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03/01/2006 - Which Woman is the True Bride?



Which Woman is the True Bride?

Date: 03/01/2006

Issue No. 212

At the end of the previous FFI, I mentioned that the great harlot of Revelation was a counterfeit bride. I also said that there have been many groups that have claimed to be the bride. But there is only one true bride that Jesus Christ is interested in marrying. Her faith in Him and her personal character are what separate her from the others. All others are mere harlots, in biblical terminology.

In Rev. 21:9 we read,

9 And 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 shall show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

What follows is the contrast between the true and the counterfeit contenders. The stakes are huge in the conflict, because in the sight of God, the bride is not just a kitchen slave or a wall flower. He is not marrying a bride in order to have someone to do his dirty laundry. He does not intend to marry a mere servant girl (i.e., “Hagar”).

The bride of Christ will have full authority to execute the will of her Husband, Jesus Christ. This is because she is a mature bride, and a freewoman (i.e., “Sarah”). This bride is an overcomer bride, one who has learned obedience during her youth, but who is now grown and capable of mature love and is in full agreement.

Agreement is the key to being an overcomer. Jesus will not marry a bride who disagrees with Him or is at cross-purposes with His plan for the earth. He will not entrust authority to a bride that disagrees with Him. A servant bride could execute His will obediently—and that is good. But the last time He married a bondwoman, the marriage ended in disaster, so He does not intend to do that again. He wants a bride who understands His great concern for the emancipation of Creation—and agrees with Him. Such a bride can be trusted with authority over His Creation.

The True Bride

In Revelation 21 the angel shows us the Lamb’s wife. Who is that wife? Verse 10 says,

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.

In verse 2, John is more specific:

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.

This is important, because the old Jerusalem is one of the great contenders to be the bride. Many believe that the new Jerusalem is just the old Jerusalem rebuilt, and that Jesus will rule from a temple there in the coming Age.

But the Apostle Paul makes it clear in Gal. 4:22-31 that the old Jerusalem is “Hagar,” while the new Jerusalem is “Sarah.” In Gal. 4:30 he even quotes Gen. 21:9, saying,

30 But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the free woman.”

The old Jerusalem is a counterfeit bride. Her “sons” are spending billions of dollars in a campaign to convince the Church that their mother Hagar is the true bride. But it makes no difference how many people they convince of this. Jesus has no intention of marrying the old Jerusalem again. She has already been cast out once, and will again be cast out, as soon as she has been given enough time to prove the unworthiness of her character.

Misconceptions about the New Jerusalem

Revelation 21 describes the new Jerusalem in symbolic terms that in no way fit the physical measurements of the old Jerusalem. Much of the terminology comes from the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah, of course, speaks of Jerusalem, as do all the prophets—but none of them use the term “New Jerusalem.” Instead, the Hebrew word for Jerusalem is plural, Yerushalayim, and so the one word encompasses BOTH Jerusalems. It is up to us to discern which Jerusalem is being referenced in any given passage.

When John quotes Isaiah in reference to the restoration of “Jerusalem,” he interprets it as the New Jerusalem, rather than the old city. For example, Isaiah 60:19, 20 tells us that “Jerusalem” will have no need for the sun or moon to give it light, because God Himself will be its light. John interprets this in Rev. 21:23, saying,

23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.

Whereas Isaiah says the city is “Jerusalem,” John tells us that it is a reference to the New Jerusalem. It is vital to understand that when the Old Testament speaks of the city of Yerushalayim, it is plural, and one must discern which Jerusalem is being referenced.

As a general rule of thumb, whenever the prophets speak of Jerusalem in terms of it being a cursed city that is doomed for destruction, it is referring to the old city in Palestine. When they speak of the restored glory of the city, it is a reference to the New Jerusalem.

The Old Jerusalem Becomes a Curse

If we trace the history of the glory of God, we see that it was first in the Ephraimite town of Shiloh for the first 300 years (Joshua 18:1). Then, because that priesthood (Eli and sons) became corrupted and rebellious, God forsook that place and wrote “Ichabod” on it (1 Samuel 4:21, 22 and Psalm 78:60-68).

The ark found its second resting place in Jerusalem in the tribe of Judah (Psalm 68:67, 68). We see then that God first gave the glory to Ephraim (the Birthright holder), and later to Judah (the holder of the Scepter). Each had its opportunity to house the glory of God. Both failed.

Jerusalem housed the ark for about 400 years before it disappeared from history at the time of the Babylonian captivity. Jeremiah tells us that God would abandon Jerusalem “as I have done to Shiloh” (Jer. 7:14). In other words, He would never return to that place, even as He never returned to Shiloh, because they had made that place “a den of robbers” (Jer. 7:11).

Later, the prophet was nearly executed for treason and blasphemy when he said in Jer. 26:6, that if they did not repent . . .

6 Then I will make this house like Shiloh, and this city I will make a curse to all the nations of the earth.

This is the direct opposite of the purpose of Abraham’s calling, which was to be a blessing to all the nations of the earth. As it turned out, the people did NOT repent, and so God left town (Ez. 10:4, 18, 19; 11:23), wrote “Ichabod” on that place, and gave Jerusalem to Babylon.

In the bigger picture, as revealed by Daniel, Babylon itself was only the “head” of this image, i.e., this beast system. To Daniel it was revealed that the 70-year captivity of Jerusalem was really only the first 70 years of their captivity under the “yoke of iron” (Deut. 28:48). After 70 years, they would be allowed to return and serve the rest of their time under a yoke of wood under the authority of the Medo-Persian Empire, Greece, and Rome.

But in the first century A.D., they revolted against God again, as evidenced by their rejection of Jesus. This same spirit of revolt later became inflamed to such a degree that they revolted against the wooden yoke of Rome. Rome then came and destroyed the city, dispersed the people, and put them once again under the yoke of iron. All this was in accordance with the divine law of tribulation.

Finally, in 1948 they were able to seize the old land without repenting or accepting Jesus as Messiah. Though this was a violation of the terms of the law of tribulation in Lev. 26:40-43, God allowed it temporarily to correct an ancient wrong that had been perpetrated upon Esau-Edom. The Zionists were able to return—not because they were Jews, but because they were also Edomites. (Judah conquered and absorbed the Edomites in 126 B.C. and forced them to become Jews. See Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, XIII, ix, 1.)

The point of this is to say that the old Jerusalem is still a bondwoman and is unsuitable as the bride of Christ. The Evangelical idea that soon the 144,000 surviving Jews will all be converted and become the collective bride of Christ is fatally flawed. It is rooted in their idea that the moment one is converted to Christ, that person suddenly becomes part of Christ’s bride. This idea is false.

Conversion is the Passover experience of Justification by faith in the blood of the Lamb. That creates a baby Christian, not an overcomer. Being filled with the Spirit is the Pentecost experience, which again is rooted in Mount Sinai where Pentecost began. It is only through the feast of Tabernacles that one enters into the fullness of God, which makes a person a true overcomer.

Anything short of a Tabernacles experience leaves a believer in a servant mode—a Hagar bride. It is not Sarah. To say that the Jews (or anyone else) can simply be converted at the last minute and suddenly be the Sarah bride of Christ is absurd. Especially when, according to Evangelical eschatology, they would be given the old Jerusalem (Hagar) as their inheritance!

All of this manifests a counterfeit bride. The Israeli state is NOT the true bride. It is a great harlot, built upon violence and force, searching for a messiah who is equally blood-thirsty and unjust. They prefer Barabbas to Jesus.

Babylonian Succession

The great harlot of Revelation 17 is not a single entity. There is a succession of empires of which Babylon was the first, or “head.” Daniel understood this first through the dream that King Nebuchadnezzar had, which is recorded in Daniel 2. In that dream he saw an image with a head of gold, arms of silver, belly of brass, and legs of iron.

The “feet” of this image was then smashed by the stone of Christ’s Kingdom. Most prophecy students have an understanding that these parts of the image represent: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. To this, they added the European Economic Union, which they said was the “ten toes” on the feet of this image. However, there are now 25 EEU nations, so history has discredited that view. Even so, there are still those who continue to propagate it.

Let me propose a different view.

The Extra-Long Babylonian Captivity

Israel was first put under a Babylonian wooden yoke just 42 years after they entered Canaan under Joshua. In my book, Secrets of Time, Chapter 10, I showed how Israel’s first captivity established a prophetic pattern of the Babylonian captivity.

Their first captivity (Judges 3:8-10) was to the King of Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia was the old name for Babylon and meant “the land between two rivers.” It was an eight-year captivity, which God brought about because the people had refused to bring forth the fruits of the Kingdom (i.e., “the Manchild”) that God required.

God had planted Israel in the land of Canaan and likened it to a “vineyard” (Isaiah 5:1-7). Jesus spoke the parable of the vineyard in Matt. 21:33-46 that was based on Isaiah 5. In this parable, the keepers of the vineyard (religious leaders) refused to give God the fruits of it that He required. In other words, the employees stole the fruit.

God sent His servants, the prophets, to try to retrieve those fruits, but the employees beat them, stoned them, or killed them. This speaks of the times of the Old Testament prophets. Then finally God sent His Son, and when the employees saw Him, they said (Matt. 21:38), “This is the Heir; come, let us kill Him and seize His inheritance.”

This tells us that the religious leaders of Jesus’ day knew that He was the Messiah. They did not kill Him out of ignorance, but precisely because they recognized who He was. The verdict is in verse 43:

43 Therefore, I say to you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and be given to a nation producing the fruits of it.

Verse 45 then tells us,

45 And when the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them.

In the law, if a person sinned, his sin was reckoned as a debt. See Exodus 22:1-4. The sinner owed his victim at least double what he stole. If he could not pay the debt, then he was to be “sold for his theft” (Ex. 22:3).

But who would buy him, and why? The deal was this: the buyer was made responsible to pay the debt of the sinner, and in return, he was given authority over the sinner who had to work for him for a specified time. In other words, the buyer redeemed his debt note and was thus a “redeemer.”

In the case of Israel, Judges 3:8 says, God “sold them” to the King of Mesopotamia for eight years. This gave Babylon authority over Israel, but it also made Babylon liable for the debt note of Israel—that is, the fruits of the “vineyard” that Israel had refused to give God.

This concept of the debt note is more fully developed in Chapter 10 of Secrets of Time.

It is my contention that this eight-year captivity to the king of Babylon was a prophetic pattern of 8 x 414 years in a long-term captivity dealing with the debt note.

In the SHORT-term, Mesopotamia ruled Israel for only eight years. But in LONG-term prophecy, this would not end for 8 x 414 years—that is, 3,312 years. The cycle is proven by the fact that after two periods of 414 years, the actual nation of Babylon fell in 537 B.C. The account of that fall is written in Daniel 5.

If you do not know the significance of 414-year cycles, please read my book, Secrets of Time.

But Babylon still had another six 414-year cycles to go. If you do the calculation, you will see that those last six cycles of 414 years apiece ended in 1948. It was the year that the Israeli state was established. Few understand that the Israeli state was established on Cursed Time.

But from the perspective of divine law, this simply meant that Babylon’s time had run out to bring forth the fruits of the Kingdom. God had given them a long time of authority in the earth, but they did not bring forth the fruits of the Spirit that God has required of His vineyard.

Within this long time frame, Babylon had been given the debt note and had failed to bring forth the fruit of the vineyard. Then God sold them to Medo-Persia, but Medo-Persia also failed to bring forth the fruit of the vineyard. So they were sold to the Greeks, who failed. The Greeks were sold to Rome, which also failed.

The Roman Empire was sold to the Roman Church, which also failed to bring forth these fruits.

So the question is this: In 1948, who purchased the debt note from Babylon? Who was made liable to bring forth the fruits of the Kingdom? It was the Israeli state.

Will they bring forth the fruits of the vineyard? No, of course not. When Jesus cursed that “fig tree” in Matt. 21:19 for having many leaves but no fruit, He said to it, “No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you.” Jesus explained the meaning of this later in Matt. 24:32, 33, saying,

32 Now learn the parable from the fig tree; when its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near; 33 even so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.

The fig tree nation (Judah) was to put forth leaves in the future. Modern eschatologists correctly identify this as the creation of the Israeli state. What they miss, however, is that there is no prophecy that it will bring forth fruit. It speaks only of leaves, which were the original problem. In fact, fig leaves have been the problem since Adam.

The Overcomers Take the Debt Note in 1993

The only “nation” that can and will bring forth the fruits of the Kingdom that Jesus Christ requires are the overcomers. But they could not legally acquire the debt note until Babylon’s time had run its course in 1948. And even then, the overcomers did not have the authority to take the debt note at that time, because King Saul was still alive and well. King Saul represents the Church under the anointing of Pentecost. He ruled 40 years in ancient times, prophesying of the Church’s reign for 40 Jubilees. Thus Saul did not “die” until Pentecost of 1993.

Once Saul died, then David could emerge from hiding and begin his partial rule in the Kingdom. David represents the overcomers, even as Saul represents the Church.

Thus, we see that the overcomers could not take the debt note until 1993. And that year just happened to be the 46th year from 1948. The Zionist Israeli state is also patterned after the temple of Herod—the temple that had no ark of the covenant. It was the house of Ichabod, devoid of the glory of God.

I believe that the Israeli state’s time to bring forth the fruit of the kingdom ran out on Nov. 29, 1993. This was precisely 46 years after Nov. 29, 1947, when the U.N.’s Palestinian resolution was passed. After 46 years, the Israelis did not fulfill their legal obligation. Contrary to all the hype from eschatologists of the day, they did not all turn to Christ within 7 years of 1948. To this day, they have not fulfilled the expectations of the Evangelicals and Pentecostals. And certainly, they did not fulfill the terms of the debt note as decreed in the Divine Court.

The Overcomers Receive the Debt Note

We were divinely led to hold the Jubilee Prayer Campaign from Nov. 21-29, 1993. Its purpose was to go before the Divine Court and ask to purchase the debt note on behalf of the overcomers. Only thus could Jesus’ words be fulfilled in Matt. 21:43,

43 . . . The Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruit of it.

I do not know how long God has given the overcomers to fulfill the terms of this debt note. If I knew that answer, I could tell you precisely when they would bring forth the Manchild—Christ in you, the hope of glory. That will be the day that the feast of Tabernacles will be fulfilled. That will be the day that righteousness is brought into the earth. And these are the ones that Jesus said would be given authority in the earth to bring true justice, blessings, and peace to all the nations, according to the promise given to Abraham.

The overcomers are also the collective Bride of Christ, for their “mother” is the New Jerusalem, not the old. They are not looking to re-establish the bondwoman as the one who will bring forth the heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. They do not want the Kingdom of God established by violence. They are the mature Bride who are in agreement with the Prince of Peace. Paul says in Gal. 4:31,

31 So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman.