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Again, I feel it important to remind people that I am a 7th-Day Adventist. This church is the last church that is to give the warning message to the World, “come out of her My people.” The World is to come out of Babylon and her daughters(apostate Protestantism and spiritualism) into the TRUTH. There must be something, some place for them to come into, a church that keeps the commandments of God and has the Faith of Jesus. Unfortunately we have been told that that church will have a great shaking that will cause many to go out before many will come in.
As in many things there can be many applications to the same meaning/metaphor. The question is, does our thinking or viewing something as one thing, or viewing words that describe something, as applying to what we have said it is, keep us from seeing the true picture? People have been calling the church the bride of Christ as far back as the 3rd and 4th centuries. But here is the statement I am going to make that will be difficult for most to accept. There is only one at the most two verses in the New Testament that one can possible use to say that the church is the Bride. Yes, I understand the Old Testament concept of Israel being the bride of Christ. Actually it is a metaphor used to describe the relationship between God and Israel; it is important to remember that He called Israel a whore also. There is and are many verses that give a much different view as to who, rather what the church is.(I expect people will be more than willing and perhaps even eager to give me Bible verses from the New Testament that they are sure will disprove what I have said about the church not being the Bride. I look forward to that.)
Yes, we can think of the church as the bride of Christ, and yes, Sister White refers to the church as the bride, even though she clearly states otherwise.(“Clearly, then, the bride represents the holy city”) Why would she use that kind of language, why would she say ‘clearly, then‘? But in thinking strictly of the church as being the Bride are we holding to the opinions of men, the ideas that have been formulated by humans? Where did the idea that the church is the Bride of Christ originally come from? And why? As I have stated, one would have thought that the church leaders would have asked Sister White just what she meant by the words, “The holy city, the New Jerusalem, which is the capital and representative of the kingdom is called “the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”.” They should also have asked her about her statement, “If guests, they cannot be represented also as the bride.” Because both of these statements reject the idea of the church being the Bride. One would think they would have, but they didn’t, in fact what they did do was ask her to state that the church is the Bride to agree with Uriah Smiths Book on Daniel and Revelation.
Remember, I am not basing what I am saying on just what is said on 2 pages of the Great Controversy, there is much more elsewhere. Something that seems to be misunderstood by many SDA people today is the fact that Sister White did not influence or dictate the Biblical Doctrines that we hold to today. As the church leaders of her time, would study the Bible, find the new truths and express their new found understanding of those things, Sister White would simply confirm their findings. Often this was done through visions that she had received, sometimes before hand, but always the visions were not understood by her until the truth had been found in the Bible first. At no point in time, regarding any of the points of Doctrine did she ever say, “this is what the Bible says, now go find the prof.” Always her confirmations came after the Elders of the church had found them. What could she do if the Elders where determined to cling to the man induced idea that the church is the Bride? Her statements in the Great Controversy was one way.
The statements found in Revelation that speaks of the Bride, are the major ones that we use to state that the church is the Bride. But it is, and can only be done by assumption on our part. Sister White very clearly says that the New Jerusalem is called the Bride. She also identified the New Jerusalem as the Capital of God’s Kingdom. What do these two concepts have in common; the Capitol of Gods Kingdom and the wedding?
Yes, I understand the verses in Ephesians the 5th chapter that are used to say that the church is the Bride. It does not say what we think it does. I will break that one down into what is really said next time. And hopefully I will find listed, the New Testament verses that people think/believe prove that the church is the Bride. People might want to read the first 5 chapters of Ephesians.