The Bride, The Lamb's Wife

In his excellent series on Genesis, David Hocking makes an ironic statement. In his rightful defense of Israel as still being in the plan of God and still having a glorious future, in the middle of chastising Replacement Theology, he talks about "the church" as the Bride of Christ.

This is yet another common failure to rightly divide the word of truth and a failure to mark things that differ.

Israel is the Bride of Christ, not the current church.

In this age, the Lord is gathering his Body. The bride has her own head, while the Body's head is Christ.

We do not have Israel's covenants (old or new) and we are not the bride. These errors are expected from those who have sought to rob Israel of her place and promises and highly disappointing for those who should know better.

Replacing Israel (in any way) is part of an old heresy. The phrase "the bride of Christ" is nowhere found in scripture. What we do have is "the bride, the Lamb’s wife." This is near the Revelation (Israel's time).

In the Book of Hosea, we see the Lord commanding the prophet to take a wife of whoredom to illustrate what the Lord experienced with Israel, his wife, chasing after other gods.

The Lord said to him,“Go, marry a prostitute and have children of prostitution, for the people of the land commit great prostitution by deserting the Lord.”
-Hosea 1:2
 
"Plead with your mother, plead:
for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband:
let her, therefore, put away her whoredoms out of her sight,
and her adulteries from between her breasts"
-Hosea 2:1

At the end of the story, she is redeemed by the prophet and restored unto him as Israel will be restored in the "latter days" (the Revelation, as we have looked at in recent studies).

"Then said the Lord unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine. So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for a homer of barley, and a half homer of barley: and I said unto her, Thou shalt abide for me many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I also be for thee. For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days."
-Hosea 3

They will return to the land and to their God. He will redeem them from the slave market and restore his wife unto himself. Under the New Covenant, she shall again be as a virgin.

Here the entirety of Jeremiah 31 must be read. How Christians can cram the church in here is criminal. We were "strangers to the covenants" (Ephesians). Since the New is for those who had the Old, it must be for Israel alone.

The New Covenant speaks of the restoration of Israel (and specifically Ephraim, remember our study on the lists of the tribes). Israel shall be a "virgin" again. She is the future Bride of the Lamb because she is the past wife of Yahweh.

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