Wife of God vs Bride of Christ

bible refs

The difference between the Wife of God and the Bride of Christ.

Many people make the Wife of Jehovah, which is Israel, and the Bride of Christ, which is the Church, one and the same thing. When one does this they are faced with many contradictions because of the different descriptions given. When we see these are two separate entities, Israel as the Wife of Jehovah and the Church as the Bride of Christ, there are no contradictions.


In Deuteronomy 5:1-3 we see that God entered into a covenant with His people Israel at Mt. Sinai. Note that this is with Israel and not the Gentiles. Later in our study we will see that this covenant-relationship was viewed as a marriage contract.

In Deuteronomy 6:10-15 we see that God tells us of His jealousy over His Wife Israel. Israel is also warned to not commit adultery through the worship of other gods or He will eventually cause Israel's expulsion from the land.

Ezekiel was one of the Jewish prophets that saw this covenant-relationship as a marriage contract. (Ezekiel 16:8) Several other Old Testament prophets spoke about Israel's adultery. In Jeremiah 3:1-5 he tells us that Israel was guilty of playing the harlot with many lovers. Then in Jeremiah 3:20 he compares Israel to a wife who has turned away from her husband. Israel was guilty of adultery and had departed from her husband. Then Jeremiah tells us, Jeremiah 31:32, that the original marriage contract was broken because of that adultery. Then Ezekiel also tells us of this great adultery, Ezekiel 16:15-34. Hosea tells us of the charge God had against Israel: Israel was guilty of harlotry, Hosea 2:2-5.

As a result of this adultery, a separation took place between God and Israel in the days of Isaiah. In Isaiah 50:1 God told the prophet that God had not yet divorced His wife, if He had He would have given them a bill of divorcement. There was no bill of divorcement so the separation lasted about one hundred years. The reason for their rejection was their sins. They had brought all these problems upon themselves.

This separation of one hundred years did not produce repentance in Israel so finally God had no choice but to issue a bill of divorcement because of their adultery. To a large extent all of Jeremiah can be said to be God's bill of divorcement of Israel but especially Jeremiah 3:6-10.

Many of the Old Testament prophecies tell us of Israel's punishment for her unfaithfulness. For example Ezekiel 16:35-43 and Hosea 2:6-13. God's aim was not to be vengeful toward Israel, but to cause her to stop sinning and to stop her adulteries, Ezekiel 16:34. This punishment was to show Israel her need for her true husband and not for the false lovers, Hosea 2:7. Thoughout God's punishment there was a continual call to repentance. Jeremiah presented this call in Jeremiah 3:11-18.

These Jewish prophets spoke of a future day when Israel would become the restored Wife of Jehovah. Restoration would require a new marriage contract, Jeremiah 31:31-34. This is often know as a new covenant and a contract that God will make with the two houses of Israel and Judah. It is necessary because the old contract was broken. Ezekiel tells us that God will enter into an everlasting covenant with Israel in the future and the remarriage contract is also described by him in Ezekiel 16:60-63.

Isaiah 54:1-8 tells of the restoration of Israel as Jehovah's Wife. Then Isaiah further describes this in Isaiah 62:4-5. Hosea tells us about the adulteries of Israel and spoke of Israel's reunion with her husband and describes the courtship in the wilderness and shows the four results of this reunion, Hosea 2:14-23.


So far in this article we have seen Israel's relationship with God. The Bride of Christ is the universal body of true believers and composed of all believers regardless of their geographical location and denominational affiliation. The church today is shown as an Bride that is engaged and not yet joined by marriage to her husband, the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The New Testament tells us this Bride was “hid in God”, and does not say hid in the scriptures. Therefore it is impossible for this Mystery, of the Church of God, to be spoken of or revealed in the Old Testament.


For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy: for I espoused you to one husband, that I might present you as a pure virgin to Christ, 2 Corinthians 11:2. Speaking to the local church found in the city of Corinth, Paul declares that by means of evangelism, they were espoused ... to one husband for the purpose of eventually being presented as a pure virgin to Christ. Unlike Israel, who was guilty of adultery, when the union comes between the Messiah and the Church, the Church will be presented as a pure virgin. Satan counterfeits God and His work (Isa 14:14). The mark of a counterfeit ministry is the claim of apostolic signs or succession (2Cor 11:13-15; 2Thes 2:9; Rev 13:13-15). Two of the greatest counterfeit movements are the Catholic church and the Charismatic movement. A diligent student discerns between the holy and the profane (Lev 10:10; 1John 4:6; Rev 2:2).


One of the purposes of the Messiah is that He might sanctify the church. This is necessary so that He can present the Church as a pure virgin as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 11:2. The Church is sanctified by the continual washing of water with the Word so that He can present the church to Himself as a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing so the church could be holy and without blemish. The washing of water mentioned here is not water baptism but it is a cleansing ministry. The purpose of this is so the church can be presented as a glorious virgin to the Messiah. We also see the mention of the marriage in Revelation 19:6-9. The Jewish wedding system was common in the day of Jesus. Fist the father of the groom has to make arrangement for the bride and pays the bride price. This price was the blood of Christ, Ephesians 5:25-27.

After this we see the fetching of the Bride. This will be seen at the rapture of the church when Jesus comes for the Church. This can be seen in 1 Thessalonians 4:13 -18. Then we have the marriage ceremony in which only the saved are invited. This takes place in heaven just prior to the Second Coming of Christ at the end of the tribulation. Those that will be present are only those who are in heaven at that time, Revelation 19:6-8. Then we have the marriage feast as described in Revelation 19:9. We know that many are invited to come to the marriage feast but this will be a different place from the marriage ceremony. In Daniel 12:2 we can see that the Old Testament saints are not resurrected with the Church before the Tribulation but resurrected at the end of the tribulation. Notice that John the Baptist, the last of the Old Testament prophets, was a friend of the bridegroom but did not consider himself to be a member of the Bride of Christ, John 3:17-30. This tells us that the “many” that are bidden to the marriage supper on earth are Old Testament saints and Tribulation saints that were resurrected after the Second Coming of Christ. The marriage of the lamb will take place in heaven prior to the the Second Coming of Christ, the marriage feast will take place on earth after the Second Coming of Christ.

Now the Bride is the wife of Christ and in Revelation 21:9 John tells us that one of the seven angels will show him the Bride, the wife of the Lamb. Then in Revelation 21:1-22:5 we see a description of the eternal wife of the lamb in her eternal abode.


Romans 10:9-10
Romans 10:13

Romans 10:9-10
Romans 10:13

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