Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Church is Drawn Near

Alice C. Linsley

How are we to understand the relationship between the faithful of the Old Covenant and the faithful of the New Covenant? These are treated as distinct entities in the Bible and yet they are closely related. To understand how the Church may be the second bride, we must consider the matter of relationship distance. As Jesus was a Jew of Hebrew ancestry, the Hebrew are closer to him in kinship than the Gentiles. This is true of the first bride of the Horite Hebrew rulers. She and her husband were relationally closer than the second bride because they had the same father. The second bride was a patrilineal cousin, still related but at greater relational distance. The faithful of Israel are th first bride and the faithful among the gentiles are the second bride. Both constitute the "people of God."

The "people of God" involves two entities that are made one in the Covenant of the Blood of Jesus Messiah. How might this be evident in the marriage and ascendancy pattern of the ruler-priest caste of Jesus?

It is likely that the marriage of the Horite Hebrew ruler to two wives stands as the background to the wedding feast of the Lamb. Therefore, the pattern is of eschatological significance. This view opposes the position that faithful Hebrews and Israel are subsumed into the church. To understand this we have to dig deep into the marriage and ascendancy pattern of Jesus' ruler-priest caste.

The faithful under the Old Covenant are the saints like Abraham, Moses, Hannah, Samuel, David. These are the closer kin to Messiah since they are his people. They are to Jesus Messiah what Sarah was to Abraham, and Jochebed to Moses. Sarah and Jochebed were half-sisters who shared a common father with their spouses.

The pattern of two wives pertains to rulers only. Rulers have always had a different pattern because of the necessity of a royal heir. Some rulers with two wives include Lamech, Terah, Abraham, Jacob, Amram, Moses and Elkanah.

Analysis of the marriage and ascendancy pattern of the Hebrew rulers indicates that the second wife was taken just prior to and as a prerequisite to the beginning of the son's rule in his father's kingdom. This is why Abraham was anxious that his servant should acquire a cousin wife for Isaac before his death. Rebekah was Isaac's cousin wife.

The second bride is a patrilineal cousin whereas the first wife is a half-sister. The cousin bride has full wife status, but still represents a more distant relationship from the spouse. The Apostle Paul expresses it this way:
"remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has torn down the dividing wall of hostility…" (Ephesians 2:12-14)
The faithful of Israel have a closer kinship to Jesus Messiah than the church as the second (cousin) wife. However, without consummation of the marriage to the church, the Messiah cannot begin his eternal reign. Abraham's marriages to the Hebrew women Sarah and Keturah serves as an illustration.

As a ruler over a territory, Abraham's two wives were needed to maintain his rule over Edom. Sarah's settlement was in Hebron on the northern boundary of Abraham's territory. The southern boundary was maintained by the people living in Beersheba, Keturah's home.

The two wives are not separate kingdoms. They are made one kingdom be virtue of their marriage to the one ruler.

Likewise, Messiah unites the two peoples into one kingdom, as was expected by the Horite Hebrew. This is represented by the double crown of Yeshua. "Then take silver and gold, and make crowns [ataroth], and set them on the head of Joshua [Yeshua/Jesus] the son of Josedech, the high priest..." (Zechariah 6:11) The ataroth was called the "atef" crown among the Nilotic Hebrew. The atef crown was two crowns in one and it was worn by deified rulers. The Arabic word atef (or atif) means “kind.” The ruler who wore the atef crown was to embody kindness and he was to unite the peoples.

Among the Horite Hebrew, the son of God was called "Horus of the Two Crowns." The king list on the Palermo stone begins with the names of Lower Nile pharaohs and shows them wearing the Red Crown of the Lower Nile. The White Crown [nefer] represented the peoples of the Upper Nile. The two were put together to symbolize a united kingdom. The Cairo fragment shows these rulers wearing the double crown, which the Greeks called the "Pschent." The two peoples or two households of faith are symbolized by the two crowns made into one.

The Bible describes the relationship of Jesus Christ to the faithful of his Hebrew people and the Church in different ways. One way is to describe Abraham the Hebrew as the spiritual father of all. Those of the New Covenant have been grafted into Abraham who was justified by faith. Speaking to Gentile followers of Messiah, Paul wrote:
"But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith." (Romans 11:17-20)

Jesus comes from the Hebrew root stock of Jesse and all who are baptized into Jesus have a common root in the Messianic Faith. Both households of faith are justified by faith through the Blood of Messiah, the Son of God. Both are heirs of the kingdom. Both are to enjoy immortality through His resurrection.

Israel was claimed by God as his first bride: "For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is his name..." (Isaiah 54:5) Though Israel proved to be like the harlot of Hosea, not all of Israel was found faithless. The faithful remnant is the first bride. Likewise, not all who claim to be Christian will be at the wedding feast of the Divine Bridegroom.

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” (Revelation 19:9)


Jonathan said...

You refer to the marriage-ascendancy pattern of Jesus Messiah. How would you describe the relationship between Joseph (the Betrothed) and Mary? Is she the half sister bride, or the patrilineal cousin bride, or something else?

Alice C. Linsley said...

Mary and Joseph were patrilineal cousins. They are descended from a common male ancestor. Mary was Joseph's second wife. The Hebrew ruler-priest married a second wife (usually a cousin) later in life. The brothers and sisters of Jesus mentioned In Mark 6 and Matthew 13 are Joseph's children by his first wife. Likely, she was his half-sister, as was Sarah to Abraham.

I encourage you to read this:

Also, after this week there will not comments at this blog. You might consider joining the Facebook group The Bible and Anthropology where we discuss these questions in depth.