Bride Will Be the Hub of the Universe
Bride Will Be the Hub of the Universe
By Terry Myers Smith
The Bride of Christ is destined to be the centerpiece of God’s new and revamped Universe. And what a centerpiece she will be. She will not only be God’s eternal home, His pleasant and peaceful residence, but she will be His honored capital city with all the resplendence that we would expect the capital of the Universe to project. God and Jesus will have their throne in her. She will be the Hub of the whole Universe. Creation’s activities will flow to her from every corner of the Universe. From her all God’s power will emanate. God’s edicts will be announced from her, every adventure of faith will be launched from within her gates, all God’s righteous judgments will be rendered from this marvelous and magnificent lady. From within her the plans of worlds yet to-be will be initiated, galactic star systems not imagined by us will be created by the mere utterance of God’s booming voice. The government of the Universe will be seated in her. Yes, she, the Bride of Christ will be the Hub of the Universe. The Bride of Christ, the one that is seen coming down out of heaven in the beginning of chapter twenty-one, will be the jewel of all creation and all of creation will do her honor for all eternity. She, and not Mystery Babylon, is the true eternal city.
She stands in great contrast to the imposter, The Whore of Babylon, whom we see (chap. 18) has called herself the eternal city but is punished by God for her blasphemous lies and harlotry. Now, at the end of the Bible, we see the real honored woman, The Bride Of Christ. This honor is not due to anything she has done on her own, or anything she has achieved by her own skill or righteousness. She will be the Hub and the Jewel of God’s new Universe because God has made her into a perfect wife and this is where He has chosen to live. It is the city “made without hands”, a place for Him to inhabit that is not made of mortar and brick, or granite and steel. It is made of the lively stones of converted souls, built one by one into a mighty and glorious habitation for God.
Revelation and the rest of Scripture firmly establishes that the Bride is made up of faithful men and women down through the ages who have lived subordinate lives to God and Christ. God compares her to a great and beautiful city to help us understand her purpose and destiny. She is strong and secure, a place of refuge, full of riches and ruled by peace and justice. We can find no words to do justice to her beauty. The picture painted for us in Revelation can only give us a mere sketch of her unimaginable glory. Her beauty is incomparable, there is nothing our mortal eyes have seen, or our carnal minds have thought that can tell us of her true splendor. She has been built, “stone by stone”, actually person by person, by none other than God Himself for the purposes of providing a place for He and His Son, Jesus Christ, to live for all eternity. God has taken the time and care necessary to build Himself a perfect and incredible mansion of mansions. And, since she is God’s place of habitation, His home forever, he has made it, as any king’s palace should be, the most glorious thing in all His domain.
It is literally impossible for us to comprehend the depths of this truth. The analogies that God provides in the chapter will have to suffice. The Bride is compared to a city with high and magnificent walls providing the greatest possible security. But it is not only famine and sword that she is impregnable to, she can no longer be attacked by temptation or sin. The ravages of time and death are unable to breach her walls. No threat can disrupt her peace, nothing can shake the foundations of her faith. She is forever saved. Her dazzling rays of color stream forth like a prism making her the lighthouse of the Universe. Emeralds, rubies, topazes and diamonds are but tarnished rocks next to the grandeur of her blazing lights. Her beauty is meant to turn the head of every part of creation to testify to the wonder-working power of the Lamb of God who, by His love, has redeemed Himself a Bride from a lost world of corruption and sin.
The Prize of the High Calling
We can infer that the Bride is a “cut above” all other parts of creation. This is why the angel in Revelation said these words to John.
This blessing, we may conclude, is a special blessing over and above salvation. There is excellent Scriptural reason to believe that the Bride is not comprised of every believer who has ever lived and it is not just this one verse we have quoted from Revelation that suggests this. To be part of the Bride is the highest reward, the greatest position in Christ. Paul spoke of the “prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus” and apprehending that reward. What prize could be higher than being Christ’s Bride? But if we are to strive for this reward then that must mean there are those among the household of faith who will not attain to it. Though the Bride comprises a massive area – a cube 1,500 miles or roughly the size of the United States – it should by no means be thought that these boundaries will house every eternally saved soul. The Bride is the chaste virgin of Christ, those who were faithful and undefiled by idolatry. (Rev. 14.1-5) Not every saved soul will have this testimony. The Bride is comprised of the wise virgins who waited and prayerfully watched for the return of their husband-to-be. They did not get distracted or let their lamps burn out as the foolish virgins had done (Matthew 25). Not every believer will have this testimony. Though the foolish virgins were shut out of the marriage supper we should not conclude that they shall never be allowed in the presence of the Lamb and His Bride ever again. They have missed The Rapture and will not be part of the Bride. We are told in the book of I Corinthians that after the fires of judgment have burned away all the works of the flesh, that the only thing left will be our works in Christ.
Many saints will suffer loss that day, but they will still be saved. Salvation and eternal life is the first promise and the very last and most difficult to be burned away by fire. Other promises of great blessing are added to those who have been scrupulously obedient, heeded Scriptural warnings and advice, and who have conformed to God’s Word. Just as a long life is promised to those who keep God’s commandment to honor and obey their parents, so there are additional promises added to reward those saints who honor and obey their Father in heaven. And the converse is true also. “If any man’s work is burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet as by fire.”
There should be no question, then, that the Bride is special. She is Christ’s wife. We are told in the very first sentence of the Bible that the earth stood among the firmament without form and void, but God’s spirit moved over the face of the waters and restored order to the earth and the heavens. Now, at the end of the Bible we see God making a new beginning once again. This new order begins with the Bride’s appearance. The old heaven and the old earth have been put off like a coat out of fashion. The Bride has descended onto the new earth signaling the fresh regeneration of creation. She is the hub. God will rule from her; all jurisdiction, edicts and power will flow from the throne of the omnipotent God who lives within her. The last seven verses of chapter twenty-one wrap up this revelation of the Bride. It concludes by giving us further insight into the nature of this station of godly authority and how the business of the new universe will be conducted from her. Within her walls will be the mass of governors, priests, ambassadors and kings that will rule and govern God’s new and ever-expanding kingdom. In the final seven verses we are given further insight into the character of these men and women who have been raised up by God to “reign as kings and priests with Christ”. Rev. 1.6, 5.10, 20.6
Crafted By the Hand of God
With verse twenty-one God begins to describe the Bride’s uniqueness and special place with him. There are twelve gates to the city each one being one huge pearl. Here we have the number twelve again signifying leadership among the community of believers. We are told that the twelve gates stand for the twelve tribes of Israel and that the twelve foundations represent the twelve apostles. But the symbolism of the twelve pearls is not given, we are left to figure this out for ourselves. Immediately the parable about the pearl of great price comes to mind. The pearl for which the merchant sold all that he had in order to buy is, of course, Jesus. But these 12 pearls are indicative of the saints that have become like the Great Pearl. The pearl is one of the most sought after prizes of creation. Men and women have long used it to adorn the body. Its unique grayish white luster gives it an almost supernatural appearance. But its greatest symbolism is that it is the only gift of nature that cannot be enhanced by man’s art. Its translucent grayish white color seems to throw off a different light than any other thing on earth. It is never etched, colored, polished or scrimshawed. The twelve pearls tell us that the Bride of Christ has not been perfected by her own deeds or skill, nor by the hand of man, or by any system devised on earth. She has been brought to perfection solely by Christ and the power of the Trinity. The Father has drawn her to the Son, the Son has provided her with the means to be redeemed and the Holy Spirit has guided her into all truth. She has been set free of the bondage of sin and delivered from the fears and cares of this world. Her incandescent beauty speaks of her relationship with Christ, having been hid in him like a pearl that was formed inside the soft surroundings, secure and protected by an impenetrable hard outer shell. The Bride has come to maturity being surrounded by the love of Christ and protected by the fortress of His strength.
The streets of the Bride reflect the glow of these enormous pearls because they are made of gold, gold so pure that it is transparent. The transparency stands for her deeds; they are an open book, nothing is hid. She has been refined like gold in the fire seven times over and her worth has been proved by her works of faith and the testimony of Christ’s power in her life. Her gates and roads immediately put every visitor and traveler at ease and fill them with hope. The gates that open to her roads are crafted by God alone and her roads are open, wide and paved with truth. There is no double-dealing or crafty government to contend with. Everyone knows what to expect and nothing is done in dark, back rooms. The city itself is made of clear gold.
No Need For Temple: We Live Together
Some Jews may mourn the fact that there will be no temple; and there are those who have built magnificent cathedrals and shrines to God who may be sorry to see that there will be no magnificent temples in this new Hub of the Universe. But Christians who have taken the Scriptural proclamation that we are the temple of the Holy Ghost literally are neither surprised nor disappointed that there is to be no temple in the new heaven and new earth. As we have “lived in Christ” and “He in us” we have enjoyed being His temple. We need not go anywhere to worship or pray. We have not been bound to the inconvenience of having to go and visit God at His place one or two days a week. We have not visited Him, He has visited us. By His Spirit He has dwelt with us daily. This is why His name is called, Emmanuel, God With Us. So there will be no temple in the capital, and why should there be? Jesus gave His disciples a glimpse into this when He said, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 4.23-24 That hour was upon His disciples then because Jesus had come into the world and had revealed God to them in the flesh. He promised to send the Holy Ghost to teach them how to worship God the way God wanted to be worshipped. But, Jesus was also speaking of this day long in the future, at the threshold of eternity, when He and the Father would be the temple, and the Bride and the Son would be one, when it would no longer be necessary to go out or come in because they would dwell in Him and He in them forever.
In Revelation we see the temple. So we know that it has a useful part to play during the judgments of the Tribulation and during the Millennium. We see the doors open and lightening bolts of judgment come flashing down onto the earth. The temple is the scene of worship during the Tribulation. The raptured saints are received there. The Tribulation martyrs are given crowns before God’s throne. The opening of the seven seals takes place in the temple, the angels with the trumpet judgments and the seven last plagues come out of the temple before unleashing their charge on earth. The temple is the place from which God announces: “It is finished!” and “It is done!” Throughout Scripture we have seen the temple’s vital importance. Moses patterned the tabernacle of the congregation after the temple in heaven. God set it up to replicate the life, death and resurrection of Christ the Savior. Prior to man’s total restoration the temple is necessary. During the Millennium the temple will be restored to operation in Jerusalem and Jesus will rule the nations from there for 1,000 years. There is still some need to meet God on some common ground. All of Creation is not redeemed or in good standing with God. The temple in heaven is where controversies are judged. All spirits, good and bad, will have their day in “court”, or in the temple of God. In earlier chapters of Revelation we see the books that God keeps. These books of salvation will be opened in the temple at their respective times. But in the new heaven and new earth, after the books of judgment have been put away and the souls of the living have been relegated to their proper eternal places, there will be no need for a meeting place. God and the Bride are “one”. The promise of I Corinthians 15.28 is now come to pass, “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” A temple is irrelevant.
Christ’s Light Powers Her
The sun and the moon, given to us to set the seasons and order our lives, are no longer needed either. The former things have passed away just as God promised they would. All the rules have been changed. All, except one. Jesus is still the true Light of the world. We are told here that the glory of God will lighten the city. That glory is directly stated as the light of the Lamb. The light of the Lamb is Christ’s love. This is the light that lights every man that comes into the world. (John 1.9) Somehow this glory of God, which is the love of His dear Son, will radiate throughout the Bride to light up the entire city. No electricity, no candles, no heating system, no power station, no generators will be necessary. The love of Christ will power the Bride and be its energy source forever. No more electric bills, no more fuel deliveries, no more visits to the mechanic for a tune-up or to fuss over a muffler change. No more pollutants in the air. The love of Christ will fully supply this city’s every need.
Man has come full circle. Here is the truth about evolution. The evolution of man is not linear but cyclical. In the beginning God came over the face of the earth, it was void and without form and He said, “Let there be light.” This was the first day. It was not until the third day that God created the sun and the moon. The light that God ordained to show upon creation was the light of His Son’s love, the light of Christ. The true light of eternity is not from a star or a light bulb. The true light of the world and of the universe is the light of life, it is what gives living creation sight and the ability to commune with God. It is the light that lights the soul and without this light there is no communication and no life; without it there is only darkness and stillness. In the new heavens there will be no need for lights in the skies, at least not for the enlightened City of the Bride. Somehow Christ’s love will be so penetrating that it will light everything. The Bride’s light is not governed by day and night or the rotation of planetary spheres or the radiant beams of a far off nova. Her light pulsates at 100 percent all of the time. God said at the beginning “let there be light” and it shone upon man to light his way. In the end, that light is established within man to give him eternal life and man will never be without it.
Saved Nations Bring Her Honor
Now we come to a sticky point for many Christians. We see that there are saved souls who will be allowed to go in and out of the city. But if they are bringing their glory and honor into the city that means they are producing that glory elsewhere. We could reasonably infer from this passage that those who are bringing things to the city will not be residents of the city proper. In other words they are not part of the Bride. Unfortunately people get all riled up about this. They object because they say, “God does not play favorites”. The rewards of paradise are promised, they contend, without restriction to one and all who come to Him and repent. Popular doctrine presents the simplistic idea that all saved souls will be given precisely the same reward in heaven. As support for this doctrine they cite the parable of the eleventh hour laborers, pointing out that they were given the same reward as the workers who had toiled in the fields during the heat of the day. But that is not the point of the parable and there are too many other instances in the instruction of the Word that tell us that there are degrees of not only punishment, but of reward also and that the station of each believer will be largely determined by their degree of obedience and submission to the Spirit of God in this life. We have already covered this and we do not want to belabor the point. Suffice it to say that it is apparent that the resources of other saved communities and nations of saved ones will flow into the capital city of The Bride and that God’s love is wide and deep extending into every expanse of the universe beyond The Bride.
Perfect, Safe, Secure Forever
The Bride will be a paragon of security and virtue. Nothing abominable, false, deceitful or corrupt will be allowed through her gates. There will be no need to “vote the rascals out” or launch reform movements. There will be no scandals to investigate or conspiracies to uncover. Hypocrites are persona non-grata. Those who weave clever webs of lies will not be admitted into her. The spirits of Jezebel and Balaam (Rev. 2) will be cast out forever. Any idolatrous spirits will have dried up and blown away with the winds of judgment. Only those written in the Lamb’s book of Life will even be permitted entrance into the city limits. The Bride is God’s perfect jewel put into the perfect setting – nothing can ever undo it. ✞
Taken from the book Revelation Pure & Simple by Terry Myers Smith