(ver 1.2) This is Part 2 in a series of advanced spiritual Bible lessons on the subject of “Is the Rapture of the Church a Bible Truth”. If you have not read the first lesson I would highly recommend that you go and start the study with “Part 1” and then continue with today’s lesson. During lesson 1, I took you through a brief explanation of what Rapture is using the dictionary. From this word definition I derived a list of synonymous terms that can be interchanged with the word “rapture” to convey the same thought or message. Some of the words were “caught up”, “taken away”, “removed”, and “to depart”, etc. Seeking to learn the basics we looked at three to four messages taught by Jesus using different symbolic representations to teach very similar rapture concepts. Of course none of these lessons contained the word “rapture” and that is why they are often ignored when studying the subject. We examined the “Pathway Analogy”, the parallels given to us in the “Sheep and Goat Analogy” and the “Wheat and Tare Analogy” and finally we looked at the “Ten Virgin Parable”. You should have easily observed that each lesson contained a central theme of the concept of division. Division is nothing but the separation of two distinct groups. One group can be separated from another group for many distinct reasons. In the world today criminals are sent to prison to separate them from hurting others outside of prison. Therefore, we can potentially call rapture the separation of the righteous from the unrighteous. In today’s lesson I will continue to expand on the basic concepts using Bible patterns of rapture to confirm the basic concepts. Here are some of the items that we will be covering today:
- Rapture is a separation of one person or one group of people from the others.
- Rapture is a change in location either physically or spiritually or both from one previous location to another new location.
- Rapture is usually the forced removal without scheduled notice and without any human consent.
- Rapture demonstrates the sovereign divine Power of God to transport a person or a people from one location to the new location.
- Rapture event timings are always determined by God and nothing you do or believe can change that.
- Rapture can be the exclusionary act of God upon the unrighteous that were not taken (not saved, left behind, those to be destroyed) separated from the righteous that were taken, saved and removed.
We have read several basic verses and have so far not officially determined the timing for any potential rapture event. Many get distracted by the intimate details and miss the more important basic concepts. I want to firmly establish the basics and then work towards the details in their proper order. You might recall that in the first lesson I implied that there are at least 3 future raptures that must still take place and eventually we will readdress what those can be. I also said that I can clearly see that there have already been around 6 previous raptures that have previously occurred in the Bible and we cannot ignore them. These examples will conform to the basic factual rules that I just listed above. I plan on exploring many of these historical rapture accounts in this lesson today to help further the establishment of the valid patterns for the future rapture concepts being taught in the Bible.
GOD REVEALING TRUTH
Too many people want to read the Bible and believe that God placed all of the truth in obvious plain view for anyone to easily find, see, read and understand. However that is just not how God wrote the Bible and it is not how you should approach learning anything from the Bible. We must all learn to see the true concealed nature of God in His Word and in the world around us. Let me ask you, have you ever seen God personally? Can you prove to anyone that God exists? What evidence for God’s existence do you possess? Obviously you have never seen God and cannot prove that there is a God to anyone here on the earth. Yet God says in Romans 1:20 that the invisible things of God are clearly seen being made known in the things that God created. Wow, there are some amazing parallels in that verse to what I am teaching you about the Bible. How can the invisible God who has not been seen with our natural eyes, or made known or displayed to our physical senses, His presence being improvable in a court of law, lacking any clear evidence of existence still be found by searching and studying the things that were created? It is simply because God in His wisdom hid clues throughout creation that clearly allow people to see the existence of a creator if they want to know Him. If anyone does not desire to know God they will never see the truth that is plainly right in front of their eyes. That is just how God designed everything.
Now ask yourself how many educated scientists today after studying the facts of creation have concluded and found that there is a God and a creator because of the overwhelming evidence found from what they are studying? Not very many are there? The majority of the scientists today are either agnostic or atheist in their beliefs of God. Yet God still says I can be seen everywhere if you are looking for me. What make you think that the truth in His written Holy Word will not also be recorded in the same type of secreted format? You see I completely believe that the truth in the Bible can be easily seen, but only after you want to know it, are saved, then know what to look for and then extend the effort to look for it with great diligence allowing the Spirit of God to help you see it. There is a principle discovered especially in the New Testament that is very important called “revelation”. Revelation is God illuminating His Word to humans so that it can finally be understood. Revelation is never man suddenly discovering what God has said using their individual human reasoning to figure it out. Every human requires God’s revelation in order to understand the spiritual things that were written inside of the natural words and stories.
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,
You see Paul tells you that the previously hidden Christ has now been uncovered and revealed by God. He states that this was a formerly hidden mystery of God. Paul gives us a better explanation of this revealing process in Ephesians 3:1-5 if you would like to go and read how the mystery was not revealed to men prior to the Apostles but has now been given to us by the Spirit of God’s choice. Wow, that concept seems to pass over the head of many Christians today and it teaches us so much about the nature of God. The rapture of the church is just another one of those mysteries hidden by God in His Word. Look up the definition for the Greek word translated as “revelation” here. It means a “disclosure”, an “appearing”, an “enlightenment”, or “something that was previously hidden but has now suddenly been revealed”. This Greek word G602 comes from another root word G601 that literally means to “uncover” or “take the cover off”. It is like someone in the natural taking the lid off of a box to discover what was previously hidden inside of it. That uncovering concept teaches us that we can look at the outside cover words all day long and still never understand what is underneath the surface until the cover has been removed. Only God can remove the cover from His Word. However, that is exactly what the Spirit of God is doing in the church today to those that want to know the truth. There are literally hundreds of mysteries in the Bible and most of them you probably do not know or have any understanding of their existence because you are still looking at the covered text and not seeing the hidden spiritual meanings beneath. Do not throw away the rapture teaching simply because it is not easy to find on the surface. Wait until you at least ask God to reveal it to you and show you if it is true. God is no respecter of persons. If He revealed it to me, He will also reveal it to you so that you can see it also.
I read a couple of the internet lessons on the no-rapture theory just to see how they were explaining the verses that God showed me about rapture. Nothing that they said swayed me in the least little bit since what they said conflicted with the voice of the Spirit of God and the real meaning of the verses in the Bible. Their arguments were very cleverly written with many supposedly supporting Bible verses but they were totally blinded to what the scriptures said and how to apply them correctly. These were nothing but examples of how natural men can “wrongly divide” the word of truth to produce a message that can be accepted easily by other carnal men. What I say in my Bible lessons is generally not accepted by carnal minds because it is so spiritually based. Natural people tend to be attracted by natural words and spiritual people tend to be attracted by spiritual words. It is very much like the law of Genesis being restated everything producing after its kind.
You see I am certain to run into the same problem that Paul ran into with what I am teaching. Paul was confronted with both natural thinkers and spiritual thinkers. God gave Paul certain spiritual revelation and understanding that no other man knew in his day (Gal 1:12). Paul then went about trying to teach this God given revelation to the others in the church with the only confirmation evidence that the hearers in the church possessed was from them listening to the Spirit of God that resided in them and the previously written Old Testament Words of God. If they could hear and see spiritual things they were accepting, but if they were carnal thinkers, then they were rejecting the truth. Here is what God says about the people in the early church that were faced with this great decision:
Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
God says that the people in Berea were nobler than the people in Thessalonica. God informs us that the Bereans were first open to hearing something brand new from Paul implying the Thessalonians were not. However, God then says that the Bereans did not just automatically accept the new teaching of Paul, but that they were rather wise enough to go and search their scriptures to find if what Paul was preaching was actually the truth that God had declared in His Word. So regardless of which rapture category your beliefs fall into today at least be open to hear a new perspective on the subject and then to go to your own Bible to search for yourself to see if it is true or not. Do not believe anything that I say because you do not even know me. Who I am, is of no significance to you also what I say is only important if it is what God says. If you do not see what I say in your own Bible then toss it away and believe what you do see. You will not offend me if you reject what I teach.
BUILDING A STRONG RAPTURE FOUNDATION ON THE BASICS
We are going to continue in this Bible lesson with some of the basic foundational verses for the existence of the legitimate doctrine of the rapture. We need to go to the letters written directly to the church and see what God records for us there and make sure that we clearly understand what God is saying to us correctly. Every teacher that preaches a “no rapture” philosophy must explain away all of these verses that we will be looking at today or they must totally ignore them to teach what they teach. They can be very creative in their attempts to explain them away and many people believe what they say without doing the necessary study to prove it in their own spirit which will result in deception. Therefore you need to follow along with me in your Bible using your heart to see if God is giving you internal spiritual peace about what is written here and then verify it using the Bible.
We will go to the book of 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 and verse 16. You may recall that this verse was mentioned in Wikipedia as a foundational scripture for rapture. This is certainly not the only verse found in the Bible on the subject, but it is clearly one of the most prominent and important verses on the subject. People want to discount one prominent scripture in the Bible and explain it away because they think one verse is not important without many other confirming verse witnesses. That is very true that one verse cannot be taken as a complete doctrine of theological belief, but it is also true that it is still found in the Bible and that there are other confirming witnesses that can be found if you look and search for them.
I also want you to understand that the books of the N.T. Bible were not necessarily placed into the Bible in their chronological written order. First Thessalonians was probably the very first letter written by Paul to any church. Therefore, God saw fit to teach the church about rapture from the very establishment of the church. Many today try to say that rapture is a modern creation of man not taught by the early church founding fathers. But simple minded people clearly do not choose to see what the Bible says and must ignore what Paul taught and wrote to remain in their ignorance. You do understand that what Paul wrote about in the Epistles to the churches were also the things that he taught to everyone in the church when he was physically present with them, don’t you? Can you separate the two? I cannot do that. Let’s read what Paul taught about the rapture:
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Verse 16 begins with the description of the Lord descending from heaven. Who was this Lord and why is it necessary for Him to descend? What is the stated purpose for the descent? This Lord was the God of heaven come to the earth in the flesh that died for all of our sins on a wooden cross and He is named Jesus in the English tongue. We should remember from reading in Acts 1:9 that after Jesus died and was raised from the dead, He ascended back up into heaven where He has been seated for the past nearly 2000 years (Heb 8:1). This statement of descent being described is simply the reversal of the preceding ascent that visibly took place on the earth with the early church disciples being witnesses. I will also say that what was seen by a few in the church of Jesus going up will be seen by those in the church that He is descending to come back for. Let’s start by just listing the basic facts given in the order of mention to us in these verses and then talk about them in more depth:
- Jesus descends from heaven with a shout.
- The voice of the archangel is the next observed mention.
- Immediately followed by the trump of God.
- The next mention is the dead in Christ that will rise.
- Then followed by those that are alive in Christ on the earth being caught up.
- Those alive on the earth are stated to be elevated to the level of the clouds in order to meet with the Lord.
- At the culmination of this event both the dead and alive in Christ will forever be with the Lord.
Those were the very basics from what I just read in the Bible. What did you read? Can you agree with them or is that why you don’t believe in rapture because that is just not what God says here? I believe that there are both direct and indirect implied statements being made in these verses. I just listed the direct statements of facts only. First it directly says that the Lord descends from heaven to initiate the event with a shout. We must determine the definition of heaven based upon the context of the statement being made and using the other facts of the Bible to correctly interpret the term. For example, the Hebrew word translated as heaven in the O.T. is H8064. This same Hebrew word can refer to up to three different locations and that same statement is true about the N.T. Greek word G3772. Heaven is defined in the Bible in three different ways. There is the immediate atmosphere surrounding the earth and this is often spoken of as what I will call the first heaven (Deu 11:11). There is the universe of stars and solar systems in space and this is often what I will call the second heaven (Gen 1:17). But Paul we will soon learn spoke of a “third heaven” (2 Cor 12:2) and this is the literal location of the spiritual throne of God. The first two heavens are natural and the third heaven is completely spiritual. This heaven being described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 is clearly the reference to the unseen third spiritual heaven. We will get more confirmation for that as we continue. Therefore I see two dimensions of existence being stated in these two verses. Jesus is descending from heaven and is coming out of the spiritual dimension to re-enter back into the natural dimension to accomplish the rest of what is stated.
Surely you can see Christ’s descent from the spiritual heaven in parallel with a shout, the voice of the archangel and the trump of God are the beginning of something else about to occur. I view verse 16 as starting in the spiritual realm and ending in the natural realm. I then see verse 17 as starting in the natural realm and ending in the spiritual realm to complete the cycle and we will see this more clearly as we go. But notice in verse 16 there is no mention of anything natural or physical until the end of the verse and then it speaks of death which is clearly natural only. Every noun mentioned is a spiritual being or place until the last mention of the dead rising. Therefore the archangel’s location is also implied to be in heaven being mentioned following Jesus descending from heaven. Immediately following the archangel is the trump of God and this is also implied to originate from the location of spiritual heaven.
I believe that both the shout and the trump are announcements from the spiritual heaven for the coming event to occur upon the physical earth. The Greek word translated as “shout’ is only used in this verse in the entire N.T. However this Greek word G2752 comes from another Greek root word G2753 that means “to command”. The source Greek word is less of an event announcement than it is the shout of an ordered command expecting some subsequent action to take place. The root Greek word means a direct command has been ordered from heaven for the next expected action to occur. I take this command to be given by God Himself personally. Angels generally do not have the authority to give commands apart from God’s will. It is interesting how this verse is phrased and worded, because the shouted command could be taken as being from the Lord or it could be a command given by the archangel. However, based upon supremacy of rule, I teach it as originating from God and going through the archangel like the chain of command in a military hierarchy.
Let’ reconsider what we learned about from the earlier messages of Jesus on the separation of the sheep from the goats or the wheat from the tares. Both of these lessons contained commanded symbolic servant workers (aka angels) that were given orders and instructions to separate the one group from another group. I believe that we can see some distinct parallels being taught by the usage of this Greek word when the Lord commands and the voice of the chief angel in heaven is heard to possibly repeat the shouted order. I believe that you need to resolve in your mind who is doing the original shouting and who the shout is directed towards. I do not believe that the command order from heaven is directed to those that are about to be taken from the earth, do you? Clearly the order is directed to those that are doing the taking and those can only be the angels of God. This is clearly a chain of command type of military order being described. The commander in chief God has given a direct order to gather and the order is shouted to every ranking member of the staff to be carried out. If you have never been in the military you may not understand chain of command but most things in life work this way. Every large or small corporation has a chain of command from the ranking CEO going down the chain. Any way that is how I view the shout mentioned in this discourse and you can disagree and believe what you like if you see something different.
Let’s move on to the trump of God mentioned next. The Greek word G4536 translated many times as trumpet or trump occurs in only 11 verses in the N.T. and it is a word that means a “vibration”, a “quavering” or a “reverberation” all descriptive synonymous terms for a loud audible sound. Because the Greek word is only found in 11 N.T. verses it is easy to determine if any of these other verses play a role in describing the same type of rapture either directly or indirectly. Also take note from reviewing these verses that they do not necessarily have to mean that a physical horn type of instrument is blown. Many have the idea that the ram’s horn called a shofar is used for this event announcement. I do not have a problem with that interpretation or belief but that is not technically what is stated in this verse or several other verses in the New Testament (1 Cor 14:8, Rev 1:10, Rev 4:1). In these verses it describes voices being like a trumpet but, in other verses like in Revelation 8:2, 8:6, 8:13 and 9:14 it appears to be an actual literal trumpet. However if you notice anything when reading the book of Revelation, you should immediately recognize that the majority of the book is cloaked in symbolism. Therefore the trumptes mentioned in Revelation can possibly be a symbolic representation for a greater spiritual truth. At least that is what I believe at this point in time with my current level of knowledge on the subject.
Let me reemphasize the initiator of the event in 1 Thessalonians 4. Understand that Jesus is described as the originator of this unique event. Clearly Jesus coming down with a shout starts the entire process. Therefore this affair is a divinely initiated occasion that I believe is describing the bridegroom coming down to fetch His bride that we learned about in lesson 1. How does this description in 1 Thessalonians 4 correspond or compare to the information given to us in the parable of the 10 virgins? If you recall in Matthew 25:6 the bridegroom is implied to start His return at midnight when all of the virgins were asleep and an outcry or shout announces His coming before they ever see Him and the virgins are told to “Go Out” to meet Him in the parable. There was the stated coming of the bridegroom first and then there was the subsequent shouted cry that followed to trigger the virgins to go out and meet their bridegroom. That sounds very amazingly accurate to what we are reading about here in these verses in 1 Thessalonians 4 to me. I know it does not match word for word but the similarities are too close for it not to be God telling the same story using different types and symbols in one and more literal references and descriptions in the other. These types of writing styles of God make the Bible very complex to the casual reader. I take them to be the same event because of the match of all of the recorded characters and actions mentioned occurring in the exact same order. I also know that Jesus is the bridegroom and that we are the bride (virgin) in the Bible. Do you see it? Don’t you think that there could be some direct similarities between the description of 1Thessalonians 4 and the Parable of the 10 virgins? I can see a very distinct pattern of resemblance.
Do not confuse this event description in 1 Thessalonians 4 with the Second Advent event when Jesus literally sets foot back upon the earth to rule for 1000 years with the saints. There is no mention of Jesus coming that close to the earth in 1 Thessalonians 4 anywhere in this description. In fact the way that I read it I can never find Jesus descending below the normal cloud level anywhere in this discourse. In verse 17 it is clearly stated that those that are still alive on the earth surface of the earth go up to the clouds in the air to meet Jesus. How far up are the clouds from the surface of the earth? We might also consider the height of the earth’s atmosphere as being a stated factor. We obviously can learn easily that these are known facts discovered during modern space exploration. The reentry of a space craft from the realm of space first encounters resistance of the earth’s atmosphere at around 120 km (75 mi). At this altitude above the earth, the air is extremely thin and there are no clouds. The air continues to thicken as the craft descends and clouds eventually are able to form.
In order to determine where clouds normally reside in the atmosphere we need a deeper study of meteorological facts. Clouds come in three general categories of high cloud layers, mid-cloud layers and low-cloud layers. If you search the internet you will find that low clouds can range in altitude from surface level to upwards of 2 km. Mid-clouds can range from 2 to 4 km in height. Finally, high clouds can range from 4 to 8 km in height. Therefore Jesus can legally meet us in the atmosphere depending upon if it is a foggy day or a normal day anywhere from 0 to 8 km up in the atmosphere. I can personally see that if you do further study on the internet that NASA has spent time averaging maximum cloud heights over the course of the last 10 years and they have in their data found that clouds normally occur at a maximum average height of between 3 and 4 km and that is a long way up. People in the “no rapture” belief camp have tried to explain this verse away stating that the Greek word translated as “air” is a sea-level only point of view in the Bible. They completely have to ignore the “cloud” reference and overlook the term “caught up” to be in the clouds. They must be assuming a foggy day for the return of the Lord back to the earth’s surface. They have purposely closed their eyes to what the Bible is saying not using any factual evidence to support their beliefs scripturally or scientifically.
Act 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
The Greek word translated as “clouds” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 only occurs in 22 verses of the N.T. so that is a very manageable number to go and read every occurrence. What you will find in your search is God’s exact same usage of this Greek word here in Acts 1:9 where Jesus was described as ascending up and then the clouds are said to receive Him out of their view. Have you ever watched an airplane take off? How long can you view it until it disappears from your view? I guess it depends on the clouds, doesn’t it? But, that sounds like a very high altitude up in the sky to me. What God is doing is describing two separate related events and He is connecting them together with the usage of the same Greek word G3507 translated as “clouds”. Five times in the Gospels Jesus is found speaking of Himself and says that He will be coming in the clouds (Mat 24:30, Mat 26:64, Mark 13:26, Mark 14:62, Luke 21:27). However every mention of this may not be all describing the same event or times. For example, Matthew 24:30 could be speaking of the second advent after the tribulation or of another specific time. In Matthew 24:3 the disciples asked Jesus 3 different questions and in this chapter Jesus answers them all but does not always tell you which answer is to which question. Maybe we will talk about these in a future lesson. In Matthew 26:64 the time frame is not directly given. Mark 13:26 can also be considered a description of the same three questions that the disciples asked in Matthew 24. Again in Mark 14:62 there is no time reference given other than it is after the ascent into heaven in Acts 1:9. That leaves us with Luke 21:27 and this is a very interesting set of verses that appear to be a different timing than the Second Advent. I believe from reading these verses that Jesus could very well be describing the rapture before the tribulation revealed by the wording of the statements. We will get to those verses in more detail later in the series.
What is stated to happen on the earth first in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17? We can see that there is a very clear reference to those that have already died (IN CHRIST) a physical death on the earth “rising” first. Here is a good time to learn a basic truth. Every Christian that has been born again by the Spirit of God is now in the universal group set called “IN CHRIST”. However, God makes a new distinction in this discourse to differentiate between two sub-groups found within the global set of IN-CHRIST. God says here in these two verses that one subset group called the DEAD IN-CHRIST is a little bit different than those that are still ALIVE IN-CHRIST. One group is dead and one group is alive and this has been stated from the physical natural human perspective. Why is that important? Why does one group of DEAD “rise” and why are the others in the ALIVE GROUP “Caught UP”? You really need to ask these types of detailed questions when you read and study the Bible.
This is the first mention of the natural realm and it represents a transition from the heavenly realm that initiated the event. These dead bodies are identified to rise first because of their former experiences with natural death that has caused their old physical bodies to be left here in the dust of the earth. If you examine the context of chapter 4 you will see that one of the primary subjects being discussed is about those that have died believing in Christ and how that they can still have hope of a certain resurrection like Christ’s. When Jesus was resurrected from the dead, did He take His physical body or leave it here on the earth? I think you know that Jesus took His body with Him. There is no tomb with the body of Jesus on the earth. Therefore, Jesus was fully resurrected from the dead physically and spiritually. This is the hope that is given to all of those that have died in Christ. These verses about resurrection were written to the church. These dead people are the saved righteous believers in Christ Jesus. They have died a physical natural death but when this occurred their spirits then departed the earth and went to heaven to be with the Lord Jesus (2 Cor 5:8). Thus the reason for the unique wording of the dead “rising” versus the alive being “caught up”. I’m really not sure if you are getting where I’m going here or if you understand yet what I am attempting to say.
The Greek word translated as “rise” in verse 16 literally means to “stand up” or “arise”. This rising can be from any non-standing position seated, reclining or lying flat. Since God is discussing the dead in Christ rising we can conclude logically that the original unstated position of those arising are normally found in a lying flat position like most dead bodies at a funeral. This description is given to us from the human natural perspective and not the spiritual divine perspective. Death in the Bible is many times described as what looks like natural sleep of the physical body and this is stated from the casual human viewer’s perspective. People here in the natural world generally view things from the natural human standpoint. That is what we see when we look at a dead body. But the spirit of that person has departed their body and is either with Christ or is in hell right now according the Luke 16.
Jas 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Here in James is a statement of universal natural truth concerning natural death. When the physical body dies, the spirit of the man or the woman that died has departed and is no longer present in the body. Or we could say when the spirit departs the physical body, the body dies. Both statements are accurate representations of the truth. However also take note that if the spirit of the human departs the dead body, the spirit always remains alive. Do you know the difference between natural things and spiritual things? Natural things die, but spiritual things never die or cease to exist. Humans are spiritual beings that live in a temporary natural body.
All of this information is just my attempt to explain why God’s distinction between the dead “rising” and the alive “departing” references that are given. In verse 16 of 1 Thessalonians 4 it ends with the natural perspective of the human body that possessed the appearance of sleeping being resurrected or raised to stand up again in order to be joined back to the departed human spirit. This resurrected body will be rejoined back with the human spirits of those that were already in heaven and this new eternal resurrected body will be their personal living place and the dwelling residence for God’s Spirit forever. Then in verse 17 we see a contrasting difference being stated with those that remain here on the earth and are described to be alive being “caught up” to meet Christ in the air. Can you seriously see the difference being stated here yet? Why aren’t both groups “caught up”? Why don’t both groups “rise”? This is actually very important information. When all of the puzzle pieces are put together correctly it makes such clear logical sense. God is in effect saying that when this event occurs the dead in Christ will descend with Christ from heaven to be joined with their risen resurrected bodies, but the living Christians on the earth will be personally “caught up” to be with Christ with a resurrected body in the clouds. Now do you see it? Do you now understand why the difference between the two stated experiences and why God describes it as two sub-events beneath the one greater event? What God is doing is giving you a lot of unstated information by using distinct unique word selection.
Verse 16 was only the dead bodies rising and not the spirits of the dead people being “caught up” since the spirits were already present with Christ in heaven. Verse 17 makes the radical transition from what happens to the dead bodies to those that are still living in a body. Two separate verbs are selected by God to describe what happens to each group. Verse 17 starts out by saying those that are “alive” and these are a clear reference to the people with a natural life existence on the earth given to us from the human perspective. This Greek word G2198 literally means to possess life or those that live. Again this viewpoint can only be from the natural perspective and not a spiritual or divine perspective since it is impossible to kill a spirit being. Both the dead in Christ and the living in Christ on the earth are spiritually alive unto God. If God was using His spiritual viewpoint in these verses He would have stated it differently. What God is teaching is the difference of the locations of the living spirits affected during the event. The dead in Christ were already in heaven and those living in Christ remained here on the earth during the start of this event. At the end of the event they are all together with Christ in the clouds with their new resurrected bodies.
UNDERSTANDING BEING “CAUGHT UP”
These verses are simply comparing two types of believers. These two groups of believer types represent two new sub-sets of the whole set group called those “in Christ”. We really need to understand basic math set theory when studying the Bible on many subjects. God created math and mathematical laws which are used in the Bible repeatedly to teach us concepts that only could have come from Him. Let’s stop here and define that Greek word translated as “caught up” and then dig much deeper to find out why God states it differently from the bodies that “rise”.
From a derivative of G138; to seize (in various applications): – catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force).
The Greek word “harpazo” (G726) literally means to seize or take someone or something by force. It is only found in 13 verses of the New Testament and many of these are very significant connected verses to explore about the subject of rapture. Begin by understanding that the definition of the word represents a divine orchestrated demonstration of power. In other words this event in 1 Thessalonians 14:17 being described can only take place because there was a great external force of power behind it that causes it to occur. This description of force corresponds to the direct controlled information given by Jesus of the angel reapers taking out from the earth the wheat and the tares as well as the separation of the sheep from the goats. There are distinct parallels of external power being enforced in common in all of this imagery. In these lessons the wheat, the tares, the sheep nor the goats have an influence or contribution on the separation that occurs. In each instance the force of control is external to those that are affected.
No natural exertion of resistance, human effort, human force or any human power from the participants on the earth being raised or caught up was necessary or even mentioned during this event. I probably did not state that last information exactly correct. You see I believe that every human is required to have faith and believe in the rapture in order to participate in the event. I cannot see where the Bible says that anyone that does not believe is still rewarded with the same prize of those that do believe. Crowns of salvation are not handed out to everyone like Universal Salvationists like to teach. I believe that rapture is exactly like salvation. No one that has not already placed their faith and beliefs in Jesus Christ will be saved or can be saved. Everything that God gives to His people through His divine sovereign Grace must be received by the people through their faith. I don’t have the time to teach you faith, if you have not read my lessons on Understanding Bible Faith then do that to help clear up any conflict. Let’s quickly review one dictionary definition for the word “rapture” to recall how it was defined:
RAPTURE: the carrying of a person to another place or sphere of existence.
To me this definition of the word rapture fits precisely with the Greek word definition of “harpazo”. To carry someone away from one realm to another is clearly a display of power and force that must be present to move them. The English term “rapture” is derived from the Latin term “raptus” also meaning to carry away or carry off. I have concluded that “raptus” was a synonymous Latin term for the Greek word G726 “harpazo” that was translated as “caught up”. This is one of the primary reasons for the legitimacy of the doctrine of the “rapture”. The modern term was developed to help Bible teachers teach the subject using a simple one word title. Do you understand “harpazo”? It is a very well defined word that teaches a lot on the subject. Harpazo is a show of external force and power. It is a convention beyond the power of human resistance. Even if you did not want to go the Bible teaches us that you are going. No debate is offered. No options are given. Those being taken are simply gone being removed from existence upon the earth physically and spiritually.
All of this discussion so far today was just an introduction to the basic foundational concepts proving that the catching away of believers is a valid truth taught by God, Paul and the early church in the Bible. The timing of the event has still not been fully developed or established and we will eventually get to that part of the subject as we progress.
HISTORICAL RAPTURE EVENTS IN THE BIBLE
Before we go into future rapture events and other verses about the subject, let’s prove to all of the skeptics that this harpazo or “catching away” by force has already occurred multiple times in the Bible. In proving historical event occurrence, this will help us to define and confirm the possibility for potential repeated future event occurrences. God simply says in the Bible “There is nothing new under the sun”. He continues in this discourse to teach us “that which has been is that which shall be again” (Ecc 1:9). Verses like this teach us that there are established patterns found in the Bible and that we need to learn them in order to see what might occur in the near future. Discarding the past will cause you to not know the future. You see for any doctrine to be legitimate it must be an established pattern throughout the Bible with more than one witness to the truth being stated. God required for every word to be established in the mouths of two or three witnesses so that they all can be verified to be in agreement with the other witnesses. This truth disallows the taking of any single verse out of context to prove one’s erroneous point. Let’s go to the book of Acts and see one type of rapture example and a direct type and shadow of the coming rapture being described in 1 Thessalonians 14:
Act 8:39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
Was Phillip just raptured away so that immediately the eunuch after being baptized saw him no more? Why did God take Phillip away? Why didn’t God take the eunuch also? You see this does not say that Phillip walked away or swam away under his own physical power. The power of God literally takes Phillip away from the place that he was previously seen and places him physically and spiritually in a completely new location. I mean if this description is not a type of rapture of a man from one physical point to another physical point you tell me what it is. You see someone being raptured does not always have to mean that this someone was taken directly to heaven. It can mean they were just physically transported from one part of the earth to another. Rapture is nothing except a real divine encounter of a fictional Star Trek type of teleport or transport. This rapture of Phillip is simply a change in his physical location and it is a valid pattern for what will happen to the church very soon. Patterns can simply be natural events that will correspond to coming spiritual events. Notice that Phillip had nothing to do with what just happened to him. Phillip did not pray to be taken, Phillip did not ask God to take him and this is again a pattern of the coming church rapture. Also note that one man was taken and one man was not and this again is a pattern for rapture. Rapture includes the separation of one or more people from another group of people.
Notice that God brings this verse into the subject discussion by the inclusion of the Greek word G726 harpazo. I understand that Phillip was not given a supernatural resurrected body during this event. I also understand that Phillip did not leave the earth to go to heaven and then return in a new earthly location. While that was certainly possible that is not what just happened to Phillip. We need to learn not to put God in our box of human narrow minded limitations. We need to see that almost anything is possible when God is involved. I said almost anything is possible, because God is not going to do anything that violates His written word or causes Him to lie. Keep that in mind as you study the Bible. I am simply viewing the “catching away” of Phillip by the Spirit of God to be a natural pattern for the coming greater spiritual event. If God can do this event to a man in the church then God can also take the whole church in a future event. Let me show you another type of rapture event recorded in the Bible that is often ignored by rapture skeptics.
2Co 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
I mentioned this verse earlier but I feel this is important enough to look at again. This event is in a position of greater alignment with the normal concept of what most people believe is the primary type of rapture. Here we have Paul describing an event about himself and saying that he was “caught up” to the third heaven. “Caught up” is again the Greek word G726 harpazo. So Paul was taken by force in this experience by the Spirit of God. He says he does not know if he was in his body or outside of his body and that is not the important point to take away. However notice that Paul says that he was taken and this means his spirit went to heaven at the minimum. What you must observe is that Paul’s spirit was literally transported from the physical earth to a spiritual heaven location and then you can read that he saw things that he could not even describe to us. Clearly this is another example of rapture in the Bible. The spirit of Paul was taken up by force to see things in heaven that he had never seen before. This was another divine sovereign choice act of God. Paul did not ask to be taken but it still occurred to teach Paul and the rest of us that it can occur. Do you still not believe in rapture? I seriously do not know how you can still be on the unbelief side of the fence after studying all of the events that have already occurred. But, I’m not done yet and there are more. Let’s go back and reflect on a story from the Old Testament of a rapture event and possibly the first rapture event recorded in the Bible:
Heb 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
Wow, so Star Trek really did not invent the “Transporter”, God did. God clearly transports the living natural man Enoch wholly, completely and directly from this earth to an undisclosed, unnamed new location in this verse. We are never informed of where Enoch went; we are just told that he vanished off of the face of the earth. Did you notice that Enoch did not have to die naturally first? There are only two men in the O.T. that did not taste of natural death that I know of and Enoch was one of them. Enoch is a clear O.T. pattern for the church members that will be “caught away” alive in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. Clearly Enoch was raptured from this world alive to the eternal spiritual realm being taken bodily so that there is no grave here on the earth containing his body. How can anyone teach that rapture is not a valid Bible concept and truth? Look up the Greek word translated as “translated” in this verse. It literally means to “transfer” or “transport” as in an exchange of physical locations. This is so significant that I do not know how people miss it or why they choose to ignore it. I’m beginning to see a Bible concept that I really like here, and I’ll call it the “Beam me up Jesus” method of spiritual travel. I really believe that this is going to be an awesome experience when it occurs. There is only one other man in the O.T. that was taken up by divine force without seeing death and this was the prophet Elijah.
2Ki 2:1 And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.
The Hebrew word in the verse translated as “take up” literally means to ascend. This is not rocket science so everyone should be able to recognize another obvious pattern for human translation or transportation out of this world while still naturally alive by divine sovereign power. If you study the context of this event you will also see that God reveals what is going to happen to Elijah before it happens. That is also significant since God repeats that pattern by revealing to the church that rapture will occur before it occurs. Elijah is again a pattern for the living church members remaining on the earth today. They do not know the exact timing of the “taking up” but he knew it would occur before it occurred and he even knew that it would even occur very soon. Clearly Enoch and Elijah are valid “harpazo” patterns. These are two direct witnesses for the future.
Let’s talk about Isaiah chapter 6 briefly. This chapter describes an event that took place that clearly resembles what Paul experienced of being caught up to the third heaven. I’m not going to quote any of the verses or review them in any detail. You can do that research for yourself. I will say that what Isaiah describes is clearly not of this world in any form or fashion. In verse 1 there is mention of a throne but then following this is the mention of winged creatures that are a special type of angel. This creature had 3 sets of wings. One set covered his face and one set covered his feet and with the final set he flew around. That is pretty amazing stuff. This experience is no doubt a type of rapture where Isaiah is taken to the throne of God to view and record some things that we need to see. It does not say that Isaiah was there bodily, but he had to be there spiritually in order to come back to write what he saw. I find that very interesting and also very relevant to our discussion of rapture. I will not address this experience any further in this lesson other than to give it to you as fifth potential pattern reference for a type of rapture.
Act 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
We could talk a lot about Jesus ascending into heaven in Acts 1. I have already mentioned this example previously in this lesson in a direct reference connection to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. Here we have Jesus ascending up into the clouds and disappearing and this is another pattern of what is described will happen to the living on the earth when Jesus comes back to the clouds to take us up. I will point out one distinct difference in this verse. This ascent is not “harpazo”. In other words Jesus was not seized out of the earth by force or caught up by the Spirit of God or any angel. No this Greek word is very different because this is the divine God himself going up under His own power. This Greek word is always used in conjunction with self-control and personal extended effort of self-power. This is clearly an example of rapture because God is controlling the ascension event. However it is done indecently from external power and is the internal power of God within Jesus that causes Him to go up. The first five examples of people being raptured were clearly events independent from human human power and they can only be displays of the power of God. I really pray that you are receiving these parallel examples and seeing the possibilities that can occur from them?
Satan fights the teaching of the true rapture because he will be forced to present an explanation to what happened to the millions of righteous people in the world that simply vanish without a trace prior to the tribulation. He will come up with an ingenious twist of the truth. He will probably claim that the wicked people on the earth have now been taken out for judgment and now only the righteous remain to rule with him. You see this explanation fits with the pattern of what is transpiring in the media today. The media is blasting Christians as hate mongers of an intolerant message of God’s love. The homosexual agenda is the most intolerant group of people that exists in the world and they are in direct opposition to God and what the Bible says on the subject. However, they claim that Christians are intolerant ones for claiming the truth in the Bible and not embracing their sin as normal. What we see developing is a dividing line between those that are on God’s side and those that are opposed to God. I would think that it would be wise to remain on God’s side, but they have had their minds blinded to the truth so that they are unable to see it.
I think I will wrap up this lesson for now. I have given you a lot of information to examine and to consider. I thank you for your time in reading and studying the Bible. There is so much more in the Bible on this subject and I will continue on it in a future lesson. God Bless!
If you would like to continue reading in this series you may proceed to “Part 3” now.
(Ver 1.3) Some may have noticed that I do not avoid controversy. I believe we need to learn and take on even the difficult or controversial Bible subjects that many like to ignore. The Bible has some very difficult things written in it and a woman teaching in the church is certainly one example of those. Vast numbers of ignorant people have long proclaimed dominance over women, placing them in only subservient roles that are clearly biased to what they like or feel is the proper order of things. What these type of people do is jump on a very limited number of scriptures that they whole hardly embrace and proclaim as the final basis of all truth. This of course forces them to ignore vast numbers of other scriptures that do not align with their desired outcome or definition of truth. We must understand that the Bible is a book of more than one scripture and one truth. We must balance every verse on the subject we are claiming to be the truth, before we can say what is the truth to anyone else.
Have you ever studied the Bible on every scripture reference on the subject of women in the Bible? Do you believe you totally understand every scripture in the Bible on the subject of women? I say there is no way that we have done this complete enough to be call our self an expert on the subject. The Bible is way too complicated for anyone to say they know it all. So how is it that a some men can get up to teach and claim that women are not permitted to preach or teach in the church based upon their limited knowledge on the subject? I mean, please ask who died and made them God? Is not God the only person living that completely knows and understand the entire Bible? But I believe it would be wise for these types of men to learn a lesson from the book of Job. God asked Job, “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words with no knowledge?” When people teach that a woman is incapable of teaching or preaching the Word of God, I believe that this implies that they believe women do not have the brains or mental capacity to know or understand the truth of the Word of God. It would also imply that they believe women can not hear from God and should not be praying to God. In other words it comes across that women are not able to go directly to God to listen for His leading because they should only go directly through their husbands or the other men in the church first.
People can be so ignorant when it comes to a deep Bible study discussion like this. What we are going to do is go through some key Bible verses that are often ignored or overlooked to examine what God says in regard to references of women in the Bible and their roles. Have you ever had a Godly woman influence you? I can only personally speak a testimony about women that influenced me. I will tell you that if it were not for good Christian women in the church, I would probably not be here today teaching the Word of God. I believe that it was only because of their direct prayers, help, involvement and their leadings from God in ministry that I am even here today to write this lesson. So I appreciate whoever God uses and I refuse to put limitations on what God can do through anyone. Let’s focus upon the root scriptures of controversy first:
1Ti 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
So here we go with the classic, shut up and just learn speech. However, I’m going to apply this verse to everyone today and not just women. If you are distracted, talking to others while the Word of God is being taught, are you learning anything? No, of course you are not! This was the situation in this letter. Paul was addressing a very specific problem of distraction in a very specific church and he was not establishing a law that women can’t talk. If the problem was that the males were talking in church, then I believe Paul would have said, men keep quiet and learn. Humans both male and female were designed by God with a mouth and the ability to talk and communicate intelligently, so to say a woman can’t talk, is very ignorant.
So now this verse ends in the word “subjection” and this is not a bad word. It means you are “not in control” and you are “not the head”. Everyone on this planet is in subjection to someone or something. This word applies to men equally and as strong as to women. If you have ever been in the military you understand “subjection”. You follow orders from the day you join to the day you leave. You are not there to do anything but to follow orders. The corporate business world is very similar but some people do get paid to be creative and come up with new ideas. However, this does not mean they can do whatever they want, whenever they want and to whoever they want. They still have to be submissive to those that they are working for. To be submissive is a normal way of life; it promotes order and a chain of command for authority and this further designates who has responsibility as well as accountability.
Even the CEO of large public company is accountable to the stock holders. There is really no one on the earth that is in complete control of anything. Submission is not a negative thing and it should never be used to force anyone to do anything that they do not want to do or keep them from doing what God calls and desires them to do. Learn from God’s example, the utmost highest Spiritual Being who came to the earth in the flesh and while He was here He washed the feet of His disciples. Please don’t make yourself better than God. If you are not serving someone else, you have become deceived.
1Ti 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
So here we go with another “Thus saith the Lord”! Oh yea, it doesn’t say God said this, it says Paul said this using the personal pronoun “I’ and that is certainly different, isn’t it? Did you know that Paul could have an opinion that could be his own and potentially biased or even wrong? Was Paul God? Did Paul know everything? Remember in 1 Cor 13:12 that Paul wrote that he and all of us only see through a glass darkly and only know the entire truth in part. Wow, that is amazing revelation to apply to each of us personally. We need not think too highly of our self and believe we know and understand everything about any Bible subject.
Let us look at some other translations of 1 Timothy 2:12. The Modern King James Version says “I forbid a woman to teach”. Again this represents a personal opinionated choice of Paul. The New American Standard Bible says “I do not allow a woman to teach”. No mention of God’s command here either. The American Standard Versions says “I permit not a woman to teach”. These are all common translations that harmonize together. There is no contradiction between any of the translations that it was only Paul’s opinion being given to the church for that day and that culture.
Were Paul’s personal views and words shaped by his life’s experiences and the culture of the surrounding world influences? I believe they were just as our views have a basis of our own cultural surroundings and influences. Please do not misunderstand me. I have no doubt that these words were inspired by God to be written down, but I believe that does not mean God said them. If we believe that every word in the Bible is a command from God then we need to understand the Bible a lot more. There are quotations given by Satan who we know is a liar. Therefore these are not instructions to follow or obey. Then there are a lot of quotes from Job that he was rebuked by God for saying. There are literally too many examples to teach them all. But I will mention a great example to learn from found in 1 Corinthians 7:6-12. In these verses Paul was very clear to teach us how he flipped between his opinion on a subject of marriage and then what God says on the specific subject. Please go and read these verses carefully and observe how Paul said “I say, not the LORD” and other times “not I, but the Lord says”. This is just an example that we need to learn from to rightly divide the Word of Truth in other passages.
Let’s talk about the Bible cultural influences that are used to influence the Words on the pages. In ancient days, were women ever in charge of anything when Paul wrote this? You can find a few instances of women like Jezebel, Cleopatra who were in the world of power to have some significant influence, power and authority for the devil. But for the most part, it was a total male controlled world. There are many religions in the world that still hold to this domineering male philosophy and I like to watch what the devil does and learn from how he wants to pervert things. Satan seems to either want to keep women totally ignorant in a slave type of relationship or exalt them to the top of the food chain and make them run everything independently of men. It is either total submission like in countries of Afghanistan or Iran or total women’s liberation and independence like in Europe and parts of America. I believe both are perverted wrongs of extreme and the truth of God must be somewhere balanced in the middle. What I would like to say is if Satan uses women for his perversion, who says it is not possible for God to use women for His righteousness and Holiness?
Only a few Christian churches seem to have the correct perspective of a balanced approach of the truth being somewhere in the middle. So here is another problem, I have heard from many extreme preachers and teachers that these verses written to Timothy should be interpreted that all women must not teach but rather to sit and keep silent in the church. According to correct Bible interpretation rules I need another witness that says this is the law of truth and so far I have not found it. The Bible says in the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses let every word be established and here we read one passage and people want to make it the rule of their doctrine and force everyone to adhere to it. I searched through every N.T. verse that had any form of the word “teach” and this is the only verse that I found with the word woman used in this regard. I find that to be a major problem with some people’s interpretation. If anyone is trying to take one verse out of context and make it a rule of law, that does not work for me. So let’s look at some other verses in the Bible and see what God says about women and see if we can come up with a balanced approach to this subject. Let us turn to the book of Acts and see how the early church is described.
Act 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
In this verse in Acts, Peter is quoting the Word of God from the Prophet Joel. Right there we learn that this means we will possess two direct witnesses to what this verse says. So we are clearly on much safer and firmer ground for our interpretation. Do you understand that concept? It is so very important. According to this verse, God will in the last days pour out His Spirit upon “ALL FLESH”! This verse would certainly include both women as well as men as you can clearly see. This verse continues to say that both your sons and your daughters would “prophesy”. So let’s stop right there and ask the question what does it mean to “prophesy”? Can you or I prophesy in silence? What is the difference between teaching with words of the Bible give by the Spirit of God in a church and prophesying with the words of the Spirit of God in a church? Can you think of any differences? Isn’t prophesying the act of speaking words out loud to someone else so that they can hear them? Then what is the definition of teaching? Isn’t teaching speaking out loud words for other people to hear? It would be useless for a woman to prophesy without someone to hear her. Uh oh? You can automatically and quickly see that this verse directly conflicts with Paul’s command to keep silent. You also have to remember that Paul did not really tell women to keep silent, he said to “learn in silence” and that is completely different than to never say anything. Let us see another example in the book of Acts that brings further confirmation:
Act 21:9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.
These 4 daughters were the children of Phillip the evangelist. We are clearly told that they were able to prophesy to others. This clearly means speaking out loud in an audible voice that can be heard and even directed at the men that were there in the house. Did you know that the early church met in houses? They did not have any synagogues, temples or church buildings to meet at, so they met in houses. If the daughters of Phillip prophesied in the house they were probably doing it during a church service. So we have a huge issue with should a woman always keep silent in the church. Please allow me to ask again, what is the technical difference between teaching and prophesying? Is there a difference? Are not both spoken words directed at listeners? I will say this, if you do not have women prophesying in your church services, you do not have a complete New Testament church. You have deviated from God’s original plan observed in the book of Acts in favor of your ideas of order. Let us now approach this subject from a new direction and see how God teaches us something new to consider.
Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
According to the Bible, God says that we are all His children. So does God play favorites? Are the male children preferred above the female children? If you think that they are you are clearly ignorant. Let us keep reading:
Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
We can continue down this chapter and see that every Christian has been baptized into Christ and that makes us ALL one with Him equally. This is an all-inclusive statement that includes both males and females. Then notice what God says about us all:
Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
So here we go with another paradox and puzzle being presented. In Christ males and females are not different, but in the world we clearly see that we are quite different. This is the foundational difference between someone who is naturally thinking versus someone who is spiritually thinking. We know in the world there are both males and females, but God claims in the spiritual dimension in Christ, we are all just members of one body. There is no difference within the Spirit realm from each other. I personally believe that men who teach male dominance usually are just very carnally minded individuals who look at external things and do not try to see things spiritually as God sees things.
If ignorant Bible teachers would just please read and study their Bible’s to see things within the Spirit and not in the flesh and how God sees them, they would discover that the church is called the “Bride of the Lamb”. Jesus is plainly revealed to be the Bridegroom of the church in the Spirit realm. New Covenant (Luk 5:34-35). Does that bother you, to be called a spiritual woman bride? I think it does to many carnal naturally thinking people. But this means we (the church) are all one woman in the eyes of God. So we are all in covenant and in subjection to our Head who is the Lord Jesus Christ.
So how can Paul write that women should not teach in one place in the Bible and then write there is no difference between men and women in Christ in another place? If you do not understand the conflict between these two contrasting and opposing statements, then you do not realize that we have a major problem. Here is my opinion and I usually do not give you my opinion so you do not have to take anything to heart that I say next in this paragraph. I think from a natural perspective that men counseling women or women counseling men should never be done under any circumstance. Here is the problem, men generally speaking like women too much. I have seen the best married pastors get into physical affairs with women because of this natural attraction that God created within us. Women should counsel women, and men should counsel men. This just makes the most sense to me. So I believe that counseling between opposite sexed individuals in the privacy of an office type setting should never be done under any circumstances. By avoiding the appearance of evil, men and women will not fall into these types of traps that Satan can use against them. However, what people do in a public church service is not limited by these natural types of rules. That was my opinion and there is no extra charge for that. So let us see what else the Bible says about women:
Tit 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
This verse is directed at mature women, but I was shocked at how it ended. To be a teacher of “good” things implies that women can teach. In fact it clearly implies these women should be teachers. It further implies that these women have gained some wisdom that is worthy to be taught to others. Obviously we have another verse that goes against the concept of a “keep silent” verse that some men like to focus upon. So we have another potential conflict of whether women should ever teach or women should never teach.
Tit 2:4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
Here we have the follow up to the previous verse and it clearly says that it is OK for women to teach other women. Now it is interesting that this verse directly contradicts again that a woman should keep silent that some men try to teach as the only gospel truth. If a woman has the ability to teach another woman, then she must also have the ability to teach anyone (PERIOD)! Any teaching ability is a gifting of the Holy Spirit a special anointing given from by God.
I would like you to go back and read chapter 1 of Titus, because in this chapter it is talking about Bishops in the church. God and Paul are clearly talking about women teaching in a church setting and not in a private setting. So instead of denying women who are called of God the right to preach and teach, we should be smart enough to recognize when God is doing something and not fight against God. If God is not behind it, it will not matter who it is that is teaching or preaching because there will be no anointing from the Spirit of God and it will eventually fail. My Bible says that unless the Lord builds the house, those that build it labor in vain (Ps 127:1). So if God wants to use a woman, we better bow to the wisdom of God and keep our mouth closed while we learn. Please learn the lesson that people try to only apply to women, learn in silence and we might be amazed at what God says through a woman.
We could go through the Bible from the beginning to the end to find that women play an essential part of the design of God’s purpose for humans. God promises the first woman that it will be a woman and her seed that will bruise the head of Satan with her heel. Wow, that sounds significant. Then at the end of the Bible we find a “Wonder Woman” standing on the moon which is a symbolic representation for Satan with her heels on top. Wow, again! We are seeing that God chose to uses a woman to do this job!
Then read through the rest of Bible in between Genesis and Revelation and you will find other women used by God for very significant purposes. To name a couple notice Esther. Without her fulfilling her purpose to become a Gentile king’s wife, there would probably be no nation of Israel. A woman was the center character used by God to accomplish this. Then without Ruth a Gentile Moabite who decided to have faith to leave her nation to join in covenant with her mother-in-law to move to Bethlehem, there may have not been a Grandmother to King David. Read the account about Deborah who was one of the Judges (rulers) during the book of Judges. These are just a few of the women that are noteworthy to from. But there are other noteworthy women of faith like Sarah. Sarah was directly mentioned in Hebrews chapter 11, the Hall of Faith of noteworthy examples of Old Covenant people.
Let us review our key verse again that causes many to stumble in the light of what we have just read from other parts of the Bible:
1Ti 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
Let me ask you again, how can a woman keep silent and still prophesy? She can’t! How can a woman teach other women in the church and still keep silent? She can’t! Did you know the word translated as “usurp authority over” is only in the entire Bible this one time in this verse and no other places? According to Strong’s it means “a worker” who acts of themselves. Do you know this is wrong for anyone to do regardless of gender? To act of yourself means to be self-appointed and self-sufficient. This means to promote yourself and raise your own ability to a level above where you should be. Men are guilty of this more than women are guilty of it. So I do not know of any verse in the Bible that says that a woman cannot be called by God, appointed by God, promoted by God and made to be a blessing to others in the church? Today, God has already raised up and promoted several women in the church with large ministries that are way beyond many of the ministries of men on the earth. So please, let us become wise and recognize God’s perspective of truth and please LORD, help me not to judge the message given by the gender of the person delivering the message. Help me LORD, to study what is taught and just see if what is said was what You said in your Word! Help me to learn to see people as You see people and I believe You will be able to cause Your servants to stand or fall.
I’ll end this Bible lesson with an important instruction that God gave to one man and you see if it is something that applies to you also today:
1Sa 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
Please do not become legalistic and bound by laws of limitations that put God in a box that claims a woman is unable to be used by the Almighty. Thank you for reading, studying and leaving me a comment if you care to. I love you all and I pray for all my readers that He will give unto you the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation in the knowledge of Christ Jesus. Amen.
(ver 2.0) This is Part 3 in a series of reference documents about the multiple Names, Titles, Descriptions and Symbols of named Spiritual Individuals in the Bible. This document will focus only on the subject verses of the Church found in the Bible. It is not designed to teach anything other than give you a place to search from to find references to the Church in the Bible. This is a living document of references and it will change and be updated as I am led to additional scriptures. A Name is a direct reference to the individual. A Title is a given direct identifying appellation signifying status or function. A Description is something that represents the individual in expressive words. A Type is a real named person, place or thing that can be viewed to apply to a pattern of the spiritual individual not directly named. A Symbol is a natural object that describes the characteristics or features of a spiritual being that you cannot see or understand without first understanding the symbol. If you know of other references not named, please share them with me in a comment. Thank you.
Name, Title, Symbol, Type for the Church
|Abraham’s Seed||Those of Abraham’s Faith||Gal 3:29;|
|Babes||Newborn Children of God||Mat 11:25; Luke 10:21;|
|Beloved, Her||The Bride of Christ||Romans 9:25;|
|Blessed of My Father||The Sheep of God’s Pasture||Mat 25:34;|
|Body, His||Those married to Christ||Eph 1:23; Col 1:24;|
|Body, The||Those who are in Christ||Eph 5:23;|
|Body of Christ||She Who is Joined to Christ||Rom 7:4; 1 Cor 10:16, 12:27; Eph 4:12; Col 2:17|
|Born Again||Those Children of the Spirit||John 3:3-6; 1 Peter 1:23;|
|Born of God||Children of the Spirit||1 John 3:9, 4:7, 5:1, 4, 18;|
|Born of Him||Born Again of the Spirit||1 John 2:29;|
|Bride||Married to Jesus||John 3:29; Revelation 21:2, 9;|
|Bridechamber, Children of the||Those married to the Bridegroom||Mat 9:15;|
|Brother||Sibling of Christ||Mat 10:50;|
|Called, The||Those chosen by God||Romans 1:6;|
|Candlestick||The Light of the World||Revelation 1:20;|
|Chosen Generation||Highly Favored People||1 Peter 2:9;|
|Children||Sons and daughters of God||Roman 8:17;|
|Children, Dear||Those Loved By God||Eph 5:1;|
|Children of Abraham||Spiritual Israel||Gal 3:7;|
|Children of God||Born of the Spirit||Mat 5:9; Romans 8:16, 21; Gal 3:26; 1 John 3:10;|
|Children of Israel||Spiritual Nation||Exodus 19:6;|
|Children of Light||God is Light, We are his children||Luke 16:8; John 12:36; Eph 5:8; 1 Th 5:5;|
|Children of the Day||Those in the Light of God||1 Th 5:5;|
|Children of the Free Woman||Born of the spiritual Jerusalem Above||Gal 4:31;|
|Children of the Living God||Those Born of the Spirit||Romans 9:26;|
|Children of the Kingdom||Those Who Belong to God||Mat 13:38;|
|Children of the Promise||Children of God’s Spoken Word||Romans 9:8|
|Chosen||Those Favored By God||Eph 1:4;|
|Church, Glorious||Noble and Honorable||Eph 5:27;|
|Church, My||Those Who Belong to God||Mat 16:18;|
|Church of Christ||Those who Belong to Jesus||Romans 16:16;|
|Church of God||Called Out By God||Acts 20:28; 1 Cor 1:2, 10:32; 2 Cor 1:1;|
|Church of the Firstborn||Those of Christ Jesus||Hebrews 12:23;|
|City||The home of God’s people||Mat 5:14; Revelation 21:23;|
|City, Faithful||She who is faithful to God||Isaiah 1:26;|
|City of My God||Where God Resides;||Revelation 3:12;|
|City of Righteousness||The inhabits have God’s righteousness||Isaiah 1:26;|
|City of the Lord||Those of the New Jerusalem||Isa 60:14|
|City Not Forsaken, A||Those pursued by God||Isaiah 62:12;|
|Daughter of Jerusalem||She who is Born of the Spirit of God||Micah 4:8; Zep 3:14; Zec 9:9; Gal 4:26;|
|Daughter of Zion||She who is Born of God||Isaiah 52:2, 62:11; Mat 21:5;|
|Disciple||The Student of God||Mat 10:24-25;|
|Ekklesia (Church)||A Calling Out||Mat 18:17; Acts 2:47; Revelation 22:16;|
|Elect, The||Those Chosen of God||Mat 24:31;|
|Faithful Brethren in Christ||Those married to Christ||Col 1:2;|
|Fellow Citizens||Residents of the City of God||Eph 2:10;|
|Fellow Servant||Working Together in Unison||Revelation 22:9;|
|Field, His||God’s Garden||Mat 13:24;|
|Flock of God||Those in God’s Pasture||1 Peter 5:2;|
|Followers||Those that that imitate the Godly examples of others||1 Cor 11:1;|
|Followers of God||Led By the Spirit||Eph 5:1;|
|Friends||Jesus Laid Down His Life for Us||John 15:13-14;|
|General Assembly||Universal Congregation||Hebrews 12:23;|
|Glory and Honor of the Nations||Where God Resides||Revelation 21:26|
|Good Soldier of Jesus Christ||Those in God’s Army||2 Tim 2 :3;|
|Great City||She Who is Mighty and Strong||Revelation 21:10;|
|Ground, Good||The Good Soil of the Kingdom of God||Mat 13:23;|
|Habitation of God||The New Jerusalem God’s City of Living Stones||Eph 2:22;|
|Heir(s)||He Who Inherits||Roman 8:17; Gal 3:29; Gal 4:1; Tit 3:7; 1 Peter 3:7;|
|Heirs according to the Promise||Those who inherit||Galatian 3:29|
|Heirs of God||Those Who Inherit||Romans 8:17; Gal 4:7;|
|Heirs of Promise||Those who inherit by an oath||Hebrews 6:17;|
|Heirs of Salvation||Those that inherit the Kingdom of God||Hebrews 1:14;|
|Heirs of the Kingdom||Those that inherit the Kingdom of God||James 2:5;|
|Holy City||He has made her clean and ready||Isaiah 52:1; Revelation 21”2;|
|Holy Jerusalem||Blameless City of Jehovah||Revelation 21:10;|
|Holy Nation||Blameless People||Exodus 19:6; 1 Peter 2:9;|
|House, Christ’s||The Dwelling of Christ Jesus||Hebrews 3:6;|
|Household of Faith||Those in the Family of God by Faith||Gal 6:10;|
|Household of God||Those in the Family of God||Eph 2:19;|
|Household, His||Those in the Family of God||Mat 10:25;|
|House of God||Where the Spirit of God Lives||1 Tim 3:15;|
|House of Israel||The Spiritual Israel in Covenant with Jesus||Hebrews 8:8|
|House of Judah||The Spiritual Jews in Covenant with Jesus||Hebrews 8:8|
|Jerusalem||City Redeemed of the Lord||Isaiah 52:2, 9; Daniel 9:25;|
|Jew||Spiritual Israel; Circumcised of the Heart||Romans 2:29;|
|Joined Unto the Lord||The Bride of Christ||1 Cor 6:17;|
|Joint-Heirs With Christ||Those who Inherit||Romans 8:17;|
|Just, The||Those Who are Blameless||Mat 13:49;|
|Kingdom of Priests||Spiritual People||Exodus 19:6;|
|Kings||God’s Royalty||Rev 1:6;|
|Kings of the Earth||Rulers of the Earth||Rev 1:5, 21:24|
|Lamb’s Wife, The||Married to Jesus||Revelation 21:2, 9;|
|Light||Those of the Day||2 Cor 6:14; Eph 5:8; Php 2:15;|
|Light of the World||Those that Teach the Truth and demonstrate the Love of God||Mat 5:14;|
|Living Stone||The New Jerusalem of God||1 Peter 2:5|
|Members of Christ||The Body of Christ||1 Cor 6:1;|
|Mother||Spiritual Mother of God||Mat 12:50;|
|Nation, A||Those of Spiritual Israel||Isa 55:5;|
|Nations of Them Which are Saved||The Redeemed of the Lord from every nation||Revelation 21:24;|
|New Creature||Those Born of the Spirit||2 Cor 5:17;|
|New Jerusalem||The Lamb’s Wife||Revelation 3:12, 21:2;|
|One Body||One With Christ by Covenant;||1 Cor 10:17, 12:12;|
|One Bread||One With Christ by Covenant||1 Cor 10:17;|
|Peculiar People||Purchased Possession||Titus 2:15; 1 Peter 2:9;|
|People, A||God’s Spiritual People||Hebrews 8:10|
|People, Holy||Those made blameless||Isaiah 62:12;|
|People, My||Spiritual Nation of Israel||Hosea 2:23; Romans 9:25;|
|People Israel, My||Children Born of the Sprit||Matthew 2:6;|
|Pillar in the Temple of My God||Living Stone||Revelation 3:12;|
|Precious Fruit of the Earth||That Which is to Be Harvested||James 5:7;|
|Priests||Those who bring the sacrifice of Praise to God||Revelation 1:6;|
|Priesthood, Holy||Those who bring the sacrifice of Praise to God||1 Peter 2:5;|
|Purchased (Possession)||Those Bought with the Blood||Acts 20:28;|
|Rachael||The type of the Bride of God’s Week of Work||Genesis 29:18|
|Ransomed of the Lord||Those Bought with the Blood of Jesus||Isaiah 35:10;|
|Redeemed of the Lord||Those Purchased from the World of Darkness||Psalm 107:2; Isaiah 51:11; 62:12;|
|Righteous, The||Those Justified by God||Mat 13:43; 1 Peter 3:12;|
|Righteousness||Those Justified by God||2 Cor 6:14;|
|Righteousness, Servants of||Those who Serve God’s Purpose||Romans 6:18;|
|Royal Priesthood||Those who praise and worship God||1 Peter 2:9;|
|Ruth||A Type of the Bride of Christ||Ruth|
|Saints||Sacred, Pure, Blameless||Romans 1:7, 15:25, 16:15; 1 Cor 1:2, 16:1, 15; 2 Cor 1:1, 13:13; Eph 1:1, 2:19, 3:18, 4:12, 6:18; Php 4:22; Col 1:2; 1 Th 3:13;|
|Saints In Christ Jesus||Those blameless in Christ||Php 1:1;|
|Saints in Light||Those blameless in God||Col 1:12;|
|Salt of the Earth||Those who flavor and preserve||Mat 5:12;|
|Seed, Abraham’s||Those of spiritual Father Abraham||Gal 3:29;|
|Seed, Good||Those planted by God||Mat 13:38;|
|Seed, The||Those of the Promise of Abraham||Roman 9:8;|
|Servant||Those in service to God||Mat 10:24;|
|Sheep||Those in God’s Flock||Mat 25:33; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 2:25;|
|Sister||The Sibling of Christ||Mat 12:50;|
|Sister Spouse||Sister Married to Christ||Song 4:9-10, 12; 5:1|
|Sons of God||Those Born of the Spirit||1 John 3:1-2;|
|Sons of the Living God||Born of the Spirit||Hosea 1:10;|
|Sought Out||Those pursued by God||Isaiah 62:12|
|Spiritual House||The New Jerusalem God’s dwelling place||1 Peter 2:5;|
|Spouse||The Bride of the Son of God Jesus||Song 4:8, 11;|
|Tabernacle, The||God’s Eternal Temple||Revelation 21:3;|
|Temple of God, The||God’s Dwelling Place||1 Cor 3:16;|
|Temple of the Holy Ghost, The||God’s Holy Living City||1 Cor 3:19;|
|They which are written in the Lambs Book of Life||The Church||Revelation 21:27;|
|Tree, Good||Those who produce Fruit of the Spirit||Mat 7:17-18;|
|Twelve Tribes, The||The Spiritual Israel of God||James 1:1;|
|Vessels||Those of the House in Honor||2 Tim 2:20|
|Wheat, The||That which is planted by God for Harvest||Mat 13:30;|
|Wife||The Church Bride of Jesus||Eph 5:25;|
|Woman, A||The Bride of Christ||Revelation 12:1|
|Workman, A||God’s faithful servants||2 Tim 2:15;|
|Zion, The||Those of the New Jerusalem||Isa 60:14;|
If you would like to read other reference documents about Names, Titles, Descriptions and Symbols here are some others that are available:
(Ver 1.4) I have been doing a series of Bible lessons on the significance of understanding how Seeds work. Only by understanding how natural seeds work, can we really ever focus on how spiritual things operate. God gave us the natural things in our world to teach us about the unseen spiritual things using the wisdom of His intelligent design. Using many Bible verses and the Seed laws from Genesis 1 I have explored several subjects applying the knowledge of seeds to other scriptures in the New Testament. We have discovered that the Bible says there are multiple things that are all referred to by the title of a “seed”. This is just one of God’s techniques of concealing the truth in plain sight. God calls many things by the same name, title or description. This makes it more difficult for the reader to determine what type of seed He is talking about. From our study we have seen that there are natural seeds, like fruit seeds or grass seeds mentioned in the Bible. We have seen children called seeds all over the Bible. We have seen the male sperm called his seed. We have seen spiritual spiritual things like God’s Word being labeled as the seeds that are spread by teachers in the spiritual soil of man’s heart. We have discovered that there exists two types of seeds in the Bible; one is the Good Seed and other is called the Bad or Evil Seed. By pattern association we can conlude these can be representative of the good words from God versus evil words from Satan. The Good seed was always sown by God exclusively and the evil seed was always sown by his enemy Satan. These are such important concepts to fully grasp. If you have not been reading this series from the beginning you should stop and go back to start reading with “Part 1” first. If you haven’t read from the beginning you have just missed more than I can possibly teach you in my simple introduction.
Today I want to discuss the previous seed concepts and seed laws in more detail to apply them to how a person becomes a Christian. I have alluded to this subject before in other lessons, but I will address it more completely today filling in some gaps. We have already seen that Jesus told us that the most important parable to fully understand is the Parable of the Sower. From this parable we should now know that God’s Word was the seed that the sower was spreading. We also learned that the soil in this parable was always the hearts or spirits of the men and women in the world. There were 6 revealed types of soil presented to us in this parable; 3 types of soil did not produce spiritual fruit and 3 types of soil did produce spiritual fruit in varying degrees of multiplication. This parable demonstrates Salvation to us very clearly and fully describes how you became a Christian. Those that hear the Word of God and allow other factors (spirits, natural attartions, etc) over rule their decision to be a Christian are those that were not saved. Those that hear the Word of God, understand it and choose to believe it, they are the ones that are saved and born again. All of this is really not that complex to me but I guess many people have not understood it and therefore do not apply it to the subject of how people become Christians.
So based upon the intimate knowledge of this parable of the sower, it would appear to me that the more Word of God we know the more fruitful we will become. Conversely the less you know about God’s Word seals your fate to hell. You do understand this don’t you? Jesus teaching the parable of the sower was Jesus spreading the Word of God to the entire world. Every man, woman and child born from Adam represents the symbolic soil that is responsible to allow or permit God’s seed to be planted. It is much more the human rejection of the Word of God (the Seed) from the soil (the spirit) that causes people to go to hell than anything else that they will ever do. People like to think that sin is the key factor for going to hell, but this is simly not the case based upon the Word of God. The Bible says that everyone has sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:22). If everyone is a sinner there must be another factor for who is saved and who is not and it basically boils down to what type of soil we each choose to be. Do you realize that only you make the choices in your own life and for your life? I can’t do it for you, your wife can’t do it for you, your mother can’t do it for you and even God can’t and will not do it for you either. Do you also know that you have a spiritual enemy that is helping you to make the wrong choices? Only by studying the Bible can we better recognize the devices, plans and traps of this spiritual enemy. Only by continuing to study in the Bible are you able to grow and mature to being the overcomer that God has designed you to be. God is expecting to come back for a victorious church and not a defeated church.
So the Parable of the Sower gives us the basic overview for the whole plan of God for our Salvation. Jesus told us to “Go into all of the world and Preach the Gospel AKA the Word of God” (Mk 16:15). By preaching the Word of God you are sowing the Seed of the Word of God into the hearts of more people who can choose to let it grow. This is salvation or damnation in action. The soil decides its outcome and what kind of fruit that it produces. Let’s look at this in action in the Bible:
1Co 3:6 I have planted , Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
The Apostle Paul is writing to the church at Corinth and to you and I. Paul says that He has planted. So what does it mean to plant something? What was planted? As you can clearly see these are seed concepts that are repeated for us. Maybe you do not understand these concepts fully because you have never planted a natural garden in your back yard, but I have. You always start the process by putting seeds in the soil and you then conintue the process by watering the soil and they grow over time into something that you desired to have. If you look back at the previous verse you will see that Paul and Apollos were “ministers”. A minister is anyone that sows God’s Word by God’s design. If you hear someone speak in church that is not teaching from the Bible they are not a minister of God. If you go to a church and the speaker is teaching from a Reader’s Digest you need to find another church that works like God said it should. Paul sowed only from the Word of God to the people in Corinth and they believed it. Then there came along another preacher named Apollos and he watered the seed that was in the hearts/spirits of the people with more of the Word of God and this helped the seed to continue to grow. But, it says that it was God that gave the increase. In other words God caused His Word to Grow! Therefore only God gets any glory in the salvation of any man. Do you understand that no farmer can take credit for what is grown in his field? Does the farmer understand how corn is produced from seed? Did the farmer create the seed that produces the corn crop? I think you can see that he did not. Neither a farmer or a minister created the seed they are sowing or invented the growth process that takes place, only God did this. They just plant the seeds, water them and watch them grow like it was magic. However, this is just the designed seed process from God using His created Seed. This is a really amazing concept of how the spiritual New Birth process works. It is a partnership effort with God working through men and women who preach to spread the Seed of the Word of God. So the man that is planting the seed is not that important, it is only the word of God being planted that is the critically important part of the process. It is really a paradox and a puzzle, without men and women sowing the word of God no one would ever be saved. However, without the Word of God no one is saved either. If you are sowing seeds of Buddhism no one will be saved no matter how much you teach on it. If you are sowing the seeds of Islam you are sowing words that never produce salvation. If you are sowing the words of Judaism you are also not going to be saved. It is not very good news for any world religion out there; God made only One Way into the Kingdom of Heaven and that was through His Son Jesus Christ. So do not throw stones at me, I’m just a farm messenger. I did not write the Bible!
1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
So I think I have given this verse before in another lesson on seeds, but it bears repeating for our current discussion on how people are born again. The fact that we have been “Born Again” is attributable to us receiving the incorruptible Seed of the Word of God into our spirits. There are two terms given to us by God in this verse that are critical to understand. These are “Corruptible” vs. “Incorruptible”. The term corruptible means able to “decay” and you can state this to be equivalent to a man’s mortal body. The natural realm is a temporary realm of decaying particles. The laws of thermodynamics dictate that everything around us is decaying and not reorganizing like evolutionists like to believe. If you build a new car today and never drive it; it will become a pile of rusted metal in the course of time. The opposite of mortal is immortal. We have been born again from an immortal seed. You may recall that Jesus said “heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Mat 24:35). So the Word of God is immortal, and not capable of being eliminated. The Word of God is the incorruptible SEED that causes us to be born again spiritually.
Corruptible seed can be viewed as either a physical or a spiritual type of seed. The sperm of a man is a corruptible natural seed. But also the spiritual words (seeds) of Satan are also considered to be corruptible towards the human spirit. Jesus never says that the words of your enemy Satan will stand forever. So every false teaching and false religion will be eliminated someday. So we now have a dilemma of sorts of how to discuss natural things so that we do not offend anyone by comparing them to spiritual things. You see if being Born Again is s comparable pattern to being born in the natural the first time, then how are natural babies conceived? You can begin to see my difficulty, can’t you? God created sex for a reason and it wasn’t just to make you feel good. Sex is a part of the reproductive pattern of new life on our planet. So sex must be related to new spiritual life also. So how does natural sex relate to the spiritual New Birth? That is where we are today in this discussion. Get ready for a new concept that you may have never though of:
Gen 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
We are informed that Adam “knew” his wife Eve and she conceived his physical seed. This is God’s definition of natural sex in the Bible. By the law of first mention, God again gives us the definition of what it means to conceive revealed in terms of spiritual information and descriptions. God could have described this act differently, but He specifically chose this Hebew word translated as “knew”. The definition of this word is therefore very critical for us to understand in order to see how it applies to spiritual things like being born again. The Hebrew Word translated as “knew” means “to ascertain by seeing”. This is truly complex because men are visual types of people, they like to see. Women are not visual people and they do not want to see anything generally speaking. There is a widely used term for natural sex that is called “carnal knowledge” and this phrase is more in the line with the spiritual realm information that we need to apply correctly instead of thinking of the human term “intercourse”. We need to correctly transfer God’s definition of sex as “knowling” into the spiritual New Birth process. We should be able to see using our knowledge of the Parable of the Sower that in order for any human to be born again, they must have “spiritual knowledge” with the Lord God’s Word (Seed). This is not sex as you are thinking right now is it? However it is still spiritual sex according God’s definition of the act. The human ability to “see spiritually” God’s Words causes them to conceive it. However don’t forget there still exists an enemy to that salvation process trying to steal the seed from being sown. The success or failure of the salvation seed process is completely dependent upon the fact that some people understand the Word of God and some people do not. This enemy’s method of causing some people not to understand is revealed more clearly in the New Testament scripture that says “the god of this world has blinded the minds of them that believe not” (2 Cor 4:4). You see spiritual blindness is the inability to see or literally understand spiritual things. If you recall in the parable of the sower, Satan came immediately to steal the Word of God that was sown in their heart and he was able to do this only because they did not understand it (Mat 13:19). Therefore, spiritual eyesight is the key to having spiritual knowledge and understanding. I could talk a lot more about that part of the subject, but I’m running long in this lesson. I do pray that you are following me on these points and beginning to understand how people are born again. Let me end this lesson with one more verse from Paul:
Gal 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,
So here we have another very difficult complex deep scripture to try to swim through. The apostle Paul is not a natural female yet he speaks in the terms of being a spiritual female. Can you see this? Only females give birth, yes? According to what I have seen in the Bible God created only females to give birth. So what exactly is Paul talking about? Paul is saying I have spread God’s seed into your hearts by teaching God’s Word to you and I am now waiting for Christ to be formed in you as a result. What is the key to this spiritual birth happening? It was the spiritual ability to see or the “spiritual knowledge” of the person who heard the word of God that will determine whether they will conceive Christ and be born again. Paul can sow all of the seed he wants to, but none of it will grow unless the soil of the hearer allows it to stay by understanding what was said. You can easily see how that you can read verses in the Bible and totally miss what is said, can’t you? You can also see that there is an implied reality that Paul is a part of a spiritual woman, called the Bride of Christ. So the complexity of the Bible is so great that it causes many people to stumble. People will never see the spiritual truth of God’s Word trying to figure it out using only their natural minds. What we can see is that Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus was not the be all and end all for his Christian experience. He was now responsible for getting more people born again by sowing the incorruptible seed of the Word of God. Getting more people Born Again of the Incorruptible Seed, that is the goal of every Christian. This is the expansion of the new spiritual family of God and the multiplication of the Spiritual Seed of God by sowing the Incorruptible Seed into new soil. Today’s lesson has been some of the basic Bible ideas of how people are born again using the laws and concepts surrounding Seeds in the Bible. I know I did not cover everything that I could have, I know I left out many verses that could have been included, but I did the best that I could in a limited time and space forum. God Bless you to see and to understand His Word! Thank you for your time in studying the Bible.
If you would like to continue reading this series of lessons on seeds you can go to “Part 10“.
(Ver 1.5) Jesus makes a very profound and awesome statement in the Gospels while He was speaking to the people of the natural nation of Israel. These are such tremendously important words that we (Christians) need to grasp and fully understand what they say and what they mean. Please read with me this statement spoken by the Almighty God personally to humans:
Joh 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
A witness is someone who testifies in court of law. A witness in a court of law is someone who comes in and testifies about what they know, what they have seen or for something as an expert that is relevant and pertains to the case in question. An expert witness in a court case is someone who can speak with a certain level of authority on the specific related subject about the case. So God’s claim in this verse appears to indicate that the Bible is an expert witness for God’s case that He is presenting to us about the existence of Jesus Christ and His true identity. We should be able to clearly see what God is saying about the purpose of the Bible. God claims that the Old Testament contained hidden information about who Jesus was and what He is going to accomplish before He was done. Jesus also clearly informed us that we needed to search the scriptures to find this information. If we are required to become a “Sherlock Holmes” type of Christian doing a search of the written word in order to find these facts, that would mean that this information is not always clearly presented on the initial surface reading. This would also indicate that the information about Jesus was purposely hidden either from someone or for someone like us to find. For example, why do parents hide Easter eggs for their young children? Is it to protect the candy from being discovered? No actually it is more for the fun of seeing their children search for them with eager expectations of finding them. The purpose of hiding eggs is not to keep the children from ever finding the candy but it does simply create a challenge for them that provides the parents the pleasure of seeing the excitement derived from their discovery. This is a key concept that is needed to fully grasp about the words found in the Old Testament. The Bible contains literally many hidden secrets about Jesus and these concealed clues were placed there by our Heavenly Father for us (His children) to search and discover.
The Law of Moses was given to Israel on Mt Sinai and they carried these words for many hundreds of years. The Jewish people preserved them and cared for them and then when the author of the book appeared before them in the flesh they killed him. Why is this, I asked myself? I can see Jesus in the Old Testament, why couldn’t they see Jesus in the same way? That of course is a really good question to consider. I would guess that it is extremely more difficult to see what you do not know personally exists. For Christians who know Jesus personally, they have a much greater advantage over the people in Jesus’ days on the earth. They did not know Him like we can know Him so it is much easier for us to discover Jesus in the hidden verses in O.T. books like Genesis. The rest of this lesson will be about something that I have blogged on before, but maybe not in this direct context and under this specific title. This lesson will focus on the hidden Jesus in Genesis and I will give you at least three really good examples of Him that maybe you have not seen before. I will focus only on the first two chapters of Genesis and you will certainly be amazed if you can see it. Before, we start, I pray that the eyes of your understanding be opened and enlightened to see God’s truth.
Let’s start with Genesis 1:1, where it says “In the beginning God created, the heaven and the earth”. Did you know Jesus was Hidden in this verse in Genesis by the Author? However, unless you read and study it in the original Hebrew language you probably did not specifically know this. The 4th word of the original Hebrew text is a word that has been completely omitted from the English translation and this one word reveals Jesus in this verse in a very profound way. The Hebrew word omitted in this verse is actually not a real word at all and thus the reason for the omission of a translation to the English language. The translators simply did not understand what to do with it, so they omitted it. This omitted word consists of only two Hebrew letters. These two letters are the “alef” and the “tav”. These two Hebrew letters just so happen to be the very first and very last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Does that help you to see Jesus better now? What I am saying is that Genesis 1:1 should have read “In the beginning the A-Z God created the heavens and the earth”. The translators did not understand the significance and they ignored the word being connected to the name of God.
Rev 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
This new information should start to illuminate many spiritual light bulbs inside your heart and mind. You see , here in the book of Revelation chapter 1 and verse 8 Jesus calls Himself the “Alpha and the Omega”. It just so happens that these are also the very first and very last letters of an alphabet, but here it is of the Greek Alphabet. If the translators would have converted these two Greek letters to English properly Jesus would have said “I am the A and the Z”. Now do you see the connection more clearly? Also consider the fact that Jesus was a Hebrew. He spoke predominately Hebrew to the Jewish people. Therefore, when spoken this verse in Revelation could have been written in Hebrew and said “I am the Alef and the Tav”. Since it was written in Greek the Apostle John did the inspired thing to convert into Greek letters from the original spoken Hebrew. The English translators could have followed His example and legally translated it as the A and the Z.
What God is doing is revealing who created the world that we live in. Jesus Christ was the Word of God and He created ALL things that we can see and observe. Without Him was nothing that was made, made (John 1:1-3). So Jesus is clearly identified as the creator God, the “A-Z God” who created everything that was created. This is a very profound and priceless conformation of the identity of the Messiah to be the man Jesus Christ. In the Beginning the A-Z God created the heavens and the earth. That is how this verse should have read, now let’s go find Jesus in some other verses in Genesis.
Genesis 1:15-19 Day 4 of Creation
Gen 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
Gen 1:15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
Gen 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
Gen 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
Gen 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
I want to skip down in chapter 1 of Genesis to the described Day 4 of creation. This day is one of the most important hidden references to Jesus in all of Genesis. I do not profess to know every hidden reference to Jesus in Genesis, but I feel this one is one of the most important to see based upon my current understanding of the Bible. You see on Day 4 of the creation account, God tells us of two opposing lights. What God is doing is speaking symbolically and prophetically in these verses about Jesus Christ and what will be accomplished by His appearance on the earth.
In studying the days of creation I learned that every day of creation represented a prophetic day of man’s future on the earth. Since the beginning of Adam’s creation it has been approximately 6000 years. 6000 years can be divided evenly by 1000 giving us an answer of 6. These 6 equal periods of 1000 years represent a prophetic day in the definition of God’s timetable for man. We learn in 2 Peter 3:8 where God gives us a definition of a prophetic day that is a direct quote of a verse found in Psalm 90:4. God defines that a day to Him is exactly like 1000 years to humans. So the 6 days of creation plus the 7th day of God’s rest turn out to be prophetic days of all of man’s history on the earth. So what happens on the 4th day of creation? God assigns a greater light to rule the day and a lesser light to rule the night. The greater light is of course a synonymous title for the Sun and the lesser light is certainly the moon. But, God is not talking about only natural things, God is prophesying about two spiritual kingdoms to come. Jesus was born on the earth some 4000 years after Adam and this can be easily translated as during the time of the 4th day of creation. God is prophesying that Jesus will rule the kingdom of day and be the Sun light of our world. God is further stating that Satan (the symbolic moon) will rule the kingdom of the night and all those people that live in this darkness. There are so many scriptures that can be found in the Bible that speak of this profound revelation. I will not attempt to give you them all, but I will go through a few to get you started. You can read other blogs that I have written to find more information on this subject. Or just search your Bible on your phone or computer and look for words like night, day, darkness and light.
Mal 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
In Malachi 4:2 Jesus Christ is prophesied as coming again in a very similar way that was being described in Genesis 1. Here Jesus is called the “Sun of Righteousness” that will “arise”. In this verse He is not spoken of as the “Son of God”, but here He is in direct connection to being the “Sun of God”. You can understand that God is speaking symbolically again about far greater spiritual truths. These are clues to knowing the truth but we are required to search and put them together correctly with the Lord’s help of course.
Joh 1:7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
Joh 1:8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
Joh 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
In John 1:7-9, the Bible talks about John the Baptist and Jesus and calls Jesus the “True Light” in verse 9. You see if you think about this logically you can see that our sun in the sky is our physical natural true light that rules over the day and the moon represents the opposite realm that rules over the night. This is a direct comparison of the two great lights in the sky mentioned in Genesis 1. In John 8:12 Jesus is speaking and He calls himself the “Light of the World”. He then says that those who follow Him will not walk in darkness (night) where the unstated moon (Satan) rules. You can again see a spiritual reference to a truth that is revealed in Genesis on the 4th day of creation. These opposing truths are called Day vs. night, the Sun vs. the moon, and the Light vs. the darkness. These are all symbolic representations of the hearts and spirits of men and women in the world today. Two spiritual dimensions and conditions that are directly opposed to each other and ruled by opposite spirits. Again in John 12:46 Jesus says, “I am come as a light to the world, that those who believe in me should not abide in darkness”. Jesus says those who do not follow Christ and His ways are those that are walking and living in the darkness and who are ruled by the night and Satan. This CANNOT be speaking of Christians. There is absolutely no logical way this can come close to the truth for those that believe the moon represents Christians. I have heard this belief from several people before, but it just does not balance with scriptures. A Christian is either ruled by Jesus in the Day or governed and ruled by Satan in the darkness..
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:
Here we have another great verse that declares Jesus to be the Sun that arises and shines in human hearts to light our spirits so that we can see and understand His truth. Notice the keyword connection “arise” given here that matches what Malachi prophesied about the “Sun of Righteousness”. That is NOT a coincidence. These are all profound confirmations to the 4th day of creation. Notice that this verse in 2 Peter is speaking about previously written prophetic words concerning a light arising in a previously named dark place. We have to search and look for these words and find them, could this be those that we found mentioned in Genesis and Malachi? All you have to do is read it and see what it says about these two lights to see how much is related to what we have observed.
That is part of the difficulty in correct Bible interpretation. The Sun is called by many different names, titles and descriptions in the Bible so we have to be wise enough to see the connections and find them all using God’s help. In Genesis the Sun is called the “Greater Light”. In John the Spiritual Sun was called the “True Light”. Here in 2 Peter the Sun is called the “Day Star”. You do understand that our sun is our closest star to our planet and normally this start is the only one we can see during daylight hours? These are just some of the ways that God uses to hide information in the Bible for us to find. In Revelation 22:16 you can see Jesus being called the “Bright and Morning Star”. This again is a new symbolic reference to the Sun in Genesis 1 and Malachi 4 that arises in the hearts of men. These are all extremely important things to learn and to understand. I hope and pray that was sufficient to at least motivate you to go learn more.
Genesis 2 Adam and Eve
Another way God uses stories in the Old Testament to hide spiritual information concerning Jesus is through the use of typology. These are true natural stories of real natural people, places and things that have greater spiritual meanings attached to them to reveal to us hidden things that we cannot see. Sometimes types and shadows can be hard to recognize and difficult to discover or understand. However, God has given to us some clues in the Bible to help us and to point us to what to look for. Always trust the Holy Spirit to help you in your Bible study. He is the only one that truly knows what it means. In the 2nd chapter of Genesis God gives us the detailed account of the creation of man and of the woman, the law of marriage and the story of the beginning of the first human family on the planet. This entire chapter is a more detailed view of Day 6 of creation described in Genesis 1. Why is this detail information important and how does this relate to the claim of Jesus to be hidden in Genesis? That is a really good question. So here is the beginning of the primary reason why this is so important to know:
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.
Here is a direct clue from God showing us a direct connection between two different men both called Adam. This verse compares the first created man Adam to the man Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ here is being called the “Last Adam”. Why is that? What you discover when you study Genesis 2, is that the first natural man Adam was a natural pattern for the last spiritual man Adam that was to come. So whatever God did to and for the first man Adam, is what will happen to the Last Man Adam in the spiritual realm. That of course is some totally new information to many Christians and it may be hard to accept at first, but just keep studying and you will see that it is true.
God created Adam’s wife and took her body from his body. You will recall God put Adam asleep and took from his side the bone to create a woman. As a result of what God did, Adam says “She is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh”. In other words, Eve was called the “body of Adam”. According to the law of marriage given to us in Genesis 2, it says “The man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh”. One flesh is just another way of saying “One Body”. Many people know that the Church is called the Body of Christ in the N.T. and yet they do not know how we became the Body of Christ. We can answer this mystery very easily if we see that by the law of marriage and the pattern of the first man Adam Genesis 2, the church has now become the Body of Jesus by a new covenant of marriage. You can see this very clearly by reading verses in Ephesians 5 about husbands and wives and then God reveals that this is a mystery that concerns Christ and the church.
Remember when Jesus was hanging on the cross? He died on that cross and in the N.T. this is often referred to as being asleep (1 Cor 11:30, 1 Cor 15:51). Jesus Christ being dead (asleep) on the cross was pierced in His side by a Roman soldier’s spear. Does this sound familiar to what we read in Genesis 2? Out of His side flowed Blood and Water. These are two powerful elements of our salvation to become His bride. Jesus Christ is the spiritual Last Adam who marries a wife who becomes His Body born out of His side. Because Eve is a woman that births every natural and physical being on this planet she represents a natural type of another spiritual woman who will birth spiritual realities in God’s new covenant family. I have many other blogs that talk about this in much more depth if you are interested.
Gal 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,
These were just 3 of the examples of the hidden Jesus in Genesis chapters 1 and 2. I hope that you learned something and can now begin to see how to learn to search out other hidden references to Jesus in Genesis trusting in God’s guidance. Many times these hidden references are not obvious at all, so we have to search for scriptures and find references, definitions, types and patterns revealed in other parts of the Bible. Jesus told us to search the scriptures, for these are they that testify of Him! The evidence for God can be found in His Word. God Bless!
(Ver 1.4) This is “Part 5” in a series of essential Bible lessons on “Understanding the Book of Ruth”. We have explored a lot of information, but have conceivably left out a lot of information at the same time. It is almost impossible to fully cover any subject in the Bible, because no one knows everything about the subjects in the Bible, except for God. I am a firm believer that God created this book of the Bible with an infinite number of thoughts and ideas, words and phrases, subjects and topics that are so well connected that it near impossible to discover them all in a human lifetime. I have already given you a significant amount of evidence that the type of Ruth appears to correspond to the spiritual characteristics of the church of Jesus Christ called His bride. We have also seen evidence that Boaz appears to be a type and “the” pattern representative of the spiritual savior and kinsman redeemer named Jesus Christ, the Son of God. There are a lot of Christians who do not understand these hidden types found within the Old Testament patterns. There are even some preachers who teach against these symbols being Christ and the church. I have heard several internet bloggers and teachers that attempt to convince us that the natural nation of Israel represents Ruth as the Bride of Christ. The claim proposes that only natural Israel can represent the woman Ruth who will be married to Jesus. These teachers further claim that since the Bible says the Church is the Body of Christ, they also call the church the husband to Israel. What they do is take one truth found in the New Testament and fail to balance it with other truths correctly. That is a major problem for the source of confusion.
I am saddened how people can be so ignorant and come up with such wild and crazy theological theories. These types of theories have such broad holes of contradictions within them and these can be easily seen if desired. But people do this and Satan enjoys the confusion that is caused in the church. Opinions and theories like these, do not hold water when analyzed correctly using the Bible. If you have not read this series of lessons from the beginning I would suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1“.
First of all, we need to remember that Ruth was a Gentile and that is obviously the first problem with this erroneous interpretation of Israel being the bride of Christ. A gentile by definition is not a natural Jew or a descendant of natural Israel. Ruth was a Moabite and a descendent of Lot, Abraham’s relative, but clearly clearly Ruth did not descend from Abraham. While reading the book of Ruth it is very challenging to see and know everything about what applies and how they apply to each of the given types and shadows. God selected truthful natural events, peoples and places in the Bible to represent future spiritual patterns that have or will occur in the future. However, the natural people, places and events do not always fit exactly and perfectly with what we know at this time. So it becomes difficult for some to understand how they all fit completely together. Much like a shadow being cast on the ground by the bright sunshine, a natural object makes a recognizable pattern on the ground, and so it is with Bible types and shadows also. The spiritual shadows found in the natural things of the Old Testament Bible leaves out most of the details of the coming spiritual reality that is causing the shadow. This is just how Bible types and shadows work by God’ design. Shadows represent broad strokes without a limited direct details. But God is very wise and kind to insert enough clues to teach us how they are representative of the real spiritual realm. I hope we all understand this concept going forward. At the minimum please understand a lot of the details were omitted by God on purpose to both conceal and reveal the truth simultaneously. The fact that we do not know everything, we are blessed and should be thankful to God for our ability to see the parts that were revealed to us.
Let’s start today’s lesson by listing the primary themes and patterns that are found in the book of Ruth. I will list these in no particular order, and give you a brief description of what I believe they mean and then we will look at how to apply them.
Themes Found in the Book of Ruth
|Life and Death||Elimilech and his sons all die after leaving Bethlehem. Death is said to be a separating force from the living. Death is also the beginning of the problem and the answer can only come from someone living.|
|Families||One central theme of the entire book. The story of one family’s struggle with life’s difficult circumstances and how a close relative comes to redeem them.|
|Hunger and Famine||A lack of food that causes people to do things that they would not normally do under better circumstances.|
|Widowhood||God’s legal separation for a marriage covenant between a wife and her husband.|
|The Law||The rules of God based upon the wisdom of God to help man learn their need for a redeemer.|
|Faith and Faithfulness||Faith is believing in something is true even when it looks like it is not true. Faithfulness is remaining loyal to someone or something even though it does not look like the best choice at the time.|
|Humility||The opposite of pride. A humble person always obtains the favor and the grace of God.|
|Wheat Harvests||A crop of intentionally planted seeds.|
|Passover||A specific time of the season for remembrance and the partaking of a covenant meal.|
|Near Kinsman||A relative that is living who is legally qualified to become our redeemer.|
|Love||The central theme of all of the Bible.|
|Grace||That which is given to us freely, even though we do not deserve it. We partake of God’s grace by our faith.|
|Redemption||The act of restoring one’s possessions back into your legal ownership.|
|Marriage||A covenant between a man and a woman. The two shall become one flesh!|
|Children||The reason for redemption. To raise up an heir and a name for the dead.|
In reading through my list of the primary themes found in the book of Ruth, I hope that you can begin to see how they fit into the spiritual picture of Christ and the church.
Now let’s list the primary people and places found in the book of Ruth and see if we can determine who they possibly represent by looking at the definition of their names from the Strong’s concordance.
Definition of the Name
|Elimilech||God of the King|
|Orpah||Mane, back of the neck|
|Boaz||Unknown Root Word of unknown Meaning|
|Bethlehem||House of Bread|
|Moab||The Mother’s Father|
These are most of the primary characters and places revealed to us in the book of Ruth. As you can tell by reviewing the list, we still have a lot to learn. Let’s start near the end of the list first with BethlehemJudah. Places are often times used in the Bible to signify a spiritual state or a realm of existence. BethlehemJudah as it is called in verse 1 of Ruth chapter 1 is like the key place where the descendants of the tribe of Judah lived. When Joseph and Mary were about to have the baby Jesus, they were required by decree to go to Bethlehem, because they were of the lineage and descents of King David who came from the House of Judah. Because of this royal command of a census they were required to travel to their home city to pay their tax. Thus Jesus was born in the exact prophesied location (Micah 5:2), even though his parents did not live there. That was a very tricky thing for God to accomplish. If you recall, the Jews thought Jesus was from Nazareth and thus missed the coming of their Messiah. We can conclude or at least assume that the story of Ruth is related to Jesus, because of this given specific location.
Most of the time, the names of people and places in the Bible have meanings attached to them. Many times these names help to reveal the characteristics and types of the spiritual realm entity that they represent. Often times the meaning of names reveals clues that are definitely important to understanding the meaning of the typology in the story. Judah is a Hebrew word that means several things and has vast implications attached to it. Judah comes from a word that means “to throw with your hands”, it also has implications of reverence and worship as in to “praise”. In other words to “worship” with “extended hands”. Bethlehem as we have already seen means “the house of bread”. We can see that the word “house” means a family of relatives. The term bread means “food for the implied life and strength of men”. Are you seeing anything that sounds familiar? Jesus said He was the bread of life (John 6:48). So we must be talking about the family of God in this story of Ruth. This would mean that Judah represents the people who praise God, who are part of the city and the family of God.
Moab is of course much more difficult to get people to see, because they have really given it no thought or deep study. Moab was the incestuous son of Lot and his daughter. Moab the son of Lot was also a half-brother to his mother. Moab was both the son of Lot and the grandson of Lot and all of this just complicates things. The term Moab means “the mother’s father”. The region of Moab was where Elimilech traveled when he thought there was no food (bread) in Bethlehem. These Moabites were Gentile people who were not in covenant with God and were not the children of Abraham. So we can see that this has an implied meaning of those outside of the family of God. This could be representative of the unsaved world and the all the people in it. Ruth of course was a Moabitish woman and therefore came from the realm of the unsaved to be married in covenant with the Savior and her redeemer. Moab is mentioned more than 100 times in the Bible and most of the time it is not a positive place or reference. Moab is usually a better place to be from than a place to be living in now. We can understand this is a picture of the Bride of Christ. Those who have come out of their Moab and now live in the House of God’s Bread of Life. The type of the church is a very good picture of those who have come out of false gods, to know the true living God. Ruth is a great type of this picture and I believe this is why God put her in this book of the Bible.
The name “Ruth” means “a friend”. Jesus picked up on this in the book of John and revealed to us the connection when speaking to His disciples:
Joh 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
Jesus clearly speaking to the future church calls them His friends. Do you think this was an accident or a coincidence that Jesus did this? I definitely do not think so. I believe it is a clue that represents a connection to the book of Ruth and helps to identify the symbolic reference to the bride of the redeemer. We know that Ruth exemplified certain qualities in the Bible that are related to those of the church today. The primary quality that qualifies Ruth as a type of the church is “faith”. Ruth trusted in a God she did not yet know and God came through for her above and beyond her expectations. Next, the quality of “faithfulness”. Faithfulness is related to faith, but yet still different. To be faithful to your spouse is what Ruth was to Naomi and eventually to Boaz. The third quality of Ruth that qualifies her for the type of the church is “humility”. The true church should be humble in their attitudes and come with respect and reverence towards their Savior. Humility is the opposite to pride, and pride was the downfall of Lucifer. By remaining humble before God we are qualified to receive the grace of God.
Boaz has a name that has no direct definition attached using Strong’s definitions. But the BDB (Brown-Driver-Briggs) says it means “fleetness” and the NASEC says it means “quickness”. This appears to indicate a person who is fast in motion, reaction or response. But, I believe the best description of Boaz comes from his personal title descriptions. These seem to help us identify his spiritual position within the story in precision. We saw earlier that Boaz was called the Kinsman Redeemer. That means a near relative who has the legal ability and responsibility to redeem. That is exactly what Jesus is. Jesus left heaven and became a man just like one of us. Because of Jesus’ unselfish acts of kindness and love we have an unmerited opportunity for salvation made available to us.
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.
We can clearly see in the N.T. that it talks of Jesus being the redeemer of the church. He has bought us out of a situation that we could not solve ourselves. This was exactly Ruth’s situation in the O.T. As you recall Ruth was from Moab and we have found that this represents the unsaved natural world.
1Co 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
The church is said to have been bought with a price and we have become His property from the purchased price of His shed blood. This is exactly the pattern of the transaction that took place in the book of Ruth. Boaz redeemed the property of his dead brother and also bought the woman Ruth to be his wife in the transaction. This is what God did, and it was God’s idea, God’s plan for redemption, and God’s system of salvation. To humans it does not make much sense, but to those who can see , it is a great and wise plan. Boaz is called a near relative, Jesus you could say was our near relative. Because Jesus became a man, like one of us, that qualifies Jesus to be our redeemer. Boaz demonstrated love, kindness, grace and extends favor to his future bride when she is unable to do anything to save herself. This is also a perfect picture of Christ and the Church. By Grace are we Saved through Faith.
The Marriage of Boaz and Ruth the Gentile
While the Bible is very complex, it does present us some clues to the relationship of Jesus and the church. There are specific verses found in the Bible that declare the Gentiles will trust in the coming Messiah. Ruth obviously trusted in Boaz enough to lay by his feet on the threshing floor. Ruth put her confidence in her redeemer and this was a picture of church to Christ.
Isa 42:6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
This verse in Isaiah is referring to Jesus Christ, who is the picture of Boaz. In relationship to Jesus, He is mentioned to be the “Light of the Gentiles”. We can easily see how this fits with the picture of Ruth. So while the name Ruth is not directly mentioned in the Bible, the type of Ruth is mentioned in verses like these that I am giving you. Here is another one that is applicable:
Isa 11:10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
The Root of Jesse is again a reference to Jesus Christ our redeemer. The reference is given to us in this verse that the Ruths of the world will seek after Him. In reading the story of Ruth, you notice that Ruth goes from a poor widow field laborer to a woman married to one of the richest men in the city. Do you think Boaz’s rest was good for Ruth? How does the wealth of Jesus compare to that of Boaz’s money and possessions?
Mat 12:21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.
Speaking of Jesus, in Matthew, the Gentiles put their confidence in Him. This is the church to their redeemer. Isaiah 11:10 is also quoted in Romans 15:12 and declares that the Gentiles have put their trust in their Boaz. The Bible tells us in John 3:16 that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son….”. We could say it in another way also, that “God so loved Ruth from Moab that he gave His Boaz to redeem us…” and all I did was change the names to the symbolic names found in the Book of Ruth. We can easily see that Boaz was motivated by love when he did what he did for Ruth and Naomi. Because of Ruth’s faith towards God she is now the wife of the savior and redeemer. A marriage in the Bible is a covenant in the eyes of God and a covenant is a marriage. You can see this revelation clearly by examining verses found in Jeremiah31:32 and Malachi 2:14 to name a couple of the obvious verses that you can find and read in the Bible. So far the picture of Ruth as the church and bride fits with other verses in the Bible that state Jesus is the bridegroom (John 3:29, Revelation 21:9).
Elimilech is a very specific Hebrew name that means a very specific thing. The name “Elimilech” means “God of the King”. Right there is where the difficulty begins for most Christians. That is a Hebrew word that has the name of God “Elohiym” joined to the Hebrew word for “King”. This of course has widespread implications written on it everywhere. As you recall from the book of Ruth, Elimilech dies. So who in the Bible is the “God of the King”? David was a popular King in the Bible and the God of David was “Elohiym”. Maybe we should start with who is the real King? Our King is said to be Jesus Christ. Jesus is called the King of kings (Rev 19:16, Rev 17:14). David was told by God that one of his descendants would sit upon the throne forever as eternal King. Jesus also qualifies as a Son of David for this position. So we can fairly easily conclude that Jesus is the King. Who is the God of Jesus? You can begin to see the difficulty starting to get much deeper now and much harder to understand. Jesus was God and there is none beyond or above Him. God is the only true and living God. We can begin to see glimpses into the complexity of God’s manifested and revealed natures and personalities. There is God the Father, God the Son abd God the Holy Ghost and yet these three are all still One God.
So anyway Elimilech must represent God just using the name’s definition. But, how is this possible? It is technically not possible for God to die, however if God does not die for our sins, our sins are not forgiven. Thus we have a paradox and a puzzle presented to us from the Bible. Jesus Christ was the Son of God, yet at the same time he was God in the flesh. So whatever happens to Jesus, happens to God. This is just basic logic using the verses that we have covered. If Satan and the Jews hang Jesus Christ on a cross, they are hanging God himself on the cross. Do you remember what Jesus said in a parable about killing the “heir”? (Luke 20:14) Jesus tells of a field that has been let out to a husbandman and the owner of the field sends servants to collect of the fruit, but the come away empty. Now, finally the owner of the field sends his son, saying they will respect him, but they do not, instead they kill him because he is the heir. By killing the Son of God, they think they have possessed the inheritance. Instead they have sealed their fate.
It is important to note that Elimilech in this story represents God who dies. Through His death a redeemer is now required. The Redeemer is of course also God.
Naomi is called “Pleasant” by the meaning of her name. Since she is married to Elimilech who represent God the Father, then we can conclude very easily that Naomi is an allegorical represention of the people in the natural Nation of Israel and those under the law. Naomi represents the Old Covenant of God. The female wife of the Old Testament God of Abraham. She knows the law and uses the law. In the book of Ruth Naomi is the mother-in-law to Ruth and she tells her what to do based upon her knowledge of the law to get her redeemer. This again is an exact picture of the early church. Do you realize that the only Bible the early church had was the Old Testament? Jesus taught exclusively from the text from these O.T. books. Peter taught from the O.T. in the book of Acts. The New Testament contains a whole bunch of quotes from the Old Testament. What God did was finally reveal the true meaning of the Old Testament to the church. Before, the church came along the O.T. was a giant spiritual puzzle of information that no man could understand. However, the New Testament is written largely from the revelation given to Paul and the other apostles about the things that explain what the O.T. really means. However, it also gives us a pattern that God can still hide more information for us to discover, even today.
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:
As you can clearly see in this scripture in Jeremiah, God says that His Old Covenant was a marriage to the people of natural Israel. God is said to be their husband, they are implied to be the wife. We can therefore conclude that this is a revealed pattern of the New Covenant also. If one covenant was a marriage, the other covenant is also a marriage. One to a natural people, and the other to a spiritual people.
So Naomi was married to Elimilech and Israel was married to Elohim (God). Naomi became a widow after her husband died, and so did Israel. So it still is a little bit difficult to understand, I know. We know that Ruth is faithful to Naomi and this seems to be a perfect picture of the Church’s continued faithfulness to the nation of Israel even today. It seems that the whole world wants to destroy the nation of Israel, except for a few that are controlled by a predominate Christian presence. The hatred towards the nation of Israel is extremely unique among all nations. I do not recall any other nation being so easily maligned and attacked in so many different ways. It is noteworthy to mention that the nation of Israel receives support from the Christians of the world and this is a picture of Ruth. Just as Naomi benefited from Ruth’s marriage to Boaz, Israel benefits from the church’s marriage to Jesus Christ. However, it is still important to note that Boaz was not married to Naomi, only Ruth was in covenant with Boaz and this is how the New Covenant is today also. Jesus Christ, the risen Son of God is in covenant with the Church and not natural Israel. Israel can receive benefits from the church’s relationship, but they are required to be born again and join the same church for salvation as everyone else. The Bible says that Israel is being provoked to “jealousy” (Rom 10:19). What make you jealous? What makes women jealous? Other women make women jealous. Jealousy occurs when someone has something that you do not have. The church now has a better covenant with God, that Israel does not have anymore and this is the point of jealousy.
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.
God prophecies something in Hosea that is very profound and reveals the coming jealousy of Israel. Israel who were God’s people are now said not to be God’s people. Yes or No? Of course that is what it says, whether you like it or not. The nation of natural Israel who was the beloved wife of God, is now not the wife of God. These are physical vs. spiritual truths being presented to us. God is saying that I will make a New Covenant with a people that were not my people and now they will become my New Covenant spiritual people and my new beloved wife. This is the picture of Ruth and Boaz given to us in this story of love and redemption.
Death and Marriage
Now let’s examine a new aspect that the Bible talks about that maybe you have not seen before. If you recall I said earlier that death was a legal separation of marriages. That means when Ruth’s husband died she was now free to marry another man without retribution or the accusation of adultery. This is a Bible principle and a law found in the Bible that I refer to as the “Law of Marriage”. This is what Jesus says about the subject:
Mat 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
These are the words of God himself and they tell you exactly what God thinks about people’s wrong attitudes in the world today. I believe the divorce rate within the church is up to around 50% and that is crazy. So what does this have to do with the story of Ruth, you ask? This is what it has to do with the story of Ruth:
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.
In this chapter of Roman God is discussing marriage covenants and He says that a woman is bound to her husband by the established law of God. If you recall in Genesis 2, when God created woman (Eve), she came from the body of her husband Adam. God then gave us the law of marriage. “A husband shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall be one flesh”. So just because you get a divorce that does not solve the “one flesh” part of God’s arrangements. As you can see in Romans 7:2 the wife is joined to her husband as long as he is alive. But, since Ruth’s husband was dead that changes everything. Let’s keep reading in Romans:
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.
So a woman who divorces her husband and marries another man is called an adulterer. So what does this have to do with Ruth, well you have to just read the next verse in Romans to find that out:
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.
In this chapter of Romans, God is speaking directly to the natural Jews and not the Gentiles. Why is that important? Because the natural Jews were married to God in the Old Covenant and if they now married another man with their first husband being alive, they would be in adultery. This is of course a very tricky thing to think about. God is a spiritual being and it is impossible to kill a spiritual being. That is why God became a natural man. By becoming a natural man, God can experience death. As you can see in Romans 7:4 it says very clearly that because Jesus died, they are now legally free to “marry” another husband. This is a picture of the risen Jesus and the New Covenant. Did you realize that the New Covenant is with the Risen from the dead Jesus and not with the natural Jesus who walked the face of the earth as a natural human male? Did you realize that this is an important fact to know? The risen from the Dead Jesus is an eternal being and now a permanent member of the Godhead. So the difference between Jesus the natural man and the risen Jesus, is that the natural man was born of a woman as a mortal man who could die and the risen Jesus cannot die anymore. The risen Jesus was born of the Spirit and He is the Immortal God Man. There are some big differences between the two. I know that Jesus our savior was God in the flesh, but yet He was not God in His full Omnipotent Powers, or it would have been impossible to kill him. Jesus was a man that was able to be killed and that is not God in His FULL Deity Power. So did God die? If God did not experience death then you will soon have to experience it and you won’t like the end results. We know that “through death he (Jesus) destroyed him that had the power of death (Satan)” (Heb 2:14). So it is important to note that Jesus died physically and through his death he accomplished many positive things for us.
The Coming Wheat Harvest
This story of Ruth is a natural example of a spiritual truth that has occurred and is occurring already in the spiritual realm. We the church are gleaning and gathering in the harvest of God’s spiritual crop of people in the world which is God’s harvest field.
Jas 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
You see in the book of Ruth, the woman works the field to bring in a ripe crop. This is all typological to the story of the Church reaping the harvest of God’s precious fruit that He is still waiting patiently for. There will come a time when the harvest is over and that is a day of grave consequences for many, yet that is the reality of God. Jesus told us in Matthew 9:37 that the “harvest is truly plenteous but the laborers are few”. God is of course not talking about a natural harvest, but a spiritual harvest of people. Jesus taught numerous things about spiritual things, using crops, fields, seeds and laborers. You should go and study all of these and see how they relate to the story of Ruth. I believe you will find them very important to know.
The Heir of the Dead
This was the book of Ruth and while we did not attempt to go into every detail or every type given, I gave you enough details to get you started. I will leave you with this thought. If Ruth does represent the church and Boaz does represent the Risen Jesus Christ. Why did Boaz marry Ruth? To raise up an heir for the dead. Boaz has a son through Ruth, called Obed, God’s servant. Who died? God died, Adam died, Jesus died to name a few obvious choices and candidates. Jesus the eternal God Man now resolves two primary spiritual and natural problems. By Jesus’ death on the cross, God is now free from every previous covenant relationship, whether this was Israel, Adam, Abraham or Satan. By the Risen Jesus establishing a New Covenant that is said to be better, man’s eternal separation from God has also been resolved, if you want to receive it. In the Book of Ruth, Ruth has a child that is the heir of the dead man’s family. If Jesus is the husband and the church is the bride, you have to see that God will have a spiritual child through his new wife. This child has to be the Spirit of God, since the church is a spiritual woman and Jesus said that which is born of spirit is spirit (John 3:6). So we can see that the church must be going to have a child some day that will become the heir to everything that is or was in the spiritual and natural realms and the ownership of both of these realms will revert completely and totally back to God forever. We can see a prophetic view of this woman and this child in Revelation 12. This is the end and the demise of Satan’s future and represents his destiny under the heavenly Judicial system and the law of God. This of course is all new stuff, so I anticipate it will be difficult for you to accept. I would recommend that you not throw it away, just because it is new and different. At least study it and see if it is true. Thanks for studying the Book of Ruth with me. God Bless.
(Ver 1.1) We are now in chapter 4 of the book of Ruth. If you have not been reading this series from the beginning you should go back and start with “Part 1“. As you read chapter 3 of Ruth you should have noticed that Boaz tells Ruth that there is a closer relative than himself and he will have to see if the closer relative is willing to fulfill the law and marry her. You should remember that the law gave a specific order of precedence for the fulfillment of the requirement of the law. The order went from the closest or nearest relative to the most distant relative and always included the oldest male first down to the youngest male. So Boaz was not the first in the line of living relatives to marry Ruth according to the law of Moses. Therefore, Boaz in chapter 4 goes to the city gate and finds the nearer relative to discuss the situation with him. Boaz at this point must already know his intentions because Boaz has gathered the elders of the city to witness the discussion between himself and this closer relative.
Rth 4:3 And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech’s:
Boaz starts with the good news first. Naomi the widow of our dead brother, is come back and she is selling his property. So far this is a deal for any man that has money to buy it. To own land is a sign of wealth and to own a lot of land is a sign of great wealth. But, that was the good news and not the complete picture so here goes Boaz to explain what else is required.
Rth 4:4 And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it.
So Boaz before the witnesses of the elders of the city informs this relative that it is his responsibility and his decision to make. He then informs him that besides them, there are no other relatives that are able to redeem the land of Naomi. This means that they are all either dead or there were just no other living male relatives born in the family.
Rth 4:5 Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.
Now Boaz starts in with the potential bad news. I guess it depends upon your point of view, but it is either good or bad based upon how it will affect you personally. Since Boaz was the younger brother in this relationship, it affects him differently than the older brother. Let’s think about this and how it affects each man. Boaz says that by buying the land from Naomi, they must also buy it from Ruth since she was married to the son of their brother. According to the law of Moses, this involves marrying the widow of the dead so that the family name is not removed from the face of the earth. Whatever son that Ruth and the redeemer has, becomes the heir of Elimelech ‘s land. You see it starts to get a little complicated at this point, since the future heir is now the owner of the dead family’s property, the relative that married the widow has no family or heir. I know this is not technically correct, but yet this is the way that these people viewed the situation. You can see that by the reaction of the closer relative to the news of marrying the widow Ruth.
Rth 4:6 And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.
Did you see what the nearer kinsman said? He told Boaz I can’t redeem this land or marry the widow, because it will mess up my inheritance. In other words everything that he is in line for and everything his heirs are in line for will revert to the dead brother’s family and he would end up with nothing, so he thinks. So the nearer kinsman tells Boaz, I won’t redeem it, so you redeem it. This is of course what Boaz wanted to hear happen, yet the process had to be followed in the law and the procedures must be satisfied in the eyes of God and all legal actions satisfied with the elders of the city who were the witnesses.
Rth 4:7 Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel.
Rth 4:8 Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe.
As you can see, the nearer relative’s house is now called “the house of him who has his shoe loosed”. In the eyes of the law, Boaz has satisfied all requirements and responsibilities and is now free to legally marry Ruth. Boaz tells the elders and the people of the city that they are all witnesses to the fact that he has bought the property of Naomi and Ruth.
It might help you to understand what just happened based upon another story found in the Bible. In Genesis chapter 38 there is a story of another family who is directly related to our story. The story of the son of Israel named Judah. He has three sons and the firstborn is named, Er. When Er grows up big enough to marry, Judah gets him a wife named Tamar. Remember Tamar? The Bible says that Er was wicked in the eyes of God and so he died very young. Judah then told Er’s brother to take the dead brother’s wife and have an heir for his dead brother, the firstborn Er. But, the Bible says that Onan knew if he had sex with Tamar and had a child that it would be for his brother and he would not get anything. So Onan basically refused to fulfill his requirements and the Bible says that he was found to be evil in the eyes of the Lord and he also died young. So far not a good story, but yet this is how those in the Bible dealt with these matters. Judah tells the widow Tamar to wait for the third and last son to grow up and she would become his wife and then that son would raise up an heir for the dead firstborn. In the process of time, Tamar waits, but nothing happens. Apparently Judah was not a man of his word. Judah’s wife died and one day he went up to the city to do some business. Tamar hears about this and takes off her widow garments and dresses up like a prostitute, covers her face and waits for Judah to come by. She deceives Judah into having sex with her and she becomes pregnant. Judah did not have the payment for the sex, so he left her his signet ring, a bracelet and his staff as collateral security until the agreed payment could be sent to her.
Tamar was not there for the sex or the payment that was promised to her. She was there because Judah had not fulfilled what he had spoken to her and her dead husband, Judah’s firstborn had no heir to continue the family name. So even though her methods were not very admirable her intentions before God were highly commendable. So Judah eventually sends the payment back for the harlot that he could get back his collateral, but they could not find any prostitutes to pay.
Then time passes and three months later Judah is informed that Tamar has played the harlot and has become pregnant by harlotry. Judah is outraged and tells them to get her and she will be killed for her error. So she appears before Judah and tells him that before you do anything, I am guilty of nothing. Here is the father of my child and she shows him, his signet, bracelet and staff. Judah’s reaction is shock and immediately says she has been more righteous than him, because he had not given her to his younger son to be his wife. Like I said, this is not a great or a highly positive moral standard Bible story that you want to teach your children in Sunday School, yet it has great significance to the story in the book of Ruth. It helps to explain the dilemma that the nearer relative was experiencing. Tamar is also a name mentioned in the Genealogy of Jesus so it must have some relevance to something we need to know. If you search the Bible, you will discover that the term “daughter-in-law” is not widely used. In fact Tamar and Ruth are only two of four women in the Bible called by this title. So they are directly related and tied together meaning they share some commonalities that are very distinctive. As we continue through Ruth chapter 4 you will see why I went over this story.
Rth 4:10 Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.
Boaz tells everyone to be witnesses to the fact that he has bought the land of the dead husband and he will marry the widow wife to raise up the name of the dead.
Rth 4:12 And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman.
The people of the city now speak a blessing on the actions of Boaz. Did you notice the name of Tamar being mentioned? You see if it was not for the illicit actions of Tamar there would be no Bethlehem or people to witness these deeds of Boaz. There would be no elders of the city, there would be no Elimilech, in fact there would be no Boaz. Everyone present was a descendant of the house of Judah whom Tamar his daughter-in-law bore to him. All of these people recognized that they would not be present if it were not for Tamar and they could foresee that down the road in the future there would be many people born on this planet who would be grateful that Ruth was there to raise up and continue the family name of the tribe of Judah. In fact looking at the genealogy found in the Bible, if not for Ruth and Boaz, there would have been no King David and eventually no Jesus Christ.
Rth 4:15 And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him.
Boaz fulfills the requirements of the law and marries one of the few women in the Bible that get mentioned by name in the genealogy of Jesus our Savior. Boaz is called the redeemer, the restorer of life. and a nourisher. These are all terms that could describe Jesus to us today. The story of Ruth is different than what many people think of when thinking of Jesus and the church. Yet it has many natural patterns in it that are very significant to this spiritual reality. In my next blog I will try to explore more of these patterns given to us in the Book of Ruth.
You can continue reading this series, by going to “Part 5“.
(Ver 1.1) We have already seen in chapter 2 where Ruth has found favor in the eyes of Boaz her potential kinsmen redeemer and she has even eaten with him in resemblance to a covenant type meal where they have shared bread. We can tell that Boaz likes this woman and grants her grace beyond all others. Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law knows the law and has recognized who Boaz is. In this next chapter we will see that God has orchestrated the answer to Ruth’s problems because of Ruth’s faith. God has answered her confidence in Him beyond her wildest imagination. It is amazing what trusting God a little can do. If you have not read the first part of this series I would suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1“. Now, let’s now look at chapter 3:
Rth 3:2 And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor.
Apparently, Naomi has some inside scoop on what Boaz is up to. Either Naomi is very nosy or Boaz has been dropping some clever clues in some obvious places. You figure out which one it is. Naomi knows that tonight Boaz will be working late in the threshing floor with the harvest. Of course all of this is symbolic and has meaning. Threshing in the Bible times was the harvest time activity by which the grain was removed from the husk. The husk represented the tares (or false grain) when it was separated from the actual usable good pieces of the plant. It really does not matter how this is done for this story, just the fact that it is being done is the part that is significant to what we need to know. If you study the words of Jesus you find that there is another coming harvest of people in the world in Matthew 13. Jesus informs us that the world is the field and that the wheat is the children of the kingdom of God. The tares are the children of the evil one. So we can see the Book of Ruth is prophetic in nature and speaking of something, an event that is coming soon. You should go and read Matthew 13 and find out the pattern of things to come. Then you will better understand the shadows contained in the book of Ruth.
Rth 3:3 Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.
Obviously Naomi knows the law of Moses and tells Ruth to clean up herself really good and dress in her best garments and then to go to the threshing floor to meet Boaz. You can see that this is the picture of the church given to us in Revelation 19:7 where it says “his wife has made herself ready”. But, she tells her not to do anything until after he has eaten and finished drinking. It almost sounds like wait until the party is over and then do the following:
Rth 3:4 And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.
Here is where it gets complicated to understand. Maybe Naomi knows something I don’t, but Ruth is instructed to uncover Boaz’s feet and then to lay down and wait for him to wake up or return to a sober state and see what he has to say and then do what he says. The best that I have been able to figure out is that in Leviticus 18 God tells people not to uncover and make nude certain relatives for sexual purposes. God gives us a long list of individuals including your children and your grand children and says the reason why is if you see them naked, it is your nakedness that you are looking at because they came from you. What we can deduce from this, is that the practice of uncovering someone even partially is for sexual reasons and it is only OK for the husband and the wife. So in effect, Ruth is saying you are my husband, I have seen you naked. I know she only uncovered his feet, but it is a symbolic gesture that he realizes when he wakes to find her there at his feet.
Rth 3:7 And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.
So Ruth told Naomi that she will do what she has spoken and that is exactly what she does. Remember Naomi is the one that knows the law and Boaz is the one that is suppose to follow the law and fulfill his obligation to the dead. So Naomi is in effect speeding up the process and making it happen. It would appear that Boaz is either dragging his feet (figuratively speaking) and not doing what he is required or there is more to the story than we know right now.
Rth 3:8 And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.
Now midnight comes around and we can assume it has been at least a couple of hours. Ruth must have went to sleep also at the feet of Boaz waiting for him to wakeup. Midnight is a very specific hour. It is the 6th hour of the night, the beginning of the 3rd watch of the night and represents the middle of the darkness. It is interesting to note that this is the hour when people are easily frightened and become scared. It was around midnight when the death angel visited in Egypt and killed the firstborn who did not have the blood of the lamb on the doorposts. It is also interesting to note that in Matthew 25, Jesus tells the parable of the 10 virgins. It just so happens that the bridegroom shows up at midnight and 5 of the virgins had oil and 5 of the virgins did not and were called foolish. So there is some significant parallels being given to us. Jesus Christ is called the “bridegroom” and the church is His bride. We can again see the connection between Jesus and the man called Boaz.
Rth 3:9 And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.
The word that is interesting in this verse, is the word for “skirt”. This word actually refers to the wing of a feathered bird like an eagle and is translated like that many places. It is also used to refer to the hem of a garment or robe. The priests were required to sew tassels on the hem of their garments. Then there is this reference in Deuteronomy that seems to be in reference to an elicit sexual encounter.
Deu 22:30 A man shall not take his father’s wife, nor discover his father’s skirt.
You can see that the man’s father and his father’s wife are spoken of in terms of being one. By the son uncovering his father’s wife he is said to uncover his father. So obviously Ruth must have learned something about the law herself. Boaz wakes up and is startled and asks who are you in the middle of the night. Ruth tells him I am Ruth and you are my near kinsmen redeemer. Now here is the other part that you miss reading the English part of the translation from the KJV Bible. This word “skirt” also occurs in the previous chapter, but is translated in a completely different way:
Rth 2:12 The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.
Reading this verse we can better understand what Ruth was trying to say to Boaz. Ruth was telling Boaz you are God’s answer to my problem, spread your wings over me and I will put my trust in you. If this is not a marriage proposal I do not know what you would call it. Wings are spoken of as a covering, and a place of safety in the O.T. Bible like in the Psalms. Many times this is God’s people under the wings of God’s protection. This is the picture of Ruth and Boaz as well as the Church and Jesus.
Look at this verse in Ezekiel and see if this is not what the woman Ruth is saying for her Redeemer to do to her.
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.
God says to Israel, when I looked upon you I spread my skirt over you. You can again see the reference to nakedness and being unclothed. In association with these words God says I have entered into a covenant with you and you have become mine by marriage. This is a very clear picture of Christ and the church. If you recall in the N.T. the church is said to be clothed with Christ. We wear Christ as a symbolic garment. This is a covenant marriage description when the husband covers his bride.
Rth 3:10 And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.
A reference to the kindness of Ruth is exemplified by Boaz. She is also portrayed to be a woman of character and integrity who is not doing things just for her on good. Her thoughtfulness and the fact that she followed her wiser mother-in-law’s instructions all proved that Ruth was a great candidate for a wife. We do not know how old Boaz is, but by implications given he is not a young man. Based upon him potentially being one of Elimilech’s brothers who has already died, we can assume that he is closer to Naomi’s age than to Ruth’s age. Nevertheless, Ruth is commended for doing what she has done.
Rth 3:11 And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.
Boaz says that the whole city knows that she is a virtuous woman. Of course remember we are in Bethlehem, the future birthplace of Jesus. The Hebrew word translated as “Bethlehem” means the House of Bread. Another symbolic term for God’s spiritual house. Boaz commits to Ruth to do whatever is necessary to accomplished what she needed to satisfy his Lawful duty. Boaz has committed to do whatever is necessary to make her his wife. This is a marriage commitment and a verbal contract. Boaz has committed to redeem his dead brother’s debts and to raise up an heir for him, by marrying his dead brother’s son’s wife. This is the law of God, but also the wisdom of God and a picture of Christ and the church.
If you would like to continue this series of lessons, you can go to “Part 4“.
(Ver 1.1) I like the book of Ruth a lot. It is a very unique book of the Bible and a story full of types and shadows of the Messiah. The Bible is full of complex hidden information and this book contains some of the keys to information found in other places of the Bible. While the early church started with only Jewish believers and the disciples of Christ, today the church is widely considered to be a Gentile majority. There certainly exists Jewish Messianic believers and they are very valuable in the church, but yet they are a clear minority. These Jewish believers are called the “Remnant” in the book of Romans. What makes the book of Ruth unique, is the fact that the book is primarily the story of a Gentile woman. The life of a woman outside of the covenant of God’s Old Testament family. Why would God put a story of a Gentile in the Jewish O.T. Bible? Why is this significant? What information does it convey and reveal to us? Is the book of Ruth a prophetic statement on events to come? I will be going through this book of the Bible chapter by chapter and then wrap it up with a study of the typologies and symbolism given to us in the book of Ruth. In the entire Bible the name of Ruth only occurs 13 times in 13 total verses. There are 12 times in the book of Ruth and once in the book of Matthew. So other than the Book of Ruth itself, there is no direct references to Ruth, except in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew. God must have a special reason for naming this woman in the genealogy of Jesus our Savior. You see in the Genealogy of Jesus in Matthew only 6 women are directly mentioned and only four by actual name. One woman in the genealogy of Jesus is a symbolic spiritual reference. These women are 1.) Tamar 2). Rahab, 3). Ruth 4). the wife of Uriah (Bathsheba) 5). Babylon and 6). Mary the mother of Jesus. That is some very unique company, and a very honorable mention, isn’t it? What does Ruth have in common with these other women that God included them all in the genealogy of Jesus? I mean what a mixture of women they are, one is a deceiver Tamar who plays like she is a prostitute, 2) Rahab a woman who actually was a prostitute, 4) Bathsheba a woman who committed adultery with King David. Babylon is called the Great Whore in Revelation. Why mention any women and not all the women? Why pick what seems like some of the worst possible women to include in the Genealogy of Jesus? Both Ruth and Mary seem like saints compared to the others. You should really ask these kinds of questions, if you want to know the truth. God does nothing by accident or chance in the Bible. Every word, every name, every mention has a purpose and is designed to conceal or reveal information. Obviously these women are all mothers, so they have that in common. If it were possible and you could check the mitochondrial DNA of Jesus you would also see that Jesus’ DNA had signatures of each of the women encoded within His DNA. It also appears on the surface that all of the women mentioned in the Genealogy of Jesus are also widows. While it does not say that directly about Rahab, we can assume it. It does call Tamar a widow, Ruth is a widow, Bathsheba became a widow. Mary also became a widow. These are interesting little points to keep in the back of your mind. Perhaps we will get into more of the similarities between the women later, but for now let’s concentrate on just Ruth.
Let’s start by listing some of the characters found in the book of Ruth. There is of course Ruth, but she is not mentioned at first. What we discover is the underlying story is about a family from Bethlehem, the same city of the birth of Jesus. We can already begin to see some implied meanings based upon the city of David being the originating place of residence. The story starts with the mention of a famine being in the land around Bethlehem. The book of Ruth mentions that this family of four is forced to move in order to look for food. The head of the family is a man named “Elimelech” and his wife is called “Naomi”, and they have two sons, one is called “Mahlon” and the other is called “Chilion”. The Elimelech family is a family who has descended from Judah, the fourth son of Jacob and Leah. The book of Ruth starts by telling us that the story occurs during the time of the judges. This would have been after the children of Israel had taken the promised land and before the appointment of Saul as their first King. This would have occurred somewhere around 450 years after Jacob had his 12 sons. We do know that Israel was in captivity in Egypt for approximately 400 years and they wandered in the wilderness for another 40 years. So somewhere after that we can see that there came a famine in the land of Israel.
Elimelech decides to up and move his family to the land of Moab, because they have heard reports of there being food there. Now Moab is a region where the descendants of one of Lot’s sons lived, also named Moab. If you recall the story of Lot, Abraham asks God to spare him from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and God did. However, as they were leaving the cities, the wife of Lot looks back and turns into a pillar of salt. Now that only leaves Lot with his two daughters. So the story of Lot is that his two daughters get their father drunk so that he could have children or sons through them and their father’s name and family could continue. Not a very good story is it? It seems like the more you dig into the book of Ruth the more strange things you discover. What you must realize is that if there was no incestuous relationship between Lot and his daughters there would be no story of Ruth. So while I do not say incest is good, God can cause good to come from anything that man does, no matter how wrong. So Ruth is a descendant of the incestuous relationship between Lot and his daughters.
The book of Ruth does not actually say how long they lived in Moab, but it implies that it was at least a little while, at the least many years. We do see in Ruth 1:4 that after Elimilech died and the sons married that there was a span of 10 years mentioned. We are not told how long it was before this or after this period of time is spoken of. So Elimilech moves his family to Moab. After a time there Elimilech dies and we do not know why. After this his two son’s find themselves wives to marry from the women in Moab. One wife is Ruth and the other wife is named Orpah and not Oprah! It then declares that after another passage of time, the sons also both die without having any children or heirs for the family. All of this so far is the just the first 5 verses of the book of Ruth and it covers several years of information.
Let’s put into perspective the family of Elimilech and the given time frame of these events. We know that Israel had departed from Egypt, being led by Moses and during this time period in the wilderness God gave Moses the Law. God is establishing a covenant relationship with the natural nation of Israel. God gives Moses the first 5 books of the Bible often times called the “Torah”. We also know that during this time period of Ruth that it was during the time of the Judges. So there were judges who ruled the people of Israel with the help of God’s prophets. Judges represent a legal system that is based upon laws. If anyone did wrong, they would face the judges. Moses had been given patterns of the temple of God, the ark of the covenant, the inclusion of the Levitical priests and the origination of animal blood sacrifices. So what do you think would happens if the covenant people of God would move away from all of this and go and live with a group of people who were not in covenant with God? Could this be the reason they died? I really do not know, but I can make logical assumptions based upon what happened, that it was at least related.
We know from reading the rest of the Book of Ruth that Naomi was familiar with the law of Moses. So they did not move away in ignorance, they moved away knowing what they were doing. However, since Elimilech was a descendant of Judah and not Levi, there were probably no more sacrifices being made for them. Unless of course they traveled back to Jerusalem to the temple and there is no reference to this happening. So Naomi, Ruth and Orpha are in a quandary. A predicament of tremendous proportions. Without any men left in the family they are doomed to a life of poverty and homelessness or either a life of prostitution. Naomi of course is older and is in the worst situation. Naomi tells her two “daughter-in-laws” to leave and go back to their families, thinking they have the best chance of finding new husbands with them. Her daughter-in-law Orpah does that and returns to her family and to her previous gods. However, Ruth demonstrates a different resolve, a different spirit of confidence. Even after Naomi told her that she is too old to have any more sons for Ruth to marry, Ruth tells Naomi, “Where you go, I go, Where You Live I will Live, Your People will be my People, Your God will be My God”. That if you do not realize it, is very strong covenant words for a lady who was not previously in covenant with the Almighty God. Then Ruth makes this statement:
Rth 1:17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
I made mention earlier that the book of Ruth contains clues to other events in the Bible and this is just one of them. The mention of death as a separating force is the only natural force that is capable of breaking a human covenant relationship. When a man marries a woman, in many ceremonies that I have attended, there is a clause in the vows that says something like “till death do you part”. In this statement, the participants are vowing to remain committed to the marriage covenant until one of them dies. Death is the only legal separation allowed from the law of marriage. Once you have sex with someone of the opposite sex you are legally married in the eyes of God and you are not separated legally until one of you dies. Because, Ruth’s husband had died, she was free from the law of marriage and is now able to legally marry another man. She could have chosen to go back to her family and find another man, but she chose to trust the God of her mother-in-law “Naomi” and the results of her faith was tremendously greater than she could have imagined. Ruth was also married to the older firstborn son of Elimilech, meaning she has a significant advantage over the other daughter-in-law. For Orpah to gain the same benefits as Ruth, would not have been possible according to the law, but we will get into that more later.
Let me briefly talk you through the law of marriage. The law of marriage is given to us first in the book of Genesis, chapter 2. God creates woman, a wife for the man Adam. God makes the woman’s body from parts of the man’s body. Adam saw Eve and said “She is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh”. In other words Eve was the body of Adam in a different form. God then declares “that for this reason, shall a man leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh”. That is the law of marriage covenants, between a husband and a wife. Ruth was joined to her husband and the covenant of God, becoming one flesh with him. Ruth was technically under the law by marriage. However, since her husband died she was freed from the law.
Because Naomi had heard that God had visited the people of Israel and that there was again bread in the city of Bethlehem, they return back to Naomi’s former home city. Upon arriving, the people still remember her and are excited to see her, but she is really down and depressed that she left full and came back empty with nothing and very little hope. Naomi changes here name to “Mara” and tells people to call her that because it means “I’m bitter”. It is funny how people will accuse God of doing something that was of their own making. I never read anywhere that God told them to leave Bethlehem, so just because the circumstances didn’t look like they should stay, that did not mean they were suppose to leave. Did you understand what I just said?
So this is some of the basics found in chapter 1 of Ruth. Naomi and Ruth have returned to Bethlehem and it is in the time of the beginning of the Barley Harvest. So we know that Naomi had returned in or around the time of Passover, which can occur somewhere near March or April. In my next blog, I’ll talk more about the other primary character of Ruth that I have not introduced you to yet. This character is named Boaz and he is called the “kinsman redeemer” and we will discuss why this is also.
If you would like to continue reading this series you can continue with “Part 2” where we talk about chapter two, the introduction to the Redeemer.
(Ver 2.8) The spiritual family structure of God is one of those Bible basics that every Christian should be intimately familiar. God is said to be a triune being. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Yet these three personalities of God are reflected in One True God. In my first blog on this subject I talked about Jesus starting a new family of God. I talked about Jesus being born into the world, a product of unique circumstances. Because, God was His Father and Mary was His mother, Jesus was both God and man totally and completely. That means Jesus Christ was 100% God and 100% Man. Jesus Christ was the only one that was both the Son of God and the Son of Adam. This made Him uniquely qualified to fix problems in both dimensions of the spiritual and natural realms simultaneously. Maybe you did not realize that there were things to fix in the spiritual realm, but you really need to stop and go back to read “Part 1” of this series first. Today I will continue to talk about the spiritual family structure of God’s family and I want to start with some things that Jesus said to us:
Joh 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
These are the Words of God coming out of the mouth of Jesus Christ. These words declare that Jesus and God are one in the same. Jesus very clearly tells us if we believe in God, we better believe in Jesus. Because, Jesus was God in the flesh, walking among us like He was one of us. This is the amazing truth of God’s word. It is also the only way to be saved, whether you like it or not.
Joh 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Jesus continues His discourse revealing great spiritual information to us. Jesus announces that where He came from was His “Father’s House”. A house is always a family structure with relatives and family members living within it. Now, think with me and see who is speaking, it is Jesus the Son of God on the earth. When you are a son on the earth do you live with your father forever? That is an interesting question. Here in the natural realm a man will marry a wife and usually establishes a new independent family and they normally do not live with their parents. What I am getting at, is that Jesus is inferring His Father’s house is not His house. The Bible contains some very complex truths in it and this is certainly one of them. It is definitely hard to understand since the Son of God on the earth is God. But, God’s intelligence is so far above our mind’s thought process that He can do some simple things in ways that are difficult for us to understand. What I want you to begin to understand is that Jesus does not call it His house and that is very important to see. You see Jesus is choosing His words very carefully and using extreme wisdom to reveal something that is far greater for us to know. What we need to do today is to start thinking differently about the family of God. Jesus tells us that He came from His Father’s house from heaven and we now need to figure out what this is or I should say was.
You see, in John 1:18 the Bible says no man has ever seen God. We also know that when Adam was created and his wife was brought to him by God, that God established a new family on the earth which was detached from God’s spiritual family in heaven. You see this truth when you study what God says in Genesis 2:24 “for this cause shall a man (Adam) leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife”. From this statement we can understand that God was Adam’s father that we are told that he left to be joined to his wife. But God is establishing a new type for a future pattern for the Last Adam (Jesus) to come into the world and leave His Father and Mother and to be joined to His bride. Therefore, the family of Adam is a separate earthly family from God’s existing family in heaven that Jesus is speaking of where He came from and this is a prophetic view into an event that was to come after the time that Jesus was speaking these words in these verses in John. Therefore this family of God where Jesus came from was not comprised of any of the men or women that were on the earth. Think with me and make a note that Jesus declares God’s family consists of family members that are not men, so who are they? We will definitely explore this information in the Bible later in this series, but for now let’s continue with what Jesus is saying. Jesus says if it were not this way I would have told you. Then Jesus makes this statement, “I go to prepare a place for you!” Jesus is talking to you and I and He is saying that He was going to be leaving this planet soon and going to build a new household for His new family. To “prepare” has an implication of a building project. I believe that it is not just a renovation of the old, but the creation of a new home that will be better the previous one.
Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Jesus continues to speak to us and tell us that where He goes we will also be going. Jesus tells us very clearly that He will soon return and “receive us unto Himself”. Have you ever thought about what those words mean? Why is Jesus receiving us unto Himself? So many Chrisdtians in the church like to call the church the body of Christ only. Then they ignore the rest of the Bible. If we were just the body of Christ, we would not need to be received unto Him, would we? I do not ever wake up in the morning and receive my body back to myself. Do you understand what I am saying? It would appear that Christians are now separate from Christ in order to be received by Him. It helps if you understand “Bible Covenants“. Since I have already done lessons on this subject I will not repeat the information here again. You should go back and read these lessons and learn what a Covenant is in the eyes of God. I will help you to some extent, Jesus is called the “Bridegroom” and He is in covenant with His Bride, the church. The church will soon be fully assembled in heaven for the marriage supper of the Lamb of God. During this time we will be fully and completely joined to Him and become one with Him forever. Jesus later tells us in John 14 that “He is the truth, the life, the way”. He also says that “No one comes to the Father except through Him”. Meaning there is no other religions in the world that will offer you salvation or an alternative way to God. That also means there are no other covenants of God that will save you either. God has sent Jesus Christ into the world to provide one way for all the people of earth to come into this new Family of God. We have already seen that God’s previous family structure was in heaven and had a very large location with many mansions in it, before Jesus ever came to the earth. Jesus then tells us that He was leaving the earth to go back to heaven to prepare places for us. So either God has a housing shortage in Heaven or the Heaven that we knew is going away and God is preparing a new place.
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.
Why is it necessary for God to build a new heaven and a new earth? I can understand the earth, but heaven is a tricky thing to consider to be something that is in need of repair. Man has done a pretty poor job of keeping the earth intact. But, come on we are talking about God in heaven now. Why is it necessary for God to create a New Heaven? Evidently, we can see that there was a major problem in heaven that also consisted of a heavenly spiritual war.
Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
If God’s wars are like our wars, there is always a lot of damage done to infrastructure and buildings. Now I do not mean to imply that God makes war like we make war, that is not what I am saying at all. After all it is God’s forces defending Heaven and not threatening to take it. It is Satan and his angels that are trying to overthrow God’s throne. God sends Michael and His angels to fight this enemy. What we have is some new things to consider. Why is Satan at war with God in heaven and what changed? You see in the Book of Job, Satan walks up to God without any conflict and discusses Job. By the time we get to the book of Revelation, we see that Satan is no longer welcome where he previously use to walk freely. Do you remember in the book of Daniel when Daniel prayed and fasted for an answer from God. Do you remember what happened in that story? It appears God sent an angel to answer the prayers of Daniel and Satan and his angels were in a spiritual battle that lasted 3 weeks, until the angels of God finally prevailed. The prince of Persia withstood God’s answer to the prayers of a man on the earth. That is an amazing story of why things can take so long when you pray and ask God for help. There is an enemy of God that is opposed to you and to God. He tries to stop your answers from happening. If Daniel would have resigned after only two weeks of prayer and fasting, Satan would have won. But, since Daniel did not give up, God did not give up and God prevailed and the answer came. Let me give you a picture diagram of the family of God revealed in the Bible as of Genesis 2:
Eph 3:14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Eph 3:15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
Since we are discussing God’s spiritual family structure, I thought I would give you some more verses to establish that God has a family and then also describe the locations for this family. According to this verse written to the church God’s family is now in two different realms of reality. One is spiritual and the other is physical or natural. This verse in Ephesians declares God’s family to now be within the scope of both of these two sets of reality. We have one set that is found in heaven and one set that is on the earth. And God’s family is comprised of selected individuals from both of these places. However, do not attempt to be all inclusive and say that everyone in both realms has been saved and are in the unified family of God. That is what Universal Salvationists like to teach and project. They claim in error that God will save everyone eventually. They clearly do not understand that Jesus came to divide the good from the evil and not to change the evil back into the good.
Here is a graphical representation of God’s new spiritual family. God’s family now consists of members of two different set realms. In the previous diagram I showed how the two families were separate in Genesis 2. The first set realm heaven existed prior to the other set realm created on the earth. The earth is the natural temporary realm where we all live today. God created our current world system approximately 6000 years ago and turned the authority of His creation over to His created man Adam (Gen 1:26). Adam represented a new start and a new natural family structure of God’s spiritual family. Adam’s family was separate from God’s family that already existed in heaven. God did all of this for many reasons and I cannot get into all of the reasons in this blog because it would take a tremendous amount of time to explain. Today, man exists within the constraints and limitations of time and space. We are spirit beings created in the image and likeness of God, but limited to the confines of a natural body. Since Adam’s family was separate from God’s family, that is one of the main reasons that Jesus had to come to the earth in the form of a man. God’s new family established by Jesus Christ the Son of God and the Son of Man, consists of selected members of both of these set realms. Jesus was able to accomplish and provide salvation for man because He was a man as well as a division from His father’s house simulataneously by His death on the cross. Let’s look at the definition of the word translated as “family” in Ephesians 3:15.
As if feminine of a derivative of G3962; paternal descent, that is, (concretely) a group of families or a whole race (nation): – family, kindred, lineage.
This verse in Ephesians uses a word for “family” that is very interesting. You can see from the definition some widely applicable truths. God’s new family structure is a pattern of another previous structure that God did in the Old Testament. We are said to be a new nation of people descended from the Most High God. This is an interestingly different word that has a feminine connotation attached to it. Why would God put a female reference on the church? Because we are the bride of Christ. The church is a representative spiritual pattern of natural Israel. The natural nation of Israel was God’s wife in the Old Covenant. This was a pattern given to us for the New Covenant.
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:
You need to see what the Bible says and then interpret it using the Bible. God declares to the nation of Israel that I was your Husband. If God was the Husband to the nation of Israel that makes natural Israel the wife of God. A covenant is a marriage in the eyes of God. God proposed marriage to a nation of people and they accepted and entered into a covenant with the Almighty God. This is another example of God being a spiritual male in a spiritual family structure. We can clearly make many assumptions based upon this unlimited information. If God can marry one group of people, what stops God from marrying another group of people? Nothing really, except if you just marry a new group of people and you are still married to the other group of people you are now a polygamist by definition. There is a lot of men on earth that would like to think that God is married to multiple women, but you have not studied the Bible and therefore have put your thoughts into the mix where they do not belong.
Why did Jesus come to earth, being the Son of God? It is because Jesus Christ the Son of God was never married to anyone else before now. I know technically Jesus is the same God and He was married to Israel, but was that God the Father that was in Covenant with them or Jesus, God the Son? You soon realize how smart God is and how tricky He can be. I do not mean to imply that God is a deceiver, what God does is very legal, but yet very unexpected. Satan did not anticipate Jesus Christ and therefore, now realizes that he should not have killed him. Why is that? Why was the death of Jesus so detrimental to Satan? You should really give that some serious thought. You see you can learn from God by reading a clue given to us in the book of Ruth, when Naomi and Ruth are talking and Ruth says I’ll stay with you until “death separates me from thee” (Ruth 1:17). Death is a separating force. Death is a spiritual power that naturally divides one from another. In a marriage ceremony the husband and wife are said to be joined until death do they part. Marriage is a covenant relationship and God uses His death on the cross to separate Himself from Satan. Yes that means Satan was in covenant with God also. You should really study the Bible more, you might find all kind of new things in it, if you look for them. Let’s move on to a verse that helps to clarify what I was saying about Israel and God the Father’s covenant relationship:
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.
This verse in Romans has some amazing information in it. God is writing this section of Romans directly to the Natural Nation of Israel. You can read the context and see this very clearly if you understand the wording. So while the context is talking about the law of marriage that was given to only natural Israel it then declares to them that they have been released from their previous covenant with God, by the death of Jesus Christ so that they can be legally married again. God says very clearly that they are now free to “marry” another, and then describes Him to be the Lord Jesus Christ who was raised from the dead. Did you ever realize that the Jesus who died was different from the Jesus who was raised from the dead? That is what God is saying in this verse. Jesus Christ was raised from the dead and became the “firstborn” from the dead (Col 1:18). This verse now declares to natural Israel that they have been freed from the law of marriage with God the Father by the death of Jesus on the cross. The marriage to Jesus who is risen is in reference to the New Covenant and their opportunity to become the bride of Christ. Jesus confirms this reality in this statement:
- Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
If the old covenant was a way to be saved then Jesus lied. The Old Covenant is not the New Covenant. We can clearly see that truth in verses like Hebrews 8:6 or Hebrews 12:24 when Jesus becomes the mediator of a new and better covenant. Any covenant called new is one that never existed before. All of this information that I am introducing you to will become clearer as the series continues and more scriptures are revealed to you.
Many like to think that God is a polygamist and is in covenant with natural Israel and the church simultaneously right now. While they do not call it Polygamy, that is what God calls it. However, once you realize that the Old Covenant was with God the Father, and the New Covenant is with God the risen Son, I believe that changes everything dramatically. It also means that God is not in covenant with Natural Israel anymore. I do not have time or space to explain that, but you can read my other blogs and find more answers, if you want to know the truth. The natural nation of Israel is able to enter into the New Covenant with Jesus Christ, if they want to. However, most of natural Israel has chosen to close their eyes and not to see the truth, so they reap the works of their own deceptions. There is more I could write and many other scriptures that we could explore, but I have gone too long in this blog. Hopefully I can continue this subject in the future.
If you would like to continue reading this series of lessons about the spriitual family of God you may continue with “Part 3“.
(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 2.3) 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 and accept it. The main reason for this resistance is that I have never heard anyone else teach the chapter this way. We have been using very important new Bible revelations that are focused upon 6 key symbolic elements that surrounded the woman. These were the crown on her heard, the sun as clothing on her body and the moon that was found under her feet.
This is now the fourth lesson on the subject in 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 prejudices 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 “bias”. “Prejudice and bias is a human condition that occurs 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 easily utilized by 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 we 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 early attitude of like and trust can change when someone does or says something evil to us personally. Then there can come a new problem of thinking that everyone that is similar to them, is the exact same type of evil. This is called lumping everyone of the same type of category to be all equally good or evil with knowing any of them very well. 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 first in verse 1 before any other description? I try to write and teach using progressive revelation, where truth 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. Let us get started.
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” found 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 on this subject that will us see things from a new a fresh way. These are absolutely fascinating and completely related to our 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 that there is a new truth that I did teach you before. The 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, you may think that this does not really help us that much because after all, the woman is pregnant. And because all of the suspect women candidates were all wives. But, I still feel like this is important to study.
From this information we learn that this woman in Revelation 12 is not an unmarried woman. Or we could say more positively that 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 believe this could be a significant connection to apply to our study.
I have mentioned previously the direct connection of Revelation 12 to Genesis 3 by God’s designed purpose. God designed concealment of related subjects by spreading out the connected information for us to discover by searching the Bible. We are so very blessed to live in the last days when computers, phones and tablets 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 He prophesied it accordingly. Praise the LORD!
We understand truth connections do exist simply because the book of Genesis was written by Moses nearly 1600 years earlier than the book of Revelation which was written by John. Theses two men did not know each other personally, yet their books go together with exact 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 and remain 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 with the last chapter and all of the surprises, twists and turns.
The information from the 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 of divine 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 1.1) 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 1.1) 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) 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) 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“.
(Ver 1.2) This is now Part 3 in the series of lessons on “The Bride of Christ Revealed”. In my last lesson, I spoke about the identity of the Bridegroom and established several great scripture verses that taught us that Jesus Christ is the Groom that is getting married. We have learned that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh and that He is marrying a wife. We understand that a wife is always a woman. These are just some of the basics and today I want to explore the subject of what is a woman in the eyes of God in more depth. This will involve getting God’s definition of the subject which will change how we think about it. Most of the time in my Bible studies, I have found that God’s definitions do not normally match what we think the definition of the subject is. This is mainly because God is a Spirit and His ways are higher than our ways and we know the natural realm more than the spiritual realm normally. If you have not been reading this series from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you go back and start with Part 1, The Introduction.
Today’s subject ought to be fun. What does the Bible say a woman is? Most people have studied the book of Genesis and found out where the first woman came from. But, this woman Eve, was Adam’s natural wife and while she fits a pattern for God’s point of view, she is just a small example of what God considers to be a woman. Since this series of blogs is about the identity of the Bride of Christ we must figure out if the church qualifies as being a candidate. So, now we are ready to get past the basic introduction of the bride and the bridegroom and get into a brief explanation of what God says a woman is. One of the greatest errors that people make is coming up with human definitions for spiritual realities. Too many times a preacher will teach the Bible and not consult God, or even attempt to get God’s definition on the subject they are teaching. Hopefully you can understand how foolish this is. God has designed the Bible in a way that it interprets itself. As a part of this process, God also gives us spiritual definitions and descriptions on every conceivable subject. If the church is a woman and the bride of Christ this certainly will be relevant information and very important to know. I think sometimes people look at a subject and think they already have it all figured out before they hear anything that is about to be said. I’m sure this will be no different today. I will warn you again that I do not follow traditional teaching, I simply go into the Bible and find out what it says and teach what God shows me and most of the time this does not match what you learn in any seminary. I certainly realize that everything that I am about to say will probably be different than anything that you currently expect me to say. But that does not mean what I am about to say is not in the Bible, it just means you haven’t seen it before. Keep your eyes open and look for yourself.
Today I want to start with the second reason why ministers say the church is not the bride of Christ and go to the book of Revelation and see what we can learn on the subject of what God thinks a woman is, in the Bible? So let’s turn to the book of Revelation in the 21st chapter and start to read with verse 2:
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.
Reading this verse is very informative and it is very important to understand for many reasons. Some Bible teachers have read this chapter and concluded that here is the bride of Christ. They are usually thinking in natural terms and not spiritual terms when they see it. Of course with their natural reasoning, if the church is the body of Christ, they also conclude here is the church’s bride. They have raised the church in their mind to be the groom. But because they do not yet understand the scriptures they have jumped to an incorrect conclusion. What does this verse actually say and reveal to us? Let’s look at the verse and just simply see what it says. Verse 2 says that John saw a holy city coming down out of heaven from God and it calls her by name the “New Jerusalem”. That is a very interesting revelation right there and I could say several things about those words. The first thing we should realize is these are all symbolic references in this verse. If you do not understand what symbolism is you should go study how God uses symbolism from cover to cover and understand that the book of Revelation is almost all symbolic references to spiritual truths. Otherwise, for now let’s just at least try to agree on this, there is a symbolic woman coming down out of heaven, she is called a holy city, she came from God and her name is the “New Jerusalem”. Finally, it also says she is adorned or dressed for her husband. Of course this is still all symbolism and purely figurative language since we have already discovered that this woman is said to be a symbolic city and not a natural physical woman at all. The implication is given that this woman is dressed as a bride adorned for her husband. Here is where many preachers get the wedding gown picture fixed in their minds, but that is not what it says. I hope you can agree with those few statements that I just made about this first verse that describes this bride. Let’s look at the next verse to see what God says immediately following these descriptive terms about this woman:
Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Wow, did God change the subject or did someone just misunderstand what He just said? You see clearly within the context of a woman, the bride, a city being spoken of, God immediately starts talking about a group of people being the temple of God. He calls this city the “tabernacle of God” within the context that this tabernacle is a group of people. You can clearly see the implied meaning of the symbolic city as being a group of people who God indwells spiritually. This is so significant that I cannot even begin tell you. We will certainly explore what we have just learned later in much more depth. But, let us skip down a few verses and go on to the next direct mention of the bride in this chapter in verses 9 and 10:
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.
Rev 21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
We will not go word for word through these 2 verses, because they basically say the same things that we just read in verse 2. In verse 9, we do see the clear reference to the “Lamb of God” as being the Bridegroom. You should remember that the Lamb refers to Jesus Christ (John 1:29, John 1:36). Therefore, we have just identified again who the husband is. I’m going to stop right there and ask you this question again and maybe you can answer it because I haven’t been able to yet, “have you ever heard or read any scripture that says the church is the Lamb”? I haven’t seen any scriptures that say the church is the sacrificial lamb that takes away the sin of the world? So are we “The” Lamb? This city is called the bride of the Lamb, not the bride of Christ? You can see that there are significant differences between those two contrasting statements, can’t you? If it said it was the Bride of Christ, we know that the church is certainly the body of Christ, so we could conclude as others have, that this city must be the church’s bride also. But, no, it says the Lamb’s wife and nowhere in the Bible that I have found is the church called the Lamb of God. That is really a most interesting fact to put in your mind going forward. Sometimes I think I can ask good questions. I do know God asks really good questions and I’m trying to learn from the best. Ok, so here we find the same basic confirming information we read in verse 2. We have a woman, she is called a bride, she is called the wife of the Lamb, she is called a great city and her name is the “Holy Jerusalem”. I also found it interesting in verse 10, when it says John was carried away in the spirit in order to see this city. The implication is that we are looking at a spiritual reality and not a physical one. Chapter 21 of Revelation says a lot more and describes other characteristics that we may get into later in this blog series. But for now I just want you to agree with what I’ve said so far about what the Bible says about this woman. Until you learn some more I can’t go into the other parts of the description of this woman. Here is a quick synopsis of what we have just learned, see if you can agree with this:
- This woman is a city, this city is a woman
- This woman/city is to be married to her husband, who is the Lamb
- Her name is “New Jerusalem” or “Holy Jerusalem”
- This woman came down from God and Heaven
- This woman/city is a symbolic reference for a spiritual reality
Regardless of what else is in this chapter, can we agree with these basic facts from the scripture? If you have problem with any of these statements you are not going to do well going forward. If you can see what these verses are telling us then you will have a much easier time seeing the other verses that I will soon give you. Truth many times builds upon truth. So instead of attempting to figure out everything a verse or a chapter says all by itself, I try to write down the things that I learn from that verse and then go and look at other verses in the Bible that help to explain it. The Bible, like I said before interprets itself. That is why I reject men’s opinion so fast, if they can’t give me verses I really don’t want to hear what they thinks it says.
Where we are right now, if you did not realize it, we have just discovered the basic Bible definition for what a spiritual woman is in the eyes of God. There are many other things still left to learn and we will continue to build upon this definition with other witnesses from the scripture, but hang on to this basic definition for what God thinks a woman is. A woman is a city and a city represents a group of people who live there. We can fruther undersand that based upon the identity of the groom being Jesus the Lamb, that the bride city has a marriage covenant relationship with God. That is a spiritual definition of a woman to God and knowing this much changes our perspectives of many things found in the Bible and we will confirm what i have just talked about using many more scriptures.
Before I continue, I want to make a point and show what else these truths reveal to us from the verses that we just read. Many times you can read verses and never see what they indirectly are teaching us so I want to show you an example of this. Did you notice that the woman has been given a name? She has a name and she is called “New Jerusalem” and “Holy Jerusalem”. What does that tell you? If you understand the Bible and especially the Old Testament you know there is more than one city called “Jerusalem” in the Bible. Why would God call this city by the same name, but with qualifiers and prefixed descriptive adjectives? An adjective is a word class that qualifies a noun. So God uses adjectives of course to differentiate one city from any other city with the same name. It is unnecessary to call something “New” if there is not an “Old”. It is unnecessary to call it “Holy” if there is not an “Unholy” city with the same name. Did you understand what I just said? We have a city name being given to us with the clear implied truth that there is another city that is an opposite picture or a negative image of these positive adjective qualifiers. Wow, that is very strong language and I wonder who God is talking about? Or do you already know? This Old Jerusalem and Unholy Jerusalem must be something or someone else, a different woman in the Bible. I really hope you are understanding these very simple truths that you can read so plainly. I think I will give you another reference in Revelation to an unholy city for you to think about and to further confirm what we have just learned. This verse is found in Revelation 17 and verse 18 says:
Rev 17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.
Chapter 17 of Revelation is about a much different woman, but yet this woman still fits the pattern for our definition of a woman that we have just developed. This last verse in Revelation chapter 17 reveals to us that the woman God has been talking about in this chapter is a “great city”. This city is said to rule over the kings of the earth and I will not attempt to identify this woman at this time in this blog. If you read the first part of the chapter you see her name is a symbolic reference to “Mystery Babylon”. I just want you to see the pattern and the revelation that a city is a woman and a woman is a city. A city is made up of people, normally a nation of people consisting of males and females. A city can be the capitol of a nation. This nation and group of individuals live together in a named city and this city is called a woman in the eyes of God.
I understand that these concepts and definitions are not that complex, but since what I am saying in this blog is so radically new and different than anything you have heard before, it will probably be hard to understand. We have just seen two completely different cities described, these are two witnesses from the book of Revelation and both are called women. In my next blog we will expand our definition of a woman and research God’s idea and definition of marriage.
If you would like to continue reading this series, you can go to “Part 4“.
(Ver 1.1) It is almost obvious to me that if my primary subject of this series is the identity of the Bride of Christ, that weare talking about a marriage of a woman to a groom. In every normal Bible marriage there are always two participants, the man and the woman. This was and is God’s design and definition of a marriage. We will talk about this in more depth later, but for now I want to continue this series by first identifying the groom using the Bible and the scriptures that speak specifically about this marriage event. If you have not been reading this series from the beginning I would strongly recommend that you go back and start with Part 1, The Introduction.
In every normal wedding that I’ve ever attended, there are two primary participants. The bride and the groom. I did say a normal God kind of wedding. A male and a female are said to be joined together in holy matrimony. I thought that in order to establish the identity of the bride of Christ we might ought to start with the basics and find out is Jesus Christ the groom? This of course shouldn’t be too difficult, but I would guess that some Christians have never studied the subject so they couldn’t tell you if He is or if He isn’t. Even though I do not like to go through basic theology, we might want to start with something more basic, like who was Jesus Christ was he God or was he just a man? Hopefully you do know that he was a man, but he was also God in the flesh of a male human. Jesus was both 100% God and 100% a man. While I was studying I counted over 30 times just in the book of Matthew that Jesus is referred to as “the son of man”. Of course the term “son” clearly indicates that he was a male and then the reference to him being a child of Adam is also there. You might not see that very clearly right now, but it is there and we will probably get into that in more depth later.
When there are a lot of scriptures on a subject it seems it is easier for people to see what you are telling them. I think God was making a point and emphasizing it with bold and exclamation points that Jesus Christ was a man due to the number of scriptures that are recorded with this revelation. So let’s back up again and scripturally establish the deity of Jesus. There are not as many clear references in the Bible that declare the specific deity of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any. Let’s start with one in Matthew the first chapter:
Mat 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
This verse is of course speaking about Mary becoming pregnant with Jesus Christ. Here we have a very clear reference that he will be called “Emmanuel” which is a Hebrew name meaning “God with us”. This of course is very controversial in various religions of the world and many of them would certainly deny that God would do something so ridiculous. It is funny how God uses these foolish things to confound the wise. So we need at least one more good reference that Jesus was God and I think there is a good one in the first chapter of John.
Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
The first chapter of John is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, it is really amazing what it says. In the very first verse of the chapter it describes God as being “the Word”. This verse is a parallel to Genesis 1:1. It just speaks of God in different terms. If you see what John 1 says, it is almost a paradox, how can the Word be “With” God at the same time that it “Is” God. It is an interesting theological predicament, much like trying to explain the Trinity of God. I mostly just accept what it says and believe it just because it says it rather than attempt to explain it. As you read down the chapter you find an amazing statement of truth in verse 14 about this God called “The Word”. This verse informs us that “The Word” or “God” was made flesh and lived among us. The God who has purposely hid himself throughout the ages from our physical view, would take on the form of a human male and walk around like He was just one of us. That concept boggles the religious mind to no end. What we can clearly see in this first chapter of John, is the fact that the man Jesus Christ was God in the flesh. Let’s look at just one more reference in the Bible where Jesus himself makes a statement to some men who couldn’t understand or accept what he was saying:
Joh 10:30 I and my Father are one.
Joh 10:31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
Joh 10:32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?
Joh 10:33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
From the mouth of Jesus himself, he spoke and said that God the Father and him were one in the same. That is an awesome statement of revelation that you need to get a hold of and understand the full implications given. The men that heard him wanted to kill him and took up stones to do so. Jesus just asked for what good work are you going to stone me for? But they said it wasn’t for anything that he did, just for what he said. They could see that he was a man and based upon what he said they rejected what he told them. Jesus in affect was saying I am the one that created the universe and you didn’t recognize me. Jesus was God standing directly before them and they did not see it. Obviously we can learn a lot from this lesson if we are open. In another place in the Gospels, Jesus said “If you have seen me you have seen my Father.” (John 14:7-9). Again, Jesus says He is God. There are certainly a lot of other scriptures that I could include in this discussion, but I’ll stop there.
We could certainly say more and easily get off of the mainline of the subject, so let’s go ahead and look at verses about Jesus being the bridegroom. So in every marriage, there should always be a male participant making a proposal to a female, followed by a wedding ceremony. So who is this bridegroom?
Later I will take you to an in depth study of Revelation 21 where the angel takes John in the spirit to view the Lamb’s wife. In this chapter we are given a glimpse and a view into the spiritual realm to see a symbolic woman who is described in elaborate terms. But like I said earlier it does not say she is ever called the Bride of Christ, it says she is the “Lamb’s Wife”. As we know from the Book of John only Jesus is ever directly or indirectly called the Lamb of God.
Joh 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
Joh 1:36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
Jesus is seen walking up to John and John stops in his tracks and says “Behold the Lamb of God”. This is an awesome revelation. John knew that Jesus would soon suffer and die and be the one time sacrifice for the payment of our sin. Therefore, we can clearly see the reference that Jesus is indirectly called the bridegroom that will marry the bride shown to us in Revelation 21. We will certainly get into this in more depth later. We could talk a lot about the significance of the lamb and in the use of lamb’s blood right here, because there are a number of significant parallels given to us in the Old Testament, but I will try to stay on target and stick with our primary subject.
Now I want to go through other scriptural conformations found in the New Testament concerning the identity of the Bridegroom. There are really several scriptures and I will not attempt to include them all for the sake of time and space. We can see the identity of the bridegroom in the words of Jesus himself speaking to the disciples of John:
Mat 9:14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?
Mat 9:15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.
When the disciples of John ask Jesus why his disciples don’t fast like they do, Jesus replies with a very important, but simple truth. How can the children of the bride chamber fast when they are with the bridegroom? The inference is clearly given that Jesus is calling himself the bridegroom and since he was present with them they didn’t need to fast. He then says there will come a time when the bridegroom would be taken from them and then they could fast. We can see that Jesus is looking forward to his crucifixion, his subsequent resurrection and his ascension, when he would be taken from this earth. These words in Matthew 19:14-15 are echoed in Mark 2:19 and Luke 5:34 also, so here we see three specific witnesses declaring Jesus Christ to be the bridegroom. In fact all of these are quotes of Jesus himself declaring himself to be the bridegroom. Also, if you look closely at this verse and the specific term “bridechamber” you will also see the implied inference to who the bride is. If you have been following my other blogs you can also see an implication of the “seed of the woman” by the reference to the children of the bride. But since we aren’t there yet, let’s look at another witness to the identity of the bridegroom. We can see that Jesus is again called the bridegroom by John the Baptist in the Gospel of John.
Joh 3:28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
Joh 3:29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
We can see in verse 28 of John 3, that John the Baptist tells everyone that he is not the Greek word Christ, or the Hebrew equivalent word is Messiah. However, we now know the identity of the one who John is about to talk about. Then in verse 29, three times John the Baptist calls Jesus Christ the bridegroom. This verse actually has more revelation, but that is the primary point that you should accept as a great additional witness. John’s first statement is concerning the bride and declares that Jesus is the bridegroom that has her. While John does not directly identify who the bride is, he definitely identifies who the Groom is. Interesting isn’t it? The Greek word translated as bride in this verse has the following definition in the Strong’s:
From a primary but obsolete verb νύπτω nuptō (to veil as a bride; compare the Latin “nupto”, to marry); a young married woman (as veiled), including a betrothed girl; by implication, a son’s wife: – bride, daughter in law.
You can see that this word is related to the Latin word “Nupto” meaning to marry. We get English words like nuptial from this word. So clearly we can see the association of a woman that is being married to the Lord Jesus Christ. This woman must be the bride of Christ. So who is this woman that is married to the Lord Jesus Christ? Knowing who the bridegroom is, gives us a firm foundation for us to start an in depth study of who the bride is. But let’s list some of the basic facts that we have just learned from the preceding verses:
- Jesus Christ was God in the flesh
- Jesus Christ is a Man and is also called the Son of Man.
- Jesus Christ is called the Lamb of God.
- Jesus Christ is called the bridegroom.
- Jesus Christ is said to have a bride and a wife.
- A bride is always a female.
- There has to be a marriage and a wedding between Jesus and His bride.
I think these are basic scriptural facts, but yet maybe you haven’t seen them until now. So knowing these facts we can now explore the identity of the bride of Christ so let us start by researching the subject in the Word of God. Two questions come to my mind at this point in the study and I think these questions will help us point to where we should go next. Here are the two questions that I thought of:
- What is a marriage in the eyes of God?
- What is a woman in the eyes of God?
I believe by focusing in on what God thinks are the answers to these two direct questions that it will help to provide us a firm foundation to the clear identity of the bride of Christ. In my next blog we will begin to focus on these subjects.
If you would like to continue reading this series, you can go to “Part 3“.
(Ver 1.3) This is Part 1 in the Bible Study series revealing the identity of the spiritual woman called the Bride of Christ. I have actually heard several preachers stand up behind the pulpit and say “There is nothing in the Bible that says the church is the Bride of Christ”. However, after I studied this subject I could not disagree more. It is funny how one preacher will say something totally opposite to what another will teach. All it does is prove that someone is wrong and possibly that both are wrong and only God is right. It creates confusion, division and an atmosphere for deception. Satan is all too ready to pounce on error and use it to cause a split or an offense against other Christians in the church. I am going to start a new series today of lessons on why the Church is the Bride of Christ. I will give you scriptural evidence and a bunch of it so that it is clearly understood. This will probably be the most in depth and comprehensive Bible lesson that you have ever read on the subject of the Bride of Christ and it will probably take a long time and a lot of lessons to complete.
I want to start this lesson by confirming one thing, the term “Bride of Christ” is not found in the Bible anywhere. That might shock some people to learn that truth. But, neither are the terms abortion, homosexuality, rapture, demons or the trinity found in the Bible either. Does that mean none of these exist either? Do you think that God cares nothing about any of these subjects to discuss them directly? Many times basic theological principles are not directly named or labeled with a clear title that can be found in the Bible. Many times these theological terms come as a result of man naming them with titles that have stuck. All this does is to make it easier to talk about them, teach them and for others to understand them. So instead of looking for the term “Bride of Christ” in the Bible and saying it doesn’t exist and therefore the church is not the bride, be smart enough to learn the lesson of how God wrote the Bible and do a search for other information that is given to us. The Bible contains an almost infinite number of mysteries, puzzles, riddles and hidden information. God used this technique for two primary reasons. First to hide this information from His enemies who were led by Satan and then second to conceal the truth for us (the Church) to find at the right time. If you can understand this it will help you a whole bunch in trying to figure out what the Bible really means.
The “Bride of Christ” is of course a very deep subject with a lot of complex interwoven truths and it will be extremely challenging for me to get it across concisely in a blog format. I guess I’ll do the best that I can and hope that you can understand it. I think I will start this introduction to this subject by giving you the two main reasons why some preachers think that the church is not the Bride. In this way I will be upfront with you and you can see this popular illogical reasoning as being an error. I will not name any names so if you want to listen to any of these teachers who teach this error you are on your own in finding them. The first reason that I have heard of directly, that predominately comes up to why the church is not the bride, is because they say the church is the Body of Christ. You of course know, if you have ever studied the New Testament there are an overwhelming number of scriptures that confirm this basic truth. Yes I believe them and I will also say that I firmly believe that the Church is the Body of Christ. Their illogical thinking has stated that if we are the Body of Christ and if Christ has a Bride, then we also have a Bride. That logic would make us the bridegroom with Christ. Their illogical thinking places us on equal ground with Jesus Christ and they make us equivalent to God in every aspect and feature. That logic should set off all kind of red flags in your mind, if you are smart at all. We are not God and we never will be God. What they have done is a classic error of Bible Interpretation that many have fallen into without knowing it. They have taken “A” truth and exalted it and have made it “The” truth. Do you understand what I just said? You see there are many truths in the Bible and if you take just one of them and exclude the rest of them you are now in error. That might be the most important thing that you learn today from this blog so don’t throw it away.
Now for the second reason why preachers think the church is not the bride of Christ. They turn to the last chapters in Revelation and read about a city coming out of heaven from God. This city is called the “New Jerusalem” and she is referred to as a woman. She is also called specifically the “Lamb’s Wife”. In their illogical reasoning they have determined that since we are the “Body of Christ”, this is our wife also. In other words God came to the earth in the flesh, suffered and died on a cross, went to hell and arose back to heaven all so that he could marry a city with buildings and houses that we can all live in happily ever after. What a fairy tale? That logic is crazy to me and I don’t know how they even came up with that kind of teaching? I guess I have seen worse, but nonetheless I hope you can at least question their thought process and logic. You see based upon their logic and the verses in Revelation, if this city New Jerusalem is the bride of the church then we are the Lamb. However, I have never seen any verses of scripture that says the church is the “Lamb of God”, have you? I know I didn’t give you every scripture reference and I didn’t give you every reason they teach, but I really do not want to dilute the truth by telling more lies. I’m sorry if I come across very blunt sometimes, I do not do it to offend anyone, it is just an attempt to wake some sleeping giants up to the truth. Learn the lesson of the Secret Service. You know they do not spend a lot of time studying how to make counterfeit money. Instead they concentrate on studying the real money, its features, characteristics and qualities. If you become intimately familiar with the real you can automatically recognize the counterfeit. That principle works with the Bible in the same way. The more you study the truth, the false teaching becomes laughable and easily recognizable. What you have to do is to make sure that what you believe is firmly based upon 2 or 3 witnesses of scripture found in the Bible. If you do this, then you are on good ground to recognize the false teaching of the enemy.
Mat 22:2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
As you can clearly see, Jesus is describing a spiritual reality using a descriptive story found in the form of a parable. This marriage being described to us is what we will begin to study in this series of lessons. Jesus is telling us of the “Kingdom of Heaven” so He must be speaking about spiritual truths using natural descriptive terms that we are all familiar with. In this parable a certain King has arranged a marriage for His son. So if you are the least bit intelligent you know that the King is representative of God the Father. The Son in this parable is clearly Jesus Christ. The marriage is to a bride. The bride can be referred to as a future “daughter-in-law” or the “sons” wife. So now we need to determine what is a spiritual woman, who is this spiritual woman and what is a spiritual marriage in the eyes of God.
Before we can accurately understand the identity of the bride of Christ we really need to step back and come to understand some spiritual basic concepts; like what does the Bible say a spiritual woman is and how does a woman relate to a spiritual family unit. Obviously if we are talking about women and brides we are also talking about a marriage. How is a marriage related to this subject in the eyes of God. We also need to figure out scripturally who the bridegroom is. What is a Blood Covenant? I believe that Biblical blood covenants are also a key subject to study and understand in order to build a basic knowledge of the subject of the identity of the bride of Christ. I cannot fully expound in this blog on all of the Bible basics that you should be aware of in order to fully understand this subject. I will just warn you upfront that this is not an introductory lesson on the subject and it assumes that you already have some firm foundational understanding of the Bible and the subjects that I just mentioned. Most advanced studies of any subject must assume some basic knowledge of the subject, so mine is no different. When you go to college and take Calculus, they don’t start the class with 1 + 1 = 2, you should have already learned that in elementary school. So it is in this blog, this is a college level Bible course and I won’t spend a lot of time on any elementary school basics. The bottom line is that if I say something that you don’t agree with, I would hope that before you reject it or write it off, that you do some basic study to see how I arrived at that statement since I will not always attempt to teach you everything that I know in one blog series. I just don’t have the time or enough space to cover everything.
So back to one of my key first points, taking a truth and trying to make it the truth, is a critical mistake because you close your mind and your spirit to any new knowledge that God wants to teach you on the subject. You see here is God’s challenge to us, there is more than one truth in the Bible. The truth in the Bible is much like a finely woven fabric or tapestry. It consists of many different threads that fit together closely and that are overlapped with other threads that all reveal God to us. In fact the Bible is so complex that it is difficult for us to fully comprehend everything that the Bible says. Saying the church is only the body of Christ and that’s it, simply closes your mind to anything else that the Lord wants to teach you about the subject.
You see, in the Bible God describes the church using many, many different names, titles and descriptions with each revealing several different new characteristics, qualities and features. We are described as “kings” and “priests” (Rev 1:6). In 2 Corinthians 5:12 the church is called “ambassadors” for Christ. In other places in the Bible we are described as “saints” (Romans 1:7). The church is described as an “army” with armour and weapons (Eph 6:13). We are described as “children” and even “sons” of God in the New Testament. We are called “joint heirs” with Christ in Romans 8:17. In Romans 2:29 the church is called the spiritual “Jews”. In other places in the New Testament like 1 Corinthians 3:16 the church is called the “temple of God”. I could go on and on with other scripture references, but I think you are getting the point. You can’t take any one of those truths alone and attempt to make it and it alone the entire truth of God’s word. If you do this you are in BIG trouble with trying to understand the Bible. I would ask those who teach that the church is only the body of Christ a good question, how can we be “joint heirs” with Christ if we are “Christ”. Uh oh? I think that’s a problem maybe you haven’t thought about before. A “joint heir” clearly implies a different heir and not the exact same one. So how can the church be joint heirs at the same time they are the Body of Christ? I tell you it is a very significant puzzle and a mystery and we will get into and solve. Hopefully you are learning a few things from this short introduction, I have designed this series to introduce you to things in a specific order and sequence to hopefully help you to fully understand it. If you desire to now more of the Names, Titles, Descriptions and Symols for the Church you can go to that lesson and research them in your Bible.
I guess I will stop right here and address another issue that I heard one minister say. According to him he was struggling in thinking of himself as a spiritual woman or the bride of Christ, because he was a man and a normal natural man has a problem with identifying themselves as a spiritual female. I can understand that thought process, because I am a man also. There are so many natural people in the world that are so confused with their sexual identity, am I a man or am I a woman. Am I a man in a woman’s body or vice versa. It seems this identity crisis has crept into the church. Is the church a man or is it a woman in the eyes of God? That is certainly the great debate that seems to be raging. You can so easily see why Satan wants to keep the church in confusion so that they don’t understand who they are and why they are here. If the church doesn’t understand the truth then he is able to steal it away from their hearts and they will never be able to know it according to what Jesus taught us. As you read the rest of this blog series you will soon discover why Satan wants to convince the Body of Christ that they are not the bride. If he can convince them they are not the bride then they will not be able to fulfill the Biblical prophecy spoken by the words of God himself.
So normal men don’t like being thought of as a spiritual female. However, what I like or don’t like and what you like or don’t like doesn’t really mean anything. That also goes for how you and I feel about being called a woman. I’ve heard that it brings out an image of a woman with combat boots on and wearing a wedding gown. This one minister just couldn’t identify with such a thought being a male. What an incredibly arrogant philosophy that is. You are assuming that a woman wouldn’t have a problem if she is called a spiritual male (the body of Christ), but a male would have a problem if he was called a spiritual female (the bride). That is about as natural thinking or carnally minded as you can possibly get and still attempt to call yourself a Christian. What a male chauvinist attitude. Did you know that the Bible says in Galatians 3:28 that there is neither “male” nor “female” in Christ? If you are in Christ and you are worried about being a male or a female you are thinking carnally and naturally. If you are a male and have a problem identifying yourself as a spiritual woman and I did say spiritual then you need to repent and figure out what God thinks about it and not worry about your appearance or feelings on the subject.
What we should ask ourselves, is there precedence in the Bible for the Church to be the bride of Christ? Ok, that was a legal term and what I really meant to say was there a valid pattern, a type and shadow given to us in the Old Testament that would mirror and confirm to us this New Testament truth? In Legal terms, precedence is when a judge gives a ruling, he is obligated to explain why he ruled that way. Many times a judge will give established case histories where similar rulings were given and then explain why he ruled the way that he did. Why does the Judge feel obligated to include similar case rulings in his decision process? That is an interesting concept if you think about it. When a judge provides supporting evidences for his decision, he is saying this is not just my lone opinion. Precedence can also mean the order of priority or sequence of importance. This is exactly how the Bible is written if you didn’t realize it. God is the ultimate Supreme Judge and Jesus is our Lawyer or Advocate. God does everything in an orderly legal fashion. He explains His rulings giving us His precedence on the subject in His Word. The Old Testament parallels the New Testament, as well as the Old Testament precedes the New. The Old Testament helps us explain the New Testament and vice versa. The Old Testament gives us natural pictures of actual living people that point us to spiritual truths. There are many natural examples in the Old Testament that point us to spiritual New Testament truths. In fact there is an Old Testament scripture that says “The thing that has been, that is the thing that shall be” (Ecc 1:9) and God said there is nothing new under the sun. In this lesson series we will definitely explore some new foundational truths from both the Old and the New Testaments that confirm the true identity of the church, so get ready to learn.
If you would like to continue reading this series of lessons, you can continue with “Part 2“.