A Spotless Bride, The Maturing Church, and Christ’s Return

Amen to a maturing church, where the saints pursue Christ, abiding deeper in Him, desire the meat of truth, where pastors also mature and stop serving up milk to keep those they are to shepherd as babies, where the walk of suffering is embraced, and the true love of God is lived out. The Lord seeks a spotless Bride, and for us to rise as sons and daughters of God, not forever toddlers.

The issue of immaturity is not limited to the United States or Australian church, it persists largely in the west thanks to lazy Christians and false shepherds. We are the church of Jesus Christ, and called as the royal priesthood of believers, not afraid to come boldly in to the Lord God’s throne room. These are meant to be powerful times, as the witnessing church of Revelations arises. The veil was torn two thousand years ago by Christ, for us to freely enter in to the Holy of Holies, but ever since too many church ‘leaders’ having being trying to pull it back and restore the mosaic priesthood…so they could be like gods, make us dependant on them, and for control which brings them reward.

The issue is not theirs alone, but also for us His saints. Rather than diligently seeking the Lord, moving beyond the milk to meat, lust to true love, we allow ourselves to be controlled so that our ministers can vicariously live out our faith, thinking this will save us, but in reality is laziness and unbelief, and the Lord will sadly say to many, “I do not know you”, and on His return they will be knocking on the closed door.

It’s time to serve and minister as ones in the council of God, from the Lord’s heavenly perspectives, not from the view of earth. The agendas of man are not a distraction for the Lord. The Lord will shake up His church and quickly reveal those who have a deep foundation, so the mature can be revealed in the blink of an eye.

But never presume to know the exact time of the Lord’s return, and dismiss the desire for it just because you think it stops His saints pursuing Christ now. It is a key theme of the New and Old Testament. Faithful, mature, deepening intercessors and watchmen are being called by Christ to the watch for His return..yes that does not mean He is necessarily coming back tomorrow…but that is the call from heaven to those who have been humbled, but devoted to their Lord. So expect that desire of His return to be on the lips of many.

As for the pre-trib rapture, well it seems those who do not believe in it maybe in for a surprise! It appears that in the US there are a few who are promulgating an anti-pre trib view, but this appears based on an earthly perspective of what is happening now, maybe a lack of belief about what the Lord said is possible, and not appreciating that how long you work diligently in His field is not how the Lord rewards you. His truth will stand, and His coming will surprise.

So continue watching with expectancy for His return, knowing the watch means the maturing and purifying of His bride, the rise of the Witnessing Church, the sorting of nations, readiness for the millennium reign, and the alignment of heavenly and earthly structures. Ascend the mountain of the Lord, and be in the House of the Beloved.

Psalms 24

The King of Glory and His Kingdom

The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness,

The world and those who dwell therein.

For He has founded it upon the seas,

And established it upon the waters.

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?

Or who may stand in His holy place?

He who has clean hands and a pure heart,

Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,

Nor sworn deceitfully.

He shall receive blessing from the Lord,

And righteousness from the God of his salvation.

This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,

Who seek Your face.

Selah

Lift up your heads, O you gates!

And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!

And the King of glory shall come in.

Who is this King of glory?

The Lord strong and mighty,

The Lord mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O you gates!

Lift up, you everlasting doors!

And the King of glory shall come in.

Who is this King of glory?

The Lord of hosts,

He is the King of glory.

Selah

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The Uniting Church of Australia (and those of like spirit)…time is up

It is interesting to see the reflections of ministers within this church as they wrestle with the recent decision of their National Assembly, allowing same sex marriage, and effectively endorsing it to be a church of different beliefs*, and thus no longer a church of The Way! Some are leaving, others choosing to stay, and in the end it is important that each of us discern God’s will. Surely to remain in the UCA there must be because of a clear call to do so, as it is destined to die…and maybe the seed that falls to the ground will birth a new stronger church, but it will die. The evidence of course is its fast decline, faster than any other denomination in Australia.

Since its inception the seeds of compromise have existed, with its formation seeing some significant division, and doctrinal documents encompassing significant compromise to house the concept of treasured by some of a universal church…despite the best will of many. It soon became clear a double minded man existed in this body (see The book of James) and instability progressed, even in early days liberals and some theological colleges pressing for extreme doctrinal changes behind closed doors.

Soon the compromise and instability gave way to a sense of comfort in the ‘diversity’, and leading to a luke warmness not easily found in it predecessors. The warning of Christ to the lukewarm and compromising churches in Revelations (chapters 2 and 3) stands. The same sex marriage issue revealing this double minded and compromise continues in much of the church, with an indifference by the leadership to what God speaks to them through the written word and prophetic word. Those upset given to noises of disquiet but many silenced by the Assembly, or the fear of losing a stipend and position should they make a faith step come out of her. Consider the harm of allowing your congregations of remaining in this part of the house. The body of Christ is the church, not the man and woman made administration of the UCA.

The UCA leadership continuing the code of silence that has led to so much shameful abuse in the past. Cover ups by leaders causing much harm that now parishioners are asked to bare the cost for through the redress scheme.

God’s warning to the UCA is clear, and it’s fruit too, for He still prepares a spotless bride and prunes (and more) the dead wood. For those staying in the UCA do so knowing you are cleaved to that vine, and simply not recognising this decision does not separate you from their corporate sin. May be the Lord is calling a few to remain, like Jeremiah, but this should surely be a clear and unequivocal call. May God’s wisdom be your source as you seek His will, and His boldness cause you to move forward in to His leading.

2 Corinthians 6:14 – 7:1

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

“I will dwell in them

And walk among them.

I will be their God,

And they shall be My people.”

Therefore

“Come out from among them

And be separate, says the Lord.

Do not touch what is unclean,

And I will receive you.”

“I will be a Father to you,

And you shall be My sons and daughters,

Says the Lord Almighty.”

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

The warning is not just to those in the UCA, but much of the church in this land and other western countries. For the Lord Jesus Christ is the sole head of His church, and is jealous for His bride. The spirit of this world has infiltrated the leadership and people in the church, which is akin to the spirit of Babylon in Book of Revelations, and led by the antichrist. It is time to recognise this and come out of such compromise, for the Lord is making His Bride spotless and will purify her out of love, with a winnowing fan and fire, and the spirit of burning and judgement.

The church is to be one of the priesthood of royal believers, passionate for Christ, walking as He, and the leaders humbling serving in the fear of a God, recognising always that this is the church of our Lord, and it is for His profit and beauty alone…and not to be controlled for their own interests, feeding only the sheep with milk that they may grow fat and weak for their own desires. His people are to be on fire and devoted to God, and not standing with one foot in the world and the other in the kingdom of God. Focussed on pursuing the mission of God, we are to see His kingdom come on earth as minister into every aspect of His creation as led by the Holy Spirit, not being lazy, and leaving that to the pastor and the few who do the work in the church. The time for compromise is coming to an end. Remember Christ and His army will remove the tares from the church and cast them in to the fire. Let us come afresh to our Lord Jesus Christ, consecrate ourselves, for soon He comes, and He purifies His return.

Revelation 2:12-17

Compromising Church

“And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,

‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” ’

Revelation 3:14-22

The Lukewarm Church

“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,

These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’ ”

Note:

* The Assembly has formalised a ‘diversity of religious beliefs and ethical understandings’ (R64), as the new ‘ruling authority’ within the Uniting Church and will therefore become instituted and enshrined into every aspect of the life of the church. Those who will be unjustly judged as unwilling to live and work within this new diversity will (as is already happening), be threatened with discipline and discriminated against in terms of candidature processes for ministry, placements and presbytery support etc.

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When Righteousness Leads

A Reign of Righteousness

Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule with justice.

A man will be as a hiding place from the wind, and a cover from the tempest,

as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. (Isaiah 32:1-2)

In these days, when nations and states struggle to find true visionary leadership, particularly in our governments and businesses, it is time to seek the Lord God for leadership based on righteousness (right standing before God) for more than ever the blessing of such rule is needed. Perhaps most importantly we need such leadership even more now as the world groans under the weight of sin, knowing righteousness in leadership offers, by God’s grace, shelter from the storms and tumult to come.

We are yet to appreciate truly the shaking that is to come, and perhaps hard to appreciate until natural disasters and major wars are thrust in to our face by events and the media. As leaders walk in righteousness, and abide in the righteousness of Christ, the Lord provides in them a canopy of the area they lead that protects all from tempest, and brings life to a place of drought. Even clarity of thought and better vision to those they lead. Such is the promise of Scripture, see for example Isaiah 32.

No wonder the devil seeks to displace good leadership with that which may be pleasing to the ears of many, but in their heart far from God, and right living. In God’s mercy He does raise up such leadership, and it is beholding on us to seek and follow a leadership of righteousness.

So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. (Ezekiel 22:30)

We can perhaps understand the search of God for such leadership, for in many ways they intercede and stand in the gaps for those they lead. This is not a thing of works, rather a special grace endowed by the Lord. The kingly intercession is key for cities and states being refuges for the tumultuous times we are entering.

Here to lies the mystery, for the Lord is raising up leaders in the kingdom of God that operate with such a grace. These saints lead in roles appointed by the King, Jesus Christ, and can be used by Him to bring protection from disaster, even natural disaster. These royal priest are typically prophets, intercessors, and apostles, recognised by their spiritual gifts not their earthly titles, or eloquent presentation. Some may hold down ‘regular’ jobs in the marketplace, and yet in the unseen realm of God’s kingdom, and hidden away in the prayer closet, many a time the region they have been in has being spared major natural or man made disaster as the captain in the Lord’s army lead in this special grace. While many will say ‘we dodged a bullet with that one’, the truth is the Lord positioned those who stand in the gap for regions to spare them tumult.

So let us come before our Lord, and seek His face for these righteous leaders in the world and God’s kingdom, for they are so needed now. Thank you Lord Jesus that You raise them up, for Your grace is sufficient for us, and Your mercies new everyday.

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That the Dove Prophets would come forth

And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day’s walk. Then he cried out and said, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. (Jonah 3:4-5)

The prophet Jonah, whose name means ‘dove’ or ‘pigeon’, was anointed by God with such power in the words He spoke, and yet often we think only of the big fish! The story of Jonah reluctantly prophesying over Nineveh for their salvation from destruction is intriguing.

Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.” (Jonah 1:1-2)

At first He did not want to obey this mission, with storms and being swallowed by a fish used by God to get him back on track. When He did enter this great city, one whose people were an enemy of Israel (and thus Jonah), the anointing God placed on the words He spoke was such that a whole city of 120,000 plus people turned to God repented in a day.

And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day’s walk. Then he cried out and said, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them…….

Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it. (Jonah 3:4,5,10)

The Lord revealing to Nineveh and Jonah His will to show great mercy on the people He has made due to their blindness, and despite their wickedness, for there was no apparent help for them. The real story here is the sovereign mercies of God, and the chance He gives us to repent, and His provision, through words He speaks by the dove prophets…for they speak of a reconciling peace, and God provides help when there is none.

And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock?” (Jonah 4:11)

This ‘pity’ of God had as its greatest revelation our salvation through Christ Jesus, upon whom the dove of the Holy Spirit did alight, who came with a simple but profound message, repent for the kingdom of God has come, and I am the only and only door to that kingdom. Surely if repentance does not come, the judgement on the kingdom of the world will do so. So in many ways Jonah pointed to Christ, a fact confirmed by the Lord, even stating his life (like that of true prophets) was a sign of God, a testimony to Jesus.

And he (King Jeroboam II) did evil in the sight of the Lord; he did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin. He restored the territory of Israel from the entrance of Hamath to the Sea of the Arabah, according to the word of the Lord God of Israel, which He had spoken through His servant Jonah the son of Amittai, the prophet who was from Gath Hepher. For the Lord saw that the affliction of Israel was very bitter; and whether bond or free, there was no helper for Israel. (2 Kings 14:24-26)

This prophet of mercy was revealed also to the Israelites where Jonah lived. During the time of an evil king and those who followed his ways, because of His will and not their action, God showed great mercy, and brought them victory against a greater enemy, even redeeming the land. And yet it does not seem that this caused them to turn their hearts, unlike the Gentiles of Nineveh. And sadly, the nation of Israel did eventually fall, as repentance does need to follow such acts of mercy, and a heart turned to God daily.

And yet God’s will is to raise up these dove prophets, who despite their piercing sight like a bird of prey (able to soar above the situation to see from God’s perspective), come with a message of repentance (and warning), to reveal God’s mercy, and to give His pity a chance for our salvation. Such prophet moving in great power of the Word, like John the Baptist, in the anointing of the Holy Spirit. These point to Christ, and carry the messages of His heart for us to turn to avoid destruction.

These prophets have largely remained hidden, and perhaps found themselves hard pressed on every side, as the Lord makes in them a deep and mature drink in the wine press of life. Jonah lived in a place called Gath Hepher, which can be interpreted to mean the hidden wine press, a place of seeking. This town not far from the childhood place of Christ (Nazareth). The suffering and trials of God are the training grounds for such prophetic authority.

So come you dove prophets it is time to arise, great wickedness does prevail, but the Lord sends you to cities like New York, Paris, London, Melbourne, Brisbane, to declare to them destruction is coming soon, and yet if they repent this can be avoided. Others are sent to His church, carry words that see redemption despite the wickedness of its leaders. All part of His preparation for His return, and as a revelation of His great mercy, and unmerited favour.

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The Vineyard and the Cornerstone Judgement

Then He began to tell the people this parable: “A certain man planted a vineyard, leased it to vinedressers, and went into a far country for a long time. Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that they might give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the vinedressers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent another servant; and they beat him also, treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And again he sent a third; and they wounded him also and cast him out.

“Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. Probably they will respect him when they see him.’ But when the vinedressers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’ So they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others.”

And when they heard it they said, “Certainly not!”

Then He looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written:

The stone which the builders rejected

Has become the chief cornerstone’?

Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”

And the chief priests and the scribes that very hour sought to lay hands on Him, but they feared the people—for they knew He had spoken this parable against them. (Luke 20:9-19, Matt. 21:33–46; Mark 12:1–12)

This ‘parable’ is the cleansing word of truth from the throne room of God…for the church today. Often quoted as if just a story describing what Christ thought of the Pharisees almost two thousand years ago, it it is much more a prophetic word to God’s people and the church today.

For God blessed the earth with a new vineyard and gave it to the vinedressers to care for, knowing the harvest is His. But, now all that occurs largely is that we think the church is ours, and it is for our profit and control. Giving up on caring for the garden, leaders, ministries, and many Christians see the church as a place to get a career, to make money (eg stipend), to sell products and services, to control for their benefits, and to fulfil self ambitions. Along the way controlling to their gain, not allowing the vineyard to flourish as the Lord desires.

This is a test of our hearts’ real intent. For it is true that while worker is worthy of his keep, it is the Lord’s decision as to what that looks like, and cannot he the reason for working in His vineyard. The trap comes as we gather great ideas that could also receive profit, and the motivations are as much about provision as it is the calling. We are to trust the Lord for our provision. Too many times so we see the church network used to sell books, sponsor preaching, or even worse, seek payment to hear ‘words of God’ given to you. Freely we have received, freely we are to give.

Tests come to reveal our hearts’ motivations, such as when we are called to make decisions, and steps of faith, which place at risk our financial support. For instance, are we willing to step away from the ‘certain’ stipend, and even buildings, in a response to come out of ungodly places. Or, will we give up regular income that often comes from books, and love offerings as you work the network, when led by God in to a new direction.

Our real motivations will be tested as to why we are vinedressers, and whether we think the vineyard is for Jesus Christ, or for us, and to support our call. Now is the time to come to the Cornerstone on bended knee in humility and confess our sins, repenting, and move forward in the grace of His mercy.

The Lord has been sending His sons and daughters to remind them of His true plan for the vineyard, and that only He owns the harvest, but religious and elite spirits seek to kill them in their ambitions for control and profit!

Christ’s warning still stand for those in the church, particularly those in leadership and equipping ministries. Even ‘everyday’ church member need to heed this call. As part of the priesthood of royal believer, we need to understand our accountabilities, and also question and challenge profiteering vinedressers.

He is coming soon, and to prepare His way He sends His word of truth as a winnowing fire. Christ is the Cornerstone, and now is the time to fall before Him in repentance for our wrongs, otherwise He falls on those who by their treatment of His vineyard reveal they see themselves as its owner not Christ, and in so doing not recognising who He is ..Lord of all, King of kings, God and saviour.

Daniel 2:35

Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

Daniel 2:44

And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.

The disturbing truth. This same judgement is the one that occurs to the kings of the world, for all kingdoms will fall, and only that of the one King, the Lord Jesus Christ’s, remains. Now is the time to watch and pray, search our hearts, and turn from our wicked ways, so that God can heal us, and to spare us from the coming judgement of the Cornerstone.

Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, (Revelation 11:15-16)

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Christ’s Church and the Winnowing Fire

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

(See also Matt. 21:12–17; Mark 11:15–19; John 2:12–25)

Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it, saying to them, “It is written, My house is a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of thieves.’ ”

And He was teaching daily in the temple. But the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people sought to destroy Him, and were unable to do anything; for all the people were very attentive to hear Him. (Luke 19:45-48)

It would be our gravest mistake to assume these words only applied to the Hewish temple of 2000 years ago. These eternal words travel through time, and are just as relevant for the church today.

If the true word of Christ is to be taught in the church, fully empowered by His Spirit, then first He comes to cleanse it of the corruption and compromise that has become the norm. Where what is to be the House of God, and house of prayer for all nations, has become like a corporation, with its words fashioned for man’s ‘success’, the winnowing fire must come for it to be the place where the Spirit and Truth dwell. Only this brings fruit that lasts. We do well to cleanse our churches, and ourselves, by His grace, now!

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The Dove, the Raven, and the Second Coming

Let us consider the raven and the dove, and their symbols of God’s grace as found in the Bible.

In summary – Suggest the raven speaks of, ‘But first comes the prophet(s) before the coming of dove manifested as Anointed One (the Christ) the Prince of peace, The messiah, and the triumphant King of kings’ – meaning now the ravens will come again to prepare for the Jesus Christ’s, the King of kings, return.

I submit that the symbols of the these birds will no doubt mean different things, but I feel God speaks of a wonderful mystery through the raven and the dove. The raven being the messenger (Mal. 3 and 4; Matt. 11:10; 17:11; Luke 1:17) who brings the truth in times of drought of the word of God, this truth by revelation and is real meat (not the milk continually served up In the church), and operating in the anointing of Elijah, principally concerned with preparing the way for the return of Christ (as it occurred at the first coming). In this ministry, turning hearts to the Father in heaven.

I sense Revelations 11 speaks of the witnessing church which operates in this anointing..rather than just one person, this is a prophetic company who by revelation and encounter know the coming Millennium, and prepare for Christ’s return and that which follows. God confirming His word spoken through these prophets with signs and wonders as these people also walk in Christ. The rise of Elijah and Christ return completing the fulfilment of Mal. 4.

Always love how you can see the Spirit of God travelling through the Bible in the form of the dove, who also represents the Anointed One. The raven also, who did go first at the time of Noah (Gen. 8:7-11), but only the Prince of peace (the dove and His Spirit) brings the message of Peace, because He brings the peace. In a way the raven travelling on through the Bible and time to emerge as, and meet, Elijah and in so doing being a sign that it represents the messenger the anointing of Elijah. He being the messenger who brings the word to prepare for the godly King and to refine God’s people. And then this anointing continues travelling through God time to pop out again at the Brook Cherith/Jordan River where John the Baptist starts His word ministry with great power of the word, preparing for the coming of Christ (the Prince of peace completely also of the Spirit of God).

So this anointing will come again and emerges soon, even very soon, ministering both in the power of Word and signs and wonders as God gives mankind one last chance to repent, and to purify His Bride, before the Second Coming, when The Lord Jesus Christ manifests Himself as the King of kings..and all that goes with it. This witnessing church baptised with Fire. The prophet will decrease that the Lord increase, but the Lord does honour and defers to the prophet as part of His revelation to the world (see baptism of Christ by John the Baptist as an example). In some ways you could also say the ravens represent end time prophets, and the doves the apostles.

Long winded, sorry, so much more to say, but hope this makes sense and helps. Conscious only see in part, so may only that which is of God stand, and the remainder fall away. For your discernment in Christ Jesus.

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