Pro and Con 1434

Posted 9-17-08

aurora at north pole

Aurora at North Pole, Alaska

Incoming e-mail, Re: Bride of Chirst

From: Barry Robb - Please see my article on www.hubpages.com entitled, "The Church is the "Brideof Christ" Oh Really?" Just do a search on "Bride of Christ" I think you'll find it interesting.

My reply

> > NO SUCH THING AS THE "BRIDE OF CHRIST" IN THE BIBLE
> > We can find a "Lambs' Wife" but no "Bride of Christ"

The Lamb is Christ. The Bride becomes the wife after the Marriage of the Lamb. Rev 19:7 (KJV) 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." She has to do something to make herself ready. What does she have to do?

Rev 19:8 (Darby) says, "And it was given to her that she should be clothed in fine linen, bright and pure; for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the saints." We must have Christ's righteousness imputed to us, AND our own righteous acts of some kind. What kind of righteous acts?

> > 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. Hallelujah, 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. 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.

Don't kid yourself. Unless we find out what we have to do, we will be foolish virgins without enough oil of the Holy Spirit.

2Sa 22:29 (KJV) says, "thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness."

Mt 25:3-12 says, "They that were FOOLISH took their lamps (i.e., they believed in the Lord), and took no oil (i.e., extra oil of the Holy Spirit) with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels (i.e., bodies) with their lamps. While the bridegroom (Christ) tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom (Christ) 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 (lit., going out, i.e., sputtering). 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 (Christ) 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." What do you have to do to be ready?

Prov 13:9 says, "The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but THE LAMP OF THE WICKED SHALL BE PUT OUT." What do you have to do to be "righteous"?

Prov 20:20 says, "Whoso curseth his father or his mother, HIS LAMP SHALL BE PUT OUT IN OBSCURE DARKNESS." Why? because he sinned.

Isaiah understood. Isa 62:1 says, "For Zion's sake 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."

What are "old sins"? 2Pe 1:4-11 says, "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: THAT BY THESE YE MIGHT BE PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE (i.e., the Holy Spirit), having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But HE THAT LACKETH THESE THINGS IS BLIND, AND CANNOT SEE AFAR OFF (i.e., Heaven) AND HATH FORGOTTEN THAT HE WAS PURGED FROM HIS OLD SINS (i.e., when he accepted Christ). Wherefore the rather, brethren (believers), GIVE DILIGENCE TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." How do we make our calling and election sure?

Luke 12:46 says, "The lord of that servant (the unwise one) will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder (lit., cut him off), and will appoint him his portion (the Tribulation) WITH THE UNBELIEVERS." How can you avoid getting cut off?

Mt 24:51 adds, "And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion (the Tribulation) with the hypocrites (pretenders): THERE SHALL BE WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH. " How can you avoid the Tribulation? Better to weep now than after being cut off.

Mt 22:9-14 says, "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." How do you get a wedding garment?

> > OUR POSITION IS EFFECTED TOO

> > In addition to quashing the gift of righteousness by the "Bride of Christ' doctrine, it seems to me that 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.

Nevertheless, Rev 17:14 says, "These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and THEY THAT ARE WITH HIM ARE CALLED, AND CHOSEN, AND FAITHFUL." How do you get to be called, and chosen, and faithful?

> > 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.

> > Jesus and Paul never preached or taught a "bride of Christ" doctrine. That alone is enough reason to not accept this doctrine.

In Mt. 25, Jesus, the Bridegroom, gave us the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. What was that all about?

In 1Co 9:24, Paul said, "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain." How do you run this race?

> > We have to think this through... If the church is Christ's body, then we are part of Christ. That makes us the husband to the bride and not the bride. That is not possible. If Jesus is the head and the church is his body how can Jesus marry his own body? Thats crazy! Coming to think about it in these terms makes the "Bride of Christ" doctrine really stupid. Jesus isn't going to marry his own body. He will marry his wife. The only thing he can marry will be the "Lamb's Wife". And that is the Holy Jerusalem.

It would be wise to think this through fast. The Rapture might catch up the wise virgins at the upcoming Feast of Trumpets. You wouldn't want to be left behind.

> > "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".

Have it your own way, but for me, I want to be presented to Christ as a chaste virgin. I want to be part of the Bride of Christ. I don't want to be cut off. I realize that I must be called, and chosen, and faithful.

I know what Jesus meant in John 13:8-10. "Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean".

When we accept Christ, our "old sins" are wiped off the slate. Afterward, any more sins must be confessed to God. I John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

When we are cleansed from all unrighteousness, we have our "righteousnesses" (both Christ's and ours), and therefore we have our white wedding garments. We are ready for the Rapture. We are not Laodiceans without white garments.

After the Pre-Trib Rapture, the saints sing a new song (Rev. 5:9).

After the Pre-Wrath Rapture, only the 144,000 Israelites can sing the new song. Why? They are virgins without fault before the throne of God.

Rev 14:1-5 says, "I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a NEW SONG before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are WITHOUT FAULT before the throne of God."

We need to be "without fault." The foolish-virgin Gentiles that get left behind will not be added to the Bride group, for "NO MAN COULD LEARN THAT SONG BUT THE HUNDRED AND FORTY AND FOUR THOUSAND."

All the saints caught up in the first Rapture sing the "NEW SONG" (Rev. 5:9). Be the Bride. Agape

His reply, Re: Bride of Chirst

Thank you for your response. I am gald we are opening this discussion. I believe that it is extremely import for the church to get back on track and fully understand the work of grace and what we have under the New Covenant.

Jesus didn't preach this and Paul didn't preach this.

I believe it is not helping to preach that we have to make ourselves ready. I know I am the righteousness of God in Christ and that I am already ready. I also do understand that His sacrifice on the cross does not give us a license to sin.

The refrences you give me on this only reinforce my belief that this doctrine isn't quite right. Christians are still trying to do something to become ready when in fact we are already ready. This doctrine just makes our Christianity like all the other religions of the world. Just like a moth to the flame, man is drawn to works to become good enough to make it. We end up having to do something to make ourselves ready. Nothing is further from the truth.

Response to the scriptures you posted.

Rev 19:8--- The linen is the righteousness of the saints. That does not say we are any bride of Christ. We are His body and our righteousness is the great city, holy Jerusalem's linen. We are already righteous. Its the glory of His righteousness imputed to us that is its beautiful linen that is without spot or blemish. But we are not the Bride, we are the body of Christ and our righteousness is the linen the garment.

Whats being made ready is that "great city, holy Jerusalem". Jesus himself said that He went to prepare a place for us. This is what He was talking about. The holy Jerusalem is making herself ready. (Rev 21:2) We aren't the Bride. We are the body and the "great city, holy Jerusalem" is the Lamb's wife. It is clothed wiith the righteousness God gave us. Nothing can shine brighter.

Do you see what this means? We can enter into His rest and not freak out whenever we make a mistake or sin. He still loves us and we are still saved. And His power of grace gives us the abilty to not sin. Sinning won't take away our readiness since if we do sin we have an advocate with the Father.

Check out my hub on "The Grace of God"

We are not capable of any righteous acts...

We can behave. But still we have the sin nature waring in our inward parts. Good behaviour is not righteousness. Righteousness is a gift imputed to us. We have been already righteus. So you reinforce my point exactly.

As for all the rest of the scriptures, can't you see that God does all the actions not you or me?

The gift of righteousness is what makes you called, chosen and faithful even when you sin.

And in answering the story in Matthew; It cannot be said that it ays the body of Christ is the bride of Christ. This story is a parable, a simile. What is meant is that a person has to get saved in order to be ready. That is all we have to do, is get saved to be ready. When we get saved, we are then made righteous. If we are righteous then we are ready. Does that give us a license to sin? No. Paul said that. He said "...what? put Christ to the cross again? God forbid. But if I do sin I have an advocate with the Father." That is beause we are made righteous. Yes, we do have to confess our sin. But He is quick to forgive us of our sin.

I am already clothed with the garment of righteousness. I am already ready to be raptured. I don't have to do a thing to get ready. God did it for me. Besides, I don't have it in me, on my own without His power of grace working in me to save me.

Additionally, whats the difference if I die now or get raptured? If I die now I will go to heaven. Under what you say, I'll have to get myself ready before I die or I will go to Hell. I don't have the power to get myself ready. But my God gave me his righteousness. So, I am already ready and wether its in death or in rapture I will go to be with Him.

2 Peter 1 ---- Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. I guess if we have to do something to get ready then I will concede that there is something. We have to hear the word of God and let it change us. BUT... We are also purged and made clean by the washing of the water of the word. But you see, it is the power of the word that does it. my not my doing something.

I will add virtue and all those things by being changed by the word of God. In the meantime I will am still made righteous. That is the revelation Paul had.

My reply

> > I am already ready.

> > Under what you say, I'll have to get myself ready before I die or I will go to Hell.

That's not true. I believe once saved, always saved. Because you are a believer, no matter what you do, you will be among those called to the "general assembly" in Heaven on the Day of the Judgment Seat of Christ. That day is also the day of the Pre-Wrath Rapture and the Day of God's Wrath.

We have the choice of going to Heaven in the Pre-Trib Rapture or in the Pre-Wrath Rapture. The wise virgins go in the first Rapture. The foolish virgins go in the second Rapture. The first "trump of God" (I Thess. 4:16) is before the Tribulation. The "last trump" (I Cor. 15:51,52) is just after the Day of God's Wrath begins. (Rev. 6:17; 7:9,14).

Heb 12:22,23 says, "But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,"

> > We can enter into His rest and not freak out whenever we make a mistake or sin. He still loves us and we are still saved.

True, we are still saved, but it could be so as by fire.

For believers, judgment is a matter of rewards, not of salvation. In 1Cor 3:11-15, Paul said, "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. IF ANY MAN'S WORK SHALL BE BURNED, HE SHALL SUFFER LOSSS: BUT HE HIMSELF SHALL BE SAVED; YET SO AS BY FIRE."

Rev 11:18 tells us about the Day of Judgment, which is also the Day of God's Wrath. It says, "And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth."

Can you explain what Paul meant In 1Cor 9:24-27? His salvation was not in question. He said, "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we (i.e., believers) an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."

What did Paul mean by being a castaway? We don't want to be castaways. What do we have to do to earn an incorruptible crown?

What did Paul mean in Phil. 2:14-16? He said, "Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ (i.e., the day of the Pre-Trib Rapture), that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain." How could Paul, a believer, run the race in vain?

What does Heb 12:1 mean? Paul probably wrote it too. It says, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us".

> > Righteousness is a gift imputed to us. We have been already righteus.

> > I am already clothed with the garment of righteousness. I am already ready to be raptured. I don't have to do a thing to get ready. God did it for me. Besides, I don't have it in me, on my own without His power of grace working in me to save me.

> > But if I do sin I have an advocate with the Father." That is beause we are made righteous. Yes, we do have to confess our sin. But He is quick to forgive us of our sin.

That's true. Why do we have to confess our sin? So we can experience the joy of being in fellowship with our holy God and be filled with the Holy Spirit.

I John 1:3-10 says, "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And THESE THINGS WRITE WE UNTO YOU, THAT YOUR JOY MAY BE FULL. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness (symbol for sin) at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from ALL sin. IfF WE SAY THAT WE HAVE NO SIN, WE DECEIVE OURSELVES, AND THE TRUTH IS NOT IN US. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."

> > I will add virtue and all those things by being changed by the word of God. In the meantime I will am still made righteous. That is the revelation Paul had.

Of that list of virtues, 2Peter 1:4 says, "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that BY THESE YE MIGHT BE PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE" (i.e., the Holy Spirit).

Sin quenches the Holy Spirit. 1Th 5:19 says, "Quench not the Spirit." The command is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. That can only happen if we are forgiven all our sins. Then the Holy Spirit will well up within us like a fountain of living water.

Heb 12:1, sounds like Paul. It says, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and LET US RUN WITH PATIENCE THE RACE THAT IS SET BEFORE US."

> > We end up having to do something to make ourselves ready. Nothing is further from the truth.

This is serious business. At first, Peter didn't understand either. Please pay close attention to Jesus. He is our highest authority. In John 13:8-10, "Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, IF I WASH THEE NOT, THOU HAST NO PART WITH ME. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, HE THAT IS WASHED NEEDETH NOT SAVE TO WASH HIS FEET, but is clean every whit".

How do we allow Jesus to wash our feet? Listen to John, the disciple that Jesus loved. In 1 John 1:9, he said, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

That is "If," maybe we will and maybe we won't, but if we do, Jesus will "cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Then, we will change from being foolish virgins not quite grasping how to buy more oil to be wise virgins with enough oil of the Holy Spirit in their vessels, bodies, to be chosen to go with the Bridegroom when he comes at the first Rapture. Jesus "is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are CALLED, and CHOSEN, and FAITHFUL" (Rev. 17:14).

What does the word "repent" mean? Like the foolish virgins who don't know how to get ready, the Laodiceans don't quite get it, either.

In Rev 3:16-19, Jesus told them, "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I WILL SPUE THEE OUT OF MY MOUTH (i.e., at the first Rapture). Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and WHITE RAIMENT, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and REPENT."

The Tribulation saints miss the first-trump Rapture (maybe on the Feast of Trumpets, Tishri 1, 5769, when the Crescent Moon is sighted, between Sept. 30 and Oct. 2, 2008) when they are spewed out of Christ's mouth. Seven years later (probably on the Feast of Trumpets in 5776; Sept. 14, 2015), after they are caught up at the "last trump," they will have finally figured out how to wash their garments that were spotted by the flesh.

If you are among them, you will have lots of company. Rev. 7:9-15 says, "After this I beheld, and, lo, A GREAT MULTITUDE, WHICH NO MAN COULD NUMBER, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders (i.e., one of the 24 elders caught up in the first Rapture, probably John) answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, THESE ARE THEY WHICH CAME OUT OF GREAT TRIBULATION, AND HAVE WASHED THEIR ROBES, AND HAVE MADE THEM WHITE IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB.Therefore are they before the throne of God".

If, and I hope you don't, but if you miss the First Trump, you will be caught up at the Last Trump. By then, you will have figured out how to wash your robe in the blood of the Lamb. All sins have to be brought under the blood of Christ. When we accept Christ, we are wise virgins. All our "old sins" are washed away. If we sin after that, those sins need to be confessed to bring them under the blood of Christ. We must allow Jesus to wash our feet.

Now, do you understand Luke 12:46? It says, "The lord of that servant (the foolish one) will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder (lit., cut him off, i.e., spew him out of his mouth), and will appoint him his portion (i.e., the Tribulation) with the unbelievers."

From the Feast of Trumpets in 2008 to the Feast of Trumpets in 2015 is 7 years, the Tribulation.

Luke 21:36 says, "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be ACCOUNTED WORTHY TO ESCAPE all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."

Those that miss the First Trump will be tried 7 years. To the Philadelphians before whom is the open door of Heaven, and for whom Jesus has no words of condemnation, Rev. 3:10 says, "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience (hupomone, patient steadfast waiting), I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation (trial), which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth."

As Bob Ayala's song reminds the Laodiceans, "Don't get left behind the second time." Agape

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