Bride of Christ

by Randolph Dunn - The BibleWay Publisher
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Who is the Bride of Christ?

Paul stated to the Corinthian Christians, Christ's church, "I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ." 2 Cor 11:2-3 ESV

  • The betrothed bride to Christ is His church.

The Apostle John stated "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband." Rev 21:1-2

"Come here, I shall show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God Rev 21:9 " New Jerusalem, a spiritual city in Heaven, is the bride adorned for her husband "[T]he holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God … the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." Rev 21:10, 14

To the Ephesian Church Paul wrote "but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone." Ephesians 2:18-20

  • The foundation of Holy City, New Jerusalem, is the Law and Prophets and the teachings of the Apostles' of Christ

"'Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, … 'A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.' They stumble because they disobey the word …" 1 Peter 2:6, 8 ESV "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." Rev 21:8 NASB

  • Zion is a reference to earthly Jerusalem, the city of the Jews where Jehovah their God resided in the Most Holy place temple. The rock of offence is Christ and the teaching of the apostles. Israel, especially the leaders of the Jews, rejected everything pertaining to Christ, stumbling over the Law and prophets.
  • They are destined for eternal death because of their unbelief and rejection of Christ to the point of crucifixion.
  • Therefore, New Jerusalem cannot be Israel

The New Jerusalem described, figuratively, in Revelation 21 is so massive it extends beyond the bounds of the Earth and sky, known to the Jews as the first heaven.

Eph 2:11-22

11 Therefore remember, that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called "Uncircumcision" by the so-called "Circumcision," which is performed in the flesh by human hands - 12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; 18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, 20 having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. NASB

1 Peter 2:6-8

"'Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.' 7 So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, 'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,' 8 and 'A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.' They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do." ESV

Rev 3:7-13

7 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: 'The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens. 8 "'I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie-behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet and they will learn that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. 11 I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. 12 The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. 13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.' ESV

Rev 21:1-14

1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them, 4 and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." 5 And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true." 6 And He said to me, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. 7 "He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. 8 "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." NASB [non-Christian Jews were among the unbelievers (rd)]

9 And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues, came and spoke with me, saying, "Come here, I shall show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. 12 It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are those of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. NASB

In 21:16, the angel measures the city with a golden rod or reed, and records it as 12,000 stadia by 12,000 stadia at the base, and 12,000 stadia high. A stadion is usually stated as 185 meters, or 607 feet, so the base has dimensions of about 2220 km by 2220 km, or 1380 miles by 1380 miles. In the ancient Greek system of measurement, the base of the New Jerusalem would have been equal to 144 million square stadia, 4.9 million square kilometers or 1.9 million square miles (roughly midway between the sizes of Australia and India). If rested on the Earth, its ceiling would be inside the upper boundary of the exosphere but outside the lower boundary.[25] By way of comparison, the International Space Station maintains an orbit with an altitude of about 386 km (240 mi) above the earth.[26]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Jerusalem

Its sides would thus be almost 560 kilometers (350 mi) high, extending into space.
https://www.jw.org/en/bible-teachings/questions/new-jerusalem/


MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB ANNOUNCED

Notes on Revelation 19:5-10.
Cecil N. Wright

"And a voice came forth from the throne, saying, Give praise to our God, all ye his servants, ye that fear him, the small and the great. 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 thunders, saying, Hallelujah: for the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigneth. Let us rejoice and be exceeding glad, and let us give glory unto him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And it was given unto her that she should array herself in fine linen, bright and pure: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they that are bidden to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are true words of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he saith unto me, See thou do it not: I am a fellow-servant with thee and with thy brethren that hold the testimony of Jesus: worship God for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

The harlot city is fallen, the supremacy of God is demonstrated in its overthrow, and the marriage of the Lamb to the city of the redeemed is therefore a certainty. (Note the Hallelujah in v.6 as well as in v.1,2,4.) This is only an announcement, however, and a reassuring interlude. Nothing more is said about it till 21:1-2, where John says: "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth are passed away; and the sea is no more, And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband." And then vs.9-10: "And there came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls, who were laden with the seven last plagues; and he spake unto me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the wife of the Lamb. And he showed me the holy city Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God."

The marriage itself is nowhere portrayed. But it must represent the perfection of the union with Christ - the final and complete blessedness of the church in the world to come, after all enemies have been destroyed, as depicted in 20:11-15. In this life, however, Christians are described as being only "espoused" to Christ (2 Corinthians 11"2). But on the basis of that analogy, those who will constitute the new and heavenly Jerusalem will have experienced their marriage to the Lamb. Those who individually are "bidden to the marriage supper," as mentioned above, will also collectively constitute the "bride" in eternity.

John was so overwhelmed by the foregoing revelation from the messenger of God - likely the angel by whom the Revelation was signified unto John (1:1) - that he fell down to worship him. But the angel reminded him that he was not himself divine, but only a fellow-servant of Jesus and his brethren who hold (or have and communicate) the testimony of Jesus - "for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." Testimony of Jesus could be either by Jesus or about Jesus. But here it is more likely to mean testimony about him. Such is the sum and substance of prophecy as a whole, directly or indirectly, whether of the Old Testament or of the New. John and his brethren as well as the angel had a privilege and responsibility of communicating that, and so it was inappropriate that John worship the angel. He was no more the source of that message than John and his brethren were.

Questions 1. The Bride of Christ the "New Jerusalem," His church, was established by Christ and the apostles' built on the foundation He laid.

       

2. The cornerstone of Christ's church is Christ who was rejected by all who refused to acknowledge Him as the Messiah, the Christ by His miracles, signs and wonders

       

3. Christ's atoning sacrifice for forgiveness of sin will reconcile all who put their faith and trust in Him by their obedience

       

4. The betrothed, Christian men and women, adorns their body and soul for their husband, Christ, the lamb of God who gave His life for His Bride, His Church.

       

5. The first heaven and earth spoken into existence by God will be replaced by a new Holy creation referred to as "New Jerusalem," a spiritual kingdom of saved people.