The Ministry of the Bride
The Ministry of the Bride — Jay Zinn
“Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars (Rev 12:1).” —NKJV
“Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish (Eph 5:25-28).” —NKJV
“I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ (2 Cor 11:2).” —NKJV
“Then [at that time] the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom (Matt 25:1).” —NKJV
You cannot read these verses above without concluding that Jesus intends to have for himself a bride equal to himself (i.e., pure and without sin). It can be no other way. Not a cold bride. Not a lukewarm bride. But a hot, devoted, passionate, glorious bride who is chaste, holy, having no spot or wrinkle, not a blemish of sin in any aspect of her being. It is a theme that threads its way in types and shadows throughout the entire Bible and culminates in the symbolic imagery of the book of Revelation.
Revelation 12:1 describes such a bride in the woman clothed with the sun (Father God), standing on the moon (Son of God), and crowned with a garland of twelve stars (Spirit of God). Here we see a radiantly, perfect, sinless bride, wrapped in the fullness of the flawless godhead, prepared for the coming of her bridegroom. How does this come about? Why does it come about? What does God have in mind for such a glorious, victorious church in the last days before Jesus returns?
Jesus will have a bride company that will come from the church but won’t consist of the entire body of Christ. This company will be “overcomers” of the world, the flesh, and Satan at that time. She’ll receive the ability to operate in the fullness of the measure and stature of Christ Ephesians 4:12, in the full measure of the Holy Spirit, to not only do the works that Christ performed on earth but even greater works than those (John 14:12). The “something evidential” (marturion) I spoke of in the last blog. The result of a supernatural event that must occur in her so unbelievable, so incredible that it will surpass the miracles done in the early church and usher in the greatest harvest of souls in church history!
Such a released power requires something well beyond the current state of the church or the current capacity of the modern saint. The same level of miraculous works done in the early church, the expected “norm” of the supernatural power of that day, will be surpassed by a “double portion” of rain and anointing in the days leading up to Christ’s return. There is a precondition, however, to this unprecedented level of signs and wonders demonstrated through the church. Those who have made themselves ready will walk in such power.
Picture the devastation following the sixth seal and the first four trumpets mentioned in my last blog. A global earthquake, one-third of the ocean turned to blood, one-third of all sea creatures and ships destroyed, one-third of the earth’s freshwaters become undrinkable, and one-third of the celestial lights (sun, moon, and stars) become cloaked in darkness for a third part of the day and night. Business-as-usual will suffer a harsher disruption than the coronavirus has created. Billions will die. Billions will starve. Billions will lose jobs. Billions will be injured. Telecommunication technology will cease after the electrical grids are shut down by the global earthquake of the sixth seal. Put all that chaos and devastation together and imagine the sudden entrance of the bride company walking in the full stature and measure of Christ.
During the devastation created by the trumpets, the bride will raise the dead, heal the sick and injured, miraculously produce food to feed the starving, heal the injured, open the eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf, cast out demons, and shake up the cold and lukewarm saints. By these signs and wonders, millions upon millions of lost souls cannot deny the bride’s claim to be operating in the name and power of the risen Lord Jesus Christ. How does this miraculous phenomenon occur? The three annual feasts of Israel will provide that clue.
Any good novelist creates “foreshadowing” along the way to drop hints as to what lies ahead in the story. For example, in a western novel, the hero walks into the living room of a rancher’s house and scans the surroundings. Above the fireplace, he sees a gun rack holding a Winchester rifle. It serves no other purpose than to “foreshadow” the same gun grabbed in a struggle between the hero and the villain. Like novels, the Bible, too, is filled with “foreshadows.”
The books in the Old Testament carry many types of foreshadows by way of persons, events, or places. The life of Joseph foreshadows the life of Christ. The attempted sacrifice of Isaac’s life by his father, Abraham, foreshadows the sacrifice of Christ for our sins by God the Father. These are a couple of examples, but let’s go to the feasts of Israel to see how they foreshadow three distinct experiences coming to the church.
The first feast in the spring was called Passover. The second feast came fifty days later at the beginning of summer and was called Pentecost. Passover foreshadowed salvation in the experience in the church. Jesus became our Passover lamb who saved everyone that accepted his sacrificial death for the remission of their sins. From that day on, after the Passover of Christ, everyone could be saved and become members of Christ’s body, the church.
Pentecost foreshadowed the experience of the church in the book of Acts in the second chapter. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon the 120 disciples in the upper room to anoint them with power to become witnesses (marturion) and preach the gospel with supernatural evidence that Christ had risen from the dead. The Old Testament Feast of Pentecost was fulfilled experientially in the church.
One last feast remains, which is the feast of Tabernacles (or booths). The church has yet to experience its fulfillment or partake of its benefits. Tabernacles took place in the fall after the seasonal “double portion” of rain finished ripening the crops for their corn, wine, and oil harvest. It is in the fulfillment of this feast when the bride of Christ is revealed to the world in full glory, sometime between the opening of the sixth seal (global earthquake) and the sounding of the first trumpet. I unpack the details and theology behind this teaching in my book, Countdown to Eternity. Here’s how it breaks down:
Spring Harvest (Barley): Passover—Salvation—First Work of Grace
Summer Harvest (Wheat): Pentecost—Holy Spirit Anointing—Second Work of Grace
Fall Harvest (Corn, Wine, Oil): Tabernacles—Fullest Measure of Christ’s Anointing—Third Work of Grace
“Work of Grace” means that nothing received in these feasts is a direct result of human effort at religious works. They are gifts endowed solely by God’s grace through faith in his ability to do so. The fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles occurs when the bridegroom and the bride are united (Matt 25:1-12). She becomes supernaturally commensurate to Christ, i.e., without sin, attaining [by grace] the full measure of the stature of Christ (Eph 4:13).
As I mentioned earlier, not all in the body of Christ [who are alive then] will qualify for the company of believers in the bride (Matt 25:10-13). Those who qualify are watching, waiting, and fully supplied with the oil of passion and love in their lamps (Matt 25:10-13). These are the first to experience the Feast of Tabernacles—the third work of grace to come. After her union with Christ, she’ll go to work, and everyone redeemed during her ministry will be able to experience all three works of grace represented in the feasts.
Through the bride of Christ, the full measure of the Holy Spirit’s power will unleash as a counterpunch to the four trumpets. It’ll be a great time to be alive when Jesus comes to anoint his bride with the full measure of his glory. Through her, the gospel reaches every nation suffering from the aftermath of the last day’s judgments.
As a believer, you are betrothed (or promised) to Christ. You’ve experienced your Passover. But will you be among the wise virgins to experience your Tabernacles? Will your lamp be filled with oil when the bridegroom comes to meet his bride and take her to the wedding banquet and shut the door (Matt 25:10; Rev 19:7)?
Grace and Peace to you all!
Jay Zinn Ministries
Author/Founder of The Discipleship Group
If you would like to partner with me in my ministry to disciple the nations through my discipleship curriculum, you can go to the donate page on my discipleship website.
My next blog: The Fallen Star of the Fifth Trumpet