Bride of Christ

#1
Bride of Christ

Question: "What does it mean that the church is the bride of Christ?"

Answer: The imagery and symbolism of marriage is applied to Christ and the body of believers known as the church. These are those who have trusted in Jesus Christ as their personal savior and have received eternal life. In the New Testament, Christ, the bridegroom, has sacrificially and lovingly chosen the church to be His bride (Ephesians 5:25-27). Just as there was a betrothal period in biblical times during which the bride and groom were separated until the wedding, so is the bride of Christ separate from her bridegroom during the church age. Her responsibility during the betrothal period is to be faithful to Him (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:24). At the Second Coming of Christ, the church will be united with the Bridegroom, the official "wedding ceremony" will take place and, with it, the eternal union of Christ and his bride will be actualized (Revelation 19:7-9; 21:1-2).

At that time, all believers will inhabit the heavenly city known as New Jerusalem, also called “the holy city†in Revelation 21:2 and 10. The new Jerusalem is not the church, but it takes on the church’s characteristics. In his vision of the end of the age, the Apostle John sees the city coming down from heaven adorned “as a bride†meaning that the inhabitants of the city, the redeemed of the Lord, will be holy and pure, wearing white garments of holiness and righteousness. Some have misinterpreted verse 9 to mean the holy city is the bride of Christ, but that cannot be because Christ died for His people, not for a city. The city is called the bride because it encompasses all who are the bride, just as all the students of a school are sometimes called “the school.â€

As believers in Jesus Christ, we who are the bride of Christ wait with great anticipation for the day when we will be united with our Bridegroom. Until then, we remain faithful to Him and say with all the redeemed of the Lord, “Come, Lord Jesus!†(Revelation 22:20).

http://www.gotquestions.org/bride-of-Christ.html
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#3
why we are the bride of christ?we are the other half the ones who are like women for men in this earth.we do what our God says.women have a good example.they listen to good men through jesus.:jesus-sign:
 
#4
God in the beginning of time bonded Adam in Eve in body and soul through marriage. The First and being the first the most sacred of all sacraments. God then sent us his son Christ to save us, and when we become bonded with him through repentance and forgiveness, we achieve another most sacred sacrament. It is only fitting that the two most sacred sacraments, and the most similar be compared as one.

It is even more fitting that marriage is the first sacrament that God created, and our bond with Christ, the last he created. The divine trinity is the Alpha and the Omega, and the most Holy God, so the first and the last sacramets are the most holiest and should be given the same name.

And we all know that marriage can truly be bonded and kept holy if we bind it with our marriage with Christ.
 
#5
I know this goes against the grain of many Christen beliefs, but I believe the Bible states differently.
As workman of the Word we have been admonished to rightly divide the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15 it says. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
I believe this area is one of those situations where we as Christians have been misled by traditional teaching……….. and for good reason.
The Gospels outline the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In fact the entire OT starting from Genesis 3:15 is on the subject of Jesus Christ. He is what we are all about, what we identify with, He is our redeemer, our Savior; so by simple deduction everything in the Gospels should reflect that which is in the Epistles ……….they have to be tied together.
Reflect …yes! Tie together… yes! But there is a distinct difference when it comes to the Bride of Christ and the Body of Christ …………..These are not synonymous, if they were God would not have made the distinction, and the distinction is quite evident.
Although there is a voluminous amount of information I could provide, the difference is relatively simple to understand, and I will do my best to provide that.
Most likely I will divide this up into two separate sections The Bride and The Body, and the Mystery, which dovetails with this subject.

The first thing that has to be distinguished is the difference between “dispensations” (administrations). The best example of this would be in the political arena {i.e. Presidential Administrations} At this time we are under the Bush administration, prior to that was the Clinton administration. Bush is not Clinton, and Clinton is not Bush; different policies are in effect today then they were during the Clinton era. The Church of the Body is not the same as the Church of the Bride, different policies are in effect today then during the Church of the Bride era.
We are not the Bride and Jesus Christ is not the Bridegroom. We are the Body and Christ is the head.

The Church of the Bride refers to Israel as spoken of in the Gospels ………the Church of the Body refers to us who are born again as spoken of throughout the Epistles. The Bride of Christ did not terminate when Christ ascended, it is only held in abeyance until it picks up again in Revelation, when Christ returns with his saints (the body) (us). This obviously takes place at a point after the return of Christ for the Church of the Body. {This deals with the second coming (parousia) of Christ which is another topic for another time.}
In between this time period of the Gospels and Revelation is sandwiched this period of time that we now live, which is the “Grace administration”. Below is a bit more in detail of the distinction between the two.





The Bride and the Body


The word Church in the Greek is the word Ekklēsia simply meaning “called out.” Current usages would include a structure, a group, a congregation, and a denomination; the meaning varies with it’s context.
In the Gospels, Israel is referred to as the Church of the Bride. Jesus Christ came to Israel, His own people. He was a minister to the circumcision.
Romans 15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:
This era of the “called out” (ekklēsia) of the Bride is called the “Kingdom of Heaven” because the King from heaven was on earth.
“The Kingdom of God” spans all existence ..it has no beginning and no end. Under this “kingdom of God” are several periods, one of which is the Kingdom of heaven. This period is for the called out of Israel, referred to as “ the church of the bride”; Jesus Christ was the bridegroom. Whenever the kingdom of Heaven is referred to, the personal presence of the King Himself {Jesus Christ} is designated.
The word kingdom means rulership of a king, there cannot be a kingdom without a king.
When Jesus Christ was on earth, it was His reign. During His reign He called out those people of Israel who believed on Him as the Messiah.
When He sent the twelve out, they were sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. When He sent the seventy He also sent them to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. He told them not to go to the Gentiles because Jesus had come to his own …..Israel
Matthew 10:5
These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
6: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7: And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Matthew 15:22
And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
23: But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
24: But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Jesus Christ came to redeem Israel ……but what changed?
What changed was, they killed their King, and the Bridegroom was taken away.

This was a concern of the Apostles as well….. for before Christ’s ascension they {the Apostles} asked Him the question Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? {Acts1:6}
Here in Acts Christ is giving the Apostles instructions. He is just about to be taken up and the Apostles are concerned about the future of Christ’s kingdom. They did not realize nor were they aware of the magnitude of the promise of the gift of holy spirit, the comforter, which was about to be made available to them some ten days later
But Jesus, rather then reproving them just states: It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
And then brings there minds right back to the subject at hand in verse 8
8: But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth
The kingdom of Christ did not terminate as the Apostles thought, it is only held in abeyance……….. It again picks up in Revelation when the King {Christ} returns as King of Kings.
We know this because we have the written Word, which contains Revelation, but the Apostles did not have available what we refer to as the New Testament. The extent of their knowledge was limited to what Jesus Christ (the living logos) told them, and what they had learned from what we refer to as the Old Testament, which had foretold of the redeemer. They were unaware…not only of what was to happen to Israel but as to what was about to take place next. And what took place next was the revealing of the beginning of the Age of Grace, the Church administration to which we belong today.
See the Mystery
 
#6
The mystery


The body of Christ that we belong to was a mystery {a secret} kept hid in God before the world began. It was not full revealed until Paul by revelation from God was given it
Romans 16:25 &26Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
26: But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith
Ephesians 3:2-9

2: If ye have heard of the dispensation (administration) of the grace of God which is given me to youward:
3: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
4: Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
5: Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
The founding of the Church of the Body was not made known in other ages; thus the prophets of the Old Testament did not know about the Age of Grace; neither did the people living at the time of the Gospels. But now it is revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit
6: That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
It was no mystery that the Gentiles would be blessed under Abraham’s and David’s ministries and during Israel’s reign; examples of that are scattered through out the Old Testament. But the Old Testament does not give the slightest inkling that the Gentiles would ever be fellowheirs or joint-heirs and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the Gospels. This revelation to say the least was revolutionary. The Gentiles were considered as dogs to the Israelites ….this must have been a very tough pill for them to swallow. 7: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
8: Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable (untraceable) riches of Christ;
The word unsearchableis the word untraceable or un-trackable. This mystery could literally not be traced or tracked in the Old Testament …it was a secret hid in God from the beginning of the world.
9: And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
The word “fellowship†in the Greek text is the word administration. This fellowship of the mystery is literally the administration or time period of the Church of Grace to which you and I belong.
Colossians 1:26 & 27 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
27: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
The mystery that was kept secret from before the foundation of the world is that all born again believers both Jew and Gentile would be fellowheirs of Christ AND that Christ would be in every one of them.
When Christ was here on earth He could only be in one place at one time, but now since the day of Pentecost, this secret has been revealed; Christ can be, and is in, every born again believer ……wherever a believer is, there Christ is present. He is our spiritual eyes behind our eyes, and ears behind our ears, and when we believingly speak words, it is just as if Christ is speaking; we have the power of Christ. And as the Bible states, had the Devil known about this secret he would never have crucified the Lord of Glory …the devil was totally unaware of Gods plan …the mystery.
I Corinthians 2:7 & 8 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
8: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
The devil would much rather have had Jesus Christ present on earth then to have millions of believers with Christ in them scattered across the world; he basically screwed himself. The devil cannot stop what God has done, so the next best thing he tries to do is to make believer believe they are powerless, ineffective, and doormats for the world to kick around; nothing could be further from the truth ….It’s Christ in you …. and you….. and you. It’s Christ in each and every believer …..man if we only acted like it!!!
The devil was ignorant of the ace that God had up his sleeve, “the mysteryâ€, but as the Bible explains so were the prophets of old …. and not only the prophets, but he angels also desired to look into them.
I Peter 1:10-12 Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
11: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
12: Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
The prophets of old could see the sufferings of Jesus, and the glory that would come from Old Testament scriptures, but they could not see this age of grace that God had kept secret; it was sandwiched in-between the sufferings and the glory … no one knew …except God. What a time to live!
Understanding the difference between the Church of the Bride and the Church of the Body will eliminate much confusion. They are not the same; if they were God would have not so clearly made the distinction between the two. Many times Christians use these words synonymously but as you can see from the Bible the Church of the Bride refers to Israel and the Church of the Body refers to all believers {Jews and Gentiles} in this Grace administration who have accepted Christ as their Lord and savior and are part of this body of Christ………………..
 
#7
Part 1 of 2

Question: "What does it mean that the church is the bride of Christ?"
Dear Dusty,
In the past year I have changed my viewpoint on this based partly on the symbology of the Garden of Eden, the Tabernacle, and the Temple. My unexpected study theme this year has been the Temple and everything associated with it. Another question that plugs into all of this is – is there a hierarchy in heaven? Aren't there vessels of honor and vessels of dishonor in the kingdom?


The Tabernacle was just a portable precursor of the Temple – So I'm just going to refer to the Temple in this post. The Tabernacle/Temple was based on the Garden of Eden. There was a land called Eden and on the Eastern side of Eden God created a Garden. Further East of the boundary of Eden was the land called Nod (Land of Wandering). There was a place in the Garden where God walked in the cool of the evening with Adam and Eve in intimacy. When Adam and Eve trespassed against God they were driven out of the Garden into the land of Eden (The Garden was like an island in the land of Eden.) When Cain killed Able he was driven out of the land of Eden into the land of Nod. This was the symbolic equivalent of the Gentile world. There was an alter there on the boarder of Nod and Eden for Cain to appeal to God with. This is the equivalent to the Alter “outside of the camp†in Jesus' day used to sacrifice the red Heifer – which is symbolic of Christ.


The place were God walked in intimacy with Adam and Eve in the garden is equivalent to the Holy of Holies. The Heichal area, were the Priests ministered in the Temple, was equivalent to the Garden of Eden, which also included the Holy of Holies on its western end – which was cubical. The land of Eden was equivalent to the Camp of the Israelites. The Gentiles were symbolically a part of the land of Nod (Outside of the camp or Eden). The symbolic boarder of the Land of Eden was two thousand cubits (3,000 Feet radius) from the Holy of Holies in both the Tabernacle and the Temple. Anything further away from the 2,000 cubits radius was considered “Outside the Camp.†Jesus was crucified east of the Temple – “outside the camp†on the southern summit of the Mount of Olives. It was customary for blasphemers (in this case Jesus) to be excommunicated from Israel before being stoned to death outside the Camp according to Jewish law. Thus they were considered to be a Gentile. Jesus probably died as a legal gentile.


When the veil of the Temple was split in two thus opening the way to the Holy Place – not the Holy of Holies, which was to the west at the end of the Holy Place past the double curtains. It opened the way back into the garden for those who were true Jews – who had the faith of Abraham. Only the High priest was allowed into the Holy of Holies once per year on the Day-of-Atonement. Now anyone who came into the Heichal area in the Holy Place has access to the Holy of Holies also. The Holy of Holies is the place of communion and intimacy with God and only people who want this kind of relationship can go there. I am saying that entering the Holy Place through the torn veil is the equivalent of Salvation - going into the Holy of Holies is only done by those who want to have real intimacy with God. Those who have totally died to self and who have given up their lives for him. Both going through the torn veil and also the curtains of the Holy of holies are a choice open to all because God is no respecter of persons. All may come.


In the Church today there are multi millions of Christians who have come through the veil and God will honor his word of salvation, but so many hold on to the control of their lives and hang on to their secret sins that they like - and do not submit to or do the Word or learn to know and follow his voice. These are living in the Heichal area of the Holy Place and not in the Holy of Holies. The bride of Christ are those who are in the Holy of Holies and have fully died to self and have an intimacy with God. Most Christians are not the bride of Christ. Nor are they symbolically the stones that make up the Holy of Holies either – same thing. There is a hierarchy in Heaven and it will last through eternity.


In one of Rick Joyner's books he tells of a vision that he had. In the vision the Lord is standing at the head of a long line of single file Christians. As each steps in front of him he says. “I died for you - will you die for me?†If they say yes - he thrusts them through with a sword and they drop dead. They are then carried to a graveyard (in back of where the Lord stood) and buried. They immediately arose from the dead and flew off to a cubical building and became a stone in the construction of the Holy of Holies. We must die to self to get into a place of intimacy in the Holy of Holies - the place of communion with God.


I write this from recent experience for I have not yet accomplished either what I have stated here. I am still living in the area just inside of the torn veil. How do I know? From a dream I had a couple years back and one more recently. I wrote the first down and filed it on my hard drive as “The Golden Door Dream.†here it is...


The Golden Door Dream

4/20/03


The scene was in a drab dimly lit commercial rectangular room much like a doctor’s waiting lobby – I was the only one there. There was a closed ordinary looking passage door on the left side wall. Somehow I knew that the Lord was in the adjacent room behind the closed door. After sitting there in this lobby for sometime, I worked up some courage and decided to listen at the door. I don’t know what my original purpose was in being there. His being there seemed to be happenstance. My attitude was to maybe open the door a crack to peer in to see if he would notice me and recognize my presence. If not - I would just close the door quietly and withdraw. I did not know what he would say or do. Knocking on the door was out, as it seemed to be too intrusive. It was kind of like running into a favorite movie star in a restaurant somewhere. (I had run into “Quincy’ in La Habra, CA some years ago – but did not disturb his privacy)


The only source of light in the room was a large table lamp on a low table with some magazines on it. I finally got up out of the red leather Queen Ann chair that I was sitting in on at the far end of the room and slowly ventured toward the passage door to the adjacent room. Inside the adjacent room I expected to see the Jesus of Nazareth in human form like we always imagine him. As I walked toward the door it began to change from the dark dingy door that had years of ugly layers of a brownish stain and varnish . The door become much larger the closer I got to it – much more than normal perspective. I could see that it was transitioning into a solid gold door and it began glowing. The closer I got to the door the brighter the light became emanating through the door from the inside. This was surprising because gold is a very dense material, so how could light pass through it being probably around maybe two or three inches thick? The door was becoming transparent. The Lord said something in a loud voice through the door, but I don’t remember what he said. I wish I could.


The closer I got to the door the larger it became, and the more intense the glory of the anointing became. It was very real in the dream just like in real life. The brilliant light was all around by the time I stepped in front of the door; and the drab room I was in previously had disappeared completely from sight. The anointing was brilliant and overpowering and the last thing I remember before I woke up was that I was clutching the thick edge of the door which was now cracked open, I grasp the edge of this solid gold door with both hands. This was because my legs were failing under the anointing and I suddenly realized that if the door were opened fully - I would be totally consumed and destroyed by the brilliant, consuming glory. I would die if I went into this heat less blazing inferno. All I could see at that point was the brilliant light through the ajar glowing door at its edge that I was so desperately clinging to with both hands. It was at this point that I woke up.

Part 2 to follow...
 
#8
Part 2 of 2

In the light of what I said previously I don't think this dream really needs any interpretation. It is an invitation to intimacy. In order to get there - I would have to give up self and all the things that I love that separates me from the Lord. The Red Queen Ann chair is symbolic of Royalty or salvation. The golden door is symbolic of the Holy of Holies. If I'm being invited - then it is simple logic that I am not already there – right? If you and I are willing to pay the cost we can go through the veil of salvation and also the veil into the Holy of Holies. Both are by choice and both have a cost to us - death to sin in the old nature and death to self. The door to the Holy of Holies is very drab and uninviting, but the more God draws you toward it - its reality and glory is revealed more and more.

My wife and I have a time of devotion every night from about 9:00PM until about 10:00PM. We mostly read books out loud and of recent pray also. We were reading a book where the author said she has a place of intimacy with the lord and it is in a secret garden. There are benches in this garden that are only wide enough for two. Only she and the Lord meet there every day – no one else. Intimacy is two – right? She also says that the Lord changed her name from Ann to Anna (Anna Rountree – great books)

So after reading this I'm thinking – Lord I want a secret garden of intimacy too after having the door dream. That night I had a very short dream where I went to my imaginary Garden of Intimacy and saw it is it is now! It was very dark - like the lights were out. What I could see was like sagebrush in an old ghost town. Ghost town was an accurate description of it. It was symbolic of the fact that I didn't really have a place of intimacy – it was unkept, uncared for and unused – but I could have if I wanted to. I felt the Lord's presence and knew he was there despite the devistation of my place of intimacy but I couldn't see him. I asked him if he had a new name for me too – like Anna Rowntree, Without a moments hesitation he said “My name for you is Lauren.†End of dream. This is just like the Lord. Lauren is related to the Laurel crown from the Olympics in his day. It's a paradox because I would never characterize myself as a champion – it is a contradiction of my real life. He always speaks to what we could be. You never can encourage others with negativity.

Well, even if you don't agree that the Bride are those in the Holy of Holies – those who are totally committed to God - you will still have to recognize that there is a heirarchy in heaven. There is a big difference between the Apostle Paul and the evil person who had a deathbed conversion. A vessel of honor and of dishonor. There is also going to be a lot of regret on the other side for opportunities missed in this life
 
#9
Jasher..... Thank you for that. That is awsome brother. I have to go back and read it a few times before I can comprehend it all. ( Seniors are allowed to do that;);)) You are an inspiration and I truely am greatful for that explanation. I am encouraged now as well to seek my secret garden. That is so cool... words cannot express.
 
#10
Jasher..... Thank you for that. That is awsome brother. I have to go back and read it a few times before I can comprehend it all. ( Seniors are allowed to do that;);)) You are an inspiration and I truely am greatful for that explanation. I am encouraged now as well to seek my secret garden. That is so cool... words cannot express.
Anna Rowntree - The Heavens Opened

Well, In conclusion - what about the Covenant of Marriage as it pretains to the Bride of Christ? Will this be a shotgun marriage? Will Messiah marry a bride that he does not know intimately - like in an arranged marriage? If marriage was only about physical intimacy a man could marry any woman. But in a Christian free will marriage the bond is first spiritual intimacy - because the Word says that we should not be unequally yoked together. Some of us spent years and years looking for someone with whom we could develop this spiritual intimacy. This double intimacy after marriage is the deepest and most solid kind of marriage covenant that there is. The early Christians, Disciples, and Apostles operated on such a high level that there was no question about them not being the bride. All were martyred except John and they had evangelized the whole known world in their day - from England to India.
 
#12
We are not the bride of Christ.
We are the "bride" of Christ.
We are [like] a bride to Christ.
We are not "virgins".
We are like virgins.
We are not clothed in white.
We are [like] clothed in white [righteousness]
Unlike many a bride today, Christ leads, we follow.

"Bride" is metaphor.
Metaphorically speaking, we are "like a bride".
There is no actual bride.
There is no actual "wedding supper".
There is no actual "bridegroom".
 
#15
We are not the bride of Christ.
We are the "bride" of Christ.
We are [like] a bride to Christ.
We are not "virgins".
We are like virgins.
We are not clothed in white.
We are [like] clothed in white [righteousness]
Unlike many a bride today, Christ leads, we follow.

"Bride" is metaphor.
Metaphorically speaking, we are "like a bride".
There is no actual bride.
There is no actual "wedding supper".
There is no actual "bridegroom".
part of wedding supper is in rev 19:18 while we watch from the heavens
 
#16
May God be with you!

The Bride of Christ is the Church that Christ instituted.

We are all part of the Body of Christ along with the Saints in Heaven and those in Purgatory. We on earth are the Church Militant, those in Heaven are the Church Triumphant, and those in Purgatory are the Church Suffering.

When a man enters into Holy Orders, he becomes "in persona Christi". He essentially marries the Bride of Christ. He becomes espoused to the Church.

When a woman completes her vows to become a nun, she marries Christ the Bridegroom.

I know, I know, many of you may disagree! Just wanted to share actual Catholic teaching.

God bless you!