From: http://ns1.sgci.com/~riverpub/ 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, Im never going in the > again. Its 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 Fathers 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.