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Preparing The Bride
by Steve Countryman
8/12/2011 / Christian Living
Revelation 19:7 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. We who are called His children, His church and who Christ is the Head are also known collectively as the bride of Christ. Jesus Christ is the Bridegroom who is coming back to get His bride that has been promised Him by God the Father. That will only happen when the bride is prepared and ready.
God's unified church will be different than what the world sees and knows as church and religion today. Gone will be all the petty differences. Gone will be all teachings, theologies, beliefs, doctrines, prophecies and any thing that contradicts, takes away or adds to the infallible Word of God. There will be alignment and agreement between churches, pastors, preachers, teachers, shepherds, church leaders and all church congregations across different denomination lines. It has already started! Cooperation, support, understanding and God's love will all be part of the fruit of God's unified church. The only thing that will matter is "do you attend God's church?"
Matthew 3:11-17 11"I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire." 13Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" 15Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented. 16As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." John baptized for repentance symbolizing death to the old flesh and sin nature as you are submerged and raised in new life as a new creation in Christ. That being said, why was Jesus Christ baptized? He had no sin to repent of or a sin nature to leave behind. The difference is that Jesus was not only baptized by water to confirm John's ministry but by fire of the Holy Spirit when Jesus came back up out of the water. That is why the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove landed on Him. It was after Jesus was baptized that His ministry started for He was now empowered by the Holy Spirit to work miracles, signs and wonders.
Likewise, Jesus' disciples started their ministry after they received the Holy Spirit in the upper room. They were empowered with the Holy Spirit to perform miracles, signs and wonders. Part of the preparing of the bride is that the bride must be baptized with the fire of the Holy Spirit. Only then will each of the children of God be empowered, authorized, infused and saturated with the Holy Spirit to perform miracles, signs and wonders. Acts 2:15-21 15These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning! 6No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17" 'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 19I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. All people means all people. People from around the world will experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit by fire. Contrary to some beliefs the baptism of the Holy Spirit doesn't happen at the time of salvation. Just as the disciples were believers before they received the Holy Spirit at the day of Pentecost. This is not a baptism for salvation for the dead as some religions teach. For you can only be saved unto salvation while you are alive not after you are dead. God is God of both the living and the dead.
Being baptized with the Holy Spirit is a very important part of who you are in Christ and Christ in you. It is important to your ability to be a powerful witness for Christ. It is important to your faith, trust and hope as you witness the Shekinah glory of God working through you. It is important to you, His child, for the things to come. Haggai 2:9 'The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,' says the LORD Almighty. 'And in this place I will grant peace,' declares the LORD Almighty." It is the destiny that God the Father has for His children to fulfill. The bride is prepared in unity, alignment and agreement in God, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. All you have to do to receive and be empowered by the Holy Spirit is talk to your pastor or a friend who attends a Holy Spirit filled church to find out how. Are you ready?!?
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