The Divine-Human Romance thru the Bible

A recent post presented a song, “The Bible is a romance…God and His chosen people. God in Christ is the Bridegroom, His saints, the Bride, portrayed.”
The first portrait of this romance is Adam and Eve; the reality and consummation is
the bride, the wife of the Lamb…the holy city, Jerusalem” (Revelation 21:9-10).

New Jerusalem

Here are all the posts in this series on the divine-human romance, consummating in New Jerusalem, presented in the order of the books of the Bible:

Adam and Eve (Genesis 2) are a picture of Christ and the church in Ephesians 5.

The Triune God’s seeking a bride is portrayed by Abraham’s servant sent to obtain a bride for Isaac. (Genesis 24)

God wooed His people Israel and desired that they love Him. (Exodus) Deuteronomy 6:5 says, “You shall love Jehovah your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

Boaz redeemed and married Ruth as a picture of the divine-human marriage. (Ruth)

Ruth’s seeking played a great role in her marriage to Boaz. May we be those who “follow the Lamb wherever He may go.” (Revelation 14:4)

The Lord is our Husband and Redeemer in Isaiah 54. He redeemed His people so that He could marry them.

He loves us with eternal love, draws us with His lovingkindness, and writes His new covenant in our hearts. (Jeremiah 31)

This marriage is of God, rooted in His righteousness, lovingkindness, compassions, and faithfulness. (Hosea)

The Lord Jesus is the Bridegroom—this is His word in the gospels. To prepare us to be His bride, we need Him as our new garment to be our righteousness and as our new wine to enliven us.

The Spirit fills us to burn brightly as we go to meet the Bridegroom. (Matthew 25)

We cooperate with the Spirit’s filling to be burning as we go forth. (Matthew 25)

We have been betrothed to our Husband, Christ. May we be kept single and pure for Him! (2 Corinthians 11)

Husband and wife in Ephesians 5:22-33 are strongly tied to the eternal Husband and wife. Verse 32: “This mystery is great, but I speak with regard to Christ and the church.”

Let us rejoice and exult…for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife, New Jerusalem, has made herself ready. (Revelation 19)

The Lamb’s wife made herself ready by receiving Him as our eternal righteousness and by living Him as our daily righteousness. (Revelation 19)

The holy city, New Jerusalem…a bride adorned for her husband. The eternal Husband is the Lamb, our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. (Revelation 21)

The Spirit and the bride in oneness say, Come! in response to the Lord’s statement, I come quickly. (Revelation 22)

The Bible shows the love story of a universal couple. God loved us, sent His Son for propitiation, poured His love into our hearts, and caused us to love Him.

We respond to the Lord’s attraction. A song declares, “Jesus Lord, I’m captured by Your beauty…all my heart to You I open wide.”

Our Husband is loving and faithful. His word reveals much about this divine-human romance culminating in New Jerusalem. The progress of this romance depends on our response to Him. Lord Jesus, reveal Yourself and reveal this romance to me more every day. Lord, draw me to love You with my whole heart.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

The Bible is a Romance

Have you ever considered that the Bible presents a romance? Love and marriage are seen beginning with Adam and Eve in Genesis 2 and concluding with New Jerusalem in Revelation 21-22. A song which presents this view begins:

New JerusalemThe Bible is a romance
In the most holy sense:
God and His chosen people
In love it so presents.
This Universal Couple
Throughout it is displayed;
God in Christ is the Bridegroom,
His saints, the Bride, portrayed.

The second verse focuses on Adam and Eve.
The third verse draws from God’s longing
expressed in Exodus, Isaiah, and Jeremiah.
The fourth verse sets forth something from
Song of Songs.
The fifth verse concludes:

Christ is our coming Bridegroom;
We are the Church, His Bride,
Redeemed, regenerated,
The issue of His side,
In source, in life, in nature
And person fully one,
His counterpart forever,
The New Jerusalem.

“The issue of His side” (4th line of this verse) was portrayed when Eve was built with the rib taken from Adam’s side. The reality is the church produced by the blood (for redemption) and the water (for life) that came forth in the Lord’s crucifixion (John 19:34). The ultimate issue is in Revelation 22:1—the throne of God and of the Lamb sends forth the river of water of life to supply New Jerusalem for eternity.

New Jerusalem is the Eternal Marriage (5)

New Jerusalem as the eternal marriage is implied in both the giving of the first covenant in Exodus 20 and the prophecy of the new covenant in Jeremiah 31.

New JerusalemHosea speaks to and condemns Israel’s departure from God to go after other gods. Nevertheless he also has some encouraging words about the future:
• “she will say, I will go and return to my first husband” (v. 2:7)
• “in that day, declares Jehovah, you will call Me my Husband” (v. 2:16)
• “I will betroth you to Myself forever” (v. 2:19a)
• “I will betroth you to Myself in right-eousness and justice and in loving-kindness and compassions” (v. 2:19b)
• “I will betroth you to Myself in faithfulness, and you will know Jehovah” (v. 2:20).

The last three of these five phrases show that the eternal marriage is of God. He (not we) planned, He (not we) initiated, He (not we) betrothed, and He (not we) supplies the righteousness, lovingkindness, and faithfulness.

Our response is to love Him and to call Him our Husband. Our response is also to “go and return” to Him from all other “husbands/lovers/idols/distractions.” Our responses will be repeated multiple times in our experience. This is our path to the eternal marriage, to New Jerusalem.

The seeker in Song of Songs said, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine….Draw me; we will run after you.” We can pray with her, Lord kiss me! Lord Jesus, may I realize that Your love is better! Draw me so that we can run after You! 

New Jerusalem is the Eternal Marriage

New JerusalemRevelation 19:7 encourages all God’s people, “Let us rejoice and exult, and let us give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And in Revelation 21:2 John said, “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

These two verses show Jesus Christ, the Lamb, and New Jerusalem as the ultimate couple in the Bible, married for eternity. There are many other couples in the Bible which portray and point us toward this eternal couple.

The first couple in the Bible, Adam and Eve, is a picture of Christ and the church. We see this in Ephesians 5:31 which quotes Genesis 2:24. Eve was formed out of Adam as a picture of the church being produced through the death and resurrection of Christ.

In Adam’s case, without the complication of sin, his bride was presented to him immediately after his sleep. In Christ’s case, due to sin, there is a long period of sanctifying and washing away all the blemishes (Ephesians 5:26-27) before the church is presented as His bride.

The picture of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:18-24 matches the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.” This picture shows God’s desire from creation, before and apart from any consideration of sin and death. This desire was to have someone as a helper/ counterpart/complement/match* for Adam.

Genesis 2 was the picture. The reality is gradually unfolded through the Bible and seen fully in Revelation 19–22. Eventually New Jerusalem is the counterpart, the complement, the wife of the Lamb Jesus Christ.

 Photo courtesy of U.S. Forest Service.

* Some words used in translations of Genesis 2:18.

The Eternal Divine-Human Marriage

Experiencing, Enjoying, and Expressing Christ is a series which covers the whole New Testament. Details are here. This is one of several excerpts about New Jerusalem.

New Jerusalem

Christ’s betrothal and marriage life cover the church age, the kingdom age, and the eternal age. In the church age we are betrothed to Christ (2 Cor. 11:2). The wedding day will be the age of the millennial kingdom (Rev. 19:7). The marriage life will be in the New Jerusalem for eternity (21:2, 9-10).

According to its humanity, the New Jerusalem is the human wife (with the divine life and nature) of the Lamb, the redeeming God (vv. 2, 9). This human wife can marry a divine person because she has the divine life and nature. This qualifies her to match the redeeming God. On the one hand, she is human; on the other hand, she is divine. Because she is human, she can be the redeeming God’s human wife. Because she is divine, she can marry Him, a divine person.

The human wife having the divine life is clear in many verses in John’s gospel. We are born of God and become children of God (1:12-13), by believing we have eternal life (3:15-16), and in resurrection Jesus, who is “the life” (14:6) lives in us (14:20).

The human wife also has the divine nature (but is not part of the Godhead). Christ, who is God (and man) certainly has the divine nature. We have the divine nature because this Christ is in us (Romans 8:10; Colossians 1:27). Therefore, Peter tells us that we become “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4).

The Triune God is divine, but in His embodiment in Christ there is humanity because the Word, God, became flesh (John 1:1, 14). So, the divine Husband has humanity and the human wife has divinity (but does not participate in the Godhead). This divine-human couple is New Jerusalem.

Related posts:
The Divine Romance of a Universal Couple
New Jerusalem is a Universal Married Couple

The Divine Romance of a Universal Couple

Experiencing, Enjoying, and Expressing Christ is a series of volumes which covers the whole New Testament. Details are here. Below is an excerpt about the divine romance.

New Jerusalem

In Revelation 21:2 John tells us, “And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Revelation 21:9 says that New Jerusalem is “the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

The subject of the Bible is a divine romance of a universal couple; the male is God Himself, and the female is God’s chosen and redeemed people (Gen. 2:21-24; Isa. 54:5; Jer. 2:2; 3:14; 31:32; Ezek. 23:5; Hosea 2:7, 19; Matt. 9:15; John 3:29). In both the Old Testament and the New Testament, God likens His chosen people to a spouse (Isa. 54:6; Jer. 3:1; Ezek. 16:8; Hosea 2:19; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:31-32) and a dwelling place for Himself (Exo. 29:45-46; Num. 5:3; Ezek. 43:7, 9; Psa. 68:18; 1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16; 1 Tim. 3:15). The spouse is for His satisfaction in love. As the bride of Christ, the New Jerusalem comes out of Christ, her Husband, and becomes His counterpart, just as Eve came out of Adam, her husband, and became his counterpart (Gen. 2:21-24). She is prepared by participating in the riches of the life and nature of Christ.

This excerpt lists many verses about the romance between God and His people. One portion is the latter part of Ephesians 5. Here Paul speaks about husbands and wives but his emphasis is seen in verse 32, “This mystery is great, but I speak with regard to Christ and the church.” Human marriage is a picture of Christ and the church.

God’s New Testament people are the church and they, with God’s Old Testament people will become the eternal wife, New Jerusalem. This living city is the conclusion of the divine romance of a universal couple.

Bible verses quoted in these posts are from The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, published and copyrighted by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim CA, 2003. The New Testament of this Bible, with its outlines, footnotes, and cross-references, may be viewed at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is copyrighted by Living Stream Ministry.

The Counterpart of Christ

New JerusalemThis post continues the excerpts from Experiencing, Enjoying, and Expressing Christ. Details about this book are here.

Genesis 2:18 tells us that, speaking about Adam, “Jehovah God said, It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper as his counterpart.” Romans 5:14 tells us that Adam is a type, a pattern, a symbol, of Christ. For Adam to need a counterpart is a picture of Christ desiring a counterpart.

God in the beginning was merely God. He was alone. But it is not good for God to be alone (Gen. 2:18). He desires a counterpart. Jesus came not merely to be the Redeemer but to be the Bridegroom, and as such He needs a bride (John 3:29). Paul says that he had betrothed the Corinthian believers as a pure virgin to Christ (2 Cor. 11:2). Ephesians 5 reveals that the church is the wife of Christ, and Christ is the Husband. Then in the book of Revelation we are told that the wife has made herself ready and that the marriage of the Lamb has come (19:7). From that time God will never be alone. Our God will be a married God. He will marry the holy city, the New Jerusalem, as His bride. At the beginning of the Bible, God is looking for a counterpart. At the end of the Bible, He is no longer alone; He is with His bride. This is God’s eternal purpose.

In Revelation 21:9-10 an angel says, “I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb. And he carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.” At the end of the Bible, Christ, the Lamb, has gained His counterpart, the New Jerusalem. Because of this Revelation 19:7 says, “Let us rejoice and exult, and let us give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come.”

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

New Jerusalem is a Universal Married Couple

In Revelation 21:2 New Jerusalem is a bride prepared for her husband and in verses 9-10 New Jerusalem is the bride, the wife of the Lamb. This is a universal couple, a marriage of the Triune God and His people.

The first couple in the Bible is Adam and Eve. Adam is “a type of Him who was to come,” a picture, a prefigure of Christ (Romans 5:14). Since Adam is a type of Christ, is Eve merely a human being with no spiritual significance? Surely not. Ephesians 5:22-33 speaks of husbands and wives. Verse 32 says, “This mystery is great, but I speak with regard to Christ and the church.” Human couples are a picture of the great mystery, Christ and the church. According to Romans 5, Adam is a type of Christ, and in the light of Ephesians 5, Eve is a type of the church, the wife of Christ.

A full description of Eve as a type of the church is the subject of chapter 2 in Watchman Nee’s book, The Glorious Church, also available for online reading.

In Revelation 21:2 New Jerusalem is a bride prepared for her husband and in verse 3 New Jerusalem is the tabernacle of God. The bride is for Christ’s satisfaction and the tabernacle is for the Father’s dwelling. Although they are distinct in function, they are not separate. Both are the corporate composition of all God’s people. God’s redeemed people are the wife of the Lamb and mutually and coinherently dwelling with God as the tabernacle.

Today the New Testament believers are both the wife of Christ in Ephesians 5 and the house of God in 1 Timothy 3:15. Eternally, God’s Old Testament people together with His New Testament people will be the eternal wife and eternal tabernacle. The Triune God is the Husband of the universal couple and mutually dwelling with us as the tabernacle.

Heaven or the New Jerusalem—Is there a Difference?

Heaven or the New Jerusalem—Is there a Difference?” is the title of a post on Holding to Truth in Love—Eph. 4:15. It was reposted with the title “Is Heaven and The New Jerusalem One and the Same?” on Christianity 201. Both posts are followed by enlightening discussions.

Because this post matches my blog and because I very much appreciate it and the comments with it, I reference it here. What follows are a few sentences from the post to whet your appetite for the whole.

  • The view you have between the heaven and the New Jerusalem can change your entire Christian life.
  • New Jerusalem is not a “locational” matter—a change in location, but an “intrinsic” or “essential” matter—a change of essence or constitution.
  • If we see that our eternal destiny is to become Christ’s bride, the holy city, the New Jerusalem, we will not foolishly waste our precious time today. Rather we will redeem every day to pursue Christ (Phil. 3:12), to gain Him and be found in Him (vv. 8-9) and to be sanctified by Christ, by enjoying the daily washing of the water in His word (Eph. 5:26). In this way we will be daily renewed (2 Cor. 4:16) to become as “new” as the New Jerusalem.
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