The Bride of Christ
Part 3 of 3 of this bible study

 

Hosea l, 2 and 3

(please read this FIRST in your own bible)


Hosea, a man who speaks words of the Lord, had to take a prostitute as wife. God wanted to show something with this. Just like Hosea was married with a prostitute, the Lord was married with a prostitute: Israel. The children born from Hosea and Gomer got names provided by God. With those names God wanted to make something clear to the people of Israel. The first son was named Jizreel. That means: Break up. Because God is going to break up the kingdom of the house of Israel.



Hosea 1

5. "In that day I will break Israel's bow in the Valley of Jezreel."

God keeps aloof of Israel and makes that clear with the name of the second child of Hosea and Gomer: Lo-Ruhamah. That means: I will no longer love.

6. "Gomer conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the LORD said to Hosea, "Call her Lo-Ruhamah, for I will no longer show love to the house of Israel, that I should at all forgive them. 7 Yet I will show love to the house of Judah."

This connects totally to Jeremiah 2 en 3.
The third child was a son. He was named: Lo-Ammi. That is: Not my people.

9. "for you are not my people, and I am not your God."

God wouldn't be God when after these harsh words He didn't show a way out. A view to a curative future:
10. "Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people', they will be called 'sons of the living God."



Hosea 2

Chapter 2 shows how the woman, who committed adultery, not even noticed she was well cared-for by her first husband. But the Lord will stop this situation. He will stop her celebrations, ruin her vines and her fig-trees...

13. "I will punish her for the days she burned incense to the Baals; she decked herself with rings and jewelry, and went after her lovers, but me she forgot," declares the LORD, 14. "Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her... 16. "In that day," declares the LORD, "you will call me 'my husband'; you will no longer call me 'my master'. 17. I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips; no longer will their names be invoked. 18. In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety."

When will that be? When the people of Israel will call Him 'my husband'.
That is "In that day " that the Lord will make a covenant with the animals. At that time He will abolish war, so that they may live in safety.

Micah 4:1-5 and Isaiah 2:1-5 are speaking of the same things. What is written there will be reality in the thousand years of peace. When Jesus will be returned to the earth and sit on His throne in Jerusalem, all Israel, the remnant, 12 tribes, will be in the land of Israel.

Hosea goes on:
19:"I will betroth you to me for ever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion, I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the LORD."

Betroth=promise to marry

Is it necessary to explain this verse? It is very clear!


Hosea 3

In chapter 3 the Lord shows again, Israel can think to run away from the Lord and walk behind her lovers, just like Gomer did, but He paid a price to bind Israel to Himself. The first time Hosea didn't paid for Gomer, but here, in chapter 3, he bought her and said to her:

3.""You are to live with me for many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will live with you." 4 For the Israelites will live for many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or idol. 5 Afterwards the Israelites will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD and to his blessings in the last days."

This prophesy, still not fulfilled,will be fulfilled when the Lord returned to the earth. To gain more insight it is good to read Ezekiel 37.

To end the reading of verses from the OT, which speak about our subject we read Isaiah 62. Let's first read the whole chapter, then we will discus these verses.


Isaiah 62

1." For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.
2 The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow. 3 You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD's hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God."

The Lord has prepared wonderful things for Jerusalem. The end of the suffering of Jerusalem is near, it won't be long before the Lord will exalt Jerusalem and His people and they will be a crown of splendor in the hand of the Lord.

4. "No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the LORD will take delight in you, and your land will be married."

It seems strange, that we read, that the land will be married, but let us read Jeremiah 2 again.


Jeremiah 2:7

"I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and made my inheritance detestable."

The land where the Israelites lived was and still is the land of God. It is good to remember that while we have so much criticism for Israel.

So, when Isaiah speaks about the land that will be called "married", then he speaks about the land and his inhibitors. And the capitol of that land is Jerusalem. Let's go on with Isaiah 62:5


Isaiah 62:5

"As a young man marries a maiden, so will your sons marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you"

While I was thinking about that verse I remembered, that I read somewhere that someone had see that here four times subjects are opposite to each other. We will write this here in the same way:

A.  as a          YOUNG MAN marries             a MAIDEN

B.  so will                your SONS                      marry YOU

C.  as a       BRIDEGROOM rejoices over     his BRIDE

D.  so will            YOUR GOD rejoice            over You

This is a parable.
Your SONS will marry YOU, as a YOUNG MAN marries a MAIDEN.
So, your SONS are compared with the YOUNG MAN, and the one who is addressed with YOU is compared with the MAIDEN.

Let's read verse 4 again, to find out who is addressed as YOU.
"No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the LORD will take delight in you, and your land will be married."

The whole chapter speaks about Jerusalem and the land that belongs to it. It starts with: "for Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet..." and it ends with: "and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted."

So," YOU" in verse 4 is Jerusalem including the land that belongs to Jerusalem.
What we see is that the SONS of Jerusalem will marry Jerusalem.
Then we read the second part in verse 5.
Exactly like the BRIDEGROOM rejoices over his BRIDE so will YOUR GOD rejoice over YOU.
YOUR GOD is compared with the BRIDEGROOM and YOU with the BRIDE. So, the GOD of the land with Jerusalem as capitol, is the BRIDEGROOM who marries the land, also named Jerusalem.

But this is not all. We already knew from other bible verses that the Lord will marry Jerusalem. But verse 4 consists of 2x2 parts.

Both times first a parable, then who are addressed.

We have just seen, that the second part makes clear that the Lord is the BRIDEGROOM and the BRIDE Jerusalem.

But how do we have to see the first part?
There it is explained that the SONS of JERUSALEM are the BRIDEGROOM, and just like the second part of verse 4: JERUSALEM the BRIDE.

Who are those SONS?
It is written that they are SONS of JERUSALEM.
Can we put those SONS equal to GOD?

I mean this: We have just seen that there is a row, or a line:
YOUNG MAN - YOUR SONS - BRIDEGROOM - YOUR GOD.

When it is like this that the BRIDEGROOM correspond with YOUR GOD, and YOUR SONS with the YOUNG MAN, then it can't be something else then that YOUR SONS belong to YOUR GOD.

We know from the NT, that the BRIDEGROOM the LORD JEZSUS is. He is the son of God. But, we -believers- are also sons of God.

Galatians 4:6,7

"Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father."
So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir."

Furthermore it is clear from Ephesians 5:30, that we are members of His body, one flesh with Jesus. He is the head, we are His body. Through Jesus we are sons of God. That's why we are also heirs of God.
In the text we read from Jeremiah 2 it is clear that the Lord calls 'the land' his inheritance. The land Israel, the city Jerusalem has everything to do with the inheritance God promised us.

Those SONS are GODS SONS: Christ and His body (the church).
The Head and His body are the BRIDEGROOM. We are together with our Head: Jesus, the BRIDEGROOM. But we read in Isaiah 62:5 that the SONS are sons of Jerusalem!?
Let us read again, to get an answer on that question, Galatians 4:26:

Galatians 4:26

"But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother."
So, we -believers in Christ- are SONS of Jerusalem! What a totally different perspective! It is of course wonderful to be the Bride, but is it not even more wonderfully to be, together with Jesus, the Bridegroom?

Summary

Hosea has to portray, by his marriage with a prostitute, (Gomer) how God is married with Israel.
The first child they got receives a symbolic name: Jizreel. That means: Break. God shows in this way He will break His relation with Israel.

The second child receives the name Lo-Ruhamah. That means: I will no longer love.

But He will show love to Judah.

The third child receives the name: Lo-Ammi. Because, says the Lord: "for you are not my people, and I am not your God."

However, there will be a time in the future, the children of Israel will be like the sand of the sea and they will be called: children of the living God. That will be when the Lord makes a covenant with the animals of the field and when there will be no weapons anymore in the land. That will be when Jesus returns.

What will happen then?

Then says the Lord: I will betroth you to me for ever!

Hosea had to buy his wife. She has to wait for many days and may not belong to a man. This is again a symbolic picture of what the Lord, the Redeemer, will do. It will take a long time that Israel will be without a husband. But about two thousand years ago God did the first step to reunion. He gave His life as a ransom for many, among those the Israelites.


And after that long, long time without the Lord, they will repent and seek the Lord their God and David, their king.
See Ezechiel 37:23-24.
They will come trembling to the LORD and to his blessings in the last days. This is, even now, still in the future: the last days.

Finally Isaiah shows us more.
The Bride, as we've seen, is Jerusalem. Hosea shows us that the people of Israel and Jerusalem are one. But who is going to marry the Bride? Through two parables this is made clear.

The first parable starts with: as a YOUNG MAN marries a MAIDEN....
so will YOUR SONS marry YOU. So, the Sons are the same as the YOUNG MAN, and the one who is addressed as YOU is the same as the MAIDEN.

Then the second parable. As the BRIDEGROOM rejoices over his BRIDE, so will your GOD rejoice over YOU.

We have seen that the YOUNG MAN, the SONS, the BRIDEGROOM and your GOD, all are the same.
Also the MAIDEN, YOU (Jerusalem) and the BRIDE are the same.

The SONS of JERUSALEM are the body of the God of Israel, from Jesus.
They are offspring of Jerusalem, explains Paul in Galatians 4.

Jesus, as head of His body, shall as one whole person, marry the bride for ever.


Ephesians 5

To close this subject we will examine the part we've promised to be investigated. It is that part of the bible that is used often to prove that the church is the bride.

Ephesians 5:22

"Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord"

Paul speaks here about married women. It is not about virgins, who will be married one day, but it's about women who already have a husband.
These wives must be submitted to their husbands, the same way they are submitted to the Lord.

23. "For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.
24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. "

This is about authority. The wife is under the authority of the man. The same way the church is under the authority of of Christ.
Now there are some verses about love. The love from a man for his wife and the love from Christ for his church.

"25. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless."

Men should love their wives. Again Paul compares this love with the love Christ has for the church. Christ loved men so much, that He gave Himself on the cross in their place. Greater love is not possible. And everyone who accepted his death as done in his/her place is becoming a member of the Church, His body.

"28. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
29 After all, no-one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church--
30 for we are members of his body."

The same way Christ loves the church, His body, men ought to love their wives and take care for her.

Paul doesn't say that the church is the wife of Christ, but that the church is His body.
He is the head, we are the body. Head and body are one. The church is already now the body of Christ.
Suppose the church is the bride then the church is married to Christ before the wedding!, And the wedding is in or at the end of the thousand years of peace.

The marriage between man and wife is in love, care and being one is a picture of the being one of Christ and the Church.

"31."For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." 32 This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church."

This profound mystery is about being one flesh. Christ is the Son of God. We are parts of His body. In Him, that is in His body, we are also sons of God. This is something very special.
Christ Jesus is our head, we are His body, so we are one with Him.
So, When He is going to marry, like we read in Revelations, He is going to marry with the bride and we too are going to marry with the bride, because we are a part of His body.

The new, heavenly Jerusalem is the bride. She is the city of God, that will descend from heaven to the new earth. It will be the capitol of the new earth.

How this will be is almost incomprehensible. But it will be very, very special, because everything God did was to make it possible that His plan could be fulfilled.

For this purpose God created men.

For this purpose Jesus came to earth, put off His deity and died in our place. He went into death, trusting God the Father, that He would be resurrected. See Hebrews 5:7-9
This all was necessary to come to that great purpose: A new heaven and a new earth where sin is concurred and the BRIDEGROOM (Head and body) and the Bride will rejoice.

Not all questions are totally answered. Probably that's not even possible. Important is that we understand Gods plans every time better and better.

And it is nice when we have a better understanding of what plans God has with us.

Hebrews 5:7-9

"7 During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.
8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered
9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him"

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Ezechiel 37:23-25

"23 They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offences, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God. 24 "'My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees.
25 They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children's children will live there for ever, and David my servant will be their prince for ever."

Micah 4:1-5 and Isaiah 2:1-5

Micah 4:1-5
"In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will stream to it.
2 Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
3 He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
4 Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the Lord Almighty has spoken.
5 All the nations may walk in the name of their gods; we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever."

Isaiah 2:1-5
1"This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
2 In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.
3 Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
5 Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord"