ANOTHER COFFEE BREAK: THE CALL OF THE BRIDEGROOM, PART 1
28, '12 11:02 PM
By Regner Capener
Greetings to you all in the name of our Lord and Bridegroom, Jesus Christ!
With all that the Lord has been doing in our midst, and all the changes that have been and are occurring, it seemed appropriate to cover the significant things He has been speaking, as well as some of the things we have been experiencing.
First and foremost, the Holy Spirit has been sounding a clarion call to the Bride.That call has been to intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ -- our Bridegroom.This call is different from anything heard in previous generations, or moves of the Holy Spirit.
Where, in previous generations, the call has primarily been heard within the "Church, or corporate "Body of Christ" for a people who would grow up in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, this call has been for a people who will come away from the "Church" -- away from everything they have known in the past: their doctrines, their understanding of the Lord, their "ministries," their gifts, their talents -- everything -- and lay them down.This is a call to an intimate, personal love relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself.His desire is for a Bride whose only priority is Him!Just Him!
Allow me for a moment to sound like a radical.Jesus Christ, our Bridegroom, is not calling us to prayer!Not intercession!Not Bible study!Not preaching or teaching!Not the singing of Praise!Not listening to good teaching CD's, or praise CD's!Not being involved in church activities!Not doing things for the Lord in order to please Him!Not preparing for "end times," or worrying about the "rapture!" Not concentrating on what needs to be done in order to prepare for His coming!Not praying for the sick, ministering deliverance, or laying hands on people!
It sounds almost heretical, doesn't it?These are all the things we have known and done in the past.It is not that there is anything wrong with prayer, intercession, Bible study, preaching, teaching, praise, etc.In fact, these things are a natural part of our existence as believers.All of these things are areas to which the Lord has previously called and directed our attention.It is, simply, that the Holy Spirit is drawing attention to the fact that these things have become priorities which have supplanted the priority which is the deepest desire of our Bridegroom's heart. The Holy Spirit is instructing us to come and spend time with the Bridegroom, and set aside all of these things -- and everything else He addresses -- as the important, priority activities.
Let me clarify these remarks lest the Enemy twist things out of context for some.Each of these areas of activity have been important parts of our foundation in the Lord, and coming to know about Him.They are essential introductions in getting to know Him.Referring to one of the last Coffee Breaks, this is all a part of that period of growth in our growing-up in God we know as "teknon."When we say that the Holy Spirit is calling and instructing the people of God to lay these things down, it is not -- and I repeat, not! -- that they do not continue to be a part of our lives.
What happens is that our emphasis and focus changes.They are no longer the central thrust of our lives.Of course we still pray and intercede as the Spirit of the Lord directs.Reading the Bible and meditating on that which is quickened by the Lord still remains an ingredient of our daily lives.Teaching......well, what do you call this Coffee Break?
Praise as a disciplined part of our daily life is a natural byproduct of our whole relationship with the Lord.It was repeatedly commanded by David -- under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit -- as a daily activity, and he certainly demonstrated it with his assignment of the families of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun to the daily ministry of praise and worship unto the Lord.
Yet, we are instructed not to stand still -- to be content doing the same things we have always done.We are being called onward.We are being called into His presence.We are being called to intimacy with Him.
Most prayer is inherently one-way communication.It incorporates supplication, intercession, pleadings and simple requests.Prayer -- or that which we think of as prayer, anyway --is something which puts us in the role of the supplicant.The Lord Jesus Christ is looking for a whole lot more out of His Bride than "supplicants." While prayer begets answers, it does not beget the kind of intimacy that the Lord is after.
(I know this is going to get me in trouble with a lot of folks who will think I've wandered off the reservation and gotten myself into heresy.Bear with me, people!Bear with me.When I refer to "prayer" in this context, I'm only speaking of "prayer" within the traditional use of the word, NOT in the true scriptural context!)
Bible reading and meditation serve a wonderful purpose in that we can learn pattern principles of the heart's desire of the Bridegroom as we allow the Holy Spirit to teach us.The preaching and teaching we have received -- and continue to receive -- out of the life experiences of those who have learned and received from the Holy Spirit provides the fundamental foundations of growth in the way we relate to the Lord.Pattern principles, however, are no substitute for that real and personal, intimate love relationship sought after by the Lord.
Praise is an act of our will.It requires a mental thought process.With praise, we extol the Lord for His wonderful works and His greatness.We laud Him for the things He has done, and is doing.But praise is not worship, and worship is not praise.Praise comes from the intellect while worship comes from the spirit.
Jesus said, "An hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and truth, for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.God is a Spirit; and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth."(see John 4:23-24)
The call of the Paraklete, the Holy Spirit, therefore, is for a people who will "come away" with Him -- in the realm of the Spirit.This is a call to intimacy with Jesus Christ.
He does not want us to come predicated on the things we have done, or are doing.He is not impressed with our gifts, our talents, or our I.Q. since they came from Him to begin with.He is not impressed with our "ministerial" titles.He does not want us coming to "study" Him.He does not want us coming as supplicants, or intercessors.He wants us to come as His loving Bride, whose first and only priority is to love Him, and know Him.
Everything we have done in the past -- all the previous moves of the Holy Spirit -- have served to help us learn about Him.We have learned about His graces. We have learned about His gifts, and how to operate in them. We have learned about His ways, and caught glimpses of His plans and desires for the future.None of these things, however, have brought us into a place where we know Him as He knows us.None of these things, as wonderful as they have been, have brought us into the Holy of Holies.None of these things have brought us into a relationship with our Bridegroom-to-be which separates us from all activities, all doctrinal predispositions, and all other people so that we can be alone with Him.
Hence, the call of the Holy Spirit (and this call is going forth on a world-wide basis) is for believers who will become His Bride -- not just servants, and not just friends.It is a call tocome away with Him into His secret place, and be alone with Him.(See Song of Solomon 2:14, Psalm 91:1.)This is a call to know Him -- not simply know about Him, His ways, His gifts, His graces, His ministries, etc. -- to know Him as our other self; and to be known as His counterpart, His other self: the Bride whom He has prepared as His co-equal, groomed, fitted, trained and equipped to sit with Him on His throne.
This is a call to know Him after the Spirit -- not after our flesh -- and, not after our intellect.This is a call to WORSHIP!It is, first and foremost, a call to personal worship -- a call to separate ourselves unto Him.
(By this, I don't mean that we should run away and hide in the wilderness, or to cut ourselves off from others.)We may, indeed, find ourselves cut off from others because we no longer perform to their expectations, or measure up to their religious standards.Let's make it clear, however, that we are not (and should never be) the ones who are cutting ourselves off.
A further note while we are on this topic: There is a dividing and separating which is taking place which we have nothing to do with.As the Holy Spirit calls, and we respond, there are brethren and sisters who, for reasons we do not know or understand, either have not heard, or have not responded to the call of the Bridegroom. Frequently, these are friends whom we have known, loved, and fellowshipped with for many years.
Our response to the Bridegroom's call necessarily causes separation. It is not something we choose or desire -- and it may not be a long-lasting separation -- but when we respond to the call to "come away", it is not a call to "come away with" our brethren and sisters: it is a call to come away with the Bridegroom.Hence, our response produces something within our spirits towards the Lord Jesus Christ which others may not understand, and is foreign to prior upbringing and indoctrination within the "church" structure.
Only as our brethren respond themselves will the gap be bridged and understanding be generated within their spirits.We do not want them cut off.We want to see them respond to the "romantic" beckoning of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is, and must be, however, a decision which is strictly between them and the Holy Spirit.
The call of the Bridegroom is, secondly, a call to corporate worship.By this, I am referring to a gathering together of those who have individually heard His call and responded: Ekklesia in its purest form!These are those who have responded to the call of the Bridegroom, "Come away with me, my Beloved!"
They have left all to be alone with Him. In the corporate setting, the Holy Spirit brings these individuals together to experience a unique expression of intimacy in Him: unique in the sense that it is not available in any other way, and unique in the sense that none of us have ever before seen or heard the Bridegroom express Himself in such an extraordinary way.
Within this corporate setting, we find ourselves literally transported beyond our earthly setting into a dimensionwhere the Lord reveals the things nearest and dearest to His heart; and where He allows us to see and experience His purposes -- then respond to Him.We are enabled to see, in graphic visual manner, events unfolding in the heavenlies, and instructed how to proceed.
Where, in time past, the focus of our attention has frequently been on intercession, or prayer for certain individuals, or the unfolding of specific events, we now find that with the focus of attention on ministering to the Lord -- worshiping and adoring Him -- things are accomplished in the realm of intercession without attention being specifically given to it.Needs are met, provision is made, bondage is broken, people are healed or delivered, families see the intervention of the Lord in their affairs, etc.It occurs, however, as Bridegroom and Bride -- in union -- accomplish it as a matter of natural course by virtue of their being joined together. There is singleness of purpose in this union -- and singleness of action.
There is a power and authority that none of us could possibly imagine released in the midst of this corporate worship. It is important to note that this is something the Lord does, and not something which we accomplish by any act of our will.There are no formulas to follow which can bring any of this about.It all takes place at His will and choosing in the midst of our corporate gatherings.
I've been reminiscing a bit, thinking back over the past 20-plus years since the Lord began to bring us into this dimension.None of this happened or began immediately when we first began to gather together for this kind of worship.Earle, Marcia, Della and I had been gathering together daily for months, disciplining ourselves to meet for worship, even if all we had was ten or fifteen minutes out of the day, in the midst of unbelievably hectic work schedules.
As we continued to meet daily, the Lord began to give us these experiences.At first they were sporadic. As the worship continued, however, we began to experience visions. The corporate gatherings increased in the number of people, and we found that we were, from time to time, being literally picked up and transported into the heavenlies. Sometimes this happened with only one or two people during the worship, and sometimes with many.
(I do not mean to imply that we were physically picked up -- that is, in the flesh.Rather, this happened (and continues to this day) in a spiritual dimension where we lost our awareness ofthose present; and the Lord transported us in the same way that the Apostle Paul relates in II Corinthians 12:2-4.)
It is important to remember that these experiences were not (nor can they be) the purpose of the corporate gathering.The excuse that "I am not an accomplished musician or singer," will not wash.It matters not whether you can sing like Whitney Houston, or carry a tune in a bucket.One does not have to be an Andres Segovia or a Chet Atkins to pick up the guitar and play.
We do not come to spend time with the Lord with expectations predicated on our musical skills or accomplishments -- even though those skills are a blessing from the Lord.Our gathering for worship is not a musical performance based in one's musicianship or vocal skills.There have been times when we have gathered with no instruments at all!
Two of the songs on one of our early recordings, THEBRIDE'SRESPONSE,"Arise,My Love, My Fair One," and, "I Will Come Away," came to Della when she was alone with the Lord -- and not even around others in a corporate setting. The Lord gave Earle the music to "The Processional," while he was driving down the freeway in his truck, worshipping the Lord.He grabbed his pocket recorder and whistled the tune into it in order to remember it and share it with me later.The Lord gave me "Arise, My Beloved! Arise!" when I was by myself in the bathtub.The common denominator in these is that they all came while we were worshiping -- alone.
By the same token, much of our music comes spontaneously while we are gathered together corporately.There are no formulas for this.The lack of musical backgrounds cannot be an excuse for not gathering.For those who struggle to enter into worship because of past programming within the structured "church," or have only understood and participated in praise, this should not be a block.The Lord takes us where we are.It is only necessary to ask Him to place a spirit of worship within you and to build upon it.He will do it -- in abundance!
We have been gone from Trails' End for 15 years but the gatherings continue, and the spontaneous praise, worship, prayer and intercession all continue.Being involved in this kind of spontaneous praise and worship as a musician is still amazing to me!I have frequently said to Rich Warren (who mostly plays the bass) that I find it totally astounding to watch him.We get started with some piece of spontaneous praise or worship and he just sits back, closes his eyes and gets lost in the Spirit.
We may have never played or even heard the music before, but he listens with his spirit to the flow of what the Holy Spirit is giving and tracks the music, hitting the right bass note flawlessly.He doesn't watch me, he doesn't pay attention to how my fingers are positioned on the neck of the guitar in order to get some cue as to where I may go next, and we don't have any discussion between us as to what we're doing.It just flows!
We continue to experience an incredible peace and joy which envelops our whole beings in the midst of this worship.It is transmitted through the music in a manner which defies natural explanation.Change is taking place in our beings as a result of living in this worship.We don't fully understand, yet, all that is taking place but know that the change is a product of the continuous presence of the Lord.
We are simply responding to the call of the Bridegroom to the Bride.
More to follow in our next Coffee Break.
"This a moment that I am drawing the line, and earthly orders are coming from the heavenly realms. Tune your ears to hear the instructions of Heaven, for you are living in a strategic moment when you will see kingdoms that have not been able to come down, come down. New strategies are coming down, and it is a strategy that will pierce the deepest darkness that could not be pierced in the past. Listen to the sounds of Heaven, for in the sounds of Heaven, you will hear your next step!"(Prophetic Word from Chuck Pierce)
Blessings on you!
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