I had a vision in the first month of 2021 in which I saw a train speeding across the plain states. Somehow, I knew the train represented America.
My perspective changed in the vision and I saw hundreds of miles ahead of the train. There I saw a deep gorge, but the bridge over the deep chasm was out. The train was heading toward disaster!
My perspective changed again in the vision and I was inside the train. There I watched Christians preoccupy themselves with attempting to change the train’s engineer and crew to their viewpoints or if that didn’t work, to set in place a new engineer and crew. It was loud and competitive! A few people had divine insights about the disaster lying ahead of the train and attempted to warn the Body of Christ, but their mere whispers were drowned out by the louder voices concerned with the engineer and train crew.
I then felt the Holy Spirit ask me: “Do you want to board the train and attempt to warn people? Or do you want to spend your time preparing for the upcoming disaster?
I chose the latter.
The vision ended.
“Politics is one of the Church’s worst problems. It is her constant temptation. The occasion for some of her worst disasters. It is a trap set for her by the prince of this world.” (Jacque Ellul)
The author of this allegory was Bill Britton (1918 – 1985). He adapted it from a vision he received during the 1950’s:
I SAW THE KING’S CARRIAGE
On a dirt road in the middle of a wide field stood a beautiful carriage, something on the order of a stagecoach but all edged in gold and with beautiful carvings. It was pulled by six large chestnut horses: two in the lead, two in the middle and two in the rear. But they were not moving, they were not pulling the carriage, and I wondered why.
Then I saw the driver underneath the carriage on the ground on his back just behind the last two horses’ heels working on something between the front wheels on the carriage. I thought, “My, he is in a dangerous place; for if one of those horses kicked or stepped back, they could kill him, or if they decided to go forward, or got frightened somehow, they would pull the carriage right over him.” But he didn’t seem afraid for he knew that those horses were disciplined and would not move till he told them to move. The horses were not stamping their feet nor acting restless, and though there were bells on their feet, the bells were not tinkling. There were pom-poms on their harness over their heads but the pom-poms were not moving. They were simply standing still and quiet waiting for the voice of the Master.
THERE WERE TWO YOUNG COLTS IN THE FIELD
As I watched the harnessed horses I noticed two young colts coming out of the open field and they approached the carriage and seemed to say to the horses: “Come and play with us, we have many fine games, we will race with you, come catch us.” And with that the colts kicked up their heels flicked their tails and raced across the open field. But when they looked back and saw the horses were not following they were puzzled. They knew nothing of the harnesses and could not understand why the horses did not want to play. So they called to them: “Why do you not race with us? Are you tired? Are you too weak? Do you not have strength to run? You are much too solemn, you need more joy in life.” But the horses answered not a word nor did they stamp their feet or toss their heads. But they stood, quiet and still, waiting for the voice of the Master.
Again the colts called to them: “Why do you stand so in the hot sun? Come over here in the shade of this nice tree. See how green the grass is? You must be hungry, come and feed with us, it is so green and so good. You look thirsty, come drink of one of our many streams of cool clear water.” But the horses answered them not so much as a glance but stood still waiting for the command to go forward with the King.
COLTS IN THE MASTER’S CORRAL
And then the scene changed and I saw lariat nooses fall around the necks of the two colts and they were led off to the Master’s corral for training and discipline. How sad they were as the lovely green fields disappeared and they were put into the confinement of the corral with its brown dirt and high fence. The colts ran from fence to fence seeking freedom but found that they were confined to this place of training. And then the Trainer began to work on them with His whip and His bridle. What a death for those who had been all their lives accustomed to such a freedom! They could not understand the reason for this torture, this terrible discipline. What crime had they done to deserve this? Little did they know of the responsibility that was to be theirs when they had submitted to the discipline, learned to perfectly obey the Master and finished their training. All they knew was that this processing was the most horrible thing they had ever known.
SUBMISSION AND REBELLION
One of the colts rebelled under the training and said, “This is not for me. I like my freedom, my green hills, my flowing streams of fresh water. I will not take any more of this confinement, this terrible training.” So he found a way out, jumped the fence, and ran happily back to the meadows of grass. I was astonished that the Master let him go and went not after him. But He devoted His attention to the remaining colt. This colt though he had the same opportunity to escape decided to submit his own will and learn the ways of the Master. The training got harder than ever but he was rapidly learning more and more how to obey the slightest wish of the Master and to respond to even the quietness of His voice.
And I saw that had there been no training, no testing, there would have been neither submission nor rebellion from either of the colts. For in the field they did not have the choice to rebel or submit, they were sinless in their innocence. But when brought to the place of testing and training and discipline, then was made manifest the obedience of one and the rebellion of the other. And though it seemed safer not to come to the place of discipline because of the risk of being found rebellious, yet I saw that without this there could be no sharing of His glory, no Sonship.
INTO THE HARNESS
Finally this period of training was over. Was he now rewarded with his freedom and sent back to the fields? Oh no. But a greater confinement than ever now took place as a harness dropped about his shoulders. Now he found there was not even the freedom to run about the small corral, for in the harness he could only move where and when his Master spoke. And unless the Master spoke, he stood still.
The scene changed and I saw the other colt standing on the side of a hill nibbling at some grass. Then across the fields, down the road came the King’s carriage drawn by six horses. With amazement he saw that in the lead, on the right side, was his brother colt now made strong and mature on the good corn in the Master’s stable. He saw the lovely pom-poms shaking in the wind, noticed the glittering gold bordered harness about his brother, heard the beautiful tinkling of the bells on his feet — and envy came into his heart.
Thus he complained to himself: “Why has my brother been so honored, and I am neglected? They have not put bells on MY feet nor pom-poms on MY head. The Master has not given ME the wonderful responsibility of pulling His carriage, has not put about ME the gold harness. Why have they chosen my brother instead of me?” And by the Spirit the answer came back to me as I watched: “Because one submitted to the will and discipline of the Master and one rebelled, thus has one been chosen and the other set aside.”
A FAMINE IN THE LAND
Then I saw a great drought sweep across the countryside and the green grass became dead, dry, brown and brittle. The little streams of water dried up, stopped flowing, and there was only a small muddy puddle here and there. I saw the little colt (I was amazed that it never seemed to grow or mature) as he ran here and there across the fields looking for fresh streams and green pastures finding none. Still he ran, seemingly in circles, always looking for something to feed his famished spirit. But there was a famine in the land and the rich green pastures and flowing streams of yesterday were not to be had. And one day the colt stood on the hillside on weak and wobbly legs wondering where to go next to find food and how to get strength to go. It seemed like there was no use, for good food and flowing streams were a thing of the past and all the efforts to find more only taxed his waning strength.
Suddenly he saw the King’s carriage coming down the road pulled by six great horses. And he saw his brother, fat and strong, muscles rippling, sleek and beautiful with much grooming. His heart was amazed and perplexed, and he cried out: “My brother where do you find the food to keep you strong and fat in these days of famine? I have run everywhere in my freedom, searching for food, and I find none. Where do you, in your awful confinement, find food in this time of drought? Tell me, please, for I must know!” And then the answer came back from a voice filled with victory and praise: “In my Master’s House there is a secret place in the confining limitations of His stables where He feeds me by His own hand and His granaries never run empty and His well never runs dry.”
And with this the Lord made me to know that in the day when people are weak and famished in their spirits in the time of spiritual famine that those who have lost their own wills and have come into the secret place of the most High into the utter confinement of His perfect will shall have plenty of the corn of Heaven and a never ending flow of fresh streams of revelation by His Spirit. Thus the vision ended.
Yes, it’s been quite a while since I’ve written a new article. But it’s not like I haven’t had some ideas, it’s just that I ended up deleting all of them before finishing a first paragraph.
Did I suffer from “writers’ block?” No! I suffered from “Holy Spirit block?”
Holy Spirit block?
I use this term to explain how my inner man feels when the Holy Spirit does not show up while I’m writing. It’s taken years to develop this inner sense so that it now feels like a gigantic STOP sign, halting my progress. So far, this block has kept me out of major writing problems.
As some of you may remember from an article I wrote in January 2020 (Ride #955), I drive for a ride share company. Every problem I mentioned in that article is still a thorn in my flesh today, but now, I’m 75 years old and still dying daily as the Apostle Paul wrote in his first letter to the Corinthian Church.
My block ended with Ride #5795. (That’s not a typo. I now have over 5,800 rides!)
I picked up a tall, well-built, good looking young man named Jason in Scottsdale, Arizona. My app showed his destination as being the Cubs Baseball Park on Rio Salado Parkway in Mesa.
That address was too much for me to contain my curiosity. “Are you a baseball player?” I asked.
“Yes,” he answered.
“Major league or minor league?”
“I’ve been up and down over the years.”
“Infielder, outfielder or pitcher?”
“Pitcher. I’m on rehab assignment right now and hoping to get another chance in the major leagues later this year.”
“Even though I’ve suffered through arm problems in the past, this time I injured my ankle.”
“Yes, they traded him to the Chicago White Sox, which I think is the perfect trade for a player.”
“Then, your wife and children don’t have to pack up and move to another city.”
This one answer touched my heart. You see, Jason has his priorities in the right place. Family first. Career second.
It wasn’t until later when I checked Jason out on the internet that I learned he was a devoted Christ follower. You can check him out on Twitter here, or read about his accident here.
Okay, so what’s the big deal about Jason Adam, the baseball player?
I really believe the Lord has His hand on Jason’s life. I really believe the struggles Jason has suffered through for almost ten years has been allowed by the Lord so He can mold this almost thirty-year old man into a Major League Baseball star. Why? So, Jason can be a witness to God’s faithfulness and an example of what God can do for those who persevere.
My prayer for Jason:
Lord, do the same for Jason as You did for Lazarus when you called him out of the grave by saying, “Jason, come forth.”
In 1985, my life smashed into a brick wall. I needed thousands of dollars to start a publishing company and bail my family out of debt. My sources were all maxed out and the hope level in my reservoir was hovering at empty. I was finished.
The only untouched asset I had was a $125,000 life insurance policy. So, my solution seemed obvious: suicide.
As for taking my life, I had no problems with it because I was an agnostic. No God equals no problems with eternal judgment, right? It wasn’t personal, just a business solution for my family and me.
My plan was uncomplicated. I figured on enjoying one last weekend with my family and then committing suicide on that Monday evening.
Thus, on May 20, 1985, I spent the day finishing up loose ends. Then, for some reason, I stopped at an insurance agent’s office. Although we knew each other, Bill and I were not intimate friends and had never really talked to each other before that day.
Bill invited me into his office. We discussed baseball. Then in the middle of our conversation, he stared at me and said, “You’re thinking about committing suicide, aren’t you?”
His words hit me like a sledgehammer. How did he know? I told no one. It was my secret $125,000 payday. I was speechless. As I sat there, a vision played across my mind about my car ramming into a viaduct and killing me.
I wept and although I tried to regain my composure, I could not. “How did you know?” I asked.
“Oh,” said Bill, “the Lord told me while we were talking to each other.”
His words shattered my unbelief. God was alive and He cared about me. We continued talking and he finally gave me a book to read: Power in Praise by Merlin Carothers.
When I arrived home, I began reading the book. After a few pages, I walked into the bathroom, closed the door and knelt in front of the sink. Looking into the mirror, I prayed, “Jesus, I’ve tried everything else and nothing has worked. I guess I’ll give You a try.”
Instantly, I was changed. Fear and shame were no longer a part of me, but instead, joy and hope filled my heart. Bowing and worshipping my new King, I promised to never let go of His hand.
If my story were a fictional Hollywood movie, perhaps it would resemble It’s A Wonderful Life. Jimmy Stewart would play me and Donna Reed my wife. The angel would get his wings and everyone would live happily ever after. The end.
But sadly, my life has not been a work of fiction. It has been a day to day journey, filled with a few good experiences, but also many mistakes, false starts and failures. Divorce. Loss of friends. Numerous firings from sales positions. Low-paying jobs. Poverty. Rejection. Loneliness. Not exactly, a picture perfect Christian life.
And yet, it has been in the deepest valleys where the Lord has truly revealed Himself to me. It was there He became my loving Father and I learned His grace was sufficient for me.
Through Satan’s coup d’état and by default, Adam and all future subjects on earth, were placed under the reign and authority of Satan and his angelic government.
Spiritual warfare has been fought between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness since the Garden of Eden. The King desires to reclaim His subjects under His righteous reign while Satan hopes to continue his government of enslavement, depravity, and sin. The battles still rages today.
For us believers, we are dual subjects while we live on earth, in that, we are royal sons of the King, but still live in a world ruled by Satan. Our dual citizenship poses daily problems for us.
Another example, Jesus answered the disciples’ questions about when things would happen by prophesying in Matthew 24: 4-31. The disciples would have thought Jesus was referring to the destruction of the Temple. Yet, when Roman soldiers destroyed the Temple in 70 A.D., not all of the scriptures were fulfilled. The complete fulfillment will occur during the tribulation.
And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So, the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (Revelations 12:7-9)
If you read Revelations Chapter 11 and all of Chapter 12, the only conclusion you can reach is that this will happen during the tribulation. But I believe an early fulfillment of this prophecy happened when Satan and a third of God’s angels rebelled against God and were cast out of God’s third heaven. I believe these angels then became Satan’s demonic hierarchy in his kingdom of darkness.
I watched various students crisscrossing the Campanile Esplanade on their way to classes. They looked normal, wearing typical college apparel. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. My spiritual eyes then kicked in, and what appeared normal in the natural realm was not so normal in the spiritual one.
Have you ever seen pictures of a flying dinosaur known as a pterodactyl? It has a long, slender head with a mouth of sharp teeth, scaly-like body, web-like wings, and talons for feet. This sort of resembles the creatures I saw, sitting on the shoulders of almost every student walking below me. Each creature was the size of a large crow and had wolf hair on its body and a slender rat’s tail. They constantly whispered into the ears of students while holding a wing over the students’ other ears. The creatures also defecated and vomited on the students so that each person dripped with slop and sewage. It was ghastly and I yearned to warn the students.
“Follow those two over there,” said the angel, pointing toward two guys.
I focused on the two students. They continued talking to each other as they walked into a free speech area where a street evangelist preached the gospel of the kingdom of God. Both stopped and listened. I watched the pterodactyl-like creatures use their beaks to snatch the seeds of the gospel out of the twosome’s hearts with swift surgeon-like precision. The two students walked away after a few minutes, none the better for their experiences.
I wanted to shout and warn everyone. Someone needed to do it. Why not me?
The angel touched my shoulder again with his hand. I turned toward him.
“Now, it’s time for your spiritual ears to be opened.”
He reached up and touched both of my ears with his hands.
Wouldn’t you think it would be quiet in the spiritual realm over the University of California, Berkeley? Well, it is not. There is constant clamor, reverberating throughout the whole atmosphere, most of which comes from the ruling principality. But what really shocked me was the demonic principality’s words mirrored the liberal attitudes on the campus, from the deans down to the professors, and then, to the students. The religious principality constantly spewed out proclamations like:
“All white Americans are racists… All wars are immoral and wrong… Homosexuality is not a sin… Pro-choice is a woman’s right… Same-sex marriage is morally acceptable…Traditional Christianity is irrelevant, mean, hateful, judgmental, and dogmatic…Jesus never said anything about homosexuality…Jesus is the Way which is open to other ways, such as Hare Krishna, Buddha, and Mohammad…God is a God of love and not judgment… Satan and demons are fictional beings, thought up by fundamentalist nuts…The Bible contains no more authority than the Koran, Buddhist sutras, Veda, and other spiritual writings…Creating social justice is the main emphasis of the gospel…Global warming is a Christian stewardship concern…”
I stood there with my mouth open, drool running down my chin.
“Hey, many of these statements I agree with,” I muttered aloud, not realizing I had done so.
“And that’s why you are deceived.”
“Yes, you and most liberal Christians who believe such garbage.”
“But, but –”
“Not only are you deceived, but your faith is dead when it agrees with Satan’s agenda. He’s always a liar, even when his words sound like truth. Your faith, in order to have life, must be based on what the Lord has stated in Scripture and is presently saying to His church.”
I kept quiet as his words ripped my theology apart.
He paused for a beat or two.
“Not only is this IOU collection day, but it is your deliverance day,” he said in an authoritative voice. “Your past deception, your dead faith, and your deliverance from all of it will give you an understanding of the spiritual battles taking place on America’s college campuses, beginning with the University of California, Berkeley.”
His eyes locked on mine.
“But how –” I stopped myself. How could I complain when I did not know what I was talking about?
The angel almost grinned.
“Now, you’re starting to learn.”
He pointed down again.
There just below us, was a student resembling a fluorescent light bulb walking across the esplanade. She lit up the whole area around her as she hurried on her way. Unlike the others, she did not have a creature sitting on her shoulder, but instead, one hovered around her head, trying to alight on her, but for some reason, the creature could not land. Deep frustration etched a gully in the creature’s face.
“Listen,” said the angel.
My ears adjusted themselves to only listening to the girl. Her footsteps and the movement of her arms came through loud and clear, but also something else.
“Dee, dee, bah, bah, hooka mah hundae,” she whispered over and over.
She spoke in tongues as she walked along.
“Your message to Christians on college campuses is very simple,” said the angel. “It’s the same one Paul gave to the believers in Ephesus when he said, ‘Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, with all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” Then he added, “In case you have forgotten, these scriptures are located in Ephesians 6: 17-18.”
The dome of the San Francisco City Hall appeared directly ahead of us. It looked like we would crash into it. But before I could scream aloud, we passed through it and landed in the Supervisors’ meeting chamber on the second floor. A wooden bench somehow telescoped out of the wall, up near the ceiling, which he motioned for us to sit down on it.
The eleven supervisors sat in leather swivel-chairs down below us. Each had a laptop computer on the desk in front of them. They talked and carried on. It was the weekly San Francisco Supervisors’ meeting.
The angel turned toward me. His robe whispered softly as he pivoted around.
“Open your eyes and see,” he said with a quiet power filled with heavenly authority.
I looked down again. This time my spiritual eyes opened.
There I saw grotesque creatures sitting on the right shoulder of each of the eleven supervisors. The chimpanzee-size beings had a mixture of what looked like reptile, dragon, and wolf-like body parts with stubby tails, talons for feet, scale-covered wings, web-like hands, and misshapen faces which protruded into long snouts and were filled with sharp teeth. They resembled dingy, gray gargoyles.
Each creature held its right wing over their assigned supervisors’ eyes. Their right hands were curled into a megaphone shape so they could speak directly into the supervisors’ ears. Their left hands looped behind the supervisors’ heads and covered their left ears.
The creatures never rested. When they were not speaking into ears, they looked up, around and at each other, their heads constantly moved about, their eyes searching to and fro. They seemed to be driven by a deep dread, almost as if a cruel slave master’s power instilled a fear in them about possible future punishments.
What is this? I thought. Why am I here?
“Today is show and tell day, preparing you for your first assignment next week,” said the angel.
“First assignment, next week?”
“Quiet, I’m the teacher. You’re the student. Understand?” he whispered a stinging rebuke at me.
His voice contained no anger and love cushioned the blow, but yet, I felt the power behind the rebuke. I shuddered and nodded.
“Earlier today, you had a vision. In it, you saw yourself being used as a sword by the Lord Jesus against a brass gate. The brass gate you saw was a gate of Hell over this city. It must be attacked so the truth from heaven can be heard in San Francisco. You are His chosen weapon for the undertaking.”
I bit my tongue, but my brain continued to be plugged in. I wondered if His weapons ever suffered pain, especially with the vigorous way the Lord swung the sword against the gate. O Lord, will it hurt? I thought.
He paused a beat before continuing.
“Your spiritual eyes have only been dialed up two notches, but that’s more than enough for you to get an idea of what’s happening in the Supervisors’ meeting room,” he said. “As you can see, demons sit on the supervisors’ shoulders, blocking information that is contrary to Satan’s agenda. At the same time, evil ideas are constantly spoken into the supervisors’ ears.”
He pointed a finger at me.
“Remember: our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the hordes of Satan.”
The creature’s appearance alternated between looking like a beautiful angel dressed in white and that of a gigantic monster version of the dingy, gray gargoyles, sitting on the supervisors’ shoulders. Like the smaller demons, the creature never rested. It caused fear in the hierarchy of demons below it and, at the same time, seemed fearful of its own cruel masters in the ranks above it.
The words I saw, streaming through the ceiling like hologram ticker tapes, emanated from this creature. I saw additional word streams coming out of the creature’s mouth, heading toward Sacramento, Hollywood, Washington, D. C., New York City, newspapers, television networks, movie studios, publishers, corporations, and thousands of other places.
The angel interrupted my thoughts.
“What you are seeing is the spirit of depravity. It is a ruling principality over San Francisco and guards a gate of Hell over the city. This spirit is so powerful that its wickedness is spread throughout the nation.
“The reason the spirit switches back and forth between appearances is it is creating confusion by this maneuver in the minds of people, whereby good is called evil and evil good.”
“I had a vision that showed a black river flowing out of America’s inner cities, filled with black apostles and prophets. Their moralcharacters were at a level never before witnessed in America.
“No longer would believers have to gaze back at John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Finney, D. L. Moody, Billy Graham or whomever for examples of godly men because these black apostles and prophets would raise the bar of godliness to a level approaching the character of Jesus… This is the generation of men that America has been longing to see. (Excerpt from Chapter 13 of A Black River)
God is never late, but He sure misses lots of opportunities to be early. This is especially true for Black Americans who have suffered through four hundred years of oppression and discrimination while chasing the American dream. The years have all merged themselves together into long days of weary hopelessness.
But now at last, hope arises. The same God who looked upon Israel’s captivity in Egypt, is looking down on the Black Americans living in our nation’s inner cities and is preparing to act.
How? What? Why?
A Black River is one of the most important books published in 2021, especially for those believers hungering for revival.
“Do you really believe God would ask you to do something like this in the twilight years of your life?” asked the young pastor.
Seventy-year old Dylan set his cup down a little too hard. The coffee splashed out of it onto the table.
“Excuse me!” Dylan proclaimed.
The young pastor cleared his throat and sipped coffee while Dylan wiped the spilt liquid up with a napkin.
“Shouldn’t you just enjoy your children and family for the remaining years of your life? After all, you’ve pretty much run your race. What can you really accomplish this late in the game?” said the young pastor.
Dylan stood up, put his hands on the table and leaned toward him.
“I don’t have any answers right now,” Dylan proclaimed three levels louder than normal. The people sitting nearby stopped their activities and stared at them.
“As far as my legacy, I’m going out to make a new one because I’m not satisfied with mine. And mistakes? Or my age? I couldn’t care less about either one right now. I just want to stay in the fight until I take my last breath.” (Excerpt from Still in the Fight)
Dylan and Jane Matthews, a seventy-year old married couple, decided to toss religious orthodoxy aside. So, they quit sitting in pews, walked out the doors of their institutional church and followed the leading of the Holy Spirit into their divine callings. What began as a way to do church differently ended up being a life and death battle to save the city of San Francisco.
Are the adventures of Dylan and Jane blueprints for other senior citizens? Why not? Our legacies in Christ are not finished until we breathe our last breaths.