What seven Old Testament brides portray the Bride of Christ? Find out with guests Dennis and Dawn Morris along with hosts Tim Moore and Nathan Jones on the television program, Christ in Prophecy!
Air Date: March 4, 2023
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Nathan Jones: Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope and welcome to another episode of Christ in Prophecy.
Tim Moore: You know, during Jesus’ earthly ministry, He frequently taught using parables. Sometimes it was to mask certain truths from those without spiritual discernment. And at other times, the parable itself was meant to convey a deeper truth with even greater clarity. Jesus spoke in the language of the people He interacted with and used examples from their own life experiences. So He called fishermen from Galilee to be fishers of men. The people living in an agrarian lifestyle on the hills of northern Israel, He’d talk about scattering seed of various kinds on the ground. But when it came to reveal a beautiful mystery, Jesus chose the symbol of a Jewish wedding. He knew that His listeners would understand the inherent joy in a Jewish wedding. And every man who has ever been a groom, and every woman who has ever been a bride would recognize the significance of such a joyful event, and so could relate to the truths Jesus was imparting.
Nathan Jones: Teachers of Bible prophecy have long recognized the symbolism in Jesus references to the Jewish wedding. He is the bridegroom who has proposed a covenant relationship. His bride is the Church, including Jews and Gentiles, who have accepted His proposal and are betrothed to Him. From the moment that covenant is made our Groom is committed to us and we’re set apart, meaning made holy by Him and for Him. The New Testament writers consistently expected that we, the Church, should eagerly wait for our Bridegroom to return to snatch us up, or rapture us up to heaven.
Tim Moore: And although the Church was a prophetic mystery up until it was born, on the day the Holy Spirit fell at Pentecost, the Old Testament contains some wonderful prophetic types that hinted at the future relationship between the Son of God and His Church. They are the seven brides who together portray the Church as the Bride of Christ.
Nathan Jones: To help us learn how these seven Old Testament brides portray the Church. We’re joined by Dawn and Dennis Morris. Dawn is a novelist who has written such thrilling Christian titles as Fire and Flood, One Will be Taken and One will be Left. Dennis is a former Navy submariner turned successful businessman. Both share a passion for equipping the Church for the soon return of Jesus Christ. Welcome, Dawn and Dennis.
Dennis Morris: Thank you for having us.
Dawn Morris: Thanks for having us.
Tim Moore: Yes, sir. Okay, I’m eager to jump right into this topic because I want to see how these seven Old Testament brides point to Jesus Christ, who is our bridegroom, and obviously we being the bride are waiting for Him to come for us. So, Dawn, tell us a little bit about the very first bride presented in Scripture, that, of course, being Eve. How is she a picture and provide a pattern of the Church and how we relate to Jesus Christ?
Dawn Morris: Yes, she does, because she is created by God for Adam in the same way that the Church is created by God for His Son. And as she’s presented to Adam by God in a finished state of glory. So the Church is going to be presented holy and blameless, without wrinkle or spot in a state of glory for the Lord. And Eve did not choose Adam in the same way Jesus told His disciples, “You did not choose Me, I chose you and appointed you.” And so she and Adam both were given dominion over the earth, and in the same way, the Church is going to rule and reign with Jesus.
Tim Moore: I think that’s a beautiful picture, frankly, because as you pointed out, and I don’t know if I’ve ever even thought of this Eve did not do anything to really qualify herself to be Adam’s wife. God prepared her, presented her, and made her holy, made her set apart as a helpmate and as a partner for Adam.
Dawn Morris: That’s right.
Nathan Jones: And how does the bride motif fit Eve? I’ve never really thought of Eve as a bride. I mean, there was Adam, there was Eve there wasn’t a wedding. There wasn’t any father handing her off. What made their relationship husband and wife?
Dawn Morris: Well, the Lord did, right? He made them to become one, the two of them to become one. And I think in the days that we’re living in the thing that about Eve that speaks to me the most is that she was the one who was deceived. Adam was not deceived. And Jesus has warned us over and over, especially as we live in the days towards the end, do not be deceived. And so that that speaks to me in the day and times we live in now.
Nathan Jones: Were they in a covenant relationship?
Dawn Morris: Yeah, I believe they were.
Nathan Jones: Okay. And that’s the foundation of marriage.
Dawn Morris: That’s the foundation of marriage, is God putting a man and woman together.
Nathan Jones: Because it seems like throughout the Bible, especially the Old Testament, He’s always comparing relationships to covenants, particularly the marriage covenant, and He protects it more, and that’s why He hates divorce. And so then when we see that how He loves the covenant relationship. When I have to tell everybody that I first heard this teaching because I watched you teach this at a conference that you were holding up in Seattle, it blew my mind because I’ve never thought of the Old Testament brides as pointing to the Church. Because often you’ll hear people say, “Well, the Church is a mystery and nobody heard about it until the New Testament.” That doesn’t mean that the Lord wasn’t already pointing to it by using these brides.
Dawn Morris: And He does that throughout Scripture, pattern is a part of prophecy. And so when you see these women and their patterns, they do all together make a picture of the Church.
Tim Moore: I think that’s a beautiful sentiment. Even the fact that Eve, again came to Adam presented to him, we don’t have anything that would set us apart as holy as individuals or collectively as a Church except for God declaring us to be righteous. Obviously, He’s going to provide the clean white linen for us to wear when we get to heaven. And so it’s all to His credit, and we are presented to our Bridegroom. That’s a beautiful picture.
Let’s turn to the next type that you reference, that being Rebecca, how does she provide a picture of our participation in becoming the bride of Christ?
Dawn Morris: Yes, Rebecca is wonderful. She’s the first bride that’s showing participation in the whole process. And Abraham sends out his servant to choose a wife for his son, Isaac. In the same way the Lord sends the Holy Spirit to obtain a wife for His Son. And Rebecca had a free choice. And we also have a free choice, God does not impose His salvation upon us. He offers it to us as a free gift. So we have the right to say yes or no, which Rebecca had. And just like Rebecca, we don’t know the details of our journey to meet our Bridegroom. She had the servant to guide her, and we have the Holy Spirit given to us to guide us along our way. And just as the servant gave Rebecca gifts, so the Holy Spirit gives each of us gifts to whom He will.
Nathan Jones: Wow.
Dawn Morris: It’s just wonderful. And then when Rebecca met Isaac, she bowed down before him. And when I read that, you know, you read stuff in Scripture all the time, and then one day you’re like, I never saw that before. When I saw that, as I was preparing this study, I thought, what a picture of the Church, we are certainly are going to bow down before our Lord.
Tim Moore: You know, I got to get Dennis in on this one because it also, I think, paints a picture of Isaac anticipating his bride. And so he knew that the servant had gone to find a bride. And he’s waiting and he’s waiting for that bride to arrive. And Dennis, you are the only bridegroom here on set with your bride, so speak to what a bridegroom thinks as he’s anticipating the unity with a bride.
Dennis Morris: Well, it’s real covenant thing. And it’s one thing you wait in great anticipation because you know what the good that’s going to be coming from that, and you know the life that’s been prepared for you. And it’s a really unique experience, particularly with that with that great anticipation. You’re waiting and you see the bride, particularly those of us who’ve been married. You know, you see the bride walking down the aisle, just that anticipation and the emotion that comes with that. This is just another example of that.
Nathan Jones: I was just thinking back to my own wedding when you said that, because I remember being in the Church and we’re in this old Church from the 1800s, it was going to be condemned after our ceremony. And my wife comes in in her white dress with her father in his police attire, and they had the stained glass behind it, and she looked like an angel coming down. I mean, I never loved her more than I did at that moment, of course I love her more now. But it’s amazing how the bridegroom perceives. And I think of the next one you had was Rachel, right? Because isn’t Rachel a picture of the love the bridegroom has for the bride?
Dawn Morris: It is. It is. Jacob loved her so much he was willing to work for 14 years to marry her. And that really shows the great love that Jesus has for the Church. And it says that for the joy set before Him, Jesus endured the cross, and that joy was His bride and having her by his side.
Tim Moore: Wow. So we can go forward to another bride.
Dawn Morris: Right.
Tim Moore: Who actually shows that the Church, this bride of Christ, includes both Jews and Gentiles. So tell us about the next bride in this series.
Dawn Morris: That’s right. The next bride is Ruth, and she shows the protocol of becoming the bride. So as a Gentile who is now in Israel with her mother-in-law, Naomi, she had to follow the protocols for her to be redeemed by the kinsman redeemer, who’s also a picture of Jesus. Actually, each of the grooms is a picture of Jesus, too, but we’re just focusing on the bride’s. But she had to follow those processes, and so do we have to follow a process. We have to, as Romans 10:9 says, “If we confess with our mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved.” And so in the same way that Ruth left her false gods and her broken culture, so we too, when we turn to Jesus Christ, leave behind the idols that we have. Right? And we leave aside our cultures, we have a new identity. And just as Ruth had a new identity as part of the covenant of Israel, we have a new identity in Christ, both Jew and Gentile.
Nathan Jones: And Ruth would then end up being the predecessor of the line of David, which would be the line of Jesus, too. So she had an even more special role. The fact that the Jewish line would have Gentile blood in it shows that the Lord didn’t favor just the Jewish people.
Tim Moore: I think Ruth also gives testimony even better at times than Naomi. Naomi being a woman who was a Jew, and yet she for a season had become very despondent in her faith. And Ruth said, “Your God will be my God, your people will be my people.” So Ruth chose to be essentially grafted in, and for a season was more favored even than the Jewish woman, Naomi, until Naomi recognized the blessing that Ruth was receiving. And I won’t say that she was jealous of it, but she came back to her senses. And so today, many Gentiles, of course, have embraced the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And we pray that the Jewish people will return to that belief as well. So who is the next bride? Speaking of David, the descendant of Ruth.
Dawn Morris: He is the descendant of Ruth.
Nathan Jones: One that you don’t hear much PR about. And they don’t really teach on.
Dawn Morris: No not much. So the next bride is Abigail, and she represents the promotion we receive as the Bride of Christ, when we accept Jesus as our Savior and become that bride. So when Abigail meets David, she’s actually married to a man named Nabal whose name means folly. And he has insulted David. And David has sworn to leave no man left alive. And a servant comes to Abigail to have her intercede. She’s the first woman in Scripture that’s described as both beautiful and intelligent. And so she knows her husband, and she gets together all of the things that David expected, which was some food and provisions for his men who had been guarding Nabal’s flock. And she goes to him and she bows before him and asks him for his mercy. Which he she grants her, and he thanks her for coming out. And she goes back home and she tells her husband, who wakes from a drunken stupor what she’s done, and he dies a few days later. And then David comes back and asks her to marry him. And then she’s promoted from being married to folly, who’s now dead, to being married to the king. And so she has a life now of privilege, and of power.
In the same way the Church, you know, we as the Bride of Christ, we were married to folly, too right? We were married to sin and we were fallen and dead. And then Jesus came and He died so that we don’t have to die. Right? And He died in our place. And so we can be married now to Him. And that’s the picture of Abigail.
Tim Moore: I think also some would say, well, I’m not worthy. You don’t know my past. So, for instance, in Abigail’s case, I was married to a complete reprobate, I’m not worthy of being married to the king. And yet, Jesus doesn’t look as we would with our human eyes. And so he loves us, not because of the inherent value we have, but because He chooses to put His love on us.
Dennis Morris: I think, one other thing that kind of comes out when I hear this in Nabal’s role, it kind of shows the responsibility that we have as the bridegrooms to our earthly wives, but shows that that relationship that we should have, we are in that role representing what Christ is as Bridegroom, to His Bride. And it just shows there’s a great deal of responsibility. And when you see that responsibility fail, what it can do for you.
Nathan Jones: It’s true. Yeah, I mean, look in our sinful lives we lived lives of devastation and folly, but through Christ, we live it through victory and rank that we’re also called children of God, heirs and coheirs during the kingdom to come is just absolutely blows my mind.
Well, let’s get to the Song of Solomon, because I think probably one of the more famous Old Testament brides is the Shulammite woman. We don’t have a name for her right?
Dawn Morris: No, we don’t have a name for her. But she’s the first bride that demonstrates passion in marriage, that she is responsive to her husband. And we ourselves as Christians, we are responsive to Jesus. We love Him because He first loved us. Right? And so we are responding to Him. And Solomon loved his bride passionately. He praised her character. And so in the same way, we see Jesus giving us a character. He’s promised, He’s the author and perfector of our faith. And He’s the one who’s going to present us before the Father, holy and blameless in His sight. And so we are looking for that wedding to come as the Bride of Christ. He loves us so passionately that I truly believe that He didn’t need nails to hold His hands to the cross, His love would have held them there.
Tim Moore: You know, you speak about passion. I think sometimes we kind of set aside the truths revealed in the Song of Solomon that this passion was manifest in all the various forms of love that a husband and wife are meant to enjoy together. It is one of the beautiful relationships God gives us, full of pleasure, full of joy. And that’s not something to be ashamed of. That’s something to be embraced within the covenant of marriage.
Dawn Morris: That’s right.
Tim Moore: And I think the Song of Solomon shows us that very clearly. But that brings us to the last bride, one of the most oddly named, at least in our modern understanding, but also gives a true insight into where we are sometimes today as a modern day Church.
Dawn Morris: That’s right. Well, the last bride that we’re going to talk about is Gomer. And she shows the pardon that we receive in Christ. So Gomer was a prostitute. Hosea was commanded by God to go and marry her, and he did that. So each of us, as the body of Christ has fallen short of the glory of God ourselves. Right? And we have been unfaithful. And like Gomer, we are a bride because of the faithfulness of her husband. And so she was a bride because her husband obeyed the Lord. And Jesus obeyed and went to the cross so that we could become His bride. It’s really cool. The names in Scripture have significant meaning, and I always look up the names of whoever I’m studying, and Hosea means salvation and Gomer means complete. So Hosea bought Gomer out of prostitution, and he redeemed her after she was unfaithful when they were married. And he was told by God to love Gomer as God loves. And so for us as the Church, when we embrace salvation, Hosea, when we embrace salvation, we are made complete in Christ. And it’s like you said before, not because of our worthiness, but because of His worthiness.
Tim Moore: You mentioned a few minutes ago, Dawn, that, you know, we’re just talking about the brides, but obviously the other half of this equation, and He’s more than half is the Bridegroom. So even though we’re talking about the brides, none of them would have been brides unless there had been a bridegroom. And so we always point to Jesus Christ, who is our bridegroom. You know, we talked earlier about anticipating being married. I’ll never forget my own son-in-law, large, very fit young man standing at the front of the church with tears streaming down his face, just crying as my daughter entered because his heart was so full. And I think that is a picture, too, of Jesus Christ who is so eager to bring His bride home, to be with the Father in the place that He has been preparing. I would pray that we, too, have that same sense of anticipation.
Dawn Morris: That’s right. And He was so eager that that’s the very first thing He talked about with His disciples on the night before He died, “I go to prepare a place for you so that where I am there you will also be.” And that’s been the blessed hope for the Church for the past almost 2,000 years.
Right, the anticipation of that.
Nathan Jones: Wow. That’s fantastic, Dawn. Well, we’ll come back in just a moment to answer the question, how do we as the Church live eagerly waiting for our Bridegroom? But first, we’d like to help you grow in your understanding of the great God and Savior Jesus Christ, with this wonderful book.
Nathan Jones: So, Dennis and Dawn, maybe you can tell us then how do we live as a Church eagerly waiting for our Bridegroom? In other words, what have we learned from these seven Old Testament brides?
Dawn Morris: Okay. I think what we’ve learned from these seven brides is it’s important to have, to develop that relationship once you accept Jesus as your Savior. There is this Word, you know, given to us so that we can know Him, know His character and study Him. And I don’t think it’s dull to study theology because, you know, a man who loves his wife studies her and sees what things please her, and does things to please her, and vice versa. Like, as Dennis and I have gone through our marriage, we’ve learned more about each other. And so I would encourage people to be in the Word so that you can know more about Who it is that you’re interacting with. And then we need to know who we are, and the promises that have been given to us and the New Testament is full of them. You know, we have been given His Spirit as a down payment of our inheritance in the future. And that just blows my mind that God Himself dwells in us and that gift is just a down payment. What’s everything else going to be like when we get there? It’s going to be incredible.
And I think we need to remember now, especially the days that we’re living in, you know, Hebrews tells us “Not to forsake gathering together, all the more, as you see the day approaching.” And we are seeing the day approaching.
And I think another thing that’s important is to know what the prophetic Word says is going to happen. The things that are going on in the world make no sense. I don’t know how people who don’t have a biblical worldview can make sense of what’s going on, but the world is being set up for the Tribulation. And if you know that and you know we’re going to be taken out of here because the Church is not destined for the wrath of God. That gives me courage and hope. And I think, you know, we need to be like the men of Issachar in the Old Testament, who understood the times they lived in and they knew what to do. And we have been promised that if we ask God for wisdom, He’ll give it to us. And so even in these difficult days, we can have wisdom, we can have joy, and we can walk in the power that we’ve been given in the Holy Spirit to impact the people around us. We maybe, as one of my friends said the other day, we have a podcast, we may be pulling burning people along with us.
Tim Moore: Valid point. And that’s very true. And you mentioned the confused state in which we live. Obviously, even the United States government is about to embrace an Orwellian definition of marriage in their Defense of Marriage Act because they are going to redefine marriage from what God ordained. It predated government, marriage did, and so they’re going to redefine it. And so there’s a lot of confusion out there. And as we use terms like the bride of Christ and Jesus as our bridegroom, some people have lost a clear understanding of what that is. But it is a picture, it is an analogy of how much Jesus loves us. And in the ordination of marriage that God established a husband and a wife model that covenant relationship that is so tight that as Scripture describes, they become one. These two individuals are so intertwined that the two become one, and so we become one with Christ. And we’re not getting weird about this, but we look forward to that final rejoining with Him when He receives us to Himself.
Nathan Jones: And what do you all think about that? Because that that’s something that a lot of our viewers are in this gender confused world they are like, well, when Jesus returns, is He going to be a bigamist and have men and women and we’ll all be married to Him in the marriage sense? What does the Bible mean when it uses the term Bride of Christ? Because it can be confusing for some.
Dennis Morris: I think, you know, sometimes we’ve got to avoid some of this overthinking things a bit here. And really look at it as an analogy of that in the relationship style that we have. It’s how the relationship works. It’s not necessarily a literal physical thing in the relationship with Christ, unlike it is with a husband, an earthly husband and wife. But it is that analogy and understanding of that relationship, what it is, what it should be in a contextual sense.
Tim Moore: I think it’s tragic today that so many people are so isolated, that a lot of young people don’t have any desire to be married. And not because they are called to live a celibate life, according to what Scripture lays out. Paul, of course, we think was not married. He was committed in his mission to God. Well, these people aren’t necessarily celibate, but they don’t want to have that that unique covenant relationship with another person. And so it is a very culturally confused era in which we live. And yet we’re called, unlike Gomer to be so dedicated to our Bridegroom that we do not stray. And yet all of us prone to wander, Lord, I know it, and so as Hosea demonstrated, the Lord comes after us and loves us sometimes in spite of ourselves. But truly, my heart’s desire is to be not only set apart by Him, but set apart for Him and keep myself pure. And so that’s a high but attainable goal only through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Nathan Jones: And bringing up that Respect for Marriage Act that they’re trying to pass through, that would basically legalize homosexual marriage and punish anybody with any religious beliefs against it. You’ll hear people come and say, well, Jesus never talked against homosexuality or homosexual marriage. Is the biblical definition always between one man and one woman for life?
Dennis Morris: Yes.
Dawn Morris: Yes.
Nathan Jones: And did Jesus uphold that?
Dawn Morris: Yes, He did.
Nathan Jones: Okay. So where’s the confusion then, that they say, well, the Bible supports it? It doesn’t.
Dawn Morris: Well, and that’s you know, that’s a tricky thing in our culture that we live in, right? Because it’s such a protected class. No, Jesus does back up that marriage is one, between a man and a woman. And the thing is, is that we as American Christians do have the right to our beliefs, in the same way that a Muslim would have rights to their beliefs. And yet, you know, we know that we’re going to be targets, Jesus said the world hated Him, it’s going to hate us. You know, we can be loving and still say that God created marriage between a man and a woman. We can speak the truth in love. And I think that’s the part where people fall short on one side or the other, they’re either such truth tellers that they have no love when speaking, or they’re such lovers that they don’t want to speak the truth because they don’t want to be offensive.
Tim Moore: So our goal here is to not only speak truth, but to speak truth in love. And the most loving thing we can do is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Dawn Morris: That’s right.
Tim Moore: So, Dennis, what is the kernel of the gospel that we try to proclaim as Christians about our loving God and Savior who desires to be our Bridegroom?
Dennis Morris: Well, in order to do that, we have to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. And God made it really quite simple for us to make that happen. And we just have to truly believe in our hearts, a couple of key things. And first one being that we are sinners and that we have don’t meet God’s perfect standard, and therefore we’re subject to His judgment. Well, God loved us so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross and pay the price for our sin. And the other thing is His resurrection from the dead where He conquered death, it showed that His gift was sufficient to cover sin, our sin for all time, for everyone. And, you know, it’s not about going to church. It’s not about following a set of rules. It’s about having that personal relationship with Christ as our Lord and Savior.
Nathan Jones: Praise the Lord. Well, we hope, folks, that you’ll accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. If you don’t know Him now, make Him the Lord of your life. Dawn, how can people find out more about your books and possibly even order them?
Dawn Morris: You can go to my website, dawn-morris.com.
Nathan Jones: Excellent.
Tim Moore: Jesus’ parable about the bridegroom and bride excites me because we know that like a diligent bridegroom, Jesus has been preparing a place for us. And sometime soon God the Father will say to Him, “Go and get your bride.” When that happens, Jesus will not tarry any longer. He will gather His angels of Heaven as His attendants and emerge mightily from heaven to collect His bride.
The dead in Christ, meaning those Church Age saints who have already passed, will rise from the grave to meet Him in the air. And then we who are alive, will also be caught up and changed in the twinkling of an eye to join them. All who are in the Church will fly away to the Father’s house to be united with Christ, as the Bible says, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.
After Jesus holds the Judgment of the Just, based on our earthly good works that determine our eternal reward, we will celebrate at last the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, rejoicing over our union with our bridegroom.
Nathan Jones: We here at Lamb and Lion Ministries believe that Jesus is eager to collect His bride. He’s patiently submissive to the Father, but like any earthly groom, He’s filled with anticipation as He waits. Our Lord knows the joys that will greet His bride and is eager to welcome her to the place He has prepared. Jesus is excited about the marriage feast, where the marriage covenant will be celebrated and Jesus longs to be united with those of us who are His forever more.
Until that glorious wedding day, all of us who are in the church cry out “Maranatha, come quickly, Lord Jesus.”
End of Program