A big welcome to everyone watching this presentation today on the central message of Call2Come. I’m really excited to share what I’m about to share, and I pray that it will impact your life in the same way that it has impacted mine ever since the Lord allowed me to see beyond the veil to the mystery that is the Bride.
I’m so grateful that the Lord saved me at such a young age at only 8 years old. But then even at 10 years old the lord called me to be a missionary. Throughout my whole life despite all the things that I have done and the places that I have been, there has been a constant thread that identifies and connects it all. And that has been the hand of God upon my life. And so, despite the ups and downs (and there have been many) I have endeavoured to fulfil the missionary calling upon my life. In fact, when I reflect upon the generations of those that have gone before, if there was a time that I could be transported back to in time, I’d like to think I would go back to the missionary movement over the 1800s. Like Hudson Taylor or David Livingstone, who didn’t have the luxury of flights or mobile phones as we have them today, took the greatest of risks and made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their life for the mission field in reaching the lost.
And yet in the times in which we live now, and more now than any other time in history, we have a great opportunity to reach the world for Christ. And so not looking back, but embracing the day in which we live, with all of its turbulence and challenges, for the opportunity is great and the commission remains. So, let us not be fearful or disorientated but let us ensure that we understand who we are and why God has placed us here in the time in which we live. It’s for such a time as this that, that we are here. And we are able to embrace our commission and the future with confidence, because in God there is always hope. In God, there is certainty that he is always and always shall be upon the throne, and that somehow, above the storms, there is an underlying purpose of His that remains. What we might call the Eternal purpose of God. That even before creation, God has had a particular purpose and objective in his heart. And we find ourselves in the timeline of God. He knows the end from the beginning and He is taking us somewhere beautiful. Along this time line that we are on, we are so much closer to the end than we are to the beginning. Prophetically there are still things that will be fulfilled, but time is short and the end is near. As I contemplate my life and my contribution in this generation, there is one particular message that has captivated my heart and set my life on a course that I cannot ever divert from. It is the message that I will share with you now, and the central message of the Call2Come movement.
The message of utmost importance relevance and implication is the message of the bride. Who is the bride and why is she so important? Hopefully in sharing some of these thoughts with you today if nothing else you will at least understand my passion. But my hope is that you will also catch something of the passion for the bride and the bridegroom. So that we can understand our highest calling and truest identity in who we are in Christ, and that His created purpose was always that He should live with men in the context of a marriage relationship. There’s no other way in which I can understand what Paul wrote, when he said “husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself after her”. We quote this passage often in marriage counselling and in marriage seminars, but even Paul himself confesses that he’s not actually teaching about husband and wife, but he’s using the marriage relationship as a model to teach us something that’s different to understand. To give us something that we can grasp a hold of, to receive a higher truth, which is not of husband and wife, both of Jesus and his church or his bride. In fact, Paul describes it as a profound mystery. He says, I’m not talking about a husband and wife, I’m talking about Jesus and his church. Paul makes it very clear and there’s no other exegetical interpretation apart for the Bride. John the Baptist said when he sees the bridegroom coming that joy is mine.
Throughout scripture and we don’t have time here, but we will see from Genesis all the way through to the final prayer of Revelation 22, that the Bride is contained within the pages of scripture. We as the bride have access to the highest measures of grace that can be poured out, and the fulfilment and consummation of the Kingdom of God comes through the marriage relationship between the Bridegroom and the Bride. It comes through the Bride, it doesn’t come through the church, but it comes through the Bride. The Bride is the church, yes, but it’s a matter of identity, acceptance and conviction that we are the Bride. The Bible says that the glory of the man is the woman. The glory of Jesus is the Bride. He chooses for the fullness of all that he is, shall be fulfilled and shared with His Bride. That has always been the father’s intention. I desire that my son Jesus shall have a bride.
There must be a transformation before there can be an integration. Before we can be one with Him, we have to be changed to be like Him, for He cannot be united to anyone other than who is like Him, and more so, like Eve from within Adam, as bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh. It is about compatibility. Only that which is from Him can cleave back to Him. And so there has to be a transformation process for us to become as Jesus is.
The Bride, her life and her identity, all that she is, comes out of Jesus Christ, so that he can unite himself with her forever. It says for this reason a man will leave his father’s house and go and be united to his wife. But again Paul’s teaching that Jesus will leave his father’s house and come and be united and married to us. I find this amazing this divine romance. It is the Bride who has access to the fullest of all that he is. It is the Bride who has access into the very throne room of God where she finds the Golden Sceptre extended with the invitation to ask me for anything and I will give it to you even up to half my kingdom.
In John 14 Jesus says I’m going to the Father to prepare a place for you. And then he follows that up saying “I am the way the truth and the life” and then he says “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You will do even greater things than these, you will do greater things than I have been doing.” I think we have seen a fulfilment of that prophetic word to a degree, but there is so much more. I believe that we have not yet fully seen the church do even greater things than Jesus did. Yes of course, we are blessed and so grateful for God in the way that he has moved within the people and the church through the ages but as a generalisation there is a greater fulfilment that is yet to take place. Let me put it like this: when the Bride is getting ready it will be very apparent that she is becoming exactly like the bridegroom. We will know when the Bride is getting ready because she will become more like the bridegroom, and thereby fulfilling this prophetic word of Jesus, that she will do even greater things than Jesus did. I believe there is an anointing that is yet to be poured out upon the Earth and a move of God that we have not yet entered into or experienced. Despite all the revivals and the moves of God that we have seen in the past there is one that is yet to come, and it is an anointing and an outpouring of the holy spirit that is reserved only for the Bride. The bride needs the bridegroom to help her to get ready. That’s a profound truth, but she cannot get ready on her own. She needs the bridegroom to help her.
In Acts 1 we learn how Jesus spent 40 days with his disciples teaching them many things about the Kingdom.
Acts 1:3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we knew what it was that Jesus shared with them. Just imagine a private audience with Jesus for 40 days hearing what he had to say, that he had not yet shared with them about the Kingdom of God. We may indeed long for the Kingdom of God and yet the reality is, what we learn from the disciples question, “Lord are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” indicates that despite all Jesus had done and taught them, the kingdom, the consummation of the kingdom had not yet come. This sets up a tension, a prophetic tension because the kingdom of God is here now and yet it is still to come. We are living in a time between the two realities. Let me put it like this: The Kingdom of God must first be established within before it can be established without, it must first be a reality inside the heart of the believer, before it can become a full reality upon the Earth.
On Jesus first coming, the gentiles were not yet included in the covenant of God because it was a covenant that he established with Abraham and through him and the Patriarchal Fathers, Israel. It was the Jews, it was Israel who were expecting a messiah and of course He will come, but before that moment of Israel receiving their Messiah, there was something else that needed to be accomplished. The gentiles had to be included or grafted into the vine, this was part of the master plan of God. The Eternal plan of God, was that together from Jew and Gentile there should be one new man made from the two. As Paul teaches in Ephesians 4 we know the passage well and it reads how Jesus gave some to be Apostles and Prophets and so on, but it continues on to say until. “Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the son of God”. We’re not there yet, we are not yet all united in the knowledge of the Son of God, and agree who Jesus is. And so, in the grace of God, in the patience of God, in the love of God, He has held Israel in His hands, until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in, that they might become together, the One New Man.
So in those 40 days after Jesus Resurrection when he spent time talking about the kingdom with his disciples, isn’t it amazing that the disciples still had questions, and they asked him Lord are you at this time going to restore the Kingdom? We know the Lord’s reply and he said it is not for you to know the time set by my father in heaven but wait in Jerusalem until you receive the gift promised and you will receive power and you will be Witnesses in Jerusalem Judea Samaria and unto the world. But looking further down in that passage in Acts 1, it says in verse 9 that he was taken up before their very eyes and a cloud hit him from their site. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. Men of Galilee why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus. the same Jesus who has lived among you who has fed you and died for you this same Jesus who was crucified upon a cross this same Jesus who you saw and testified yourself when you saw the scars in his hand and upon his side this same Jesus the two men said, will come back in the same way that you have seen him go into heaven. There it is, the promise of the second coming of Jesus Christ. He is not yet finished. The plan is not yet fulfilled. If Jesus is coming again, it means there is still something in the Eternal purpose of God that is yet to unfold. The kingdom of God within, yes but ultimately there will be a consummation of the kingdom upon the Earth when the bridegroom king comes to reign. And the catalyst, the switch, the lever that will prophetically shift us into the dispensation of the coming of Jesus Christ is when the Bride has made herself ready.
I don’t believe that we are raptured in some obscure fashion, or in some secret mysterious way. Let me put it like this, I believe scripture teaches that the Bride is prepared upon the Earth. I believe she is prepared upon the Earth and that there is only one bride. Not a Jewish bride and a Gentile bride, so how can the Gentile Bride be raptured before the Jewish Bride? No, the two will become one upon the Earth, and when they are ready, because they have become the fullness of Christ, then he will come again and take her to himself. There is much controversy about what is called replacement theology. And I don’t believe in replacement theology in the way that others might, and yet I do believe in replacement theology in that there will be no more Jew, but neither will there be gentle either! So it’s not only Israel that will be replaced but also the gentile. What is Israel and the Gentiles to be replaced by? They are replaced by the Bride. Hallelujah.
It is the Bride that He is coming back for, it is the Bride who gets herself ready to a point where heaven will say now the Bride is ready. There’s something prophetically that shifts at that time. So what I’m saying is that we are not on some automated timeline where we can just do our own thing, separate from what God is doing as though it was ok, it’s not ok. We have to know and understand God’s heart and what he’s after, and he’s after a bride for his Son! We cannot say “Oh everything is ok because God has set the time and all I have to do is hang in there because it is predestined for the Lord to come again“. No, there’s something that we need to do. Something that we cannot be passive about. Something that we should be proactive in. And which we need to be doing here and now and there is a measure of the Holy Spirit and a measure of his Kingdom and His grace that is available to us when we align ourselves to who we are, as his beloved bride.
In Revelation 22 we will find in verse 17 that the Spirit and the Bride say “come“. I’ve always understood this in the past in a different way to the way that I understand it now. The change in my understanding happened when I recognised that there was something in me that was already calling come. In the past I saw this call of the Spirit and the Bride, would be something that would happen in the future but not now. I saw it as something that would happen only when the bride has made herself ready, because as I wrongly believed, what bride would call for her husband to come until she is ready? But I recognised a deep longer and desire in me, that I wanted to call come now, and indeed I was already crying come, and I am still crying come. In fact, I believe that call to come, is within the heart of every child of God, because the Spirit within every believer, has awakened them to know that they belong to Him and that they are only complete when they are with him, and they are not complete until He has come for them. And so it changes our understanding of this Scripture, that to cry come isn’t something that we can put off until some time in the future, but it’s something that we need to do now. Why? Because the bride needs the bridegroom to help her to get dressed, and when she calls Come, she is positioning herself in a way she can receive the Bridal outpouring of the Holy Spirit to help her to get dressed.
The Bride understands that her completion will only come through the bridegroom. She isn’t looking therefore, for any other kind of fulfilment. For there is no other satisfaction that she looks or craves for, other than her wedding day and consummation with the groom. The Bride is not set upon her own course, or working towards her own ambitions, instead she knows that her fulfilment will come when she sits beside her husband upon his throne to reign with him. The Bride knows that she needs the bridegroom. This is the key that made a difference in my interpretation of how this scripture fitted into the timeline of God. Because I no longer saw this as happening sometime in the future, but the timing of this was reversed when I recognised the call within my own heart for him to come and the realisation that the Bride cannot get ready until she begins to cry come. When the Bride cries come she is positioning herself in a way spiritually before him, and she is opening her heart and embracing her identity of who she is and agreeing with the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit is already saying Come. She is aligning herself with the Holy Spirit and the Eternal purpose of God when she cries “Come”. Hallelujah.
That’s when I believe this outpouring of the holy spirit that is reserved only for the Bride will be released. Because we’re not even asking for another revival. We’re not asking for another outpouring of the holy spirit, we’re asking for the Bridegroom. The Holy Spirit’s commission is to lead us and to prepare us and to bring us to the bridegroom. So when Jesus is seeing his church praying for the holy spirit and not for Him to come, how do you think that makes him feel? I wonder what father and son and holy spirit say to one another when we are asking for the Holy Spirit and not for the bridegroom himself. Let us not be those who call for the Holy Spirit without understanding the Holy Spirit’s role is to prepare us and take us to be with the Bridegroom. I believe the cry of his heart, the prayer that Jesus longs to hear more than any other prayer is the prayer of his Bride calling upon him to come. Because he is the bridegroom, and the cry of his heart more than anything else, is not that we should do this or do that, but that we should ask him to come. Because when we ask him to come, it means the time is near for His return. And maybe the Son will turn to the Father with longing in His eyes and say Is it time Father, can I go and get my wife. And maybe the Father will say looking lovingly and knowingly to His Son, Not just yet Son, but soon, let us send the Holy Spirit once more, that He will bring her the garments she needs to help her to get dressed! O the joy that he must experience when his Bride is asking for him to come. Wow, could you imagine how his heart leaps when he sees his bride calling Him. It is a clear message from Earth to Heaven that the Bride is getting herself ready.
So let’s conclude the first part of this message here and we will come back to this in part 2. So please make sure you continue in this lesson with part 2 because we’re only half way and the best is yet to come.
Lord we thank you for all that you are and all that you have done. And we call upon you now for you to come. Come Lord in your glory. Come as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. O Lord we call upon you to come as your bride. May our hearts be connected with yours, as we eagerly await for your return. In Jesus name amen.