Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body,[d] of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”[e] 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
The word Mystery doesn’t mean that it is unknown, but used in the New Testament it means it was a mystery in the Old Testament that is revealed in Christ.
MAN WAS MADE IN GOD’S LIKENESS IN ORDER TO HAVE UNION WITH GOD
Paul the apostle comes along years later, 4,000 years after God creates Adam and Eve, in Ephesians 5:31-32 and interprets what happens in Genesis 1 and 2 by the Holy Spirit, by apostolic revelation. Paul the apostle says, “Do you want me to tell you what’s really happening?” He says, “God was fulfilling the mystery, which is Christ and the Church.”
There’s a lot here but see the continuity of this plan. In Ephesians 5:31-32, what’s happening is that Paul is quoting Genesis 2: “A man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife” (Gen. 2:24, KJV). That’s the passage where God says, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him” (Gen. 2:18). God is speaking these to Adam. “A man shall leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife.”
Paul is saying, “Do you want me to tell you what’s really going on?” God wasn’t just giving a history of creation.
He did do that, but that wasn’t the highest thing on God’s mind. He wasn’t just giving divine order for marriage. Paul is saying, “I’ll tell you from apostolic revelation what’s happening.” He was talking about Jesus and His people.
When He said a man will leave his father and cleave unto His wife, Adam went under a deep sleep, and a rib was taken from his side.
Paul says, “I’m telling you from the throne of God, He was talking about Jesus first, and He was talking about the order of marriage and giving a history of creation second and third.”
The point of it is this: God saw the final destination because He knew He was working from a blueprint. He designed the human spirit for this destination. He made it in God’s likeness to have union with God.
The original call of the nation of Israel was a bridal call. Here we are in Jeremiah 2:2. Jeremiah prophesied about 600 years B.C. Moses lived 1,600 years B.C., right? So 1,000 years after Moses, Jeremiah was speaking 1,000 years later. Like Paul, Jeremiah was looking back at a point in history, 1,000 years earlier, and he was giving prophetic interpretation to it in a way that they didn’t even fully understand in their day.
Adam is up in heaven listening to Paul. Paul says, “Well, I’ll tell you what was happening when God was speaking to Adam. He was talking about Jesus.”
Adam says, “How does Paul know that? That’s exactly what was going on. I didn’t know that down there, but I know it up here.”
“I REMEMBER YOU, AND THE DEVOTION OF YOUR YOUTH”
To the nation of Israel 1,000 years later, Jeremiah turns around and says, “I’ll tell you what was really happening at the exodus.” He says it right here in Jeremiah 2:2, interpreting the Bible with the revelation of the Holy Spirit.
“Go and cry in the hearing of Jerusalem, ‘Thus says the Lord: ‘I remember you, the kindness of your youth, the love of your betrothal, when you went after Me in the wilderness, in a land not sown. Israel was holiness to the Lord, the firstfruits of His increase. All that devour [Israel] will offend; disaster will come upon them’” (Jer. 2:2-3).
Of course, we know that at the end of the age, everyone who comes against the purpose of God encounters disaster, and it’s a disaster which happens in the context to the marriage supper of the Lamb. The ultimate disaster they’re talking about here is Revelation 19. This is the marriage supper of the Lamb. It’s the great supper of God on the earth. Remember, there’s a celebration in heaven; then there’s a disaster on the earth where all the enemies of God are slain.
Here’s the point of this passage, in verse 2. Jeremiah says, “God wants you to know that He remembers your devotion, the devotion of your youth as a nation. He remembers the love you had when He first betrothed you to Himself in the wilderness.”
The NIV says, “I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me” (Jer. 2:2, NIV). That’s what the NIV says. The NKJ says, “I remember . . . the love of your betrothal” (ibid, NKJV).
Jeremiah is looking back 1,000 years later and interpreting what God did in Exodus 19 when He made the covenant, where the words of the covenant were first spoken (Ex. 19:5-8). We understand through Jeremiah that it was a bridal covenant.
In Exodus 19, they’re in the wilderness. V4 is God speaking. “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians” (Ex. 19:4). This is the covenant, right here on Mount Sinai, and the Ten Commandments is in the next chapter.
This is the bridal covenant. God told Jeremiah, “This was their love to Me as a bride in the wilderness.” This was their official betrothal as a nation, when the nation of Israel officially began in covenant with God as a whole nation. We know Abraham had a covenant. This is the whole nation coming in covenant out of Egypt. It was a betrothal. It was a marriage. It was an official engagement to a nation. It says, “You saw what I did to you in Egypt, until I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself” (Ex. 19:4, paraphrased). That’s the whole point: God was bringing Israel to Himself on eagles’ wings.
THE BRIDE BECOMES THE ULTIMATE TREASURE OF ALL CREATION
“Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, you shall be a special treasure to Me above all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine” (Ex. 19:5, NKJV). They would be a special treasure.
Ultimately, the bride is adorned with jewels (Rev. 21). The bride becomes the ultimate treasure of all creation.
It’s the bridal city that lights up the new heavens and the new earth, adorned with jewels, like we discussed in one of those earlier sessions. God is literally going to make them His treasure—not only as endearing to His heart, but He’s going to adorn her with treasure in Revelation 21 and 22. He knows this, because this was a betrothal. This is a bridal arrangement that’s going to end in Revelation 21 and 22.
“YOU ARE MINE, AND I WILL MAKE YOU JEWELS IN MY HAND”
Malachi 3:17 was the verse with which the Lord quickened my heart for the women in the prophetic conference.
This verse is the same language. God says, “You are Mine, and I will make you jewels in My hand.”
God is going to make the people of God a jewel in His hand. He’s going to do that in terms of beautifying their life, but He’s going to do it in terms of making the city a jewel. I’m talking about the bridal city, literally. Most of these things have a corresponding fullness in the age to come. For example, Jesus says, “You are the light of the world” (Mt. 5:14). Well, the bride’s light illuminates and brings glory to everyone who touches it, to everyone who sees the illumination of the bride (Rev. 21:11). Literally, we will be the light of the new heaven and the new earth in partnership with Jesus. Jesus had so many things more in His mind when He said His teachings on the earth, because He knew where the end of this thing was going.
In verse 8, the people essentially said, “Yes, we will obey You” (Ex. 19:8, paraphrased). This is where the covenant is made, right here. But it’s a covenant to be Jehovah’s bride; that’s the point. In Malachi 3:17, God said, “You are Mine; I will make you the special treasure that Exodus talks about. I will make you a jewel in My sight” (Mal. 3:17, paraphrased). In Revelation 21:2, God says, “I will adorn you” (Rev 21:2, paraphrased).
We know from Revelation 21:9-21 that we’re adorned with jewels as a city that’s called a bridal city. We’re adorned with jewels.
JEREMIAH BEGAN HIS MINISTRY WITH A CALL TO THE BRIDEGROOM
Jeremiah 2. Jeremiah is speaking during the reign of Josiah. If you know the Kings of Israel you know Josiah led the last great reform before the Babylonian captivity. What happened in Israel’s history is that in about 586 B.C., God came in and smashed Judah, the southern kingdom. The northern kingdom had already been annihilated. He came down. He had warned them for years, “I will take you into captivity.” He did. Babylon came and took them away.
But before that happened, they had one last spurt, one last reform, one last revival that touched part of the nation, and it occurred under the preaching of Jeremiah. Jeremiah was preaching during Josiah’s reform. If you put the dates together, Josiah’s reform was directly related to Jeremiah’s first sermon. Jeremiah’s first sermon reminded Israel that they were betrothed to the living God. There’s a bridal revelation with which Jeremiah began his ministry. Jeremiah 1 is Jeremiah’s call, and Jeremiah 2 is his first message. His first message begins,
“‘Remember, I called you as My bride. I remember when you loved Me as a bride. I betrothed you to Me in the wilderness with promises. You were holy to Me,’ the Lord says. ‘You were unique to Me. I will make you special. Remember Exodus 19.’”
That’s the message that Jeremiah is trumpeting when Josiah’s reform covers the land. That’s the last “revival,” as they call it. I don’t know if you would call it revival, because there were many people in the nation who didn’t receive it at all. That nation ended up in judgment, but because Josiah led the revival, God said, “You won’t see it in your day. I won’t do it until after you die” (2 Chron. 34:23-28, paraphrased).
Why? Because Josiah the king was the most righteous king in Israel’s history. It says he obeyed as David did, except he didn’t commit David’s sins. Josiah was the young, eight-year-old king who was impacted by the ministry of Jeremiah. Jeremiah begins his ministry with a bridal revelation. Jeremiah 2 and 3 is all about the Bride of Christ. It’s the continuity I want you to see. It begins with God’s original plan, God’s eternal plan.
THE BRIDE REVEALED IN JESUS’ EARTHLY MINISTRY
Some of this we looked at in other posts. His messianic ministry begins at a wedding. Incidentally, we have John 2:1-12: that’s the story of the wedding at Cana in Galilee. In the next event, in John 2:13-22, Jesus cleanses the temple. Some people have speculated that the cleansing of the temple took place in Jerusalem, but it was communicated by John in this sequence because the temple that Jesus is thinking about is the people of God and the temple in Revelation 21. He wants the temple clean after He begins His ministry at a wedding. I don’t know if you can really do that, but I’ll throw that out again for the risky.
Right after John 2, Jesus is revealed by John the Baptist as the Bridegroom. That’s the next event that takes place, in John 3. John introduces Jesus as the One who has the bride. He said, “I’m coming to tell you about the One who has the bride.” That’s the title he gives to Jesus the Messiah. His first introduction of Jesus is the One who has the bride. What an introduction of the Son of God! Israel had been waiting for the One who has the bride—for Jehovah, who has a bride. John the Baptist begins his ministry with the proclamation of the coming One who has the bride.
Then, right after that, Jesus proclaims Himself as a bridegroom. Again, I imagine Jesus saying, “Lord, let Me call the bride.”
The Lord says, “Not until Your final message.”
“Well, John at least got to say I’m the Bridegroom.”
“OK, You can say as much as John has said, and You don’t get to say anything more than what John announced.”
Anyway, that’s my imagined conversation. It probably didn’t happen that way. Jesus calls Himself the Bridegroom who will be taken away. That’s how He describes Himself. He’s talking about the cross. He says, “I’m the Bridegroom that will be taken away.” That’s how He first describes Himself. Then He calls the disciples the friends of the Bridegroom (Mt. 9:15).
There’s the final public invitation. Parable that Heaven is like a wedding feast—Matthew 21-22.
Then the final private training in that final week in Matthew 25 the Parable of the Bridegroom.
Then in John 17 His final recorded intercession for the bride; His final recorded conversation with anyone in the human race. It has bridal language to it. It’s the very language that He used in interceding for the bride in John 17:24.
Jesus’ ministry after the resurrection:
His first message called them to bridal love. In the first message to the seven churches, He tells the church of Ephesus, “Remember the love that you’ve fallen away from” (Rev. 2:4-5, paraphrased). Then, here in Revelation 2:7, He calls them to the paradise of God. Here in His very first message, He’s actually re-emphasizing the last thing He said on the cross. He talked about paradise (Lk. 23:43). He brings it up again in His first message after the resurrection, when He speaks to the corporate church a word of correction. He brings up the paradise concept again. The paradise promise, of restoration like the garden is in Scripture very few times. It’s His last words to the thief on the cross and His first words when He speaks to the church, giving them a corrective note of a prophetic message. He brings up that paradise promise again.
Again, the first message is all of chapter 2 and 3. He ends it with a call to a feast and a call to the throne.
It’s the fact that Scripture begins with the revelation of a bride, and it ends with a fulfillment of a glorious bride. It begins with a type of a bride and ends with the fulfillment of a glorious bride.