Sunday, 22 July 2018

O On the edge of revival

The bride of Christ is being prepared

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Pre-Revival Night – Dordrecht, The Netherlands - December 23th, 2016

Throughout the centuries, it has become controversial to discuss the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Some believe there will be a rapture before the great tribulation, some believe there will be a rapture somewhere during the great tribulation and some believe there will be no rapture at all and that all Christians have to go through that great tribulation, until Jesus returns to the earth. I’m sure there are more views, but those are the ones I’m aware of. It has caused great division in the body of Christ. I’ve always withheld myself from giving my views on this matter, mainly because of the many useless discussions, but I believe we’re living in a time where this needs to be addressed properly. Therefore, I am going to share what the Holy Spirit gave me in regard to this matter. However, I am not asking you to blindly accept what I’m about to share. I never do that. Otherwise, all you have is an opinion, without your own revelation and you need a revelation in order to really see. Only then you can accept it as the truth. But I do ask you to pray the following prayer:

“Dear Holy Spirit, I want to know what You have to say to me. I want to know the truth, no matter what it is. I humble myself before You and ask You to give me a teachable heart. I ask you to give me the grace and favor of Your knowledge, wisdom and understanding. In the mighty name of Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. Amen.”

Why is it important to pray such a prayer? Because God never gives to those who do not ask, search or knock. If you just want it easy, or if you want to choose what suits you best, you will not find it. But who wouldn’t want to be prepared, regardless of what the truth is? As you can see, I have not used any form of direction in the prayer and I didn’t point to any view. The prayer is very general and is just a request to reveal the truth. No more, no less. Now read the following, study it, search in the Word of God (not just in this study) and let the Holy Spirit fill in the blanks and reveal to you what you need to know. 

There are two parts in the Bible that seem to be in contrary to one another. One says that God has given us all authority and power over the enemy, the other says that the enemy will be given power to overcome us. That’s a bit weird. So God goes back on His word? Does He really? Of course not. He is the Only One Who is consistent, all the way, all the time. At the same time, it doesn’t seem to make sense at all. Why would He give us something, only to take it back at the moment we need it the most?

Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Luke 10:19 (Also read: Mark 16:18, Acts 28:5)

It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.
Revelation 13:7 (Also read: Daniel 7:21, Revelation 11:7)

Suddenly it seems to go from an invincible, powerful and protected body of Christ, to a weak, powerless and unprotected Church. So at some point, a shift is taking place. Something will happen that will cause this, but what is it? We know that when it happens, the great tribulation will start. In order to answer that question, I believe that we should ask ourselves what it is that is keeping this from happening. I believe the right answer to that question is: God’s warriors. When I say warriors, I don’t mean the ones who mumble a fast prayer and who barely take time to spend in God’s Word. We’re talking about those who have grown in authority and know how to use it. They bring the deadly strikes to the enemy. They are the ones who are withholding the enemy from his evil plans. Really? Yes. They have the power to stop him.

Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
Matthew 18:18 (Also read: Matthew 16:19, John 20:22)

Now does this apply to all Christians? Yes, it does. But… this authority is available to all Christians, but not all Christians have this authority. I’m talking about the authority that is mentioned in Bible verses as Luke 10:19, Mark 16:18, Matthew 18:18 and other verses like that. That authority is not automatically added to your life when you give your life to Jesus. That authority is a process. It’s like growing up. First you are a spiritual baby, then a toddler, kid, teenager, young adult and adult. How does someone grow in the natural world? By eating and drinking. It works the same way with spiritual children. They grow up when they eat and when they eat enough. Read John 6:35. When they don’t eat, they don’t grow, they don’t become big and they don’t become strong. They remain small, weak and powerless. Sure there is a time for everything. Every newborn Christian has the right to be nurtured and to be fed spiritual milk. But at some point that needs to change to normal food. In the beginning it is the spiritual parents who feed them, but at some point they need to start eating on their own. When they don’t do that, they won’t grow and what is the result of that?

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Hosea 4:6

Wait a minute.  All Christians read the Word of God and hear it in Church, right? Most do, yes. But there are two ways of having the Word of God. Simply said, that is with and without the Holy Spirit. When you read or hear the Word, you simply have facts, but it doesn’t change you. It’s not the type of knowledge the Bible speaks about. When we have facts, we still don’t know how to apply it, according to the will of God. As you can see in the Bible, the scribes and Pharisees also had the Word and they applied it according to their own insight and for their own benefit. In other words, they used the Word to justify themselves. That is still happening in many churches today. The religious spirit that was behind their actions is still extremely active in today’s Church. Religion will always bend the Word of God, until it is all about keeping a set of rules. As long as you keep this set of rules, you’re okay. If not, everyone will judge and condemn you. Unless you do what everybody else does: fake it. The world has seen an awful lot of that, looking at the Church. It won’t save you. It won’t get you to heaven. Only the real change matters.

What does that real change mean? First and foremost, it means you’re being honest. Honest to God and honest to yourself. It means you’re approaching God, knowing that you’re far from perfect and that you need His help. And you stop pretending or hiding your failures for God and for people. In other words, you come as you are. Then there is the Word of God. That Word can cause a change to come. When we read or hear the Word of God, it needs to be more than just facts. We need to know what it means and how to apply it in our day to day life. The Word has to come to life in us. Only the Holy Spirit can do that. How does that happen? By applying the keys that Jesus gave us in Matthew 7:7. When we read or hear a Word from God, we start by asking Him what He wants to say to us personally, even if it seems obvious what it means. I have learned that God can say so many things, just through one verse. Imagine what He can share through the whole Bible. But keep in mind that it is your part to ask and that it is God’s part to give. After we asked Him, we start searching. A way to do that is by looking at the references that come with the verse or by reading the whole context of the situation around that verse. Another way is to look for comparable situations in the Bible and to see the context there. You simply start looking through the Word of God, with the motivation to find the answer. Once again, it is your part to search, but it is God’s part to let you find the answer. He is the One Who can and will add understanding. The last part is the knocking. That means that you don’t give up, until you’ve found what you were looking for. Once again, it is your part to knock, but it is God’s part to open the door for you. At the moment you start asking, searching and knocking, God will start searching your heart, in order to see what lives there. Once He sees that you really want what you asked for, that is truly has become a desire of yours, He will give, He will let you find and He will open the door to you. At that moment the Word comes to life in you and it will take part in the process of change in your life. So it’s not a bad thing when you don’t understand the Word of God, or when you don’t understand parts of it. It just means you’ve still got some asking, searching and knocking to do. When you have it, every bit of Word that starts to live in you, starts to change you and cleanse you. 

You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
John 15:3-5 (Also read: John 13:10)

While the authority that Jesus promises is available to all Christians through the Word of God, many Christians don’t have it. Because they don’t go after it. Because their desire is their own pleasure and gain. Those who act like this, are showing the fruit of an unchanged heart. They hear the Word, yet it does little or nothing in their lives. Thus they remain without authority and they become an easy prey for the enemy. When they pray and proclaim, it does little or nothing, because the Word is not alive in their hearts. To them those words are just hearsay. It’s empty and meaningless. It may give a good feeling, but it does nothing. Only when the Word lives in our hearts, only when we’ve gone through the lessons and trials, we will gain the promised authority over the enemy. Just look at the life of Jesus. 

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
James 4:1-6

The difference lies in the attitude of heart. When Jesus studied the Word of God, His attitude was not His own pleasure, but to please our Father in Heaven. That shows an entirely different attitude than most Christians today. As a result, Jesus was able to remain standing when He was tried by satan. When the Word of God doesn’t live in us, we will fall at the very same moment we are being tried. Because the things that satan said to Jesus were actually mentioned in the Word. But it was the Word with a twist. When the Word lives in us, we’re able to recognize that. When it doesn’t, we’re easily being deceived and as result we’re being destroyed because of a lack of knowledge, as Hosea said. The enemy will always attack us on two areas, our identity and our knowledge of the Word of God, as we can see in Matthew 4, where Jesus was tempted by satan. When the enemy came to Jesus, he started with a very subtle “IF You Are the Son of God”, with which he questioned His identity and authority. Was he wondering if Jesus really was the Son of God? No. The enemy knew very well who Jesus was (and is). He just wanted to know and see if Jesus really knew that. Then he tested the knowledge of Jesus. In both cases, Jesus remained standing. Why? Because His attitude was to please His Father and not His pleasure. That’s why His heart remained pure and holy. That’s why He really had authority. Because He moved in the will of the Father. Then the enemy has no power. In the exact same way, the enemy will try to tempt us as well. Then what do we have to do, in order to remain standing? That answer is also given by James, in the verses that follow.

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
James 4:7-10

Again we see that the road to restoration leads through lamenting, through weeping, through mourning and through humbling. Until the attitude of our heart is changed. Until we’ve really searched Him, with the same attitude of Jesus, being to please our Father in Heaven. Those kind of Christians cannot be stopped by the enemy, just like he couldn’t stop Jesus. All other kind of Christians are really no match to the enemy. They are easily defeated, because of the attitude of their heart. But those who have the Word of God alive in their hearts, have authority on all those areas. With every bit of Word that comes alive in you, your authority grows.

“Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?”
Jeremiah 23:29

Now what does all of this have to do with the bride of Christ? As we know, there are many Christians in the world today, but they are basically divided in two groups. Those who are being led by the Spirit and those who are being led by religion. The Spirit brings the authority of Jesus; religion brings nothing of worth. The Spirit, moving and working through the hearts and lives of those He is able to lead will stop the work of the enemy. Religion will stop the work of the Holy Spirit, from the attitude of self-justification. I have to add, that many ‘religious people’ do not even see that this is going on. Many actually believe that they are okay and that their current life style is acceptable to God. Then the rapture happens. Suddenly all the Spirit led people are gone, which will remove each and every form of resistance against the enemy from the earth. There will be absolutely nothing left to stop the enemy. No more prayer warriors standing in the gap for their brother and sisters. A whole lot of religious Christians will immediately be exposed to the great tribulation ahead, which will be a rude awakening. In period that follows, the enemy will have the power to overcome them.

Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!
Mark 13:35-37

Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.
Luke 21:36

The Greek translation literally says: “Be vigilant in every season”. Jesus said that there is an escape from all the things that are about to happen. They will happen soon. Maybe today. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next month. We don’t know. We just know that it can happen at any moment. Sure, we can look at excuses for delay, but the fact is that God always looks at situations from His perspective, not from ours. While we might think that the rapture is still far away, it might actually be extremely close. When it happens, what will happen to you? That’s a question only you and God can answer. 

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
Ephesians 5:25-27

For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Colossians 1:19-23

We know that the Spirit of God cannot be missed in our lives. The latter rain that God promised is not for fun. It is a necessity. How else can we become a bride without spot or wrinkle? How else will our heart be transformed? How else can we live a holy life? It is impossible without the Holy Spirit. The extra measure of the Sevenfold Anointing is given to us in order to prepare the bride of Christ for that great moment where Jesus is coming to get us. Are we ready for it? Are we willing to dive into the deep with Him? Are we willing to go through the fire with Him? That is the question you need to answer. Real revival will always let God’s people go through the fire in order to cleanse us. That may be painful at moments. It may hurt a lot to see the condition we’re in, while all the while we thought we were doing good. God’s ways are higher than our ways. God’s perspective is totally different than ours. Will we be open for His point of view? It may go deep, but it will get us to where we need to be. Then the true joy will come. Indescribable joy. When His bride is made whole. When the heart has reached the state of wholeness and pureness. Let us become whole again. Let us be the light of the world, as Jesus said. Let us go through the fire and be ready at any moment. 

In conclusion we can ask ourselves if the title of this message, ‘the bride of Christ is being prepared’, is an accurate statement? It is not, although many believe it. As you can see through all of the Bible verses I’ve mentioned, it is the bride who needs to prepare herself. Jesus is not going to do that for us. He just told us how we can do it, but it is up to us to do something with it. However, when we start to act according to His Word, His Holy Spirit will help us. At the end of my book ‘The Anointed Bride’, I mentioned something about the Anointing in this end time. In the time that Jesus walked on this earth, it was common that a bride was allowed to ask for herself ten percent of the dowry. Not in the form of money or possessions, but only in the form of Anointing Oil. But here’s the key. She had to ask for it. If she wouldn’t ask, she wouldn’t receive. So it is with us. If we don’t ask, we will not receive. If we don’t search, we won’t find. If we won’t knock, the door will remain closed. We, the bride of Christ, have to prepare ourselves in this season of the latter rain, while the season is still here.

Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain. The Lord will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, grass in the field for everyone.
Zechariah 10:1

The latter rain means an extra measure of the Sevenfold Anointing, which will cause us to grow faster. Why? Because the time is short. He will come at any moment. But we need to go after it. We need to ask for our ten percent of the dowry. That is our action, our responsibility. Jesus will not prepare us. The Father and the Holy Spirit will also not prepare us. We have to prepare ourselves. Only then we will be ready for the moment where Jesus is coming for His bride. 

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Revelation 22:20-21

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.
Jude 1:20-25

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