The Bride in Genesis
By Arlen L. Chitwood
Adam and Eve
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.
For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. (Romans 5:12-14)
The account of Adam and Eve in Genesis chapters one through three provides not only the one true account of man’s beginning, but this account also provides the original type of Christ and His bride. God has interwoven great spiritual lessons into the account of man’s historic beginning, reflecting upon the person and work of His Son.
Adam was the first man upon the earth. He was also a type of Christ, the second Man, the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45-47). The experiences of Adam and Eve prefigure the experiences of Christ and His bride. The basic principles relating to the formation of the bride and the redemptive work of the Son in relation to the bride are set forth in these chapters and remain unchanged throughout Scripture.
Formation of the Bride
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. . . .
And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”. . .
And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.
Then the rib that the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. (Genesis 1:27; 2:18, 21, 22)
1) Out of the Body
Eve was created in Adam at the very beginning, but was not brought into existence as a separate entity until a later point in time. Adam was put to sleep, his side opened, and from this opened side God took one of his ribs and formed Eve. Eve was taken out of Adam and then presented back to Adam for a “helper.” Eve was a part of the very being of Adam; and, resultantly, separate from Eve, Adam was incomplete. In this respect, Eve, being presented back to Adam for a “helper,” completed Adam and provided completeness for Eve as well. And, in the highest sense, God looked upon the existing union as “one flesh” (Genesis 2:21-24).
The bride of Christ has existed in the Son from eternity. The bride’s existence and salvation date from “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4; Revelation 13:8). The bride, however, could not be brought into existence as a separate entity until after the Son had been put to sleep and His side opened.
This occurred at Calvary. The Son was put to sleep (the Son died), and His side was opened. And “blood” and “water” flowed forth out of this opened side — the two elements necessary to bring into existence the bride, separate from the body, but still part of the body (John 19:34).
Once the complete, redeemed bride has been brought into existence through the means that God has provided, the bride will be presented back to the Son, completing the Son and providing completeness for the bride as well (Hebrews 2:10). And, in the highest sense, God will look upon the existing union as “one flesh” (Ephesians 5:26-32).
God’s past work having to do with bringing Eve into existence and His present work (to be completed in the future) having to do with bringing His Son’s bride into existence must be studied in the light of one another. In Genesis 2:22 God took a rib from Adam’s side and “made into a woman.” The Hebrew word translated “made” in this verse is banah, which means, “to build.” As previously seen, Eve was created in Adam at the beginning, later taken out of Adam, built into a bride, and then presented back to Adam.
In Matthew 16:18 Christ said, “. . . on this rock I will build My Church.” The Church (in the sense in which the word is used in Matthew 16:18), created in Christ from eternity, is presently being called out of the body and built into a bride. And the time when this process will be completed and the bride presented back to the Son lies in the future.
(The word “Church” comes from a compound Greek word [ekklesia], which means, “called out” [ek, ‘out’; klesis, ‘to call’] And this word is used in the New Testament more than one way. It is used during the present dispensation relative to all of the saved [e.g., Revelation 2, 3], for the bride has yet to be singled out and set apart from the remainder of the saved.
That is to say, the bride, though presently being “called out” of the “called,” has yet to be set apart as a separate entity. However, looking beyond this present dispensation [following that time when the bride will have been set apart in the preceding manner], the use of the word ekklesia becomes more restrictive in the way that the matter is looked upon in the New Testament [cf. Hebrews 12:23].
Referring to time beyond the present dispensation, the word ekklesia is used relative to those who will be placed as firstborn sons, adopted [“adoption” (Greek: huiothesia) means son-placing] — placed in a position to rule and to reign [adopted into, placed in a “firstborn” position]. Within the human realm, firstborn sons alone can rule [for more information on the preceding, refer to the author’s book, God’s Firstborn Sons].
And these sons, looked upon in another respect, will rule as consort queen with God’s Son, Jesus. These will be the ones who, in accord with Genesis chapter two, will be removed from Christ’s body, forming the bride of the second Man, the last Adam.
The “called out” being removed from the “called” comprises that which is in view through Paul’s reference to an “out-resurrection” in Philippians 3:11 [“resurrection,” KJV; Greek: exanastasis, “out-resurrection”]. The word exanastasis is a compound Greek word that literally means “to stand up out of.” The word has to do with a smaller group standing up out of a larger group — the “called out” being removed from the “called.” And this will result from issues and determinations emanating from the judgment seat.
Remaining within the future scope of the matter and the exact meaning of the word ekklesia [called out], the clear teaching of Scripture attests to the fact that those who will form the Church in that coming day are not those presently being removed from the world. Those taken from the world are the “called.” All Christians are “called,” removed from the world. But not all Christians will be among the “called out,” which will be taken from the called, the saved, the body, forming the Church as it will be viewed yet future.
In the preceding respect, the Church in that coming day will be the body of Christ [cf. Colossians 1:18] in the same sense that Eve was the body of Adam. She was bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh [Genesis 2:23]. ALL of Eve was of Adam’s body, but she was not ALL of Adam’s body. “For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones” [Ephesians 5:30]. ALL of the bride will be of Christ’s body, but not ALL of His body.
For additional information on both the out-resurrection and the called and the called out, refer to Appendixes 1 and 2 of this book, pp. 85, 86 and pp. 91-93 respectively.)
Thus, contrary to that which is commonly believed and taught in Christendom, the bride — in either the type or the antitype — does not constitute all of the body. Just as Eve was taken out of Adam’s body, the bride of Christ will be taken out of the Son’s body. The entire body over which He is the Head consists of all the saved during this present dispensation. But the bride consists of a smaller group that is presently being called out of the larger group, i.e., called out of the body.
All of the saved are “called” and form part of the body, but only the “called out” — those to be taken out of the body — will form the bride of Christ. The bride will be a selection out of a selection: “For many are called, but few are chosen [lit., ‘few are called out’]” (Matthew 22:14). The type has been set, and the antitype MUST follow the type in exact detail.
Note that man had no part in God’s work surrounding the formation of Eve — from the time of her creation in Adam, to the time when she was presented back to Adam. Nor can man have a part in the formation of the Son’s bride. It was Christ, not man, who said, “. . . I WILL BUILD My Church.”
2) Blood and Water
The two elements from the opened side of Christ, necessary to bring into existence the bride, are “blood” and “water.” The correct order is — as in Scripture — blood first, and then water.
To correctly understand the place of both blood and water in the formation of the bride, a person must again look to Old Testament typology. Worship in Israel centered on the tabernacle, and later the temple. Blood sacrifices to atone for sin took place at the brazen altar in the courtyard, and priests from the tribe of Levi ministered on behalf of Israelites for whom blood sacrifices had been offered.
The priests ministered between the brazen altar and the Holy Place. Between these two points lay the brazen laver filled with water. The priests’ hands and feet became defiled as they ministered in the courtyard, and they had to wash these parts of their bodies on their journey toward the Holy Place. And blood at the brazen altar and water at the brazen laver constituted the two elements that the priests had to avail themselves of BEFORE they could enter into the Holy Place.
In this same respect, in the antitype, Christians themselves are priests today (1 Peter 2:9, 10). Christians, as the Old Testament priests, have direct access to that typified by the blood shed at the brazen altar, the water at the brazen laver, and entrance into the Holy Place.
And moving the present priesthood of Christians into the Messianic Era, Christians occupying positions with Christ will, in that day, constitute a kingdom of priests, or individually, king-priests (Revelation 1:6; 5:10). And this kingdom of priests, these king-priests, will then rule the earth with the great King-Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 6:18-20).
The blood of Christ has been shed, and through this shed blood we presently possess eternal salvation. An individual, having appropriated the blood shed at the brazen altar (pointing to Christ’s finished work at Calvary), is in a position to approach the Holy Place and have fellowship with the Father in the Holy of Holies through the rent Veil, through the “one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 10:19). But the brazen laver filled with water stands in his path. The water speaks of continual cleansing from the defilement of this world after an individual has been saved through a Sacrifice typified by the sacrifices occurring at the brazen altar. And this continual cleansing is effected through Christ’s high priestly ministry on the basis of His shed blood presently on the mercy seat in the tabernacle in heaven.
The Christian though must allow Christ to cleanse him from accrued defilement. The Christian must act himself if cleansing is to occur.
In the ministry of the priests in Israel in the Old Testament, water was present in the laver in the courtyard of the tabernacle, but a priest had to act himself. He, as an individual, had to wash his hands and his feet. Then the entire matter of sin among the people of God was dealt with in relation to blood on the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies once a year.
Viewing both aspects of the typology seen in the priestly ministry surrounding the tabernacle in this respect (priestly ministry surrounding both the laver and the mercy seat, following the offering of a blood sacrifice at the brazen laver), continual cleansing seen at the laver is effected through Christ’s present work as High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary; and He performs this work in a continuous manner on the basis of His shed blood on the mercy seat. But, just as a priest in Israel had to act himself (he had to wash his hands and feet at the laver), so does the Christian have to act himself. The Christian himself has to confess his sins (1 John 1:6-2:2).
The necessity of cleansing for the bride after this fashion, taught in spiritual lessons drawn from the tabernacle, is vividly set forth in the words of Jesus to Peter in John 13:8-10:
Peter said to Him [Jesus], “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”
Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”
Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean . . . .”
In the Greek text there are two different words translated “wash” in these verses — nipto and louo. Nipto means to wash a part of the body; and louo means to wash the entire body. The word nipto (partial washing, a part of the body) is used in verse eight, and both words are used in verse ten. The first word in verse ten is louo (complete washing, all of the body), and the second word is nipto (partial washing, part of the body).
In verse eight, Jesus told Peter that apart from parts of the body being washed, Peter could have no part WITH Him. Peter’s response in verse nine indicates that he did not yet understand the significance of this partial washing. Peter, desiring to assure himself of having a part WITH Christ, requested more than a washing of part of his body. Peter requested that his complete body be washed.
However, Jesus told Peter that the one who had been completely washed (louo) needed only a partial washing (nipto). Peter had been completely cleansed once — a one-time event that could never be changed, altered, or repeated. But living in a body of death in this present world, Peter would become defiled over and over, requiring continual partial cleansings. And apart from these partial cleansings, Peter could have no part WITH Christ.
Christians have been completely washed once. This cleansing can never be changed, altered, or repeated. However, just as the priests in the Old Testament ministering between the brazen altar and the Holy Place continually became defiled and had to wash their hands and feet at the brazen laver, the priests in the New Testament (Christians) continually become defiled in their present pilgrim walk, and must, time after time, avail themselves of cleansing through the antitype of the cleansing provided by water in the laver before they can enter into the Holy Place and have fellowship “with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3-2:2).
Christians are IN Christ, eternally safe and secure because of a complete cleansing (louo). But apart from partial cleansings (nipto) from the defilement of this world through confession of sin, Christians cannot have a part WITH Christ.
The truths taught by Christ through washing the disciples’ feet are the same truths taught by the blood and water flowing from the opened side of Christ. The blood alone is sufficient to place one IN Christ, but the water is also required if one is to have a part WITH Christ. Both elements are necessary to bring the bride into existence, who is to be taken out of the body.
Fall and Redemption of the Bride
For Adam was formed first, then Eve.
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.
(1 Timothy 2:13, 14).
1) Satan’s Method
In the Genesis account of the fall (chapter 3), Satan entered into the serpent of the field and approached Eve with the question, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’(3:1b)?” Satan, in order to bring about the fall of Adam, approached Eve and dealt with her on the basis of that which God had said. Eve’s response and Satan’s action following her response are quite revealing. In answering Satan, Eve not only altered but also added to the Word of God. Satan then cast doubt on the veracity of God’s Word, resulting in Eve’s sin, and the subsequent fall of Adam as the federal head of the new creation (vv. 2-6).
This is the first mention of Satan in Scripture, and several things stand out prominently in this first-mention account surrounding satanic activity: Satan’s ways are subtle, and he uses the Word of God; and, according to the rule of first-mention in Scripture, Satan’s methods can only remain unchanged throughout all of subsequent Scripture.
Satan has appeared down through the years as an “angel of light,” and his ministers appear as “ministers of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:14, 15). His primary attack has always been against the people of God, through the Word of God. Thus, it is vitally important that Christians not only know exactly what God has said in His Word, but also know that God has spoken with finality.
The final court of appeals must always be the Word of God, never man’s reasoning or interpretation.
Adam was brought into existence to have dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:26-28). This was the dominion that Satan possessed (Ezekiel 28:14; Luke 4:5, 6). Satan knew that the supplanter (Adam) was on the scene; and in order to retain his position as the earth’s ruler, he knew that Adam, through sin, must be disqualified.
Satan, however, did not approach Adam directly. Instead, knowing the position that Eve occupied in relation to Adam (a part of Adam’s very being), Satan approached and deceived Eve. Then, Eve’s sin placed Adam in the peculiar position of having no choice other than to also partake of the forbidden fruit.
God had given Adam three commands:
1) Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat. (2:16b)
2) but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat. (2:17a)
3) Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (2:24)
In Genesis 2:16, 17, God’s commands allowed man to eat of every tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Among the trees provided for food was the tree of life, which had to do with “life” in relation to the purpose for man’s creation, not with natural life.
Man existed in a sinless, undying state prior to the fall. And in this condition, man, naturally, had no need for fruit from a tree to prolong his life. Thus, the tree of life could have had nothing to do with the longevity of natural life before the fall.
A tree can bring forth only “according to its kind” (Genesis 1:11), and this can never be changed or altered. A tree providing fruit for one purpose before the fall could not provide fruit for another purpose following the fall. The tree of life, in keeping with the purpose for man’s creation, could only have had to do with “life” in relation to regality (something clearly seen in related Scripture), not in relation to natural life. Nor could this tree perpetuate natural life following the fall, for, again, a tree can only bring forth “according to its kind.” Rather, the fruit from this tree, contextually, had to do with regality. As seen from related Scripture, fruit from this tree would have provided the wisdom and knowledge for man to rule and reign.
(Refer to Appendix 2 in this book for a detailed exposition of the purpose for the tree of life and why it was absolutely necessary for Adam not only to eat of this tree but to eat of this tree as a complete being [Adam, with Eve] if he was to fulfill God’s purpose for his creation.
Understanding God’s purpose for the tree of life is intimately connected with understanding a number of things dealt with at the very outset of Scripture. It is intimately connected with understanding the purpose for man’s creation, that which Adam did following Eve partaking of the forbidden fruit, the purpose for man’s redemption, and that which lies out in the future for man.)
Following the fall, man was barred from the tree of life, for eating of this tree at that time could have provided him, not with longevity of natural life, but with the wisdom and knowledge to do something (rule and reign) that he was no longer in a position to do. It would have allowed man to live in a realm where he was no longer in a position to live.
In this light, in reality, man’s initial act resulting in the fall, which became sin following the fall, was his failure to eat of the tree of life, as God had previously commanded. Had Adam eaten of this tree before the fall, the only logical conclusion that follows is that the fall would not have occurred (else man would have found himself occupying the same position as Satan — a realm in which he was no longer in a position to occupy, ruling and reigning over the earth in a fallen condition).
2) God’s Provision
In Genesis 2:24 God told Adam to cleave to his wife. Once Eve had disobeyed God by partaking of the forbidden fruit, Adam was then in no position to eat of the tree of life. A part of his very being, Eve, who was bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh (2:23), had eaten of the forbidden fruit and was in a fallen state.
Eve in her fallen state was no longer in a position to eat of the tree of life. Even though Adam hadn’t sinned, he was incomplete without Eve, who had sinned. Thus, Adam, being incomplete without Eve, could not now eat of the tree of life. Neither Adam nor Eve could eat of the tree of life after Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit. Adam, in order to one day eat of the tree of life as a complete being, had no choice other than to cleave to his wife by also partaking of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Once Adam had partaken of the forbidden fruit, the complete being of Adam became in a fallen state. This is the point where the fall actually occurred — the federal head of the new creation himself partaking of the forbidden fruit. And that which Adam did was the only possible course of action for him to take in order to bring about Eve’s redemption, allowing Adam, as a complete being (Adam, with Eve), to one day find himself in a position to eat of the tree of life.
Adam was NOT deceived, but sinned with full knowledge of that which he was doing (1 Timothy 2:14). God then provided a blood sacrifice and clothed Adam and Eve with coats of skins (Genesis 3:21).
And the subsequent removal of man from the garden in Eden was not God’s judgment upon man for his sin. This removal was to prevent man from eating of the tree of life, something that he was no longer in a position to do (Genesis 3:22-24).
(Note that man, in his unfallen state, may very well have possessed mental capabilities far beyond that which man, in his fallen condition, is able to possess today. This would provide the answer concerning how Adam was able to reason all of this out after the manner evident in the account, seen through comparing Scripture with Scripture.)
The original type of Christ’s redemptive work on behalf of His bride has forever been set forth in the act of Adam after Eve had sinned.
The first Adam found his bride in a fallen state. He then partook of sin to bring about Eve’s redemption, in order that both might one day be able to eat of the tree of life together and realize that which is involved through eating fruit from this tree.
The last Adam, likewise, found His bride in a fallen state. He who knew no sin was then made “sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21). The “LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). He “bore our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). Jesus was made sin to redeem His bride in order that both might one day be able to eat of the tree of life together and realize that which is involved through eating fruit from this tree.
In the first three chapters of Genesis, both the purpose and means of our salvation are set forth.
The first Adam was created to rule the earth, and Eve was removed from his body to rule as consort queen with him. But Adam, through an encounter with Satan, resulting in the fall, forfeited his right to rule the earth.
Then, the last Adam, through an encounter with Satan (Matthew 4:1-11), has shown Himself fully qualified to rule the earth; and through His subsequent finished word on Calvary (John 19:30), He has also provided a means of redemption for that which the first Adam forfeited in the fall. And the last Adam, as the first Adam, will have a bride taken from His body, who will rule the earth as consort queen with Him.
“The secret of Adam is the secret of the Messiah . . . As the first man was the one that sinned, so shall the Messiah be the one to do sin away.”
— A Jewish Rabbi of antiquity
(Redemption, provided through or because of Christ’s finished work at Calvary, involves far more than man’s eternal salvation. It involves [allows for] the redemption of the forfeited inheritance, the earth, yet future; and it involves [allows for] the redemption of the bride, which will occur at the same time as the redemption of the forfeited inheritance.
For information on the redemption of the forfeited inheritance and the redemption of the bride, refer to the author’s books, The Time of the End, Chapters 8, 9, 19, and Mysteries of the Kingdom, chapters 8, 10, 11.)