The Bridegroom’s Desire

Frank Viola author talks about the Bridegroom in his best-selling book, Jesus Now. Here’s an excerpt.

As the bride of Christ, the church is called to commune with, love, enthrone, and intimately know the heavenly bridegroom who indwells her.

Churches that excel in the bridal dimension give time and attention to spiritual fellowship with the Lord. Worship is a priority.

Seeking the Lord, loving Him, communing with Him, and just spending time with Him are central to His heart.

This dimension of the church can be seen as the engine that drives all of the church’s activities. It is love from Christ and for Christ that is the church’s motivation, energy, and life.

The Lord Jesus, as our heavenly bridegroom, doesn’t see His church as a work force. He wants lovers, not just helpers. Companions, not just servants.

The bridal dimension of the church is central to the church’s life and mission.

Preparing the Bride

God the Father has been orchestrating history to prepare Christ’s bride for marriage and reigning.

Each generation is working for the next. Every time a group of Christians and individual believers touch the heart of God and stand for His eternal purpose in the earth, a little bit of gold, pearl, and precious stone is deposited in the New Jerusalem for the building of God’s eternal home.

One day, the bride will be prepared, and she will become the Lord’s wife.

A compelling case can be made that God’s greatest desire is to be known and loved. And He has woven this same desire in the heart of every human. Herein do we find the longing of Jesus as our heavenly bridegroom and our high calling as His bride.

How Important Is She?

The bride of Christ appears all throughout the Scriptures, from Genesis (in type and shadow) to Revelation. For example:

She (the church) appears in the opening pages of holy Scripture, and she reappears at the very end. (Eve in Genesis 2 and the bride in Revelation 22.)

Your Lord and my Lord is consumed with a zeal that eats Him up for her. Jesus Christ gave His life for her and forsook everything to have her. (Ephesians 5:25 says that Christ gave Himself for the church. She’s the pearl of great price, hid in God from before the ages.)

Jesus Christ sees Himself as indistinguishable from her. She is bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh, His very body on earth (Matt. 25:40, 45; Acts 9:1–5).

She’s the fiancée of the Son of God, and He’s waiting to marry her.

Paul said in effect, “You, the body of Christ in Corinth, are the corporate Christ” (1 Cor. 12:12, 27; see also 1:12–13; 6:15; 8:12).

The very last words of Scripture are uttered by the bride: “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’”

She’s the wife of the Lamb. His partner for eternity.

She is at the very center of the mystery of the ages that Paul unveiled in Colossians and Ephesians.

The ekklesia is God’s eternal purpose. From before creation, He has wanted a bride, a house, a family, and a body (a visible expression). That was His original intention.

From the beginning, God the Father has wanted a corporate expression of Himself to reveal the beauty of His Son. He desired to have a counterpart for His Son. Why was Eve made? For Adam, to be his counterpart.

Thus the church is not only important but the most important thing to God that exists.

She’s His girl.

When a man falls in love with a woman, there is nothing more important to him than that girl. That’s a picture of the passion your Lord has for you.

Therefore, a large part of Christ’s ministry today is to love, cherish, protect, and perfect His bride. And He desires that she return that love back to Him.

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Frank Viola Author’s Book Catalog

Written by Donald Stevenson.

Viola’s work has been rightly described as a meticulous collection of light and shade.

Jesus Now – Viola’s 2014 release exploring the present-day ministry of Christ. A CBA best-seller, Jesus Now is a uniquely blended composition forging a creative exposition of the seven ministries of Jesus today. A fresh offering in a neglected genre and subject. Ground-breaking and sod-turning, written with stringent clarity and balance. “Tight but loose” describes this volume well.

God’s Favorite Place on Earth – Viola’s crowning achievement, released in 2013. A new kind of Christian literature called biblical narrative. The book broke new ground in forming an exotic stew of historical fiction, spiritual prose, and practical application. Spellbinding and unchartered, profound and moving, poetic and electrifying, the book marks the apex of Viola’s evolution as a writer. Laced with exquisite writing and sophisticated theological concepts woven into story, God’s Favorite Place is a stunningly elegant, magnificent and brilliant piece of work, a towering triumph in spiritual literature.

Jesus: A Theography – Released in 2012, Viola teams up with Leonard Sweet again to create a majestic, magisterial, astonishing tome that unfolds the Jesus story throughout the entire Bible. The book contains plenty of the old magic that is found in Jesus Manifesto, but it’s heavier, more crushing, pulsating and robust work. Viola’s rousing chapter on what Christ was doing before creation charts entirely new directions. Sweet’s chapter on the micro-view of the Genesis creation is a beautifully written lyric. The two literary titans have given the Christian audience another unique look at Jesus.

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Spiritual Manifestations

This article was written by Frank Viola Author.

Beyond the gifts mentioned in Ephesians 4 (which are gifted people), Paul gave us another list of gifts in 1 Corinthians 12. These gifts are called “the manifestation of the Spirit.”

These gifts aren’t people, but supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit whereby Jesus reveals Himself through the members of His body.

In order for us to understand the fullness of Christ’s present-day ministry, we need to learn something about the manifestation of His Spirit in the church today.

I believe the “manifestation of the Spirit” can be divided into three categories: the revelatory gifts, the inspirational gifts, and the power gifts.

Note that these manifestations are different from other “gifts lists” in the New Testament (such as Romans 12) in that they are all supernatural in nature.

Note also that Jesus is the One who manifests Himself through these gifts by the operation of the Holy Spirit.

  1. The Revelatory Gifts: Spiritual Manifestations of Disclosure

The Word of Knowledge. The word of knowledge is a word from the Lord to the believer, revealing past or present facts in the mind of God.

The Word of Wisdom. The word of wisdom is a word revealing God’s purpose for the future (Luke 11:49).

The Discerning of Spirits. The discerning—or distinguishing—of spirits enables one to perceive the spirit world.

  1. The Inspirational Gifts: Spiritual Manifestations of Utterance

Prophecy. To prophesy is to speak forth the present mind of the Lord.

Different Kinds of Tongues. Different (various) kinds of tongues are supernatural utterances in unknown languages.

The Interpretation of Tongues. The interpretation of tongues is the supernatural gift that enables one to interpret (not translate) an utterance given in other tongues.

  1. The Power Gifts: Spiritual Manifestations of the Miraculous

The Working of Miracles. The working of miracles is the supernatural ability to manifest a divine intervention in the normal order of things.

Gifts of Healing. This gift manifests divine healing in a person’s body.

The Gift of Faith. The gift of faith is a special kind of faith that produces and receives the working of miracles.

Answering the Call

The burden of my heart is to see God’s people far less concerned with a fivefold ministry and supernatural gifts that are supposed to be recovered someday, and instead to see them focus their attention on discovering what the church is supposed to be according to the mind of God.

Upon making this discovery, the Lord’s dear people will be faced with a decision: to answer the call of meeting around Jesus Christ alone in the way that He has prescribed, or to remain chained to the unmovable traditions of men.

If the former path is taken, it will involve considerable cost. But all the giftings in Christ will eventually come forth in the way that He has designed organically. And those gifts will never usurp or dilute the ministry of the entire body.

Would to God that all men and women who feel called to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, and shepherds/teachers would soberly reexamine what these ministries were in the first century and in the thought of God. I believe that when this happens, many of those people will be led in brand-new directions. And those directions will undoubtedly lead them to break with cherished traditions and popular concepts. Yet only by these elements will the house of God begin to be restored on a broad scale.

As the builder of the ekklesia, the Lord Jesus Christ desires nothing less.

Frank Viola, the Author

Frank Viola is the author of many books. He has had immense output throughout his ministry, authoring dozens of books and essays, and appearing in numerous articles and interviews in high profile periodicals.

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However, an amazing fact is that Viola did not receive any formal academic or theological training from a bible college or seminary. This was intentional on his part. While some may be skeptical about the effectiveness of such a prolific author, it should be noted that his work has been endorsed by numerous pastors and scholars.

In terms of his interaction with formally trained scholars, he has engaged in productive debate with them. His powerful writing and passionate oratorical gifts have been used to educate all sorts of people, from pastors to seminary students, and even to professors. In addition to his own work, Viola has co-authored two books with renowned theologian Leonard Sweet and Christian pollster George Barna. Viola’s writings have also been met with critical acclaim.

The centrality of Jesus and the church is at the root of author Frank Viola’s ministry. Over twenty years, he has focused on fostering Jesus-centered organic missional church communities that place emphasis on each individual congregation member’s relationship with Christ and with the others in the body. It’s an alternative approach to Christianity, and has very strong biblical and historical roots.

The organic church is intended to be a community where each individual member has a deeper understanding and meaningful connection with God, and uses this understanding to bring enrichment to the lives of others. Inquiry is a driving force, and Frank Viola, author, uses his gift to educate the congregation and challenge them with a deeper understanding of their spiritual lives. His ideals have been touched on in many publications such as TIME magazine.

The organic missional churches took root in 1988, and have stayed true for over twenty years. The basis of this church expression is to have the church return to its older roots. Instead of revolving around clergy and liturgy, Viola urges the community to rethink New Testament perspectives and foster open participation.

Mission work is a large part of their involvement. This organic experience means simple Christian gatherings are not confined to one particular building, and can take place anywhere, with or without trained worship leaders, clergy, or a formal liturgy.

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Frank Viola, author has stayed true to his beliefs, serving as a teacher in the evangelical Christian community. In the past he has sponsored Rotary International and the Fellowship for Christian Students. Today, he is active in several foundations, such as Bread for the World, Heifer International, and a number of local homeless ministries.

This site is not run by Frank Viola.