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The Ultimate Purpose of God

6) The Bride of the Lamb

We have already seen that we are addressed as attendants and not as the bride herself. We have also viewed the scripture where the apostle John was addressed by an angel and allowed to see the bride of the Lamb which of course is the New Jerusalem. REV 21:9  And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues, came and spoke with me,  saying, "Come here, I shall show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." REV 21:10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. At this point no one should be surprised that the bride is the New Jerusalem but we should all be starting to understand how this is going to work itself out.

REV 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer {any} sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them. The apostle John wrote about the bride/New Jerusalem in the book of Revelation. Let us look at what John saw and heard during his spiritual adventure. In chapter twenty one we are told that John sees the new heaven and the new earth because the old has passed away and the new has come. Everything that will ever happen on this physical planet during this phase of reality will have come to an end. The four dispensations that I have outlined will be completed and satan will have been cast into the lake of fire. It is impossible to determine how far into the future this will all take place but one thing that is for sure it will not be until after the millennial reign. It is at this time that the new earth receives the new Jerusalem that comes down out of the heavens. John doesn’t miss a beat when he says that she is “as a bride adorned for her husband.” It will not be until this very moment that the bride is fully ready for her union with Jesus. At the appearing of the New Jerusalem the statement about the tabernacle of God now being among men is uttered. We had already seen how the fully connected and aligned church (as living stones) would be a tabernacle of God. In this scripture we see this tabernacle of God coming down out of heaven. So the church is the bride of Christ, right? Well no, not really. Remember we are living Christ’s life here on earth not our own. We will not live our own life until we are with Jesus. If we refer back to the creation of Eve from a part of Adam we should understand that God split Adam. (No pun intended) God took this element from Adam and created Eve with it. In a like way God takes a part of Jesus and puts it in each one of us. This life of Jesus in us demands complete obedience. We are even told that our lives are not active but hidden until some future time. So we are living Jesus’ life here now. God created Eve from placing a part of Adam with more elemental mass or dirt. The outcome of this was a fully functioning woman who happened to be the other half of Adam. Likewise God  is putting the spirit of Jesus into us creating the other half of Jesus or his bride. The very fact that our lives are hidden in Christ and will appear when we die should indicate to us that we are accomplishing something greater than just living out our lives.

So how are we part of the bride? Now this explanation is a little tricky so be patient. 1CO 3:10  According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each man be careful how he builds upon it. 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is {to be} revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. 14 If any man's work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire. 16  Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and {that} the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.

 Paul makes his claim about laying the foundation. He also declares that no other foundation can  be laid. What is built upon the foundation can vary according to its quality. Paul gives use six elements that can and will be built upon the foundation of Jesus. The gold, silver and precious stones will be able to withstand the fire and remain after being tested but the wood, hay and straw will surely be burned up. Correctly building upon the foundation insures we have something left after the testing. This section explains to us that this is not about our salvation but the value of our lives. Those who have lived and built their lives the best, they will receive a reward and those who have wasted their lives will suffer loss. Now those who have something to show for their life have one or more of the elements in Paul’s list. The reward we receive is that there is something we did that had worth. The loss that we will suffer is that we squandered our time here on earth and none of it amounted to any value.

What will we do with gold, silver or jewels in the kingdom of God? We already had seen that the scriptures tell us that we are living stones that will be built into a temple for God. EPH 2:21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; EPH 2:22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. And 1PE 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood. I believe that what is left from living the Christ life here on earth will be what builds the New Jerusalem. So to the degree that we allow God to live through us here on earth will determine what we have when we are tested as to the value of our life. Then what is left after the testing will be gathered up and placed into the New Jerusalem. Can I prove this? If you want me to produce a scripture that states this very fact sorry, there is none. This should not frustrate us for I have been laying out the principles that will lead us to this conclusion. If we are attendants of the groom and not the bride then who is the bride? The apostle Paul and Peter tells us that we are stones of a temple that are being fitted together according to God’s will and yet we are not the bride. John told us that an angel showed him the bride of the Lamb which was a building, the New Jerusalem. How are we involved with a building? Seeing that John himself states that the New Jerusalem is clothed in fine linen which is the righteous acts of the saints. REV 19:8 And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright {and} clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. This implies that our righteous acts will clothe this city. What is our relationship with this city? We must not forget that God looks at those who are His as one entity that existed from the beginning until the end of the earth. It is this entity or woman who is in fact the bride of Christ. We are given the opportunity to represent an element of the whole.

7) A look at the New Jerusalem

If we look at the makeup of the New Jerusalem we can see how and with what this city is constructed. REV 21:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them {were} the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And the one who spoke with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city, and its gates and its wall. 16 And the city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal.

When we look at the city we see a wall that extends around the perimeter of it. Not only is the wall fifteen hundred miles long but fifteen hundred miles high. Seeing that this wall and city is a cube we are talking about one very large structure. The wall around the city has twelve foundations and each of these foundations seemingly represents each apostle because on each one of them has an apostle’s name written on it. What we don’t know is if these foundations were stacked on top of one another or if they were the foundation for their respective section. It would be reasonable to assume that each of the four sides possessed three foundation stones which made up the length of the wall on its individual side. These three foundation stones stacked side by side would correspond to the three gates per side. John further records what the foundation stones were made of. REV 21:18 And the material of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; 20 the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst.

It is interesting to see that we are told that the first foundation stone was made up of jasper and that the wall as a whole is also made up of the same thing. This fact may almost lead us to conclude that the Apostle Paul was the first foundation stone (seeing most of our theology comes from Paul’s writing) and that is why the wall as a whole is also the same substance. This is just conjecture and should not be held as true. Revelation 21:14 states that the foundations have the names of the Lamb’s twelve apostles which most likely refers to the first eleven apostles and Matthias. We may also have noticed that verse eighteen tells us that the city is made up of gold that is as clear as glass. Now it doesn’t take a genius to connect these precious stones and the gold to what will remain after we are tested. The only thing that I cannot connect to the New Jerusalem is the element of silver. Yet if we stretch this understanding we may be able to make a case for the silver by understanding a verse in Isaiah. “ISA 54:11 ¶ "O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted, Behold, I will set your stones in antimony, And your foundations I will lay in sapphires. ISA 54:12 "Moreover, I will make your battlements of rubies, And your gates of crystal, And your entire wall of precious stones.” The understanding of this verse with relationship to antimony may actually resolve this problem. Antimony,3  while an element that appears on the periodic table was believed to be used as an ancient form of eye liner and in cement to darken it when setting precious stones. Brown, Driver and Briggs uses the words antimony and stibium as English equivalents to the Hebrew word pukh 4 . They however do not define this Hebrew word as the element antimony, but according to it’s use. The definition that they give in A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament pg  806 is a “black mineral powder, for increasing brilliance of eyes by darkening edges of lids” and “of dark cement setting off precious stones.” So this Hebrew word pukh is believed to be some element that was black and it was used to set stones in order to bring out their beauty. Silver as we know it on this earth will turn black from oxidation and may be what will be used to set the stones in the wall of the New Jerusalem. Even if our reward after being tested is not part of the new Jerusalem it is very interesting that gold, silver and precious stones are what will represent the value of this life lived. While this evidence does not prove what is going to happen, in the light of what has been said, it is intriguing. If these elements that are left after testing are not part of the new Jerusalem then what part could this life we are living play in relationship to the city?

We should notice that the foundation stones are adorned with every kind of precious stone. This to me refers to the fact that all of us who are holding to apostolic truth will have the place to adorn the very foundation in which we lived according to and built upon. The fact that there is every kind of precious stones which adorn the foundations mean that every possible combination of personality and gifting will be represented. 

REV 21:11 having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. 12 It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names {were} written on them, which are {those} of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. 13 {There were} three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west  This city doesn’t only represent the church age but also the age that came before. This is seen by there being twelve gates and each one of those gates has the name of one of the twelve tribes written on them. This very fact reinforces the idea that God looks at those who are his as one entity and not as miscellaneous groups. Believers over the ages make up a particular part of the whole.

REV 21:21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass Now the very fact that the gate is a single pearl as opposed to many pearls indicates that each tribe is seen as a whole and not as a lot of groups. This also brings up a fact that besides there being individual rewards there will be group rewards. This should not be foreign to our thinking seeing that Jesus will separate the sheep and goat nations and will reward them accordingly. It is probable that rewards will be given out for the individual, family, city and country and possibly many more. We are not islands unto ourselves and should not live as such. Every generation is a servant to the next. If we take the stance that this is just wrong, how will we deal with this scripture? “EPH 2:21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; EPH 2:22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” This scripture tells us that we are a dwelling of God. While this is not new for believers, seeing that the Holy Spirit lives in us, this situation is destined to change after death. Where will God live in the future? According to John’s revelation, in the New Jerusalem. REV 21:22 And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb, are its temple. 23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp {is} the Lamb. These verses are the fulfillment of what Paul was speaking about in the book of Ephesians. This building has come together and God has moved into it. This building is now His dwelling place. EPH 2:21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

I have already stated that this is something that is hard to understand because we are speaking about a city that is supposed to be Jesus’ bride. I will state it again, “I do not have all the answers.” This I do know, we must understand that the rewards (silver, gold, or precious stones) are not worldly or natural but spiritual substances that remain. I believe they will resemble stones, rocks and metal but will actually be far more substantial that. I don’t know if we can understand these things fully but we will when we see these things happening.

There is another woman spoken about in the book of Revelation that in some ways parallels the truth about the bride of the Lamb. That woman is the whore of Babylon. Seeing that my intention is to release this truth about the bride, I am going to forgo any study into the whore. If we understand the principles here, it will be easy to piece together the understanding of the whore of Babylon.

If we are not the bride of the Lamb but we partake in creating the bride, what are we to be after it is all over? If you remember in the beginning of this study, I said I was writing with some in congruency about God desiring to create a bride for Jesus and yet replicate. We are now at the point where we can clear up that inconsistency. God not only wanted to create the bride for His son but beget more sons. This whole process accomplishes not just one of the goals but both at the same time. While we are giving place to the life of God in us we are creating a substance that is intended to create the New Jerusalem. We are learning how to behave as God’s offspring and use God’s power while creating something of great worth. I think when this is all over we will stand in awe at what God purposed through us. Let us look at what the new Testament says about our sonship and the destiny we will receive at the end of this life.

8) Sons of God

GAL 4:4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"  7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.

ROM 8:15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"

There should be no confusion concerning our rights and responsibilities as a son of the living God. Jesus redeemed us and God extended to us our adoption as sons. We are sons and therefore we have the right to call God our father. God is our father! What son when he grows up, grows into some other form different than his father? Would we expect our sons (natural or adopted) to grow up to be an adult gorilla or maybe a chimpanzee? NO! The very idea of it is ludicrous. So why do we seem to have such an aversion to thinking that we may actually grow up into the likeness and character of God? When God created man did God make him like a gorilla or chimpanzee? No. God created man just like himself with the intention of replication. God wants to replicate. Should this be so farfetched that we dismiss it as not possible? Jesus has the title as first born not the only born. Yet we may quote a scripture such as: “JOH 3:16 ¶ "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” See the scripture declares that Jesus is the “only begotten Son.” Jesus was at this time the only begotten Son and as such responsible for redeeming us. We could not become more then we where until the price for sin was paid. The very fact that Jesus tells us that we need to be born again, that is born of the spirit, indicates that we were transferred from one source to another. Our body may come from Adam but our spirit is from God. While our body will look similar to Adam’s our spirit will grow to look like God. Yet Adam’s body was created in God’s likeness which means that even our body will look like God. I know that this concept is not popular and the people who promoted it have been severely persecuted but does this mean it is not true?

GAL 4:7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. We are heir to what? What exactly will we inherit from our Father and big Brother?    If we have yet to experience the power of God moving through us and don’t know all that we have access to here on earth, how could we ever comprehend our future in glory? Unless we are seeing God’s grace in our everyday life there is no way we could believe we our destined for greatness. To so many of us we are just human and never will be anything more. Not me, I am a child of God. I may not be complete but I am moving in that direction. Even the apostle John struggled with the idea of what we are destined to be. 1JO 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. John is saying, it is not evident of what form we will take but there is no confusion about being children of God. While John confessed he had no idea of the form we would take he was sure of one thing that we would have the same form as Jesus. John says, “we shall be like Him.” This should make us excited. We are children of God and as such we are of the species god. It was not by our doing that we have become of this species nor is it really by our power that we live like this species. All we are called to do is make correct decisions. God planned this from the beginning and all things created will end with His will accomplished.

1JO 3:1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and {such} we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Let us comprehend the love of God and realize that we are destined for greatness. We should show our love for this greatness in cooperating with the Christ life that lives in us for the creating and building of the bride. We are not just called children of God but actually are His children. ROM 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined {to become} conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; 30 and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified

Those of us who are born again are predestined to end up in the likeness of Jesus. This is God’s goal for us. Jesus is the first born but not the only born. If we can grasp a hold of this we may end up living a far different life then we are now. It is rightly stated that we will rule and reign with Jesus. Notice that not only are we justified but we will also be glorified. Glorified? I don’t fully know what this means but I was taught to believe only God was glorified.

God has called us to live according to the Christ life in us so that we may do our part in forming the bride of the Lamb with a view to an inheritance far beyond our ability to fully comprehend.


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