“The Church, The Bride, The Wife & The New Jerusalem”

A Remnant Speaks Commentary: The Church, The Bride (and the holy city, New Jerusalem)


I recently encountered a Christian platform making a presentation that included a discussion on the Church versus the Bride of Christ. Let us take a full stop upon that premise.

These two spiritual descriptions of the people of God were defined as “two different and distinct groups” in Scripture. –Separated by their position and relationship to Christ upon His coming and return.

The minister explained that one group, ‘the Bride’ would go on with Christ and join the marriage supper of the Lamb, but the other group, ‘the Church,’ would be left behind on earth because they were not ready and would then have to “resist the enemy” and remain awake until the Lord’s return…

We must ask the question: Is this scriptural interpretation Biblically sound?

Let us examine this position and test ALL things by the Spirit and Word of Truth.

This spiritual bifurcation of the “New Covenant people” of God ‘jarred my spirit’ because the revelation of the “Church/Bride/Wife” in the biblical text and narrative describes ‘ONE people’ and the same spiritual body, which is the Lord’s.

“He Who Has the Bride is the Bridegroom”

The Church and the Bride of Christ

John 3:29 gives us a foundational text and provides a cornerstone for understanding these descriptions (Church, Bride) of the Body of Christ in Scripture.

John (the Baptizer) speaks to his followers after they come to him (with some anxiety) and tells him about what “He” Jesus is doing, i.e., baptizing the people that are coming to Him. (We might question, “Why is Jesus doing this… Isn’t John supposed to be doing this?”)

Our Reading: John 3:22

John the Baptist Exalts Christ

22 After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized. 23 Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized. 24 For John had not yet been thrown into prison.

25 Then there arose a dispute between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purification. 26 And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified—behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!”

27 John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. 28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him.’

John says something very powerful and revelatory to them in verse 29: “He who has the bride is the bridegroom,” but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled.” Based on this text:

1. Who is the bride?

Answer: “The people, Believers, coming to Jesus.”

2. Who is the bridegroom?

Answer: “It is clearly Jesus.”

When John says to them: “But the friend of the bridegroom stands and *hears him* and rejoices greatly.

3. Who is the friend?

Answer: “John the Baptizer.”

4. Why is he rejoicing?

Answer: “Because the Bridegroom is working and preparing His bride.”

5. What does the friend of the bridegroom do?

Answer: “He rejoices greatly because the bridegroom is FINALLY HERE WORKING and fulfilling His purpose!

6. Why?

Answer: “Because he hears him!” He also receives.

Our Reading: John 3: 30-36

30 “He must increase, but I must decrease. 31 He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. 33 He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true. 34 For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. 35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. 36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life, and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

John says to them: “He must increase so I must decrease.”

7. Why does John say this to them?

Answer: “Because the righteous requirement of law and the Baptism of Baptisms has been completed through John’s ministry. His work is done. It is finished in Christ’s coming. “THE ONE WHO HAS, AND IS, AND WILL FULFILL ALL THINGS IS HERE!” A New and better covenant, with better promises, has arrived.


I believe that this one foundational text provides the necessary filter for all other texts related to the “bride and Church of Jesus Christ,” and inferentially –the New Jerusalem, the Holy City, and Wife of the same. I present here that these describe the ONE ‘true bride’ and Church of Jesus Christ, and with this lens, we can and must inextricably join Ephesians 5:22-32 to this text.

Our Next Reading: We can also examine Revelation 18:23 through the same lens:

23 “The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived.” 

“The light of the lamp shall not shine in you anymore.”

1. Who/what is the light?

Answer: “The light” (is clearly the Holy Spirit within the lives of His people) that is taken out of the world. The Key: “…shall not shine ‘IN YOU’ (in the world) anymore.

2. Who/what is the lamp?

Answer: His “lamp(s)” vessels, CORPORATELY, I.e. ‘His people,’ the Church as His Bride, are removed from the earth (in the Harpazo event).

“The voice of the bridegroom and the bride will not be heard anymore.”

3. What voice?

Answer: Christ-The Word (logos), through evangelized and preached through ‘us.’ –through His people…” (As we will be gone and are removed at the end.)

We can follow the same parallels when reading Revelation 21:2-3 & Revelation 21:9-13…

We are given two clear descriptions of the bride and New Jerusalem and by using the hermeneutic from John 3:29 we will come to the same conclusion for the Church and Bride as in Revelation (and Ephesians 5).

Here we see another dualism in the imagery and metaphoric descriptions — which are pointing to (1) “people characteristics” and the personification of ‘New Jerusalem,’ and (2) a literal description of the city… I.e. TWO descriptions of “who” and “what” the holy city is. These two descriptions can and must be distinguished, but cannot be separated in the revelation.

Revelation 21:2-3 describes the city as “the” people of God… (Yes, as “His Church and Bride”)

“Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

1. Who/what is the holy city, New Jerusalem?

Answer: “The bride of Christ, the Church, the people of God with Christ.” We will be (a prepared) Church “without spot or wrinkle,” just like a ‘perfect bride’ who has made herself ready and kept her garments clean.

“And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold the tabernacle of God *is with men* and He will dwell with them and be their God.”

2. Who is the Tabernacle of God?

Answer: “We are.”

“Are we not the temples of the Holy Ghost [Spirit] that Christ and His Spirit now indwells?” (1 Corinthians 6:19)

Are we, not the people in whom and amongst whom the living God always desired to dwell from Exodus to the very end?

(Also, read the parallel found in Ezekiel 37:27-28.)

Here He is talking about a city “that He dwells in” — one of ‘holy people.’ “WE” come down, literally as His dwelling place, as His “holy city” Jerusalem, and “WITH” His holy city Jerusalem.

Revelation 21: 9-13 describes the literal, physical reality, and place of the bride and wife as a part of the new city itself.

“The angel said, “Come I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife,” and he carried me away in the Spirit to a great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of the heaven of God, having the glory of God.”

Then we receive a description of this physical place and its glory and majesty (jasper, crystal, gold, and precious stones…)

3. Where else do we see this kind of imagery and metaphorical language for people “joined to this kind of description” as ‘precious stones’?

Answer: “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5)

In my brief summary and conclusion, which is in no way exhaustive, we find that these descriptions of the church, bride, New Jerusalem, and wife, are all mirrors and descriptions of one another.

They are the patterns found in scripture of one and the same people of God:

The 1st description given is of a “GLORIOUS PEOPLE” & The 2nd is of a “GLORIUS PLACE” of the same people.


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