The Official Journal of the Ensign Trust, London

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THE ENSIGN MESSAGE

THE BRIDAL CONTROVERSY

By

Canada

About a year ago I wrote an article on the Bride of Christ. Since then the Lord has been convicting me on that message and I feel it is important to write on the subject again. In that article I said Ephesians 5:24 and 25 cannot refer to the Church as the Bride of Christ because Christ is not married yet. I said those verses referred to husbands and wives, not unmarried people. I said Christ is not married yet, so if He had marital relationships with anyone, He would be a fornicator. That is not entirely true, as the Lord  has pointed  out to  me.

It is true that Christ is not completely married yet. He has not joined physically with Israel as He said He would.

‘And  in that day will I  make  a covenant  for  them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely. And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving kindness, and in mercies.” Hosea 2:18-19. This scripture speaks of the Kingdom Age and refers to Israel, the people who were not his people but will be his people in the Kingdom Age (Hosea 2:23). Also, Isaiah chapter 54:4-8 prophesies about the Bride of Christ, calling her the wife of youth who was then refused by God, and is now a widow. This can only refer to Israel.

The confusion for church people is in their experiences and in reading the New Testament. Many Christians have experienced the Holy Spirit surging through their bodies and souls. I will call this “spiritual intercourse”. They know they are spiritually joined with Christ. Therefore, spiritually they are married to Christ, and they know that this only happens to Christians, meaning that the Church has a spiritual marital union with Christ. Of course, not all church goers experience this, only true Christians. For those who experience it, they can identify with Ephesians 5:24-25, and call themselves the Bride of Christ. Also, there are other New Testament scriptures that would add to their argument. The apostle Paul, writing to the Corinthian church, said,

“…for I have espoused you to one husband,  that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” II Corinthians 11:2. If you only read the New Testament, and ignore the Old Testament, you would think that the Bride of Christ is the Church (the called out ones from each generation) .

This period of time will fulfill the prayer our Lord taught  His followers  to pray,  “Your Kingdom  come” [Matthew 6:10]

The problem with this thinking is that it is too narrow. It ignores the Kingdom message. In the Kingdom Age there will be a great revival and turning to the Lord for the  people  of  Israel  (the  Anglo-Saxon  and kindred people). All Israelites will know the Lord. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Jeremiah 31:34. Paul wrote about this event in the epistle to the Romans. “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” Romans 11:26-27. Great revivals have occurred in the past with our people, and a much greater revival is coming when the Lord returns. He has to remove the wicked ones from our midst, who are oppressing us, and then we will be free to worship our King, Jesus Christ. “The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” Matthew 13:41-43.

The true Church foreshadows what is to come, but it is only a small part of the Kingdom that is coming. The Bride of Christ is much greater and more wonderful than anything the Church can imagine.

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