Members of the Body of Christ are the Church of the Mystery. A secret that was hid in God. His Body, to be to be joined with its Head, called home at the Rapture, the GLORIOUS meeting in the air, before the "Day of the LORD" begins.
In Revelation 21 we have the New Heaven and the New Earth; we have the Twelve Tribes of Israel; and Twelve Apostles of the Lamb. So, we have to ask, What has all this to do with the Body of Christ, the Church of the Mystery? OBVIOUSLY this has to do only and solely with the Holy City and with the Bride of the Lamb.
Christians, in their selfishness, intrude themselves into the place of others as the Bride, and thus lose the blessed enjoyment of their own place which is theirs as part of the Bridegroom!
The Bride and the Bridegroom, though in a sense are one, are yet distinct. And it is clear from all the scriptures relating to the Mystery, that the members of Christ's Body are part of the Bridegroom Himself. Whereas the elect Old Testament saints will form the Bride. See Isaiah 12:6, "Cry out and shout, thou Inhabitress of Zion: For great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee." In Revelation 22:3, we read "The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it." Of the glory of this Holy City other scriptures speak. Take a look at Isaiah 60:3, Isaiah 60:14, 1and Isaiah 60:9-20; Revelation 21:23-24, and Revelation 21:27; Isaiah 54:11-12.
A Chaste Virgin - Husbands and Wives
True, the Apostle Paul might address the saints concerning his desire to present them "as a chaste virgin to Christ" (2 Cor. 11:2). But this no more declares that the Church IS the Bride of Christ than that the Apostle himself was their father (1 Corinthians 4:15); or that he was their mother (Galatians 4:19). In the one case he spoke of the painful anxiety of a mother; in another of the loving care of a father; while, in 2 Cor. 11:2, he spoke of the jealousy of the friend of a bridegroom. The "Mystery" was a totally different thing.
Then in Ephesians 4:28-29, the argument is that husbands "ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself, for no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord, the Church, for we are members of His Body," That is, AS Christ loves HIS OWN BODY (Himself (the Head) and the Church (the Head's Body)); so ought husbands to love their wives. Thus "the Mystery" is employed as an argument as to the reciprocal duties of husbands and wives. In NEITHER case is it said that the Church IS the wife, or that Christ IS the husband. But that AS Christ loves His Body (Himself and the Body of Christ), SO husbands ought to love their own bodies (that is, themselves and their wives).
What Have We Learned
The one thing that is clear, is that the Church of the Mystery is the Body of Christ; and that the members of that Body being "in Christ," are PART OF THE BRIDEGROOM. They cannot possibly, therefore, be the Bride herself as separate and distinct from the Bridegroom.
Another thing that is certain is that the mystery of the Church was not revealed in the Old Testament, but was "hid in God" (Ephesians 3:9) and "kept secret" (Romans 16:25); "hid from ages and from generations" (Colossians 1;26).
And Here is The Mystery
Before Israel was created for God's glory, before all of the promises concerning Israel's coming glory and the millennial reign of Christ on earth, even, before Adam had sinned, or was created, God PREDESTINATED that members of the Body of Christ should be conformed to the image of His Son. (Romans 8:28-29). They would be SEATED in the Heavenlies in Christ.
God's eternal purpose is to have a company of redeemed sinners SEPERATE and DISTINCT from ALL OTHER companies. Dwell on this.
These predestinated and justified believers are to be JOINED to Christ as ONE flesh, to make ONE New Man, the Perfect Man, with HEAVENLY citizenship, to appear with Christ in glory. (Ephesians 2:6; Ephesians 5:31-32; Ephesians 2:5; Ephesians 4:13; Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 3:1-4).
THIS the Father wants every Christian to make known (Ephesians 3:9). And, of course, Satan hates this message with a vicious hatred.
It is one thing to see an illustration of the Church in the Old Testament; but it is quite another thing to say that this is there revealed, which God distinctly declares was not revealed!
At the First Resurrection, following Christ's return to the earth in power and great glory, those of the Heavenly Calling will be resurrected, made ready as a Bride, to be married to Christ, both Head and Body, (the Body which was Raptured, and united in glory with the Head prior to the going forth of the Antichrist). THIS will be the time of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
In Ephesians 1:13 the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul declares that men are saved and sealed by hearing and BELIEVING the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation. Therefore, here, now, is declared unto you the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. BELIEVE today. The time is short.
So There You Have it!
Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide.
Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.
In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry
LLM - Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20)