Prepare the Bride

“I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” 2 Cor 11:2,3

It is so clear from this scripture that St Paul saw his primary responsibility as preparing the Church as a precious Bride, a pure virgin, for the Lord Jesus Christ who was indeed Her husband, the Bridegroom King. In fact he claims to have promised Jesus that and he looks forward to the time when he is able to present Her to Him. He consequently is jealous over Her for he states quite emphatically that She has one husband.

There is a passion in his words and an intense sense of focus. All pastors and ministers would do well to embrace the same clarity of understanding regarding their mission. This is what they too are called to do.

Now if Jesus is returning, as we believe He is, and is returning to take us to the Wedding of the Lamb and He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, then it is to His own wedding that He will go and we too. He being the Bridegroom and we  the Bride. However  scripture also makes it so clear that He will only return when the Bride has made Herself ready.

Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.” Rev 19 v 7.  

But notice it says …”His bride has made Herself ready”. God has not made Her ready.

Privilege always carries with it a sense of personal responsibility.

To be chosen to be part of that Bride is indeed a privilege. It is to be called even now into such a deep intimate and personal relationship with Jesus, who is the King of Kings, the apple of the Fathers eye, the fullness of the Father’s glory, the One who is above all things and in all things, and is very God of very God, creator of the Universe. It is beyond our understanding.

Then, after the Rapture and the Wedding Feast, we will not just be in His presence and see Him as He is, but actually be made One with Him in a way that only the marriage relationship can begin to describe, where the Father declares that…the two have become one.

The mortal history of the Church is heading up to this event. After the wedding feast the Church enters a new dispensation when She has become immortal. She returns and reigns with Him on planet earth in the millennium, in Her new glorified state…..empowered, fully anointed in perfect synergy with Him. As scripture says …this is when…”the Kingdoms of this earth become the Kingdom of our God and His Christ”    This is the destiny of the Bride!

God in His wisdom and because of His grace has sent the Holy Spirit to teach and lead us, to baptize and equip us with His gift and to conform us to the likeness of Jesus by developing the fruits of the Spirit within us.

Jesus when He ascended back to the Father also gave to His Church the fivefold ministry gifts of Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher, to oversee and direct the Church. Ephesians 4 v 11 “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers.” These were given that He might …. “equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

We have all we need to be prepared and to make ourselves ready.

Call 2 Come is dedicated to firstly 1) Awaken the Church to Her Bridal Identity 2) to challenge Her to “make Herself ready” and 3) to position Her to cry the cry that only the Bride can cry….Come Lord Jesus Come! For it is only the Bride in unison with the Spirit that can cry Come!

This is the end time and season we have entered and our response to it can either hinder or hasten His return.

 

About the author: Howard Barnes

Howard Barnes was born in England in 1944 to Salvation Army pastor parents. After secondary education he went to university and studied Theology and subsequently become a Secondary School teacher and served in several London schools as the Head of Divinity. During these years he also was a youth leader and then served as a pastor of a local church in Cornwall, England. In 2003 he retired from teaching, after 37 years’ service, to take up a position as director of an evangelistic ministry called Harvest for Christ but in 2008 he became Co-director of Time Out Mission International and more recently director of The Body and the Bride Network Ministry International (UK). These last two ministries which he co-directed with his close friend and ministry colleague, Michael Pike (Apostle), were deeply passionate about two things. 1) to see the worldwide Church discover the meaning of real unity and so fulfill the prayer of Jesus in Jn 17 v 21 and 23 ….“that they may be One even as we are One” and 2) to understand and embrace its end-time identity as the precious Bride of Christ and to prepare her for the coming Bridegroom King. These experiences have paved the way for the creation of this new ministry called The Call2Come which, while still holding to these emphasis, calls the Church to prepare Herself as His precious Bride and so position Herself to cry the prayer that only the Bride can¬ pray. It is only the “Spirit and the Bride” that can cry Come. Howard has received two honorary doctorates in recognition of his mission and reconciliation/peace work in over 70 nations around the world. He is also an official representative for Foundations for Biblical Farming (FFF) which comes out of Zimbabwe, Africa and for the World Prayer Assembly (WPA). He is a regular speaker at international church conferences and operates under an apostolic mantel. He has been married to Tricia for 50 years who was herself a music teacher, and they have two lovely married children and four beautiful grandchildren. He is both a musician and a gifted artist.

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