Just now, a while after I wrote that last post, I have more thoughts on the subject of the bride. I wasn't at all intending to write that... just sort of came out as I was "trying to write about something else"!
This is just food for thought. I feel it is possible based on what we see in Scripture, but don't quote me on it or consider it Gospel by any means. Some things occurred to me regarding the bride and Groom. The Bible says that husbands and wives here on earth are a mysterious mirror of Jesus and His church. Keep in mind that the church is also called His "bride" and His "body"... coincidence? Well, think about how it happened in the beginning. Man was formed first, and woman was taken out of man. Later, the two became one flesh. This is deep stuff, folks... and "new to me". Naturally, Christ was not ever "formed". He simply was. He is the Alpha and the Omega. Nevertheless, it's an interesting parallel or potential symbol to see us taken out of Him - created out of His imagination, by the command of His Word, formed by His hands, His breath in our lungs, etc, etc, etc. And one day, in some mysterious way, we will be made One with Him.
Sound daring, bold and blasphemous? Are we to become "gods"? Careful now. I say that junk just to warn against taking it WAY TOO FAR! There is but one God. There was one who made the mistake of wishing to replace God... look what happened to him - he was cast out of heaven, and now he is the enemy of our souls and corrupter of all things. Don't you dare go down a path - take the "example" as a warning and cast pride aside insomuch as you are able with the Spirit's help. I want to praise and glorify Him as the eternal King!
Who knows what we will become. It has not been made known. We know, however, that when He does appear, we will be made like Him. For we shall see Him as He is. He is the firstborn from the dead, and we are to follow in like manner by the power of His quickening Spirit. Did we in our deadness ask for such a gift? I daresay no. We all despised God. His wrath was stored up against us. Yet even so, He found pleasure in shaking the earth to its foundations and bestowing ridiculous wealth and gifts upon captives, even setting them free.
Again, I find it amazing and mysterious that, though we are children now, apparently there is yet another mystery of what we will become. How strange, scary and humbling. Who the heck would be so bold as to ask God Almighty to be His child? Who would know that such a thing was possible. The Pharisees and Scribes who searched the Scriptures endlessly called Jesus a blasphemer and crucified Him for such a claim... though ironically they claimed God as their Father in their own defense (Mark 14:60-64 ESV, John 8:37-42 ESV, John 10:25-39 ESV)! Yet we are born again with Him and are given much the same?! And to think that yet another mystery is waiting to be revealed to us in heaven regarding a nature that He bestows upon us?!
May He do His will as it pleases Him. Yet let us humble ourselves before Him. He may choose to lift us up, but let us not presume so. His grace is sufficient, and we should not live or race well just for the hope of a reward... except that reward be Jesus. I want no other gift than more of Jesus. If I'm made like Him, or we become more unified as a husband and wife become one flesh, so be it. Who cares about the mysteries not yet revealed. Just give me Jesus!
Read these verses carefully, and don't allow yourself to go off on some tangent of weird philosophy or imaginings. A time will come soon (and has already come, though hidden and a shadow of what it will be) when deceptions and myths will be commonplace, and our minds will be susceptible to deception - save for the merciful protection of our Commander in Chief, the Lord of Hosts. Declare the name of Jesus and ask for the Spirit as you consider all things. I tried to include the full context, but consider them as part of the whole of Scripture and never forsake the Gospel by which you were called out of darkness into His marvelous Light.
When Jesus had finished saying these things, he looked upward to heaven and said, "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, so that your Son may glorify you - just as you have given him authority over all humanity, so that he may give eternal life to everyone you have given him. Now this is eternal life - that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent. I glorified you on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me at your side with the glory I had with you before the world was created.
"I have revealed your name to the men you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have obeyed your word. Now they understand that everything you have given me comes from you, because I have given them the words you have given me. They accepted them and really understand that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I am praying on behalf of them. I am not praying on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those you have given me, because they belong to you. Everything I have belongs to you, and everything you have belongs to me, and I have been glorified by them. I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them safe in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one. When I was with them I kept them safe and watched over them in your name that you have given me. Not one of them was lost except the one destined for destruction, so that the scripture could be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and I am saying these things in the world, so they may experience my joy completed in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them, because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but that you keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to the world just as I do not belong to the world. Set them apart in the truth; your word is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world. And I set myself apart on their behalf, so that they too may be truly set apart.
"I am not praying only on their behalf, but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their testimony, that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me. The glory you gave to me I have given to them, that they may be one just as we are one - I in them and you in me - that they may be completely one, so that the world will know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me.
"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they can see my glory that you gave me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, even if the world does not know you, I know you, and these men know that you sent me. I made known your name to them, and I will continue to make it known, so that the love you have loved me with may be in them, and I may be in them."
John 17:1-26 NET Bible
Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her to sanctify her by cleansing her with the washing of the water by the word, so that he may present the church to himself as glorious - not having a stain or wrinkle, or any such blemish, but holy and blameless. In the same way husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one has ever hated his own body but he feeds it and takes care of it, just as Christ also does the church, for we are members of his body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This mystery is great - but I am actually speaking with reference to Christ and the church.
Ephesians 5:25-32 NET Bible
(See what sort of love the Father has given to us: that we should be called God's children – and indeed we are! For this reason the world does not know us: because it did not know him. Dear friends, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that whenever it is revealed we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is. And everyone who has this hope focused on him purifies himself, just as Jesus is pure).
I John 3:1-3 NET Bible
Consequently, that last passage, I John 3:1-3, was another on the list of passages from Mr. Zimmerman's math class. :) I think he was a very thoughtful man, though quiet. I wrote a poem about him once. If it's not already on my site somewhere (don't think so), I'll have to post it.