- Julie Branstetter
In The House
Gracious did I have a dream last night. Let me try to share it.
It is March 17th, the day we celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. Saint Patrick was the Apostle to Ireland, where he had been taken as a young boy to be a slave. When he became a cleric he went back to Ireland as a missionary. Ironically the verses that accompany the message in my dream each have the number 17 in them. So perhaps this is a timely message.
I believe God wants revival in the church even more than we do but it will begin when the house is clean. You’ll understand the “house” statement once I tell you the dream. The enemy of God fights the commission of the church (believers) by fighting the individuals and he tries to fight us in varying degrees of isolation. I’m not talking about physical isolation only but a serious problem facing the church today, spiritual isolation. Everyone doing, in the church mind you, what seems right to them. The enemy's aim is to separate and divide and by doing so, thwart the fulfilling of the Great Commission, which is of high importance the God. Assuming your role in the Great Commission doesn’t start with you entering Bible College, it begins with you joining as one with the body of believers. We’ve got a problem here friends and we need to talk about it before we talk to anyone else about anything else. It is our unity he really wants to destroy. Why would this be so important? It is because of a prayer that JESUS CHRIST prayed for his disciples and all of us believers that would hear and believe the Word in the future. Jesus prayed, “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me." (John 17:20-22)
In my dream last night I was in a beautiful house. The main house had three main parts. I believe the house represents the body of Christ, the church. Before I went to sleep last night, in my time of prayer, God began to speak to me about the body of believers being the temple that God is most concerned with. I saw an article about temples and relics of the Christian faith being ruined and the Lord spoke to me in my heart and said, “You care about those things more than I do. I care about the temple where I dwell now more than anything and no one has laid it to ruin like some of my own children have.” When God gives me a word in my spirit He’s pretty straight forward, which I suppose is just the way God would be, but I’m used to it. It may sound harsh but a truth is a truth and God is always good. Too many people call themselves Christian today but live and think the same way they did when they were lost. If the church truly longs to see a revival it will begin at home, where judgement will also begin. (1 Peter John 4:17) “For it is time for judgment to begin with God's household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” Who can be preached to like this but the church, for the world is already lost. Christ did not come to condemn the world, it is already lost. He came to give life and life more abundantly to whomever will be redeemed from it. Paul wrote his letters to the church. The walk of the church was important then and it is still now. This affects our testimony in the world.
In the dream I mentioned that the house is built in three parts, which is like every believer who is created in the image of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The house is beautiful, well-built and strong but it is messy on the inside. In my dream I was in the house trying to clean it up and my pastor was outside dealing with a problem. The earth beneath the house had begun to wash away. Two out of three segments of the house were completely in the air where the earth had washed out from under the house. The house only rested on the ground underneath the third and last remaining segment of ground left. A raging river flowed under the house, threatening at every moment to finally take the entire house down. From the inside of the house you wouldn’t know there was a problem. (Read that last line again and let it sink in for just a moment.) The lights were soft and warm and everything was new looking and beautiful. But when I stepped outside I saw my pastor digging graves and running all over the property trying to solve the problem of the house. He’s trying to save the house and in the process He is having to bury people that are being lost in the battle to save the house. Pray for the five-fold ministry and pray for your pastor. I don’t know many who work harder than do true pastors. Finally we went inside of the house to see what could be done from within. When we entered the house again it was different. It was deceptively different. It still looked warm and nice and new but it was a facade. The people were strange. The enemy began to reveal himself in some of the people and terror ensued. There were people who were demonically oppressed and they were begging to be set free in one breath and wreaking havoc the next. I began to speak to and drive out the demonic oppression in the people inside of the house. And it was not an easy thing to do. But every time I said the name of Jesus, the demonic spirit would hide its face in terror. One minute the spirit would pretend to have left only to turn and show its face again. Again and again I demanded the spirit leave and eventually the people were set free. As we were standing in the house discussing its stability these demonic spirits came back to torment the house and attempt to find new people to oppress. The enemy began to draw the smaller children (they represent the weaker believers) away into places by themselves so that he could gain power over them. My pastor and I began to collect all the little children and people from the house and keep them together. At the end of the dream the main goal was to make sure that the people stayed close together because the enemy could not attack or overcome them if they were together. We will see revival when the church becomes one takes the gospel out to the world, to make disciples and baptize and teach others to obey Christ. If we go out segmented to do those things the world will not see Christ in us. And they need to see Him in us, not just us. It is going to take humility and selflessness and people who will finally stop taking sides and going into isolation over petty things that divide the church rather than hold it together. There needs to be an overall dying to our own agendas for the sake of God’s agenda. The church, by in large, is focusing too much on social issues and not enough on Jesus Christ. His message transcends our social issues. We think about ourselves more than we think about God. We spend more time making excuses than making Christ known. Our focus should be unity and the Great Commission, to go out into the world (as ONE) and make disciples and baptize and teach in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit. The church cannot fulfill the great commission if it is segmented and arguing over ideals. This idea you’re your little group goes that way and my little group goes this way is exactly the problem. The world sees your little group and my little group, not God’s big family. Jesus did not come to give us little groups, but to set spiritual captives free and to give life and life more abundantly. Mark 16:17-18 says, "These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." Let’s just agree to do those things. Let’s agree so that power can rest on our shoulders freely. There is spiritual warfare going on and the church has to be engaged in the right battles. The enemy is not your neighbor, it is still Satan. We are not one another's enemy but if we allow him to isolate us in our thinking (divide) and allow him to pit us one against the other, we are allowing him the foothold he needs to overtake us and prevent us from fulfilling God’s purpose until Christ returns. Christ is coming for a spotless bride and He will take one home with Him. This is not a time to take God’s name in vain, to say with our mouths we are married with Christ, but live how we please. When the world sees us as one they will know Jesus Christ is the Lord sent from God.