I have heard many people in my day tell me that the Church is the bride of Christ. I want us to look at the word Church and understand where that actual word or term came from. Does the word ‘Church’ accurately depict what the New Testament writers were trying to convey to mankind? What is the deeper meaning of Church?
The word church comes from the old English and Germanic word kirke, (pronounced “keer – kay”), and which itself came from Babylonian for the goddess Circe (pronounced “seer-say”) Circe is a word from which we get circumference, and circle, among other words. When pertaining to circle, the word Kirke refers to ‘circle of worship’. Therefore, church means, at the least, a pagan circle for worship, and at the worst, the worship of the goddess Circe, or the worship of the sun.
The term Church is a pagan word that never had a true translation in the word of God. Nowhere in the bible can there be found a word that translates to Church; it’s not there. The term Ekklesia or Ecclesia is a Greek word which means, called out or called out ones. Ekklesia was used more than one hundred times in the Old Testament, even at the time of Messiah. It was translated by the King James translators as Church because of their anti-Semitism. The word Church cannot be found anywhere and it is definitely not synonymous with Ekklesia.
So, when we say the Church is the bride of Christ, we are actually referring to a group of pagan sun-worshippers, thus, the Church could never be the bride of Christ. Therefore, a question remains: who is the bride of Christ and where does this bride come from?
Now, I am not going to quote Scripture with you, but let’s reason a little about this thing called marriage. In Jewish customs, a man could be ‘betrothed’ to his wife, that is, they were considered married, although neither party had actually performed the act whereby the marriage had been consummated. So, it was during this point that the man or the woman could actually call the whole thing off. To do this, they would need to divorce one another. Consider Joseph, he was betrothed to Mary, yet when he found she was pregnant, he had in mind to divorce her quietly and send her away. They were betrothed to each other, yet had never been intimate. Mary was a virgin.
Does virginity have anything to do with being a bride of Christ? I mean, can Messiah take a person and clean them up to the status that they are just like Mary, virginal? I don’t know, but let’s look at this; do we really believe that God would use someone who isn’t pure or who has spots or wrinkles to be his Son’s bride? I mean could just anyone become the bride of Christ or would it take someone very special to achieve that position? Could I be betrothed to Yeshua, the Messiah, if there were issues in my life that didn’t meet the mark? What if I had sin in my life? Yes, I might be struggling with something and I don’t have the victory yet, but would that still qualify me to be the bride of Christ?
I really don’t believe at this time, that any of us are worthy to be called the bride of Christ. I just don’t see it. I’ve spent close to thirty years in organized religion as a Catholic, Baptist, United Baptist, Apostolic, Pentecostal, Messianic, and Messianic Jewish believer. Of all the people I have met, including myself, there are none I could call the bride of Christ. None, not one. I have met very lovely people in certain circles, but of those I met, there are none I could say were the bride of Christ. I saw too many spots and wrinkles.
Why do I say this? It’s because many Christians have a disdain for certain parts of the word of God. They believe that some of God’s most cherished commandments have been done away with, or simply don’t apply to believer’s life in this day and age. So, how could they be considered ‘the bride of Christ?’
If we look to Judaism, we see that many Jewish people esteem the words of the Talmud to be equal to or above the written word of God. Not only this, but they have many traditions that they have also elevated above the word of God. So, how could the modern day Jews be ‘the bride of Messiah?’
If we look to Islam, well… enough said.
So, if none of these people are what I would call the bride of Christ, then is there anywhere in the bible that refers to any people group as the ‘bride of Messiah?’
Consider Revelation Chapter 7:
Rev 7:4 And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:
Rev 7:5 12,000 from the tribe of Judah were sealed, 12,000 from the tribe of Reuben, 12,000 from the tribe of Gad,
Rev 7:6 12,000 from the tribe of Asher, 12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali, 12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh,
Rev 7:7 12,000 from the tribe of Simeon, 12,000 from the tribe of Levi, 12,000 from the tribe of Issachar,
Rev 7:8 12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun, 12,000 from the tribe of Joseph, 12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin were sealed.
Maybe the Bride of Christ consists of only these 144,000 people? Consider what is written afterwards,
Rev 7:9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
Could it be that this great multitude are the ones that are going to serve the Messiah and his Bride? It says that they went through the tribulation and had their robes washed in the blood of the lamb. If we are all the Messiah’s bride then who is going to watch the wedding and serve? Every wedding I have attended had a small wedding party and sometimes hundreds and hundreds of guests. If we compare this to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb we see the same thing, 144,000 virgins, with the seal on their foreheads, hearing a song known only to them, and a large multitude that cannot be counted. Speaking of the 144,000, consider;
Rev 14:4 It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as first fruits for God and the Lamb,
Rev 14:5 and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.
I can honestly say that most of us here are living a lie or believing one and in doing so, we are telling others the lies we believe. It might even be safe to say that the 144,000 are all males who don’t lie and are blameless. Why are they called blameless? I believe it is because they chose to follow God’s word completely and had no regard for the oral law or the traditions of men. They adhered to and delighted themselves in the keeping of God’s commandments.
So, you might ask the question: “But I thought I was going to be the bride?” To which I would tell you, so did I! But it’s really all OK, it doesn’t matter that you are not the bride. Isn’t it nice just to be invited to the wedding? Just to share in the joy of the Lamb and His Bride? Just to be with God and serve one another? To me that means just as much, if not more, than being the Bride of Christ.