The Bride of Christ

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by prophecynut, Jun 10, 2005.

  1. prophecynut

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    During the 20 years as a Christian everyone says the Church is the bride of Christ. I've looked from Genesis to Revelation, unable to locate Scriptural evidence, does anybody out there have some?
     
  2. eschatologist

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    You have to link other scripture together which then indicates the Bride of Christ as being the church. Here is one such account:

    In Heb.12:22-24 the church is also called
    "the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the
    living God."

    In Rev.21:2f this same city, "the new
    Jerusalem" was seen "coming down out of
    heaven from God, prepared as a bride
    beautifully dressed for her husband."

    There are other such links in scripture that support this concept, though through inference.(see also Gal.4:26;Heb.11:10;Rev.3:12)
     
  3. prophecynut

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    eschatologist

    It appears you're edentifying the heavenly New Jerusalem and the church together as the bride of Christ :confused:

    Your reference to Rev. 21:2 needs further clarification. If you read verse one the New Jerusalem descends when the new heaven and new earth is established after the Millennium. At this time all saints of all ages dwell there, those raptured and those resurrected at the Second coming and the Millennial saints. Would you agree that the Church saints are not the only ones there? If so then the New Jerusalem at this point in time might be dressed as a bride for her husband who is God the Father.

    Heb. 12:22-24 is the heavenly Jerusalem seen by Moses when the law was given at Mount Sinai. The names of all Church saints were written in heaven awaiting check in time for the raptured church saints.

    Gal 4:26 refers to the heavenly city as our "mother" and Christians there as her children, nothing about the bride of Christ.

    Rev. 3:12 has the Church as the main upholder of truth in the heavenly Jerusalem, the same as we were on earth (1 Tim. 3:15), again I don't see any bride referenced.

    To me the heavenly city is the bride of both God (21:1-2) and Jesus (v 9) and not the Church today.

    Which way will it be for you, is the New Jerusalem the bride or is the present church the bride of Christ? I don't think you can have it both ways and have it make sense.
     
  4. eschatologist

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    As a Preterist I believe that the New Jerusalem IS the church, the Bride of Christ, and the Kingdom which is spoken of in the New Testament. I can elaborate on this further if you like, but I have found that on this site when opposing theoloies(views: i.e. Futurist& Preterist)) collide not much gets accomplished when a person refuses to take a look at something that is fundementally different than they have learned in the past -- right or wrong!
     
  5. prophecynut

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    I can relate to this, I've had the same difficulty.

    Focusing on the church as the bride, you still haven't given scriptural evidence. Can you or anyone else provide the proof taken from Acts through Revelation that the church is the bride and Jesus is the bridegroom?
     
  6. eschatologist

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    The parable about the wedding banquet has inference regarding this(and ALL the parables relate some indirect figurative meaning about a real direct situation!). But there is NO direct statement confirming the concept as the church being the Bride of Christ, yet I feel like this is the answer you are searching for anyhow --that the church is NOT the Bride of Christ. If you do not accept inference regarding SOME bible interpretation then the concept of the Trinity is not an accepted reality or is foreign as well! If you are a 'prophecynut' as your title implies' then inference, symbols, and metaphors should be well known to you, so you have me a little confused.
     
  7. prophecynut

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    Thanks for replying end time guy.

    The ten virgins waiting for the bride groom and wedding banquet is considered the Church by many Christians. I disagree because the context of Mt. 24,25 is Jewish and the Church did not exist when Jesus instructed his disciples on the Mount of Olives. If the disciples were ignorant about the Church they would not of associated the things in 24 with it, rather it is Israel and the Jews during the time of "Jacob's trouble." During their trouble they are commanded to "watch" for their Messiah because he might come on a day they will not be aware of.

    Pre Tribers who associate the virgins and wedding banquet with the Rapture don't realize the context is the Second Coming and not the rapture which occurs before the Tribulation. Not knowing the "day or hour" applies to the Second Coming and not the Rapture.

    There is no Scriptural evidence of the Church being the bride of Christ yet this belief is almost unanimous among Christians; everybody has jumped on a horseless bandwagon.

    I ask you and others to review other scriptures naming Jesus as the bridegroom: Mt. 9:15; Mk. 2:19-20; Lk. 5:34-36; John 2:9; 3:29.

    If Jesus is the bridegroom who is the bride?
     
  8. av1611jim

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    I have very little time right now, but allow me to encapsulate the concept of "Bride" and "Body" of Christ.

    The church is the "body" of Christ. I believe this is in Ephesians. (I would have to double check)

    But not ALL of the Body is the Bride.

    The book of Genesis is, (as we all know) the book of beginnings. In it we encounter the Principle of First Mention. For example, when sin first shows up, we find that Satan used three weapons against our first parents. They are Lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. This is confirmed numerous times, and finally encapsulated in the NT in those precise words.

    Therefore; we see God creating Adam. Then He takes Adam's Bride FROM his body.

    Jesus is the Second Adam. Jesus will take His Bride FROM His Body. What this means for Christains today (and all through the past age) is that some parts of the body will not be chosen to make up the Bride.

    This is what it means to make your calling and election sure. This is what it means to work out your own salvation in fear and trembling. This is what it means to endure unto the end. This is what it means to strive against sin, even unto blood. This is what it means to press toward the mark for the high calling of Christ Jesus.

    Only they who are found worthy (by their behavior as members of the body) will be counted "Blessed and holy" and will have part in the First Resurrection and rule and Reign with Him. Jesus, as King of Kings will rule for 1000 years. The Bride of Christ will be His consort, ruling with Him in His throne.

    There are numerous Scriptures to expand this doctrine. Sadly, many have discounted this truth in the name of "Pauline Dispensationalism".

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  9. prophecynut

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    "The church is the Body of Christ, but not ALL of the Body is the Bride." What? Jim's post is so confusing there's no way I'm attempting to unravel this mess. :rolleyes:
     
  10. av1611jim

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    P-nut;
    TRY again.
    It is very clear. Adam's bride came FROM his body, she was not ALL of his body.
    Same with Christ and His body and bride.

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  11. DHK

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    Luke 7:28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.

    John 3:27-30 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
    28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
    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.
    30 He must increase, but I must decrease.

    John was the last of the Old Testament prophets. He was also called a "friend of the Bride." He was not a part of the Bride, but only a friend of the bride. When the marriage supper of the lamb takes place in Heaven, John, with all the other Old Testament saints will stand rejoicing as friends of the Bride. They will not be the Bride, but only friends of the Bride.
    The bridegroom is Christ. The Bride is composed of every believer that has put their faith in Christ in this Church Age, or since John the Baptist.
    DHK
     
  12. av1611jim

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    DHK;
    That is incorrect.
    Is Eve every part of Adam or just part of Him.
    The Church IS the body of Christ, but the Bride is only a small part of it, just as Eve was only from Adam's side not his entire body.

    Christ is the Second Adam. The type cannot be broken. God formed Eve FROM Adam. She is not ALL of Adam.

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  13. DHK

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    You can make hell into heaven using types and allegorizations. This method of Bible interpretation began with the heretic Augustine. It is Catholic in nature, and leads to all kinds of heresies. The Bible is meant to be taken literally, not reading into it types where there are none. It works well for the Catholics.
    DHK
     
  14. prophecynut

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    I think you meant to say bridegroom instead of "bride"; "The friend (John) who attends the bridegroom (Jesus) waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he (John) hears the bridegroom's (Jesus) voice. John 3:29

    Notice John is the only one called the friend of the bridegroom while His disciples are the "guests" of the bridegroom.

    Mt. 9:15 - "Jesus answered, 'How can the guests (disciples) of the bridegroom (Jesus) mourn while he is with them. The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast'."

    Mk. 2:19 - "Jesus answered, 'How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them'?"

    Jesus is the bridegroom.
    Disciples are the guests.
    John is the friend or best man of the bridegroom.


    I made changes within your quote. Will not explain changes now, rather stay on who's the bride.

    The disciples and John were Israelites. Jesus came and proposed marriage or the kingdom of God to his people, but was rejected, so he turn his back against them and offered the kingdom to the Gentiles.

    Who is the bride?
     
  15. Kamoroso

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    Rev 12:15-17 15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
    16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
    17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

    The woman and her seed are those who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of
    Jesus. Christ's church, that is, those who are in this world, but worship and live for Christ, are prophetically referred to as a woman, or the seed of a woman. However, there are two separate
    woman referred to in the scriptures, in regards to the church. There is a pure woman, or virgin, and there is the harlot, or whore. These two woman represent either the true church, or an apostate church. This terminology is used in both the old, and new testaments in reference to those who claim to be God's people.

    Isa 1:21 21 How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.

    Jer 2:20 20 For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands; and thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot.

    Jer 3:1-2 1 They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD.
    2 Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness.

    Jer 3:6-8 6 The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot.
    7 And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.
    8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went andplayed the harlot also.

    Ezek 16:14-17 14 And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD.
    15 But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was.
    16 And of thy garments thou didst take, and deckedst thy high places with divers colours, and
    playedst the harlot
    thereupon: the like things shall not come, neither shall it be so.
    17 Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them,

    Ezek 16:28-29 28 Thou hast played the whore also with the Assyrians, because thou wast
    unsatiable; yea, thou hast played the harlot with them, and yet couldest not be satisfied.
    29 Thou hast moreover multiplied thy fornication in the land of Canaan unto Chaldea; and yet thou wast not satisfied herewith.

    Hosea 4:15-19 15 Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and come not ye unto Gilgal, neither go ye up to Bethaven, nor swear, The LORD liveth.
    16 For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer: now the LORD will feed them as a lamb in a large place.
    17 Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.
    18 Their drink is sour: they have committed whoredom continually: her rulers with shame do love, Give ye.
    19 The wind hath bound her up in her wings, and they shall be ashamed because of their
    sacrifices.

    Rev 17:1-2 1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with
    me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:
    2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.


    Rev 17:15 15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

    Rev 19:2 2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication , and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.

    Rev 17:5-6 5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
    6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of
    Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

    These are some of the scriptures that refer to Israel, and the new covenant church in an apostate condition. I'm sure that you realize that a whore, or harlot, is a woman. We will now examine some of the scriptures referring to Israel, or the church as a woman, and bride.

    Isa 62:4-5 4 Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.
    5 For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.


    John 3:28-30 28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
    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.
    30 He must increase, but I must decrease.


    Matt 9:15 15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.

    Jer 3:13-14 13 Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy
    God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD.
    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:

    Rev 19:6-9 6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many
    waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent
    reigneth.
    7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and hiswife hath made herself ready.
    8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

    9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

    Isa 37:22 22 This is the word which the LORD hath spoken concerning him; The virgin, the
    daughter of Zion
    , hath despised thee, and laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.

    Jer 14:17 17 Therefore thou shalt say this word unto them; Let mine eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease: for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great breach, with a very grievous blow.

    Jer 31:2-4 2 Thus saith the LORD, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the
    wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest.
    3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
    4 Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry.

    Jer 31:21-22 21 Set thee up waymarks, make thee high heaps: set thine heart toward the highway,
    even the way which thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy cities.
    22 How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.

    Lam 1:15 15 The Lord hath trodden under foot all my mighty men in the midst of me: he hath called an assembly against me to crush my young men: the Lord hath trodden the virgin, the daughter of Judah, as in a winepress.

    Lam 2:13 13 What thing shall I take to witness for thee? what thing shall I liken to thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? what shall I equal to thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Zion? for thy breach is great like the sea: who can heal thee?

    Amos 5:1-2 1 Hear ye this word which I take up against you, even a lamentation, O house of Israel.
    2 The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up.

    Matt 25:1 1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

    2 Cor 11:1-2 1 Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me.
    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.

    Rom 7:4 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.


    Eph 5:24-32 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
    25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

    26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
    27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
    28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
    29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
    30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
    31 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.
    32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.


    Christ left His Father in heaven, and became one flesh with humanity. He brought humanity and
    divinity together. This is the gospel. Those who accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal savior, enter into a relationship with the Lord that is symbolized by marriage. The two become one. This is salvation. For this reason, the church is referred to as a woman, that has been married, or betrothed to the Lord. Those who say that the bride of Christ is the New Jerusalem, are right, but the New Jerusalem is filled with the saints, that have been redeemed by Christ. They have entered into the deepest relationship possible. They are in Christ, and Christ is in them.

    Rom 8:1-4 1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
    2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
    3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
    4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    Rom 6:3-7 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized
    into his death?

    4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
    5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
    6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
    7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

    John 17:20-23 20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
    21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
    22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

    23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one;[/b] and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

    Col 1:25-27 25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
    26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
    27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the
    Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

    The bride is ready, when she has received the clean and white linen of the righteousness of Christ. This righteousness is the gift of God, to those who have entered into this love relationship with Him.

    Rev 19:6-9 6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
    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.
    8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
    9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the
    Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.


    Bye for now. Your brother in
    Christ, Keith.
     
  16. prophecynut

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    All these posts add confusion to the simple question of who is the bride of Christ of which you did not directly answer. I've selected the Ephesians passage that describes the church's relationship to Chirst as like a relationship of a wife to her husband. As you can see there's nothing here about a bride/bridegroom relationship.

    The Church is the wife and Jesus is the husband.

    Are you surprised? Think about it; and again who is the bride of Christ?
     
  17. DHK

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    Yes, that is correct. Though it doesn't make much difference in the final outcome. Most people who attend a wedding, if they are friend of the bridegroom, are they enemies of the bride?? No, they are friends of both. The point remains: John is not part of the Bride. He is a friend of the Bride/Bridegroom--not part of the Bride.
    I notice that he is.

    John's disciples came to him asking about the difference between the disciples of Jesus baptizing and John.
    John then tells them of Christ in relation to himself:

    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.

    "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom"
    --Who had the bride. Christ is the bridegroom. Christ had his disciples about him. They were his bride, as would be all the followers of Christ from that time onward.
    "But the friend of the bridegroom which standeth and heareth him..."
    --This is what John was doing. He stood and pointed others to Christ. He stood and listened to the words of Christ. He rejoiced greatly at the bridegroom's voice. He knew Christ's voice, and that he was indeed the Messiah. He pointed him out as such (John 1:29) He was a friend of the bride, and of the bridegroom, but not part of the bride itself.

    True enough. And the disciples of Jesus did fast and will fast until the rapture takes place. We fast and pray. We wage warfare with Satan. It is a spiritual battle. And we will carry on that battle until the coming of Christ.

    There were only certain times that Jesus asked his disciples to fast and pray. There would be more times after his ministry on earth ended when his disciples would enter into periods of prayer and fasting. The collective body of believers the world over, elsewhere called the family of God, and also known as the bride of Christ will fast until Christ comes for his own. If they are not spending time in prayer and fasting, then perhaps they are not living the godly lives that they should be living.

    I have already informed you--all believers since the time of John every where. Those that have put thier faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

     
  18. prophecynut

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    The disciples are the guests of the bridegroom:

    Mt. 9:15 - Jesus answered, "How can the guests (disciples) of the bridegroom (Jesus) morn while he is with them?

    Mk.2:19 - Jesus answered, "How can the guests (disciples) of the bridegroom (Jesus) fast while he is with them?

    The disciples cannot be the "guests" and the "bride" at the same time. You say they are the bride yet this contradicts the above. John as best man would be in the same category as the disciples, guests who participate in the marriage of the bridegroom and bride and the marriage supper that follows.

    The disciples cannot be the bride and the guests at the same time, do you see this?

    Maybe Jer. 2:2 will help:

    Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem: "I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desert, through a land not sown."

    Who is speaking in the above passage?
     
  19. Heart Talker

    Heart Talker
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    Hi...

    Needless ta say, Truth is simple and profound. Error is mysterious and complicated. The farther truth is pursued the easier it is to maintain, while error multiplies its weaknesses and eventually crushes the ones who support it.

    I'm enjoying "this"!! I don't get here often, but I think this topic is great! "Carry on", please!

    Jerry
     
  20. DHK

    DHK
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    John 3:27-30 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
    28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
    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. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.

    Revelation 21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.

    Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

    Ephesians 5:26-27 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

    Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

    Here are the most relevant verses.
    While still in the Old Testament dispensation, the disciples are called the friends of the bridegroom. When Jesus was on the earth physically they did not fast. At this point, in the context given, Jesus was comparing the fasting and mourning done by the Jews of the Old Testament to the rejoicing of the Christian life in following Christ. What a difference it makes to follow Christ and be free from the law. Christ was demonstrating freedom from the law as he does with many other illustrations in the same chapter in Matthew 9. (i.e, putting old cloths on new wine skins).

    The dispensation of grace, the beginning of the Church Age would come at the Day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit would indwell each and every believer from that day forward. Notice the preponderance of verses indicating that "Christ died for the church.
    Notice also Rev. 21:9
    "I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife."
    The wife and the bride are synonymous.
    "Christ loved the Church and gave himself for it" (Eph.5:25)
    This is in the context of a man loving his wife.
    Christ loved his wife and gave himself for his wife. Who is his wife? The same as his bride. Who is his bride? The church whom he gave his blood for! (Acts 20:28)
    DHK
     

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