Archive for February, 2000
I think that all prophets have to go through a time of rejection
after accepting their personal calling as a prophet. I don’t know
if this period is a part of a prophet’s ministry, per se, (Jesus’
ministry began at age 30) but I believe it _is_ part of our training.
Our Lord is much acquainted with grief, and until we can enter into
that with Him, we don’t know that part of His heart. So, although
I’ve had some difficult years, some heart fruit, at least, is now
coming out of that.
Vision: Hang Gliding.
This is my first post to this list. This is actually new territory
for me. Not the idea of prophecy or hearing from God, but for me
it’s been difficult to accept the calling God has for me. Mostly,
I struggle with sin and I never believed that God would want to use
someone was wretched as myself.
I am sharing this partially in obedience to “not hiding my light
under a bushel” and partially in the hope that others may find it
During March of 1997 I was crying out to God, asking Him
what His calling on my life was all about.
God answered me with a vision, one that took three days
to completely unfold. This is the most intense vision
I’ve ever received. I was not just watching it on a
“movie screen”, I was participating in it as though it
were actually happening. Even now, a year later, the
memory has not faded – it’s as though I am remembering
something that actually happened. I could see, hear,
touch, smell, and taste my surroundings — I even
This is that vision:
I am standing on the edge of a very high cliff. It’s
the dark of the night, and I can see thousands or even
millions of lights spread out below me. Some of the
lights are small, and some are large and spread out
across a wide area. Some are bright, while others are
so dim I can barely see them. The large lights were not
necessarily the brightest — in fact, some of the
smallest were also among the brightest. Overall I could
see no correlation between the size of a light and how
bright it was.
I knew immediately that the lights were churches in all
their denominations, sects, and varieties, and that I
was seeing churches all over the world. Some of the
lights were connected with others, like a string of
towns along a freeway in a nighttime satellite picture,
while others were isolated. Some were so close together
that I had to shield the brighter ones in order to see
the dimmer. My overall impression was of a vast
uncomprehendingly complex network.
I spent a long time — most of the night in the vision
– just looking at the lights and marveling at their
striking, almost unearthly beauty. As I looked at this
beautiful network of lights, I realized that something
was going to happen soon, and that after this event the
world below would be plunged into a darkness such as it
had never known.
As the sky started to brighten with the dawn, I noticed
some things nearby.
First, I realized that I was strapped into a hang
glider. I knew I was in that hang glider to take part
in some sort of battle — a rescue operation for the
lights (churches and people) below.
Next I noticed that there were people on either side of
me, also strapped into hang gliders. As I looked in the
ever increasing light, I realized that the entire cliff
section was lined with people who were ready — even
anxious — to jump off the cliff and begin the rescue.
There were many thousands of warriors on this cliff
edge, all straining forward, anxious to fight that final
battle. As I gazed farther and farther out to my sides,
I saw more cliff sections like the one I was on. Each
cliff was lined with people ready to go, just like the
cliff I was on. I knew that we were all waiting to
swoop down to those lights below to carry them back up
to this cliff and to safety.
I saw many Great Men of God there. Some were young,
some old, some had years of battle experience, while
others just seemed to have an anointing which prepared
them for the battle to follow. I felt humbled to be in
such company. My initial surge of excitement over the
glory of the coming battle dissipated as I realized how
many of these veterans were so much more qualified than
I. I began to wonder if God had made a mistake placing
me among such pillars of the kingdom.
After a while, I noticed that the hang glider of the
person on my right was not assembled quite correctly.
One of the tensioning wires that held it together was
dangerously loose. It would probably hold in normal,
sedate cruising, but I knew that in the stress and
strain of battle he was going to loose a wing. He was
going to fall to his death, or at the very least he was
going to be neutralized from the battle, right when he
would be needed the most.
The person on my left was a grizzled old veteran, with
the battle scars to prove it. Both his own body and his
craft showed signs of former damage, but both were
repaired and healthy. One wing spar was a different
color because it had been replaced, there were many
patches on the fabric, and the handlebar covering was
worn through to the bare metal in places. But the
overall craft was sound and ready for battle.
As I looked around, I saw other details about many of
the hang gliders. Some were assembled incorrectly , or
had something broken, or were not strapped on quite
right. A few were even being worn backward. But no one
seemed to notice. I grieved when I realized how many of
these warriors would be neutralized in the battle, and
that some would even fall to their deaths and be lost
I was puzzled by this, so I asked the Lord, “What’s
going on Lord? Why are so many of these people so ill
prepared? Why do they care so much about the future
glory of the battle, and so little about themselves and
In reply He simply said, “Turn around.” I unstrapped my
glider, turned, and looked.
What I saw next broke my heart.
Immediately behind me was another row of people in hang
gliders. Behind these there were even more, and behind
those, more. Row upon row of warriors, all waiting for
the opportunity to move up to the cliff’s edge for that
final glorious jump.
But these warriors’ crafts were even less prepared than
the ones in the front row. The farther back I looked,
the more I saw hazards among the hang gliders. Some had
perfectly assembled and balanced frames, but no fabric
on their wings. Others had only half a frame, with the
extra fabric flapping uselessly in the wind. A few had
no frame at all, they simply had their fabric wrapped
around their bodies. There were many, many variations
on this, some obvious, like the missing frame, and some
more subtle, like the loose tensioning wire on my
A couple warriors even had no evidence of a hang glider
at all. Those ones were the most arrogant and boastful,
utterly confidant that their abilities and inherent
“goodness” would bring them great glory in the coming
Most, however, truly meant well but were simply unaware
that their craft was not ready.
Many of the warriors were prepared, or at least their
hang gliders were. But the number of those who were not
astounded and shocked me. Even more shocking to me was
the utter lack of concern each man demonstrated for his
neighbor. Each ill prepared craft had the potential to
neutralize two warriors in this vast army: the wearer of
that glider, and the one who was going to have to
abandon the harvest below to rescue him or her.
As I looked even farther back, I saw the rear edge of
those who were in place for the battle. There was a lot
of turbulence there as the people in the last few rows
were settling in.
Back further yet, almost at the limits of my vision, I
saw the most heartbreaking sight of all. I saw millions
of people running and leaping forward, all anxious to
get in line for the final battle. They were running
across a vast plain, but in places their progress was
impeded by large hills and even a few small mountains.
Most just ran around the hills and mountains. A few
climbed over, and just a few — a very precious few –
stopped long enough to investigate the mountains
themselves. Of those few who stopped and looked, most
soon gave up and rejoined the crowd rushing headlong to
the final battle.
Of all the hills and mountains out on the plain, a
couple had been exposed for what actually they were.
They were not really hills at all, but vast piles of
unassembled hang gliders covered by immense tarps. The
majority of the people were ignoring the very things
they needed to survive the coming harvest, much less
have an effective role in it.
When I realized this, I fell down sobbing in grief. For
someone who has rejected God to fall to their death is
one thing, but for the vast numbers of newly converted
who were going to lose their lives — that crushed the
breath right out of me.
As I lay there crying in grief and gasping for air, I
cried out in my heart to God “Why have you given me this
terrible, terrible burden? Isn’t it enough that you’ve
had me so many years in the desert? What can I possibly
He answered with words from Ezekiel 38:
“Son of man, speak to your countrymen and say to
them: `When I bring the sword against a land, and
the people of the land choose one of their men and
make him their watchman, and he sees the sword
coming against the land and blows the trumpet to
warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet
but does not take warning and the sword comes and
takes his life, his blood will be on his own head.
Since he heard the sound of the trumpet but did
not take warning, his blood will be on his own
head. If he had taken warning, he would have
saved himself. But if the watchman sees the sword
coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the
people and the sword comes and takes the life of
one of them, that man will be taken away because
of his sin, but I will hold the watchman
accountable for his blood.’
“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the
house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give
them warning from me. When I say to the wicked,
`O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do
not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that
wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold
you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn
the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does
not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will
have saved yourself.
With that promise, the constriction in my chest eased,
my sobs slowly ebbed, and once again I could see some
I started telling the others there on the cliff’s edge,
making them aware of the state of their crafts. Even
more importantly — far far more importantly — I
started encouraging them to check their neighbors.
Eventually I was exhorting all of them to pass along
this Spirit of holiness, of critically examining oneself
and one’s craft in the Light of truth and love.
I watched as this spread out like a wave. As each
pastor came to understand the need for checking to make
sure their craft was O.K. — and why — they passed it
along to their neighbors. As I watched I saw similar
splashes in the vast army, where other watchmen had
sounded the same cry.
The final thing I and the other watchmen did was direct
the attention of the leaders to the hundred of thousands
of leaders behind them and to the millions of new
believers still running up to the battle formation. We
started exhorting the pastors to prepare their leaders
and this horde for what was ahead.
For me personally, this vision is has brought a lot of
clarity and definition about my role in God’s Kingdom.
Dad has spent many years teaching me who I am in
relation to Him, that I am His son, and that he takes
immense pleasure in me for that reason alone and not
because I “perform” to His satisfaction. I know the
fact the Dad says I am a watchman does not mean He loves
me more or less than anyone else. In fact, although I
can see indications of this calling as far back in my
life as early childhood, it was not until I got my basic
identity as Dad’s son and the Son’s bride settled that I
could actually be of any use to Him in this role.
I’ve always had a heart for unity, particularly between
churches that are geographically close but infinitely
separated by the wily ploys of the devourer…
If nothing else, this vision helps me realize that when
God tells me something and asks me to pass it on, there
might actually be a possibility that maybe He really
does want me to be obedient in following through. (I
think the bible refers to this as having a “mustard
seed’s” amount of faith.)
Almost as important for me in this vision is what I
didn’t see. In the vision I didn’t notice or
particularly care about the individual weapons and tools
which each warrior had. I was not concerned about their
skills at using them. Although I could clearly see the
personality and heart of each person when I looked at
them, the reason for that was not that I should somehow
“fix” who they are or teach them how to fight the
fight. Rather, by seeing each person’s heart, I could
more effectively communicate with them about the need
for tending to their craft and helping others do the
For me, knowing this sets some boundaries that I know I
can only cross with the most extreme unction from the
Spirit. All my life I’ve struggled with the fact that I
“see” a person’s inner heart as easily as I see their
outer characteristics, their physical body and their
personality. I was always a social outcast as a child,
because I had no clue how to respond socially. I never
understood that others didn’t see people as I did. As
an adult I’ve had to learn how to respond to the social
cues that others seem to be able to handle naturally.
In the process of working this out, I’ve learned that I
can easily, almost naturally, manipulate people. I’ve
also learned that this is witchcraft, and is something I
need to run from.
Working out my prophetical calling has been as much
about learning where _not_ to go and what _not_ to do
as it has about learning what _to_ do.
As I’ve prayed about this vision, I’ve asked God if this
is just a personal word meant to encourage only me, or
if there is something in this for the greater body of
Christ. What follows is my best attempt to date figuring out
discern what, if anything, He may want to say to others
than myself through this vision.
First, to the prophets, the other watchmen (and women)
God is calling to sound this cry:
I believe that the measure of a prophet is not in how
loudly or boldly he or she proclaims the truth, nor is
it in how popular they manage to become. Rather, our
measure is in how effective we are at introducing
Actually, our true measure is in our character and our
heart, and in our obedience to God. But change is
something a bit more tangible which can only flow from
our hearts as regulated by our character. Having a Godly
heart and a Godly character are inner fruit, while the
“change” I am speaking of is the external fruit of a
So, if you as a prophet don’t see a lot of positive
fruit on the outside, take look at your fruit on the
inside. External positive fruit is not popularity.
Rather it’s the Father’s purposes being accomplished.
In this vision, if I’d gone around ranting and raving at
those pastors and cursing and condemning them to hell
because of the imperfections, far fewer would have
bothered to take note, except perhaps to encourage me
most strongly to move on to “wherever God may be calling
me.” I know this from very painful personal experience.
On the other hand, if I had been so fearful of loosing
my popularity, I would never have been able to approach
many of those pastors in boldness to speak the truth
with love. Again, been there, done that.
Believe it or not, prophets, many pastors _do_ actually
hear God on occasion, and most pastors really _are_ at
least a little sensitive in their spirits. If you
approach them with arrogance in your hearts, most
pastors will discern that. Or if you cower before them
with fear in your hearts, most of them will also see
that too. In either case many of those pastors will not
be able to receive what you have to say because the
“static” so overpowers the “radio station”.
Above all, remember that prophetical ministry is
absolutely _not_ about glorifying the prophet, but
absolutely _is_ about glorifying the bride.
Pastors and other leaders:
Please try to remember that prophets are people too. I
have found many times that pastors are afraid of those
with prophetical anointing. It seems like most people
tend to either fear and despise prophets, or they tend
to worship them. I don’t think that any pastor in their
right mind would want to release either of those
dynamics into their flocks.
But know that in the majority of cases these prophets
are completely on their own. Most pastors have a lesser
or greater amount of schooling — they almost certainly
have some specific training to learn how to be a
pastor. Almost all churches and denominations have
avenues for raising up and guiding young pastors, and
for keeping at bay the wolves in sheep’s clothing. And
every pastor I have ever known has _some_ sort of
support mechanism in place once they are actually out
pastoring in the real word.
In today’s greater Christian community, how many of
God’s prophets have the same preparation? How many are
trained? How many are recognized by their church’s
leadership and guided towards maturity?
Many whom God has called as prophets are a little (or
even a lot) rough around the edges. Please try to
understand what we go through as we try to be obedient
to God’s call on our lives. I have, at various times,
thought I was: worthless; the next John the Baptist;
certifiably crazy; the only sane person left; ready to
be used by God when I wasn’t; not ready when in fact I
was; and just about everything in between. But rarely
have I been provided guidelines and encouragement from
my _church_ leadership. Most of the other people I’ve
known who have prophetical anointing have had similar
If you have someone in your flock who seems to exhibit
this kind of anointing, please don’t be afraid of them.
Whatever they may be like on the outside, every person I
have ever met with even an ounce of prophetical
anointing has started out with a very sensitive heart on
the inside. Some prophets have developed hard hearts,
but in my experience most of the time this is a reaction
to being simultaneously worshiped and feared by other
If someone is coming to you claiming to have a
prophetical word from God, please try to look past their
pride and insecurity, and at the same time don’t be
upset or overawed by the idea that God my choose to
speak something through them some of the time. Just
take what they say and apply the discernment God has
given you to the content.
Above all, please, please try to work with them, setting
boundaries and guiding them as necessary, but also
encouraging them to become who God is calling them to be.
Many prophets would give their right leg simply to be
accepted as people who happen to have a particular
gifting or anointing. (Of course, a lot of the pastors
I’ve known would probably say the same thing about
To the new believers:
This is going to be the ride of your life. In fact,
it’s going to be the ride of everybody’s life. None of
us have _ever_ done this before, at least not on this
scale. While many leaders are experienced at hang
gliding (to use the metaphor from the vision), never
before has there been an operation in God’s kingdom on
this massive a scale.
This interpretation — all of it, but especially that
which is directed to others than myself — is composed
primarily of my thoughts as I’ve tried to come to grips
with this vision. As such, to me the interpretation
carries less weight than the vision itself. I’ve
certainly sought the Lord’s Heart in interpreting this,
but in the end I must confess that any interpretation has
been primarily my efforts at comprehension and
Absolutely the last way I want to apply this vision is
by rushing out on my own in an attempt to make it happen
by “helping” God along.
At the present time God has been very clearly and
strongly telling me to “Stop hiding my light under a
bushel.” That’s one of the reasons I’m sending this to
This vision is not an isolated event in my life; it
confirms many things that have happened before and
since. For years I’ve had an intense passion to see the
Son’s bride made ready for her Bridegroom. While this
vision has provided me a few more clues about what that
might look like, none of the essential elements or
underlying passions are new.
For me personally, I’m waiting, and watching in wonder
and awe as this is starting to unfold.
Since God almost _always_ seems to miss it on this one,
I will spare him the embarrassment of making yet another
Except for instances when God has _clearly_ told me a
specific time or date as part of a word or vision, I’ve
learned to be cautions about trying to attach a sense of
timing to what I learn in the Spirit, other than reporting a
sense of urgency if that is there.
My sense for this vision is that it is first and
foremost meant for the prophets, and I see it as a call
to allow God to make us effective instruments. ones that
He can use to bring about the change _He_ wants, _when_
He want’s it. That’s the other reason I’m posting it.
I also see here things which are coming (the second wave
of the harvest) and things which may be happening now
(the first wave)…
Taken from MorningStar Journal Vol.4 No.2
Pages: 56-65 Published: 1994
War and Glory
In August of 1993, I had a vision of the church. It was represented as an
island in the middle of a sea. There were many different types of buildings
allover this island, each of which I understood to represent a different
denomination or movement. These buildings seemed to clash with each other
architecturally as there were very old ones next to very modern ones. There was
a war going on between many of the buildings, and most of them looked like
bombed out shells. People were still living in the buildings, but most were
starving and wounded.
The Controlling Spirits
There were two dark spirits over the island directing this war. One was
named Jealousy and the other one Fear. They congratulated each other every time
one of the builgins suffered damage, or people were wounded.
I then saw two powerful and frightening spirits rising over the sea. These
became storms. One was Rage and the other Lawlessness. They were stirring up
the sea and causing great waves to crash onto the island. Soon these storms
became so large that they seemed even more threatening to the island than the
I felt that the people in the city had to be warned about these storms, and
several apparent watchmen were trying to do this, but no one would listen to
them. The people only debated and argued about whether the watchmen should be
trusted. This was remarkable because anyone who just looked up could see the
storms for themselves.
These wars had left so many people wounded that the hospitals were fast
becoming the largest buildings on the island. The hospitals were movements or
denominations that had given themselves to healing the wounded. As these grew,
the other warring factions had no respect for them as being a place where even
their own wounded were being cared for, but were instead more resolved to
destroy them than the other buildings.
As the war continued, even those who were not badly wounded had the
appearance of phantoms, or they became grotesquely deformed from the starvation
and disease. Anytime a building received a supply of food, which would attract
people, it would become a target. I could not comprehend how even a war could
be so cruel–and this was the church!
In the midst of the battle, men were still trying to add to their buildings,
or star new ones, but it was futile. Whenever one building would start to rise
a little higher than the others, or any time a new building was started, it
would become the main target of all of the other buildings, and it would quickly
be reduced to rubble.
I was then shown many powerful leaders who were conducting this war. All of
them had the same word on their forehead: “Treachery.” I was
surprised that anyone would follow someone with that written on them, but they
did. I was reminded of IICorinthians 11:20, “For you bear with you anyone
if he enslaves you, if he devours you, if he takes advantage of you, if he
exalts himself, if he hits you in the face.”
However, there were people who appeared as lights in almost every building.
These lights in almost every building. These lights refused to take part in the
fighting, but spent their time trying to repair the buildings, or nurse the
wounded. Even though it was impossible to keep up with the damage or the
wounded, they did not stop trying.
It was also apparent that each of these lights had the power to heal wounds,
and that power was increasing as they worked. Those who were healed became
lights just like those who healed them. It was obvious that these individuals
who were committed to healing the wounded were now able to do more than the
hospitals because of the ruthlessness of the attacks on the hospitals.
Understanding this, the hospitals dispersed their people as “healing teams”
which spread out across the island and moved in to many of the other buildings.
There were also small camps around the perimeter of the island. Some of these
were involved in the war between the buildings, and seemed intent on trying to
destroy all of the buildings so that they could bring people in to their camps.
The leaders of these camps had the same word “Treachery” written on
There were a few of these camps which were not involved in the war, and they
too appeared as lights. These were also growing in authority, but it was a
different authority than the healing powers that the others had. They had
authority over events. They were praying to stop small battles, and to keep
small storms away, and it was happening as they prayed.
The two spirits over the city and the two storms became very intimidated by
these small camps. I felt that these intercessory groups were actually close to
having the authority to stop the major battles and big storms, which were
obviously the source of agitation of these large spirits.
There were multitudes of boats and ships all around the island that were
waiting to enter the city as soon as the fighting stopped. Many of these boats
were full of refugees from other wars, and many were wounded. There were also
ships bearing kings, presidents and those who appeared wealthy and prosperous.
These were all afraid of the storms, but they could not enter the city because
of the fighting. Their groans and screams were so loud I was surprised that no
one in the city would hear them; no one even seemed aware that they were out
In His Wisdom
Then I saw the Lord standing and watching. He was so glorious that I
wondered why I hand not seen Him before, or why everyone in the city did not
stop to worship Him. To my amazement, no one was able to see Him I then looked
in to the eyes of some of the people, and they were all so “blood-shot”
that I was surprised that they could see anything.
I then wondered why the Lord did not stop the fighting, and seemed content
to just watch. As if He had understood my thoughts, He turned and said to me, “This
My church. These were the houses men tried to build for Me. I knocked on the
door of each one, but they would not open to Me. I would have brought peace
because I will only dwell in the city of peace.”
Then He turned and indicated the people in the ships, saying: “If I
allowed all of the these people to come to the city now they would just be used
in the war. When their cries become louder than the war, I will build a place
Then He looked at me with great earnestness and said, “I allowed this
to happen so that it would never happen again!” It is hard to convey the
power of this statement, but imparted to me a deep understanding that He allowed
this conflict to continue out of profound wisdom. He then said, “Until you
understand this you cannot understand what I am about to do.”
When the cries of those in the boats became louder than the conflict in the
city, the Lord gave a command and the sea was released. Great tidal waves arose
and began to sweep across the island until they covered the buildings. The
spirts that were storms joined the spirits over the island, and they all grew to
almost double their previous size. Then the island completely disappeared under
the darkness of the spirits and the raging sea.
The Lord did not move as this was happening. I knew that my only protection
was to stand as close to Him as possible. I could not see anything but Him
during this great storm. As I looked at His face I could see both hurt and
The House Of the Lord is Built
Slowly, the storms died down and the tides receded. The individuals who
were the lights inthe buildings emerged and remained standing where the
buildings had once been. Then the Lord, who had been on the edge of the island,
moved to the center and said, “Now I will build My house.”
And all of those were lights started turning toward the Lord. As they
turned, they became even brighter, and each group as changed into a living
pillar right where they stood. Soon it became obvious that these pillars were
the framework of a building which would almost cover the entire island.
The pillars were different colors, shapes, and sizes. It was hard to
understand how all of these, being so different, would work as a single frame
work, However, the Lord seemed very pleased with each one, and they did
eventually all fit together.
The People Come
Then the ships and boats all started landing on the island. There were
multitudes of people. Each ship or boat was from a different country or race of
people. Soon I began to think that, even as large as it was, there were too
many people for the building. Then the Lord looked at me and said very sternly,
“We will build as many rooms as we need-no one will be turned away.”
This was said so sternly that I resolved to never again consider turning
people away as an option. I also pondered how the biggest problem before was
how to get people to come to the buildings. Now the big problem was what to do
with all of the people.
When each ship arrived, the people on it were led straight to the Lord. He
looked into the eyes of each one and said, “If you trust Me, you will die
for me.” When one said “I will die for You,” He immediately
thrust His sword right through his heart. This caused very real pain. To those
who tried to avoid the sword, it was obviously even more painful. To those who
relaxed, it did not seem to hurt as much.
They were then taken to a cemetery with the words “Obscurity” over
the gate. I felt compelled to follow them. Those who had been stabbed were
checked to see that they were really dead before they were buried. Some clung
to life for a long time, and were laid off to one side. Quickly, those who were
buried began to arise as lights just like those who had survived the storm. I
noticed that they were not staying in their tombs the same length of time. Some
of them arose before those who were clinging to life were even buried.
When I first looked at this cemetery, it looked like a dreadful place, and I
did not think that it fit at all on this now glorious island. As I left the
cemetery, I turned to look back at it, and it looked beautiful. I could not
figure out what was different, when one of the workers said to me knowingly, “The
cemetery has not changed–you have.”
I then looked at the building and it was even more glorious than I had
remembered. I then looked at the island and felt the same thing–it had become
much more beautiful. I remembered the Scripture, “Precious the sight of
the Lord is the death of His godly ones” (Psalm 116:15). The worker, who
was still looking at me, then said, “You have not died yet, but were
changed just by being close to those who have. When you die you will see even
Those who were emerging as lights from the cemetery were each being led to
their own place in the building, which would have their name on it. Some joined
the walls, others joined the pillars, some became windows or doors. They
remained people even after they became a part of the building.
I returned to the Lord’s side. Standing in His present was so wonderful I
could not imagine why anyone would not be willing to die for Him, but many of
the people coming from the ships did refuse. These would all back away from Him
at the request. Many of these went back to the ships, some of which left and
some which remained in the harbor.
A few of the people who refused to die stayed on the island and were allowed
to walk about freely, and even enter the House of the Lord. They seemed to love
and bask in the glory of it all. Many of these began to shine with a glory too,
but they only reflected what was coming from the others.
As I was thinking that it was not right for these to be allowed to stay, the
Lord said to me, “My patience will win many of these, but even those that
never give me their lives, I love and am pleased to let them enjoy my glory.
Never turn away those who love My glory.” These really did enjoy the
house, and enjoyed the presence of the Lord that radiated from the house, but
they seemed timid, and retreated when the Lord Himself came close to them.
I then watched as those who had refused to die for the Lord began to act as
if His house were their own, and had been built for them. I wanted to be angry
at their great presumption, but I could not feel anger even though I wanted to.
I then understood that it was because I was standing so close to the Lord that I
could not be mad. This forced me to make the decision to stay close to Him for
move away so that I could be angry.
I was surprised that this was a difficult decision, that I would even
consider anting to move away from the Lord, but it honestly was. Out of fear at
what was arising within me, I stepped closer to the Lord. He immediately
reached out and grabbed me as if I was about to fall off of a cliff. As I
looked behind me I was astonished to find that I had been on the very edge of
one, and had I taken that step away from the Lord to feel the anger, I would
have stepped off of it.
He then said to me, “In this house I can tolerate presumption more than
that anger. That anger would start the war again.” I was then overwhelmed
with the knowledge hat I had not yet made the decision to die for Him either,
and that I too had been presumptuously feeling possessive of both the house and
the Lord. When I saw this great evil in my own heart I was appalled and
immediately begged the Lord to destroy my evil heart with His word.
When the Lord pierced My heart, I was surprised to feel so little pain when
it seemed to have been so hard on others. He then said, “Those who request
death die easier.” I remembered His statement in Matthew 21:44 “And
he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whoever it falls, it
will scatter him like dust.”
I did not remember being carried to the cemetery, but just as if no time at
all had passed, I was emerging from it again. Now the glory of everything I saw
was unspeakable. I looked at the rock and loved it. I looked at trees, the sky
and clouds, and could not believe how wonderful they were. A sparrow seemed
more glorious than any bird I had ever seen. I wondered at the great treasure
that this little bird was, and why I had not appreciated him like this before.
I then looked at the presumptuous people. Not only did I feel no temptation
to be angry, I loved them so much I would have let one each pierce my heart
again if it would help them. I then began to think of how blessed I was to be
able to meet them and be with them. Now I actually wanted them to stay and
could not even comprehend how I was ever tempted to be angry at them–they were
much greater treasures than the sparrow!
Then the Lord stood next to me. Though I did not think it was possible, He
was much more glorious than before, and I was able to bear it. He said, “This
is why the death of My people is so precious to Me. Those who seek to save
their life always lose it, but those who lose their life for My sake find true
life. Now you know true life because you know love.”
I then looked at the house and all of those who composed it. Everything and
every one that I looked at seemed to stir up this great feeling of love that was
more wonderful than anything I had ever felt before. I wanted to go look at or
talk to each one, but I did not want to leave the Lord’s side, Whose presence
was even more compelling. Knowing my thoughts, he said, “You need never
fear leaving My side, because I have made My abode in you and I will be with you
everywhere that you go.”
As I watched the presumptuous people, they were enjoying all of the
blessings, and even thought of themselves as the reasons for them, but they
really were not even a part of what was being built. Having just been one of
them I also knew how shallow their enjoyment was, compared to what it could be,
and a great compassion came over me for them. As I continued watching these
people, they gradually became thinner in substance until they were just like the
phantoms I had seen in the city that had been destroyed. Again I thought of the
Lord’s words, “Those who seek to save their life will lose it, but those
who lose their life for My sake will find it.”
Then I looked at how the building kept getting higher, and the higher it
went the more glory it exuded and the further it could be seen. This resulted
in even more ships and people coming through the storms, which were still
raging, but seemed unable to affect the island. As I wondered how high the
building could get, the Lord turned to me again and, as if He were answering my
thoughts, said, “There is no limit to how high we can build this because I
am the foundation and love is the cement.”
This caused me to look at the cement, which was transparent but radiated a
great power. I wondered how I had not noticed this before; it was now so
obvious and captivating. I then started pondering how I seemed blind to even
the greatest wonders of this building until the Lord directed my attention to
them. It caused me to turn back tot he Lord and watch everything to which He
gave His attention.
The Lord then began looking at the people who now composed the building. As
I looked at them again I was immediately struck by the face that they were more
than people-I knew that they were the “new creation” that had
transcended this creation. They had bridged the gap between the physical and
spiritual realms, and were clearly a part of both. They were unquestionable
supernatural, which did not mean that they were more than natural, but far more
natural than anything “natural” I had ever seen. They were more real
than anything I had ever considered “real.” They made everything else
seem like a shadow, and this sense increased as they continued to change.
Soon the glory that was coming from them could be both seen and felt. The
feeling was not like a touch, but like an emotion, As I walked close enough to
this glory, it made me feel so good that the only way that I can describe it is
like a wonderful intoxication, not one that clouded the mind, but illuminated
it. I felt somehow ennobled, but with pride, but with a powerful sense of
destiny. I also felt a profound security, as if I were in complete harmony with
the ground, the air and especially the Lord and His house. The feeling was so
good I never wanted to move again.
With the addition of each new boatload of people, the transformation of
those already a part of the building would continue, and the glory of the whole
building would increase and expand. This made everyone in the building greatly
rejoice with the coming of each new group of people.
Sharing the Glory.
When those who came from the cemetery took their place in the building,
those who were already a part tried to give the new ones their own glory. As
they did this, the glory radiating from the Lord would increase, and He would
give even more to those who had given their own glory away. Those who were the
most devoted to this sharing would be the ones used to start the next level of
the house, which kept going higher and higher.
I thought of how opposite this was from the jealousy which had prevailed
previously in the city. I then tried to ponder the jealousy to understand it
more, but it was almost impossible to do. Because I could no longer feel
jealousy, I had a difficult time even understanding what it was–it seemed as
unreal as if it had only existed in bad dreams. The joy of sharing was so great
that not doing it now seemed incomprehensible. The more the glory was shared,
the more each one received to share.
The joy of sharing was so great that I knew that all of use would be
spending eternity just seeking others with whom to share the glory. I had a
strong sense of knowing that the Lord would be creating many new worlds just for
us to have new places to share His glory. I then knew that this was why He had
created the universe with such diversity, and why He created it to continually
expand at a rapid pace. Those who touched His glory were touched by a love that
had to share the glory, which caused them to expand. He had given us the
universe to share His glory with. He had set in motion a glorious chain
reaction that would never stop! There were no limits on time or space, and we
would need every bit of it!
The Storms Return
Then suddenly my attention was turned toward the storms that had continued
to grow in the sea. To my shock they had grown larger and faster than the house
of the Lord, and were now coming toward the island.
Great waves covered the island and the building disappeared from my view,
even though I was still very close to it. The fury of this storm was beyond
comprehension, but I felt no fear at all. I
knew that it was because I had already died to this world and had a life
that could never be taken from me. As wonderful as the island had become, I was
just happy to die physically so that I would be free to carry the glory of the
Lord to the rest of the universe that had so captured my attention. It really
would have been hard to choose to stay or go, I just rested and waited.
Gradually the storms abated and the building then re-emerged. Both the
buildings and the island were much smaller, but even more glorious. Then I
noticed that the storms were just off shore and were returning. This happened
several times, and each time the building would emerge it would be smaller, but
more glorious. Each time that this happened the storms were also much
smaller–they were wearing themselves out on the island. Soon the storms could
only generate small waves that posed no threat of any real damage. The glory of
the house was now beyond any human description.
Then the clouds dissipated altogether into the most beautiful sky I had ever
seen. As I gazed into the sky I began to realize that it was filled with the
glory that was being emitted from the house. As I looked at the house I was
amazed that there was no damage from the storm, though it was much smaller.
Even so, the glory now coming from the house was much greater than before, and
was reflected by everything. I felt that it was so great that it must already
be extending far beyond the earth.
Then the vision changed and I was alone with the Lord. All of the great
feelings were gone–even the love. He looked at me earnestly and said, “The
war is almost over. It is time to prepare for the storms. Tell My people that
no one with His brother’s blood on His hands will be used to build My house.”
I was trying hard to listen to these words in order to heed them, while
still thinking about the great love I had felt. He then said, “This was a
dream, but it is real. You have known everything that I have shown you in this
dream in your heart. Now believe with your heart and My love will be real to
you again. This is your quest–to know my love.”
The general interpretation of this vision is obvious, but I do think that
many of the feelings that I had during this experience are an important part of
In looking at the different buildings which I knew represented denominations
or movements, the architectural clash was so striking that it was grotesque. It
was as if they were all so intent on being different that the most hideous
skyline had been the result. I could not imagine anyone who happened upon such
a city having any desire to enter it, even if the conflict was not taking place.
The church is doing much more damage to herself through infighting than the
enemies without are able to do. At that time I was consciously surprised that
the Lord did not intervene in this destructive fighting. Those who were
fighting against the other denominations, or movements, were all disqualified
from being a part of the house the Lord built.
This reminded me of King David, who, because he was “a man of war and
had shed blood” (1Chronicles 28:3), was not allowed to build the temple of
the Lord. This did not disqualify David from salvation, or from being
considered one of the great men of God of all time. I felt that many true
saints, and even great men of God, were tragically disqualifying themselves from
this most wonderful work of all by becoming embroiled in this spiritual civil
war. This even caused them to lose the light that hey had; only the
peacemakers, and those who to trying to repair and build instead of tearing
down, radiated with light in this vision.
I think that it was significant that almost all, if not all, of these
buildings contained those who were true lights. These may appear as small
lights now, but they will be the foundation upon which the Lord will build His
Because the sea sometimes represents “mass humanity” in Scripture
(see Revelation 17:15), the multitudes are going to rise up in great waves which
will destroy much of the present visible structure of the church. Those who are
true lights will not be swept away by the waves. Those who walk in this truth
have a foundation which cannot be shaken.
The Lord’s command to release the sea did not cause the sea to rise up, but
just removed that which was restraining it. The sea then came with fury against
the island, as if it were being controlled by a great hatred. I believe this
represented a great hatred against visible, institutional Christianity that will
arise, and the Lord will allow it to destroy these institutions.
When these great tidal waves had stopped, there were no Christian
institutions as represented by the buildings that men had constructed. However,
all of the real Christians remained. I do not think that it is wrong to keeptrying to repair these structures, as the Lord honored and preserved those who
did, but this vision affirmed deep within me the need to focus on building
people, rather than trying to build another institution that will be able to
stand in these times–none of them will stand.
Even though these present buildings were destroyed, they each contained
those who were to be pillars in His house. The house of the Lord was a brand
new building but those who became the main supports in it came from almost every
denomination and movement. The Lord is “the wise man who brings forth from
His treasures things both new and old.” The Lord does have new wine to
serve, but Isaiah 25:6 declares that the Lord will also serve “refined,
aged wine.” The Lord will not use either the old or the new, but both the
old and new.
The Lord’s house was built in the midst of the increasing storms of rage and
lawlessness. It radiated as an even greater light because of the storms. I was
encouraged that the Lord will build, on this earth, a church that really will
reflect His glory, and that this age will not end until He does.
It could not be any other way. Moses contended when the Lord threatened to
destroy Israel, that this would only leave the testimony that He could bring
people out of Egypt, but could not lead them into the Promised Land. The Lord
will have a testimony, through the church, that will last for eternity. That
testimony will be that He not only can forgive the sins of His church, but He
also has the power and wisdom to deliver her from her sins, and maker her into a
glorious bride without spot or wrinkle:
Mt 16:13 ¶ When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he
asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some [say that thou art] John the Baptist: some, Elias;
and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona:
for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will
build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
(Note: In original article this last quote was in N.A.S.B.)
Recently, while spending time with the Lord, He showed me a picture of a very
beautiful, ornate church building. Inside and out, the church had the
appearance of excellence. Nothing but the best had gone into building this
house of God. .
The architecture that went into this church was determined by the interests of
those who did the building. There were very large ornate doors that graced the
entrance. They were placed there by those who felt the most important
ministry of the church was to welcome in the lost. To enter through these
doors would surely be the key of forgiveness to all those who were seeking
love and forgiveness.
There were many windows, and the sanctuary was filled with bright rays of
sunlight. They had been placed there by those who felt that the most important
ministry of the church was to shine the light and truth of Jesus on every part of
Toward the front of the sanctuary was a platform on which many instruments
were lined up, waiting to be played to the glory of God. The platform was
placed there by those who saw praise and worship as the most important part
of the church.
Kneeling benches lined the platform, because some thought prayer was the
most important thing.
Many smaller rooms had been built to accommodate teaching of the Word.
Teaching was the key to those who had built these walls…..and on it went.
In pondering this picture, I saw many good and necessary things that people
saw as most important to the church, but I asked the Lord what He saw as
most important to the structure. Immediately I was taken to the basement of
the church. There I saw what on the surface seemed to be a very sound, and
secure foundation. The footings went deep, the cement appeared thick and
strong. Then the Lord showed me a cross section of the foundation.
Much to my surprise, I saw many things imbedded in the cement. I saw words
that had long ago been spoken, not by God, but by man. I saw sheets of
music, and instruments of praise. I saw religious people, and family members,
and I saw stacks of money imbedded into the rock hard cement. There were
many other things, all placed there by those who felt these things were
necessary for a firm, and solid foundation.
Then the ground started to shake. The pressure on the foundation became very
great. As the shaking continued, these “good” things that had made their way
into the foundation began to cave in under the weight and pressure of the
shaking. In the places where the foundation had appeared to be firm and
strong only minutes before, now were crumbling and caving in. Many found the
very ground on which they were standing began to fall away. As the ground
continued to shake, the weak places became traps to all those who were
relying on them to hold them firm in a time of trouble. Only those corners that
were truly undergirded by true foundation were safe. All those who found
themselves standing on places that had anything else added to the foundation
were in danger.
Then I heard the Lord say “I am coming to test the foundation of My church.”
There are many who have placed many good things in their foundation, but
none of these things will be able to stand in a time of shaking. Many people
were not even aware that what lay under their feet was not solid until the
shaking began. God in His mercy is shaking His church to reveal the weak
places that need to be repaired. No other foundation except Jesus will stand.
I Cor 3:11
For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is layed,
which is Jesus Christ.
PREPARE YE THE WAY
John the Baptist was more than a voice. He not only echoed the words of Elijah, but he is representative of all the people who would receive Jesus. He is the fore-shadowing of what those people would become—the Church.
The sign that John was a milestone in God’s Covenant is seen in the circumstances of his birth. The first miracle of the Covenant God made with Abraham was the birth of Isaac. This set a precedent. The hallmark of the Covenant would be birth—specifically, life arising out of deadness and impossibility. Abraham and Sarah represented the condition of all mankind—spiritually sterile, and, because of their age, dying. God’s Covenant was the promise of new life. The token of the covenant—circumcision—indicated that this new life would come about without flesh. The child of promise—Isaac—was not born until after Abraham was circumcised.
Zacharias and Elisabeth, like Isaac’s parents, were barren and advanced in years. This fact alone points to special significance in the life of John. What we are told about them sheds more light.
Zacharias means, Jehovah has remembered. Elisabeth means, God of the oath, and is derived from the Hebrew word for seven, which means, to be completed. John means, Jehovah-favored, or beloved. These names put into a sentence is the Lord—the Covenant-making God—speaking to mankind: “Beloved, I have remembered and completed my oath.” This was John’s message—”The time has come.”
When Gabriel appeared to Zacharias to tell him God had heard and answered his prayer for a child, Zacharias was ministering in the temple, burning incense. We are also told that at the time this was occurring, the whole multitude of people were praying outside (Luke 1:8-17). If we are to really see John as the foreshadowing of the Church we should be able to see this pattern elsewhere.
In the book of the Revelation, there is an interlude between the opening of the seals and the sounding of the first trumpet. The seals show the completed work of redemption. Before the trumpets we are shown a picture of an angel with a golden censer offering prayers and incense to God. Since this is happening immediately after Jesus’ resurrection, this has to be the prayers of the one hundred and twenty gathered in the upper room awaiting power from on high. The angel then takes fire from the altar and casts it into the earth. This is Pentecost. The next thing we see is the sounding of the trumpets—the voice of the church.
In both of these scenes the same elements are present—prayer, incense, and an angelic presence. In both instances—the announcement of John’s birth, and the trumpets preparing to sound—we have evidence of a coming herald.
Gabriel told Zacharias that many would rejoice at the birth of John and that the child would be filled with the Holy Spirit. Many of the children of Israel would turn to the Lord because of John. He would speak in the spirit and power of Elijah. He would make ready a people prepared for the Lord. This is also the mission of the Church—to preach Jesus, preparing men’s hearts to receive him.
This prophesy about John is eclipsed only by that of Jesus in its magnitude. John was a blood relative of Jesus, which serves to show the very close relationship between the mission each was sent to accomplish. Jesus was the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29). The blood tie between Jesus and John is an indication of the Blood that would bring each believer into the household of God.
Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and second only to that, John was baptized in the Spirit while yet unborn. This happened when Mary, pregnant with Jesus, visited Elisabeth, who was pregnant with John. It was the proximity of Jesus that caused John’s in-filling. This is a beautiful picture of mankind carrying the Spirit of Jesus to those who will receive him. The fact that this happened between two unborn babies who could not possibly communicate physically demonstrates that salvation is a work of the Holy Spirit. John, born with the Spirit, is a picture of the new spirit-birth of the church.
John knew that Jesus was his cousin, but because he received the Holy Spirit from Jesus before he was born, he was able to recognize Jesus as the Messiah at the river Jordan. It was the Spirit that bore witness!
Jesus submitted to the baptism of John to fulfill all righteousness (Matthew 3:15). Just as Israel was baptized into Moses, thus becoming the figure of the church; Jesus coming to John for baptism was the figure of the believer, having received the Word, being baptized into the church.
John’s ministry was to prepare people to receive Jesus. He was the herald for the coming of the Lord. The Jews were looking for the Messiah, but they were expecting more of a political leader—someone who would overthrow the Roman Empire and set up headquarters in Jerusalem. They were looking for a bodily, materialistic rescue—-not spiritual freedom. Their focus wasn’t much different than that of denominational Christianity today. In both cases, people tend to look for a rescue from outward circumstances without inward change. Jesus’ mission was to liberate man from sin so that man could deal with the circumstances of poverty, sickness and the bondage of evil.
This is where the similarities between then and now are so striking. When John began heralding the coming of the Lord, he wasn’t referring to a dramatic event where the sky would split open and a huge shining figure would swoop down and throw lightening bolts. Jesus was already on earth in a body. The coming of the Lord heralded the beginning of Jesus’ work. Jesus the Messiah was concealed in a body, but John’s anointed vision saw the truth beyond the flesh. It was John’s revelation that identified Jesus to the world. The church must have the same revelation—Jesus is here!
The work of the church today is the same as what John preached—repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus—take on his identity—put on Christ! The church today preaches the coming of the Lord and just as when John preached—Jesus’ body is already here! Jesus responded to John’s heralding by beginning the work of his ministry. The same will happen today when we allow his identity to come into his body and continue the works he did before. John saw the spirit, in the form of a dove descending upon Jesus. He saw evidence of the Spirit! The church needs to show that same evidence!
The church’s eventual lapse into ineffectiveness was also mirrored in the life of John. Because of his message of repentance, John angered Herod and was imprisoned, and then beheaded. Likewise, Satan was not only angered, but afraid of the success of the early church, and through subtle and deceptive tactics managed to lure the focus of the church away from the simplicity of Christ. As a result, the church found itself imprisoned in the ornate, but powerless labyrinth of religion. This was the same thing that happened under the old Covenant, proving that Satan tends to use the same old tricks—because they work.
John was almost like two different people—bold and confident while preaching—and weakened by doubt in prison. It was while he was in prison that he sent his disciples to Jesus with the question, “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” This doesn’t sound like the prophet who looked up to see Jesus at the Jordan river and proclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,” ( John 1:29). It seems unthinkable that this could be the same man. Instead of calling out to Jesus in confident assurance, John’s only words were a doubt-filled question—”Art thou he?”
By the same token, the church, once so bold, having begun in the power of the Holy Spirit, working miracles and saving people by the thousands on a daily basis, fell into the same doubtful posture within a century or so. John was beheaded while in prison and the church, locked within the same dungeon of confusion and unbelief, lost its head as well.
John’s question, “Art thou he?” sheds some light on the reason for his and the church’s decline into powerlessness. While preaching in the power of the Holy Spirit, John’s focus was singular and straight. He lived and breathed his conviction that the time had come for God’s promised redeemer to be revealed. This God-given vision was so real to John that he knew Jesus was the Messiah without being told by anyone but the Holy Spirit. (John 1:33) If he could ask the question, “Are you the one?” is evidence that his focus had veered.
This is exactly what happened in the church. The focus gradually shifted from Jesus to certain church leaders. Just as in the wilderness when the children of Israel preferred to have Moses hear from God for them, many of the early Christians became spiritually lazy, just like today, relying on pastors to do their praying and seeking God for them. This passivity led to weakness, and soon people were floundering in the dark having forgotten what they had lost sight of.
The very human—carnal—tendency to elevate men is a misplaced longing to see something rather than relying on faith in the unseen. The fact that God is Spirit and must be worshipped in spirit gets lost in the shuffle when people want to revere the men God uses. This can be seen in the account of the transfiguration. (Matthew 17: 1-13)
Jesus had been speaking to his disciples about his coming death and resurrection. Peter disagreed saying this should not happen, but Jesus, in turn, rebuked Peter for savoring the things of men more than the things of God. He went on to say that anyone who wanted to follow him would have to practice self-denial and take up his cross, or, die to self. This is a good way of saying, “Keep your focus.” Then Jesus spoke about coming into his kingdom in the glory and power of his Father. He wanted them to understand what his kingdom really was.
Jesus took Peter, James, and John up to a high mountain apart. A high mountain designates the superiority of Divine Government, and apart signifies the status of the church—called apart. (Interestingly, the number twelve means Divine Government and can be obtained by adding two—which means separation—and ten—which means redemption.) The three disciples were a token of all the people called apart to populate his kingdom.
In their presence, Jesus’ face shined like the sun and his raiment became white as the light. Moses and Elijah appeared and talked with Jesus. Peter’s reaction was to suggest they set up three tabernacles, one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. Mark 9:6 states that Peter didn’t know what to say because they were so afraid. His remark was typical in a situation where one feels that something appropriate needs to be said, so Peter made a religious suggestion. The problem was that three tabernacles would put Moses and Elijah on the same level as Jesus. It would serve to scatter ones focus and encourage the reverence of men. Remember, just before this incident Peter had been rebuked for regarding the things of men more than the things of God.
While that rather lame suggestion was coming out of Peter’s mouth, a cloud overshadowed them and God spoke. “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” God was not simply introducing Jesus as his Son. Peter already knew this. Before this incident took place Jesus had asked Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God. God’s words, “This is my beloved Son…” was a response to the vision they had seen and Peter’s remark about the three tabernacles. God was telling Peter that this vision is my Son.
Moses and Elijah represent the Messianic aspects of the Old Covenant that Jesus became in the New Covenant. Israel was baptized into Moses, the deliverer. This was the church before Pentecost—set apart from the world, but not as yet empowered with the Holy Spirit. Elijah represents the spirit baptism—the power following Pentecost. Moses is the flesh buried in water baptism thus preparing the spirit for the in-filling. Moses died, but God buried him and the site remains a secret with God—just as the believer’s life is hid with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). Elijah never died physically but was taken up to heaven bodily. This represents the renewal and imperishability of the spirit. Also, Elijah left his mantle—his anointing —behind, just as Jesus did.
Another aspect of Elijah is his most well remembered act—the contest with the prophets of Baal to see whose god was God (1Kings 18: 31-38). Elijah took twelve stones and built an altar, and after laying the wood and the sacrifice on that altar he had a trench dug around it and ordered twelve barrels of water be poured over the sacrifice. Then the fire of God came and consumed, or received, the sacrifice. This sacrifice had been baptized! Jesus is the baptized blood sacrifice that paid the ultimate price of sin. (Note: Elijah laid the sacrifice upon an altar of twelve stones, and had twelve barrels of water poured over it. Twelve indicates the perfect order, or the government, arising out of sanctification and redemption which precede the fire of the anointing.)
This is my beloved Son. This vision is Jesus. 1John 5:7-8 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. The water baptism, the spirit baptism, and the blood all agree in Jesus.
In this account of the transfiguration, Matthew 17:8 gives us the focus for the church. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. If the church is to stay filled with the power of the Spirit, we cannot take our eyes off the source of the Spirit—Jesus only. Getting caught up in personalities is a deadly pursuit. The only cure for this is to put our eyes back where they belong—back on Jesus.
Peter, James, and John were told not to talk about the vision until after Jesus was resurrected. Why? Because the vision was for the church. Some things are better understood in retrospect, and once Jesus had left the earth, they would be more apt to comb their experiences for meaning.
The disciples asked Jesus why it was said that Elijah must come first. Keep in mind that the vision of the transfiguration occurred to illustrate what Jesus said immediately before the vision occurred: “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom” (Matt. 16:28).
The vision revealed God’s covenant working in man, for man, and completed by the man Jesus. All these things happened on earth. They happened regardless of circumstances. Every facet of the Covenant was something good for man. All through the years before Jesus, God used the hearts, hands, and voices of many men to reveal, a little at a time, his intent for man. In the transfiguration vision, Moses and Elijah were two men who represented pivotal aspects of the Covenant—deliverance, and the anointing. God himself summed it up—”This is my beloved Son…”
Elijah was expected to return because he had never died physically, and because of his message that would herald the coming of the Lord. John came in the same Spirit and power as Elijah because there is only one Spirit, one source of power, and one message.
In Matthew 17:11 Jesus said Elijah shall come (future tense), and restore all things. Then in verse 12, he said that Elijah is already come and they didn’t recognize him—indicating past tense. He was speaking of the anointing of the Holy Spirit—the one Spirit that empowered both Elijah and John. The message was the same because God’s Spirit does not change. This is why John was representative of the future church—the people who would take up the same anointing and preach the same message—the message of the Anointed One.
The kingdom Jesus revealed in the transfiguration is on earth, not heaven. If his kingdom was to have been in Heaven, they would have seen a vision of Heaven. But the vision was on earth. The whole purpose of the Covenant with man was to re-instate on earth the Heavenly conditions that existed before evil was allowed to run free. Jesus came from God to the earth to settle the score. But he left his Spirit here—for us—for the church. If the message never changes, then the result doesn’t either.
Isaiah 60:1 is a command to the church. It is also an exact picture of the transfiguration. Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
We think we’re waiting on Jesus to decide to come. But his body is already here. He is just waiting on us to recognize him.
What does it mean to be a Christian?
Do you simply just “Accept Jesus in to your heart”?
In my studies, I believe God revealed to me the mere beginning of what
It’s sad but I believe that most Christians have been subtlety duped by another gospel.
I know that God has begun a process in me to free me from my misconceptions about Him.
Faith and grace are Paul’s manifesto. Jesus said ‘believe in me’
So its faith then. Now let me define the faith the scripture talks about.
(Added Feb 2000: My point here does seem a little strong. To say
Faith in Christ is not faith in principles, even spiritual principles. Even
This is what most Christians do. People “accept” Christ and try to live a good moral
This is where we really get messed up it doesn’t work. There is no power in this life.
We are so focused on what we are doing instead of who we are.
If you really want to know what Jesus wants you to “do”
IJohn 3:23 ¶ And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of
I hate the word Commandment, because implies Law, and the Law has been set
It is through faith we are united with Christ on the cross. We can give our very
If we hand our lives over to Christ in faith, we are changed by the power of
If this doesn’t make any sense to you. If you believe that faith in Christ is doing
Is Jesus Christ in you. Has your Faith allowed Christ to fill you, and change you,
Come to the word without your blinders on. Many read the word of God because they
The more I read the word, the more I realized there are years and years of junk
You are going to have to let God out of your box for Him. Once you start reading
Most of what you learn about God is caught, not taught. Regardless of how
To me, reading the word of God is like flossing my teeth. It might seem
I used to have my agenda. I had a serious
Now I say, look at the word of God, and read it for yourselves.
Experience Him again, for the First Time.
Many Christians have common life stories. They often say things
You don’t need to put a few days between your
Ok, let me sum up some of my main points. You may have some very
What I write here is some truths that have truly changed my life
Evangelicals Sadden Me
I will not mince words. I believe that the evangelical mainstream has become focused entirely on the wrong things.
Faith vs. Works?
For centuries, the debate between emphasizing faith or works has raged in Christian circles. Some argue that our faith needs to be tempered by good works, so that we can discipline and train our sinful natures to get “used to” the idea of doing good. Then, as habits are formed, good works will eventually become a part of us as we mature. Others have chosen to look solely at faith, saying that works are the natural result of having faith. They have the right idea, but then they get bogged down by all of the supposedly contradictory behavioral “commandments” given in the Bible by Jesus, Paul and the other pillars of the early church. Once again we are caught in the never-ending circle of faith and works, seemingly so well matched in scripture, yet frustrating to reconcile in practicality. The above views have labored to conceive animals that cannot possibly survive against the test of scripture. They are theological constructs created by men who seek to put the God of the universe into a box, who they are comfortable dealing with. Fortunately, there are answers. Reading the book of Galatians is a wonderful place to start and I recommend that you start there. Hopefully, you will also find that the insights in this article make things as clear as Paul says that they really are.
So let’s start with the basics. As a result of man’s sin, some sort of vehicle was needed for his salvation. God gave us the law as that vehicle. He gave us the law for the purpose of revealing our sin. In Romans 7, Paul states that he would have not known what sin was apart from the law. Earlier on in 5:20 he even says that the law was added so that the trespass might increase. Galatians 3:19 states that “it (the law) was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come.” Namely, that Seed is Christ. Christ was sent to fulfill the law. However, Paul does not stop there. He goes on to explain that “where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” In Galatians 2:15-16 it says, “We who are Jews by birth and not ?Gentile sinners’ know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.” In saying all of this Paul does not say that the law is unspiritual, but rather it is we who are unspiritual. The law was a perfect means to become righteous, but one that we, as imperfect sinful people, were unable to use. The law was given to reveal that very inadequacy. And yes, it took thousands of years for people to understand, and many still do not. The law paved the way for our salvation by Christ.
Christ is the only one that can set us free from the law of sin and death. The perfect law showed just how far away we were from the ideal. Christ is the only one who could meet the righteous requirements of the law. In love, He made that free gift of God’s grace available to all through faith. Now here is the kicker that many know with their minds yet do not believe with their hearts. We are changed by Christ alone. We do not change what we do simply because we know that Christ died for our sins. We are changed by Him as we come to know Him. We cannot will our selves to act righteous, only Christ is righteous. Only He can change us. Paul illustrates this change by the most permanent of states, death. Galatians 2:19 says, “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” Our sinful nature is crucified with Christ and we live a new life with Him. The old is gone, the new has come! Paul further expounds on this in Ephesians 4:22-24. “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” We are “made new” by Christ. We cannot effect real change in ourselves. It says in Ephesians 2:8, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faithand this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works so that no one can boast.”
“That’s all very well and good,” you might say. “You still haven’t really moved to the heart of the issue.” It is necessary to lay this foundation before directly examining the relationship between faith and works. Despite all of this, the question that I was unable to resolve in my heart was “Why then do all of the New Testament writers give lists of behavioral guidelines, almost a second law as it were?” One minute they are talking about the free gift of God’s grace, and the next minute they are talking about how our behavior should be different. Is there a contradiction here? I mean, there seems to be an airtight line of reasoning in the Bible that says that faith produces works, that is the flow of things. First you have faith and then works come out of that. But why then do you have whole books like James that say that faith without works is useless? Why do we have lists of do’s and don’ts. Have we just been given a whole new book of rules to struggle with? To some, scripture like the Sermon on the Mount has become a “holy grail” for modifying one’s behavior.
Here’s the explanation. Just as the law revealed to us what our sin was, so what we do reveals who we are. Sound complicated? It’s very simple. Since through Christ our old selves have been crucified and we now live new lives, the law doesn’t apply to us any more. We have been set free from the law of sin and death and we live new lives in Christ! For that reason, we have been given new guidelines that are evidence of the presence of God in our lives. It is very important to note that this is a one-way road only. You cannot impersonate or invoke having the presence of God in your life simply by doing these things. There is nothing that you can do to take hold of righteousness. To do so is to elevate the written word above the Person who wrote it. The Jews exalted the law to point of worshiping it above Yahweh, and the problem continued on in the early church. In Galatians 3:1-5 Paul wrote,”You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothingif it really was for nothing? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?” Trying to be good is struggling by the flesh, and is a clear insult to the awesome gift of God’s grace in our lives, no different than being under the law again. If you have faith you are already being made into this kind of person by the presence of His Spirit in your life. If you struggle to wrestle your behavior until it resembles that of Christ by using the limited, flawed strength of the flesh, you are worse off than someone who doesn’t know freedom in Christ at all! You are a hapless prisoner who despondently goes back into his cell and sits in it while the door is standing wide open. There is nothing noble or profitable about making one’s lifestyle agree with a bunch of rules and principles, no matter how good they may be. It is wrong to do the right thing for the wrong reason. Only Christ can make these principles a reality in your life. Christ came to give us freedom!
The very nature of such things as the fruit of the Spirit argue for themselves. They aren’t called “the things that Christians should do to indicate that they are filled with the Spirit.” They are the fruit of the Spirit. Those that have the spirit, have these things in their life. A tree is recognized by its fruit.
Even James does not speak of doing good works apart from faith. He speaks of Abraham in 2:22, “You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.” James had no interest in laying down a second law to hold us in failure and bondage. 2:12, “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom”! Freedom! Paul speaks in Philippians 2, that our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. He doesn’t tell us to act like we have Christ Jesus! In the same book, he goes on to say what is really important, 3:10 “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” Paul was motivated to act in line with who he was in Christ, not what he knew he should be doing. There was a definite change. Otherwise, he might as well be wearing a bracelet on his wrist with 4 letters to remind him that his behavior should be in line with the person that he claimed that he believed in! He acted different because HE WAS DIFFERENT!
Paul recognized the fact that he hadn’t achieved all of this, he just wanted to live up to what he already had. He wasn’t motivated by the fact that others were watching him, he didn’t do it because he felt guilty about doing bad things, he didn’t have an accountability partner that he would have to tell, he did it because he wanted to. He wanted to because he knew how much God loved him and genuinely loved Him back! We have turned into the very people that Paul describes in Romans 9:30-32, “What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works.”
It is ridiculous that as followers of Christ, we are still hung up on the basic truth of faith and works. Let’s not lay this foundation over and over again, but let’s move on to becoming mature! Faith in Christ produces works because Christ is the only one who effects real change in our lives. Otherwise we are doomed to the endless downward spiral of what we want to do and what we don’t want to do, just as Paul experienced. Seek to know Christ, not simply appear like you do. It is a new life that you are living. LIVE IT! Leave behind the old law, and the counterfeit lifestyle. Christ will change you if you allow Him. There is no magic prayer or secret formula. He has already done the work, just let Him.
Faith vs. works, they are not in conflict, but rather the two are inseparable. Faith produces the works that Jesus and Paul talk about. Why? Because we are new creations. The old is gone, the new has come! Leave your bondage and your bracelet behind, and embrace Christ!
When God Hides His Face
God has His own peculiar way
Years ago when I first began a
Believing I was immortal, I
When I began the prayer line,
I stayed on my face before the
“Surely I Am with
In biblical terminology, the
When there is no conscious
In order to survive the times
The accuser of the brethren
In Joshua 1:5-6, the Lord told
When I was a little boy, I
When Moses told Aaron and his
When God Shows His Face
Our desire must be to have His
In Acts 3, there is a man,
However, there is a warning in
It should not surprise us when
Trials and Disappointments
Each of us will go through
No temptation has seized
The Lord is compassionate,
Many people only want the
Let us be honest with each
This is what happens when He
With joy, we can thank the
DIPPING YOUR HAND IN THE BOWL
by Don Potter
This scripture refers to the one man that betrayed Jesus, but it also represents a
What Is the Anointing?
The oil is a symbol of God’s power manifested through the Holy Spirit. The oil
The Lord gave very specific instructions about the ingredients used for the anointing
There are only a few ways for the Lord’s anointing to come upon someone. Initially
In these examples, the people anointed were chosen for the job. They did not choose
It is significant that in Matthew 26:23 Jesus said “He who dipped his hand
Traditionally, the bowl at the center of the table filled with oil was called a common
There is a difference between the presence of the Lord and the anointing of the Lord.
Setting the Table
The job of a praise leader is, metaphorically speaking, to set the table and present to
It’s when His presence comes that many get anxious and presumptuous, and often
This is what happened to Judas. He thought he was making an improvement on the purposes
Oswald Chambers wrote in his book My Utmost for His Highest for January 25,
Because taking time to wait for God may create a seemingly unendurable tension, many
In one of the recent MorningStar conferences, the praise was high and there was a sweet
When Jesus said “the one who dips his hand with me,” He was
In order to have a covenant meal with the Lord, one must be close with the Lord. The
This is not to create a paralysis concerning the anointing or power of God, as the Lord
The Greek word translated “betray” is very interesting. It is paradidomi
If I were to paraphrase Matthew 26:23, it would read something like, “The one who
Giving Over the Power
When the day came that I realized I wasn’t the source of my gift from God, I was
Every time the anointing is present, we run the risk of acting presumptiously toward
While it may seem that I am over spiritualizing this issue, I believe the Lord is
When the anointing is strong during the praise time, I struggle with the fact that I
Our Constitutional Crisis
by Rick Joyner
Each year on New Years Eve we seek a word from the Lord for the coming year. For our
A definition for a crisis is “the point in a disease in which it is determined if
A linchpin is a key part of a machine or structure that holds all of the other parts in
The Root of Lawlessness
Biblical prophesies made by both Jesus and Paul repeatedly state that lawlessness will
Here we see that impurity and lawlessness are linked together. Was it not sexual
The Lord emphasizes in the strongest terms just how serious this problem of lust and
The way that we overcome slavery to the corrupting influences of our flesh is to become
“The wages of sin is death.” We are living in the times when the earth
In Ecclesiastes 8:11 we are told that, “Because the sentence against an evil
When we compromise with lust and impurity, our spiritual lives begin to erode. Sin
As this Scripture implies, when we neglect to purify ourselves it is because we do not
Let us also understand that God’s counter to lawlessness is not legalism. We are
The primary motivation for legalism is guilt, but the motivation for “the
Even so, as the Scriptures are clear concerning these times, the greatest enemy of
The Lord also warned that He knows those who clean up the outside, being righteous in
It is not enough that we appear righteous before others. We must be righteous before
One way that lawlessness creeps into our lives is through “unholy alliances.”
Discerning the Spirit of Lawlessness
The apostle Paul elaborated on this in II Thessalonians 2:4-17, which I will quote a
We are getting closer to the coming of the Lord, but we must be discerning of messages
It is interesting that the man of lawlessness exalts himself above every so-called god
We should also note that the man of lawlessness takes his seat in the temple of God to
This mystery of lawlessness was already at work in the times of the apostles, and has
We can restrain, but the Lord will be the one who ultimately destroys the man of
It will not be those who just have truth who are not deceived by this lawlessness, but
If it is in our heart to take pleasure in wickedness and the things for which the Lord
In this text we see that sanctification is God’s antidote for lawlessness. We have
Another counter to the spirit of lawlessness is to honor the traditions that we have
If we are abiding in Him, we, too, will love righteousness and hate lawlessness. A good
These are the consequences of what may seem to some to be just a small indiscretion. A
We must recognize and resist any defilement of flesh or spirit, such as impurity, as
As stated, God’s answer to lawlessness is not legalism, and His authority is not
We should note that nowhere does Paul say that we should have this attitude only toward
This does not imply that we should not stand up to tyranny with the power of the truth
If we love righteousness, our hearts should be moved when evil is perpetrated or