The Bride

In the beginning there was God.  He filled a timeless void.  He had been there forever in the past and would continue to be there forever in the future, because time did not exist.  God was triune. His name was Yahweh. He existed as pure Spirit, a person, but also as a Father, another person, in relationship with a third person, His offspring, a Son.

And the Son differed in personality to both the Father and the Spirit. He was fully Yahweh, yet He had a longing in his heart.   He approached His Father to explain His longing and sought permission to share eternity, both the future and the past, with a new creation. Yahweh was all-powerful and this new creation could come into existence, simply by His spoken word. Yahweh was pure goodness and light.  Not just any new creation could share eternity with Him. 

Somewhere in the timeless void, without so much as having physical or even spiritual expression, existed an energy which was the diametrical opposite of God’s goodness.  It had a name.  And that name was Evil. The only reason Evil existed was to make sense of God’s goodness and light. So Evil was characterised by badness and darkness.  Evil had no power over God’s perfection, so it was inert and without function.

The Father understood the longing in his Son’s heart.  It was a longing for a relationship that could not be met by the Father-Son-Spirit relationship.  It was the longing for a Bride. It was the longing for a particular type of intimacy.  This type of intimacy called for communication with intelligence outside of the Trinity.

He also understood the enormous implications of introducing a new creation into the timeless void, because to make the new relationship meaningful, the new creation would have to choose of its own freewill where it wanted to spend eternity.  He knew that if it didn’t have the capacity to make that choice, the new relationship could never satisfy the longing in his Son’s heart. For that reason, and only that reason, Evil would suddenly be given a target.

Nevertheless, Yahweh decided to proceed with the new creation. He knew already that in the final summation, only part of the new creation would choose to be with His Son forever. The remainder would have to be relegated for eternity to that place Evil had occupied before it had a target. Yet He dearly wished all of the creation would make the choice to be with the Son. The Son had a will of His own, and could have embarked on a creative project without the Father’s input or cooperation. However, He willingly submitted to the Father’s wisdom.  This would be a joint project between all three persons of the Trinity.

The new creation needed a medium for existence, so Yahweh invented a thing called ‘time’ to control the heavens and the earth, which he had spoken into existence. The heavens were filled with angels, the earth with energy and water.  Time was intricately interwoven with space, light, motion and matter, all factors of the energy He had created. Time could be measured.  Its standard unit was a day. The day had a period of light and a period of darkness, to speak to the new creation he was about to place upon the earth. It was to be a prophetic revelation of the choice it would be called upon to make.  But even the darkness had lights in it, to reassure the creation that God was still around when darkness invaded.

The new creation would be called ‘Man’.  Man needed a place to exist, so God created an environment full of life and good things. All the life placed upon the earth was designed to reproduce after its own kind.  Everything had a purpose. All of nature basically looked after itself, except for some minor gardening to give Man an interest. And Man was given authority to rule over the environment God had made for him.

Man was dependent upon God.  Everything in the environment was good, except for one thing. God had made Man in His own image, so the longing in the Son’s heart had been reproduced as a smouldering need in Man’s heart.  God could see it wasn’t good, so, almost as an afterthought, He created a helper for him. It would be the pinnacle of His creation – another prophetic revelation, this time of something that would help Man comprehend the Son’s longing.  Male and female he made them. Man had longed for a soul-mate, much the way the Son longed for a deep and meaningful, intimate relationship.  Meet Adam and Eve, the first human beings on the planet.  All of their offspring would have the same longing. It was to be the driving force in populating the planet, for male and female to become one, as a picture of the way the Son longed to become one with a Bride made up of many souls sharing one spiritual Body. 

Yahweh started courting Man …

But something awful was about to happen. Evil now had a target and it had left its hideout. It attacked the angels in the heavens first. It assaulted their thought processes with temptations, and questioned the basis for their loyalty.  Many rebelled.  They were led by Lucifer, soon to be renamed Satan. And they were cast out of heaven, destined for hell fire.  Lucifer had wanted to usurp God’s throne.  Evil had swollen his heart and mind with pride, a few screws had loosened, and suddenly he wanted to be God’s equal. Worse, he wanted to take God’s place!  Now, there was darkness and evil on the loose in the new material universe.  And it had chosen its battleground, Earth. But it was a necessary evil. In its absence, man could not make his choice.

And so Satan tempted Eve with the prospect of becoming God’s equal.  So far, good and evil had only been vague concepts in the mind of man. Satan tempted her with independence, to actually understand the difference between good and evil.  He lied to her, and slandered God in the process by suggesting it was God who had lied.  Eve gave in to the temptation and then persuaded Adam to do the same.  They ate of forbidden fruit and became mortal as a result.  Death entered God’s creation.  A curse was placed over both Adam and Eve.  And they were cast out of Eden, the wonderful place God had prepared for them.  Broken engagement number one!

Adam and Eve were genetically perfect, so they lived long lives. They had many children and they told them all what had happened in Eden. All their offspring knew about Yahweh, generation after generation, that He was the one God, who had created everything.  But the damage had been done. Man had made his first selfish choice, and was hell-bent to make more.  Like a child that runs away once, the second time is so much easier. Centuries passed and instead of the world’s population turning back to Yahweh, they became more and more degenerate. Yahweh came to regret His creative exercise and decided to destroy the whole thing. But there was one small group of people that still remained faithful to Him, headed by a man called Noah. So God extended mercy to save them, as well as save the genetic diversity He had placed on the earth. 

Time-wise, the Bride was still a long way off.

Noah’s offspring populated the entire globe. They travelled from continent to continent. They passed on stories of the God who had destroyed the entire planet in a world-wide flood, and saved just a few people and animals to start again. Wherever they rested, the evidence was there.  Fossils of drowned and buried creatures were found on the highest mountains, in the lowest valleys, in the most hidden secret places of rocks on the earth. But man turned away from God, wanting to do his own thing and to control his own destiny.

And the Bride for the Son was still a long way off.

And Man was aware of the longing in his heart, but could no longer identify it.  It was more complex than just an attraction for the opposite sex. His spirit was fallen, destined to die. Man could sense his spirit needed to be plugged into something, but didn’t know what. The disconnection with Yahweh was felt as a spiritual emptiness. Man tried to fix the problem by creating false gods, and as long as he deluded himself that this was meaningful, it satisfied him to some extent.  But the practice stirred up anger in the heart of Yahweh. Having other gods take His place was tantamount to adultery.  It was unfaithfulness of the heart. It didn’t matter that these gods were just powerless inventions. It was unfaithfulness just the same.  Broken engagement number two. 

The Son’s Bride was still a long time coming. 

So Yahweh isolated one community out of all the earth, to become His chosen Bride. He courted them like none before, exalting them above other nations, making them victorious in battle by supernatural means.  This group was known as Israel, after a descendant of Abraham, a man of God.   Yahweh made a covenant with them, to be their God as long as they walked before Him.  He gave them commandments carved on stone tablets, and ordered them to build the Ark of the Covenant to hold them. Being a nomadic people, they carried the Ark on long rods for years, together with a make-shift temple made of curtains. God, being righteous, could not bear to look upon the inevitable sins of His people, so He set up a system to cover their sins. It involved the shedding of blood of animals without imperfections, which would be sacrificed on an altar by a priest representing God.  Heavy curtains separated the Ark from the people. The only way the man in the street could approach God was via the priesthood. Then God gave them a land of their own.   And eventually Solomon built a permanent Temple to house the Ark.

But Israel was a tough and fickle lot. They would serve Yahweh faithfully for years and just when everything was going great guns, they would scream and complain and finally rebel.  Time and again they deserted their God, who would then abandon them to be conquered by other nations.  Broken engagement number three.

The Bride was still no more than a speck on the horizon.

Then God sent prophets to tell His people to repent. They told of a new covenant in the making, to replace the imperfect one He had made earlier. This new covenant involved the coming of a Messiah, someone who would deliver them and set them free with one final, perfect, blood sacrifice.  When the Deliverer finally arrived, the chosen people were under Roman rule.  They could think only in terms of being delivered from oppression by the Romans.  The Deliverer spoke of a much greater deliverance – deliverance from the curse placed upon Adam, the curse of sin and death. They didn’t like what they heard, and so they had Him crucified. His name was Jesus, king of the Jews.  He became that final perfect blood sacrifice. He was Yahweh, the Son.  He was totally God and at the same time totally human, a transformation which was the greatest act of humility this world would ever witness.  He had come to lay down His life for the Bride with whom He longed to share eternity.  And in an ironic twist, it was His own Bride-to-be who put Him to death. Broken engagement number four.

Darkness invaded the earth for the last three hours of Jesus’ life.  The Bride looked like that was the finish of her. 

Yahweh the Son, also known as Jesus of Nazareth, was declared dead after six hours on a cross.  A centurion opened His stomach with the sharp edge of a spear.  Blood, separated into haemoglobin and plasma, spilled out. A sure indication of death. Earthquakes shook the land, and graves were opened and the dead walked.  The heavy Temple curtains, having hung for centuries to separate the people from God, were torn in two by supernatural forces, as a symbolic gesture ushering in a new age of worship.  Jesus was taken down from the cross, wrapped in linen and laid in a tomb. It was Friday evening. 

On Sunday morning He rose again.

Jesus physically appeared to His faithful followers. They had hidden away, out of fear they too would be crucified.  But when they saw Him alive, just the way He had predicted, their joy knew no bounds. He was taken up into the heavens, but promised that God’s own Spirit would come to help them in their assigned mission.  The Holy Spirit arrived nearly two months after the crucifixion, on the day of Pentecost. He turned timid fishermen into fearless preachers. From that moment on, Man no longer needed a building to worship God.  The people became the Temple! 

Thousands of souls were added to the Bride.  And finally the prospect of a wedding for the Son became plausible.  The way for redemption had been established.

On one level, redemption, (deliverance from the curse), had been intended onlyfor the chosen people. On another level altogether, it had always been intended for all of mankind. On the first level, God was so disgusted with the behaviour of His Bride-to-be, He decided to share the new covenant with the Gentiles as well. On the other level, God always knew this was going to happen, and the names of the Gentiles to be saved were already written in the Book of life. He exists beyond time.  He has already been here in our future. Did He plan all this?  The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no’.  To give man the greatest opportunity to choose to be with Him, he needed all the created souls to have as much time as possible to reach that decision.  The fact that man was free to make that decision introduced a question mark into the equation.  But He foreknew the decisions they would make, and in that sense they were destined to become part of the Bride.  One the second level, God also knew exactly the heart of each decision maker, and He selectedthose with good hearts, right from the start.

But the process of preparing a Bride was not as simple as it first appeared. Redemption only called for a heartfelt cry for salvation.  However, transformationwas another matter altogether. Mankind cried out to be saved, but remained selfish. The intention was that all the saved souls would surrender their fallen spirits, nailing them to a cross.  They would then be ready to be united into a most powerful and effective ‘Body of Christ’ by God’s Holy Spirit, a perfect Bride for Jesus. But the people were not willing to surrender that part of themselves, because the right to be independent from God, established by Eve so many years ago, would disappear with it.  It was on a par with asking women to give up the right to vote, and put their burnt bras back on. It was like asking people with dark skin to go back into slavery.  Self-confidence and self-reliance and self-achievement were considered positive character traits.  And they all had their source in the human spirit.  Yahweh kept on courting His Bride, hoping she would turn from her craving for independence and want to become one with Him …

Again, the engagement looked decidedly shaky.

The Bride stumbled along, trying to come to terms with the new parameters for a real relationship with their God.  It was hard enough not having a Temple to go to and being able to avoid responsibility for your sin by burning animals.  Relationships take a lot of time, and now God wanted to spend lots of it with His people, in one-on-one communication.  Instead of having some priest telling you what the scriptures mean, Jesus wanted to teach you personally. Instead of bringing a tithe into the storehouse, God wanted all of your heart!  Instead of having a predetermined ritual to follow, He now wanted Man to be led by His Spirit. You could never be sure where things were going. Instead of being able to do your own thing most of the time, God wanted Man to become co-dependent on Him.  He asked for all pride to be done away with. He asked for unashamed transparency, unqualified honesty. He expected passionate devotion. These were big asks.  Bigger than anything man had ever imagined would be required of him.  It went slap-bang against the grain of his make-up.  It was not looking good …

Centuries passed.  Man went back to his selfish ways.  He killed those he couldn’t get on with, or those who stood in the way of his ambitions, often in the name of his God. He became more deceitful than he had ever been.  He learned the subtle techniques practiced by Satan. Often he would strike a deal with him, to learn to manipulate and undermine others to his own advantage.  He tried to put God back into a box, so Man could have all the benefits of salvation, yet still be in control.  In an unspoken pact with Satan, he turned life in the Spirit back into religion. The words were still the same, but they now had a different meaning. The deeds Christians performed still had the appearance of good, but Jesus never knew them.  And ever so slowly the deeds also turned sour. The church became an organisation that took advantage of the simple, the poor, the uneducated, the underdogs. The church set up a hierarchy to rule over its subjects and abolished the freedom for which Jesus had died.  They sold them indulgences and refused to let them read the Bible for themselves.  A thousand years after the crime, they sent crusaders to avenge Christ’s crucifixion. Broken engagement number five.

The Bride had never looked so remote.

Many more centuries passed.  History saw many men of God try to bring back Truth into the Church. But the spirit of Man was still striving with the Spirit of God. Prophets came and went.  The Church turned into an institution, used by men to gain and maintain control over others.  Power, sex and money had always been the greatest corrupting influences in Satan’s game. He used them to his greatest advantage.  The Church was no longer in touch with the Spirit.  So it lost its revelation.  It lost its protection. It lost its meaning.   It lost its spiritual power. It lost its reason for being.  It compromised God’s message. 

But men cannot subvert what God is determined to achieve.  God is, and always will be, sovereign.  Thank God!  Throughout history there were people who truly loved Him. They carried His banner. They shared the true Gospel. They laid down their lives. They acted on their passion.   They spoke up when things were wrong. 

Because of them, the prospect of a Bride for Jesus is still alive today.

Men generally became disenchanted with the political power the Church entertained. They recognised that the Spirit was often not present in the organised Church, so they took advantage of the opportunity and tried to disprove the very words that gave the Church its authority. Many unbelievers hated the idea of accountability to a higher being.  And they resented having their moral code dictated by an institution they didn’t support. They figured if they could prove that the foundation for belief in a higher being was false, the entire structure would collapse.  

So they tackled the very first words God had spoken. And they had a keen collaborator in Satan. They made up a totally new theory explaining how Man came to be here. Things, they said, had just made themselves. It was a law of nature for things to spontaneously make themselves.  They had millions of supporters, all people unwilling to acknowledge Yahweh.  The hidden agenda was not scientific advancement, nor was it to prove outright that God does not exist. The real hidden agenda was to preserve independence, unaccountability, and unrestricted licence to tamper with God’s creation.  Millions more jumped on the bandwagon, all keen to maintain the momentum of the assault. The pressure to adopt the new explanation for existence was huge.  Thousands of scientific theses seemed to prove that, as far as how the earth came into being and how long it had taken, the Bible was wrong.  

The Church compromised its Great Commission, to pander to worldly demands. The Church came up with numerous different theoretical compromises, hoping that at least the rest of the Bible would remain believable, if they made concessions on the first few chapters.  But once they made concessions on the first few chapters, no one knew where to stop. At what point did God start telling the truth? Was any of it true? Did Jesus really once exist? Was it just a story? Did He really die? Did He really rise again? The concessions had damaged far more than the first few chapters. If sin and death didn’t enter the world through one man’s transgression, what was Jesus on about?  They had damaged the credibility of the entire Word of God, and the reputation of the entire movement following Him. The deception was so convincing and the peer pressure so great, that free thinking on the subject of origins was virtually banished from schools and universities. 

And the Bride idea was almost forgotten.

And the Church today is reaping the consequences.  The battle for the hearts and minds of the people has turned into a maelstrom of confusing intellectual argument.  Worldly religious leaders argue you can love God with just your heart.  The mind can stay in another place.  Contemporary scientific research is finding huge holes in the new explanation for our existence, but Man is too proud to admit he was wrong.  And he is unwilling to surrender his independence.  Too much is at stake to go back now.  So Man continues to present a crumbling theory as fact. The discrimination and crime against humanity, directly attributable to the ‘new explanation for existence’, is unprecedented.  It is not possible to put a number on the deaths that it has caused.   

Jesus told us, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30). This is the most important commandment. It is not an option.  If you love God with your mind, you accept the things He told you.

The writing is on the wall where evolutionary theory is concerned. Satan is rushed off his feet to find a plausible alternative to take its place.  What about aliens?  Would that do it?  At the same time, he is working in other areas to undermine God’s purpose. He knows he has a fertile sowing field. The intellectual arena may have changed, but the people haven’t.  They crave their independence, even if they think they have ‘given their lives to Jesus’. Satan knows money was always a good distraction.  Independent Man loves money.  Money buys power. Money buys influence.  Money demands respect.  Money is a great way to deceive even the best intentioned among men.  In the secular arena, there are few things money can’t buy. So Satan thinks, let’s bring the corruptive influence of money into the Church. Think how much good you Christians can do with lots of money! Then let’s play on their self-esteem.  God wants you to be successful for His sake!  Think how much good you can do on Jesus’ behalf, if only you were successful!  How many more red-herrings can he think up to keep Christians from entering into the way of the real Gospel?

It’s not about what you can do for Jesus. It’s about what Jesus can do throughyou. He laid down His life for us.  Now it is time for us to lay down our lives for Him.

Jesus has not given up on His courtship of mankind.  But He’s not coming back until the Father gives His OK.


It’s hard to say exactly what the true Bride will look like. But Yahweh knows.  All we can go by is our understanding of the words in the Bible. The early church in Acts was probably as close to the real thing as the world has seen so far. I believe that the organized church will play no part in it. I believe the time will come, but is not yet, when all genuine Christians will be called to come out of the organized church (Revelation 18:4).  

I envisage the real Bride will comprise small groups of Christians who are genuinely selfless, people who would die for the Gospel, for Jesus and for each other, if they were called upon to do so. They will meet in homes with low overheads and without official leadership. There would be no hierarchy. They will all love each other more than they love themselves.  Their ‘leaders’ would be gifted to lead by the Holy Spirit. All members would possess the discernment to tell who was gifted at the time, and would submit to such leadership as the Holy Spirit prompts. They would all submit to one another, resulting in unprecedented unity of heart.  I believe the Holy Spirit would cause them to take turns, to prevent the entrenchment of leaders. Spiritual gifts would manifest as needed.  ‘Leaders’ wouldserve their flock in great humility, rather than ‘lead’ in a secular fashion. And all would be intimately in touch with the Lord, moment by moment, taught the Truth of the Gospel by Jesus Himself.  They will see the rest of the world through eyes full of compassion, mercy and grace.  And their love for each other will be the testimony the world has been waiting for.


“And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who is thirsty come. Whoever so desires, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17)