This is a case where the term "bride" has both a symbolic and literal description and both are quite valid. I do not hear much about the new Jerusalem in my circle of christians but I reviewed it considering the Spirit's advise to read this wonderful book of the future.
To be technical....the Bride is actually a city and it's called the New Jerusalem. For it is written in Revelations 21: 2-3 "And I, John, saw the holy city, new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men and he will dwell with them and they shall be his people and God himself shall be with them and be their God"...... And it continues Rev 21: 9-10 " And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues and talked with me, saying, Come hither for I will show the 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."
It appears that Christians are as a bride to Christ symbolically but are shared citizens that dwell within the New Jerusalem whose names being written in the Lamb's book of Life. It's members fall into several major categories: 1)The New Testament believers in Christ (Resurrected and Raptured saints) have entry. 2) Old Testament Jews and Gentiles who believed in the God of Israel and looked forward to a messiah to come and please include Abel who died righteous in the atonement of his sin which God gave favor. I wonder if Adam will be there for he communed with God like no other and may have been quite repentant. It's an interesting thought. 3) So also do those Tribulation saints whose lives were lost by the shedding of their blood in Christ name in the final call of God's grace.
The Bride is actually a city of which has a various groups of citizens who all gave proper atonement of their sins in looking forward to a savior to come as God revealed it in past ages. The names that border the walls of the New Jerusalem are the Jewish patriarchs which God used to reach all the Gentiles of the world in breathing His Spirit upon them to write the Holy Scriptures. Suffice it to say, it is incorrect to consider the NT Church to be the exclusive bride of Christ. God does not forget the deeds of others he has touched!
I think sometimes, we need to loose things on earth to prepare the things that are coming from heaven. For the Bible states whatever is loosed or bound on earth shall be likewise in heaven. We need to cast darkness aside in preparation of awakening the sleepy and slumbering ones to be caught up by the hope of the rapture. Clearly we need to be found walking in the power of God's vision just as it is given by his Word. There is a tearing down in order to build up! The Old Jerusalem is preparing to be a faded memory which men die over in it's final and greatest of conflict because the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven and is not made with the hands of men. In it shall be our mansion of many rooms! I feel a sense of utterance and shall go forward with it.
The current Jerusalem is a "cup of trembling" in the world today as prophesied by Ezekiel that it would be when Israel would come back as a nation. It is the center of the conflict among the Arabs and the Jews and it must play itself out among those who seek physical dominion. It has it's history and it has it's purpose for prophetic realities but peace is far from it and tensions will mount. It will be the "table of negotiations" that sets the terms and conditions that define where men stand before God. And it will set the stage that in a day God will stand before them in their unbelief! Such is the valley of decision and it will have served it's purpose.
And then comes the New Jerusalem for His Nation and for His Church and all to His Glory and given over to His Son as the Lion of Judah who rules the earth with His rod of love. And the waters shall be pure and the tress shall drink of it and their leaves shall bring a healing to the nations that remain and the people that remain after the valley of decision shall come and see the New Jerusalem. And we as ambassadors shall go forth and declare the good news of a Savior to the Gentiles and a Messiah to the Jews our Lord Jesus who has his seat in the Temple of God in Jerusalem. And then there shall be peace...lasting peace at last. Let our voices ring before the sound of the Trump as a show of faith working mightily within us! Blessing..my fellow servants.
I have other utterances that brings much light in to our hearts in my book "Inspired Writings of a Prophet for Jesus the Christ" released this year under press release link http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/2/prweb9173531.htm ...
As a watchman from the walls of Jerusalem.
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