On September 1st, 2014, the "Pre-Wrath-Rapture-Babble" site trotted out of the wings another piece of distraction trash, offered up originally by a web site by the name of 'True Light Ministries'. It's simply another example of the disingenuous folks that attempt to throw cold water on your faith and your joy "in Christ". They reveal their true nature by the kinds of articles they dredge up for their readers to be confused over. In their agenda of dishonesty, distraction, deceit, and deception, they have done it again.
The article they posted, originally from 'True Light Ministries', states that "New Jerusalem is the Bride of Christ," not the Church! What is so blatantly deceptive is that their entire post is based solely upon only 2 passages of Scripture:
1. Revelation 21:1,2
2. Revelation 21:9-11
The first passage reads: "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." -(Revelation 21:1,2).
The second passage reads: "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." -(Revelation 21:9-11).
I don't know much about True Life Ministries, but I can tell you without equivocation that the Bride of Christ is not the New Jerusalem as they try to infer. I will show you shortly here how these two passages negate the very premise suggesting the Bride of Christ is the New Jerusalem.
To use these two passages to support such an idea is about as lame as someone choosing to build a house on sand. In the first verse if you will note, read the portion that I have underscored, where it says "prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."
The word "as" is a conjunction. The Greek word is "hos" and it can have several senses. First, it can be comparative, "as, like". As a conjunction "hos" is also temporal, "when" or "after". With a present or imperfect tense verb "hos" introduces action that occurs at the same time as the main action and is translated "when, while, as"; when used with an aorist tense verb "hos" means "after". "Hos" can also introduce indirect discourse with verbs of speaking or knowing. "Hos" has many uses and meanings depending upon the context and grammatical structures in which it appears; the interpreter must look at both before determining the meaning of this versatile particle of speech.
The first thing to remember in Revelation 21:1,2 is that the New Jerusalem is seen by John, "prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." The word "as" which shows relation without stating that New Jerusalem is the bride. Also to keep in mind, that New Jerusalem is a city. Is Christ Jesus marrying a city? It makes no sense whatsoever, and my learning tells me that "as" is used in a comparative way. The correct way to read the passage is thus John is comparing the New Jerusalem as being like a bride being adorned by her bridegroom.
Moving on to the second passage offered as the Bride being the New Jerusalem, we find similar problems. The 12 gates of New Jerusalem mirror the 12 tribes -(Revelation 21:12) and the 12 foundations of it are named after the 12 disciples -(Revelation 21:14). This means New Jerusalem is designed around the people who founded it, God's people and representing God on the Earth. These are all they who lived by faith. Why would the bride have part of her named after these images? Wouldn't the bride be the center of focus? You don't create a city that you marry that's named after the ones you love, but rather, you marry the ones you love and then name cities after them.
Another issue raises big questions as well. What is God's most precious creation? All of history is played out for the benefit of redemption of humanity by and for God. All other things will pass away except those who love God. Marriage is based on love and that's what God is. He so loved us that He sent His only begotten Son to die for us. Do you marry a city or do you marry those created in your image, such that marriage is the joining of two into one. We have Jesus Christ in us when we place ourselves in Him by giving our lives to Him. So, ask yourself, is the bride a city, or those people that love God?
John 14:1-3 nails it, in my perspective, "Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
Again, the second passage being used to mislead you to believe that the Bride of Christ is the New Jerusalem simply falls short of convincing one to believe that premise. The facts to the contrary, while the Bible does not use those precise exact words that the Church is the Bride of Christ, the argument of 'True Light Ministries', is nothing more than a distraction from the Truth of the Bible. I'm well familiar with the post that the "Pre-Wrath-Rapture-Babble" site dredged up and posted. Both they and 'True Life Ministries' choose to hide behind their distractions of deceit and deception.
The original article by 'True Light Ministries' article, re-posted at the "Pre-Wrath-Rapture-Babble" site, citing that Jesus did not teach that the Church is not the Bride, and citing Paul never taught it, is disingenuous by what the article left out, a common pattern that is found throughout the "Pre-Wrath-Rapture-Babble" site. See my closing paragraph on what Paul did or did not say!
When you read their post, you have an entirely different teaching, one that differs so much from "The Theme of The Bride" the reader is taken aback and can even begin to question the Biblical message.
While I had no need to reference the message of Hosea in my postings on "The Theme of the Bride", I should point out here that the theme and figurative language of Hosea is about Israel having gone a whoring, and astray, but God seeks to redeem His wife. Israel in Hosea is represented by the use of a metaphor for God's wife. There is a clear distinction between the word "wife" and "bride" in the Bible. Those that confuse the two are reflective of the efforts by many to blur the lines between Israel and the Church, guilty of those old words of "Replacement Theology".
In my series of posts on "The Theme of The Bride", we have an elaborate "theme" that begins in Genesis and does not end until Revelation. With over 850+ verses of the Bible devoted to the "Theme of the Bride", along with a detailed exposition of the ancient Jewish Wedding customs and traditions that fleshes out the proof that the Church is the Bride of Christ. Remember, Proverbs 25:2 states, "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter." From that Proverb, you can safely assume that God has not revealed all of His Truth to man. God has left the task of unearthing His "Diamonds and Nuggets" to you and I as a challenge to be met by us. The "Low Information" folks at the "Pre-Wrath-Rapture-Babble" site seem to believe that if it isn't spelled out to them in plain English, in the precise word order, it just isn't there. I have news for the wags over there at the "Pre-Wrath-Rapture-Babble" site. They are missing out on so much of God's hidden wonders and truths, nicely wrapped up in figurative language, word-pictures, object lessons, typology, etc. There is so much that I could share but I do not believe they are genuinely interested in becoming anything more than to remain as "Low Information" folks.
I don't intend to type all 850+ passages related to "The Theme of The Bride" since it would take several days to do so, but I will list some passages for you to ponder in regards to the comments of the article by 'True Light Ministries' re-posted at the "Pre-Wrath-Rapture-Babble" site. Do read the last paragraph of this post as icing on the cake.
Revelation 18:23; 21:2; 21:9; 22:17
Jeremiah 2:32; 7:34; 16:9; 25:10; 33:11
Isaiah 49:18; 61:10; 62:5
Ephesians 1:3; 2:13
1st Corinthian 1:2; 1:17; 4:10; 4:15; 15:23
2nd Corinthians 1:5; 5:20; 10:7
Colossians 1:2; 3:1
1st Peter 1:11
2nd Peter 1:1
Just a final note for you to think about; the Bible often does not explicitly use names and terms that have been adopted and commonly understood by the Christian community, and even by the world, such as the word "Bible" or "Trinity" or "Rapture" or "Second Coming" or "Advent". The absence of these words, in no way, negates, or dismisses the objective meaning of what each speaks to as a concept, a theme or an idea or teaching in the Word of God. This speaks to the title of my posts "Absence of Proof is NOT Proof of Absence".
The disingenuous "Low Information" folks regularly attempt to prove their point by what is known as "Negation" a philosophical logic and mathematical principle to prove a point used in "set theory". They base their logic on omission and reject inference as a basis for proof. Unless they [the Low Information folks] are well-trained in Philosophical Logic and Mathematical Principles, which I doubt seriously, they have no idea how their premises may be defeated by rules of fallacies. For those of you confused by this, a "fallacy" is an incorrect argument in logic and rhetoric resulting in a lack of validity, or more generally, a lack of soundness.
The bottom line of all this is that you can't necessarily prove a negative premise by negation alone. Just ask an experienced attorney. He will rip you to shreds in a court of law!
Do not doubt the idea that the Church is the Bride of Christ. Bet your bottom dollar on it. Maranatha! Just in case you are still a skeptic, please do read Romans 7:4; 2nd Corinthians 11:2; and Ephesians 5:25; I intentionally saved these three for last and did not include them in the list above.
God's blessings to the Bride,