PREPARING THE BRIDE
In our School of Prayer, this past Monday night, we started a new series called “Studies in the Bride of Christ from Genesis thru Revelation”. It stimulated quite a bit of lively conversation in light of the Paris attacks. We discussed Ephesians 5:27 – “….so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish”. Also, Revelation 21:2 – “And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a Bride adorned for her husband….”
We discussed ways on how the Lord prepares His Bride. How does the Lord prepare His Bride? We all acknowledged the way it looks now — we the Church, Jesus’ Bride are certainly not ready yet! We all still see lots of spots and wrinkles in ourselves individually as well as corporately. We talked about how in past history God allows persecution, even martyrdom to purify His church. We discussed how Christianity grew and thrived in the midst of terrible persecution, even in recent years in places like Communist China as well as in other nations.
We asked if could it be possible that the Lord might be using these recent acts of terrorism as part of His plan to purify His church? One of the things we discussed was Jonathan Cahn’s prophetic word through Isaiah 9:10-12, after 9/11 happened, Some of the leaders of our nation even quoted parts of these verses – they kept saying “We will….”, using portions of Isaiah 9:10-12 as their reference. They didn’t take into consideration this statement, this attitude was something God hated. It is a sign of pride and self-sufficiency. In essence they were saying, “We can take care of ourselves, we can fight back, we don’t need God. We will rebuild. They may have attacked us, but we will counter attack and we will crush our enemy. We will not allow this to get us down. We will make ourselves bigger, better and stronger”. The same attitude was even displayed in France this past week.
Did anyone not consider what Isaiah 9:13 says: “The people did not turn to Him who struck them, nor inquire of the Lord of Hosts”… viagra france acheter.
It’s all about the “we”. What about God in and through all of this? Have we considered that maybe God may be allowing this because He wants to get our attention? As we discussed this, the word “repent” kept coming up in our conversation. Can it be possible the Lord is calling His church to repentance? Not to plot and plan and scheme on how to fight back, or find ways to defend ourselves? As we talked, I kept remembering all what I read in the prophetic books of the Bible and got chills. The Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever. Malachi 3:6 keeps running through my mind: “For I the Lord do not change….” He is the God of the Old Testament as well as the New Testament. If the Lord can allow pagans from outside nations to buffet His chosen, His beloved people who He brought out of Egypt, what right do we think we have some sort of special graces or dispensation to not suffer calamity today?
How many years have our people have been immersed in idolatry and immorality? How long do we expect God to close His eyes to all of that? Why do we expect to be treated differently than His own beloved people? Why do we expect the Lord to overlook our nation and western civilization’s blatant sin? Families are crumbling, now being “redefined”, we’re murdering our children, allowing sex to be exploited and selfishly spending our abundant resources while approximately 1/3 of the world is malnourished or starving. How long will this be allowed until the judgment comes?
I remember John Paul Jackson’s prophetic words from 2008, about the “Perfect Storm”. Is a “divine set-up” soon coming? Are we ready for this?
The God I read about in the Bible is a gracious and kind God, I believe that with all my heart. The Lord has a passion and a love to reach the lost, the broken, the hurting. But on the other hand, I read about God being a Righteous Judge. He hates man’s pride with such vengeance. God hates the self will, the “I will”. I remember reading in the Gospels Jesus’ harshest words were not toward those caught up in blatant sin or paganism, but toward the religious leaders. Didn’t He call them “white-washed tombs, hypocrites”? What would Jesus call us today? I’m a religious leader myself and I cringe at that thought.
We need to remember that Jesus never preached against Rome. Jesus never declared that Israel should defeat the Roman Empire – though everyone was waiting for Him to lead them into shaking off the tyranny of Rome. Jesus never sought to raise up an army to overthrow the Roman dictatorship. Today we need to recognize that, we need to remember that today in light of what we’re facing now.
I keep hearing: “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is near”. Instead of declaring the “I will’s”, maybe we should think about our doing a season of repentance and prayer, even throw in a little fasting in our churches…..before we decide to go out and crush our enemies?
What is God saying about all of this? I have a sense that more is coming, much more. Just as in Joshua 7:2-5 where the people may have thought they’re facing a little enemy they can easily crush themselves without God’s help, but ended up getting defeated, are we facing something much more than what the eye can see?
Our School of Prayer meets at 7:00 every Monday night at 107 Forster Street, Hartford. All are welcome to join us!
Let’s come together to pray for our nation?