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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Who is the Bride of Christ?

I have been writing about Preparing the Bride, and writing “Preparing the Bride” for some years now. But who is the Bride? Let’s look at who are the Believers, the followers of Jesus, to find out. Let’s take nothing for granted….

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

Born from Above

Nicodemus the Pharisee, came to Jesus one night. They had a conversation. Jesus is quoted in John 3:16-17 which says,

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

But how is one saved? Jesus explains this to Nicodemus in John 3:3-8,

““Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.””

Christians or Followers of Jesus

Who are we who follow Jesus? Does this include all who call themselves Christians?

First to recognise us, we must be — according to Jesus’ words — born again. Born of water and of the Spirit.

“I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

That references baptism, I believe… emersion = baptism. That’s what the word baptism means. But rather than dive into debate about that, let’s look further into being born of the Spirit. 

By “Spirit” Jesus means Holy Spirit. He left in order to allow the Spirit to come to us. There are many references that give us the information we need. As a follower of Jesus, He himself says in John 14, many useful and clear messages:

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.” (Verse 1)

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (Verse 6)

“If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (Verse 15)

“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” (Verses 16-17)

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (Verse 26)

Holy Spirit

There is no doubt that Holy Spirit is essential to our salvation. We must be born of water and of the Spirit. 

So who then is the Bride? Is that all who are born again?

Description of the Bride

Recently, I sat with several others to hear from a brother who goes by the pen name Walter*…

Walter highlighted 3 things about the Bride. He said, the bride listens, the bride learns, and the bride is encompassed by — is enveloped by — GOD…

The 10 Virgins – 5 wise, 5 foolish

Let’s explore Matthew chapter 25 briefly to see who listens, who learns and who is encompassed by GOD. Turn in your Bible to Matthew 25….

Listens: 5 virgins were wise. Having listened to the times, their lamps were full and ready for the bridegroom (Jesus).

Learns: These 5 wise virgins had learned from the Master and were ready. All 10 virgins had their lamps but only 5 had them full. What is the point of having a lamp without any oil? 5 had learned to be ready.

The oil by the way, is one of many references to Holy Spirit in scripture, including from Genesis 28, when Jacob poured oil on the rock which had been his headstone. And in Exodus anointing oil is referenced in 29:7 and later in the chapter, it is an ingredient in the offering to the LORD. All of these references give honour to Holy Spirit in one way or another.

Is encompassed by GOD: The 5 wise virgins were devoted to the bridegroom and to His coming. They did not compromise by giving some of their oil away, though they were kind to encourage the 5 foolish who had chosen to be not ready, to go and fetch more oil for themselves.

Conclusion

One may be a Christian without being a follower of Jesus. One may be a follower of Jesus, without being His Bride. My personal testimony will vouch for this. I never doubted the truth or reality of Jesus but it wasn’t until I gave my life to Him, that I was born again and His follower. I was far from perfect at that point (and though I continue to grow, I still am imperfect), so perfection is not the measuring stick. At first, I was still very willful, not knowing any better. But in my heart of hearts, I wanted more of Him and to follow Him. I believe that was His measuring stick and He has brought me along, step-by-step, to the point where I do believe, by His grace, I am His bride.

Through surrender, obedience and devotion, we are His bride. Have you given your all to Jesus? Are you prepared to give Him your all? 

* Thank you Walter for your kindness in sharing your understanding of GOD’s Word and your testimony of the many times GOD has brought miracles into your life. Hallelujah, iron sharpens iron and through GOD and only GOD, is the victory.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY Part 19 Heaven

What about Heaven

Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.” (Genesis 1:6-8)

Firmament. What a word, firmament.. What is a firmament? — a space, a non-space rather. A mountainous something which is indescribable and incredible. There is power in this word firmament. It suggests something tremendous.

He takes action

He “divide[s] the waters”… there He is divisive again (note last week’s post https://laruspress.com/gods-story-part-18-god-is-divisive/ ). What is He creating? A firmament – an entity which divides waters which are eternal, with no end and no beginning. Just like GOD. 

Heaven! That is what GOD creates the second day. It takes the entire day: to think, to create, to speak it into being: Heaven.

Some translations say “Heavens”. There are three heavens: the sky we see, the domain of the demonic, and the domain of the heavenly hosts of GOD.

Light, Dark, Waters, Firmament, two days. That’s what we know of His Story from the beginning, so far.

What is compelling GOD? Does He know what will become of His Creation even before He begins to create? Does He know the marvel, and the tragedy? What compels Him?

What moves GOD

Fellowship. 

Love.

Energy, creative energy. Power and love. 

It is a mystery. And we continue on…

Larus Press with the blog stream Preparing the Bride is all about enabling us to be ready for Jesus’ return, preparing also for all He has in store for us in the meantime.

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to those who read it.

As I crawl through Genesis to discover what is GOD’s point of view, I discover today that GOD is powerful, inventive, awesome and mysterious in His creation of Heaven.

He is simply, GOD!

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Jehovah Nissi: The LORD is my banner

Jehovah Nissi — the LORD is my Banner

Yehovah is the correct Hebrew name for our LORD, just as Yeshua (rather than the English translation, Jesus) is the Son’s name. I wonder if the name of GOD is more powerful in the Spirit realm when we use the Hebrew. Does it matter?

Nissi means banner.

How relevant is this expression to our walk with Jesus?

Jesus and the Church

“His banner over me is love.” (Song of Solomon 2:4b) In the Song of Solomon we read a love story between a man and a woman… But the story also parallels the love between Jesus and His bride: the Church. We are the bride, He is the bridegroom. The banner is a covering. The waving of the banner demonstrates an all-encompassing mutual devotion.

It might be harder for men to relate to this wedding analogy than for woman… Esther, a woman, was pampered for months as she prepared to meet her King… We must prepare to meet Jesus. How can men prepare comparably? I suggest we also consider the spiritual battle we face against the enemy, which perhaps men can better relate to, and which is an integral part of preparation to we meet Jesus.

Moses and the original banner

From Exodus 17:13-16, we see that Moses created an altar after the Hebrews defeated the Amalekites, where the banner was raised.

But how were the Amalekits defeated?

It was through the power of unity, as reflected in Psalm 133:

“How good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity…”

The unity and love for one another between Moses and Joshua and Judah(?) is expressed as the two younger men supported and help Moses to keep his arms raised throughout the battle, which ensured victory for the Hebrews.

When we witness support for one another, the love for GOD and His love for them is represented. Through their unity, the LORD enabled the Hebrews to prevail, teaching them that strength is greater when there is unity of purpose, unity of will, unity of effort.

A New Testament Principle

“Love the LORD GOD… and love your neighbour as yourself”

When we celebrate GOD, when we raise a banner to Him, when we work together toward a common cause which gives glory to GOD, we demonstrate our love for GOD and for our neighbour. This fulfils the great commandment which Jesus shared as the fulfilment of the Law. The “waving of a banner” then, is a demonstration of our love for GOD and His love for us, for the LORD is [our] Banner!

What is a banner

Worship, which can include the waving of a physical banner, is a spiritually powerful activity expressing our love and honour toward GOD and celebrating Him: His grace, His power. The waving of a banner is an act which demonstrates an act of worship, humility toward GOD.

Whether we wave a physical banner or simply jump, shout, sing, dance in worship, we express our love and gratitude to GOD. When we show the LORD is our everything, He is certainly shared as our protector, saviour, the banner of us which is love Himself.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’s Story Pt 8: Sovereignty of GOD

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to us who read it.

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? We learn GOD’s Story. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. 

GOD’S STORY Part 8 Sovereignty of GOD

GOD is Sovereign. Personally, I have no doubt about the Sovereignty of GOD… But how is it, when GOD is sovereign, that sometimes His will does not seem to come to pass? Is it correct to think His will does not always reign? 

Recently in the UK a new prime minister gained the title but after 6 weeks, she was forced to resign. The day she came into office the stained glass window in Westminster Hall, which is tidal, was completely alight. It was extraordinary and a rare — perhaps even a never before — event. To my mind and my prayer partners’ at the time, this was a marker for the LORD’s endorsement to her office. So why then did she not remain in office?

GOD does not interfere

I think the LORD observes and is grieved by some of the choices mankind makes. But He doesn’t interfere. He gave a gift of a particular leader as our Prime Minister in this example, who was then rejected by some powerful forces in media and banking, and she was forced out. 

I believe the LORD will continue to observe us — all of us all over the world — until He cannot allow the corruption of humanity to grow any deeper. Then the Restrainer, the presence of GOD through Holy Spirit, will be removed… and Jesus will return.

GOD’s course of Action is long-term

2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 says, 

“For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 

This is a reflection of Romans 1 as well, which explains that we are born knowing right from wrong and the truth of the Creator.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.”

GOD takes the long view and in doing so, He gives mankind opportunity to discover the Creator and to reconnect with Him. He gives us the opportunity to receive salvation, individually and nationally. He restrains evil. This is His ultimate will. But He gives us the choice to receive or to reject.

The Restrainer — Holy Spirit and His children, Believers who carry Him within —  He holds the enemy and total depravity at bay, giving each persona and each nation the opportunity to embrace the Truth.

Depravity and its reach

We see the evidence of the depraved mind more and more these days in the West, as we ignore common sense and the laws of science, embracing the fancy of individualisation. Evil is not yet fully developed in all its fullness. Even though the world is becoming darker and darker, in GOD’s sovereignty, He holds Satan at bay. 

But when the Restrainer is removed from this earth, what then? I believe this is to be marked by our rapture to Heaven, followed by the earth becoming consumed by depravity…. I shudder! 

Let’s not linger on the thought of a dark world without any goodness, kindness, righteousness whatsoever. 

The LORD’s grief

All the earth’s depravity grieves the LORD! He knows what will come to pass inevitably, but He holds off for as long as possible, for as many as possible to have every opportunity to see the light of Christ, and to receive Him, before His removal of His protection and the ultimate return and judgment of Jesus upon those who have rejected salvation.

What must is be like for the Father who observes?

In my mind’s eye, I can imagine our LORD, Abba Father, who observes our mistakes and waits for us to “knock” (Revelation 3:20) so that He can enter into our lives. 

I can envisage a Father who looks upon His children, wanting to enter into their activities and waiting to be invited. A huge embrace is available to those who call upon Him. 

For those who do not call upon this Father, He prompts them through bringing others into their lives; He gently steers and offers provision, but He does not force anyone to drink the water He offers. 

Eventually, time and opportunity will run out….

The End as we know the Earth

The earth may cease but GOD’s love will never cease. The heavens may fall, but GOD’s power will never decline. The enemy may rise, but GOD will never be defeated. The time may seem short, but His arm extends into infinity.

GOD’s sovereignty may not reveal itself as we would expect, or ask, but it never fails. By faith and through a glance at History, we can trace His eye, His hand, His will. His word reminds us of His promises and on these we can depend, because He is all-powerful.

In Jesus’ name, may we recall and reclaim that which He has already declared in His word.

“No weapon formed against us will prosper and every tongue that rises against us in judgment will fail.” (text) Ultimately, the end from beginning has been ordained and His will will succeed. Amen.

He is sovereign. Let us have no doubt of that.

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GOD'S STORY Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

GOD’S STORY: Part 4 Why the Law?

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to us who read it.

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? We learn GOD’s Story. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. 

GOD’S STORY Part 4: Why the LAW?

“Open my eyes, that I may see

Wondrous things from your law.”

(Psalm 119:18)

I asked the LORD, What is the next thing to share of Your Story?

He led me to the Ten Commandments. Really? Yes! Okay.

Why the Law to share with you?

You will know Exodus 20, where the LORD lists the summary version of His Law: the 10 Commandments. Exodus and Leviticus are full of GOD’s laws for various contingencies. But the Law is encapsulated well in the 10 Commandments.

Exodus 20:2-17

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

“You shall have no other gods before Me.

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

12 “Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbour’s.”

But why was the Law necessary? 

Sin, yes. But why didn’t GOD just send His son in the first place? If Jesus didn’t come to replace the Law but to fulfil it (Matthew 5:17), why didn’t He just arrive in front of the Hebrews in the wilderness?

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of GOD.” (Romans 3:21) But first we need to know we’ve sinned in order to recognise we have fallen short. The Law teaches us our inability to keep it. Who hasn’t made a mistake and hoped and prayed we’d not suffer the consequences? That fear, that prayer, enables us to see we’ve fallen short. The Hebrews needed to learn GOD’s perfection before they could recognise their fallibility. So they needed to know GOD’s standard, His Law — They certainly weren’t going to find it in the heathen Egyptian society.

And so, why the Law? So we can know we’ve broken it, so we can know we’ve sinned, so we can know we’ve fallen short and need a Saviour… and then value The Saviour: Jesus, the Jewish Messiah Yeshua.

What does the Law signify?

Whilst GOD very much wanted relationship with the Hebrews, the fear of GOD pervaded their hearts. They saw the power of GOD in the pillar of fire and the pillar of cloud. They saw His power in the parting of the Red Sea. And so, they pushed Moses up front and said, ‘You talk to GOD and then tell us what He says.’

“Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” (Exodus 20:18-19)

This was immediately after the 10 Commandments had been announced. The people were willing to obey but didn’t want intimacy with GOD. The Law gives rules, requirements and we turn it into religion. But GOD wants relationship. 

So, why Jesus?

Millennia after the Hebrews in the desert Jesus arrived, and He fulfilled the Law we failed to follow, with two commandments that encapsulated GOD’s standard even more succinctly, 

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your 

strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbour as yourself.’ ” (Luke 10:27)

Even further, through Jesus we can receive freedom today… overcoming the Law through the grace of faith in GOD.

John wrote in chapter 8 of his gospel, “If the son sets you free, you shall be free indeed.” Faith in Jesus, the son of God, offers us freedom from the Law as we receive Him and His love. We discover our choice to follow the Law changes; no longer do we follow out of a sense of duty or fear, but out of the desire to love others just as He has loved us. We are free as the yoke is lifted! “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

The Law makes us aware of our failure to keep it. But we don’t have to live in fear and anxiety about the consequences of our weaknesses. Rather, we can know we have been saved from ourselves — our sinfulness — through the blood of Jesus.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14) Like little children innocent of their faults, we can embrace Jesus and His Father, knowing Jesus is the Truth and GOD the Father is a GOD of love. The sin of the past is left behind and the new has come: walking as Jesus walks, saved through faith in Him and living beyond sin because through faith in Jesus our sin is forgiven and blotted out.

So, the knowledge of GOD’s Law provoked mankind to realise our sinfulness and Jesus has released us from the yoke of the Law when we choose to follow Him.

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)

God’s Story 

When we look at GOD’s Story through the lens of His Law, we recognise that the Hebrews and all the descendants, save one, were imperfect. It is through that one exceptional person that any and all can be rescued from imperfection. 

We cannot escape GOD’s Law but we can learn to live the Law as embedded in the principle of Love, GOD’s love. And a part of GOD’s story is to recognise His identity. GOD’s identity is that He is Love. 

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Wise and Foolish Virgins

Matthew 25:1-13

“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”

We all are saved, but are we all wise?

We must be ready, our spirit lives full of the Holy Spirit’s anointing, brim for Him so that when He comes, we may enter into the marriage feast: enter into the presence of our Lord; enter into the fullness of salvation’s grace, favour, rest, love and everlasting joy.

Oh to be in the presence of Jesus is something at which I tremble, and yet something I long for. Don’t we all? 

What are we prepared to do to ensure we are prepared?

What cost to us to ensure our entrance into the Bridal chamber?

Submission, obedience, reverence, thanksgiving and faith.

Submission

To the will of the Father, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment, there is holiness — as we yield, so we grow.

Obedience

To the prompting of the Holy Spirit as He leads and guides us into all truth.

Reverence

For Yeshua – Messiah, Jesus our Saviour, for all He has done for us and for who He is. Love and fear intermingled: reverential fear of the everlasting, and love for the person of Jesus.

Thanksgiving

For our lives and all Yehovah GOD has done so that we might truly live in His abundant blessings of love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, patience, faithfulness and self control. Let us rejoice and be glad!

Faith

We know that all things do work together for good for those who love GOD and are called according to His purpose, that He is working out that very purpose in us, moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day and life by life.

Isaiah 40:3 says, “Prepare the way of the LORD…” We must prepare ourselves to be ready for His arrival. Let us meditate on the Word of GOD, which is Jesus, and let us rest in His presence, waiting upon Him, as His bride.

Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus, Come.

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Examining Biblical Scripture Watchman on Alert BLOG

The Bride of Christ

Who is the Bride of Christ and where does that phrase come from?

The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins

Matthew 25 begins,

“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.

“And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.”

“Afterward the other virgins came along also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”

The bridegroom is Jesus, the virgins are brides; but what about men who follow Jesus? Although we are in an age of increased liberalities in society and some are taking those liberalities and applying them to the Gospel, am I advocating marriage between men? Nope. Nor am I proposing women take a  man’s role as groom so that men become brides. Well then, this bridegroom/bride analogy leads us, I think, to a reasonable question: How are men to relate the the bride analogy? Is it important?

The term “Bride of Christ” is a phrase that does not actually appear in the Bible. It suggests that the Church (ie the followers of Jesus) is the bride, since Jesus is the bridegroom, and this supports the Matthew 25 scripture above. The beauty, grace, and surrender of the bride offers a clear relational context to the bridegroom who is the faithful love, friend, protector of his bride. But is it masculine? Doesn’t seem so to me. So I wonder, do men have a problem relating to it?

Some phrases we adopt are not necessarily Biblical; an easy way to avoid assumptions and misdirections is to look up phrases we are keen on to see where they appear — if they appear — in scripture. In the case of the marriage analogy, I raise the question of masculinity because as we walk in the Spirit, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). In other words, gender doesn’t matter to GOD!

Finally, as an afterthought and in the desire to remove human assumption, it is possible that the virgins are a collection of people, both men and women, when Jesus refers to the virgins: innocents. For Jesus does not call these people brides — we have done that. He merely refers to the bridegroom who is coming and the virgins who are waiting. We have filled in the rest. Note however, Revelation 22:17 does seem to refer to the Church as a bride, and so this afterthought is most likely just a diversion.

The Bride is to prepare… for what?

To introduce this concept of “Preparing the Bride” and how I’ve come to the conclusion the emphasis in this Blog needs to shift in that direction, you might like to start here:

https://laruspress.com/preparing-the-bride-from-watchman-on-alert/

and then come back to this post.

This blog is for men and for women who seek to grow, to learn, to discover more about ourselves, our faith and our Jesus. Time does seem to be growing short and so I believe it is time I gear what I write to preparing myself and preparing others for Jesus’ inevitable return.

What do we need to prepare?

  1. total surrender to the Holy Spirit and the Word of GOD
  2. the oil of the Holy Spirit
  3. readiness for where GOD wants our attention and focus
  4. fellowship to help each other as we all prepare
  5. alertness to the truth and a willingness to lay down our assumptions about the Gospel and the Word of GOD.

The Remnant

As we live in the End Times, not knowing when Jesus’ return will be yet living as though it is tomorrow, we are the remnant, the ones who are sold out for Jesus. To walk in the Spirit, without compromise, without fear, without fleshly desires, is our goal. We pray, we praise, we trust GOD.

Come Lord Jesus, come.

Categories
Politics and Society today

Indoctrination: Conspiracy Theories vs Mainstream Media

Indoctrination: Conspiracy Theories, Mainstream Media, The Holy Ghost and Discernment

In these days we have seen increases in disease, poverty, war, famine and earthquake (Matthew 24). The beheadings of Coptic Christians by Jihadists a few years ago were for me, representative of the persecution of Believers as referred to in Revelation. I believe we are in the End Times. And so, I also believe we are called to be prepared as the Bride of Christ for his return (Matthew 25). To my mind, we are not ready, and therefore, that is our #1 priority. How we do that is to watch and pray, and to fill our lamps and keep them full…. in other words, we need to be filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit continually.


For a good while I’ve been a history buff and a political spectator, seeking to take responsibility for the role I’ve been given as a Watchman (Ezekiel 3 and Isaiah 21). I’ve attempted to scrutinise the news broadcasts, have studied the alternative — sometimes rebel — views expressed outside of the mainstream media, and lost a friend or two over the process (so apologies particularly to RS and EM whom I inadvertently offended along the way, and who may read this). I’ve sought to make people consider for themselves the scope and breadth of what we are told — taking little at face value — and have aimed to draw people to reflect on GOD’s Word and where His Truth fits into the society in which we live.

Sadly, it is indeed true that the picture we are painted through TV news is not objective reality. At best, broadcasters and their channels have their own agenda through which everything is filtered; objective journalism is nearly obsolete (praises to those who still aim to demonstrate objective integrity). But neither is the picture we see within the alternative spectrum unbiased. It is human nature to rise up in the flesh and take a stand against what we don’t like and about what we suspect. I believe that is what the alternative media is doing.

This is not a matter of either accepting the MSM or the alternative media; it is a matter of scrutinising both. How we as Believers navigate “the news”, obey the Father, and hold up what matters to unbelievers who may be fearful, confused and seeking GOD, is key for us in these days. But also, if we become diverted or worse, go astray, then don’t we need to put it aside and realign our emphasis on what the Father would have us do to prepare for the return of the Son?

I am concerned that, in our zeal to learn the truth behind current events, we are rising up in the flesh instead of deepening our relationship with GOD through stillness (Isaiah 40:31), dwelling on His Word, and broadening our experience of the presence of the Holy Spirit.

We who know Jesus have the means to filter our thoughts and feelings toward the media; the Truth of His Word and the power of His Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth. We can ask for spiritual discernment and trust His response. Are we not at a point in time where we desperately need that discernment? Speaking metaphorically, He will not give us stone cold blindness;  he promises, like a loving father, not to give us a serpent when we ask for a blessing (Matthew 7).

The issue I have with alternative perspectives aka conspiracy theories is not that they are utterly false. YouTube posts are numerous (although some get removed as they are considered too controversial), expressing alternate views to the MSM; there seems to be much validity to their points of view. But beyond obtaining this information, we need to be aware they are not objective. Further, when they are taken as absolute reality, they are a distraction to us as Believers, who need most importantly to be seeking intimacy with the Holy Spirit and abiding in Him (John 15). Our mission and our ultimate destiny is to be prepared as Bride for the Groom, Yeshua/Messiah-Jesus/Saviour (Matthew 25).

These conspiracy theories concern me when they draw in my sisters and brothers in the Faith. They are interesting, but often are put together by people as biased as the opposing liberal news media; they are not life giving nor beneficial. And they are hugely distracting. We must guard against those “who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:6-7 )

The liberal ‘left wing’ MSM has an agenda to squash capitalism and freedom of thought. I don’t like it, because they pretend they are objective when they are actually editorialising the news. But the right wing has an agenda to expose the left wing as hypocrites and liars. While there may well be validity in their opposition, neither extreme is healthy. Rather, a society in balance is what is beneficial to its people, for within that healthy state of balance, the Gospel flourishes.

I’m concerned alternative broadcasts lead some astray. We who believe are called to “attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13-15)

I’ve no doubt we are in the End Times. We will never know beforehand when Jesus will return, because he told us he will come “life a thief in the night” and we must be ready. Helping others to see that we are in the End Times and that the threats of the mark of the beast, the evils of the false prophet and anti-Christ, the battle of Armageddon that looms, are not wrong. But also it is not preparing us as his Bride. Becoming embroiled in the battle on the airwaves over this or that conspiracy is at best a distraction. We war, not against flesh and blood (not even against those who would seem to be working evil for their ultimate idea of what is good), but against principalities and powers; we must discern and pray, but not gossip.

In my own mind, I do not trust the world institutions; they are attempts to build moral Towers of Babel, in the name of good deeds. So, in large measure, I agree with a lot of alternative media posts. But my opinion is not the point… We are not to get embroiled in exposing conspiracy or opinion to the World.

Rather, we are called to prepare as the Bride. We are called to witness Yeshua through love. We are called to hold fast to our faith and to draw others to the Truth of Yehova G-D, the Creator of the universe, whom in their conscience they already know (Romans 1). We are called to fulfil whatever individual calling He has given us. And we are to be focused on this: “To love the LORD your GOD with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbours as ourselves.”

I am truly sorry if my words offend. I don’t want to be a toothache to the fellowship of Believers. But when I see broadcasts over the airwaves that talk conspiracy, I am reminded of Isaiah 8:12, “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread” and not to gossip (Romans 1:29).

We are called not to be fearful. Perfect love casts out all fear (1John 4:18). So, if the conspiracies frighten you, remember that all these things must pass, but GOD will not pass away.

There is a time and a season for all things. This is not a season to fear nor to gossip, but to prepare for the End and the return of our Lord Yeshua, Jesus.

Hallelujah, he will come again. Amen.

Categories
Supernatural & Prophetic

We are looking in the Wrong Direction: End Times

We are looking Up to Him; rather we need to look as Down from Him

GOD is waiting for us to be in His presence (see post “Who is Luke Warm?”), to take in His message, and to walk in His ways.

GOD is waiting for us. Are we waiting on Him? Are we mindful of Him… or are we paying more attention to signs?

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33) When Jesus said this, he was referring to provision, but the preface is the same: do not worry about the future.

In my own reflective time, I have come to realise:

We are looking from the wrong direction. We need to take GOD’s perspective from above and we will see: we are IN the tribulation.… Personally, I reckon we may as well stop looking for signs. 

We must not try to fit the times into our theological perspective of End Times. Many of us have a viewpoint, but it is not Gospel and it is unconfirmed. Whether we are going to be raptured as the church before the Tribulation, or whether Jesus is going to come for his bride before or after Satan is bound, how do we know? When asked, Jesus himself said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” (Matthew 24:36)

And if we must look, let us see: 

Today, those who are persecuted are 80% Christian. In 2015, the beheadings in Libya were persecution just as it speaks of the beheaded martyrs in Revelation 21. Eschatology is interesting but we are waiting for events to fit into our boxes rather than having eyes open to what is happening? We are living IN the End Times, Now. Well, it sure looks like it.

End Times: So, what will we do about it?

Irrespective of when we are in the timeline of GOD, we are to prepare as His bride.

“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.” (Matthew 10:1)

The most prepared Biblical bride was Esther. Esther oiled, pampered, waited for a year. She waited and then, of all the women, she was chosen.

“Each young woman’s turn came to go in to King Ahasuerus after she had completed twelve months’ preparation, according to the regulations for the women, for thus were the days of their preparation apportioned: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfumes and preparations for beautifying women.” (Esther 2:12)

What does oil symbolise?

“The oil of gladness…” (Hebrews 1:9) comes from GOD. Oil is mentioned in virtually every book of the Bible. We need the oil of joy: the oil of the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Let us wait on Yehovah, and fill our lamps with the oil of the presence of the Holy Spirit. Let us fill our hearts and minds with the Word of GOD and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. This is our duty and our calling. 

Yehovah be praised! And may we all live in His shalom as we wait on Him and for Him.

Categories
Examining Biblical Scripture

Living in the FULLNESS of GOD

There’s SO MUCH More!

It’s 2020. It’s a new decade. Let’s live it with full vision….

Recently, I was sitting in a Bible School session which my hubby runs. We were investigating Ephesians Chapter 3 (after two previous sessions looked at Ephesians Chapters 1, 2).

The session ran for 80 minutes so I won’t capture it all here. And anyway, it was exploratory and interactive, so the dynamics would be lost. But here in a nutshell is the point Alan led the group to…

We are not tapping into the fullness — in any way, shape or form — of what GOD has for us.

The Powerful Sun

The Jewish/Hebrew people have characteristically given so much innovation, creativity, technology, scientific discover to the world. Some has been for good, some destructive, but all based on genius. Their contribution and award is disproportionate to their relatively tiny population, and yet, they keep investigating, exploring, inventing, creating and giving. That is part of the covenanted promise of GOD to His people of Israel, both historically and currently. 

And we too, as followers of Jesus, have that same inheritance, albeit only through the power of the Holy Spirit.

We aren’t even scraping the surface of the ingenuity and blessing GOD has given to us. And we need to acquire it, now, for these end days and times.

…. “to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of GOD…” (Ephesians 3:19)

The Father has given to us and yet we are not acquiring the fullness. It comes through the Holy Spirit and yet many of us reject the move of the Holy Spirit in these days because they do not see it.

Yet, “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

In Genesis, the Father promises to Abraham as many heirs as the stars in the sky. And in Genesis 27, Isaac passes on all the blessing of Abraham and Isaac to Jacob.

We have inherited the blessings of GOD’s people the Jews. We are a part of the heirs of Abraham. We have received the Holy Spirit as we confessed our sins and committed our lives to Jesus. He is our helper, our comforter. Without him, we are not saved. But with him, we can do so much more, discover so much more, understand so much more, invent so much more, contribute so much more than we are currently. 

At the end of the study of Ephesians Chapter 3, I suddenly had an “ah ha” moment. It isn’t provable but it is profound, if it is correct….


Jesus, the head of the church, is waiting for his bride, the church. We are nowhere near ready. What if, he is simply waiting for us… some of us, any of us, to be ready: Clothed in the Spirit and living and working in his power, might, authority, wisdom and gifting… before he can return.

It isn’t by power or might that we learn, grown and give, but by his Spirit. Let us put on the Spirit of Christ then, let us be his bride, clothed in his righteousness but fully surrendered, fully serving, living in the total and complete fullness of GOD.

Hallelujah, come LORD Jesus.

But first, there is so much more we need to receive. Let us be willing to lay down our lives totally and completely, to be the temple of the Holy Spirit, to walk in his way, and to “be filled with all the fullness of GOD.” 

Amen