Haavard Sand

B. Childress
Mar 04 2011

The bridal transformation that is about to happen in the Church can be described as nothing less than a
revolution.  The changes will be that drastic and dramatic.  

The changes can be compared to that of any woman who is about to marry, and then starts to realize that her
wedding day is drawing close.  She will go through a process of change or transformation much like that of a
caterpillar suddenly being transformed into a beautiful butterfly.  That season of change is scary because in
that season the caterpillar will leave her secure, small place of comfort.  The temptation to stay in the cocoon
will be quite strong.  However, there is no turning back, and as she fights her way out of the cocoon, her wings
are made strong.  Finally she comes out of the cocoon, and she will be free to soar as a beautiful butterfly.  
People will then see her in her true identity.  Before that she was just concealed in this gray unnoticeable
cocoon.  But now she is soaring in all her beauty, and people are pointing to her, saying, "Oh, isn't she
beautiful!  We did not know that all this beauty was in that cocoon.  She has been utterly transformed."

Going back to the analogy of the soon-to-be-wed woman, the change will first take place in her mind.  Her
thoughts in the past were about many things.  But suddenly she becomes focused and realizes that her wedding
day is soon at hand.  All her attention is directed toward the wedding.  All her overwhelming concerns point
toward preparation for that great day.  Her main preparation centers on herself: how she will look, and what she
will wear.

As she continues with the preparation, the changes that take place in her mind will soon be reflected in her
appearance as well.  She may go to the beauty salon to try on different makeup and see which hairstyle suits her
best.  Perhaps she even goes on a diet and exercises to lose weight.  And if her skin is pale, she might go to a
tanning salon to get a tan.  She will also be mindful of her wedding gown and accessories.  They should look
beautiful and perfect.  Never before has she spent so much time on preparation for one dress - even if it is only
to be worn for one day, and then stored away for safekeeping, probably never to be used again.

But then this is no ordinary day.  This is her wedding day!  This is the day when she is transformed into a bride.  
As the day approaches, she completes the last preparations and puts on her beautiful wedding dress that
suddenly transforms her from being an ordinary woman into a bride.

When she gets to the church and is led by her father to be handed over to her bridegroom, something
interesting happens.  The music starts to play, the doors open, and she starts walking down the aisle with a glow
on her face.  Everyone is excited to see her.  As she walks, all eyes are on her, and the crowd sighs as they gaze
upon her because suddenly she is not just the girl next-door.  No, she has become a bride.
What happens to her is what has happened to women through the ages, who have experienced being made a
bride on one of the greatest days of their lives.  I believe that this is also what is about to happen in the Church,
which I call the bridal transformation.

There is a short time frame in the lives of many women who are about to marry.  From being her father's
daughter to becoming her husband's wife - this is a woman's special time.  It's an in-between time, between two
periods; it is a transition from living under her father's household to establishing a household on her own with
her husband.  During this short season of wedding preparation, she is no longer presented as the daughter of so-
and-so, but she will only be presented as the bride.

This is the season we are about to enter into as the Church.  This could be the Church's finest hour.  Never
before in the history of the Church have we experienced the bridal season, since this is the exclusive time just
before the wedding.

We have been His Bride-to-be, His fiancée.  It says in II Corinthians 11:2, "I promised you to one husband, to
Christ."  In the Norwegian translation, this verse uses the word engaged or betrothed.  Here Paul is saying that
God has done this with the Church - betrothed her to Christ - but she is not yet the Bride.  If you are a man
engaged to be married in six months' time, your future wife is not yet called a bride, but your fiancée.  At a
certain time just before the wedding, she goes from being your fiancée to becoming the bride.  And later, she
becomes your wife.

The last revelation of the Church in the Bible is as the Bride.  It is only when we turn to the last pages of the
Bible that Scripture clearly talks about the Church as the Bride.  It is only at the end of time, just before the
Second Coming, that the Church is described as the Bride.  Scripture tells us, "The Spirit and the bride say,
'Come!'" (Revelation 22:17).  This means it will be a time before the end when Jesus has not yet come back.

Then the Church will have reached her bridal season.  The very fact that this has not really been a part of
Church identity through the ages is proof in itself that the bridal season has not yet arrived.  However, Scripture
tells us that this time will come, and we may soon start seeing the first signs of this occurrence.  You don't need
to tell a bride that she is a bride!  She knows it.  It influences her whole being.  And one day soon, the Church
will enter the bridal season.  Then she will know she is the Bride.

So the generation that will experience this, which I call the bridal generation, will experience something
unprecedented in Church history that none of the saints of old have experienced - the bridal season.


Through Scripture we learn that some generations are chosen over others in a special way - to see and
experience the glory of God in a special time of transition.

Moses' generation was one such generation.  For hundreds of years, the Israelites had lived as slaves
under Pharaoh.  Day in and day out they had to cope with hard labor.  No interventions from God.  One year
came and another year went.  This continued for about four hundred years.  Then suddenly, at a special time
in history God intervened.  One chosen generation was allowed to witness His mighty deliverance and
experience the transition from a life in slavery to the joy of freedom.

Something similar happened again at the time of Jesus.  For about four hundred years, the heavens were
silent, and no great intervention or act of God was seen.  But suddenly, one generation was chosen among
the others.  To be the generation to witness how God became flesh - dwelling among men- that certainly
was one of the greatest privileges ever given to any generation.

However, only one generation is chosen to experience the bridal season on earth.  To walk those last steps
before the Bride meets her Bridegroom, for all men to see and marvel at her beauty.  And as she crosses
the line into eternity she joins with the saints of old, the ones gone before her.  In Hebrews, we read:

    These were commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.  God had
    planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect (Hebrews 11:39-

I believe this Scripture will be fulfilled as we see it happen in history, at the end of the age.  It is in fellowship
with all the saints from the ages - completing the race all the way to the end - that together we may be made
perfect and receive "what had been promised."

Then the author of Hebrews goes on to exhort us to run the race and free ourselves from everything that
hinders, as we are surrounded by this great cloud of witnesses (see Hebrews 12:1).  The saints of old should be
our inspiration to press on.

How then is this great cloud of witnesses supposed to be an inspiration for us to carry on?  First, we can study
their lives, and learn how they became witnesses during their time, and how they can inspire us in running our
race.  Second, we can find strength in them as we imagine that they too are witnessing our lives, cheering us
on.  This assurance should bring us the strength we need to endure our own race.

The ultimate reason they are cheering us on, is that they know that without us they will not be made perfect, for
we really belong to each other.  Together, we with the saints of old will once be made perfect and be made into
the Bride of Christ.  This is the ultimate goal: "to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or
wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless" (Ephesians 5:27).

Ephesians 5:27 is the fulfillment of Hebrews 11:39-40.  That we together with them will be made perfect as the
Bride of Christ.  What then was the promise they still have not received?  (See Hebrews 11:39-40.)  Was it
different from the promise Jesus looked forward to?  Hebrews teaches us how Jesus "for the joy set before Him
endured the cross" (Hebrews 12:2).  What was the joy or promise set before Him - other than the Bride?  Jesus
calls Himself the Bridegroom (see Matthew 9:15).  What is the joy set before the Bridegroom - other than His
Bride on their wedding day?  The only time God defines His joy is in Isaiah:

    As a young man marries a maiden, so will your sons marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so
    will your God rejoice over you (Isaiah 62:5).

Here God is saying, "Do you want to know what My joy is like?  It is like a bridegroom rejoicing over his bride!"  
So if that is how His joy is defined, then what would certainly be the joy set before Him - His Bride!  Likewise, the
joy and the promise set before the Bride is her Bridegroom on their wedding day.

That is why there is a special connection between the bridal generation and the great cloud of witnesses.  For
these witnesses know that when the bridal generation crosses the line, then we will all be made perfect and
receive this promise together.

The bridal generation will be the generation that crosses the line from one dispensation to another.  They will do
it as the Bride never seeing death.  Our last enemy is death, but this generation will never meet it.  They will
meet instead their Bridegroom who is life.  Isn't that an incredible thought?  If we are that generation, we will
never face death but just be changed from a temporal life to eternal life.


Mike Bickle shares about this change that is coming to the Church, based on a supernatural encounter he had
in a hotel room in Cairo, Egypt, in September 1982.  He writes:

    I didn't see a vision, and I wasn't caught up into heaven.  I simply heard God speak to me.  It wasn't what
    come people call the audible voice.  I call it the internal audible voice.  I heard it as clearly as I would have
    heard it with my physical ears and, honestly, it was terrifying.

    It came with such a feeling of cleanness, power and authority.  In some ways, I felt I was being crushed by
    it.  I wanted to leave, but I didn't want to leave.  I wanted it to be over, but I didn't want it to be over.  I  only
    heard a few sentences, and it took just a few moments, but every word had great meaning.  The awe of
    God flooded my soul as I experienced a little bit of the terror of the Lord.  I literally trembled and wept as
    God Himself communicated to me in a way I've never known before or since.  The Lord simply said, "I will
    change the understanding and expression of Christianity in the earth in one generation."  It was a simple,
    straightforward statement, but I felt God's power with each word as I received the Spirit's interpretation.

    I understood that this reformation/revival would be His sovereign initiative.  God Himself was going
    to make this drastic change in Christianity across the world.  The phrase "the understanding of
    Christianity" meant the way Christianity is perceived by unbelievers.  In the early church people were
    afraid to associate even casually with believers partly because of the displays of supernatural power.  In
    the 1990's most unbelievers consider the church to be irrelevant.

    God will change the way unbelievers view the church.  They once again will witness God's
    wonderful yet terrifying power in the church.  They will have a different understanding of Christianity
    before God is finished with this generation.

    The phrase "expression of Christianity" meant the ways the body of Christ expresses its life
    together.  God is powerfully going to change the church so that it functions effectively as a healthy body
    in the power and love of God instead of just having meetings and programs based on its design and

    Paul Cain says that there are three elements of this new understanding and expression:
    unparalleled power, purity and unity.  Christians' relationship with God and with each other, the way they
    are perceived by unbelievers, and even the structure and functioning of the church will be radically and
    suddenly changed by God Himself.

    And this change will take place - not in a month, a year or a few years - but in one generation.  That night
    in Cairo I had the sense that I was being invited to be part of this...Above all things, it will impart and
    renew deep, affectionate passion for Jesus by the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit longs above all things to
    glorify Jesus in the human heart (John 16:14).  He wants to impart deep and holy affection for Jesus in the
    Bride of Christ.

This will be the bridal generation that will arise and shine in unparalleled power, purity (regarding her
beauty), and unity (regarding her being one Bride).  After all, Jesus is coming back for one Bride, which is
one of the main reasons why unity is so important.  Furthermore, I believe that pivotal to this encounter of
Mike Bickle with God is the understanding of the Church of her position as the Bride of Christ, since this
position is an emphasis on intimacy or deep affection.

    And as the Bride will arise and shine, the world will look in amazement because of her emanating
    beauty and undeniable power that has become irresistible.  Then many will turn and become part of
    the Bride themselves, as she marches the last walk down the aisle before she meets Him.


    As you read this interpretation you may say, "Well, you are using the illustration from a Western
    wedding, but that is very different from a Jewish wedding, which was the cultural setting Jesus was
    talking and living in."  Yes, but this is greater than any Jewish wedding.  This is the wedding of all
    ages.  We need all the wedding traditions of the world to give us an understanding of what is coming,
    and even that will still not be sufficient.

    Certainly, the primary way a wedding is pictured and understood today - the Western tradition, which
    has become universal through the movie industry - is not there by chance.  I think it was prophetically
    given by the Lord to give us a clear prophetic image of what is about to happen to the Church.

    In Western tradition, there is a stage before the bride meets with her bridegroom where both guests
    and spectators get to see the bride.  This happens as the bride is ushered down the aisle by her
    father.  For that brief moment, the bride is presented for everyone to see.

    This is a picture of what happens when the Holy Spirit escorts the Church to be handed over to the
    Bridegroom.  We are approaching that day when the Bride will be ready and be led by the Spirit.  Then
    the Bride will be shown in all her power and beauty for all the world to see.  As she marches that last
    walk down the aisle of this world - telling the Good News of the King and His everlasting Kingdom,
    proclaiming and demonstrating its power - multitudes will join her and become the Bride themselves.

    Deep within the Bridegroom's heart is this longing to display His Bride in all her beauty.  When that
    day finally comes, the world will marvel at what it sees.  In his book, Bridal Intercession, Gary Wiens
    touches on the subject of God showing all people His Bride:

    Throughout the Scripture, the people of God are seen as the primary vehicle for the exhibition
    of His glory.  In Isaiah 62:3 we are told that God will hold His people as a crown of glory in His hand,
    with the express purpose of exhibiting their beauty as a testimony of His power and grace.

    First Corinthians 11 declares that the glory of a man is his wife, and that man is "the glory of

    Furthermore, according to Ephesians 3:10, a day is coming when through the Church of Jesus Christ
    the wisdom and glory of God will be manifested to the principalities and powers in the heavenly
    places.  In other words, God is going to exhibit the beauty and glory of His Bride, the Church, and the
    spiritual powers in heavenly places will fall down before the Bride and before her King, declaring His
    glory and power as His wisdom is vindicated for all to see.

    What a picture of grace: the King of kings, exhibiting His matchless glory, as revealed through His
    Bride, the redeemed and sanctified Church!

Just as this will be shown before the spiritual powers in the heavenly realm, it will also be done for all the
earth to see.  The Bridegroom of all bridegrooms is going to show forth His bride.  As Wiens states, I
Corinthians 11:7 says that man is His glory, just as "woman is the glory of man."

    This will be part of the fulfillment of Habakkuk: "For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the
    glory of the Lord in His Bride, as we have seen, then this Scripture tells us that at one point, the world
    will be filed with the knowledge of the Bride, as the waters cover the sea!

    I don't know how long this walk down the aisle on the world will last.  But I am sure of one thing: it will
    be longer than one day of our calendar, because the Lord is operating with a different calendar.

    Then, as the Bride approaches the altar, the scene shifts.  We now find the Spirit and the Bride crying
    together, "Come!" (see Revelation 22:17).   And as this cry reaches a crescendo in the Father's
    appointed time, the heavens will break, and Jesus will come for His Bride.  Scripture is very clear that
    the revelation of the Church at the end of the age will be as the Bride.  As it says in Revelation, "His
    bride has made herself ready" (Revelation 19:7).  When does a bride make herself ready?  Before the
    wedding.  When she meets her bridegroom, she is already ready.  She wants to show her very best
    side to him on the day of their wedding.

    This change of understanding is coming with the bridal generation.  Through all Church history, the
    teaching about getting ready to meet the Lord has been focused on self-making sure I will make it,
    that I am clean and ready, so that I can make it to Heaven.  This has naturally been a very foundational
    and important message.

    However, as the bridal generation arises, the understanding and focus of what it means to make
    oneself ready will shift.  The Church's primary focus will be the preparation of herself.  The Bride will
    not just concentrate on making sure that she makes it to her wedding day; she has already set that
    day apart a long time ago, when she said yes to Him.  What is now foremost on her mind, as she
    prepares herself for that day, is that she wants to look her very best for Him.

    And as she enters the heavens, she is given a bright and clean dress to wear, symbolizing the
    righteous acts of the saints (see Revelation 19:8).  She will receive a heavenly dress, which is the
    product of her righteous acts.  So Scripture is clear, the world will see her wearing her wedding dress
    through her righteous acts.  And it will be the acts of the apostles all over again - and more.

    Now, let us consider what it says in Romans chapter 8:

    The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed...We know that the whole
    creation has been groaning as in pains of childbirth right up to the present time (Romans 8:19,22).

The whole creation is waiting; it is groaning and longing for the day when we will be revealed as "the sons
of God" (Romans 8:19).  It is like the whole creation waits for the Church to reach her maturity as sons of
God, which is our position before the Father.  As we stand before the Son, we are His coming Bride.  And if
we apply this Scripture as relating to our position before the Son, it would mean something like this: the
creation waits in eager expectation for the
Bride of Christ to be revealed!

    Friends, do you believe that the entire creation - in fact, the whole universe - is waiting, groaning, and
    longing for that day when the Bride will be revealed?  Could it be that this awesome privilege has
    been given to us, and we are in fact the bridal generation, which is soon to arise on earth?


    BECOMING THE BRIDE OF CHRIST IN THE LAST DAYS, by Haavard Sand, Copyright 2009, Destiny Image -