|You are here: Home > Literature > Online Literature > Ministry Watch > A Message To The 'Charismatic Church' > Chapter 5|
Understanding The Mind of God:
A Message To The 'Charismatic Church'
Visions From God
n Saturday 15th April 1973, Timothy Sheaff was praying with three others, when he was caught up in the Spirit. “I found myself in heaven... I saw a large brass scroll-shaped cylinder in a field of flowers. It was balanced on a pedestal about three feet off the ground. It had a slot in it from which one could unroll a scroll of writings.
“The message from this experience is that God has much more to speak to us than what we are interested in or able to receive at this time. When God’s people hunger for His word He will reveal His depths to those who do.” (Visions of America, p 48.)
God is now making much more truth available. In a sovereign move of the Spirit, individuals are being drawn out (or thrown out!) of larger established churches, into home fellowships or small groups where they can be led further by the Spirit and go deeper in the things of God. This is a fulfilment of prophecy. Timothy relates:
The Lord spoke to me while in prayer that I should focus my ministry on the United States and begin writing again because His people in this nation are getting ready to hear His word [and do something about it]. He also said that an exodus of many of His people from the institutional churches would occur and a grass-roots home-church movement would arise and cover the US. He will specially bless the homes where hundreds of thousands start new meetings for Him to inhabit as they gather to Jesus alone. (Visions of America, pp 57,58.)
God hates pride, arrogance, haughtiness, loftiness, elevation, self glory or presumption. Whatever you call this trait, it is Satan’s main ally. It is not to be ours, yet it has been breeding in the Church for decades. Notice what God has said:
I looked and saw in the Spirit a group of believers who had their hands raised and who were praising the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. These people were noted by many as having the power of God. They were healing the sick, casting out demons, and wonderful prophecies were coming forth in their midst. It appeared as though they were truly doing God’s will.
Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, ‘I have deceived them.’ I was startled at God’s word while watching these who I thought truly loved Jesus. Then I saw them as God saw them when He spoke again and told me that they were unrepentingly pursuing sin, and that they had first deceived themselves in thinking that they were really living for Him and doing His work. The Lord says that those who have pleasure in unrighteousness, and who do not receive a love of the truth will be deceived, ‘for I will send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie and be condemned’. (2 Thes 2:10-12; Heb 12:14; Matt 7:13-18; 15:7-9.) While God does not directly deceive people, He does allow the enemy to deceive those God rejects. (1 Kings 22:4-28.)
This is not a condemnation of the practices of raising hands in worship, prophecy, healing the sick, and casting out demons. Nor is it justification of those who refuse to do such things. It is an indictment of those who practice such things yet fail to take up their cross and refuse to live for God. It is like Jesus’ personal indictment of the church in Sardis who had a name that they were alive, and yet were spiritually dead. Many will cry out to the Lord in the day of judgment, ‘Have we not cast out demons, and prophesied, and done many wonderful works in your name?’ And to many He will respond, ‘Depart from me, ye who work iniquity, I never knew you.’ (Timothy Sheaff, Visions of America, p 54.)
Being very burdened to the place of losing my physical strength, I crawled up the stairs to my room. With my last energy I threw myself onto the bed and released one loud cry to God until I ran out of breath. The Lord immediately carried me into the realm of the spirit. I found myself in a room with two other ministers of the gospel. One was very well-dressed and had an air of success about him. He was speaking to us of where he had been and what wonderful things God had done in his ministry, where he presently was ministering, and how God was using him there. I was very vexed by what he was saying because of the spirit with which he spoke, although I could not explain exactly why. As he continued, he told me where he was going, and then asked me, ‘And where are you going?’
I spoke of where I had been and the miracles and marvelous changes that had taken place in people’s lives, and shared what God was doing where I was presently located. During this time, I was troubled just as when the first man had been speaking of his successful ministry. I was not comfortable with what I was speaking. I finished by saying, ‘The Lord is sending me to Dallas, Texas.’ With this, I turned to the other man. He was dressed rather plainly and was looking downward toward the floor. He wasn’t a very noticeable man and didn’t seem to have the confidence the first man possessed. He didn’t have the necessary attitude to make him appear successful to the masses of Christians in the US. I asked him what was asked of me, ‘And where are you going?’
He slowly lifted his head, looked into my eyes, and said with all confidence, ‘I’m going to Isaiah 53.’ With his answer in was bathed in God’s presence and awoke totally renewed in the mind and peace of Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 53 speaks of the ministry of Jesus Himself. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He was despised and rejected by men. He suffered and gave His life for men. He was not striving for worldly success, accomplish- ment in ministry, and self glory as was the first man. This man was on the road to becoming like Jesus and laying down his life to serve God’s people, thus being a true example of spirituality to them. This is the true way for ministers of our Lord Jesus. (Timothy Sheaff, Visions of America, p 57.)
Making Merchandise of God
While in prayer seeking the Lord’s thoughts regarding whether He approved of certain types of ministries, the Lord took me in the spirit and set me in an auditorium where an evangelistic crusade was being conducted by a woman. She was passing out envelopes of assorted sizes and colors to receive offerings of different amounts. Record albums were being ‘given’ for an ‘offering’ of a certain amount. She was also asking that people give a certain amount of money to receive certain blessings or to have certain needs met by the Lord. As she walked past the area where I was sitting while taking money, I said to her through the Spirit of the Lord that what she was doing was not scriptural and that the things of God could not be bought or sold.
This woman and I were then outside the auditorium where I spoke to her and told her that she would have to return the money to those she took it from. I told her that the Lord would meet the expenses for this meeting if she would [return the money – in other words, stop seeking money instead of God]. God’s presence descended upon us and she fell to the ground because of it. I knelt beside her as she tried to pick herself up and prophesied to her by the Spirit of God that it was necessary that she return the money she had taken from the believers. As I spoke by the word of the Lord she became confused and did not understand the power of God working in me. Then a change came over her suddenly as she rejected the word of the Lord. (She could not accept it because she could not continue in her ‘ministry’ by trusting God to meet her needs, because God had not called her to this ‘ministry’.) The power of the Lord moved swiftly and caused me to place my finger on her side and cry out loudly before all the meeting [that is happening now] labeling her a rebellious dog. (A dog is a biblical phrase describing a category of those who are unrighteous. ‘Beware of dogs.’ ‘Don’t give that which is holy to the dogs.’)
Some in the auditorium heard my cry. One of her relatives came out and said, ‘What’s going on?’ Another fellow, who had come to be ministered to, screamed and rushed at me. He swung his fist at me once. He was right on target but God protected me causing his fist to miss me. When he swung again, the Spirit of the Lord picked me up and set me several feet away from him. As he came at me again I took several steps back and the Spirit of God caught me up and away in the sight of many at the auditorium.
As I was caught up, while I was still in the air, the vision was removed from me and I found myself on my face on the floor of my prayer room amazed because these actions were out of character for me and because I thought this experience was really happening and not a vision.
This vision defines some carnal aspects of ‘professional ministry’ today – from money-motivated ministers whose trust and foundation is in money though they say it is in the Lord, to women with wrong attitudes who seek to manipulate people and rule over men. These people are running religious businesses which turn God’s people [and God Himself!] into merchandise. (Ibid. pp 54,55.)
Do You Want What Jesus Is Offering?
Others besides Timothy Sheaff, of course, have received dreams, visions or other revelations about the state of the Church and its need for reform. But the ones the Lord gave him are particularly relevant in this context and confirm and complement those which we have received.
In 1999, Helena and I received these two dreams:
2nd April 1999. H. Dream of Charity Shop. In this dream I was picking up a couple of items of clothing I was interested in. I heard someone say that the leader of this charity shop was going to burn this shop down [the fires of the great tribulation coming]. I was horrified and advised her to get out of it. She was going to join me in getting out, but as she began to come out others heard about it and her move was suppressed by the leader. The people in the shop were all assured that everything would be fine. People all believed the lie that there was no need to panic and so they all stayed behind.
Meaning: Churches are led by their human leadership, who persuade the people about what to do or NOT do, etc. Church leaders control people’s thinking in those churches. When there is a prophetic alarm from God, that is hindered or suppressed by leadership controls, and the people, like sheep, ignore it.
The charity shop provides many clothes and things you may want, but they are 2nd hand items. Likewise, churches provide 2nd hand and unbiblical traditions which have been passed on down from others. People in these churches are content to buy these erroneous beliefs and practices.
There is an alarm going out at this time, to warn the Church to prepare for what is ahead. People need to get out of these old ‘charity shops’ and leave 2nd hand clothing (passed-on, hand-me-down, traditions) behind. The true prophets are warning about the coming tribulation, but their words are not passed on to the people in the churches. The leaders stop it reaching them, or talk them out of believing it and responding properly.
The trouble is, ‘ordinary’ people are prepared to put up with 2nd best passed-down traditions with their errors, rather than put on the new robes of righteousness which God is now offering the Bride at this late hour.
21st Sept. 1999. M. Dream of Feast. Thousands of people were present at this great banquet. All the seats were taken! Helena and I could hardly find places to sit. But we did see two empty seats in between some children. People were queuing up for the food which was being served at a counter. It was minced beef with other vegetables. Lovely! And loads of it. Everyone got the same food. It was a really good feast!
Meaning: The sameness of the food is a symbol of the uniformity of basic doctrine that Jesus wants the Church to have, and which He has commissioned us to promote through our publications. We shouldn’t have a situation in the Church where one group believes one thing and another group believes something else. Yet differences abound on basic issues such as Sabbath or Sunday; Christmas and Easter as opposed to Passover, Pentecost and the other biblical festivals; the Holy Spirit and the Trinity doctrine; when Jesus died and was resurrected; the baptism of the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts, etc. But the Feast is this revival NOW which will straighten out these differences for those who want to eat this food which is being served.
Compare the above dream with the following:
While in prayer I had a vision of a river flowing like a trickle at the bottom of an extremely deep canyon. It was bordered on both sides by steep rock cliffs. I watched this river flowing for some time as my eyes followed it down the canyon. Then I saw a gigantic dam that had been built to stop the river’s flow. This dam was so great that it didn’t seem as if the river had a chance against it. But as I watched, the river grew progressively deeper as the waters built up against the dam, and exerted more power against it as time passed. Then suddenly, the waters began to overflow the dam and the dam burst.
Then the Lord gave me understanding of what He had shown me. The river is symbolic of God’s moving by His Spirit in these last days. The dam represents men’s ideas, ways, doctrines, and institutions which resist the Holy Spirit. It is they who ‘shut up the kingdom of heaven to men, do not enter in themselves, neither allow them that are entering to go in’ (Matt 23:13). But God’s move is ever deepening in the lives of those who yield themselves to Him and He will show His power in them in a way mightier than ever before seen in the church. [Raising the dead, of which we have prophesied.24]. As God’s people arise in the power of His Spirit His power shall overflow the dam. It will not hold them back. The overflow shall destroy the dam that is built against them and against the Lord. ‘The gates of hell shall not be able to prevail against’ His church (Matt 16:18), and all flesh shall see the glory of God in the outpourings of His Spirit which are yet to come. (Visions of America, pp 55,56.)
While there are many more pertinent dreams and visions we might want to include, space simply does not permit. We have published many of ours in various publications.
I will conclude this chapter with this one given to Timothy Sheaff:
The following vision was given for me personally; however, what I learned from it applies to masses of believers who have been distracted from God’s purpose and caught in the trap of promoting their church and their pastor as God’s answer for people’s needs, rather than proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the answer. At the time of this vision I had joined with a church fellow- ship who thought their church was the best in town and gave far too much honor to their pastor. I rejected their attitude, but was unknowingly becoming progressively weakened spiritually by fellowshiping with them.
While at a convenience store I spoke with two men who didn’t know God and needed deliverance. They asked if I knew anyone who could cast the demons out of them. In times past I had been diligent to preach Christ and bring His power into the lives of the needy. But on this occasion, like those in the church I attended, I referred them to the pastor instead of helping them myself.
While seeking God in prayer several days later the presence of God came upon me and an angel spoke with a fearsome command, ‘Preach Jesus Christ in this city?’ Then he told me to arise and look out my front door. At the very moment I opened the door of my home a bright flaming fireball the size of a car shot past my sight at high speed just above the treetops.
God’s fear gripped me and my heart changed as I began to realize how I had sinned against God. I did not describe my experience to the believers I met with, but when I communicated to them the truth of preaching only Christ and not ourselves (2 Cor 4:5) I was rejected by them.
Copyright © 2006-2014, Midnight in America
All Rights Reserved