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Thread: The bride of Christ: The New Jerusalem or the Church??

  1. #1
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    The bride of Christ: The New Jerusalem or the Church??

    In my recent studies of Revalation 21 and reading of parables concerning the "bride" and "bridegroom", I have began to wonder if the Church, the Body of Christ is actually the bride of Christ. Hear me out.

    Rev 21:2 - Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
    This appears to be a simile, but this is the verse that initially caught my attention.

    Rev 21:9,10 -
    Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
    This verse appears to be very literal about who the bride is. Now I did consider that the Church is presented to Christ in the great city, but the parables that Christ told are what made me question the Church being the bride.

    Matt 25:1-10 -
    1 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
    6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming;[a] go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
    The 5 wise virgins went in with him to the wedding. The reason that this stood out to me was that it doesn't say they went in to wed Him. I think that we assume that these five virgins are to be the bride of Christ representing the Church. While I agree that the five wise virgins represent the followers of Christ, I do not see any indication of a marriage between the bridegroom and the five virgins.

    John 3:29 -
    He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled.
    In this verse we notice that the bride belongs to Christ. John tells us that the FRIEND of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices...and therefore John the Baptist's joy is fulfilled. John the Baptist was a saint and refers to himself as a friend of the bridegroom, not the bride. I believe this verse makes a clear distinction between the bride of the bridegroom and the friends of the bridegroom. If John the Baptist is a friend, what does that make us? Jesus refers to his disciples as "friends" in John 15:15 - No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.


    Matt 22:1-14 - 1 And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, 3
    and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come.4 Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”’ 5 But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6 And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. 7 But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ 10 So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
    14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

    1-A king arranges a marriage for his son: God and Jesus
    2-Sent out his servants to call those invited to the wedding: Prophets are the servants and the Jews are those who are invited.
    3-invities ignore God's invitation and kill his servants: Jews kill the prophets
    4-God destroys their cities and and judges the people
    5-Those in the highway both bad and good: The gentiles...US
    6-And the wedding hall was filled with guests: US

    In this parable, we the gentiles, those who were not originally invited to the wedding, are guests at the wedding, not the bride.

    I did search for verses that would imply that the church is the bride of Christ.

    Eph 5:25-27 - 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
    These verses were the only ones that i could fine that come anywhere near suggesting that the church is the bride of Christ, and even then v.27 refers to us as such...a church, not a bride.

    I understand that the word of God is not open to private interpretation, so if anyone has anything that could point me in another direction or show me that i might be on the wrong track i would really appreciate it. This isn't a faith altering discovery, but as a teacher of the word, I want to be sure I am teaching what God's word is actually saying.

    Thank you so much for your time

    God bless,
    Todd
    FORGIVEN!!!

  2. #2
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    Re: The bride of Christ: The New Jerusalem or the Church??

    Quote Originally Posted by itsokimadocter View Post

    I understand that the word of God is not open to private interpretation, so if anyone has anything that could point me in another direction or show me that i might be on the wrong track i would really appreciate it. This isn't a faith altering discovery, but as a teacher of the word, I want to be sure I am teaching what God's word is actually saying.

    Todd, I think you're trying to let descriptive names and phrases build a foundational viewpoint here, instead of allowing a foundational viewpoint help you interpret the useage and intent of descriptive names and phrases.

    To simplify.

    Humankind is made after God's image.
    Not Jews only.
    Not Gentiles only.
    Not a subset of Jews or Gentiles during a certain era.

    All humankind is made after God's image.


    Humankind is lost because of the curse of sin.
    Not Jews only.
    Not Gentiles only.
    Not a subset of Jews or Gentiles during a certain era.

    All humankind is lost because of the curse of sin.


    Humankind who choose to reject Christ are damned and lost, still in their sins, not belonging to God.
    Not Jews only.
    Not Gentiles only.
    Not a subset of Jews or Gentiles during a certain era.

    All humankind who choose to reject Christ are damned and lost, still in their sins, not belonging to God.


    Humankind can be reconciled back to God through Christ alone.
    Not Jews only.
    Not Gentiles only.
    Not a subset of Jews or Gentiles during a certain era.

    All humankind can be reconciled back to God through Christ alone.


    Those who are reconciled to God through Christ, Jew or Gentile; regardless of era; are His people.
    Names for those who belong to God found throughout the Bible:
    • The redeemed
    • The people of God
    • The children of God
    • The sons of God
    • the church of God
    • the congregation of God
    • the elect
    • the just
    • the fellowbrethren
    • the body of Christ
    • the faithful
    • the bride of Christ
    • the sheep
    • the wheat
    • the good fish
    • those written in the Lamb's book of Life
    • the members of the New Jerusalem


    Whatever naming description you want to use, points ultimately to either one of two groups of humankind...as Jesus defined them here: "He that is not with me is against me" Mark 11:23

    So take any labelled or descriptive grouping name found in Scripture, and it will belong to one of those two groups; those who are with Jesus; or those who are against Him.

    For us presently living now; however, there is a third group.....the undecideds....those who we are going to take the gospel to...the ones who still have a chance to turn from being against Christ, to becoming one of His children.

    But as to separating people into groups based on similar defined and used grouping terms like 'body of Christ' and 'bride of Christ'....no, that's not it.

    God has one people, the people of faith who are redeemed from their sins by the blood of Christ.

    Ephesians 4:4 "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."

    I Corinthians 12:12 "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body"

    John 10:14 "I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
    10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."

    II John 1:9 "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son."

  3. #3
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    Re: The bride of Christ: The New Jerusalem or the Church??

    Quote Originally Posted by itsokimadocter View Post
    In my recent studies of Revalation 21 and reading of parables concerning the "bride" and "bridegroom", I have began to wonder if the Church, the Body of Christ is actually the bride of Christ. Hear me out.

    Rev 21:2 - Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
    This appears to be a simile, but this is the verse that initially caught my attention.

    Rev 21:9,10 -
    Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
    This verse appears to be very literal about who the bride is. Now I did consider that the Church is presented to Christ in the great city, but the parables that Christ told are what made me question the Church being the bride.

    Matt 25:1-10 -
    1 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
    6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming;[a] go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
    The 5 wise virgins went in with him to the wedding. The reason that this stood out to me was that it doesn't say they went in to wed Him. I think that we assume that these five virgins are to be the bride of Christ representing the Church. While I agree that the five wise virgins represent the followers of Christ, I do not see any indication of a marriage between the bridegroom and the five virgins.

    John 3:29 -
    He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled.
    In this verse we notice that the bride belongs to Christ. John tells us that the FRIEND of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices...and therefore John the Baptist's joy is fulfilled. John the Baptist was a saint and refers to himself as a friend of the bridegroom, not the bride. I believe this verse makes a clear distinction between the bride of the bridegroom and the friends of the bridegroom. If John the Baptist is a friend, what does that make us? Jesus refers to his disciples as "friends" in John 15:15 - No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.


    Matt 22:1-14 - 1 And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, 3
    and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come.4 Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”’ 5 But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6 And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. 7 But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ 10 So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
    14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

    1-A king arranges a marriage for his son: God and Jesus
    2-Sent out his servants to call those invited to the wedding: Prophets are the servants and the Jews are those who are invited.
    3-invities ignore God's invitation and kill his servants: Jews kill the prophets
    4-God destroys their cities and and judges the people
    5-Those in the highway both bad and good: The gentiles...US
    6-And the wedding hall was filled with guests: US

    In this parable, we the gentiles, those who were not originally invited to the wedding, are guests at the wedding, not the bride.

    I did search for verses that would imply that the church is the bride of Christ.

    Eph 5:25-27 - 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
    These verses were the only ones that i could fine that come anywhere near suggesting that the church is the bride of Christ, and even then v.27 refers to us as such...a church, not a bride.

    I understand that the word of God is not open to private interpretation, so if anyone has anything that could point me in another direction or show me that i might be on the wrong track i would really appreciate it. This isn't a faith altering discovery, but as a teacher of the word, I want to be sure I am teaching what God's word is actually saying.

    Thank you so much for your time

    God bless,
    Todd
    That has pretty much been my findings also.

  4. #4

    Re: The bride of Christ: The New Jerusalem or the Church??

    I believe that the New Jerusalem is a symbolic representation of the Church... and hence, both are the same Bride of Christ, which now is.

  5. #5

    Re: The bride of Christ: The New Jerusalem or the Church??

    Quote Originally Posted by itsokimadocter View Post
    In my recent studies of Revalation 21 and reading of parables concerning the "bride" and "bridegroom", I have began to wonder if the Church, the Body of Christ is actually the bride of Christ. Hear me out.

    Rev 21:2 - Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
    This appears to be a simile, but this is the verse that initially caught my attention.

    Rev 21:9,10 -
    Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
    This verse appears to be very literal about who the bride is. Now I did consider that the Church is presented to Christ in the great city, but the parables that Christ told are what made me question the Church being the bride.


    Hi Todd,

    David has already clearly shown the various names given for all who are in Christ, one being the "bride" of Christ. So I'll just point out a couple of things you have overlooked.

    The holy Jerusalem that descends out of heaven from God is inhabited by the "nation(s)"...not one nation, but nations of them which are saved. This alone should be enough to show you the bride of Christ comes from all nations, meaning Gentiles too.

    Re*21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

    Matt 25:1-10 -
    1 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
    6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming;[a] go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
    The 5 wise virgins went in with him to the wedding. The reason that this stood out to me was that it doesn't say they went in to wed Him. I think that we assume that these five virgins are to be the bride of Christ representing the Church. While I agree that the five wise virgins represent the followers of Christ, I do not see any indication of a marriage between the bridegroom and the five virgins.


    Christ says, "they that were ready went in with him to the marriage"...IOW the time for consumation of the wedding has come, because Christ has come again to redeem His bride; the Church.

    John 3:29 -
    He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled.
    In this verse we notice that the bride belongs to Christ. John tells us that the FRIEND of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices...and therefore John the Baptist's joy is fulfilled. John the Baptist was a saint and refers to himself as a friend of the bridegroom, not the bride. I believe this verse makes a clear distinction between the bride of the bridegroom and the friends of the bridegroom. If John the Baptist is a friend, what does that make us?


    John makes this distinction because his followers thought that he was the promised Messiah. So he tells them no, I am not He, but only His trusted friend, who bears witness of Him.

    Joh*3:26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.
    Joh*3:27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
    Joh*3:28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.

    Joh*3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.

    John too is the bride of Christ telling His people "come, take the water of life freely."

    Re*22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

    Jesus refers to his disciples as "friends" in John 15:15 -
    No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.


    To be His friends does not mean they are not also His bride.

    Matt 22:1-14 - 1 And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, 3
    and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come.4 Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”’ 5 But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6 And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. 7 But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ 10 So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
    14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

    1-A king arranges a marriage for his son: God and Jesus
    2-Sent out his servants to call those invited to the wedding: Prophets are the servants and the Jews are those who are invited.
    3-invities ignore God's invitation and kill his servants: Jews kill the prophets
    4-God destroys their cities and and judges the people
    5-Those in the highway both bad and good: The gentiles...US
    6-And the wedding hall was filled with guests: US

    In this parable, we the gentiles, those who were not originally invited to the wedding, are guests at the wedding, not the bride.
    But not every Gentile was cast out. Only the man from the highways not wearing the proper wedding garment were cast out. He was not wearing the garment of salvation, was not clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Had not put on the new man, created in righteousness and true holiness. The rest (good) did partake in the great wedding feast, having put on the new man in Christ.

    Eph*4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

    I did search for verses that would imply that the church is the bride of Christ.

    Eph 5:25-27 - 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
    These verses were the only ones that i could fine that come anywhere near suggesting that the church is the bride of Christ, and even then v.27 refers to us as such...a church, not a bride.

    I understand that the word of God is not open to private interpretation, so if anyone has anything that could point me in another direction or show me that i might be on the wrong track i would really appreciate it. This isn't a faith altering discovery, but as a teacher of the word, I want to be sure I am teaching what God's word is actually saying.

    Thank you so much for your time

    God bless,
    Todd
    Eph*5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
    Eph*5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
    Eph*5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
    Eph*5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
    Eph*5:27 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.
    Eph*5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
    Eph*5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
    Eph*5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
    Eph*5:31 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.
    Eph*5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

  6. #6
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    Re: The bride of Christ: The New Jerusalem or the Church??

    Quote Originally Posted by itsokimadocter View Post
    Matt 22:1-14 - 1 And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, 3[/COLOR] and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come.4 Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”’ 5 But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6 And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. 7 But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ 10 So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
    14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

    1-A king arranges a marriage for his son: God and Jesus
    2-Sent out his servants to call those invited to the wedding: Prophets are the servants and the Jews are those who are invited.
    3-invities ignore God's invitation and kill his servants: Jews kill the prophets
    4-God destroys their cities and and judges the people
    5-Those in the highway both bad and good: The gentiles...US
    6-And the wedding hall was filled with guests: US

    In this parable, we the gentiles, those who were not originally invited to the wedding, are guests at the wedding, not the bride.
    I think one thing you're mistaken about here is your claim that the guests are only Gentiles. The Jews were invited first, so some of the guests are Jews. Not all of the Jews rejected the invitation. So, the guests are comprised of Jews and Gentiles. I think we have to be careful about comparing this directly to a normal wedding where the guests watch the wedding take place. Is that what Jesus is talking about here? Just being invited to watch a wedding? I don't believe so. In this case the guests are being invited to become married to the bridegroom, which is Christ. Those who accept the invitation and put their faith in Christ, whether they're Jew or Gentile, enter into a relationship with Him and become part of His bride.

    I did search for verses that would imply that the church is the bride of Christ.

    Eph 5:25-27 - [COLOR=blue]25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
    [COLOR=black]These verses were the only ones that i could fine that come anywhere near suggesting that the church is the bride of Christ, and even then v.27 refers to us as such...a church, not a bride.
    If you look at the surrounding verses that come before and after that passage you can clearly see that the church is the bride/wife of Christ.

    Eph 5
    22Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
    23For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
    24Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
    25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
    26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
    27That 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.
    28So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
    29For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
    30For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
    31For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
    32This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church
    .
    33Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

    Paul repeatedly says here that the relationship between Christ and the church is just like the relationship between a husband and his wife. He clearly is indicating that Christ is our bridegroom/husband and we are His bride/wife.

    Another thing to remember is that there are no divisions in the church. We are all one in Christ, whether Jew or Gentile. There is no Jew or Gentile in Christ. So, it simply makes no sense that there would be the bride of Christ and then everyone else (the rest of those who are saved) separate from the bride of Christ.

    Gal 3
    26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
    27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
    28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
    29And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

  7. #7
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    Re: The bride of Christ: The New Jerusalem or the Church??

    Quote Originally Posted by markedward View Post
    I believe that the New Jerusalem is a symbolic representation of the Church... and hence, both are the same Bride of Christ, which now is.
    I agree. He doesn't have more than one bride.

  8. #8

    Re: The bride of Christ: The New Jerusalem or the Church??

    Well, Todd
    I believe you have picked up on the theme that has become over looked, because of the grating in of the Gentiles.
    Here's what I mean, Jesus said," And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." John 10:16

    At some point there where only one fold of the Jews. That is again how many times in the old testament prophets like Isaiah prophecied about Jerusalem becoming glorified and brightness would be upon her.

    Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising" Isaiah 60:1-3

    Now does that relate, the Lord shall arise upon thee, WHO? Would that be refering to the church? I don't think so, The church exclusive of the Gentiles? You see many times in the prophecy of Jerusalem it referred to Gentiles flowing into her gates which shall be continuely open. Again Isaiah


    Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. Isaiah 60:11

    That's really close to how John vision was of the new Jerusalem, again notice that in her description that the nations [Gentiles] walk in it's light.

    "And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it." Rev.21:24

    Then we have the description of the virgin that has been bethrothed to God and the Lamb as in the 144,000 which sung a song that no man could learn but the 144,000 which have not been defiled by the woman of chapter 17.


    "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." Rev.14:3,4


    The clue should be the first fruits....I'll leave it as that.

  9. #9
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    Re: The bride of Christ: The New Jerusalem or the Church??

    Quote Originally Posted by itsokimadocter View Post
    In my recent studies of Revalation 21 and reading of parables concerning the "bride" and "bridegroom", I have began to wonder if the Church, the Body of Christ is actually the bride of Christ. Hear me out.

    Rev 21:2 - Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
    This appears to be a simile, but this is the verse that initially caught my attention.

    Rev 21:9,10 -
    Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
    This verse appears to be very literal about who the bride is. Now I did consider that the Church is presented to Christ in the great city, but the parables that Christ told are what made me question the Church being the bride.

    Matt 25:1-10 -
    1 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
    6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming;[a] go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
    The 5 wise virgins went in with him to the wedding. The reason that this stood out to me was that it doesn't say they went in to wed Him. I think that we assume that these five virgins are to be the bride of Christ representing the Church. While I agree that the five wise virgins represent the followers of Christ, I do not see any indication of a marriage between the bridegroom and the five virgins.

    John 3:29 -
    He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled.
    In this verse we notice that the bride belongs to Christ. John tells us that the FRIEND of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices...and therefore John the Baptist's joy is fulfilled. John the Baptist was a saint and refers to himself as a friend of the bridegroom, not the bride. I believe this verse makes a clear distinction between the bride of the bridegroom and the friends of the bridegroom. If John the Baptist is a friend, what does that make us? Jesus refers to his disciples as "friends" in John 15:15 - No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.


    Matt 22:1-14 - 1 And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, 3
    and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come.4 Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”’ 5 But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6 And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. 7 But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ 10 So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
    14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

    1-A king arranges a marriage for his son: God and Jesus
    2-Sent out his servants to call those invited to the wedding: Prophets are the servants and the Jews are those who are invited.
    3-invities ignore God's invitation and kill his servants: Jews kill the prophets
    4-God destroys their cities and and judges the people
    5-Those in the highway both bad and good: The gentiles...US
    6-And the wedding hall was filled with guests: US

    In this parable, we the gentiles, those who were not originally invited to the wedding, are guests at the wedding, not the bride.

    I did search for verses that would imply that the church is the bride of Christ.

    Eph 5:25-27 - 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
    These verses were the only ones that i could fine that come anywhere near suggesting that the church is the bride of Christ, and even then v.27 refers to us as such...a church, not a bride.

    I understand that the word of God is not open to private interpretation, so if anyone has anything that could point me in another direction or show me that i might be on the wrong track i would really appreciate it. This isn't a faith altering discovery, but as a teacher of the word, I want to be sure I am teaching what God's word is actually saying.

    Thank you so much for your time

    God bless,
    Todd
    Hi Todd. I’m gonna have to go with John146, again ( …I agree with you, John146, a lot). Anyway, I totally get what you’re saying, Todd, because what you’ve written is what I, too, have seen and have believed. If we want to take these parables totally literally, then we can come up with some interesting scenarios. BUT I also see that Christ has but only ONE wife. We can’t take these parables so literally, because they will contradict other Scriptures. Therefore, they are there for us to get an idea of the relationship of Christ with His believers.

    A wonderful brother in Christ wrote this to me:

    The "body of Christ" is, indeed, a uniquely Pauline metaphor; none of the other NT authors uses this terminology. But to set the bride and the body in opposition to each other is overreaching.

    Throughout the OT, the prophets present the metaphor of God and His people Israel in a marriage relationship (rabbinic thought takes it back to the beginning, seeing the Torah as the Ketubbah, or marriage contract, between HaShem and Israel). Jesus intensifies this portrayal in presenting Himself as the bridegroom with the believing remnant of Israel implicitly as His bride for whom He has come. Paul, in the same way, views Christ as the husband whose wife is the church. In Ephesians 5, he's not saying the church is Christ's wife, he's just saying the church should relate to Christ as a wife to her husband. In light of its biblical antecedents, there's simply no way Paul meant it to be read other than as a divine husband/people of God wife metaphor.

    As to the "bride" specifically, the term is not actually applied to a group of people in Revelation 21. The "bride, the Lamb's wife" is the city of New Jerusalem. The individual believers in that context are the sons the Lamb's wife bears to Him ("He who overcomes, to him I give all these things. And I will be God to him and he will be a son to Me," v.7). This is in keeping with the OT metaphor of Israel as God's wife and the believing Israelites as the children she bears Him (Isaiah 54:1-5). Of course, biblical metaphor is fluid (God and Israel are husband/wife, father/son, shepherd/sheep, farmer/vineyard, etc.) So it wouldn't be entirely inappropriate to understand the people as the "bride" even though "bride" actually describes the city.

    Further, Paul utilizes some distinctively bridal metaphor himself. He describes his mission in 2 Corinthians 11:2, "I have betrothed you to one husband that I might present you to Christ a chaste virgin." It just doesn't get any more "bridal" than that! The betrothal terminology is straight out of Hosea 2. From the prophets to Paul to Revelation, it's the same metaphor -- not to mention Paul's own reference to "Jerusalem above, which is the mother of us all" (Galatians 4:26), which sounds remarkably similar to the figure of the New Jerusalem as the mother of God's sons in Revelation. Paul's language in Ephesians 5, where Christ presents the church to Himself, echoes 2 Corinthians.

  10. #10

    Re: The bride of Christ: The New Jerusalem or the Church??

    Quote Originally Posted by markedward View Post
    I believe that the New Jerusalem is a symbolic representation of the Church... and hence, both are the same Bride of Christ, which now is.
    I agree with brother markedward that the New jerusalem is a symbolic representation
    of the church.
    What I wonder is if it is the church which is here on earth, the congregations of the
    saints; what church do qualified to be the bride of Jesus Christ?
    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 talk with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride,Lamb's wife.
    v.10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and a high mountain, and show me the great city, the holy Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God.
    So,if the New Jerusalem will descend to earth from heaven, there will be no church here on earth that shall qualify on it.
    What is your thought?

  11. #11

    Re: The bride of Christ: The New Jerusalem or the Church??

    Quote Originally Posted by knox knox View Post
    I agree with brother markedward that the New jerusalem is a symbolic representation
    of the church.
    What I wonder is if it is the church which is here on earth, the congregations of the
    saints; what church do qualified to be the bride of Jesus Christ?
    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 talk with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride,Lamb's wife.
    v.10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and a high mountain, and show me the great city, the holy Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God.
    So,if the New Jerusalem will descend to earth from heaven, there will be no church here on earth that shall qualify on it.
    What is your thought?
    John vision of the virgin on mount Zion would be the same as the bride that comes down from heaven these are called the first fruits of the redeemded. How is that inclusive of the church today?

  12. #12
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    Re: The bride of Christ: The New Jerusalem or the Church??

    Hi itsokimadocter, this is one of my favorite topics.
    A wedding consists of

    • bridegroom
    • his friend -best man
    • bride
    • virgins -bridesmaids

    The best man and bridesmaids are not the bride!!!!
    That cannot be emphasized enough!

    groom is the groom
    bride is the bride
    friend is the friend
    virgins are virgins
    guests are guests

    One cannot be two. All parts have their own distinct parts.

    Quote Originally Posted by itsokimadocter View Post
    the parables that Christ told are what made me question the Church being the bride.

    Matt 25:1-10 -
    1 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
    6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming;[a] go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
    The 5 wise virgins went in with him to the wedding. The reason that this stood out to me was that it doesn't say they went in to wed Him. I think that we assume that these five virgins are to be the bride of Christ representing the Church. While I agree that the five wise virgins represent the followers of Christ, I do not see any indication of a marriage between the bridegroom and the five virgins.
    Here you are correct. However it doesn't mean the church is not the bride. It means the virgins are virgins (bridesmaids) and not the bride.
    Psa 45:14 She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.
    You have to consider when this is.
    "Then" in verse 1 tells you to consider when. When, is after the preceding chapter where one is taken another left. Who is taken? The Church. So the wedding is ready because we have

    • groom
    • friend
    • bride
    • virgins

    ...now it's time to find guests. See, there's never any question in Scripture who the bride is. It is those that believe on Christ crucified and those that believe, having not seen. The Church is not those that will repent because they see Him come in power, glory, and judgment. Those are guests -then shall the KoH be.....

    Quote Originally Posted by itsokimadocter View Post
    John 3:29 - He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled.
    In this verse we notice that the bride belongs to Christ. John tells us that the FRIEND of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices...and therefore John the Baptist's joy is fulfilled. John the Baptist was a saint and refers to himself as a friend of the bridegroom, not the bride. I believe this verse makes a clear distinction between the bride of the bridegroom and the friends of the bridegroom. If John the Baptist is a friend, what does that make us? Jesus refers to his disciples as "friends" in John 15:15 - No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
    Remember, least in the kingdom of God is greater than John, showing John was not in the kingdom of God. John did not believe -having not seen- and he didn't believe in Christ crucified. He knew that's what Christ came for but never got a chance to walk by faith in it, having not seen, as did the apostles.

    Also, it's not friends -plural, but singular.

    Quote Originally Posted by itsokimadocter View Post
    Matt 22:1-14 - 1 And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, 3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come.4 Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”’ 5 But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6 And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. 7 But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ 10 So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
    14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

    1-A king arranges a marriage for his son: God and Jesus
    2-Sent out his servants to call those invited to the wedding: Prophets are the servants and the Jews are those who are invited.
    3-invities ignore God's invitation and kill his servants: Jews kill the prophets
    4-God destroys their cities and and judges the people
    5-Those in the highway both bad and good: The gentiles...US
    6-And the wedding hall was filled with guests: US

    In this parable, we the gentiles, those who were not originally invited to the wedding, are guests at the wedding, not the bride.
    Another thing that cannot be emphasized enough is that those that were originally invited were not the bride but guests
    You do not invite the bride to her own wedding. That's absurd.
    So those that rejected Christ were guests, and not the bride, all along.
    Stop and think about it.
    Why think the invited are the bride? Kinda....no pretty silly.

    Look at your #1.
    A king arranges a marriage for his son
    Right there shows the bride is determined and known. If the
    "the Jews are those who are invited"
    who's the bride?

    The kingdom that is coming (the kingdom of heaven -God physically reigning on earth) was offered to those to whom it belonged (Israel) according to the Abrahamic covenant. They rejected it by rejecting the best man and the groom, and you cannot have a wedding without the best man.

    Look at your statement.....
    "In this parable, we the gentiles, those who were not originally invited to the wedding, are guests at the wedding, not the bride."
    well who's the bride then? The guests cannot be the bride! You do not get invited to be the bride!
    You don't show up as a guest and end up getting married! Only One gets married to the groom, not many guests!

    So who is the bride? If those originally invited to the wedding of the bride never were the bride. And those later invited to the wedding of the bride never were the bride. Who is the bride?

    Quote Originally Posted by itsokimadocter View Post
    I understand that the word of God is not open to private interpretation
    Actually it is. Why do you think we have false doctrine? The verse means Scripture came as men were moved by the Spirit and they did not write what they thought God meant but wrote exactly what God said. That's all it means.

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    Re: The bride of Christ: The New Jerusalem or the Church??

    Quote Originally Posted by Sirus View Post
    Hi itsokimadocter, this is one of my favorite topics.
    A wedding consists of

    • bridegroom
    • his friend -best man
    • bride
    • virgins -bridesmaids

    The best man and bridesmaids are not the bride!!!!
    That cannot be emphasized enough!
    In a regular earthly marriage only 1 person is the bride.

    In the heavenly final Marriage to Christ the bridegroom... all the redeemed of mankind comprise the bride.

    The best man and bridesmaids will most certainly be a part of the heavenly eternal bride.

    All who aren't apart of the bride are cast into the Lake of Fire.

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    Re: The bride of Christ: The New Jerusalem or the Church??

    Quote Originally Posted by David Taylor View Post
    In a regular earthly marriage only 1 person is the bride.

    In the heavenly final Marriage to Christ the bridegroom... all the redeemed of mankind comprise the bride.

    The best man and bridesmaids will most certainly be a part of the heavenly eternal bride.

    All who aren't apart of the bride are cast into the Lake of Fire.
    While one could cherry pick a handful of verses to prove this, the same can be done to the contrary. At this point we'd need to get into eschatology. When is the marriage, when is the supper, what is our stance on the millennium, new earth, resurrection, tree of life, etc.... You and I seem to be at opposite ends concerning these things.

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    Re: The bride of Christ: The New Jerusalem or the Church??

    Oh BTW; Jesus' parables made cultural sense. There's no reason to think differently here. That He somehow used Israel's traditions of marraige but really meant something else. Whenever Jesus did that He explicitly defined it, so we would know. He did not do so in these parables.

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