Delivered by Anton Sawyer; Reprinted from 'Voices From His Excellent Glory'; Sept/Oct 1998 on TBN's Praise the Lord program.
Much of this is already in play:
God takes the most unlikely characters to do His work. He says He will take the foolish things to confound the wise. And I'm a foolish thing. God began to speak to me in visions. And when God gave me these vision I thought, "Lord, am I hallucinating?" And then God said, "i want you to go to America and tell them to repent." I said, "You must be joking." I said, "God, who will believe a housewife?" I said, "What options do I have?" He said, "Jonah." I said, "God, I have no intentions of being in the whale's belly. I'll go the first time around but speak to me and confirm in Scripture that Your are on My side." He said, "I'm going to give you a forehead like flint. You will speak to the people and you will speak what I put into your mouth. There will be times when I tell you to be silent and you be silent. But when I tell you to speak you open up your mouth and you give the Word that I have put into your mouth. Because if you don't I will make a fool of you publicly." Then God said, "Don't look at their faces, just give the Word; don't look for results, just give the Word. Whether they hear or whether they hear not, don't let that worry you. Just give the Word because I am about to bring a divine visitation to this country. And this country is not ready to have Me in the divine visitation that I intend, when My glory is seen. My glory and sin cannot be in the same place together. My glory consumes sin and if I were to visit the church in the condition that she's in now, My people would be consumed like Ananias and Sapphira."
God spoke to me concerning the believer, the army of God, and the church.
The one about the believer, this is how the picture came to me. I saw, as it were, a people lying across the face of the earth in a drugged state, unable to get up, just lying in a sick, apathetic condition. And then I noticed, every now and then, there was someone standing upright covered with a sheet of Shekinah glory that penetrated right into the throne room of God. I said, "God, what am I seeing?" And then I noticed a thick, jet black layer of darkness, like a blanket pressing down on these people. I said, "Father, what am I seeing?" He said, "The people that you see lying in this sick condition are My people the church." I said, "God, who are these standing upright?" He said, "Do you notice how few?" I said, "God, who are they?" He said, "They are the FEW INTERCESSORS that dare to stand in the gap. It is their prayers that are going to move My arm to rescue My people in this sick condition." I said, "God, what is that blanket of blackness?" And it's almost like God's voice changed and He said, " Those are the sins of My people." I said, "What do you mean, Lord?" he said, "Outwardly righteous but inwardly filled with corruption." And the Holy Spirit said, "I cannot live in this corruption. This bride is being prepared to meet the Father. She cannot come before the Father's face in this condition." He said, "So I'm going to purify My church."
Next I saw a pair of hands, so sharp, pierce into this blackness and just push it aside. The darkness changed into the most grotesque, demonic figures and they began to fall backwards on each other. And they were yelling with a loud voice and they said, "Our time is short, we've got to work quickly." You know, as these demons were falling over, the Holy Spirit said, "There's a tidal wave of deception flooding into the church and My people do not know the difference between truth and error anymore. They are eating any bait that is thrown out. There are hirelings standing behind the pulpit and they lead people astray." God said, "I will bring a judgment on them." And I want to say to preachers, if you're not called of God, get out from the pulpit because judgment is going to come upon you for standing in that position and leading God's people astray. Wake up before it's too late. There is still time to repent.
Suddenly God pushed the blackness aside and I noticed a wind just came blowing down on God's people. God's people began to rise and next they were standing upright, and I said, "Lord, what's happening?" He said, "Tell the believer who has been a pew-warmer all this time, I'm going to breathe a new fire upon them. I'm going to release them in their innermost being. Out of them is going to flow a river of living water. I am going to be set free in My people who have held Me captive." God said, "I'm going to revive them. I'm going to restore them. And I'm going to renew them. I'm going to make up the years that the locusts have eaten."
"But listen," God said, "there is going to be a choice. There are going to be people of God who only want to play church, who will not hear the call, who will not heed the Word, and there are going to be those who are crying out." God says, "In those who will listen, I will do a new thing. I will do this, they will speak to the blind and the blind will see. It won't be left to the hierarchy. The pew-warriors are going to discover the power of God like they've never know it before." As a matter of fact God said, "The names of great evangelists written in lights and the mere pew-warmer, the gap is closing. There is going to be one name that is going to be elevated and that name is Jesus."
The next vision God gave me concerned the army of God. I saw, as it were, an enormous crowd of people walking through he most barren territory you have ever seen - like a wilderness. As I looked I noticed that there wasn't one person that wasn't damaged. Everyone had a scar. And I said, "God, who are these weak, weary, crippled people?" He said, "Mv army." I said, "God, that looks like an emergency ward, You call that Your army?" He said, "Behold what I am about to do." With that I noticed shadows hovering above God's people. And I noticed them walking, some of them were stumbling, some were on crutches, some were bandaged. There wasn't one that wasn't wounded. They were hurting and they were useless. Someone fell and as they fell I noticed these shadows. Suddenly a vulture swooped down as the victim fell and took a huge chunk of flesh our of that person. And I said, "God, Your army doesn't have a chance. They are so weak. so depleted, in such a useless condition and when they fall, down come the vultures to eat them."
He said, "Behold what I do." An angel with the speed of lightning, moved through the entire army and placed a mirror on everyone's forehead. When everyone had the mirror on the angel yelled, "Look up for your redemption draweth nigh!" As these weak, weary people lifted up their feeble heads and looked heavenward - that's where we should look towards higher ground - up came the sun from behind the clouds. And the glory was reflected from off those mirrors with such awesomeness that the vultures backed off and they could no longer harm God's people. And you know what the Lord said? He said, "Tell My people, I'm the glory and the lifter of their heads. In Joel, Chapter 3, you're going to see the army I am going to raise up. Fire will go before them; fire behind them. They'll scale the heights; they'll run on the walls. Even when they fall on the floor they will not be wounded." The world has looked at this army and they've pointed their finger and they've been shaking their heads and saying, "I don't understand." But I tell you they are going to see a difference. You know why this army is so chaotic? We're the only army that is stabbing our own people. We kill our own people.
And why is this army in such chaos? No one knows their job description. God said that there are too many heads moving in too many different directions and bringing such division in the army. You know what Joel, Chapter 2 says? They will know their rank. They will know their positions and no one will crowd anybody. We are not anywhere near what that army should be. An God said, "I am going to be the leader of this army and with My voice, I will speak and My people will hear what I have to say and each one will know His job description." I want to encourage people, if your job description is smaller than someone else's job description, if you fulfill your job description you'll get the same reward as someone with a bigger description. You see God says, "All I want from you is total obedience. I'm tired of your sacrifices. I want your obedience." If you fulfill your job description, that's all that matters.
People have said to me, "Surely your husband should be the preacher." When you come to salvation, if God's people would realize this, we become divinely owned property. You no longer have any rights other than the authority God gives you over the enemy. We have no rights but to report for duty to be instructed by the Most High God.
God's people no longer fear Him. They treat Him with disrespect. And God said, "My people need to come back to the place where they realize who they are dealing with." We think of God as some Santa Claus and we say, "Jump here, do this, go here, fix this." God said, "My people need to get their priorities right. They need to know who is God and who is the servant. Who is whose feet?" God said, "I'm going to lead this army and they are going to be champions. The enemy will come but because of the glory reflected form their lives, he will back off because he will not be able to touch them."
In the third vision the first thing took place in heaven. I saw what looked like angels carrying a guided missile. They placed the missile into the bow, stepped aside and there was a silence you could hear. Uncanny. Next I saw a garment moving and I saw the feet of Jesus and realized that the Lord was walking towards the bow. He walked up, took His awesome arm, (I saw the nail prints and I knew it was Jesus), and He directed the bow towards Him. He pulled it towards Him then let it go, and it came hurtling towards the face of the earth. As it reached the earth's surface, the atmosphere, it divided into splinters, thousands upon thousands of thousands, all over the entire face of the earth. And I said, "God, what are You doing?"
The next thing took place on earth. I saw a church building completely burnt out and I found the people walking around the church, weeping and wailing and crying. And I said, "Oh God, look how they mourn." Then God's voice changed. He said, "Mourn? They are crying over buildings that they've erected and now are brought to naught. But did they even cry for the souls that were entering into the caverns of hell while they built palaces?" God said, "I've heard day and night the cries of men and women and young people, crying out to be delivered from the caverns of hell." Do you know what the Bible says? Hell has opened up its mouth and enlarged itself and swallowed. I hear their screams. You say, "My people weep?"
I said, "God what have you done?" he said, "Go to the front door." When I got to the front door there was one of the splinter arrows right through a scroll and He said, "What do you read?" I said, "God, I read the word, ICHABOD." He said, "Yes. My glory has departed." I said, "Why, God?" God said, "My people have pushed Me out of My sanctuary and they've made the idol of entertainment their god." He said, "I am a jealous God and I will share My glory with no one. I have warned My people that it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. I spoke to My people through the Word. I spoke to My people through prophecy. I brought preachers, teachers, laymen but My people didn't hear My instructions. They were too busy playing church." I said, "God, when are you going to do this?" He said, "I have already begun.'
I want to tell you in our travels I have seen "Ichabod" written across some of the churches.
God said, "When man begins to think the church is his work and he tries to monopolize it, he is treading on dangerous ground. When the people come to church to be entertained and to have concerts they have forgotten that My house is a house of prayer. They have forgotten that they come to the house of God to hear from God. My people are playing around the golden calf and they think they are hearing God." It's time God's people woke up. God says, "I'm bringing judgment because they refuse to listen." But He is giving a choice. God says, "That's why I'm sending you and many others to tell this nation to get ready for a divine visitation."
The next scene moved and I came and saw a building that was again on fire. And I heard the most incredible singing. The more the singing rose up to heaven, the greater the fire. And I said, "God, are You burning this one down as well?" He said, "Look what I do." The roof of the church began to open. God's people had access into the very presence of God and back into the gathering. There was such an awesome presence of God that they were overwhelmed and the fire grew bigger. I said, "God, what are You doing?" He said, "Go to the front door." I went to the front door and there was another splinter arrow and God said, "This one I have written with My own hand." He said, "What do you read?" I said, "God, I read Revival." He said, "Do you know what revival is?" He said, "Tell My people that getting goose bumps the size of molehills, chills running down their spines, shaking hands and vibrations is not revival. That's My blessings. Revival is to purify and cleanse the temple that it may be ready for the glory of God. Revival is when God is in control." He said, "When My people allow Me back into the sanctuary as God, My house will be purified, My house will become a house of praise. Then it will become a house of power. Then signs and wonders will once again occur and My Word shall become awesome in the gathering because they will use the name of Jesus which the modern church today hardly finds a place for." And I want to tell you that when Almighty God hears the name of Jesus, heaven stands still. He says, "When My Son's name Jesus is once again spoken in the gatherings, when My people use the Word" the pure Word not all the infiltrations we've put into the Word, "I will hear." We've watered God's Word down so that we don't know what God has said and what man has said. God said, "I am going to strip every tree that My Father has not planted. I am going to pluck them up." We've made God's word virtually null and void. We've filled it with philosophies. We've filled it with man-made ideas. He said, that He's going to strip all the compromises. He is going to be the power of His Word. The blood of the Lamb is going to cleanse God's people. The name of Jesus and the anointing of the Spirit is the signature to seal it all. They must get the glory, not us.
Then God said, "Tell My people I'm coming to visit them in a blanket form. My glory is going to descend into their midst. And if My people are not ready for My glory, Ananias and Sapphira will happen in the very presence of the gathering."
Then God said tell them, "I said to Moses, tell the Israelites I'm coming to visit." The Israelites were so excited. They said, "God's coming to visit." They had no idea who God was and I don't think the children of God today have a clear understanding of who God is. They treat Him too disrespectfully. But you know what those people had to do. They had to clean up. They had to be purified -- their home, their lives, their clothes. That is why I believe God has sent us. We've come as a warning to the house of God which has gone into captivity. This nation that was born on "in God we trust" has turned from "in God we trust" and they have elevated other things more than God. God said, "Tell them I'm coming to visit." When the children of Israel heard God was coming to visit they were so excited. But I tell you when God did visit they nearly died of fright. The Bible tells us the earth shook. There was a trumpet sound that was awesome. And God's people who a few days before were saying, "Hallelujah, He's coming," began to back off and got on their knees because you know when God's presence comes closer you start to see yourself as your really are. The camouflages fall off. The justification falls by the wayside. The compromise no longer covers you. The fig leaves fall, and you are naked before God.
You know what He said? "I'm coming to visit My people and My glory is awesome." I said, "God, I don't understand Your glory." I have a grandson which I absolutely adore. He said, "What do you desire the most?" I said, "I want to love that grandson. I want to hold him and kiss him and love him." "What if I told you My glory was upon you and you couldn't even look at that grandson?" I said, "God, that would be the cruelest thing you could ever do to me because I know I would forget. I would want to touch him.." And that cloud disintegrated in front of me. God says, "That's what My glory does to sin." God said, "Adam and Eve were in the garden, clothed with My glory. We communed face to face When they sinned the glory fell and I wanted to embrace them but I didn't because My glory would consume them." So God the Father had to back off and Jesus became the way. Jesus stands between us and the Father."
You know, the sun is shining down on this earth. It's got two deadly rays. If they weren't deflected by the earth's atmosphere we would be consumed. If Jesus didn't stand between us and the Father, we would be consumed. But you know what Jesus says? He says, "Bride, I'm getting you ready for glory. I've got to get you purified. I'm going to get you holy because I want to present you to My Father, spotless, that He may touch you, that He may embrace you, that He may hold to His bosom without you being consumed."
Then God said, "Go to every place where I open the door to you in this country and tell them they have a choice - ICHABOD OR REVIVAL."