It seems that every year there are new predictions of “the end” of the world as we know it, with signs in the heavens and upon the earth. Even though this is nothing new, (as throughout the centuries there have been many such predictions of when the end would come, and of course since we are all still here, these predictions turned out to be incorrect), the frequency of such events does seem to be increasing. The thought of the world having a finite end, or that some catastrophe might soon be upon us, of course raises at least a curiousity if not grave concerns and fear within many. With such a backdrop of uncertainty and significance, raises market opportunities for the authors, film makers, TV presenters and many others to profit from the latest “revelations”, conjecture and speculation. I am being overly critical here, and my sincere apologies to those, who amongst the wolves, have a genuine desire and pure heart to stand up as a voice of one like John the Baptist to “prepare the way of the Lord”. These are men and women who have known the wilderness to be a friend, for in their obscurity and isolation, they have seen the stars the brightest. Like coming out of the light and noise pollution of the city, to behold the “glory of God” in all its majesty.
It is amongst these saints that I dare to stand, and whilst not knowing all things, believe I have understood some things to be true. A student of the Word, having sought the Lord and wrestled with my own objections and preconceptions, through years of study and meditation I have arrived at a place and a picture I am prepared to share with others. The picture is too beautiful for words alone, and yet even with the poverty of words, one may glimpse the eternal purpose of God, who before Creation had known the end from the beginning, and placed this “mystery” in the heart of men. Though they had not understood it, it is nonetheless there, and in moments of Divine Grace and revelation, the mystery is unfurled a little more. What is this “mystery” I speak of? As Paul himself writes, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.” Eph 5:31-32
Paul caught a glimpse of this “profound mystery” and saw a picture of the Bride! So did John the Divine, who saw “the New Jerusalem, the wife of the Lamb”. So did John the Baptist who testified “The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.” John 3:29
The Bride is no ordinary doctrine to be found on our bookshelves along many others, or to take a chapter or two in systematic theology. No, the Bride is more, much more, for she is the very essense of our true and most holy identity. She is the most glorious of all Creation. She is not a doctrine but a person, and that person is us! We cannot look at the Bride from the outside in, but there must come a time, when we step into her, taking upon ourselves our Bridal identify, and see what she sees! This is a paradigm shfit, a fundamental change in our perspective, to see and to understand through the eyes of the Bride. And so, it is through the Bridal lens that I want to re-examine scripture, and in particular in this series of studies to see the things to come through the Bridal Paradigm, this is what I have come to call Bridal Eschatology. Maranatha.