Identifying the real, true Bride of Christ is important because, on the Isle of Patmos, John was shown a fake Bride. Satan will use every deceitful trick he has in order to deceive the people that make up the fake Bride into believing they are the real Bride of Christ. John called the fake Bride the "Great Harlot." Obviously if Satan can devise a deceit that makes this happen, he will cause millions to be lost. Our 64 Questions are examinations of Pre-Trib and Dispensationalism, so, let's carefully look at Pre-Trib's Theory of the Bride of Christ. Pre-Trib claims there are seven Dispensations during our earth's duration. According to Pre-Trib, six of these Dispensations require obedience to God and His Commandments, but one Dispensation replaces obedience with, "Grace," and during that Dispensation, God requires His people set aside His Law. Pre-Trib says the only people qualified to become members of the Bride of Christ are those born in what they call the, "Grace Age" (also called Grace Dispensation). Pre-Trib says there will be no Old Testament believers within the Bride of Christ! It also says that Tribulation believers who defy and defeat Antichrist during the Great Tribulation will be excluded from the Bride!
God Demands Disobedience?
Pre-Trib says the reason, "Grace Age" (Grace Dispensation) people qualify to be the Bride is because they've taken advantage of this, "Grace" during which time God DEMANDS they disregard God's Law, most specifically His Sabbath Commandment! Do Pre-Trib promoters need to examined their Theory?
Disobedient People Rewarded - Obedient People Punished
It seems impossible to believe that Pre-Trib actually says disobedient people are rewarded for their disobedience and obedient people are punished for their obedience! Let's look a little closer.
"The Grace Dispensation"
Some Dispensational Ministers even teach that persons living during this, "Grace Age" will be lost because they are trying to obey God's Law. Sadly some of today's best and most honest ministers unwittingly endorse this Doctrine.
How Does Pre-Trib Conclude Such?
Pre-Trib is actually not much different from almost all of Christianity concerning this confusion about, "Grace." Almost all Christians claim that, after Jesus died, we are no longer under the Law, but under Grace. This is true! But, does, "no longer under the Law" mean we are free to kill, commit adultery, steal, and worship other gods? Of course not, but, 90+% of Christians believe that Grace demands us to disregard certain portions of God's Law. Most Christian Ministers teach that the Sabbath Commandment has been abolished, and that a man-made replacement has been instituted. These Ministers teach that God is pleased with this! Pre-Trib teaching that the ONLY people within Christ's Bride will be Grace Age people brings up something that needs more examination.
The Bride of Christ - GREATEST in the Kingdom!
Jesus identified who would be the, "Greatest in His Kingdom." If there will be People and Angels and other Created Beings throughout Eternity in God's Everlasting Kingdom, would it not stand to reason that the GREATEST of these creatures would be those within that special group called, "The BRIDE of Christ?" Who did Jesus say would be the "Greatest in His Kingdom?"
The Greatest are Keepers of God's Commandments!
Jesus clearly told who would be the Greatest and who would be considered Least in His Kingdom.
"Whosoever shall break one of these LEAST Commandments, and TEACH MEN SO shall be called LEAST in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whosoever shall DO and TEACH them shall be called GREAT in the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matt. 5:19). Pastor, let's be honest! Are not the words of Jesus the complete opposite from Pre-Trib's view. According to Pre-Trib, Jesus should have reversed His words! Pre-Trib says that those who, "teach men" to break His Law will be the Greatest and will become Christ's Bride, while those who, "obey and teach His Commandments" will be lost!!
Satan told Eve
What did Satan tell Eve? He said disobeying God would elevate her and Adam to be Like Gods" (See Gen.3:5). How is this different from our popular Preachers telling us that if we disobey God, He will elevate us into becoming the Bride of Christ?
Reversing Christ's Words is Sin?
If the Reader is a member of a Pre-Trib Church, he or she will be thinking, "This is wrong! My Pastor does not teach that we must disobey God's Law in order to be among those who will be Christ's Bride!" If, however, the Reader is a Pre-Trib Pastor, you are aware that what we present is exactly what Pre-Trib teaches. Chances are you've never considered it in this way. Certain TV Ministers declare that those who obey that "Least Commandment," the Sabbath, and teach others to obey it, will be lost and go to Hell! Such Pastors say that obedience is trying to do away with Grace, thus placing ourselves back under the Law, and rejecting Jesus! Some Ministers say Sabbath observers are trying to work their way to Heaven. Anyone can plainly see that those teaching such foolishness are reversing the words of Jesus, and in doing so, they are in danger of being eternally lost!
Bride of Christ or Mark of the Beast?
In our Blogsite, Antichrist's Name, we show that this notion claiming, "Grace frees us to disobey God's Law" is Satan's lie and is leading victims directly into the Mark of the Beast. So, billions of people might think they're Christ's Bride while on a collision course with the Mark of the Beast! Thus, we MUST know who is the real Bride of Christ.
The Bride, The Church, and the Marriage Supper
. Pre-Trib says Christ's Bride will be Raptured away to Heaven before the "Great Tribulation". It says the "Marriage Supper of the Lamb" also occurs before the Tribulation. However, Scripture says the most prominent persons within the Bride will come directly out of the "Tribulation." If Pre-Trib is wrong, billions of Church people will be exactly like the 5 foolish virgins; NOT prepared (See Matt. 25:1-13)!
So, this is not just a little "oops" mistake on the part of our Popular Ministers! It is walking directly into Satan's trap! Billions who think they're "Saved" could unwittingly wear the Mark of the Beast, and be eternally lost!
The Marriage Supper of the Lamb
Study Text #1—Matt.26:28-29 “For this is the blood of the New Testament (New Covenant), which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you (His New Covenant People) in My Father’s Kingdom” (Matt.26:28-29).
At the very beginning of His Father’s Kingdom, Jesus will celebrate the “Marriage Supper of the Lamb” with His “New Covenant People.” It is very important to note here that Pre-Trib says this Marriage Supper happens 7 years BEFORE God's Kingdom is set up! We'll see in a moment why this is so important. Let's look at how Luke records Christ's words:
“I will NOT any more eat thereof, until it be FULFILLED in the Kingdom of God” (Lk.22:16). “I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the Kingdom of God shall come” (Lk.22:18). Underscore “fulfilled” and “shall come.” Pre-Trib says this Heavenly Supper takes place 7 years before the Kingdom of God. Either Pre-Trib is wrong, or Jesus is wrong. Of course Jesus is right, so let's look at 3 facts from Him:
Fact #1 — Jesus made the New Covenant with His Disciples, the founders of His Church, thus the New Covenant is between Jesus and the Church, NOT between Jesus and some future generation of Jews.
Theory Disagrees, saying the Church is the Bride, but the New Covenant is NOT for the Church, only for Jews after the Church is Raptured.
Fact #2 — Jesus will not eat the bread and drink the wine until He drinks it new with the founders of His Church, and those later becoming His Church. Jesus will not participate in any celebration meal until He eats and drinks it with His New Covenant People.
Theory Disagrees, saying Jesus will eat the bread and drink the wine with His Church immediately after He "snatches" them to Heaven as His Bride. The Theory says that the New Covenant people are still back on earth and are not even Christian believers yet; says the New Covenant people and the Church people are entirely separate.
Fact #3 — This celebration meal, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, takes place after the Kingdom of God is established, and ONLY with New Covenant participants.
Theory Disagrees, saying the Marriage Supper occurs 7 years before the Kingdom of God is established.
So, Who's the Bride Really?
We can settle exactly who the Bride really is by accepting exactly what Jesus said at that Lord's Supper. The Bride is every person that is saved by the Blood of Jesus. Those before His death are saved by looking forward to the Messiah. Those after His Death are saved by looking back.
Why Pre-Trib Disagrees
Pre-Trib has a Dilemma! Pre-Tribbers cannot accept what we present here because, if they accept the fact that the Church and the New Covenant people are the same, the entire Pre-Trib Theory becomes null and void. If the Church and New Covenant Israel are the same, there'll be no Church being snatched out of the world before the Tribulation. If this is true, whatever obligations and responsibilities belong to New Covenant Israel, the same belong to the Church.
The Sabbath During the Tribulation
Pre-Trib says that New Covenant Israel, during the Tribulation, is obligated to obey God's Law, including the Sabbath. Thus, unless Theory promoters can separate the Church out away from whoever the New Covenant people are, Theory promoters are forced to admit that all true Church people will obeying all of the 10 Commandments, including the Sabbath, during the Tribulation.
Do We Believe Jesus or a Theory?
There's another reason the Theory tries to separate the Church from the New Covenant. The reason is found in the very definition of the Covenant.
New Covenant is Jesus writing His LAW, His 10 Commandments, all Ten, in the hearts and minds of His people Israel (See Jer.31:31; Heb.8:8). In the Blog titled, Is the Church Israel, we prove from Scripture that it is.
But, the Theory, along with the vast majority of Christianity, says, "Grace frees us from the Law". God can't write His Law in our hearts if He annulled it at the Cross.
We have a choice. We can say, Grace empowers believers to obey or Grace frees believers to disobey. Someday soon Christ's true Bride will “keep the Commandments of God and have the faith and testimony of Jesus” (Rev.12:17; 14:12). She'll defeat Satan when he "makes war on her" (Rev.12:17).
When the character of Jesus is reflected in His people, His Bride, Satan's defeat will be complete, thus he concocts diversionary tactics to confuse the Bride. Presently he seems to be succeeding, but there’s great news. He'll fail, miserably!!!
Christ's true Church; His true Bride, His true Elect, true Israel, will stand and say, "We want to be New Covenant believers. We want His Law written in our hearts and minds. We’re tired of the suffering and wickedness here on earth. We want to go Home to the place Jesus prepared for us. We're willing to do whatever Jesus wants. We want to reflect His Character."
Then God moves. He will have His army. He will tell the four angels holding the four winds of strife to let go because HIS PEOPLE ARE READY!! Satan will then make war on God’s Commandment keeping Bride. But, he's no match for God’s fully empowered army.
The Real Bride and the 144 Thousand
The Bride is made up of the redeemed from creation to the Second Coming. But within those making up the Bride, John speaks of a special, last-day, smaller group he calls the 144 thousand.
Pre-Trib's Version of the 144 Thousand
Pre-Trib says the 144 Thousand have no part in the Bride of Christ. However, Scripture says they're the most honored members of the Bride. If it is true that Scripture says this, the very foundation of the Theory crumbles. If the key portion of the Bride is the absolute focus of Satan’s war during the Tribulation, obviously the Bride cannot be "snatched away" to Heaven before the Tribulation. Christ’s Bride will be the warriors empowered to defeat Antichrist and his agents.
What's Satan's War About?
What are Christ's people doing during the Tribulation that makes Satan wroth? By using his false prophets for the past 2000 years he's been saying the Commandments of God are un-keepable, and un-necessary. He says, "Grace frees you to disobey God's Law!" Small wonder he makes war against Christ's Bride, because during the Tribulation they are, "keeping the Commandments of God and demonstrating the faith and testimony of Jesus” (Rev.12:17; 14:12).
Study Text #2–Rev.14:4-5 “These (the 144,000) are they who were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they who follow the Lamb wherever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile [deceit]; for they are without fault before the throne of God.” These 144 thousand are front and center representing Jesus during the Tribulation. They're the “first fruits” and “follow Jesus wherever He goes,” thus they have a special relationship with Jesus. If ever a people resembled a Bride, the 144 thousand do absolutely:
- They are “virgins," meaning they're not contaminated by doctrines of Antichrist.
- “Not defiled with women” means they have no connection with the “great whore”, the “mother of harlots" (Rev.17:1,5), or any of her harlot daughters.
- "No Guile" means they teach NO LIES promoted by Antichrist, also called Babylon (See Vs.18).
The last-day 144 thousand are those who studied, prayed, and answered the call to, “Come out of (Babylon) her My people” (Rev.18:4). They reject disobedience to God’s Law and "Keep God's Commandments" (Rev. 12:17; 14:12). They believe Jesus said, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me on My throne, just as I overcame and am set down with My Father in His throne” (Rev.3:21). “He that overcometh shall inherit all things” (Rev.21:7).
For 6000 years the enemy of our souls has declared God’s Laws unfair and unkeepable. At present he declares, Grace frees you to disobey God's Law! That lie will destroy him and all who he dupes with it. He’ll be utterly humiliated in his end-time war against Christ's Commandment keeping Bride.
Jesus came to earth as a human and proved that humans could obey God, provided they ask Him for strength. Imagine Satan’s embarrassment Jesus proved that humans can obey God. Imagine his utter humiliation when 144 thousand humans defeat him through God's power.
The Bible says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me” (Phil.4:13). These last-day overcomers have special honor within the Bride of Christ. No wonder Satan concocts confusing doctrines and Theories about them.
"Follow the Lamb Wherever He Goes"
"They (the 144,000) follow the Lamb wherever He goeth” (Rev.14:4). In marriage ceremonies, we hear, “Whether thou goest, I will go. Wheither thou lodgest, I will lodge.” So it will be with the Bride of Christ. The 144 thousand will have a special closeness to Jesus. They sing a song no other persons can sing (Vs.3). It seems these 144 thousand are special because they endured the Time of Trouble—the worst persecution ever, and during this time, with the strength given them by God, they were overcomers. These 144 thousand face down Satan, his demons, and his Antichrist. They reflect the character of Jesus (Rev.12:17; 14:12). They “walk even as He walked” (1Jn.2:6). They “overcame even as He overcame” (Rev.3:21). "And so shall they ever be with the Lord” (1Thess. 4:17)."The First Fruits"
The 144 Thousand are “redeemed from among men, the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb” (Rev.14:4, last part). On this "first fruits" point, the Theory completely disagrees. It says the Church is the first fruits, not the 144 thousand. If the church and the 144 Thousand are the same, there's no conflict. But the Theory says no. It says that when the Church is snatched away, the 144 Thousand are still unbelievers continuing in the Jewish tradition of rejecting Jesus as the Messiah. Did John make a mistake calling the 144 thousand the “first fruits?” Not a chance!!
144 Thousand Stand Before the Throne
The Bible says that, instead of being “left behind”, the 144 Thousand will be standing “before the throne of God." “And they sang, as it were, a new song before the Throne" (Vs.3, first part). "they were without fault before the Throne of God" (Vs.5, last part).
Thus, contrary to the Pre-Trib Theory, the 144 Thousand are not left behind here on earth for 7 years and then for another 1000 years during a so-called Earthly Millennial Kingdom. They are in Heaven appearing before the "Throne of God."
144 Thousand - "No Guile"
John said, "in their mouth was found no guile (deceit)” (Vs.5, first part). They teach no deceiving Theories; no false doctrines promoted by Babylon, Antichrist's Church.
“They are without fault before the throne of God” (Vs.5, last part). This fits together with words from Jesus: “He that overcometh shall inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he shall be My son” (Rev.21:7)(See Phil.4:13).
The 144 Thousand are Israelites Only?
The Bible says the 144 thousand are included in the Church and the Bride of Christ. But, Scripture identifies the 144 Thousand as Jews only. John said they come from “all the tribes of the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL” (Rev.7:4). He even names all 12 tribes (See Vss.5-8). Paul wrote: “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s then ye are Abraham’s seed and HEIRS according to the PROMISE” (Gal.3:26-29).
Why does John say the 144 Thousand come from the 12 tribes? We offer a possible answer that may solve this whole question. God has a purpose for everything in Scripture, thus He had a reason for saying the 144 Thousand are from the 12 tribes of Israel.
It is mathematically and statistically possible, actually probable, that EVERY LIVING PERSON on earth today is a blood descendant of one of the twelve sons of Israel. Ten of the tribes were dispersed into the rest of earth’s population 2700 years ago. Where did they go? James wrote: “James, a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, to the TWELVE TRIBES which are scattered abroad, greeting” (Js,1:1). James obviously considered the Church and the 12 tribes one and the same. Peter called the Church the Elect (1Pet.1:2). Paul called the Church the Elect (Rom.8:33; Tit.1:1). These may be all the explanation needed. But, let’s look at something:
If you trace your family tree back 500 years, you’ll have approximately a million great-grandparents. If you're a member of earth's general population, it is extremely likely that hundreds of your ancestors are descendants of Jacob. It's more likely that there are thousands. Combine this with, "If you are Christ's, you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:29), then add James calling the Church the “twelve tribes,” and Peter calling the Church the “Elect”, and you must conclude that, one way or the other, you are an Israelite.
Of course God knows the bloodline of every human on earth, thus separating earth's population into 12 groups would be a simple task. In each group, He could set aside the most sincere and honest members and we'd have 144 Thousand. It is with just such providential grooming that God gave us Joseph, Elisha, Daniel, and other Bible giants.
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an Holy Nation, a peculiar people (people of His own), that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Who in time past were not a people but are now the people of God” (1Pet.2:9).
New Jerusalem Is The Bride?
There is one more final proof that settles exactly who the Bride of Christ really is. "And there came unto me one of the seven angels... saying, 'Come here, I will show thee the Bride, the Lamb's Wife.' And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that Great City, the Holy Jerusalem, descending out of Heaven from God" (Rev. 21:9-10).
Whoever occupies that Holy City as it descends from God out of Heaven is the Bride of Christ. When this City descends, there are only 2 groups of humans present; the wicked standing outside the City in preparation for the Great White Throne Judgment and the Redeemed inside the City where they have already, "lived and reigned with Christ for a 1000 years" (Rev.20:6).
The potential Bride of Christ is in grave danger. Popular Theories abound telling them they can disregard God's Law because "Grace frees them from the Law." Scripture says, however, that Satan will make war on God's True Church because they "Keep the Commandments of God" (Rev.12:17; 14:12).
Christ's Bride must reject Antichrist's "Changed Time Law," and She will do exactly this, and She will become Christ's True Church; His Elect; His Remnant; His True Israel; and yes, His Bride.
Some will question that the Bride of Christ includes all of God's saved people, with a special portion of people within that defied and defeated Antichrist through the power Jesus gave them. The fact that ALL of the world's Redeemed will be the Bride of Christ can be seen in the following vision given to John: "And there came one of the seven Angels...saying, Come here, I will show you the Bride, the Lamb's Wife. And he carried me away to in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the Great City, the Holy Jerusalem descending out of Heaven from God" (Rev.21:9-10)! EVERYONE inside New Jerusalem, as it descends from God out of Heaven, is the BRIDE of CHRIST. Those inside that City have "Lived and reigned with Christ for a 1000 years" (Rev.20:4 - last part)! Thus to first 1000 years of Christ's Everlasting Kingdom will be finished. New Jerusalem, with Christ's Bride living inside, moves to Earth, Earth is "Made New," and Eternity continues!
Thank you SO much, Dear Reader, for your time. May God be with us as we seek to become part of His True Bride.
Your Brother in Christ
Walter C. Martin Jr.
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