The Lord is working on His Bride. As national turmoil increases, and believers are challenged and threatened on a daily basis, the Lord is preparing and equipping us to become a glorious church. In getting ready for the supernatural outpouring of the Holy Spirit to come, the Lord wants us to recognize and discern the character of His glory, for Religion is about to become unglued! He is about to manifest His glory in profound ways and is calling us to work together so that the corporate Bride can walk as one in His purpose. This means we are going to have to get over some of our differences and begin to focus on the non-negotiables of our faith.
DISCERN HIS GLORY
“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14 ESV)
It is not just His glory that will fill the entire earth, but the knowledge of His glory. This is the ability to perceive, understand, recognize, and embrace the essence of a supernatural God and the realm in which He lives. Part of knowing God is knowing where He comes from. As we learn more about heavenly realities, we see a bigger picture of Who God really is and what His purpose is for us here.
There are forerunners, even now, who are being caught up into the third heaven and having supernatural encounters, just like the apostle Paul. They are being used to help prepare the church for a dramatic increase of supernatural activity on the earth in the days to come. We need to pay attention. There will always be counterfeits, but only because there is a real and tangible realm that is beyond us. We must know the difference and celebrate this realm where seeming impossibilities are natural. The Holy Spirit is pouring out increased wisdom and revelation for the very purpose of knowing Him – and the heavenly realms – better (Ephesians 1:17-20). The Lord wants us to increase in this understanding so that we can engage with Him, as well as bring many others into the kingdom realities of heaven on earth.
I had an experience a few weeks ago where our garage got flooded by an unexpected water break. Nothing got damaged except 2 family Bibles that just happened to be in a carboard box sitting on the floor. The one was over 100 years old and was a Family Bible that was so huge, it was only meant as a centerpiece. The ornately-decorated covers protected much of the book, but the spine of the Bible became unglued. And, though many of the pages were waterlogged, the interior words and pictures were preserved. The other Bible was smaller but also had the same wrinkled effect. They were both so impacted by the water, they were forever altered, even though their essence was protected.
The Lord spoke to me through this to indicate that the coming FLOOD of the HOLY SPIRIT was going to be messy. It was going to impact many religious mindsets from the past that focused solely on appearance rather than on the content inside. Not only will this coming wave of glory and Fear of the Lord forever alter the appearance of kingdom realities, but it will cause many religious minds to become “unglued!” Yet, the integrity and Spirit of God’s Word will remain.
When this coming wave of glory comes, everything will change. Nothing will be the same and we will no longer “judge by the cover.” For those who have learned to recognize God’s glory and the work of the Holy Spirit, a new paradigm will emerge and kingdom realities will displace old belief systems that no longer bring life. However, for some, the changes will be so outside their comfort zone, they will be unable to “hold it together.” The Lord is telling us now so that we can work to preserve the unity of our faith through those things that truly make us one.
“For through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone.” (Ephesians 2:18-20 ESV)
The expressions of our faith and how things look will vary, but the essence of God’s Word and His character and nature, will always remain the same. If we just stick together, we won’t have to become unglued!
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DOGMA AND DOCTRINE
Dogma represents those beliefs that are non-negotiable for a Christian. They are the essentials to our faith that are timeless and eternal (the virgin birth, inerrancy of Scripture, the physical death and resurrection of Jesus, etc.). Doctrines, on the other hand, are interpretations about various issues that are not as clear-cut (water baptism, end-times theology, leadership roles in the church, etc.). In addition, all believers have OPINIONS about these doctrines and practices of faith, based on their backgrounds, experiences, and personal preference.
The body of Christ cannot afford to be divided over doctrines or opinions. We will never agree on all our doctrines, and we most certainly will never agree on our opinions! However, we can agree on those timeless scriptural truths and principles that set us apart as believers in Christ. This is what must be encouraged, celebrated, and made priority in the days to come. It is the unconditional love of the Father, salvation through Jesus Christ, and the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit that reflect and illustrate just Who our God is. We must acknowledge and honor each of these aspects of the Godhead if we are to see the fullness of heaven’s glory released.
If we are to be a Bride without spot or wrinkle, it will only come as we purpose to walk and work together, even through our various perspectives, ideologies, and beliefs. Even as we continue processing various doctrines and growing in our faith practices, we can still stand as one so that our combined understanding and knowledge of the glory of the Lord can fill the whole earth.
“Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts (Zechariah 4:6)