2 Corinthians 11: 2
I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I may present you as a pure virgin [bride] to Him.
Ephesians 5: 25-27
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present to Himself a radiant [glorious] church [bride], without stain, wrinkle, or blemish; but [that she be] holy and blameless.
Now, let’s look at the description of the Lamb’s [Christ’s] bride as found in the book of Revelations in the following:
Revelation 19: 7, 9
Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready. Then the angel said to me, “Write: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb.”
Revelation 21: 1, 9-11
And I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues cams [near] and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb. And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain, great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It was shining with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like jasper, clear as crystal.
NOTE: At this point we have read two theological inconsistencies- either the Church (Jews and Gentiles who believe that Jesus is the Son of God and Savior of the world) is the bride of the Lamb [Christ] or it is the supernaturally restored city of New Jerusalem; it seems unlikely that it can be both.
Revelation 21: 3
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will be with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.
NOTE: This is all fine and good but King Solomon posed the question in 1 Kings 8: 27- But will God really dwell on the earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven cannot contain thee.
Let’s look at what the prophet Jeremiah has to say about this future event:
Jeremiah 3: 17
At that time they will call Jerusalem the Throne of the LORD, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the LORD.
Revelation 21: 23
The city [New Jerusalem/the Lamb’s bride] does not need the sun or the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb [Christ] is its lamp. The nations will walk in its light and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor [tribute??] into it. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it.
Lastly, consider the question the disciples of Jesus asked before His ascension back to heaven. In Acts 1: 6-7 we read: So when they met together, they asked Him, “LORD, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel [Jerusalem/ including Judah and Israel (Cp. Jeremiah chapter 3)]?” He said, “It is not for you to know the times or the dates that the Father has set by His own authority.”
CONCLUSION: Be that as it may the one thing that seems obvious is that God is still very much concerned about the Israelites or Jewish people/Hebrews, and that whatever blessings that the Gentiles receive does not supersede or replace those who are descendants from Abraham and heirs to God’s promises to him along cultural, ethnic, racial, and even religious grounds. In fact the entire book of Revelations is the most pro-Jewish book in the New Testament, along with the book of Hebrews (quite naturally). It is not a matter of choosing one or the other but to consider both sides of the issue as merely food for thought; although to some true believers there is no further need for any other consideration because the Church is the bride of Christ and this settles the matter-simple as that.
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April 20, 2015