Doctrine Discussion about matters of the faith.

 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-07-2009, 02:19 AM
chette777's Avatar
chette777 chette777 is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Puerto Princesa City, Palawan Philippines
Posts: 1,431
Default The Body or Bride?

One of my most favorite doctrines since I was saved, taught that we the body of Christ are the Bride of Christ. During a recent conference the theme being “Preparation of the Bride”. It basically was taught by only a few men all commenting of First book of Thessalonians chapter four and it had nothing what so ever to with the Bride or any event connected to a bride.

During the conference a free for all question and answer time and a question came up that never was answered. It was like an Obama answer, the man went everywhere but directly answering the question. What was the question? Where does the Bible teach that the body of Christ is the Bride of Christ? We all assumed the man wasn’t familiar enough with his Bible to answer.

That night was spent in the dorm with everybody looking for the answer. And the over whelming conclusion was the Bible doesn’t teach that the Body of Christ is the Bride of Christ. Hence one of our most beloved doctrines turns out to be a mixture of verses that aren’t remotely connected to teach a bride but unity to Christ.

The three main verses for this unsound doctrine are:

Joh 3:29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

2Cor 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. . . and vs 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Re 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

Re 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.. . . vs 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 shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.


While a vast number of men teach this doctrine it is not so easy to find it’s origin. I did find this teaching under Easton’s Bible Dictionary which is teaches the following concerning the bride of Christ the church.

I quote:
“The relation between Christ and his church is set forth under the figure of that between a bridegroom and bride (Joh 3:29). The church is called "the bride" (Re 21:9; 22:17). Compare parable of the Ten Virgins (Mt 25:1-13)”

The first verse used is said to establish that the current Body of Christ, the church is the Bride is, John 3:29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

First, this is John’s reason for Jesus rise in popularity and his decline. That’s the context.. Second, Jesus in context is the bridegroom. So who hath he at the time John was told concerning Jesus? Gentiles? No. The answer is Jews, Israel. It is clear by this verse the Bride of John 3:29 is Israel.

So Easton’s Dictionary has set forth a figure of the church by replacing the church with Israel in order to make the church the figure in John 3:29. For the context and the verse do not support Easton’s Dictionary interpretation.

You will notice he make the same equally erroneous interpretation of Rev 19:9 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. Easton dictionary assumes the wife is the church. But the context of 19 and the previous verse and chapters tells us it is Israel who has made herself ready though the various chastisements of the Lord during the great Tribulation. So again the wife here is Israel.

The problem with the Easton’s dictionary view of the Bride is that he like others assume the Rev 21 and 22 are speaking about the church or the body of Christ. The context speaks of Israel not the Body of Christ

Easton’s Dictionary goes on to wanting us to compare the previous staement to the Parable of the Ten Virgin’s. I am sorry but that Parable does not support the church, the Body of Christ as the Bride. So we wont even comment on the verses mentioned.

After reading Albert Barns and his commentary on Rev 19, 2cor 2:11 and rev 21 & 22 I am sorry to state he espouses the same ideas as found in the Easton Bible Dictionary concerning the Bride. So no need to refer his comments except to say he is a little long winded compared to Easton’s Dictionary.

The other commentaries which are many all taught the same using the same verses in today's lingo we call the dittoheads.

One of her reoccurring theme is the Rev 19:9 that the wedding supper of the Lamb is the church that has made herself ready. Again this is impossible for after the rapture the church is never mentioned again in scripture. This is a theology which goes back to the church around 250AD. But is not supported by Paul in any of His letter tot he churches of individuals.

The Key to establishing a doctrine is for the church is comparing what is being taught in any book of the Bible to the teaching of Paul.

let's look at 2Cor 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. In the context Paul is not teaching about the Body of Christ being a Bride. but that he had given these men the gospel by which they were joined to Christ made clean and whole by their faith. and they were now allowing false teachers in to corrupt them. so clearly Paul Paul is not teaching that the Body is Bride of Christ. it is just a figure of speech meant to get their attention.

Eph 5:32 also does not teach we are the Bride for it merely points out as a husband is the head of the wife, so Christ is the head of the church. A mystery at that time revealed By Paul. In context is speaks of submission and love. But it does not teach we are teh Bride of Christ.

So our first search was for the term “the Lamb”, This is found 37 times in the whole Bible. 11 times I the O.T. with 10 of those meanings of a young sheep only no secondary contextual meaning. But one verse in Isa 61:1 Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion. Here the lamb is in reference to a ruler which could be pointing to the Lamb in Revelation. O f the remaining 26 uses I the N.T. 2 are found in John the rest in the Book of Revelation all concerning Jesus as the Lamb
Next we searched for the phrase “the Bride of Christ” but there is no such phrase in the Bible.

Next was the word “The Bride” out of the ten instances in all the Bible 6 were O.T. and had to do with God’s treatment of Israel and the term bridegroom is associated with everyone of them. Four were N.T. John 3:29 as seen above and the rest in Revelation 19, 21, ans 22 as noted above. Not once does Paul use the term The Bride in referring to the Church the Body of Christ.

Then we looked for the term word “the wife” this was found 4 times in scriptures 29 of them were in the O.T. all uses were in reference to the wife as an earthly wife or female married to a man. And the remain 12 found in the New Testament all refer to an earthly wife of a husband. 8 times Paul uses the term “the wife”it but never is reference directly to the church.

Next we searched for the term “a wife” found 44 times in the Bible. 35 of those are found in the O.T. and out of those 35 only three refer to a wife as in reference to the LORD. The rest were just the normal run of the mill a wife referring to a wife of men. In the N.T. there are nine verse used with the term “a wife” 5 found in the gospels, the rest in Paul’s writings and all of them refer to a mans wife none are in reference to the church being a wife to Christ.

Just to be fair I searched for “the Lamb’s wife” the only reference is in Rev 21:9 which we already established was Israel and not the church, the Body of Christ.

Another word was added to our search to show a complete set of terms were indeed used. “ City”
but the return was 783 uses of the word. So I narrowed down the search to just the N.T. that left us with 144 uses so I narrowed in down to Romans through Revelation. The word city was found 35 times from Romans 1 through Revelation 22. All references were concerning cities as in a city. Interesting though that 7 of those all found in Revelation were referring to Babylon. The rest referred to Old Jerusalem (for lack of a better term), and 12 of them refer to the NEW JERUSALEM. Not one time did Paul ever use the term “city” in describing the church, the Body of Christ.

We have for many years heard this said as if it were Biblical fact but no where have we been able to find it to be supported by scriptures. Of course when looking at the verse in context not a one of them teaches the Body of Christ is the Bride of Christ or the Lamb’s wife or Bride in Revelation 19, 21 or 22.

As much as we love the doctrine that the church is the Bride of Christ we will have to say for now it is not Biblical. It does not affect our salvation in the slightest fortunately.

During this search and study I found that the Body of Christ is united to Christ, as a wife is united to her husband. But more importantly the teaching of Paul is numerous in detailing this unity in and of the BODY of Christ. We tend to overlook the obvious and that is we are ONE with Him, we are in essence Him ans his body and as he is the head of the body we are the members of that body respectfully.

1Co 12:12-27 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

I
n closing it is clear that the doctrine that the Body of Christ is the Bride of Christ is taught by men but never taught in scripture by Paul or anyone else. It is a doctrine of men carried over from those that had replace Israel with the church. we need to reexamine all of our doctrines in light of clear Bible teaching. and let the chips or lots fall where they may.

Why should we settle for being something we are not when in fact we are His Very own body. And as nature tells us an Man cannot marry his own body for that goes against nature. If we can see the tremendous position we are in, in Christ, we shall never want anything else that would put into something we are not. The church is not the Bride but the BODY. AMEN.

Last edited by chette777; 03-07-2009 at 02:32 AM.
The King James Bible Page SwordSearcher Bible Software
  #2  
Old 03-08-2009, 03:18 AM
Kiwi Christian's Avatar
Kiwi Christian Kiwi Christian is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Aotearoa
Posts: 242
Default

Your team missed an important proof text which is used to teach that the Church is the Bride-to-be of Jesus Christ, that being Romans 7:4. You would have found it had you done a search on the word "married" in the New Testament.

Romans 7:4 "Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God."

I suspect you will interpret it as a "figure of speech" just like you do with 2 Corinthians 11:2 "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ"

I, and many other Bible believers, DO NOT interpret these verses figuratively as you do. Paul is making a doctrinal statement in both cases, not simply to the audience back in 50 odd AD, but to the whole body of Christ, and it involves being engaged to marry the Lord Jesus Christ.

The fact that Paul never wrote the words "Lamb" or "Bride" in connection with the Church makes no difference whatsoever, because comparing scripture with scripture (the key to Bible study) shows us the truth. What Paul wrote about the church being espoused to marry Jesus Christ is complimented, not contradicted, by what John wrote in his gospel and in the Revelation.
  #3  
Old 03-08-2009, 03:57 AM
kevinvw kevinvw is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 73
Default

One has to go no further than Genesis 2 to get the teaching. Adam is put to sleep and a woman is created out of him and is bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. Jesus died to purchase a group of people that become bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.
  #4  
Old 03-08-2009, 04:36 AM
chette777's Avatar
chette777 chette777 is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Puerto Princesa City, Palawan Philippines
Posts: 1,431
Default

Kevin,

Your statement has nothing to do with this Doctrine and people can justify all they want. It had been a very precious doctrine to me and to have it proven that it is not even supported Biblically was disappointing to say the least.

So if this doctrine is not Biblically sound what other doctrines are we holding that are not supported Biblically?

It is sad but Let God be true and every man a liar. for God's word is true even when men's teachings are not.

it goes back far enough to find its roots in the doctrines that replace Israel with the church. and plenty of groups are holding to a lot of those doctrines today despite the fact they are not supported by the Bible. For Us Baptist it is not so extreme but it is in existence.

Again the basis of our Doctrines no matter how precious they are should not be tradition but the word of God. To not share what I have learned concerning this doctrine would be wrong at least it is out there and you can test it for yourself with a simple Bible search program.

Thanks Kiwi for that verse. But it still does not teach that Paul called the church a Bride or taught it was. The context of Romans seven in those first 4 verses is about the Law and being yolked to it or being united to Christ where there is liberty from the Law.and like the law of marriage when the partner dies you are free from the law that bound the marriage. it that verse Paul is using married as figure of speech not teach any truth that the Body is married to Christ or that it is called a Bride. It actually teaches you are free from the law when you became a Christian.

Last edited by chette777; 03-08-2009 at 04:51 AM.
  #5  
Old 03-08-2009, 05:09 PM
Kiwi Christian's Avatar
Kiwi Christian Kiwi Christian is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Aotearoa
Posts: 242
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by chette777 View Post
Thanks Kiwi for that verse. But it still does not teach that Paul called the church a Bride or taught it was. The context of Romans seven in those first 4 verses is about the Law and being yolked to it or being united to Christ where there is liberty from the Law.and like the law of marriage when the partner dies you are free from the law that bound the marriage. it that verse Paul is using married as figure of speech not teach any truth that the Body is married to Christ or that it is called a Bride. It actually teaches you are free from the law when you became a Christian.
I knew you would make it figurative! See, that's how people in 'your camp' deal with the two greatest verses from the Pauline epistles which 'our camp' uses to support the doctrine of the Church being the Bride of Christ, YOU MAKE THEM FIGURATIVE. That's the oldest trick in the book for explaining away a problem text, do you not see what you are doing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chette777
You will notice he make the same equally erroneous interpretation of Rev 19:9 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. Easton dictionary assumes the wife is the church. But the context of 19 and the previous verse and chapters tells us it is Israel who has made herself ready though the various chastisements of the Lord during the great Tribulation. So again the wife here is Israel.
You made the statement above in your original post which I also think is wrong, the context of Revelation 19 is not Israel but "Revelation 19:1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:" The context shifts from being on earth in Rev 18 to being in heaven in Rev 19, and the "much people in heaven" are NOT identified as Israel, but Rev 19:5 calls them "all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great." Note that the Church will be in heaven at this time, so could easily fit in this passage.
  #6  
Old 03-08-2009, 06:07 PM
stephanos's Avatar
stephanos stephanos is offline
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Wenatchee WA
Posts: 885
Default

I don't see how Chette is able to call 2 Corinthians 11:2 or Romans 7:4 figurative.

I hope this one won't be misconstrued as "figurative".

For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:31-32 KJV)

For Jesus' sake,
Stephen
  #7  
Old 03-08-2009, 06:32 PM
Biblestudent's Avatar
Biblestudent Biblestudent is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Philippines
Posts: 662
Default Unique

Hello, everybody!
I did struggle with this years before. I used to teach that the "Bride of Christ" is the Body of Christ. I go to Genesis 2 through Revelation 21 to prove that. I have all the commentaries to back me up. But when confronted with Scripture, I don't have a verse for it.
But as with Chette's observation, the words "Bride" and "the Bride of the Lamb" is not found in Paul's epistles (Paul claims to be the revelator of church doctrine.); and the phrase "Bride of Christ" is not found in the Bible either.
Context determines meaning, and the question "who is speaking?" is very important.

Who is speaking?
Romans 7 (Paul) "married"
2 Corinthians 11 (Paul) - "AS a virgin" (simile)
Ephesians 5 (Paul) - "wife" (right NOW, not in the future; "one flesh")

Who is speaking?
John 3 (John) - "bride" (already exists before the cross; the bridegroom is already with the bride in John 3)
Revelation 19 (John) - "wife" (just got ready here; the marriage was postponed when the bridegroom was rejected, but after the tribulation period, she's now ready; her number is "twelve", not "one")
Revelation 21 (John) - "as a bride" (defined in the context as New Jerusalem)

I don't think John saw the church (Body of Christ), a "mystery" revealed to Paul and through Paul); I believe what he wrote was in line with OT prophecy.
If we run all OT passages, the Gospels (before the cross), and the Revelation (after the rapture), references to "bride" as a group of people is associated to Israel.
I believe the Body of Christ will be with Christ at the Second Coming and the Millennium (1 Thessalonians 4:18), but that revelation was given to Paul and it is absent from John's revelation.

One more problem with the interpretation that the "bride" of John 3 and Revelation 19 & 21 is the church is to use TYPOLOGY (Genesis 2) and teach it as DOCTRINE.
I realized it should not be so. It should be DOCTRINE first and TYPOLOGY last.

Ephesians 5 teaches us that right NOW (not in the future), we are the Body of Christ and have relationship with him AS the husband and wife is "one flesh" -- right NOW.
But one day, Paul will "present" us to Christ AS a chaste "virgin" (2 Cor. 11:2). (Note: we are AS a wife NOW, but will be presented to Christ AS a virgin.
Also in Romans 7:4, we "should be married to another" that we should "bring forth fruit unto God". When are we going to bear fruit? During this Church Age, we are to bear fruit; therefore, we are "married" to Christ right NOW so that we can bear fruit right NOW.

Revelation 19 and Revelation 21 should be read in the context of OT prophecies and the Gospels. Israel, the "bride of the Lamb" and the "wife of the Lamb", was not ready in John 3 but will be ready in Revelation 19.

Here's one article I went across that has helped me when I was studying the issue:
http://www.avhughes.com/images/bride.html

So my current position now is this:

1. The "bride" or the "wife" spoken of by the OT prophets and the Twelve is associated with Israel.
2. The "virgin" or the "wife" spoken of by Paul is the Body of Christ.

I believe the key here is to see that Paul is a unique apostle with a unique revelation to a unique body of people in a unique age.

For the love of Christ,
Bible student
  #8  
Old 03-08-2009, 07:21 PM
Kiwi Christian's Avatar
Kiwi Christian Kiwi Christian is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Aotearoa
Posts: 242
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biblestudent View Post
Also in Romans 7:4, we "should be married to another" that we should "bring forth fruit unto God". When are we going to bear fruit? During this Church Age, we are to bear fruit; therefore, we are "married" to Christ right NOW so that we can bear fruit right NOW.

Israel, the "bride of the Lamb" and the "wife of the Lamb", was not ready in John 3 but will be ready in Revelation 19.

So my current position now is this:

1. The "bride" or the "wife" spoken of by the OT prophets and the Twelve is associated with Israel.
2. The "virgin" or the "wife" spoken of by Paul is the Body of Christ.
Brother, from where I sit it looks to me like you believe that the Church is married to Jesus Christ now, and Israel will be married to Jesus Christ in the future? Don't you see something seriously wrong with that idea?
  #9  
Old 03-08-2009, 08:54 PM
stephanos's Avatar
stephanos stephanos is offline
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Wenatchee WA
Posts: 885
Default

One thing I'm curious about is the relationship the Church has with Israel in the Millenium. The reason I'm curious about this is because at the present, Jews and Gentiles are one IN Christ. In the Tribulation things will be different. I wonder if perhaps things will become one again in the Millenium. Is there anything in Revelation that deals with this? The thing that trips me up about this question is that the Church disappears after Revelation 3. Where did the Church go?

Peace and Love,
Stephen
  #10  
Old 03-08-2009, 08:55 PM
stephanos's Avatar
stephanos stephanos is offline
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Wenatchee WA
Posts: 885
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi Christian View Post
Brother, from where I sit it looks to me like you believe that the Church is married to Jesus Christ now, and Israel will be married to Jesus Christ in the future? Don't you see something seriously wrong with that idea?
That's what I'm caught up on as well. That's why I'm thinking things go back to being one IN Christ during the Millenium. But this is merely speculation.

Peace and Love,
Stephen
 

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

The King James Bible Page SwordSearcher Bible Software

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:13 AM.

Powered by vBulletin®, Copyright vBulletin Solutions Inc.

Website © AV1611.Com.
Posts represent only the opinions of users of this forum and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the webmaster.

Software for Believing Bible Study

 
Contact Us AV1611.Com