Just a few short weeks ago, Tony and I attended the European Leaders Summit, led by the European Regional Committee, in Krakow, Poland. I might add that going to Poland in January is not the balmiest time of the year to visit this beautiful city.
However, being with all of our Aglow brothers and sisters was a wonderful and warm experience. I have said it before, but meeting up with the Aglow family anywhere in the world is like having known someone all of your life. You are instant family. Only the work of the Holy Spirit and our mutual love of Jesus could produce such a phenomenon.
There were some 30 nations represented. Worship was led by two women from Great Britain, Sarah White, and Amy Coulbeck, along with a violinist, Ruzanna Torosyan, the National President of Armenia. Again, the expression of our mutual love of God and our desire to exalt His name lifted the atmosphere to a different place.
The speaker this year was Asher Intrater from Jerusalem. Asher spoke four times and each message was filled with revelation, anointing, humor, yet with the seriousness, he carries regarding the preparation of God’s people for the end times and the second coming of Jesus. One phrase that he spoke has continually run through my heart and mind. “It is time to warn people of the evil that is coming.” As believers, I know that we all walk with an awareness of the times in which we live, yet as Asher spoke out these very serious words, something stepped up in my heart. The time is closer and the need is greater than we allow ourselves to realize.
Arise, shine; for your light has come!
His messages included familiar words from Isaiah 60:1-3. “Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you.”
He added this comment as he began to speak in relation to this scripture of arising and shining. “I felt in prayer today that the Lord, Yeshua, wanted to say to you, thank you. Thank you for the leadership of Aglow. Thank you for all of you at Aglow and thank you for you Aglow throughout Europe. Thank you for walking with Him and being His light in our world!”
The Glorified Bride
The particular focus I want to bring to this blog is his message on The Glorified Bride. He spoke from Psalm 45:1-2. You are fairer than the sons of men; Grace is poured upon Your lips; Therefore God has blessed You forever.
He said, when you receive Yeshua, you get all of the people that come with Him. That is not always an easy concept. Jesus is both the King of Israel and the Head of the Church. For a Christian who receives Jesus, you get the nation of Israel together with Him. And for a Jewish person, coming to belief in Yeshua, that is not an easy concept. He has to receive all of the Gentile church. Let me add something comical here that Asher shared with us. He grew up in a Synagogue. He said, “I had never been in a church in my life. In fact, I remember once when I came into a church it was for a wedding in a Catholic church. I had my dad on one side and my son on the other side. As we walked in, there was a giant crucifix. It seemed like it was 10 meters wide.” These three Jewish men are walking in and look up at Jesus on the cross. “My dad leaned over and whispered to my son, ‘look, you had better be careful, look what they did to the last Jew that came into this place.’”
Can you imagine the obstacles that must be overcome in the mind of a Jewish person? While this is a rather humorous example that took place in Asher’s life, it reveals the hidden thinking in the mind of some Jewish people.
In our understanding, when a Jew becomes a believer in Jesus, he becomes involved in a larger picture than what he has known. He is now part of a worldwide body called The Church (or The Body of Christ).
Remember what Jesus said regarding the treasure in the field. (Matt. 13:44) The Kingdom of God is like a treasure hidden in a field. You cannot buy the treasure only; you have to buy the whole field. So, when we want Jesus, because He is the treasure, we also get the whole field along with Him.
Ephesians 1:15 refers to all those who come to faith in the Lord Jesus as saints! You may be thinking, “Well I know a few who I might not call a saint.” But from Heaven’s perspective, we are all called saints. Every single person that has been born again and filled with the Holy Spirit is a saint of God. And we are called to love that group of people.
Yeshua is a Husband and He has a bride, a wife. It is all of us together. The Bible calls this in Greek, the Ecclesia. It can mean a local congregation of faith, and it also means all of the people of God together.
Think about the fact that Yeshua is beautiful and glorious. His love for us pulls us up into that place of beauty and glory. His desire, His passion for His bride, lifts us all up into a place where we become beautiful; we become glorious. We are filled with the same Spirit that He has.
We are being challenged to love all of the saints. We are being called to enlarge our hearts to a huge degree, more than any of us have ever experienced. He is calling us to love as we have never loved before…and it is to include all of the saints.
Think of this great expansion. There are saints in every nation, every color, every language, and every ethnic background.There are over 150 million Chinese believers. Many Arab people are coming to faith. Think of Eastern European people coming to faith, Jewish men and women coming to faith. Think of all of the different cultures, beliefs, customs, languages, and personalities. Yet, every people group is being called and learning to love one another.
This takes an aggressive kind of love. This takes a kind of love that comes from Heaven. This kind of love means that we must learn to lay down our lives for one another.
Christ 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.
We are the International Church, the Ecclesia, the International Body of Christ.
We are His Glorious Bride.