The Bride’s Near Future – Part 2 of 3

I believe there’s coming a time that Christianity will go through a second reformation.

There is an underground move of the Holy Spirit that is calling people to one unified purpose, and it’s like that of a spiritual militia. Like disgruntled, seemingly over-patriotic wilderness residents, there is an uprising of individuals who are no longer content with religion and traditional complacency. The stuff of earth is not important to these people, and they’re becoming resentful that supposed wise clergy is telling them otherwise.

People’s hearts are being stirred with passion for the King, and doing only the King’s will. These people are getting back to the basics of the old time Christianity, the Christianity that you find in the Bible; and they are setting their hearts on the eternal and spiritual, rather than temporary and earthly. Seeking God’s Kingdom requires us to see things in a worldview outside of what can be seen, heard, tasted or touched. Can a clay pot actually know the Potter’s mind and will? Let alone, can the pot know anything MORE than the Potter? This is impossible.

If you are a person who sees religion as a dead thing, or you just FEEL that there is something more to the services you attend, YOU ARE RIGHT! The times around the corner will be exciting times for the Christian Church! That is, people knowing Jesus personally and are developing an intimate relationship with Him without reservation. Church is not a building or a system or a set time of day. It is the believers themselves, and the group of believers they commune and walk with. THIS is the Church. THIS is the Body of Christ. It is very important that you are aware of this now. It is important that you keep an ear open to what God is doing with His Bride. “It’s almost like Jesus actually believes He purchased His Bride,” as Pastor David Hogan would say, jokingly sarcastic.

The refreshing move of God around the corner will blow our minds, and shake our worldviews. We all have our views based on nature and nurture, what we’ve been taught and what we have experienced. Allow me to tell you a recent, short story.

Sensing these things, and also reading up on some of these thoughts on websites that have to do with the “emerging church” and the “second reformation,” I’ve been drinking in the experiences of past revivals and renewals, such as the Great Awakening, Welsh Street, Pentecost, and even recent moves like Pensacola, Toronto, Australia and Kansas City. Amidst taking notes a few weeks back, I felt the Lord strongly impress in my spirit, “Why are you preparing for My move of Tomorrow by reading the newspaper clippings of Yesterday?”

How can I prepare for something I have never seen before? Like the military, I may know certain combat skills, know my weapon well, and have a sergeant who’s integrative, but if I don’t know the territory well and everything involved, everything I DO know amounts to nothing. What we know now about past revivals, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, and the depths and dimensions of the spiritual realm, will amount to nothing when God pours this fresh oil on us. It will confuse us. It will baffle us. It will cause many to fall away. It will, most importantly, question our own walk with the Lord and our purposes.

We will basically have to choose if this is of God and what will we do with it. There will be stuff, I believe, that will not be found biblically; because Jesus promised that we will do greater things than He. There will be renewed hearts for the Lord. True believers, not merely those who are church attendees, will fall passionately and deeply in love with Jesus, and will be filled with the Spirit, and become bold and confident in their ministry to others in need. We might as well call it “Pentecost Part 2” because of the newness and empowering move of God in every TRUE Christian’s life.

There will not be legalism or stagnant religion anymore within this emerging group of believers. God’s creation is SO dear to Him that He sent His own Son to die for the justification of His creation and His holiness. Are we not to expect the God, Lord of the universe, to desire to see His bride pure? Are we so arrogant to think that God doesn’t expect us to see things as He sees them? Are we not to desire the Kingdom of God to be revealed in our own lives, given that we are living testimonies of His sovereignty and faithfulness?

The time is coming! We cannot really be prepared, but we can be open. 1 Kings 19: 11-12 speaks of the move of God’s Spirit being a Wind, then an Earthquake, then a Fire. After these things tore everything apart, THEN God’s soft voice came. Our nice hairdos will be messed, our worldview will shake, and our religious works will burn up. Then the voice of God will speak to His people. Hebrews 12:26 promises this for the Body’s future.

Who are we to deny what God can do? Who are we to put God in a box? Who are we neatly put His Spirit between the pages of 66 chapters? We welcome You, Jesus! We embrace Your move! Come and woo us, Lord Jesus!

Steve Hudson (Souled Out)

I see Christian imagery from a distance

When I see the latest ad-cover for a film, or an album cover-design of recognition, I often give it a silent nod in response. A nod of knowledge, because out-there to the public rude as it may be, out-there I behold a mark of the product that is in promotion, and this is culture. We, inner-city folk like to call this -“representing the scene.” Down in S.London.

Unconscious and consciously I feel convicted to react or relate what is seen to something I have experienced or someone I have heard experience what relates to what we see in these ad-covers and designs. As I have said this is consumer-interaction, its culture.

Now when I see Christian art Christian representation of the apostolic times you know the type of medieval painted fashion with which the “Orthodox Church” surrounds itself and which also has been accepted as the standard artistic portrayal of Christian themes and characters worldwide. Whether its in pamphlets or in buildings this type of impression of the saints life, when I see this sort faith-based representation thrown my way I can’t help but say that I feel… well I don’t know what to feel, in fact I don’t what I am expected to feel, and who expects me to feel the way I am suppose to.

Okay some may accept these Christian-themed images because they seem so standard and recognised. So that I should feel from the image what tones it sets of the subject. But what can I feel from what I get? If its Saint -Jerome by the cave, I should feel from the image what I know of St. Jerome, correct? Or better, if its St. Peter and John by the temple as described in “acts”, then I should feel from the image their miracles described in the acts of the apostles, correct? And that from this I should altogether be convicted with passion and a higher sense of awareness with the brother-and-sisterhood of Christianity, correct? Not so in this case.

I must personally admit that with me this is not the case, very far from it in fact. The result of what I feel is not an attraction to the subject as such, but more of a little sting of disaffection, quite alienating altogether so to speak. I do not feel the warmth to my faith-related subjects in its art-forms the same way I do to cultural products in promotions, and the icon that represent those products. I could say that I feel disaffection pretty much for most -medieval art- anyway, but a lot of what they painted then, that has become the standard now mostly have to do with Christ or gospels. Some who painted were not even believers but painted faith-related subjects as an interest, I certainly hope not for the “heck” of it. The fact is that if medieval fashion in art was popular art and culture back then, hasn’t popular art moved on since in relation to the popular culture of today? But as far as Christian-faiths are concerned the medieval fashion of art still remains the same, those same icons and representation we take as grounded are still the ones used to portray and seek emotions within us believers of now, which I feel is disaffecting or distancing me.

Now I am a believer in what was spoken in the Gospels and by the prophets of God. I want to be as a much of follower of the Christian way as I will, but when I see that image of Him on the cross it pains me to admit it, (if I feel this then the All-Knowing God must also know too), that I can’t help but not share in the passion of His sacrifice on seeing Him portrayed on that cross. Inside me convictions are lost, and there is no impact when I see it the way I feel there should be. And I leave asking what does the image of him on that cross have to do with me, if I can’t feel anything or the Christ in me remains silent when I see it?

Because let’s admit it, if I were to be given a pamphlet or a message from a Christian what is normally the first thing I see? The image.

I am bewildered and hope that this is not what other believers feel when they view His sacrifice for all mankind in this image-based world.

Peace, from a Prisoner of Consciencern