By Rick Joyner
I have tried to write each section of this series as a “stand alone” message. Therefore it is not essential to have read the previous parts to benefit from this one, though it would be helpful. Also this is written in first person because it is not fiction, but a real experience that I had. Therefore I have tried to convey it just like I experienced it.
In this part I share encounters that I had with specific people before the Judgment Seat of Christ. Many of these were people that I know, or know of. I did not share their names for obvious reasons, and I would encourage you not to speculate about who they are.. The point is not who they are, but the lessons that they convey.
Most prophetic dreams and visions are allegories, but this does not mean that they are not true reflections of reality. Even though this might come across like fiction, it is not, and I pray that you will take it seriously. Let the truth of the message stand as truth, and do it’s work in your life.
This series has become one of the most popular that we have ever published. One of the most frequent complaints that we have received about it is that you must wait three more months for the next section. I’m sorry, but there is just no way that we can remedy this if we are going to publish it in the Journal. Eventually the complete work will be published as a book that will be much more comprehensive, but I wanted to share it with you in this condensed form first. Because that we feel that our Journal subscribers are a part of our family, we feel free to share things with you before we publish them for the general consumption.
I gazed one final time around the huge room inside of the mountain. The treasures of the truths of Salvation were kept here. It seemed that there was no end to their expanse and beauty. I could not imagine that the rooms that contained the other great truths of the faith could be any more glorious. This helped me to understand why so many Christians never wanted to leave this place. The large gems which represented the different aspects of Salvation all exuded a glory far beyond any earthly beauty. It was wonderful beyond description, and I knew that I could stay here for eternity and never get bored.
The eagle who was standing next to me almost shouted: “You must go on!” Then more calmly he continued, “There is no greater peace and safety than to abide in the Lord’s Salvation. You were brought here to know this because you will need it where you are now going. But you must not stay here any longer.”
The eagle’s statements about the peace and safety touched something in me. I thought about the courageous warriors who had fought in the battle from the first level of the mountain, “Salvation.” They had fought so well and had delivered so many, but they had also all been badly wounded. The eagle again interrupted my thoughts as if he were listening to them.
“God has a different definition of peace and safety than we do. To be wounded in the fight is a great honor. That is why the apostle Paul boasted of his beating and stonings. There is no courage unless there is real danger. The Lord said He would go with Joshua to fight for the Promised Land, but over and over exhorted him to be strong and courageous because he was going to have to fight, and there would be dangers. It is in this way that the Lord proves those that are worthy of the Promises—they love God and His provisions more than their own security. Courage is a demonstration of true faith. The Lord never promised that His way would be easy, but it would be worth it. The courage of those who fought from the level of Salvation moved the angels of heaven
to esteem what God has wrought in the fallen race of men. They took their wounds in the terrible onslaught, but they did not quit, and they did not retreat. Even so by climbing the mountain you were able to fight with an authority that ultimately freed even more souls. Many more souls will fill these rooms, to the great joy of heaven, if you go on.”
I then turned and looked at the dark and forbidding door over which was written: The
Judgment Seat of Christ. Just as warmth and peace had flooded my soul each time I looked at the great treasures of Salvation, fear and insecurity gripped me when I looked at this door. Everything in me wanted to stay in this room, and nothing in me wanted to go through that door. Again the eagle answered my thoughts.
“Before you enter the door to any great truth you will have these same feelings. You even felt that way when you entered into this room to the treasures of salvation. These fears are the result of the fall. They are the fruit of the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil. The knowledge of that tree made us all insecure and self-centered. The knowledge of good and evil makes the true knowledge of God seem fearful, when in fact every truth from above leads to an even greater peace and security. Even the judgments of God are to be desired, because all of His ways are perfect.
By now I had experienced enough to know that what seems right is often the least fruitful path, and some times the road to tragedy. Throughout my journey, the path on which it seemed that the most was risked, was the path that led to the greatest reward. Even so, each time it seemed that more was being risked. To make the choice to go on therefore got harder each time.
“It takes more faith to walk in the higher realm of the Spirit,” the eagle stated, seeming a little more irritated. “The Lord gave us the map to His kingdom when He said,
‘If you seek to save your life you will lose it, but if you will lose your life for My sake you will find it‘ Those words alone can keep you on the path to the top of the mountain, and will lead you to victory in the great battle ahead. They will also help you to stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ,” he added, looking toward the door.
I knew I had to go. I knew that I should remember this glorious room and the treasures of salvation, but I also knew that I should not look back to them again. I had to go on. I turned and with all the courage I could muster, opened the door to the Judgment Seat of Christ and stepped through it. The troop of angels that had been assigned to me took positions all around the door, but did not enter.
“What’s the matter? Aren’t you coming?” I demanded, badly wanting the security of their company.
“Where you are going now you must go alone. We will be waiting for you on the other side.”
Without responding I turned and started walking before I could change my mind. It
was the hardest thing I had ever done. I was in the most frightening darkness I had ever experienced . The most terrible fears rose up within me. Soon I began to think that I had stepped into hell itself. I thought about retreating, but when I looked back I could see nothing. The door was closed and I could not even see where it was located. Resolving that I now had to go on, I moved slowly, praying for the Lord to help me. As I did, peace began to grow in my heart.
I then noticed that the dark was no longer cold, but began to feel comfortable. Then I started to behold a dim light. Gradually it became a glorious light so wonderful that I felt I was entering into heaven itself. Now the glory increased with every step. I wondered how anything this wonderful could have an entrance so dark and forbidding. I wanted to savor every step before taking another.
Soon the path opened into a hall so large that I felt that the earth itself could not contain it. The beauty of it could not even be imagined by human architects. I had never experienced anything like what filled my soul as I beheld this room. At the far end was the Source of the glory that emanated from everything else in the room. I knew that it was the Lord, and I was a little bit afraid as I began to walk toward Him. I did not even think about how great the distance was. It was all so wonderful that I felt that I could walk forever and enjoy every step. In earthly terms, that somehow did not relate here, it would have taken me many days to reach the throne.
My eyes were so fixed on the glory of the Lord, that I had walked a long time before I noticed that I was passing multitudes of people. Who were standing in ranks to my left (there were just as many to my right but they were so far away that I did not notice them. until I reached the throne). As I looked at them I had to stop. They were dazzling, more regal than anyone I had ever seen. Their countenance was captivating. Never had such peace and confidence graced a human face. Each one was beautiful beyond any earthly comparison. As I turned to one that was close to me they bowed in a greeting as if they knew me.
“How is it that you know me?” I asked, surprised at my own boldness to ask such a question of them.
“ You are one of the saints who are fighting in the last battle,” a man close by responded. “Everyone here knows you, and all those who are now fighting on the earth. We are the saints who have served the Lord in the generations before you. We are the great cloud of witnesses who have been given the right to behold the last battle. We know all of you, and we see all you do.”
I then noticed someone I had known on earth. He had been a faithful believer, but I did not think he had ever done anything of significance. He was physically so unattractive on earth that it had made him shy. Here he had the same features, but was somehow more handsome than any person I had known on earth. He stepped up to me with an assurance and dignity that I had never seen in him, or anyone, before.
“Heaven is much greater then we could have dreamed while on earth, ”he began. “This room is but the thresh hold of realms of glory that are far beyond the ability we had to comprehend. It is also true that the second death is much more terrible than we understood. Neither heaven or hell are like we thought they were. If I had known what I know here I would not have lived the way I did. You are blessed with a great grace to have come here before you have died,” he said while looking at my garments.
I then looked at myself. I still had the old mantle on, with the armor under it. I felt both foul and crude standing before those who were so regal and beautiful. I began to think that I was in serious trouble if I was going to appear before the Lord like this. Like the eagles, my old acquaintance could understand my thoughts, and he replied to them..
“Those who come here wearing that mantle have nothing to fear. That mantle is the highest rank of honor, and it is why they all bowed to you while you passed.”
“I did not notice anyone bowing to me ,”I replied, a bit disconcerted.
“It is not improper,” he continued, “Here we show each other the respect that is due. Even the angels serve us here, but only our God and Christ are worshipped”
I was still ashamed, I had to restrain myself to keep from bowing to these glorious ones, while at the same time wanting to hide myself because I looked so bad. Then I began lamenting the fact that my thoughts here were just as foolish here as they were on earth, and here everyone knew them! I felt both stained and stupid standing before these who were so awesome and pure. Again my old acquaintance responded to these thoughts.
“We have our incorruptible bodies now, and you do not. Our minds are no longer hindered by sin. We are therefore able to comprehend many times what even the greatest earthly mind can fathom, and we will spend eternity growing in our ability to understand.
This is so that we can know the Father, and understand the glory of His creation. On earth you cannot begin to understand what the least of those here know, and we are the least of those here.”
“How could you be the least?” I asked with disbelief.
“There is an aristocracy here. The rewards for our earthly lives are the eternal positions that we have here. This great multitude here are those whom the Lord called ‘foolish virgins,’ We knew the Lord, and trusted in His cross for deliverance from damnation, but we really did not live for Him, but for ourselves. We did not keep our vessels filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit. We have the eternal life, but we wasted our lives on earth.”
I was really surprised by this, but I also knew that no one could lie in that place.
“The foolish virgins gnashed their teeth in the outer darkness,” I protested.
“And that we did. The grief that we experienced when we understood how we had so wasted our lives was so beyond any grief possible on earth. The darkness of that grief can only be understood by those who have experienced it. Such darkness is magnified when it is revealed next to the glory of the One we failed. You are standing now among the lowest rank in heaven. There is no greater fools than the ones who knows the great salvation of God, but then go on living for themselves. To come here and learn the reality of the folly is a grief beyond what any earthly soul can experience. We are those that suffered this outer darkness because of this greatest of follies.”
I was still incredulous. “But you are more glorious and full of joy and peace than I even imagined, even for those in heaven. I do not feel any remorse in you, and I know that here you cannot lie. This does not make sense to me.”
Looking me straight in the eyes, he continued, “The Lord also loves us with a love greater than you can understand. Before His judgment seat I tasted the greatest darkness of soul and remorse that can be experienced. Though here we do not measure time as you do, it seemed to last for as long as my time on earth had lasted. All my sins and follies which I had not repented of passed before me, and before all who are here. The grief of this you cannot understand until you have experienced it. I felt that I was in the deepest dungeon of hell, even as I stood before the Lord. He was resolute until my life had been completely reviewed. When I said I was sorry and asked for the mercy of the cross, He wiped away my tears and took away the great darkness. He looked at me with a love that that was beyond anything that you can now understand. He gave me this robe. I no longer feel the darkness or bitterness that I knew as I stood before Him, but I remember it. Only here can you remember such things without continuing to feel the pain. A moment in the lowest part of heaven is much greater than a thousand years of the highest life on earth. Now my mourning at my folly has been turned into joy, and I know that I will know joy forever, even if I am in the lowest place in heaven.”
I began to think again of the treasures of salvation. Somehow I knew that all this man had told me was revealed by those treasures. Every step I had taken up the mountain, or into it, had revealed that His ways are both fearful and more wonderful than I had known before.
Looking at me intently, my former acquaintance continued, “You are not here to understand, but to experience. The next level of rank here is many times greater than what we have. Each level after is that much greater than the previous one. It is not just that each level has a more glorious spiritual body, but that each level is closer to the throne where all the glory comes from. Even so, I do not feel the grief of my failure. I really deserve nothing. I am here by grace alone, and I am so thankful for what I have. He is so worthy to be loved. I could be doing many wondrous things now in the different realms of heaven, but I would rather stay here and just behold His glory, even if I am on the outer fringes.”
Then, with a distant look in his eyes, he added, “Everyone in heaven is now in this room to watch His great mystery unfold, and to watch those of you whom will fight the last battle.”
“Can you see Him from here?” I asked. “I see His glory far away, but I cannot see Him.”
“I can see many times better than you can,” he answered, “And yes, I can see Him, and all that He is doing, even from here. I can also hear Him. I can also behold the earth. He gave us all that power. We are the great cloud of witnesses who are beholding you.”
He departed back into the ranks and I began walking again, trying to understand all that he had said to me. As I looked over the great host that he had said were the foolish virgins. The ones who had slept away their life on earth, I knew that if any one of them appeared on earth now that they would be worshipped as gods, and yet they were the very least of those who were here!
I than began to thing of all the time I had wasted in my life. It was such an overwhelming thought that I stopped. Then parts of my life began to pass before me. I began to experience a terrible grief over this one sin. I too had been one of the greatest of fools! I may have kept more oil in my lamps than others, but now I knew how foolish I had been to measure what had been required of me by how others were doing. I, too, was one of the foolish virgins!
Just when I thought I would collapse under the weight of this terrible discovery, a man who I had known and esteemed as one of the great men of God I had known, came forward to steady me. Somehow his touch revived me. He then greeted me warmly. He was a man that I had wanted to be discipled by. I had met him, but we did not get along to well. Like a number of others I had tried to get close enough to learn from, I was an irritation to him and he finally asked me to leave. For years I had felt guilty about this, feeling that I had missed a great opportunity because of some flaw in my character. Even though I had put it out of my mind, I still carried the weight of this failure. When I saw him it all surfaced, and a sick feeling came over me. Now he was so regal that I felt even more repulsive and embarrassed by my poor state. I wanted to hide but there was no way I could avoid him here. To my surprise, his warmth toward me was so genuine that he quickly put me at ease. There did not seem to be any barriers between us. In fact, the love that I felt coming from him almost completely took away my self-consciousness.
“I have waited eagerly for this meeting,” he said.
“You were waiting for me?” I asked. “Why?”
“You are just one of many I am waiting for. I did not understand until my judgment that you were one that I was called to help, to even discipline, but I rejected you.”
“ Sir, I protested.” It would have been a great honor to be discipled by you, and I am very thankful for the time that I did have with you, but I was so arrogant I deserved
your rejection. I know that my rebellion and pride has kept me from ever having a real spiritual father. This was not your fault, but mine.”
“It was true that you were prideful, but that was not why I was offended with you. I was offended because of my insecurity, which made me want to control everyone around me. I was offended that you would not accept everything that I said without questioning it. I then started to look for anything that was wrong with you to justify my rejection. I began to feel that I could not control you that you would one day embarrass me and my ministry. I esteemed my ministry more than I did the people for whom it was given to me, So I drove many like you away.,” he said.
With a genuineness that is unknown in the realms of earth, he continued, “All children are rebellious. They are all self-centered, rebellious, and think that the world revolves around them. That is why they need parents to raise them. Almost every child will at times bring reproach on his family, but he is still a part of the family. I turned away many of God’s own children that He had entrusted to me for getting them safely to maturity. I failed with most of them. Most of them suffered terrible wounds and failures that I could have helped them to avoid. Many of them are now prisoners of the enemy, I built a large organization, and had considerable influence in the church, but the greatest gifts that the Lord trusted to me were the ones who were sent to me for discipline, many of whom I rejected. Had I not been so self-centered and concerned with my own reputation I would have been king here. I was called to one of the highest thrones. All that you have and will accomplish could have been in my heavenly account as well. Instead of much of what I gave my attention to was of very little eternal significance. What looks good on earth looks very different here. What will make you a king on earth will often be a stumbling block to keep you from being a king here. What will make you a king here is lowly and unesteemed on earth. Will you forgive me?”
“Of course,” I said, quite embarrassed. “But I, too, am in need of your forgiveness. I still think that it was my awkwardness and rebellion that made it difficult for you.”
“It is true that you were not perfect, and I discerned some of your problems rightly, but that is never cause for rejection.” He replied. The Lord did not reject the world when He saw its failures. He did not reject me when He saw my sin. He laid down His life for us. It is always the greater who must lay down his life for the lessor. I was more mature. I had more authority than you, but I became like one of the goats in the parable; I rejected the Lord by rejecting you and the others that He sent to me.”
As he talked his words were striking me deeply. I too was guilty of everything he was repenting of. Many young men and women who I had brushed off as not being important enough for my time were now passing through my mind. How desperately I wanted to return now and gather them together! This grief that I began to feel was even worse than I had felt about wasting my time. I had wasted people! Now many of these were prisoners of the enemy, wounded and recaptured during the battle on the mountain. This whole battle was for people, and yet people were often regarded as the least important. We will fight for truths more than for the people for whom they were given. We will fight for ministries while running roughshod over the people in them. “And many people think of me as a spiritual leader! I am truly the least of the saints,” I thought to myself.
“ I understand how you feel,” remarked another man I recognized as one I considered one of the greatest Christian leaders of all time. “Paul the apostle said near the end of his life that he was the least of the saints. Then just before his death called himself ‘the greatest of sinners.’ Had he not learned that in his life on earth he, too, would have been in jeopardy of being one of the least of the saints in heaven. Because he learned it on earth he is now one of the closest to the Lord, and will be one of the highest in rank for all eternity.”
Seeing this man in the company of “the foolish virgins” was the greatest surprise I had yet. “I cannot believe that you, too, are one of the foolish ones that slept away their lives on earth. Why are you here?”
“ I am here because I made one of the gravest mistakes you can make as one entrusted with the glorious gospel of our savior. Just as the apostle Paul progressed from not considering himself inferior to the greatest apostle to being the greatest of sinners, I took the opposite course. I started out knowing that I had been one of the greatest of sinners who had found grace, but ending up thinking that I was one of the greatest apostles. It was because of my great pride, not insecurity like our friend here, that I began to attack everyone who did not see everything just the way I did. Those who followed me I stripped of their own calling, and their personalities, pressuring them all to become just like me. No one around me could be themselves. No one dared to question me because I would crush them into powder; I thought that by making others smaller I made myself larger, I thought that I was supposed to be the Holy Spirit to everyone. From the outside my ministry looked like a smooth running machine where everyone was in unity and there was perfect order, but it was the order of a concentration camp. I took the Lord’s own children and made them automatons in my own image instead of His. In the end I was not even serving the Lord, but the idol that I had built to myself. By the end of my life I was actually an enemy of the true gospel, at least in practice, even if my teachings and writings seemed impeccably biblical.”
“If that is true, that you became an enemy of the gospel, how is it that you are still here?” I questioned.
“By the grace of God, I did trust in the cross for my own salvation, even though I actually kept other men from it, leading them to myself rather than to Him. The Lord remains faithful to us even when we are unfaithful. It was also by His grace that the Lord took me from the earth sooner than He would have just so those who were under me could find Him and come to know Him.”
I could not have been more stunned to think that this was true of this particular man. History had given us a very different picture of him. Reading what was going on in my heart, he continued.
“God does have a different set of history books, than those on the earth. You have had a glimpse of this, but you do not know how different they are. Earthly histories will pass away, but the books that are kept here will last forever. If you can rejoice in what heaven is recording about your life, you are blessed indeed. Men see through a glass darkly, so their histories will always be clouded, and some times completely wrong. Very few, even very few Christians, have the true gift of discernment. Without this gift it is impossible to accurately discern truth in those of the present or the past. Even with this gift it is difficult. Until you have been here and have been stripped, you will judge others
through distorted prejudices, either positive or negative. That is why we are warned not to judge before the time. Until we have been here we just cannot really know what is in the heart of others, whether they are performing good or evil deeds. There have been good motives in even the worst men, and evil motives in even the best of men, only here can men be judged by both their deeds and motives.”
“When I return to earth, will I be able to discern history accurately because I have been here?”
“You are here because you prayed for the Lord to judge you severely, to correct you ruthlessly, so that you could serve Him more perfectly. This was one of the most wise requests you ever made. The wise judge themselves lest they be judged. The even wiser ask for the judgement of the Lord, because they realize they cannot even judge themselves very well. Having come here you will leave with far more wisdom and discernment, but on earth you will always see through a glass darkly to at least some degree. Your experience here will help you to know men better, but only when you are fully here can you know them fully. When you leave here you will be more impressed by how little you know men rather than by how well you know them. This is just as true in relation to histories of men. I have been allowed to talk with you because I have in a sense discipled you through my writings, and to know the truth about me will help you greatly,” the great reformer concluded.
Then a woman stepped forward who I did not know. Her beauty and grace was breathtaking, but it was not sensual, or seductive in any way. She was the very definition of dignity and nobility.
“I was his wife on earth,” she began. Much of what you know of him actually came from me, therefore what I am about to say is not just about him, but about us. You can reform the church without reforming your own soul. You can dictate the course of history, and yet not do the Fathers will, or glorify the Son. If you commit yourself to making human history, you may do it, but it is a fleeting accomplishment but will evaporate like a wisp of smoke.”
“But your husband’s work, or your work, greatly impacted every generation after him for good. It is hard to imagine how dark the world would have been without him,” I protested.
“True, But you can gain the whole world and still loose your own soul. Only if you keep your own soul pure can you impact the world for the truly lasting eternal purposes of God. My husband lost his soul to me, and he only gained it at the end of his life because I was taken from the earth so that he could. Much of what he did he did for me more than for the Lord. I pressured him, and even gave him much of the knowledge that he taught. I used him as an extension of my own ego, because as a woman at that time I could not be recognized as a spiritual leader myself. I took over his life so I could live my life through him. Soon I had him doing everything just to prove himself to me.”
“You must have loved her very much,” I said , looking at him.
“No I did not love her at all. Neither did she love me. In fact, just after a few years of marriage we did not even like each other. But we both needed each other, so we found a way to work together. The more successful we became this way, the more unhappy we became, and the more deception we used to fool those who followed us. We were empty wretches by the end of our lives. The more influences that you gain by your own self-promotions, the more striving you must do to keep your influences, and the more dark and cruel your life will become. Kings feared us, but we feared everyone from the kings to the peasants. We could trust no one because we were living in such deception ourselves we did not even trust each other. We preached love and trust, because we wanted everyone to love and trust us, but we feared and secretly despised everyone ourselves. If you preach the greatest truths and do not live them, you are only the greatest hypocrite.
There words began to pound me like a hammer. I could see that already my life was heading in the same direction. How much was I doing to promote myself rather than Christ. I began to see how much of my life I did just to prove myself to others, especially those that disliked me, or who I felt in competition with me in some way. I began to see how much of my own life was built on facades of a projected image that belied who I really was. But here I could not hide. This great cloud of witnesses all knew who I was beyond the veil of my projected motives.
I looked again at this couple. They were now so guileless and so truly noble that it was impossible to question their motives. They were gladly exposing their most devious sins for my sake, and were genuinely glad to be able to do it.
“I may have had wrong concepts of you by your history and your writings, but I have even more esteem for you now. I pray that I can carry away the integrity and freedom you have now. I am tired of living up to projected images of myself. How I love for that freedom.” I lamented, wanting desperately to remember every detail of this encounter. Then the famous Reformer offered a final exhortation;
“Do not try to teach others to do what you are not doing yourself. Reformation is not just a doctrine. True reformation only comes from union with the Savior. When you are yoked with Christ, carrying the burdens that He gives you, He will be with you and carry them for you. You can only do His work when you are doing it with Him. Only the Spirit can beget that which is Spirit. If you are yoked with Him you will do nothing for the sake of politics or history. Anything that you do because of political pressure, or opportunities, will lead you to the end of your true ministry. The things that are done for the sake of trying to make history will at best doom your accomplishments to history, and you will fail to impact eternity. If you do not live what you preach to others you disqualify yourself from the high calling of God, just as we did. I will tell you what will keep you on the path of life—love the Savior and seek His glory alone. Everything that you do to exalt yourself will one day bring you the most terrible humiliation. Everything that you do out of true love for the Savior, to glorify His name, will extend the limits of his eternal kingdom, and ultimately result in a much higher place for yourself. Live for what is recorded here. Care nothing for what is recorded on earth.”
As they walked away I was again being overwhelmed by my own sin. The times that I had used people for my own purposes, or even used the glorious name of Jesus, to further my own ambitions, or to make myself look better, began to cascade down upon me. Here, where I could behold the power and glory of the One I had so used, it became more repulsive than I thought I could stand. I fell on my face in the worst despair I had ever known. After what seemed like an eternity of seeing these people and events pass before me, I felt the woman lifting me to my feet again. I was overcome by her purity, especially as I now felt so evil and corrupt. I had the strongest desire to worship her because she was so pure.
“Turn to the Son,” she said emphatically. “Your desire to worship me, or anyone else at this time, is only an attempt to turn the attention away from yourself, and justify yourself by serving what you are not. I am pure now because I turned to Him. You need to see the corruption that is in your own soul, but then you must not dwell on yourself, or seek to justify yourself with dead works, but turn to Him.”
This was said with such genuine love that it was impossible to be hurt or offended by it. When she saw that I understood, she continued;
“The purity that you saw in me was what my husband first saw in me when we were young. I was relatively pure in my motives then, but I corrupted his love and my purity by letting him worship me wrongly. You can never become pure just by worshiping one who is more pure than you, but only by going beyond them to find for yourself the One who has made them pure, and in whom there is no sin. The more people praised us and the more we accepted their praises, the further we departed from the path of life. Then we started living for the praises of men, and to gain power over those who did not praise us. That was our demise, and was the same for many who are here in the lowest place, but were called to be in the highest.”
Wanting to simply prolong our conversation, I asked the next thing that came to my mind, “Is it difficult for you and your husband to be here together?”
“Not at all. All of the relationships that you have on earth are continued here, and they are all purified by the judgment. The more that you are forgiven the more that you love. Of course, the Lord forgave us more than anyone, and here we love Him much more than anyone else. After we forgave each other we loved each other more. Now our relationship is continuing in much greater depth and richness because we are joint heirs of this salvation. As deep as the wounds went, that is how deep the love was able go once we were healed. We could have experienced this on earth, but we did not learn forgiveness in time. If we had learned forgiveness the competition that entered our relationship, and sidetracked our life, would not have been able to take root in us. If you truly love, you will easily forgive. The harder it is for you to forgive, the further you are from true love. Forgiveness is essential if you are to stay on the path of life. Without it many things can knock you off the course chosen for you.”
At the same time I realized that this woman, who had brought me into this confrontation with such pain at my depravity, was also the most attractive person I could ever remember meeting. It was not romantic attraction, but I just did not want to leave her. Perceiving my thoughts she withdrew a step, indicating that she was about to go, but offered one last insight.
“The pure truth, spoken in true love will always attract. You will remember the pain you feel here, and it will help you through the rest of your life. Pain is good; it shows you where there is a problem. Do not try to reduce the pain until you find and address the
problem. God’s truth often brings pain as it highlights a problem that we have, but His truth will always show us the way to freedom, and true life. When we know this you will even begin to rejoice in your trials, which are all allowed to help keep you on the path of life.”
“ Also your attraction to me is not out of order. It is the attraction between male and female that was given in the beginning, which is always pure in its true form. When pure truth is combined with pure love, men can be men they were created to be without having to dominate out of insecurity. Women can be the women they were created to be because their love has replaced their fear. Love will never manipulate or try to control out of insecurity, because love casts out all fear. The very place where relationships can be the most corrupted is where they can be most fulfilling. As your mind is renewed by the Spirit of Truth, you will not see relationships as an opportunity to get from others, but to give. Giving is the greatest fulfillment that we can ever know. It is a taste of heaven where we give to the Lord in pure worship, which has an ecstasy that even the most wonderful relationships on earth are but a fleeting glimpse of. What we experience in worship here your frail little unglorified body could not endure. The true worship of God will purify the soul for the glories of true relationships. Therefore you must not seek relationships, but true worship. Only then can relationships start to be what they are supposed to be. True love never seeks the upper hand, but the lowest place of service. If my husband and I had kept this in our marriage, we would be sitting next to the King now, and this great hall would be filled with many more souls.”
With that she disappeared back into the ranks of the glorified saints. I looked again towards the throne and the glory that appeared so much more beautiful that I was taken aback. Another man standing close to me explained;
“With each encounter, a veil is being removed so that you can see Him more clearly.
You are not changed just by seeing His glory, but by seeing it with an unveiled face. Everyone that comes to the true judgements of God walks a corridor such as this to meet those who can help them remove veils they are still wearing; veils that will distort their vision of Him.”
I had already absorbed more understanding than I felt like my many years of study on earth had given me. I then began to feel that all of my study and seeking on earth had only led me forward at a snail’s pace. How could many lifetimes prepare me for the judgement? My life had already disqualified me more than all of those whom I had met, and they had barely made it here!
Then another man emerged from the ranks. He had been a contemporary of mine, and I did not know that he had died. I had never met him on earth, but he had a great ministry which I respected very much. Through men that he had trained, thousands had been led to salvation, and many great churches had been raised up. He asked me if he could just embrace me a minute, and I agreed, feeling a bit awkward. When we embraced I felt such love coming from him that a great pain that was deep within me stopped hurting. I had become so used to the pain that I did not even notice it until it stopped. After he released me I told him that his embrace had healed me of something. His joy at this was profound. Then he began to tell me why he was in the lowest rank in heaven.
“I became so arrogant near the end of my life that I could not imagine that the Lord would do anything of significance unless He did it through me. I began to touch the Lord’s anointed, and do His prophets harm. I was selfishly proud when the Lord used one of my own disciples, and I became jealous when the Lord moved through anyone who was outside of my own ministry. I would search for anything that was wrong with them which I could attack. I did not know that every time I did this I only demoted myself further.”
“I never knew that you had done anything like that.” I said, surprised.
“I incited men under me to investigate others and do my dirty work. I had them scour the earth to find an error or sin in the life of others to expose them. I became the worst thing that a man can become on earth—a stumbling block who produced other stumbling blocks. We sowed fear and division throughout the church, all in the name of protecting the truth. In my self-righteousness I was headed for perdition. In His great mercy the Lord allowed me to be struck by a disease that would bring about a slow and humiliating death. Just before I died I came to my senses and repented. I am just thankful to be here at all. I may be one of the least of His here, but it is much more than I deserve. I just could not leave this room until I had a chance to apologize to those of you who I so wronged.”
“But you never wronged me.” I said.
“Oh, but I did indeed,” he replied.
“Many of the attacks that came against you were from those whom I had agitated and encouraged on their assaults on others. Even though I may not personally have carried the attacks out, the Lord holds me responsible as those who did.”
“I see. Certainly I forgive you.”
I was already beginning to remember how I had done the same thing, even if on a smaller scale. I recalled how I had allowed disgruntled former members of a church to spread their poison about that church without stopping them. I knew that by just allowing them to do this without correcting them I had encouraged them to continue. I remember thinking this was justified because of the errors of the church. I then began to remember how I had even repeated many of their stories, justifying it was only to enlist prayers for them. Soon a great flood of other such incidents began to arise in my heart. Again, I was starting to be overwhelmed by the evil and darkness of my own soul.
“I, too, have been a stumbling block!” I wailed, dropping again to my knees. I knew that I deserved death, that I deserved the worst kind of hell. I had never seen such ruthlessness and cruelty that I was seeing in my own heart.
“And we always comforted ourselves by actually thinking that we were doing God a favor when we attacked His own children,” came the understanding voice of this man. It is good for you to see this here, because you can go back. Please warn my disciples of their impending doom if they do not repent. Many of them are called to be kings here, but if they do not repent they will face the worst judgement of all—that of the stumbling blocks. My humbling disease was grace from God. When I stood before the throne I asked the Lord to send such grace to my disciples. I cannot cross back over to them, but He has allowed me this time with you. Please forgive and release those who have attacked you. They really do not understand that they are doing the work of the Accuser. Thank you for forgiving me, but please also forgive them. It is in your power to retain sins or cover them with love. I entreat you to love those who are now your enemies.”
“I could hardly hear this man I was so over whelmed with my own sin. This man was so glorious, pure and obviously now had powers that were not known on the earth. Yet he was entreating me with a greater humility than I had witnessed before. I felt such love coming from him that I could not imagine refusing him, but even without the impact of his love, I felt far more guilty than anyone could possibly be who was attacking me.
“Certainly I must deserve anything they have done to me, and much more.” I replied.
“That is true, but that is not the point here,” he entreated. Everyone one earth is deserving of the second death, but our Savior brought us grace and truth. If we are to do His work we must do everything in both grace and truth. Truth without grace is what the enemy brings when he comes as an ‘angel of light.’”
“If I can be delivered from this maybe I will be able to help them,” I replied. “But can’t you recognize that I am far worse than they could possibly be?”
“I know that what has just passed through your mind was bad,” he answered, but with a love and grace that was profound. I knew that he had now become as concerned for me and my condition as he had been for his own disciples.
“This really is heaven,” I blurted out. This really is light and truth. How could we who live in such darkness become so proud, thinking that we know so much about God? Lord!” I yelled in the direction of the throne, “please let me go and carry this light back to earth.!”
Immediately the entire host of heaven seemed to stand at attention, and I knew that I was the center of their attention. I felt so insignificant before just one of these glorious ones, but when I knew they were al looking at me, fear came like a tidal wave. I felt that there could be no doom like I was about to experience. I felt like the greatest enemy of the glory and truth that so filled this place. I was too corrupted, I could never properly represent such glory and truth. There was no way that I could in my corruption convey the reality of that glorious place and Presence. I was sure that Satan had not fallen as far as I had from grace. This is hell I thought. There can be no worse pain then to be as evil as I am and to know that this kind of glory exists. To be banned from here is a torture worse than I ever dreamed, No wonder the demons are so angry and demented, I thought.
Just when I thought I was about to be sent to the deepest regions of hell, I simply cried, “JESUS!” Quickly a peace came over me. I knew I had to move on toward the glory again, and somehow I had the confidence to do it. I kept on moving until I saw a man who I considered one of the greatest writers of all time. I had considered his depth and insight into the truth to be possibly the greatest that I had ever encountered in all my studies.
“Sir, I have always looked forward to this meeting,” I almost blurted out.
“So have I,” he replied with genuine sincerity.
“I feel that I know you, and in your writings I almost felt like you somehow knew me. I think that I owe more to you than to anyone else who was not canonized in Scripture.” I continued.
“You are very gracious.” He replied. “But I am sorry that I did not serve you better. I was a shallow person, and my writings are shallow, and filled with more worldly wisdom than divine truth.”
“Since I have been here, and learned all that I have learned, I know that this must be true, but I still think they are some of the best that we have on earth,” I answered.
“You are right,” this famous writer admitted, with sincerity. “It is so sad. Everyone here, even those who sit closest to the King, would live their lives differently if they had them to live over again, but I think I would live mine even more differently than most. I was honored by kings, but failed the King of kings. I used the great gifts and insights that were given to me to draw men more to myself and my wisdom than to Him. Besides I only knew Him by the hearing of the hear, which is the way I compelled other men to know Him. I made them to depend on me. I turned them more to deductive reasoning than to the Holy Spirit. Who I hardly knew. I did not point men to Jesus, but myself and others like me who pretended to know Him. When I beheld him here, I wanted to ground my writings into powder, just like Moses did to the Golden calf. My mind was my idol, and I wanted everyone to worship my mind with me. Your esteem for me does not cause me to rejoice. If I had spent as much time seeking to know Him as I did seeking to know about Him in order to impress others with my knowledge, many of those who are in this lowest of companies would be sitting in the throne that was prepared for them, and many others would be in this room.”
“I know by being here that your appraisal of your work is true, but are you not being a little too hard on yourself? I questioned. Your works fed me spiritually for many years, as I know they have multitudes of others.”
“I am not being to hard on myself. All that I have said is true as it was confirmed when I stood before the throne. I produced a lot, but I was given more talents than almost anyone here, and I buried them beneath my own spiritual pride and ambitions. Just as Adam could have carried the whole human race into a most glorious future, but by his failures led billions of souls into the worst of tragedies, with authorities comes responsibility. The more authority that you are given the more potential for both good and evil you will have. Those who will rule with Him for the ages will know responsibility of the most profound kind. No man stands alone, and every human failure, or victory, resonates far beyond our comprehension, even to generations to come. The many thousands I could have led properly would have resulted in many more millions here. Anyone who knows the true nature of authority would never seek it, but only accept it when they know they are yoked with the Lord, the only One who can carry authority without stumbling. Never seek influence for yourself, but only seek the Lord and be willing to take His yoke. My influence did not feed your heart, but rather your pride in knowledge.”
“How can I know that I am not doing the same?” I asked as I began to think of my own writings.
“Study to show yourself approved on to God, not men,” he replied as he walked back into the ranks. Before he disappeared and with the slightest smile, offered one bit of last advice. “And do not follow me.”
In this first multitude I saw many other men and women of God from both my own time and history. I stopped and talked to many more. I was continually shocked that so many who I expected to be in the highest positions were in the lowest rank of the kingdom. Many shared the same basic story—they all had fallen to the same deadly sin of pride after their great victories, or fallen to jealousy when other men were anointed as much as they were. Others had fallen to lust, discouragement, or bitterness near the end of their lives and had to be taken before they crossed the line into perdition. They all gave me the same warning: the higher the spiritual authority that you walk in, the further you can fall if you depart from love and humility.
As I continued to the judgement seat I began to pass those who were of higher rank in the kingdom. After many more veils had been striped away from me by meetings with those who had stumbled over the same problems that I had, I began meeting those who had overcome. I met couples who had served the Lord and each other faithfully to the end. Their glory here was unspeakable, and their victory encouraged me that it was possible to stay on the path of life, and serve Him in faithfulness. Those who stumbled , stumbled in many different ways. Those who prevailed all did it the same way—they did not deviate from their devotion to the first and greatest commandment—love the Lord. By this their service was done unto Him, not men, not even for spiritual men. These were the ones who worshipped the Lamb, and followed Him where ever they went.
When I was still not half way to the throne, what had been the indescribable glory of the first rank now seemed to be the outer darkness in comparison to the glory that of those that I now was passing. The greatest beauty on earth would not qualify to be found anywhere in heaven. And I was told that this room was just the threshold of realms indescribable.
My march to the throne may have taken days, months, or even years. There was no way to measure time in that place. To my considerable discomfort, they all showed great respect for me, not because of who I was or anything that I had done, but simply because I was a warrior in the battle of the last days. Somehow through this last battle, the glory of the God would be revealed in such a way that it would be a witness to every power and
authority, created, for all eternity. During this battle the glory of the cross would be revealed, and the wisdom of God would be known in a special way. To be in that battle was to be given one of the greatest honors given to those of the race of men.
As I approached the judgement seat of Christ, those in the highest ranks were also sitting on thrones that were all a part of His throne. Even the least of these thrones was more glorious than any earthly throne many times over. Some of these were rulers of cities on earth who would soon take their place. Others were rulers of the affaires in heaven, and others over the affairs of the physical creation, such as star systems and galaxies. However, it was apparent that those who were given authority over cities were esteemed above those who had even been given authority over galaxies. The value of a single child was more than a galaxy of stars, because the Holy Spirit dwelt in men, and the Lord had chosen men as His eternal dwelling place. In the presents of His glory the whole earth seemed as insignificant as a speck of dust, and yet was so infinitely esteemed that the whole host of heaven was upon it.
Now that I stood before the throne, I felt very much less than a speck of dust. Even so, I felt the Holy spirit upon me in a greater way than I had ever had. It was by His power alone that I was able to stand. It was here that I truly came to understand His ministry as our Comforter. He had led me through the entire journey even though I had hardly noticed Him.
The Lord was both more gentle and more terrible than I had ever imagined. In Him I saw Wisdom who had accompanied me up the mountain, and felt the familiarity of many of my friends on earth. I recognized Him as the One I had heard speaking to me many times through others. I also remembered Him as one I had often rejected when He had come to me in others. I saw both a Lion and a Lamb, the shepherd and the Bridegroom, but most of all I saw Him here as a Judge.
At one point the Lord looked towards the galleries of the thrones around Him. Many were occupied by saints, and many were empty. Than He said “ These thrones are for the overcomers who have served Me faithfully in every generation. My Father and I prepared them before the foundation of the world. Are you worthy to sit in one of these?”
I remembered what a friend had once said, “ When an omniscient God ask you a question, it is not because He is seeking information.” I looked at the thrones. I looked at those who were now seated. I could recognize some of the great heroes of the faith, but most of those seated I knew had not been well known on earth. Many I knew had been missionaries who had expended their lives in obscurity. They had never cared to be remembered on earth, but only to Him. I was a bit surprised to see some who had been wealthy, or rulers who had been faithful with what they had been given. However it seemed that faithful, praying women and mothers occupied more thrones than any other single group.
There was no way that I could answer “yes” to the Lord’s question if I considered myself worthy to sit here. I was not worthy to sit in the company of any who were there.
I knew I had been given the opportunity to run for the greatest prize in heaven and earth or earth, and I had failed. I was desperate, but there was still one hope. Even though most of my life had been a failure, I knew that I was here before I had finished my life on earth. When I confessed that I was not worthy. He asked:
“But do you want this seat,?”
“I do with all my heart,” I responded.
The Lord then looked at the galleries and said, “Those empty seats could have been filled in any generation. I gave the invitation to sit here to anyone who has called upon My name. They are still available . Now the last battle has come, and many who are last shall be first. These seats will be filled before the battle is over. Those who sit here you will know by two things: they will wear the mantle of humility, and they will have My likeness. You now have the mantle. If you can keep it and do not lose it in the battle, when you return you will also have My likeness. Then you will be worthy to sit with these, because I will have made you worthy. All authority and power has been given me, and I alone can wield it. You will prevail, and you will be trusted with My authority only when you have come to fully abide in Me. Now turn and look at My household.”
I turned and looked back at the direction I had come from. From before His throne I could see the entire room. The spectacle was beyond any earthly comparison for its glory. Millions filled the ranks. Each individual in the lowest rank was more awesome than an army, and I knew had more power. It was far beyond my capacity to absorb such a panorama of glory. Even so, I could see that only a small portion of the great room was occupied.
I then looked back at the Lord and was astonished to see tears in His eyes. He had wiped the tears away from every eye here, but His own. As a tear ran down His cheek He caught it in His hand. He then offered it to me.
“This is My cup will you drink it with Me?”
There was no way I could refuse Him. As the Lord continued to look at me I began to feel His great love. Even as foul as I was He still loved me. As undeserving as I was He wanted me to be close to Him. Then He said:
“I love all these with a love you cannot understand. I also love all who are supposed to be here but did not come. I left the ninety nine to go after the one who was lost. My shepherds would not leave the one to go after the ninety nine who are still lost. I came to save the lost. Will you share My heart to go to save the lost? Will you help to fill this room? Will you help to fill these thrones, and every other seat in this hall? Will you take up the quest to bring joy to heaven, to Me and to the Father? This judgement is for My own household, and My own house is not full. The last battle will not be over until My house is full. Only then will it be time to redeem the earth, and remove the evil from my creation. If you drink My cup you will love the lost the way that I loved them.”
He then took a cup so plain that I was surprised that it even existed in a room of such glory, and He placed His tear in it. He then gave it to me. I have never tasted anything so bitter. I knew that I could in no way drink it all, or even much of it, but I was determined to drink as much as I could. The Lord patiently waited until I finally erupted into such crying that I felt like veritable rivers of tears were flowing from me. I was crying for the lost, but even more I was crying for the Lord.
I looked to Him in desperation, as I could not take any more of this great pain. Then His peace began to fill me and mix with His love that I was feeling. Never had I felt anything so wonderful. This was the living water that I knew could spring up for eternity. Then I felt as if the waters flowing within me caught on fire. I began to feel that this fire would consume me if I could not begin declaring the majesty of His glory. I had never felt such an urge to preach, to worship Him, and to breathe every breath that I was given for the sake of His gospel.
“Lord I shouted out!” forgetting everyone but Him. “I now know that this throne of judgement is also the throne of grace, and I ask You for the grace to serve You. Above all things I ask you for grace! I ask You for grace to finish my course. I ask You for grace to love you like this, so that I can be delivered from the delusions and self-centeredness that so pervert my life. I call upon You for salvation from myself and the evil of my own heart, and this love that I now feel to flow continually in my heart, Your love. I ask for grace for the Holy Spirit to testify of You, as You really are. I ask for the grace to be upon me to preach the reality of this judgement. I ask for the grace to share with those who are called to occupy these empty thrones, to give them words of life that will keep them on the paths of life, that will impart to them the faith to do what they have been called to do, I beg You for grace.”
The Lord then stood up. Then all of those who were seated upon the thrones for as far as I could see also stood up. His eyes burned with a fire I had not seen before.
“You have called upon me for grace. This request I never deny. You shall return, and the Holy Spirit shall be with you. Here you have tasted of both My kindness and My severity. You must remember both if you are to stay on the path of life. The true love of God includes the judgement of God. You must know both My kindness and severity or you will fall to deception. This is the grace that you have been given here to know both. The conversations that you had with your brethren here were My grace. Remember them.”
He then pointed His sword toward my heart, then my mouth, then my hands. When He did this fire came from His sword and burned me with a great pain. “This too is grace, “He said. You are but one of many that have been prepared for this hour. Preach and write about all that you have seen here. What I have said to you say to My brethren. Go and call my captains to the last battle. Go and defend the poor and the oppressed, the widows and the orphans. This is the commission of My captains, and this is where you will find them. My children are worth more to Me than the stars in the heavens. Feed My lambs. Watch over My little ones. Give the word of God to them that they might live. Go to the battle. Go and do not retreat. Go quickly for I will come quickly. Obey Me and hasten the day of My coming.”
A company of angels then came and escorted me away from the throne. The leader walked beside me and began to speak.
“Now that He has stood He will not sit again until the last battle is over. He has been seated until this time when His enemies are to be put under His feet. The time has now come. The legions of angels that have been standing ready since the night of His passion have now been released upon the earth. The hordes of hell have also been released. This is the time that all of creation has been waiting for. The great mystery of God will soon be finished. We will now fight until the end. We will fight with you and your brethren.”
RePrinted with permission from: M.S. J.Vol. 5 No.4
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