The Assembly and the Bride

Discussion in 'Doctrinal Discussions' started by Grant Melville, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. #1 Grant Melville, Sep 28, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
    It would seem that, among Christians today, there is some confusion or perplexity about the identity of the entity described in scripture as "the bride, the Lamb's wife" (Revelation 21:10). It is shown to John by an angel, who describes it as "the bride" and it is represented by a city with many great features. There can be no doubt as to what is spoken of here in figure: it is the assembly, the Church.

    Some would say, however, that the bride is only a portion, a sub-set or a remnant of the assembly. I know there are brethren on this forum who believe that, and I'm not bringing up this subject with a view to stirring up contention or debate. I don't intend to get drawn into argument on this most holy and precious of subjects. However, the question must be examined in the light of scripture.

    How precious the assembly - that company formed of every believer in Him - is to the Lord Jesus! We can't possibly comprehend the depth of His feelings about it, but, we must enter into those feelings as far as we're able to and view it as He views it.

    It is, to Him, "My assembly" (Matthew 16:18) - "on this Rock will I build my assembly, and hades' gates shall not prevail against it." It is His, His own, not "an assembly" or even "the assembly", it is "my assembly". It is personal to Him, not merely of Him or by Him, but in Him. There is to be glory to God "in the assembly in Christ Jesus unto all generations of the age of ages. Amen." (Ephesians 3:21).The feelings of Christ for the assembly are shown throughout the scriptures. There is Ephesians 5: "Husbands, love your own wives, even as the Christ also loved the assembly, and has delivered himself up for it, in order that he might sanctify it, purifying it by the washing of water by the word, the he might present the assembly to himself glorious, having no spot, or wrinkle, or any of such things; but that it might be holy and blameless." Can this scripture leave any doubt at all that the assembly and the bride are one and the same? The assembly is the bride, and the assembly is not divided. Turn to the Song:
    "My dove, mine undefined, is but one;
    She is the only one of her mother,
    She is the choice one of her that bore her..."
    (Song of Songs 6:9)
    The assembly: she stands alone, she is indivisible, she is the object of Christ's affections.

    If any doubt remains that the assembly is one, never to be broken or divided, we can be assured by the parable of the merchant, who "having found one pearl of great value..." It is one pearl of great value, secured as a result of suffering and death, the suffering and death of the great Redeemer, who "emptied himself, taking on a bondsman's form, taking his place in the likeness of men, and having been found in figure as a man, humbled himself..." (Philippians 2:8). Truly, the Lord Jesus "sold all whatever he had" to secure the assembly.

    So far, we've glanced briefly at just a few of the scriptures which give us precious impressions about Christ's feelings about the assembly. But this fleeting glance is enough to impress us with something of the unspeakable depth of love and wealth of affection on the part of the Lord Jesus. Could we entertain, even for a moment, the thought that a portion of this precious company of the redeemed, a section of this entity, would not form part of the bride?

    Let us compare Genesis with Ephesians. In Genesis, we have Man presented with his counterpart, "This time it is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh..." (Genesis 2:23). In Ephesians: "For no one has ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes it and cherishes it, even as also the Christ the assembly: for we are members of his body; we are of his flesh, and of his bones. Because of this a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh. This mystery is great, but I speak as to Christ, and as to be assembly." (Ephesians 5:29-32). The assembly and the bride are one and the same.

    Let us touch again on the personal identification of the Lord Jesus with the assembly. On the Damascus road, note His words: "Saul, Saul, why dost thou persecute me?" (Acts 9:4). Saul was literally persecuting the saints of the assembly, not the Lord Himself - but it was the Lord's body which Saul was persecuting, so it was Himself. How He felt it, the sufferings of His dear ones! How could it be that He should leave even the feeblest of that company out of that blessed company which is His bride?

    We should touch on a type of the Old Testament: Isaac and Rebecca (Genesis 24). Clearly, here Rebecca is a type of the assembly, Isaac of Christ, Abraham of the Father and Abraham's servant of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is sent of the Father to prepare the bride for the Son. She must not be of the daughters of the Canaanites, she must be kindred to Isaac. The bride is of Christ's kindred, she is bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh. Time doesn't allow to go into all the rich and wonderful detail of this chapter, so we must pass on to the end: "Isaac led her into his mother Sarah's tent; and he took Rebecca, and she became his wife, and he loved her. And Isaac was comforted after the death of his mother." (Genesis 24:67) Here, Sarah is a type of Israel. Of her He could say, by the prophet, "I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought and in vain..." (Isaiah 49:4), "He came to his own, and his own received him not..." (John 1:11). How it grieved His heart, Israel's rejection of Him! "Jerusalem, Jerusalem... how often would I have gathered thy children as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" (Matthew 23:37). But, in the assembly, He is comforted. In the bride, He is consoled. There will come a time when Israel will recognise her Messiah, "they shall look upon Me whom they pierced..." (Zechariah 12:10), but, before then He will take the assembly, the bride, to be with Himself, and will be comforted.

    The parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25) has been cited as scriptural proof that the bride will be separated out of the midst of the body - that five prudent virgins will go in with the bridegroom to the wedding feast, while five foolish will be shut out. It is important to see what the elements of the parable represent, because then we understand its real meaning.

    The oil is the Holy Spirit. It should be noted that "They that were foolish did not take oil with them; but the prudent took oil in their vessels with their torches" (Matthew 23:3-4). The whole company were virgins: they had all kept themselves from certain things, maintained separation from worldliness - the difference here is that the prudent had oil, and the foolish did not. It's quite possible to go on in an outwardly respectable religious way, and profess Christianity, and keep from blatant worldliness, but do it in a fleshly way, without any inward change - without real conversion. Christendom today provides a thousand hiding-places for foolish virgins: sects and denominations which have a superficial appearance of Christianity and give their members that appearance. Tragically, many will be deceived, deluded into believing that they're earning their place in heaven by good works and church-going. But, they don't have the Holy Spirit. Because they don't have the Holy Spirit, they don't have truth: "the Spirit is the truth" (1 John 5:6). He is the Spirit of truth (John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13). To have an outward profession but not to have the Spirit is a unacceptable state before God, because, as the psalmist says, "Behold, thou wilt have truth in the inward parts..." (Psalm 51:6).

    All the virgins "grew heavy and slept". There has been a general neglect of recognition of the Holy Spirit in Christendom. All too soon after the apostolic period, the evils of ritualism, formalism and clericalism crept in, and dependence on the power and direction of the Holy Spirit was turned away from. Even before the last of the apostles was taken to be with the Lord, the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes (those who divided between 'clergy' and 'laity') was active (Revelation 2:6, 15). Consequently, expectation of the soon coming of the Lord Jesus was all but lost in Christendom for a dark period. But then, the midnight cry: "Behold, the bridegroom; go forth to meet him." (Matthew 25:6). God has, through recovery of the blessed truth, stirred up fresh expectation of the coming of the Lord Jesus. Faithful ones have heard the exhortation to "go forth to meet Him", and they're suitably prepared, because they have the Spirit. The foolish virgins, the empty professors, when the time of testing comes, will realise their deficiency. They will realise the emptiness of the world's religion, the uselessness of cultivated religious flesh. They will see real believers going on in the power of the Holy Spirit, and they'll want that power for themselves - but to no avail. True believers in the Lord Jesus can never link on with empty religious professors - we might think we can help them, but we can't help them at all by associating with them in their ways. We'll only grieve the Holy Spirit by moving in that way.

    The foolish virgins were not ready. The exhortation to "Go rather to those that sell, and buy for yourselves" (Matthew 25:9) would speak of spiritual exercises - exercises which the prudent virgins had gone through, which had led them to value the Spirit and have their vessels filled. When the Bridegroom is already here, when the bride is taken to be with Himself, it'll be too late for unreal professors to get reality, too late for soul-searching. They are held to a higher standard than the out-and-out infidel - they took an outward place of profession of Christianity, they had torches (which represent public profession) and so their judgement will be severer.

    So, we see that the "foolish virgins" were never part of the body, never part of the assembly. They took up an outward position as being part of it, when they didn't have the Spirit and they didn't have truth in their inward parts. This cannot be said of a believer in the Lord Jesus. Not even the feeblest believer in Him will be shut out by Him at His coming. The feeblest believer stands on the same ground of acceptance with God as the mightiest champion, exponent and defender of the faith. There is a strong word of caution for us in this parable however - all the virgins slept - the neglect was general, amongst real believers as well as the empty professors. The question would be, have I woken up, have I trimmed my torch? Have I removed superfluous anything which would dim my light, anything of the flesh? Is my vessel filled with the Holy Spirit? These are real exercises that every believer is called to take up, and we're responsible to do so.

    We see then, from the Holy Scriptures, that the body and the bride are one, and that there is no division or breaking of the body - Paul asks the Corinthians, rhetorically, "Is the Christ divided?" (1 Corinthians 1:13). The answer is an emphatic 'No'.

    However, more than that, we have to question what the conditions are that allowed this question even to arise. Is our appreciation of the assembly, and our consciousness of its place in the heart of Christ, so diminished that we're led to question whether or not that that cherished and beloved entity will, in its fullness and entirety, be joined to Christ? Beloved brethren - if we view the assembly as Christ views it, we can be in no doubt as to this matter. The basis on which the Lord Jesus takes up the assembly as His bride isn't a matter of our love, or our faithfulness, or our constancy. We must be found in love and faithfulness and constancy - it grieves His heart when we aren't - but individual failure in these things will not diminish by one iota what Christ finds in the completed assembly for His delight and glory. It is His work, and it is perfect. He takes it up in His great love and makes it His bride - it is His, built on the everlasting Rock - it shall never fail.

    I hope that we all - the writer with more urgent need than the readers - take up these things prayerfully and consider them for ourselves.
  2. This should, of course, read "mine undefiled". (n)
  3. [QUOTE="Grant Melville, post: 424471, member: 16276"]It would seem that, among Christians today, there is some confusion or perplexity about the identity of the entity described in scripture as "the bride, the Lamb's wife" (Revelation 21:10). It is shown to John by an angel, who describes it as "the bride" and it is represented by a city with many great features. There can be no doubt as to what is spoken of here in figure: it is the assembly, the Church.[/quote]

    Hello @Grant Melville,

    I don't want to continue the subject of the Bride, for it has already been discussed. However, I have just read this opening paragraph of your OP, for this thread and would like to ask you a question concerning it, please. Would you mind explaining to me what you see within the confines of Revelation 21:10-27, that convinces you that the Church which is the Body of Christ is the Bride described there?

    In Christ Jesus
  4. The 5 foolish had their lamps lit at the beginning but had not oil to refill their lamps.
    The unsaved and the professors have no light at all .
    All true believers not only have light but are baptised in the Spirit and the body of Christ.
    But not all are fiilled with Spirit or continually filled or repeatedly filled .
    You do not address the fact that a virgin is a God given state . Nor the fact that while Paul sought to present the church as a chaste virgin he spoke of those under the law as ones married. Romans.
    Neither do you address the fact that the 5 foolish are barred specifically from the "MARRIAGE"
    The wicked are barred from the kingdom.
    The depth of feeling of the Lord for the bride needs must if you wish to use those words must be matched by the Bride herself for the Lord. Or responded to .
    You mention the first Adam and that Eve was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh but take no account of where she came from.
    His BODY.
    She was not his body but came from his body .
    For even as Adam was created from the dust of the earth . His bride was created from his body.
    Which again is in harmony with the scriptures that Abraham sought a bride not form the world but from his brethren.
    Were not ALL the disciples loved? "having loved them he loved them till the end"
    Yet Peter James and John saw and did things the others did not and did they not all go into the garden of Gethsemanee? But were not the same three taken "a little further"?
    If all believers are in the Bride what think ye then of John the Baptist who confessed only to being the "FRIEND of the bridegroom"
    You may well argue his humility spurred his confession and you may well be right . But then you would still have to explain what a FRIEND of the groom is .
    For clearly the world is no friend of Christ.

    They who are joined to the Lord are of ONE Spirit .
    Every true BORN child of GOD is joined to Christ.
    But what says Paul? Did not all hear the same Gospel of Moses? Were not all baptised with the same baptism? But how many entered into the promise?
    Out of two and a half MILLION + only TWO.
    How long did it take them to get from Egypt to the promised land? Nigh on every one says 40 YEARS .
    Read the scriptures again and you will find it took them 40 DAYS .
    That 40 years were they still not the children of God? yes of course . But they not all bought by the blood of a lamb? YES. Was not God with them? Did he ever leave them? or forsake them? NO!
    Yet they were outside the center of Gods will. despite all the miracles.
    This is not for condemnation its to show that the church has made the wanderign in the wilderness for 40 years as the NORM of a child of Gods life .
    When it is by the scriptures and the Spirit of God quite the opposite .
    It is abnormal.
    For Gods will was for them was not only to be saved FROM Egypt but also to enter INTO the promised land not perish in the wilderness .
    and was not the door into the MARRIAGE open for those who were ready and had their vessels full of oil? and was it not like the above closed when they repented of their unbelief and could not be opened ?
    Unbelief in God is also believing another message even as it was in the beginning .
    Did not Paul warn the CHURCH not to be deceived like Eve?

    To be BORN again qualifies us to run the race . It does not make us more than conquerors. if we dont run it .
    and even as a new BORN child has life it needs to be continualy filled with the Spirit of God to live that life and be ready .
    The spiritual life is akin to the sea. With waters up to the ankles , up to the loins and waters to swim in.
    "Little children" are they no loved by the father ? Do they not know the father and their sins are forgiven them?
    Yet it cannot be said nor is that little children "have overcome the wicked one" For little children can be and often are deceived.
    How then do you become more than conquerors? Through Jesus Christ and by the Word of God abiding in you "rightly divided" Not twisted to your own destruction.
    The whole council of God not a particular denominations theological school.
    Yet a young man is not yet a "father who knows Him who is from the beginning"
    Yet the church does nto believe Him who is from the beginning and I would declare that the vast majority of believers who know the father do not know God who is from the beginning .They have but heard of Him.
    How can it be otherwise when so many confess they do not believe the book of beginnings .
    and what of that church that in its own eyes was rich increased with goods and in need of nothing?
    Was it not a church ? But did not the Lord say if they did not repent I will spew you out of my mouth into "great tribulation"?
    How then can they be said to be ready? or indeed if they believe they have no need to repent of anything will they not be gathered to meet the Lord in the air but be spewed out into great tribulation where they may then be proved and tried .
    Those who are ready for whom the Lord si coming are as saved or BORNagain as the next man who is .
    Its their WALK that is diiferent.
    "As In the days of Noah " so also was Enoch.
    Enoch walked with God by faith .Noah "was moved by fear "
    Both were counted righteous . But one mans walk was different from the other .
    "as in the days of Lot..." So also was Abraham. Lot walked by sight .Though he too was counted righteous for Christs sake .
    But Abraham walked by faith .
    While Lot was blind to the day and the hour and the danger he was in . Abraham was in a place with God where God could tell him what he was about to do and was then able to pray and intercede fro :Lot.
    A man can be BORNagain but still have a carnal mind or walk by sight .
    Hence the injunction .
    In Christ
  5. Hello @Grant Melville,

    I don't want to continue the subject of the Bride, for it has already been discussed. However, I have just read this opening paragraph of your OP, for this thread and would like to ask you a question concerning it, please. Would you mind explaining to me what you see within the confines of Revelation 21:10-27, that convinces you that the Church which is the Body of Christ is the Bride described there?

    In Christ Jesus

    I would say that the whole scope of the description of the city corresponds to the features of the assembly, the Church, in the world to come. As Mr Raven* has helpfully pointed out, we get the outward view of the assembly in Revelation, and the inward, Godward view of it in Ephesians 3:14-21. At the very end of the section, we see that "those only who are written in the book of life of the Lamb" enter into it. This would be the saints of the assembly in their entirety.

    It's also important (although perhaps not directly related) point that the assembly will no longer be viewed as the Lord's body when it is taken to be with Himself. Then, it is purely the bride. The body is a thought connected with the earth at the present time - a body on earth, as a witness to a Head in heaven.

    *F.E.R. Vol. 15, p.75 'The Assembly As The City'
  6. The entire Bible is about God bringing forth a "companion" for himself and a "bride" for his Son. As Eve came from Adam's side even so came Jesus's bride from his side. The very last chapter in the Bible says.

    Rev 22:17 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.

    The New Jerusalem is not only a place in which the bride dwells, it is also made up of the bride and God almighty, and the lamb which is its "temple"

    Rev 21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

    The entire city is the temple which is the Lord God Almighty, and the Lamb.

    1Pe 2:4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
    1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
    1Pe 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

    We are "living stones", and Jesus is the "corner stone, elect, and precious". What is this city made out of? What are its foundations, and who are these stones which make up its walls?
    Major and Grant Melville say Amen and like this.
  7. I would say that the whole scope of the description of the city corresponds to the features of the assembly, the Church, in the world to come. As Mr Raven* has helpfully pointed out, we get the outward view of the assembly in Revelation, and the inward, Godward view of it in Ephesians 3:14-21. At the very end of the section, we see that "those only who are written in the book of life of the Lamb" enter into it. This would be the saints of the assembly in their entirety.

    It's also important (although perhaps not directly related) point that the assembly will no longer be viewed as the Lord's body when it is taken to be with Himself. Then, it is purely the bride. The body is a thought connected with the earth at the present time - a body on earth, as a witness to a Head in heaven.

    *F.E.R. Vol. 15, p.75 'The Assembly As The City'[/QUOTE]

    The Lord had a body prepared form Him to suffer in.
    He will have also a body to be glorified in.

    in Christ
  8. #8 Complete, Oct 4, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2015
    Hello @Grant Melville,

    Thank you for responding.

    I am not acquainted with the teaching of Mr Raven. However, it is not an interpretation of this passage by man, that I seek: but in the light of the certainty you expressed, regarding the content of Revelation 21:10-27, in the opening paragraph of the OP, that it is representative of the Church, I asked what is was (within it) that made you so certain.

    * Every item of description concerning the holy Jerusalem, which descends out of heaven from God, is Israel related: whereas the Church which is the Body of Christ, as described in Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians 1 & 2, Timothy and Titus, is not associated with the hope of Israel, or of that of the Bride.

    I thank CCW95A, and geralduk, also for their contribution, but again, respectfully, it is their interpretation of this passage, and not what is actually written.

    In Christ Jesus
  9. One swallow they say does not make a summer. Nor then does one passage of scripture prove a doctrine .Though it might clearly state it .
    Therefore a "sound doctrine " can be proved by its consistent mention through the scriptures and inevitably is first found in the book of Genesis (which si the book of beginning ) in embryonic form and then is progressively expanded or unfolded in its teaching line upon line precept upon precept and in divers ways and at sundry times.

    You might argue that this or that is a personal interpretation ,
    But all truth as it is in Christ dovetails and is in perfect harmony and working together will all other truths .
    So that every milk of the word is perfectly harmonious with every other truth or meat of the word that God through the Spirit leads us to understand .
    For God is of one mind and he is not confused or lackign in understanding as we sometimes are .
    The promise is that the Spirit of truth " will lead us into all truth " and by that then we shall KNOW the truth and the truth shall make us free.
    That "know" the truth is the same "knowing " as a husband may know his wife . It is experiential .
    It is not intilectual.
    In that sense then each part dovetails with the other perfectly .
    As you mentioned be by name I must then defend not myself by the principle.
    No scripture is of any mans private interpratation .Though it si not denied that many will have it so .
    Concerning the Bride fo Christ I have not simply taken the last book reference to the mater but have started with the first book and used the Old Testament FIRST to lay the foundations of what is to come.
    That also is a principle of God .
    For as God iun sundry times and in diverse ways spake by the prophets concerning the Groom .
    So also has he by the same method spoken also of the Bride .
    and while you might criticise or be critical of my presentation of the truth ,You should not by one verse deny it .
    In Christ
  10. Yes, that's exactly it. These are helpful scriptures that you've brought in. We mustn't get into confusion by regarding this as a literal city, it's a figure which we have in the Revelation. It is a great entity, the result of divine workmanship, to the glory of God, displaying Him in every feature. It is the Church, the assembly.
  11. Yes, I realise that I haven't answered your question. I will do, though that might take some time and a good deal of writing. I'm happy to do it though, as soon as I have a moment.

    @geralduk, thank you for your responses - I'm sorry for not replying yet, but I'm still digesting your very full replies.
  12. #12 Complete, Oct 4, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2015
    Hello Grant,

    * The Word of God is clear, it is man’s attempt to interpret what is written that causes the perplexity.

    * God has divided the companies by giving them identification by name, such as, ‘The Body’, ‘The Bride’. This is done for a purpose: and it is not for us to combine under one all-covering term, such as the use of the word ‘assembly,’ what God has so specifically defined. It is done for our understand, and not to create difficulty for us. It is our insistence on giving everything our own interpretation that brings problems.

    You, Grant, have taken words spoken by the Lord during His earthly ministry to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and linked them with those ministered in His capacity as the risen and glorified Christ, by revelation, and put them all together, as applying to the whole company of God’s redeemed: but they have a specific application, and to do what you have done, I suggest, is detrimental to the truth so given.

    * The pearl of great price, is the Bride. Doubly precious, because of the suffering it endures.

    * Again, you have brought everything under an all-covering title, ‘the assembly’, when God has not so done in His Word. I do not doubt the depth of love and wealth of affection that our Lord has for all of His redeemed companies, but they do not all have either the same hope or sphere of blessing.

    * Though this illustration was used by our Lord of the Church: in Ephesians it is spoken in the practical section and is concerned with the relationship of husband and wife primarily; to give it a significance regarding the Bride of the Lamb would be a wrong application.

    * Each company has a hope and a calling specific to it, yet none are less loved or less precious.

    * This, combined with the description of the Holy city, Jerusalem, which comes down from heaven, should show you that the Bride is Israel related, Grant.

    * The parable of the virgins, is Israel related, and the Bride will be taken out of Israel: they are the faithful, those who had, here on earth, no continuing city; but who looked for a city whose builder and maker is God..

    You have given your interpretation of these Scriptures, Grant, and made application of it according to your own understanding, but to make it a ground for the belief that the Body and the Bride are one and the same, is damaging.

    Forgive me for any offense caused to you, I am not happy about having to oppose you, Grant, but I believe you to be wrong in your assumptions, in this case.

    In Christ Jesus
    Marilyn C likes this.
  13. What are the particular features of the new Jerusalem which correspond to the assembly (or, the Church, we'll call if for the sake of clarity)?

    It displays precious features of Christ. Her shining is like a crystal-like jasper stone (v 11), it has the glory of God (See Revelation 4:3).

    It has a great and high wall, a boundary which excludes anything evil or inconsistent.

    It has twelve gates (twelve being the number of Administration), on which are inscribed the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel - this would teach us that Israel will be the first beneficiary of what goes out from the City in the way of administration in the world to come.

    It also has twelve foundations, again, bringing in the thought of the administrative role of the Church is the world to come. On the foundations we find the names of the twelve apostles, those whose ministry formed the foundation of the Church. Without the principles of that ministry, the walls could never stand, and without the walls, evil would come in. But those principles, introduced at the first, will be held till the last.

    In verses 15 to 17, the golden reed is applied: the divine measure. The Church, as perfected and complete, can be measured with the golden reed, it meets the divine thought exactly. It lies four-square, its basis is solid and immoveable, and again, we have the number of administration in the dimensions of the city: twelve times twelve times twelve. The wall is measured in cubits, not stadia, "a man's measure, that is, the angel's". The keeping of the the Church, holding to the principles which were laid as the foundations, upon Christ, the Foundation, is committed to men - to us, as believers.

    The building of the wall is jasper - it's purely of God, to His glory. The city is pure gold, like pure glass - all is pure, there's no alloy or mixture here. The foundations of the wall are adorned with every precious stone - the innumerable precious features of the Lord Jesus. There are twelve pearls on the twelve gates - the outgoing of the city, what comes out of it, bears the hallmark of the perfection of Christ. The street of the city is pure gold, as transparent glass. Any movement, the comings and goings in the city, is completely pure, and there is no opacity, there are no hidden motives or veiled schemes.

    There is no temple in it, the Lord God Almighty is its temple, and the Lamb. "Lord God Almighty" is a millenial title of God, and it's how Israel and the nations will know Him, in the Church.

    In verse 24 to 26, we see the Church set in relation to the nations - Israel is first of the earthly in the administration of blessing, but the nations are brought in as well.

    Well, that's a very brief exposition indeed! But it might suffice to answer the question of what Church features I see in the new Jerusalem. The most compelling and conclusive evidence is that so many features of Christ are displayed in it. Could that be Israel? Never. The Church is the vessel which is formed for the display of Christ's glory, and the satisfaction of Christ's heart.
  14. It is interesting that Jesus himself said......

    John 10:7.. So Jesus said again, "I assure you, I am the gate for the sheep.
    John 10:8.. All those who came before me were thieves and robbers. The sheep did not listen to them.
    John 10:9.. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved. They will be able to come in and go out. They will find everything they need. (ERV)

    "Gates" are for going in and out of. Jesus himself is the "Gate" which the New Jerusalem has.
    Major likes this.
  15. The problem with this interpretation is as also the version of the Bible is that Jesus is speaking as a Shepherd and the ONE ..........DOOR not a gate . and the sheep go in and out and find PASTURE not everything that they need.
    Into the sheepfold of God there is but one door . Not 12 .
    For while the correlation of the 12 gates and the 12 Apostles may be surmised,even as the n 4 living creatures have been long associated with the four Gospels and thus "Mathew Mark Luke and John. Great care need to be taken not to jump to obvious conclusions . For it si far better to arrive at or come to a knowledge fo the truth than to jump to conclusions .
    If the 12 gates are symbolic of the 12 apostles ( by no means certain) what then of the four that are symbolic of the four livign beasts about the throne? (by no means certain)
    But as one door in and out of the sheepfold . Being Jesus what then is the pasture? If not our daily bread? rather than everything we need.
    There is also the thought of the tabernacle where we go in and out of also by the one door .
    and even as David when he saw the prosperity of the wicked acted "like a beast towards God" when he went into the presence of God "he saw their end" For in the presence of God things are seen in their true perspective .
    Thus with the comfort were with we receive from God in the presence of God we are then to go out and "comfort others with the comfort wherein we have been comforted."
    thus we find pasture first for ourselves and thus in turn for others.
    he leadeth us to green pastures and still waters. Even then as we are so led we are to lead others.
    You can therefor understand why I have grave doubts as the translation of doors to gates .
    For while city walls have indeed gates . "the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church" For example .
    The Lord in speaking of himself says door.

    in Christ
  16. We come in and out safely and securely, and the pasture represents our spiritual nourishment and rest that the Lord provides. That is what we need.

    Jesus, our good Shepherd, is the gate/door.
    Major likes this.
  17. Isn't it interesting how many beleivers never learn how to enter itno this rest He has for us?
    Ok maybe sad not interesting.
    Major and Euphemia say Amen and like this.
  18. #18 Complete, Oct 6, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
    'Him that overcometh
    will I make a pillar in the temple of My God,
    and he shall go no more out:
    and I will write upon him the name of My God,
    and the name of the city of My God,
    which is new jerusalem,
    which cometh down out of heaven from My God.'

    (Rev. 3:12)

    Hello, @Grant Melville,

    Thank you for giving your interpretation of Revelation 21:10-27, however, I must respectfully disagree with your conclusions, lovely as they are.

    I believe this to be a literal city. The number twelve predominates and speaks of governmental perfection, for God's government is supreme. All is harmony: and every number and measurement is absolute perfection. It has twelve foundations, as you say, and the numbers inscribed upon them are those of the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb, who followed the Lord Jesus Christ, during His earthly ministry. These are separated from the other apostles, which were given following the Ascension of Christ, to the Church of God (Eph. 4:11-15). All of this shows that redeemed Israel is in question here, and not the Church of God. The Church is part of the Bridegroom, and will then be 'with Christ'. This city is separate from Christ, and occupies a distinct and separate position as the Bride.

    The twelve Apostles are associated with the Twelve Tribes, and not with the Church of God. Paul's name is not here, nor are the other subsequent apostles of the Church. Abraham 'looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God' (Heb. 11:10). Here is that city; and here are the foundations. God is its maker and builder.

    Praise His Name!

    In Christ Jesus
    Marilyn C likes this.
  19. I hold to the truth that scripture is consistent with itself even as the Lord God is consistent with Himself. To that end then the Lord said he is a "door" not a gate . and as a shepherd LEADS his flock to find pasture .
    Thus I endeavor not to mix what He has not.
    Nor go beyond what he has not said .
    In matters of the church it is as the GATES of hell that shall not prevail against it.
    In matters of the sheep he is the DOOR and while I do not know all .This I do know that it is far better in the long run to keep to what the scriptures say in their consistency than to do otherwise .For if you do not it will lead to confusion sooner or later.

    in Christ
  20. Yes, I was thinking of Hebrews 11:10 too. I was also thinking of Hebrews 11:40: "God having foreseen some better thing for us, that they should not be made perfect without us." This would refer to the taking of the Church to be with Christ, and then her subsequent coming down from God. Abraham had some sense or intimation, by faith, of the taking up of the Church, before Israel would come into blessing.

    Well, I don't think we're going to come to agreement on this, though I appreciate the spirit which you display, even in contradiction. For myself, I'm satisfied that the understanding I've always had of these scriptures is correct, and I've found that the ministry of J.N. Darby, F.E. Raven, C.A. Coates, J.A. Savage, J. Taylor (Snr) and others (in addition to recent ministry among the brethren with whom I walk in fellowship) all confirms and consolidates my scattered impressions on the subject. I would tend to trust the ministry of these servants of the Lord.

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