Tipping that Ole Sacred Cow…The Bride of Christ

By Patrick Hawthorne

sacred-cow

2Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. 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;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. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: (Ephesians 5:22-29 KJV)

If you have been a Christian for any amount of time, you have probably heard someone preach, “The Church is the Bride of Christ.”  For that matter, you may have expressed the same thought, based off of the introductory verses in Ephesians.

Before I get to the sacred cow tipping, I would like to express that this post is being written in good humor.  Frankly speaking, this topic has nothing whatsoever to do with salvation.  In other words, to be mistaken on this subject is not something that will affect your eternal destiny nor your dignity.  However, once identified, that ole sacred cow needs to be butchered and readied for the BBQ.

“Oh no he di’nt just go there.”

Yep, I did…

“Ok, Mr. Smarty Pants.  If not the Church, just who is the Bride of Christ?”

I’m glad you asked.  But first, let me express that, in the above verses, the Church is the Body of Christ with Jesus as the head.  When read in proper context, Ephesians chapter 5:22-29  is not about our identity with Lord Jesus but instead is showing us how to have a right relationship with Him.  Paul was simply using the relationship of a husband and a wife as an example.

So, if the Church is not the Bride, who is?

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 21:9-10 KJV)

The Bride – the wife – of Christ is New Jerusalem.

“No, no,” you say.  “That is from the Book of Revelation and is symbolic of the Church.”

First of all, not everything in the Book of Revelation is symbolic.  Even so, let’s look at Revelation 19:7-8 (KJV).

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. 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.

Isn’t that interesting.  This passage is referring to the marriage supper of the Lamb.  The WIFE – New Jerusalem – has made herself ready by being arrayed with the righteous acts of the saints who make up her dress.  But, how can a city be a bride?  I have no idea.  It wasn’t my idea; it was the Lord’s.  However, it is made clear that the Church is not the Bride and to that I say, “Yes Lord.” Be blessed.

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Posted in Christian, prophecy, writing
11 comments on “Tipping that Ole Sacred Cow…The Bride of Christ
  1. Interesting interpretation. Have to ponder on this one…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wally Fry says:

    I’m gonna ponder too. The only addition I actually have here is that this subject is what made me start studying. I asked, very early on, just what that was about. Some of the answers, or lack of them, got me really frustrated and I came to the conclusion that the average person I serve with was not going to be much help to me. Hence, a student was born. Oddly, I never really got around to studying much on the very thing that got me worked up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m interested to find out your ponderings…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wally Fry says:

        They are on my list of things to ponder. I could just take the easy route and lay claim to being a “Baptist Brider,” lol. I actually know some of those. Love em too, even though in this case their cheese is sliding off of their cracker.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Once you understand the sequence of the Book it is not too difficult to understand. What people don’t realize is that the Book of Revelation is in a chronological order but has informational chapters thrown in that deal with past, present, and future events…some in heaven and some on earth.

        Here is a clue to help you understand. Read Matthew 24 and Revelation chapter 6. You will find that Revelation 6 goes in order with Matthew 24. What people fail to understand about Matthew 24 is that Jesus was not addressing the Church because His apostles had no clue (at that time period) what a Church was. People try to make Matthew 24 line up with the Church when it is dealing with the Jews and with Israel.

        The following is the break down of Revelation…I hope I don’t miss one.

        Chapter 1 – Opening
        Chapters 2 and 3 – Churches
        Chapters 4, 5, first half of 19, 21 – Heaven
        Chapters 6, 8, 9, 16, 18, last half of 19, and 20 – Earth/tribulation
        Chapters 7,10,11,12, 13, 14, 15, and 17 – Informational
        Chapter 22 – End of prophecy

        For the seven headed beast always remember that it was those who conquered Israel (Read Daniel)…

        1. Egypt
        2. Assyria
        3. Babylon
        5. Medo Persia
        5. Greece
        6. Rome (in power at the time of the writing)

        Like

  3. Very interesting. I, like the others, will have to think on this for awhile

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hmm, interesting. This is complicated stuff, but I guess I would say that we are the New Jerusalem, we of the church. A city is really not a city without her people. So we are the cloth in her dress, her gown, and we are the preparation for the wedding feast.

    I suppose a city can be bride much like a ship can be a woman. It’s hard to convey meaning through metaphors into people who don’t understand, who have little knowledge to draw from. It’s like trying to download watermelon ideas into pea brains, but I think that is what is being said.

    Your idea fits in well with Jesus addressing the churches. He’s not well pleased with all of us! He does not say, y’all are from the church, so you’re my bride. Instead He points out our issues. Many people seem to believe Jesus comes back to set atheists,liberals, and assorted heathens straight, but He does not, He goes right for the churches. We of the churches should remember that.

    Eschatology is a bit funny, the point there is to trust God. He has a plan, He knows what He is doing. We however, tend to want to know the specific time line, the exact date, where the restrooms are, do they serve peanuts on the plane, do we get raptured or should we be stocking up on spam and ammo? Will there be coffee in the New Jerusalem? What about my dog? I am laughing here, but those are all real complaints I have heard from people.

    Liked by 1 person

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