I have heard many sermons that describe the “Bride of Christ” as including “All” Christians. This has always seemed a little odd from a male’s perspective to embrace an idea that can “Only” be cherished, appreciated or longed-for by the female gender. I now know that it is a figure of speech and should “Never” be taken literally. In the same way, I do not take it literally when I am told in scripture, “And if your right eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and cast it from you.” That passage just means that I need to avoid or resist temptation.
The only Christians who will readily and willingly embrace the analogy of “The bride of Christ” are heterosexual females. Heterosexual males have no desire to be anyone’s bride (not even a bride for Jesus). Similarly, lesbians have no desire to be the bride of a man.
I can see how a man and his bride’s love for each other are similar to God’s love for humanity. A bride and groom can feel that they are soul mates that are ideally suited for each other. Their human love is flawed but they know exactly what a “Perfect” love expressed would look like if humans were perfect. We believe that our God express perfect love for us now and at a future time we will be free and able to receive all of His love with no hindrances in acquiring that love. A husband and wife’s’ love is a glimpse into how God loves us even more than humans are capable of giving each other. I get all excited in knowing unconditional love, forgiveness, and all good things will be shared between me and all other humans for eternity. Thinking about a man and his bride will turn my thoughts to spiritual things, and I will rejoice when thinking about God’s love
A bride who “Really” loves her husband does not want to share the “One” husband they have with another woman or man, and especially not with 100’s of millions of other brides of Christ’s (since there is only “One” husband to be with). God is not promoting polygamy in the Christian faith. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines, so Solomon could go 1,000 days in a row, having a sexual relationship with women (and if he wanted to, only see the same woman about once every 3 years).
Jesus has out classed and trumped Solomon, for if there are 7.43 billion people on Earth (as of 2016-OCT), and 31% of them are Christian then there are about 2.3033 billion Brides of Christ now living. Jesus only needs to see an individual bride once every 6,310,411years to cover the number alive today! To see all the female Christians who have ever lived, it would take much longer L.O.L.. The Christians analogy of being The Body of Christ is a more practical way of looking at being related to Emmanuel (since everyone has a body).
We know we need to understand the Bride of Christ to be more like a parable — “To illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson” — so that we understand the nature of God, better. For one reason, there are no marriages in heaven. We only need marriages ceremonies on earth because of the sinful nature of especially “Males” (for most females will commit to any man of whom they love and want to have a child with).
A civil or religious ceremony is demanded or more favorable in most cultures because societies want to protect the innocent committed spouse from the person who would do harm to them or their child or children. For a marriage reminds both mates that their “Being one in the flesh and spirit” means God would like a sacred commitment from every child-of-God to other humans on this earth. If there are sexual relationships in heaven, you won’t need a “Piece of paper” (a marriage license) to document or show proof that you are committed to another person. So in heaven you could call it a common law marriage that doesn’t need to be enforced simply because we will all be perfect, so therefore no marriage laws are needed to protect anyone in a perfect world.
Humans look at circumstances and experiences in life and we get a glimpse at the nature of God of whom we cannot see. The easiest way for God to tell us about His invisible self is to look at our created universe and draw conclusions from our world experiences. No one animal can be a perfect symbol to represent the person of Jesus. Jesus is called “The Lion of the tribe of Juda.” So we conclude that God is very powerful and someone to fear. Jesus is also called the “Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world. This shows us that His sacrificial offering gives us all eternal life. In a similar way, a lamb can be eaten to feed and nourish our physically bodies and keep us alive.
We humans have two natures, one is in the Image of God and the other part of our being is sinful and separated from God. The truth is, that God will destroy our sin nature when all our sins are cast into hell. God has the power to save “All” human who have ever lived on this earth (and not “Just Christians”) for Emmanuel (God with us) is our Messiah Redeemer who paid the penalty for every person in every generation who has ever lived.
The “I AM” statements of Jesus are referring to the person of God, of whom we call “Emmanuel”, and he is not referring to himself. God told Moses to go to the sons of Israel and say “I AM has sent me to you”. The words “I AM” are a present tense statement. God is a present tense kind of God, for He has no past or future. Every word or sentence spoken by humans to each other or to God (from God’s perspective) is all being said in the same “Time frame” (5 thousand years ago and at the present time). If humans shouted different thoughts to a group of thousands in a building or stadium, everyone’s speech would be blended together and it would resemble an unintelligible loud noise.
We know the “I AM” statements don’t refer to Jesus because Jesus said that there is something he does not know (a particular day and hour). Since the body of Jesus isn’t God, Jesus can’t be expected to know what God is wanting or doing, until God reveals things to Jesus. When Jesus prays to God, he isn’t praying to himself. On the cross he cries out to God, “Why have you forsaken me”. God can’t forsake himself, but a human Temple of flesh can feel forsaken. The humanness of Jesus feels pain and his human body isn’t healing anyone because it is the I AM Jehovah God that indwells him, who is doing the miracles of Jesus and the Apostles. Flesh and blood can never be Deity (flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God), because it is a created substance in all humans, for God is a Spirit being only.
The body of Jesus can’t claim to be the beginning and the end, for only God has no beginning or end (for the conception and death of Jesus consummate His human existence). Jesus is not the resurrection and the life, because a dead Jesus doesn’t raise himself, that is the job for the Creator God and not something a Temple or Tabernacle is responsible for doing. The 7 “I AM” statements in the New Testament give credit to Jesus simply because this human Tabernacle or Temple has God dwelling inside him. God is the author of our salvation not the human flesh of Jesus. God is everywhere, is all-powerful, all knowing, can’t be killed, and is in control of everything (for He either causes of allows everything to happen in this sinful world). Jesus does not know everything, he can be killed, and he physically has the same limitations as all humans have, for his body is from Adam and Eve’s family tree.
All, or almost all, theists in every faith subconsciously believe that the God they worship loves them more than all others outside their faith. They will even find themselves wanting everyone on earth to embrace their Christianity, Judaism, Islam, or some other faith. If I were to live in a remote isolated area of the world and someone shared with me the person called Emmanuel and told me that Emmanuel means “God with us” and that this God put His Spirit inside a human body and that we can worship that person who died for our sins in shedding his blood as payment for our sins; then if I believed what is being said to me, (I am saved) even if I never have heard the name Jesus). Emmanuel (the Spiritual name of God) is another name given among men that can save you and Jesus is the human Temple who is crucified for our sins and His name can save you only because the life of Jesus consummates God Covenant to Redeem mankind.
“If” God is a loving God then He redeems all of humanity 2,000 years ago which gives all humans a Universal Salvation. Universal Salvation treats all humans equally, for God does not show favoritism to a Christian, Jew, Muslim or any other of His children He Created. Christians will say their good works doesn’t save them (which is true). Good works originate as “Good thoughts” and none of our thoughts or actions can save us, because God doesn’t need our help in redeeming us. God saves us and then says “It is finished” and all generations of people are saved instantly 2,000 years ago (Jew, Gentile, Christian, Muslim and atheist, etc.
Our salvation is with our Messiah, the Christ The Anointed One; and His Sacrifice already saves us and so are non-Christians saved who lived 5 thousand years ago who didn’t realize they have already been saved by Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Will Provide) Jehovah Rapha (The Lord that heals) Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Lord our righteousness) !!!
And once our Loving God separates us from our sins, then we will be welcomed into the family of God in the presence of His angels. Our religious devotion to God while we are on this earth is God’s way to give us more safety and protection from spiritual, emotional or physical harm. For in this life: If we don’t kill, lie, steal, fornicate, lust for power, fame or money etc. then practicing a religion saves us from pain and suffering that God never intended for humans to experience (this is the “Physician heal thyself” principle).
We humans no longer have need of religion in our lives. Religions and denominations cause death, destruction and pain to billions of humans made in the Image of God. We can gather and worship with 2 or more individuals and there is God with us. There is no longer a Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female category of piety or superiority. Forgiveness and love are our New Gospel (Good News) mantras (repeated frequently) that we give to all others and ourselves who are made in the image of God.
Our faith doesn’t save us; it is the OBJECT OF OUR FAITH that saves all of us. And our Savior doesn’t harm us when He separates us from our sin. The judgment of God is “Selective” and is very precise in targeting only the spiritual cancer that is destroying all of us, for God would sin and do harm to himself if He placed the part of us “Made in the Image of God” and cast His pure image into hell. Just like a mother doesn’t “Throw the baby out with the bath water”. The part of us made in God Image will be cleansed of all spiritual pollution we have been contaminated with on this earth, and (what is displeasing to God) will be cast into hell. The part of us that is made in the Image of God doesn’t deserve to be in hell, unless you worship a very angry pagan God or counterfeit Messiah.
We can refer to God by His Spiritual name Emmanuel or Jesus the Temple of God who takes away the sin of the world.