One morning in 1988 my wife received a dream from God as she awoke. I had just finished praying when she came down the stairs. As she described the dream, a vivid picture came into my mind as if it was my own, and with that came the interpretation from the Lord. It all remains as clearly today as when it happened.
In the dream my wife saw a very old, strictly orthodox religious man, leading a woman by a thin gold chain attached to a bracelet on her wrist. The woman was also very elderly, and had obviously been subject to the old man for a long time. The chain however, was extremely thin. She could easily have broken the flimsy restraint, but was thoroughly conditioned, afraid of going beyond familiar confines.
They were walking through a school yard, and as they passed, the old woman reached out, grasping my wife in a desperate embrace around the shoulders. Then like a drowning person, she would not let go. Repeating, “Help me, help me,” she dragged my wife downwards with her.
Almost brought to the ground, my wife pushed the old woman away with all of her might. Now free and leaving them both behind, she was instantly running with great leaps and bounds down a main residential road. As she ran, my wife passed lines of people from many nationalities and religions, all sitting beside the road.
This whole scene took place in the small town where we attended church.
The old man in the dream represents tradition, and the old woman, the church. The gold chain represents the thin thread of lies that keep the church in fear. Running in leaps and bounds represents the joy, liberty, and power we will find when we break free of man-made religion and follow the heavenly man, Jesus. And the people at the side of the road are the nations, who will witness the glory of God as the remnant of God sheds the shackles of tradition and walks in truth and power before Jesus returns.
Religious tradition is one of the cloaks that Satan wears in the church. Listing his many ploys would require a whole book, but his goal is always the same – to replace Jesus as the head of the church.
It is plain from scripture that the church ought to be governed by the gifts of the Spirit, and not by the institutions of man. For when the Holy Spirit is in charge, Jesus is glorified, the church grows in faith, the world sees the miraculous power of God, and multiplied souls enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Every Christian denomination started this way, as men and women were touched by the Holy Spirit and learned to submit to his leading.
But over time, Satan subtly hides behind naturally gifted, self-willed men and women, who love to have the preeminence, who worship the work of their own hands, who use pious, reasonable sounding arguments to lead the church away from a vital, living relationship with the Holy Spirit. Then, not knowing the Spirit, well meaning underlings preach self preservation to the natural man, as the spiritual man who craves to be given for others withers and dies. Finally, gasping, the church latches on to anything she thinks will help, trying to rise above the world she knows is sinking.
So it is with great sadness that God and those who know the Spirit view much of what passes for spirituality in the church today. It seems that the hope of the world is blind and failing at a time when lost souls need someone to show them light and a new way to live.
Jesus wept at this terrible, terrible wrong in his day. He wept because the word of God declares freedom from every doubt and earthly restraint, but instead the people of God willingly maintain the chain they could so easily break.
Now. Can I tell you the secret to a life of power in Jesus Christ, where you can experience the full measure of God’s liberty and joy? It is not complicated. Jesus taught us what to do.
Instead of loving yourself and the world, love your neighbour. Lay down your life, abandon your ambitions, forsake your own comforts and pray earnestly for souls. Can you do that?
I have learned that I am unhappy when I am double minded, and fearful when my eyes are on the circumstances around me.
But when I pray and share Jesus’ love for souls, I see that he is already moving in sovereign power, that many are answering his call, and that soon he will do something the whole world will notice.
In the word of God it is written. God always has a remnant who walk as Jesus walked.
I received a word of knowledge from the Lord in July 2003. “The church is about to have a short period of tremendous success, but then persecution.”
God has been preparing again, a remnant who will fulfill his word in the final days, and there will be a great harvest in every corner of the earth. But it will not be without cost. As revival goes throughout the land, persecution will arise, and a conclusive choice will have to be made. Either forsake your life and follow Jesus Christ to certain death, or choose to preserve your life and fall away to the Antichrist. For many years I have sought a gentle way to say that, but there is none.
It also grieves me to say that the distinction will not be obvious to everyone. Only Jesus’ disciples will have their eyes open. If you take up your cross, you will be his disciple and you will understand. But if you refuse God’s way, you will not understand or be ready for all that happens as the end of time approaches.
If this message finds a place in your heart, I feel confident saying that you have probably been mourning the same things I am writing about. But rejoice now, for during this difficult wilderness God has been teaching you to trust him, to follow Jesus without qualification or fear, and soon he will release you into his new work.
Are you ready? Embrace your cross and carry it to the end.
GOD will take care of you. He will make you stand, and not fall.