The apostle Paul compares the ecclesia to a woman espoused and betrothed, but not actually married. He laboured earnestly and unceasingly to preserve the purity and faithfulness of the “virgin community,” called the “ecclesia.” Among his many warnings against the wiles of the adversary, he refers to “Eve” as an example to be avoided—not to be taken as a “pattern.” Sometimes the spiritual atmosphere of the ecclesia became darkened by sin and transgression. Then Paul’s fears became aroused concerning them, and, in his epistle to the Corinthians, he expresses himself thus: “I fear lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3). The ecclesia is a bride in prospect, to be united to the second Adam, when, as “the Lord from heaven,” Christ shall return, and gather his saints together unto himself, and rejoice with them in the time when they shall all partake of “the marriage supper of the Lamb,” according to the Word which saith:

“Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:9).

Concerning this class, we read in Eureka the following: “The whole company of the redeemed, men and women, are ‘virgins,’ for they constitute the Lamb’s woman, or wife—whom Paul was solicitous, as far as he had to do with the presentation, to ‘present as a chaste virgin to Christ’ (2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:27). ‘Having come to the understanding and belief of the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ,’ they have obeyed the invitation—‘Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.’ Having faith to be healed, they obey the apostolic command—‘Repent, and be baptised, everyone of you, in (or for) the name of Jesus Christ, unto the remission of sins’ (Acts 2:38). By this process, they are separated from the worshippers of the Beast, and washed, sanctified, and justified from all the defilement contracted in their days of ignorance and unbelief (1 Cor. 6:9–11).

‘Being espoused to Christ, they have no more spiritual association with the impure; but as “wise virgins,” keep their lamps trimmed and their lights burning, that when the Bridegroom appears, they may be admitted to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’”— Eureka, Vol. III., pages 393, 394, 395.

A brief review of certain fundamental elements, which form the basis of this separated class, will be appropriate here. In Eureka, vol 1, we read as follows: “‘A man of any kindred, tongue, people, or nation,’ may become a son of God, upon gospel principles, and ‘if a son, then an heir of God, and joint-heir with Christ’ (Rom. 8:17). But, in order to become a son, he must ‘put on Christ,’ that he may be ‘complete in him.’

Now, Jesus is the Christ, therefore, to put on Christ, he must put on Jesus, and this can only be done by believing ‘the things concerning the Kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ,’ and being immersed into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit’ (Acts 8:12; Matt. 28:19). If a man have believed these things, and been baptized in consequence, he has consented to the wholesome words of the Lord Jesus,
and to the teaching which is according to godliness.

“He believes the promises covenanted to Abraham and to David; he believes that Jesus was Son of God, and Son of David, and therefore, the anointed of God, and that (though not the son of Joseph) he was a real man, and of the same nature as ourselves, that he really suffered death, was buried, and rose again, that he ascended into heaven, and now sits at the right hand of Power, that he was delivered for the offences of believers in the Covenants of Promise, and raised again for their justification. That he will return to Jerusalem in power, and that he will raise the dead, and, in co-operation with the righteous, acquire great glory in the conquest of the world and the regeneration of Israel and the nations” (Vol. I. p. 225–26).

“For, as many 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 are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:27–29):

Thus, “of twain, one new man is made,” and he is called “the Jew inwardly” (Eph. 2:15). This inward Jew is multitudinous, and consists of all in Christ; and because in Christ, in Abraham. Believing men and women, slaves and freemen, Jews and Greeks, are all one in Christ; and, being in Jesus, share with him in all his national, official, and divine relations. He is a “Jew,” therefore all in him are Jews. He is son of the Deity, therefore all in him are sons of God. He was circumcised, therefore all in him are “circumcised by the circumcision of Christ.” He is King and high priest, therefore they are “kings and priests for God.” He is “the Christ,” therefore all in him are His Body, the Mystical Christ. He is the Seed of the Woman, and of Abraham, and of David, therefore all in him are their seed also. The righteousness of the law was fulfilled by him, therefore the righteousness of that law is likewise fulfilled by all in him, who walk not after the flesh, but after the
Spirit” (p. 226).

We therefore, who believe and obey, are included in that class, mentioned in Rev.12:17, as “the remnant of the woman’s seed.” This “remnant” is characterized as those who “keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Thus they are prepared to follow out the exhortations of the apostolic writings, and “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

Being led by the great good Shepherd of the sheep into the “paths of righteousness,” to the end of our probationary career in this life, this mystical body awaits the appearing of the great King, who has promised to reveal it in all the splendour of the new and Heavenly Jerusalem. The symbolic organisation of this heavenly and spiritual community, is portrayed in the last two chapters of the Apocalypse.

John, in vision, sees “the Holy City” (Jerusalem, coming down new out of heaven)— Revised Version—“prepared as a bride adorned for her husband (Rev. 21.). In his concluding exhortation, the beloved apostle says: “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (chap. 22:14). Then, the bride of the second Adam will be fully revealed in the resplendent glories of the future age.

In the 45th Psalm, the nuptials are in symbol foreshadowed. They are explained in Eureka in these words: “Thus David, in celebrating the future glory of the New Order of Elohim, consisting of the King and His Brethren, styles the latter ‘the Queen’ in Psalm 45:10, saying to His Majesty, ‘the Queen hath been placed at thy right in fine gold of Ophir.’ He then addresses the Consort of the great King, who, being the Eternal Spirit manifested in David’s Son, is both Father and Husband of the Bride, (‘Thy maker is thine Husband: Yahweh Tz’vaoth is his name; the Elohim of the whole earth shall he be called’) (Isa. 54:5).

E J Lasius.