War and Glory
(from MorningStar Journal Vol.4 No.2 Pages: 56-65 )
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 buildings 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 war.
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 II Corinthians 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 their foreheads.
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 there.
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 for them."
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 spirits 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 resolve.
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 more glory."
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 wanting 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 the message.
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 house.
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 keep\ trying 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: