A word of explanation is necessary at the start of this book. In this work you will find the writer using names in reference to God the Father and God the Son that are more faithful to their Hebrew original than the names and titles generally in use by the church today. The name Yah, or Yahweh, will be found in reference to God the Father, and the name Yahshua will be utilized when speaking of the Son.
This usage is not intended to be divisive, nor does it serve as a renunciation of the usage of titles such as Lord or God. Neither is it a condemnation of those who choose to call the Son of God Jesus. My intent as a teacher of the Bible is simply to illumine and instruct. There is great meaning in the Hebrew names of the Father and the Son, and these names are directly related to one another. Many of the people whose lives are portrayed in Scripture also serve as types and shadows of God, bringing to light truths that might otherwise be hidden.
For example, Joshua, the Israelite leader who led the people of God across the Jordan and into battle to take possession of the land of Canaan, bears the same name as the Messiah. They both were called Yahshua. Like Joshua in the Old Testament, the Son of God began His ministry at the Jordan River as He was baptized by John. Both men labored to establish a kingdom dedicated to Yahweh, the first external and natural, the latter internal and spiritual.
Yah is the name used in reference to the Father on forty-nine separate occasions in the Old Testament. Most Christians have utilized this name of God without knowing that they were doing so. Whenever the word hallelujah is uttered, the speaker is literally exclaiming “Praise Yah,” for this is the meaning of the Hebrew word from which it is derived. The longer name Yahweh is found an additional 6,828 times.
The name of the Son is likewise significant, for Yahshua is understood to mean ““Yah’s Salvation.” The Gospel writer indicates that this is the meaning of the name given to the Savior at His birth.
“And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Yahshua, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.”
It has been the practice of this writer for many years to use these names, which more clearly represent their Hebrew originals. It is my hope that their employment in this book might aid the reader by bringing forth light on relationships that are obscured, as well as promoting an increased intimacy with God the Father by calling Him by His memorial name, instead of a title which men have substituted.
The Lord Yahshua the Messiah is soon to return for His Bride; a Bride that has been prepared; a Bride that is suitable for Him. The conception in the minds of much of the church is that this Bride will consist of all believers. It is believed by many that the Bride will encompass the entire Body of Christ. Is this an accurate conception? I am convinced that it is not.
One does not have to look any further than the opening chapters of Genesis to begin to discern the truth of who the Bride is and where she will come from. In the first chapter of the Bible we are told that God created man, fashioning him after His own image. God declared that it was not good that this first man (Adam) should remain alone, so a suitable helper was sought for him. This helper was to become the very first bride, and she would be a model, or type, of a later bride who would come forth. This later bride would be the Bride of Christ.
The second chapter of Genesis gives a very clear description of the creation of Adam’s bride Eve. God saw fit to tell us exactly how she was formed and where the material was found from which she was fashioned. We are told that Adam was formed of the dust of the ground, but this was not so with Adam’s bride. Adam’s bride was fashioned from a remnant portion of his own body. We find this described in the following scripture.
So Yahweh God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place. And Yahweh God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. And the man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
God fashioned a bride for Adam out of a portion, a remnant, taken from his own body. Eve was not formed from Adam’s whole body. She was indeed bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh, but it was from a remnant portion of his body that she was formed. In this description we have been given an illustration of how a Bride will also be fashioned for the last Adam, Yahshua the Messiah (I Corinthians 15:45).
How do we know that this first bride was a type of the Bride of Christ? The scriptures reveal a very clear correlation between Adam’s bride and Christ’s Bride. Immediately after we are given details of the creation of Eve we are told “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). This verse is quoted in the New Testament as the apostle Paul speaks of the mystery of Christ and His Bride.
For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.
The scriptures also present a strong parallel between Adam and Yahshua. The first Adam is presented as a type of Christ, who is called “the last Adam.”” It is fitting then that the bride of the first Adam should be a type of the Bride of the last Adam, Yahshua the Messiah.
I Corinthians 15:45-49
So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam [Yahshua] became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
God created a bride for the first Adam from a rib taken from Adam’s body. In similar fashion He is even now creating a Bride for the last Adam, Yahshua the Messiah. This Bride is not Christ’s entire body, even as Eve was not fashioned from Adam’s entire body. The Bride of Christ will be fashioned from a remnant of Christ’s body. This remnant will be a choice part, for being included in the Bride of Yahshua is a position of great honor.
As will be shown in this book, honor and reward are at the heart of the matter of determining who from among Christ’s body will be a part of the Bride and who will not. God does not bestow honor lightly. One must be worthy to receive the honor of the Father. Salvation is a free gift, but reward and honor are according to our deeds.
“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.”
To be a part of the Bride of Christ is to receive the highest honor. The Bride is given intimate access to the Bridegroom; the two will become one. This honor, however, is not given freely. It is reserved for those whose hearts beat with a passion for the Lord Yahshua the Messiah. It is reserved for those who have allowed the work of the cross to bring a cleansing and separation in their lives, removing that which is fleshly.
We are taught in God’s word that access to the presence of God and to His most holy things is based upon the worthiness of the individual. The Old Testament Levitical priesthood was a type of the kingdom of priests that the body of Christ is today. In the book of Ezekiel we read of God making a distinction among the priests, as to who could come into His presence and who could not. Access to His presence is a great honor, reserved for those who have kept themselves pure and free of idols.
Today the body of Christ consists entirely of priests (Revelation 1:6). Some will be granted access to God’s most holy things, and some will not. Some will have access to God’s presence, and some will not. Some will be accorded the intimacy and honor of being a part of the Bride, and some will not. The following words spoken to the Levitical priests will be applied to those within today’s kingdom of priests who have not cleansed themselves from the impurities of the flesh and the world.
“And they shall not come near to Me to serve as a priest to Me, nor come near to any of My holy things, to the things that are most holy; but they shall bear their shame and their abominations which they have committed. Yet I will appoint them to keep charge of the house, of all its service, and of all that shall be done in it.”
How tragic to be a priest in the kingdom of God, yet not be allowed access to God’s presence or His holy things. This will be the portion of much of the church. However, there is a remnant who will allow God to purify and refine them; a remnant that is passionate for Yahshua and shuns the world and its idols. Of them it will be said:
“But the Levitical priests, the sons of Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the sons of Israel went astray from Me, shall come near to Me to minister to Me; and they shall stand before Me… They shall enter My sanctuary; they shall come near to My table to minister to Me and keep My charge.”
Yes, being a part of the Bride is an honor accorded to a choice remnant. These will have access to the presence of God for all eternity. Many who are at ease in Zion will find much to grieve about when they stand before the King. “There will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 22:13).
Some might be concerned that a message of performance is being taught in this book. After so much has been written and preached about grace in recent years, many will undoubtedly be sensitive to anything that has the appearance of works in it. Works, however, are a valid concept in scripture. Many in teaching grace have climbed out of the ditch of legalism, and bondage to performance, only to fall headlong into the ditch on the opposite side of the road that is marked by license and careless living.
Salvation (deliverance from the penalty of sin) is by faith in Yahshua the Messiah. This faith is given to us by God. There is nothing a believer can do to add to this salvation. Christ’s work on the cross was perfect. There is nothing lacking to His finished work in making atonement for the sins of man. Paul told the Galatian believers that if they tried to add to this salvation by keeping the Law, or by adhering to someone’s list of rules and regulations, then Christ had in actuality become of no effect to them. Yahshua’s death was needless (Galatians 2:21).
There is a whole realm of work outside of deliverance from the penalty of sin, however. This is the area of sanctification, being conformed to the image of Christ. A part of this conformity is the call to bear fruit in righteous and holy lives set apart unto God. Yahshua said that we are to bear much fruit and thereby glorify His Father (John 15:8). Whether we bear little fruit, or much fruit, we are still children of God by faith, but it is to our benefit to bear much fruit. When Yahshua returns with His reward in His hand, it will be rendered “to every man according to what he has done.”
Some in teaching the grace of God have erred in negating the importance of works and obedience in the life of the saint. Yahshua has not lessened the importance He attaches to these things. In the letters to the seven churches in the book of Revelation, Yahshua begins each one by stating “I know your works.”” He does not say “I know your faith,” or “I know your heart.” In truth, our heart and our faith are revealed in our works, and apart from our works there is no other way for them to be revealed. This is why Yahshua states that a tree is known by its fruit (Matthew 12:33).
My hope for you as you read this book is that you might be provided with some encouragement to more passionately pursue Yahshua the Messiah. Much of the current teaching of the church actually does much to discourage a sold out life to Christ. By neglecting the teaching of personal reward, or by teaching falsehoods such as that which asserts all believers will share the same honor and glory for eternity, the body has been lulled into complacency. After confessing Christ as Savior and Lord there seems to be little else that many Christians are encouraged to do.
Being born of the Spirit is but the beginning. This salvation corresponds to the Outer Court of the Tabernacle. The true glory is where the presence of God is found. This is in the Most Holy Place. Only those who have been purified and refined can enter into the Most Holy Place. Only those who have allowed the working of the cross to put to death the deeds of the flesh can abide in the presence of God. This is the calling of the Bride of Christ.
If you have a passion for the Lord Yahshua the Messiah, if you long to know what the Father is looking for in fashioning a Bride for His Son, then this book is for you. May you be challenged by these words and may your heart be stirred with a more passionate pursuit of the One who is pursuing you.