The Fiscal Cliff
While praying about the future of our economy, I was given a vision of a long, lush green field. I felt that this represented a long period of economic prosperity, which has generally been the case since that time. While praying in August 1995, I saw this field in a vision again, but with much more detail. The end of the field was covered in fog. Not far into the fog there was a very steep cliff. In the middle of the cliff, there was a narrow, twisting, steep path that appeared like a descending bridge. It had the same green grass on it that the field did and went all the way to the bottom.
Those who walked into the fog almost all missed the little path and fell over the cliff. Some of these died, but nets below the cliffs caught many of them. However, these nets were not there to save the people but to trap them. Others entered the fog carefully, dropping to their knees and searching for the path, which they seemed to intuitively know was there. Most of those looking for the path were able to find it and carefully started down on their knees. A few people had parachutes, and they jumped off the cliff into the fog.
At the bottom there was a sea with four kinds of ships in the harbor: slave ships, warships, luxury liners, and hospital ships. Most of the ships were slavers. The next greatest number was warships. There were only five hospital ships, all of which were on clean, well-kept docks right in the middle of the harbor. The two luxury liners were docked at each end of the harbor. An abundance of supplies were on their docks, but both the docks and ships looked filthy and poorly maintained. No warships were docked, but all kept moving about in the harbor.
The people who fell into the nets were put on the slave ships. Most of those who made it down the steep paths headed for the hospital ships, but many did head for the luxury liners. Of those who headed for the luxury liners, some were captured and made to board a slave ship.
The luxury liners were closely guarded, and obviously under the control of the warships. The warships occasionally took people from the slave ships and luxury liners, and they were taking whoever they wanted—they could not be resisted.
Those from the hospital ships were also taking people from the other ships. However, they only took the weakest or those who were so sick or wounded and not expected to live.
The crewmen of the hospital ships were shown respect because they wore brilliant armor that seemed to confound everyone else. Those who were jumping off the cliff with the parachutes were all landing on the hospital ships or their docks.
When a slave ship would fill up it would depart, making frequent turns as if it knew where it was going. The warships were also making so many turns that it seemed impossible to tell which way they would go next. Any ship that happened to be in the way of a warship when it turned was blasted and sunk by the warship. If the warships turned toward each other, they started shooting at each other until one was sunk.
Because of the fog, many ships collided with other ships and sank. The water was filled with sharks that quickly devoured those who fell into it. The confusion, despair, and fear over the harbor were as thick as the fog. When the fog thickened, these fears would intensify. When the fog would thin a little, hope would begin to rise in the people. When the fog lifted enough so that the open sea could be seen, the ships would begin heading for it.
The hospital ships were also the only ones who seemed to be sailing as if they knew where they were going. They could sail right through the chaos in the harbor and into the open sea at will. One or two of them were constantly going out to sea, disappearing for a time, and then they would return. Then another would go and do the same.
As I followed one of these ships to the open sea in the vision, all of a sudden it was as if I was standing on the bridge of the ship. The farther out we went, the more the sky cleared. Soon it became bluer than I had ever seen it, except when flying in a high altitude jet. I was so intrigued by the sky that I had not been watching the sea. When I looked back at it, I saw that we were actually flying at a very high altitude.
I thought that we were going out into space, but soon we descended toward what appeared to be a whole new world. It was composed of islands, each with a different culture of people on it. The wounded on our hospital ship were placed on several of the different islands, so that each wounded person was placed with those from his or her own culture.
These islands were at perfect peace, and there were beautiful white bridges connecting them to one another, with a constant flow of people on the bridges. On each island vast foundations were being laid for a great city.
Even though each island was very different, and different from any place that I had ever seen, I felt immediately at home on each one. They were each like paradise, and though they seemed to be on a different world, I knew that they were somehow very close to the one I had just left.
Interpretation and Insights
That I can now see the end of this field indicates that the end of our economic prosperity is now in sight. What I saw at the end was much more catastrophic than I had ever thought. There are some very dark times ahead, but at the same time there is a whole new world being built right in our midst that is more wonderful than we can even imagine.
To the degree that we have built our lives and faith on the economy of the world, we have built on a very shaky foundation. We know that the time will come when everything that can be shaken will be. The time that we have been given until that happens is for the purpose of preparation. Let us build our hope and trust on the kingdom that alone cannot be shaken.
Those who kept walking into the fog just as they had been walking in the open field, not discerning or not acknowledging the change, either perished or fell into slavery. Those who immediately fell to their knees found a safe way down, but it still led down. They had to stay on their knees all the way; no one could have stood up on that slope because it was too steep and narrow. Falling to our knees speaks of prayer. As soon as we see the fog, or confusion, we must pray for every step we take thereafter.
That no one ascended, but all went down to the bottom of the cliff, spoke to me that the economy of the whole world was going down. Many will survive what is coming, but not at the level they are presently. Much of our present standard of living has been built upon credit, borrowing from the future, and the future is now here. We are fast approaching the time when the bills will have to be paid. That will cause a drastic reduction of our present lifestyles.
I felt that the slave ships were banks. During the Great Depression, banks were so over extended that most of them failed. Somehow, they have now positioned themselves to not only survive another economic collapse, but will actually be in a place to enslave those who are in debt to them.
The warships were all different sizes, and I felt represented different powers. Their efforts were not coordinated, but they all seemed to be in as much confusion as everyone else, and all seemed to be at war with one another. They lived by plundering the other ships and each other. I believe that in the times ahead, small wars will be flashing up almost everywhere and without apparent reason. Anyone who gets in the way of those with some power will be in trouble.
The luxury ships were so filthy that it seemed only slightly better to be on one of them instead of a slave or warship. It was obvious that the luxury of the future will not be as we know it today. Also, the luxury ships were constantly being plundered by the warships, making them almost an intolerable place to be. Even a hint of luxury in the future may only serve to make us targets.
I knew that the hospital ships were the church. They were glistening white with red crosses on them. They were so bright and clean that they stood out dramatically in this vision. White speaks of purity, and the red crosses spoke to me that they were bearing the cross. Red is also the color of sacrifice. These ships were so beautiful that anyone would have wanted to be on them. The church will become the most desirable place in the world to be, and the church will become the pure vessel she is called to be when she takes up the cross, committing herself to the life of sacrifice. In the times ahead, the life of sacrifice and service to others will be the most desirable life in the world and will actually be a glorious place to dwell.
The people on the hospital ships each wore brilliant, silver armor. They, too, stood out dramatically whenever they appeared, and this caused everyone to show them great respect, even the warships. This spoke to me that when believers learn to wear their armor, they will command the whole world's respect and have authority because of it.
The docks of the hospital ships were also spotless and were overflowing with supplies. There was far more wealth on them than on the luxury ships, but the wealth was being used for service, not luxury. Because the individuals with the armor and the hospital ships commanded such respect, no one was trying to plunder their great stocks of supplies, even though they were obvious to everyone.
When a hospital ship pulled between two warships that were fighting, they would stop fighting and give them their wounded. It seemed that this was one of the primary purposes of these ships, to simply stop the fighting whenever they could.
In the midst of the chaos of this place, the dignity, resolve, and purpose that the Christians and their ships moved with was stunning. The greatest feeling came over me when I stood on the bridge of the ship leaving for the open sea. That feeling was freedom. As soon as we entered the open sea, we ascended into the heavenly places. Once out of the fog, we did not travel on the earth. When we came back down, it was to a seemingly new earth, even though I knew somehow that it was right in the middle of what I had left.
That I entered this extraordinary freedom on a hospital ship speaks of finding our true peace when we take up our crosses to serve others. When we do this, we will begin to dwell in the heavenly places. Then we will see the earth very differently—we will see what God is doing. I really felt that those paradise islands were already right in our midst, but we just could not see them yet.
At the very time when the world descends into a terrible chaos, which will probably begin with economic chaos, God is building bridges between people that will be the foundation of a glorious future. The end of this age is the beginning of the one over which Christ will reign. In Revelation 17:15 we are told that, “The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.” The sea often represents mass humanity in prophetic language. That the sea at the bottom of the cliff was in the most terrible chaos represents what the kingdoms of this world are headed for. The islands represent that the Lord is also laying a foundation for His kingdom right in our midst at this same time. That I knew these islands were close to the sea of confusion spoke to me that what the Lord is about to build on the earth is also very close at hand.
The bridges are right now being built between people. The bridges were for interchange, and it was obvious to me that each island was building something wonderful, as if it were the very best from their culture in order to share it with the other islands. That new foundations were being laid for cities represented a whole new beginning for the earth. What is now being built for the Lord, for the sake of His kingdom, will remain and be a foundation for the age to come.