19.1 The Bride of Christ is BLACK
— Meet Mrs. God —
The Bride of Christ
THE CHURCH IN her fullness — also called the Bride of Christ1 — is the paragon of creation, the cream of the crop, the great conclusion of all evolution. She will consist of those happy few deemed worthy to be called saints, and she will engage into a marital relationship with no other than the Creator Himself. There will be some other folk around too, actually a multitude that no one can count, but she, the Bride of Christ, will shine like nothing that has ever shone before2. And all surviving others will cheer and celebrate and live in the blessed household of Mr. and Mrs. God forever and ever.
Nothing new so far.
Pretty much everybody knows that Scriptures depict the church as a woman, and that she is betrothed to the Creator to be His wife some great and splendid day. But what hardly anybody knows is a detail that has been eagerly swept under the ragged rug of assumed white supremacy: Mrs. God is black!
BEFORE WE DELVE into the Biblical proofs and mine the consequences of this lucid detail that has escaped the attention of so many theologians, let's talk about 'light' first3:
The Physics Of The Bride
Objects absorb light like land absorbs rain. Water causes all kinds of activities in the land and likewise light causes all kinds of action in an object. We can see this when we leave our pretty black USB stick with groovy 80's hits laying around in the car on a sunny day. The stick absorbs the light of the sun and turns it into heat and it melts, just like land turns to mud when it absorbs water. And just like mud dries up when the water evaporates, our stick solidifies when the heat is turned back to radiation and cools off again, draped around the clutch but cool none the less.
Imagine putting three identically shaped objects out during the night, a black object, a gray or any kind of colored object and a white object. In the night these objects are indistinguishable because their only difference is their hue, and for that to become evident there has to be daylight. When the sun comes up it will shine on all three objects just as much. The white object, however, reflects all light and absorbs none (this is why refrigerators and Mediterranean houses are usually white). The white object stays utterly indifferent to the light, unenlightened and cold and dead. The gray object will take in some light but will also refuse and reflect much of it. It will heat up and become active a little bit, but still only on a fraction of the offered resources. The black object on the other hand opens up fully to the light and takes it all in and warms up and becomes alive with activity. A perfectly black object absorbs all light and reflects nothing and heats up completely. Darkness is therefore not the opposite of light; it is the absence of light. Blackness says nothing about darkness; it says something about the readiness and willingness to absorb light when it becomes available4.
HEAT AND LIGHT are closely related because they are both energy. When light hits a tiny particle the particle will speed up, like a pool ball that gets hit by the cue. But when that particle is part of a larger object it cannot just zip away because it is stuck to the other particles that make up the object, and it will begin to jolt and jiggle like a dog in a pen. When light hits a larger object all its particles will shake and rattle like tied up terriers and not go anywhere. That is what heat is: random motion of particles; crazy and disharmonic frenzy. The color of a radiating object is like the barking of the many dogs. The particles get excited when they absorb energy and begin to radiate energy according to their own constitution. The energy that gets radiated out of an object has an imprint that tells observers about the object. That is how cosmologists know what stars are made up of. They look at the spectrum of starlight, which shows gaps at certain frequencies. Those frequencies belong to the 'color' of hydrogen and helium atoms and so the scientists found out what stars actually are. A perfectly black object will have no gaps in the radiated spectrum, and when a black object is heated up sufficiently it will shine out a perfect spectrum; a perfect witness of the original light.
Because all atoms need to absorb light in order to move around and stick to others, perfectly black objects do not exist. Every object radiates a spectrum with at least some gaps, and every object reflects at least some of the light that hits it, and every object degenerates light into heat, which is random motion of the particles. The only objects that do not degenerate light into heat are living cells. The matter that makes up living cells is so harmoniously organized that cells can contain light without going wild with heat. Instead they transform it into electrical potential, the neural codes of memory, or a chemical equivalent like honey. Honey is quite literal 'liquid light'5.
All souls are per definition and by sheer essence of an invisible blackness, blacker than the blackest thing. Without a light source to shine on them they are darker than darkest, and they will surely die . But when light shines on them they fill up with pure energy, and become more active than the most active object. They become alive.
LIVING THINGS ARE complex beyond description and mysterious beyond comprehension. They are waves on an ocean of light, their bodies temporal foam on timeless crests. They are careful baskets made from the dust of the earth that contain the breath of the Creator without disrupting it or letting it slip out, like any inanimate basket would do. The particles that make up an inanimate basket go wild in self-centered rumpus as soon as they swallow up some energy. The particles that make up a living thing are tuned into each other in such a way that when light comes among them they respond to it in unity, turn it into pure luxury and use it to maintain the body and soul of their union.
The church is likewise made up of many particles. In fact, when God promised Abraham his offspring, He said that they would be like the dust of the earth6. And the miracle described in Genesis 2:7 — the making of the living soul Adam from dust of the earth — is repeated in Acts 2, where the Lord formed the Church initially from the believing sons of Abraham and released His Spirit into them and made them into a whole new life form. The church is made up of believers that are so sensitively tuned into each other that none of them ventilates his or her own opinion as the one and only truth. Instead they are of one mind and one spirit, caused by the different perspectives of the same Word, fascinated by the things they cannot say instead of the things they can say.
And when the Light of God's grace comes upon the church they respond in the harmony of love, and God's grace is turned into the wealth and health of all participants and even surrounding bystanders. God is not represented by the intellectual expressions of one speaker, but by the incomprehensible and indescribable bond that seems to exist between people of normally incompatible dispositions, passions and tendencies7. The church in her fullness receives the Light without rejecting one bit of it, and understands that without God there is no light at all, and that all light comes from Him and not from her, and that she needs to be absolutely black . The church in her fullness is alive with a soul that surpasses all individuals, and receives the Light without turning haywire in a spiritual stampede. The church in her fullness receives the Lord of creation like a wife receives her husband, without refusing the smallest detail of His being, without denying Him access to any part of her.
Biblical References To The Black Bride
THE THEME OF the Black Bride runs like a scarlet thread through Scriptures. She appears when an era comes to a closure and another one begins, and when actions have repercussions for all of mankind. The bride of God will become apparent when time itself ends, but some clear foreshadows of that event have happened earlier and have been recorded:(1)
When creation began an era without creation ended and God's initial interaction with creation was very much alike His final one. When God will finally claim His bride she will be as virginal as the world in the beginning. She will be a group of harmoniously interconnected saints, like a perfectly plowed field, passionately eager to receive the Lord's new creation seeds. The world was dark in the beginning, certainly, but the Spirit of God moved over her and she became alive with weather, biosphere, consciousness and culture. The world has been a Black Bride ever since she came into being8.(2)
When Cain killed his brother he was ran off to the land of Nod9. But curses of God tend to level out somewhere along the fourth generation10. The fifth and sixth generation after Cain and also the end of that line was the family of a man named Lamech, the namesake of the father of Noah11. This Lamech the First is remembered for boastfully amplifying a rule that was set by God. "If Cain is revenged sevenfold, then Lamech seventy-sevenfold," he lets us know. Tradition has pictured this Lamech as a wild madman but nothing in the text points us in that direction. In fact, he might have been amplifying that rule of God by God's own ordinance. Perhaps Lamech the First was a lot like Jesus who after all did the same thing when He revealed some unforeseen deep implications of the Ten Commandments12. We don't know, really, but what we do know is that at least three of his four children have repercussions for all of mankind up to this day, without getting washed out by the flood that was then still to come. His son Jubal was the father of all those who play strings and flutes, and these skills are a major element of worship in Scriptures and services around the world, not to mention of general joy and industry. Jubal's brother Jabal was the father of all those who have livestock and live in tents. That is highly significant because God initially met Israel in a tent, and Jesus is called the Good Shepherd!13 Their half-brother Tubal-Cain was the forger of all implements of bronze and iron, such as weapons and agricultural tools. Tubal-Cain was a man who knew how to manage fire because the hotter one could make a fire the purer and thus stronger the steel implements could be14. And this is exactly the reason why Moses perceived God as a consuming fire15. Not just because His wrath is so terrible, but because God purifies and causes great strength and superiority to those He cleanses. The word tubal even means 'world-wide' and all three names are derived from the same verb of gladness and harvest from which also the word 'jubilee' stems. Well, Lamech the First’s second wife, the mother of fireman Tubal-Cain is called Zillah, which means 'blackened' as by fire. In fact, the Pesah Lamb is known by the same word16.(3)
Moses was the one by whom God led the Israelites out of bondage of Egypt. He was also the one by whom God deposited the Law in the midst of Israel, a bouquet of truths that not only represented the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of Israel, but that was in fact the first instance of God actually dwelling among His people. The Truth, or the Law of the Lord, is not a bunch of rules, but a Person. Jesus Christ is the Truth17, and He can be known as a Person, with casual familiarities as much as unfathomable heights and depths up to the level of the fulfillment of all creation and every day's most quiet need18. When Moses died Joshua took over the role of leading Israel, and he marched the people across the river into the Promised Land. That motion is later fulfilled by the resurrection of Jesus, whose Greek name is the transliteration of Joshua. But before the resurrection, up to His death Jesus did what Moses did until his death: He came out of Egypt called by God, taught Law (Himself) and deposited God (Himself) among the people. Scriptures tell us that Moses married twice. His first wife was the daughter of Jethro the high priest of Midian, and his second wife was a Cushite, or Ethiopian19. Moses' second wife was black, just like Lamech’s second wife.(4)
No person in the Bible is such a clear foreshadow of the coming King-Husband as Solomon. King Solomon was the wisest man ever. He elevated the status of Israel from a little trouble making country into that of an empire, with influence all throughout the known world. He built Israel a temple of legendary proportions and God was revered by neighboring kings and nations because of it. When the Queen of Sheba came to visit him he revealed everything to her and she was left breathless20. We do not have a Biblical report that the two actually engage in a marital relationship, but many Ethiopian people today maintain that they are the descendants of a son of Solomon by their Queen21. Jesus says that this same Queen of Sheba will rise in the end and judge the people of His generation and condemn it22. Paul writes that the saints will judge the world, and so the Queen of Sheba is either just one of the saints, but most likely the whole of them, a foreshadow of the Bride23.(5)
The Song of Solomon describes like in no other location in Scriptures the magnificent pas de deux of God and Bride. The Bride sings the opening cords 'I am black but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon. Do not stare at me because I am black, for the sun has burned me..."24
THE QUEEN OF SHEBA and the Bride from the Song of Solomon are both contrasted by a group of other women. The Queen by Solomon's many wives, the Bride by the 'daughters of Jerusalem.' Zillah was Lamech’s second wife, and the Cushite woman was Moses' second wife. The Black Bride seems to be consistently the second wife in some sort of sequence. We need to remember that before the Lord claims the church as one Black Bride, we the Christians as 'brothers of Christ' may have one heavenly Father but still many earthly mothers. If Christians are images of Christ then every Christian's mother is a mother Mary25.
SCRIPTURES DEPICT THE Messiah often as a Lamb, and the Christians as sheep26. But this does not mean that sheep are holier animals than others, or better in any way. This is made apparent by the great sheet vision that Peter received27 . And the same goes for the Christians that make up the church. But when the church reaches her fullness all people that make up the church have their own perfect place in it. The good news of Christ is for all people, from all countries, all times, all languages and all physical appearances28. The entire scope of the human being as a species is doused with individuals that hear a Voice so unspeakably familiar that their deepest longing is to follow that Voice. Those people have no real idea where the Voice leads them29, but some have a hope so clear that this destiny surfaces in the metaphors of all kinds of art, in music, in sculptures, paintings, stories, sermons and even secular movies and theater. And because this destiny is so unworldly grand, to convey its promise to the people that live in darkness God opens His mouth in parables to display things hidden since the beginning of the world30. All around us are metaphorical witnesses of God's greatness and monuments of His works and promises: marriage, family, local churches, even rocks and trees, the universe or the laws that govern nuclear physics. And, perhaps, to supply humanity with an example of how some of us will be gathered into a God worthy Bride, He came up with Black People, dispersed among the nations like the open hearts of true believers among the many prideful minds; a beautiful mark on the appearance of the human kind, like the eye on the wing of a butterfly. No wonder that Black People are with the Jews one of the most mistreated people in the common age.
Jesus says, "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you31."
Babylon the Great is a worldwide empire reckoned by a thriving economy32. African people were taken into slavery to serve as a tool to raise the occidental culture that is presently taken over the world by storm. Likewise the Jews were taken into Babylon during the times preceding the coming of Jesus Christ, when the known world was largely united and 'enjoyed' Pax Romana33. May all of us take heart and reckon the times and calmly expect the One who is coming to rise over the world like the sun over the nightly planes, making clear once and for all who is black and who is not.
"Behold I am going to arouse them from the place where you have sold them, and return your recompense on your head. Then My people will never be put to shame", says the Lord34.Go on to a critical survey of Genesis 1:
A close look at Genesis 1 →
1. John 3:29; Revelation 18:23, 19:7, 21:2, 21:9, 22:17.
2. Revelation 22:17, Revelation 7:9.
3. The Bride is black in the same string of metaphors in which God is Light, which is one of the most dominant representations of God in Scriptures: Ex 3:21, 2 Samuel 22:29, Job 25:3, 29:3, Psalm 18:28, 36:9, 119:105, Isaiah 2:5, 9:2, 10:17, 42:6, 60:1, Daniel 2:22, Micah 7:8, Luke 2:32, John 1:4-9, 3:20, 8:12, 12:35-46, Acts 9:3, 26:23, Ephesians 5:8, Col 1:12, 1 John 1:5, 1 John 2:8, Revelation 22:5. The leap from light to fire or the sun as metaphorical representations of God is not very demanding.
4. The only part of a human body that takes in light without turning it to heat is the pupil. The pupil is black just for that purpose. Actually, the pupil is transparent but a perfectly black object is transparent. A perfectly white object is a perfect mirror. White or whiteness in Hebrew (laban like Jacob's uncle Laban) is quite often not very positive at all. With a garment people would indicate their occupation. The notorious white robe that Jesus wore was the tuxedo of the old days, a seamless dress known by the Hebrew word bad, meaning one-piece, unique, solid. The Black Bride will be robed in white: a seamless union of the righteousness of the saints (Rev 19:8, 7:9). Isaiah 1:18 speaks metaphorically of the garments that indicate the activities of the wearer. Psalm 51 speaks of a blank criminal record; an unwritten page like a snow covered field. A human skin that is white as snow is leprous, infected by the horrible and incurable skin disease that would slowly eat away the body completely (Lev 13). As a metaphor this disease is used for the demolishing mental condition of arrogance, pride, and the tendency to judge: Num 12:1-10, 2 Kin 5:12 & 27, 2 Chronicles 26:16-21.
5. Kata lambano is Greek for 'take down' or 'degenerate.' The apostle John uses just that word in John 1:5, where he says that life happens when light shines in darkness and darkness does not degenerate it (into selfish kinetic energy, or mass (E=mc2), which is the only thing we know light can degenerate into).
6. Genesis 13:16.
7. Christians are reckoned by their love (Joh 13:34) and not by their incredible knowledge of God and creation simply because wisdom is foolishness to a fool (Proverbs 1:7, 1 Col 1:18, 2:14, 2 Col 11:1). Nevertheless, love and knowledge are very close related, and Scriptures promises great knowledge coming from loving God (Proverbs 1:7, Isaiah 32:4, Daniel 5:12 & 12:4, Matthew 11:27, Matthew 21:22, John 16:15, Rom 11:36, 1 Corinthians 1:5 & 2:10-15, 2 Corinthians 8:7, Ephesians 1:10, Phi 1:9, Col 2:2-3 & 3:10, 1 The 5:21, 1 Tim 2:4, 2 Pet 1:5, 1 John 2:27). According to Paul love believes all things and hopes all things (1 Corinthians 13:7). In Hebrews 11:1 this same Paul writes that faith is the knowledge of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Love generates knowledge and knowledge generates love. The greatest of these is love, however, because love encompasses all, and knowledge is always limited (Ephesians 3:19, 1 Corinthians 13:2). Xenophobia usually has to do with a lack of knowledge. Christians from different sides of the world may meet and they may not know one word of each other's language and have not the first inkling of each other's culture, and yet know each other with such an all surpassing love and understanding of each other's deepest convictions and passions that they become one without even trying.
8. Genesis 1:2.
9. Note that Scriptures place this event deliberately in the 'end of days'; Genesis 4:3. Usually translated with 'the course of time' the Hebrew text definitely speaks of the 'end of days' with a word derived from the verb 'to sever'. The noun 'end' that the text uses is always used in the context of judgment (Genesis 6:13, Ezekiel 7:2,3)
10. The Second Word of the Law; Exodus 20:5.
11. Genesis 4:18; Genesis 5:30. Names are very important in Scriptures, because they usually have something to do with the essence or the behavior of a person. People were often named for a specific reason (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, all Jacob's 13 children, Moses, Joshua, Saul, David, Solomon, Jesus, etc.). Namesakes in the Bibles are therefore extra interesting figures. The obvious connection between Lamech the First and Lamech the Second is that their children have worldwide repercussions. The meaning of the name is obscure, but it may be derived from the verb macac, meaning to bring low, humiliate. The compound lemac may hence mean 'to be humiliated', or 'for humiliation'. This fate may not be as grim as it appears, and the 'humiliation' may not indicate an alteration in the humiliated person himself. Often humiliation comes when something or someone comes to pass who excels so much that all preceding achievements become virtually annulled. We see this for instance in the Nebuchadnezzar case, as well as the line of Old Testament prophets completed in John the Baptist. Or in the words of 2 Corinthians 3:10, "For indeed what had glory, in this case has no glory on account of the glory that surpasses it."
12. Jesus fulfils the Law and sums it up by the commandment to love God completely and our neighbors as ourselves (Matt 22:36-40). But He also explains the Commandments separately, not by adding theology about them like the Pharisees did, but by exposing their true nature and the fundaments upon which they stand (Matt 5:21-22, 27-28, 33-34, 43-44).
13. The tabernacle: Ex 25:8, The Good Shepherd: John 10:11,14.
14. The Iron Age actually began during the time of the Judges, around 1200 BC.
15. Deuteronomy 4:24, 9:3.
16. The noun sala is probably related to the verb salal, which means to be dark, to overshadow.
17. John 14:6, 1:17, 15:26, Revelation 19:11
18. John 14:6.
19. Exodus 2:21, Num 12:1
20. 1 Kings 10:3-5.
21. Britannica; Micropædia, book 10, page 713-714: Sheba, Queen of. "According to Ethiopian tradition, Sheba (called Makeda) married Solomon, and their son Menelik I, founded the royal dynasty of Ethiopia."
22. Matthew 12:42.
23. 1 Corinthians 6:2.
24. Song of Solomon 1:5-6 NAS. Emphasis suggested by the author of this article: "Do not look at me…for the sun has burned me." The bride is not ashamed of her blackness, but proud, because her blackness comes from exposure to the sun, the source of life on earth.
25. "For whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother", says Jesus (Matt 12:50 NAS). And Paul says that our mother is the Heavenly Jerusalem (Gal 4:26). The New Jerusalem is the Black Bride, our true mother. Yet at this point we are not entirely able to do the will of the Father, but we are being raised to. When the fullness comes the church will be doing the will of God: being a bride truly willing to receive Him.
26. Genesis 22:8, Isaiah 53:7, John 1:29, Matthew 25:32, John 10:16.
27. Acts 10:9-16.
28. Genesis 12:3, Isaiah 25:7, Jeremiah 3:17, Haggai 2:7, Matthew 28:19, Luke 2:10
29. Genesis 12:1, Ephesians 3:18-20, 1 Co 2:9
30. Matthew 13:13, Matthew 13:34-35. We may assume that Jesus did not only speak in parables when He had a human form, but also when He was creating the world (John 1:3, Col 1:16). God appears different on different occasions, but the way He does business is always the same (Rom 1:20). A fairly new scientific discipline derived from Chaos Theory has revealed that nature is indeed highly self-similar, and literally built up from parables.
31. John 15:18 NAS.
32. Revelation 17:15, 18; 18:3,11-19.
33. 2 Kings 24. Pax Romana — or Roman Peace — a state of relative tranquility from approximately 30 BC until 180 AD opened trade routes and accelerated economy to an unprecedented rate. Places like Antioch and Rome were literally world trade centers to which people from as far as China, Europe and Africa came to trade, speak and ponder. Spoken from a human perspective Paul was able to strike such a large area with Christianity as he did because the world was already an open road for new thought. Pax Romana was the Internet of the old days.
34. Joel 3:7 & 2:26.
Some years ago a large American magazine featured an article on the Bride of Christ; on the cover a photo of a Caucasian woman in bridal attire. I wrote a letter to the editor asking why his bride was white, while the Bible thinks she's black. His response was that, since the impartial God was involved, it didn't matter which color she was. My reply that inquired why — if it didn't matter — his magazine didn't do it right, was never answered.
Go on to a critical survey of Genesis 1:
A close look at Genesis 1 →