Last week I received a vision for a particular nation, and although I knew that it was specifically for that nation, I also felt it was a clear message for the whole Church.
What is the Vision I Had for the Church?
I came out of a deep sleep and heard, "He among you without sin cast the first stone."
Immediately I was taken to a scene that resembled the story in John chapter 8 of the woman caught in adultery. I saw four men with stones in their hands, and upon each stone a single word was written. The first stone had the word OFFENSE, the second stone had LAW, the third stone JUDGEMENT, and on the fourth stone was written SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS. (Photo via Pixabay)
Again I heard the words, "He among you without sin cast the first stone."
When these words were spoken the atmosphere changed from a sense of accusation, anger, and judgment to one of humility and compassion. Unlike the story in John 8, where the men dropped the stones and walked away, these four men dropped their stones and went to embrace the one caught in sin. I could not see if this person was a man or a woman, but the four men surrounded and embraced this individual who – just moments before – they had felt justified in stoning.
As they encircled the one caught in sin, all of them were suddenly transformed into one person. It was a young boy whom I knew was like a young King David. Then the Lord handed this "young David" a new smooth stone, and upon that stone His name was written.
Jesus spoke as He handed him the stone saying, "While you were busy judging another, a giant has moved into the land who seeks to destroy My people. His name is Goliath. Now go in My name and slay this enemy."
A Line in the Sand
This vision was very profound and spoke to me of a mindset that has distracted some within the Church, allowing the Accuser of the Brethren to gain a foothold in their hearts. God is asking His people to put the stones of offense, law (letter of the law), judgment, and self-righteousness down. We have all sinned and fallen short of His glorious standards, but in the Lord's merciful grace He has embraced us, forgiven us, and restored us to Himself.
I believe God is saying that the enemy has created distractions through accusation that has caused divisions. These distractions have given the enemy time and space to move upon the land, seeking to change times and seasons similar to what we read of in the Book of Daniel:
"He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time" (Daniel 7:25 NKJV).
In God's great mercy He is calling to the Church, "He among you without sin cast the first stone." This is God's line in the sand. This is His call to repentance. He is calling His Church to a posture of humility. He is calling for us to drop our stones and restore those who have been caught in sin. This is a call to lay down offenses, to give grace, to walk in humility rather than judgment, and to recognize that there is one Judge and that there is no righteousness apart from the righteousness of Christ. In God's kindness, He is calling His Church to align with His heart as spoken in Romans 2:4:
"Or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?"
Forgive As You Have Been Forgiven
One of the most sobering parables Jesus ever told was the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant found in Matthew 18:21-35. Peter asked Jesus how often he has to forgive his brother or sister who sins against him. Jesus replies, "Seventy times seven." In other words, without limit. Let's look at this parable again:
"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, 'Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?'
"Jesus answered, 'I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
"'Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
"'At this the servant fell on his knees before him. "Be patient with me," he begged, "and I will pay back everything." The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
"'But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. "Pay back what you owe me!" he demanded.
"'His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, "Be patient with me, and I will pay it back."
"'But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
"'Then the master called the servant in. "You wicked servant," he said, "I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?" In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
"'This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.'"
We are called to forgive from our hearts. We have been forgiven of so much; how can we clutch so ferociously to unforgiveness? We must forgive as we have been forgiven. We must drop our stones and move from law to grace. I am not promoting lawlessness, but we err when we fail to live in the grace freely extended to us by the only One who was able to fulfill all the righteous demands of God's holy law. He alone is able to create within us all the righteousness that God requires.
Make No Room for the Enemy
At the end of the vision I heard the Spirit say that the distraction of accusing our brothers and sisters has made room for the enemy in our land. The enemy enters through breaches in the wall. When we are divided it creates opportunity for the enemy to strike.
I saw a wonderful story on the news this past week about a couple who were walking hand in hand when the young man was struck in the head by lightening. The electricity was transferred through his body, through both their hands, then down her body and out her feet. The doctors that treated them said that they were alive because they "shared the strike." Had the young man taken the full force on his own it most likely would have killed him, but because they were joined, neither of them was seriously injured.
This is a beautiful picture of unity and our need for one another. When we stand in opposition to each other, we cannot withstand the strikes of the enemy; but when we join in intimacy and unity we overcome. We need one another!
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up... Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (Photo via Pixabay)
This is a truth not just for personal relationships, but also for the corporate Body. When we stand together there is protection and authority. The enemy knows this, which is why he works so hard at dividing relationships and severing bonds of love. He would rather we hold a stone that harms than hold a hand that heals. Our unity releases authority. This is why (in the vision) when the four men and the one being accused embraced they became ONE. They not only became one person, but they were now ready to face the giant. They were given the new stone with the Lord's name written upon it and sent out to strike the enemy in the head with this stone.
This word is not meant for condemnation but encouragement! God disciplines those whom He loves. When He speaks a word of correction it is proof that we are His sons and daughters. If you have been holding stones of accusation, then be aware you can simply drop the stones and embrace your brother or sister and allow the Lord to restore what the enemy has stolen. Forgive as you have been forgiven.
If this is not directed to you, pray for the Body of Christ. Pray and don't judge those holding stones – because that would be picking up a stone! Let's bind together in the love of Christ and receive the stone with His name upon it so we might stand against the giants in the land. Let's slay those giants that have come to oppose the Kingdom of God working through the Church to bless our families, our culture, and our nations.