Who is The Bride?
by Christine Egbert
At the suggestion of my pastor, Matthew Miller, I recently listened to a most intriguing audio teaching titled “The Bride, The Concubine, and The Harlot” by Barry Phillips. For twenty years Barry Phillips served as a Christian evangelist, youth pastor, and senior pastor. Then, in 2001, his life changed when he went to Israel.
On his website, remnantofyisrael.com, Barry recounts how going to Israel left him with questions for which he had no comfortable answers. Through prayer and searching the Scriptures, God revealed some amazing truth. But this truth presented problems for Barry, conflicts concerning the ministry he was in. To resolve these conflicts, in August 2002, Barry left mainstream Christianity to follow God’s Commands as presented in the Torah. He established a “House of Study” in Gloucester, VA named the House of David. Today Barry Phillips also produces the “Ten Minute Torah Daily Commentary” and teaches on Hebrew Nation Radio.
While Barry is a strong supporter of Israel and its people, in both prayer and in giving, he understands that the 1948 rebirth of Israel as a democratic Nation State, while quite a miracle, was only the beginning. The LORD’s (Yahweh’s) endgame is to RESTORE the whole House of Israel, which He tore apart over two millennia ago. (1 Kings 11:31-36).
God’s Holy Spirit has been drawing the remnant back to His Torah so that He can end their exile and bring them back to the Land. But enough about the man Barry Phillips; let’s dig into his revelation about the bride, the concubine, and the harlot.
The Christian Church sees itself as the Bride of Christ, but this One they know as Christ isn’t Greek, He’s Jewish, Israel’s Messiah. Jesus (Yeshua), the Torah made flesh, was born a Jew and lived as a Jew. He kept and taught the Torah. His Bride, therefore, must keep and teach Torah to her children.
Proverbs 1:8 – “My son, hear your father’s instruction, and do not forsake the Torah of your mother.”
The marriage contract, known in Hebrew as a Ketubah, established the bride price the husband would pay to his bride’s father. This Ketubah lists the bride’s rights and responsibilities, as well as the inheritance rights of their children, whom the Scriptures proclaim are a blessing from the LORD (Yahweh). (Psalms 127:4-5)
But the Torah also allows for a second wife (Deuteronomy 21:15), an option taken most often, but not always, when the first wife is barren. Sarah gave her Egyptian servant Hagar to Abraham as a second wife (as a concubine) because Sarah was barren. But unlike Sarah, Hagar, although she was legally married, never got a Ketubah. According to the Sanhedrin 21a, of the Babylonian Talmud, “Only the first wife received a Ketubah and had a formal betrothal period known (in Hebrew) as a nissuin.”
In his teaching, The Bride, The Concubine, and The Harlot, Barry Phillips asked if it’s possible that this real-life situation in Abraham’s life is also a prophetic picture. The Ketubah is the Torah. Barren-Sarah represents Israel, fruitful-Hagar (who has no Ketubah) depicts the Christian Church. The Church’s focus is salvation, producing offspring.
The concubine has intimacy with her husband, who provides her with food, clothing, and shelter. She, in turn, produces offspring, but without a Ketubah, those offspring do not inherit. The Heavenly City will one day come to us, but we don’t go to heaven. We inherit the Land. Ephesians 1:13-14 says we’re sealed by the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of our inheritance. Genesis 15:7 reveals that our inheritance as Abraham’s seed is the Land, the Land of Israel (ha’aretz Yisrael).
The Land will vomit out those without a heart for Torah. The concubine’s offspring, the Church, primarily wants stuff (i.e. name it and claim it). The Bride, who has the Ketubah, produces offspring with a heart for the Land of Israel, their inheritance.
Barry Phillips contends that the LORD (Yahweh) has been using the Christian Church (where most of us began our spiritual journey) to produce offspring with a potential to enter the Kingdom, because up until now the LORD’s (Yahweh’s) first wife, Israel, has been barren. But just as the bride with the Ketubah, Sarah, became fruitful in her old age, Barry believes we, who embrace Torah, our Ketubah, will soon, like Sarah, become fruitful.
“The harlot offers a resemblance of intimacy as she grants fleshly fulfillment,” Barry says. “But she does not want a binding relationship. No long-term commitment.” The harlot says, if you have me you don’t need a bride. She’s a system that feigns religious expression. Using religious words, she lures and seduces those with no understanding of the Torah.
The Harlot is drunk with worldly acceptance and the blood of the saints. She’s a mother of Harlots and every abomination on earth. (Revelation 17)
Proverbs 2:11-22 – Discretion shall keep you, understanding shall watch over you, to deliver you from the evil way…those who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness, who rejoice to do evil, delight in the perversities of the wicked…[Discretion] will deliver you from the strange woman, from the foreigner who flatters with her words, who forsakes the guide of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God. For her house leads down to death, and her tracks to the departed spirits. All going in to her do not return, nor do they reach the ways of life. Then you may walk in the ways of the good and keep the ways of the righteous. For the upright shall live in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.
In summation, Barry teaches that the Harlot will perish, the concubine won’t. She simply won’t inherit Land. The Bride will!