Speaker: Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj
Main: Genesis 24
Key point: A great revival before the end comes…
Joel 2:28-29 “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.”
If conditions can’t be fulfilled, revival can’t come upon your personal life, your family, your churches, your cities or your nation.
The bride must get ready not only for the coming of the Lord but also for the end-time revival.
When we talk about the bride, we need to qualify one statement: Who is the bride? Every born again believer whether whichever church you are from: Methodist church, Presbyterian church, Catholic church, Lutheran church, which ever church, if you are truly born again washed by the blood of Jesus Christ, you are a member of the body of Christ. However, not everyone in the body of Christ is part of the bride. The body of Christ is different from the bride of Christ. They are not the same. Let me give you a very simple illustration: There are many women in this auditorium. I’m sure there are many unmarried single ladies here in our midst. Let’s suppose, one of you have your wedding so you go around giving your wedding invitation to everyone and the wedding day comes. And the pastor is ready, the church is ready beautifully decorated on your wedding day and the handsome bridegroom is waiting impatiently for his beautiful bride and then when the patient is about to die out, they announce that the bride is coming, then they play the most famous bridal march music. As they were playing, how many women will walk down the aisle to meet the bridegroom, only one, isn’t it? But there are many women in the wedding! However, only one woman who has made herself ready like the bride for the wedding day will walk down the aisle, not all who calls themselves woman will walk down the aisle. What will happen if the entire women walk down? The poor bridegroom is going to have a big problem. He may not know who to choose. So remember, all the women are woman, the bride is also a woman but only she who had made herself ready like the bride to walk down the aisle to meet her bridegroom is qualified. Likewise, not all who are saying, ‘I am of the Lord Jesus Christ.’ is the bride.
Matt 25 talked about 10 virgins getting ready to meet the bridegroom. Five were wise and five were foolish. However, all the 10 are going to meet the bridegroom. When the bridegroom came, the Lord Jesus said very clearly that only five wise virgins who were ready met the bridegroom and went together with Him to the wedding feast. The other 5 foolish virgins who were not ready couldn’t enter the wedding feast. Five went in and five were left out but all the ten were virgins getting ready to meet the bridegroom. The Lord Jesus Christ made it very certain without any room for other thoughts who will be the bride, it’s very simple.
Likewise when the revival comes, you know, most Singaporeans live in flats. In one flat usually there are 12 blocks of flats. For instance, you are living in that particular row, you are one Christian and the rest (11 families) are non Christian. In all the years that you live in that flat, have you really shared the gospel to any one of them? Even if you didn’t share, have you ever brought them to the Lord? Or brought them to a meeting like this? Or at least give them a track and then run away? No. But there will be some Christians who care for their neighbors or loved ones who may give a track or who may evangelize or who may share the gospel or who may bring them to a meeting like this so that they will come into the kingdom of God. I live in Madras City in India. In that particular street where we live, our office is the only Christian house among about 20 very Orthodox Hindu families. But they all are watching our weekly TV programs without fail. Whenever I stepped out of my office to go out anywhere, some of these Orthodox Hindu people will come out to wish me and greet me. So I thought for a long time, I do not know how long we are going to live in that particular street before we move to a bigger place. So I determine in my heart that we’ll never leave that place without everyone of them hearing the Gospel directly from my lips. So I was praying for the good timing, the good way how I could present the Gospel to them. And we produced our first evangelistic VCD about Christmas. So I told my staffs since these would be a Christmas season and during Christmas season, Chinese New Year, Hariraya we all give Kwek kwek to everybody. All the joy of giving kwek kwek, red oranges, bottles of 7-up and Pepsi-cola to neighbors are gone. So I told my staff, in every 20 buckets of sweets, put one VCD to give to every household and tell them “this is a gift from our boss, the priest.” So they went to every house, they knock on the door and I told them if anyone asked you why are you giving this, just tell them, “this is Christmas time, we are sharing our gift with you.” So every neighbor who received our gift, sat down and watch this evangelistic program and from that moment onwards they started watching our weekly TV program. Now, whenever anyone is in trouble, they came knocking on our door to ask me to pray for them. You see, sometimes you can’t directly evangelize but there are so many other different ways of doing it. I just share to you some practical principles how to evangelize. So some of them will pray and get ready for revival, with one revival there will be many who are not interested. Churches will just be a ‘shall-shall’ talk to them. They come on a Sunday; they go back home on a Sunday. Or there are some Christians who only go to churches twice a year, Good Friday and Christmas. These are perennial Christians.
The bride must not only get ready for revival but must be prepared for revival. Sometimes when God sends the wind of revival blowing upon your churches, blowing upon your cities, blowing upon your life, when you missed that wind, you missed that season. You missed it. An opportunity comes for you for your family member to get saved but when you missed it, you missed it for good. You must be prepared to get ready.
On Sunday midnight as I was waiting on God what I should share tonight, on that midnight, the word of the Lord came to me. ‘Turn your bible to Genesis 24’ and as I turn the bible to Genesis 24, very clearly I heard the voice of the Lord Jesus telling me “The Brides preparation for revival.” And as I continually reading this passage of Scripture the Holy Spirit begin to open my eyes to see an entire picture of the bride getting ready for revival in this passage of Scripture. In this passage, you’ll find Abraham becoming very old and he called his servant and commissioned him to go and find a bride for Isaac before Abraham died. So the servant went to find a bride and brought her in married to Isaac. That’s the story you’ll find in Genesis 24. Now look at verse 4-6. Abraham sends a servant to go and bring a bride for Isaac. Now Abraham told his servant, “Go to my father’s house, go among my relatives and bring a bride for my son.” So the servant asked him, “What if the girl will not come to where you are, can I bring your son to where the girl is?” Abraham told him, “No, you will not bring my son to the land where the Lord told me to come out.” This is something very interesting. Before Isaac was born, God told Abraham to come out from his father’s house. What is his father’s house? His father’s house and land is an idol maker. They were hidden worshippers like the Hindus, like the Buddhists, they were worshipping all kinds of gods. Out of the midst of the multitudes of gods, God called Abraham, “Come out! Don’t stay in your father’s house.” Now Abraham is telling his servant, “Don’t bring my son back to the place where God told me to come out.” This is the principle we learn from here, two things. Firstly, the Lord Jesus Christ came to this world to save us and to redeem us from all sins. Now, the Holy Spirit is calling us to come out from where we are living, “Do not partake the sins of the land. Come out!”
In Isaiah 52:11, the Word of the Lord that came to the prophet Isaiah is “Depart! Depart! Do not partake the sins of the land.”
The first condition for the bride to get ready, to be prepared to be ready for the revival to come is you must come out from where you are—compromising lifestyle and unholy lifestyle. What is your lifestyle? I know of a dear sister. This young lady got married to a fine godly man. Two months after their marriage, suddenly her husband died for reasons even the doctors don’t know. So when she became a widow, all her future became dark, no hope. So she went back home. She held a prestigious job in the National ministry of Singapore. Her former boss heard the tragedy that happened to her, personally called her, consoled her and then told her, “Since you are so dear to me and I felt so sympathetic towards your condition today. If you are willing to come back and you want a job, I’ll give you a job in a very same last positioned you had and I will reinstate the last salary that you draw. So think about it.” So she began to think. She thought, “If I stayed home, I’ll become a young new widow who’s going to have recurring thought about the events that happened in my life and I’m going to sit down and cry and cry and cry.” So she went to seek the Lord on what she should do. When she prayed, the Lord told her, “Don’t go back to Egypt, I took you out of Egypt, don’t go back to Egypt.” What the future for her, she doesn’t know but one thing the Lord told her very clearly, “I took you out of Egypt, don’t go back to Egypt.” Abraham came out from his fatherland and he didn’t want him to go back. First thing you must do…where do you live? The bride must come out from where she is and be separated. The Lord said very clearly, “You are in this world but you’re not of the world.”
In Revelation 18:4, you will read a voice coming down from heaven calling out to the people, “Come out! Come out from Babylon, do not partake the sins of Babylon, come out!”
The coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is drawing closer and closer. The birth of every year, I always think, is one year closer to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Just before we can enjoy the revelry of the birth of 2005, now we are at the three quarter of the year. Just like a blinking of an eye, a year passed through so fast. And we are ready to usher in 2006. How many more years do we have before the Lord Jesus Christ comes. Just everybody guess. But this I guarantee you, you don’t have 100 years.
A few months ago, I was speaking at a conference in US and before I spoke that day, they have another speaker, a military coronel from the US armed forces. He is the chief chaplain in the US armed forces so he was invited to come and share something about what God was doing in Iraq, to the Muslim people in Iraq and to the armed forces there and he shared a wonderful testimony of God’s amazing work in the Arab lands. And as he was sharing about what God was doing and how people are getting saved and how they dug up holes in the sand and filled it with water and baptized people there, he mentioned one thing. As he was speaking, he became suddenly quiet for a moment, he glanced at everybody in the auditorium as if he was pondering in his mind, “Should I say or not?” and then he said, “Ok I am going to tell you something, a tough secret information from the pentagon. We may not have more than 10 or 11 years before a major world war takes place from 2005.” Whether it’s true or not, I don’t know but it is a good warning. Supposed it is true, then what? You’ll be left unprepared. If this is true, better to get ready. I’ll tell one simple thing, never take your security for granted. Don’t think everything is perfect in every nation and no disaster can touch you. Look at America today; every day in Newspaper, you’ll know what happened to New Orleans. What I find quite amusing but very sad is this, when they showed pictures of how the hurricane has damaged New Orleans and they showed people sleeping in the streets, begging, and standing in queues getting their ration of food. The headline screamed, “Is this America?” Do you know I read and I re-read those headlines over and over again and today the headlines screamed, “Is this Somalia or America?” Ponder this, great superpower of the world is helpless, how much more any other nation in this world when the Day of the Lord comes? It is a terrible day. No nation on the face of this earth can stand before the great terrible Day of the Lord. Remember this, as long as a nation will honor the Lord God as their God then they are protected. If no nation ever honors the Lord God as their God, they can only hope for God’s mercy.
So when Abraham sent out his servant, you’ll read in verse 11 that the servant took 10 camels and loaded them with goods and went to Abraham’s fatherland to look for a bride for his son. Some interesting things you can find in this Scripture. “The servant took camels…he took 10 camels from his master and departed for all the goods of his master were in his hand and he arose and went to Mesopotamia into the city of Nahor and he made his camels to kneel down outside the city by a well of water, at the time of the evening when the time that woman go out to draw water.” Let’s ponder carefully some key things mentioned in the scripture. Firstly, the servant. We know that it is Abraham’s servant so, how does this apply to us in terms of the bride and revival?
Firstly, the servant here represents the Holy Spirit who is now preparing the bride of Jesus Christ to meet the bridegroom.
The Holy Spirit is He who sanctifies us when you yield your life to the Holy God, when you take all the ugliness within you and you give to God. The Spirit of sanctification, the Spirit of holiness will sanctify you and make you holy to be presented as a holy sacrifice unto God. That is the work of the Holy Spirit; our work is to yield. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to prone, to refine, to purify and to make holy.
Secondly, look at the thing the servant brings–camels.
The camels are carrying goods and accompany the servant. Here the camels signify the angels of God in heaven who are assigned to work together with the bride for revival. You are not alone when you go and share the Gospel with your loved ones. You are never alone. You know, there is a wonderful man of God in India who once had gone to US to preach at a particular church. So after he had finished speaking in this church in Texas, he came down and sat at the front row. Then the senior pastor of the church went up to the pulpit to make one announcement. He said, “As our custom, we’re going to pray for whatever needs you have in your lives, if you are sick in your bodies and you want prayer, get up from your chairs and come to the front.” So this man of God was just bowing his head and prayed. As he was praying, his spiritual eyes were opened and he saw that as people got up from their chairs and came to the front, every believer was led to the altar by an angel. So about several hundred walk down the aisle to be prayed for by the pastors and the elders and hundreds of angels accompanied them and brought them to the front. As he was observing this, the Lord Jesus told him, “Healing the sick is a work I like to do very much, healing their minds, their bodies, healing their souls, healing their spirits.” God delights in that.
Angels of God are always assigned to walk together with us because the Holy Bible says in Hebrews 1:14 that the angels of God are sent to help all those who will inherit salvation. Every born again believer washed by the blood of Jesus Christ are heirs of salvation …angels of God are sent to help all those who are heirs of salvation and not only that, Matthew 13:30 says that the angels of God are involved in revival meetings, they are involved in Salvation works. They work together to bring in the harvest of God. So here in this passage, the servant represents the Holy Spirit, the camels represents the angels.
Now let’s go on and look at another very interesting point here.
In verse 11, he made his camels to kneel down outside the city by a well of water.
In ancient days, many people dug up their own wells and that would be like a family property even in India. Now when you buy a piece of land, you don’t buy a piece of land which has no water. People will get some of these water experts to come and test and see which land has water then they’ll buy a land for which you can make a well for water. In the same way, they found this well of water; he came and stood by the well of water.
Now what are these wells of water? They are areas of revival.
In areas where revival either has taken place or takes place, nothing dies. Let us say for example, in this area, let us say 20 years ago, there was mighty revival in this place and then after that it has died down, no more revival. There are lots of businesses going on. In the natural eyes, the revival seemed to have died but in the eyes of God nothing dies. The angels are stationed there waiting for something to happen, waiting for the bride to come at that place. The wells are areas of revival. The Holy Spirit and angels of God are waiting near the areas of revival. Let me give you one example about this. I live in two places in India; one is in north among the Himalayan Mountains and one in the south. For 17 years of my life I live in the north India in a beautiful place called Darjeeling, beautiful place where the famous tea comes from. In 1997, the Lord told me to begin a youth camp meeting there. He said he’s going to pour out a revival in that area and the whole of the Himalayas will experience a mighty revival from the Lord. He said very clearly to me “but first the revival will begin among the young people before the entire region get revived.” Therefore we organized a youth camp meeting and from 1997 up to this year, every January we have a grand youth meeting where about 600 to 700 young people come from all over Himalayas for a 6 days celebration. And every youth who is not born again who enters the auditorium will never enter the auditorium without getting a touch from the Holy God, they got saved, baptized in the Holy Ghost and their spiritual eyes are opened to see the glories of God. So this takes place every year. Now on the third year, the crowd was growing bigger. The biggest auditorium in that town can only sit 530 people but we were breaking safety laws by making people sit everywhere. I had no other choice. So one day, I began to pray and asked the Lord to show us another place where we had a bigger auditorium that can sit 1000 people so that I don’t have to turn away any people. As I was praying, an angel of the Lord came from heaven and he told me, “It is appointed for you to remain in this place and not move out of this place.” So I told the angel, “If we don’t move out of this place, we’ll have this problem. So what shall we do? Can you move the heart of the government to turn out this auditorium and make it sit 1000 people?” He never seemed as if he was listening to what I was saying but he looked at me and he said that in the mid-40s, a mighty revival broke out in that region and what ever happened during the revival is exactly as how you would read in the book of Acts 2-4, mighty signs and wonders took place. Everyone who would enter in that one particular church, would get save. Even one mile before they were coming near to the church building, they will fall down on their faces and call upon the name of the Lord to get saved. This revival lasted for three years. After that, it died down. That was in 1942-1945. And the angel told me, “This place is the place of revival so stay here and from here the wells of revival will flow out into all over this Himalayan region.” You see it happened in 1945 but we started this meeting in 1997. For almost 52 years, they were all waiting there for another person to come, for another move of God to come, when that move came, what the old well was not taken away. The new came and dug up the old wells of revival and gush forth rivers of living water to water every dry and thirsty soul who came there. So, wells of revivals are areas, places where there are revivals that have taken place.
In verse 11, the second part says, “they made the camels to kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of the evening when the time that women go out to draw water.” Please take note “the time that women go out to draw water.” It seems they just didn’t go at any time they like, there was a time, certain time, during that certain time, let’s say 3 o’clock in the afternoon. During that 3 o’clock in the afternoon, all the women in that village will go to draw water.
What is the time? There is a time of refreshing that is going to come from the Lord very soon.
Acts 3:19 “A time of refreshing is going to come very soon.”
When that time comes, you must know the seasons and times of God and be prepared. You must know when that time is coming. If you don’t know when that time is coming, 3 o’clock will come and go away and you may not have drawn your water. You must know the seasons and the times. Don’t just about your life as if nothing take place in this world.
While our life is going on in this world, have you ever thought that all those creatures living under the seas, their life are also going on? Life goes on everywhere. And the poor birds are flying around looking for food to eat. In this world and in the world above and in the world below, life is going on. Likewise, life is going on in two other spiritual worlds– the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of hell. The kingdom of heaven is always conscious of an activity for salvation of souls, for the bride to get ready and for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. I have a dear friend, a prophet of God in South India. Recently while he was fasting and praying, he shared with me, he felt his spirit was caught up to heaven just like you read in Rev 4:1 where the apostle John was caught up to heaven and he saw the things that were taking place in heaven. When he came and stood in heaven, an angel met him and said, “Come.” So the angel took his hand, brought him to a place where there was a huge square and the angel told him, “Just stand here and see.” And in that square, there were about several thousands of redeemed saints and angels of God just worshipping God. They were lifting up their hands. They were prostrating down the floor, they were kneeling down, and they were just joyfully worshipping God. And the Lord Jesus Christ stood in what look like a stage and they were all worshipping the Lord. This went on for some time. After that it seemed that there was a certain time for worship. When that time was over, they heard like the sound of the ringing of the bell. When the bell rang, the worship ended. And in split second, everyone was rushing here and there to go about something that they all need to do. He was so surprised. He was just standing there and looking but neither one of them bangs each other. All the several thousands of them were moving at amazing speed, rushing. He was wondering, “What’s happening, for one moment they were all calmly worshipping the Lord, the next moment they all are rushing about.” The angel who stood beside him was watching everything and observing his reaction. Knowing what was going on, he smiled and told him, “Do you know why everybody is rushing so hurriedly? Time will delay no longer. Jesus Christ is coming soon.”
Time will delay no longer. Heaven is in a great state of preparation for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. What about our lives? We are so busy building our own empire in this world. We are so busy trying hard to fight with each other. We are so busy struggling to overcome the weaknesses of our flesh. We are so busy building a career, building a name for yourself like the tower of Babel. We are so busy getting into marriage, coming out of marriage. Oh yes, isn’t it taking place? It’s like changing clothes today. When you walk down the aisle, you make the covenant, ’till death do us part.’ That death today has a different meaning, not physical death. A death is a quarrel. A death is ‘I can’t agree with the way you press the toothpaste.’ We laugh but it’s really happening. Incompatibility–if our parents had thought like that, where will we be today? Our aged parents never lived happily ever after. They all live cats and dogs’ life but they put up with the cat and the dog. Isn’t it?
You know, all these are signs of what the Lord Jesus Christ prophesies in Matthew 24. They’ll be given in marriage and taken in marriage. It’s happening. You’re giving and you’re taking it back. Understand the seasons and the times. When the evening time came they all went to draw water. When the time for your call comes, are you prepared? Are you ready? When the time comes for you to move, are you willing to move? When the time comes to move, when you don’t move, that time will move away. The cloud passes you by and you’re staying in your old place. You will die there. Your calling dies with you, your anointing dies with you, you die. But let me tell you one thing, the Scripture says, “The gifts and callings of God are without repentance but when you repent, God will restore. However, the missed season will not come back to you again. When you miss that season, God will raise up another person to do the job. And you miss the special grace, special favor, special place that God has reserved for you, you missed it. And it will be given to another man who is willing to answer the call. You know the life you live in this world is temporary. It’s not permanent. The life that you’re going to live in the next world is permanent. So we should have eternity in mind when you live in this world. Don’t live a life as if eternity doesn’t exist.
When the season comes, are you ready? If you read Isaiah 6, the prophet Isaiah saw a vision of God’s glory. As he was seeing the glory, he heard a voice saying, “Who will go on our behalf?” He never look to the left or to the right, he immediately answered, “Here am I Lord, sent me.” He was prepared. Are you prepared for the seasons and the times of God upon your life or are you just living by like a dog’s life?
Verse 15, “It came to pass before he had finished praying that behold Rebekah came out was born to Bethuel son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her jar (pitcher) upon her shoulder.”
The bride must carry the burden for revival. You must carry the burden for revival. Hoping, wishing will not bring a revival. The bride must carry the burden for revival and must know where to draw waters of revival from. You know, the Scripture says that when you come and stand before the judgment seat of Christ, every man must give an account of his life.
Acts 1:8 “You shall be witnesses unto me in all the world.”
Let’s say 10 years since you have been saved till today, have you been a witness for the Lord God? If no, when you come and stand before the judgment seat of Christ, if you are called to give an account and asked “What did you do to be a witness for me?” Will you say, “O Lord, I was so busy building my career.”? Can you say that? Many people are going to say that. But those who say that will not be the bride. If you’re so busy building your career, now please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that you should not have a career. But the career must not become your idol that you cannot survive without it. When it becomes a consuming passion that you give up your relationship with the Lord for your career then it becomes an idol. Ponder in your heart. When a person, let us say, come from a Hindu family or a Chinese family to accept the one true living God, we may have physically given up idols but there may be different kinds of idols still lodged in your hearts. And you were no better than you were before if there were idols still in your heart. Anything that takes the place of God even if in the ministry is an idol before the eyes of God. And there can’t be two gods in a person’s life. There’s room only for one chair.
When you stand before the judgment seat of Christ, what will you give as an account before Him concerning your life? Every man, every believer is first a minister. You minister unto God–your worship, your giving, your thanksgiving as your sacrifices is your first ministry to God. Are we doing that or are we so busy that we don’t even have time for personal devotion? We have our quiet time once a week but we eat 3x or 5x a day for 7 days a week. Something is wrong with the life we live and yet we hope to be part of the bridal company. We want to be caught up in the rapture; it’s not as easy as you think it is. If it’s easy, we all are wasting all our time sitting here.
Verse 16 “Rebekah was very fair to look upon and she was a virgin.” She was very fair and very beautiful, that’s what the other translation says and she was a virgin. How the servant knew she was a virgin, I don’t know.
In the 16 years of my ministry in Tibet, the Tibetan women have special clothes they wear. A virgin woman dress differently to a married woman. So by the clothes they wore, you can say whether she’s a virgin or a married woman. All married woman have an apron on their waist and a virgin girl never wears an apron. So when a young man looks at a woman, because even all the Tibetan women look so young like a virgin. So they have identification problem. When you live up so high in the Himalayan mountain, you know, you don’t aged. You’re so young and beautiful, everybody who wants to go to Himalayas?
So she (Rebekah) was so fair and so beautiful and a virgin. A perfect qualification to be a bride. If you read Esther 2:7, Esther had similar qualifications, she was fair and beautiful to look upon and she was a virgin. Esther and Rebekah have similar characteristics.
The Bible tells us in Revelation 19:7-8 that the bride made herself ready to meet her bridegroom for the rapture of the church. She has made herself ready. Now look at these two words: fair and beautiful. Fair is what is on the skin, the color of your skin; beautiful is something that is within you that which cannot be seen. So you need two kinds of holiness: an internal holiness and an external cleanliness.
2 Corinthians 7:1 “Be clean and be holy.” Be clean in your flesh and be holy in your spirit. Two kinds.
Rev 19:7-9 “A garment was given to the bride and the garment was clean and white.” Clean and white: cleanliness, holiness. Two qualifications that are necessary. And the Scripture says in v.16,”She went down to the well and filled her pitcher and came up.” There are different kinds of wells. One is a small well where you have a pail strung around or attached on a string and using a pulley, you’ll pull it. You drop the bucket on the water and then you pull it. Then there’s a kind of huge well that is very deep. There are steps from the top to the bottom and the waters do not rise up to the top, they are at the bottom. So if you want to draw the water, you have to go down the steps to the bottom and use your bowls of pitchers to draw water and then walk up.
“Rebekah went down the deep well to draw water.” That speaks about praying for revival. So the bride must pray for revival. If you don’t pray, the revival will never come.
Verse 18-19 shows about Rebekah’s kindness to not only give water to the servant but also water for the camels. She was so kind to even care for those animals. It shows her kindness and her servant heart to help. This speaks of the bride of Jesus Christ that must be full of the fruit of the Spirit and caring for the poor.
Before Galatians 5 mentioned the fruit of the Spirit, it talks about some of our lifestyles. It talks about 17 kinds of lifestyles that are unholy in the eyes of God. These are the 17 works of the flesh. Now I want you to humbly ponder and check your heart, to see how many of these 17 are present in your life?
Gal 5:19 “The works of the flesh are manifested which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanliness, lust viciousness, adultery, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousy, wrath, anger, factions, seditions, heresies, envies, murder, drunkenness and rebelling. And the like of which I tell you before that I also have told you in time passed, that they who do such things (even not all 17 but one is enough) …they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Very simple it is written here. You don’t need any theological dictionary to explain to you. If you’re going to have this all un-Christ like nature inside you, then you’re filled with darkness. If you are filled of darkness, how can you enter into the city of light? Rather you should have the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22).
Nine kinds versus 17 kinds, which do you have? The bride must be adorned with the fruit of the Spirit and be caring for the poor.
Matthew 25:32-46 “When the Lord Jesus Christ came, He looked at the sheep.” People in this world will be divided into two groups–the sheep on the right and the goats on the left. And He says only one thing, “When I was hungry, you fed me; when I was poor, you helped me; when I was naked, you clothed me; when I was in prison, you came to visit me.” That is caring for the poor. The bride of Christ must care for the poor. Are we caring for the poor? The early church in Acts 2:45 and 4:34-35 practice caring for the poor. That is the true bride. She cares for the poor.
Verse 22, “And it came to pass as the camels finished drinking, the man took a golden ring of half a shekel and two bracelets …”
When the servant felt that Rebekah was the right bride for Isaac, he took two kinds of jewelries. One was a nose ring and the other were bracelet on her both hands. Why of all jewelries, only this two kinds? Now, there’s something very significant here.
A nose ring represents the knowledge to know the ways of God. The bride of Christ must know the ways of God.
Hosea 14:9 “You must know the ways of God.”
Not only knowing but two other things besides knowing the ways of God:
- Keep, observe the ways of God. (Psalms 18:21)
- Be devoted to the ways of God. (2 Chronicles 17:6)
If you want to follow God, you must know His ways. Nose is for smelling. You must know which way the Lord is coming, which way the Lord is going, which way the wind is blowing, which way it’s blowing out, you must know the way. If you don’t know the way, you’ll be like the blind person just walking about everywhere.
Secondly, bracelets. It always refers to doing the works of God.
What are the works of God?
Mark 16:17-18 “Every believer can heal the sick, cast out demons, perform signs and wonders…”
Every believer, not only those who work in full-time ministry, every believer (can do the works of God) Which means if you have a headache, if you have any sickness in your bodies, don’t run to your pastor or to any preacher, lay your hands on your head and command the sickness to leave. Will it leave? It will certainly leave because the Lord Jesus says, “…he who believes.” Do you believe? If you do, you qualify. So why are we running to every preacher in the world to ask them to pray for us? It’s because we are not behaving like a bride. That’s our problem. You’re not behaving like a bride. We are behaving like babies and cry to our mommies.
In the early church, every believer there was a miracle working person.
Acts 4:33; 5:12-16 says that with great power, the apostles perform signs and wonders and there was a mighty revival in the early church because of signs and wonders following…
The eastern world, from the 26 years of my ministry experience, I tell you that the eastern world will be drawn to Christ because of the signs and wonders they see. When we conduct our crusade in India, multitudes come to the foot of the cross by the signs and wonders and miracles they see before their very eyes. When they see supernatural signs taking place like the Lord Jesus Christ standing before everyone on the stage, they got saved, not simply the preaching of the Word. The early church was born. When Jesus Christ was in this world, He did not only teach the Word, He performs signs and wonders. And He said very clearly that this generation will always look for signs and He performs the signs when there are occasion demanded.
This is the bride. The bride must get prepared for the revival that is going to come soon. The bride must get ready for revival and must pray for revival. When the bride does these two things then the third thing will be done by God.
Zechariah 12:10 “He will pour out the Spirit of grace.”
When He pours out His grace, people everywhere will call upon the name of God to get saved.
God is desirous to give, are we ready to receive?