“We preach Christ crucified”
1 Corinthians 1:23

Unveiling the Bride

“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him.  For the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”  Revelation 19:6-7

   In these last days, God is preparing a bride for His Son (Revelation 21:2).  Who is this bride?   The image of the bride begins in the Old Testament with Eve who is a type of the church (Genesis 2:18-24; Ephesians 5:22-32).  In the New Testament, John the Baptist calls Jesus Christ the bridegroom and His disciples the bride (John 3:29).  Later, Jesus also refers to Himself as the bridegroom in relation to His disciples (Luke 5:34-35).  For just as God created Eve out of Adam’s body, God created the church out of Christ‘s body (Ephesians 5:30).  For when Christ willingly gave up His body and died on the cross for us, God performed a divine heart transplant and exchanged our sinful heart with His Son’s divine heart (Romans 6:3-11).  Just as there was a betrothal period in Biblical times between the bride and bridegroom until their wedding ceremony, so the body of Christ is now betrothed to Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2).  Through water baptism, new believers declare their betrothal to their bridegroom, Jesus Christ, and their union with His death, burial and resurrection.  According to Biblical custom, this betrothal is a binding commitment or covenant that can only be broken by infidelity.  And by Biblical tradition, the bride remains veiled until her marriage.  After the second coming of Christ, the bride will be revealed, the wedding feast will take place and the eternal union of the Lamb of God and His bride will be consummated.

   However before this wedding can take place, the bride must make herself ready (Revelation 19:7; 21:2).  Jesus Christ made a number of promises to the seven churches in Revelation (Chapters 2-3). These promises were not only for those early churches, they are for the church today.  Like all of God’s promises, these too are conditional upon the obedience of our faith.  Christ said those who by faith obey His Spirit and overcome Satan would inherit His promises. He promised those who overcome would have their names written in the Book of Life and be ready for their marriage and eternal union with Him (Revelation 2:26; 3:5 & 21).  Although the entire nation of Israel was called to be God’s chosen people, most were unfaithful to Him.  When that occurred, God no longer called them His bride; He called them a harlot (Isaiah 1:21).  But God’s covenant promises were still fulfilled through His remnant of survivors or overcomers (Isaiah 37:31-32).  Many Christians mistakenly think that because of God’s grace they can love the world and have Jesus too.  They are deceived (see Matthew 6:24; James 4:4; 1 John 2:15).  Christ will not marry a harlot.  God’s covenant promises to the church will only be fulfilled through His faithful bride of overcomers (Revelation 21:7).  

   How can we become Christ’s overcoming bride?  It is not enough for us to zealously desire to be His bride. It is impossible for us to overcome Satan and sin by our own willpower and natural strength and zeal.  If overcoming depended on us, we would be defeated.  “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57).”  The Bible says we overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11).  The blood speaks of the triumphant work that Christ has accomplished by His crucifixion. On the cross, Jesus destroyed Satan’s power over God’s elect (Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 3:8).   By His death, Jesus redeemed us from both the penalty of sin and the power of sin. The secret to overcoming is knowing we have died in Christ.  When Christ died, our sinful nature died with Him and was buried (removed) with Him (Romans 6:4-6).  Christ lives in us! (Colossians 1:27).  We are now raised with Christ and seated with Him in victory (Ephesians 2:4-6).  Therefore, the power of Christ’s blood shed on the cross silences all of Satan’s accusations and lies.  The blood of Christ nullifies Satan’s power to accuse us of sin; it also nullifies his power to arouse us to sin.

   The bride of Christ who crushes Satan wears the full armor of God under her wedding dress (Ephesians 6:10-17).  When Satan accuses Christ’s bride of failing God (Revelation 12:10), she stops his lies with the shield of faith and proclaims there is no condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1).  When Satan tempts Christ’s bride to love her soul-life (John 12:25), she uses the sword of the Spirit to make him flee and proclaims she is dead to the world through the cross of Christ (Galatians 6:24).  The bride who overcomes Satan knows she has died with Christ and is full of the Spirit and testimony of Jesus, her bridegroom (Matthew 25:1-13).  This is the bride who conquers Satan by the word of her testimony and by the blood of the Lamb and she does not love her life even when faced with death (Revelation 12:11).  “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ.  For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before God day and night, has been hurled down (Revelation 12:10).”

   On His wedding day, Jesus will unveil His bride clothed in white wedding clothes without stain or blemish – holy and blameless (Ephesians 5:27).  These wedding clothes are the righteous acts that spring from our faith in Jesus Christ and His victory on the cross (Revelation 19:8).  This is the bride who has proven herself worthy by her undying love and faith in Jesus Christ and His cross.  When Jesus Christ returns and is revealed, this is the bride who will be revealed with Him  in glory (Colossians 3:4).  This is the glorious bride of Christ who will be joined in heavenly marriage and eternal union to her true love and Lord, the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.

 “In that day the Lord of hosts will be a beautiful crown and a glorious diadem to the remnant of His people… and as the bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so your God will rejoice over you.” Isaiah 28:5; 62:5   “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’  He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’”  Revelation 22:17 & 20