Who is the Bride of Christ?
Most of us have been taught it is the Church who is the bride of Christ. However, I've always found the Word of God a more trustworthy source of truth than any Church doctrine.
The bible itself teaches the Church is the body of Christ:
"And he is the head of the body, the church..." (Col 1:18)
"And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. (Eph 1:22-23)
"...we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones." (Esp 5:30)
As for the Bride of Christ, it is none other than Israel (Isa 54: 4-8; Jer 2:1-3; 3:6-25 and Hos 1, 2, 3 esp 2:16, 19-20).
Please read all these scriptures carefully to undertsand the full implications. However, here is a small sample of quotes for those who may not do so. Understand the Lord is speaking to Israel:
"I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desert..." (Jer 2:2)
"For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called." (Isa 54:5)
"In that day," declares the Lord, "you will call me 'my husband'; you will no longer call me 'my master.'" (Hos 2:16)
"And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD" (Hos 2:19-20)
Betroth in the Strong's Concordance means "to engage for matrimony".
It is true God rejected and divorced Israel in judgement for their sins. However, this was not to be permanent since God promised they would never cease to be a nation before Him and were to be restored at the end of their punishment (Jer 3:8-25; 31:1-37 & 50:17-20). This was made possible through the death of Christ enabling divorced and rejected Israel to be restored to the Abrahamic Covenant so in the place they were called “not my people”, they could be called ”the sons of the living God” when God promised He would make a new covenant with Israel and remarry them when He returns:
"Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God” (Hos 1:10)
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Jer 31:32-33)
Accordingly, Israel (the northern ten tribes) was never permanently rejected by God nor ever ceased to exist as a people or nation. Nor were they replaced by the Jews and or the church.
Please also understand we must not confuse the modern day 'Jews' or modern state of Israel with the biblical Israelites. The promises were made to the racial descendants of Jacob through the line of Issac only (later including others who accept Jesus Christ). These promises were never made to the converts of Judaism ('Jews') which is pagan religion.
This is because the word ‘Jew’ now means something completely different to the Hebrew and Greek words it was originally translated from. While the term ‘Jew’, was once a racial label referring to a descendant of the tribe of Judah (one of the 12 tribes of Israel), it has since been changed into a mere religious one. This has enabled many different nationalities who were never descendants of the Israelites to claim themselves to be ‘Jews’ who are not. In fact, entire nations of people through history have converted to Judaism and started calling themselves ‘Jews’, including the Edomites in 126 BC and the Khazars around the 8th century. It was this last group of people who later spread out to become the ‘Jewish’ populations of Eastern Europe.
Of course, I am not saying there are no true ‘Jews’ (descendants of Judah). I am simply making two important points. Firstly, most ‘Jews’ today are not racial descendants, but rather converts to a pagan religion and therefore have nothing to do with the biblical Israelites. Secondly, the few true ‘Jews’ (descendants of Judah) which do exist only represent a small proportion of Israelites since the bulk of Israelites are descended from the other 11 tribes and are therefore not ‘Jews’. They are rather known today as gentiles.
God will fulfil all His promises to Israel, including their repentance, return to Him, their remarriage and eventual return to Palestine.
For further study please read 'Who are the Jews' and 'Who and Where is Israel Today'.
Hope this helps.