The Radiant Bride

The Radiant Bride

Hello everyone, it is indeed an honour to be with you today. I express my sincere gratitude to Phoebe and the entire I4K team for extending the invitation to participate in your Prayer Training Programme, specifically focusing on The Nature of the Bride. In the current times, I believe there is no more crucial assignment for Five-Fold ministers than to champion the cause of the Bride. Our collective effort should ensure the Church can fully embrace its highest identity as the beloved Bride of the Lord. For the past 16 years, my personal commission has revolved around this assignment, and despite the numerous challenges faced along this journey, it has been the greatest privilege of my life. Indeed, on numerous occasions I have loved partnering with the Kenyan Bride, and hope to return again this year. In this session, we will explore some profound scriptures to construct a more comprehensive understanding of the Radiant Bride.

When we speak of the Radiant Bride, we envision a Bride shining brightly, radiating the glory of her Bridegroom. In this teaching, we will unpack this concept, whilst emphasizing the importance of anchoring our beliefs in the teachings of scripture. I’ve organised this presentation into three primary parts.

Firstly, I aim to establish a biblical foundation for the idea of how we are created for God’s glory. Secondly, we will embark on a journey through the Bride’s participation in the glory of Oneness, a theme fervently prayed for by our Saviour in John 17. Finally, in the concluding part of this teaching, we will explore the concept of what it means when the Bride comes of age. This exploration will include an examination of how this positioning equips her for glory, and her unique role in restoring the birthright of a nation, so that the glory of the nations can come into the New Jerusalem. That sounds like a lot to get through, and so let’s begin with Isaiah 43:7

1a. Created for God’s Glory – Isaiah 43:7

“(7) Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”” – Isaiah 43:7 NKJV

This is such a profound revelation, where we catch a glimpse of our created purpose. The Hebrew word for “glory” in Isaiah 43:7 is  (Hebrew: כָּבוֹד – “kavod.”) It originates from a root meaning “heavy” or “weighty.” In ancient cultures, importance and honour were often associated with weight, and this understanding sheds light on the weightiness of being created for God’s glory. When Isaiah declares we were created for God’s “kavod,” it emphasizes the glorious nature of our purpose—not just flesh and blood, but intentionally crafted to carry the weight of God’s glory.

The apostle Paul picks up on this same principle in his letter to the Romans.

“(21) Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honour and another for dishonour? (22) [What] if God, wanting to show [His] wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, (23) and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, (24) even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?” – Romans 9:21-24 NKJV

In this passage, Paul employs the metaphor of the potter and the clay to convey a profound truth. He eloquently illustrates we are like the clay, skilfully shaped by the hands of the Lord into vessels of mercy, designed in advance for His glory. As bearers of God’s glory, our lives serve as a testament to His character and nature. This responsibility extends across all areas of our life, from relationships to work, from recreation to mission, compelling us to represent God’s glory with profound gravity. Recognising this truth evokes in us a sense of awe and reverence as we navigate the challenges of the world and it motivates us to pursue excellence, integrity, and righteousness. When we align with God’s glory, we transform into conduits through which His glory radiates into the world. Created for God’s glory extends an invitation to live a life infused with purpose, significance, and a deep sense of awe. David beautifully captures this sentiment in Psalms 137 when he expresses his wonder at the Creator’s hand upon his own frame. He says:

“(13) For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. (14) I will praise You, for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And [that] my soul knows very well. (15) My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, [And] skilfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. (16) Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When [as yet there were] none of them.” – Psalm 139:13-16 NKJV

When the Lord created us in the secret place, and knit us together, He was intentional in His desire towards us. He created a place in which He know His glory would dwell. We are glory carriers, not because of anything inherently glorious in ourselves, indeed we are earthen vessels, but because His glory resides in us. This is true for every believer, when we are born again, we become a new creation, something within has been quickened into life by the Holy Spirit. And yet this is only our induction into the glory of God, for salvation is not our end but our beginning into a marvellous journey of encounter in which we are changed from glory to glory.

1b. The Reflected Glory Through Contemplation

“(18) But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” – 2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV

This well-known scripture has much to teach us about the transformative process of God’s glory. We normally focus on the phrase “being changed from glory to glory”, but we need to understand the fulness of what this verse is actually saying, because it is describing a posture of gazing upon the glory of the Lord. It is this interface between the Lord and us in which a transformation takes place. The phrase “beholding as in a mirror” comes from the Greek verb (κατοπτρίζω) “katoptrizó.” This term is derived from “katoptron,” and means a mirror or reflective surface. The imagery is powerful; it conveys the idea that as we contemplate the glory of the Lord, we are like mirrors reflecting that glory. This process is not passive observation but an intentional, focused gaze that transforms us.

However, the act of gazing upon the glory of the Lord goes beyond observation; it is about becoming because in this Divine place of encounter we are transformed into the same image. The Greek word for “transformed” is “metamorphoo,” suggesting a radical, inward change, much like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. Our lives, through contemplation of God’s glory, undergo a metamorphic process that not only reflects His Divine image, but changes us to become like Him in His glory.

This verse is part of a broader discussion found in 2 Corinthians 3:7-18, where the Apostle Paul draws a comparison between the glory of the Old Covenant and the glory of the New. He leads the reader back to the narrative of Moses meeting Yahweh in the tent of meeting. The specific passage Paul references is in Exodus 34:29-35, detailing Moses’ descent from Mount Sinai with a radiant face. The Hebrew term used to depict the brilliance on Moses’ face is “qaran,” signifying the emission of rays or beams of light. This luminous transformation occurred as a result of Moses being in the presence of God, reflecting the Divine glory.

However, the radiance on Moses’ face at that time was transitory, and he veiled himself to shield the children of Israel from the diminishing glory. Paul asserts that a veil still shrouds hearts when the Old Testament is read, and it is only through Christ that this veil is removed. While Moses’ face was uncovered during his encounter with the Lord, it required a veil afterward. Similarly, we, too, can experience the glory of the Lord with unveiled faces. The distinction lies in the enduring nature of this glory for us—unlike Moses, the glory of Christ takes residence in every repentant heart, ensuring a lasting radiance.

1c. The Indwelling Glory of Christ – Colossians 1:27

“(27) To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” – Colossians 1:27 NKJV

The verse refers to this indwelling of Christ as a “mystery.” The Greek word ” μυστήριον – musterion ” expresses a divine secret, a truth hidden in the past but now revealed. Numerous Old Testament scriptures foreshadow the Lord abiding within the hearts of His people, but nothing is explicitly stated because it was kept a mystery until Christ was revealed. The word often used for this indwelling is the word (Greek: ἐνοικέω – enoikeó). For example, 2 Corinthians 6:16, Colossians 3:16, Romans 8:11. In Colossians 1:27, the term “Christ in you” is a profound expression of the indwelling presence of Christ. The root word “enoikeó” goes beyond mere presence; it signifies a dwelling, a permanent residence within. It’s not a fleeting visitation but a continuous abiding.

The distinction between reflected glory and the indwelling glory of Christ is profound. In the Old Testament, individuals experienced the glory of God through encounters, visions, and contemplation. Moses’ radiant face after being in God’s presence (Exodus 34:29-35) is an example of reflected glory. However, Colossians 1:27 introduces a revolutionary concept – Christ’s glory not merely being reflected upon believers but residing within them. It’s a personal, intimate connection where the believer becomes a dwelling place for the glory of Christ.

While reflected glory transforms the observer, the indwelling glory of Christ transforms the very essence of the believer. It’s an ongoing process where Christ’s character, love, and divine nature permeate and shape the believer from the inside out. This transformative work is not dependent on external circumstances but on the abiding presence of Christ.

1d. The Inglorious Nature of Our Current Frame – 1 Corinthians 15:42-49

At this stage, I need to make mention whilst we certainly experience the wonderful indwelling of Christ’s glory and we are able to change from glory to glory as we gaze upon the splendour of the Lord with unveiled hearts, we are not yet able to fully transform into the glory that awaits us upon Christ’s return. Specifically, I am highlighting there is a degree of glory we cannot yet enter into whilst we remain in our current mortal bodies. This statement counters various scriptural errors and arising heresies such as “The manifest sons of God” or “manifest sons of glory.” Proponents of this teaching claim a special group of believers will attain a higher level of spiritual maturity, often referred to as “sonship” or “glorification,” before the return of Christ. According to this teaching, these believers will manifest supernatural powers, immortality, and a sinless existence on earth. This deviation away from what the Bible teaches, naturally leads into another category of heresy called “Dominionism”. This can take different forms, like “Kingdom Now” but in summary it is a theological perspective that generally asserts Christians are called to take dominion or control over various aspects of society, including politics, culture, and the economy. It often emphasizes the idea of establishing a “kingdom” on earth before the return of Christ.

That’s why we must always adhere to what the Bible actually teaches and let scripture interpret scripture. Otherwise, it’s all too easy to take scripture out of context or apply our own preconceptions into what we think the Bible should say. Earlier, I shared there’s a degree of glory we will not attain to before Christ’s return, so let’s see what the Bible teaches about this and turn to 1 Corinthians 15:42-44,49 KJV

“(42) So also [is] the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: (43) It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: (44) It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body….. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. ” –

Paul explains that a glorious transformation of our bodies will not occur until the resurrection of the dead. Now, listen to what he says a few verses later:

“(52) In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (53) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality.” – 1 Corinthians 52-53 KJV

While believers experience transformation from glory to glory in their spiritual journey, ultimate glorification awaits the Lord’s return. The tension between the already transformed and the not-yet glorified state is a distinctive aspect of Christian eschatology. Despite the transformative work of Christ within believers, our bodies remain subject to the effects of sin and mortality until the resurrection. The Apostle Paul acknowledges this tension in Romans 8:23, expressing that while we have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we eagerly await the redemption of our bodies.

2. The Radiant Bride

In the unfolding tapestry of God’s design, so far we have touched upon the deep concept of being created for God’s glory and the transformative progression of that glory—from reflected radiance to a glory permanently dwelling within our hearts. Paul described it in Romans 9—that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory.  It is a narrative woven with threads of divine love, purposeful creation, and as we shall now see, the ultimate manifestation of radiant beauty in the New Jerusalem.It’s time to consider the relationship between the glory of God and the radiant Bride. So let’s turn to our Lord’s priestly prayer in John 17

“(20) “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; (21) “that they all may be one, as You, Father, [are] in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. (22) “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: (23) “I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” – John 17:20-23 NKJV

Whilst the glory of God remains unfathomable and beyond human comprehension, we are aided by a study of our Lord’s petition in these verses because the prayer reveals another facet of God’s amazing glory that goes beyond the glory of any individual believer. In this prayer, when Jesus intercedes for a perfect oneness among us, He draws an extraordinary parallel between the oneness experienced within the Triune Godhead and the oneness He desires for us. This “oneness” is identified by Jesus as His glory—the ability shared by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to co-exist together in perfect harmony as One. Jesus reveals He has given us this same glory—the glory of oneness. This shared glory is not a mere display of splendour but a tangible empowerment able to fuse believers together into one corporate identity, the Bride. In essence, the glory bestowed upon believers is not a solitary possession but a shared inheritance. It is a divine oneness that transcends individuality and unites believers in a profound bond of love, echoing the perfect oneness within the Triune Godhead. We must understand and embrace this wonderful gift of glory we have received because it empowers us to connect and to repair broken relationships and denominational divides. If in Christ we are one, what are we to make of our divisions? Let us lift our eyes once more to behold His glory, that it might yet be reflected to us corporately, and heal our brokenness.

When two become one it is a witness to the intrinsic nature of God. When I talk of being “one” I do not mean unity whereby there is shared commonality, solidarity, or an ability to co-relate to each other. Oneness goes beyond unity, to an entirely different level, for we have not been called to get along, but identify with a shared corporate identity that makes us one. When we talk of the radiant Bride, this is a central component to grasp, for when we exhibit our true corporate identity, it manifests the glory of God and will serve as a powerful witness to the world of God’s love.

This concept of two becoming one, is most profoundly exemplified in the marriage relationship between husband and wife, the first example of which of course, is that of Adam and Eve.  

“(24) Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” – Genesis 2:24 NKJV

I love this particular scripture, because I see it as the first prophecy in scripture, and it’s all about the Jesus and His Bride. The bookends of our Bibles are framed in bridal prophecy, first here in Genesis 2:24, then finally in Revelation 22:20 NKJV “He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” In case you’re wondering why I say this is the first prophecy in scripture, it’s because Adam and Eve were foreshadowing the marriage relationship between Jesus and His Bride, just as all marriages do. This is what the apostle Paul wrote:

“(31) “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” (32) This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” – Ephesians 5:31-32 NKJV

It’s a profound mystery, but in a marriage relationship, two are able to become one flesh. Yes, they maintain their individual bodies, but their flesh has become one. It’s because they share the same glory. Once again Paul teaches on this, in 1 Corinthians 15 when he writes

“(39) All flesh [is] not the same flesh, but [there is] one [kind of] flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, [and] another of birds. (40) [There are] also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial [is] one, and the [glory] of the terrestrial [is] another. (41) [There is] one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for [one] star differs from [another] star in glory.” – 1 Corinthians 15:39-41 NKJV

For two to become one flesh, it requires they be of the same kind. It’s an important point, because for Jesus to become one flesh with us as in a marriage relationship, requires our mortal bodies are changed to be like his glorious body. This is the blessed hope of the believer.

“(20) For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, (21) who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” – Philippians 3:20-21 NKJV (see also Titus 2:13)

There is a tension here. Yes we are one in Spirit with the Lord now, as 1 Corinthians 6:17 teaches us, but our mortal bodies are not yet one with His glorious body. There is a degree of radiance we experience now, but how much more there shall be when we are changed to be like Him at the resurrection.

This teaching is about radiance, which we might describe as the manifestation of God’s glory. We have explored this individually, and now also corporately as His Bride, but before I move to our final part of this message, there’s one other scripture I want to turn to which talks a lot about radiance.

“(3) The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” – Hebrews 1:3a NIV

Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory. Wow, what an incredible statement that is! Didn’t Jesus teach, if you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father? That’s because, Jesus was the exact representation of the Father. God was pleased for His fulness to be displayed in His Son, and for Son to reveal His glory upon the earth. Yet, even then, only a few recognised that glory as Divine. As John opens his gospel, he writes “(9) The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. (10) He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.” – John 1:9-10 ESV

Now let’s see how this relates to the radiant Bride. Because just as Jesus was the radiance of God’s glory upon the earth, so also the Bride is the radiance of the Bridegroom upon the earth. 1 Corinthians 11:7 teaches the woman is the glory of the man, this is true also for the Bride. She reflects her Beloved’s glory, just as the moon reflects the sun. She is His body upon the earth, a corporate being who embodies His glory and radiance. However, just as the world did not recognise the Light, that had come to it, so also to a degree the glory of the Bride remains hidden from view. Colossians 3:3,4.

3. The glory of the Mature Bride

I know we’ve covered a lot of scriptures and packed much within this session, but there’s one final area I’d to share with you concerning the radiant Bride. So far we’ve explored the radiance that comes to us either individually or corporately as the Bride, and how this glory is imputed to us by virtue of our relationship with the Lord and His indwelling within our hearts—yet there is another radiance with which the Bride will be bestowed, and another glory she will receive. So what do I mean by this? Well let’s turn to Revelation 19:7-8 NKJV

“(7) “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” (8) And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”

The word “bright” here is G2986 “lampros” which means radiant, shining, brilliant. Note this is not the same radiance that comes by gazing upon the Lord, or His indwelling Presence, it is a radiance that is worn like a garment. We are familiar with this scripture and typically associate the righteous acts of the saints, in the context of faithful service or good deeds. But I believe it carries with it, a more profound implication. The word “righteous acts” here, is the word G1345 dikaiōma (di ki oh ma) which conveys a legal connotation as in that which has been deemed right so as to have force of law, for example what has been established and ordained by law, or a judicial decision or sentence. I hope you can catch this—the Bride is able to partner with the Lord in the Courts of Heaven, in a way that establishes legal precedent for favour to be granted upon her royal assignment leading up to the Day of the Lord, and the Wedding of the Lamb. When we talk of “righteous acts”, I believe we need to see these acts as governmental rulings which prepare a Highway of Holiness that will prepare the way of the Lord. It’s like these garments are her raiment to attend Heaven’s council. Wow, can you imagine that? Not turning up to court without the proper attire but clothed in garments clean and bright.

I’m touching on a whole other subject here, one I’ve been commissioned to run with, which is about the Bride coming of age. I can’t take more time to go into that revelation here, only to say this: until the Bride comes of age, she has guardians who watch over her. In a court, it is the guardians who have legal jurisdiction over her welfare. But when the Bride comes of age, one of the many things that takes place, is that her voice can be heard and directly responded to in the courts in a way it wasn’t before. This is true in the natural world, and it’s also true in the spirit realm. For centuries the Bride has been growing up in the home of her denominational guardians until she reaches an age, when everything would change, an age when she is no longer considered a minor in the eyes of the Lord, but ready for Bridal love to be awakened. I believe the Bride has reached that threshold. There has come a profound shift in the spirit realm, in which the Bride is being invited into the courts of Heaven, where her voice will carry weight and be responded to. Her guardians were never able to do that and never able to access her inheritance or glory, because it was  held on trust until the day arrived for her to attend Heaven’s courts directly. Beloved, I believe that day has come. There are garments for the Bride to wear which are radiant, with which she will attend her place in Heaven.

Finally when talking of the radiant, glorious Bride, there is another glory she will receive. Not a reflected glory, or one emanating from the Indwelling of Christ, but a glory that comes to her as an inheritance. Again, I can only touch upon this wonderful topic, and share as personal conviction rather that doctrine, but I believe when the Bride comes of age, she is able to bring about the bridal restoration of a nation and receive the nation’s birthright and glory as her inheritance. That’s quite a statement, so I’ll say it again, then share some scripture to support that belief. When the Bride comes of age, she is able to usher the restoration of a nation and receive the nation’s birthright and glory as her inheritance. Okay, so let’s look at what the Bible might have to say about this.

“(23) The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb [is] its light. (24) And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honour into it.” – Rev 21:23-24 NKJV

When John saw in a vision the New Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven from God, prepared like a Bride, beautifully dressed for her Husband, he provides a fantastical description of the Bride as the City of God. Though mysterious, the depiction of the Bride as a city is incredibly important for many reasons. Not least because it incorporates the destiny and glory of nations. Every nation was created by God, with the New Jerusalem in mind, knowing that there would come a day, in which the kings of the earth would bring the glory and honour of the nations into the New Jerusalem. We might naturally wonder who these kings might be, but John possibly suggest this earlier in Revelation when he recorded:

“(5) To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, (6) and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him [be] glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” – Revelation 1:5b-6 NKJV

“(2) [It is] the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings [is] to search out a matter.” – Proverbs 25:2 NKJV

We have been made kings and priests to the Father. In our kingly and priestly anointing, we are able to bring the glory and honour of the nations into the New Jerusalem. When God founded a nation, setting its times and boundaries, He placed a glory within the nation that would ultimately be brought by the Bride (as kings and priests) as a love gift to His Son. This is what I mean by Bridal restoration of a nation. There’s a glory concealed by God when He founded a nation, and it’s the glory of kings to find it and bring it back to Him. When I think of the Radiant Bride this is what I see. Not only radiant because she reflects the glory of Jesus, but radiant because of the garments provided her for righteous governmental acts in which she is able to restore the birthright of a nation, in preparation for her Bridegroom when He comes to bring her home.

What an incredible destiny we have been called into.  In this message,  we’ve seen how we were created for God’s glory, reflecting His radiance in the world. But so much more,  because this glory of God enables us to become One as the Bride. And it’s through our Bridal identity that we are able to wear the radiance of righteous acts,  attending Heaven’s courts to partner with the Lord in the restoration of a nation’s birthright, ready to bring the glory of the nation with us into the New Jerusalem. 

So thank you everyone for allowing me to share these thoughts with you.  I pray you have been blessed and inspired, lifted a little higher, as John was elevated to catch a glimpse of the radiant Bride. Amen