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Old 03-07-2009, 02:19 AM
chette777's Avatar
chette777 chette777 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Puerto Princesa City, Palawan Philippines
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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.

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.

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