THE “BRIDE” OF CHRIST

 

{A Scriptural Examination}

 

The subject of “The Bride of Christ” is a highly controversial issue amongst Christians. On the one end of the scale there are those folks who believe that they, and they ALONE, are “THE BRIDE” of Christ – to the EXCLUSION of ALL other Christians (i.e. “Landmark Baptists” or “Hardshell Baptists” or “Baptist Briders”, etc.) and on the other end of the scale there are some (but not all) “Grace” believers (i.e. “The Berean Bible Society”, etc.), plus some individual Bible believers from various churches who believe that the body of Christ is NOT “The Bride of Christ” at all (and never will be), but instead only Israel is the “Bride”. Because of the differing views (opinions or convictions) held by Christians, and the controversial nature of the issue, any “discussion” of this matter is highly charged with the possibility of discord and disunity.

 

To set the record straight - I reject the absurd and outrageous claims of those “Christians” who claim that they, and they ALONE, are “THE BRIDE” of Christ. On the other hand, although I firmly disagree with those brethren who believe that the body of Christ is NOT the Bride of Christ, I can see why they believe what they believe – I simply believe that they are mistaken.

 

In order to ascertain WHO the “bride of Christ” is in the Bible, we must first examine WHO (in Scripture - brought the subject up); WHEN (the time the subject was first brought up); WHERE (the place the subject was brought up); and WHY (the reason the subject was brought up).

 

Chronologically the very first person in the Bible to mention the “bride” in relation to the Lord Jesus Christ (the “bridegroom”) was John the Baptist. It is necessary to review the Scriptural record concerning John to put what he said in context.

 

JOHN THE BAPTIST {The “Friend” of the Bridegroom}

 

WHO was John Baptist? {The Lord Jesus Christ’s Testimony Concerning John the Baptist}

 

Luke 7:19 And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?
20 When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?
21 And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight.
22 Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.
23 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
24 And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
25 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts.
26 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet.
27 This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the
kingdom of God is greater than he.
29 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.

 

According to the Holy Scriptures and the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ John Baptist was: “A PROPHET” – “Yea . . . . and much more than a prophet”.

 

THE SCRIPTURAL RECORD OF JOHN THE BAPTIST’S TESTIMONY & PROPHESIES

 

Matthew 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
5 Then went out to him
Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
6 And were baptized of him in
Jordan, confessing their sins.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that
God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 

{A “warning” to Israel – that their exclusive relationship to the Lord God was in JEOPARDY!}

10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear:
he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

{A “prophecy” NOT confined to Israel alone.}

12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

{A “prophecy” NOT confined to Israel alone.}

 

Luke 3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,
2 Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.
3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;
4 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;
6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That
God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.  

{A “warning” to Israel - that their exclusive relationship to the Lord God was in JEOPARDY!}

 

9. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

{A “prophecy” NOT confined to Israel alone.}

10 And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?
11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.
12 Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?
13 And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.
14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.
15 And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not;
16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose:
he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

{A “prophecy” NOT confined to Israel alone.}

17 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.

{A “prophecy” NOT confined to Israel alone.}

18 And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people.

 

John 1:15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

John 1:19 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?
20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.
21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.
22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.


24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.
25 And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?
26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;
27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.
28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond
Jordan, where John was baptizing.

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.

{A “prophecy” NOT confined to Israel alone.}

30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.
31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to
Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him,
the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

{A “prophecy” NOT confined to Israel alone.}

34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;
36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith,
Behold the Lamb of God!

{A “prophecy” NOT confined to Israel alone.}

37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.

John 3:22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.
23 And John also was baptizing in AEnon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.
24 For John was not yet cast into prison.
25 Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying.
26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond
Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.
27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
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.

30 He must increase, but I must decrease.

{A “prophecy” NOT necessarily confined to Israel alone.}

 

It is apparent that (according to the Scriptural record) while John the Baptist’s “ministry” was confined only to the nation of Israel – his “prophecies” were NOT limited to just Israel alone. If John testified that the Lord Jesus Christ was “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world”; if John prophesied that Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary was NOT to be limited to just the nation of Israel (compare John 1:29 to Matthew 1:21); and if John prophesied that “he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost”; if none of these spiritual truths were limited to just Israel alone, why would the “bride” (that John spoke of) be limited to just the nation of Israel? Just because John the Baptist’s “ministry” was confined to the nation of Israel only, the Bible record clearly demonstrates that not all of his words were applicable to Israel alone.

 

The exact term - “The bride of Christ” does NOT appear in the entire Bible. Now that does not “mean” that the Lord Jesus Christ does not have a “Bride”; but it is a point that should be noted for the sake of our study. Secondly – The word “bride” occurs only 14 times in a total of 14 verses in the Holy Bible, and the word “bridegroom” occurs 24 times in 20 verses; which does not give the serious student of Scripture a whole lot of verses “to work with” since many of the verses with those words in them have little or nothing to do with “the bride of Christ”.

 

THE WORD “BRIDE” IN THE BIBLE {14 TIMES IN 14 VERSES}

THE WORD “BRIDE” - Old Testament

[Isaiah 49:18; Jeremiah 7:34; 16:9; 25:10; 33:11; Joel 2:16] {No Connection to Christ’s “bride”}

 

Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. {Possible Connection}

Isaiah 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. {Possible Connection}

Jeremiah 2:32 Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number. {Possible Remote Connection}

 

Out of a total of nine verses – six verses clearly have NO connection and three verses have a possible connection.

 

THE WORD “BRIDE” - New Testament

[Revelation 18:23] {No Connection to Christ’s “bride”}

 

John 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.

{Definite Connection}

 

Revelation 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.
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. {Definite Connection}

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.

 

Revelation 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.

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, [Revelation 3:12] {Definite Connection}

 

Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. {Definite Connection}

 

After studying the small number of verses in Scripture describing a “bride”, I have come to the conclusion that (in this specific case) Noah Webster’s definition of a “bride” is identically the same as what I can glean from the few Scriptures that describe a “bride” in the Bible.

 

Webster’s 1828 English Dictionary:

 

 

BRIDE, n.

 

1.  A woman new married.

But the name is applied to a woman at the marriage festival, before she is married, as well as after the ceremony.

 

     2.  A woman espoused, or contracted to be married. The case of Lewellyn, prince of Wales.

         Henry's Hist.of Britain, B.iv.ch.i.,sect.2. This is the true original sense of the word.

 

If you are wondering why there is so much confusion over this subject, the first thing that should be noted is that the English definition of the word “bride” has several meanings!

 

Carefully consider the following:

 

BRIDE, n.

 

      1.  A woman new married.

 

The Scriptural application = The "Bride" - after the marriage takes place:

[Revelation 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.]

[Revelation 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.]

[Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.]

 

      But the name is applied to a woman at the marriage festival, before she is married, as well as after the ceremony.

 

The Scriptural application = The "Bride" - at the marriage supper of the Lamb before she is married:

 

[Revelation 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.  {A marriage “ceremony” precedes a marriage “supper”.}
 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.
]

 

The Scriptural application = The "Bride" - at the marriage supper of the Lamb after the ceremony: {A marriage supper follows after a marriage “ceremony”.}

 

[Revelation 19:9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.]

  

      2. A woman espoused, or contracted to be married. The case of Lewellyn, prince of Wales.

          Henry's Hist.of Britain, B.iv.ch.i.,sect.2. This is the true original sense of the word.

The Scriptural application - before the marriage takes place:

[John 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.]

[Romans 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.]

 

[2 Corinthians 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.]

 

Out of five verses in the New Testament with the word “bride” in them – one verse [Revelation 18:23] has NO connection; two verses [John 3:29; Revelation 22:17] have a definite connection but do not indicate WHO the “bride” is; and two verses [Revelation 21:1-2; 9-10] indicate that the “bride” is the Holy city “NEW JERUSALEM”. So the question arises: is the Lord Jesus Christ married to a CITY? {See Matthew 23:37-39 & Luke 13:34-35} Or is He married to the saints that inhabit that city? If He is married to the saints that occupy that cityWHO ARE THEY? That is the “crucial question” which is extremely difficult to answer.

 

Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!  {Please see: References to Jerusalem at the end of this Post.}
38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

 

Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! 

{Please see: References to Jerusalem at the end of this Post.}
35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

 

From the above verses, was the Lord Jesus Christ talking about the “physical” city of Jerusalem (i.e. the physical buildings, streets, etc.) or was he referring to the people who lived within the city? The answer is obvious! The “physical” city itself was NOT guilty of killing the prophets or of rejecting the Lord; the people who inhabited the city were GUILTY! After the same manner, the Lord Jesus Christ is NOT married to a “physical” city (i.e. the physical buildings, streets, etc.); he is married to the saints who inhabit that city! And again the question arises WHO are they?

 

Out of the 14 verses in the Holy Bible with the word “bride” in them only four verses (all in the New Testament) are definitely identified clearly with “the bride of Christ”; only three verses (all in the Old Testament) are possibly identified with “the bride of Christ”; and seven verses clearly have NO connection. Half of the verses have no connection with “the bride of Christ” whatsoever, which doesn’t leave very many verses to base a major doctrine on.

 

THE WORD “BRIDEGROOM” IN THE BIBLE {24 TIMES IN 20 VERSES}

 

THE WORD “BRIDEGROOM” - Old Testament

 

[Psalms 19:5; Jeremiah 7:34; 16:9; 25:10; Joel 2:16] {No Connection to Christ’s “bride”}

 

Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. {Possible Remote Connection}

11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

Isaiah 62:1 For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.
2 And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.
3 Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.
4 Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.
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.
{Possible Connection}

Jeremiah 33:10 Thus saith the LORD; Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say shall be desolate without man and without beast, even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man, and without inhabitant, and without beast,
11 The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.
{Possible Remote Connection}

 

 

THE WORD “BRIDEGROOM” - New Testament

 

[Matthew 25:1, 5-6, 10; John 2:9; Revelation 18:23] {No Connection to Christ’s “bride”}

Matthew 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. {No Definitive Connection to Christ’s “bride”.}

Matthew 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

 

{No Connection to Christ’s “bride”}

Matthew 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. {No Connection to Christ’s “bride”}

Matthew 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. {No Connection to Christ’s “bride”}

Matthew 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.

{Definite Connection}

Mark 2:19 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. {Definite Connection}

Mark 2:20 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days. {Definite Connection}

Luke 5:34 And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? {Definite Connection}

Luke 5:35 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days. {Definite Connection}

John 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.

{Definite Connection}

 

THE “BRIDECHAMBER”

 

The word “bridechamber” is found only three times in the Holy Scriptures [Matthew 9:15; Mark 2:19; Luke 5:34]; and each time it is in reference to the same episode or event, but without a clear indication as to just exactly what the purpose of the “bridechamber” is. In order to study this Scriptural “precept” we must search out various words in the Holy Bible - including but not limited to: bride; closet; chamber; bridegroom; etc.

 

The word “bride” occurs only 14 times in 14 verses in the King James Bible. The Bible definition of the “Bride” of Christ is clearly spelled out in the Scriptures (i.e. New Jerusalem Revelation 21:2 & Revelation 21:9-10) what is not clearly spelled out is - WHO is the “Bride”; and WHAT is the “bridechamber”?

 

The word “closet” only occurs 2 times in 2 verses [Joel 2:16; Matthew 6:6], and both times the word indicates a room, set aside for a specific purpose: In Matthew 6:6 the “closet” is a room to pray in, and in Joel 2:16 the “closet” is a room where the bride prepares herself, before going out to meet the groom [Joel 2:16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.] The bride’s “closet” sounds a whole lot like a “bridechamber” to me.

 

The word “chamber” occurs 52 times in 48 verses in the Holy Bible – not one of those verses indicates WHAT a “bridechamber” is. However, Psalms 19:5 indicates that the bridegroom’schamber” is a specific place that a bridegroom occupies before “coming out of”; and in Joel 2:16 the bridegroom’schamber” is a room where he prepares himself to “go forth of” to meet his bride. Please notice that in Joel 2:16 the “bridegroom” goes forth out of “his chamber” and “the bridegoes “out of her closet” (chamber?). They BOTH leave their place of preparation (chamber or closet) to meet for the wedding [1Thessalonians 4:16-17]; there are no verses in the Scriptures that say that a bridegroom and bride head to a “bridechamberafter the wedding to consummate a marriage. On the contrary, the Scriptures clearly testify to just the OPPOSITE!    

 

Psalms 19:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.

4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,

5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.

 

Joel 2:16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.

 

In the Holy Bible - the word “bridegroom” occurs 24 times in 20 verses. The Scriptural testimony as to WHERE the bridegroom and bride go after the wedding clearly indicates that they both go to the bridegroom’s dwelling place to consummate the marriage – NOT a “bridechamber”. After all, it’s all about the “BRIDEGROOM” – NOT the “bride”. For example:

 

Matthew 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

 

Matthew 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

 

Matthew 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

 

I will be the first to admit that some Bible words can have more than one “meaning” - as I pointed out with the purpose of the word “closet”, and which is clearly obvious with the word “chamber”. I try real hard not to “confine” God’s words to my partial understanding of them. However, I believe that the word “bridechamber” is open to more than one interpretation (since the Scriptures do not clearly define the meaning), and as such, I will continue to adhere to my understanding of the word until someone can demonstrate to me (from the Scriptures) that I am in error.

 

I am unfamiliar with the “traditional understanding” (of the “Bible” commentators) of the word “bridechamber”, but I am leery of relying on external sources for my understanding of Biblical words - especially when an important doctrine may hinge upon that understanding.

 

When the time came for Jacob’s “bride” (Leah) to consummate her marriage to her husband (Jacob) she went to Jacob’s dwelling place, not a “bridechamber”. An examination of the Holy Scriptures demonstrates the common practice (not some “historical understanding”) of what actually occurred (in the Scriptures) after a marriage took place and where the consummation of that marriage took place. The common “Biblical” practice was for the “bride” to go to the bridegroom’s dwelling place.

 

I know of no “cases” (in Scripture) where the room (place) where the marriage is consummated is called a “bridal chamber” or “bridechamber”; and the fact that that is what it may be called today can not alter the historical Biblical practice or examples. Also, as far as the example Samson’s marriage is concerned, I do not believe that we can hold up “Samson” as an ideal “Biblical” illustration (or pattern) of the Scriptural “common practice” of what took place in a “typical marriage” in Israel at that time. Although Samson was a judge over Israel, he was out of the will of God (especially when it came to women) most of his life.

 

As far as the example of the Song of Solomon goes:

 

Song of Solomon 3:4 It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother's house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me.

 

In the example given (above) from the Song of Solomon the “chamber” is clearly her “mother’s chamber” – not the “bride’s chamber”, and from the Scriptural context it is pretty clear that this is not the first time that the lovers have been together. In other words it is not absolutely clear (from the Scriptures) that this is describing when the marriage was first consummated.

 

In regards to the claim that a “bridechamber” is a place where a marriage is consummated, the following Scriptural examples demonstrate Who goes to Whom to “consummate” a Marriage.

 

The woman goes to the man <> Isaac & Rebekah [Genesis 24:61-67]

 

Genesis 24:67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.

 

The woman goes to the man <> Jacob & Leah [Genesis 29:21-23]

 

Genesis 29:23 And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her.

 

More examples:

 

Psalms 19:5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.

 

Joel 2:16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.

 

Matthew 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

 

Matthew 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

 

Matthew 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

 

In regards to the “bridechamber” – a believer’s interpretation of the word “bridechamber” will be a major factor in determining whichever doctrine he (or she) will embrace concerning this issue. IF, as some believe, “the bridechamber is a room where the couple are intimately united (in) a union that usually produces children”, then I am in error and my doctrine is wrong. On the other hand, IF, as I believe, the “bridechamber” is a room (or a place) where the bride prepares before going out to meet the bridegroom, then the preceding interpretation of a “bridechamber” is in error and the doctrine largely based on that interpretation is incorrect. 

 

THE “CHILDREN” OF THE BRIDECHAMBER

In regards the interpretation that the “the children of the bridechamber would be the result of this intimate union”. In the Biblical historical context the verses are not referring to the FUTURE offspring of the union between the bridegroom and his bride; in the context the verses are talking about “children” that are living, breathing, walking, and talking men (Christ’s disciples) that already exist! 

 

In response to John the Baptist’s disciples question to Jesus:

 

Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?[Matthew 9:14]

 

The Lord responded with:     

Matthew 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.

Mark 2:19 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.
20 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.

Luke 5:34 And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them?
35 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.

 

This issue is over the fact that John the Baptist’s disciples (and the Pharisees) fasted often and the Lord’s disciples did not. John’s disciples were not talking about the future offspring of the union between the bridegroom and the bride, they were wondering WHY they {John’s disciples} had to fast and the Lord’s disciples did not fast. And the Lord’s simple reply was: “Can the children (at least the 12 existing disciples) fast, while the bridegroom {the Lord Jesus Christ} is with them?”

 

The clear testimony of these Scriptures is that the Lord’s (existing) disciples ARE “the children of the bridechamber”. And they couldn’t possibly be “the result of this intimate union” between the bridegroom and the bride - since the marriage hadn’t taken place yet.

 

No matter how you slice it - the “children of the bridechamber” is clearly in reference to Christ’s existing disciples; in which case - HOW can they possibly be both the “Bride” of Christ and the “children of the bridechamber” at the same time?

 

If (according to the Scriptures) John the Baptist is the “FRIEND of the bridegroom”; and the Lord Jesus Christ IS “the BRIDEGROOM”; then the Lord’s existing disciples must be the “CHILDREN of the bridechamber”, in which case they couldn’t have possibly been the “BRIDE” of Christ - at least not at the time these words were spoken.

 

According to the Holy Scriptures – during the Lord’s earthly ministry, the existing disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ were referred to as “the children of the bridechamber”. And so we have:

 

#1. “The ‘friend’ of the ‘Bridegroom’ = John the Baptist

 

#2. “The Bridegroom” = The Lord Jesus Christ

 

#3. “The ‘children’ of the bridechamber” = The Disciples of the Lord

 

The Scriptures above are self explanatory – but they do NOT clearly define:

 

#4. WHO is the “Bride”?

 

#5. WHAT is the “Bridechamber”?

 

#6. WHAT would have been the disciple’s status – IF the nation of Israel was “the Bride”?

 

#7. HOW could Christ’s Disciples have been “the “children of the bridechamber” and “the Bride” of Christ at the same time? Assuming (for the moment) that the nation of Israel was “the Bride” - would the Lord’s disciples have been left out of “the Bride”, IF Israel had received Christ at His first coming? 

 

These are some questions to which the answers are not clearly “spelled out” – at least not in the Scriptures cited.

 

CONCERNING THE ABSENCE OF THE WORDBRIDE” IN PAUL’S EPISTLES

 

The proposal that since “the word bride is not mentioned by Paul. (Although) “He mentions wife, chaste virgin, or married; but no mention of bride" is a premise based entirely on the absence of a specific word in Paul’s Epistles - about some “thing” that still may in fact be true.

 

Please take note of the following:

 

The Apostle Paul does not mention the word “Hell” one time in all of his Epistles (It is also absent from Hebrews) – does that mean that there is no such place; or that Paul did not believe in a place called Hell? 

 

The Apostle Paul does not mention the phrase “born again” one time in all of his Epistles (It is also absent from Hebrews) – does that mean that he did not believe that people could be “born again”?; or that the only people who could be “born again” were Jews?; or that those Gentiles who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and receive Him as their Saviour are not “born again” – because they are not Jews? The phrase is missing in all of his writings, but that does not mean that we are not “born again”.

 

The Apostle Paul does not mention the phrase “eternal salvation” one time in all of his Epistles (It is mentioned once in Hebrews - Hebrews 5:8) – does that mean that he did not believe in “eternal salvation”?; or that “eternal salvation is limited to the Jews only?; or that he did not teach that our salvation is “eternal”? Again, the phrase is missing in all of his writings, but that doesn’t mean that our salvation is not “eternal”.

 

The Apostle Paul does not specifically mention the “judgment of the nations” one time in all of his Epistles (It is also absent from Hebrews) – does that mean that “the judgment of the nations” will not take place (as our Lord clearly taught it will)?

 

The absence of the word “bride” in all of the Apostle Paul’s Epistles (It is also absent from Hebrews) does not prove that Paul did not believe that the church was the “bride of Christ”. Neither does the absence of the word “bride” in all of the Apostle Paul’s Epistles prove that we are not the bride of Christ”.

 

There is a verse that strongly indicates that Paul did believe that we are the “bride of Christ”:

 

2 Corinthians 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.

 

{Webster’s 1828 Definition: ESPOUS'ED, pp. Betrothed; affianced; promised in marriage by contract; married; united intimately; embraced.}

Remember what Paul said about his relationship to the church of God (i.e. God’s people)?

 

1 Thessalonians 2:10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:
11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you,
as a father doth his children,
12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

 

1 Corinthians 4:14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.
15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many
fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.

 

All throughout Bible history the Scriptural custom was for the “father” to “give away” the bride; and if not the father, then an uncle or a brother. When the Apostle Paul said: “I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ”, he was speaking as the “spiritual father” (or uncle, or brother) of his “spiritual children”, and the picture that he has drawn (with words) is of a “virgin” bride “espoused” to her husband. The fact that Paul did not use the word “bride” does not negate the Scriptural “precept” that he was putting forth; anymore than the absence of the word “Hell”, or the phrases “born again” and “eternal salvation” in his Epistles negates those factual Scriptural “precepts”.  

 

Let’s take a look at some of the “things” that the Lord Jesus Christ said about Himself – most of which the Apostle Paul never mentioned in his Epistles. Please carefully consider the following:

 

John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

 

John 6:48 I am that bread of life.

 

John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

 

Does the Apostle Paul ever call the Lord Jesus Christ “the Bread of life” or “the living Bread”? NO. The closest that he comes is 1Corinthians 10:17, but he does not say that Christ is “the Bread of Life” or that He is “the Living Bread”.

 

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

 

John 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

 

Does the Apostle Paul ever call the Lord Jesus Christ “the Light of the world”? NO.

 

John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

 

Does the Apostle Paul ever call the Lord Jesus Christ “the Resurrection and the Life”? NO. {He does not explicitly say that Christ is “the Resurrection”. He does say that the Lord is “our life” – See my comments on John 14:6.}

 

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

 

Does the Apostle Paul ever call the Lord Jesus Christ “the Way, the Truth, and the Life”? NO. He does not explicitly say that Christ is “the Way” or “the Truth”; although Paul does make it abundantly clear that He is the “life” or “our life” [Romans 5:10, 21; 6:23; 8:2; 2Corinthians 4:10-11; Colossians 3:4; 1Timothy 1:16; 2Timothy 1:1, 10]

 

John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

 

John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

 

Does the Apostle Paul ever call the Lord Jesus Christ “the Vine” or “the True Vine”? NO.

 

Are genuine Christians (i.e. born again saints – sons of God – the children of God) “branches” in the “Vine” or are the “branches” spoken of in John 15:5 only in reference to Israel (or just Christ’s Jewish disciples)?

 

By now you are probably saying - what is the “point” of all this? The point is simply this: There are a lot of “things” that are spoken of in the Gospel of John that the Apostle Paul did not write about; are all of those “things” (that Paul never spoke of) specifically for Israel (or the Jews) ALONE? Are none of them applicable to Christians (or the church of God)? [2Timothy 3:16-17] 

 

And in the Book of Revelation:

 

Revelation 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.

 

Revelation 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

 

Revelation 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

 

Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

 

Does the Apostle Paul ever call the Lord Jesus Christ “Alpha and Omega”? NO.

 

Does the Apostle Paul ever call the Lord Jesus Christ “the Beginning and the Ending”? {He does say He is “the beginning” in Colossians 1:18, but makes no mention of Him also being “the ending”.}

 

Does the Apostle Paul ever call the Lord Jesus Christ “the First and the Last”? NO.

 

And what about all of the following verses:

 

John 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

 

John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

 

Does the Apostle Paul ever call the Lord Jesus Christ “the Door of the sheep? NO.

 

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

 

John 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

 

Does the Apostle Paul ever call the Lord Jesus Christ “the Good Shepherd”? NO.

 

John 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

 

John 10:25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.
26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

 

Does the Apostle Paul ever call us Christ’s “sheep” (“my sheep”)? The closest that he comes is in Romans 8:36. And yet the Lord said: “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. [John 10:16] Are we the Lord Jesus Christ’s “sheep” or are we not His “sheep”?

 

   Webster’ 1828 Dictionary - FOLD, n. See the verb, to fold.

 

1. A pen or inclosure for sheep; a place where a flock of sheep is kept, whether in the field or under shelter.

 

2. A flock of sheep. Hence in a scriptural sense, the church, the flock of the Shepherd of Israel.

 

            Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold. John 10.

 

Which is it - “a place where a flock of sheep is kept” or “a flock of sheep”? What if the “FOLD” is a “PLACE” (ISRAEL) then the “OTHER SHEEP” would have to be God’s saints (i.e. the church of God) outside of Israel (outside of the “FOLD”) wherever they might live! And IF the “FOLD” is a “FLOCK”, the initial (first) “FOLD” (“Flock”) would then be those saints in Israel (Jews only) who believed on Christ, while the “OTHER SHEEP” would be those saints (Jews & Gentiles – i.e. the church of God) outside of Israel who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. Either way, the “SHEEP” can NOT be just Israel (only). {Did you notice that a “FOLD” is identified as both a “PLACE” where the “SHEEP” are kept and the “SHEEP” themselves - I wonder if there is any possible connection to the “NEW JERUSALEM”?}

 

WHY is it that the Apostle Paul never mentions that we are Christ’s “sheep”? The fact that he never mentions it does not mean that we are NOT Hissheep”.

 

The argument that the word bride is not mentioned by Paul” (and so - by inference, because of its absence or the lack thereof, we can not possibly be His “bride”) does not hold up under close examination, for there are a whole lot of “things” that are true about the Lord Jesus Christ that Paul never wrote about, but which are TRUE never the less, and many of those “things” are applicable to the Christian or to the church of God. {The apostle Paul never called the Lord Jesus Christ “The Word” or “the only begotten Son of God”, and yet Christ is truly both of those things; and you could bet your bottom dollar that Paul believed that the Lord Jesus Christ truly was both of those things although he (Paul) never wrote or recorded those exact words down.}

 

“ESPOUSED” {there are only five verses with the word “espoused” in the entire Holy Bible}

2 Samuel 3:14 And David sent messengers to Ishbosheth Saul's son, saying, Deliver me my wife Michal, which I espoused to me for an hundred foreskins of the Philistines.

Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Luke 1:27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

Luke 2:5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

2 Corinthians 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.

 

Isn’t it possible that we (“the church of God” – “the body of Christ”) are “espoused” to our “HUSBAND”, the Lord Jesus Christ, BEFORE we “come together” - just like Mary (the “chaste virgin”) was “espoused” to her Husband Joseph “before they came together” [Matthew 1:24-25]?

 

THE RELATION - ESPOUSED & A WIFE {A Scriptural Search}

 

Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her
husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy
wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
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.
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his
wife:
25 And knew her not
till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

 

Luke 1:26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

 

Luke 2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of
Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from
Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his
espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

 

According to the Bible a man (Joseph) to whom a woman (Mary) is genuinely “espoused” is considered to be her “HUSBAND” (already); and a woman (Mary) who is genuinely “espoused” to a man (Joseph) is considered to be his “WIFE” (already) even though they have not come together and fully consummated the marriage.

 

THE CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER IN SCRIPTURE

 

Genesis 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

{Eve was considered (called) Adam’s wife before he “knew” her.}

 

Genesis 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.

{When the time came that Adam “knew” his wife they had already been “married” (as husband & wife) for some period of time.}

 

According to the Scriptures – a man is already “married” to his wife before they come together.

 

Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall {#1} a man leave his father and his mother, and shall {#2} cleave unto his wife: and {#3} they shall be one flesh.

{A woman is considered to be a “wife” to her husband BEFORE her husband “cleaves” to her - BEFORE they become “one flesh”.}

 

Ephesians 5:31 For this cause shall {#1} a man leave his father and mother, and shall {#2} be joined unto his wife, and they two shall {#3} be one flesh.

{A woman is considered to be a “wife” to her husband BEFORE her husband “cleaves” to her - BEFORE they become “one flesh”.}

 

Scriptural Conclusion:

 

  • According to the Holy Scriptures, a woman who is “espoused” unto a man is considered to be his wife (and him, her husband) before they are “married” (or before a wedding).

 

  • A man and a woman who are “married” are considered to be husband and wife before they “come together” (i.e. “cleave unto” or “joined unto”).

 

  • After the husband “cleaves” (or is “joined”) unto his wife they then become “one flesh”.

 

  • The “coming together” (“cleaving” or “joining”) of a man and a woman is NOT what makes a “marriage” - the “cleaving” (or “joining”) makes for “one flesh” (or “one body”); hence the seriousness and gravity of fornication and adultery.

 

Job 31:11 For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges.

 

1 Corinthians 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.

 

In 1Corinthians 6:16 the Scriptures do NOT say - the two shall be “married”! It clearly says “he which is joined to an harlot is one body” (“one flesh”). The “joining” of a man and a woman unto “one flesh” only - without a pledge, or a promise, or vow (commitment) to be married, does NOT make a Scriptural “marriage”.

 

John 4:16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.
17 The woman answered and said, I have
no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:
18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is
not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.

 

WHY does the Apostle Paul speak about the believers in Rome (which doctrinally would include us also) being “married” to the Lord Jesus Christ [Romans 7:4], if we are not His wife, or meant to be His wife? 

 

Romans 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?
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.
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.
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.

 

The Apostle Paul has already stated that he has “espoused you” (in the context - the Corinthian believers, and all born again believers in turn) “to ONE HUSBAND” [2 Corinthians 11:2]. And now here, in his Epistles to the Romans, he plainly says that “YE” (in the context - the believers in Rome, and all born again believers in turn) “should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead,

 

In Ephesians 5:22-33 the Apostle Paul spells out the accepted relationship between a husband and a wife - which was clearly understood by most people, Jews & Gentiles, at that time, (even if it is no longer accepted or understood by most of the people in the Western world today). Paul used a well known (and generally accepted) “earthly” relationship between a husband and his wife as a “similitude” to describe the similarly related spiritual relationship between the Lord Jesus Christ and His church. How else can we explain the following?

 

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. {A Similitude}
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
{A Similitude}
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
{A Similitude}
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
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.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
{A Similitude}
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
{A declarative statement – Not a Similitude}
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

 

32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

 

{The Apostle Paul uses the Scriptural relationship between a married man & woman, i.e. a husband & his wife, as asimilitude”, to describe (or explain) the same relationship between the Lord Jesus Christ and His church. Verse 32 is a declarative statement - There is NO “as” or “like” in it.}

 

33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

 

The question arises: Are we (the body of Christ) “MARRIED” to the Lord Jesus Christ or are we NOT? If we (all those saints who are in Christ) are “espoused” to the Lord Jesus Christ (“as a chaste virgin”), and if we are to be (or already are) “married . . .  to Him who is raised from the dead”, is it possible that Christ has TWO WIVES (one, which is solely Jewish and the other, which is both Jew & Gentile)? After what the Lord said in Matthew 19:4-6 and Mark 10:6-9 about marriage is that possible? I trow not.

 

THE FIRST ADAM & THE LAST ADAM {In Relation to their “Wife”}

 

1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

 

The Scriptures testify that Adam’s (“the first man Adam” – 1Corinthians 15:45) wife literally came from his “body” [Genesis 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. - Genesis 2:21-23]. WHEN did Adam say this – BEFORE or AFTER he “knew” his wife (i.e. before they “came together”)? According to the Scriptures Adam spoke these words BEFORE he “knew” his wife, and yet she was considered “his wife” (“bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh”) even though the marriage had not yet been fully consummated.

 

The Scriptures also state that The Lord Jesus Christ’s (“the “last Adam” 1Corinthians 15:45) wife comes from His “body” [Luke 24:39] also [Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. - Ephesians 5:23-32]. Scripture with Scripture – it is possible for us also to be “members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones (that is - to be considered Christ’s “wife”, not the Lord Jesus Christ Himself) BEFORE we “come together”; and as such, we still can be considered to be “the Bride of Christ”. 

 

Adam died (spiritually & physically) for his wife (bride?) before he consummated the marriage (before they “came together”). The Lord Jesus Christ died (physically) for His wife (bride?) before He has consummated the marriage (before we “come together”)!

 

The FIRST (and only) MENTION of the word “BRIDE” in the entire New Testament (from the Book of Matthew through Jude) until the Book of Revelation occurs in John 3:29 (spoken by John the Baptist). The word “BRIDE” is NOT MENTIONED again (by any of the New Testament writers) until the Apostle John writes about it in Revelation 18:23; 21:2; 21:9; 22:17. A review of Revelation 18:23 demonstrates that is has nothing to do with Christ’s “bride”; while the remaining verses in Revelation 21:2; 21:9; 22:17 are clearly speaking about “the bride, the lamb’s wife”. 

 

In the Holy Bible the “relationship” between the Lord Jesus Christ and His church (i.e. “the body of Christ” – 1Corinthians 12:27) is referred to as “a great mystery” [Ephesians 5:32]; and as such, it is an extremely complex and sensitive issue that can (and has) brought about a whole lot of disagreement and confusion amongst Christian brethren, (Although God is not the “author” of that “confusion”! [1Corinthians 14:33]) I do not claim to have all of the answers concerning this issue, but since it is “a great mystery”, we ought to be extremely careful and overly cautious in accepting any teaching (from anyone) concerning the matter.

 

According to the Scriptures, we are “espoused” to the Lord Jesus Christ. Which simply means that we are either His “Bride”, or we will become His “Bride”, at the “marriage of the Lamb”. {See Definitions} Either way – we are either already presently married to the Lord [Romans 7:4; 1Corinthians 6:17; Ephesians 5:22-32], or we are espoused to be married to Him [2Corinthians 11:2]. 

 

1Corinthians 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. [Read through 1Corinthians 6:12-20]

 

I believe, that at the present time, our union with the Lord Jesus Christ is purely “spiritual”, not “physical”. Not until we “see Him as He is”, shall we “be like Him” [1John 3:2; 1Corinthians 15:51-52; Romans 6:5]; and not until that moment, shall we be “conformed to the image of His Son” [Romans 8:29]. When we finally meet Him “face to face” - “then shall I know even as also I am known.[1Corinthians 13:12]

 

THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IS PREPARING “A PLACE” FOR SOMEONE - WHO CAN IT BE?

 

John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
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.

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.

 

According to the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ is preparing a “place for you” (someone). where is this “place”? And what is it? And is this “placeonly for the Jews or a Jewish “Bride”? And if so – where are we Gentiles going to be in eternity? The Lord has promised that He “will come again” – that where He is “that ye (someone) may be also”. WHO is the “you” or “ye”? Is this promise only for the Jews or a Jewish Bride? What about Paul’s testimony concerning Christians (both Jews & Gentiles)?

 

1 Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
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:
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.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

 

2 Timothy 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:
9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him,
we shall also live with him:
12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

 

According to the Holy Scriptures all those saints - “which sleep in Jesus”, and all those saints -“which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air”, are going to “ever be with the Lord”. WHERE will this be? WHERE will the Lord be? IF we are to “live with Him” (FOREVER) just exactly WHERE will that be? And just exactly WHAT will be our “relationship” with Him throughout eternity – if NOT as His “wife” then WHAT will it be?

 

THE TESTIMONY OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION IN REGARDS TO “THE BRIDE”

 

Revelation 19:1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: {WHEN will this occur?}

2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.
3 And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.
5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.
6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.


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.

 

{The Holy Scriptures state that: “his WIFE hath made herself ready” - before the “marriage” takes place! WHEN is this event going to take place? WHO is it that makes “herself ready” for a marriage if not a “Bride”? According to the Scriptures the “BRIDE” of Christ is already His WIFE - beforethe marriage of the Lamb” takes place!}

 

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.
9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

 

{WHEN will this occur? WHO is the “Bride”? WHO is in attendance? WHO are the “guests”?}

10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
{WHEN will this occur?}
15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;

18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.

20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

 

Revelation 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.
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.
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.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
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.

 

{Which is it – “the bride”, or “the Lamb’s wife”? Obviously they are the same at the same time!}

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,
11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

 

Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

 

The Gospel of John is probably the most difficult of the four Gospels to “rightly divide” because the Apostle John would often write from the perspective of Christ’s finished work on Calvary in mind (see his use of parenthesis), and with the understanding of the Gospel of Grace (Paul’s Gospel) in his heart. Was it possible, before the Lord Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary, to be truly “born again”? I don’t believe it was. Then what is going on in John 1:10-13?

 

John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.


[John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.]

He came unto his own {“his own” = Israel/the Jews},and his own{“his own” = Israel/the Jews} “received him not.” Chronologically this is in reference to a past occurrence (the rejection of Christ by Israel); so the verses immediately following [John 1:12-13] can NOT be in reference to only the nation of Israel, or just the Jews, or just Christ’s disciples.

 

[John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:]

 

Since “his own received him not” (they rejected Him) “as many (anyone - both Jews and Gentiles) “as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, (without being physically born a Jew) even to them that believe on his name:” Sounds a whole like Paul’s Gospel to me [Acts 16:31] and NOT the “kingdom gospel” The - “as many as received Him” is in reference to “born again” children of God {both Jews & Gentiles} who received the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour AFTER His death, burial, and resurrection!

 

[John 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.]

Which were born, not of blood,” (i.e. not a physical Jew) “nor of the will of the flesh,” (not by anything that an individual can do for himself) “nor of the will of man,” (not by anything that anyone else can do for someone) “but of God.” This is in reference to John 3:3-8 (the “new birth”) which was chronologically impossible until AFTER the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Is it possible (God knowing from the beginning – who would believe and who would not believe) that the Lord Jesus Christ (the “Bridegroom”) could have offered Himself (with a genuine offer) to Israel as their Messiah (the Christ) & King, and that upon His rejection by the nation of Israel that He eventually turned and offered Himself to the Gentiles as their Saviour? In which case the “Bridegroom” that was spurned and rejected by His chosen “Bride”, turned and chose a “Bride” who would believe Him and gladly accept and receive Him.

 

John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

 

This issue is extremely complex and I don’t profess to have all of the answers (I don’t even know most of the questions!). Over the years I have found that I have been wrong on some of the doctrines that I once embraced; and once I found (or was shown) that I am off base on a particular doctrine, I have not hesitated to change my beliefs - in order to bring myself in line with the truth of God’s Holy words. After having recently studied this issue (in some depth), I can not say with absolute certainty that I am right about it. All I can say at this time is that I am very suspicious of speculation and/or the “traditional understanding” of the issue. 

 

I can not say, with certainty, that Israel was not the intended “bride” of Christ – but she (Israel) rejected her Messiah & King (the “Bridegroom”); is it not possible that the Lord Jesus Christ in turn rejected her (as His “bride”) and turned to the Gentiles (those who believe in Him) for His “bride”?

 

I will remain extremely cautious concerning this issue, especially since the position held by some of the brethren (i.e. that the church of God is NOT the “Bride” of Christ, nor ever will be), runs contrary to a Biblical teaching (i.e. the church of God IS the “Bride” of Christ) that has been accepted by the vast majority of Bible believers for some time now, and, in addition, there is not that much Scripture to support the contrary position held by some of those brethren.

 

Knowledge of the Bible is basically acquired in two ways. The most prevalent and popular way that most Christians today (who have even a passing interest in spiritual issues) acquire their Bible knowledge is from other people (whether it be a pastor, a teacher, a “Bible” commentator, a TV or Radio “preacher”, or an Internet YouTube “star”, etc.), and whether that knowledge emanates from a church, a school, books, tapes, CD’s, TV, Radio, or the Internet, etc., nearly all of that knowledge is, at best, “second hand”.

 

The second, more timely and more difficult, way that a Christian acquires knowledge of the Bible is by a personal study of the Scriptures themselves [2Timothy 2:15] without the guidance of today’s “trained professionals”, or with the least amount influence possible from outside sources.

 

The danger on relying on other people for doctrine is that we might unknowingly embrace false doctrine and fall into error following men. The danger in private personal study (with a minimal amount of outside influence) is that we might go down some “rabbit trail” and get sidelined, sidetracked, or derailed, and embrace some corrupt and perverse heresy {the CULTS: Joseph Smith - Mormonism; William Miller – Seventh Day Adventism; Charles Russell – Watchtower Society (JW’s); David Koresh – Branch Davideans; etc.; etc.; etc.) contrary to the existing body of Scriptural truth (See: “Basic Doctrines”) that is already established in the body of Christ on earth, by following our own deceitful heart [Jeremiah 17:9; Proverbs 3:5; 16:25].

 

I have no way of knowing for sure, but I calculate that probably some where’s between 70% – 80% of what I believe (Bible doctrine) has been acquired from other men. The first 30 years of my Christian life (from 1958-1988) I “leaned heavily” on others for my Bible “knowledge” (but not so much for “spiritual understanding”). The interesting thing (as far as my own experience is concerned) is very little of that “knowledge” came from any of the various churches that I attended during that time {???}! That is (in my case) nearly all of the Bible knowledge that I received (from men) during those 30 years came from either books & tapes (Bible commentators and commentaries), or from discussions with individual Christians (not pastors) with whom I came in contact with.

 

For the last 21 years of my Christian life I have come to rely less on other people (for true Bible knowledge), and have tried to rely more on the Holy Spirit – especially when it comes to the spiritual understanding of the Bible knowledge that I possess. Over the course of my studies I have established a set of Biblical priorities for the basis of Christian fellowship. I have tried to discern the difference between those spiritual issues that are of extreme importance (over which their can be NOcompromise”) and those spiritual issues over which no “middle ground” can be found, but are not “fellowship breakers”. {See: “Basic Doctrines”}

 

I have often wondered about just exactly WHERE the Pre-Old Testament saints, who lived from Adam to Abraham, are going to spend eternity and WHAT will be their future relation to God [Job 19:25-27]. I have also wondered about WHERE the Old Testament saints, from Abraham to Moses (before the Law), will spend eternity and WHAT their future relation to God will be; and IF there will be any difference between their eternal destiny and relation to God and those Old Testament saints, who lived from Moses to Christ (the atonement), who lived “under the Law”.

I have also wondered about WHAT the difference will be between the eternal destiny (place) and the future relation to God between “the church of God” (the body of Christ) and all of the Old Testament saints. I have “wondered” about these things (and many more) for many years without coming up with a satisfactory answer to many of my questions, simply because there is not that much Scripture concerning these matters and God obviously has chosen not to reveal that much about these things to us [1Corinthians 12:2-4].

 

The Lord Jesus Christ was never presented to the entire nation of Israel as the “bridegroom” {He was presented as their Messiah (the Christ) and King}; neither has He been presented to the world (all during the church age up to the present day) as the “bridegroom” (Paul’s Gospel presents Him as our “Saviour”), even though He is in fact – “THE BRIDEGROOM”. This issue is dealing with one of the great “mysteries of God” (the relationship of the Son of God to His saints); and as such, it is not easily understood (and I, for one, do not profess to have all of the answers). On the other hand, the interpretation that some of my Christian brethren have embraced appears to be founded in speculation and conjecture (outside of “the Scripture of truth”), which brings up as many questions as it does answers, and which leaves much to be desired when it comes to understanding this issue.

 

1 Corinthians 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

 

I believe that when the Lord Jesus Christ comes for His “Bride”, He will come for us, “out of His chamber”, and we will go to meet Him in the air: 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: 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. [Please see: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18]

 

I firmly believe in my heart that “the body of Christ” is also the “Bride” of Christ (or will be); I will not break fellowship with another brother or sister in Christ over this issue – not unless they choose to make a “major issue” out of the matter. I have presented those Scriptures that I believe are relevant to the issue (if I have missed any verses it was not intentional), and hopefully the brethren can make up their own hearts and minds about the matter.

 

 

APPENDIX TO THE STUDY

 

O.T. REFERENCES TO JERUSALEM BEING EQUAL TO THE PEOPLE WHO INHABIT IT!

 

Jeremiah 4:14 O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?

[Isaiah 3:8; 4:4; 10:11; 40:2, 9; 51:17; 52:1-2;  62:1; Jeremiah 1:3; 2:2; 7:29; 13:9; 13:27; 14:2; 19:7; 51:35; Lamentations 1:7-8; 17;  Ezekiel 16:3; 23:4]

 

Isaiah 65:19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.

[Jeremiah 4:10-11; 8:5; 36:9]

 

O.T. REFERENCES TO JERUSALEM REFERRED TO AS A “WOMAN”, “HER”, OR “SHE”.

 

JERUSALEM REFERRED TO AS A “WOMAN”

 

Lamentations 1:17 Zion spreadeth forth her hands, and there is none to comfort her: the LORD hath commanded concerning Jacob, that his adversaries should be round about him: Jerusalem is as a menstruous woman among them.

 

JERUSALEM REFERRED TO AS “HER”

[2Kings 19:21; Psalms 137:5; Isaiah 10:11; 37:22; 40:2; 65:18; 66:10; Jeremiah 6:6; Lamentations 1:7-8; Ezekiel 5:5; 12:19; 13:16; 16:2; 23:4; 36:38; Joel 3:17; Micah 1:9; Zechariah 7:7; 12:6; 14:10]

 

JERUSALEM REFERRED TO AS “SHE”

[Isaiah 40:2; Jeremiah 6:6; 33:16; Lamentations 1:7-8; Ezekiel 26:2]

 

N.T. REFERENCES TO JERUSALEM REFERRED TO AS “HER”.

 

[Galatians 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.]

 

N.T. REFERENCES TO NEW JERUSALEM REFERRED TO AS A “MOTHER”.

 

[Galatians 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.]

 

N.T. REFERENCES TO NEW JERUSALEM COMPARED TO A “BRIDE” & “HER”.

 

[Revelation 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.]

 

 

 

SIMILITUDES – FIGURES – ALLEGORIES - PARABLES

{Metaphors –Types – Analogies}

 

When we study the Bible we should make it a practice to seek out “Bible words” (“words” that are used in the Holy Bible); and we should use those specific “words” in instruction wherever possible. If we want to reinforce God’s “words” in our teaching we should use “His words” whenever we can rather than words that can not be defined with Scripture.

 

The words metaphor, type & analogy can not be found in the Bible – which does not mean that there are no “metaphors”, “types”, or “analogies” in the Bible, or that we are prohibited from using those words; but on the other hand, if we want to receive instruction and understanding from God’s Holy word, we should make it a practice to use words that can be found in the Holy Bible whenever we can, since we then can “search the Scriptures” for the meaning or definition of those words.  

 

When studying the Holy Bible there are two simple words (as & like) which are often overlooked, but which we must be aware of, since they can be a great help to us in our understanding of God’s word. God uses these words to illustrate a teaching; or to clarify a Bible truth (or doctrine) that He wants to teach us.

 

USE OF THE WORD “SIMILITUDE” IN THE BIBLE {Look for the word “as” in Scripture}

 

Numbers 12:8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?

 

Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

 

[Numbers 12:8; Deuteronomy 4:12; Deuteronomy 4:15; 2 Chronicles 4:3; Psalms 106:20; Psalms 144:12;  Daniel 10:16; Hosea 12:10; Romans 5:14; Hebrews 7:15; James 3:9]

 

USE OF THE WORD “FIGURE” IN THE BIBLE {Look for the word “LIKE” in Scripture}

 

Deuteronomy 4:16 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,

 

[1 Kings 6:29; Isaiah 44:13; Matthew 6:16; Matthew 17:2; Mark 9:2; Acts 7:43; Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 4:6; Hebrews 9:9; Hebrews 9:24; Hebrews 11:19; 1 Peter 3:21]

 

USE OF THE WORD “ALLEGORY” IN THE BIBLE {Look for the word “LIKE” in Scripture}

 

Galatians 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.

 

USE OF THE WORD “PARABLE” IN THE BIBLE

 

Numbers 23:7 And he took up his parable, and said, Balak the king of Moab hath brought me from Aram, out of the mountains of the east, saying, Come, curse me Jacob, and come, defy Israel.

 

Matthew 13:3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

 

[Numbers 23:7,18; 24:3,15,20-21,23; Job 27:1; 29:1; Psalms 49:4; 78:2; Proverbs 26:7,9; Lamentations 4:2; Ezekiel 17:2; 20:49; 24:3; Micah 2:4; Habakuk 2:6; Matthew 13:3,10,13,18,24,31,33-36,53; 15:15; 21:33,45; 22:1; 24:32; Mark 3:23; 4:2,10-11,13,33-34; 7:17; 12:1,12; 13:28; Luke 5:36; 6:39; 8:4,9-11; 12:16,41; 13:6; 14:7; 15:3; 18:1,9; 19:11; 20:9,19; 21:29; John 10:6]

 

WEBSTER’S 1828 DICTIONARY {Words found in Scripture – used in the exposition thereof.}

 

SIMIL'ITUDE, n. L. similitudo.

 

1. Likeness; resemblance; likeness in nature, qualities of appearance; as similitude of substance. Let us make man in our image, man in our similitude. Fate some future bard shall join in sad similitude of griefs to mine.

 

2. Comparison; simile. Tasso, in his similitude, never departed from the woods. See Simile.

 

FIG'URE, n. fig'ur. L. figura, from figo, to fix or set. See Feign. {As used in Scripture only}

 

6. A statue; an image; that which is formed in resemblance of something else; as the figure of a man in plaster.

 

12. In theology, type; representative.

 

AL'LEGORY, n. Gr. other, to speak, a forum, an oration.

 

A figurative sentence or discourse, in which the principal subject is described by another subject resembling it in its properties and circumstances. The principal subject is thus kept out of view, and we are left to collect the intentions of the writer or speaker, by the resemblance of the secondary to the primary subject. Allegory is in words that hieroglyphics are in painting. We have a fine example of an allegory in the eightieth Psalm, in which God's chosen people are represented by a vineyard. The distinction in scripture between a parable and an allegory, is said to be that a parable is a supposed history, and an allegory, a figurative description of real facts. An allegory is called a continued metaphor.

 

PAR'ABLE, n. L. parabola; Gr. to throw forward or against, to compare to or against; as in confero, collatum, to set together, or one thing with another.

 

A fable or allegorical relation or representation of something real in life or nature, from which a moral is drawn for instruction; such as the parable of the trees choosing a king, Judges 9.; the parable of the poor man and his lamb. 2 Sam. 12.; the parable of the ten virgins, Matt.25.

 

PAR'ABLE, v.t. To represent by fiction or fable.

 

WEBSTER’S 1828 DICTIONARY {Words not found in Scripture – used in exposition thereof}

 

MET'APHOR, n. Gr. to transfer, over, to carry.

 

A short similitude; a similitude reduced to a single word; or a word expressing similitude without the signs of comparison. Thus "that man is a fox," is a metaphor; but "that man is like a fox," is a similitude or comparison. So when I say, "the soldiers fought like lions," I use a similitude. In metaphor, the similitude is contained in the name; a man is a fox, means, a man is as crafty as a fox. So we say, a man bridles his anger, that is, restrains it as a bridle restrains a horse.                

 

TYPE, n. L. typus; Gr. from the root of tap; to beat, strike, impress. {Scriptural application only}

 

1. The mark of something; an emblem; that which represents something else.

 

2. A sign; a symbol; a figure of something to come; as, Abraham's sacrifice and the paschal lamb, were types of Christ. To this word is opposed antitype. Christ, in this case, is the antitype.

TYPE, v.t. To prefigure; to represent by a model or symbol beforehand. Little used.

 

ANAL'OGY, n. Gr. ratio, proportion. {Scriptural application only}

 

1. an agreement or likeness between things in some circumstances or effects, when the things are otherwise entirely different. Thus a plant is said to have life, because its growth resembles in some degree, that of an animal. In life and growth, then, there is an analogy between a plant and an animal. Learning enlightens the mind, because it is to the mind, what light is to the eye, enabling it to discover things before hidden. When the things which have an analogy follow a preposition, that preposition must be between or betwixt; as there is an analogy between plants and animals, or between customs. When one of the things precedes a verb, and the other follows, the preposition used must be to or with; as, a plant has some analogy to or with an animal.