The Bride of Christ Revealed – Part 10 The Bride in the Old Testament 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“.
Posted on February 15, 2010, in The Church and tagged Bible, Bride, Christianity, Church, Covenants, God, Interpretation, Jesus, marriage, Prophecy, Religion, Revelation, understanding, woman. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.