Relationships are funny. Spiritual relationships are mysterious.
God, for those who believe in the Christian God, is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Yet God is one.
A man and a woman are, according to God, one flesh!
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:24
In Christ, we are one body. We are one spiritual body!
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28
“There is neither male nor female” for we are spirits. Jews and Greeks are both one in Christ!
Definitely spiritual relationships are extraordinary!
“For who has known the mind of the LORD?” Romans 11:34a
My purpose in this article, is just to raise some questions. Think on these things!
Hosea the Prophet spoke of God’s promise to restore and wed the Northern Kingdom (Israel, Ephraim):
19 “I will betroth you to Me forever;
[A betrothal in that day and time was serious! They were man and wife legally except there was no intimacy until the wedding.]
Yes, I will betroth you to Me
In righteousness and justice,
In lovingkindness and mercy;
20 I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,
And you shall know the Lord.
21“It shall come to pass in that day
That I will answer,” says the Lord;
“I will answer the heavens,
And they shall answer the earth.
22The earth shall answer
With new wine,
And with oil;
They shall answer Jezreel.[“God will sow.”]
23 Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth,
And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy;
Then I will say to those who were not My people,
‘You are My people!’
And they shall say, ‘You are my God!’ ”
Has this prophecy been fulfilled? The wedding ceremony is in the future near the end of the Book of Revelation, Chapter 19. However, the betrothal has happened, is happening, and will happen until right before the LORD makes His second appearance. The Northern Kingdom* of Israel has been sown through the ages across the whole globe. Some of them know who they are – the lost tribes of Israel, but many do not. Some of them have accepted the marriage proposal of our LORD. We pray that many more will. (See at the end of this article the Galilean Wedding pdfs)
As it says in the Scripture: “And they [Israel] also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again…..And so all Israel will be saved…” Romans 11:23,26a
*This does NOT mean that those who are not descended from the Northern Kingdom cannot be saved. The Word of God states simply: 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1 32 And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Joel 2/Acts 2:21
THE MYSTERIOUS BRIDE
From Scripture we see that the Northern Kingdom (and also Judah) will be betrothed to the LORD. But doesn’t the Scriptures say that the Church is the Bride of Christ!?
John the Baptist testified: “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 3:29
For I am jealous as to you with the jealousy of God. For I have betrothed you to one husband, to present a pure virgin to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:2 Berean Literal Bible (For those of you that think Israel, in the past, is only the bride, there is no “you as” in the literal! This is done in many versions, but is NOT the literal, as the KJ and NKJ points out.)
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. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Ephesians 5
We are “members of His body”… but we become “one flesh”. Hmmm. A “great mystery”!
Now there is a doctrine out there that only Israel is the bride in the Lamb’s marriage (Rev 19). Yet Jews and Greeks are “one in Christ”! So wouldn’t that mean that we are both betrothed? Then what about Messianic Jews? Are they part of the betrothed OR the body of Christ? Could they be both?
Spiritual relationships are mysterious. Israel & the Church can both be the bride … and also sons! It’s all in the relationship! In Christ, there is no separation between Israel and the Church.
I am a son/daughter to my Father in Heaven. I am the Bride of Christ. (And I know: the words “Bride of Christ” are not technically in Scripture, but neither is “trinity”.) I am part of the Body of Christ. I am a brother/sister to other saints, yet we are “one in Christ”. It’s all in the spiritual relationships!
“Return, O backsliding children,” says the LORD; “for I am married to you…” Jeremiah 3:14 (Also see 3:20)
In this verse, the LORD calls Judah, “backsliding children” and then He says, “I am married to you”!
If this were in the natural realm, Judah being termed “children” to the LORD and a “wife” to the LORD (3:20) would be unheard of! Yet this is a spiritual relationships and they are peculiar, possibly because we are dealing with the triune nature of God! The Mighty God is the Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6) It’s all in the spiritual relationships!
Then, who is saying “Come” in the quotation at the start of this article? It is the Spirit and the Bride! Yet, if this is only Israel, and some of Israel is not yet convinced of the Messiah being Yeshua, who is saying “Come!”? Do you know any unsaved Jews that are saying this? Maybe they may cry for some “Messiah” to save them, but they don’t believe it is Yeshua, the one who died for their sins!
“Come!” is repeated over and over again by the ekklesia, the Church! (Or they should!) Myself, I repeat it often. I even sing, “Come LORD Yeshua, Come LORD Yeshua!” Does that heartfelt gesture not make me a bride?
St. Paul put this in one of his letters: “Maranatha!” (Aramaic) or “Come, Lord!” (1 Corinthians 16:22)
Every Believer May Not Be a Bride
Not every Christian cries, “Maranatha!” Every believer is not preparing themselves for the return of Yeshua. They haven’t the oil ready! (See Matthew 25:1-13)
Please consider these statements in Scripture:
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8
A husband and bride share, somewhat like joint-heirs, but there’s an “IF” there! “… if so be that we suffer with Him…” Everyone suffers in this life, but “suffering with Him” is suffering for the cause of Christ!
There are also the rebukes to the Churches. Five of the churches had rebukes. This Church of Thyatira will suffer through the great tribulation … unless they repent!
22 Behold, I will cast her onto a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her will suffer great tribulation unless they repent of her deeds. 23 Then I will strike her children dead, and all the churches will know that I am the One who searches minds and hearts, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. Rev 2
Also, there is another Scripture:
9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
1 Corinthians 3
This person who will suffer loss but is saved does not sound like a joint-heir with Christ! Just a thought.
THE BRIDE & THE NEW JERUSALEM
The LORD is setting up a Kingdom and that Kingdom is coming to earth. The New Jerusalem will come to earth.
This New Jerusalem already exists, but it is not yet here on earth. How do I know this?
“but the Jerusalem above is free…” Galatians 4:26. Notice “is”.
“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels,” Hebrews 12:22
But someday this heavenly Jerusalem will come down to earth … (St. John is having a vision of the future!)
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…. 9 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… Revelation 21:2
This city, which already exists, will be chockfull of Spirit-filled people! And it is coming, coming to earth, above the earth!
When I am praying for earthly Jerusalem, I am praying for the people of that particular city. The New Jerusalem, the heavenly one, is the City of God! This city is made up of pure and holy people. In the spirit, Christians are there already!
“and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” (Ephesians 2:6)
Old Testament saints are there, too. There is no division between the OT Israelites and the righteous since after the cross. We all have been washed in the blood of the Lamb. We are now “one in Christ”!
Comparing the Galilean Wedding and the Messiah’s Proposal
The Galilean Betrothal and Wedding are symbolic of the spiritual wedding that will take place in the marriage of the Lamb to His Bride. This is put in a .pdf format to make it simpler to use and hand out.
For your Maker is your husband, The LORD of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth. Isaiah 54:5
Unless noted, the Scriptures are NKJV.