The Bride of Christ
“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matt. 24:24).
So many of us understand that we are living in the last hour, but few of us truly understand how easily deception can come in. Deception will not come in a form that you can easily identify. It is subtle distortions of the truth that you won’t be able to discern upon first glance. Only the Spirit of the Mighty God will be able to reveal these crafty deceptions to you.
So many of us want more of God, more knowledge and more understanding about Him, but I have came to the conclusion that God is not found in more knowledge – but rather in our intimate love relationship with Him. He wants to manifest His Kingdom through us as we humbly stand before Him as empty vessels to be filled with His Holy Spirit. Knowledge is necessary – but it is not supposed to take the place of Holy Spirit!
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all (Eph. 4:1-6).
Ephesians 4 speaks of the church, the bride of Christ. She has no physical boundaries, yet the heavenly Jerusalem is protected by impenetrable spiritual walls. The bride, the body of Christ, includes all nationalities, all ages and all languages and is not constricted to any one church (even if you are not in a church). The defining factor of the bride of Christ is her love for the King and an intimate love relationship with Him testified by her obedience to Him.
It is so easy to be distracted from this love relationship by a new church, a new dress code, a new name and a list of do’s and don’ts. No, no that is not the answer. This Living God is much bigger than you think. Even if you try so hard to dress perfectly and religiously in man’s eyes, or if you speak all the correct words and have excellent knowledge - that is not the criteria of the Bride! The Bride of Christ will be led by the Spirit of God and she will be in love with Him. She will be one with Him in Spirit and truth. She will speak to Him throughout the day and love Him without the need to be instructed on how to love Him. She cannot be organized andconformed by man. Jesus Christ alone is Lord and the head of His body. His Kingdom is not built by the hands of mere men, and this “one” God will always be the centre of His body. The gathering of this one church takes place in SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH. Not truth only! You cannot separate the truth from His spirit. If the working of the Spirit is being suppressed then you can know the soul is being puffed up, and this leads us to have a carnal security in our soul. Because we don’t see the difference we will believe that this security is spiritual and actually desired by God, but I believe that there is a harsh test in our discerning where we stand with regards to this.
Jesus said that we should recognize a tree by its fruit. If the fruit is good, then we have to declare that the tree is good; but if the fruit is bad we also have to declare that the tree is bad. But what do we do with a tree that doesn’t bear any fruit; a tree that doesn’t believe in the working of the Holy Spirit? Bear in mind that it is a big tree with amazing big leaves and it provides a lot of shade to those who come underneath it – but it has no fruits!
The body of Christ is said to be built from living stones - not another church or another system. We constantly need to eat from the tree of Life and nourish ourselves on fruits of life and not be dependent on manmade kingdoms. The sap of this tree will be the flow of the Holy Spirit. Church programs or very good teachings have taken the place of the sap of the Holy Spirit that flows from the vine to the branches. Knowledge relates to the mind and only feeds the soul. The Spirit Bride needs to start feeding her Spirit and not only her soul.
“But how do I feed my spirit?” you may ask.
Faith: It pushes us to continue on the road which the Lord determined for His Bride to walk on – a road of faith and not of sight for, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb. 11:1). Each step I take is a step of faith because I trust God for the supernatural. I know that I don’t love His promises more than I love Him, but I also understand that I cannot please God without faith. What pleases God is not the amount of knowledge I have about Him, but my faith in Him.
Hope: Hope motivates us to communicate the eternal elements of the Kingdom. It enables us to live in the Kingdom of God and to operate in the Kingdom using the Kingdom keys, in order for us to experience the supernatural life of God daily.
Love: Love leads us into holiness and prepares us to accommodate the presence of the Lord in our spirit.
“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:13).
We can be so busy with the things of the Lord and be focussed on getting more knowledge that we lose the presence of the Lord. It all happens in such a slow progressive way that we don’t even realize that there is no working and flowing of Holy Spirit in the meetings anymore.
We all need to understand that we cannot have any true humility until we discover our constant need to be led by Jesus Christ alone. People today are so quick to follow other people rather than to be led by Holy Spirit alone. I see how people fight over human opinions rather than just to be led by the Spirit of God and Him only.
My mom is such a great example! She spends her nights with the King. Some nights she is on her face until 3 am in the morning busy praying and talking with Jesus. She smiles and says, “He keeps me so busy!” She told me the other day that she went to bed after such an evening of loving Jesus, washing His feet and having communion with Him in her own special way, and that Jesus came that night in a very bright light and covered her with a cloak. She cried and cried because the anointing was so thick in the room and all over her.
The following morning she went to the old age home as she usually does to wash their feet and minister to them. There was an elderly lady there, about 80 years of age, who was lying comatose and hadn’t spoken for the last 8 months. My mom started praying into the elderly lady’s spirit (our spirit is always awake even if the body doesn’t respond), and she told her how much Jesus loves her and she read a Psalm to her; the next moment the lady sat up and said loud and clear for everyone to hear: “This is my God that you spoke about... I know Him, I know Him!”
Everybody cried because she hadn’t spoken in 8 months! Jesus received all the glory because it was only through Him that such a miracle could have taken place. My mom is not packed with knowledge – but packed with love!
Can you see that if you take the working and leading of Holy Spirit out of anything then it is obvious that something is wrong? Even if the working of Holy Spirit is foreign and misunderstood by so many people, or even overemphasized and misrepresented on the other extreme –it cannot be separated from God! God is the God of the Supernatural!
I want to encourage you to give your testimony of how big God is, because the lie out there wants to suppress our testimony and make it seem as if you think it is all about you. This is just the enemy that wants to stop us from testifying of the wonders of God. God is God and all the glory will always belong to Him. He is a God of love that operates through our spirit, so please keep the Holy Spirit alive in your life because where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. Yes freedom! Not just another form of law again! Freedom in Christ Jesus!
The winter is drawing near to us here in South-Africa and I can feel the change in the air. It is the same with the Spirit – seasons change, but His love never changes! If you desperately need an answer, go on your knees and be led by the Spirit of the Living God. Don’t always run after man’s opinion. I think for the hour we are in we need to become mature in the spirit and follow His voice in our lives, because we will be responsible for our actions. Spiritual wisdom does not come with years of teaching, neither does maturity – the key to both is obedience to Christ.
Stay in Him.