Understanding the Body and Bride of Christ
By E. A. Rawlence.
(Note: The original article has been edited because of its length. However, the argument and purpose of the author is clear. We do not necessarily condone all the writer says, but it seems to be the best answer to an age old question. The publishing of this article does not imply that we agree with any departure from the KJV, should the author do so.)
The words “body” and “bride” are figurative of one and the same, or two different spiritual groups. I believe practicing right divisions will solve the problem. An understanding between Israel, the gentiles, and the church of God will, hopefully, clear up the matter.
God created the nation of Israel to be the custodians of the Truth, and the means through which He would establish His kingdom from heaven upon the earth. He would do this through Jesus Christ. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” Isaiah 9:6-7. Daniel explains it like this… “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. 45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” Daniel 2:44-45. This kingdom of heaven will be set up on earth, and will never be destroyed. John the Baptist and Jesus preached that that kingdom was at hand.”
The Pharisees saw this as a threat to their control and position, and they sought to kill Him.
After Matthew 13, most of our Lord’s public preaching was in parables. His stated purpose for this was to hide from the religious leaders the mysteries of the kingdom. However, He would explain their meaning to His disciples. It is abundantly clear from Matt. 12 that the kingdom He spoke of was an earthly kingdom. Satan destroyed the original kingdom of heaven on earth, and he would do all within his power to defile the efforts to reestablish it on earth. This is illustrated repeatedly in the eight parables in Matthew 13. The kingdom in heaven is perfect, and God is in complete control. That is one reason Israel was instructed to pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
Although the King and the kingdom were rejected, and He was crucified, the offer was re-offered to the children of Israel after His resurrection. It is noteworthy that the first recorded question in Acts 1:6 is, “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” Acts 1:6. Peter preached to Jews only and said, “Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities” Three thousand Jews, out of every nation were converted. God had His band of missionaries, out of every language, prepared to take the gospel of the kingdom to every nation. However, it was not to be so. Wherever they went with the kingdom message, the Jews in leadership opposed it, and murdered the messengers.
Israel was guilty of three great offences: 1. Spiritual whoredom, which led to their divorce as the wife of Jehovah: “And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery, I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce ; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also” (Jer. 3:8). “Plead with your mother, plead : for she is not My wife, neither am I her husband : let her, therefore, put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts” (Hos. 2:2).
2, They “killed the Lord Jesus and their own prophets” (1 Thess. 2:15).
3. “ they persecuted us ; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men : forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sin alway : for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost” (1 Thess. 2:15, 16).
(Lord willing, we will post part 2 in a few days)
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.