I.....had a dream.....
I've talked about those kind of dreams before. There are other kinds....like the ones in the middle of the night that come because you ate that extra piece of pizza just before going to bed. :) All different kinds of dreams we dream in the night. I've had really weird dreams, really pleasant ones too but....every once in a while...the Lord speaks to me in some dream. I don't get a lot of them but I had one a couple weeks ago that got my juices stirring.
I had been asking Him to talk to me about all this stuff I was seeing about the
Church .....questions like....."Lord... is this thing really as bad as I think it is? Am I just going off on some tangent because I've experienced so much that was just so bad? Experienced? I did it all myself too...just like those who went before me. This really is the enemies deception, isn't it, Lord?"
When I woke from the dream, He was downloading the meaning of the dream and I no longer had any questions.
The Dream: I found myself walking into this storefront that reminded me of my old bookstore. I walked into a whole bunch of religious activity which was going on all over the first floor. I tried to get people's attention but was pretty much just ignored (or perhaps simply not noticed) since everyone was so busy talking and gesturing and pointing and carrying on. I saw a very wide stairway going down. Where the lights on the first floor had been very bright, I now walked into a much softer lighting but still all the same busyness and no matter what I said or who I tried to talk too, they were all much to busy doing whatever they were doing to pay any attention to me. There was an occasional smile or nod, but that was it. I saw a smaller doorway with stairs descending again where it was much darker, things were going on but it was hard to see and very difficult to talk.....then another narrow doorway...down....into what appeared to be a very dank, dark, smelly basement...I saw a figure at the bottom of the stairs, dimly lit by a candle. The figure turned and looked up the stairwell towards me.....I was stunned....it was a man....a man I immediately recognized and I bolted back up the stairs.....and went directly to the street level where it was obvious that some sort of decision had been made....I heard someone saying...,."We need to get the Church out of the Church". (That is a word that the Lord has been speaking to the church in Vermont for quite a while now which means that He wants His people to get out of the building and get into the marketplace where they can reach people for Him)......the people were all pouring out of the door and I saw them lined up as far as my eyes could see....they were in a straight little line, all on their knees, all with very saccharine sweet smiles and pious faces, calling out to the passers-by....I caught phrases like: You don't want to go to hell do you? Give your heart to Jesus today or you will die in your sins. I'm saved and going to heaven, too bad about you!
I felt like I was going to get sick..... but woke up instead....which I thought was very good timing. :)
I immediately asked the Lord what this was all about, got His download and He confirmed what I believed I had just experienced. I had taken a walk thru church history, and thru all the different levels of darkness and activity for God that has been going ever since the beginning. It was as bad as I had thought.
The man at the bottom of the last stairs into deep darkness was a man who, for me, epitomized the horror of leading God's people into a greater and greater religious darkness.
I asked the Lord to please set His people free from the darkness, open up the prison doors of religiosity and above all.....to not allow His people to go rushing out into the market place like that.....that's the way it has always been done....not really a whole lot better than the Crusades......the old "confess Jesus as your Lord and accept His Salvation or I will lop off your head and hurry you along to your foul eternal damnation".
When I shared this dream with a man I admire and walk closely with.....he told me I had just been given my own experience of Dante's Inferno..... guess I will have to check that out sometime.... :)
Pray with me that the church will receive a revelation of the horror of all religious systems and turn things back to simply walking with Jesus.....all the time...... every day......we can do a relationship like that real easy out there in the marketplace without ever saying silly religious words, and putting unreal saccharine smiles on our faces while pretending to be holy...whatever that's supposed to mean.
I'm sure I have a posting somewhere on that if you want to know what Philip thinks it means. I'll look it up for you if you like....just ask me.