“We preach Christ crucified”
1 Corinthians 1:23

Justified By His Blood Through Our Faith

“God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.  And since we have been justified (declared righteous) by the Blood of Christ, He will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.”  Romans 5:8-9

What does it mean to be “justified” by the Blood of Christ?  The Greek word for “justify” is dikaioō which Biblically means to declare righteous (in right standing with God). It also means to declare not guilty and completely forgiven.  Justification is the opposite of condemnation. Whereas to condemn is to declare guilty, to justify is to declare not guilty.  The Bible says, “Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect?  God is the One who justifies.  Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the One who died, but even more, has been raised; He also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us (Romans 8:33-34).”  The Bible says the reason why God can justify us (acquit us of our sins) is because His Son paid the penalty for our sins by His death on the cross.  The Bible says, “Adam’s one sin resulted in condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness resulted in justification of life for everyone (Romans 5:18).” Thus justification (forgiveness of our sins) is God’s free gift (paid for by Christ’s Blood).  The Bible says, “For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves. It is God’s gift; not as a result of your works (Ephesians 2:8-9).” This last verse indicates there is one condition we must satisfy to receive God’s gift of justification: we must have faith in His Son’s atoning sacrifice. The Bible says “God justifies those who have faith in Jesus (Romans 3:26).”  Therefore, God declares us to be righteous and not guilty of our sins on the basis of our faith in Jesus Christ.  However, the fact that we must continue to have faith in Christ to be justified (acquitted of our sins) is often left out of today’s gospel. Many people mistakenly believe that once they accept Christ, they are justified for eternity, even if they fall away from the faith.  Some Christians carry this further: since they wrongly think their justification (forgiveness) was unconditional and eternal, they incorrectly think they never have to repent and ask God’s forgiveness whenever they sin.  And many Christians use the misguided belief that they are eternally forgiven as an excuse to keep practicing sin since they erroneously think that their chronic lawlessness will not prevent them from entering the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 7:21-23).  How on earth did they twist the Scriptures to come up with this false gospel?  The Bible says Jesus died “once for all time” to forgive our sins.  Hebrews 9:28 states: “Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people.” However, many Christians mistakenly think “once for all time” refers to their own “one-time” moment of faith when they asked Christ to be their Savior.  They think this one-time act of faith now guarantees them eternal justification (forgiveness) for their sins, even if they fall away from the faith and live in sin the rest of their lives.  But the Bible does not say we can be initially saved by faith and then live the rest of our lives in unbelief; it says we must continuously live by faith to be righteous (Romans 1:17). If justification (forgiveness and right standing with Him) is God’s response to our faith, then we must certainly have to live by faith after we are saved in order to continue to be justified and righteous in God’s eyes. The Bible says, “If we deliberately keep on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins.  There is only the terrifying expectation of God’s judgment (Hebrews 10:26-27).”  Paul wrote, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?… For we know that our old self was crucified with Him, so that our body of sin (our sinful nature) might be destroyed and we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died has been freed from sin (Romans 6:1-7).”  Many of us who try to walk in Paul’s gospel (God removed our sinful nature when we were saved so that His Son’s Spirit could live in us) may encounter a problem when the Holy Spirit begins to train us to carry our own cross and lose our unconverted soul-life for Christ’s sake.  As a result of this deeper work of sanctification in our lives, our conscience can become highly sensitized, and we can become overly sin conscious and nagged by guilt.  If we are not careful, we can fall into the temptation of thinking we can only have a clear conscience before God by attaining to His higher standard of holiness. This heightened awareness of sin and sense of guilt can become overwhelming and spiritually cripple us. We can even lose sight of the blessed provision of our justification and forgiveness by the Blood of Christ.  Of course, the devil will try to use our guilty conscience as grounds to accuse and condemn us for “failing” God.  Instead of despairing of our sins and inability to maintain this high standard of holiness, we should remind ourselves of the value that God places on the Blood of Christ to both justify us and sanctify us.  We can only approach God based on the Blood of Christ, and never on the daily merits of our conduct and holiness.  Otherwise, we can come under an oppressive cloud of accusation, guilt and condemnation that can rob us of our faith.  We may be weak and we may have sinned, but feeling terrible about our sins and doing penance for them will never make us any holier or improve our fellowship with God.  Whether we have had a good day or a bad day, the basis of our fellowship with God is always the Blood of Christ.  When God reveals our sins to us during this process of sanctification, we do not need to shrink back from His presence out of guilt, shame, fear or condemnation (Hebrews 10:37-39).  The Blood of Christ fully satisfies God’s sense of justice and accountability, and removes our sense of guilt and estrangement from Him (1 Peter 1:18-19; 1 John 2:1-2).  There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).  The Blood of Jesus enables us to approach God without shame or fear.  The Bible says, “We have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place (God’s presence) by the Blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:19).”  Therefore, as we work out our salvation by faith through God’s purifying process of sanctification, we must continuously stand by faith in God’s precious gift of justification (Romans 9:30-10:8; Philippians 2:12-13).

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Romans 5:1

The River

A Warning for America
(This vision was received in May 2016)

   I was standing beside a very wide, slow moving river in America.  There were no houses or buildings in sight, just trees alongside the river, which ran through a very flat area.  It was a very sunny, warm day with no clouds in the sky.  As I stood beside the river, I began to notice small American Indian canoes drifting down the river toward me.  This was deeply concerning, for I knew what lay ahead:  an enormous waterfall, only a short distance away.  I began to yell at first, and then began to wave my hands as well, trying to warn the people in the canoes to pull over to the side of the river and get out of the current.  I could tell by the sounds of their voices that they had no sense of what was happening or the danger they were in.  They were laughing and talking like this was just a pleasant summer paddle down the river; they had no idea that within moments they were going to be headed into terrible danger and death.  I began to shout at the top of my lungs, and wave my arms over my head, trying to get their attention and direct them to safety.  This I could not do.  I saw one person look over at me briefly, as if thinking, “What’s her problem?” and then turn to her friend behind her, and laugh.  I increased my efforts to warn them, but none of them seemed to be hearing me or heeding my calls.  They seemed to think this was a pleasant river cruise, just an enjoyable pastime on a lazy, hot summer day.  Then with horror, I saw them getting caught in the pull of the strong current that was leading to the waterfall.  Suddenly, they began to realize what was happening to them, and frantically tried to paddle to the side of the river to break free from its grip, but it was too late.  The river now had its hold on them and there was no escaping it.  With great sadness and sorrow, I watched as they were all swept away around the bend toward the huge waterfall and to their death and doom.

   This vision perfectly describes how I feel everyday as I warn my neighbors, friends and family of what lies ahead in the future concerning the world situation and their spiritual condition.  I know there is a waterfall of doom and judgment ahead.  I know how to escape the world’s treacherous current of sin and I know how easy it is to be spiritually deceived into thinking it is just a “lazy summer day,” and to be lulled into spiritual apathy.  I do not seem to be able to get anyone to heed my warnings or listen to me concerning these things and, with great sadness, I watch them float past me and get caught in the pull of the ever-increasing current that leads to the waterfall.  One by one they all slip by me and I am left alone by the side of the river.  If you are reading this and you can hear what I am saying, turn your canoe to the side right now and head to the river bank.  Believe in the Lord Jesus and His deliverance for you from the power of sin, and His guidance during the difficult days ahead.  This is no lazy, summer day.  You are headed toward the waterfall and spiritual death and judgment.  Why not listen to God calling you before it is too late?

“Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.’”  Hebrews 3:7-8

The Coming Winter

(This vision was received in 2006)

One night as I was praying and seeking the Lord, I was greatly troubled and burdened about the spiritual state of the church.  I was deeply distressed that the body of Christ, which outwardly looked like a beehive of activity, had so precious little of Christ’s life and power.  I asked God how His will and purpose for the church could ever emerge from this dismal situation.  As I entreated the Lord, He then gave me the following vision.

   I saw a large forest with thousands of trees.  Many of the trees in the forest were old oak trees that were at least sixty feet tall.   I saw that many of the branches were intertwined so that a thick canopy of leaves covered the forest.  As I was observing this scene, a gentle wind began to stir all the leaves on the trees.  The Lord said, “The forest is the body of Christ and My Spirit is breathing on the body.  As a result, many in the body are restless and dissatisfied with the condition of their spiritual lives.”  The Lord then said, “It is now autumn, and this present stirring is only the beginning.       All this activity that you see in the body is not the long-awaited outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  For the body of Christ does not yet know that it has died.”

  “First must come the winter,” said the Lord.  As soon as the Lord spoke these somber words, the wind began to quickly increase in force and I saw all the leaves shrivel and die.  A strong gust then blew all the leaves completely off the trees and I saw them scatter in the wind.  Then, just as suddenly, a fierce and bitter cold winter came upon the land and blew through the forest.  Dark gray winter clouds covered the skies as far as           I could see.  I surveyed the forest and saw that the bare trees now looked desolate and vulnerable on the frozen landscape.  Powerful gusts of freezing cold wind blew continuously upon the trees.  The Lord said, “The wisdom and strength of men will fail them in the coming winter and the works of their hands will be destroyed.”  I then saw many tree branches break off in the strong wind and fall to the icy ground.  Even some of the largest trees in the forest were uprooted and toppled.  The harsh winter caused great destruction and seemed to last for a long time.  The Lord said, ‘Many will fall away from the faith during this time.  Only those whose roots are deep in Me will endure the coming winter.”  The Lord then said, “I am sending the winter to prepare the body of Christ so it can receive the outpouring of My Spirit.”  When He said this, I had a strong impression that He was sending the winter because of His great love for His people.

   The winter then came to an end and the forest became still.  I saw a spring rain begin to fall on the earth.  It grew until it was a continuous downpour, which soaked the barren ground under the old trees.  The Lord said, “This is the promised latter rain!”  Then sprouts of new life – new trees – began to rise up everywhere on the forest floor.  I said to myself, “This is how God’s purpose for His body would be fulfilled – from out of the death of our natural strength would spring the resurrection power of Christ’s new life.”    I saw that God would use the coming winter to bring His people into this truth: we have been crucified with Christ and we no longer live, but Christ lives in us; and the life we now live, we live by faith in the Son of God (Galatians 2:20).  Then the Lord said to me, “Record the vision so that those who hear it may run.”

“Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets, that the one who reads it may run.    For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal and will not fail.  Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay.”  Habakkuk 2:2-3

The Big Trouble

(This vision was received in 2007)

I saw before me an enormous, cresting wave.  It was massive, like a tidal wave, full of destructive power.  The Lord said to me, “A great and terrible time of trouble is about to encompass the whole earth.  Many people are going to come to Me during this time.”  Immediately following this wave of trouble was another huge wave, just as big as the first and also cresting.  This was a wave of the Holy Spirit.  As I looked at this second wave, I saw that it was going to be a wave of God’s Spirit that would bring salvation, sanctification, comfort and revelation to all those that turned to God.  Although I was distressed to know that this “Big Trouble” was coming, I felt assured that God’s Spirit was following behind it with His healing and delivering power.  This was in itself a great comfort.  I was immersed with this thought:  Jesus is all that we need; all that we truly have in this world.  Instead of feeling frightened, I felt eager to see the Lord’s Spirit at work, and blessed to be living in such a time as this on the earth.

  Then the Lord began to give me instruction: We were to live in Him in a totally undivided way – in complete consecration.  There was no time to waste – all distractions must be put aside.  Everything that entangled and everything that diverted us from the will of the Lord must be cut off.  This word was urgent; there was no time to delay.  Our houses (our lives) must be built solidly on the Rock, which was Christ.  The first wave was signifying that a great storm was on its way: Batten down the hatches!  Secure the foundation!  Close all the windows and be prepared!  “But how can we prepare, Lord?”  I asked.  “Be filled with My Word,” said the Lord, “and be filled with My Holy Spirit.”  I knew what He meant:  He wanted us to be completely sanctified to Him in every way and to live continually under His Sovereignty.  This is how we would be able to endure in the midst of the Big Trouble. “Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus (Revelation 14:12).”  The Lord’s people do not need to fear.  Through Christ’s death on the cross, God has made His people completely capable of remaining faithful to Him during this time.  The strength of men will fail and all that depend on their own strength will perish.  “But the people who know their God will display strength and take action (Daniel 11:32).”

“The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.  This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.  This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”  Psalm 118:22-24

The Ark of the Lord

(This vision was received in 2009)

A great and barren desert stretched before me, as far as the eye could see.  There were no plants or animals of any kind.  The sand on which I stood was hard and flat, like concrete – it was a desolate wasteland.  In the distance were low, rounded hills that had nothing growing on them.  The entire landscape was lifeless.

  As I stood before this scene, I saw a beautiful, gold, ornate box in front of me.  I immediately recognized it was the Ark of the Lord.  Its dimensions and gold overlay also made this evident to me.  But I was puzzled because there were no winged cherubim or carrying poles on the Ark.  The Ark sat on the ground.  I thought to myself that the Ark looked very small, alone and strangely out of place in these surroundings.  There was not a sound anywhere.

  As I was looking at the Ark of the Lord, the earth began to tremble, as if some gigantic animal was approaching from far away.  I looked toward my right, at the horizon.  I could see nothing.  But the tremors in the desert continued to grow stronger and louder, and it was obvious that something enormous was walking toward me.  I stood still and watched.

   All of a sudden, a huge beast appeared in the distance.  I knew immediately who he was – the enemy of the saints.  He was about twenty-five feet tall.  He was red all over and I noticed that he had very thick legs, huge muscles, a monstrous scowling face, large sharp teeth, and horns all over the top of his head.  As he walked straight toward the Ark, the earth trembled under his feet.

  When he approached the Ark, he picked it up with his giant claw-like hands.  He seemed to think there was something inside the Ark that he wanted to destroy.  His rage and violence were terrible.  He roared in fury and was delighted that the Ark was finally in his possession.  He began to try to destroy the Ark and everything in it.  He wanted to devour it.

  He picked up the Ark again with his two hands.  With an earth-shaking scream, he threw it to the ground.  He was surprised that he was not able to crush it.  He screeched again, picked up the Ark, and threw it repeatedly to the ground.  He was infuriated that the Ark could not be demolished or broken apart by the force of his violence and hatred and that he could not reach what was inside.

  Then a voice said to me quietly, “Look inside the Ark.”  Immediately, I was able to see what was inside of it.  Hidden in this beautiful, golden Ark were the saints of the Lord.  Every time the enemy threw the Ark to the ground, the saints inside the Ark were not spiritually harmed in any way.  In fact, the opposite was true.  In the Ark was a small glorious army with banners!  They were silently marching and each one held a large, colorful, unfurled flag up high on a pole.  I looked at their faces; they were all jubilantly smiling and radiant with the Lord’s glory.  “These are the saints of the Lord,” I thought, “And what a joyful, triumphant army they are!”  Nothing could overcome them.

  The Ark was their hiding place.  They were safe inside the Ark.  The beast could not penetrate the Ark or touch them.  It was an Ark of refuge, victory and peace in the middle of great spiritual darkness and evil on the earth.      It was the Ark of His Presence.

   So much can be said about this vision.  I will not interpret it at this time.  Those for whom it is meant will understand its meaning without an explanation.  This vision is an instruction.  This vision is a warning of things to come.  Take heed and find refuge in the Ark of the Lord.

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony and they did not love their lives even when faced with death.”  Revelation 12:11

The Wedding

(This vision was received in 2007)

I was invited to a wedding. I arrived at the reception hall, which was large enough to hold many thousands of people. The guests were standing around in groups of eight to ten and laughing, drinking wine, and enjoying trays of food that were being served by waiters. Everyone was busy conversing; there was great happiness and excitement – a very jovial atmosphere. I looked up at the ceilings: they were at least forty feet tall, with huge concrete beams spanning the immense room. I looked from one end of the reception hall to the other. There was no furniture and no decorations of any kind. It was very plain. The hall seemed almost endless; I could not even see a wall at either end. I felt happy too; we were all here for a great occasion, and there was a feeling of anticipation in everyone – or so I thought. I joined in, eating and drinking and making merry for a very long time.

Then I began to look around me, wondering when the wedding would begin. I walked from group to group, chatting pleasantly with everyone, and occasionally asking someone, “When is the wedding going to begin?” I saw no signs of a wedding, although I was sure I had come to the right place on the right date. Since everyone else assured me they were here for the wedding too, I tried to be patient, but I was increasingly restless and bored. I continued to ask others about the wedding, but they began to be annoyed with me for asking. One person even said to me, “Isn’t this great already? Why do we need to go to a wedding?” and then he turned back to socializing. Well, this wasn’t “great” enough for me! I had been invited to a wedding, and a wedding was what I wanted! I could not get anybody to be interested in this wedding. They looked at me like I was crazy to be even thinking about it. So, I decided I would wander around the perimeter of the enormous reception hall to see if I could find a door to the wedding, which I was sure was about to begin. I could not understand how any of the other guests could be satisfied with just a reception.

It took me a long time. There were no doors opening into a wedding chamber. But I could not be dissuaded; I knew I was going to find the place where this wedding (that I had been invited to) was going to occur. After I had gone nearly three-quarters of the way around the hall, I found a little, wooden, brown door hidden behind what looked like a shelf for storing things used in the reception hall. The door was only three feet tall and about a foot wide; hardly a door at all, I thought to myself. It had a very old fashioned door knob too, like door knobs made hundreds of years ago, and I couldn’t imagine that it was anything but a storage closet, perhaps. But I was looking for a wedding, so I tried the door knob, turning it slowly – and it opened! It seemed dark and I couldn’t see anything beyond the doorway. So I put my head through, and then I turned my body sideways (I was on my hands and knees) and pushed myself through the opening.

I pulled myself up to a standing position, and was stunned by what I saw: I was in a very elaborately decorated and well lit throne room. In comparison to the reception hall outside, it was small. The walls were carvings of gold and there were tapestries of blue, purple and red hanging from top to bottom on these walls. In front of me, a wide red carpet led to the left and then straight toward some stairs. Standing on either side of the red carpet were about four hundred men and women. They were all dressed in wedding clothes; beautiful wedding clothes of fine linen, of many different colors. They all looked at me and smiled at that moment. They seemed to have been waiting for me to arrive! It dawned on me all at once – they were waiting for the bride – and I was the bride! As I began to walk slowly down this red carpet like a bride walks toward her groom, they began to clap softly, as if they knew something that I was just beginning to discover.

I looked ahead of me and there He was – Jesus – the love of my life – standing at the top of the stairs at the end of the carpet – waiting for me. He was smiling lovingly at me; He had His arms held in front of Him, opened wide.

As I walked down the carpet toward Him, everyone continued clapping. I had a strong feeling that, at one time, they had each done this very same thing, and that they were very glad I had also made it to the wedding. I had the most wonderful feeling that this wedding had been planned from before time and that these people were my spiritual family. I felt completely one with them. I knew them and they knew me. There were no strangers here at the wedding.

As I walked toward Jesus, something miraculous happened. My appearance began to transform into an entirely new looking person: a stunningly beautiful bride. My wedding dress was white, with a slight tinge of light blue, and was made of a material I had never seen before. It looked like cobwebs of the finest and lightest lace, finer than any lace ever woven on earth. The train of my wedding dress elegantly flowed behind me as I approached my bridegroom, Jesus. My beauty increased as I walked toward my Lord! My eyes were fixed on Him and I was radiant.

And then the vision was over. I wept for joy at what I had seen and what the Lord had revealed to me. There is much symbolism in each part of this vision. I will give no explanation at this time but will leave room for God to speak to your own heart of its interpretation. This vision of “the Wedding” has given me great comfort, especially during times of severe distress or when I have been deeply discouraged or spiritually weary. I hope it comforts you in the same way that it has comforted me.

“For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14