The Bride of Christ Revealed – Part 9 The Bride in the Old Testament
(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 Next, we should see the Bible as a historical document with actual events, places and people recorded for our benefit.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“.
Posted on February 12, 2010, in The Church and tagged Bible, Bride, Christianity, Church, Covenants, God, Interpretation, Jesus, marriage, Prophecy, Religion, Revelation, Truth, understanding. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.