves and is either in the shadow or darkness or in the light depending on how it is positioned at any given time. The earth represents the hearts of men that have the opportunity to change and allow the light to shine or to turn away and stay in the darkness. When Jesus was walking the face of the planet some 2000 years ago he told us this:
Joh 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
Jesus made a bold and direct statement that He was the Spiritual Sun, the Greater Light that shined in the world. Jesus said by following Him we would never again walk in the darkness but always have the “light of life”. So light represents Life and darkness represents death. Life and death are very strong analogies and very important to understand.
Act 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
We can certainly see what I told you about the hearts of men having to be turned from darkness to light. It is clearly the responsibility of the men and women to do the turning, God will not force you to turn, but He will help you if you ask. Then there is another stark contrast given between these two realms. Satan has the power to rule in the darkness. To say Satan is powerless would be an error. But what is important to note is that his power is limited to the realm of “darkness” and the “night”. If you are in the light you are outside of the realm of his influence and power, or at least you should be. Satan will still attempt to deceive you and influence power over you until you learn not to let him.
Col 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
You see these two spiritual realms being starkly contrasted again. The power of darkness is where, we the church use to be, but we are now called “saints in light”. These two spiritual domains are also called different kingdoms. The Kingdom of Light and the kingdom of darkness. Again day and night are symbolic references to two separate and distinct spiritual states or places to be. Even though we walk the same planet with those who are still in darkness we are not of the darkness and darkness is no longer ruling our hearts and minds. To be in the world but not of the world as the Bible says.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
So Satan and his demons are spiritual forces that rule the darkness of the world around us. This verse clearly confirms that Satan is the moon, the lesser light, the ruler of the darkness that we referred to from Genesis 1. A ruler clearly implies a kingdom, a kingdom of darkness. Satan has been trying to establish his own dominion and kingdom outside of God since the beginning when sin was found in him.
1Jn 2:8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.
In this verse in 1st John we are told for those who are in the light that the darkness has passed. It is interesting to note that when the lights are on you don’t have any darkness. But this verse also tells us that Jesus is the “true light”. The Sun of Righteousness has arisen in our hearts and He is shinning a true light that we might see the truth. It is interesting that the characteristics of the moon is used to describe Satan symbolically. The moon has no life or produces any light of itself. The only reason we can see the moon at night is because it reflects or masquerades as an object of light. The moon is a pretender and shadow caster and a false light. It is so different than the sun that is the key to the source of our life on this planet. But as the Bible says, men who love the darkness are deceived by it and succumb to the trickery of the ruler of the darkness. But here is some good news and hope for those that are in the darkness:
Eph 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
You see God says that those who are in the darkness are simply asleep and capable of waking up and seeing the light. This is a very strong typology and the spiritual information is significant. Pray for those in the darkness to wake up and see the light of day. To turn and allow Christ to arise in their hearts. Again if people do this they are translated into the light and the life of God. If they refuse to turn they are already dead. That is a very sad state of many people in the world today.
There are many other verses in the Bible that speak to us on this subject of Day and Night and I would suggest that you get your Bible search program and look for the key words, like day, night, darkness, light, sleep and any other word that you can think of that are associated with these spiritual realms. By studying the subject you will better understand why people don’t see Christ like you see Christ. Why they have been turned off when the light shines in on them. Jesus told us that “now ye are the lights of the world” so it is our responsibility to be a light to others. But this should be done in a Godly manner using the same ways that God worked through Jesus. Learn to be like Jesus and walk like Jesus and you will get others attention by just being so radically different than they are. Here is a quick chart of some of the lessons we have learned about the spiritual realms of Day and Night:
Day And Night Characteristics
|Sun Rules the Day||Moon Rules the Night|
|True Light||False Light|
|Greater Light||Lesser Light|
|Power of God||Power of Satan|
If you would like to continue reading in this series of lessons, you can continue with “Part 3“.
(Ver 2.2) This is Part 4 in a very advanced Bible study series on the Book of Revelation concerning chapter 12 and the True Identity of the Woman. This woman was described by God with a crown of 12 stars, clothed in the Sun and standing with her feet on the moon. We have covered so very much important information on this subject already. There is absolutely no way that I can teach it again today. Therefore I would strongly recommend, if you have not read from the beginning that you stop and begin your study with “Part 1“.
INTRODUCTION AND QUICK REVIEW
I knew this subject would take a lot of effort to get people to begin to understand it. This is now my fourth lesson on the subject of the search for the true identity of the woman in Revelation 12. There are so many diverse opinions to who this symbolic woman in Revelation 12 represents and all of these can produce a presupposition that can become a mental stronghold. These can be used by Satan to block any new information from entering our human mind. Any previous knowledge on a subject can potentially produce a state of human “prejudice”. “Prejudice is a human condition when someone is prejudging someone or somethings before all of the facts are given, known and understood. For example, many people today hate the Jewish people and most of these haters have never really even met a Jewish person and talked with them. That is usually one form of racial prejudice, injustice and bias that is from Satan due to our ignorance of not knowing the full truth. This type of hatred must have been passed down from someone’s parents, or from teachers, or from other groups of influence that they associate with. This type of prejudice does not come from birth or from God. Almost every little child if raised in a good family without prejudice, will like everyone regardless of their gender, race, education or whatever. But, this open trust can change when someone does evil to them personally. Then there can come a new problem of thinking that everyone that is similar to them, is the exact same evil. What a complex world we live in.
There is really so much more to explore on this subject of the woman in Revelation 12. We have only touched on a few of the subjects and there are so many more questions to ask and answer. Why is the woman pregnant? Who is the child? Why does she appear in heaven in verse 1? I try to write and teach using progressive revelation and truth, that builds upon truth. This means if you missed the beginning lessons you missed the foundation to all the other building blocks. I don’t claim to have all of the answers, but I’ll tell you what I do know and we will trust the Spirit of God to answer the questions that have not yet been answered.
In Part 1 we focused on the answering the question of when these events occur and found God said they are in the future. We continued to study and discovered the identity of the “Sun” clothing to be Jesus Christ the ruler of the Kingdom of Light. We have also found why this woman is clothed with the Sun. Then in Parts 2 and 3 we talked about the moon being the ruler of the darkness, a kingdom that is directly opposed to God’s kingdom of light. Then we looked at the specific meaning of how the moon is found in relation to the woman as being under her feet. I believe this is so very important to understand what this means.
I have shown scriptures that spoke about the church bruising the head of the serpent (Satan). I talked about Jesus delegating His authority to the church to tread on (walk on or over) the serpent (Luke 10:19) who we know is Satan (Rev 12:9). I then showed how Jesus today is seated at the right hand of Majesty in heaven, still waiting for all of His enemies to be made His footstool (Acts 2:35, Heb 1:13). All of these are scriptural references, patterns and pointers that God uses to help us identify the woman in Revelation 12. Today we are going to go into more detail concerning how the books of Genesis and Revelation are divinely designed to be connected bookends. We were introduced to this concept previously. But since this is a potentially new concept, I believe we need more information and that requires a deeper study. I hope you agree.
GOD’S GENESIS AND REVELATION CONNECTIONS
I want to readdress some things that were potentially new to some people. Previously, I talked about the “seed of the woman” in Genesis 3:15 as possibly being a spiritual seed and the woman being a prophesied picture of the church. Today in this lesson, I want to teach some things that I believe the Lord has taught me. There are absolutely fascinating and completely related to the subject of the identity of the woman as being related to the Genesis 3 woman prophecy. This is why I called this section “God’s Genesis and Revelation Connections”.
In Revelation 12, the very first verse is focused upon the suspect woman in question. But we can also see and know that the very last verse 17 is about the same woman. In fact it is very important to see that at least 10 of the 17 verses of Revelation 12 mention the woman directly. Also, note this truth that I did teach you before. This Greek word that occurs in 10 verses in Revelation 12 for “woman” is G1135 and yes it is correctly translated as woman. But it is normally associated to be a married woman called a “wife”. Ok, that does not really help us that much. Because all of the suspect women candidates were all wives. But, yet I feel like this is important to know. This woman is not an unmarried woman. Or more positively stated she is a covenant/married wife. Finally, notice that this Greek word G1135 translated as woman in Revelation 12 is again used in Revelation 19 to describe the Lamb’s wife. But this time the word was chosen by translators to say “wife”. Just keep that in your mind as we continue.
I have mentioned previously the direct connection of Revelation 12 to Genesis 3 by God’s designed purpose. God designed spreading out connected information for us to discover by searching the Bible. We are so very blessed to live in the last days when computers are available to help us in this task. Remember, Daniel 12:4 informs us that in the last days knowledge will increase. God knew computers would exist and prophesied it accordingly. Praise the LORD!
We understand truth connections exist simply because the book of Genesis was written by Moses nearly 1600 years earlier than the book of Revelation was written by John. The two men did not know each other but yet their books go together with precision. I’m going to repeat something that I have said several other times. But, it is important to know and understand that in the book of Genesis, God usually introduces us to every major Biblical subject. Then in the book of Revelation God concludes the discussion on these subjects to conform to how He desired them to be from the beginning. That is why I like to call them bookends. It is like a modern fiction author writing the introduction to the characters and subject in chapter 1 and then concluding the last chapter with all of the surprises, twists and turns. The information, chapters, books and authors that come in between the book of beginnings and the book of the revealing can also provide us additional clues to the subject in question and they usually do. This introduction and conclusion subject information is popularly known as the Laws of First and Last Mention.
We need to notice in Genesis 3 the direct connections found in our woman suspect subject study. In Genesis 3:15, I believe that God is introducing us to 1) a woman (other than Eve) and 2) her seed, 3) Satan and 4) Satan’s seed. Then in addition to these main characters there is a described 5) great prophesied enmity (hatred) between them. It would probably be good to go back and reread the entire chapters of Genesis 3 and Revelation 12 to see the common subjects, noun and verb connections. Make a list of nouns, verbs and adjectives and then compare the two lists. Sometimes subjects are implied and not directly mentioned so it is good to note the implications. For example, in Revelation the woman is said to be a pregnant wife and this implied a husband even though he was never mentioned directly in the chapter. Let’s examine some of the direct important connections that I found next when reading.
In reading Genesis 3:1 we should easily learn of God’s introduction of “the serpent”. We are never told who this creature is or if he is literal or symbolic in this chapter. I have several other Bible studies on this subject that I will not repeat about this subject of the serpent. But, I have concluded and believe that this serpent was a symbol for Satan and was not physically present in the garden. I would highly recommend you go read the Bible lesson “Genesis 3 – Was there a Literal Talking Snake in the Garden”. We learn from the introduction of the serpent in Genesis that there is a connection to Revelation 12 because this unknown serpent is finally defined and identified to be the dragon in Revelation 12:9. Because God chooses to give us the true definition and identity of the “old serpent” as being the dragon and Satan we should automatically begin to examine what else could also be connected here in these two chapters. This is how God gives us clues to discovering truth and I think it is amazingly wise.
This connection teaches us clearly that this “old serpent” in Genesis 3 had to be a symbolic representation for the now implied much larger symbolic “red dragon” in Revelation 12. Both the serpent and the dragon are symbolic names and descriptions of the same evil being named Satan. Also note that there are two verses in Revelation that define the serpent’s identity? Could both of these be a connection? These verse definitions are Revelation 12:9 and Revelation 20:2. These are the only two verses (that I currently know of) in the Bible where God chooses to define the true identity of the “serpent” introduced in Genesis 3. This is a very common method that God uses to hide truth in the Bible for us to find. God will talk about a subject in one place and then will suddenly define the subject in a completely new and different place later in the scriptures. This can even occur in a completely different book using a new inspired author like we find in the book of Revelation.
It is just interesting to note that these two referenced definitions of Satan occur in the vicinity of two described women. In Revelation 12 the woman is mentioned first and then the dragon is introduced with the connection of the serpent definition. Both occur together within one verse in the same chapter. Notice in Genesis 3:1, the serpent occurs first and then immediately followed with him speaking to a woman. This is typical bookend patterns. I pray you know what bookends look like. I placed a sample picture in this paragraph to help. Bookends exhibit a pictured image, but in the reverse order. Wow, that is very similar to what we see in these two chapters. I do not believe that is a coincidence.
Then in Revelation 20 the dragon and the serpent definition is again preceded in Chapter 19 by a woman. But this woman in Revelation 19 is called the “Lamb’s Wife”. The Greek word translated as “wife” in this verse is the exact same Greek word translated as “woman” in Revelation 12. Isn’t that interesting? I do not believe that these are accidents either. These are the signs of highly intelligent design connecting related subjects together.
But, in Revelation 19 and 20 there is a new person that comes between the woman and the dragon. He is the LORD Jesus coming back to the earth with His saints riding on a white horse. Since chapters and verses were numbered and added by imperfect humans long after the writings of the scripture, I believe that Revelation 19 and 20 are still connected together by verse association and context. I am not making a fixed declaration of doctrine or a statement of “I’m right and your wrong” conclusion. But, I believe that both women mentioned near the dragon and serpent definitions are the exact same woman/wife. I hope you find it very interesting where and how God put them close together for us to discover and learn from.
While I would love to go through all of the 10 Revelation 12 verse references today of the woman, I will not because of the size increase of the lesson. However, let’s change our focus in Revelation 12 to the woman found again in verse 17 for what God reveals to us to be connected to Genesis 3. This is the last verse in the chapter and it would appear the subject changes in Revelation chapter 13 to something new.
Rev 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
I personally see similar characters, descriptions, nouns, adjective and verbs as what we found in Genesis 3:15. This might not be an exact quotation, but the synonymous comparisons are amazingly close to me. I believe that there is enough overlap for us to confirm that they are speaking of the same subjects. Can we notice what it says?
Verse 17 starts with a statement that declares Satan to be very angry with this woman. The statement or word in the KJV is actually “wroth” (G3710) and it means to be enraged and angry. That really sounds analogous and synonymous to God’s phrasing of “enmity” and “hatred” (H342) we found in Genesis 3:15. I know that these are slightly different words but they synonymously connect us with a similar meaning of hatred toward two enemies. Next, we then see within the context of this verse that Satan is said to be at “war” with the remnant of this woman’s seed. Again this signifies an adversary relationship. We learn from this that Satan and the woman are direct enemies in conflict against each other.
That statement is absolutely essential to see and understand, “….and went to make war with the remnant of her seed”. Did you notice that we have been talking about the “seed of the woman”? In Genesis 3 we clearly observe scripture where God prophesies that Satan and his seed will be at odds with a woman and her seed. Isn’t that what Genesis 3:15 said? God said “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between her seed and your seed”. Fascinating isn’t it? Clearly this is not a chance occurrence.
Here in Revelation 12:17 we have God’s very specific mention of 1) a woman , 2) her “seed” and 3) Satan (the serpent). But this time it is in clear context and relationship to a new symbolic woman revealed in Revelation 12. Or is it a new woman? I have concluded from this information God is connecting the Revelation 12:17 woman with the Genesis 3:15 woman and that they are the exact same. Therefore, whoever the Genesis 3:15 woman represents the Revelation 12:1 woman must also represent. I believe that God was first introducing us to her in Genesis 3:15 and is now confirming the fulfillment of the prophesied pattern here in Revelation 12. This must be the same woman that God was talking about in Genesis 3:15. I believe that there are too many connections being given to us in these two chapters by divine design and purpose to deny it.
Now how does this verse Revelation 12:17 end? I believe the ending of the chapter is a clear window into the identity of the woman. Who does this verse claim that the Revelation 12 woman is? God in this verse gives us two very specific dependent qualifications for the identity of the Revelation 12:1 woman. These are two distinguishing characteristics of determined truths that must be applied correctly in order to understand (interpret correctly) the identity of the woman in Revelation 12 and here they are:
- She keeps the commandments of God
- She has the Testimony of Jesus Christ
I don’t know how we can read these statements and not know who that is talking about. I do not believe this describes the Old Covenant natural nation of Israel who practices Judaism. Perhaps you see it differently and will explain why you see it this way to me. I do believe that many individuals in the natural nation of Israel, have tried to follow the laws and the commands of God. But I don’t recall any of them that succeeded 100% except for Jesus Christ.
Of course we might say the same thing about the church also. Has the New Covenant Bride of Jesus Christ completely followed every command? I don’t know of any Christian that is yet perfect and never makes a mistake or sinned. Do you know one? I believe Jesus was the only one and we all should be rising to his living example. But, Christian do have an advantage over the Old Covenant. True Christians should be following Jesus Christ their Shepherd and listening to His voice on a daily basis (John 10:27). Christians should have the Spirit of Christ living on the inside of them guiding them and this is the help that we need to become more like Him. Also there are many natural Jewish people that have become Christians by believing in Jesus. The church began with 120 Jewish people in an upper room in Jerusalem (Acts 2) and then they began to spread to Gentiles later with God’s help. So I am not being anti-Semitic at all. I love all people especially the Jewish people and I want everyone to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus.
Every human has the opportunity to repent and believe in Jesus Christ to be saved. This begins the walk with Him. When we start down this narrow path we should be led by the Holy Spirit to become like Him and that means to become holy. Now that is when we change to begin to possess the “testimony of Jesus Christ” as God reveals to us in Revelation 12:17. Ask your self this question; “Does Natural Israel have the testimony of Jesus Christ?” Maybe some teach and believe that this will come to fruition in the tribulation because Revelation mentions the 144,000 from every tribe to prove that will occur. I don’t dispute that. But I believe this woman mentioned in Revelation 12 will have Jew and Gentile, bond and free, male and female (1 Cor 12:13, Gal 3:28) and we will all jointly be called the “Bride of Christ”.
I’ll briefly discuss another factor of Grace that is important to know. We are not made righteous because we are perfect. We are made righteous by Grace. It was a gift. 2 Corinthians 5:21 informs us that “He was made sin who knew no sin, so that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him”. Wow, that is amazing. I do not have time to teach this subject fully. Just understand righteousness was a gift, but it was given so that we could change to become dead to sin aka holy, like Him (1 Peter 2:24).
Then there is another verse in the middle of chapter 12 of Revelation that is also related to the identity of the woman with her enemy relationship to the serpent and the dragon:
Rev 12:11 And they overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
When I read this verse, I see the corporate church described as an overcoming, victorious body of believers. This can only be describing those that have received the Lamb of God as their personal savior and Lord (Jew, Greek, male, female, bond or free). This must be speaking of people that have applied and appropriated the shed blood of the Lamb of God to the doorposts of their spiritual hearts. When someone is described as having overcome something, that denotes a clear sign of victory at someone else’s ominous defeat. Here we have another confirming picture of the woman in Revelation 12: 1 standing with her feet upon the moon (Satan). Currently there is still just one woman in the Bible suspect list that qualifies to be this woman and it still is only the church the Lamb’s wife!
I would also like to make another quick point about Revelation 12:11. The blood of the Lamb, was just one enemy overcoming factor. The second part of that verse says “… and the word of their testimony”. Do you realize what that says or at least implies very heavily. The Greek word translated as “word” in this is G3056 and it is transliterated as “logos”. The definition literally means “something spoken” but it is used in reference to the Word of God numerous times. It is specifically used by Jesus in Mark 4:20 to describe the “seed” that was sown on good ground to produce fruit. This means real Christians.
We have just discovered a new connection to the woman in Revelation 12. I believe that Satan is in an all out battle with anyone that professes the Word (seed) of God. Therefore when we get to Revelation 12:17 I believe this is who Satan is fighting against on the earth. There will be people that were not truly saved after the rapture takes place that will understand what a mistake they have made and attempt to come back to the LORD. These people will have a very difficult time on the earth, but God will help them.
Notice in Revelation 12:15 when God is trying to help these people left on the earth that we are told that Satan the serpent spews water like a flood out from his mouth to try to overcome the woman. Wow, please realize this flood represents “spoken words”. The words could be lies, they could accusations, they could be threats, tricks and deceptions. There are a lot of tactics that could be used to try to get people to turn from their beliefs. However, again God helps the woman by opening the earth to swallow his words. Again we see a prophecy that they overcame Satan by applying the blood and speaking the Word.
We have just learned of two weapons that can be turned against our enemy Satan. This applies today as well as during the tribulation. These weapons can be transferred back into us wearing the Armor of God. We are told to wear this armor in Ephesians 6. I believe all of the armor of God is based upon the Word of God. So we have just confirmed how this chapter 12 of Revelation is in parallel to the Genesis 3:15 prophecy. We definitely have a woman versus a serpent and her seed (words) against his seed (words). But let’s go into some verses about the blood next. How many scriptures in the New Testament can you recall that speak of the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ?
Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
1Co 10:16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Col 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Heb 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
These are just a representative sampling of verses in the Bible that speak of the work of the blood of Jesus for His church. Understanding the power of the blood of Jesus is an essential part of a successful and victorious walk with Christ on the earth. Knowing what the blood of the Lamb purchased is critical to knowing who you are in Christ. Understanding the purpose of the blood of Christ is essential to a successful earthly Christian life. After understanding these verses, I hope that you can see the direct relationship to the descriptive qualities of the woman especially being clothed with the Sun of Righteousness in Revelation 12:11.
I am not going to go through every verse, but I would like to make a quick point on the first verse from Romans 5:9. Did you notice the connection from the church appropriating the shed blood of Jesus to be justified and to us missing the tribulation? I know it does not say tribulation but please understand this is when the wrath of God will be poured out on the ungodly upon the earth. This 7 year time period is divided into two 42 month periods. The greater tribulation occurs at the last 3.5 years. But yet I believe the church will not be here for any of it if we overcame Satan already using the blood of Jesus and God’s Word. It is a mystery of sorts when people believe the tribulation will occur with some even thinking that God will send His beloved bride through His time of wrath and judgement. But, what loving husband would do that to His bride/wife?
If God did this He would violate His own written word. Remember in Ephesians 5 God instructs husbands to love their wives like Christ loves the church. So if Christ sends His bride through brutal judgment to be murdered then we should do the same! I am being very sarcastic with that last comment. No we should not do that at any time. Therefore, is the church the bride of Christ? I believe she is! Is the church going to encounter God’s fierce wrath? Not according to the Bible. Wow, let’s please wake up and see the true heart of God.
Finally, here is what the Bible says in relation to the qualifications of the identity of the woman described in Rev 12:17. In these verses we will see instructions for the church to obey God’s commandments. God told Israel the basic same things, but this time in the New Covenant He came inside the hearts of people removing their hard hearts of stone to place tender hearts of flesh. This is where He writes His laws on them for us to follow. I just quoted a lot of Old Testament prophetical statements written about the church. But let’s read the instruction in the New Testament:
1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
Joh 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Joh 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
We can see from these sample verses that the Church has been directed (commanded) to keep God’s commandments. They all say something like, if you love me you will keep my commandments. This is how we know we love God, because we keep His commandments. We know of course that this does not mean that the Church is suppose to keep the law of Moses, but rather the new law of Jesus Christ. Jesus taught us that all the law is summarized in two statements. Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and then love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus gave the church a new commandment to love one another. This new commandment fulfills all of the Old Testament law. If you love your neighbor you are not going to steal from them, you are not going to cheat them, you are not going to commit adultery with their spouse, you are not going to do anything that will harm them or cause them pain, emotionally, physically, mentally or spiritually. This is the law of LOVE! So let’s look at scriptures concerning those who have the testimony of Jesus Christ, who could this describe?
1Co 1:6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:
2Ti 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
Rev 1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Rev 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
Here are just a few of the scriptures related to those who have the testimony of Jesus Christ. We can see that the testimony of Jesus Christ was confirmed in the church members of Corinth. We can see Paul’s instruction to Timothy for him not to be ashamed of the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then in Revelation 1:9 we can see that John was imprisoned on Patmos for having the testimony of Jesus Christ. Finally in Revelation 19:10 in context with the description of the New Jerusalem, the bride of the Lamb, the angel of the Lord tells John not to worship him, but worship God with his brothers that also have the Testimony of Jesus Christ.
So we have seen numerous scriptures that indicate directly and indirectly that the church are the people that are supposes to keep God’s commandments and keep the testimony of Jesus Christ. They were also confirmed to be people that must overcome the serpent (Satan) using the blood of Jesus and the Word (Seed) of God. So we can see from all of these descriptive elements that this certainly narrows the potential identities of the woman in Revelation 12 to only one woman. Using the Word of God to explain the Word of God is the key to understanding the Bible. Perhaps you will join me in my next lesson. Thank you for reading and commenting and may God Bless you tremendously with the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in knowing Christ Jesus. Amen.
If you would like to continue reading this series, you can go to Part 5.
(Ver 1.4) This is Part 1 in a series of basic Bible lessons on understanding the Spiritual Heart of Man. These lessons are some of the essential foundational concepts found in the Bible that permit us to understand many other more advanced subjects found in the Bible. This Bible lesson today will be some additional information on a subject that I have mentioned before briefly, but these lessons will be a much more in-depth study of the subject. I have learned from my Bible study that “Night and Day” represents the symbolic spiritual conditions of men’s hearts in the world today. I of course mean the term men as a form of mankind, meaning both men and women. This is a key subject to understand because it gives us a new perspective viewpoint into the spiritual realm that we cannot see or perceive with our five natural senses. The Bible says God is a Spirit (John 4:24). The Bible teaches us that no man has ever seen God (1 Jn 4:12). How then are we on the earth supposed to learn about this God and the spiritual realm that we have never observed? God actually tells us if we open our eyes to see Him. God created things in the natural world to give us clues of the unseen things in the spiritual world. God tells us in Romans 1:20 “The invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that were made”. So to understand spiritual things we need to recognize how God created natural things to operate. The Bible informs us that the natural world is a temporary place (2 Cor 4:18). The earth is a place that will change dramatically in the future eternal dimension beyond time. But for now you must realize that we live within in the constraints of time and that God has put everything here in this world by design for a specific purpose to teach us about the things we cannot see. God does nothing by accident and everything that He created hid a view of something we don’t understand. We of course should also realize because of our human ignorance, we do not completely understand all of the motivations and purposes for everything that God has created. But, we can at least begin to understand the things that God has taught us in His Word. So that is what I will attempt to do today to teach you on the subject of Night and Day and what it means in the spiritual realm.
1Co 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
You see in this verse God recorded a simple truth on the condition of the hearts of people in the world today. These things are referred to as “hidden things”. Hidden things are those that we cannot see clearly with casual observation. Do you understand that anything that was hidden was removed from our view intentionally by someone? It is like hiding easter eggs for your children to find. Some eggs you might place in plain sight but other eggs you might make very difficult to find and that is exactly what God has done with His creation and His Word. God hiding things is a prevalent themed pattern found in the Bible. In 1 Corinthinians 4:5 notice that God tells us that these things being spoken of (light, darkness and the hidden things) are matters of the heart of man. The heart in the Bible will almost always be a reference to the unseen spirits of men and women. God calls this a state of darkness before we are saved and Christ has entered into our spirits. We are said to be in a state of symbolic darkness or night. This of course is only a symbolic reference to a spiritual condition that we are unaware of in our unsaved and ignorant conditions. Technically unsaved people are spiritually asleep and saved people are spiritually awake and I will try to get into that later since both individuals still have spirits that exist forever.
2Co 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
You see in this verse God tells us about an event that occurred in Genesis 1 on the first day of the creation account. We can clearly understand from this verse in 2 Corinthians that this event in Genesis was prophetic and had a double meaning. We know that there are many symbolic and prophetic events in the 1st chapter of Genesis if you have read my many other Bible lessons. God says that He has commanded the “light” to shine in our hearts and that was described in Genesis 1:3 when God said “Let there be light”. This light was the knowledge of the glory of God that it says was found in the face of Jesus Christ. We are told that the face of Jesus Christ shines as the “sun” in Revelation 1:16.
Rev 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
You can see in this descriptive symbolic verse in Revelation, Jesus is described as the sun. We will certainly see many other verse in the Bible that further confirm this fact to us as we continue to study the subject. The physical sun is one of the key sources for our existence on this planet. Of course Jesus, the spiritual sun is certainly the key reason for our salvation out of this world. What we are seeing is a pattern of spiritual truths being revealed to us using God’s created realities. Those who are in darkness that do not know Jesus Christ verssus those who are now in the light of Jesus Christ. Here is another very key verse on this subject:
2Co 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Jesus Christ is described as a light that shines into the hearts of men again in this verse. This verse also says that people who have not believed on Jesus have been mentally blinded. Blindness is of course just a symbolic state of darkness. Darkness will simply be defined as the absence of light. The absence of light is synonymously just the inability to see the light or it is called blindness. Have you ever been deep in a cave when they shut the lights off? I mean you can’t see your hand in front of your face. This absence of the spiritual Light of Jesus is equated to spiritual blindness. If Jesus is the light and He certainly claimed to be the light of the world, then Satan has done something to the unsaved world to affect their spiritual ability to see and understand. God clearly tells us that the Gospel has been hidden to them. Satan has blinded their minds so that they are unable to understand. Your mind is just an internal part of your soul. The soul of man is made up of three parts, the mind, the will and the emotions. This three part internal component of man is not your spirit. Maybe I’ll get to that in another lesson, but for now we will continue on. If you notice Jesus is again implied to be the sun that shines into the hearts of men in this verse. Here is what Jesus said about light and darkness in the Gospels when He walked amoung us:
Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Joh 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
Joh 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
In these verses found in John, God is contrasting why people are like they are. God says that those who are blinded by Satan love the darkness. These people are incapable of seeing the light because they hate the light. Whenever, light is presented to them they close their spiritual eyes and refuse to see it or even look at it. It is a very similar experience to people walking out of a dark theater to suddenly see the brigh sunshine. It is so bright that they just have to close their eyes. God’s Word is like that to many unsaved people, it can be presented in ways that are too bright and blinding to people who live in the darkness of this world. Jesus is talking specifically about this spiritual condition of the hearts of people in these verses. Even though He does not directly mention the terms of Night or Day, they are certainly indirectly implied.
So we have two conditions of men’s hearts given to us. Those that are blinded and in darkness and those that can see the light of Jesus Christ. There is a sharp and distinct contrast given between these two states of the heart. The difference is literally night and day. Those in the darkness are called lovers of evil. Those in the light love the truth. That would imply that the darkness is a lie or a falsehood. A false state of being. A fantasy world of the imagination. When you start to think in spiritual terms using this analogy you will begin to understand the spiritual realm with much greater clarity. There are many scriptures that we still need to explore and to see. Here is a very relevant verse found in 2 Peter:
2Pe 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
We can see in this verse that God is telling us that we who are in the church use to be in darkness, but now the day has dawned in our hearts. The Day Star of course is Jesus Christ. The Day Star is a significant reference to the earth’s closest star. This Day Star represents our sun in other descriptive words. The natural sun is said to rise in the east and set in the west. We of course know from science that the sun does not move, but the rotation of the earth causes the sun to appear to rise and set. It is the movement of the earth that determines the light or darkness we experience in the natural. The same is true for the spiritual, God is always shining in a constant, consistent ever present way to every human on the earth. However, men and women choose to turn either to allow the light to come in or turn and keep the light out. It is the movement of the individual that allows God to shine in their hearts and not the other way. 2 Peter 1:19 says we were this dark place, but that God has commanded the light to shine out of darkness. However, we still have a choice to make. It is always a partnership of people receiving what God has given to them. God will not force the light down your throat.
1Jn 2:8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.
1 Jn 2:9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
1Jn 2:10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
1Jn 2:11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
God again contrasts two states of men hearts in these verse found in 1 John. Those in darkness are contrasted to those in the light. To those in the light it declares that our nights have passed and the true light of Jesus Christ is forever in our hearts. However, God tells us a another secret, when He says that there will be some that say they are in the light and who are not. That is of course a challenge we are faced with on a daily basis in this world. We cannot see the spiritual condition of someone’s heart. Someone in church can appear very Godly and Holy and even say some really good things. But God informs us that what people say is not necessarily what is really in their hearts (Mar 7:6). Too many Christian make this mistake every day. It seems that a great number of people in the world made that mistake in the last election. We had candidates saying one thing that they are a Christian and yet they do everything they can to oppose God’s ways and His Word. But we can see that God tells us that there is a difference. It has to do with good vs. evil and love vs. hate. Those in the light actually love their brothers. We can clearly see that this state of darkness causes people to be unable to perceive spiritual things and I can see this all over the internet and in people’s blogs and other parts of their life. I guess I’ll end this post here and continue this subject in my next blog.
If you would like to continue reading this series of lessons on Night and Day you can go to “Part 2“.
(Ver 1.1) This is now Part 10 in the series of advanced Bible lossons on the subject of The Bride of Christ Revealed. Today will be a lesson on more Old Testament references to the Bride of Christ. I have already covered a lot of infromation in this series. For example, if we are talking about someone being a bride then there are implied subjects that we needed to be covered. For example, an implied bridegroom and an implied wedding or marriage. I went over the subjest that Jesus was the Bridegroom of the bride providing you with many scriptures. I then defined what a spiritual woman or a spiritual bride was in the eyes of God using the Bible to help us to understand her. I further have defined the reality that a marriage in the eyes of God is a covenant between God and his bride using several verses. If you have not been following this blog series from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you go back and read it from the beginning Part 1 The Introduction.
As we have seen, we know from the Old Testament prophets that God was married to the natural nation of Israel and the people of the earthly city of Jerusalem. Maybe you didn’t realize that, but it is there. What we see is a natural example of a marriage covenant between Israel and God the Father. This is a pattern and a foreshadowing of the New Covenant that was to come. When Jesus was crucified He implemented a new covenant, which represents a spiritual marriage to a spiritual woman called the new Jerusalem. The parallels between these two women are numerous and I really think they are obvious if you look for them. Here are just some of the parallels I found from studying these two women:
|Old Covenant||New Covenant|
|Physical People||Spiritual People|
|Natural Nation of Israel||Spiritual Nation of Israel|
|12 Sons of Jacob||12 Disciples of the Lamb|
|Earthly Jerusalem||New Jerusalem|
|Unholy Jerusalem||Holy Jerusalem|
|Solomon Builds God a Natural Temple||Jesus Builds God a Spiritual Temple|
|Priests unto God||Jesus our High Priest|
|Blood of the Lamb on the Doorposts||Blood of the Lamb of God covers our Sins|
|Offers Yearly Sacrifices for Sin||Jesus the Lamb of God once for all Sin|
|Described as a Natural Woman||Described as a Spiritual Woman|
|Married to God the Father||Married to Jesus the Son of God|
|Abraham The Natural Father||Abraham the Spiritual Father|
|Called the Natural Seed of Abraham||Called the Spiritual Seed of Abraham|
|Circumcised in the Flesh||Circumcised in the Heart|
|Covenant of Mt Sinai in Arabia||Covenant of Mt Zion in Heaven|
So who is this new covenant with? It has to be the church, those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. The parallels and patterns between these two women are very significant and intentional by God’s design. God implemented an Old Covenant to give us patterns into the New Covenant. Let’s go through some verses in the Old Testament now and look for the bride of Christ. Here is an Old Testament scripture that I believe is very relevant to the subject of the identity of the bride:
Isa 54:5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.
We see a clear reference that God our maker is called the husband. I know this verse could be taken as directed at Israel and God, but I believe by the law of double reference it is referring to Jesus and the church. This is a prophetic verse of scripture for it speaks of God being “our” husband. How did I get to “our”? Because it says “thy Husband” is also called “thy Redeemer”. So who has redeemed us? Did you know we were redeemed from something, maybe that ought to be my first question. Here is a familiar scripture to some and others might not have seen it:
Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
You see in this verse that Jesus is called our Redeemer. God writes to the church and tells them that Jesus gave himself for them. Jesus did this to free them from their captive state and from the consequences of their sin. Here is another verse that speaks along these lines:
Gal 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
So we see from Galatians 3:13 and Titus 2:14 that Christ has redeemed “US” the church. So who did Isaiah say our husband would be? He said our Redeemer would be our husband. These kind of scriptures are all over the Bible if you look for them. I know it can be like putting a big jig saw puzzle together, but the pieces of the puzzle only fit together correctly one way so keep trying them to figure out what is right and what works. God didn’t give you a puzzle that couldn’t be solved. I hope you can see why I included this scripture right here and how it also fits with the story of Ruth in the Old Testament. I talked about the story of Ruth in the last blog. Christ is our redeemer and he is now also our husband. We can see that this verse is one of those that I referred to as applicable to the church by the law of double of reference. It was historical and prophetical at the same time. You can learn so much if you can accept these simple truths. I think I should briefly talk about what “redeem” means. If you look this word up and see the definition, it informs us that God buys us out of an impending doom or disastrous state. The word states that the item being bought is on the verge of being lost and the buyer paid the price to save it. We were that item on the verge of being eternally lost and Jesus Christ with His blood bought us out of our impending disaster.
So many times people do not think when they read the Bible. If God had to buy us out of our sin and pay the price for our freedom, who did this payment go to? If you have never been in a pawn shop perhaps you do not know how they work. Someone takes in an item into the pawn shop that has some value to it. This item is pawned for a specific time period. The shop owner gives the owner of the item some amount of money, usually pennies on the dollar for the item and keeps the item in their vault until either the owner comes back and buys the item back or the time period elapses. If the time period elapses the pawn shop owner is then free to take the item and sell it for more than he paid for it and that is one way that they make their money. If the original owner of the item comes back for his item he usually has to pay what he was loaned plus interest to get the item back. So what does this have to do with God redeeming us? We were that item of value that was pawned and held for ransom. God in His infinite mercy paid the price for our redemption. Perhaps I’ll do a blog on this showing you the Bible verses in the future.
Let’s get back to the bride in the Old Testament. The book of Isaiah has several scriptures that can be taken to heart by the church and here is another example of one of these:
Isa 62:5 For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.
This verse gives us a scriptural comparison of a natural and a spiritual truth. We can clearly see a reference given to a marriage between a natural man and a natural woman. We can then see that compared to a covenant marriage between God and his wife. By the law of double reference we can easily make the leap and see that this is Jesus and the church. Jesus as you recall was called the bridegroom with a bride in book of John. So as this verse says it says the bridegroom will rejoice over you. Who do you think “you” is? Of course it is the church. Who do you think the bridegroom is, who rejoices? Of course that is Jesus. Verses like this are so easily overlooked and ignored and people do it every day. But, when you see the truth it makes it easier to see other related truths in the Word of God.
We have seen two very significant verses in Isaiah that are relevant to the church, but there are also other verses and other prophets which can be viewed in more than one way by “the law of double reference”. What does this law of double reference mean to us? It simply means that it can be taken in a natural and a historical way according to the natural nation of Israel and then it can be taken in a spiritual or prophetic way that relates to the new Jerusalem and the new Covenant people of God. Here are a couple of verses that I think further reflect what I am telling you.
Jer 50:4 In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the LORD their God.
Jer 50:5 They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.
We know reading this scripture in verse 4 that this appears to be addressed to the natural people of Israel and Judah. During this time period the prophet Jeremiah had seen the natural nation of Israel split into two opposing factions. This involved the 10 tribes of Israel to the north and then the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin to the south. Israel experienced a split and we won’t get into any of that because even though it is important, it is not relevant to the identity of the bride of Christ at least as far as we know right now. For you see there is a verse in the New Testament that gives us some clues into this statement:
Heb 8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
We can see from this verse written to the church that God is speaking of the New Covenant. God states that this new covenant is with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. But, since this is written to the church we can very easily say that we are them, the spiritual Israel and the spiritual Judah.
Look back at Jeremiah 50. We can see a stark change in context in Jeremiah 50:5 with these natural people being previously mentioned. Did you notice what they said? Probably you don’t fully grasp what was said without studying and finding out the significance of the words. It starts by them asking the way to Zion. They end with a statement that says let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant. A perpetual covenant means an eternal, everlasting, never ending covenant. We know from study that to join with another is a part of a marriage covenant. The wife is joined to her husband they become one flesh by the law of marriage in Genesis 2. So we are definitely talking about a bride and a her husband in this verse. But, do you understand what Zion is? It has far reaching implications that are very significant. I do not feel I can fully explain everything in this blog, but I will try to give you enough information to help you see what I am talking about. I’ll start by saying that Mt Zion has an earthly reference to a mountain in Palestine called Mt Hermon. This is not the mountain in this verse that the people are asking for directions to. If you think it is you are probably just confused. Let’s look at some key verses in the New Testament that will help us unlock the meaning. Here are two verses that are quotes from the Old Testament:
Mat 21:5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.
Joh 12:15 Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt.
Both of these verses say basically the same thing. But, it give us a key phrase or wording that maybe you don’t understand fully yet. These words are addressed to the daughter of Zion. Do you know who the daughter of Zion is? This may be news to many of you, but the daughter of Zion is the church. I think several readers just choked on their drink. Jesus is prophesied to be riding on a donkey into the city of Jerusalem. But, it says look daughter of Zion here is your King. Who is the King of kings and the Lord of lords? If you don’t know the answer to that you may need to do more Bible study. Who are the kings and lords that Jesus is King and Lord of? This is not a trick question. Let’s look at some more verses and this will become clearer as we do further study. Let’s first establish the location of Mt Zion. Where is Mt Zion, this mountain is not in Palestine or the natural nation of Israel. Here is a clue and a verse that might help you see it.
Rom 9:33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Isa 8:14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
The Bible is so much more complex than we give it credit for many times. When we read the Bible most of the time we see Israel and Jerusalem and only think in natural terms of the physical country and city on the earth. However, there are more than one of both of these in the Bible. From what I have seen in the Bible there are three cities in the Bible all called by the same name Jerusalem. One is physical and two are spiritual. I really don’t have time to teach you this in this lesson. I have included more information on this in other blogs so go read and study. So who or what are these verses speaking of? Who is the stumbling stone? Who is this rock of offence? Here is another scripture from Isaiah that also speaks of this stone:
Isa 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
You can see that God has laid a stone in Zion to start a foundation for a building project. This stone was tried, which has all kind of implications on it. Jesus was tried by Pilot and sentenced to death. Then it refers to this stone as a corner stone. A corner stone in terms of building is the stone that all the other stones are aligned from. It is the first stone laid in a building project. God is talking about a building project, yes? Sure He is! However, God is building a spiritual building, a spiritual city which is to be His eternal dwelling place. This dwelling place is the church and it is called the New Jerusalem. Let’s read some very important verses in Ephesians 2:
Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Eph 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Eph 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
You can clearly see a reference to a very, very large building project in these verses. This is a large building project because we have a really big God. God is building an eternal city, a holy city to dwell in. This city is of course the New Jerusalem. This city will be His eternal dwelling place and will be a glorious place to be forever. As you recall this city is described in great detail in Revelation and is called the Holy Jerusalem, the New Jerusalem. It is New because the Old is going away and being replaced totally and completely.
Heb 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
So God tells us that the New replaces the Old. The New is not an augmentation or a modification of the Old or even an upgrade from the Old. The New is a better covenant, built upon better promises. God tells us that the Old will soon vanish away completely. We can see this repeated in the New Testament if you look for it. God tells us there will be a new Heaven and new Earth. So obviously both of these will also be completely replaced. It would appear to me that God is preparing a new spiritual world that replaces the old spiritual world.
So we are still talking about Mt. Zion and where it is. Who was this “Stumbling Stone” that Isaiah 8:14 is referring to? Of course it is Jesus Christ? Where is Jesus Christ today? He is in heaven sitting at the right hand of the Father. Do you agree? So apparently Mt Zion is in heaven. Here is a verse that will clear things up better for you since it tells us exactly where this Mt Zion is located:
Heb 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
Heb 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
This verse is so clear and so informative that I wonder why we haven’t seen it before. Of course this verse is written to the church and it declares us, the church as having come to this Mt Zion. Then it reveals the location of this Mt Zion as being the city of the living God. This time it names the city directly as the Heavenly Jerusalem. As I hope you recall we have already seen this city named in Galatians 4, where it was called the Jerusalem that is Above. Who was this city according to Galatians? Wasn’t it the “Jerusalem from Above” that was the mother of the Church? Uh Oh? We are beginning to put together pieces of the puzzle that have huge implications to challenge our current understanding of God’s word. If you use your brain a little bit you realize that every covenant of God has a corresponding mountain associated with it. From reading in Galatians 4 the Earthly Jerusalem is tied to Mt Sinai where Moses received the law from God. This heavenly Jerusalem also has a mountain associated with it inferring there was another covenant that most of us don’t know about. If the heavenly Jerusalem contains the mountain named Zion and this city is said to be the mother of the church, could the daughter of Zion also be the church? If you keep studying longer you will come to the conclusion that it is, as I have.
Son 3:11 Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart.
The daughter of Zion is mentioned in the Song of Solomon when speaking of his wife that he loves. Solomon is an O.T. type of Christ and a pattern for Jesus’ marriage to the church. The “daughter of Zion” again is a reference to the church a spiritual name for a spiritual woman.
I have in a roundabout way gone in a complete circle in this teaching about the bride of Christ. As you may remember, we started out very early with a definition of a woman coming from a description of the woman in Revelation called the New Jerusalem. This woman has suddenly reappeared from Old Testament references thus completing the circle. If you have been following this you will soon begin to understand the connection and the process of how we got to where we did. God does things like this on purpose to teach us. This woman called the New Jerusalem is the Holy City of God. The eternal dwelling place for the Spirit of God. The eternal covenant wife of Jesus Christ the Son of God. This city is a new spiritual habitation for God because the Old spiritual city in heaven will soon pass away. Why was it necessary for God to create a new spiritual city? Why was is necessary to create a new heaven and a new Earth? Why did God have to marry a new wife through His Son Jesus Christ? Why was the Church a necessary part of God’s plan as a woman and a wife? There are just so many questions to answer and research. Before I close out this incredibly long lesson, I’ll leave you with one more set of scriptures about this city called “New Jerusalem”:
Isa 52:1 Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.
Isa 52:2 Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.
Isa 52:3 For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money.
Here God is speaking to the New Jerusalem. If you noticed He again called it the “Holy Jerusalem” like He did in Revelation. There is a parallel given to us of a spiritual truth. We know the uncircumcised refers to those not in covenant. But, in the New Testament God informs us that we who have been circumcised in our hearts are the true Jews (Rom 2:29). So God is speaking prophetically as well as naturally. Then in verse 2 it says to free ourselves from the captivity of sin. Where we were bound in darkness to Satan we have been purchased and redeemed by God. As you can see in verse 3 it says we sold ourselves for nothing to Satan, but God has bought us back without paying any money for us. It didn’t cost God any money to redeem us, but it was not free either. God shed His blood, which was more valuable than anything else that He could have given and paid the price to buy us out of our dilemma.
So we have gone full circle and ended where we started. Funny how God does that. The City of New Jerusalem is the New Covenant wife of the Lamb of God and this spiritual woman is the church. There are certainly many other scriptures that I did not cover, but I know I have run very long in today’s lesson, so I will stop here.
If you would like to continue reading this series, you can go to “Part 11“.
(Ver 1.3) There are several possible answers to this question and I am only going to address one of them today in this Bible study. I have already established the fact that Jesus was God present in the flesh in other Bible lessons. Therefore, I will not repeat that information again today. Just know that God the supreme creator, became a human male and was born into the world in a Bethlehem manger approximately 2000 years ago. Jesus walked the planet in the form of human flesh for approximately 33 years and was then willingly crucified on a cross by the Roman Empire and the captive nation of Israel. That was just a quick synopsis of some of the Bible Christian theological basics that you should already be intimately familiar with. But, why was it necessary for God/Jesus to come to earth in the flesh and to shed His blood? What transpired or made it necessary for only God Himself to appear on the planet to solve the problem? Couldn’t God just create something new, or say something or do something or send someone else? Isn’t God still God? Why was it so important for the supreme God to do this personally? I think that is an amazing question to consider and one that if you really understood the answer, would explain so many other questions that you have yet to figure ask.
Today I will introduce you to just one of the most important answers to this question and I hope that you can at least begin to grasp these basic concepts. What we see from the Bible is that God had a problem. Of course we know that God is all powerful, all knowing, ever present and capable of doing practically anything. I did say “practically anything” and that will probably rock some people’s religious boats (minds). You see extremely religious people like to believe that God is capable of doing anything and everything and there is nothing that is impossible for Him. That would be a great truth if that was what the Bible really said, but since the Bible doesn’t say that I can’t agree with any of that kind of thinking. You see in one part of the Bible God says that it is impossible for Him to lie (Heb 6:18). If you understand what the definition of “impossible” means it clearly states this will never happen under any circumstances. I’ve heard some very religious theological ignorant people who have tried to explain this away using human reasoning that whatever God says, if it was not previously true when He said it that it would become true after He said it. After all He is an omnipotent God and truth is always relevant to what God wills. In other words if God says the sky is Green in color when it is not, then yesterday the sky might have been blue but tomorrow it would suddenly appear to us as green. So God would change things to fit what He said today and if tomorrow He wants it a different way He would change to cause it to be different. However, that reasoning just does not conform and balance with other scriptures either. The Bible clearly says that God is God and that He does not change (Mal 3:6). In other words He is a constant and consistently good God who does not change His mind or do one thing today and another totally different opposite thing tomorrow. I guess I got off of the main subject so let’s get back to why Jesus came to earth in the flesh.
Here is a key verse that informs us of at least one of the main reasons why God came to earth in the flesh. Open the eyes of your spirit to see what the Holy Ghost has to say to you about this reality. This verse is found in 1 John and it states the following:
1Jn 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
We can determine from the context of this verse that one of the primary themes being communicated to us is concerning SIN! We can see that God is telling us about the source of sin, how and where sin originated. This verse calls the source the devil, but this is just another name for the ancient serpent also called Satan. If you read Revelation 12:9 you will see the true identity defined of this evil one, with several of his other names and symbolic descriptive titles being also connected together. What we begin to learn from this verse is the origin of God’s problem and the root cause for every evil that has entered into our world. I know that some are still struggling to see how God could have a problem. I’ve heard many religious minded theological people say that God is simply using Satan as a pawn and Satan doesn’t do anything unless he first checks with God and asks permission and God grants it or rejects it. In other words God is in ultimate control of everything and everyone and nothing happens unless God has a specific plan and purpose for it. That deceptive reasoning is ignorance gone to seed and borderline stupidity. That line of thinking doesn’t fit what God says in the Bible and doesn’t match in a balanced way with the description of a God who is called LOVE (1 Jn 4:8). Many humans have a very perverted concept of what true LOVE is because they based their concepts of love on their experiences here in this world. They then misapply these wrong concepts to explain why God does or does not stop bad things from happening in our world. When the earthquake hit Haiti I heard one minister on TV say something like this was God’s judgment for their sinful lifestyle. In other words God specifically caused this event to happen to punish some very wicked people. That is just idiotic when people think like that. We haven’t really talked about why Jesus came to earth, but it was for many reasons and one of them was to pay the price for all of our sins, past, present and future. His blood was a ransom payment for the sin of the world. So if God is now killing people because of their sin, then why did He come in the first place? We are all sinners, why didn’t He just kill us all and start over?
So let’s get back to our primary Bible verse of the day. In this verse it tells us that the Son of God was made manifest because God had to destroy the works of the devil or Satan. If Satan was the problem why didn’t God just throw Satan into hell and that would be the end of him? I think that is an excellent question that people do not know the answer to either. If you understood the answer to that question you would realize that God has a major problem on His hands, but one that He is still capable of solving. The term “destroy” in this verse has a different meaning than what most people think of when they think of something that has been destroyed. To destroy something in our world would mean that it has been obliterated or that it was blown to millions of little pieces. But that is not what this Greek word (G3089) is saying to us. This word translated in the KJV as “destroy” actually means to “loosen”. To loosen something implies that something was first held captive or prisoner that needed to be freed. Knowing that alone dispels the theory that God is in control of everything in this world. If whatever was held captive was in God’s control, God would not have had to come personally to earth to “loosen” it, would He? So who or what was being held captive? We can find the answer in the Bible:
Isa 52:2 Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.
This scripture in Isaiah is prophetically speaking to the New Jerusalem city described in Revelation as the Lamb’s wife. You can clearly see that if you read and study the context. But notice the instructions given to this woman. She is told to get loose from the bonds around her neck. That implies a woman who is a prisoner or a slave to something or someone. If the human race was in covenant with Satan and in the bonds of sin, as I believe we were, then you can begin to see the problem that God is faced with. God cannot do anything to Satan without doing the exact same thing to all of his captives. But it is really more complex than that. You see I believe that God was also in covenant with Satan. So God could not do anything to Satan that He wouldn’t also have to do to Himself. When you start to think along these lines you begin to see a lot of things in the Bible differently. You begin to think in a new way and see things that God is revealing to us in some very important verses in the Bible. For example, God tells us that Satan would not have crucified Jesus if he would have known what was going to happen or result from His death (1 Cor 2:8). Apparently God did something unexpected that was very strong and powerful through Jesus’ death on the cross and when He was raised from the dead. This one man’s action caused Satan to regret greatly killing him. The Bible says that God used death to destroy him that had the power of death. We learn from the study of the book of Ruth that death represents a force that breaks a covenant relationship. In most marriage ceremonies there is a clause spoken “until death do us part”. That means in our marriage covenant relationship we will always be together until one of us dies. Since Jesus was God in the flesh we can begin to understand that Jesus through His death severed any previous covenants that He was in. God used death as a legal termination of the covenants that He was in prior to His death. When Jesus was raised from the dead He was now legally able to enter into a New Covenant that did not include Satan in the family. Jesus said something very profound after he was raised from the dead and it is found in this statement “all power both in heaven and in earth has been given to me” (Mat 28:18). But, I thought Jesus was God and that God already had all power both in heaven and on the earth? Why would it be necessary for God to transfer all His authority to the risen Lord Jesus? Do you understand that difficulty presented in this information? Apparently we learn from this statement that God did not have all authority in both realms or it would not had been necessary for it to be given it to Jesus. Do you see how complex the Bible can get on such a simple subject? Let me show you another verse found in the Bible that further confirms this reality of truth:
Heb 2:8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.
Here we have another paradox being presented. God says everything has been placed under the feet of Jesus and then reveals not everything is yet there. Do you understand that statement? Well, probably not! First again why is it necessary for everything to be placed under Jesus if everything was already under God in heaven? This verse goes along with what Jesus said to us Matthew 28:18 that ALL power has been given to Him but yet we still read in many other verses that Satan remains present on the earth and that Satan still has power (Luke 10:19). This presents some very difficult scriptural and theological conflicts to resolve.
What we see from this short lesson is the fact that God had a problem. God’s problem originated with Satan or Lucifer as he was also called. Satan did something that caused the human race to be in a terrible self-solvable dilemma. Satan had corrupted God’s creation and became the “god of this world” (2 Cor 4:4). Being called the god of this world implies that he had taken control over everything that God had previously given to Adam in Genesis 1:26. However, God had a planned solution in place already from the beginning to get it all back in a legal way that not only solves our problem, but also solved God’s problems simultaneously. Our problem was sin and death and God’s problem was primarily Satan. God used Jesus to fix both of these problems. Jesus redeemed us from the consequences of sin. Through His shed blood our sacrificial lamb was slain and the payment for sin was made once for all. But through the death of Jesus on the cross, God’s covenant with Satan was also terminated and now Satan can be thrown into hell legally. I know I said a lot and I quoted a lot of scriptures and didn’t give you references to a bunch of them, I’m sorry about that. I also know this is a lot of new things to think about and study in the Bible and I hope that you do the research to see if these things that I said are true or not. I challenge you to study for yourself and not to take my word for anything.
(Ver 1.1) This has been a very long extensive advanced Bible study about the identity of the bride of Christ. This is now Part 9 in the series and is my 100th blog on this site. I have been going through an intentionally designed set of information to step you through a process so that you could clearly see and understand the identity of the Bride of Christ. We have discussed a lot of subjects and a lot of scriptures. These are absolutely critical for you to understand so that you know who you are in Christ. By knowing who you are spiritually, it clearly indentifies you and your responsibility in the spiritual realm and helps you to understand your covenant relationship with Christ. If you have not read these blogs from the beginning I would strongly recommend that you go back and start with Part 1 The Introduction and then continue forward in progressive blogs so that you can clearly see and understand what God is saying.
Within the Old Testament there are several styles of writings found within the pages. First we should realize that God originally started by giving the first part of the Old Testament to Moses. Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible and these are many times referred to as “the law”. The law represents commandments and instructions given to the nation of Israel so that they would learn and know of God and His ways. There is a lot of information contained within the law, but most of it does not apply directly to the church. We know from the New Testament in verses like Romans 6:14 that it says the church is not under the law, but under grace. So we have to understand the law, but not live thinking that by obeying the law that is what saved us. Jesus also said that a new commandment I give to you and this was the commandment of Love. Jesus told us that in this one new commandment was summed up all the other commandments of the Old Testament. Next, we should see the Bible as a historical document with actual events, places and people recorded for our benefit. The Bible says these things were written to us for examples (1 Cor 10:11) so that we could learn from what they did right or wrong. Learning from History will help us to not repeat it, so the saying goes. So we should read first and foremost for examples that we could learn from. Next, there are prophetic words recorded of events and things which have not yet occurred. Jesus of course fulfilled many of the prophetic writings when he was born a man and walked the earth. Then he was killed and rose from the dead and these were all prophesied events. Events that were written hundreds of years earlier. So we should be reading the Old Testament for events that are soon to occur. The next type of Old Testament writing that we should be aware of when reading, is the fact that God has developed patterns, types and shadows of future events and people. Many times it is a natural occurrence of a specific event that parallels a future spiritual event. God informs us that the thing that has been is the thing that shall be again ( Ecc 1:9). He told us that there is nothing new under the sun. So what we can determine from this is that God has given us glimpses into future spiritual events by showing us previous natural events. So as we read the Old Testament keep this in mind and look for natural patterns, types and shadows of people, places and events. I believe there are many other types and styles of writings in the Old Testament, but there is only one more that I want to point out. The last type of writing that I want to make you aware of are scriptures that many call double references. In other words they may be words that are originally given to or directed at the natural nation of Israel, but these words can also be applied to the spiritual nation of Israel or the church as it is also known. The law of double reference represents words that come from God that can be viewed historically and prophetically simultaneously. The Bible declares that all of the promises of God are yes and amen to us (2 Cor 1:20). For example, some of these promises were from the Old Testament given to Abraham and his seed (Gal 3:14). But, we know from Galatians that now we (the church) are the seed of Abraham and whatever God said to him, he said to us also (Gal 3:29). We can see from this example, that the story of Abraham has vast spiritual implications for the church. However, without reading and understanding double references and O.T. writings styles, you would never know these promises were yours without Galatians 3. So let’s look at some Old Testament scriptures and see what God has revealed about the identity of the bride of Christ.
There are so many Old Testament references as well as specific patterns, types and shadows that reveal the identity of this woman called the bride of Christ, but unless you are looking for them you will probably glide right over them and not even realize it. For example, have you ever read the Song of Solomon? This man goes on and on about a woman, describing her in detail and speaking of his deep feeling of love for her. I really don’t know how you can read that and not realize that woman’s true identity, that woman is the church. The man speaking is God in the flesh. Jesus died and gave himself for payment to purchase the church with his blood. I think for time sake I will not go through that book, but it does have many verses that are relevant. I would strongly recommend that you read this book with a new perspective and focus and look for examples of the bride. We can easily tell because we know who the author is, who the male or bridegroom is in the relationship. Jesus made this statement,
Joh 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
So as you read stories about the man in the Song of Solomon, remember what Jesus said. Search the scriptures, but keep this in mind for they are written about Him. That will help you a whole bunch in figuring out what they mean. I’ll give you a hint that will help you maybe in your study of the Song of Solomon. The woman in the story is many times referred to as the “daughter of Jerusalem” or the “daughter of Zion”. In the King James Translation it is incorrectly translated as “daughters of Jerusalem”, but if you look up the word you will see that it should have been singular. So who was the daughter of Jerusalem? If you recall we read in Galatians 4:26 that the Heavenly Jerusalem, is the spiritual mother of us all (the church). That would of course help confirm the identity of the Bride as being the daughter of the Heavenly Jerusalem in the Song of Solomon. There are many other interesting things to read in the book of Song of Solomon so I recommend that you spend time in studying this book in great depth. For example, six times in the Song of Solomon the woman is called his “sister” and his “spouse”. The term “spouse” is obvious and it means wife. The term sister is of course is more difficult for religious people to grasp. However, the church has to be a spiritual sister to Christ since we have the same spiritual mother and father. But I guess I won’t elaborate anymore and get you upset at me.
Another classic Old Testament type and shadow of Christ and the Church is given to us in the book of Ruth. The entire story is about a woman who is the primary named character. This woman is a gentile woman and ends up marrying her Jewish Redeemer. Sounds kind of familiar to another story in the New Testament. People who don’t see the Church as this woman must be ignoring the obvious or just blinded by the enemy so that they won’t see it. The book of Ruth is not a very big book, it is only 4 chapters and you can read it without spending much time doing it. However, reading is not the same as understanding it. You are going to have to study to show yourself approved a workman unto God. Study involves digging for the big hidden nuggets of truth and not just scanning the surface for the easy stuff. Study will always involve work on your part. If you would like to read my blog series on this woman Ruth you can go to “The Book of Ruth“.
Here is a quick synopsis of the story of Ruth. It seems that this story begins when there was a time of famine that existed in the land of Israel. A man, his wife and two sons moved out of Israel to find food. They went to the land of Moab and settled down. The father of the family dies there. His two sons marry Moabite women to start their own families. However within 10 years time, the two sons also die leaving no heirs. With all of the Hebrew men dead that left the mother-in-law and her two daughter-in-laws only. Naomi, the older widow then attempts to convince her two daughter-in-laws to go back home and find new husbands because she can’t have any more children for them to marry. One daughter-in-law takes her up on this and one does not. The one daughter-in-law named Ruth declares where ever you go I will go, where ever you die I’ll die, your people will be my people and your God will by my God. This is covenant talk if you didn’t realize that. So Naomi and Ruth return to Naomi’s homeland where her relatives lived. This so happens to be in and around the city of Bethlehem. This is the exact future birth place of Jesus. This is certainly not a coincidence. Ruth must have become familiar with the law of Moses being married to a son of Israel or from her mother-in-law Naomi, because everything she does going forward follows the things written in the law.
The law of Moses provided for a method of raising up an heir in the case and circumstances that Ruth was experiencing. A man called a kinsman redeemer was responsible to marry the widow of the dead relative and have children with her. This child would become an heir for the dead husbands family. This kinsman redeemer was named Boaz in the book of Ruth. Boaz was a very wealthy man and owned a large field that Ruth would gleam from in order to get food to survive. Boaz ends up meeting this woman Ruth and finds out who she is. The net result of this meeting is a marriage. Boaz redeems Ruth from her widowhood and they have a child and an heir. This natural child becomes the great grandfather of David the king and eventually directly in the lineage of the birth of Jesus, our redeemer. You might be able to recognize the types of some of the characters in this story fairly easily and others will be much more difficult to see. Boaz is definitely a type of Jesus, the redeemer. Ruth the gentile is a type of the church. Naomi the mother-in-law would be a type of the nation of Israel. I don’t know of any type and shadow that is a perfect match otherwise it wouldn’t be a shadow it would be the object that is making the shadow. Everything may not fit exactly like you think it should, but I guarantee you everything is significant and has meaning, you just don’t know what it means yet. I could attempt to explain more things in this blog, but since it is not my primary subject it would just cloud the issue at hand. If you go and read the story of Ruth closely you will find that I didn’t include every character mentioned. I didn’t include every interaction between these characters either. There are certainly many more things to learn from this book, but you will need to wait.
I would highly recommend if you haven’t read those two books that you go back and read them and pay very close attention to what is being said. Take note of who the characters are and what they do. The patterns, types and shadows given are very relevant to our subject of the identity of the bride of Christ. Both books are about a male and a female relationship. Both books are about love and marriage. Both represent types of Jesus and the church.
So that was an introduction to two major patterns of Christ and the church in the Old Testament. You should be intimately familiar with these stories and have a really good understanding of them so that you will know who you are in the spiritual world. We will continue looking at other Old Testament scriptures for the bride in my next blog.
If you like to continue reading this series, you can go to “Part 10“.
(Ver 1.1) Today I want to do a Bible lesson on a subject concerning mistakes that people make while trying to interpret and understand the Bible. There are many possible mistakes that people make and this is just one of them that I have seen. It has very deep roots and is very prevalent in the church. There are probably no Christians today that have not been guilty of cooperating with this mistake to some extent. Today’s subject surrounds truths. Truth and knowing the truth is absolutely essential to mature spiritually. However, too many Christians take one truth and exalt it to be the only truth found in the Bible.
This is just another prime example of error in action. While private Bible interpretation is probably the number one problem with most Bible teaching, this one is probably number two on my list. I’ve seen people do this so many times across the board in every denomination. So what does it mean to take a truth and make it the truth? It basically involves jumping to the wrong conclusions. This action does not make that truth, untrue by itself. Most of the time a truth that you know is actually true. But that truth is not the complete truth on the subject.
For example, I have heard ministers say something like “Nowhere in the Bible does it say blah, blah, blah…”. Right at that point I know that is probably does not represent the truth. No one except God knows the entire Bible and what it all means. Therefore, a statement of “Nowhere, does the Bible say” should be viewed with great skepticism. In order to make this type of claim, a persons would have to understand Hebrew and Greek completely. Then they would have to understand the selection of words associated together to convey a meaning completely. This would also require understanding of figurative speaking, slang speaking, symbolic speaking and many other forms of communications used in the Bible. That is an enormous task for humans.
Some other people want to take a well known Bible fact and attempt to say it is this way and no other way. The mistake is made that they ignore all other viewpoints on the subject in favor of the one they like the best. To be fair to most, I would say the problem is rooted in the fact that they just haven’t seen or even become aware that other views exist. I believe this is because they are so focused on the one thing that they do know they are not looking to find anything that could contradict or confirm it. It doesn’t discount what they know as being in error, unless they say that every other point of view is wrong and only we are right. This is predominantly the root of every denominational war throughout the centuries. We are right and everyone else is wrong. I’ve got bad news for you, only God is right and everyone else is at the least a little bit wrong. The sooner we learn that, the sooner we will all grow up and mature and become the children of God that He desires.
I once heard this challenge put into an analogy of climbing a mountain. Studying the Bible is like climbing the highest mountain in the world. It is a huge challenge and very few if any have reached the top. However, we are all climbing the same mountain to find the truth. But we all have different views off of the mountain based upon our perspectives. If you are on the north side of the mountain you have one view, the south side a different view, the east side a different view, the west side as yet another view. Everyone is trying to say only our view is correct and yours must be in error because I don’t see it that way. People, we are all climbing the same mountain, understand and know there are different ways to view the same thing. Our viewpoints are based upon what we have seen in the Bible and the things that we haven’t seen is probably just because we are not on that part of the mountain. Of course I am speaking in very figurative terms in this discussion. But I hope that you understand the meaning. I use to really like to go on vacation to Colorado and I would always try to pick a high mountain to climb. Sometimes I would take a flag to leave on top of the mountain. This was just a sign that we made it. I hope you are climbing this Bible mountain and will learn this climbing lesson.
I use this example, but I don’t name names of who said it. If you know who said it, please ask him to forgive me. But, I will use this illustration as a prime example of exalting one truth at the exclusion of all other truth. I heard a well known Bible teacher say “the church is the body of Christ and not the bride”. He said, search the scripture and you won’t find anything that says Christians are the bride of Christ. What a statement of ignorance and arrogance. I’ve already written a Bible lesson series explaining how the church became the body of Christ so I won’t attempt to repeat that lesson here. What we have though is an example of someone taking one truth and trying to make it the entire, complete and only truth about the church.
You see I don’t have a problem with the church being the body of Christ, I can see all of scriptures that tells us that is what we are. I am in total agreement with the first part of his claim of truth. But, I asked God another question and that is, how did the church become the body of Christ? He then showed me the answers that explained it in the Bible quite literally and explicitly. If you have not read or studied how the church can be the Body and the Bride simultaneously I would suggest the you go and read that lesson by clicking “HERE“.
So most people who make this common mistake of taking a truth and trying to make it the truth, probably have not asked enough questions. They simply read a Bible verse and jump on that band wagon and think they found out something that no one else knows. Sometimes that can be true, but most of the time, it only means that we have discovered a part of the truth and we still need to dig further down to learn more. God’s Word is in ever increasing depths of complexity. Many times we discover something very simple on the surface and do not realize that there is more to it underneath the surface. We can call this the iceberg analogy. What we can see above the water is usually attached to so much more that we cannot see below the surface of the water. Don’t be a Titanic Christian and not understand this principle or we can easily sink like they did by seeing it too late. This is a very important concept to grasp in understanding the Bible.
So taking a truth and attempting to make it the truth is based upon an accumulation of other errors and mistakes people make of which could be one or more of the following:
- No desire to learn all of the Truth
- Jumping to Conclusions
- Making Wrong Assumptions
- Not asking the right Questions
- Insufficient Knowledge. Not knowing enough of the facts (or all of the facts if that is possible)
- Not having sufficient understanding of the subject
What we all need to realize is that there is more than one truth in the Bible. Each truth will fit together, balance and work in conjunction with all the other truths of the Bible. We should all begin by admitting we don’t know all the truth and continue to search to find and learn more truth. We should all be striving to understand as much as we can about everything that God says in the Bible. We should all strive diligently to correctly divide the Word of Truth. We should also all give others who make mistakes some extended effort of forgiveness and grace. This includes me if you don’t agree with what I teach. Perhaps you know something that I don’t and if you would share it kindly instead of calling me names or criticizing me, I could learn from you. Jesus while hanging on the cross said Father forgive them for they know not what they do. People today are the same as they were back then and they still do a lot of stupid things out of ignorane and think they are so right in doing them.
Thank you for reading and studying the Bible with me. I hope and pray that this short lesson gave you some food for thought. Please share it with a friend. God Bless you all.
(Ver 1.1) This is now Part 8 in the series of lessons on the Bride of Christ Revealed. I have been going through an intentionally designed set of information to step you through a process so that you could clearly see and understand the identity of the Bride of Christ. We have discussed a lot of subjects and a lot of scriptures. These are absolutely critical for you to understand so that you know who you are in Christ. By knowing who you are spiritually, it clearly indentifies you and your responsibility in the spiritual realm. If you have not read these blogs from the beginning I would strongly recommend that you go back and start with Part 1 The Introduction and then continue forward in progressive blogs so that you can clearly see and understand what God is saying.
I heard a minister say that speaking of Saul in the book of Acts when Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus, that those scriptures prove we (the church) represents Christ. Jesus says to Saul “why persecuteth thou me” in the book of Acts and if Jesus said you are doing something to me that proves we are Him. But, you see the reason that Jesus could make that statement, is because it says in Corinthians that the church is one spirit with Christ because they were joined or married to him. So we are not Christ, but have been joined to him by a marriage covenant, making us His body. This is the law of Genesis 2 concerning marriage, where God said the two will become one body. I tell you if you ignore these easy scriptures, you are going to have a lot of problems with the harder stuff in the Bible. In the last lesson we looked at the verse in 1 Corinthians:
1 Cor 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
This verse says that the church was joined to the Lord and became one Spirit. To be joined to someone is different than actually being someone. A wife is always joined to her husband and she becomes his flesh and bone. But that never means her role changes. She is never the husband or the head in the relationship. This is just basic reasoning and logic based upon scripture that we have read in Ephesians. Look at the Greek G2853 word translated as “joined” in the Strong’s dictionary:
From κόλλα kolla (“glue”); to glue, that is, (passively or reflexively) to stick (figuratively): – cleave, join (self), keep company.
The word translated as “joined” means to glue, cleave, or to stick together. This is another clear definition of marriage which is the act of taking two separate distinct people and making one out of them. That’s marriage in the clearest form of God’s definition given to us by God himself in Genesis 2, Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:7-8 and Ephesians 5:31. The two shall become one flesh. Glue is the joining substance and this could very well represent the Holy Spirit. But the purpose of glue is to take two separate and distinct pieces and join them or put them together and make one piece out of them. It is interesting that this Greek word is different than the previous Greek word that we looked at and since I am not a Greek language expert I don’t really have an explanation of why and how it is different. However, I did notice that the Greek word G4347 which is used in Ephesians 5:31, Matthew 19:5 and Mark 10:7 in the marriage law from Genesis comes from G2853 so they are definitely connected and definitely related and they definitely say and mean the same thing.
I don’t know how to make this any clearer. So if you think the church is still not the bride based upon these great witnesses I sure hope you will begin to see it someday. There are certainly more scriptures in the Bible that indicate that the church is the bride of Christ and I will give you some more for the stubborn and those who have chosen to close their eyes to the truth. Here is one that I found that I thought was very interesting and certainly fits together with a bunch of what we have been studying. This scripture is found in the book of Revelation and here we have Jesus himself again speaking to the church. Notice the words are in Red and then notice closely what Jesus is saying to us.
Rev 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
I want you to first notice who this is written to, to whom is Jesus speaking? According to verse 13 of chapter 3 it is written directly to the church. That is certainly a critical point to understand up front. Then let’s go back to verse 12 and see what Jesus said to the church. The primary subject or theme of the verse appears to me to be a name changing operation. He says to them that have overcome, He will do what? He is going to give these people a new name. From what I see it could be three different names or all three new name references could also be the same. But did you notice the relationship to the new Jerusalem? This is definitely a part of the naming process. Who gets a new name in a normal wedding and marriage? Of course it has traditionally been the bride that takes the name of their husband. If the church was already the body of Christ, I don’t think there would be any need to write a new name on his body if the head already has a new name, then the body also has a new name. But, somehow Jesus finds it necessary to write a new name on the church, that sure sounds like a marriage to me. Putting the pieces of the puzzle together correctly sure seems to make things work together better. One of the main take away from this verse would be to see the association of the name “New Jerusalem” to the church. Are you one of the overcomers Jesus is speaking to? Jesus is telling you if you are, then you are the New Jerusalem of God. You are the city called New Jerusalem. You are the new house and temple of God. You have become a pillar in the temple of God. A pillar is a key part of a structure that holds the other parts together and keeps it from falling down. That is a major responsibility being given to us. What I wanted you to see was a verse of scripture that implies a marriage between a bridegroom and a bride. The bride should be willing to take the new name of her husband and this is what Jesus is telling us to do. What we have is a confirmation to the fact that the bride of Christ is a spiritual city of people called the New Jerusalem. This New Jerusalem is a New Covenant marriage between Jesus Christ and the church.
I want to show you some verses in the Bible written to the church that clearly reveal us to be a chosen woman. Do you realize that when a man asks a woman to marry him, that man has already made a choice. Out of all the women on the planet, that man chose this one. That was a selection of one and the rejection of all the rest. This is what Christ has done and you can find that in the Bible if you look for it. Let’s read this verse:
2Jn 1:1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth;
So what do you do with a verse like this? It is easily explained away or it can be taken and understood to be very profound. God is writing a letter to the church through the Apostle John and he calls all of us the “elect lady”. If you think only naturally you will try to say this is a letter written to a dear friend of John or maybe his wife. It is a great error to conclude that based upon the context of the words that are written. The “elect lady” being called “her” is the spiritual church of God. A lady by definition is a woman with character and moral standards. It would be the opposite of calling a woman a “whore”. Uh oh, I guess I won’t go there.
2Jn 1:5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.
As you can see John and God calls the church a lady. The commandment of love was the same new commandment that Jesus gave to John and the rest of the disciples. This commandment is now being passed on to the rest of the body of Christ. However, you have to see that the church is called “a lady”. A lady certainly qualifies to be the bride of Christ.
It seems that there are numerous other scriptures that imply marriage even though they don’t say it directly. Here are some of those that I have found, you of course can disagree and ignore them if you like. Remember in the Old Testament the word “Knew” was used numerous times for a sexual act between a husband and a wife. It says “Adam knew his wife Eve and they had a son”. That of course represents a covenant act between a husband and his wife as we have seen before. There are numerous scriptures in the New Testament that could very easily be taken to mean the same thing but in a spiritual context, not a natural physical act. After all God is a Spirit. His Spirit resides in the believer and as we have seen they become one Spirit with Him.
Gal 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
You can see from this verse that there is a two way street being spoken of. We the church are now said to know God and now God also knows us. This is spiritual knowledge and represents a spiritual consensual covenant act. This is marriage in the purest spiritual form. We can easily ignore verses like this or overlook them or we can figure out what they are saying and believe them. Here is another example of God knowing us the church.
2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
We can again see a covenant act of consensual spiritual knowledge being expressed in this verse. It said the Lord “knows” them that are his. It would be the same as saying Adam knows his wife and they had a son. I guess some might say we shouldn’t be talking about this kind of stuff in a lesson about God. I think they forget who invented and created sex. You can see God all over it if you look at it the right way. The other critical piece of information in this verse is the reference to a name change again. Again this describes a marriage covenant act of a name change performed by the bride. This verse in 2nd Timothy 2:19 says that they (everyone) have taken the name of Christ. Here we can see another reference to how the church became the body of Christ, by taking his name in marriage. Moving on to a couple of other example, I found in the book of 1 John these verses.
1Jn 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
1Jn 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
As you may or may not know, John wrote and delivered a thematic message of Love. Love was his primary theme throughout all of his writings. We again see the covenant act portrayed in verses like these in direct relationship with love. This of course fits precisely with God’s definition of a covenant marriage. It’s amazing how many verses you can find that speak of the church in terms of the Bride if you look for them. I hope I am helping you to see these verses in a new light. Here is another interesting scripture reference that also speaks of the church as the bride of Christ in a clear but indirect reference:
Rom 9:24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
Rom 9:25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
You can see in verse 24 of chapter 9 of Romans that it is speaking to those God has called? I cannot speak for you, but I know that is me. He then informs us that this group of called individuals are made up of both Jews and Gentiles. That is correct, isn’t it? Then in verse 25 He speaks of the prophecy of Hosea and that is an interesting reference that we really haven’t explored very much. Let me first point out the last statement in that verse, that says I will call her my beloved who was not my beloved. That sure sounds like a marriage to me. If you recall, Hosea was commanded by God to marry a whore. He went and bought her out of whoredom and married her. While this could indirectly relate to the Gentiles, we know for sure that it is speaking of Israel as being the whore. The Old Testament quote is given that I will call them my people who were not my people. Right here we miss something that is implied and is dramatically different than what I’ve heard many teach. Many preachers speak of the nation of Israel as being God’s people today. I certainly believe that in the Old Testament, Israel were God’s people. But this verse says that I will call those that are not my people, my people. Do you understand the reciprocal truth given here? What is an inverse or reciprocal truth? I’m not sure if you’ve ever thought about that question or not. It is mathematical in its roots. The inverse or reciprocal of a number is the measurable opposite of what is given. In other words it is the opposite or negative truth of the positive truth that is given. It means the verse says more than what is on the surface. If the people who were not God’s people are now God’s people, what happened to those that use to be God’s people? The inference is that they are now not God’s people and can never be God’s people again because they were once God’s people. You see something that is pretty hard to grasp if you are not a logical, mathematical type thinker, grasping concepts and laws that are based in these verses can be difficult.
Since Israel is not my primary subject, I really can’t elaborate any more on verses like that one in this blog. I will recommend that you do some additional research on your own about Israel and their fate. I think where we need to go now is to review some more Old Testament types and shadows of the bride of Christ. So let’s dive into the Old Testament. In my next blog we will go back into the Old Testament and look for patterns, types and shadows for Christ and the church as the bride. We have already seen the Old Testament reference to the nation of Israel as being a woman, a wife and a bride to God in the Old Covenant. That is certainly a great pattern for the New Covenant, but there are other verse in the Old Testament that we should also be aware of. So until next time I hope you are having a great day.
If you would like to continue reading this series, you can go to “Part 9“.
(Ver 1.1) This is now Part 7 in this series on the subject of the Bride of Christ Revealed and I have covered a lot of information on the subject. In my last blog on this subject I introduced you to some very strong New Testament verses that confirm the identity of the Bride of Christ directly as being the church. Ephesians chapter 5 is predominately about the subject of marriage and the relationships between husbands and wives. We went verse by verse through key verses in this chapter and counted the references to see how many times natural husbands and wives were mentioned and then we looked at how these natural marriages fit a pattern for a greater spiritual truth. Jesus is clearly given to be the head, the husband and the bridegroom in these verses. The church is clearly given to be his bride, his wife and his body by marriage. If you have not been following this series from the beginning I would strongly recommend that you go back and start reading from Part 1, The Introduction. This series is designed to step you through the subjects in a way that you can more easily see and understand this very deep and complex topic. So read each part of the series in order and hopefully you will grasp all of the spiritual concepts.
I heard more than one preacher say “search the Bible and you won’t find one scripture that says the church is the bride”. I sometimes wonder what Bible they are looking at, for I found a bunch of verses that tell me the church is the bride of Christ. These were well known ministers and men who have been teaching and studying the Bible for 50 years. The main problem they are experiencing is one that Jesus said you will always find what you are seeking. Jesus actually said seek and you shall find. But the problem is when people seek wrong things you find wrong things. If you are looking for no verses that say the church is the bride you will find no verses that say this. You always get what you seek and not necessarily what is the truth. That is how God designed the Bible to give you a choice to believe whatever you want to believe. That is a law of Bible research and study. Here is another law of Bible interpretation, it tells us that in the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established. I already showed you Ephesians 5 about Christ and His bride. So what other scriptures can we find in the New Testament that reveal the church to be the bride of Christ? Read these next scriptures very carefully, for they too are written directly to the church in Rome and they reveal very clearly the identity of the church as being the bride of Christ.
Rom 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
This is an incredibly critical verse to understand fully. It speaks about the law. Here is the important thing to grasp, it says as long as a man is alive the law has dominion over him. Do you understand that statement? The implication is that when a man dies, the law is no longer in effect over his life. But did you notice who Paul and God wrote this verse to? It says “brethren” and that would be the church, except then it qualifies it further and says to only my brothers who know the law. Do you understand that statement? I bet you don’t fully get it. You see to “know” is a covenant term between a husband and a wife. Adam “knew” his wife and she had a son. To “know” is a sexual type reference, but God is not talking about a physical intimacy but a spiritual intimacy. What God is saying in this verse is, these next verses are written to members in the church who were previously under the law of Moses and the Old Covenant wife of God.
Rom 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
So we see some more important information concerning marriage and the law. If you recall in an earlier blog I discussed the law of marriage using Genesis 2. This verse confirms that there are laws in the Old Testament that govern marriage relationships. This verse says that a woman is bound by the law to her husband as long as her husband is alive. Why is that? The law of marriage said that they are one flesh. You can’t cut off a piece of your own body and get rid of it and still be whole. In most marriage ceremonies there is usually a phrase “until death do us part”. God informs us that death is a legal separation of a marriage covenant. There is really a tremendous number of applications of this scripture to the women in the Bible. If you recall Israel was called a woman married to God. That is exactly why God is using Paul to write these verses to Messianic Jewish believers. He is informing them of something that is very profound and relevant so let’s keep reading:
Rom 7:3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
I really don’t want to get off of the subject and go into a lot of detail right here concerning Israel, but I guess I will mention it so that you can do further research and see that it does apply. If you read Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Hosea to name a few good examples you will see God called Israel a whore because of her unfaithful interaction with foreign gods and idolatry. God considered these acts as adulteress conduct of sexual perversion. God also considered these acts as covenant acts of marriage to these foreign gods and idols. So I gave you a lot to research, but let’s get back to this verse and what it says. It is speaking to those under the law and it tells them that as long as their husband is alive if they are in covenant with another then they are committing adultery. But then it says if a woman’s husband is dead, then she is free to marry or enter into covenant with another man. Remember these verses are written to brothers, males and these men are referred to as a woman. I think sometimes people don’t see this and miss out what God is saying.
Rom 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
I hope you are getting what these scriptures are saying for they end in a very clear statement in Romans 7:4 that says you are now married to another, the Lord Jesus Christ! Try to explain that away! I’m sure you’ll come up with something if you don’t want to see the truth. I could say a lot more about these scriptures because they reveal so much more that we haven’t seen, but since that is not my primary purpose in this lesson, I will not weigh you down with any unnecessary things to think about. The main thing to take away from these verses is the reference to a man married to woman and how she is bound to that husband until he is dead. If she marries another while he is alive she is called an adulteress. However, Paul clarifies the problem because he says the first husband died by the body of Jesus Christ. So now they are free to be married to another and that is to him that was raised from the dead. This is an incredibly detailed discussion about the law and the law in specific relation to marriage covenants. Only people under the law would have been concerned to this level of detail. Gentiles were never married to the law or God, so they are free to marry Jesus the same as a natural Jew is now free to marry the Lord. The primary point to see is that the New Covenant is a marriage. But instead of a covenant with the Father God, it is with the Son of God, Jesus Christ and that is a very important concept to note and pay attention to. There is always a reason for everything that God says and does and this is no exception.
So is the church the bride of Christ? Some sure have gone through great extents to try to prove that we are not. I don’t know how they don’t see it, it sure seems to be there to me. Are you seeing it? Let’s start going through some more scriptures and continue by looking at this important verse:
2Co 11:2 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 verse is another that some Bible teachers are determined to explain away not letting people know what it really says. All the ingredients of marriage are mentioned in this verse. The identity of the bridegroom is clearly given as Jesus Christ. The mention of being married or “espoused” to Christ is a very clear reference. So who is the verse directed to? The verse is written to the bride. Bible teachers who don’t believe this verse say it is just making a comparison with the word “As”. You of course know if you can read that the word “as” is added by the translators and is not in the original Greek language so that argument is shot down pretty easily. We can clearly see that it is not making a comparison but it is identifying the church to be the chaste virgin. The Greek word translated as “virgin” has the following definition in the Strong’s:
Of unknown origin; a maiden; by implication an unmarried daughter: – virgin.
The description of an unmarried woman is clear from this definition. The reference is specifically to an unmarried daughter being presented to Christ. The word “present” in this verse is the same word we looked at in Ephesians and it means to stand beside. So we again see the reference to a marriage ceremony. Then there is the Greek word translated as “chaste” in the King James Bible and here is what Strong’s says about it:
From the same as G40; properly clean, that is, (figuratively) innocent, modest, perfect: – chaste, clean, pure.
Wow does that describe the church you know, it’s not a whole lot of the church I know. So you can read this verse in 2 Corinthians and do what you want to with it. But it clearly has all the necessary ingredients and parties of a wedding ceremony and a marriage covenant. The clear inference is this bride is unmarried and a virgin that has not been touched by another man. The reference is basically the same as a woman dressed in clean and white fine linen that has made herself ready for her husband. But I guess that is just me speaking isn’t it? I can’t prove it to you, either you see it or you don’t. It is so funny how that you can’t make anyone see the truth if they don’t want to see it.
I tell you if you look for scriptures that identify the church as the bride you will find them, the trouble is so many are just not looking for them. I know sometimes that verse can say things indirectly and sometimes not be totally obvious when you read it. Look closely at this scripture because you will find another reference to the church being the bride of Christ:
1Co 6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
1Co 6:16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
1Co 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
Verse 15 starts with confirming the church is the body of Christ. God tells us that our bodies are like individual cells in the bigger body of Christ. We make up the pieces that His body is comprised of. It is a spiritual truth using a natural pattern of the human body. The natural human body consists of many different organs, tissues, bones, cells and other components that when working with each other make up a healthy living body. But as we have already seen we know how we got to be the body of Christ was by the law of marriage found in Genesis 2. That law states that two shall become one body after they are married. This marriage covenant between Adam and Eve was a pattern for the Jesus and the church. Finally, in this verse the subject of harlots come into play in direct relation to the body of Christ. The implication is given that the church now that they are married in covenant with God can still have spiritual sexual relationships with other gods and other spiritual entities. I will agree that these verse seems to go both for natural relations with whores as well as spiritual relations with whores. I believe there is a clear application to the law of double reference. Where a verse of scripture can be taken naturally and spiritually and both points of view are true.
Within the context of these scriptures here we see another direct reference to a physical relationship between a man and a woman. The reference is purely sexual in nature and contains an inference of a woman being joined to her husband by covenant. In 1 Corinthians 6:17, the husband is clearly the Lord Jesus so who is Paul writing to that has been joined to Him? What does it mean to be joined together in Holy Matrimony? Doesn’t this verse have the same contextual relevance to our subject of marriage between a man and a woman? God contrasts the union of Christ and the church to that of a man to a harlot. This is certainly a significant comparison and gives us a lot of information that we should be aware of. For example, having a sexual relation with a whore is called a marriage in the eye’s of God. The sexual act is a covenant act. So if the man has a one night stand with a whore, it declares that in the eyes of God they are joined together as husband and wife. I was watching TV and to my surprise there was a group of individuals sitting around a table and discussing how many sexual partners some of them had. Of course in the unsaved world to men it is a matter of conquest to say they have had a lot of female partners. Who knows who was lying and who was telling the truth, but a couple of them had estimated they had 40 to 60 different women in their lives. According to scripture God sees each of these relations as a marriage covenant act. Obviously men and women don’t see it the same way or they wouldn’t be so casual about who they married. If the courts viewed sex as God views sex, there would be a lot more alimony going out of some of their pockets.
Going back to the verse in 1 Corinthians 6:17 we see the same sexual act reference given but this time to the Church with Jesus Christ. If you don’t see this it is because you don’t want to see it. The difference or contrast is given that we the church have become one spirit with Jesus and the man with the harlot has become one flesh with her. Both have become one by a marriage covenant act. There is a very clear statement of the church being joined to the Lord Jesus. To be joined is of course a marriage. A marriage is always where God takes one male and one female and makes one body out of them. This is so critical to understand.
I have given you at the minimum three great witnesses found in the New Testament that all deal with the church being called the bride of Christ by a marriage covenant act of God. The law of marriage is applicable and helps to explain a great number of other Bible verses, like how the church became the body of Christ? So we have explored more than enough witnesses to confirm this truth, but I might give you some more unique points of view in my next blog on this subject. I think I have said enough today so I hope you have a great day.
If you would like to continue reading this series, you can go to “Part 8“.
(Ver 1.2) Today I want to begin to explore the New Testament references for the identity of the bride of Christ. I want to “present” you to the identity of the bride of Christ. You will see later why I said that so look for it. There are certinly many scriptures that identify the Bride to us, but I want to start with the strongest verses first. If you have not been following this series from the beginning I would strongly recommend that you go back and start reading from Part 1, The Introduction.
Here it is, one of the strongest scriptural evidence that I’ve seen concerning the identity of the Bride of Christ and it’s found in the New Testament in the book of Ephesians and chapter 5. These are words written directly to the church and specifically about the church so read them very, very carefully. Understanding Ephesians 5 is critical for you understanding your identity in the spiritual world. Pay close attention to the subject being discussed and then see how they fit together: I will go verse by verse starting with verse 22. I will keep a running total of references that I find on the primary noun subjects being discussed. So help me count as we go. Let’s start reading in Ephesians chapter 5 and verse 22:
Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
We can clearly see that the primary subject of this verse is marriage because it is talking to wives and husbands. But did you notice who this verse is written to? It is written to the church, the wife of Christ. If you notice in this verse, it ends with “as unto the Lord”. The implied reference is that the church is the bride and Christ is the husband. There are clearly two patterns given to us; one is a natural pattern and the other is a spiritual pattern. The church is clearly commanded to submit to their husband, the Lord Jesus Christ. So while “wives” are mentioned only once, the implication is given that we the church are also a wife to Christ. If we count the references to noun subjects we have the following totals:
You will notice the primary nouns given in this verse is concerning wives, husbands and Christ. There is one implied or indirect reference to the church as being a wife. I hope you can see what this verse is talking about and who it is talking to. So let’s go to the next verse and see what it says:
Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
So we have a continuation of the primary subject of marriage still in the context of husbands and wives being given to us. Again we see a direct relationship being established between the natural and the spiritual. The husband is said to be the head of the wife in the natural world and I refuse to comment on that statement. However, Christ is the implied husband of the church given the clear context of being the head of the body. The church is clearly given to be the body of Christ which is a direct parallel that we learned about when we studied about Eve being the body of Adam. We know that these are patterns for spiritual truths that God is communicating to us from natural truths. So let’s update our total number of noun reference counts.
So we are up to 2 direct references to husbands and wives and 3 direct and indirect references to Christ and his bride. Let’s continue with verse 24:
Eph 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Again in this verse we have two parallels given to us. Both of these patterns are implied covenant marriages given from the context of the subject being spoken of. The church is said to be subject to Christ and that is just another way to say we are to submit. We can clearly see that this implies Christ is the husband and the church is the wife, given the ending statement of the verse being directed to natural wives to be submitted to their natural husbands. These are God’s words and not mine so don’t shoot the messenger. Just read them and accept them. Let’s update our total reference count from this verse:
I do not know how ministers have read these verses and refuse to see what they clearly say, but that is the way the Bible is written, men see what they want to see. Let’s continue with the next verse in the chapter:
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it (her, the Church);
This verse repeats the pattern and speaks to husbands and wives again. It clearly implies that Christ is the husband that loves his bride, the church. It clearly says that He proves his love for her by giving Himself as a sacrifice for her. This verse should have used the personal pronoun “her” instead of “it”. The church is not an “it”. God did not send Jesus to die for an “it”. Let’s update our total noun reference count:
Let’s take a brief look at verse 26 even though this is a bit off the main subject of marriage. Take a look at what this verse is saying:
Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
According to this verse “it” is again mistranslated as being a reference to “her”, the church. This verse is saying that Christ is sanctifying and cleaning the church by a washing process that involves the Word of God. This implies that the Word of God is a liquid like pure water with a power to clean dirty spots out. Isn’t that an interesting statement? Aren’t we talking about the church? I mean I can clearly understand it, but can you? If the church is the body of Christ, why would Christ need to give himself a bath to make himself clean? You see the problem with that logic, don’t you? That is why people who teach that the church is the body of Christ and only the body of Christ are severely mistaken. This is just further proof to me of how preachers have taught some incredibly stupid things. If the church was just the body of Christ we wouldn’t need cleaning or washing. Jesus is already clean and righteous. We are the ones with the faults and blemishes, the dirty spots that need cleaning off. But since we have become His body by a marriage covenant and we are a separate individual that still needs cleaning, we can more clearly see how we fit into all of these verses and not just some of them. As we continue with verse 27 we see more marriage terminology given to us about Christ and the church:
Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
In reading this verse I think of many weddings that I have been to. The bride comes walking down the center aisle and is presented to the husband usually by the father of the bride. Ephesians 5 is primarily about marriage so we can know that Christ is talking about His bride in this verse. What we have seen in the last three verses are a extraordinary effort being put forth by Jesus to give himself completely for His wife. This is a process that involved Him suffering and experiencing tremendous pain and death on a cross. He shed His blood for us, because He loved us that much. Verse 27 informs us why He was willing to go to this extraordinary effort. Verse 27 declares so that He might present “it” to himself. We of course lose a lot by not studying the Greek to determine what this actually means. From the English translation in the KJV it sure sounds like a term for marriage. In many marriage ceremonies I have heard it said by the minister after the final vows, “may I present to you Mr. and Mrs. fill in the name. However, the Greek word translated as “present” actually has a literal meaning “to stand beside“. That is actually a fascinating contradiction of terms. How can the body of Christ stand beside Himself? You see it just doesn’t really make sense unless you put it into the context of a woman standing besides her husband in a marriage ceremony and the two becoming one flesh that way. Several times in these verses the church is referred to as “it” and this again is a mistranslation and the same word should say and mean “her” and it is translated that way in the New Testament many times. In fact it is translated as “her” in Revelation 19:8 when referring to the woman called the “New Jerusalem”. Isn’t that a coincidence? Let’s look at this verse just for grins:
Rev 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
I hope that you see why I included this verse, because it is so very similar to the one we just looked at in Ephesians 5:27. The first thing I wanted to point out is the term “G846” is translated correctly this time as “her” and not “it”. So how can translators make such obvious mistakes in one verse the word is “it” and another one it is “her”. That is a question that I suppose we all need to understand and see that translators are just men capable of making mistakes. Then the next thing I wanted to point out is what are the terms “clean and white” saying, is this describing what we read in Ephesians 5? Obviously they are references to what she is wearing a type of extraordinary piece of clothing or fabric. So how does that compare with what the woman in Ephesians 5 is wearing, it says “without spot or wrinkle” and this implies fine nice clothing also that does not have any dirty spots. I think we can clearly see that these two verse are speaking of the exact same woman. So again, what did Paul tell us that Christ was presenting to himself, a church without spot or wrinkle, clean by the washing of the water of the Word. It’s amazing how the Bible fits together, isn’t it? Both of these are describing the same wedding apparel if you ask me. What we see is that both of these women are described as being in perfect condition, wearing the finest clean garments. This is a clear picture of the church and this truth is reflected to us in the book of Revelation 19 when it speaks of the bride being adorned for her husband and how she has made herself ready. These are all pictures and patterns into a spiritual truth that I hope you are seeing and understanding. So let us update our running count of references that we have observed in these verses and see the new totals:
Let us continue with the next verse in Ephesians for it is really getting good now. In this verse we start to again see the law of marriage being restated in context with the husband and the wife in marriage:
Eph 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
Are you understanding these concepts? God is reaffirming the law of marriage from Genesis 2 in this simple verse of truth. This verse speaks to men and instructs them to love their wives because they are his body. Since Eve came from Adam’s body, so a wife is joined to her husband and the two are now said to be one flesh. If a husband physically abuses his wife it is like him hitting himself in the head, and that is idiotic and crazy behavior. In this verse we have several direct and indirect references to husbands and wives and this now is reflected in our total reference count in the following:
The next verse continues with more about the law of marriage from Genesis 2, but now concludes with the revelation that this also applies to Christ and the church:
Eph 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
You see from this verse further confirmation that the woman and the husband are said to be one flesh or one in the same body. Whatever happens to one affects the other directly. However one treats the other is how they treat themselves. God is really saying to them to treat the other like he or she is you, because you two are one body. God then concludes this verse with the revelation that this applies to Christ and the church. Christ the husband and the church is the wife. Christ cherishes His bride, the church with great love and affection. The church is the Body of Christ. Christ dwells in us right here and right now if you are born again. Christ therefore loves the church because she is His body and His wife.
I hope you are following my count and seeing the references, both direct and indirect implications being given to us. These scriptures are very important to understand. We are finally getting to some great scriptures that we have been working up to and the anticipation has been building with great excitement:
Eph 5:30 For we (the church) are members of his (Jesus Christ) body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
You finally begin to see what God is speaking of about Christ and the church. This verse informs us in very clear language that we are the body of Christ and indirectly tells us how we became His body. But then did you notice that it also calls us his flesh and his bones. Isn’t this what Adam said about Eve? Adam said she is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. Do you understand the context? I put the description of who this verse was talking about in parenthesis so that you could better understand it. What we clearly see is a reference to the natural law of marriage given to us by God in Genesis 2. To reaffirm the connection to Adam, God repeats the law from Genesis in the next verse:
Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man (Jesus Christ) leave his father (God) and mother (Israel), and shall be joined unto his wife (the church), and they two shall be one flesh (body).
God is directly saying that what happened with Adam and Eve was a pattern for Christ and the church. I included the participants in this verse and named names. I put these in parenthesis so that you would not confuse them with the original verse. I did not add to the verse I only clarified the subjects and references so that you could more easily see them. Did you see them? Did you understand them? That is the main part we are going for, if you can understand them, then Satan can’t steal them away from you. One of the key words in this verse is given to us and it is that the two will be “joined” together to be one flesh (body). The Greek word for “joined” literally means “to glue”. That is God’s definition of marriage, creating one body, taking two separate pieces and gluing them together to be one piece or one body. This is again basic math God’s way. With Adam he took one and made two, however God still called them one. You can see this from a multiplication perspective. One man times one wife equals 1 body. I’ve done wood working before, and I have taken two pieces of wood and using dowels and glue I’ve put them together or “joined” them and clamped them and let them dry. After sanding and staining it is incredible the strength and beauty of the one new piece of wood. There are in fact some glues that are so strong that if you would try to pull them apart the wood would usually break in a new spot. This is what God is trying to communicate to us. To join together is a process of marriage. Taking two separate individual pieces and creating one new piece. Here is a revised count of direct and indirect scripture references to the subjects in marriage:
We can see that from this total sheet that we have an overwhelming number of witness to the subject matter of marriage in context with all of these participants. God declares that just as husbands and wives are in covenant and become one flesh so it is with Jesus and the church. The next verse in Ephesians actually declares to us some very valuable information. This verse is the overwhelming climax to the subject of marriage in this chapter of Ephesians:
Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
You see in this verse Ephesians 5:32 God lets us in on a secret that has been kept hidden since the foundation of the world. God had a plan and He patterned this plan after things that He created for us to see. God created a man and a woman and established the law of marriage. God declares that just as one wife becomes one flesh or body with her husband, so all wives become one flesh with their husbands. God declares this to be a Great Mystery. The Greek word for mystery here means “to shut the mouth” as in “keep a secret” from someone. Did you know God had secrets? God must have not wanted someone to see his plan and I believe this was Satan. God says that all of this chapter is about marriage covenant relationships and that this is or was a great secret, but He lets the proverbial cat out of the bag so to speak by telling us that this all has to do with Christ and the church. Jesus Christ is the bridegroom and the church, the bride. The New Covenant is a marriage and the result is the establishment of new family unit. Why did God have to establish a new family? Apparently He had a major problem with his old family. If you can see this and understand it you will be far beyond a lot of other Christians who do not yet know who they are. Satan has tried to confuse the identity of the Bride for many reasons. Even preachers have helped Satan to confuse us. God is doing a new thing in these last days, He is getting the truth out for us to see and to understand. I hope and pray that you can see it. We will continue in the next blog on the mystery of the identity of the Bride using more New Testament verses that confirm our true identity.
If you would like to continue with this series, you can go to “Part 7“.
(Ver 1.3) In the last blog on this subject we talked about a covenant being a marriage. Before that, I talked about a woman being a nation of people and a city. We have been building our scriptural knowledge base to understand the identity of the bride of Christ and today I want to talk about the Law of Marriage. I hope you realize that the Old Testament holds the law of God written down by Moses. In these books God has established principles, concepts, definitions, and laws concerning every subject you can think of. So today I want to establish what happens when God enters into a marriage blood covenant with a group of people. If you have not been following this series from the beginning I would strongly recommend that you go back and start reading from Part 1, The Introduction.
I know this is a very new advanced study of a complex subject. I know that it will be difficult for some to see and understand. Based upon your current spiritual level of maturity, that alone will determine if you are able to fully grasp what is in this lesson series. Many times I know people read my stuff and think it is not true. It is funny how Jesus would go around and tell people “let him who has ears, hear”. Jesus was not talking about just hearing sounds with their ears, he was talking about them understanding with their hearts and that is something completely different. Too many people know how to read, but do not know how to see what was written. Getting understanding is the key to growing in spiritual maturity. Just as you cannot hand a first grader a college calculus book and say learn this, if you are struggling with the things that I have been saying you are probably not ready for this lesson. I would recommend that you either go back and study the basics some more until you fully grasp the foundational truths before you attempt to tackle any of the advanced subjects found in the Bible.
Let’s get into the second chapter of Genesis and see the account of the creation of woman and the first recorded marriage covenant and what happened to all of the participants. After all, we are talking about the identity of a woman called the bride of Christ, so where did the woman come from?
Gen 2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
Gen 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
We can clearly see from these famous well known verses where God says woman came from? You’ve read this before I’m sure, but I doubt if you really fully understood what you read. You see these verses declare that woman was taken out of a man. That is representative of a mathematical operation of division or subtraction. You could say God took one and made two. One divided by 2 gives the same answer as one subtracting one half. Using either division or subtraction the result could still be two halves. But here is another perspective of division and mathematics. If you divide one by one you get one. Isn’t that an interesting concept. The reverse multiplicative principle would be to multiply one by one and you would still get a result of one. One male times one female equals one flesh and here is why I say that. Look at the next verses in Genesis in what Adam has to say about his wife:
Gen 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Since the woman was taken from his body, Adam then declares that she was his body. Did you see that? What is flesh and bones? His flesh and bones is the same as his body. Adam’s body consisted of flesh and bones. God took a portion of his body and made her body. Flesh and bones are the primary parts or pieces that make up his body. I hope all kind of light bulbs are going off in your mind based upon this revelation. Flesh and bone and the body are different terminology for the same thing. There are so many ways to describe, label or name the same things that we have to be smart enough to know when they are the same and when they are not. When Adam looked at his wife he called her the body of Adam. This is a pattern for another New Testament marriage we will see later. If God took a part of man out and created a woman who became the mother to all the natural living descendants on the planet earth, then you might say it would be legal for God to put back a woman into his son Jesus Christ. I’m sure you are wondering how I came to that reasoning and conclusion. It starts with this fact, did you know that Jesus is called the “last Adam” in the New Testament? Read this verse:
1Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
Not only is Jesus called a quickening spirit in contrast to a living soul, but Jesus is specifically called the “last Adam”. Meaning there is a direct and specific relationship and connection to the “first Adam”. The distinct parallels and patterns between the two Adam’s are quite profound. I hope you are grasping this concept. 2 different Adams, one natural and one spiritual. If it was legal for God to take one man or as we have seen one Adam and create one male and one female, then the reverse logic would be to take one male and one female and multiply them together giving you one flesh again. Multiplication and division of 1 and 1 always results in 1. It is the only set of numbers that I know of that you can do this with. 2 times 2 doesn’t equal 2. 2 divided by 2 doesn’t equal 2. This is of course, very basic math truths, but it is amazing how God does things. Sometimes it is the really simple things that God uses to confound the wise.
When Jesus is called “Adam” in the New Testament, this of course is the same Hebrew word that we looked at earlier. This Hebrew word can be translated either as “man” or it can be translated as “Adam”. Both translations originate from the exact same word and this makes understanding the Bible much more complex. It is a puzzle of sorts, but that is the way God works. God is much smarter than we are and he could have chosen any words that fit, but he specifically selected these words to describe a man/Adam.
So, what other relationship do these two Adams share? I’ll probably lose some of you right here, but here goes. Both Adam’s were sons of God and therefore they are natural brothers. Both Adam and Jesus had the same Father. If you don’t understand that, don’t throw it away because it does have significance. There are things in the Bible that are difficult to grasp and understand at first because they are so different. The more religious you are the harder it will be for you to grasp certain things in the Bible and this is probably one of them and there are many others. I did not say Adam was God, but I will say Jesus was. Jesus the Last Adam was also the son of Adam. Jesus walked the face of the planet and constantly called himself the “son of man”. You lose the meaning and significance of that statement by reading an English translation. Jesus being a Hebrew and of the house and lineage of David was saying I am a son of Adam. The Hebrew word for “Adam” can and is translated as “man” several times. It’s the same word “H120” and “H121”. Sometimes translated as “Adam” and other times as “man”. How can the Son of God also be the Son of Adam? The Son of Adam and the brother of Adam? It’s pretty tough to grasp, but nevertheless this is what the Bible says. Nobody ever told you that the Bible was easy to understand. If they did they lied to you. If you look at the family lineage of Jesus given to us in Luke you will see that it goes all the way back to Adam and then to God. There is a clear implication that Adam was also called a “son of God”. Not God, not “The Son of God” either just a “son of God”.
Luk 3:38 Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.
Reading this verse is very informative, even if the words “son of” are added by the translators. Some say since these words are not in the original Greek we can explain away what actually is being conveyed. However, I believe the words “son of” do assist us in correctly interpreting the meaning. The clear implication is that Adam is called a son of God. You don’t go through a long list of names in a genealogy and every named pair represents a father and a son relationship except the last one. That would be idiotic to attempt such reasoning. I’ll say it again, be consistent a list is a list and every entry in the list should be treated the exact same. I know I got off of the subject for a side trip, but I believe it was important. Let’s get back to the original husband and wife.
We can sometimes ask questions that help us in our discussion. When God formed Adam’s body from the dust of the ground as it says he did, why didn’t God also make the female’s body from the dust of the ground? He wasn’t out of dirt or dust? It is of course an interesting puzzle? Why take out a part of something you already made to make another complementary piece of work? That of course is a hard question. Obviously God had a good reason, or He wouldn’t have done it. Let’s figure out why he did it?
Believe it or not the verses that we read in Genesis 2, gives us an established foundation of how we the church became the body of Christ. If the first Adam has a wife, God is saying it is Ok, for the “last Adam” to have a wife. The first Adam’s wife was a physical woman, the last Adam’s wife is a spiritual woman. Let’s go back and reread verses 23 and 24 in Genesis 2, because these are absolutely critical to understand.
Gen 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
We see again in verse 23 that Adam declares his wife’s body to be his body and obviously that is where it originated from. God purposely selected this way to create the woman. This was a prophetic event of Biblical proportions. Again I will reemphasize that “flesh and bone” is the same terminology for the “body”. In other words a human body consists of both flesh and bones. Jesus actually confirms this with words in the New Testament when he used this terminology in the Gospels, he told his disciples, “handle me, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones”.(Luke 24:39). So Jesus confirms that he has flesh and bones and the clear implication is that is also called his body. If Jesus says “touch me” where would a man put his hand on Jesus to see if he was real? It seems obvious to me that Jesus is referring to his body as being flesh and bones. This is not rocket science, and you should be seeing something new by now.
Moving on to verse 24 in Genesis 2 we see God’s law of marriage being established. This is the first reference in the Bible of the marriage covenant relationship between a man and a woman. This again sets the “type” or “pattern” for every marriage relationship between a man and a woman in both the natural and the spirit worlds. I call this God’s “Law of Marriage”. God gives us a rule or a law for a blood covenant marriage. God said that a man in this case Adam would leave his father (God) and his mother (the earth) and would cleave unto his wife (the woman). I probably lost some of you again by including explanations in that preceding statement. I’ve already dealt with who Adam’s father was so you should already understand that. Since Adam did not have a birth mother and God formed his body from the dust of the ground I consider “the earth” to be his mother. That of course is my opinion, since I don’t have a Bible verse for that statement. You’ve heard the common term “mother earth” before haven’t you? Then the verse finishes up with the most critical thing that you should learn on the subject of marriage with a woman and that is it says the two (the male and the female) would become one flesh (body). This reveals how the church became the body of Christ, it was by marriage. You can obviously still reject everything I’ve said up to this point and say I don’t believe it. However, I’m not through though and I have many more scriptures that confirm what I just said. Is this what God really meant? Did Jesus believe this? Well guess what, I think so, because here is what Jesus said to us on the subject. If you notice these words are in Red, meaning Jesus in person spoke them directly.
Mat 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
Mat 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Again we see a clear reference to the exact same words spoken by God in Genesis 2. Within the context of these scriptures you will find that the subject being discussed is divorce and is it lawful? Jesus’ attitude toward divorce is the same as it is today, he says “can’t you read?”, “didn’t God create them male and female in the beginning?” “Aren’t the two joined together and are they not one flesh.” How can a man cut off a part of his own body and get rid of it, isn’t that what he is really saying? Are they not the same body? Jesus said there should be no divorce if it was done right. Jesus is saying that the man and the woman were two, but after they are married God considers them to be one body. This is the Biblical law of covenant marriage. Two people have become one body. This is why Jesus when he married the church with the New Covenant has become one body with her. We can now begin to see how the church became the body of Christ. Just as Eve was the body of Adam, so the church is the body of Christ. These are very important truths to learn and remember. We will continue this study of the identity of the bride of Christ in my next blog. I hope you are beginning to see and understand these important spiritual concepts. We have now laid a foundation for getting into the subject of the identity of the bride of Christ using scriptures we can search for in the New Testament. We have discovered that a covenant is a marriage. God when in covenant is always the male in the relationship. The people that God is in covenant with is always the female. A female in covenant with God is a nation of people consisting of males and females and is always associated with a city named Jerusalem. Then we discovered the law of marriage that states when they are joined together, they become one body. I have another lesson that might be good to go read now that might help clarify some things or give you more information on the subject. This lesson is called “How did the Church become the Body of Christ“. Within this lesson I actually answer many questions that I have presented in this series. I hope that you are learning and we should be able to move into the identity of the bride in the next lesson in the series.
If you would like to continue reading this series, please go to “Part 6“.
(Ver 1.2) This is now Part 4 in the series on this subject concerning the identity of the Bride of Christ. We are building a foundational scriptural knowledge for the identity of this woman and we will continue to learn more in this blog. Today, I have more new revelation from the Word of God on the subject of both what a woman is in the eyes of God and what a marriage is when in a relationship with God. In my last blog I introduced you to God’s definition of a spiritual woman using some verses you probably would have never used before, from Revelation 17 about Mystery Babylon and in chapter 21 that spoke about the New Jerusalem, a city, a woman who is called the bride of the Lamb. This was a New Testament definition so today I want to go back to the Old Testament and see what God says about marriage, expanding and confirming the definition of a woman that I gave you from Revelation. What we will be doing is looking for Old Testament patterns that confirm these New Testament truths that we have already discovered. I hope that you are beginning to understand how important it is to get God’s definition on the scriptures and subjects that we study. If you have not been following this series from the beginning I would strongly recommend that you go back and start reading from Part 1, The Introduction.
Did you know that God the Father was already married to a woman in the Old Testament? Probably you have read it before or maybe heard it taught, God was married to the nation of Israel in the Old Testament? So did God have a wife? Was God married to a woman in the Old Testament? Who was this woman? Does she fit the pattern that I showed you of the woman in Revelation 21? I wonder if you’ve ever seen this in the Old Testament, where God says to Israel I was your husband. It’s certainly there if you look!
Jer 31:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
Here we have a very powerful verse of truth given to us by the prophet Jeremiah. These are the words of God spoken through the prophet and they call the natural nation of Israel a woman and the wife of God. I wonder what Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses, Joshua and the rest of the males in the nation of Israel thought about being called the female bride and wife of God? Do you think they had a problem being called the female wife of God? Do you think they even knew they were called a woman? Do you think they really cared? They were the physical bride of the Jehovah God? The nation of Israel, a woman married to God, could this really be? God said in this verse that He made a covenant with their fathers, the males in the family. He then said He “took them by the hand” and led them out of Egypt. When you take a woman by the hand that is a marriage terminology or statement for a wedding proposal. God then made it very clear what this covenant represented, He says I was their “husband“. The Hebrew word H1166 here translated as husband comes from a root word that means “to marry”.
A primitive root; to be master; hence (as denominative from H1167) to marry: – Beulah have dominion (over), be husband, marry (-ried, X wife).
God married to a physical nation which consisted of both males and females. If you don’t see the significance in this scripture and the relationship implied to the New Covenant, I pray you will get it as we continue going forward. I will tell you right here and now that if the Old Covenant was a marriage to God, then the New Covenant is also marriage, but to Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Are you in the New Covenant with Christ? According to this verse a covenant is a marriage in the eyes of God. I’m going to say that one more time so that you will get it, when God enters into a covenant, He enters into a marriage. God is the Groom, the people in covenant are the bride. We can see a confirming witness to this revelation by reading a verse found in the book of Malachi:
Mal 2:14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
God is speaking to a husband in a clear reference to how he treated his wife. He informs him that she is the wife of his youth. You could apply this to many marriages today in the world and for that matter in the church. I think that I read that the divorce rate within the church is close to 50%. Meaning half of every marriage in the church is ending in divorce. This certainly should not be. Did you notice how Malachi 2:14 ended. God said this is the wife of your covenant. That is a powerful revelation which applies across the board to every marriage on the planet. In the eyes of God a marriage is a covenant. By the laws found in mathematics and algebra, we can also say that a covenant is a marriage. Maybe you didn’t take Algebra, but the principle is, if A = B, then B = A also. Some might think I’m making this stuff up, but we just read it in the Bible. The implications to this verse are far reaching. If the Old Covenant was a marriage to a people, the New Covenant would also be a marriage to a people. I did say people, and not a city, even though we will learn more about this as we explore more scriptures. We can clearly see that God said I was their husband in Jeremiah 31:32. God the Father would therefore be the Old Covenant Bridegroom. What is a husband except the one that was formerly known as the bridegroom. We could further call Israel the wife the former Old Covenant bride. We can also see in that verse that God has made a covenant with Israel and that He considered this covenant to be a marriage. So what is a covenant? The Strong’s definition of this word is as follows:
From H1262 (in the sense of cutting (like H1254)); a compact (because made by passing between pieces of flesh): – confederacy, [con-]feder[-ate], covenant, league.
We can see from this definition that it is describing the blood covenant event that occurred in Genesis 15, when God makes a covenant with Abraham. During this chapter, Abraham took 3 animals and split them into two pieces and then laid the pieces on the ground. We later read that the smoking furnace and the burning lamp pass through the pieces implementing the covenant. This is a blood covenant and it is also a representative type and shadow of the New Testament blood covenant, implemented by Jesus Christ. We know that the children of Israel while in captivity in Egypt, took a lamb and killed it and spread the blood on the doors of their houses and then they ate the lamb as a Passover meal. All of those are key types and shadows of the New Covenant implemented by the blood of the Lamb of God. I would certainly hope that all of this is not new to you and that you are intimately familiar with the subjects of blood covenants. There are good teachers that have done good jobs of covering the subject and I would strongly suggest that you take time and the necessary effort to gain knowledge on this subject.
So the Bible as you are aware is divided into two Testaments or Covenants. The first being the Old and the last being the New. Could it be that both of these represent marriages to God in the eyes of God? The first marriage was to a natural people, the last to a spiritual people. The first to a natural Nation and the last to a spiritual Nation. Could it possibly be? I think as you go on you will have to say it is more than possible, it surely is. Here is another scripture from the Old Testament prophets that we should be aware of:
Jer 3:20 Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD.
This scripture is another witness to the relationship of God and what is referred to as the house of Israel. It speaks of a wife that is leaving her husband. You can see that the word “as” was added by the translators thinking they were making a comparison, but the true identity of Israel as being the wife to God is there. I heard one minister say don’t confuse identity with relationship. He was attempting to explain away a valuable Bible truth by claiming that I guess the church’s relationship to Christ was suppose to be that of a wife to a husband, but that didn’t mean we were a bride or a woman. But you know I always heard that if it looks like a duck, it walks like duck, it flies like a duck and quakes like a duck, then it in most likely hood, it is a duck. I’ll tell you who is confused and that is someone who reads the Bible and then attempts to explain away what it says. Heaven help that man for he is in danger of being held responsible for deceiving everyone that he has taught this to. Here is the dilemma, Bible teachers have encountered what appears to them as a major conflict on the surface. How can the church be the body of Christ and still be the bride of Christ. Rather, than looking for the Bible answer to the conflict they simply write off one position in favor of the other position and that is a wrong approach. Let’s look at another witness to the identity of Israel as being a woman and the wife of God:
Eze 16:2 Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations,
Eze 16:8 Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.
Eze 16:22 And in all thine abominations and thy whoredoms thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, when thou wast naked and bare, and wast polluted in thy blood.
These scriptures are very revealing and again we see the clear reference to a husband and a wife relationship. The wife this time is called “Jerusalem”. Isn’t that interesting? Could this be the “Old Jerusalem” that we saw from the last blog? Doesn’t that sound familiar? Didn’t we read about another wife, a woman in Revelation called the New Jerusalem? We just read verses in Ezekiel that says God was married to a woman and a city named Jerusalem in the Old Covenant. The earthly city Jerusalem was related to the identity of a woman and within the marriage context of the Old Covenant. So was the covenant with the city or with the people in the city? Does God care about cities and building architecture or does God care about people? Did Jesus shed his blood for a city or for the people that make up the city? Would God marry a city and not the people in the city? I tell you there are so many questions that arise and I wonder if people have given any of these any thought?
There are really too many scriptures to give you all of them. If you study the subject for yourself and search your Bible you will see what I mean. Look for terms of marriage, look for the name of the women, Jerusalem. Look for terms like husband and wife, bride and bridegroom. Think of other terms that refer to covenants and marriages indirectly. Look for Israel and Jerusalem being spoken of in female terms of “she” and “her”. These scriptures will give you an expanded knowledge of what a woman and a marriage is to God. If you have the time read Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah and Hosea and see all of the references to the nation of Israel as being a woman married to God. Look for how many times she is called by adulteress names like, whore. The Hebrew definition of a whore is a woman who commits adultery. Did you know that you cannot be an adulteress unless you are married according to the Bible? You will soon discover that a marriage is a covenant and a covenant is a marriage. God is always the man and the husband and those in covenant with God are always the female, the bride and the wife. That is the way it is, whether you like or not and whether you want to accept it or not. I pray that you are learning these new radical concepts found in the Bible about God, the covenants of God and these women married to God named Jerusalem that are cities of people.
If you would like to continue reading this series, please go to “Part 5“.