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Unmasking Deception: The Bible NEVER Says The CHURCH Is " The BRIDE". We've Been Sold A Lie
User ID: 50978779
12/04/2013 05:27 AM
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Now, I don't know ANYTHING about the author of this "Berean Research", other than what I have read in this one & only article.
It's TRUE. It's so Simple. I was ASTONISHED with how Easily I was Deceived (and I consider myself to be a "good Berean")......the Author really nails it by saying if you hear something for long enough - keep being told it is so - despite all evidence to the contrary - you'll eventually believe it and incorporate it into your "circle of Truth" (my term).
So, I hope you enjoy the article (and that the Author isn't a "crazy kook steeped in Deception with this one exception", lol ) -Now, I doubt that could be true, but Hey......I was 100% TAKEN IN by THIS LIE, so I don't trust my judgment at the moment.
Link: [link to cdacoffee.hubpages.com]
[My Intro Comments]:
The CHURCH is NOT "The BRIDE of Christ". There Is Only The LAMB's WIFE, which is the CITY of New Jerusalem, ***Adorned AS A Bride***
This makes ALL those references to JERUSALEM / ISRAEL committing ADULTERY, leaving HER 'First Love' & a TON of other "marriage" & the "COVENANT of &/or like marriage" references", fit Perfectly into place and finally -- FINALLY make sense.....especially (BE HONEST!!!) no longer making me feel 'creeped out' by the thought of MEN "marrying Jesus" / "being the BRIDE of Christ". I just took it as "God's ways are not our ways; they are SO Much Higher than ours/our thinking, our ability to comprehend, that we just cannot know them...."for Who can know the Mind of God?" That's where I "filed it"....but I didn't enjoy discussing it. NOW.....I get it and I finally see why/how/where the Word says that Israel / Jerusalem "is the APPLE of The Father's Eye".
-------------------------------------------- [End of My Comments]
< The Full Text, Word-For-Word, Without Corrections/Edits & My Apologies Because It IS LONG >
The "BRIDE OF CHRIST" IS NOT THE CHURCH
1. There is a "lamb's wife, the bride of Christ", but it is NOT the church. Revelation 21:9-10 CLEARLY states that the "the bride, the Lamb's wife" is the Holy Jerusalem.
2. Rev 19:7 CANNOT be refering to the church! It has to be something else!
If the church is "the bride of Christ" then the Christian has to do something to get "herself ready". Rev 19:7 says, "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." This requires "works" to be done by the Christian to get ready. The word says that we are already made righteous, and are already sanctified. So then, the church, in God's eyes, is already ready.
3. If the Church were "the bride, the Lamb's wife" then that angel would have shown him "the Church", not the Holy Jerusalem. - Rev. 21:9-10
4. Jesus did not teach that his body is also his bride.Paul didn't teach it either.
5. Christians are repeatedly called "sons of God", "the body of Christ" and "the church" throughout the New Testament but are never called "the bride of Christ".
The main pillar in this teaching is that the church as the "bride of Christ" must MAKE HERSELF READY. This teaching is inconsistent with the entire Pauline Revelation of the Gospel of Grace.
Check it out...
Because of the FREE gift of grace, we are already righteous and without spot and blemish in the Lord's sight. We are already ready! It stands to reason that the church can't be the one "getting herself ready". It has to be something or someone else! It has to be that the "bride" is not the church and is, in fact, the holy Jerusalem just as the Word of God says it is. (Rev 21:9-12)
THE UNFORTUNATE "Bride of Christ" DOCTRINE
The "Bride of Christ" teaching says the church has to do something to make "herself ready", to be perfect. If this is true then there is absolutely no way Jesus will ever return and get us. We can't get "ready" ourselves out of our own doing something to be perfect. It'll never happen. We are not perfect and we can never be perfect outside of his gift of righteousness. It is just not possible. It will never be possible!
CAN'T IGNORE IT
I want to keep in mind though, that I don't believe we can ignore the marriage comparison of our relationship to God in the covenants, promises or vows made to each other. The word does make those comparisons. I don't refute that. God has made a lot of promises to us just like we make promises to each other when we get married. But as far as my personal relationship with God? I am a friend of God, He is my dad and I am His son too. "...whereby we cry abba (literally: "daddy"), father". Our closeness and intimacy with Him, is like a dad and not like that of a spouse. He is a dad who has promised me an inheritance and the ability to come boldy to His throne of grace.
JESUS NEVER PREACHED IT. PAUL NEVER PREACHED IT. They did not tell us the body of Christ is a bride of any kind. Perhaps Israel is the bride but the body of Christ isn't.
Jesus never told His disciples He would someday be their bride. Paul didn't say we are the bride. In fact nowhere in scriptures does it ever say Christians are the bride of Christ. Not only that, it just seems strange.
NO SUCH THING AS THE TERM "BRIDE OF CHRIST" IN THE BIBLE
We can find a "Lambs' Wife" but no "Bride of Christ". I searched the Bible for the term "bride of Christ". I couldn't find it. It suprised me when I did that search and came up with no results! And to think, after all these years of hearing how we are the bride of Christ and He will come get us once we have made ourselves ready.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT THE "BRIDE OF CHRIST"?
What does the word say about the "bride of Christ"? Nothing really. The term "bride of Christ" is nowhere in the Bible. Aside from being first coined by the Roman Catholic Church, this term has been invented out of perceived inferences of certain passages that says God's relationship to us is "as a bride". These passages are all PARABLES or SIMILES. They are simply making a comparison of our relationship to Him as far as how much he loves us as well as His covenant promises to us. He made a covenant with His own just as I have made a covenant with my wife.
NOTICE THE TERM "BRIDE OF CHRIST" IS NOT USED
"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. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; 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:.." Rev. 21:9-12
This passage does not say the body of Christ is the the Lamb's wife. It does not say Israel is the Lamb's wife. It clearly states however that "that great city, the holy Jerusalem" is the Lamb's wife. In verse 10 it also says that John the Revelator saw that great city descending down from heaven adorned as a bride. He doesn't even refer to it as the bride but that it is adorned as a bride.
Rev 21:9-10 "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. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,"
TAKING GRACE AWAY
Rev 19:7 says: "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."
It isn't that this scripture is teaching to take away grace it is the people who preach the church/bride concept that are undermining grace, whether knowingly or unknowingly. Since they believe the church is the "bride" then by default they have to preach that the church is getting herself ready and be without spot and blemish before the Lord comes to get us in order to be consistent with Rev 19:7. If the "bride" is the church then the church has to get herself ready according to Rev 19:7. Thats just not the way it is though.
One of the disturbing things here is that neither of the following stories on which the "bride of Christ" doctrine is built even mention a bride. But the proponents of this doctrine do make the ridiculous leap to this being about a "bride of Christ"!
READ THIS PARABLE AGAIN...
A bride is not a subject in this story. The guests are the subject. ...and besides, how can the guests be considered the bride?
Taking the leap from the guests representing "the bride of Christ" can't be done but the proponents of the bride/christ concept do it here!
This story is about how Israel rejected Jesus as the Messiah so, God sent the gospel of grace to the Gentiles.
Rom 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."
At best, today's church could be represented here as a guest at the wedding...
Matt 22:1-14 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.
...AND READ THIS PARABLE AGAIN TOO
It goes without saying that the ten virgins are not this groom's wife. They are only guests trying to get into the wedding.
Once again, taking the leap from the ten virgins being guests to being the bride and representing "the bride of Christ" can't be done but the proponents of the bride/christ concept do it here!
This story is about being ready to be accepted into the kingdom of heaven. How is that done? By accepting Jesus as our lord.
That story is as simple as that and that is all there is to it!...
Matt 25:1-13 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
THEN THERE IS ISAIAH 62...
Isa 62:4 Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.
Some have said He won't marry a city but here the Lord is married to the land so, as in Rev 21:9-10 He can be married to a city if He wants. What difference is that to us? God can do what He wants to do whether we understand it or not. After all, when did God ever do anything that really made sense to us?
...AND JEREMIAH 3:14
Jer 3:14 "Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:"
Once again the prophet is addressing Israel and not the church. There was no church yet. Furthermore, the prophet says God is ALREADY married to Israel! So, maybe there is not a wedding in heaven later but only a marriage supper since there is no mention of a wedding for Jesus... hmmm.
WHY DO WE ALWAYS READ THINGS INTO THE WORD?
So, how did some miss that passage and turn the church or even Israel into the "bride of Christ"? Israel makes more sense but still I'm not sure why people draw conclusions like these without clear evidence. My guess is it has something to do with trying to figure out the marriage supper of the Lamb. As humans I think we tend to want to understand everything so we just read stuff into things that aren't really there in order to make some sort of sense out of it.
PREACHERS AREN'T ALWAYS RIGHT
Just because somebody in the pulpit says it, that doesn't make it true. The word of God has to clearly, come right out and say it for it to be true unless it otherwise says so. Such as when Jesus said He was telling a parable. If that is what Jesus did then we can expect that is what God did when He inspired the Bible's writers.
WHAT THE "Bride of Christ" DOCTRINE TEACHES
The "bride of Christ" doctrine tells us once we "stand up and have all the wrinkles out of our wedding dress" then we will be ready (that comes from the scripture that says "..once the bride hath made herself ready..."). It tells us the Lord will return and get us once we "make ourselves ready", are without "spot or blemish" and when the church is perfect and ready. I must have heard that come from the pulpit a hundred times. Nothing can be further from the truth.
BEING READY IS A GIFT
You see, being perfect is a gift and it is a gift we already have. Sorry, but the last time I read 2 Cor. 5:21, Romans 3:26, 1 Cor 1:30, and 2 Cor 9:10 it says we have been made the righteousness of God already. We are already without "spot or blemish". We are already perfect and righteous. Jesus can return now if God tells Him to. He can return at anytime. More importantly is the fact that if we are made righteous through the blood of Jesus then it takes away from us "the works" that we will have to do to become perfect. It makes it all about grace again and not something we do on our own. It makes it all about his ability to save us and His ability working in us to give us the power to overcome sin in our own lives. This is the fundamental reason Jesus gave His life for us. "The bride" teaching removes the fundamental purpose in the plan of salvation. Our salvation becomes about works and about making ourselves perfect and ready. Grace is denied. Its by grace we are saved and it will be by grace that He will return and get His church. (Eph. 2).
RIGHTEOUSNESS IS THE PURPOSE OF GOD'S PLAN FOR MAN
The entire purpose of God in sending His son as a sacrifice for the sins of the world was to give us His righteousness. He came to make us righteous. Without His righteousness we cannot be in his presence and have a personal relationship with Him right now. Do we understand the depth and magnitude of being made righteous? We have been made righteous! Righteousness is the primary work of the New Birth. We are already righteous and perfect and without spot or blemish as far as God is concerned. We don't have to do a thing to become perfect. We already are. His grace working in us is what makes us worthy and deserving of all God has for us. My righteousness is "as filthy rags". Whatever good things I do are still not good enough. Why? because, as Paul said, ...sin is waring in my members". That means my own good works are still tainted. But on the other hand, you see, once I have received "the abundance of grace", through faith, I become righteous with God's perfect, glorious and bright shining righteousness. That is the righteousness that holy Jerusalem's (the lamb's wife) garment is made of. So, now then, Jesus can return any time now and get us. We don't have to get all the "spots and blemishes" out first. Jesus' work on the cross already did that.
CHRISTIANITY BECOMES LIKE ALL THE OTHER RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD
I used to think the "bride of Christ" doctrine was a secondary issue in Christianity but with further consideration I've found it is not. It is a primary issue. What it teaches causes us to find ourselves doing works to become "without spot or wrinkle". Our Christianity becomes just like all the rest of the religions of the world. It becomes a religion of works and not one founded in God's grace. The "Bride of Christ" teaching takes away from us God's grace and gift of righteousness. We then become all about works. The Galations were all about works. What did Paul call those Galations? He called them fools.
ANOTHER PROBLEM THAT COULD BE IN THIS DOCTRINE
In addition to quashing the gift of righteousness by the "Bride of Christ' doctrine, our understanding of our authority and position in Christ is effected as well. Being in his body is much more powerful than the position and authority we might have as a bride.
For example, when it comes right down to it, my wife is limited in her authority. I can delegate my authority to her but she can never have my total authority. It's not that way with the body of Christ. He gave us all of His authority as kings and priests in the earth. We are his body. We have His authority in the earth. That authority is the Word of God He gave us to hear, believe, speak and live by in order to do what the first Adam didn't. That is to subdue the earth and replenish it. We get the earth back from satan.
DON'T BELIEVE ANYTHING YOU HEAR (INCLUDING WHAT I WRITE) UNLESS IT CAN BE CLEARLY BACKED UP BY THE WORD
I can clearly backup, with scripture, the fact that the Lamb's wife is the holy city of Jerusalem. But the ones who believe the church is the bride of Christ cannot back it up with obvious scripture.
Its good to question everything we are being taught. I have always been puzzled by this teaching. The word says in heaven we don't marry. "But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:" Luke 20:35. I don't think this verse has much to do with the "bride of Christ" doctrine yet, on second thought, maybe it does. Since there is no limiting language in this scripture. If Luke 10:35 says we won't be given in marriage then can it even be possible to be married to Jesus or anyone else for that matter, in the hereafter? Anyway, that scripture is what started me questioning all this.
BRIDE OF CHRIST ORIGINS
The term "Bride of Christ" has it roots in the Roman Catholic Church. You probably know the clergy or priests of the Roman Catholic Church "marries" their church, taking a oath to celebacy. As a result, the term "Bride of Christ" was eventually coined in relation to this practice. Today, this concept and terminology has spilled over into our own fundamental Christian doctrines.
THE PLAY "THE BRIDE"
Several years ago (early 90's) there was a play called "The Bride". This play told a story of how the church is the "bride of Christ". This play was performed in many cities in the US. It was a nice little drama but it is unscriptural. In spite of that, the body of Christ, once again went for it and made it a doctrinal pillar.
IT SOUNDS GOOD
All this sounded good so somehow this doctrine got into what is being preached today. Just because the doctrine sounds good doesn't mean its God. Don't believe a thing just because at first glace it makes sense. If its not clearly in the word, its not so.
OUR RELATIONSHIP TO GOD IS A COVENANT RELATIONSHIP
I don't believe we should throw out notion that we have a similar relationship to God as a husband would have to his wife in covenant only. That is, in light of the promises and covenants we make with our spouse in marriage. Those are similar to the ones Jesus makes to us in the promises of the New Covenant.
THE PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WE HAVE WITH GOD
In the concept of "intimacy" with God in a personal relationship with Him, it is like that of a son to his dad. We are also called a friend of God. We became the sons of God when Jesus laid down His life for us. Now we call God "dad".
I SEARCHED THE BIBLE FOR "BRIDE OF CHRIST"
As I was finding out for myself what the word really says about this, I looked up the following terminologies in concordances; "bride of Christ", "the bride", "bride", and "wife". I read every reference to these as well as looked up what the original Hebrew/Greek meanings of these words are and here's what I discovered.
First of all I found tons of verses in the word saying we are the body of Christ and the church, but on the other hand, there are only a handful about any bride relationship God might have to us and those don't come out and plainly state we are the "bride of Christ". I was really surprised that I didn't find in any reference where it clearly stated the church or the body of Christ is the "bride of Christ". In fact I couldn't find the term "bride of Christ" in the Bible at all! I couldn't find it anywhere! WOW! And after hearing all these years about the church being the "bride of Christ"!
INFERRENCES DON'T ESTABLISH TRUTH
This thing about us being "the "bride of Christ"" can only be inferred! Building doctrines on inferrences will mess us up and get us off the truth. This is the reason the Jones followers got off and drank the kool-aid. I don't know about you but I'm not going with any doctrine that is inferred.
For example, It can be inferred that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was for the early church only and that God doesn't operate that way today. For centuries the church, by and large, had been robbed of the comfort, revelation, ability and power found in the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I'm glad we don't believe that's true anymore.
Also consider that "the church" once believed women shouldn't be in ministry or pastoring or in any leadership positions. That misconception came out inferences taken out of the word too. We don't accept those two inferences as truth anymore yet we will accept inferences when it comes to the bride teaching. I find that an inconsistent approach to figuring out the truth in the word.
In interpreting the word, I take the word literally for what it says unless it specifically says otherwise. For instance, Jesus told many stories that had meanings and were similes. Before He told His stories, He always let the hearer know He was about to tell a parable before He told it.
A FEW MORE SCRIPTURES THAT HAVE BEEN MISINTERPRETED
Now then, the following scriptures make only a relationship comparison but they don't say we are the "bride of Christ". Also notice the topic of discussion is about husbands and wives, not a bride. The topic is about a husband and a wife. Nothing here relates to Jesus as having the church as a bride. In fact it clearly says Jesus is the head of the church.
"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, AS unto the Lord"
"For the husband is the head of the wife, even AS Christ is the head of the church"(vs. 23).
"For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even AS the Lord the church" (vs. 29).
The apostle, by using a simile instead of a metaphor is desiring to show the resemblance between the marriage relationship and Christ and the Church. Paul points to the love relationship to demonstrate that "as Christ loved the Church," husbands should love their wives. In like manner, wives are to emulate the Church by submitting to their own husbands. Nowhere in the portion under consideration does the apostle use the metaphor of a bride. In fact, just the opposite is true: ". . . and He is the Savior of the BODY" (vs. 23). "For we are members of His BODY, of His flesh, and of His bones" (vs. 30).
"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" (11 Cor. 11:2). This is a simile and not a metaphor. It does not say the church is the "bride of Christ".
"FINALLY BRETHEREN WHATSOVER THINGS ARE...TRUE"
Until it can be unquestionably proved that we, the body of Christ are "the "bride of Christ", I don't plan on building a message, doctrine, or ministry around it or writing any books about it. I'm going to continue walking in His grace and maintaining a righteousness consciousness. I'm playing it safe on this one and just referring to all of us as the "body of Christ".
|Face Palmer |
User ID: 51034811
12/04/2013 05:34 AM
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You wrote a lot of text, but as "the church" never appears in the bible in the first place, its pretty useless to read.
If one word is never mentioned in any book, that book can never say missing word is in relation to another. Logic.
"The world will soon wake up to the reality that everyone is broke and can collect nothing from the bankrupt, who are owed unlimited amounts by the insolvent, who are attempting to make late payments on a bank holiday in the wrong country, with an unacceptable currency, against defaulted collateral, of which nobody is sure who holds title."
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
The woman who is not pursued sets up the doctrine that pursuit is offensive to her sex, and wants to make it a felony. No genuinely attractive woman has any such desire. - H.L. Mencken, In Defense Of Women
User ID: 50978779
12/08/2013 06:25 AM
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You wrote a lot of text, but as "the church" never appears in the bible in the first place, its pretty useless to read.Quoting: Face Palmer
If one word is never mentioned in any book, that book can never say missing word is in relation to another. Logic.
Thank you for your reply.
However you seem to have misunderstood.
1. I did not "write a lot of text".
As I clearly stated, I did NOT write this.
I only copied and pasted the article at the link as an act of kindness for those who wished to read it.
2. Your issue with the word/term "Church", proves the author's point EXACTLY. Just as there is no reference to the "Church being the Bride of Christ"........what we call the "Church" is actually "THE BODY of Christ".
3. Numerous translations DO use the term "Church" .... for example , when Yeshuah changes Simon's name to "Peter" (the Rock) and declares that, 'I will build my Church upon you, Peter.' (not a direct quote, of course).
Other translations use the word "Temple", "Rock", "Body", "My People", etc.
Again.....thank you for reading the article and commenting. I am glad that I could clear up these misconceptions.
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