I believe that much of what the Lord is doing today is completely counter to Christian pop culture and the flow that we are seeing in the Western Church. It is typical in such times that there will be a counterfeit that runs parallel to the real. There will be an echo arise right alongside the authentic voice. Some of these echos are very deceptive and hidden from the casual hearer, while others are rather obvious and easy to discern. For instance, there’s a false teaching out there that says we don’t need to repent – that God has forgiven all your past, present, and future sins. Yet there’s never been a greater need for repentance than today.
In a recent poll done by ChristianMingle.com, single Christians between the ages of 18-59 were asked, if given the opportunity, would they have sex before marriage. A whopping 63% stated that they would. How does that happen? It’s simple. They’ve never repented of their sins and experienced true conversion. A majority of them belong to a church culture that is perhaps trendy and popular, but has no interest in fulfilling the demands of Christ. Many of them serve an American Jesus who lets them live as they please, and of course will never judge them. Amidst all of the frentic religious activity going on today we need the ability to recognize the real Jesus, the Lamb of God.
In John 3, John the Baptist who was filled with the spirit and power of Elijah, and who ministered with Divine authority, declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” Then he declared again, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” John’s ministry was for the purpose of exalting the Lamb of God and preparing a people for Him, a bride for the bridegroom.
“He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice.” (John 3:29)
Those who are true friends of the Bridegroom hear His voice, not an echo. The voice of His messengers, who are filled with the spirit and power of Elijah, will point people to the Lamb of God, not to their own ministries and agendas. John the Baptist was a voice crying in the wilderness. The entirety of his ministry was focused on the Lamb and His bride.
If a ministry is not pointing people to the One who was, and is, and is to come it will be judged harshly in this hour. Those who are exalting the Lamb of God have no interest in being seen or heard. They are not looking for a platform to promote themselves. The things that denote ministerial success in our day, such as large buildings, large followings, and popularity are of no interest to the true messengers of the Lamb. Actually, the Lord is leading ministers right now to do the opposite of what it takes to build a large ministry. He is stripping away human wisdom and all we’ve utilized in our own efforts to build things.
The Ephesians 4:11 gifts are to equip the saints for service and to prepare a bride for the Bridegroom, or a wife for the Lamb. There is a ministry of Divine authority whose mission and purpose is to turn hearts back to the Lord. A people are being made ready.
One of the great emphases of the Lord in this hour is on the preparation of His bride. There must be a distinction made between the church and the bride of Christ. This is more than a salvation issue. It is more about the Lord possessing our vessels for His eternal purposes. This is the spirit and power of Elijah that was upon John the Baptist, and would also be a characteristic of those who would minister before His second coming (Mal 4:5-6). God’s invitation is to everyone, but that invitation demands a a dedication and a consecration. Counting the cost and paying the price are no longer terms we hear today in the marketplace of Western Christianity, but this language is found everywhere in the Scriptures.
It is time to wake up the sleeping church! She can be awakened kindly with a kiss or be shaken with the Lord’s severity. It’s our choice. If we put it off to the future it will demand His shakings, which often come in the form of tests and trials, or a crisis that will expose our pride and crooked ways. Whole-heartedness is what the Lord is after.
I find the Scriptural reference to Jesus as the Lamb of God very rare until we get to the book of Revelation. There the Lamb is referenced 27 times. That is more than the entire New Testament combined. It was the revelation of the Lamb that ushered in His first coming, and it is that same revelation that will usher in the end of the age. Let’s get ready!
“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” (Rev 19:7)