by Reuven Berger
I’m going to share today something of the mystery of the Bride, and it will surely touch upon the subject of Israel, because the mystery of the Bride includes so many things. And this is what we want really to understand today. The book of Revelation, which you can say is the consummation of the revelation of God from Genesis to the end of the Bible, focuses particularly on the mystery of the Bride who makes herself ready for the coming King. And if that’s the focus and that’s the high point of the book, which I do believe it is, then I believe that the Lord would have us give this subject great priority in our lives. And it is a subject that needs much time so I will try to focus on some of the points I think are essential for us to hear today.
I would like to say that the mystery of the Bride is both an inner and outer reality. An inner reality, because it firstly speaks about our individual and our collective relationship of love and intimacy with the Bridegroom, Yeshua. And of course, an outer reality, because it works in a process that God is working on the earth in connection to Israel, Jerusalem and the nations to bring forth finally the incarnation, one can say, of the finished work of redemption of Yeshua—which is seen at the end of the book of Revelation in the marriage supper of the Lamb, which is the great goal of redemption, that is the thing that we can say that is written of in Isaiah 53, “…He will see the travail of his soul and be pleased…” (vs 11). And there is nothing more for… than the Bride …who can really bring that great pleasure to the Lord, for she is the one who fully appreciates and yields herself to the Lord for the fulfillment of that mystery in her life.
So I would like to begin with some readings, we’ll begin with a reading from: Revelation chapter 10:7 “but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished as he declared it to his servants the prophets.”
And then in Revelation 11:1-2 “Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod and the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the Temple of God”…(and I believe this is speaking of the Temple of Living Stones and not a temple on the temple mount as many and most think.)…..”measure the Temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. 2) “But leave out the court which is outside the Temple, and do not measure it….”
And let’s read now:
Revelation 19: 6-10 “And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!” 7 “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, “Write!: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” 10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
And as I was saying, just a few moments ago, I believe that the bride of Messiah, though obviously the whole church of the Lord is called to be part of that Bride and that bridal company, if we look more closely even to the messages to the seven churches in the book of Revelation…and beyond that…we can understand that though the whole church is invited to be the Bride, the Bride is that part of the church that responds to the Lord in a very deep and real way. And understands, the admonitions of the Lord and the encouragements of the Lord the whole way long, that God would bring us finally to this great and wonderful marriage supper of the Lamb when we come into full union with the Lord. And this of course is a process and it’s a mystery. It’s a mystery because it expresses the ultimate reality of this love relationship between God and man. It expresses the ultimate fruit of what the Lord has finally laid down his life for, in perfect love and a perfect offering.
And so I believe it is the great fulfillment. And the marriage supper of the Lamb of course is the consummation, which is then the beginning of all that is to follow. It’s not the end in any way. In actuality, it’s the beginning.
And so if we have the vision of the Bride of Christ, which comes of course from the vision of the Bridegroom Himself, we submit ourself to a process of God, of yielding ourselves to Him in faith and love and giving God full access and authority over our lives to bring this fulfillment that HE so longs to bring forth in each one of our lives. But of course the Bride is not just a collection of individuals but the Bride very much is the answer to the prayer of Yeshua in John 17. And is a company of people who have really understood the heart of God, not just in a theological way, but in a walk of Life and in a vision that includes in every aspect of one’s walk with the Lord from morning to evening and through the night until the morning.
And so we can say that the Bride is truly the one who is the resting place of the Lord. The place where, the Ark of the Covenant, The Lord, can finally rest. And as we read in Revelation, it is that part of the church that God measures in the sense of those who are worshiping and living at the altar and the outer court is left out. And in order for the Bride to become the Bride there needs to be a deep correspondence between the nature of the Bridegroom and the nature of the Bride. And therefore, we can say that the Bride is the one who has the longing to behold the true image of the Bridegroom.
I think one of the main tactics of the devil throughout the centuries has been to distort the image of Jesus. And we know that He is the image of the invisible God. The book of Revelation ultimately is not just a series of prophetic events that take place, which of course it is as well, but it is ultimately the unveiling of the face of Yeshua. And the beholding of that face which reveals the fullness of the nature of God…it’s the glory of God in the face of Yeshua, as Paul says, that captivates us! It captivates us in a way that it becomes the central reality in our lives and all that we live no matter what the ministry is or the different aspects of the ministry. All become an offering up of our love to Him for His glorification.
And this is a continuous process in our lives of responding to the Living Word of God. Because, Yeshua, Jesus IS the Word of God and His word is Spirit and Life. And therefore, has the power to an abandoned heart to bring forth a transformation of mind and a transformation of heart. And as we all know, this is a process, a continuous process that God takes us through in our lives which ultimately leads to transfiguration. Which ultimately leads to our discovery of ourself in Him in the realm of His glory, because it’s in His glory that we find our true identity.
I remember many years ago I was battling with the whole question of my identity as a Jew who has found the Messiah. After I came to Israel there were very few believers at that time, it was 51 years ago and I met the gentile believers and coming from a religious Jewish background it was a little shocking for me that what the Lord was taking me through. And I was saying to the Lord, “Lord, where am I and why have you brought me to this country? And how do I find myself in You as a Jewish believer?” It was a very special day and I was actually in Germany, and one day the Holy Spirit came upon me in a very powerful way and God let me behold the face of Yeshua, actually it was more His eyes that I had seen. And the moment I looked into His eyes I found my complete identity, I found my complete identity. I realized it wasn’t an issue of outer things of putting on a tallit, or putting on a kippah. I had known that, I mean I had lived that way for many years and that’s the way I was raised. And when I saw His face, first of all I saw the perfect man, and I saw the God-Man. But I also saw the perfect Jew. I saw the incarnation of Israel in One Man and as it says in Isaiah 49. And when I looked into His face, into His eyes, for the first time in my life, I had an experience of such a similar experience when I met Him, but this was even more complete…I knew that my entire identity was in Him. And by seeing Him, I knew who I was and there was no other way for me to know who I was except to see that I was complete in Him as a Jew and as a man.
And that the whole destiny of Israel, because there’s always this struggle of Jewish identity in Israel, was Yeshua….Yeshua who was in the incarnation of Israel my servant. And also the longed for Bridegroom as God manifested Himself to Israel as the husband God Bridegroom who then comes in human flesh and is identified first by John the Baptist not only as the Lamb of God, but as the Bridegroom. And John the Baptist hears the voice of the Bridegroom. And I think this is very important in the hearing and in the seeing. Seeing the Bridegroom, not just seeing the Savior, of course, we need to see the Savior and the Savior is the Bridegroom. But we need to see the Bridegroom and we need to hear the voice, not only just the Voice of God, but the voice of the Bridegroom and to know His Voice.
I think of when we were children, there was that RCA Victor…I think probably some of you probably know what that is…there was this little dog, I think he was a terrier. And he was standing at a gramophone and he was listening to the gramophone…a very primitive thing in comparison to what we have, and it said on it, “his master’s voice.” And the voice that was heard through that gramophone was known to that little dog. And I think when we hear the voice of the Bridegroom it is always a call to go deeper, to leave the outer court, to realize that the veil has been torn from top to bottom, that we have access to live with God in the Holy of Holies and to come into ever increasing union with Him. And to allow Him to tear that veil over our mind and over our hearts, which is the deeper circumcision that we all need, and I know that I need it, and I continue to ask God to bring it forth in the whole process of life that we live… which is a process, that has, as we all know, suffering, tribulation….but surely not only that, but in these end times we experience that very much also within the body of Messiah and also in relation to the world around us which we see that we are more estranged as the time goes on from this world. And we sense more and more God’s love for this world and God’s desire to bring salvation to this world. But we are strangers and pilgrims on this earth though we are bringing at the same time the message of salvation and holding the Kingdom for the Lord during the time that we live on this earth.
And so the Bride makes herself ready. As it says in I John 3:1-3 as well that we will be like Him when we see Him. (vs. 2 Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it is not yet revealed what we will be, but we know that, when HE IS revealed, we will be like Him; for we will see Him as HE IS.) This is something enormous if we think about it, that we will be like Him when we see Him and everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself even as He is pure. (vs. 3)
So I can say that our walk with the Lord as bridal souls is an inner highway to Zion as has been spoken of in the Psalms. And we all have to go through the valley of Bacca (Ps. 84) so that God can bring forth that inner spring of life, those inner wells, that they can be released, to release the rivers, the rivers of Living Waters that the Lord prophesied about at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles. And in many ways that’s connected to our living out the reality of our baptism and entering with Him into His death, His burial, His resurrection, His ascension, and ultimately into His priesthood.
And so our intercession is not just a prayer that we offer up to God for different things, even with a deep burden of the Holy Spirit, but our intercession becomes an offering of our lives for the very things that we are praying for. Through the offering up our lives for those things, God begins to manifest those things in us so that we can become an expression of the Lord and even that people can eat from us the broken body and drink of the blood of Yeshua as we partake in His very life. In Revelation 19:10c we read..”Worship God, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
Now I’d just like to speak about this and explain how I have come to understand this in the last years. First of all, the whole book of Revelation is a prophecy, as I said it’s the unveiling of Jesus Christ, of Yeshua Ha Mashiach. It’s the beholding of the true nature of the Lamb. And as we follow Him, wherever He goes and wherever HE leads us, HE reveals Himself to us from within. That’s part of the mystery, it’s not just a revelation that we receive, it’s a revelation that comes as we follow the Lamb wherever HE goes. He reveals Himself to us and He begins to manifest HIs Name and His Father’s Name upon our forehead which has to do with the whole way we think, the whole way we see, the whole way we live our lives which become an act of true worship. And as we all know, worship is not only through song, and what we call worship….but worship is really, again as I said of intercession, it’s the offering up of our lives to the Lord at the altar as an expression of our love and making a place for Him to live His life out more and more in us as He captivates us, as we yield to Him. The Lord begins to take deeper and deeper possession of our lives within and that taste is so sweet to us that it creates a deeper longing, a deeper desire to surrender to Him.
So the true testimony of Yeshua, of Jesus in our hearts is to live in the Spirit of prophecy. The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy. Not only through faith in the prophecy but that the prophecy which here, in Revelation 19, is the prophecy of the Bride making herself ready. That prophecy becomes our life vision. We live in that prophecy, we see through that prophecy, we relate to all things that are happening on the globe, in Israel, in the nations, in relation to that prophecy. When I live in Israel of course I see the various aspects of the prophecy speaking to Israel and the end times to the restoration of Jerusalem, but I see through that prophecy, I understand through that prophecy. My heart longs to see the first fruit from Israel and the nations that the prophecy becomes flesh and blood. That is we have dove’s eyes we see all things good and bad. The dealings of the nations, the dealings of Israel we see all in relation to the Lord summing up all things in the Messiah to bring the ultimate fulfillment of the mystery. Because when the Bridegroom will be married to His Bride, We know that the Kingdom age will follow and he will rule and reign with His Bride on this earth for a thousand years.
Jerusalem from above is actually the picture of the ultimate fulfillment first of all of the mystery of the Bride. That’s what John sees …the fulfillment of the mystery of the Bride. But the Jerusalem from above is also the ultimate fulfillment of the mystery of Israel who was called at first to be the Bride of the Lord. We know there is a whole chapter in the book of Ezekiel that speaks about God’s marriage covenant with Jerusalem and how God found Jerusalem and made her into His Bride and she became a terrible harlot and prostituted herself with other loves. God chasens her bitterly and finally brings her back to Himself and restores the covenant with Jerusalem. Jerusalem of course being the sign for the whole nation of Israel. So the Jerusalem from above we see the 12 foundations are the 12 apostles of Israel, the 12 gates are the 12 Tribes of Israel. And it’s a cube that is that the height, the length, the width it’s all the same measurement. Just like the Holy of Holies in the Sanctuary of God. It’s also a cube. And we see the transparency of the City, the glory of the City, and it shows how the mystery of Israel who is called to be the Bride of Messiah comes into her ultimate fulfillment in the word Yeshua. And of course as we know, the Gentile part of that community has been grafted in and has been received into the full citizenship of that commonwealth of Israel.
So the restoration of the earthly Jerusalem in our day, is leading to the return of the Lord to the establishment of His Kingdom. And so we believe that what God is doing in Jerusalem today to restore His House of Living Stones is to join together, ultimately…. It’s the heart that is to join together ultimately all the different parts of that remnant church, the remnant Bride who the book of Revelation says, are the called, the chosen, and the faithful. The called, the chosen and the faithful who are the overcomers in the end time battle. And so this united Bride, and I believe that…we know that the gospel has gone out for 2,000 years and the church over many centuries was known as the church of Rome. Of course after the protestant reformation we know the whole story of how many breakaways there were and how many denominations there are. But the mystery of the Bride is the answer of Yeshua when HE celebrates that evening of the New Covenant meal and beseeches the Father that the unity and the union that exists between Father and Son through the Holy Spirit would be manifested in His people and literally that we would come into that unity.
Now Jerusalem is the city where the Lord laid down His life. It’s the city of the altar. It’s the city where the redemption has taken place. It’s the city where the wall of partition was broken down between Jew and gentile. It’s the city where the New Covenant meal was celebrated as the clear sign of the union of Yeshua and His people. And so we believe that as we move more and more into the end time and we see a growing apostasy in all of the traditional churches which is spreading also into the evangelical churches, there is coming a calling as we read in Revelation 18: “Come out of her my people.” Come out of that part of the church which has become a prostitute and has married herself to the world system. And this is the great exodus of the end time. It’s the exodus of the church from Babylon, even the evangelical church, of all that which is Babylonian and it speaks of a homecoming….a homecoming out of Babylon to Zion, but to the true meaning of Zion in the Spirit. And it’s the time of exodus for Israel as well coming out of everything that is other than the true faith in Yeshua and a restoration of Israel to the true foundations of God in the end time.
So this Spirit of prophecy is bringing all things together into Yeshua the Bridegroom. That means that all the tribulations of the end time, the purification of the earth, the preparing of the earth for the Kingdom age, the tribulation that Israel will go through, whatever it is, it’s to work redemption. It’s the work salvation, but not only salvation, but salvation that will lead to transformation. Because the goal, the goal of course is that the Bride would be transformed into the very image of the Bridegroom. I mean that is the work of the new creation…we are a new creation. All the old things have passed away, all things have become new! But the work of God through the tribulations, through the sufferings, through His dealings, through His revelations, through our worship, through our prayers it’s all to bring forth this great reality. And of course it must take place in Israel and of course the Bridal company in Israel is very, very precious to God and has a very specific calling to fulfill in the end time just as the gentile remnant…..the Bridal remnant amongst the nations has a very key calling to fulfill in relation to the Jewish people through prayer, through intercession and all the other ways God works through gentile believers to provoke Israel deeply to jealousy….but a holy jealousy that will really allow Israel to taste this amazing thing that is taking place. Because for the Jew to really consider that God has put us aside for 2,000 years and has gone to the nations and that all that we have suffered from the side of the church, that now God is working redemptively and bringing forth a holy remnant that actually loves Israel….this is the wonder of wonders! This is the ultimate sign of the work of redemption amongst the gentile believers. And bringing us together into one in the humility of the spirit. And Each recognizing each other in the one new man not to dissolve identity, but to bring identity in Messiah into true focus. Because God is a god of tremendous, tremendous diversity and variety and ultimately everything has been created through the Word Yeshua and for the Word Yeshua. And redemption is to bring us all back into that which was in the heart of God from the beginning in the Word who is Yeshua.
And that is the process that we are going through in these end times. So prophecy has many workings. But this I believe must be the great reality that should be our main focus….preparing ourselves for the marriage supper of the Lamb. And it does not in any way make the other aspects of prophecy insignificant. It, I believe, it just brings all of the other aspects into their right correspondence to that which is ultimately in the heart of God for the end time.
And so the Lord is bringing us together to share that one, let us say that one covenant meal that He celebrated on that Passover eve when He made the New Covenant with His disciples. And of course we know that the Covenant meal, the Lord’s supper, has been something that rather than expressing the unity of Yeshua with His people and the covenantal relationship between the people of God, satan has used that specifically to divide the people of God over a period of 2,000 years. And that Covenant meal is the expression, ultimately, to manifest the reality that we are flesh of His flesh, bone of His bone that we share together in His life giving blood and that we partake as the early church did in the Lamb of God together as a community. And this is the reality that the Lord has been waiting for for 2,000 years….that only the Bride can manifest the manifold wisdom of God to the principalities and powers the joining of Jew and gentile. The true unity that Messiah prayed for. This is the ultimate destruction of the power of satan, because it’s the hidden mystery of God that is now being, not only revealed, but being made flesh on this earth as the testimony of Jesus, the spirit of prophecy, that is being complete as Jesus cried out on the cross, “It is finished!” And now God is completing and finishing that mystery.
And as I said, it’s only the beginning. After the marriage supper, comes the Kingdom Age where Israel will take up her place as a nation among the nations as the firstborn son. And after that we come into the eternal reality of all that which God has prepared for us. But we need to focus on what will be. And what will be, should also affect what is today. When the Lord celebrated the supper, He spoke of the supper, the supper speaks of what He has completed, what He has finished. It speaks of His Presence amongst us now and it speaks of the fact that He will not take it with us again until all is fulfilled in His Kingdom. So it’s past, it’s present, and it’s future and it’s that reality that we are to celebrate as a Bridal company. So this mystery continues in all eternity.
And just to conclude, I think it’s important with all that I said to remember Paul’s words to the Corinthian church that He was concerned that the enemy had led the church astray from the simplicity of devotion to Jesus Christ. There are so many things connected to the Kingdom of God. And they’re all, I mean the Bride is the Kingdom. If we look at the early Jerusalem church, it was already a very pure and beautiful expression of the Kingdom. That’s what the Lord spoke to them about for 40 days when the Spirit was poured out. The Kingdom came in their inner most person and they shared the Kingdom life, they lived that unity of the Bride. It was a reality of what God promised to do and what God will continue to do. But there was a simplicity, a simplicity of love, a simplicity of devotion and that’s why we need to get back to that simplicity and have those dove eyes and allow God to teach us to see all through those eyes of the Bridegroom who gave His life for this world, who is yearning for His Bride, who is calling us into intimacy who wants us to know Him in a very deep way in the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings and being conformed to it with Him in His death that we might come into that union of Life with Yeshua Ha Maschiach. And really know the deeper things that are in His heart.
And I think if we have this focus and come into this simplicity it will affect all of our other ministries in relationship to the Lord. I think one of the great challenges is to be so occupied and to be so busy to lose the focus, to lose the first love for the Lord. But not only to lose the first love, but to lose that deep reality of union with Messiah, which ultimately is the thing alone that can bring fulfillment into our lives. Even if we saw millions coming to the faith, even if we saw millions being healed and we did not have that inner life walk with the Messiah, we would rejoice for the things that we would see and experience, but there would be a vacuum and an emptiness which would just leave us in many ways unfulfilled. And so the Lord wants to conquer us….the Lord wants to take possession of us, like He wanted to take of the land of Canaan. And He wants to complete this mystery of the Bride of Jew and gentile. And Jerusalem and Israel and the Messianic community are key to this mystery. And therefore, we need to see again, and with this I’m concluding. The Lord wants us to see all through the focus of the eyes and the voice of the Bridegroom. And if we do that we will see all of the other things, all of the other things in the light that God wants them to have in relation to the bullseye focus of His heart as His heart was pierced and He poured out the water and the blood to give birth to that Bride…that Bride who was before but the actual birth came at the cross and that’s the bullseye that the Lord wants His Bride to focus upon. And as we come deeper and deeper into Him we find our unity with each other. That’s the message of John 17. As we abide in Him and He in us, He shares His glory with us and we experience the unity of the Godhead and we share it with Him and we share it with each other and we have His mind and His heart and His Spirit.
Reuven’s Closing prayer:
Lord we thank you, we thank you for that which is Your Heart for this time and Lord we ask you to open these things up unseal them to our hearts that we can find fulfillment, deep fulfillment in our walk, in our life with You. Not only as individuals, but collectively and wherever we are located. Lord that we can bring that fragrance, that fragrance of love, that fragrance of Bridal union, that fragrance of life which is the most attractive thing there is. Because once we lose that fragrance Lord, everything becomes black and white. And that fragrance, Lord, makes the Kingdom life technicolor because we behold the true face of, we behold the true image of God in the Face of Yeshua Ha Maschiach which draws us, which transforms us, O God, and which brings us into the true worship of God….which we all long for. So we bless you and we thank you for this time together, Father in Yeshua’s Name.
Reuven Berger, along with his brother Benjamin pastor the Congregation of the Lamb on Mt. Zion in the Old City of Jerusalem in Israel. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family they came to faith in Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah over 50 years ago and were called of the LORD to move to Jerusalem. The Congregation is a Hebrew-speaking Congregation that meets at Christ Church inside the Jaffa Gate opposite the Tower of David.
Thanks to Beverly Doty for taking the time to transcribe the message!