The Bride of Christ Revealed – Part 8 The Bride in the New Testament 2
(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“.
Posted on February 9, 2010, in The Church and tagged Bible, Bride, Christianity, Church, Covenants, God, Interpretation, Jesus, marriage, Prophecy, Religion, Revelation, sex, Truth, understanding. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.