Discourse 15 - Who is the "bride of the Lamb"?




Is the Rapture of the congregation contained in Rev 12,5? / Book - W. J. Ouweneel 00, page 327

Was the "marriage" already solemnized on the day of Pentecost? / Book - W. J. Ouweneel 01, page 452

Can Christ and the congregation become one flesh? / Reply Ferdinand Georg 00, 2003-02-25

Has Paul betrothed the congregation to Christ in 2Cor 11,2? / Reply Ferdinand Georg 01, 2003-02-26

Was Paul less enlightened on the subject of the "bride of Christ"? / Reply Ferdinand Georg 02, 2003-02-27

Jerusalem, the Bride of the Lamb. / Reply Franz Murauer 00, 2004-02-01

Is the Christian congregation the Bride of Christ? / AM 00, 2014-01&-19

Ode to the congregation. / Reply Andre Aubert 00, 2004-02-18


(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

(Is the Rapture of the congregation contained in Rev 12,5? / Book WJO00, page 327 +))

Some commentators incline to the view that the Rapture of the congregation is contained in the Rapture of the Messiah as described in Rev 12,5. In 1The 4,17 we find indeed the very same word, "caught up" or "translated"; and the Rapture of the congregation is indeed similar to that of the Lord Jesus. This is because we are connected with the Lord who sits enthroned. In Rev 4 the 24 elders are grouped around the throne. When it is said of the Lord that he will rule the nations with a rod of iron (Rev 12,5, 19,15), this is only a confirmation of what we are told in Rev 2,27 with reference to the faithful. The congregation is admittedly not directly visible here, but it is very closely connected with the "male" child. In the most extended sense this image embraces both the Son of Man and the congregation, seeing that we are completely one with him. He is the head and we are the body; head and body together make up "the Christ" (1Cor 12,12).

+) This extract is taken from the book "Das Buch der Offenbarung" ["The Book of Revelation"] by W. J. Ouweneel, CLV e. V. [Society for the Dissemination of Christian Literature].

(W. J. Ouweneel, Das Buch der Offenbarung [The Book of Revelation], CLV)



We must express our full and unreserved agreement with what is said here. The scriptural passages referred to also confirm the author's statement:

All the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.

1Cor 12,12 For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. 1Cor 12,12;

The Father gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body.

Eph 1,22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 1,23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Eph 1,22-23;


As the author very accurately puts it in the passage above, “He is the head and we are the body; head and body together make up the Christ”.

We learn from Paul that our destiny as a congregation is similar to that of the Lord Jesus, and that not just in connection with the Rapture:

Certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection.

Rom 6,5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, Rom 6, 5;

(See also Chapter 12:  “The resurrection.”)


The Lord will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory.

Phil 3,20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 3,21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. Phil 3,20-21;

(See also Excursus 07: “The resurrection body.”)


If then we can assume that we, the congregation, even in our lifetimes (though still more so after the Resurrection and the Rapture), are one body with Christ, he being the head and we the limbs, this must also entail that we will live with him and experience his presence. And Scripture confirms this as well when we are told (as was mentioned earlier) of “him who overcomes” in Rev 2,27, just as we are told of the Lord in Rev 12,5, that “he shall rule them with a rod of iron”. Paul tells us in 1Cor 6,2 that the saints will judge the world, like the Lord Jesus. And finally the Lord himself tells us in Rev 3,21:

He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne.

Rev 3,21 He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. Rev 3,21;


So we will actually get to sit with him on his throne. And this is indeed only possible if we are also one “body” with him. And the body and the head together make up “the Christ”, as the author puts it in the above passage.

In commenting on the “marriage of the Lamb” in Rev 19, however, the author of the book mentioned above comes to the following conclusion:


(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

(Was the “marriage” already solemnized on the day of Pentecost? / Book WJO01, page 452)

The gamos (the marriage feast) takes place in Rev 19, but this word does not tell us very much about the actual solemnization of the marriage. In actual fact the marriage was already formally solemnized when the congregation came into being on the day of Pentecost, and it is practically consummated with the Rapture of the congregation. From Rev 4 on, the congregation is the wife of the Lamb;

(W. J. Ouweneel, Das Buch der Offenbarung [The Book of Revelation], CLV)



To enable us to get a better overview, here is the complete text:

The marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.

Rev 19,6 Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. 19,7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” Rev 19, 6- 7;


No one will contest the assertion that in the marriage of the Lamb the term “Lamb” stands for the Lord Jesus. If we now - as the author does in the above passage - interpret the woman, that is, the bride and wife of the Lamb as the congregation, then in the light of the argument rehearsed earlier we are faced with an identification problem. Because if the congregation is the body, and so too an actual physical component of the Lord, it cannot be at the same time the bride of the Lamb, that is to say, his wife. We, as the congregation cannot be both bride and bridegroom at once. 

But this is not the only mistaken interpretation of this kind. We, as the congregation, are behaving more and more like a Moloch who refers all promises of salvation to himself exclusively. Many of the promises which were made to Israel, for instance, are referred to the congregation free of charge by uncritical commentators. It begins with the congregation being seen as the woman in heaven of Rev 12,1-17, but then it is identified with the twenty-four elders of Rev 4,10 as well (Ouweneel), with the 144,000 who have been sealed of Rev 7,1-8 (and that in spite of the fact that they are explicitly described as Israelites!), with the great multitude of Rev 7,9-17, and it reaches such a pitch that in denial of all logic the congregation is seen by some commentators both as the bride and as the bridegroom. So it is not surprising if among some brethren, in view of this omnipresence of the congregation, a certain elitist conceit becomes apparent. We should therefore take the counsel of the Lord all the more to heart, when he recommends to us (in Mt 18,1-5) precisely the opposite course.

Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Mt 18,1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 18,2 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, 18,3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 18,4 Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 18,5 And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me;” Mt 18, 1- 5;


An attempt to analyze the question of the identity of the “bride of the Lamb” in detail may be found in Chapter 06, “The return of the Lord”.

(See also Chapter 063: The return of the Lord - part 3: “The marriage of the Lamb.”)



(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

(Can Christ and the congregation become one flesh? / Repl FG00, 2003-02-25)

Your page is very profound and gave me much information about several subjects I have up to now interpreted in a more “orthodox” way. I am surprised though that the subject “bride of Christ - the congregation” is treated in rather reticent terms. For example Eph 5,25-27 is not mentioned in this connection although here the congregation is compared with a wife.

(Ferdinand Georg, ferdinand.g@gmx.net )


““

The subject “Bride of Christ - the congregation” is not just treated in rather reticent terms - as you put it. Actually it is altogether called in question.

Paul does indeed compare in the passage you quote (Eph 5,26-27) the congregation with a woman and bids us to love our wives as Christ loved the congregation. Four verses later Paul in Eph 5,31-32 becomes still more distinct. Here he says:

Eph 5,31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife. And the two shall become one flesh. 5,32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Eph 5,31-32;


And he refers to Gen 2,24 and Mt 19,5 which also speak about man and wife. But it is evident, that Christ and the congregation cannot become one flesh. What Paul says in this verse is something else: he says “But I am saying that it refers to Christ and the congregation”. So, this is an interpretation on Paul's part.

When we now look at Hosea 2,16-23 we find the real and true bride of the Lord. Here God the Almighty says to the people of Israel (in the Last Days):

I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion.

Hos 2,16 "It will come about in that day," declares the LORD, "That you will call Me Ishi (my husband)! And will no longer call Me Baali. 2,17 "For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, So that they will be mentioned by their names no more.

2,18 "In that day I will also make a covenant for them With the beasts of the field, The birds of the sky And the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword and war from the land, And will make them lie down in safety. 2,19 "I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion, 2,20 And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the LORD. Hos 2,16-20


This “day” of which the Lord is speaking in the above passage (Hos 2,16) is the day of the gathering and conversion of Israel before the Millennium of their Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ.

And following these statements, the Lord, our and their God, confirms to the people of Israel the entire blessings for the earth in those thousand years which he always had promised them through his servants, the prophets:

I will respond to the heavens, and they will respond to the earth and the earth will respond to the grain, to the new wine and to the oil, And they will respond to Jezreel.

Hos 2,21 "It will come about in that day that I will respond," declares the LORD. "I will respond to the heavens, and they will respond to the earth, 2,22 And the earth will respond to the grain, to the new wine and to the oil, And they will respond to Jezreel. 2,23 "I will sow her for Myself in the land. I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion, And I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they will say, ‘You are my God!’" Hos 2,21-23;


When thus the Lord Himself says that for eternity he will betroth himself to Israel (the sealed 144000), in my opinion there is no room for another “bride” -the congregation. What God is promising, he surely will fulfill. As our Lord Jesus already says:

Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

Mt 5,18 "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Mt 5,18;


Together with all other scriptural references cited at Immanuel.at (for instance Mt 22,1-14) one has to start from the fact that we as the congregation are the “wedding guests” but not the “bride”. Looking at the relevant texts we can see that the “bride” was never changed for another - even if she fornicated and abandoned her God. Only the wedding guests have changed. In the end the Lord will forgive Israel’s fornication, and she will call Him “Ishi - my husband and will no longer call Him Baali” (Hos 2,16). (See also Eze 16).

We should not envy Israel since the congregation still will have the privilege of being first with the Lord, while Israel has to wait thousand years more.

(See also Discourse 38: “What awaits Christians and Jews on the Second Coming of the Lord?”)

I know here that I am likely to meet with resistance, not to say reluctance, in many parish churches. It is certainly not decisive for the issue of salvation what view a person takes of these matters, even if in the last 200-300 years the congregation has assimilated more and more of those promises which originally were directed exclusively to the people of Israel - until we find it asserted that Israel is totally excluded from salvation and the congregation is to be seen as the “true Israel”. A thorough grounding in Scripture does not enable us to come to such a conclusion.



(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

(Has Paul betrothed the congregation to Christ in 2Cor 11,2? / Reply FG 01, 2003-02-26)

Your explanation of Eph 5,25-27 is convincing. Certainly this is not a definition of the congregation being the bride of Christ which in principle I do not defend either. I am only in the process of examining whether it is indeed as you say, because in the past I have been advised differently. So allow me one more question: How is 2Cor 11,2 to be seen in this connection (For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to Christ.)?

(Ferdinand Georg ferdinand.g@gmx.net)



Well, precisely this is the point which is generally mentioned in this connection and you are perfectly right to discuss it here. The exact wording of the passage is as follows (NAS95):

For I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.

2Cor 11,2 For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. 2Cor 11, 2;


Most of the comments in Scriptures and concordances refer here to parallel passages in Hos 2,19-20 (see above) and Rev 14,4 which for the sake of completeness should also be quoted here:

I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness.

Hos 2,19 "I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion, 2,20 And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the LORD. Hos 2,19-20

These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste.

Rev 14,1 Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. 14,2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. 14,3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. 14,4 These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. 14,5 And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless. Rev 14, 1- 5;


The indication contained in these parallel passages is indeed justified, since these texts (Hos 2,19-20 and Rev 14,4 as well as Eph 5,25-27 and 2Cor 11,2) are definitely those parts of the Scriptures which can give the most unequivocal indication as to the identity of the “Bride of the Lamb”.

Nevertheless, it is always overlooked that Hos 2 as well as Rev 14,1-5 and. Rev 7,1-8 speak about the Israelites, not about the Christian congregation. In Hosea, in the first case, it is Lo-Ammi - the people of Israel (see above) - and in Revelation the 144.000 sealed (12.000 from every one of the 12 tribes of Israel) are presented to us “as the first fruits to the God and the Lamb”.

One hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel.

Rev 7,1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree.

7,2 And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 7,3 saying, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads."

7,4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel: 7,5 From the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand, 7,6 from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, from the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand, 7,7 from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand, 7,8 from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand, from the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand were sealed. Rev 7, 1- 8;


And it is the latter who indeed seem to me to be the “Bride of the Lamb”. The attributes

-  they have not been defiled with woman

-  they are chaste

-  they are the first fruits to God and the Lamb

-  they have been purchased from among men

-  no lie was found in their mouth

-  they are blameless


can only be referred with extreme presumption to the congregation of all times. And that is leaving out of account the fact that these 144,000 Israelites will only live at the end of time, as Rev 7,3 confirms:

“Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads!“


This destruction of the sea and the trees which will set in after the sealing of the 144,000 Israelites consists in the plagues of the trumpets. But at the same time, during these plagues the 144.000 will stay on earth. From Rev 9,4 we know that exactly these sealed ones have to be saved from the plagues of the fifth trumpet.

They were told to hurt only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.

Rev 9,3 Then out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 9,4 They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.

9,5 And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man. 9,6 And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them. Rev 9, 3- 6;


It follows, then, that these 144,000 with the seal of God on their foreheads will live only in the Last Days - and not before.

Repeated endeavors have been made to present the congregation as the “true Israel” and to interpret the 144,000 as a “big symbolic figure” for the congregation of all time. Here it would be very helpful if advocates of this point of view, as well as all members of the congregation worldwide, were to ask themselves to what extent they comply with the above requirements (chaste virgin, chaste, not untrue, blameless etc.).

With reference to Paul’s statement in 2Cor 11:2, it is worth pointing out that it is very likely that he had no knowledge of the revelation of our Lord Jesus to John or of its contents.



(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

(Was Paul less enlightened on the subject “Bride of Christ”? / Reply FG 02, 2003-02-27)

Your interpretation of Christ’s bride as the 144,000 sealed is conclusive. Nonetheless I still have no better understanding of Paul’s statement in 2Cor 11,2. I felt irritated by your sentence: “With reference to Paul’s statement in 2Cor 11,2, it is worth pointing out that it is very likely that he had no knowledge of the revelation of our Lord Jesus to John.” This sounds as if Paul was less than enlightened in this respect, and thus mistakenly gave the Corinthians the illusion of their being betrothed to Christ.

(Ferdinand Georg ferdinand.g@gmx.net)



We cannot suppose that God Almighty himself had less enlightenment on the subject of the “Bride of Christ”, and so in Hos 2,19-20 had given the Israelites the fictitious illusion of their becoming betrothed to Him:

I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness.

Hos 2,19 "I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion, 2,20 And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the LORD. Hos 2,19-20


This relationship of our God with his people of Israel is a promise which cannot be annulled by human beings, nor by ignorance or well-intentioned explanations or even blind jealousy. Besides the above text from Hosea 2,16-23, we have more passages which confirm this fact:

And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So your God will rejoice over you.

Isa 62,1 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet, Until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, And her salvation like a torch that is burning. 62,2 The nations will see your righteousness, And all kings your glory; And you will be called by a new name Which the mouth of the LORD will designate. 62,3 You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, And a royal diadem in the hand of your God. 62,4 It will no longer be said to you, "Forsaken," Nor to your land will it any longer be said, "Desolate"; But you will be called, "My delight is in her," And your land, "Married"; For the LORD delights in you, And to Him your land will be married. 62,5 For as a young man marries a virgin, So your sons will marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So your God will rejoice over you. 62,6 On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; All day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves; 62,7 And give Him no rest until He establishes And makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth. Isa 62, 1- 7;

For your husband is your Maker, whose name is the LORD of hosts;.

Isa 54,4 "Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth, And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. 54,5 "For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth. 54.6 "For the LORD has called you, Like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, Even like a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected," Says your God. 54,7 "For a brief moment I forsook you, But with great compassion I will gather you. 54,8 "In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, But with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you," Says the LORD your Redeemer. Isa 54, 4- 8;

You will surely put on all of them as jewels and bind them on as a bride.

Isa 49,14 But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me, And the Lord has forgotten me." 49,15 "Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. 49,16 "Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me. 49,17 "Your builders hurry; Your destroyers and devastators Will depart from you. 49,18 "Lift up your eyes and look around; All of them gather together, they come to you. As I live," declares the LORD, "You will surely put on all of them as jewels and bind them on as a bride. " Isa 49,14-18;


(See also Jer 2:1-5; Eze 16; and Chapter 10: “The Millennium”).

But the fact that we as the congregation represent the wedding guests, and not the bride, can also be demonstrated on the basis of Scripture. In the parable of the wedding feast the Lord does not speak of the bride even once. He refers to the unworthiness of the Israelites to take part in the wedding as guests, and indicates that from now on it is the heathen who will be invited to the wedding.

And the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests.

Mt 22,8 "Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 22,9 ‘Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’ 22,10 "Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests. Mt 22, 8-10;


And even the apostles - the founding fathers of the congregation - are described by the Lord himself as wedding guests.

Your disciples do not fast. - The attendants of the bridegroom cannot.

Mt 9,14 Then the disciples of John came to Him, asking, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?" 9,15 And Jesus said to them, "The attendants of the bridegroom cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. Mt 9,14-15;


In view of the circumstance that the second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians can be dated to around 55 or 56 AD, and the Revelation of the Lord Jesus was written down some 40 years later, we actually cannot conclude today that Paul was “less enlightened on the subject of the Bride of Christ”, as you put it in your question quoted earlier. We can only point, in this connection, to those statements which the Bible passes on to us:

-  And here we must first note the fact that Paul himself regards his view on this matter as the interpretation of a mystery (cf. Eph 5:32). This means that it was in no sense a revelation.

-  And then we find too the promise of the Lord our God to Israel in Hos 2:19-20, “I will betroth you to me for ever”, as well as Isa 49:18 and Isa 62:4-5

-  And lastly we have the statements from Revelation that have already been quoted, where Our Lord Jesus Christ tells John of the 144,000 who have been purchased from the earth as the first fruits of the humanity for God and for the Lamb (Rev 14:3-5; 7:1-8; Jer 2:3).


So in the last resort every believing Christian must examine all the indications that are available to us in Scripture, and form a personal judgment as to which interpretation is correct.

We have to point out, however, that alongside the thoroughly modest and Scripture-oriented approach that is to be found in the present Discourse, we also encounter, all too frequently, an enthusiastic and idealistic view of the congregation as the Bride of Christ - as may be seen from the commentary “Ode to the congregation” at the end of this Discourse.


(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

(Jerusalem, the Bride of the Lamb / Reply FM 00, 2004-02-01)

Your interpretation of the 144,000 who were sealed as the Bride of the Lamb has something going for it, but all the same in the last resort it is disproved by what is stated in Revelation where it appears that the Bride of the Lamb is the Heavenly Jerusalem. If we look at Scripture with objective eyes, the irrefutable conclusion has to be drawn that the city of Jerusalem coming down from heaven, the Bride of the Lamb, must be the heavenly community of the saints, and so also the Christian congregation of all time (Rev 21,2.9-10.26-27).

Franz Murauer / f.murauer@gmx.net



Yes, you are right, these passages from Revelation have not yet been mentioned in this Discourse, and I am exceedingly grateful to you for pointing this out. So I would like to make up for the omission here. I too regard it as being of the highest importance that these scriptural passages should be analyzed with real objectivity, and will do my very best in this regard.

Let us first of all look at the passages referred to above, with the context in which they occur:

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.

Rev 21,1 Then 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. 21,2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. Rev 21, 1- 2;

I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb. and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.

Rev 21,9 Then 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 will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." 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. Rev 21, 9-10;

And they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.

Rev 21,24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 21,25 In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; 21,26 and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; 21,27 and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Rev 21,24-27;


In the first passage (Rev 21,2), John in his vision sees the holy city of Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. And the verse before tells us of the time of this event: the first heaven and the first earth have passed away, and John sees the new heaven and the new earth that God is going to create. And it is to this new earth that John sees the heavenly Jerusalem coming down. This is an important point, because we are able to recognize as a result that the time of these events is after the General Resurrection and the Universal Judgment, at the time of the entry of the just into eternity.

As we are told in Rev 21,8, at the Universal Judgment all the unjust will be condemned and will be cast into the lake of fire.

But for the cowardly and unbelieving their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

Rev 21,8 "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." Rev 21,8;


We find a similar indication in the passage quoted above (Rev 21,27), where we are told that “nothing unclean (…) shall ever come into it but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life”. The important point here, if we are to understand this passage correctly, is the statement that nothing unclean can come into the city - only those can come into it whose names are written in the book of life.

This implies that they just are not in the city already, seeing that in Rev 21,2 we see it come down from heaven, adorned as a bride for her husband: they will only enter this city when it comes down to the new earth. But this also establishes the fact that it is not the just, and with them the congregation - who after all will only enter the city at this later point - who represent the heavenly Jerusalem and so also the Bride of the Lamb. In the interests of objectivity, and so as to subject this point of view to further examination, let us now look at a few other passages from Revelation.

In Rev 21,24 we are told: “The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it”. So here again the nations and the kings of the earth are not in the new Jerusalem as yet: rather, they are just on the point of entering it, and are bringing their glory to it. Or take Rev 21,26: “and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it”. The glory and the honor of the nations are being brought to Jerusalem - so they cannot already be within her.

But let us continue our examination of Revelation. In Rev 19,6-9 we also have a very illuminating passage:

The marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Rev 19,6 Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. 19,7 "Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready." 19,8 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. 19,9 Then he said to me, "Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’" And he said to me, "These are true words of God." Rev 19, 6- 9;


This “great multitude” that is here seen rejoicing and praising God, because he has commenced his reign and because the marriage of the Lamb has come, may be seen - in parallel with Rev 7,9 - as the Christian congregation of all time. These people here mention that his bride has made herself ready. Now they can hardly be referring to themselves, surely - so we cannot take this as a reference to the congregation. On the contrary, the Bride of the Lamb is to be seen as distinct from the great multitude and from the congregation - and the latter rejoices that the bride has made herself ready.

This confirms, too, verse 9 of the present passage, where John is told: “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” Just as in the parable of the wedding feast (Mt 22,10), where the congregation may be recognized in the wedding guests, and as in Mt 9,15, where the Lord actually describes the apostles as wedding guests, here too - in this statement in Rev 19,9 - it becomes plain that we, the congregation, are the fortunate ones who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. So we are not the Bride! We are just the wedding guests. And as it is stated in Rev 19,8: “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.” So our righteous deeds serve to prepare a garment for the Bride. And what an honor for us!

This context can also accommodate Paul’s statement, when he makes a comparison between Abraham’s descendants: the maid Hagar, on the one hand, who stands for the Israel of the present time, and on the other hand Sarah, the free woman, who stands for the followers of Jesus:

But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.

Gal 4,24 This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. 4,25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 4,26 But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. Gal 4,24-26;


As Paul puts it here, then, we as the congregation do not stand for the Jerusalem above - rather, it is the Jerusalem above who is our mother and the bride of Our Lord. And finally the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews refers us back again to those chosen ones who in all probability are really to be seen as the bride of the Lamb:

You have come to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem and to the general assembly of the firstborn.

Hbr 12,22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, 12,23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect. Heb 12,22-23;


Here we are told that we have come to the city of the living God, to the heavenly Jerusalem and to the general assembly of the firstborn. And take note of the fact - we are not the firstborn, but we come, as Christian believers, into the heavenly Jerusalem in the New Creation, and so are permitted to enter the general assembly of the firstborn. And these firstborn, consequently, seem powerfully reminiscent of those “first fruits to God and to the Lamb” of which Rev 14,4 speaks, thereby indicating the 144,000 who were sealed from the twelve tribes of Israel.

These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb.

Rev 14,3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth.
14,4 These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. 14,5 And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless. Rev 14, 3- 5;;


These 144,000 who have been sealed, 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel, are the representatives of the people of Israel in the sight of God, and are therefore predestined to be the beneficiaries of the promise of the Almighty to Israel in Hos 2,19-20.

I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness.

Hos 2,19 "I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion, 2,20 And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the LORD. Hos 2,19-20;


It follows that we should rejoice and count ourselves blessed in view of the fact that we are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb, and can leave the honor of the Bride to those who have been chosen by God and the Lamb for this purpose.


(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

(Is the Christian congregation the Bride of Christ? / AM 00, 2014–01–19)

(…) Your thesis that the congregation is not the “Bride of Christ” is something I cannot go along with –  Paul speaks of this not just in Ephesians 5,32 but in 2 Corinthians 11,2 as well. Yes, Jesus would like to prepare a pure Bride for himself, without spot or wrinkle, holy and blameless (Eph 5,27). Likewise in the Book of Revelation we read of the “Bride of Christ”, and I think that here the congregation (consisting of saved Jews and Gentiles) is meant. See also Jesus’ parable of the “wicked vine-growers” in Matthew 21,33-44 (especially verse 43) and that of the wedding feast in Matthew 22,1-14.

Or take Peter’s statements in 1. Peter 2,9-10. I am not an advocate of “substitution theology”. Israel was chosen as the People of God, and “God cannot repent of his election”, so Israel has its place in the salvation plan of God (see Romans 9-11). In Romans 9,25-26 Paul quotes from Hosea 2,23 and 1,10 and writes: ”I will call those who were not my people, ‘My people’, and her who was not beloved, ‘Beloved’.” You quote this passage from Hosea, but only up to verse 22. Why not read on?

See also Paul’s statements in Romans 10, 19-21. I suppose that you will have your “answer” to all these biblical passages, but can the Holy Spirit testify to your views? The Holy Spirit came to testify to the truth (1John 5,7). Today we have so much confusion and erroneous doctrine because people rely on their understanding (Proverbs 3,5-6 warns of the danger of trusting our understanding) and so establish doctrines which will not stand up to the scrutiny of the Holy Spirit. (…)

To this end, I would like to recommend that you read the following book: "Sound Doctrine" by Joseph Hedgecock. He describes the false approach to teaching followed by many of today’s theologians, who as result end up formulating false doctrines. More details about this book may be found at
http://solm-gb.org/magGER/index.php/books-german/gesunde-lehre.html

AM


Thank you for your visit to Immanuel.at and for your comments. You write here:

Your thesis that the congregation is not the “Bride of Christ” is something I cannot go along with –  Paul speaks of this not just in Ephesians 5,32 but in 2 Corinthians 11,2 as well. Yes, Jesus would like to prepare a pure Bride for himself, without spot or wrinkle, holy and blameless (Eph 5,27).

When we look to see what expectations Paul has of the congregation in these two passages –

Eph 5,31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh 5,32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Eph 5,31-32;

2Cor 11,2 For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. 2Cor 11,2;


– and if we here, as correctly believing Christians, do not try to “symbolize” the statement out of existence, doesn’t it make you blush to think what kind of picture some congregations, as the supposed “Bride of Christ”, actually present today? – teachers of false doctrine, impenitent fornicators, adulterers, drunkards (1Cor 6:9-10; Mt 18:15-17), not to mention gays and lesbians, who in some quarters are actually appointed as leaders of the congregation (!) (Rom 1:26-27). And the most important thing is no longer to strengthen the brethren in the faith, but rather to make as many converts as possible and so collect large sums of money.

(See also Discourse 85; “Are adulterers, fornicators, homosexuals and swindlers really born again?”)


So if Paul’s requirement that the Bride of Christ must be a “pure virgin” is to be taken seriously – and it undoubtedly is – then the true Bride of Christ is rather to be sought in the 144,000 who have been sealed out of the twelve tribes of Israel in the Last Days:

These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste; they are blameless

Rev 14,1 Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. 14,2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. 14,3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. 14,4 These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. 14,5 And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless. Rev 14, 1- 5


So we must here pay attention to Paul’s qualifying remark in Eph 5,32, where he says, “But I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church”. We have to do here with an assumption on Paul’s part, not a revelation like that of the Rapture in 1Thess 4:15-17 and a fair number of others.

These 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel in the Last days are found in Rev 7,2-5, where they are sealed on their foreheads:

And I heard the number of those who were sealed, 144000 sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel.

Rev 7,2 And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 7,3 saying, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads." 7,4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel. Rev 7, 2- 4;


And as John writes in an earlier passage (Rev 14,1), this seal on the forehead is the name of the Father and of the Son. So they are the property of the Father and Son (the Trinity!). And as John then immediately goes on to write in Rev 14,4, they “have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb”. So there just is no better way of explaining this than to say that these 144,000 who have been chosen and sealed from all the twelve tribes of Israel are a very special group of people – in fact, that they are the Bride of the Lamb.


You then say:

Likewise in the Book of Revelation we read of the “Bride of Christ”.

Perfectly correct, as indeed we have demonstrated above in referring to the 144,000 who were sealed. But I guess you did not have these biblical passages in mind. Probably you are rather referring to Rev 21,9, where we find the “Bride of the Lamb” as a designation of the City of God, the New Jerusalem, and so implying that this city may be taken as symbolic of the Christian congregation.

But at that time the congregation is still very far from being in this city, which comes down from God’s heaven, as the nations will only enter it at a later stage (in Rev 21:24, 26-27), As Rev 14,4 tells us that the 144,000 are “blameless” and that they “follow the Lamb wherever he goes” – just as a real bride does – when we study the text closely, we can see that it is actually these people who are symbolized by the city in question.

As it is written in Rev 21,16: “And he measured the city with the rod, twelve thousand stadia; its length and width and height are equal” So just as there are 12,000 who have been sealed from each of the 12 tribes of Israel, so here we have 12,000 stadia (approximately 2220 km / The New Creation.). And in Rev 21,12 we have a description of the gates of the city: “It had... twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel.”

So the names too which are written on the twelve gates are the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, from which these 12,000 sealed persons of the Last Days have been chosen. Nowhere do we find here any mention of the “nations” or Gentiles, or of the “great multitude” (Rev 7,9). So why do some commentators feel obliged to see this as being the congregation? As does our commentator, when he writes:


and I think that here the congregation (consisting of saved Jews and Gentiles) is meant. See also Jesus’ parable of the “wicked vine-growers” in Matthew 21,33-44 (especially verse 43).


The question whether the congregation is the “Bride of Christ” has already been discussed in detail earlier in this discourse, and the suggestion refuted. In Rev 7,3-10 we actually find a strict separation between these two groups: the 144,000 who have been sealed from the twelve tribes of Israel in the Last Days on the one hand (Rev 7:3-8), and the congregation (consisting of saved Jews and Gentiles) in Rev 7,9-10 on the other:

A great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues

Rev 7,9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; 10 and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." Rev 7, 9-10;


And this same “great multitude” is again mentioned by John in connection with the marriage of the Lamb in Rev 19,6:

Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude.

Rev 19,6 Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. 19,7 "Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready." 19,8 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. 19,9 Then he *said to me, "Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’" And he *said to me, "These are true words of God." Rev 19, 6– 9;


This “great multitude” which here rejoices and praises God because he has entered on his dominion and the marriage of the Lamb has come may – in parallel to Rev 7,9 earlier – be seen as the congregation of all time. And here the multitude speaks of the fact that the wife of the Lamb (the Bride) has made herself ready.

Now it cannot be the case that the congregation – the “great multitude” – is here referring to itself, or rejoicing over itself. On the contrary, the Bride of the Lamb must be seen as separate from this great multitude of people, who are rejoicing because the Bride has made herself ready. As John writes, we should count ourselves blessed because we have been invited as wedding guests to the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Your quotation from Mt 21,43 then confirms that the kingdom has been taken from Israel and has been given to a people bearing fruit. For this reason too, today’s Israel has actually been God-less for two thousand years and will remain so until the Millennium.

But in the Millennium Israel too will convert and accept its Messiah, as the Lord says to the Jews in Mt 23,38-39: “Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” Until then, however, every Jew can decide personally for Jesus Christ and so be saved.

Unfortunately the Jews themselves have not the least notion of this, seeing that in their obduracy they have been abusing Jesus Christ as an impostor and blasphemer for almost two thousand years, and strictly refuse to read the New Testament. The few Jews true to the Mosaic religion continue to believe that they can stand as justified before God with the help of their paraphernalia of ceremonies. Meanwhile the overwhelming majority of the remaining Israelis are today no less godless than other nations are. They do not know that our Lord Jesus Christ prophesied to their forefathers:

For unless you believe that I am He (the Messiah), you will die in your sins..

Jn 8,23 And He was saying to them, "You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. 8,24 "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He (the Messiah), you will die in your sins." Jn 8,23-24;


The fearful seriousness of this statement of the Lord’s has hardly been sufficiently registered by Christians either in the last two thousand years. At that time (70 AD), the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus meant that the Jews lost not only the Temple but the altar of burnt offerings. This altar – and only this altar! (Deut 12:13-14) – was the place where the priests of Israel were obliged to offer the “continuous sacrifice”, a sacrificial lamb (tamid) every morning and every evening for the forgiveness of the sins of the whole people (Ex 29:38-42). As a result of this sacrifice for sin, the whole people became sinless again in the sight of God, and after their death they didn’t have to go to hell.

But as the punishment for the crucifixion of his Son, God then had Titus’ troops raze the whole of Jerusalem, with the Temple and the sacrificial altar, to the ground. So since then the Jews have had no possibility any longer of obtaining forgiveness of their sins in accordance with the Mosaic rite. And the consequence of this is that for two thousand years all non-Christian Jews have been dying in their sins and thus without forgiveness, and so have been going to eternal damnation.

But God in his grace has nonetheless left them – as for all other human beings as well – a possibility of becoming justified again through grace and so free from sin. Since then the death of the Son of God on the cross can be seen as a sacrificial offering (tamid - the Lamb of God), made once and for all for the sins of all human beings who accept this vicarious sacrifice in faith, as atonement for their own sins as well. And so every individual Jew can be saved through faith in Christ, in a quite personal way.

Now in Christian congregations we often hear preachers talking sympathetically about the sufferings of the Jewish people in past centuries. Such people pay homage to Judaism as the root of the Christian faith, they very properly lament the 6 million Jews murdered in the concentration camps of the Nazis and think that such unctuous words and gestures are sufficient to make restitution for these crimes.

But what they completely fail to consider in this connection is the fact that over the last two thousand years, hundreds of millions (!) of Jews have gone to damnation, just because the major Christian churches have been so preoccupied with themselves, with their Reformation and Counter-Reformation, that they had no time left to bring these biblical facts, in all their literalness, forcibly to the attention of this obdurate people, who have been described as an “obstinate people” by their God and ours (Ex 32:9).

And in our own times as well, a lot of effort is put into evangelizing Islamic countries (their murdering missionaries doesn’t seem an obstacle) without for a moment considering the fact that missionary work might be carried on in Israel, which would be a different and more genuine kind of restitution, as in this case it would involve the saving of human lives.

(See also Discourse 111: “The pseudo-Christian betrayal of the Israelites.”)


In fact we find the reverse. After the state of Israel (like some Islamic states) decreed a ban on Christian missionary work[1] (what does that make of freedom of worship, in a supposedly democratic nation?), many Christian organizations kowtowed and signed an agreement with the Jewish Agency (the Jewish immigration authority) to the effect that they would not missionize in Israel.

(See also Discourse 1013: “Report from the camp of the "Israel movement".”)


This is the problem with the way Christians see Israel today: the one party deny the biblically confirmed God-less status of Israel, elevating Israel to the skies as a “divine state”, while the other bunch won’t have anything to do with Israel whatsoever, claiming that the congregation is the “new Israel” now. But the commission of the Lord in Mt 28,19 – “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” – applies to the people of Israel as well, indeed applies to them in a pre-eminent degree!

And even the “Messianic Jews”, who claim to believe in Jesus Christ as their Messiah, have failed to recognize the bitter consequences of the Lord’s statement in Jn 8,24 referred to above, indulging in statements about the Israel of today such as that “they do not have to leave their heritage and their Jewish faith” (God's covenants, by J. Damkani, Abraham/04).

Thus they leave their Jewish brethren completely in the dark about the facts – that their forefathers broke their covenant with God two thousand years ago by crucifying the Son of God, that God abandoned the Temple in which he dwelt with Israel (Ps 18:6-8), dissolved the Old Covenant with Israel (Mt 27:50-52) and has established the New Covenant with all human beings in the blood of his Son (Lk 22:20) for the forgiveness of sins.

(See also Discourse 103: “God’s covenant with all human beings”)


And so to come back to the 144,000 sealed persons with whom we are concerned here – these 144,000 from all twelve tribes of Israel are the descendants of Jews, certainly, but at the same time they must be seen as radically distinct from the People of Israel. They will only be born some time before the Great Tribulation, and will then be sealed after the Second Coming and the Rapture (Rev 7,3-8).


The next biblical references of our commentator, likewise, are not to be referred to the Bride but rather to the wedding guests:

and that of the wedding feast in Matthew 22,1-14. Or take Peter’s statements in 1. Peter 2,9-10.

This parable of the Lord’s about the “wedding feast” is exclusively concerned with the wedding guests. These have in actual fact changed. Seeing that the Jews were unwilling to accept the Son of God, the nations received God’s invitation. But the whole parable has nothing to say about the Bride, because the Bride’s identity is already established. 

It is a similar situation in the parable of the ten virgins in Mt 25:1-13: these ten virgins also point to the congregation, not the Bride! The Bride herself is not mentioned in this parable either, because her identity is already established – as the 144,000 from all the twelve tribes of Israel.

With the quotation from 1Pet 2,9-10, we then come to that prophecy referring to the Christian congregation which regrettably is always giving rise (see Rom 9,25.26 below) to confusions between the congregation and Israel.

For you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God;

1Pet 2,9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for Gods own posession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 2,10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1Pet 2, 9-10;


Here Peter quotes Moses (Deut 32:21), who prophesied that God would make Israel jealous with those who are “not a people” (the Christians from the nations of - our - future times). But as we will see shortly, this very statement by Moses about the people who are “not a people” is repeatedly and incorrectly confused with the prophecy of the prophet Hosea referring to the apostasized Israel as “not my people” (see below, Hos 2,23). The one group are Christians, the other Israelites.

In this way other statements in the Bible as well that refer to Israel (e.g. Hos 1,10, 2,23) are wrongly interpreted as a reference to the congregation, and this then results in a completely wrong view of the congregation’s expectations of salvation, as well as those of Israel. This is taken to an extreme in “substitution theology”, which asserts the thesis that Israel has irrecoverably fallen away from the grace of God, so that now the congregation is the “new Israel” and all prophecies relating to Israel are now also to be taken as referring to the congregation. – Just the promises of salvation, it goes without saying. The judgments and punishments of these prophecies can well be left to Israel.


I am not an advocate of “substitution theology”. Israel was chosen as the People of God, and “God cannot repent of his election”, so Israel has its place in the salvation plan of God (see Romans 9-11). In Romans 9,25-26 Paul quotes from Hosea 2,23 and 1,10 and writes: ”I will call those who were not my people, ‘My people’, and her who was not beloved, ‘Beloved’.” You quote this passage from Hosea, but only up to verse 22. Why not read on? See also Paul’s statements in Romans 10,19-21.

Now of course I assume that you have also read the context following my biblical quotation. By contrast with your interpretation, where you evidently equate the “not my people” of Hos 2,23 with the “not a people” of Deut 32,21, and understand both as referring to us Christians from the nations, only the quotation from Deuteronomy has a Christian connotation, whereas the formulation “not my people” in Hosea refers to the apostasized Israelites, as we will now proceed to demonstrate.

The “not-my-people” (Lo-ammi)

At the beginning of Hosea’s prophecy, in Hos 1:6, God commands to the prophet to give his newborn daughter the name Lo-ruhamah (“no-compassion”), because Israel has been rebellious and God will completely take away his compassion from them. And Hosea then has to give his next child, a son, on God’s instructions, the name Lo-ammi (“not-my-people”) (Hos 1:8-9), because the apostasized Israel is no longer the people of God and God no longer wants to be the God of Israel.

And here we can recognize that this entire prophecy from the book of Hosea is capable of being applied to our own day – starting, that is, from two thousand years ago, when Israel apostasized from its God, when it rejected the Son of God and handed him over to be crucified. They thus broke the covenant with God and have been abandoned by their God (Mt 17:51). So since then Israel has been God-less (Mt 23:38-39) and still is.

Israel in the light of the Bible.


Based on the Old Testament

God has completely taken away his compassion from the house of Israel (Hos 1:6). They are no longer his people (Hos 1:9). Only the house of Judah will be saved by the Lord. Not by war, however, but by his Spirit (Hos 1:7). And only in the Millennium, when the Son of God has entered on his thousand years rule on earth (Hos 2:1,20; Eze 34:25; Isa 2:4), will the Lord once more accept Israel as his people (Hos 2:25; Jer 31:27-28).

Based on the New Testament

It is God's will that we should listen to his Son (Mt 17:5). This same Son of God has told us that anyone who rejects him rejects God as well (1Jn 2:23; Lk 10:16; Jn 5:22-23. 15:23). The people of Israel today deny the Son of God and abuse him as an impostor and blasphemer. As a result of this denial of the Son, Israel has also rejected the Father and so is a God-less people. (Jn 8:24)


The "Friends of Israel" in the Christian congregations are thus selling their birthright as Disciples of Christ for the lentil stew of a vicarious agent of godless impostors. - For Israel there is no spiritual conversion to their God, and no return to their homeland willed by God, unless they convert to Jesus Christ!! (Mt 23:38-39; Gal 5:4) - (See also Discourse 111)


So that’s how it is today: no Temple, no altar, no forgiveness of the sins. But it isn’t always going to be like that. In the Millennium Israel will convert once more and their God will take them back as his people. This too is prophesied by Hosea:

Afterward the sons of Israel will return and they will come trembling to the LORD in the last days.

Hos 3,4 For the sons of Israel will remain for many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar and without ephod or household idols.3,5 Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the LORD and to His goodness in the last days. Hos 3, 4- 5;


(See also Chapter 10: “The Millennium.


And in Hos 1,10 Hosea then actually speaks of this time of the conversion of Israel, of the Millennium, the Thousand Years Kingdom of Peace of the Son of God on earth, when he prophesies:

Say to your brothers, "Ammi" (My people) and to your sisters, "Ruhamah" (compassion).

Hos 1,10 Yet the number of the sons of Israel Will be like the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered; And in the place Where it is said to them, "You are not My people," It will be said to them, "You are the sons of the living God." 1,11 And the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel will be gathered together, And they will appoint for themselves one leader, And they will go up from the land, For great will be the day of Jezreel. 2,1 Say to your brothers, "Ammi," (My people) and to your sisters, "Ruhamah" (compassion). Hos 1,10-2,1;


In the place (Jerusalem, that is) where it has been said to them, “You are not my people” (Lo-ammi, Hos 1:8-9), now it will be said to them, “You are the sons of the living God”. God will have compassion on them again and will bless them and the entire country, as Hosea goes on to prophesy in Hos 2,21-23.

I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion (Lo-ruhamah), and I will say to those who were not My people (Lo-ammi), ‘You are My people!’ 

Hos 2,21 "It will come about in that day that I will respond," declares the LORD. "I will respond to the heavens, and they will respond to the earth, 2,22 And the earth will respond to the grain, to the new wine and to the oil, And they will respond to Jezreel. 2,23 "I will sow her for Myself in the land. I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion (Lo-ruhamah), And I will say to those who were not My people (Lo-ammi), ‘You are My people!’ And they will say, ‘You are my God!’" Hos 2,21–23;


And here we can now recognize how it really all hangs together. In the verse Hos 1,10, Hosea says of Israel: "In the place where it has been said to them, ‘You are not my people’, now it will be said to them, ‘You are the sons of the living God’.” And in Hos 2,23 it is stated of Israel: “And I will say to those who were not My people (Lo-ammi), ‘You are My people!’”

So both passages cited by our commentator in connection with Rom 9:25-26 – Hos 1,10 as well as Hos 2,23 – have to do exclusively with the relationship between Israel and its God, and have nothing whatever to say about Christianity – even if Rom 9,25-26 does seem to suggest it!!

So we can see that although God has rejected Israel for a long time, if they convert to his Son in the Millennium (the New Covenant – Lk 22:19-20!) and receive him with the words, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Mt 23:38-39), then God will have compassion on them again.

The “non-people”.

Just like Peter in the passage (1Pet 2,10) quoted earlier, so too Paul refers in the passage below (Rom 10,19-21) to the prophecy about the people who are “not a people” with whom God plans to make the apostasized Israel jealous, because they too have made him jealous with a god who is “not a God”.

I will make you jealous by that which is not a nation, by a nation without understanding will I anger you.

Rom 10,19 But I say, surely Israel did not know, did they? First Moses says, "I will make you jealous by that which is not a nation, by a nation without understanding will I anger you."10,20 And Isaiah is very bold and says, "I was found by those who did not seek Me, I became manifest to those who did not ask for Me." 10,21 But as for Israel He says, "all the day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and obstinate people." Rom 10,19-21;


And this prophecy now does indeed refer to us Christians. Moses prophesies that God will make the Israelites jealous with a “non-people”, namely those people of all nations who will convert to the God of Israel and his Son. And as we can clearly see, there must be no confusion between the “non-people” in Moses’ prophecy and in the letter to the Romans referred to above, as well as in the first letter of Peter referred to earlier (1Pet 2,10), and the “Lo-ammi” (“not-my-people”) in the above passage from Hosea (Hos 2,23). The latter refers to Israel. In the citation of Deuteronomy in the first letter of Peter and that in Paul’s letter to the Romans, on the other hand, it is the Christians of all nations who are meant.

And this is then further confirmed by Paul in the letter to the Romans, if we do not stop reading at Rom 10,21 but continue reading as far as Rom 11,1. Here Paul says: “I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.” – So that constitutes a clear confirmation of the view that Israel will convert in the Millennium and will again become the people of God.

(See also Chapter 09: “The return home of the redeemed.”)


I suppose that you will have your “answer” to all these biblical passages...



But that is an incorrect view of the matter! It is not I who have an answer, it is the Bible that has an answer to all these questions. Only many commentators are too complacent to study scripture. They have a superficial impression, and then interpret away energetically without looking carefully to see whether the Holy Spirit in scripture actually confirms their opinion.


... but can the Holy Spirit testify to your views?

The Holy Spirit no longer speaks through human beings today, but still continues to speak through the Bible. And any teaching which can be confirmed, on the basis of a close and detailed study of the Bible, is correct doctrine. And what can be refuted through the Bible is false doctrine.

When we look at Paul’s requirements for the “Bride” in 2Cor 11,2 (“so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin”), and contrast this with the actual sacrilegious state of many congregations today and also the description of the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel in Rev 14,4-5:

These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste; they are blameless.

Rev 14,4 These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. 14,5 And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless. Rev 14,4-5;


So we may have legitimate doubts about the congregation’s being the “Bride”, which are then fully confirmed when we read God’s assurance through the Holy Spirit in Hosea 2,19-20. Here he promises to Israel that he will betroth himself to her in eternity and in faithfulness:

I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness.

Hos 2,19 "I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion, 2,20 And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the LORD. Hos 2,19-20;


This adds up to a patent refutation of the doctrine of the congregation as the “Bride of Christ”, which is therefore a false doctrine.


The Holy Spirit came to testify to the truth (1Jn 5,7). Today we have so much confusion and erroneous doctrine because people rely on their understanding (Proverbs 3,5-6 warns of the danger of trusting our understanding) and so establish doctrines which will not stand up to the scrutiny of the Holy Spirit.

You have said it! There is any amount of confusion and erroneous teachings. And the reason for this is that many people do not think to question the “accepted” interpretations, but keep on copying them and disseminating them in their writings, without checking them in the light of the Bible (and with the help of the Holy Spirit, as you say). Or else with a view to putting themselves in the most favorable light in the eyes of the brethren and ascribing all possible benefits to the congregation, up to and including the promises to Israel in the Millennium, but without seeing the promised judgments on Israel as having any implications for the congregation at all.

(See also Discourse 106: “The false teachings in the Christian congregations.”)


As to the matter of “understanding based” biblical exegesis, these “confusions and erroneous doctrines”  do not arise because people make use of their understanding, but quite the reverse – because they are increasingly reluctant to use their understanding, and so put their faith in wrong-headed teachers without examination. That is our problem today. In addition, the view that the understanding could be deleterious to biblical interpretation does also offer the benefit that when you have a “fitting” argument you can save yourself a whole lot of laborious study as well as time and effort.

But in your thinking be mature.

1Cor 14,20 Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature. 1Cor 14,20;


The less people know, the less they want to know.

TOPIC readers are familiar with the problem: sensational articles, conveying plenty of background information on burning issues, meet with indifference or rejection when we try to share them. You might suppose that when people know very little about important subjects, they would be inclined to absorb information which gives them a convincing account of the subject as a sponge soaks up water. But the opposite is in fact the case, as recent studies have shown. Two psychologists at the University of Waterloo (Canada) and Duke University (USA) conducted a research project involving 500 persons, and came to the conclusion: “The less people know about complex topics, the more strenuously they avoid informing themselves. And the more urgent the issues, the less people are inclined to be bothered” – as the journal Psychologie Heute [Psychology Today] summarizes the findings of the investigation in its March edition. (Extract from the TOPIC information service, March 2012 / Ulrich Skambraks, D 57206 Kreuztal/Siegen)




You then write:

To this end, I would like to recommend that you read the following book: “Sound Doctrine” by Joseph Hedgecock. He describes the false approach to teaching followed by many of today’s theologians, who as result end up formulating false doctrines. More details about this book may be found at
http://solm-gb.org/magGER/index.php/books-german/gesunde-lehre.html


Thanks for the suggestion. I too might recommend a book for your reading, one that contains “sound doctrine” and which enables you to recognize false doctrines – the Bible.

The following “Ode to the Congregation” has evidently been written by a fellow traveler of our commentator here, and provides documentary evidence both of the indifference to the Bible and of the absolute lack of any sense of reality to be found in this kind of enthusiastic over-idealization of the Christian congregation.



Postscript Just as I have published your above comments with your agreement, though as you requested, without giving your full name, only the initials, so of course I am happy to comply now with your wish that our further correspondence be treated as private and not be published.

But seeing that I owe it to my readers to protect them from false teachings, I must in conclusion just make the following points clear:

•  You deny the statements and promises of our God, the Almighty, to ISRAEL in Hos 2:19-20 and claim that these Israelites are to be understood as being the Christians of the congregation.

•  You deny the statements of the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, in Jn 3:5-6 and Mt 19:28 and claim that a Christian can become reborn during his lifetime (when he is "born of the flesh", Jn 3:6), and so be "born of the Spirit" (Jn 3:8).

•  And finally you deny the statements of both – both of the Father and of the Son – in "the Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave him" (Rev 1:1), in claiming that the 144,000 Israelites sealed in Rev 7:4-8 coming from each of the twelve tribes of Israel (!), are "believing, radical, obedient Christians"


Seeing that you accuse me of having quoted here your statement incorrectly, I insert the original text of your e-mail below:

“Based on the (biblical) description, the 144,000 in Revelation 14 are uncompromising, blameless ‘Christians / victors’ who follow Jesus everywhere he goes and bring forth fruit a hundredfold. This group is the Bride of Christ, whom Jesus will marry on his Second Coming. These are believing, radical, obedient Christians, who produce fruit one hundredfold.”


Your justification – that you were quoting Rev 14, whereas I was referring to Rev 7,4-8 – would only make any kind of sense if one were to adopt the view that the 144,000 in Rev 7,4-8 and the 144,000 in Rev 14 are two completely different groups of people. And that – I venture to hope – cannot really be your intention.

(See also Discourse 06: “The 144,000 who were sealed: Israelites, or the congregation of the Last Days?”)


You should read fewer interpretations by so-called "commentators", who perform veritable verbal gymnastics in order to draw a veil over all these biblical statements and so cloud the understanding of people who do not want to take the trouble of reading the Bible themselves – instead, you should read the Bible more, with "heart and understanding" (as it is so nicely put).




(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

(Ode to the congregation / Reply AA 00, 2004-02-18)

the major leitmotif of my life at present is the congregation in accordance with god’s plan, and since i began to focus on jesus and since he became my hope and my salvation i have felt myself drawn to this congregation, which has been my goal since the beginning of my life, i think the congregation is actually the total content of life - it is the center of god’s actions, the terminus ad quem of all his longing to have any active involvement with us at all, the accomplishment of his will and the glorification of his son.

the congregation is the living body, the illustrated form of his action, the form of expression of his essence, the living reflection of his glory. she is more than it appears to us at the present moment.

she is a bride without spots or wrinkles, without any defects, blemishes or irrational quirks, she is the devoted bride for his devoted son, the inseparably joined unity of the body, she is holy as he himself is.

she is without fanaticism, without haste, without any kind of misrepresentation, without distortion, resting in him and just being, working through him, and confiding in him - the innermost glorification of love and fidelity.

she is invisible, as he also is invisible, this calls for belief on the evidence of his word, for she exists in his word and from his grace that he has given us. she is the place in which we live, if we have our life in and from him. in her we see him, she is his living counterpart, for her she died and rose from the dead. only in her eyes is he seen as that which he truly is. to the world he remains foolishness and useless - too little worth to make anyone commit to this path.

it was to her that all promises were meant to refer, in her he moves as the lord, she is his covering and his garment, and he her mighty stronghold and the firm object of her faith. we are only able to enter her through him, and she can only point in his direction. our devotion to him joins us to her, and our service to her links us with him.

their joint effect is one and it is directed to gaining this world, that is the object envisaged by their marriage and that is their endeavor in this world, for that it is to which the will of god tends, and she follows him with faithful devotion, as she lives from his will and does it. she is perfected in him.

it is the most glorious love story of all time, only it does not get lived out in practical terms, as there is a lack of devotion and trust. but the picture has been sketched out, and cannot any longer be changed. all his activity draws us into this relationship and all his promises reflect it. the mystery lies only in the entrance, for we can enter only through him, as he is the door and there is no other door by which anyone can enter this congregation - he has purchased her and paid the price and so he makes the decisions. anyone who has accepted his redeeming sacrifice enters here, but those who build on human sureties go off into a different space - they reach a kingdom, but his kingdom it is not.

the marriage bond with him is the bond of divorce from the entire world, that is the needle’s eye. perhaps your don’t understand what i am getting at, but for me this represents a preview of what is to come. just as a person may be looking out for a possible bride, may perhaps have an image in his heart of the way his bride looks and he finds his bride in the light of this image and shapes her to conform with it, and this is his vision of what his marriage will be, so god too has a picture of the bride whom he has chosen for his son and has made this picture a part of his son’s consciousness and through his consciousness part of ours - but the father will elect them wholly in accordance with this ancient and glorious pattern which we have lost, but which remains in god, because he is our lord and our patron.

a good patron is worth more than a good dose of stubbornness. the vision, the prophecy and the promise come alive for me when i can recognize their image in the congregation. the light at the end of the path that shines ahead of us must be discernible before my feet, otherwise it will not be able to lead me.

many people wander aimlessly without any light, and of course they don’t need a vision either, since after all they are not striving towards any kind of goal. but if we have recognized the light at the end of the path and are following this light, then of course there will be a tumult, because someone clearly thinks he has recognized a definite goal and he has to go through the process of trials and now it becomes increasingly apparent that others have also set off in pursuit of this goal and there are many paths through the tangled wood leading to the same goal, until more and more they come together and recognize that they are on the same path and the goal they are going towards is the same. and he, the lord, working from the goal draws all the threads together, fishes and hauls in his catch, and he draws his spotless bride out of the mire, just as a mother gives birth to a child in blood and mucus - as a child, not an assemblage of cells, but as a living being, as a person as a new human entity. so the child has been begotten and so it is born, bearing this promise of life.

he who shows himself will be recognized and gathered. the seed of the crystal begets the crystal. what shows itself awakens the joy of the assembly and of life.

i hope that you understand my words as they are in me, i am still learning how to express my meaning. the object of my longing is the assembly of those who have been made holy in christ and for this i can do no other than to show my inmost being in the hope that the lord will understand me and fulfill my longing if i show myself, because that is how it is promised in life and in his word. may he direct my path and show me how to relate to his word in a fitting manner and to remain wise in his love and to make myself understood, so that he may be recognized in my words which desire to serve him.

in much joy at having been gathered together in him and through him, i send you my best greetings and am delighted at the identity of this path which extends over centuries, so that every individual who trusts in god may be transformed into the identity of his son and in him find his or her final fulfillment.

Andre Aubert / andreaubertjc@hotmail.com



We may judge that this hymn to the congregation has great merit from the literary point of view, and we can also agree with many of the author’s opinions. All the same it appears that in this transport of feeling reality has been left somewhere behind. For various reasons - not the least of them being consideration for the author - it would not be appropriate here to go into the various statements he makes in detail. But if we are to attempt an evaluation of the overall impression he leaves with us, it has to be said that he reminds us, with fatal effect, of the praise of the “Queen of Heaven” and “Mother of God” that is rife in the Catholic church.

And in view of the effect this is likely to have on other brothers and sisters, however considerate we may wish to be, this is such an important matter that it just has to be addressed. It appears that many believers in the patriarchal Catholic system have the psychological need for a “supermother”, and in the Protestant and Evangelical churches this manifests itself as the longing for a “superbride” - in the form of the congregation. In endeavoring to satisfy this need, we find in some quarters that isolated biblical statements are used as the basis for the construction of a glorious fantasy creation, which is praised and reverenced and even - like the Catholic Mary - worshiped.

Now while it is safe to assume that in Evangelical circles we are unlikely to find in this “bride” an idol of the same order as "Mary" in the Catholic church, there is nonetheless a risk that such unbiblical and extravagant flights may raise expectations in the congregation which quite simply cannot be fulfilled. In the congregation of Jesus Christ we are all just human beings. In my experience there is no congregation - whether Evangelical or of any denomination whatsoever - where differences, confrontations and even feuds do not occur. And when Mr Aubert now waxes lyrical about the congregation:

“it is a bride without spots or wrinkles, without any defects, blemishes or irrational quirks, it is the devoted bride for his devoted son, it is the inseparably joined unity of the body, it is holy as he himself is...

it is without fanaticism, without haste, without any kind of misrepresentation, without distortion, resting in him and just being, working through him, and confiding in him - the innermost glorification of love and fidelity” -


he is speaking of an idealized figure that he has placed on a pedestal, and we can recognize very clearly the danger that this kind of “reverence” - not to say “worship” - entails. It is plain here too that we would, after all, only be reverencing or worshiping ourselves. That cannot be God’s will for us. This is an image of the congregation that does not agree with the real and actual congregation here on earth. And yet it is in this earthly and human congregation that we have to live and act.

Now although there is certainly much that is correct and important in what Mr Aubert says, we must point out, in the interests of realism, that the congregation of Jesus Christ on earth is not an idol, not a superterrestrial spiritual body: rather, it is a worldwide and earthly corporation, in which we are confronted with altogether down-to-earth problems, for which we must find - with the help of the Lord - down-to-earth solutions. And it is in the last resort those brothers and sisters in the various Christian congregations who are commissioned by the Lord to take on this arduous work - whether in a management role, in teaching, preaching, administration or for that matter in fervent intercession for their fellow Christians - who really deserve our thanks and appreciation. It is they whom we should praise and glorify in our prayers to the Lord, and pray that he may grant them strength and endurance.

In conclusion let us once again point out that in this very Discourse a demonstration based on Scripture has been supplied that it is not the congregation but Israel who in the Last Days will be the “bride”.

I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion.

Hos 2,16 "It will come about in that day," declares the LORD, "That you will call Me «Ishi», my husband And will no longer call Me Baali. 2,17 "For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, So that they will be mentioned by their names no more.

2,18 "In that day I will also make a covenant for them With the beasts of the field, The birds of the sky And the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword and war from the land, And will make them lie down in safety. 2,19 "I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion, 2,20 And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the LORD. Hos 2,16-20;


This promise made by God, this calling, which makes Israel (the sealed 144000 of the end-time) the bride to whom he wishes to be betrothed forever and in righteousness, cannot be dismissed on the basis of any human arguments, nor will God himself ever retract it. God cannot repent of his calling. We are told this by Paul himself - the same Paul who interprets the congregation as a bride in 2Cor 11,2 - in his Epistle to the Romans:

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Rom 11,28 From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; 11,29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Rom 11,28-29;


Not the people of God from among the nations, but that which comes from Israel (the sealed 144000 of the end-time) is the bride to whom the Lord here says that he wishes to be betrothed to her forever, in righteousness and in justice, in lovingkindness and compassion and faithfulness. She will call him “my husband” and she will “know” him spiritually in the consummation of their marriage.

This promise of God remains true for all eternity. Anyone who casts doubt upon this is calling God himself in question - with all the consequences that must necessarily follow from that.





Footnotes:

[1]

“You cannot imagine how difficult it can be to find the truth, when you live in Germany. Why is this? ‒ Because here in our beautiful country we have an Israel movement, which is fully committed with all that it has and is to teaching and believing that Israel, as it is today, is and has always been a state founded by GOD. I was long taken in by this fraud myself. (…) We believed what they told us, that Israel was founded out of the ashes of the holocaust. We believe that this is undoubtedly the case, but all the same the establishment of the state of Israel that took place in 1948 ‒ as we finally realized after extensive searching for biblical truth and with the help of many men of God who know their Bible (including yourself) ‒ this “gathering” was NOT and is NOT God’s fetching of Israel home! We were shattered by this, because we know that the Aliyah could only happen with the help of the Christians who are bringing the Jews to Israel because the various organizations concluded a contract with the present state of Israel to the effect that they would NOT missionize. They all had to sign a statement saying that they would NEVER say anything about Christ. Otherwise they would NEVER have received permission from the Jewish Agency (the Israeli immigration authority) to bring Jews from all the nations to Israel!!”

Internationales Netzwerk der Versöhnung e.V.
International Network of Reconciliation
(a non profit Organisation)

Hannelore Weitzel intern-netzwerkderversoehnung@gmx.de