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I Will Show You the Bride

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By jcarter - Posted on 22 July 2009

by Jeff Carter
This morning we have come for a mystery; not a who-done-it, not a series of clues to be followed, not a puzzle to be solved, but a mystery. This is a mystery – a wonder, a marvelous revelation from God. Something to contemplate, something to meditate upon, something to celebrate; it is a mystery from God.

My love spoke and said to me

“Arise my darling

my fair one, come

for look, the winter is past

the rain is over, gone”.

Song of Songs 2: 10 - 11

This morning we have come for a mystery; not a who-done-it, not a series of clues to be followed, not a puzzle to be solved, but a mystery. This is a mystery – a wonder, a marvelous revelation from God. Something to contemplate, something to meditate upon, something to celebrate; it is a mystery from God.

My love spoke and said to me

“Arise my darling

my fair one, come

for look, the winter is past

the rain is over, gone”.

Song of Songs 2: 10 - 11

The Lover calls to his Beloved, the husband to his bride. He comes to her leaping over mountains and bounding over hills to stand at her gate, and to call up to her window. He calls to her. He invites her out.

“Arise my love,” Come up. Come out. For the winter is past. The rainy season is over. The misery of winter, which is the misery of slavery and despair and sin, is over. Spring has come. The Lover and his Beloved leave together and, in the fertile and lush garden.

“Blossoms appear in the land,

the singing time has come

the voice of the turtledove

is heard in our land.

The fig ripens her fruit;

the blossoming vines give out their fragrance.

Arise, come my darling,

my fair one, come away.

Song of Songs 2: 13 - 14

This is why a man leaves his father and mother and becomes attached to his wife, and the two become one flesh. This mystery has great significance, says the Apostle Paul, but I am applying it to Christ and the church. Galatians 5: 31 – 32

The Church – the body of believers – those gathered everywhere to worship in the spirit and truth and the beauty of holiness through the name and blood of Jesus of Nazareth – are the bride. We are the bride of Christ and the lover of our souls calls to us this morning.

Arise, come my darling

my fair one, come away.

And we, as the beloved bride, respond:

My love is mine

and I am his.

Song of Songs 2: 16

The people of God have always been described as the wife of God – especially in the writings of the prophets. Israel, the people of God, is ‘married’ to YHWH God through their eternal covenantal relationship.

YHWH says this:

I remember you faithful love,

the affection of your bridal days

when you followed me through the desert,

through a land unknown.

Israel was sacred to YHWH.

Jeremiah 2: 2

I spread my cloak over you and covered your nakedness; I gave you my oath, I made a covenant with you – declares the Lord YHWH – and you became mine. I bathed you in water, I washed blood off you, I anointed you with oil, I gave you, I gave you embroidered dresses, fine leather shoes, and a cloak of silk. I loaded you with jewels, gave you bracelets for your wrists and a necklace for your throat. I gave you nose rings and earrings. I put a beautiful diadem on your head. You were loaded with gold and silk and dressed in linen and silk and brocade, your food was the finest flour, honey and oil. You grew more and more beautiful, and you rose to be queen. The fame of your beauty spread through the nations since it was perfect, because I clothed you with my own splendor – declares the Lord YHWH.

Ezekiel 16: 8 – 14

The bride of God is beautiful, dressed in the most beautiful of clothes, the finest of garments. She is dressed in the splendor and holiness of God himself.

This covenant relationship was sealed with an oath. The people promised to obey and serve the Lord YHWH and the Lord YHWH promised to be their God, and to be with them always. The people of Israel were married in an eternal covenant bond with the Lord YHWH. And this is the mystery: that we – the faithful believing body of Christ are the eternal beloved bride.

My love speaks and says to me,

“Arise my darling

my fair one, come away.”

And we as the bride respond:

My love is mine, and I am his.

In his vision of heaven, the apostle John was given a glimpse into this mystery. He was given a revelation of the Lord YHWH and his bride.

After this I heard what seemed to be the great sound of a huge crowd in heaven singing, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and power to our God! He judges fairly, he punishes justly, and he has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her prostitution; he has avenged the blood of his servants which she shed.’ And again they sang, ‘Alleluia! The smoke of her will rise for ever and ever.’ Then the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures threw themselves down and worshipped God seated on the throne, and they cried, ‘Amen, Alleluia!”

Then a voice came from the throne; it said ‘Praise our God, you servants of his and those who fear him, small and great alike.’ And I heard what seemed to be the voices of a huge crowd, like the sound of the ocean or the great roar of thunder, answering ‘Alleluia! The reign of the Lord our God Almighty has begun; let us be glad and give glory to God, because this is time for the marriage of the Lamb! His bride is ready, and she has been able to dress herself in dazzling white linen, because her linen is made of the good deed of the saints.’ The angel said, ‘Write this, “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.’ and he added, ‘These words of God are true.’”

Revelation 19: 1 – 9

This is the one place in the NT where the Hebrew word “Halleluiah” is used and it’s used four times. Hallelujah from the four corners of the earth. Hallelujah – praise YHWH for his power, salvation, and glory. Praise YHWH for his judgment. Praise YHWH for his mystery. Praise YHWH for his eternal rule and reign from the throne of heaven.

This is the mystery we have come to celebrate. This is the mystery to which we have been invited to join. “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. These are the true words of God.”

Arise my darling,

my fair one, come

for look, the winter is past

the rain is over, gone.

And we, as the beloved bride, respond

my love is mine, and I am his.

One of the angels spoke to John and said, “Come here, I will show you the bride of the Lamb.”

One of the seven angels that had the seven bowls full of the seven final plagues came to speak to me and said, ‘Come here and I will show you the bride that the Lamb has married.’ In the spirit, he carried me to the tope of a very high mountain, and showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down out of heaven from God. It had all the glory of God, and glittered like some precious jewel of crystal-clear diamond. Its wall was ova great height and had twelve gates; at the each of the twelve gates there was an angel, and over the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel…

I could not see any temple in the city since the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb were themselves the temple, and the city did not need the sun or the moon for light, since it was lit by the radiant glory of God, and the Lamb was a lighted torch for it. The nations will come to its light and the kings of earth will bring it their treasures. Its gates will never be closed by day – and there will be no night there – and the nations will come, bringing their treasure and their wealth. Nothing unclean may come into it: no one who does what is loathsome or false, but only those who are listed in the Lamb’s book of life.

Revelation 21: 9 – 12, 22 – 27

Carried away by the Spirit to a revelation of this mystery, John, while imprisoned on Patmos, saw the holy city, the heavenly Jerusalem, Mount Zion, the eternal city, coming down out of heaven and having the glory of God.

Did you catch that mystery?

The Bride is not IN the city. The Bride does not live in the city. The beloved Bride (the people of God, the holy catholic Church of Jesus Christ) IS the city.

John saw no sanctuary in the city/bride because the Lord YHWH is its sanctuary and he dwells within his people. Immanuel. God with us and God within us. God dwells within us, and we dwell within God. We are the bride of Christ, prepared by him for an eternal relationship. We are washed in his blood and made clean and we are allowed to clothe ourselves in the glory of God. The city of God came down out of heaven having the glory of God. He has covered us with his cloak and clothed us with his splendor.

What we have come to is Mount Zion, and the city of the Living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. What we are is the bride, the eternal beloved, the heavenly Jerusalem dressed in the glorious splendor of God.

(Hebrews 12)

Arise, shine out, for your light has come

and the glory of YHWH has risen on you.

Look! Though the night still covers the earth

and darkness the peoples,

on you (on us) YHWH is risen

and over you (over us) his glory can be seen.

Isaiah 60: 1 – 2

The risen Christ provides the shadowless light of his holiness and we are clothed in his splendor.

No more will the sun give you daylight

nor moonlight shine on you

but YHWH will be your everlasting light

your God will be your splendor

your sun will set no more

nor will your moon wane,

for YHWH will be your everlasting light

and your days of mourning will be over.

Isaiah 60: 19 – 20

Arise my darling

my fair one, come

for look, the winter is past

the days of mourning and grief are over,

come away.

And we, as the beloved bride reply:

My love is mine, and I am his.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!


Tyrone's picture

A really good article Jeff.

JohnRiffe's picture

Nice meditation. I will have to save it for later to ponder, though. I hope its not out of place to say, however, that I am still pondering the possibility that the Bride of Rev 21-22 is more precisely identified as the New Covenant itself --- considering how Galatians identifies the Jerusalem from above as the New Covenant and Heb 12 lists the Heavenly Jerusalem and the New Covenant in contrast to the Old Covenant (its mother city being old Jerusalem).

The New Covenant would be the structure (walls, streets, buildings, etc.) of this holy City, (Rev 21-22's New Jerusalem = Heb 12's Heavenly Jerusalem = Gslatian's Jerusalem from above = our Mother). This makes believers to be the children of this woman, citizens of this City.

By discerning the Bride as the New Covenant itself, we recognise the New Covenant itself as the great authority, NOT "historic Church traditions."

By discerning the Bride as the New Covenant itself, we see Jesus as so in love with the New Covenant, even married to it, not a word of it shall be compromised. The New Covenant is as divine & eternal as Himself and it is not open to adulteration by traditions of men. Such extra-biblical notions are seen as rejected by Christ as a faithful husband would cast out a temptress-homewrecker.

By discerning the Bride as the New Covenant itself, we recognise only those living within the confines of the New Covenant as being in marriage relationship to Christ. This discredits the those who claim to represent "the Church" but misrepresent the New Covenant by their disobedience, traditions of men & extra-biblical notions.

As the Word lived within flesh as Jesus,
we live within the Bride as we dwell within the New Covenant.

A city is known as its boundaries and inhabitants, the Bride is known as the New Covenant and those who live within its confines.

I hope this adds to the meditation and does not detract from it. These thoughts were sparked in me by an article Doug McKenzie wrote about "What is the Narrative of the Book of Revelation?" a while back.

Barry's picture

Hi John,
What would you make of these scriptures if you don't mind me asking:

1Cr 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Cr 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Cr 3:13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
1Cr 3:14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Cr 3:15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Eph 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone];
Eph 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Eph 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Rev 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, [which is] new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and [I will write upon him] my new name.

Here is my understanding of this scripture
Rev 21:24 And the nations of them which are saved {IE Matt 25:32} shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth {IE Rev 1:6} do bring their glory and honour into it.
Rev 21:25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
Rev 21:26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it {IE Matt 25:32}.
Rev 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth {IE Mark 4:11 those then "outside" in the "coming down" of the City"}, neither [whatsoever] worketh abomination, or [maketh] a lie {IE Rev. 3:9}: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Blessings Barry

we are all in this together

JohnRiffe's picture

Correction: "Duncan McKenzie" rather than "Doug."

It remains a mystery to me to see the Bride these 2 different ways; but still a marvel to behold. Thanks again, Jeff & Duncan, for your stimulating articles!

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