Two passages talk about the church being unified and powerful at the end of the age when Jesus returns, Eph 4:11-13 and Eph 5:24-5.
The Lord actually tells us how we will be made pure in spite of the falling away in Eph 5. This is a prophesy, and the clearest biblical instruction on marriage:
Eph 5:24-25: 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. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Jesus selflessly nourishes and cherishes His bride through the washing of the water of the Word. This is moving to a whole nother level with the prayer and worship movement. Without blemish, what does a church without blemish look like?
Eph 4:11-13: And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers for the edifying of the body of Christ, until we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ!!
Now this verse puts forth the mission statement of every minister of the gospel, which is to do their part to bring the church to maturity before Jesus returns. To understand how the church will become fully spotless and unified is to understand a few prophesies in the bible. Many theologians don’t believe the bride will achieve this before Jesus returns or in reality. There are a few prophesies that will help their unbelief. 2 Cor 6:14 shows that God wants us to have an equally yoked spouse, do you think Jesus wouldn’t have one as well? One of the most obvious prophesies is where John saw into the future in Rev 22:17, seeing the glorious church, he said “the Spirit and the Bride say come.“ He could have said church there. The church will see itself primarily as a bride. Anyway the bride in that verse is interceding for the return of Jesus, in total unity with the Holy Spirit. Total Unity!!! Bridal Message
Now many people don’t have faith that Jesus could do this in the church before His return, because of how divided and weak we are now. But the Scriptures do describe it happening before Jesus returns. There are 1000s of prophesies that have been fulfilled, God will fulfill His Word, we must have faith. Let’s consider all the prophesies that will help the Bride become ready for the end-times.
1.) The Joel 2 outpouring of the Spirit happens in the end-times. Joel 2 is known as one of many ‘dual fulfillment prophesies.’ When Peter said it was happening in Acts 2, it was only a down-payment, for Joel was specifically talking about the events of the end-times. There’s little debate that many OT prophesies have an initial fulfillment, then a second final, primary fulfillment that will happen in the end times. Joel described it happening in the end-times, in the context of other end-time events. Most importantly Joel said it will be poured out on all flesh, not just 50 people in an upper room. When Jesus pours out His Spirit like Joel described it, it will bring about much instruction and clarity and help us get unified, though there will be some who fall away rejecting the Spirit just as the Pharisees rejected Jesus. But ultimately, the outpouring of the Spirit will help bring in the harvest.
2). The Harvest. Matthew 13:39 talks about the Harvest at the End of the Age. The Harvest will not be brought in by a divided backslidden church, but rather a pure and spotless Bride. If the Harvest was even 1/8 of the projected population in 2025 it would be a billion souls coming to Jesus. Contrast that with the projected 4% of this generation being evangelical believers at the time if natural trends continue. Hype and manipulation will not bring in the harvest, but the answered prayers of the prayer movement, and evangelists that have labored in the place of prayer, and have been anointed to bring it in, like Finney and Wesley and such, will do it through the Spirit.
3.) The Harlot Paul wrote “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away[apostasy] comes first, and the man of sin [the antichrist] is revealed (2 Thes 2:3). John the Apostle wrote “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” (Rev 17:6). This will lead the first 3 1/2 years of the End-Times in false peace and false prosperity. The Harlot Religion of Revelation 17 will persecute the church, the saints, and yet many in the church will fall away from the faith into her Christ-less works and prosperity and become apostate. They will be seduced by her religious message of unity of all faiths and good works and deny Christ. The Harlot will have an effect on the church, we who resist her will prophesy against and be united in standing against this deception. Biblically, a harlot represents one who used to be in covenant with God, many of the leaders of this movement will be ex-Christians.
4.)The Tribulation (the Judgments) The tribulation is God’s judgment on the Antichrist’s worldwide empire, not the Church. Much of the church will be protected, though there will be some martyrs, Revelation 15 is clear about that. The events of the end-times will cause many in the church to fall away from the faith, to the harlot religion or to offense at God, or into the rising widespread sin. Some will succumb to the pressure to yield to the antichrist. Many more in the church will die and go on to be with the Lord from the destruction from the judgments. But so very many will hear God and be spared, do greater works and miracles, there will be so many miracles, obviously in these times miracles will be very needed. (Mic 7:15). The tribulation and the Matthew 24 birthpangs preceding it will serve in waking the western church up stop wasting all its time in entertainment, selfishness and leisure and embark on a life of prayer and fasting (Mat 9:15; 6:16) so we can walk in power and Christlikeness. Jesus gives more authority to those who know Him. Daniel 11:32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he (antichrist) will corrupt by flatteries: but the people that know their God shall be strong, and do great exploits. John 14:12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do. Jer 9:24 But let him who glories glory in this: that he understands and knows Me.
5.)The Prayer movement Man cannot bring in the harvest alone, it is the strategy of God to use people to pray and ‘release’ the Holy Spirit in power on the world. So many ministries have so many ‘better’ ideas than prayer and that is why we see so little fruit. By praying the prayers for the lost that the Spirit gave Paul like the “Eph 1:17 release of the Spirit of revelation unto the knowledge of Christ”, God responds and draws real people to Jesus (John 6:44). He enlightens their spiritual eyes to see Christ. (This prayer is crucial for mature Christians too.) Jesus’ desire was that the kingdom and the will of God would be completely manifest on the earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10). Jesus won’t do this “in a vacuum”, apart from men and women doing it in partnership with Him. Jesus said that His kingdom would not come not by human force or might and not by human intellect or wisdom, but by Godly wisdom – simply by saying back to God in prayer what He told us to tell Him through the Word and Spirit. It is as the church all over the globe and these “set”, full-time watchmen like myself ask the Lord persistently and cry out day and night (Luke 11, Luke 18:7-8), He promises to release speedy justice and establish the kingdom of God on the earth.
6.)Holy Spirit Fellowship Along with intercession that increases the Kingdom of God and destroys darkness, this message is going forth in the prayer movement: Jesus said in matthew 4 “Man does not live by bread alone, but every Word that comes from the mouth of God.” Now in the past we have interpreted this verse as meaning that we are to ‘live by’ the ethics and lifestyle of the Scriptures and prophetic instruction of God. Which is partially correct. But the context was the issue of sustenance and being hungry after fasting. If we begin to actually “eat” the Word of God and not just live by it’s teachings we will begin be ‘filled by the Spirit”(Eph 5:18-19) and no longer lack such deficiencies such as not being able to do the works Jesus did, and greater. Communion and fellowship with the Holy Spirit is transformative.The ministers and preachers who have labored in prayer and are covered in prayer move in the power in of Spirit, as Jesus did. John 14:12 states that some will one day do greater works even, and this will happen through the power-releasing prayers of intercessors. Paul said he labored to be counted worthy to be entrusted with power in spiritual authority (1 Thes 2:4).
The Transforming Power of Prayer
John 5:39-40 contains a powerful, timely message for this hour. The Pharisses, much like the church today, were rebuked by Jesus for living by the Scriptures, but not turning them into prayer with God. Hearing someone teach the Scripture can be compared to reading a menu that stirs our appetite. We do not fully feed on the Word by hearing someone teach. We may be inspired in our faith, but we actually feed our spirit as truth becomes part of our prayer language with God. In other words, we are not really fed until truth enters into our dialogue with God in our private life. Taking Scripture and asking for revelation on it, making it a direct prayer or asking for power to obey it. Ultimately I am talking about letting the written word take us to the presence and revelation of the Living Word. More on this in part II where we will go deeper and also look at the Rapture, false worldwide religion and Antichrist.
The signs of the times confirm we are in the generation of the Lord’s return, so then the question is will we be like the Matt 25 virgins who had lacked the oil of the Holy Spirit, and missed their encounters with God? (that parable speaks of Jewish wedding feasts, or revival times just prior to his return, the final wedding supper). The issue at the end of the age is oil. The ministries that prioritized oil will be wise over the ministries that prioritized growing the ministry.
Will we multiply food like Jesus in famine? Will we heal the sick from war, plague and natural disaster? Jesus said we would do greater works, and those who do great works live a lifestyle of prayer and fasting based on the sermon on the mount. As we commune with the Holy Spirit and know Jesus, we are transformed into His image. As we are transformed we are entrusted with more power, as we do what we see the Father do, by revelation.
This is the hour to dial down, say no to things and radically reorganize our time. We can go deep in revelation and cultivate abiding that we can be spirit led and bear fruit in an hour when we cannot fake fruit. John 15:7 tells us how very much we need to go after getting His Words abiding in us. (As you know from this blog, I believe singing the word and meditating on to be the premier means for this)
Jer 12:5 “If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, Then how can you contend with horses?
Psa 32:6 For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You In a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters They shall not come near him.
If we can’t go hard now, how will be then? Let’s go hard after God and ‘eat the scroll.’ Pursuing revelation of Jesus and knowing Him in real time.
More on this in part II where we will go deeper and also look at the Rapture, false worldwide religion and Antichrist.