Children of the Bridechamber
“And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.” ~ Matthew 9:15
This is the first New Testament verse speaking of the bridegroom. Note the context. The disciples of John questions Jesus about his disciple’s lack of fasting. Christ is the bridegroom. Who are the children of the bridechamber?
The children mentioned are the disciples in this context. And note the bridegroom leaves. This is a foretelling of Christ’s ascension back to the Father. Why are the disciples of Christ pictured as ‘children of the bridechamber’ as opposed to the bride? Who then is the bride?
The Ten Virgins
Matthew 25:1-13 is the parable of ten virgins, five wise and five foolish. We see the virgins as being people. There are five who accept Christ and five who reject him. They could also be five who prepared to return with him and five who are not.
The five who are ready went in with the bridal party and other guests to the marriage. The other five were unknown to the groom. They were virgins like the others, yet they had no spirit, no fire, thus no light.
Question… Did the groom marry the wise virgins or were they attendees of the wedding? They were attendees because they accompanied the groom! It was customary for the groom to gather the party and arrive at the bride’s home together and enter the marriage thus.
During the procession, she is hidden, covered with a thick veil. So the virgins waited for the call to accompany the groom and the bride like the other invited guests.
The virgins needed to do their part to prepare and be ready to enter the marriage with the bridal party. They are friends of the bridegroom! Possibly five on one side, five on the other, symbolic of perfection.
Are not the virgins also symbolic of believers? Hmm…
Friend of the Bridegroom
“He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.” ~ John 3:29
This is an interesting verse. Men question John the Baptist about Jesus baptizing people and attracting the crowds. John mentions ‘the friend of the bridegroom’. Who are they which stand and hear him (Christ)? They are the people!
The hearers (and doers) of the gospel are the friends of the bridegroom. So the people leaving John to follow Jesus is not a problem. John is glad because that is his purpose; the bridge to Christ!
“Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” ~ John 15:14-15
The Marriage of the Lamb
“Let 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.
And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
And 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.” ~ Revelation 19:7-9
The bride is ready and dressed. They array her in fine linen. It is clean and pure. It is the righteousness of the saints.
Who did they call to the supper? Not the bride. The marriage is for her! The key here are the ones considered blessed.
I submit that the called are the saints! Throughout the New Testament, the saints are referred to as ‘blessed’. Remember? “Blessed is he…”, “Blessed are they…”, etc.
Why should verse 9 refer to anyone else? Again, the bride is not called to the marriage supper. They call the guests. And the being friends with the bridegroom, the Church is the invited guest! With that being said, are you ready to see the biblical Bride of Christ?
The Holy City Prepared
“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” ~ Revelation 21:2
“And 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.“ ~ Revelation 21:9
Here she is coming into view… John sees not a woman, not the saints, but the holy city, new Jerusalem. And why… it looks like a bride ready for marriage! Then The angel shows John the bride. Verse 10 reveals her identity!
The Lamb’s Wife Revealed!
“And he carried me 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,
Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;” ~ Revelation 21:10-11
Is this something or what? John sees the bride. The bride is none other but new Jerusalem! Did you see her development?
The people were to prepare to enter the wedding supper. Then the ready ones are separated from the others. Remember the parable of the wheat and tares? The people entered the wedding.
The bride is prepared and presented. You see, according to old Jewish custom, the bride is chosen for the son. Keeping with that tradition, God presents the Son with his bride!
She is revealed now as the new Jerusalem in Revelation 21. So if the new Jerusalem is the Bride of Christ, where did the teaching of the church being the bride come from?
A Scriptural Misunderstanding
The concept of the church being a woman starts in the Old Testament. Zion, the city of David is referred to as a woman. The daughter of Zion refers to the people.
The New Testament church is referred to as a woman in 2 Corinthians 11:2. Yet, here the church is to be presented to Christ as a chaste virgin. Here is why she is referred to as such.
She was once defiled, but now through the cleansing work of Christ, she is to be presented to the Father as pure and untainted. There is no reference to marriage.
Another place looked to is Revelation 12. It should be clear that the woman described here is the nation of Israel. Christ came through the line of David. So this is not the New Testament church either.
References to Marriage
Here are where an argument might be presented. Romans 7:4 states:
“Wherefore, 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 who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” ~ Romans 7:4
There are two meanings for the word ‘married’ in the New Testament. One is the greek word ‘gameo’, which means to wed or to marry. Then there is the word ‘ginomai’, which means to become, and signifies a change of condition, state or place.
It’s the word ‘ginomai’ used in Romans 7:3-4. We were dead in sins but now alive unto God through Christ. Our state and condition changed. We became the righteousness of Christ.
Marriage is an illustration of our oneness with Christ. So we are not becoming the ‘bride of Christ’ in this context. Yet we are joined to Christ and to each other in 1 Corinthians 1:10 and 6:17.
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” ~ Revelation 22:17
Here the Spirit and the bride calls to all the people of the earth. All are invited to come. Come, accept the free offering of life flowing from God and the Lamb and live forever!
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” ~Acts 2:38-39
I hope this article is a blessing to you. Thank you for visiting!
P.S. I plan to follow up this article with a biblical description of the wedding! Stay tuned…