The Bride of Christ versus the New Creation and the Joint Body
I would like to add here a third admonition from Paul, which also agrees with the two previous admonitions he has given us, which were; 1. To rightly or correctly cut the Word of truth and 2.To test things which differ” The third admonition is found at 2 Timothy 1:13 “Having a pattern of sound words which you hear from me in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.”
So our Apostle Paul has given us instructions on how to handle God’s Words, dividing and testing them which will help us to obey Paul’s words for us, to have sound words and sound doctrines! The word sound is “hugies” and it has also been translated as, wholesome in 1 Timothy 6:3 KJAV and as, sound doctrine found at 1 Timothy 1:10. This gives us the idea that sound doctrines are wholesome which would be like saying, healthy words or doctrines. This would be in contrast to unsound, or unhealthy and in other words, lies and myths.
Also, words intended for someone else, their truth but if not ours, they then would not be sound doctrine for us. For the Body of Christ, we do not want to apply words intended for Israel to ourselves or those for only the body of Christ to include Israel when they do not. WE are back again to our specific road maps. If we are going in a different direction from Israel we would get lost following their road map…OR…they trying to follow ours….if left up to us, we would then show up at the wrong roll call…but praise the Lord it is not left up to us. God knows where each of us belongs….!
The Bride of Christ is commonly taught in Christendom to be the body of Christ. The standard teaching is that the Israeli remnant, the church Jesus started in His earthly ministry and the body of Christ are one church. What is important to know is that the term, the Bride of Christ is not a scriptural term. The accurate term is “Bride of the Lambkin” and is referred to in Revelation 19:7,9 and The new city Jerusalem is referred to as a bride at Revelation 21:2, We also find this phrase, “he spirit and the bride ” in Revelation 22:17.
We also learned in the previous chapters that Paul began proclaiming his evangel only after Acts 13. The other twelve Apostles for Israel never mention or refer to their church as the body of Christ. So we must continue to “test things which differ!” Our on going question should be…why would there be so many different names for one church? We learned in Chapters One and Two, that in Paul’s day, there were two separate churches referred to in scripture.
The Body of Christ and the Remnant of Israel, separate churches or bodies of people also referred to as the circumcision and the uncircumcision. Test the differences! So we now will look at this term used in the denominations, “the Bride of Christ” and by “rightly dividing” we will find out just who “the bride” spoken of in scripture is and for what time period will she become a reality.
Thank God, Christ knows where we belong in His Kingdom, so we will not get lost or miss out on the roll call but if it was left up to the denominations today most believers would be lining up for the marriage and miss the call to heaven. Okay, we are first going to look at the correct scriptural term, wrongly called the Bride of Christ. It is the “Bride of the lambkin” and now we can ask the question. Who is the Bride of the Lambkin?
We will follow our guide when looking at a subject in scripture and ask ourselves, which Bible Books refers to it, and who is the author and so we ask this question about the bride as well as for what time period or dispensation is the bride placed within. The answer to all of these is that, this is Israel’s information. The Apostle John one of the twelve for Israel was the writer of the book of Revelation and he himself tells us the time and place for this bride at Revelation 1:10 “I was in the spirit…in the Lords day” The KJ says on the Lords day, the Greek word is en…for in…not on. This does not mean the Sabbath day as some teach, but that John was having a vision of things to take place in the future time period referred to as “the Lords Day” Isaiah 2:12 1 Thessalonians 5:2 2 Thessalonians 2:2 and read also 2 Peter 3:10
So we find, “the bride of the lambkin” and the marriage celebration, taking place in “the Lords Day” more specifically in the Millennial reign of Christ on earth and as we have learned, that will be the Kingdom age on earth and it is for Israel. A later study I believe will show, the Lord’s Day begins earlier. Reminding ourselves where does Paul teach the body of Christ will be at this same time? In heaven, having already been taken or snatched…raptured, at the very least, seven years before Christ’s advent…but in Manual two we will discuss the possibility of our being removed long before the last seven years of Daniels prophecy for the seventy weeks…which is in total 490 years…but back to our subject.
Let’s now look at The Bride of Christ and the Bridegroom. Not only is the term. “Bride of Christ” not scriptural but neither is the application of it to the Body of Christ. As I said earlier the correct scriptural term is “bride of the Lambkin” found in Revelation 19:7 and 21:2, 22:17 CLV We can find “the wife of the lambkin” at 21:9 the bridegroom is Jesus and He is also the lambkin.
John the Baptist speaks of the bridegroom at John 3:29 “He who has the bride is the bridegroom. Yet the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and is hearing Him, is rejoicing with joy because of hearing the bridegroom’s voice.” These are the words of John the Baptizer, telling those who followed him, that Jesus was the bridegroom. Also interesting is that he says he is the friend of the bridegroom. It seems he does not place himself into the bride class. We will explore this further to see if we can understand it. Another thing he said and it agrees with what we have learned in regards to those who are given insight by God, able to understand spiritual things, this statement at John 3:27 “A man can not get anything if it should not be given him out of heaven.”
In Biblical days, the bridegroom would have a friend who would do many different things for him. The friend could even be sent out to find a bride for the bridegroom. The friend also would then watch over the betrothed bride making sure she was chaste and stayed chaste till the wedding. This friend helped the bride to get ready for her wedding. In some instances there would be two of these “friends” one helped the groom with his arrangements while the other helped the bride. It seems John the baptizer played the role of the friend finding a bride for the bridegroom as John was the forerunner of Jesus, John 3:28 “This is he, of whom it is written Behold I send My messenger before Thy face, which shall prepare Thy way before Thee.” Luke 7:27 which is quoted from Malachi 3:1
John baptized in preparation for Jesus’ coming ministry, and baptism was a washing, a cleansing for repentance, as Israel was in apostasy. In reading the customs for a bride in Israel we see the taking of a bath, which seems ordinary to us, but was part of the ritual before her wedding. The baptism done by John for those called into the Remnant church, which will be the bride, is symbolic of the bride being cleansed or bathed. Israel needed cleansing, she was in apostasy…repentance and baptism is for Israel.
There is a study of whether this is dunking or sprinkling done by the late Max Binney which I feel is worthy of reviewing. Call his daughter for a copy, 1-423-442-4564 also ask for a copy of his book, “The Invisible Church” Dispensationally viewed, very good.
We learned in Chapter Two, The Nation of Israel, had been the wife of Jehovah, but that He divorced her for her unfaithfulness, idolatry. So now it seems, the bride of the Lambkin is the Remnant of Israel, chosen from the lost sheep of the house of Israel of whom Jesus ministered too and chose for His remnant church. They were required to be baptized, which was symbolic of being bathed, or cleansed, made ready for their bridegroom. A.E.Knoch states in his commentary “the baptized Israelites would be the bride.”
Some other details concerning John the Baptist, are that he was in the line of Aaron, the line of High Priests. His father was a priest. John’s work of initiating the baptism, his role in preparing the bride for the bridegroom was a priestly duty. In the temple, all utensils and sacrifices even the priests themselves were washed in the huge golden laver in the courtyard. Washing and baptism are synonymous for cleansing.
I was curious as I studied this term of “the friend” stated by John the Baptist, as I had in my mind previously, just assumed, all of faithful Israel would be the bride of the Lambkin. But his statement of “being the friend of the bridegroom” caused me to suspect he was not a part of the bride and then Jesus said something else which seemed strange or different, always our clue to ask questions. At Luke 7:28 and Matthew 11:11 "no one may be found greater than John among those born of women", but he added, "and yet the least in the Kingdom of God is greater that he" I asked myself, if John is the greatest man to ever live, by Jesus’ own words.
Why was John beneath even the least one in the Kingdom? My only conclusion thus far is that John the Baptist filled the role of “the friend “of the bridegroom and as the forerunner of the Messiah. He also filled the role of Elijah in spirit announcing the Messiah’s arrival. Like Elijah of old, he will not rule and reign with Christ. It was later in Jesus ministry that He chooses His key people for that job in the Kingdom. The twelve of which eleven became the apostles for Israel with Matthias added later. John the Baptist was killed before Christ accomplished His ministry and before Jesus died on the cross. I also find no record of John being baptized?
Now evangelicalism teaches that Jesus Christ started only one church, and that is the Body of Christ and of course they have many ideas which do not fit when we “rightly divide the Word” but I found one comment which was applied wrongly to the Body of Christ but as I read it, I thought what if we applied it to the Remnant Church. This teacher said, John was not part of the bride “because the Kingdom was established by Jesus on the Cross, and the Baptist (John) could not be in it, as he died before Christ did, that dying He, Jesus established His church”
That would be the remnant church, called out of Israel and they will be the bride, those chosen then and more in the future from Israel will be called and added in the latter days during Israel’s times of restoration and they will be the seven churches in Revelation counseled by Jesus Christ, before the Second Advent. This happens after the Body of Christ leaves this world, it was the risen Christ Who called Saul years later to begin building our church after his name change to Paul
I suspect the term “in the kingdom” has to do with ruling and reigning, being in a position of authority given to those faithful remnant Apostles and believers out of Israel and is not the same as living under that kingdom rule. We find other references to certain ones said, not being in the kingdom or not given an allotment in the kingdom while we do find information that many nations will be on the earth with many unbelievers and wicked people still alive on this earth during that kingdom rule.
Israel’s commission is to preach Christ to all the nations and we are told about evil doers, who will be killed as Christ and His Priests and Kings will rule with a rod of iron over the world of unbelievers and that rule will not allow crime and their will be no prisons. Those evil doers would then be raised in the last resurrection.
John the Baptist will be in the first resurrection of all the faithful of Israel after Christ’s advent as part of the friends of the bridegroom, many other friends and guests will be there also. I would think people like the faithful prophets of old, Job, Moses and the list goes on although some have said since Job said “he would rise when the heavens were no more” at Job 14:12 that some place him in the raising after the 1000 years. I find this hard to accept since that is the resurrection of “shame or contempt” also called the “unjust” in Daniel 12:1,2 which is the time for the unfaithful of Israel, and all unbelievers and nonbelievers to be raised. Job wouldn’t fit in that class, instead he would be in the class of the “just” and so he could have been referring to the time when the heavens are cleansed, when Satan is ousted at Revelation 12:8,9 and of course Satan is bound and put in the abyss at Christ’s arrival. Job suffered extremely at the hands of Satan, when I read that verse, I could feel Job saying, I don’t want to come back until Satan is gone.
In the scriptures we really have two future cleansing of the heavens and the earth. Revelation 12:3, 4 and 9,10 tells us this. First, at Christ’s arrival, which is the Second Advent and is found at 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 as it states it is a “fiery arrival,” this is the battle of Armageddon, a judgment of fire with Satan and his demons placed in the abyss and then after the 1000 years is over Satan will be let out of the abyss. He gathers those nations who are not yet saved in a rebellion against Jerusalem and they converge on her seeking to destroy her and Christ quickly destroys them. Revelation 20:1-3, 7-10
This is said to be the “attack of Gog of Magog.” So this is a second fiery judgment and then Verse 11 shows what follows is the Great White Throne Judgment for the rest of the dead. We have no idea of time here, of how much time passes between these events. In Revelation and especially in the last chapters we are only given an outline of events and not a lot of details concerning them. In Chapter Six, Rightly Dividing the book of the Unveiling or as some have named it, Revelation we will go through this book in great detail…and attempt to place things in some sort of chronological order.
Following the Great White Throne Judgment in the next chapter, Revelation 21:1-4 takes us into a “New Heaven and New earth with the New city Jerusalem coming down from Heaven…God will tabernacle with mankind and death will be no more!” We always have to remember; we cannot read this Book like a novel since it does goes forward and backwards in time adding more details. So figuring out exactly the correct sequence can be tricky and we will discuss this further in Chapter Six.
I also find it hard to believe this fiery judgment eliminates this globe we are living on as it has been used as a figure of speech for other times of change and cleansing and so perhaps it will denote a permanent cleansing of this world and the final changes made on it. The first fiery cleansing provides a removal of the old political and religious system under Satan with a new system under Christ’s rule.
The second cleansing, is when Satan again is removed, as the adversary and the deceiver and will never be back as such and also there will be no other political nations or other rule by men. Only Gods kingdom rules and it says He will dwell or tabernacle with mankind, so only truth and pure worship will be in the Day of God. The judgments of water that took place in the past eons, were temporary cleansings of this earth; the fiery cleansings foretold for the future are, purifying judgments and they will be permanent……indeed making all things new.
Those words of Jesus which we read earlier, saying, “the least in the Kingdom would be greater than John the Baptist” could seem strange unless we recognize it seems by those words, not all of even the faithful of Israel are in the bride class? As I said there are a whole host of faithful who lived before the nation of Israel was formed and then many after she became Lo-ammi who lived and died before Jesus ministry. I just cannot imagine them not in the first resurrection on earth since it is described to be for the “Just” by Daniel 12:1,2
But not all of these it seems will be the bride but they will be the guests and or the friends at the wedding celebration. The Remnant of Israel, the bride and they will be ruling and reigning with Christ in the Kingdom.
The Parable of the 10 Virgins….Numbers in the scriptures are interesting as each one has its own meaning. The number 10 denotes “Perfection of Divine Order and or earthly completeness.” The 10 virgins then would depict the House of Israel of which only a remnant stayed awake and prepared themselves for their groom. In the parable concerning the kingdom on earth Jesus spoke of these 10 virgins, preparing for their bridegroom at Matthew 25:1-12.
This is about the faithful being ready for the bridegroom and the wedding while those who fell asleep and did not keep their candles lit, missed out. Some of the virgins do not make it to the wedding. We know that the unfaithful of Israel will not be allowed to take part in the Kingdom rule and or blessings. The most notable of this unfaithful class will be the apostate religious leaders in Jesus day who will not be ruling in the kingdom with Jesus.
Most of the parables Jesus gave were directed towards those religious leaders of Israel who thought they would be “first in the kingdom” but because of their apostasy and subsequent blindness were teaching the traditions of men over Gods Word; they will “be last” in the Kingdom and last to be raised out of the dust in the unjust class. Matthew 19:28-30 So it seems these will miss the wedding. While it was the common, unlearned, men of Israel, that Jesus chose, who are to be first in the Kingdom, these He made His apostles, common, unlettered men who worked with their hands, these ones are the faithful remnant then and in the future after we are gone more will be added to the remnant church also called the “bride of the lambkin.”
We have the example of a typical Jewish wedding celebration in John 2:1-11 in which the wedding celebration lasted for seven days. It is thought the 1000 year reign of Christ will be the wedding celebration of that faithful, baptized Remnant. Another example is found at Matthew 22:1-14 Read this through and make note again of Jesus description of this wedding…many were invited but some ignored the invitation so then all sorts of common people were invited to partake of the feast and finishes up with many are called but few are chosen. The nation as a whole had the calling to the kingdom but due to the blind calloused lo ammi state, the call was not heeded and God chose a few. Jesus went out and hand picked His bride, and enlightened them over time.
John speaks, specifically, of the Bride of the Lambkin in Revelation 19:7 “We may be rejoicing and exulting and will be giving glory to Him, for the wedding of the Lambkin came, and Its bride makes herself ready.” Verse 9 “And he is saying to me, write: Happy are those invited to the wedding dinner of the Lambkin.”
Also at Revelation 21: 2 “And I perceived the holy city, new Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband” Verse 9 “And one of the seven messengers who have the seven bowls brimming with the last seven calamites came and he speaks with me, saying, Hither! I shall be showing you the bride, the wife of the Lambkin. And he carries me away, in spirit, on a mountain, huge and high, and shows me the holy city, Jerusalem, as it is descending out of heaven from God , having the glory from God” Verse 14 “And the wall of the city has twelve foundations and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lambkin.
In these verses we see the new city Jerusalem, described as a bride and the wife of the lambkin. This is told us in the book of Revelation after the 1000 years is ended, the bride then the wife, living in her new home, the New City Jerusalem. The name, wife of the lambkin is important, versus the wife of Jehovah as in the Old covenant. Now we know the lambkin and Jehovah are one in the same but I liked the way A. E. Knock explained the differences with this marriage. “not a sad reunion in old age…but with youth renewed.”
Concerning this city and whose city it is we can see the names on the twelve pillars of this city are the names of the twelve Apostles of the remnant church. This is totally Jewish and if indeed we were any part of this city, would not Paul’s name also be on this city or mentioned somewhere? This city is most likely, the place Jesus spoke of when He said to His chosen apostles of the Remnant church. “I go to prepare a place for you….My fathers house has many mansions or abodes” John 14:2,3 This city which was prepared for The Bride comes down out of heaven towards the earth. Some feel it will rest on the earth and others feel it will hover over the earth. This city is huge, if the dimensions are literal, this city will be 1500 miles square and high!
As we have learned, Israel does not go to heaven, but it seems heaven comes to her. In the Kingdom age her allotment will be earthly but the Apostles were also looking for a heavenly city. The description above from Revelation is the only heavenly city we find in scripture. It is Jewish in nature and comes out of or from heaven to the earth. It is spoken of in Hebrews 11:16 “God makes them a celestial city” while Paul never refers to God making us a city to dwell in. We are told instead, that “we are a temple in which God dwells” Israel will dwell in a temple made by God. Ephesians 2:21, 22 We must watch for the “things which differ”!
The book of Hebrews is addressed to the Hebrews, which means it is addressed to Israel, Jewish in nature again and not to the Body of Christ, Gentile in nature. At Hebrews 3:1 it refers “partners of a celestial calling” which is related to this city at Hebrews 11:16 and 12:22 This one phrase, the heavenly calling or celestial calling is misunderstood as to be the calling through Paul to the Body of Christ but the whole context must be viewed, in order to correctly understand what is being said.
The heavenly calling in this case is from heaven and to this city, the New Jerusalem which also comes from heaven for the bride of the Lambkin. This book is written to the Hebrews and the following information in that chapter is all Jewish related. The information in it is not the “sound doctrine” given to the Body of Christ by Paul in His evangel for us. It consists of promises made to Israel and also of their curses and warnings if unfaithful. This does not fit the Body of Christ, as Paul said we are, under no condemnation. Romans 8:1
Please read the whole of Chapter three in Hebrews and see this for yourself and then please find the time to read through the whole book of Hebrews, always watching for the “things which differ,” such as Hebrews 3:1-19 The writer urges the readers “to not be as their forefathers in the wilderness who hardened their hearts to Jehovah… warning they of Israel would not be allowed to enter the promise land because of unbelief” Do we as Gentiles, have a forefather who wandered in the wilderness with Israel? This definitely is not speaking to Gentiles and so we must test these words with our own evangel.
We are given the ability to believe God and given our faith. Paul has told the Body of Christ. “There is no condemnation for those in Christ” at Romans 8:1. This directly contradicts the many warnings we see throughout this book of Hebrews and in the other Jewish books of James, Jude, Peter’s and John’s along with the gospels Matthew through Acts.
All of Israel’s books contain warnings of losing out if unfaithful. This book of Hebrews is not for the Body of Christ but for Israel and especially for those to be called in the future after we are raptured. In that time before the Great Tribulation there will be those who will be called to be the modern day Remnant, who will form the churches spoken of in the book of Revelation and who will be given spiritual insight into the Word of God.
They will be warning their fellow Jews of the impending Last Days and of the antichrist and the soon approaching, Second Advent of Christ to set up the Kingdom on earth, with the warnings given Israel that only those who overcome or conquer, and only the faithful will rule in that Kingdom with Christ.
The last place John refers to the bride is at Revelation 22:17 “And the spirit and the bride are saying, Come! And let him who is hearing say, Come! And let him who is thirsting come. Let him who will, take the water of life gratuitously.” It is the Bride it seems who will occupy this city which comes down to the earth and are offering the water of life to those on the earth which is just more saving work, continuing from this city extended to those on the earth. Nowhere in Paul’s writings, will we find any teaching or link with the Body of Christ to the bride nor does Paul ever teach the body of Christ is the bridegroom.
Those who teach the Bride is the Body of Christ will quickly point to Paul’s reference of “a chaste virgin” as proof that Paul was teaching the Body of Christ was the Bride of the Lambkin. Let’s read that passage and rightly divide it, testing things which differ and look for sound words. This is found in 2 Corinthians 11:2 “For I betroth you to one Man, to present a chaste virgin to Christ” The King James uses the word Husband here as it is the word “aner” in the Greek which can be either man or husband.
This word for man is different from “anthrapas” which means “humanity” which includes both men and women. What is needed here is to read the whole previous chapter along with the one containing this admonition and see if the context is teaching anything other than, Paul was counseling the Corinthians to not boast in themselves, but only in Christ, and speaking to others who were heralding a different Jesus and a different evangel. Paul wished to keep them pure from error, doctrinally.
Paul was not teaching that the Body of Christ was a bride or the bride of the lambkin, it is a stretch to use this passage to do so and make note in this verse, that he does not ever use the phrase, the bride, but only a chaste virgin.
This word “aner” may be translated either as man or husband depending on the subject being spoken of in the context. It is also found at Ephesians 5:22, 23 and is translated there as husband because Paul was giving counsel to husbands and wives. We can compare this with Ephesians 4:13 where it speaks of a man, “Till we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man (aner) unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” The perfect man in this passage is the mature or complete man used in relation to the Body of Christ coming to maturity.
So to use the passage at 2 Corinthians 11:2 with this unusual word “aner” for a man or a husband and contrast it with the different word used in relation to the Body of Christ being a chaste virgin and then jumping to making it to mean the bride of Christ, in order to make both words fit, we would have to deduce the Body of Christ is both male and female? We would have to ask, is The Body of Christ both the husband and the bride?
One way to know when descriptions are being used which are figures of speech, to support a doctrine, is if the descriptions contradict each other, such as a virgin and a mature man. The body of Christ cannot be both and really we are neither, So we must look to see what the figures of speech are portraying, for the virgin, it depicts a need to be pure, clean from doctrinal error and for the perfect or mature man, it means just that, to be mature, grown up in Christ no longer a babe or minor putting away that which is not sound doctrine.
Some will again, in error, point to this verse where Paul is counseling husbands and wives and say this was a picture of the Body of Christ, being the bride, but it is only counsel for husbands! Ephesians 5:25-31“Husbands be loving your wives according as Christ also loves the ecclesia and gives Himself up for its sake, that He should be hallowing it, cleansing it in the bath of the water with His declaration, that He should be presenting to Himself a glorious ecclesia not having spot or wrinkle or any such things, but that it may be holy and flawless. Thus the husbands also ought to be loving their own wives as their own bodies.”
The whole context before and after this passage has to do with the believers conduct and not in any way is Paul describing the Body of Christ as a wife. Paul is using the highest ideal for husbands to love their wives like Christ loves His church, nothing more. Paul was showing the intimate link with Christ as Head of His Body with us as His body. He cannot deny us or not love us. Just as in the physical we each care for our own bodies, thus Paul admonishes husbands to love their wives as their very own bodies. That is how Christ loves the Body of Christ…not as a wife or as a bride to be…but as a part of Himself, we today are His body.
The word in the Greek for church is Ecclesia; and another faulty argument given in favor of the bride being the Body of Christ is that the word “ecclesia” is in the feminine gender. This is grasping at straws but some even go so far as to state the “it” in Ephesians 5:25, 27 is in reference to the church and should be her and she since they believe “It” to be the bride of Christ. Wrong again.
In the Greek as in many languages the gender in grammar is not the same as in the human sexual gender. WE have many examples we can look at to compare the feminine gender in the Greek language but here are a few. In the Greek, the word “Kephal” is Head and is in the feminine also, so then can we say, Christ, Who is our head and Who is also the Bridegroom is a female? Of course not!
Other feminine’s in the Greek are “Akatharsia” for uncleanness, “rutis” for wrinkle “sarx” for flesh. Many more can be found like this which disproves the notion that the feminine in the Greek for the word ecclesia makes the Body of Christ the bride of the lambkin.
In Chapter Two we learned the wife in the Old Testament was the Nation of Israel in a covenant relationship with Jehovah which was likened to a marriage contract. We had to go to the gospels and to the book of Revelation to find the bridegroom and bride and the marriage of the lambkin and hopefully we learned the bride is the Remnant of Israel. The Apostle John was the author of the book of Revelation, he was and is an Apostle for Israel; John will have his name along with the other eleven Apostles, on the twelve pillars of the new city Jerusalem. Paul’s name is not on that city and nothing in Paul’s letters link us to this city or the marriage of the lambkin or links Paul with those Israeli Apostles in that city, the city is the New Jerusalem and comes out of heaven to the earth for Israel and not us…we remain in heaven.
The counsel to test things that differ was given for a reason, if there was but one gospel there would be no need to do this. But there is a need to be able to distinguish between the things which differ in God’s Plan of the Ages. We’ve seen in our study so far there are terms or titles which differ also. If we were all one body and Israel was going to be taken to heaven with us there would be no need for so many different names or titles to describe only one group of saints. If there was only one church why the use of so many different figures of speech to describe it, such as new birth, the body of Christ, the bride of the lambkin, the new creation, the joint body and etc.
This is why, the understanding of “figures of speech” is so important and specifically the ones used by Holy Spirit in reference to us as being the Body of Christ. Let’s separate those used only by Paul in his evangel from those given to Israel’s saints destined for the Kingdom on earth found in her evangel we must not rob them…we have our own spiritual blessings.
We will also look at the term the New Creation at 2 Corinthians 5:17 Galatians 6:15 and The New Humanity in Ephesians 2:15 and 4:24 along with the “joint body” referred to in Ephesians 3:6. To be in Christ places one in the new humanity or new creation, simply stated…God removes us from Adams lineage and places us in Christ…from death to life. Eventually when God is All in all…all mankind will be a new creation.
First we see that Paul tells us that Christ is the “head of the body” Colossians 1:18 and that we are “His Body” found at 1 Corinthians 12:27 “The church which is His body” at Romans 12:5: 1Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:23; 4:4,12, 16; 5:23, 30 and Colossians 1:24
Also read these passages over, Colossians 2:17, 19; and 3:15 It is important for us to understand we are not parts of a body but we are “body” spoken of as a whole unit with Christ as its Head and this church is separate from Israel’s church, we are His body they are His sheep, His remnant, and His bride. This is a specific term, body, used only by Paul and for The Body of Christ, this make us part of Him and not His wife.
The specific terms used for Israel and her relationship with first Jehovah in covenant and later with the lambkin shows a relationship of a husband and a wife and in the future a bride and a bridegroom which is a marriage, a contract. Only those who are faithful in Israel will be part of that bride class while, we in the body of Christ have been justified and declared righteous, right now, in our bodies of humiliation. Israel looks to the future for their righteousness to be given, we have it now. Things that differ!
Paul uses the figure of a human body with its many members yet it is one body to describe The Body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12 “ For even as the body is one and has many members, yet all the members of the one body, being many, are one body, thus also is the Christ. For in one spirit also we all are baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and all are made to imbibe one spirit.”
Many are confused because Paul speaks of Jews and Gentiles being in this body, forgetting the members are called out of all nations. Israel was one of the nations. Paul was a Jew. He first preached Christ to the Jews who remember were at that time and still so today are just one of the nations in Gods eyes. The Remnant church Jesus chose in His ministry, were called out of that nation to be the bride in the kingdom on earth.
The “joint body” is not teaching that the Jewish Remnant become part of the Body of Christ. Remember Paul was severed from Israel and then began teaching his secret evangel. God has called only some Jews into the Body of Christ, so they then are also severed from Israel and her earthly promises. All called into the Body of Christ give up their nationality.
We who have been placed in the Body of Christ are said to be aliens in this world; our home is inherently in the heavens as ambassadors of grace waiting to be called home. 2 Corinthians 5:19-21 Israel has a homeland on this earth tied to the promises given to Abraham. The description of a joint body is not the nation of Israel joining with the body of Christ, forming one body, but of Jews and Greek or Gentiles being placed together in one body and this body is separate from Israel and her callings, covenants, commission and destiny!
Philippians 3;20, 21 “For our realm is inherently in the heavens, out of which we are awaiting a Saviour also, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who will transfigure our bodies of humiliation to conform to the body of His glory, in accord with the operation which enables Him even to subject all to Himself.” First notice that little word…also, “we are awaiting a Saviour also”, this implies someone else, besides us is also waiting. If we were all one big group of saints waiting for our Saviour, there would be no need for Paul to have used that little word also!
Now the next interesting thing is the word inherent, it is from the Greek word (h up arch ‘o) and literally is under originate. Knoch in the Key word Concordance has this under the word belong and says this is (used of permanent possession of freeholds, Acts 28:7 in contrast to allotments which change tenants, then that which is inherent, continually or (all along) existent as an innate or essential attribute…exist).
Now it is important to understand this as this agrees with Paul’s words at Ephesians 1:3 that “we were chosen in Him before the disruption or foundation of the world.” WE have all along been designated for the heavens; our lives are in Christ in existence. We belong in heaven. Not one of the Israeli apostles or any of her promises teaches this in any way shape or form. This glorious expectation has been watered down by the false doctrine of Christendom, which teaches one church and that all believers are going to heaven as just something to take for granted as the reward for being good. This was and is a spiritual blessing given only to the Body of Christ in Paul’s evangel and we do nothing to earn it.
God chooses those who He places in this Body of Christ! 2 Timothy 2:10, “Therefore I am enduring all because of those who are chosen…that they also may be happening upon the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with glory everlasting.” Verse 25 “God, may be giving them, repentance to come to a realization of the truth.” God gives the repentance and also the earnest of the spirit. 2 Corinthians 1:22 “Now He Who is confirming us together with you in Christ, and anoints us, is God, Who also seals us and is giving the earnest of the spirit in our hearts.”
Also see 2 Corinthians 5:5 Notice, this earnest is not a mark on our foreheads, but in our hearts, this is what enables us to believe not only in God, but in His Word. Now, we need to glory in this Gift and these spiritual blessings, yet we must remember Paul also told us God chooses the weak and lowest of humanity in order for Him to be glorified through them. 1 Corinthians 1:27 We receive a special blessing, but not because we are special But, we are special, because of being chosen and given this honor.
God always chooses an elect group or person through whom or by means of, He then blesses others. WE are a vehicle for reconciliation, a demonstration of HIS ULTIMATE GRACE! Israel has her own destiny and her own glory, not in heaven but on the earth. Through her in the Kingdom on earth, God will receive another Glory and humanity will be the recipients of the blessings linked with that Glory in the Kingdom on earth through Christ and the Israeli saints.
In order to be complete, a body must have a head and a head must have a body. Paul described us in that way for a reason! For those teaching we are the bride we must then ask them. If we are part of Him as is described, this closely linked as being “His body” it might be said then, as His body, we would also be the Husband or the Groom of Israel and so we would ask again, how could we be both the groom and the bride?
It is hard for us to understand that God assumes different roles with His creation in order to show different aspects of Who He is, but we are told this at Hebrews 1:1 We are learning Who God is, through the learning of good and evil in this life and coming to know and understanding Him in even these small ways given to us now in the flesh. Our understanding of the scriptures and Gods Plan of the ages only becomes easier, if we “rightly divide and test all things which differ.” Plus we must hold to only Paul’s sound doctrine, not Peters.
No where that I can find does Paul tell us we are part of the husband or the bridegroom, so my example above about the mature man or us being husband and or wife in reference to the Body of Christ was not to say so but to show if we follow a line of thinking to its logical conclusion and it does not make sense, then something is wrong.
We must only use the references which are ours and leave to Israel those which are hers. We both have a specific purpose in God’s Plan of the ages, which is to reconcile creation unto Himself and this will then bring salvation to all and all of this is through Christ’s shed blood. Israel will be evangelizing the nations on the earth in their kingdom and we will be in heaven setting right that realm.
Paul’s description of the Body of Christ describes us as one unit with no class distinctions of any kind. Galatians 3:27, 28 “For whoever are baptized into Christ, put on Christ, in Whom there is no Jew nor yet Greek, there is no slave nor yet free, there is no male and female, for you all are one in Christ Jesus.”
The individual is not considered, we are a Body, with Christ as its Head. Israel is continually described by name and terms which are Jewish in nature and as the nation chosen by God, destined to rule over all the other nations in the Kingdom on earth. Test this with all the scriptures describing her as the Nation of Israel and as the wife and the bride of the Lambkin plus as the remnant of Israel called out of the House of Israel. All of these names are Jewish; they do not give up their nationality! They remain Jews and the Nation of Israel.
Another difference is that Paul tells us The Body of Christ completes Christ as Christ completes the Father. Ephesians 1:23 “gives Him, as Head over all, to the ecclesia which is His body, the complement of the One completing the all in all. This word used, complement, in describing the Body of Christ and comes from the Greek word “ple r o ma” it means, “filling…filled full or to complete or to pack full.” Ephesians 1:10 “He purposed in Him to have an administration of the complement of the eras, to head up all in the Christ”
Romans 11:25 “For I am not willing for you to be ignorant of this secret, brethren, lest you may be passing for prudent among yourselves, that callousness, in part, on Israel has come, until the complement of the nations may be entering”
Ephesians 4:13,14 “For the up building of the body of Christ unto the end that we should all attain to the unity of the faith and of the realization of the son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature of the complement of the Christ, that we may by no means still be minors, surging hither and thither and being carried about by every wind of teaching, by human caprice, by craftiness with a view to the systematizing of the deception.”
Colossians 2:9-15 “With Christ, for in Him the entire complement of the Deity is dwelling bodily. And you are complete in Him, Who is the Head of every sovereignty and authority, in Whom you were circumcised also with a circumcision not made by hands, in the stripping off of the body of flesh in the circumcision of Christ…..
Being entombed together with Him in baptism, in Whom you were roused together also through faith in the operation of God, Who rouses Him from among the dead, you also being dead to the offenses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He vivifies us together jointly with Him, dealing graciously with all our offenses, erasing the handwriting of the decrees against us, which was hostile to us, and has taken it away out of the midst, nailing it to the cross, stripping off the sovereignties and authorities with boldness He makes a show of them, triumphing over them in it.”
This passage is full of truths we must learn, the circumcision we receive is….the stripping off of our body of flesh or our sinful flesh, which God has removed from us by placing us in Christ and giving us the indwelling spirit. We can contrast this to the Jews who had the foreskin of the penis cut off as a sign. This was something that they did to their own bodies and those of their children which was an act or a human work. Our circumcision was done by God in the spiritual realm when He chose and sealed us into the body of Christ!
Next it is important to understand the difference of an offense to sin. An offense is our deliberate act of disobedience to Gods laws or principles. WE knowingly offend. Sin is missing the mark of God’s glory; we are dying humans and are born missing the mark and will continue to do so until our death. Notice also, Paul tells us that God deals graciously with these deliberate acts which offend His righteousness. They are also forgiven. Romans 4:25 2 Corinthians 5:19.
The handwritten decrees: of the Mosaic Law which always demanded retribution, it was nailed to the cross with Christ. The sovereignties and authorities, spirit beings, were stripped of some authority; they can no longer point out to God the failings, the sin and the offenses of the believer.
We learned in Chapter Two that Gentiles, had never been in a marriage contract with Jehovah. So why should Israel’s marriage and covenant, be transferred to the Body of Christ? Israel had been in the covenant and was divorced from Jehovah as the unfaithful wife. We can never be divorced or lose our place in this administration. Israel lost her position, her place as His wife, as His people as His Holy Nation but we have learned that they were given numerous prophetic promises telling them that the nation would be taken back by God. He will forgive her and cleanse her of all her sins. Prophecy for Israel tells the whole story, her past and her future. Jeremiah 31:31-34
In Chapter One we learned we were the “secret hidden in God” until it was revealed to Paul and that there was no prophecy about us to be found in the scriptures of the Old Testament. Nothing was known of us until “the secret or mystery” was revealed to Paul and later was heralded and taught by him and not by the Apostles from Israel. We do not usurp Israel and her promises and she does not join us in ours. God is not through dealing with Israel in her Prophetic program.
He gave her a commission and He will see to it that she is able to carry it out. Her commission is to Bless the nations of this world, she has not fulfilled this promise yet, but she will, in the Kingdom with Christ, they will evangelize the nations, this is not our commission nor does she as a Nation or as a remnant of that nation join us in the New Administration, The Body of Christ, or go to heaven with us.
Some feel, because of Paul’s words at 1 Thessalonians 4:17 “And thus shall we always be together with the Lord” that after the rapture, as His body, that it is possible we are included in the “Husband” and that this then may include us in the marriage with the “Bride” as a union of both churches or saints. We could speculate on this as a union but for now this is just speculating as I have not found any scriptural proofs to confirm it.
There are some things we will have to wait and see what God has arranged. I remember once Clay Kent who was an Artist, like me, said “God was painting a magnificent painting and only in the Artists mind could be found what the painting would ultimately turn out to be” So it is with God’s plan of the ages, we do not know every detail for sure. But we will continue to learn as each and every word in the scriptures has meaning, along with its use of figures and metaphors also have meaning after meaning. Dear friends we have only barely scratched the surface! Our minds cannot take it all in at once…we continue to read Gods words over and over and every time something new will be revealed. But back to the bride …
One thing to remember is that Christ will come to Israel as their Messiah and as their King and in that mode, He takes His bride in marriage and all of this is still tied to Israel’s history and her covenant with Jehovah. It is unfinished, old business! We are a New Administration! New business! I do not see how they can be merged? Jesus is not our Messiah. It is The Glorified Christ, Who is our Head and our ministry is in heaven. Israel’s will be on the earth. I find nothing to tell me when I should stop “rightly dividing” Israel’s information from ours.
Many will claim to rightly divide Gods word of truth and yet I see where many will still insist on putting Israel and the Body of Christ together …some teaching Israel will be raptured with the body of Christ in the middle of the last seven years. While others insist we come down from heaven to rule and reign with Israel in the Kingdom. There are no scriptural proofs for any of these ideas. They just do not comprehend that God has two separate and distinct groups of saints in His glorious plan of Salvation mainly because most still cling to the false notions of an immortal soul leaving the body at death and wafting off to heaven or hell or someplace in between.
These are doctrines which are not taught in Gods Word, but are pagan beliefs adopted by the Catholic Church from the apostate Pharisees of Jesus day who were teaching Babylonian myths. The Body of Christ needs to clean up its act!
Paul is the only Apostle to speak of "a New Creation" or "The body of Christ" we do not find these terms in any other Bible books In 2 Corinthians 5:17 Paul tells us, we, who are in Christ are "a New Creation" Paul is talking to those in the Body of Christ in this chapter and we notice the whole chapter, refers to “our longing to be with the Lord in Heaven” and in Verse 5 we are told we are "given the earnest of the spirit" and in Verse 10, when we arrive in Heaven we will be "presented at the Dais of God" this is leading up to and explaining how we are "a New Creation in Christ” this is information for the Body of Christ...not Israel.
Paul speaks of the New Creation again in Galatians 6:15,16 "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything, but a new creation and who so ever shall observe the elements by this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, also on the Israel of God." Notice how Paul uses that little word also again? In this passage, he is speaking to and about the body of Christ in relation to the new creation and wishing peace for them and then says; “also peace on the Israel of God” showing the Israel of God is separate from us and is the remnant church. Paul knew full well the Israel of God would have to go through the tribulation in their last days on this earth, he wishes them peace and so should we.
We have seen in this lesson that the Body of Christ is spoken of as a “New Creation”, and that, never does Paul refer to us as being “born again” or as “the bride of the lambkin.” Paul did not know Jesus after the flesh. He met the risen Glorified Christ on the Damascus road. Christ appeared to him in His Glorified, risen state; no one heard His voice or saw Him at this event, only Paul. We at the snatching (rapture) also will be the only ones to hear His call and we only will see Him.
Both those dead saints in the Body of Christ and those saints who are still alive in the "Body of Christ" when He calls, each of us will be changed into a glorified celestial body just like Christ and we as a unit, a body as we are described by Paul our apostle, we all “go together to meet the Lord in the air” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 Re-read the resurrection chapter straight through and note at 1 Corinthians 15:23,24 that we are in “the Firstfruit,” with Christ, since we “are His body, we died with Christ were buried with Him and are raised with Him and we are already seated in the heavenlies with Him.” Ephesians 2:6 Colossians 2:2 Romans 6:3-6 With Israel to be “raised at His presence and the rest of the dead at the consummation or end”. John also explains the two earthly resurrections at Revelation 20:5,6 There are three resurrections in the scriptures. One is to heaven and two are on the earth. The Mystery or Secret program was revealed only to Paul and shared with us in Ephesians 2:13-16 which does not include the remnant church.
Paul also refers to this New Creation as the New Humanity. Ephesians 2:15-18 “Yet now, in Christ Jesus, you, who once are far off, are become near by the blood of Christ. For He is our Peace, Who makes both one and razes the central wall of the barrier (the enmity in His flesh), nullifying the law of precepts in decrees, that He should be creating the two, in Himself, into one new humanity, making peace and should be reconciling both in one body to God through the cross, killing the enmity in it. And coming, He brings the evangel of peace to you, those afar and peace to those near, for through Him we both have had the access in one spirit to the Father.” Verse 19 shows this is Gods family…it then included the new church started by Paul. This new humanity will eventually extend to the entire human race.
Ephesians 4:22-25 “Now you did not thus learn Christ, since, surely, Him you hear, and by Him were taught (according as the truth is in Jesus), to put off from you, as regards your former behavior, the old humanity which is corrupted in accord with its seductive desires, yet to be rejuvenated in the spirit of our mind, and to put on the new humanity which in accord with God is being created in righteousness and benignity of the truth. Wherefore putting off the false, let each be speaking the truth with his associate, for we are members of one another.”
In Paul's letters we have learned we are the “The new administration, called The Body of Christ" and that we are a spiritual church, placed in the heavens. Ephesians 2:6 Which we are told by Paul that we will be given new bodies at the rapture, suitable for heavenly life, different from Israel's. Theirs will be a vivified physical body using the figure of "birth" or born anew this is Israel’s regeneration and Paul uses the term terrestrial bodies for the vivified saints raised on the earth and for us, celestial bodies. 1 Corinthians 15:38-41
Those called into the Body of Christ are to be given a spiritual body, a Glorified Celestial body, which will be a form able to live in the Heavenly realm in order to deal with the "spiritual forces" in that realm. Paul explains this to us at, Romans 8:29,30 "Whom He foreknew, He designates beforehand, these He calls also, and these to be conformed to the image of His Son...He calls, He justifies whom He glorifies” He chooses us, He saves us, He calls us, He reconciles us, He justifies us, He sanctifies and vivifies us now but we have to wait to receive our new bodies.
All of these spiritual blessings are through His Grace. As Paul told us, In Grace are we saved and not by our works. This process is a New Creation, we have been moved from Adams lineage of death and sin and placed in Christ’s lineage of life and freedom from sin’s penalties, we have been given Ionian life in spirit, right now and when we are called home, we will be given the new glorified, vivified body and in that way do we become the completed product. Then we will have been truly made into the Image of God.
Even though it is only Paul who spoke of the new creation and the new humanity I find it hard to not feel that the faithful remnant of Israel will also have this…as they, by believing in Christ have then also passed from Adams lineage into Christ’s? Something to ask ourselves on this subject and thus we also then ask what does it mean to be in Christ and who are we in Christ? Since writing this I have come to feel those of the bride church become a new creation when they are resurrected in the earthly kingdom in their immortal bodies to rule and reign with Christ. The new administration has been given it…in spirit….now….even though not fully realize until the snatching away to meet the Lord in the air.
Who are, In Christ? Again only Paul uses this term and so some have said, only the Body of Christ are “in Christ” but it seems to me all who believe in Christ would be “in Christ” no matter which church that believer is placed, either the Remnant church or the Body of Christ. Reminding ourselves Paul ministered to both churches, his was a dual ministry in the capacity only of explaining the evangel He had been given was distinct from Israel’s evangel.
Paul did not evangelize in the land of Judea that was the assigned territory of Peters and those Jews destined for the bride church. Paul’s dual mission was that he discipled some Jews, like himself and many of the sons of Israel scattered in the surrounding lands most not practicing Judaism as well as the gentiles into the Body of Christ the new administration.
Paul was given an understanding of all God plan of salvation that exceeded the understanding of the other apostles. I have said this before and I say it again Paul understood Israel’s evangel better than the apostles for Israel did. We need to also remind ourselves, is not Christ the foundation of both churches? Christ is the only means of salvation. Salvation is in Christ! All believers of both churches would then be "in Christ” as stated by Paul at Romans 16:7 referring to “his kinsmen who were in Christ before me”
His kinsmen, wouldn’t these be the Jews and the twelve apostles for Israel, who are in The Kingdom or Prophetic program and who indeed as believers in Christ were in Christ before Paul, but they were not severed from Israel or from being the Apostles for The Kingdom on earth as Paul was. Paul was severed from the Israeli program which was his heritage as a Hebrew, that was taken away by God and Paul was given a new program, The New Administration, The Body of Christ.
Another place Paul uses this term, in Christ and leaves no doubt in my mind that the remnant church was also in Christ is in Galatians 1:18-24 Read the passage and make note of Verse 22 “Yet I was unknown by face to the ecclesias of Judea which are in Christ.” These are not ecclesias Paul started, but groups of Remnant believers...in Christ…which had only heard of his persecution of them and then of his conversion. These were not believers placed in the Body of Christ Paul had not taken his evangel to them when he said that.
All who accept Jesus as their messiah and or lord and then believe in Christ…are in Christ? The time frame helps also to recognize as Saul he was not yet preaching his evangel…in the context we see he is referring to right after his 3 years of seclusion following his conversion…he then went to Jerusalem and visits with Peter and James and following that visit he speaks of those in Judea, which were in Christ and had never met him, but had only heard of his conversion. So his reference to those in Christ in Judea was before he began heralding his evangel, they had to be remnant believers.
He continues his story on into Chapter 2;1 “thereupon after the lapse of fourteen years, I again went up to Jerusalem with Barnabus taking Titus also along with. And submitted to them the evangel which I am heralding among the nations….” So for me…a believer in Jesus Christ would logically be in Christ!
I hope we are seeing that God has two programs, identified by specific terms for each which we could call God’s evangel made up of both and we both are in God’s family we just have different assignments in His plan of the ages to bring salvation to all and reconcile His universe. The Kingdom program or as some like to call it the Prophetic program because it made up of Prophecies and not secrets! And then the Mystery or secret Program which had been hidden in God until it was revealed to Paul and remember he told us he did not learn his evangel from man, he was not taught by those in Christ, before him! His evangel was given to him directly from the Glorified risen, Christ. Israel did not know about or of this secret, it is not found in any prophecies.
Christendom, by not heeding Paul’ words to test things which differ and to divide or cut Gods word insist on placing all believers who are said to be saints and who are in Christ into one church, the Body of Christ. They teach all are going to heaven and thus they are ignoring the prophetic promises given in great detail by Israel’s prophets and which are so clearly specific to and for Israel and their promised Kingdom on earth. If through Paul, God switched programs, He would have led many astray who believed Him in the past centuries, faithful men who wrote those prophetic words for their own people. They and we could not then trust His word.
Israeli believers died waiting for the earthly Kingdom and for God to do away with that program after their death and switch to a new one would make God very fickle…changing programs midstream and then how could any believer rest in what He tells us? God is faithful and well able to bring about all that He has promised.
Paul also speaks of the Joint Body and this too is misapplied to meaning the Remnant are also in the Body of Christ. Let’s read about this at Ephesians 3:6-11
“In spirit the nations are to be joint enjoyers of an allotment, and a joint body and joint partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus, through the evangel of which I became the dispenser, in accord with the gratuity of the grace of God, which is granted to me in accord with His powerful operation. To me, less than the least of all saints was granted this grace: to bring the evangel of the untraceable riches of Christ to the nations and to enlighten all as to what is the administration of the secret, which has been concealed from the eons in God, Who creates all, that now may be made known to the sovereignties and the authorities among the celestials, through the ecclesia the multifarious wisdom of God in accord with the purpose of the eons, which He makes in Christ Jesus our Lord;”
First we notice this “joint body” is in accord with the evangel Paul became the dispenser of, it was not Israel’s or the evangel of the twelve, so this was something new and not us replacing Israel or that the body of Christ began at Pentecost. But now we need to see that God caused a pause in Israel’s prophecies, holding back fulfillment, we might say, as God began through Paul to build a new church for a new phase in His salvation process, calling people from all nations including some from Israel as she, the nation was and is just one of the nations then and now also.
In the nation of Israel, there is one nationality and they did have class distinctions, Royalty, the Priests and the common people, women were in a subordinate position especially in regards to religion, there were also slaves, bond servants and some proselytes, with rules for each of these. Their promises consisted of earthly promises and of land allotments with some to be ruling and reigning on earth. Individuals called our of all nations into a body with no class distinctions, no nationalities, “no Jew or Greek, no male or female, no bond or free” Galatians 3:28 and who were made instead to be the “ambassadors of Grace” 2 Corinthians 5:20
Please also read, Galatians 3:8, Ephesians 2:5-10 and Ephesians 3:8-12. Christendom would have us place the nation of Israel into the Body of Christ as the Joint Body and by doing this they are dumping all Israel’s specific, earthly promises into a pile of unfulfilled promises from God! They only see, heaven or hell, they miss that we are a new administration, separate from Israel and this is because they do not rightly divide, Gods words, keeping Israel’s promises separate from the Body of Christ.
Heaven is not the reward for do gooders but the assignment from God. The body is made up of all races, no priests needed, no kings and no religious leaders, we are all equal. Christ is our Head not our groom and the allotment we receive is Christ’s allotment, in heaven, with a calling to a glorified state just like Christ’s. Philippians 3:20, 21
Today our work is to encourage our brothers in Christ and it is not to evangelize the world, which means we are to share what we learn, but we are not to try and save anyone, it is God Who does the saving. Please read Colossians, all 4 chapters through and let Paul explain who we are in Christ and where we are placed in God’s family, His complete household.
Our ministry seems to be for the future and in the spirit realm, when we are called home. Ephesians 3:1-13 notice Verse 10 “Who creates all, that now may be made known to the sovereignties and the authorities among the celestials, though the ecclesia, (Greek word for church) the multifarious wisdom of God in accord with the purpose of the eons, which He makes in Christ Jesus our Lord”
Through the church of the body of Christ, God is teaching the sovereignties and authorities in heaven Who He truly is and about His magnificent Grace which He freely gives to us. I do not think they are very impressed with the church on earth today. The Body of Christ is deeply entrenched in myths and deception. Satan is in full swing but just wait, when the church is raptured and we receive our glorified bodies, placing us above all other heavenly authorities, that alone is sure to get their attention and surely should impress them. Shock and Awe!
How we will be used to further the work of reconciliation in those realms is not made clear in the scriptures but we will find out when we get there. I am wondering, about the spirit beings which followed Satan, wrecking havoc in the earth and who are said to be thrown into the Lake of Fire with Satan. We know they cannot die nor does fire hurt them so I do not believe this is literal fire, but the purifying fire of God.
Perhaps one of our assignments will be to reconcile them and is what Paul meant when he said “we would be judging angels,” in the heavenly realm while Israel will be judging humans on the earth. 1 Corinthians 6:1-4 and Ephesians 6:10-13 Remembering, that the words judge and judging in the Greek….means “to set right.”
Israel’s hopes have always been for the earth, and yet Christendom says Israel is not going to inherit the land, God promised her, but instead is going to heaven with the Body of Christ. To do this, they have to throw out a large portion of the Bible or say, God switched to Plan B. If God is God, he does not have a Plan B. Plan A will unfold just as He intended it. The scriptures tells us this at Romans 9:19 “For who hath resisted His intention?” Read Verses 14-25.
If you would like a good study of the differences with Gods will and His intention, please go to Chapter 19 of A. E. Knoch’s book, The Problem of Evil and the Judgments of God, he does a fine job of explaining this, if you do not have the book, it is on the www.concordant.org web site.
Another misunderstood spiritual blessing is that we are given, Christ’s faith. We did not with our own (self righteous) faith decide to come to Christ. In Ephesians 3:13 Paul tell us it is through, “His faith” Christ‘s faith and not our own. We did not on our own, muster up the faith to walk down that aisle and accept Christ; we were not on our own seeking God.
If we did that, as is taught, we then would have done something towards earning our own salvation and that would nullify Grace. Ephesians 2:9 Yes, we are even given the faith that we have, we can build on it but we are first given Jesus Christ’s faith! This faith is given to us by God in order for us to be able to believe and to cause us to seek Him. This makes sense as Christ is our head and in the literal, it is the head which tells the body what to do.
If you will read the first two chapters of Ephesians and take a highlighter pen and highlight every time, you see the word His or God does this or that and other related phrases, you will begin to see Who is doing all the work in our salvation. It is God! We have been given, Christ’s faith! We believe because of it! Galatians 2:16 “a man is not being justified by works of law, but through the faith of Christ Jesus, we also believe in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by the faith of Christ and not by works of law” Galatians 2:20 “but living in me is Christ…Now that which I am now living in flesh, I am living in faith that is of the Son of God”
Galatians 3:22,25 “The promise out of Jesus Christ’s faith may be given to those who are believing.” Romans 3:22,23 “Yet now, apart from law, a righteousness of God is manifest…being attested to by the law and the prophets, yet a righteousness of God through Jesus Christ’s faith, for all, and on all who are believing, for there is no distinction, for all sinned and are wanting of the glory of God.” Ephesians 3:12 “in Whom we have boldness and access with confidence, through His faith.” And Philippians 3:9 “that I should be gaining Christ, and may be found in Him, not having my righteousness, which is of law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is from God for faith.”
Paul prays for this for those chosen at Ephesians 1:16-18 “in my prayers that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may be giving you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the realization of Him, the eyes of your heart having been enlightened, for you to perceive what is the expectation of His calling and what the riches of the glory of the enjoyment of His allotment among the saints” 1 Corinthians 15:15 “we testify by God that He rouses Christ” Who helps us testify?
Those who scoff at this will point to Philippians 2:12 “to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” This is not speaking to unsaved persons about their working to receive salvation! Paul is speaking to believers and exhorting them about the salvation they already have; to make it effective in their daily lives and actions. Those, who are already believers, needing to understand their calling and the spiritual blessings given to them, not earned by anything they did on their own, but are to understand and then to appreciate these blessings and endeavor to live up to them.
Please recognize, if we do ONE thing on our own, we then have done some sort of “work” for our salvation. This is what Israel had to do in the past and will have to do in the future but this teaching is not “sound doctrine” for the Body of Christ! We do nothing to get into the Body of Christ and we can do nothing to get out of it. It is Gods work, not ours “We are His achievement.” Ephesians 2:10 This is what Grace is!
Most have been taught, “If and when” they muster up enough faith to walk down that aisle and submit their will to Gods and accept Christ as their Saviour and then work to be faithful and wrongly assume that is when they are given GRACE! Not so. We are graced just as Paul was, “Grace came to Him.” 1 Corinthians 15:10 Christ came to Him and without asking for it Paul was Graced in Christ. This is our example; we are in the Body of Christ in exactly the same manner! God does it, not us! He places in us His spirit and that spirit recognizes spiritual things and hungers for them our ability to believe is because we are given Christ’s faith, He cannot fail, we can.
The unbeliever if not chosen by God cannot respond to His Word, It is spiritual, they are only soulish so we can talk until we are blue in the face and they will not understand because they cannot! They are not bad or permanently lost. They will be reconciled by God in His own time. WE need to recognize, God has already done the work and Christ has claimed us as His own…He earned us with His blood, we do not earn Him! Think about the standard teaching of, repent and accept Christ as Savior in order to be saved, taught as the first step to salvation and some denominations are teaching you can lose it and must repeat this over and over.
So many are fearful that they, somehow, are not really saved. But, we have learned through Paul that is not a scriptural teaching. God chooses each one of us, He does all the work and places us in Christ’s righteousness and this is what guaranteeing that we are saved!
WE do not first choose to serve God or accept Christ but that we are first chosen and called and placed into the Body of Christ by God and that even our Faith is given to us and this is what enables us to believe. WE are indwelt with Gods sprit and so inherently know, Christ as our Savior. The teaching of repentance and accepting Jesus as Savior is not really for us but for Israel.
The Salvation we are given is not earned by any of our own actions but it is All done by God, and we are the recipients of it. Paul encouraged us by telling us, there is “no condemnation for those in Christ.” Romans 8:1 He cannot deny Himself and we are a part of Him, we cannot lose our place in the Body of Christ since it has nothing to do with our faithfulness. Christ is faithful to Himself and that includes us as part of Him.
Until we understand the full meaning of Grace and how we are His body, this beautiful truth will continue to elude us. 2 Timothy 2:11-13 In this passage I am sure Paul was contrasting this with what Jesus said about those in Israel who disown Him, found at Matthew 10:33 Those of Israel needed to exercise their faith, which was given them through signs and miracles, they could be condemned for being unfaithful…we are not…that’s GRACE!
Please do a word study of the word GRACE…if you have the Concordant Bible, Go to pages 132,133 in the Keyword Concordance in the back, look under the word, grace, it will provide you with scripture references to read and to let your spirit feed on them in order to see and enjoy what this means for us in the Body of Christ. Paul stresses we are not to fear that any of our own failures would displease God or that we would be rejected as Israel was, these are the differences with the two dispensations of Law and Grace.
Romans 8:15,16 “For you did not get slavery’s spirit to fear again, but you got the spirit of sonship, in which we are crying, “Abba Father” The spirit itself is testifying together with our spirit that we are children of God.” Galatians 4:6 “God delegates the spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying “Abba Father”
Ephesians 4:1-8 “I am entreating you, then, I, the prisoner in the Lord, to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called, with all humility and meekness with patience, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit with the tie of peace: one body and one spirit, according as your were called also with on expectation of your calling; on Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, Who is over all and through all and in all. Now to each one of us was given grace in accord with the measure of the gratuity of Christ.”
Ephesians 4:11,14 “And the same One gives these, indeed, as apostles, yet these as prophets, yet these as evangelist, yet these as pastors and teachers, toward the adjusting of the saints for the work of dispensing, for the up building of the body of Christ unto the end that we should all attain to the unity of the faith and of the realization of the son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature of the complement of the Christ, that we may by no means still be minors, surging hither and thither and being carried about by every wind of teaching, by human caprice, by craftiness with a view to the systemizing of the deception.”
Notice Paul did not say we were to evangelize the world in order to save sinners. It is Paul who taught us God does the choosing and saving. Ephesians 1:3 Paul’s commission was to teach his new evangel and his letters written to and for us is were ordained for the body of Christ. We all need to come to understand the grace given each of us. Paul taught that we each have direct access to God our Father and in our day God will provide, pastors which are teachers, commissioned to adjust the saints….from what? Errors, lies and myths, this is only done if that teacher adheres to Paul’s evangel. They are to be dispensing to the Body of Christ, truth, which is found only in Paul’s evangel, not Peters! WE need only Paul’s sound doctrine!
Paul warned of a deception so crafty it would be “a system of deception” Ephesians 4:14 A system is organization….Organized religion! We should not be any part of a religion, as we have been learning that Paul fought against the organized, religions of his day, with believers called into the body of Christ, given every spiritual blessing in the celestials and yet some still wanted some sort of religion, kinda like Israel in the wilderness with Moses.
Some were told by the Zionist to be circumcised and to keep the Mosaic Law with its traditions along with the Grace God given them would elevate them above the common believer. Paul called them foolish for even listening to such nonsense.
He told the Galatians they could not have both, to cling to religion or a tradition was to “fall out of Grace”! Galatians 5:5 What did Paul mean by this term, since he also taught us we are secure in our placement in the body of Christ? Religion is bondage, Grace is freedom. To cling to religion is to place oneself into bondage and that means a believer then is denying oneself the freedom given us in Christ by Grace.
To cling to religion, restricts the indwelling spirit within us, because we then are instead, listening to men and rules and regulations, “organized deception!” The believer then becomes concerned with what others are thinking of them. When we let go of religion and traditions and let the Holy Spirit guide us in God’s Word this is then how and where we will obtain spiritual understanding and mature in the Word.
We must not strive to make the scriptures fit our doctrines but learn sound doctrine from Paul’s letters rightly dividing Gods Word, always testing things which differ and then we will find our truths and be able to worship God “in spirit and in truth!”