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An Open Vision - May 1994
-Tim Mather.

> One of the most frustrating byproducts of deliverance ministry is the
> aftercare. For years, clients have undergone deliverance and then return
> to their home. They frequently return saying, “I’m never going in the
> again. It’s too dark there. We want to come with you.” Of course, our
> response to such requests has been to put them into home groups (we call
> them Life Groups) where they can participate in ministry while healing
> from their wounds. The structured church offers nothing but a return to
> the religious bondage from which they have been set free. In these
> experiences, we have discovered Father’s heart for His people. He is
> drawing us into the home to worship, to learn, and to minister to others
> who need the liberty only found in Him.
> Several years ago, I found myself in the middle of an open vision. This
> vision has become the expression of our mission. I share it with you to
> both challenge and encourage you in your open church vision.
> As I looked, I could see the backs of a crowd of people to my left. They
> were intently looking in the same direction away from me. It was obvious
> they were engaged in worship--some with hands raised, some with bowed
> heads, most were singing. I watched myself disappear into the crowd and
> reappear dragging a dead person by the collar. I dragged the person
> across the street and laid him on his back with his head against the
> curb. I continued to enter and reappear with more dead people until
> there was a long line of bodies lying side by side along the curb.
> All at once, I began to weep over them because they were dead. Then, I
> walked out before them, raised my hands and spoke over them. I could not
> hear what was said, but immediately, they all sat up. For the next few
> minutes, they began to recover and make their way, one by one, to a
> standing position. It took some longer than others, but eventually, they
> were all standing.
> As their recovery process was proceeding, I disappeared once again into
> the throng and began dragging more dead people out. When those from the
> first group were able to stand and then walk, they joined me in dragging
> more and more bodies out of the throng. Each time the area along the
> curb was full, I stepped forward, raised my arms and spoke. The whole
> line of bodies would sit up alive, work their way to a standing
> position, and eventually help us in our work.
> Before long, my view began to pan back to see the extent of the crowd
> worshiping off to my left. There were hundreds of thousands, maybe even
> millions, gathered around a circular object in the middle. This object
> was domed toward its center and was turning very slowly around, much
> like a merry-go-round. It emanated a bright light that the people
> worshiped. At the center of the object stood a brilliant angel with his
> arms outstretched receiving the adoration of the crowd. The people were
> worshiping the angel in a myriad of worship styles and traditions, from
> the solemn to the exuberant. As I looked closer, the Holy Spirit opened
> my eyes to see that the angel was not an angel of light after all but a
> dark angel appearing as an angel of light. The people were worshipping
> this dark angel, not knowing that it was a spirit of false religion.
> Then, Father showed me what it meant:
> The crowds of people were not the throngs of some cult religion. Rather,
> they were major portions of the Church of Jesus Christ upon the earth.
> They were actively involved in their own methods of worship without
> regard for the source of the light. They were going about their church
> business--some vigorously, some lethargically--but all with some level
> of commitment. Most of the worship and church business was being done
> out of guilt without a true and intimate relationship with the one
> honored. These are the religious lost.
> I was sent into the crowd to retrieve those who had died in the middle
> of worship of the dark angel. They were the ones who KNEW they were
> dead, not those who thought that their religious activities still held
> some life. This is a picture of the people and denominations that no
> longer make any hypocritical pretense of spirituality. They knew there
> is no life and they had become desperate for the return of the Holy
> Spirit breathing life into their dried bones. It is a mystery how I knew
> which ones to drag out of the crowd, though it was evident this
> identification came from the Holy Spirit.
> The act of speaking to the dead bodies brought them back to life. This
> pictures the mission statement of Jesus when He read Isaiah 61 for those
> gathered in the temple. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he
> hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to
> heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and
> recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are
> bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19 KJV).
> As the people became whole enough to stand, they were immediately put to
> work dragging more dead out of the crowd and bringing others to
> wholeness.
> A spirit of false religion, that is, witchcraft, has deceived much of
> the Church. This spirit appears as an angel of light, but its true
> motivation is binding the worshipers in darkness. I began to understand
> that the spirit of witchcraft was manifesting in the Church as control
> and religious spirits, using manipulation and false spiritual authority.
> Well-meaning leaders had taken control of the sheep in an effort to keep
> them on the path of righteousness. However, this control and
> manipulation is what keeps the Church impotent as an army and distanced
> them from the One with whom an intimate relationship should be
> developed. The man-made religious system designed to maintain the sheep
> is the very thing that has drained out the power and intimacy of the
> Body of Christ.
> Our mission is made crystal clear in this vision: to reach into the
> organized religious system and bring out those who have been made
> desperate to know the life-giving breath of the Living God in spite of
> the bondage of their doctrine and in spite of their theological
> training. The harvesters miraculously find those who are dead and
> desperate, raise them from the dead, and the Lord of the Harvest sends
> them into the harvest fields to bring the true light of salvation and
> wholeness to the multitudes who will otherwise die in their deceptive
> religious stupor.

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