The Bride of Christ Revealed – Part 4 God’s Definition of Marriage
(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“.
Posted on February 1, 2010, in The Church and tagged Bible, Bride, Christianity, Church, Covenants, God, Interpretation, Jesus, marriage, Religion, Revelation, Truth, understanding, woman. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.