As I stepped into the shower that afternoon, my thoughts were still on a word I had heard by the Spirit concerning a turning by the church back to God. A turning from our well intentioned ideas and fleshly works for the purpose of finally seeking Him for direction. It was almost ironic that as the water began to pour over me, that He began to speak an amazingly clear word into my spirit. He said. I am about to show you those things you have been hearing by the Spirit and as you see them I will make clear what you are seeing.
Immediately, without moving from the shower, I found myself standing in a great plain. It appeared to be a desert place because of the lack of vegetation and the brown dead look of the rocks and soil. As I looked, there appeared a road or a deeply rutted trail that went away from where I was standing. I could tell that it went up at a rather steep incline and seemed to go on forever without ever reaching a crest or summit.
Without being aware of moving, I was standing off to the side of the trail some few yards, and a huge ox drawn cart began to lumber past where I stood. It was huge with large steel rimmed wheels. The cart was built of heavy beams and timbers and was overlaid with gold and encrusted with jewels, and was being drawn by two small oxen who obviously were too small to pull the load.
Atop the cart was what at appeared to be the Ark of the Covenant. This cart with it's ark were without doubt very heavy and would require much labor to keep it moving. Keeping in mind that all the while it was traveling uphill.
At the sides and back of the cart were men and women. Some were freshly dressed and appearing eager to lend their strength to the task of pushing the cart up the trail. Others appeared ready to drop from exhaustion and had a very sad countenance. I was amazed that one person was so excited and eager to continue while others around them were ready to drop from weariness. Even as I considered this, some actually began to fall to the side of the trail. As I looked back down the trail in the direction the cart had come, I could see that the sides of the trail were littered with the bodies of those who had fallen aside. Some were on their backs and others on their faces, and some crawling on their hands and knees. Most appeared to be dead. And no one seemed to notice them. Even those who had fallen didn't seem to be aware of those around them who had also fallen. They were so involved in their own difficulty that they were not aware of their brothers' plight right next to them.
As the cart moved up the rutted trail, in and out of potholes and over the rocks and debris, the cart would rock severely and at times it appeared that the ark would be tossed onto the side of the trail. But each time this happened, numerous hands would reach up and steady the ark in its place, and the procession would continue. Immediately I thought of what happened when Uzza attempted to steady the Ark, as David attempted to return the presence of God to Israel. Nothing happened when these folks touched the ark.
From time to time there was a loud noise like a gunshot. When I turned to see where it came from I saw men positioned on both sides of the trail and behind the cart with Bull whips. They cracked the whips over the heads of those pushing.
As the weary fell from exhaustion, others appeared from both sides of the trail. I could not tell where they came from, but they appeared fresh and eager to join . As they appeared, the men with the whip would coil it and place it behind their back and embrace the newcomer, and point towards the cart , gesturing for them to push along with the others. The new ones could see the weary as they fell aside, but looked on them with contempt rather than compassion.
All the while this was happening, the Lord allowed me to understand what I was seeing as it un-folded before me.
The plain with its dead appearance is where the Church dwells today. A place without the water of a true word from God. A parched and dry place that cannot support life.
The oxen represent the good ideas and ambitions of men, which in and of themselves are incapable of empowering anything.
The large beams, timbers and wheels of the cart describe the established traditions of men. The cart itself represents a man made method of reproducing the Christ in the earth, another gospel that is breathed out of the heart of the Anti Christ. It's a gospel that ministers to the soul of man and allows his flesh to be comfortable but never brings him into the Kingdom of Peace. The ark is representative of a false presence of God. It looks like it might be Him but when scrutinized closely its made apparent that it isn't. Just another confederate. A form without the Spirit.
The gold and jewels represent the hype and trappings that minister to the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. Currently, the appearance of prosperity says to the unlearned, "this must be God".
Those who fall away are those who have had the life sucked from them by a system - a form of Godliness that traverses the globe to make proselytes and then tosses them away like yesterdays garbage when they are no longer useful to "the vision". Those who fall aside are the beloved of God who got their eyes on a man and a ministry instead of God. They have been involved in the most insidious form of idolatry. This causes a man to have relationship with God based on his relationship to another man or ministry. Now they have become completely disillusioned by their religious experience within the "system". They still love the Lord with all that is in them, but can no longer be party to what they know in their heart is not God!
They will not be moved to action until they have heard a direct word from the Father. Like the pattern Son, they will say what they hear the Father say and they will do what they see Him do. As disciples they can now after seeking Him, hear directly from heaven concerning the direction of their lives.
The "fresh faces" are the new converts as well as those who have recently received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They have come out of old dead, religious, denominational setting into a dead religious charismatic setting. They are all excited about their new experience and relationship with the Father, and they want desperately to be a part of doing something for His Kingdom. They are told that they will be fulfilled by pushing the cart. That freshness, excitement, innocence, and zeal becomes fuel to propel the "vision" UP the trail.
The men with the whip represent Gods men who are a product of the system that gave birth to them. They are convinced that they are doing the work of God by maintaining the cart and driving it along with the people, up the trail. When all they are really accomplishing is the perpetuation of a dead form. All of us were birthed out of some corrupt religious system. To deny that would be very naive. Within sixty years of the death of the last apostle, the Church as it was founded in the book of Acts, simply ceased to exist. It became corrupted by men, as it is to this day. Regardless of the name over the door.
The crack of the whip is a word from the pulpit that encourages, threatens, and cajoles the people to keep on pushing. The consequences for not pushing in agreement with the pulpit is chastisement, rejection and dis-fellowship.
Cracking the whip requires lots of energy, and can only be sustained as long as ones energy holds out. All over this country, precious men of God are wearing out from their striving to build.
Some of those who crack the whip do so not out of a love for God but are motivated by greed, and an intense desire to be seen and heard. They should be obvious to the disciple of God. Un-like the pattern Son, they come to get blessed, not to bless. They always come to take, not to give, and they always minister to the soul of a man, never touching his spirit. You will not see His character or His nature made manifest in their ministry. It is the Fathers good pleasure that His own know who His true shepherds are.
He made it clear to me that as the weary and disillusioned away and stop laboring, the numbers of those stopping are greater than those joining the procession. Sooner, not later, the few who are left to push won't be able to provide the strength, resources, and enthusiasm needed to keep it going up the trail.
This is where we are. This is what we've come to. This is the condition of what we call the Church. The Lord said that He would build His Church and build it He will. But if we are to be a part of that then we must be willing to repent and stop pushing.
Everyone wants to be the exception, but every where men and women are involved in building ministry and growing churches God is not the source. The people and their ability to provide finances and support have become the source. This has happened in part because the ministry cannot trust the Father to provide provision for something He never really said to do. He just won't subsidize a good idea.
The answer is really quite simple. If we really want the presence of God in our doings, then we must stop and put everything aside and seek His face for direction. A simple repentance from dead works. (dead works being those things He never said to do) Only those things He say's to do will produce life.