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ANOTHER COFFEE BREAK: THE CALL OF THE BRIDEGROOM, Part 4
If ever there has been a day for the manifestation of the Bride of Christ -- the Sons of God, THIS IS IT!
In the last Coffee Break I told you about Della's return from Alaska. However, I did not tell you about an extraordinary event that took place with her and our longtime friend, Dorie Wassilie.
It was roughly ten days ago when Della and Dorie decided to take a drive from Anchorage to Seward -- a distance (one-way) of roughly 110 miles -- for no other purpose than to simply enjoy God's spectacular handiwork. If you've never been to Alaska, it easily has some of the most gorgeous scenery you've ever seen in your life, and the drive to Seward takes you past some major glaciers.
On the return trip (and it was getting late in the afternoon) the sun was getting lower and lower in the sky, and at one point was somewhat obscured from their vision because of the mountains. As they came around a particular bend in the highway, they had a very clear view of the sun in front of them. What I should say is that they had a very clear view of TWO SUNS in the sky. No, I don't mean a shadow or a sun dog; we're talking about two very distinct suns of at least equal brightness spread about 10 degrees apart in the sky!
If you've ever seen Star Trek or Stargate episodes where the main characters in the series have visited planets with two suns, or even the concluding scenes in the movie 2010: A Space Odyssey (the follow-up to 2001), then you know exactly what I'm talking about. That's how clear it was in front of them. What made it all the more interesting was the fact that there was a ring around the second sun (a sun dog) -- not the main sun! They pulled off the road and got out to watch it. They had to watch for five or more minutes before the second sun began to diminish in brightness and they realized that the sun dog surrounded it instead of the main sun.
Della called me immediately to tell me what was happening, and I asked her if she had a camera with her to photograph the event. She had forgotten our camera, but Dorie had hers and snapped some pictures (unfortunately, AFTER the second sun was diminishing in size and brightness).
Consider something that Jesus said: "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken." (Luke 21:25-26)
Then there's Joel's prophecy (the same one that Peter quoted on the Day of Pentecost): "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call." (Joel 2:28-32)
Now, put that double-sun event in the light of these prophecies, and we have a wake-up call from the Lord! And let's not forget that at the time of Creation, (Genesis 1:14) God said that He was placing the sun, the moon and the stars in the skies as His "signs." When we see a doubling of the sun, and a display that puts two distinct suns of equal brightness ten degrees apart (and by the way, to the best of my knowledge, this is an exceedingly rare event!), Holy Spirit is communicating something of great prophetic significance to us.
What is the significance?
Beyond the fact that we all know this portends and prophesies the return of Jesus Christ, let's get to the last statement in this prophecy since it spells out exactly what we've been talking about with the calling of the Bridegroom to the Bride.
First, let me share one other pertinent scripture which uses a unique description of Jesus in a way that no other prophecy uses: (Malachi 4:2-3) "But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts."
Notice that Malachi refers to the Lord as the "Sun of Righteousness" -- NOT the Son of Righteousness. Why does he phrase it like that? Because Malachi has seen a prophetic picture of the Sons of God arising in this hour after the same pattern that Joel described. Some of you may think that I'm really taking this out of context so let me remind you first of all how Malachi ends his prophecy, and then take you back to the specific wording that Joel uses.
Here we go: "And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts."
The rising of the "Sun of Righteousness" is manifested IN the people of God -- and more specifically, IN THE BRIDE, that same people Paul describes in Romans 8:19 as the SONS OF GOD! Still think I've left the planet or that I'm out in La-La Land? Then consider Joel's last statement in his prophecy.
"For in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call."
In Mount Zion. In Jerusalem. In the remnant whom the Lord shall call. If that doesn't make sense to you, or you are still seeing these words and phrases as a description of the literal city of Jerusalem (and in fact they are!) the prophets began to use these descriptions -- Mount Zion, and Jerusalem -- to prophetically describe, first of all, the larger body of God's people (Jerusalem), and then that distinct and called-out people -- the Bride -- (Mount Zion) who represented those who understood and sought after the heart and the heart's desire of our Bridegroom.
Of course, Jerusalem and Mount Zion were representative of God's people, Israel, and because His covenant was a covenant that lasts "through all generations" (the Hebrew phraseology makes it much clearer: the eternity of eternities), it certainly applied to the Jews, and more specifically, to those Jews who recognized, acknowledged and worshiped Jesus Christ! But these prophets of old had a much larger vision which included the Vine (Jesus) and the branches (non-Jewish Christians) grafted into the Vine -- or, as Paul describes in Romans 11, we as Christians being grafted into the olive tree (the symbol of Israel) as God's chosen and called-out people.
So what are we saying here? In Jerusalem and in Mount Zion SHALL BE DELIVERANCE! Hello? Are you seeing it? Deliverance, Salvation, Healing -- it is all available to the world today in the Sons (Suns) of God as they are arising in the midst of this darkening world.
One more prophetic word and I'll get on (I hope) with where I originally planned to go in this Coffee Break.
What was it that Isaiah prophesied? "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising."
Now, WHO is arising? The people of God! That chosen, called-out and set-apart people we corporately refer to as "The Bride of Christ" -- or as the Song of Solomon phrases it, "My Sister, My Spouse" (KJV), and more accurately translated from this Hebrew metaphor, "My Counterpart, My Other Self!" And, folks, this is a people arising and shining during a darkening age, an age in which "gross darkness shall cover the earth."
THAT, Family of God, is precisely what the call of the Bridegroom is designed to do: to call to attention, to commission, and to send forth in the earth a people upon whom the Glory of the Lord has arisen. Now do you see the significance of the double-sun event? Do you see, do you hear the call of the Bridegroom? Do you see His signs in the heavens? Then, my friends, you are beginning to grasp what Holy Spirit is doing and saying in the earth today.
Whewww!!! That explanation took a whole lot longer than I expected -- and honestly, Holy Spirit just began to download things into my spirit as I wrote. You're getting it fresh as I'm receiving it!
That said, perhaps you are seeing the immediacy that comes with a rhema Word. Let me pick up with where I left off in our last discussion as we talk about the revealed (in us) Word vs. academic study of the written Word.
I have shared in these Coffee Breaks in time past the travesty of the KJV translation of II Timothy 2:15 in which the word "Study" has been translated from the Greek "spoudason" in contradistinction to the real message of Holy Spirit. That message is to "Be instantly responsive!" What a huge difference in meaning! What a huge difference that one single word represents to those of us who are pressing in for the intimate presence of the Lord.
A verse of Scripture which we have all heard hundreds, if not thousands of times, is found in II Timothy 2:15. The KJV renders it, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." This is an absolutely tragic translation. Although the NASB and NIV both render it more accurately, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth," the KJV rendition, "Study," has been a mainstay of many messages and doctrinal presentations.
Reading this passage in the original Greek text one day, I discovered that it has some very immediate and potent applications in the call of the Bridegroom to the Bride.
The verse begins with the Greek word, "spoudason." While the NASB rendering, "Be diligent," is an acceptable translation, this word has some deeper meanings. It is eminently more accurate to translate it, "Be instantly responsive..." Where the Greek word, "dokimon," is rendered "approved" in most of the translations, this word has a unique background, and a special application for this particular passage.
"Dokimon" was a word originated among numismatists to identify the process by which gold and silver coins were tested after smelting in a crucible. It was the process which allowed them to determine the genuineness and purity of coins, as well as to detect any counterfeit coins, bars, etc. The translation which renders this word "approved" is sort of OK, but you really need the context in order to appreciate it.
In the same vein, the word, "parasteesai," translated: "to present," was first used by the Septuagint translators within the context of "making oneself available for the purpose of being questioned," as well as "making oneself available" metaphorically "for fellowship and intimacy."
It therefore becomes a powerful message from the Holy Spirit when we translate it thus: "Be instantly responsive to the Lord, making yourself available to Him in the midst of the crucible, a tried and tested laborer, who has no fear of being examined -- one who, by virtue of God's testing and the time spent in the crucible with Him, knows the proven word of truth."
The "proven word of truth" in this instance can be identified as a "rhema" word from the Lord which has been walked out and put to the test in our lives. It is an experiential word! It is an incontestable word no man can combat with any doctrinal argument or theory.
Verses 16 and 17 of the same chapter reinforce this. Without taking the time, here, to break down each of the pertinent Greek words or phrases, it can be rendered, "Stand aloof from, and avoid the untested, untried "word" which comes forth from those who would propagate speculation and create their own doctrines. These profane speculations and so-called "words" are empty babblings which only serve to advance ungodliness; and those who spread these doctrines will only yield a gangrene pasture -- a source of poison to those who ingest their "word"......"
The unbalanced emphasis on "Study" which has been ingrained into the fabric of church structure has led to a large majority of the doctrines which skillfully bring division among God's people. The push to "study" has led to the creation of seminaries and Bible colleges, with the subsequent "ordination" of those who complete the "approved" courses of study. Those who graduate are supposedly ready for "ministry," ready to step out and speak in the name of the Lord, ready to administer guidance and correction to those who are growing in the Lord.
Please don't throw rocks at me for saying this! I'm not quibbling with the need to study or (better, yet) immerse oneself in the Word. David wrote and sang, "Thy Word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee." (Psalm 119:11) In this case where we see "word" it is the Hebrew parallel to "rhema." Thus, the "Word" that David was hiding in his heart was the spoken Word that he heard in his spirit. It was directly spoken into him by Holy Spirit. David had no written "Word" to "study."
Unfortunately, Bible colleges and seminaries tend to produce formulas and doctrines. When the formulas fail, and the lives of those people who depend on the pastor or church leader crash, condemnation sets in. Because the "minister" has put his or her dependence on formulas and doctrines which are ingrained into the very core of his existence -- in the name of putting that dependence in the Lord -- the "minister" now feels that the Lord has failed him. Despair sets in, depression reigns, and questions arise by the multitude. What's the problem?
The "minister" never heard from the Lord. Much of his upbringing and preparation for "ministry" was predicated on "profane, empty babblings which only serve to advance ungodliness."
I'll never forget the day that I asked the pastor of a large church how the Lord called him into the ministry. He looked rather blank at me, stammered and stuttered around momentarily, and then said, "It just seemed like a good occupation for me to go to, and the pay looked pretty good, so I went to seminary." When I tried to explain the call of the Bridegroom, and the absolute knowing that happens in one's spirit when you hear that call, it was apparent that I was speaking a language he did not understand at all.
Sadly, those who sit under these teachers receive a mix of truth with poison. Taken to its logical extension, it results in "Christians" who have a name that they are alive, when in fact they are dead. It is nothing less than the spectacular grace and mercy of God that many have survived this era in the life of the Body of Christ to come to a place of recognizing the reality of a love relationship with the Lord, and have responded -- even within the limited framework of their understanding. Fortunately, the Lord is greater -- much greater -- than the church, the structure, and the doctrines of men; and He leads those on who follow by faith.
That's where we'll go next time.
"We are called to be heirs of God in Christ. There is no higher calling in all of creation. Everything happening in our lives is intended to prepare us for this high calling by working in us Christ's nature. Christ is the answer to every human problem, and He is the answer to every problem we're now facing. It is not just that He has the answers, but He is the answer. If we are living in the knowledge that the One we serve is over all rule and authority and dominion, how can we fear? Every challenge is an opportunity to grow in faith, so a key to the victorious life is to not waste our trials." (Prophetic Word from Rick Joyner)
Blessings on you!
Regner A. Capener
709 South 7th Street
Sunnyside, Washington 98944
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