Answers to Bible Questions
Scriptures are from the KJV of the Bible
(Q) Who is the “Bride” of the Lamb in Revelation 21:9?
(A) The scripture in Revelation 21:9 says: 9And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
First, I feel it is very important for you to understand that God Has an Earthly program and a Heavenly program, and 11 Timothy 2:15 tells us how to separate them: 15Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. By inspiration of the Holy Spirit Paul tells us that the Scriptures are to be “rightly divided.” By rightly dividing the Scriptures we do not diminish the importance of 11 Timothy 3:16 which says: 16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: The whole Bible is true and we can learn from all of it, but not all of it was written for our obedience. Romans 15:4: 4For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Rightly dividing means to “cut straight, into pieces or parts.” Without going into great detail about this subject, it can be proved from Scripture that the Earthly program of God meant that all saved people under that program would receive earthly blessings for eternity, here on the earth. God’s Heavenly program means all saved under this program will receive all spiritual blessings for eternity, in the Heavenly realm. In order to understand this topic properly you need a basic understanding of rightly dividing the word of truth, dispensationally. If you do not understand the Bible from a dispensational point of view, you will never understand the Bible correctly. Go to my FAQ section on my home page and read my article about “what does the word dispensation mean, and what are the different dispensations in the Bible,” or on my home page go to “Introduction to the Bible.” Both of these articles will help you to understand the Bible better.
GOD’S EARTHLY PROGRAM (THEY WERE UNDER THE LAW FOR SALVATION, WORKS PLUS FAITH).
The reason for this explanation is because the Holy city, the New Jerusalem, has everything to do with God’s Earthly program, not the Heavenly program. The very fact that the New Jerusalem is coming down from God, out of Heaven shows that this city is coming down to the earth and it will remain on the New Earth forever. In the Beatitudes, Matthew 5:5, Christ plainly tells us that the meek shall inherit the earth. This is the key scripture to the rest of the Beatitudes, verses 3-12. In verses 3&10 where it says “theirs is the kingdom of heaven;” this also means the kingdom is coming down here to the earth. They are all about earthly blessings. 1 Corinthians 15:39-42 also tells us there is a difference between the earthly and Heavenly. 39All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 40There are also celestial bodies, (Heavenly) and bodies terrestrial: (earthly) but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 42So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
The Topic about who the “Bride” is in scripture has been debated for hundreds of years by theologians with no positive conclusions. I am not a theologian, but I will show from scripture who the “Bride,” the Lamb’s wife really is, and also who the “Lamb” is. If we just believe what the scriptures say It becomes very clear. Because most people don’t want to believe the plain, simple meaning of the scriptures, we have a lot of confusion. Men cause confusion, not God! 1 Corinthians 14:33: 33For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
So according to scripture, who is the “Bride?” In Revelation 21:10: we read: 10And he (the angel in Revelation 21:9) carried me (the apostle John) away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. When reading Revelation 21:9-10 together it is impossible not to see the fact that the angel in verse 9 is going to show the Apostle John who the Bride is. Verse 10 the angel shows John the “Bride,” the great city, the Holy Jerusalem. Now going back to Revelation 21:2 we read: 2And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Now there should be no question as to who the Bride is. The Holy city, the New Jerusalem is the Bride, the Lamb’s wife, and notice the city is coming down from God out of Heaven. It is coming down to the earth. This is what the plain scripture says. What God says it is, it is!
Before we continue, I want to say a few words about the “Lamb.” Who is the Lamb? John 1:29: 29The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. In prophecy, God had graciously imparted the sacrificial system which foreshadowed the once-for-all sacrifice. Thus, Christ was the sinless, spotless Lamb of God who satisfied the righteous demands of the law. He was consistently portrayed as the innocent victim-a lamb being led to the slaughter (Leviticus 4:32-35; Isaiah 53:3-8). With the introduction of a new dispensation, (the Grace of God), Christ is portrayed in a completely different light by the Apostle Paul. Today, He is the Lord of glory, the mighty victor who has conquered sin through His death and resurrection (I Corinthians 2:8; 15:20-23).
Now that we know who the “Bride” and the “Lamb” are, the bigger question is; who will be the inhabitants of this Holy city, the New Jerusalem? For centuries Bible teachers have limited the word “Bride” in connection with Israel only, or the Church of today called the Body of Christ, or some other company of the redeemed, but this is not true. I do not believe the Bride is just one particular group. The city itself is the “Bride” and this will include all the people who are inhabitants of the city, not just a few of them.
So who are the inhabitants of this city? The Bible definitely teaches that Israel was the wife of God; that she is nowthe divorced wife of God; and that she will again become His wife in the future. Israel in the Old Testament is called the wife of God. See Isaiah 54:1-6; Jeremiah 3:1-25; Hosea 1:1-11; 2:1-23; Malachi 2:14-16. I believe that Israel became the wife of God by a covenant relationship only, not by a physical relationship. God made covenants with Israel through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and David. The different covenants made between God and the chosen race were entered into voluntarily and were binding on both parties from the time of the consummation of the contract which united them in such relationship. Therefore, Israel can be called the covenant wife of God. In Jeremiah, Hosea, and other books, Israel is pictured as divorced from God because she broke the terms of the covenant and because she refused to continue in covenant relationship to God. She will remain as such until her final conversion and reconciliation to God. Then Israel will be considered the wife of God just as she was in Old Testament times, because of the New Covenant God will make with her at that time, Jeremiah 31:31-40; Ezekiel 36:16-38; 37:15-28; Hoses 2:14-23; Romans 11:25-32; Hebrews 8:6-13; 10:16-18. Thus, we conclude that Israel in the past was the wife of God, that at present she is divorced, and will in the future become the covenant wife of God again.
In what other sense is Israel the “wife” of the Lamb if she is to be united to the Messiah in the holy bonds of matrimony? The answer lies in the law of the betrothal, (Deuteronomy 22:23-25).
In days of old, when a man and woman came together before a rabbi, they were betrothed to one another. Similar to our present day engagement, the betrothal was a binding agreement wherein the parties were actually classified husband and wife. Upon completion of the ceremony, the couple returned to their respective homes for one year. This period was to give the husband an opportunity to prepare a home for his Bride-to-be. It was also to ensure that the woman had been faithful, and was not with child. Of course, it was during this time that Mary was found with child before she and Joseph had come together in the intimacy of the marriage relationship (Matt. 1 :18-25).
In this regard, Christ has returned to heaven to prepare a place for His Bride in the kingdom, John 14:2-3: 2In my Father’s house are many mansions: (ABODE) if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. Since this aspect of the kingdom of heaven is brought to the earth, it will be like heaven on earth, ( The Holy city, the New Jerusalem ). Revelation 21:12 is talking about the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 12And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: Read all of Revelation 21:1-27, and Revelation 22:1-5. Israel is going to be part of the “Bride” which makes up the New Jerusalem.
With the above information we can conclude that all the saved out of Israel will be part of the inhabitants of the Holy city, the New Jerusalem.
Who else will be inhabitants of the New Jerusalem? Please read the following 40 verses from Hebrews 11:1-40:
7By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
13These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
39And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: (Not yet, but they will when the Holy city, the new Jerusalem, comes down from God out of Heaven.
From all the above I believe It would be scriptural to say concerning any single redeemed person, that he, or she, is or will be a part of the Bride when they becomes a citizen of the Holy City. It is scriptural to say that the Old Testament saints as a company are and will always be a part of the Bride. It is perfectly scriptural to say that the future Tribulation saints, the 144,000 Jews of the Tribulation days, or any single individual or company of individuals of any period from Adam, all the way up until the calling of the Apostle Paul in the book of Acts; that all these that were under the earthly program will be just as much a part of the Bride as other redeemed peoples who will live in the New Jerusalem forever.
Naturally, until a person or a group of persons get to the city they cannot be called the Bride, because they are not yet, in reality, a part of the New Jerusalem. In the same way, any person who moves to a city does not become a citizen or part of that city until he settles in that place. So the saints will not actually become a part of the New Jerusalem until they move to the city and become a part of it. I do not believe that any of the earthly people mentioned above are now married to God, but will be at the time when the Holy city, the New Jerusalem comes down (to the earth) out of Heaven. Then Revelation 19:7-9 says: 7Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 9And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
Now, I hope you can understand who the inhabitants of the Holy city, the New Jerusalem will be and these people will eventually be called the Bride, because they will be the inhabitants of the New Jerusalem, which is the Bride according to Revelation 21:9-10. None of these Old Testaments saints under the earthly program are married to God at this time. This is why they all will be part of the Bride in the Holy city, the New Jerusalem.
Now remember, all the people mentioned in this article so far have all been part of God’s Earthly program. What about all the people who are part of God’s Heavenly program? Are they going to inhabit the New Jerusalem and be called the “Bride” also?
GOD’S HEAVENLY PROGRAM (WE ARE UNDER GRACE FOR SALVATION, NO WORKS).
As I mentioned earlier in this article, God’s Heavenly program began with the Calling of the Apostle Paul in Acts 9. This started the Dispensation of Grace given only to Paul. Paul is the Apostle to the Gentiles. Ephesians 3:1-9: 1For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: 7Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. 8Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been ”hid in God,” who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Paul gospel is the only way to obtain salvation today: 1 Timothy 1:15-16: 15This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
All members of the church today call the Body of Christ are blessed with all spiritual blessings in Heavenly places: Ephesians 1:1-7: 1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Philippians 3:20: 20For our conversation (Citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Today, the Body of Christ members are all one body: Romans 12:5: 5So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 1 Corinthians 8:6: 6But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. 1 Corinthians 12: 12-13: For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. Galatians 3:28: 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
What I want to show you from all these verses is the fact that we today, called the Body of Christ, are blessed with all spiritual blessings, and we are already part of Christ very own Body. God states that this is a mystery concerning Christ and the church. Ephesians 5:29-32: 29For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32This is a great “mystery”: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. When a man and woman are married, they do not become one flesh until the marriage is consummated by sexual intercourse.
When a person today becomes a “True Believer” in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ they are instantly baptized by God the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ and are now one with Him for all eternity. Ephesians 1:13-14: 13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14Which is the earnest (Assurance) of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. When we first believed the gospel of our salvation, we were married to Christ, and the marriage was consummated instantly because of our belief.
The church of today called the Body of Christ will not be part of the “Bride” the Holy city, the New Jerusalem, because we are already married to Christ, and we are already one with Christ. We are not, and cannot be a Bride, because our marriage has already taken place. The saints under the earthly program are not yet married to Christ, so they are a Bride waiting for their wedding ceremony to take place.
Some members of the Body of Christ do not believe that we are actually married to Christ. Let’s look at Romans 7:1-4: 1Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. 4Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him(CHRIST) who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
The above verses shows that the husband (the Law in this case) having died, the wife has also died to him. And we believers have indeed died to the Law, having been crucified with Christ when He, in His death, nailed the Law to His cross. And our having been crucified with Him (CHRIST) does indeed leave us free to be “married to another,” even to “Him (CHRIST) who is raised from the dead” (Ver. 4).
The believer’s body did not die to the Law, but Christ’s body did (Ver. 4); we have become “dead to the law by the body of Christ.” He shed His life’s blood that we might be free from the Law’s dominion and be His forever, Galatians 2:19,20: 19For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. 20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. II Corinthians 11:2 2For 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.
Just as in a physical marriage relationship the husband is the head of the wife, so is Christ the Head of the Church, the Body of Christ, Ephesians 5:23: For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Colossians 2:6,9-10: 6As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 9For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: There is nothing else that needs to be done, we are already complete in Him.
Since we are complete in Christ all three of the Holy Trinity now dwell within us. Galatians 1:15-16 – The Son (CHRIST) is in us: 15But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, 16To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Ephesians 4:4-6: The Father is in us all: 4There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 1Corinthians 6:19: The Holy Spirit is in us: 19What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
Again, our marriage took place when we first believed the gospel of our salvation. This is why God said in Ephesians 5:32: 32This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. I believe that all believers today bypass the “Bride” stage because of what Christ did for us at Calvary. We become righteous in God’s sight because of our faith, of belief in Christ. Romans 3:22: 22Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: Romans 5:17-21: 17For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Under God’s Heavenly program today we do not go through the betrothal period as they did under the earthly program. The earthly program was under the Law and works, today under the Heavenly program we are under GRACE, NO WORKS.
One last thing you need to understand about the Body of Christ is that God sees us already with Him in Heaven, in glory: Ephesians 2:4-6: 4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And “hath raised us up together”, and “made us sit together” in “heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” Romans 8:17,18,29,30: 17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Colossians 3:1-4: 1If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. This will take place at the Rapture of the Church, which will be very soon!
In conclusion, all the saved people under the earthly program of God will be part of the “Bride”which is the Holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven, (to the earth) . They are not yet married to the Lamb, (CHRIST) but shall be at the time of the New Heaven, and the New Earth, when the marriage supper takes place. However the marriage supper will not take place for at least one thousand years from now, or after the Millennial reign of Christ on earth.
The Church of today, the Body of Christ, which has existed for around the last two thousand years now, from the time the Apostle Paul was called or saved in Acts 9, is not or never will be part of the “Bride” as we were already married to Christ the instant we believed the gospel of our salvation. We bypassed the “Bride” stage just because we put our complete faith in Christ. When the Holy city, the New Jerusalem, comes down from God out of Heaven, we will have already been with God and Christ in glory for at least one thousand years. The Body of Christ is special, we have a Heavenly calling and all Heavenly blessings. No, we did nothing to deserve this calling or any of these wonderful Heavenly blessings. It’s all by the GRACE of God.
Hope to see you at the the Rapture, have a good day!
Maranatha (Lord come),