|the Wedding Supper of the Lamb|
by haRold Smith
a citizen of the Commonwealth
"These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures." Luke 24:44-45
"Now YOU are the Body of Messiah, and members in particular." 1Corinthians 12:27
"For the husband is head of the wife, as also Messiah is head of the assembly; and He is the Savior of the Body... For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Messiah and His Body." Ephesians 5:23-32
"John answered and said, 'A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from the Father.' You yourselves bear me witness that I said, 'I am not the Messiah' but, 'I have been sent before Him. '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." John 3:27-29
A body, your body, is a single entity. Your head is not detached from the rest of your body, floating around somewhere in space on its own. It is a single unit. In like manner, if we are to become "members of Yeshua's Body, flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone" with Him as the Head of that Body (as it says in Ephesians 5 above); then those who have embraced the example of His Life are also a single entity with the Head. If we comprise the members of His Body and if He is the BrideGroom (as John the Baptist proclaimed in John 3 above), it can be safely said that, as befits a single entity, we are the bodily members of the BrideGroom - already of His Flesh and of His Bone. If the BrideGroom leaves His mother and Father to BECOME one flesh with His Wife when they are joined together (click on highlighted words to view content) and, since nowhere in scripture is there any precedent set for a groom to marry himself; then, the question has to be asked - who is the Bride?
For many years, I have had a problem with which scriptures are to be taken literally and which scriptures are to be "spiritualized" as allegory or metaphor - and who decides which ones are handled in which manner? What I have come to observe is that those scriptures we think we understand we take literally - as in "do not murder". Those scriptures we can not or do not understand are "spiritualized" and placed in an allegorical "nether land". To those we point to as an answer but, in reality, are made up only of speculation, conjecture and opinion that after a period of time, assume validation simply by existing. Like most, I have believed what I have been taught - what has been handed down to me by those I respected as learned in the Way of Yeshua. Over the past few years, however and particularly since residing in Israel, I have come to question many of those beliefs - not out of disrespect for my mentors for they were only handing me what they, too, had been taught and had sincerely come to believe as being true. What I have uncovered in that questioning is the insidiousness by which perversity has infiltrated what we have come to embrace as Truth - perversity being defined as "a slight turning from Truth" (see Pure or Perverse for a detailed explanation). Ever since "resurfacing" in ruach hakodesh (Hebrew for the spirit of holiness) some time ago, I have seen that much of what we have come to believe and hold as Truth in the religion of Christianity is nothing more than tradition handed down to us by other men. That is precisely the meaning of tradition as defined by Yeshua in Mark 7:13 and the only thing He ever pointed to that would nullify the Word of His Father. Every jot and tittle of scripture is inspired by ruach hakodesh and will all come to pass exactly as it is written. But, you know what? - when Yeshua appeared the first time, every jot and tittle of inspired scripture was fulfilled exactly as it was written and nobody understood it until after it had taken place. Not even the disciples knew - which is why their understanding was opened AFTER His Resurrection (in Luke 24 above and in John 20:6-9). Since words mean things, it is only in receiving those words given to us through ruach hakodesh for what they actually say and mean that we will begin to understand what they are trying to convey.
While most have just accepted the Christian analogy of the Body and Bride without much study on their own, the thought expressed above cuts across the grain of all that has been taught concerning the Christian "church" being both members of His Body and also being the Bride at the same time. But, again, words mean things and if we look at scripture simply for what the words say - it becomes apparent there is a distinction between the two. Before we answer the question of "Who is the Bride?" however, bear with me if you will for a moment and let us see what it means to be a "member of the Body of Messiah" ("Christ" is a Greek alteration of the Hebrew "Messiah", see What's In A Name? for a full appreciation of His Name). Let us put aside all of our preconceptions and look at some scriptures which lay a foundation that, at the very least, I believe you will find compelling.
The English word "church" comes from the Greek ekklesia which actually means "a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly; an assembly of the people convened at a public place for the purpose of deliberating; the assembly of the Israelites." The first time this word ekklesia is used in scripture is not in the Book of Acts, as most would presume, but in the Gospels - spoken of by Yeshua before what is now popularly considered conceptually to be the "Christian church" comprised of Gentiles. In Matthew 16:18, however, Yeshua replied to Peter that it would be on this same rock of revelation that had revealed Who He was to Peter that He would build His ekklesia - meaning assembly of Israelites. The Greek word for 'build' used here is oikodomeo and means to build (up from the foundation), to restore by building, to rebuild, to repair. To underscore this usage of ekklesia, it appears again in Matthew 18:15-17, referring to Israelites because if the Hebrew brother did not hear the ekklesia, he is to be treated as a Gentile - someone other than an Israelite. So, how is it that Gentiles can be part of the "ekklesia" if it is comprised only of Israelites? It is because those who have embraced the Life of Yeshua have been grafted into the Commonwealth of Israel and made Hebrew by virtue of His Hebrew Blood that literally flows in their veins because of that embrace (see Who Is Jewish?). It is a mystery, but that mystery does not exclude the covenant the Father made with His People - it includes all who embrace the Words of YHVH. It is the Gentile branch of the assembly (those who embrace the Hebrew Messiah of Israel as being Yeshua) that has been grafted INTO the Hebrew root of the family of Israel - not the other way around. This is what Yeshua meant when He said, "...salvation is of the Jews".
All of this brings us back to the initial question: if the BrideGroom are those who have embraced the example of Life embodied by Yeshua, the head of that Body - then Who is the Bride of Yeshua? Even though Christianity proclaims itself to be the bride, there is only one place in all of scripture that actually states, "...here is the Bride of the Lamb" describing the New Jerusalem descending from a higher place "out of" (not "down from") the heaven we have already established in the previous article as being within (Isaiah 57:15, Luke 17:20-21). As explored in the article What's New About It?, we saw that the verse from the Tanakh (OT) quoted in the passage from Hebrews 8:6-13 comes from Jeremiah 31:31-33. The Hebrew word that is translated "new" in that verse comes from the root word chadash meaning to make fresh, to re-new, to re-pair.
|"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 Lambís wife.' 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, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal." Revelation 21:9-11|
|the New Jerusalem = Restored Kingdom|
There are currently two parts to this union, the Groom which is comprised of the Head and His Body, and the Bride - ethnic Israel, to whom the Groom is to be joined and from which union will come the "one new man" described of in Ephesians 2:14-18. Though we are "betrothed" to the Bride and that betrothal is considered to be the marriage, at the moment, the consummation of that marriage has not yet arrived (see Jewish Betrothal Customs). This is the mystery Paul spoke of concerning their disobedience (read again Romans 11:25-32) and it is the only place in scripture that speaks of the gifts and calling of YHVH are without repentance. We have been grafted into the Commonwealth of Israel. It is the sap of that root that flows through our veins and sustains us - not the other way around. It is to our benefit to cover Israel right now for, as a wife to a husband, how she is affected, affects us all (Isaiah 49:21-23). The relevancy of Israel to Spirit is thoroughly examined further in the article the Covering.
Part One - the Gentile
Part Two - the Church
Part Three - the Bride
Part Four - Children of the Bridechamber
Part Five - the Covering
Part Six - the Land
"Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife has made herself ready. 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. And he said unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb."|
Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. While not claiming to have all the answers, it would be an honor to partake with you of what the Spirit is uncovering.