Who is the Bride of Christ?

 

   Harley Hitchcock 
The King James Bible Church

 A few years ago, there was a TV series called “The Brides of Christ”, through which people were encouraged to believe that Roman Catholic nuns are the brides of Christ. What is the truth?

 
ISN’T THE CHURCH THE BRIDE OF CHRIST?

 No and neither are nuns. The Bible says the bride of Christ is a future city.

“… Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. … and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,” (Revelation 21:9-10)

 
HOW CAN A CITY BE A MAN’S WIFE?

 Cities are given female attributes. This city represents the people that have a dwelling inside of it. “…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 21:3). Furthermore, we are reminded that Jesus said “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.” (John 14:2).

 Just as a newly married man views his house with his bride inside, Jesus looks upon the precious city with the saints inside, as one. Indeed, satan adores his ‘city bride’ called Babylon. Jesus loves his city of precious gold and pearls that houses his bride.

 
IS THE CHURCH CALLED THE ‘WIFE OF CHRIST’?

 No, not in its present form. People get confused the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.” (Ephesians 5:23).

If we read the verse carefully, it says that the church is Christ’s body but not his wife. Christ is the head of the church and similarly the man is to be head of the woman. Paul is merely making the point of authority here. with the verse 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.”

 
IS THE CHURCH CALLED A ‘WOMAN’?

The church is never referred to as a “woman”. There is a woman called Rome “that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:18) and which sits on “seven mountains” (Revelation 17:9). This city is called “Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.” (Revelation 17:5). Note: This city of Satan’s has the female titles of ‘whore’ and ‘harlot’  but never a ‘bride’.

 
WELL WHAT IS THE CHURCH CALLED?

The church is called a “virgin” not a “wife” or a “bride” or a “woman” and hopefully to be presented as a “chaste virgin” by Paul.

“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.” (2 Corinthians 11:2)

Now, from everyday knowledge, we know that wives are not virgins. Here we see that Paul is very jealous over the church, just as an engaged man is toward his wife to be. A man soon to take a wife, hovers over his engaged to deter would be suitors and all manner of danger.

 

BUT AREN’T WE MARRIED TO CHRIST NOW?

Yes and no. Before the rapture, we are spiritually joined to Christ but not physically. Present day saints are in Christ and are seated with him in heaven (Ephesians 2:6). However we aren’t flesh of his flesh yet, although members of his body.


I DON’T UNDERSTAND?

Put it this way. On earth here, our physical bodies have flesh, bones and blood. Our glorified bodies will be sinless but physical but of a different composition. They will be similar to the sinless flesh and bones of Jesus.

 

 HOW DO YOU KNOW THIS?

“Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” (Luke 24:39). Jesus has a glorified physical body made up of a different type of flesh and bones, which Thomas is invited to touch. He eats some fish to show that it is a physical body. 

What prevents us being married to Christ at the moment is our sinful flesh and physical blood. Upon our rapture, and with no blood barrier, we will be married (the meaning of the word “marry” is “flesh with flesh”) to the Lord. Our new sinless physical bodies in heaven will be compatible to Christ’s and therefore suitable for joining with him. Now, we are members of his flesh, spiritually speaking, but in heaven after the rapture, the saints having lost their blood and sinful flesh, will be physically joined to a sinless Christ. 

 

WHAT ABOUT THE OLD TESTAMENT SAINTS?

When Jesus came and took “captivity captive” (Ephesians 4:8) into heaven, the bodies of the OT saints were changed also. They, too, await their forthcoming marriage and the supper with the lamb.

 

WHAT IS THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB?

The marriage supper of the Lamb is the wedding breakfast for all those saints who have become the bride and wife of Christ in heaven.

“… for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. … she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. … 

 Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.” (Revelation 19:7-9)

 
WHEN DOES THIS SUPPER HAPPEN?

Just before the Lord Jesus Christ comes for the battle of Armageddon at the end of the seven year tribulation. (Revelation 19:9).

 
WHO ARE AT THE MARRIAGE SUPPER?

Three groups – the old testament saints, the new testament saints and the saints saved in the tribulation.

 
I’M A LITTLE CONFUSED, WHAT ARE THE SEQUENCE OF EVENTS?

First of all there is-

1. The rapture where Christians are taken from the earth (1 Thessalonians   4:16-17)

2. The judgement seat of Christ (2 Cor 5:10). Where saints are rewarded. Judgment on sins has already taken place.

3. The marriage of the saints (Rev 19:7)

4. The marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9) 

5. The battle of Armageddon (Rev19:11-21), with the saints returning with Jesus (Revelation 19:11).


I’VE NEARLY GOT IT

At the moment, we can’t be flesh of his flesh as we have a different flesh. Spiritually speaking, the saints are just ‘members of his body’ of flesh and bones. “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” (Ephesians 5:30). At the rapture, the saints with transformed bodies (no blood), are in a fit state to be joined physically with Jesus just prior to the supper. Now, spiritually speaking, we are betrothed and espoused to Jesus but this is yet to be ‘consummated’. The final event of marriage is yet to take place in heaven just prior to the supper. (Revelation 19:7)

 
HOW CAN THE CHURCH BE PART OF THE BRIDEGROOM BUT ALSO BE HIS BRIDE?

At the moment, Christ is not the bridegroom but the saviour. Like an expensive car in a garage, he takes care of us by putting us in him as he allows his body to be the church (Colossians 1:24). However, he will be our future bridegroom as we will become his bride. Christ becomes the bridegroom at the marriage in heaven.

 
BUT IF THE NEW JERUSALEM IS CALLED OUR MOTHER, WILL WE, THE BRIDE, LIVE IN OUR MOTHER?

Yes. “But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” (Galatians 4:26). Our home will be in the new Jerusalem and like a good mother it will nurture and protect  those who live there. In addition, our mother, the city, is called the bride, with the bride inside.

 

WHO ELSE LIVES IN THE NEW JERUSALEM?

The OT, NT and tribulation saints. The names of the twelve apostles and tribes are written on the city’s foundations and the gates. (Rev 21:9-14)

 

IT IS A MYSTERY

The church on earth is not called a “woman”, “bride” or “wife” but a “virgin”. Losing their blood at the rapture, the saints will be married to Jesus just prior to the supper. All the saints can then be called the “bride” and then “wife” of Christ. Christ’s bride then has a new home in the new Jerusalem (called the mother), both of which are called the bride of Christ together. The church, a ‘virgin’, is soon to be a ‘bride’ and then ‘wife’, who will live in another called ‘the mother’.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             




Australian Bible Ministries, PO Box 5058 Mt. Gravatt East 4122 Qld, Australia
www.AustralianBibleMinistries.com