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Who is the Bride of Christ?
A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD
The spiritual attributes of God's Bride is foreshadowed by the priesthood in the Old Testament. Therefore, God's Bride has the same attributes as the Old Testament priests. What were the requirements of the priests in the Old Testament and how were these principles of God's Kingdom communicated by God to the nation of Israel and to all believers today?
God desires for the nation of Israel and ALL believers to be a holy and sanctified people (Exodus 28:1, 35-36, Leviticus 19:2, 20:7-8, Ephesians 5:26-27, 1 Peter 1:15-16)
The clothing of the priests in the Old Testament is the same clothing as God's Bride (Exodus 28, Psalm 45:8-15, Isaiah 61:1-3, 6,10, Revelation 19:7-8, 21:9-21)
The primary duty of the priesthood and the Bride of Christ is to teach God's Torah to His people (Leviticus 10:8,10-11, Deuteronomy 17:8-11, Jeremiah 18:18, Ezekiel 44:15, 23-24, Malachi 2:7, Matthew 5:17-19, John 1:38, 3:2; Hebrews 4:14-16)
Those who reject God's Torah will NOT be priests before God and will NOT be the Bride of Christ (Hosea 4:6, 8:12, Matthew 7:23, 24:12)
While it is God's perfect Will for ALL believers to be a kingdom of priests and to be the Bride of Christ, those believers who mix paganism and the ways of the world with the worship of the God of Israel, will be disqualified from being the Bride of Christ (Exodus 32:1, 4-6, 1Kiings 12:25- 33, 1 Corinthians 1:2, 11:2,
1 Thessalonians 4:1-7, 2 Timothy 2:19-22)
As priests before God, the eternal destiny of the Bride of Christ is to teach the Torah to all nations and to dwell in the heavenly Jerusalem with God for all eternity (Isaiah 2:2-3, Matthew 28:17-19, Revelation 21:9-10, 24-26)
God desired for the nation of Israel and ALL believers to become a KINGDOM of priests. This was the perfect Will of God for the nation of Israel and this is the perfect Will of God for all believers. While it was the perfect Will of God for the nation of Israel and for all believers who accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior to be a kingdom of priests before God, this promise of God is conditional. God's people being a kingdom of priests is conditional upon God's people loving Him with all their heart, mind, soul and strength and being obedient to God and following His commandments. These truths can be seen in Exodus 19:5-6 as it is written:
God desires for all
believers in Jesus as Messiah to be a kingdom of priests. In
CONDITIONAL UPON OBEDIENCE
In order to be a royal priesthood before God and become the Bride of Christ, it is dependent upon loving God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and keeping His commandments. In Deuteronomy 10:12-13 it is written:
These are the same requirements that Jesus gave for believers today. Jesus commanded His followers to love God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength and to keep His commandments. In Mark 12:28-30 it is written:
Jesus commanded His followers to keep the commandments (Torah) of God. In Matthew 5:18-19 it is written:
Jesus measures our love toward Him based upon whether we keep His commandments. In John 14:15 it is written: "If you love me, keep my commandments."
If we love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and keep His commandments, we will be kings and priests before God. In Revelation 5:10 it is written:
The reward for all believers in Jesus as Messiah who love God and keep His commandments is to eat of the tree of life. In Revelation 22:12-14 it is written:
The Bride of Christ will be holy and sanctified. In Ephesians 5:26-27 it is written:
The Hebrew word for sanctify is "Kadash.". It is the Strong's word 6942. The Hebrew word for holy is "Kodesh.". It is the Strong's word 6944. Both the Hebrew word, "Kadash" and the Hebrew word, "Kodesh" means "to be set apart." The spiritual meaning is that God wants His people to be set apart (holy) from the world and to be sanctified unto Him.
God made these same requirements for the priests in the Old Testament. In Exodus 28:1, 35-36 it is written:
God desired the entire nation of Israel to be holy unto Him. In Leviticus 19:1-2 it is written:
God not only commands His people to be holy, but He also commands His people to be sanctified and to keep His commandments. In Leviticus 20:7-8 it is written:
God desires for all
believers in Jesus as Messiah to be holy and sanctified. In
The dress of the priests in the Old Testament is a spiritual picture of the Bride's clothing. Exodus 28 describes the priest clothing. In this section, we see the following characteristics:
Psalm 45 is a royal wedding Psalm. In Psalm 45:8-15 it is written:
In these verses, we see the following characteristics:
(Psalm 45:8, Song of Solomon 1:3) The king's daughter is all glorious within (Psalm 45:13) She is brought to the king in raiment of needlework (Psalm 45:14)
In Isaiah 61, we see more characteristics of God's Bride. Because the Bride of Christ is spiritually one with Jesus, the Bridegroom, she will exemplify the same characteristics as Jesus when He ministered on the earth. In Isaiah 61:1-3, 6, 10 it is written:
In these verses we see the following characteristics of the Bride of Christ.
In Revelation 19:7-8, the Bride of Christ has made herself ready by being dressed in fine linen as it is written:
The priests of God are described as being dressed in fine linen (Exodus 28:6-8). This is also how God's Bride is dressed (Psalm 45:13-14, Revelation 19:8).
Finally, the stones of
the breastplate of the high priest are representative of the spiritual
characteristics of God's Bride (Exodus 28:15-21, Revelation 21:14-21).
AND TEACH THE TORAH OF GOD
The primary duty of the priesthood and the Bride of Christ is to teach God's Torah to His people. The priests of God were required to teach the Torah of God. In Leviticus 10:8, 10-11, it is written:
In Deuteronomy 17:8-11, God commanded that the priests make judgment according to the Torah of God as it is written:
From this passage, we can see that GOD gave His power and authority to the priests to teach His people the Torah and to make rulings concerning it. Let's examine several more scriptures which tell us the same thing. In Jeremiah 18:18 it is written:
This truth can also be seen in Malachi 2:1, 6-7 as it is written:
When Jesus returns at His second coming and rules for 1,000 years from Jerusalem, God will choose priests (the Bride of Christ) to rule and reign with Him. This can be seen in Ezekiel 44:15, 23-24 as it is written:
In Revelation 20:6 it tells us that the priests of God (the Bride of Christ) will rule and reign with Christ for 1,000 years as it is written:
The duty of the priests in the Old Testament was to teach God's people the Torah. Spiritually, this is a prophetic picture of the role of God's Bride during the 1,000-year millennium and for all eternity. The priest in the Old Testament who had the greatest authority before God was the High Priest. Jesus is our great High Priest. Therefore, He will be the final authority for all Torah teachings and judgments during the Messianic Age and for all eternity. In Hebrews 4:14-16 it is written:
Because Jesus is our great High Priest, He is also called in the Gospels, Rabbi. In John 1:38 it is written:
Jesus is also called Rabbi in John 3:2 as it is written:
Because it was the duty of the priests in the Old Testament to teach the Torah of God to God's people and because ALL believers are called priests of God in the New Testament, God desires that ALL believers be priests before Him. Those who reject God's Torah, God has proclaimed will NOT be priests unto Him and therefore will NOT be God's Bride. In Hosea 4:6 it is written:
In this scripture passage, God is talking to HIS PEOPLE. God calls THE TORAH KNOWLEDGE. By rejecting the Torah (knowledge), God has declared that we will not be priests before Him. God calls His Torah GREAT. In Hosea 8:12 it is written:
This passage indicates that there seems to be a perception problem from the way God sees His Torah and the way Christianity sees God's Torah. God calls His Torah GREAT but Christianity calls it a STRANGE THING.
The truth that God views His Torah as GREAT will allow us to understand the meaning of God's judgment upon His people as found in Matthew 7:21-23 as it is written:
Many in Christendom have interpreted this passage to mean that those who are operating in the charismatic gifts of God are being condemned by Jesus. This explanation is derived from the conclusion of Jesus' statement following describing those who are operating in charismatic gifts when he uses the words "Depart from me, ye that work iniquity." However, the two key words in these verses are KNEW and INIQUITY, not that God's people are operating in Holy Spirit charismatic gifts. As we studied earlier in the book, the word, "knew" means "to know intimately and have a deep personal relationship with God." It does not mean salvation alone but knowing God involves being saved.
The second key word in these verses is the word, "iniquity." The word "iniquity" in Matthew 7:23 is the Greek word, "Anomia". It is the Strong's word 458 in the Greek dictionary. The Greek word "noma" comes from the Greek word, "nomos". When the Septuagint (LXX) was written (the translation of the Hebrew scriptures into Greek), the word law (Torah) was translated as the Greek word, "nomos". Anomia consists of two Greek words, the prefix "a" which means "without" and "noma" which means "law". So Jesus is rebuking those who did mighty works in His name but were doing it without the knowledge of the Torah ("anomia") which is translated in Matthew 7:23 as "iniquity." Therefore, Jesus was rebuking that His people were operating in charismatic gifts while not keeping the Torah. Jesus was not rebuking His people for operating in Charismatic Holy Spirit manifestations because the manifestations come from the Spirit of God!
In Matthew 24:12, Jesus said one of the signs of His second coming is that people would no longer be living their lives according to the Torah as it is written:
Once again, the word,
"iniquity' in Matthew 24:12 is the Greek word, "anomia." So,
Jesus is stating that when He returns at His second coming, the people
of the earth will not be living by the Torah of God.
While it is God's perfect Will for ALL believers to be a kingdom of priests and to be the Bride of Christ, God gave us a pattern in the Old Testament that those who mix the worship of God with paganism and the ways of the world with the worship of the God of Israel, will be disqualified from being the Bride of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 10:11, God tells us that those things which happened historically to the nation of Israel are a pattern of things to come concerning prophetic events in the Kingdom of God as it is written:
Therefore, those things which happened to historical Israel are an example of FUTURE things to the believers in Christ as it is stated, "the ends of the world are come." By understanding this truth, why didn't the NATION of Israel and ALL twelve tribes become priests before God even though this was God's Will? (Exodus 19:5-6). The answer is that the children of the God of Israel mixed the worship of the God of Israel with paganism and called it the worship of the God of Israel. This is the spiritual significance of the sin of the golden calf. In Exodus 32:1, it is written:
In this passage, Moses is a type of Jesus. Following the resurrection of Jesus, the early church was expecting that He would return at His second coming within the next generation. When Jesus failed to return within a generation, the church leaders (a type of Aaron) led the people away from the faith of the first-century church and the teachings of Jesus and His disciples to keep the Sabbath, the Biblical Festivals and the Torah. Several hundred years later, Christianity became separated from the original Jewish church which believed in Jesus as Messiah, kept the Sabbath, observed the Biblical Festivals and followed the Torah. In doing so, the Christian church began to mix the worship of God with the pagan religions around them.
For a greater understanding of the beliefs and practices of the early church in the days of Jesus, I recommend Dr. Ron Moseley's book, "Yeshua: A Guide to the Real Jesus and the Original Church". Dr. Moseley is the president and founder of the Arkansas Institute of Holy Land Studies. The Arkansas Institute of Holy Land Studies is a four year college that studies the Jewish roots of Christianity and offers a bachelor's degree in Middle Eastern History. This book can be obtained at your local Christian bookstore or by contacting Serenity Books. In addition, I would recommend the book, "Our Father Abraham," by Marvin Wilson, and the book, "Jesus the Jewish Theologian by Dr. Brad Young.
The predominant religion in the Roman Empire during the time of Jesus and following his resurrection was Mithraism. The early church leaders began to mix Mithraism with the worship of God and adopted beliefs and practices which became known as Christianity under the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church.
Mithraism gave emphasis to the worship of the sun god. For example, the birthday of the sun god in Mithraism was December 25. The day of worship to the sun god in Mithraism was Sunday (sun day). When the Roman Empire no longer practiced Mithraism, the practices and beliefs of Mithraism were adapted into Christianity through the Roman Catholic Church. Consequently, during this time, the worship of the true God of Israel and Jesus as Messiah became mingled with the beliefs and practices of Mithraism. In doing so, Christianity committed the same sins as the children of Israel when Moses delayed to come down from Mount Sinai and encouraged Aaron to help them build a golden calf.
Therefore, what happened to Moses, Aaron and the children of Israel in Exodus 32:1 was a foreshadowing of future Christianity. What happened when the people saw that Moses didn't come down from the mountain in the time frame that they expected? In Exodus 32:4-6 it is written:
In these verses, we can
see that the golden calf that the people made was NOT to worship any god
in Egypt. Instead, the golden calf is called the worship of the God of
Israel. Aaron and the children of Israel built the golden calf and
proclaimed that they would make a "feast to the Lord" and offer "burnt
offerings and peace offerings." A "feast to the Lord, burnt offerings
and peace offerings" is how the God of Israel requested that His people
worship Him. Therefore, the sin of the people was mixing the worship of
the God of Israel with the ways of the world and paganism and calling
this system of worship, the worship of the God of Israel. Historical
Christianity has made this same mistake.
The sin of the golden calf which involves mixing the worship of the God of Israel with the ways of the world and paganism was repeated by Jeroboam and the Northern Kingdom of Israel in I Kings 12:25-33 as it is written:
In I Kings 12:25-33, there are three vital aspects to the golden calf system of worship.
By departing from the Jewish roots of the faith that was practiced by Jesus, the disciples and the early church, historical Christianity has committed the same sins as the children of Israel who built the golden calf in the wilderness and the Northern Kingdom who went to worship God at Bethel and Dan. As a result, historical Christianity incorporated into their worship of God:
Therefore, the cry of God's heart to His people today is to flee this golden calf and Babylonian system and celebrate the Sabbath, the Biblical Festivals and keep His Torah. This truth is communicated to us in Revelation 18:4 as it is written:
heard another voice from heaven, saying, come out of her (
had the people worship in two places,
THE LEVITES: STANDING FOR THE TORAH
Exodus 32, the only tribe of the twelve tribes of
THE BRIDE IS A HOLY AND SANCTIFIED PEOPLE
Not only are we called by God to forsake a corporate golden calf system of worship but the Bride of Christ is commanded by God to leave the ways of the world and the desires of the flesh in living their personal lives. In doing so, God commanded for His people to live holy and sanctified lives. In 1 Corinthians 1:2 it is written:
this verse, the apostle Paul is writing to believers in the
It was the desire of the Apostle Paul that he present the believers whom God gave him rule over as a "chaste virgin." In 2 Corinthians 11:2 it is written:
"For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ."
the verse, we can see that the Apostle Paul wanted to present
the believers in
In 1 Thessalonians 4:1-7 we can see that God wants His people to be holy and sanctified and separated from the ways of the world and the desires of the flesh as it is written:
"Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as you have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor. Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness."
these verses, we can see that the Apostle Paul is writing to the
church at Thessalonica and exhorting the people to flee the ways
of the world and the desires of the flesh and be a sanctified
and holy people unto God. We can see this same truth in
"Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart."
once again, the exhortation is for God's people to flee sin and
to serve God and to be a sanctified people unto Him so that they
can be fit for the master's use. In like manner, the Bride of
Christ is not only saved but she becomes sanctified through her
righteous living by fleeing sin and the ways of the world. By
doing this, she will have a deep and personal knowledge of God
and keep His commandments.
THE BRIDE OF CHRIST WILL TEACH
priests before God, the eternal destiny of the Bride of Christ
is to teach the Torah to all nations and to dwell in the
"And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you ... "
Within Christianity, this scripture is most often interpreted to mean preach the salvation message to all peoples on the earth. While it is true and VERY necessary that the message of salvation be preached to ALL peoples on the earth, Jesus commanded His disciples in this passage to "TEACH ALL NATIONS to observe all things".
A teacher in Hebrew is a Rabbi. Jesus was a Rabbi and his disciples were "students". The word disciple is the Hebrew word, "Talmidim" which means "a student". Therefore, the great commission of Jesus to His disciples was to make believers of all nations and make the believers of all nations students of God's Word. The "observe all things" would have been understood by the Torah-observant Jewish disciples of Jesus to teach the nations how to keep the Torah.
The call, destiny and commissioning of the Bride of Christ is to teach the Torah of God to all nations. This will be fulfilled during the 1,000-year Messianic Age and also throughout all eternity. In Isaiah 2:2-3 it is written:
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion (God's Bride) shall go forth the Law (Torah), and the word of the Lord from ]erusalem."
2:2-3 is the scripture which refers to the great Messianic
hope when the Messiah will rule from
only will the Torah go forth from
"... Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me a great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God ... And the nations which are saved (believers who are saved and will spend eternity in heaven) shall walk in the light of it (the glory of the bride and the city of Jerusalan) and the kings of the earth do bring their glofry and honor into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it."
conclusion, in this chapter, we examined that the Bride of
Christ is a Royal Priesthood. Just as God desired the entire
It was the role of the priests in the Old Testament to teach God's Torah to His people. During the Messianic Age and then for all eternity, the Bride of Christ will teach God's Torah to all the nations on the earth. Those who reject God's Torah will not be the Bride of Christ because they have rejected the knowledge and understanding of God and His Kingdom (Hosea 4:6).
All Christians who accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior and are forgiven of their sins will be in heaven. However, not all Christians who are saved will be the Bride of Christ. Only those believers who love God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength, who grow to full spiritual maturity and who do the perfect Will of God in their lives will be the royal priesthood of God and the Bride of Christ. The Bride of Christ is a royal priesthood. This is the high calling of God for every believer who accepts Jesus as Messiah. May we all be found worthy!
This DVD series reveals Yeshua in the entire Bible (Psalm 40:7, Luke 24:44). Yeshua is in the Torah. He created the heavens and earth, made covenant with Abraham, led the children of Israel out of Egypt, gave the Torah at Mount Sinai, is the bridegroom of Israel and the glory of God that filled the tabernacle. Yeshua died on the tree to unite the twelve tribes of Israel (John 10:16-17, 11:49-52). Yeshua will gather the twelve tribes of Israel during the tribulation period and be glorified. He will reign during the Messianic Era as King over the whole earth teaching the Torah to all nations. While revealing Yeshua from Genesis to Revelation, this DVD series also teaches the basic principles of the Hebraic roots of Christianity, including who is the house of Jacob, Torah is for all believers in Yeshua, and Two Houses and the New Testament. Finally, this DVD series gives a Hebraic perspective of the end of days. In all, twelve hours of power packed teaching!