The Bride Of Christ
Acts 3:21 "Whom (speaking of Jesus) the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." Until-- ALL BE FULFILLED.
God promised restoration when He spoke through the prophet Joel saying, "And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you." (Joel 2:25).
God is interested in restoring what the locust, the cankerworm, the caterpillar, and the palmerworm has destroyed. These represent four stages in the growth of the locust, each stage devouring crops in Judah. One of them eats the roots, another eats the bark, another eats the fruit wood, and another one eats the foliage and the fruit. We have seen these different locust eat away at the church, but God has promised to restore-- everything!
God said that he would send the former and the latter rain. He said that he has given us the former or early rain morderately, and he will cause to come down for us the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month-- the planting rain and the maturing rain would both come in the same month.
Joel 2:23 "Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month."
He does not finish with that, he also said, And the floors shall be full of wheat (souls), and the vats shall overflow with wine (joy and rejoicing) and oil ( the anointing). There will be an abundant harvest of souls and with this abundance of souls will come rejoicing.
When we see a promise for the last days of this magnitude, we should be filled with joy and gladness. Why? Because when God restores all that these locust have destroyed, there will be must rejoicing in the camp of Israel. God will not only restore, but he will restore all things in a greater way than ever before.
There is coming a revival in proportions and dimensions, in these days ahead, we have never seen; we have had the former rain-- that was at Pentecost when God poured out his Spirit, and we have had bits of the latter rain, but God has something much greater coming-- the mighty out pouring of his Spirit and a great harvest of souls.
We see that God promised both rains in the first month. This will bring in such a harvest that God will need everyone that he can use, the reaper is going to overtake the sower. This latter rain is going to come down in violent showers; the result will be the harvest. The former rain (the planting rain) will come in due measure, and the latter rain (the harvest rain) in violent showers. So we can see that there is a mighty move of God's Spirit yet to come, when not only will millions of souls be brought in, but the ripening of the souls as well-- the bride of Christ without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.
Of course, this is going to require many people, because the harvest will be great. God will need everyone he can use, and that will require preparing for this outpouring of God's Spirit. We need to prepare ourselves, so that we can be the vehicle for God to gather in the harvest. God is going to restore his church to bring in this mighty harvest.
Haggai 2:9 "The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of host: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts."
Heb.3:6 We are the house of Christ.
The greatest move of God is yet to come-- The glorious bride of Christ manifested throughout the whole earth.
Restitution or Restoration: Whatever that has been lost or stolen or taken away must be brought back in greater quality, quantity or kind-- That's the law of restoration according to God. The laws of Deuteronomy, you must pay back 2 to 1 or 5 to 1, etc... God has ordained this. Look at Job-- He was blessed double. Samson-- He destroyed more of the enemy in his latter years than in his former years. God always saves the best wine for last. When the temple was rebuilt by Zerubbabel in Nehemiah and Ezra, it was rebuilt to twice it's original proportions.
Now lets go to Genesis chapter 2 and see this woman-- This beautiful woman called the bride of Christ
Genesis 2:18-25 "And the LORD God said, it is not good that the man should be alone, I will make him a help meet for him." (vs.19-25 Read)
Verse 25, They were both naked, and were not ashamed. Why were they not ashamed? Everything God made had a covering-- The birds had feathers, etc... Now what did man in a state of perfection have for a covering? It wasn't nudity, yet they were naked, but they were clothed. What were they clothed in? They were clothed with glory-- The glory and radiance of God. Paul picks this up in Rom.3:23 He says all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and the moment Adam sinned he knew he was naked. Why did he know it? Because the glory lifted off him and his wife. God starts in glory, that radiance, the essence, the glory of His presence. The last day church is going to wear this kind of glory-- The glory of God that people will not even be able to look upon-- The same glory Christ revealed on the mount of transfiguration.
What God starts out with, He's going to finish. But this time, it's going to be much greater.
Now the book of Genesis is the book of beginnings or origins, and what happened in creation is a pattern for what would happen in redemption. In creation, we see Adam and his bride. In redemption, we see the last Adam and his bride. So the Bible opens and closes w/ a wedding.
Revelation 19:7 "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 or the righteous acts of the holy ones."
Now who are these people? They are the ones making themselves ready by putting on the wedding garment.
Now from the fall of man, God has been making a people ready, and it says the bride has made herself ready by her righteous acts. This does not mean by her own self righteousness (for our righteousness is in Jesus), but as she's yielding and cooperating w/ the Holy Spirit, as He gives light, Revelation, truth and the conviction of sin. And as He gives revelation to you, and you respond to it; you are making yourself ready. Your a bride in preparation. Your making yourself ready by putting on the wedding garment (Gal.3:27)-- Putting on Christ, becoming like him, etc...
2 Cor.7:1 "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
So the bride is making herself ready by responding to the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God is that bridal preparation saying to her today, come and make yourself ready. How? By judging our motives, convicting us of sin, judging our heart, etc... We are not fit to judge our own heart, so we need to pray like David did-- Search my heart O God and know my thoughts and see if there be any wicked way in me. We don't need to go into condemnation, but conviction that brings hope and moves us closer to God.
2 Cor.11:2,3 "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband (Jesus), that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, least by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."
Now Paul talking about the importance of the marriage arrangement, talking about the church and Christ, he goes all the way back to Genesis to the first husband and wife to prove his point. Now in Genesis a deception took place. In Genesis chapter 3, we see a serpent before a bride and a bride who is deceived. In Revelation 12, we see a serpent before a bride that is not deceived-- the man child.
Ephesians 5:21-33 (Read), vs.25-27 "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 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. v. 32 "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church."
This is a mystery (Greek) "Musterion" which refers to more than just something unknown. It refers to a sacred secret known only to those who are initiated into it. It is only know by the Spirit of God.
He's talking about Christ and the Church (His bride). A glorious bride without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Without spot or not defiled (not dirty or corrupted from the world). Without wrinkle (not wrinkling your wedding garment by laying down sleeping or just setting around in the world, etc...). Holy, set apart from this world system, becoming like Jesus and without blemish or without blame.
Most Christians see Jesus still on the cross, but the bride sees Jesus as the resurrected one. The bride sees Jesus after the Spirit, as her husband falling in love w/ her, and her falling in love w/ him.
Some saints will do more w/ the truth that God has given them and will attain to a higher place in God. Some have followed Him w/ a fuller heart. Some of them have longed after Him w/ the heart of a bride, and they're going to be His bride. Some others have known Him in a more distant way and are guests at the wedding as we see in Rev.19 and Matt.22.
And we're not talking about a thing of works. We're talking about yielding to His love and believing Him to be everything that He wants to be in your life.
Phil.3:10-12 shows us that it's not a foregone conclusion that just because you've been born again, you'll be in that Rapture company (the bride). Paul didn't think it was a foregone conclusion.
And he tells us by what he says here (read). God is looking for those hearts who will run after Him. You see "if by any means that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended by Christ Jesus." So he says, "I want to be made conformable unto His death and to know the power of His resurrection, if by any means." There is a measure of doubt there. Not doubt versus faith, but there is an uncertainty. And to alleviate that uncertainty requires to follow Him fully w/ all of your heart. "If I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead" and the Greek words there are "the out-resurrection out of the dead ones" or "the out-resurrection out from among the dead ones." The word for "resurrection" is not just simply "anastasis" as it sometimes is, but it's "ek anastasis." It's a resurrection out of the realm of the dead. And then he repeats that preposition "ek", the dead ones, out from among the dead ones. So Paul was striving if by any means I might attain unto that resurrection out from among the dead. Everybody's going to be resurrected, but Paul is talking about a higher resurrection-- the Rapture. You see that here is a company that is going to be resurrected out earlier-- the bride company.
John chapter 3, what happens in creation becomes the language of redemption. Who is the first person to teach about the bride of Christ in the N.T.? John the Baptist. And John the Baptist said, he that has the bride is the bridegroom. Now the first bridegroom was who? Adam! And the last bridegroom is the last Adam, Jesus! God created Adam, and Adam had a bride yet to be manifested. Adam walking around in the image of God and perfection and he has a bride, but she is not manifested. But she's in his side yet to be manifested. As there was a bride in Adam's side waiting to be manifested, so there is a bride in the body or the side of Christ waiting to be manifested. Adam is a type of him who was to come, the last Adam. And Jesus' body is the church and in his body is a bride yet to be manifested, just like the principle of creation-- the language of creation becomes the language of redemption, and there's a bride waiting to be manifested. (read chapter 5 of the book of Romans and 1 Cor.15 for Adam being a type of Christ, the last Adam). For a brief explanation on types
Now she will manifest herself in fullness during the Feast of Tabernacles (see study on prophetic events to happen before the Rapture).
Heb.5:11-14 (Read). We are to become teachers and of full age, (Complete or full grown-- the manchild), even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil, so we can rise up as a great army, etc...
Now there are many pictures of the bride seen in the Old Testament
1.) Genesis 5:1,2-- God made them male and female created he them (plural); and blessed them, and called their (plural) name (singular) Adam. Her name was not Eve until after the fall, but in a state of perfection Adam and Adam were so alike in nature, character and substance, God says, He called their name Adam; they were one. The language of creation becomes the language of redemption. They were one, (not something and something else), but they were one-- until the fall. So the only perfect bride and groom were Adam and Adam.
2.) Now lets look at Sarah-- A picture of the bride of Christ (Genesis 12-21)
We see a man, Abram, as a tremendously successful man and probably had all that the world has to offer. He was blessed by God and was comfortable in the land of Ur. Then all of sudden God said "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee." God wanted him to get out of his comfort zone and leave all. Of course, it's the same with us, God says go and we do not know where we are going, but we go by faith. Because we know that when God says go, we better listen to him. We know that wherever it is that he is leading us to go, it well be much greater than what we had. He is able to give us abundantly more than we could ever expect or hope for.
God gave Abram an exceeding great promise. "I am going to give you a son." And of course, he could not keep this great promise from his wife, Sarai, for she had been barren for many years. They were both filled with great anticipation, and she waited and waited, but years went by and the promise had not yet been fulfilled. Doesn't this sound like the church today, we have wonderful promises from the word of God and nothing seems to come to past, at least in our minds. Sarai looking after things in the natural began to lose hope and that's where her trouble began. We need to let God do what he's promised, in his way and in his time, and not try to bring it to past by our own carnal ways, etc....
Genesis 16:1-2 "Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai."
Sarai was getting very impatience and was trying to bring about what God had promised in her own way, not waiting for God to do it in his own time. Now Hagar speaks of the Old Testament, trying to bring the promises of God about through the law and works of the flesh. We see this in Galatians 4:24 "Which things are an allegory, for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Hagar." We do not want to bring about God's promises by using the things of this world; we want to bring it about by the Spirit of God.
Now this was a big mistake! She was trying to bring the promised son, Isaac, by her own works. Just because something looks good to the natural, does not mean it is what God wants; we need to make sure we listen to the voice of God and not our own natural desires. God wants us to know what he wants--and that requires spending time with him and listening to his still small voice.
There's no doubt that a son came from this union, but it was not the son God promised. This son had an Egyptian heart, and God does not want us to produce an Egyptian (worldly) heart. He wants to produce the heart of Christ in his body of believers.
Now we see in Galatians 4:30-31 "Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free." God wants us to wait for the promise of Isaac (Christ) and not try to bring the promised son by the works of the flesh and produce an Ishmael.
Galatians 4:28 "Now we brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise." We are the children of promise, as Isaac was; we need to wait upon God and let him produce Isaac (Christ) in us. Galatians 4:19 "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you."
Paul said in Gal.3:1, O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you..... v.3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
Later on Sarai despised Hagar and her son, and we, like her, will despise any product of the flesh. We will not truly be satisfied until the promise of God is produced in us. If we try to do it in the flesh, we will be in a realm that we can not win in. The church today has embraced Egyptian ideas and programs, etc., and it has costed us the blessings and anointing of God. Sure God anoints the flesh, but it's not what he really desires for us. We are to come out of the world and be transformed, not bring the world into the church. We need to be sitting in the heavenly realm and be transformed into the image and likeness of God; transformed into Christ-- the bride without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.
Remember, it was God who said, "I am going to give you an heir."
You do not have to try to produce what God has promised, he will produce it. No where has anyone produced Christ by the works of the flesh and worldly programs. God promised the son, and he will bring it to pass.
The Church today has walked in the light and revelation but has brought in much worldliness. God has made a promise to the church, and he wants us to walk in that promise by his Spirit. Galatians 5:5 "For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith." For God says, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit" (Zechariah 4:6).
God wants us to walk in the Spirit and we will no longer fulfill the cravings of the flesh. He wants us to become the anointed of God, always doing the things that please him. If God has called you to be a spiritually anointed, new creature, then don't settle for anything less. Don't look back! Go on! God has something much better; he wants to bless you in the heavenly realm with revelation and knowledge that's beyond our understanding. So let God be God in your life, and he will bring about the promise.
God came and visited Abram again and challenges him to go on. Abram was ninety-nine years old and the Lord said unto him, "I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect." (Genesis 17:1)
Now you would think (in our minds) God would be pleased with Abram, after all he did leave all. But God says I want you to go before me and be thou perfect-- walk before me perfectly. Matthew 5:48 "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Hebrews 6:1 "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God."
He wants us to go on to be that spotless bride, as it says in Ephesians 5:27. Sometimes we think we are walking with God perfectly, but God has a high calling for his bride; he wants a mature, fully grown, perfect bride without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.
Genesis chapter 17, God changed Abram's name to Abraham-- from "high father" to "father of a great multitude." God was confirming His promise to Abram and giving him further revelation.
Sarai, whose name meant "princess", would now be called Sarah-- "mother of a multitude." God said, "And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her." (Genesis 17:16)
Now it says in verse 17, Abraham fell on his face in laughter, saying, "Shall a child be born of him that is one hundred and her that is ninety years old and barren?" Now I think this laugh was a laugh of joy. He had waited 25 years and was obviously overjoyed. Romans 4:16-21 gives a little more insight. They were both to old in the natural to bear a child, but God can do the impossible.
Verse 18 of Romans 4 says, "Who against hope believed in hope that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be." If things look a little hopeless in the natural, then believe God. Believe the promises of God, for they shall surely come to past.
Verse 19 says, "And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb." He considered not his own body now dead, should be "he considered his own body now dead" (not, is not in the Greek). Now, we need to be like Abraham and believe God for the impossible. If God said he is going to do new things throughout the earth, then believe it! He believed God was going to fulfill his promise, even when it looked hopeless in the natural. When we consider our flesh dead (dying to self), God's promise can be fulfilled. We have to die to our own natural abilities in order to bring forth Christ.
Read Psalms 126:1-2-- Then was our mouth filled with laughter. Psalms 30:5 says, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." John 16:21 " A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world." We should laugh for joy because our weeping is about to be turned to joy-- Isaac (Christ) is about to come forth in the church-- a nation of mighty people of God. God said before he sends his son, Jesus Christ, he will restore all things spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets (Acts 3:21). The restoration of His Church is included in that promise.
God said to Abraham, "I am going to give you a son." God said he would give him the son of promise; we must not look at our circumstances and say, where is the promise? God said he would bring it to pass, and that should settle it. Abraham prayed: "O that Ishmael might live before thee!" We must not pray for the works of the flesh to live, that was not what God intended. He wants Isaac to come forth, so we need to pray forth Isaac in our lives and believe what God has promised.
God said: "Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him." (Genesis 17:19) Then He added, "As for Ishmael, I have heard thee." God will bless the works of the flesh, but it is not what he wants. If we pray for God to bless the works of the flesh, it will cause trouble in our life, just as Ishmael did for Abraham. Ishmael has been trouble for Israel (the church) since that day (read Galatians chapter 4). We must hold onto the promise of God through the Spirit and wait on him.
Now after the Ishmael situation, God went right back to the principle of His covenant. "My covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year." (Genesis 17:21) We know that the promised son, Isaac, was born within the next twelve months. See, there is a set time for God, we must not try to bring it about in our own way. God said, in the fullness of time, Christ was born of a woman (Galatians 4:4). There is a set time for the bride to come forth and we need to wait for it, but we do need to do our part as God is dealing with us; we need to put on the wedding garment.
Now, God visited Abraham again in Genesis 18:1," And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day." He went out to meet them and they returned to the tent and Abraham "fetched a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it." (Genesis 18:7).
While they were waiting they said unto him, "Where is Sarah thy wife?" (Genesis 18:9) "Behold, in the tent," was Abraham's answer. Now, the tent can represent our different denominations or churches, etc. We all have built our little tents that we hide in. Now Sarah was in her tent, but at least she had her ears open and listening to what was going on. Abraham was having communion with the Lord and the Lord was wanting Sarah to join them, but she was still in the tent. We need to be open to what God is doing within the body and not built our own little tents. God wants us to come out of our comfortable tents and have communion with him and the rest of the body of Christ that's moving on. No matter how strong or unpenetrating your tent is, God knows how to get through. His light and water, which represent his Spirit and Word, will pierce through even the strongest denominational walls. We need to be like Sarah; she had her ears open to what the Spirit was saying.
She was thinking, he mentioned my name. God knows each and everyone of our names (2 Tim. 2:19), and he calls to each one of us to have our ears open to what he is saying. We always should have our ears open to what God wants. Sarah was listening to what the Spirit was saying: Genesis 18:10 "I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life and lo Sarah thy wife shall have a son" ( a manchild-- not I, but Christ in me the hope of glory). Now where did she hear this? At the tent door! She had her ears open to hear. Do we have our ears open and in a place to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church. God is calling you out of your tent, so be sensitive to his voice
Abraham and Sarah were old. The Bible tells us that Abraham was one hundred and Sarah was ninety. They had traveled a long journey and were still waiting for the promise. They had been through a lot together over a twenty-five year journey, and yet all looked like to no avail. But they keep traveling to that promise land and kept believing for the promise of the son that God had earlier promised.
God promised restoration and that she would bring forth a son, Isaac (Christ). Hebrews 11:9-11 "By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Through faith also Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him FAITHFUL who had promised."
The church has also been through a long journey, waiting for that promise of Christ formed in the church. The church is old and has gone through the long journey of the dark ages and does not look all that appealing in the natural. Sometimes it looks defeated and hopeless, but God will bring forth Isaac. It will be a day of great rejoicing and joy. God will restore the church to that beautiful spotless bride, to catch her away to his son, and so shall we ever be with him.
It says through faith that Sarah received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age. Why? Because she judged him faithful who had promised. She was strengthen by faith, and was delivered a manchild, the spotless bride-- all by faith in him who promised.
What happened? In twelve months the word of the Lord entered into the internal parts of Sarah's body. This is what's going to happen to the church in the last days-- all of a sudden it will be revitalized. The church will be restored to such glorious beauty that the world will be amazed at its beauty.
Truth is going to restore the church to the glorious spotless bride. We must not let the devil steal that promise of the bride of Christ-- the promised son, for this is the day of restoration. We must let the truth of God's word penetrate our most inner being and let it change us into the pattern son, Christ. We must hear with the Spirit of God what is being said in the Spiritual realm, for the Spirit and the bride say, COME!
This church is going to be a church that knows how to pray, cast out demons, heal the sick, and speak the truth in the agape love. It will no longer be a weak do nothing church that the world laughs at. It will be a glorious church and will be full of strength and power; a generation of overcomers.
God is restoring his church to bring forth her firstborn by the Word of the Lord. The book of Revelation tells of a great wonder that appeared in heaven: "A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.... And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne." (Revelation 12:1,2,5)
A generation of overcomers is growing in the womb of the church today, and soon will be to big to stay in the womb; it will have to come out-- a nation born in a day, a mighty company of fully grown believers that know in whom they have believed in.
God is going to have a Church restored; it will be a full grown body of believers and a mighty instrument in the hands of God.
"And the Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as he had spoken. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac." (Genesis 21:1-3)
God fulfilled what he promised, and Sarah was able to bring forth that promised son. God fulfilled his part, but Sarah had a part to play, too. She had to believe, by faith, that God was able to do what he promised. So the church must believe, by faith, that God will do what he has promised in these last days. He will have a glorious bride: Ephesians 5:27 says she must be a glorious church. She will be restored!
Remember, the principle of restitution goes beyond the original. His law required adding more than what was taken away. (Haggai 2:9)
Sarah was to old and had lost the ability to bear a child in the natural. But God restored her natural body to bear a child, just as he will the church. The church has lost much during the long journey since the apostles, but God will restore all truth and much more; he will restore all things!
3.) Another type of the bride is seen in Genesis chapter 24 (Read).
Isaac, a type of Christ, Rebekah, a type of the bride.
Abraham, a type of God the Father, sends his eldest servant Eliezer, a type of the Holy Spirit, to find a bride for Isaac. He doe not want Isaac to be unequally yoked. Abraham (God the Father) sending out His Spirit through His spirit filled ministers to find a bride for Christ.
Verse 4 "Thou shalt go unto my country, (the church) and to my kindred, (ones who are becoming like me) and take a wife unto my son Isaac."
Verses 5-9 The bride must be willing to come to him. We need to come to Christ-- in heavenly places, not Christ coming to where we are. Whosoever will, shall drink of the waters (Rev.22:17).
Verse 10 The servant took ten camels (ten = the fulness of this world), God has given us all the means in this world to become the bride. All the goods of his master were in his hand (Matt. 28:18,19)-- All power is in Christ's hand, and he has given it to us. Unto the city of Nahor-- Nahor means sleepy, snorer. He is calling the bride out of her sleepiness (1 Thess. 5:1-10).
Verse 11 Evening, even the time that women go out to draw water (John 9:4). We must work while we can, for the time will come when no man can work. He's still looking for His bride. Evening, this is when the women came out to the well to get water. This is the church coming to drink of the Spirit of God (Matt.5:6). When things look dark and the antichrist is here, we need to go to the well of living water-- Jesus.
Verse 13 Standing at the well of water. Well-- speaking of the church (John 7:37-39). The Spirit of God is knocking at the church to see who will respond. Who will be willing to come and drink of the Spirit of God and give out to others. This is the heart of the bride (Matt. 20:28).
Verse 15 Rebekah means "to ensnare by her beauty." Jesus wants us to ensnare him w/ our beauty. He wants to see himself in us.
Verse 16 The Lord wants them that are virgins (in the sense of purity) without spot or wrinkle, etc.. (Eph.5:27; 2 Cor.11:2). Neither had any man known her. He does not want us to be having communion w/ the world. He wants us to be having communion w/ him in heavenly places. She went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up. He wants us to be continually filled w/ His Spirit (Eph.5:18), and then we will be Raptured into the heavenly places w/ him.
Verses 17,18 Shows a wiliness to minister to the Lord. Verse 19 Also willing to minister to all, even the lowest one. He did not even ask, she just did it. Verse 20 She emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels.
This is the heart of the bride (Phil.2:1-11). She emptied herself out before the Lord in a humble position, and ran again unto the well of life to be filled and give out to others.
Verse 22 He's giving her the Gifts of the Spirit (Eph.4:8-13; 1Cor.12 and Acts 2:4). Gold = Deity, the Gifts are from God by His grace, not works. His bride is going to be exercising the Gifts of the Spirit to it's fulness.
Verse 28 She ran, she could not hold it in any longer. And told them of her mother's house these things. She ran to the churches telling them what good things Jesus has done for her. She's telling them that Jesus is restoring the Gifts to the church, and she is going to get married to him. She's telling them to get ready for the wedding feast.
Verses 29-50 (Read) Verse 51 As God has promised, He will have a bride for His son.
Verses 52-60 God gives her more Gifts to put on the wedding garment, He gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things-- It's for all who will come (Rev.22:17 The Spirit and the bride say come, etc...). Verse 58 She is willing to go w/ the Spirit wherever the Spirit leads (Romans 8:14).
Verse 61 And Rebekah arose into the heavenly places, and her damsels-- all that will come w/ her. They rode upon the camels, and followed the man-- They went w/ the Spirit of God to find Jesus.
Verse 62 And Isaac (Christ) came out to meet her. Verse 63 Christ waiting for his bride. This was at eventide; in the darkest hour when all looks hopeless and the antichrist is about to devour the manchild (Rev.12:4); Christ will come to Harpazo His bride (Jude 23 pulling them out-(Harpazo) of the fire).
Verse 64 When she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel (her vehicle in this world) and is Raptured.
Verse 65 Therefore she took a veil, and covered herself, (an act of humility and respect) and she became his wife; and he loved her, Verse 67. So shall we ever be w/ the Lord ( 1 Thess.4:17).
We are on this same difficult trip as she was (riding a camel on a long journey was not easy) to marry Isaac. Peter says, whom having not seen, yet we love. We are on this same trip as a bride in preparation, a bride of faith.
4.) We see Jacob and Rachel as a picture of Christ and His bride
Read Genesis chapters 29-31. Now these are just a few examples-- there are many more throughout the O.T.
Now God is going to have a bride Rev.19:7-9. This was His plan from the beginning, but it was interrupted by the fall. But in the same chapter God already put His plan in effect Genesis 3:15 "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
Now Jesus fulfilled that in his own personal body at Calvary, but Jesus has a spiritual body (the church) and in Romans 16:20 It says, "And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly." And this has not yet happen. And God is going to so manifest His power that the seed of the woman, that's going to come through that church, is going to crush his head. (see the study on prophetic events) And God is preparing her right now, but Satan is contesting.
(i.e.) Cain comes out and Eve says I have gotten a manchild from the Lord. This must be the fulfillment of the promise in Gen.3:15. But Satan got into that man, and he killed Abel. This began to corrupt the seed, and God brought forth Seth. And men began to call upon the name of the Lord.
And then what happens? God raises up Noah. Why? Because the seed line got corrupted. What happened? The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose (Gen.6:2). Why? To corrupt the seed line-- Satan knew about the prophecy, and he was trying with everything he had to corrupt the seed line. He's after that seed. He doesn't want the covenant to be fulfilled. And then what does God do? He raises up Abraham, and so on and so on.
Then Jesus comes, and Satan tries to kill him through Herod. But God told Mary and Joseph to flee into Egypt.
Satan is trying to get the seed. He's trying any way he can. He could not get Christ, so he's trying to get the church through corruption, etc..
But God said He's going to have a church without spot or wrinkle, etc.. Even w/ all the filth and corruption in the church today, God is going to bring out a remnant. God is going to have His seed (to crush the head of Satan) in these last days.
Romans 5:14 "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure or type of him that was to come." So the first Adam is a type of the last Adam (Christ). So Eve is a type of the bride.
Genesis 2:18, It is not good for man to be alone. First in the natural, then in the spiritual; Paul says in 1 Cor.15., It is not good that man (Adam) be alone. It is not good that Christ (the last Adam) be alone. The language of creation becomes the language of redemption. Rev.4:11 says we are created for His pleasure. The woman was made for the man Paul says in 1 Cor. chapter 11, not the man for the woman; that means the bride is being made for Christ. The woman is made in the glory of the man, and the man in the glory of Christ. So Christ needs a woman (the church) to express his love; the same way that Adam needed Eve to express his love.
Adam needed a help mate (the Hebrew means one corresponding to or a helper). God made all kinds of beast and animals, etc.. but they were not like Adam. It's the same w/ Jesus, He's looking for a help mate, one that can help Him in the ministry that's like Him. Generally, we are drawn to someone that's like us. Someone that's suitable for us to share our life with, someone that we share common interest with, etc.. It's the same w/ Christ; he wants a bride that's like Him that He can love for all of eternity. Someone that has the same commonalty. Someone that can be a suitable help mate to rule w/ Him in the new Jerusalem.
Genesis 2:22, Now God puts Adam into a deep sleep which is Adam's Calvary. Why? Because He's about to take out of his side a bride. Now Jesus in John chapter 19 hangs on the cross, His side pierced w/ a spear, blood and water come out and from that blood and water, He purchased and bought His bride. And God took Adam's rib from his side nearest to his heart. The same with Jesus, He wants a bride that's nearest to His heart.
And God made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. Made (Hebrew) is probably better translated builded. God builded a woman. Psalms 127:1;147:2 has the same word. God is building a bride from Christ's death on Calvary. God brought the woman to the man; God is going to bring the bride to Christ, the last Adam, but it's a process. Matt.16:18 Jesus said I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Why are the gates of hell prevailing against the church today? Because God is not finished building yet. Notice, it did not take every member of Adam's body to become his bride. She was made from a part of his body, not all the church will be in the bride.
Now God brought the woman to Adam, and he prophesied: Gen.2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Question-- when did Adam and Eve leave their father and mother? They didn't! They were created out of nothing. This is a prophecy; it has a greater fulfillment.
Now Christ left his Father, God, and his mother, Judaism, and of course, Mary, to cleave to his wife, this perfected bride. And they shall not be two but one flesh. So there is yet an intimacy to come between Christ and His bride. To those that go all the way w/ Him, experientially. Eph.5:30-32 Paul picks up on this and applies it to the church. It's a mystery. Read Matt.13:10-17 but it does not have to be, if you have ears to hear, etc...
Hear what the Spirit is saying, he's talking about Christ and His bride.
Isaiah 4:2,3 "In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem"
Now who is the branch of the Lord? Jesus! John 15:5 "ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing." And in that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious. Eph.5:27 Jesus wants a glorious church for himself. So we are the branch as we are in Christ.
Jeremiah 23:5,6 "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth, In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS."
This is speaking of Christ. His name shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Lets look at Rev.3:12 "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God.... and I will write upon him the name of my God, etc..."
Jeremiah 33:15,16 "In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness."
She, the bride-- the branch, shall be called The LORD our righteousness. Why? Because first, the natural (Christ) then the spiritual (the church). We will bear the name of Christ as his wife, the same as the wife in the natural. The bride bears the man's name. So she is going to bear his name-- his character, his attributes, his substance, etc... because she is marrying him and bearing his name. Whatever he has, she has. Everything he has and is, she's got. They own everything together.
Isaiah 11:1 "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots." Shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse-- speaking of Christ. And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. He's the source; as we abide in Him, we shall grow unto that glorious church of righteousness. Read Verses 2-5. Jesus had the Holy Spirit without measure. We only have a measure of the Holy Spirit-- an earnest. We need Jesus through out the body to have a fullness of the Holy Spirit. Just think what we can do as a church w/ the full measure of the Holy Spirit operating in a unified body, every member supplying.
Zechariah 6:12 "And speak unto him, saying, thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is the BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord." Read Verses 13-15.
Now the BRANCH is the builder of God's temple. 1 Cor.6:19 Paul says we are the temple of God. 1 Cor.3:9 We are co-labours with God. We are God's building. We are working with God through Christ to build God's temple. Read Eph.2:19-22.
Eph.4:16 "From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." God is bringing His temple together in unison. And we have our part to do in this building, every member is important to this process.
Rev. chapter 21, we shall be His dwelling place for all eternity. Also read Rev.3:12 a promise made to the Philadelphia church-- the bride-- the ones who are Raptured, they are kept from (Greek-- EK = out of the hour of tribulation), Rev.3:10. For more on this verse see study on the 7 church ages. Also another aspect of the bride (the temple of God) is seen in the manchild company in Rev.12:5, they also are the bride that is Raptured. It's the same company of saints, but seen in a different aspect. The manchild is a full grown group of saints that's in love w/ Jesus, the same as the bride. The bride encompasses all saints of all ages that have attained to that position in Jesus, as we will see when we look at the new Jerusalem. The manchild is also the bride, but they are the last days aspect of the bride. They are the ones that are still alive. Now who is Raptured? The bride! Rev.3:10 the promise is made to the Philadelphia church, this is the only church that God promises to keep out of the hour-- the Rapture, and we see in Rev.3:12 that they are promised to be the New Jerusalem-- the bride. Rev.12:5 the manchild-- the same company of saints. 1 Thess.4:16-18 the dead shall arise first (the dead ones that have attained to the position of the bride) and then we which are alive (the manchild or the Philadelphia church age) shall be caught up together.
This is what Paul was talking about in Phil. chapt.3 "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" Why? To be in the bride company. He wanted to be resurrected out from among the dead ones-- the Rapture of the bride. God is not going to Rapture a lukewarm, dead, half committed church, He's going to Rapture a bride without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. This was His plan all along, it has never changed. God wants a bride to dwell in for all eternity. There's no other way to interpret the scripture-- God is coming through Christ to caught away a bride for his son.
Read Ezekiel chapter 37, God is bringing the dry bones together to be a glorious bride. The temple is a habitation for God to dwell in-- The bride is the Holy of Holies, as we're in Christ.
Zec.6:13 Speaking of Christ sitting and ruling on his throne with glory, and we shall rule and reign with Him. The throne is not a literal throne. God does not have a throne-- it's figurative of rule and power, etc... We shall reign with Christ.
Rev.5:10, Jesus has made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. Whatever is His, is ours. Read Romans 8:16-18, We are joint-heirs with Christ that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Isaiah 60:1,2 "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon THEE."
Isaiah 62:1 "For Zion's sake (Heb.12:22 the church) will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. Verse 2 And the Gentles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name (the Lord our righteousness), which the mouth of the Lord shall name. Verse 3 Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Verse 4 Thou shalt no more be termed forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah (which means married): for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. Verse 5 For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over THEE. This has not come to pass yet.
Leviticus chapter 21 Read. Verse 10, And he that is the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured, (Jesus Christ is our high priest). Verse 13, And he shall take a wife in her virginity. Verse 14, A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or a harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife. This is a type of the spiritual.
Virginity, speaking of being unspotted from the world, not married to the world or the system.
How do you lose your spiritual virginity? Mostly, it's having fellowship w/ the world and demons rather than w/ Christ. We can't serve two masters. Read 1 Cor.6:12-20; Romans chapters 6,7.
It is so important to move in the things of God because when He decides to move, you may not be ready. You may reject the moving of the Spirit, because you did not prepare. It may seem foreign to you; you may not be able to relate to the manifestation. But regardless, Christ is going to have His bride, all glorious and beautiful, and this will happen as sure as God is God!
Now God is going to have a bride, and He wants to show her to the world before Christ comes. Now we are without spot or wrinkle, legally, but, God wants the bride to be without spot, or wrinkle, experientially, and not all will attain to this position in Christ.
Rev.19:8 "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."
"Righteousness" is plural. It's the righteousness of saints. And some translate it, "The righteous acts or deeds of saints." It's talking about more than the fact that our sins are washed in the blood, which is the basic of all our righteousness. It's talking about the life of righteousness that flows out of that position in Christ as we appropriate it by faith and begin the Christian life.
This bride then put on the righteousness of Christ in such a way that she lived it out. She began to walk in His steps. She didn't stop at the legal position of justification and rest there, though, that is our basic of standing before God. But through faith and love, she practiced that righteousness. Her faith produced works like James says. She put on Christ by faith and became like Him, Rom.6:11-13 (read). And that's what the bride did; she yielded her members to God. And so she had "righteousness" in her life. And, of course, all the righteousness' are His. They aren't works of the flesh, they're a result of God's power which produces those righteousness'.
"Righteousness of saints" literally, the saints. Now the harlot (Rev.18) attracted people by her ostentatious of color and gaudiness and glitter. But the Lamb's wife is robed in pure and stainless white, the token of perfect righteousness without spot and without wrinkle, as it says in Ephesians.
"And to her it was granted" The source is God. It was given to her to be arrayed. She took it. She said, "produce in me everything you want to produce. I won't limit you. I want to go all the way with you." This is the heart that caused her to put on the righteousness of Christ.
In John 15, He says that He's the source of all our life, He's the source of all our righteousness, and without Him, we can do nothing. But with Him we can do all things.
Rev.19:9, And he saith unto me, write. Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
Now this shows there is not only Christ and His bride, but there are guests at the wedding. In the analogy here, it's speaking of a wedding feast and there are those who are called to the wedding. They are not the bride, but they are in His glory. They are saints, but they are in different positions. 1 Cor. 15 Paul said, "The resurrection is like the stars, one star differs from another in glory." So also is the resurrection. Also we see in Verse 23 of chapt.15, But every man (or troop) in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. This is talking about the Rapture, not the 2nd Coming of Christ.
Now the marriage of the Lamb is the bride and Christ joined together. And in Revelation chapter 21, we see that there are nations that bring their glory unto her. The nations of the righteous and the saved. And so there are different positions in glory, but all of them are glorious.
Matt.22:1 and following and Luke 14:16-24 are two parables that Jesus spoke concerning a wedding feast.
Now we have seen the bride manifested on earth, and what she will look like. So now we can take a look at what she looks like after the Rapture. But remember that God said in 1 Cor.2:9, "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
The New Jerusalem: The Bride
Revelation 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Now this is the same company of people we saw back in Rev.19:7,8 (read). And here again he sees her prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. The wedding feast is past and still here it says she is prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Now this is after the Millennium when the first heaven and earth are passed away, and John sees the new heaven and earth. (Rev.21:1). That means that the wedding feast was just the beginning. She's now going to spend all eternity with her husband; she is still prepared for him. The vast reaches and sea of eternity lays ahead for them to be together. And she's prepared for him. (read 2 Cor.11:2;Eph.5:25-27;Isaiah 61:10 and 62:5).
Now he sees this new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven. It doesn't mean the saints coming to this earth at the 2nd Coming; it's set in a context where this earth is already past away. She's coming down onto the new earth which will be the dwelling place of the righteous throughout all eternity.
Revelation 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."
Now this is a promise to the Philadelphia church age which is the age we are living in now. Now let's look at this verse in more detail, because it's showing the same truth but adding a little. Let's see how it ties in with the new Jerusalem-- the bride that's seen here in Rev. chapter 21.
A pillar is a permanent structural member of that temple. It's a strong supporting element of that temple. It's a prominent, graceful, visible, beautiful element. This is quite a promise.
1 Tim.3:15 says that the true church of God is the pillar and ground of the truth. The true people of God are those which support the truth of God so that it can be held up and others can come in and find shelter under that truth because they are proclaiming it.
Galatians 2:9 Paul says that Peter and John and James seem to be pillars. When he came to this council at Jerusalem, they appear to be the strong ones who were the main strength and support in the church there.
1 Samuel 2:8 compares the saints of God to pillars. Now he says I will make this overcomer a pillar in the temple of my God.
The word temple here is a specialized word, NAOS, it refers only to that inner intimate sanctuary where the glory of God in previous times came to dwell and where the priests came in to minister. Heron describes the whole temple enclosure including the courts. He says I'm going to make you a pillar in the intimate part of my temple, in the part where I dwell, where my glory is fully shown. If you were out in the court of the temple, you were near to the presence of God but you couldn't see the glory of God in the same way as the high priest could when he went into the holy of holies on the day of atonement. But I'll make you an intimate member of my temple he promises us.
And he shall go no more out. Literally "he shall no wise go out anymore." The true man of God fears going out. There's a holy fear. We see this in Job. Job said-- the thing which I feared has come upon me. He didn't mean I'm going through pain and I greatly feared going through pain. He meant that he was going into a trial that was so heavy, he feared lest in a trial he would turn back and grow cold and turn away from God.
The true man of God fears anything that would turn him (in a balanced righteous way) away from God.
The fact that Jesus says to this overcomer "he shall go no more out" is an indication that some time previously, he did go out. Now how did those ones go out? Isaiah 66:5, Your brethren cast you out for my name's sake. There was a departure, a separation that came. You had to leave the womb of the church and you had to stand separately. That's a hard thing, to be separated from your brethren. That's not just a minor little point. They had experienced this awful trial of rejection by their own brethren whom they loved and desired to bring the truth of God to set them free. They had been forced to stand alone, to go out, to walk solitary if necessary for the sake of His name and the Revelation of that name. This is one aspect of the suffering the manchild will go through. Standing for the truth (no matter what!) sometimes is harder than physical persecution. The manchild coming out and being separate from the church that is sleeping into tradition will be a hard thing, indeed.
So Jesus is saying don't worry if all around you are rejecting you and your message. I'm preparing an habitation for you that you will never be forced to leave. An eternal habitation in my intimate presence. You are the habitation that I'm preparing. You are the temple. You are the pillars. You are the building that I'm going to dwell in.
Isaiah 66:1,2 Where is the place of my dwelling? Where is the house that you will build me? For all those things my hand made. But to this man will I look to him that is humble and contrite and trembles at my word. This is the dwelling place that God is looking for. So we are promised a permanent station in glory, a permanent position in the heavenlies, in the intimate presence of God. Also read Psa.132:13-18; Eph.1:20-22.
He says 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.
We will look at this in more detail. He says this name will be written upon the overcomer.
In the Bible, we see Jerusalem as
The capital of physical Israel throughout the O.T. This earthly Jerusalem is going to be the capital of God's kingdom on earth during the Millennium. And there the temple is, and the glory of God fills the temple and the truth of God begins to go out to all nations from Jerusalem. Israel becomes a glory among the nations.
We also see Jerusalem as God's holy bride-- as a heavenly Jerusalem, a glorious spiritual city to which the earthly city only pointed.
There are various scriptures to show the heavenly Jerusalem
Gal.4:22-26 Read. So there's a heavenly Jerusalem and those who are born according to the promise, who have come by faith are citizens of that heavenly Jerusalem. It's a new covenant.
Heb.12:22 Read. So that's what we've come to in the spirit, the heavenly Jerusalem. So as we're faithful to keep the word of his patience, we will be someday in that new Jerusalem.
Isaiah 65:17-19 Read. I create a new heaven and a new earth, so it's beyond this realm that we live in today. God said, "Behold, I create Jerusalem." It's being created because it's not a city of buildings; it's a city made up of people: saints joined and builded together. That city is being built even now. Isaiah 62:1,2 Read. This is speaking of the church.
I will write upon him 3 things:1.) The name of my God 2.) The name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven 3.) And my new name.
1.) I will write upon him, I will identify him. I will catalog him as being, as representing those things.
2.) The name of my God upon him is showing that he is possessed and owned by God. This shows when there's a marriage, the wife takes the husband's name and so this shows a bridal relationship with God, being possessed by him in a love relationship. We will be marked as a permanent possession of God; we will have his nature.
3.) The name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem. Hebrews 12:22, so I'm going to mark you as being a part of my new Jerusalem. Revelation 21:10 shows that they are identified as members of this holy bride of Jesus. The name of this new Jerusalem is her essence, her position as a bride. She is identified as the one, as the one which is above other women to stand in a love relationship with Jesus.
My new name. So there's a new name indicating a further Revelation of God than was previously given. When we're caught up to be the bride, we will have a further Revelation of God than was previously given. That goes far beyond anything we've known before because the Bible says we will fully know even as we are also already known. In the Old Testament, God revealed Himself as El: the mighty one; the strong one. And as Elohim: the sum of all strength, the strong one of all strong ones, the plural of majesty, God. And as to His own covenant people, He revealed Himself as Yahweh, the I am, the covenant keeper, the one who is whatever His people need Him to be, and went on and said I'm Yahweh your healer, shepherd, righteousness, banner, peace, and revealed Himself in these many ways. In the New Testament, He came unto His own and they received Him not. Yahweh Oshea or Yeshua or Jesus-- Yahweh the Savior, Yahweh comes in a body of flesh to save His people. Later, He's revealed as our bridegroom when we're joined unto Him. So it's possible that this new name could refer to the fact that Yahweh has become our husband or bridegroom.
You have not denied my name. This is the heart of the bridegroom to his bride. I'm going to marry you because you've been true to my name, you've supported my name. You've shown that you want to be attached to my name for all eternity, so I'm going to take you up and attach you to my name. I'll give you my new name. This is going to cost a high price because it's a high position. We find that the manchild, as it were, will be sold by his brothers like Joseph was. He'll be cast out by his brethren (who hate you for my name's sake). But, we find that Joseph was the one who was exalted and who was put in that position.-- second to the king and he was the one who dispensed that precious grain: the word of God to starving souls who came to him to receive the truth of God. Though he was cast out, God exalted him and used him to sustain life. And that's what the manchild is going to do in these last days in a spiritual way-- sustain life. This involves becoming experientially one with his name, that is, with his nature, what his name represents, knowing the truth of who he is. It involves taking the truth and becoming one with him when you get the Revelation that there is one who is your lover and your God. God is calling you to take that Revelation and do something with it-- have a relationship with him-- surrender everything to him. That's keeping his name in the fullest sense-- keeping his holiness, his nature.
Revelation 21:3 "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God."
The tabernacle of God -- That is, the dwelling place of God. Now Jesus was called Emanuel, God with us in Matt.1:23, read. This is saying, "God will be with us because we are in Christ, and so the tabernacle of God is with men."
Now in another sense, we are the tabernacle of God because we are in Christ. And in Christ, we have been made into a dwelling place of God through the spirit.
2 Cor.3:17,18;4:6 Read. So it's in our hearts that the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ is given.
Scriptures on the tabernacle of God
John 1:14 The word was made flesh and dwelt among us. Dwelt means "tented" or "tabernacle". He tented among us. It is directly related to the word tabernacle here in Rev.21:3.
The tabernacle of God is with men. That's a noun, and the verb form in John 1:14, he tented among us, is directly related to that.
2 Cor.5:19 says that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself.... 1 Timothy 3:16 tells us that God was manifested in the flesh. So Jesus was that tabernacle of God. But now Jesus has a body of saints in whom God is dwelling. Primarily it is Jesus, but then it is those in Jesus also. You have to include the Spirit-filled body of Christ as being that dwelling place of God. Also read Psa.132:13,14.
Eph.2:22, read. In him we also are a habitation of God through the Spirit. Eph.1:23 speaks of the church and says that it is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all. So he fills all in all, but we are the fullness of him. He fills us, He fills all in all and we become his fullness. He is dwelling and manifesting himself in us.
Rev.21:11 speaks of this new Jerusalem and it says, read. So she has the glory of God dwelling in her. So the tabernacle of God is with men.
Rev.13:6 speaks about this tabernacle. And it says concerning the antichrist, read. His tabernacle is them that dwell in heaven. So the tabernacle of God here in Rev.13:6 is them that dwell in heaven, the Raptured saints who got to heaven previous to that. Also read John 14:23.
So applying all of this to Rev.21:3 it says, read. Now of course, we know for sure God alone will be worshipped throughout all eternity, He and no other. But this scripture says to me that His glory will be revealed in His tabernacle, in His saints, in His bride-saints, the body of Christ which is now joined to Christ and becomes a manifestation of His glory. And I believe where it says that the tabernacle of God is with men; we should tie it right back up into verse 2 where John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven. So God's glory is manifested in this company of saints who are in the bride. Now we'll see, as we go on, that there are other saints who are not in the bride; they come into that city. But, the bride is that city.
Now in verse 3 here it says the tabernacle of God is with men. That word with means with-- meta. It is not in men. It is with men. Therefore, Christ is in view here, since it is not saying God is in them but with them. Rather, Christ and His spirit-filled body of saints would represent that tabernacle of God. God himself will be with them.
Now in verses 4 and 5 there are some precious promises.
Revelation 21:4,5 "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me Write; for these words are true and faithful."
Again the implication is, I will make them new, not just in time but in quality. There will be a new order. I'll have a new creation, and in this creation there will be no more tears, death, sorrow, nor crying, neither pain; for former things are passed away. It is a new and different creation altogether.
Revelation 21:6 "And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely."
It is done. So in the vision as John is in that period of time it is done. Now the eternal plan of God, then, at this point is totally and finally and fully brought in. It is done. It is completed. God's work of making man in His image and His likeness and His plan in the earth is completely done, and in this new creation, all the effects of sin are erased. All the effects of sin were not erased in the Millennium. There was still sin and some effects of sin in the Millennium. But in this new creation, it is all erased. All aspects of the curse are gone. There's no more crying, sorrow, pain, nor any such thing. And Peter said, only righteousness dwells there. 2 Peter 3:13.
Now he that sat upon the throne here says, "I am Alpha and Omega." So we know that it is Jesus here sitting upon the throne. Rev.1:8,11.
I will give unto him of the fountain of the water of life. We have a foretaste of the Spirit now, but we'll drink fully of that fountain throughout all eternity. There is an eternal drinking of that life of God.
Revelation 21:7 "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son."
He that overcometh is not necessarily the bride of verse 1 here. The fact that John saw the bride doesn't negate the fact that others are in the new earth too, even if they are not a part of that spiritual city. We'll go on to see that.
Inherit all things.-- the earlier manuscripts in the Greek say, "inherit these things."
Revelation 21:9 "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 show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife."
Seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and those are the plagues of the seventh seal. Now you have to remember that John is carried away in Spirit in the Lord's day. So he's still seeing the vision, etc... Rev.1:10. The seven last plagues, of course, are already passed by this time, for you have a new heaven and new earth, etc... It's a vision of future things that will come to pass.
Revelation 21:10 "And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God."
So he sees that great city; now you can contrast that with the world's view of that great city as they speak of Babylon in Chapter 18:19. They say, "Oh, what was like this great city."
But God says, "I'll show you that great city. This is the great city." This is the city that is great in God's eyes.
Now he sees her descending out of heaven from God here. Now this doesn't mean she is descending out of heaven again, a second time, after she came down from God out of heaven in verse 2. It's the same descent out of heaven, but it is repeated here because this time he is going to, so to speak, zero in on her and begin to describe her in detail. So the event of her descent from heaven is repeated here, and now it goes into a detailed description of that new Jerusalem.
We should not think that because we're going to dwell in the new earth that we are going to be somehow in a less intimate position with the Lord than we were previously when we were in heaven, in the midst of the throne and round about the throne, Rev.4:6. Because God is not preparing a bride through all these trials and tears and strivings and dedication, just so He can spend a few years with her in heaven and say, "Well, OK, that's it. Go down on the new earth now. I'll see you later." It's not going to be that kind of a thing.
That new earth is going to have the full presence of God upon it, and we'll have His presence every bit as much or more than we did before we came down onto that new earth. Some people when they first realize that, technically speaking, we are not going to spend eternity in heaven because there is a new earth we're going to dwell on, they think, "Well, does that mean we are not going to be in heaven?" But yes, in a sense, we are going to be in heaven and it is proper to say, "I'm going to go to heaven to be with Jesus for all eternity," because heaven is where Jesus is, in that wide sense. But the new earth is actually going to be our dwelling place, that new creation that He has for us, and He will be there with us just as fully as if we were in heaven, and so there is no lessening of glory here. And we'll go on to see later in the chapter how God's presence is fully there with us.
Revelation 21:11 "Having the glory of God; and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone clear as crystal."
Having the glory of God. So she has the glory of God. She possesses the glory of God.
And her light was like unto a stone most precious. So it is called the glory of God but it is dwelling in her. Therefore, it is called her light. Her light was like a stone most precious.
Even like a jasper stone. Now the jasper stone that we see in Rev.4:3 is a brown or purple stone. He that sat upon the throne was like a jasper and sardine stone. So he that sat upon the throne was to look upon like a dazzling purple-- hued stone sparkling and flashing, emanating rays that were scattered forth in splendor from this stone. It doesn't say that he was jasper, it says he was like a jasper. This is a typological vision.
Exo. 28:20, Jasper was one of the stones in the high priests' breastplate. John 19:2,5 A purple robe was put upon Jesus. And Pilate put a sign that said this is Jesus the King of the Jews when they crucified him and the Pharisees tried to get that sign edited to read: he said he was the King of the Jews. Pilate said, What I have written, I have written. God allowed that to be done prophetically because he was the King of the Jews. So this purple robe they put on him in mockery, God said, well, you're doing a right thing because he is the King of kings. So he that sat upon this throne is the King of all kings, 1 Timothy 1:17.
This one here in Rev.21:11 appears to be clear. And jasper stones did come in different colors, because it says here that this one is clear as crystal. The jasper stone represents royalty. She has the royalty of Christ and it is clear as crystal-- transparent-- Christ is seen in her clearly and she shall rule and reign with him.
Revelation 21:12,13 "And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates."
So on these gates there is the names of the twelve tribes, Judah, Simeon, Levi, etc.. So that seems to say that there are O.T. saints as well as N.T. saints involved in this New Jerusalem bride city. So the bride encompasses all saints of all ages that attain to that high position of intimacy with Jesus that Paul was aspiring to attain to in Phil. chapter 3.
Revelation 21:14 "And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb."
So in these foundations there's the names of the apostles. Eph.2:20 says that we are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets.
Revelation 21:15 "And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof."
He that talked with me takes you back to verse 9, read. This angel has a golden reed to measure the city. So he measures the city and here's what it says:
Revelation 21:16 "And the city lieth four- square, and the length is as large as the breadth; and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal."
This is like no earthly city. This is not a city on earth in the Millennium. 12,000 furlongs cubed. That means 12,000 statia, and that was a Roman measurement. 1 statis = 606-3/4 feet. So 12,000 = 1379 miles long, wide, and high-- that's a big city! A city of such dimensions is impossible upon this earth, needless to say. And so we know that it is not upon this earth. It is certainly figurative here. Remember this is talking (spiritually speaking) of the bride.
Revelation 21:17 "And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is of the angel."
So the wall is only 144 cubits and that is 216 feet high. Now this is figurative since the New Jerusalem will not need walls in the classic sense. They are not going to have any enemies coming up besieging the New Jerusalem, but it is a symbol of safety and security.
The numerical symbols of the wall seem to show the fullness of the heavenly kingdom, 12 x 12 = 144. So there's a full heavenly kingdom involved here. The # 12 in scripture = the fullness of the heavenly kingdom.
Now the city's volume taking 12,000 x 12,000 x 12,000 statia is 1.728 x 10 to the twelfth power cubic statia, which means 17,280,000,000 cubic statia, which converts to 2.6223 x 10 to the ninth cubic miles, or translating that you get 2,622,300,000 cubic miles. That's a large city. It's figurative.
Revelation 21:18 "And the building of the wall of it was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass."
The wall of it was of jasper. So the whole wall is one big precious stone. Pure gold, it's covered with God like unto clear glass.
Revelation 21:19,20 "And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald. The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eithth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoparasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst."
Now these stones of the foundation of the city are gems. Each one of these is one huge gem that is a foundation of the whole city and there are twelve, again speaking of the fullness of the heavenly kingdom, we are speaking in symbols. There are 400 miles plus the length of each one of these precious stones. So this shows the wealth and the riches of God in this New Jerusalem, in a hyperbole. It is an extravagant statement of the city's wealth given to her as the bride of Christ. Eph.2:7 "That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."
Revelation 21:21 "And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl; and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass."
Talks more about the gates. Every several gate, that is, every individual gate, was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. So this is not like earthly gold; this is pure gold, but it is transparent like glass.
Now every gate is of one pearl. Again we have to see that we're talking about something symbolic here. These are truly pearls of great price.
Now how can a gate be one pearl? How can it be hinged and have a frame and open, etc? This shows that it is figurative. Possibly you could carve it out of one big pearl, but it doesn't get into that. It just says the gates were each of one pearl showing the costliness of them. Now certainly God could create a pearl as big as the gate of this city, but obviously this is a symbol. God uses the things that are precious and costly on the earth to show that there is something that is spiritually precious and costly.
Verse 12 said that the names of the tribes of Israel were on these gates of pearl. So it is a city encompassing both O.T. and N.T. saints.
Now I wouldn't take this too far, but the way pearls are formed is when a grain of sand or something like it gets inside an oyster and irritates it. The oyster, in order to protect himself from the irritation, begins to secrete this substance that surrounds the grain of sand and that substance hardens becoming a pearl. So perhaps we could make a parallel to our own lives and say that those trials through which we've gone, and those things that have irritated us, we have overcome and have made them into pearls and something precious. Our trials become something precious and they become our entrance into that holy city.
Revelation 21:22 "And I saw no temple therein; for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it."
So there is no temple worship in that city. The Lord and the Lamb are the temple of it. This is the true temple to which earthly temples only pointed to. So God is dwelling in Christ and that is the temple. It is a living temple. It's God Himself.
Revelation 21:23 "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it; for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof."
We see the same truth illustrated in a different way in v. 23. So the glory of the Lord did lighten it and the Lamb is the light thereof.
Light means lamp. The glory of God did lighten it and the Lamb is the lamp thereof. The Lamb is the lamp from which the light of God comes forth. He is the dwelling place of God. He is the vessel that God manifests Himself to us throughout all eternity.
We see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, 2 Cor.4:6, read. Also read 2 Cor.4:17; 2 Cor.3:18. When we get there, we are going to relate to God in Jesus Christ. That is how we are going to know God throughout all eternity through His eternal dwelling place and lamp, Jesus Christ.
Revelation 21:24 "And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it; (the bride), and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it."
There are nations of the saved. So there are those who are saved in that realm, in that new earth but they are not the city, they are not the bride, they are not the New Jerusalem. But they've come out of the nations in this world and they live in the new heaven and new earth in nations. There are nations of people in that new earth. Now whether there will be separate governments and so forth, the Bible does not say. There will be those who are not part of that city but will dwell in that new earth. It calls them here, whether literally or figuratively, nations.
Now some think that because it talks about the nations here coming into the city, they make chapter 21 talking about the Millennium. But it cannot equal the Millennium because in Rev.21:1 it says there was no more sea. So it is not this earth. It is passed away.
Rev.21:4 says that there will be no more death. And yet we know for sure that there will be death in the Millennium. So it is not talking about the Millennium. Isaiah says a sinner during the Millennium being 100 years old shall die and be accursed.
Rev.21:22 says that there is no temple there and yet we see in Eze. that there is a temple in the Millennium. So this is not the Millennium that we're talking about. It's a new creation all together.
Revelation 21:25 "And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day; for there shall be no night there."
So the day is eternal and the light of that day is the light of God, according to verse 23. It is not sunshine. It is the eternal light of God that gives eternal day to this New Jerusalem.
Revelation 21:26 "And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it."
These are the nations of the saved mentioned in verse 24. They are not earthly nations. They are not the nations of this creation. So the order there in that new earth is spoken of after the manner of what we see upon this earth.
The point I want to make here is that these nations bring their glory and honour into it. Back in verse 24 it says, the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it. Now these nations are not the New Jerusalem, they are other people besides the New Jerusalem.
Rev.21:2 where John saw the new heaven and the new earth, he saw the holy city, New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, he saw this city. The bride is that city. The city is the bride, the dwelling place of God containing His glory, and the nations bring their glory and honour into it.
Also Rev.22:14 says that those that eat of the tree of life enter into this city. Read.
So those that have the tree of life, that is, those who have eternal life, enter into the gates of this city, but that doesn't mean that the bride is entering into this city--she is this city. The city is not buildings in which saints dwell--the city is saints. John is not seeing a collection of glorified buildings coming down from God out of heaven.
It says in Rev.21:9, "Come hither and I will show thee the bride." I'm not going to show where she lives-- I'm going to show you her.
And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and a high mountain and showed me that great city. So that great city, New Jerusalem, is the bride.
So the implication is that those who make up this city abide there; they don't go out. They are that city. They abide there. They stay there in the glory of God, continually.
You might make an analogy to the cherubim on the doors, walls, and ceilings of Solomon's temple; they were always there. People came in and out and they worshipped God. They didn't worship the temple. They didn't worship the cherubim. They worshipped God, but the cherubim were there all of the time. They never went out.
Here others, who are not in the same position, come into that city and they have access to the glory of God and it is God they are worshipping. But it seems that to them somehow the glory of God is manifested there in that city.
The glory and honour of nations which they bring would be their worship, and their hearts are toward God. That's the glory and honour that God is really seeking from us.
Revelation 21:27 "And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life."
So neither sinners or Satan, who is the cause of sin, shall enter that realm. And it says here anything that defileth. There shall no wise enter anything that defileth. That thing that defileth literally means that which is common. There shall no common thing enter into it. That is, common in the sense of not being hallowed, not being sacred or holy.
But they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. So those which are written in the Lamb's book of life enter into it. So everybody in the book of life has access into it. Again it shows all have access into that city but not all are that city.
So the bride are the ones who totally give all to Jesus and fall in love with Him.
Which do you want to be? The New Jerusalem, the bride, or the saved that just have access into it walking in the light of the bride.
A brief explanation on types
The Greek word for "type" is tupos. It refers to an impression, the mark of a blow. The noun tupos is from the verb tupto (to strike with repeated blows). God shows us through the lives of others how he will carry out his plan in our day. The spiritual fulfillment of a type is its "antitype."
The type a metaphor which does not consist merely in words, but in acts, persons, or objects which designate similar acts, persons, or objects in time to come.
Characteristic points of a Type
1. There must be a point, form, or spirit of resemblance between the type and antitype, ordained of God, to point to a truth.
2. Generally prefigures something future-- usually from Old Testament to New Testament.
Definition of Type
An historical and actual fact, circumstance, or event that allegorically foreshadows spiritual or moral truth.
Limitations of Types
1. Types do not prove doctrines.
2. Types are not perfect, as may be seen where Abraham (God) offered Isaac (Christ) on Mount Moriah (Calvary) inasmuch as Isaac did not die. There the type shifts to the ram substitute and to Abraham offering Isaac in his heart and Isaac returning to Abraham alive (the resurrection).
3. Not every possible connection is a type (some connections may have no spiritual or moral significance, but may be merely coincidences).
1. The antitype is on a higher plane than the type.
2. A type is to the antitype what a shadow is to the substance (see Col.2:16,17).
3. An antitype is never the opposite in quality from the type. Something evil cannot be a type of something good. A pig, a vulture, or snake cannot be a type of Christ.
4. A type can also be a symbol or allegory (Gal.4:21-31), but is generally an historical fact presented in a literal way pointing toward a spiritual truth.
5. One should not be too quick to accept a critic's evaluation of those who define types differently than they do.
6. Some caution us that a type can only have one meaning; but this is erroneous, as is the teaching that a prophecy can have but one fulfillment. In fact, we should be alert to the fact that a type may prefigure different things or persons. Elisha was both a type of Christ and the saints. Joel 2:28 was intended to be fulfilled both at Pentecost (Acts 2:17) and in the Millennium.
7. The basic difference, in general, between an allegory and a type is that while an allegory may be fiction or fact, a type is historical fact. An allegory is a story made to illustrate a truth, whereas a type is a real event that points toward a truth.
Christ refers to the known incident of Jonah as a type prefiguring His burial and resurrection (Matt.12:40).
Paul presents to us the first Adam as a type prefiguring the second Adam, Jesus Christ; and likewise, the paschal lamb as a type of the Redeemer (Rom.5:14; 1 Cor. 5:7).
Above all, the letter to the Hebrews makes reference to the types of the Old Testament: the high priest who prefigured Jesus; the sacrifice of Christ; the sanctuary of the tabernacle, which prefigured heaven; etc. (Heb. 9:11-28; 10:6-10; 9:11-29).