Speaking with a Messianic rabbi a few months back, he is under the belief that the church, or “Bride of Christ, needs to get herself “ready” for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and wedding banquet. Most believers today around the globe would believe something is just over the horizon moving in our direction.
In fact, from all the recent cataclysmic events over the past couple of years, it is not only the “religious” ones that feel the labor pains. Most people sense the tension building in the belly of the earth. Some would call it Armageddon. Few understand the prophecies detailed in Revelation and their order. While the media and entertainment industry might have us convinced that there will be an all-out fight of good and evil in the end, they are mistaken.
Before Armageddon begins, first, the Antichrist will be revealed. Believers won’t be around for this. In fact, they will appear with Christ coming down through the cloud. Most importantly, if you read the account of Armageddon in Revelation in the Bible, there is not even a battle.
Revelation 16:16 records that the kings of all the nations that support the Antichrist will gather in Israel in the valley of Meggido to fight Israel, but Jesus will come like the lion from the tribe of Judah to save His bride. Upon His arrival, any battle will end and there will come the complete annihilation of the wicked. This brings me back around to my friend, the rabbi.
In what he calls a state of urgency, he is spending his time encouraging Christians whom have Jewish Sephardic lineage to make aliyah, a return to Israel to live. While I don’t agree that this is what believers should do, as I think Christ will fill this role in the Millennial Kingdom, I know many who would agree with him. He speaks of something else, too, which he sees as a great conflict.
Christ has two brides: Israel and the Church. How will God unite them?
In Scripture there seems to be no signs or clarity when we look at what the modern church teaches, that the church is the “Bride of Christ”. The greatest conflict arises when we see that the church in all probability is taken up after Revelation 3 to be united with the Groom. Thus the “Church Age” or “Age of Grace” comes to an abrupt end.
So, what happens to Israel?
Here is something shocking. Believers in the New Testament are first called “Christians” in the book of Acts at Antioch. They are then phrased as “the church”, as “sons of God”, “sons of Abraham”, “daughters of Sarah”, “the body of Christ,” but never “the bride of Christ”.
Understanding this helps to clarify some of the problems with modern theology. Perhaps the biggest problem with equating the church to the bride of Christ, and consequently one of the errant contemporary teachings that lead believers astray, is that the bride of Christ must make herself ready. Christians beware.
But didn’t the blood of Christ take care of that? Isn’t the church already ready?
Watch this space…
By Jori Sams
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