10.6. Israel, the Church, the New Jerusalem

As we have seen, the OT represents Israel as the wife of Jehovah. Although she has been unfaithful and divorced by her Husband, a time is coming when “all Israel will be saved” (Rom. Rom. 11:26). At that time, Jehovah will take her back as His wife:

I will call them My people who were not My people, and her beloved, who was not beloved. And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, “You are not my people.” There they shall be called sons of the living God. (Rom. Rom. 9:25-26 cf. Hos. Hos. 2:23; Hos. Hos. 1:10)1

In the meantime, those who accept Messiah Jesus are baptized into His body (1Cor. 1Cor. 12:13). In the same way that Eve was literally “one flesh” with Adam, having been taken from his side (Gen. Gen. 2:21-24), so believers are joined into the spiritual body of Christ and betrothed to Him. During Jacob’s Trouble and the Great Tribulation, the wife of Jehovah is being purified on earth in preparation for her restoration during the Millennial Kingdom to follow. At the same time, the bride of Christ is in her bridal chamber, having been taken in the Rapture and wed to Him at the marriage of the Lamb. Later, after the Millennial Kingdom has come to a close and a new heavens and new earth are created, the holy city, the New Jerusalem, is prepared by Jehovah as a bride adorned for her husband—the Lamb (Rev. Rev. 21:2+, Rev. 21:9+). The long-unfulfilled promises of the restoration of Jerusalem, which found their initial fulfillment in the Millennial Kingdom (Isa. Isa. 62:1), will come to final fruition in the New Jerusalem where all the redeemed of all ages are in union with God and the Lamb Who are its temple (Rev. Rev. 21:22+). This is the ultimate consummation of all the redeemed. See Temple of God. See commentary on Revelation 19:7, Revelation 19:8, and Revelation 19:9.

Notes

1 This passage in Romans is often misconstrued as denoting the Gentiles, but in the original context it speaks of the divorce and restitution of Israel—the very topic Paul is discussing. Although the principles involved can be used to point to the redemption of the Gentiles, that is an application of the passage, not its original meaning.