Is the Body of Christ the Church, and is the Bride of Christ also the Body of Christ?

Commentary By:  Gordon King

I very recently had a comment posted that told me I was wrong in believing that the bride of Christ is the same as the body of Christ, that the two are in fact not the same.  Have I been corrected?  What is the truth?  I have never before heard this and it has stroked my curiosity.  I asked this believer to please give me scripture to back up what he is telling me, however, I have not heard back from him at this point in time.  Aren’t we all seeking the truth?

This is a short study that I have done so that I may find the truth, so that I may share with others just what God tells us is the truth regarding the body of Christ, the church, and the Bride of Christ.

You can believe what I believe which is taken from scripture or not, it’s your choice.  All of us will not agree with all things, I believe what I read and study in scripture, what the good Lord leads me to believe.  I seek the truth and this is the truth that I get from the word of God, you may see things differently or perhaps have more enlightenment about the subject than I do, and that’s ok, it’s a learning and growing experience with God.

For many years I have known the “church” to be the “body of Christ”, and I have also known the “body of Christ” to be the “bride of Christ”.  What does the bible have to say about this subject?

This verse from the apostle Paul seems to sum it all up, but I cannot stop there, I must continue to search the scriptures for more of the truth, more evidence of what the apostle Paul is saying here.

Romans 7:4

Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.

The apostle Paul was speaking to believers in Rome.  In Romans 7:4 he states that we may be married to Jesus Christ.  This is from the NKJV, some other versions do not speak of marriage (ESV: belong to another; YLT: for your becoming another’s; TLB And now you are “married,” so to speak).  However, in the book of Ephesians the apostle Paul writes in comparison of husbands and wives to Himself and the church, or His body.

There are some who argue that the parable of the “Ten Virgins” is an example that not all believers will be at the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Matthew 25:1-13

“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them,but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.

“And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.

First of all we must know what Jesus means by this parable.  He is not speaking about the marriage supper of the Lamb specifically, but about those who will enter the kingdom of heaven and those who will not.  Five of the virgins were saved, they had their lamps full of oil, while the other five were not saved, they had no oil.  This is easily seen when we read verse 12, when Jesus says “Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you”.  What believers does Jesus not know?!  Of course He knows all of us, we belong to Him, each and every believer!  The only way we can be prepared for the coming of Jesus Christ is to be saved, nothing we can do ourselves can make us ready.

In this next epistle written to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul tells us that Jesus Christ is the head of the church which is His body.  He goes on to talk about wives submitting to their husbands as the church submits to Christ.

Ephesians 5:22-33

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

28 In the same way husbands should love their 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 Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

He gave Himself up for her, sanctified her, cleansed her, so that He might present the “church” or “body” to Himself with splendor, without spot or wrinkle, holy and without blemish, that sounds like marriage.  Christ loves the church as He does His own body because we are members of His body, just as a man should love his wife.  This is a mystery which has been hidden until this time, it refers to Christ and the church!  Love your wife as yourself just as Christ loves the church, His body.

We must take note that the “church” is composed of the body of believers up to this point in history before the rapture, believers taken up after the “rapture of the church” are not part of the church body, they are “Tribulation saints”.  Revelation 7 explains just who they are.

Revelation 7:9-17

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
Be to our God forever and ever.
Amen.”

13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?”

14 And I said to him, “Sir, you know.”

So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. 16 They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Christ’s bride is arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, the linen he is speaking about is the righteous acts of the saints!  I can only see this as being the church arrayed in fine linens, clean and bright, washed clean by the blood of the Lamb.

Revelation 19:7-8

Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

Again in the epistle to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul tells us the exact same thing about the church as in Revelation 19:7-8 which speaks about Christ’s bride!  The fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints, who else would be wearing the fine linen of the saints?  No one other than the saints, the church body, the bride of Christ!

Ephesians 5:27

“So that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”

The marriage of the church as the bride of Christ to Christ is a mystery of God, a mystery which has not been revealed to us until the time of the apostle Paul.

Ephesians 5:31-32

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.’

The apostle Paul told us that this is a great mystery, he speaks concerning “Christ and the church”, the marriage of Christ and His bride, the church, the body of Christ!

Even the old testament speaks of our Redeemer the Holy One of Israel, and our Maker being our husband.

Isaiah 54:5

For your Maker is your husband, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.”

Many will argue that this verse is not for the church, not for Christians but for the Jews, yet I will argue until the cows come home that gentile believers in Jesus Christ have been grafted into the Jewish lineage, adopted by the blood of Christ!

Galatians 3:26-29

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

All of us who have been saved are a part of Abraham’s seed, we have been grafted in, made children of the living God!

Romans 9:6-8

But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.

There are many more verses from scripture speaking about this, but I move on.  The apostle Paul tells us in the 2nd epistle to the Corinthians that we are betrothed to one husband, that he may present us as a chaste virgin to Christ!

2 Corinthians 11:2

For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

So here again we see that the church or body of Christ is in fact the bride of Christ!  As a chaste virgin, adorned in white linens, spotless, without wrinkle, holy and without blemish, perfected in Christ!

There are many, many mysteries of God, many which we do not know, yet many which have and are now being revealed to us.  None of us should act as if we know them all, for none of us do.  However, there are mysteries which the good Lord has revealed to us and wants us to know.

So take it as you will, either believer that the church is the body of Christ, and that the body of Christ is in fact the bride of Christ, or not.  I am not forcing anyone to believe it, but I believe what the word of God tells me is the truth!  So help me God!

God bless my friends!  Maranatha!

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15 comments

  1. Anonymous

    Hello Gordon I thank you for this post as this is something that is definitely not clear to everyone and worth discussion and sharing of understanding, there are many you tube video’s that try to explain who the Bride is.

    Personally I think the true Bride knows who she is and has been receiving confirmations that she will soon be collected by her Bridegroom.
    I have said to you before that I do not believe everyone will be READY for the Rapture and those who are left will be purified during the Tribulation. Many who profess to be Christians do not even believe in the Rapture so how can they be prepared, watching and waiting?. Many of those that attend church are not being taught by the false teachers they sit under and are not led by The Holy Spirit so they are not ready they have not purified themselves and are not keeping themselves without spot through repentance and washing in the blood. Many had a false conversion in the first place and others in the church still love their lives in this world so much they remain carnal in their affections, they love their mothers, brothers, wives, husbands, children, etc etc more than they love Jesus they are not ready for they do not want to leave their fathers house and be cleaved to their Bridegroom, they will look behind them just like lots wife did so they are not counted worthy to escape. Many believe they are worthy by their service , good deeds etc and do not know without doubt they have no worthiness apart from Jesus’s righteousness, they are not yet broken of confidence in works. When the Rapture occurs and many who were just NOT PREPARED AND READY are left behind there will be a revival amongst those that do then repent and many new conversions will happen but they all will be among the tribulation saints and will have to endure even unto death and many will be martyrs but their rewards will be kept for them in Heaven. We all have to pray that we will be found worthy to escape all these things, while there is still time left, prepare through repentance, prayer and fasting, waiting on The Lord, asking for and being filled with The Holy Spirit………. get that oil lamp filled up with plenty in reserve we don’t know how long He may tarry!

    Maranatha!
    Christine

    • Gordon King

      Thanks for your comment Christine!

      I appreciate your beliefs, but not all of us will agree on every issue, and we should strive to understand all of the truth. I cannot say that I am correct in this, however this is what I believe to be the truth.

      I don’t believe that true Christians, those who have been born-again will be left behind at the rapture of the church, I just don’t see it. Our purification does not come from our works but from Christ alone, from His precious blood. Just as our works don’t save us they don’t purify us either. It is not our works which removes our stains and blemishes from us but the shed blood of Jesus Christ alone.

      Like I said in the post, the parable of the Ten Virgins is a representation of the kingdom of God, not the marriage of the Lamb or the rapture of the church. Even in the parable of the Talents, it seems as though Jesus is speaking about only saved people, those who were obedient to Him, however, I don’t believe that He is. The last verse says “And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”. Which believers in Jesus Christ will be cast into outer darkness? Jesus is speaking about the saved and the unsaved, those who had faith in Him and those who did not. And if I am wrong in believing this, then we are not saved eternally by the blood of Jesus but also by our works and obedience to Him.

      I believe that it is God and only God that justifies us, sanctifies or purifies us, and glorifies us. Scripture tells us over and over again that whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. There are no other stipulations other than placing your faith in God, in Jesus Christ our risen Savior.

      The apostle Paul also tells us that we are not appointed to wrath, he is speaking to born-again believers.

      1 Thessalonians 5:9-10
      “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.”

      The apostle Paul tells us that we who remain on earth shall be caught up to meet Christ in the air, we are to comfort each other with these words.

      1 Thessalonians 4:17-18
      “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

      This seems to include all believers in Jesus Christ, not only those who are obedient to Him.

      I am not saying that we should not be obedient to the Lord, of course we should, we are to be holy as He is holy. However, not one of us has the ability to live the life of a Christian, it is God within us that does. It is by allowing God within to live through us, to walk with Him, to be led by Him.

      My salvation rests assured in Jesus Christ, once He saved me then I can have full confidence that I am saved eternally, that I belong to Him forever, and that I am not destined for His wrath. This holds true not only for me but for all born-again believers in Jesus Christ. And although some of us may not be walking with the Lord, we may be disobedient and even living in sin, however we will always remain children of God. I was once in that place, living an ungodly life, disobedient to the Lord, following my own lusts and passions, yet I was still saved, and God still loved me. Did I pay the consequences? Yes, and I still am, but I remained God’s child, however He did discipline and chastise me for it. He allowed me to be broken to the point of no return, to fall to my knees in repentance, seeking Him and only Him in my darkest hour of need.

      Our disobedience distances us in our relationship with God, but it does not change our relationship with Him. We have become new creations, forever children of God, given a new life, eternal life, not destined for wrath but for salvation through His Son Jesus Christ.

      Only God knows the heart of man, and only He knows all who are saved and all who are not. I do believe that the rapture of the church is imminent, and I do believe that all born-again believers in Jesus Christ will be raptured. I may be wrong in this, but these are my beliefs until the good Lord tells me otherwise.

      One day soon we just might find out!

      God bless Sister! Maranatha!

  2. Anonymous

    Gordon to confirm all I have said this video’s explains this scripturally , I hope you will have time to listen and perhaps go on to listen to her whole series that explains so many aspects of what it will take to be amongst those that live and reign with Jesus in the New Jerusalem . https://youtu.be/bUQneLj1TLc

    God bless you
    Maranatha!
    Christine

  3. Anonymous

    Hi Gordon, I think much and meditate on all you wrote. This is the greatest anticipation I have is to be with Jesus regardless what we are called. I realize you covered everything pretty thoroughly but just wanted to add the following concept which I had read from another article about the separation until the wedding, particularly our responsibility to be faithful to Him in the meantime.

    “Just as there was a betrothal period in biblical times during which the bride and groom were separated until the wedding, so is the bride of Christ separate from her Bridegroom during the church age. (Her responsibility during the betrothal period is to be faithful to Him) . At the rapture, the church will be united with the Bridegroom and the official “wedding ceremony” will take place and, with it, the eternal union of Christ and His bride will be actualized.”

    Wanted to add my 2 cents worth. The wedding ceremony and feast is about to begin.

    Sincerely, Maranatha, Ethin

    • Gordon King

      Thanks for your comment Ethin!

      I agree that the greatest anticipation is the hope of our union with Christ when we meet with Him in the air. It’s something that all believers should be eagerly awaiting, with excitement and anticipation.

      God bless! Maranatha!

  4. Anonymous

    Hi Gordon, Seems like some people put stipulations on who will be raptured based on whether one is READY. That kind of thinking is not biblical and allows anyone to make up the rules according to their own ideas. Our being READY is not relevant as long as we have received Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
    IF YOU ARE SAVED, YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN
    IF YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN YOU ARE THE BODY OF CHRIST
    IF YOU ARE THE BODY OF CHRIST,YOU ARE THE BRIDE OF CHRIST
    IF YOU ARE THE BRIDE OF CHRIST, YOU ARE READY
    YOU ARE ALREADY READY THEN YOU WILL BE RAPTURED.
    How simple can this be?
    There are whole denominations who have no theology of teaching the rapture of the church, yet, they are just as saved as you or I and will go up in the rapture as long as they have placed their faith in the atoning work of Jesus on the Cross. The problem lies in the rules game people want to play for their own satisfaction to be READY for the rapture. Maybe they should write a book titled “the 25 must do’s in order to go up in the rapture”. Sarcasm intended.

    Sincerely Maranatha, Ethin

    • Gordon King

      Thanks for your comment Ethin!

      I totally agree with you. It is nothing that we do ourselves that makes us ready, only by the shed blood of Christ! If we are a believer then we shall be raptured since we are a part of the body of Christ, the church. God will rapture the church, just as He will marry the bride which is the body of Christ. He won’t only rapture part of it, as He won’t only marry a part of the bride, it’s all or none, scripture says it is the church and the body.

      God bless! Maranatha!

  5. Anonymous

    Hello Gordon once again, I just listened to a utube of someone calling herself Angel Dancer apparently reading from a transcript regarding who the bride of Christ is. This is false teaching in about 100 places. She refers to “only those” many times making herself the truth darling of the bible. I have been around this kind of teaching for a long time and it smells of a cult, those who have the enlightened understanding. Sorry folks, be very careful of this video.

    Sincerely, Maranatha, Ethin

    • Gordon King

      Thanks for your comment Ethin!

      I guess you saw the request for me to watch a video by Angel Dancer? Unfortunately or maybe fortunately I was unable to view the video because my computer has been so darn slow and it would not load. We need to take everything that we hear with a grain of salt and compare it to the word of God, test all spirits and discern the truth from lies.

      God bless! Maranatha!

  6. Anonymous

    I really appreciate the concept of Christ not being willing to rapture just part of His bride, I had never thought of it that way, thank you for that thought.

    Sincerely Maranatha, Ethin

    • Gordon King

      You are most welcome Brother!

      It just doesn’t make any sense to me whatsoever that the Lord would only marry a part of His bride (the church). Who on this earth only marries a part of their spouse and not the whole person? And even if they did it is not what we are supposed to do, we are to marry all of that person, all of their baggage included, the whole enchilada! It’s just not scriptural that Christ will only marry a portion of the bride, or a portion of the church! And if we are born again believers in Jesus Christ then we are a part of the body of Christ, we belong to His church, hence we are His bride, each and everyone of us.

      God bless! Maranatha!

  7. Anonymous

    Hello Gordon
    I have just read through the comments and just want to offer from what I have truly come to believe that all can be but not all will be chosen from the Church to be The Bride, therefore Jesus will marry His Bride in entirety but they are those that are chosen out of the church because they are prepared, fully surrendered, fully dedicated and separated in heart from all that is of the world to Him. They are clothed entirely in His righteousness the fine linen with absolutely no confidence in the flesh at all. . For me the book of Esther has been key in this revelation and is an allegory of the preparation of and choosing of the Bride for The King. I have also come to accept this because of a personal revelation given to me recently in confirmation, it was in a way that I could not of imagined or have made up myself in fact it was just one word – Myrtle…that was given to me in a picture as I was waking from sleep and led me to explore the meaning of that name and that led me to the book of Esther and further revelation. I know this would appear to be work based if it seems that it is something to be worked for but it is in fact obedience based. This is not talking about salvation that is something all believers receive through grace and is based on faith. The Bride Makes Herself Ready by submitting her will as The Holy Spirit prepares her through the way of the Cross applied in her life, this suffering brings about death to self (flesh) she is laying down her life submitting to this work and wanting the transformation into the likeness of Christ at any cost. it is a process through what she suffers until she is fully prepared. Not all Christians are prepared to go this way they will not take up their cross and they remain lukewarm, carnal. immature, that does not mean they do not have salvation.

    In Rev. 19:7-8 it says, “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and
    HIS BRIDE HAS MADE HERSELF READY. (The bride is responsible for making herself ready. Never will you find an example of a groom preparing the bride for the wedding. That is her responsibility.) “And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
    ” Also, the Philadelphians show love and are invited in and the Laodiceans are lukewarm and vomited out. (Strong language from the Lord, isn’t it?) A bridegroom would normally pick a bride that was in love with him, not just lukewarm toward him.

    Esther is a beautiful picture of the worthy bride of Christ.
    Esther is a Persian name whose root aster means “a star.” By implication,it was a star of good fortune, a star of hope, a star of joy, or a star of superiority.
    Furthermore, Jewish rabbis believe that Esther means “to hide.”
    • Esther’s original Hebrew name was Hadassah, meaning “MYRTLE.”
    The myrtle has dark green, scented leaves, delicate starry white flowers,
    and dark-colored berries. The myrtle was one of the choice plants of
    the land. Isaiah wrote, “Instead of the thorn shall come up the firtree;
    and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle-tree” (Isa 55:13).
    The myrtle tree is a prophetic picture of God’s promised blessings.

    • Thus, Esther portrays one who is hidden in obscurity and arises to
    prominence and power, much like a beautiful myrtle tree rising from
    the thorns, or as a star rising in the night sky.
    • Esther pictures the bride of Christ who consents to being made ready,
    who pleases the King in the secret place, and who is given authority to
    rule and reign with Jesus to destroy the Antichrist and his kingdom.
    • The Holy Spirit wants to transform all of us from the proud, rebellious
    nature of Vashti into people who are humble, meek, and selfless like
    Esther. Esther represents those who willingly submit to the Holy
    Spirit’s preparation process to become a bride worthy to partner with
    Jesus in the end times and for all eternity.

    Dear Gordon you are my brother in Christ and I don’t want to enter into contentious argument about this but feel led to add this further comment to the discussion with the hope that it may cause further Holy Spirit led exploration of what is actually involved in being The Bride of Christ.

    God bless
    Christine

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