In his book, ‘The Final Quest’ (1999), Rick Joyner gives an account of God showing him the future of the ‘true church’ murdering demon-possessed Christians in the name of God. The vision was savage. The ‘true church’ (led by Rick Joyner in the book), was to raise their swords against these Christians and against Satan’s hoards of demons.
In reviewing New Apostolic Reformation eschatology, we remind our readers of a previous article where Ps. Chris Rosebrough addresses this infallible end-times vision of Rick Joyner:
In the link above, Ps. Rosebrough plays audio where Rick Joyner actually called the vision of this ‘Joel’s Army’ murdering Christians, the ‘Charismatic Civil War’. In this post, we will be examining two articles by Joyner, talking about this ‘Charismatic Civil War’ (which you can read at the end).
In these articles, Rick Joyner explains how God gave him these special visions, revealing what they mean. The first article is an early excerpt of his vision from his book ‘The Final Quest’ and it soon becomes apparent that this ‘vision’ is nothing more than a slanderous propaganda attempt to encourage Christians to not question the infallible Apostles and Prophets leading their dominionist ‘Joel’s Army’ cult. But it’s the discerning Christians (comparing what Joyner and his Apostles say to the Word of God) who are portrayed in his book as those Christians ‘possessed by devils’.
Again, Al Jazeera’s article on the NAR assessing they are America’s Taliban ring true:
The second article captures the murderous hatred these men have towards traditional Christianity as a whole. Joyner and his ‘dooms-day’ cult apostles deliberately portray true believers as Pharisees “who loved the word of God, and esteemed both the traditions and a hope in the coming Messiah more than anyone else, rejected and opposed Him when He came.”
Nothing could be further from the truth – Jesus accused the Pharisees of being murderers and liars, calling them impostors and of their father, the devil. This is because the Pharisees illegally usurped the proper legal authorities and elevated their own teachings above the oracles of God. This is why Jesus called them false prophets and teachers – who were no different to those who murdered the righteous from Abel to Zephaniah.
But according to Joyner, Pharisees are Christians who , ‘were worshiping their traditions more than God, so when He came without having the same regard for those traditions that they did, they could not receive Him’.
This language is subtly encoded to mean that if Christians are not embracing the ‘New Thing’ God is doing, God Himself will deal with them in the way He dealt with unbelieving Israel for not embracing Christ and His Apostles. Comparing discerning Christians to the Pharisees and unrepentant Israel (Old Wine Skins) and their Christ and Apostles to the ‘New Thing’ God is doing (New Wine Skins) in the last days, is a common false narrative in the NAR: you are either for God and his Apostles – or God is against you.
Like many NARpostles today, they accuse discerning believers of being in ‘bondage to the same religious spirit that manifested itself in the Pharisees,’ which, ‘will attack any new movement that arises in the church’. NARpostles such as C. Peter Wagner, Cindy Jacobs, Michael Brown, Todd Bentley, Brian Houston, Phil Pringle and countless others, spin this false narrative because they know their new ‘revelations’ cannot be justified by any biblical text.
It’s the false teachers today who portray themselves as true ‘Apostles and Prophets’ bringing true unity. And it’s these same men and women who constantly claim those (discerning believers) attacking their ‘anointed’ movement, are the ‘traditionalists’:
“The more anointed a new movement is, the more these traditionalists will be threatened by it, and the more vehemently they will attack it.”
Again, we must stress that the leaders of this movement will claim they are not physically violent or promoting murder in the name of God. However, C. Peter Wagner has continually made the claim that the NAR is not anti-war but pro-war. Their major apostolic leaders (such as Michael Brown, Jim Jones, Lou Engle, Bill Johnson, Brian Houston, Phil Pringle to name just a few), are those who advocate that they are the violent taking the ‘kingdom by force’, painting themselves as ‘revolutionaries’, leading God’s Army.
A shocking example of this was how the NAR helped take over the ‘Government Mountain’ in Uganda to pass the ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill in parliament, that encouraged the murder of homosexuals – Dr Michael Brown, Rick Warren, Lou Engle and C. Peter Wagner all involved in the same NAR team at this time, pushing this agenda through Apostle Julius Oyet. Rick Warren has also relied on extremism within the NAR, promoting unethical tactics used by the most bloodiest of regimes of last century (Source 1) (Source 2). And let’s not forget Mark Driscoll who chuckled about what happened to those that questioned his own ‘apostolic’ vision:
“There is a pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus, and by God’s grace, it’ll be a mountain by the time we’re done.”
The fact the NAR would even entertain and hold this vision of Rick Joyner’s as something that must take place within the church should indicate that this movement is against the true Christian faith.
Their theology of ‘revival’ and ‘reformation’ is synonymous with ‘revolution’, continually painting traditional Christianity (old winesking churches) as dead and therefore the New Wineksin Church can take over, headed by their leading Apostles and Prophets.
At the time of Joyner’s writings, the NAR was already establishing their ‘Apostles’ on the world stage, the timing and imagery Joyner was conveying helping to pave the way for the almost violent concepts and imagery coming out of Lou Engle’s ‘The Call’ and places like the ‘Brownsville Revival’ and the ‘Lakeland Outpouring’:
“This was a primary reason why the Pharisees, who loved the word of God, and esteemed both the traditions and a hope in the coming Messiah more than anyone else, rejected and opposed Him when He came. They were worshiping their traditions more than God, so when He came without having the same regard for those traditions that they did, they could not receive Him. Those who put their security and faith more in their traditions than in the living God will oppose almost everything that He is in fact doing. There is a huge portion of the church which is held in bondage to the same religious spirit that manifested itself in the Pharisees, and it will attack any new movement that arises in the church. The more anointed a new movement is, the more these traditionalists will be threatened by it, and the more vehemently they will attack it.“
Again, the language, ideology, concepts of ‘death’, and propaganda towards those against them, is identical to the cult of Jim Jones. Although Joyner is trying to appeal to a higher ‘love’, he is still guilty of ‘firing off arrows’ where ‘almost all of them hit Christians’. Even though Joyner states, ‘We must never use our swords against our brothers, but only against the cords of evil that are binding them’, he has no problem claiming the following:
“Like every civil war, it will cause brother to turn against brother like we may have never witnessed in the church before.”
In the article below, Joyner even parallels the coming ‘Charismatic Civil War’ to the American Civil War.
It’s not possible for the NAR to promote a religion that is not spiritually ‘blood-stained’. Their history, admissions and theology prove this. Even one of their own NARpostles, J. Lee Grady, expressed his concerns on this specific future war (we cover this in Part 2). In closing, their murderous doctrines are incredibly fanatical and dangerous. Just talk to the families of the Jones Town massacre and ask what they think of its leader Jim Jones, an ‘Apostolic revolutionary’.
Below are the articles of Rick Joyner:
The Hordes of Hell Are Marching
[…] On February the 16th, 1995 I was given a dream in which I saw a great army from hell that had been released against the church. Two days later I was given a vision in which I saw this diabolical horde again, but in much greater detail. This is an abbreviated version of the first part of that vision. The second part will appear in the next edition of The Morning Star Journal.
There are some aspects of this vision that were honestly repulsive, but I have tried to share it just the way I saw it. The works of darkness are repulsive in the most profound sense of that word, and we must recognize them as such.
In the first part of this vision I saw the degree to which this evil has its grip on believers, how many Christians are being used by the enemy, and what it will take to set them free. In the second part of the vision I saw a unified, glorious church rise up as a great army in the most pivotal battle of all time between light and darkness. This battle is already beginning to rage. Dreams and visions are usually metaphorical, and this one definitely is. Even so, what it represents is real, and is happening now. It was for this reason I decided to share it in this abbreviated form, even though it may at times seem incomplete. If you hear the Lord’s voice through this vision, do not harden your heart. Put on the whole armor of God, and prepare for the battle.
The Evil Army
I saw a demonic army so large that it stretched as far as I could see. It was separated into divisions, with each carrying a different banner. The foremost and most powerful divisions were Pride, Self-righteousness, Respectability, Selfish Ambition, and Unrighteous Judgment, but the largest of all was Jealousy. The leader of this vast army was the Accuser of the Brethren himself. I knew that there were many more evil divisions beyond my scope of vision, but these were the vanguard of this terrible horde from hell that was now being released against the church.
The weapons carried by this horde had names on them: the swords were named Intimidation; the spears were named Treachery; and their arrows were named Accusations, Gossip, Slander and Faultfinding. Scouts and smaller companies of demons with such names as Rejection, Bitterness, Impatience, Unforgiveness and Lust were sent in advance of this army to prepare for the main attack. I knew in my heart that the church had never faced anything like this before.
The main assignment of this army was to cause division. It was sent to attack every level of relationship–churches with each other, congregations with their pastors, husbands and wives, children and parents, and even children with each other. The scouts were sent to locate the openings in churches, families or individuals that rejection, bitterness, lust, etc., could exploit and make a larger breech for the divisions that were coming.
The most shocking part of this vision was that this horde was not riding on horses, but on Christians! Most of them were well-dressed, respectable, and had the appearance of being refined and educated. These were Christians who had opened
themselves to the powers of darkness to such a degree that the enemy could use them and they would think they were being used by God. The Accuser knows that a house divided cannot stand, and this army represented his ultimate attempt to bring such complete division to the church that she would completely fall from grace.
Trailing behind these first were a vast multitude of other Christians who were prisoners of this army. They were all wounded, and were guarded by little demons of Fear. There seemed to be more prisoners than there were demons in the army. Surprisingly, these prisoners still had their swords and shields, but they did not use them. It was shocking to see that so many could be kept captive by so few of these little demons of Fear. These could have easily been destroyed or driven off if the prisoners had just used their weapons.
Above the prisoners the sky was black with vultures named Depression. These would land on the shoulders of a prisoner and vomit on him. The vomit was Condemnation. When the vomit hit a prisoner he would stand up and march a little straighter for a while, and then slump over, even weaker than before. Again, I wondered why the prisoners did not simply kill these vultures with their swords, which they could have easily done.
Occasionally a weak prisoner would stumble and fall. As soon as he or she hit the ground, the other prisoners would begin stabbing them with their swords, scorning them as they did so. They would then call for the vultures to begin devouring the fallen one even before they were dead.
As I watched, I realized that these prisoners thought that the vomit of Condemnation was truth from God. Then I understood that these prisoners actually thought they were marching in the army of God! This is why they did not kill the little demons of fear, or the vultures–they thought these were messengers from God! The darkness from the cloud of vultures made it so hard for these prisoners to see that they naively accepted everything that happened to them as being from the Lord.
The only food provided for these prisoners was the vomit from the vultures. Those who refused to eat it simply weakened until they fell. Those who did eat it were strengthened, but with the strength of the evil one. They would then begin to vomit on the others. When one began to do this a demon that was waiting for a ride would be given this one and he or she would be promoted to the front divisions.
Even worse than the vomit from the vultures was a repulsive slime that these demons were urinating and defecating upon the Christians they rode. This slime was the pride, selfish ambition, etc., that was the nature of the division they were a part of. However, this slime made the Christians feel so much better than the condemnation that they easily believed that the demons were messengers of God, and they actually thought this slime was the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Then the voice of the Lord came to me saying, “This is the beginning of the enemy’s last day army. This is Satan’s ultimate deception, and his ultimate power of destruction is released when he uses Christians to attack other Christians.
Throughout the ages he has used this army, but never has he been able to capture so many to be used for his evil purposes. Do not fear. I have an army too. You must now stand and fight, because there is no longer any place to hide from this war. You must fight for My kingdom, for truth, and for those who have been deceived”
I had been so repulsed and outraged by the evil army that I had wanted to die rather than live in such a world. However, this word from the Lord was so encouraging that I immediately began yelling to the Christian prisoners that they were deceived, thinking that they would listen to me. When I did this, it seemed that the whole army turned to look at me, but I kept yelling. I thought that the Christians were going to wake up and realize what was happening to them, but instead many of them started reaching for their arrows to shoot at me. The others just hesitated as if they did not know what to make of me. I knew then that I had done this prematurely, and that it had been a very foolish mistake.
The Battle Begins
Then I turned and saw the army of the Lord standing behind me. There were thousands of soldiers, but we were still greatly outnumbered. Only a small number were fully dressed in their armor so that most were only partially protected. A large number were already wounded. Most of those who had all of their armor still had very small shields which I knew would not protect them from the onslaught that was coming. The majority of these soldiers were women and children.
Behind this army there was a trailing mob similar to the prisoners who followed the evil army, but very different in nature. These seemed to be very happy people, and were playing games, singing songs, feasting and roaming about from one little camp to the next. It reminded me of the atmosphere at Woodstock. I tried to raise my voice above the clamor to warn them that it was not the time for this, that the battle was about to begin, but only a few could even hear my voice. Those who did gave me the “peace sign” and said they did not believe in war, and that the Lord would not let anything bad happen to them. I tried to explain that the Lord had given us armor for a reason, but they just retorted that they had come to a place of peace and joy where nothing would happen to them. I began praying earnestly for the Lord to increase the faith (shields) of those with the armor, to help us protect those who were not ready for the battle.
A messenger came up to me, gave me a trumpet and told me to blow it quickly. I did, and those who had on at least some of their armor immediately responded, snapping to attention. More armor was brought to them, which they put on quickly. I noticed that those who had wounds did not put armor over their wounds, but before I could say anything about this enemy arrows began raining down on us. Everyone who did not have on all of his or her armor was wounded. Those who had not covered their wounds were struck again in the same place.
Those who were hit by arrows of slander immediately began to slander those who were not wounded. Those who were hit with gossip began to gossip, and soon a major division had been created within our camp. Then vultures swooped down to pick up the wounded to deliver them into the camp of prisoners. The wounded still had swords and could have smitten the vultures easily, but they didn’t. They were
actually carried off willingly because they were so angry at the rest of us.
The scene among those in the camp behind our army was even worse. There seemed to be total chaos. Thousands lay on the ground wounded and groaning. Many of those who were not wounded just sat in a stupor of unbelief. The wounded and those who sat in unbelief were being quickly carried away by the vultures. Some were trying to help the wounded, and keep the vultures off of them, but the wounded were so angry they would threaten and drive away those who were trying to help them.
Many who were not wounded were simply running as fast as they could from the scene of battle. This first encounter with the enemy was so devastating that I was tempted to join them in their flight. Then, very quickly, some of these began reappearing with full suits of armor on, and large shields. The mirth of the party had changed into an awesome resolve. They began to take the places of those who had fallen, and even began forming new ranks to protect the rear and flanks. These brought great courage, and everyone resolved to stand and fight until death. Immediately three great angels named Faith, Hope and Love came and stood behind us, and everyone’s shield began to grow.
We had swords named the Word of God, and arrows that were named for biblical truths. We wanted to shoot back, but did not know how to without hitting the Christians that were ridden by the demons. Then it occurred to us that if these Christians were hit with truth they would wake up and fight off their oppressors. I fired off a arrows. Almost all of them hit Christians. However, when the arrow of truth went into them, they did not wake up, or fall down wounded–they became enraged, and the demon riding on them grew much larger. This shocked everyone, and we began to feel that this may be an impossible battle to win, but with Faith, Hope and Love we were very confident that we could at least hold our own ground. Another angel named Wisdom then appeared and directed us to fight from the mountain behind us.
On the mountain there were ledges at different levels for as high as you could see. At each higher level the ledges became narrower, and harder to stand on. Each level was named after a biblical truth. The lower levels were named after foundational truths such as “Salvation,” “Sanctification,” “Prayer,” “Faith” etc., and the higher levels were named after more advanced biblical truths. The higher we climbed, the larger both our shields and our swords grew, and fewer of the enemy arrows could reach that position.
A Tragic Mistake
Some who had stayed on the lower levels began picking up the enemy arrows and shooting them back. This was a tragic mistake. The demons easily dodged the arrows and let them hit the Christians. When a Christian was hit by one of the arrows of Accusation or Slander, a demon of Bitterness or Rage would fly in and perch on that arrow. He would then begin to urinate and defecate his poison upon that Christian. When a Christian had two or three of these demons added to the Pride or
Self-righteousness he already had, he began to change into the contorted image of the demons themselves.
We could see this happening from the higher levels, but those on the lower levels who were using the enemy’s arrows could not see it. Half of us decided to keep climbing, while the other half descended back to the lower levels to explain to those still on them what was happening. Everyone was then warned to keep climbing and not stop, except for a few who stationed themselves on each level to keep the other soldiers moving higher.
When we reached the level called “The Unity of the Brethren,” none of the enemy’s arrows could reach us. Many in our camp decided that was as far as they needed to climb. I understood this because with each new level the footing was more precarious. However, I also felt much stronger and more skillful with my weapons the higher I went, so I continued climbing.
Soon my skills were good enough to shoot and hit the demons without hitting the Christians. I felt that if I kept going higher I could shoot far enough to hit the leaders of the evil horde who stayed behind their army. I was sorry that so many had stopped on the lower levels, where they were safe but could not hit the enemy. Even so, the strength and character that grew in those who kept climbing made them great champions, each of which I knew would destroy many of the enemy.
At each level there were arrows of Truth scattered about which I knew were left from those who had fallen from that position. All of the arrows were named after the Truth of that level. Some were reluctant to pick up these arrows, but I knew we needed all that we could to destroy the great horde below. I picked one up, shot it, and so easily hit a demon that the others started picking them up and shooting them. We began to decimate several of the enemy divisions. Because of this, the entire evil army focused its attention on us. For a time it seemed the more we achieved the more we were opposed. Though our task seemed endless, it had become exhilarating.
The Word Is Our Anchor
Our swords grew as we reached each level. I almost left mine behind because I did not seem to need it at the higher levels. I finally decided that it had been given to me for a purpose, so I had better keep it. I drove it into the ground and tied myself to it while I shot at the enemy. The voice of the Lord then came to me, saying: “You have used the wisdom that will enable you to keep climbing. Many have fallen because they did not use their sword properly to anchor themselves.” No one else seemed to hear this voice, but many saw what I had done and did the same thing.
I wondered why the Lord had not spoken to me before I had made this decision. I then had a sense of knowing that He had already spoken this to me somehow. Then I perceived that my whole life had been training for this hour. I was prepared to the degree that I had listened to the Lord and obeyed Him throughout my life. I also knew that for some reason the wisdom and understanding I now had could not be added to or taken away from while in this battle. I became profoundly thankful for
every trial I had experienced in my life, and sorry for not appreciating them more at the time.
Soon we were hitting the demons with almost perfect accuracy. Rage rose from the enemy army like fire and brimstone. I knew that the Christians trapped in that army were now feeling the brunt of that rage. Unable to hit us they were now shooting at each other. With his arrows now ineffective against us, the enemy sent the vultures to attack. Those who had not used their swords as anchors were able to strike down many of the vultures, but they too were being knocked from the ledges where they were standing. Some of these landed on a lower level, but some fell all the way to the bottom and were picked up and carried off by the vultures.
A New Weapon
The arrows of Truth would rarely penetrate the vultures, but they hurt them enough to drive them back. Every time they were driven back some of us would climb to the next level. When we reached the level called “Galatians Two Twenty,” we were above the altitude that the vultures could fly. At this level the sky above almost blinded us with its brightness and beauty. I felt peace like I had never felt it before.
Previously much of my fighting spirit had really been motivated out of as much hatred and disgust for the enemy as it had been for the sake of the kingdom, truth, and love for the prisoners. But it was on this level that I caught up to Faith, Hope and Love, which before I had only been following at a distance. On this level I was almost overpowered by their glory. When I caught up to them they turned to me, and began repairing and shining my armor. Soon it was completely transformed and exuded the glory that was in them. When they touched my sword, great bolts of brilliant lightning began flashing from it. Love then said, “Those who reach this level are entrusted with the powers of the age to come, but I must teach you how to use them.”
The “Galatians Two Twenty” level was so wide that there was no longer any danger of falling. There were also unlimited arrows with the name Hope written on them. We shot some of them down at the vultures, and these arrows killed them easily. About half who had reached this level kept shooting while the others began carrying these arrows down to those still on the lower levels.
The vultures kept coming in waves upon the levels below, but with each one there would be fewer than before. From “Galatians Two Twenty” we could hit any enemy in the army except the leaders themselves, who were still out of range. We decided not to use the arrows of Truth until we had destroyed all of the vultures, because the cloud of depression they created made the truth less effective. This took a very long time, but we never got tired.
Faith, Hope and Love, who had grown like our weapons with each level, were now so large that I knew people far beyond the battle area could see them. Their glory even radiated into the camp of prisoners who were still under a great cloud of vultures. The exhilaration continued to grow in all of us. I felt that being in this army, in this battle, had to be one of the greatest adventures of all time.
After destroying most of the vultures that had been attacking our mountain, we
began picking off the vultures that had covered the prisoners. As the cloud of darkness began dissipating and the sun began to shine down on them, they began to wake up as if they had been in a deep sleep. They were immediately repulsed by their condition, especially by the vomit that still covered them, and began cleaning themselves up. As they beheld Faith, Hope and Love, they saw the mountain we were on and began running for it. The evil horde rained arrows of Accusation and Slander at them, but they did not stop. By the time they got to the mountain many had a dozen or more arrows stuck in them, but seemed not to even notice. As soon as they began to scale the mountain their wounds began to heal. With the cloud of depression being dispelled it seemed as if everything was getting much easier.
The former prisoners had great joy in their salvation. They seemed so overwhelmed with appreciation for each level as they began to scale the mountain that it gave us a greater appreciation for those truths. Soon a fierce resolve to fight the enemy also arose in the former prisoners. They put on the armor provided and begged to be allowed to go back and attack the enemy. We thought about it, but then decided we should all stay on the mountain to fight. Again the voice of the Lord spoke, saying: “A second time you have chosen wisdom. You cannot win if you try to fight the enemy on his own ground, but must remain on My Holy mountain.”
I was stunned that we had made another decision of such importance by just thinking and discussing it briefly. I then resolved to do my best to not make another decision of any consequence without prayer. Wisdom then stepped up to me quickly, took both of my shoulders firmly and looked me intensely in the eyes, saying: “You must do this!” I then noticed that, even though I had been on the broad plateau of “Galatians Two Twenty,” I had drifted to the very edge without even knowing it, and could have easily fallen. I looked again into the eyes of Wisdom, and he said with the utmost seriousness, “Take heed when you think you stand, lest you fall. In this life you can fall from any level.”
For a long time we continued killing the vultures and picking off the demons that were riding the Christians. We found that the arrows of different Truths would have more of an impact on different demons. We knew that it was going to be a long battle, but we were not taking any more casualties now, and we had already passed the level of “Patience.” Even so, after these Christians had the demons shot off of them, few would come to the mountain. Many had taken on the nature of the demons, and continued in their delusion without them. As the darkness of the demons dissipated we could see the ground moving around the feet of these Christians. Then I saw that their legs were bound by serpents called Shame.
We shot arrows of truth at the serpents, but they had little effect. We then tried the arrows of Hope, but without result. From “Galatians Two Twenty” it was very easy to go higher, so we started up to the higher levels. Soon we happened upon a garden that was the most beautiful place I had ever seen. Over the entrance to this garden was written, “The Father’s Unconditional Love.” It was the most glorious and inviting doorway I had ever seen, so we were compelled to enter. As soon as we did, we
saw the Tree of Life in the middle of this garden. It was still guarded by angels of awesome strength. They looked as if they had been expecting us, so we had the courage to pass them and walk up to the tree. One of them said, “Those who make it to this level, who know the Father’s love, can eat.”
I did not realize how hungry I was. When I tasted the fruit, it was better than anything I had ever tasted, but was also somehow familiar. It brought memories of sunshine, rain, beautiful fields, the sun setting over the ocean, but even more than that, of the people I loved. With every bite I loved everything and everyone more. Then my enemies started coming to mind, and I loved them, too. The feeling was soon greater than anything I had ever experienced, even the peace on “Galatians Two Twenty.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord, and He said, “This is now your daily bread. It shall never be withheld from you. You may eat as much and as often as you like. There is no end to My love.”
I looked up into the tree to see where the voice had come from, and saw that it was filled with pure white eagles. They had the most beautiful, penetrating eyes I have ever seen. They were looking at me as if waiting for instructions. One of the angels said, “They will do your bidding. These eagles eat snakes.” I said, “Go! Devour the shame that has bound our brothers.” They opened their wings and a great wind came that lifted them into the air. These eagles filled the sky with a blinding glory. Even as high as we were, I could hear the sounds of terror from the enemy camp at the sight of these eagles coming toward them.
The Lord Jesus Himself then stood in our midst. He touched each one, then said, “I must now share with you what I shared with your brothers after My ascension– the message of My kingdom. The enemy’s most powerful army has now been put to flight, but not destroyed. Now it is time for us to march forth with the gospel of My kingdom. The eagles have been released and will go with us. We will take arrows from every level, but I am your Sword, and I am your Captain. It is now time for the Sword of the Lord to be unsheathed.”
I then turned and saw that the entire army of the Lord was standing in that garden. There were men women and children from all races and nations, each carrying their banners that moved in the wind with perfect unity. I knew that nothing like this had been seen in the earth before. I knew that the enemy had many more armies, and fortresses throughout the earth, but none could stand before this great army. I said almost under my breath, “This must be the day of the Lord.” The whole host then answered in an awesome thunder, “The day of the Lord of Hosts has come.”
Source: Rick Joyner, Civil War in the Church (Bulletin #11), Morningstar Ministries, https://www.morningstarministries.org/resources/prophetic-bulletins/1995/hordes-hell-are-marching#.W2uIRfZuIv8, Published 1995. (Accessed August 07, 2018) [Archived]
Civil War in the Church
[…] There have probably been few times in history when there were more reasons for expecting a major advance for the cause of Christianity than there are now. Renewal of the church is taking place around the world. Reconciliation movements are confronting important strongholds such as racism, and other roots of division and injustice. Powerful new movements are impacting men, women and children, awakening them to their place and destiny in the church. Worldwide, almost 200,000 new believers are coming to the Lord each day.
In spite of its problems, Christian television has done much to help tear down the barriers between denominations and movements. Catholics now watch Baptists, and Presbyterians watch Pentecostals, with everyone learning that there is merit to the beliefs of others. There are many Christian events that draw believers together from across the spectrum of the body of Christ, and genuine interchange is taking place. There is probably more unity in the church today than at any time in the last one thousand years.
For all of this, there is truly much cause for rejoicing and hope. Even so, some of history’s greatest watershed events came at a time and in a way that seemed most improbable. That is why we are warned that when men cry “peace and safety,” sudden destruction will come. I believe that this may apply relative to the present progress of church unity. All that is happening to bring us into unity is important, and certainly a worthy pursuit, even more so because of what is coming. However, the greatest test of our unity may soon be upon us, and all that is happening today can be a foundation for a future, greater unity. The enemy intends to use the coming great test of our unity for our greatest defeat, but if we are properly prepared, it can become an opportunity for one of our greatest victories.
THE HORDES OF HELL ARE STILL MARCHING
On February 23rd of this year I was shown for the third time that the church was headed for a “a spiritual civil war.” I was first given an impression of this in 1988. At the beginning of 1995 I saw it again in a dream, which I wrote down as The Hordes Of Hell, Part I. On February 23rd I was told that it was time to straightforwardly warn the church, and to begin preparing for this great war with the resolve to fight until there was a complete victory. The definition of a complete victory in this war would be the complete overthrow of the Accuser of the Brethren’s strongholds in the church.
Such a victory sounds like a good thing to fight for, but for a long time the battle to win such a victory will look like one of the greatest defeats that the church has ever suffered. The accuser will arise from some of the most unexpected places, and people. This will, in fact, be one of the most cruel battles the church has ever faced. Like every civil war, it will cause brother to turn against brother like we may have never witnessed in the church before.
When we are shown impending negative events it is not necessarily to prophesy them, but rather for the purpose of thwarting the enemy’s schemes. However, I do not believe that this one can now be stopped, or that the Lord wants it stopped. This battle must be fought. It is an opportunity to drive the accuser out of the church, and for the church then to come into a unity that would otherwise be impossible. Like the cross, the very thing which Satan thinks will destroy his enemy is the very thing that will cause his own defeat. Regardless of how bad it looks for a time, remember that when the great darkness came upon the world on the evening that Jesus was crucified, the greatest light of all followed it–the resurrection.
What is coming will be dark. At times Christians almost universally will be loath to even call themselves Christians. Believers and unbelievers alike will think that it is the end of Christianity as we know it, and it will be. Through this the very definition of Christianity will be changed, for the better. The church that emerges from what is coming will be full of unprecedented grace, truth, and unprecedented power.
The impending civil war in the church will parallel the American Civil War in many ways. The great spiritual issues that must be settled in the church are a counterpart to the political problems that America faced before the Civil War. Until the first battle of the American Civil War, no one on either side expected it to last more than a few months, and at best cost no more than a few hundred casualties. The ultimate cost in lives, property and damage to the soul of the nation was a profound shock to everyone on both sides. Likewise, the kind of conflict that the church is headed for will be unimaginable to almost everyone before it happens, which will work to cause a serious lack of preparation. This in itself will be a primary factor that seriously prolongs the conflict.
The Main Cause
Slavery was not tolerable in America, and its presence in a free country with such a spiritual destiny could not be endured. Neither is the spiritual slavery and oppression now existing in much of the church tolerable, and it must be eradicated before the last day church can come into her full purpose. Just as with the American Civil War, spiritual slavery and oppression will become the primary issue facing the church.
We may protest that there is no such spiritual slavery in the church today, and most of it is free from such spiritual oppression. Over half of the United States were also “free states” before the Civil War, but the rest had a deadly cancer that had to be removed or the whole would die. The same is true of the church. Nearly half of the believers in the world today are held under a spiritual “plantation mentality”; leaders are only seeking to build and maintain their own spiritual estates, and they are doing it mostly through spiritual slave labor. Some are benevolent toward their people, unless they try to leave, and others are as spiritually ruthless and cruel as most slave owners truly were.
Here we are speaking of spiritual enslavement and oppression, but its perversion of our spiritual character is no less devastating than slavery was. How could America,
which was otherwise the most free nation on earth, abide such cruelty? She couldn’t. No nation can long abide that kind of contradiction and hypocrisy in its midst. Neither can the church continue to abide many of the present contradictions in her teachings and practices within the half that is so abusing them. These issues must be addressed.
Great Britain, under the leadership of men like Johns Wesley and William Wilberforce, showed that the terrible institution of slavery could be removed from a nation by the power of the truth revealed. Britain repented and removed the cancer from her midst. They did this first by making the ownership of slaves spiritually and socially unacceptable, and then by passing civil laws to enforce these obvious truths.
America took a different tact, trying for decades to compromise the obvious and appease the offenders. This only made the ultimate cost of the inevitable changes much greater. There are likewise inevitable changes coming to the church. We are right now determining how much these changes will cost us. “Satan’s strand of three cords” (the control spirit, the political spirit and the religious spirit), by which he is yoking multitudes of believers, must be confronted and removed from our midst. The longer we compromise with them the more costly their ultimate removal will be. Just as America could never have become the great nation that she did while tolerating having slaves in her midst, neither can the church come into her ultimate glory while tolerating the spiritual strongholds and bondage now forced upon so many.
Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (II Corinthians 3:17).
For there to be true worship there must be liberty. That is why the Lord placed the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden. There could be no true obedience from the heart unless there was the freedom to disobey. If all that the Lord had wanted was obedience, He could have just created the computer and programmed thousands of them to worship Him. But how fulfilling would worship be from those who had no choice to do otherwise? Freedom is essential for true worship, true obedience, and for any place that the Spirit of the Lord will come. The use of guilt, pressure, manipulation and control to compel men to do what we think they should do is not tolerable in the church of Jesus Christ who came to set men free. The church that the Lord builds is not compatible with the devices many are using as a substitute for His Holy Spirit, and for having true spiritual authority.
Again, the main point in the impending spiritual civil war will be over the institution of slavery–or the institutions of spiritual slavery. When I speak of “institutions of slavery,” I am not necessarily speaking of denominations, but rather of any organization, including denominations or movements, that are holding their people in spiritual bondage. The longer we continue to compromise with such institutions, which use manipulation or control, for the sake of unity or for any other reason, the more it will ultimately cost us to remove the cancer from our midst.
A major secondary factor in the American Civil War, and one which many contend was the primary factor, was simple economics. One of the greatest powers of bondage at the end of the age will be that of money over people. Money will be the ultimate false god at the end, which is why the “mark of the beast” is an economic mark, and why “the love of money” is called “the root of all evil.” A god is not just something you bow down to, but what you trust in. Many of the coming conflicts between movements, denominations and individual churches will be deeply rooted in the power that money now has over the church. Many will use doctrinal differences or other issues as justification for their attacks on their brothers, but the real cause will be over a loss, or potential loss, of money.
Big ministry can be big money. Because many churches and ministries are built with considerable debt, financial pressures can cause leaders to do things they would not otherwise do. Stewardship is one of the most crucial matters for every leader to understand and walk in during these times. If we compromise the biblical standards here, we will fall into one of the most devastating traps of the enemy. As Proverbs 22:7 reads, “the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.”
Another cause for the American Civil War was the compulsion for many in the South to simply “preserve their way of life,” or “traditions.” This will likewise be a cause of many conflicts in the impending spiritual civil war. There are many good traditions that we should honor, but many are substitutes for a living relationship with the Lord. One of the powers of a religious spirit is to cause men to honor the things that God has done in the past in order for them to justify their opposition to what He is presently doing.
This was a primary reason why the Pharisees, who loved the word of God, and esteemed both the traditions and a hope in the coming Messiah more than anyone else, rejected and opposed Him when He came. They were worshiping their traditions more than God, so when He came without having the same regard for those traditions that they did, they could not receive Him. Those who put their security and faith more in their traditions than in the living God will oppose almost everything that He is in fact doing. There is a huge portion of the church which is held in bondage to the same religious spirit that manifested itself in the Pharisees, and it will attack any new movement that arises in the church. The more anointed a new movement is, the more these traditionalists will be threatened by it, and the more vehemently they will attack it.
Another cause of the American Civil War that will parallel the impending spiritual conflict was the demand for “states’ rights” on the part of the secessionists. This seemed like a call for liberty, but it was actually the demand for an unholy right of self-will and independence. If liberty was truly in their heart, why would they also demand to keep their slaves in bondage? Likewise, many who are today vehemently against organizations and denominations, demanding their own independence, often yoke their followers with character-crushing doctrines of fear to keep them under their control. Such people will be some of the primary vessels for the accuser in the conflict that is coming.
The coming spiritual civil war will also be a war between the forces of the Union and the forces of confederacy. There is a true unity movement, and there is a counterfeit
one. The first is based on the relationship we have in Christ, which makes us all family. The other is based on political expediency, alliances or organizations made for the sake of maintaining their way of life, which they do not want to change, which must have their institutions of slavery and their traditions.
It should also be noted that the Union itself remained divided throughout the entire American Civil War. There were major problems, with peace movements, riots and demonstrations, with even violent clashes occasionally. Even so, they remained a part of the nation. We, too, can expect that even within that part of the church that is fighting for the freedom of the oppressed, true liberty and the preservation of a true Union, there will still be problems and divisions. Even so, the forces of the true Union will work out their differences and prevail.
Like the American Civil War, the coming spiritual civil war will also be between the Blue and the Gray. In dreams and visions blue often represents heavenly mindedness (i.e., the sky is blue), and gray speaks of those who live by the power of their own minds (i.e., the brain is often called “gray matter”). This will be a conflict between those who may be genuine Christians, but who live mostly according to their natural minds and human wisdom, and those who follow the Holy Spirit.
It seems to be a contradiction, but after a point the only way that the Union could be preserved was for a leadership to arise which would be willing to fight a civil war in order to preserve it. The church is likewise coming to that point. The only way she can attain a true unity is for her leaders to be willing to fight the forces of spiritual slavery and oppression.
We must never forget that the unity of the church is one of the most important issues with the Lord. This was one of His own most pressing prayers on the night before He laid down His life for the church. However, He also prayed that night for us to be “sanctified in truth” (see John 17:17). He gave His life to set us free from the yokes of the evil one. The unity He prayed for was based on truth, not just political expediency, or compromises fashioned in order to keep the peace at any cost. Peace at the cost of truth, or the liberty of the Spirit, is a yoke of bondage that will only lead to even greater division. Just as the very leaders who seemed to be bringing the greatest division to the nation were the only ones with the vision and resolve to really save it, the same will be true in what is coming upon the church.
Some of the most noble souls in the American Civil War caused multitudes of unnecessary deaths, and greatly prolonged the war, by fighting for the wrong side. They fought for the wrong side because their allegiance was based more on territory than principle. Robert E. Lee claimed to not believe in what the South was fighting for, but said that he could not take up arms against his native Virginia. How much could the war have been shortened, how many lives could have been saved, and how much less devastation would there have been, if he had chosen sides based on principle rather than territory? Unfortunately, the same will be true of the impending spiritual civil war. Those who have more allegiance to a position, or an organization, rather than to genuine spiritual principles will likewise end up fighting on the wrong side, even though they may be able to justify it a thousand ways. These, too, will cause many unnecessary casualties.
It looked for a long time as if the South was going to win the Civil War, and it will likewise look for a time as if the forces of spiritual slavery and rebellion will prevail, but they will not. What will for a time look like a total meltdown of Christianity will ultimately result in one of her greatest victories. As I wrote in The Hordes of Hell, Part I, this war will cause the Lord’s champions to ascend the mountain into higher realms of the Spirit than they have gone before. As they do, Faith, Hope and Charity will be revealed, and seen from even greater distances than would have otherwise been possible.
THE FORCES OF VICTORY
Few today realize that near the end of the war almost one-third of the Union troops were black. Some historians have rightly stated that because of the widespread anti- war movements in the North, the Union probably could not have won without them. When leaders of the Christian forces of Union determine to fight for the essential principles of liberty and truth, the black church will arise to fight, and they will be the primary forces to bring about the ultimate victory.
Because of the destiny of the black church in America, she has been subject to the most severe systematic attacks of the enemy. He has continually tried to sow seeds of control and manipulation within the leadership, and he is using Islam to attack from without. However, there will be a generation of black church leaders who will cast off all forms of manipulation and control, and who will be great spiritual liberators who will help lead the entire body of Christ through what is coming.
After this great spiritual civil war, there will no longer be a white church and a black church. Neither will many of the present distinguishing characteristics that categorize Christians into groups continue to exist. There will be an entirely new definition of Christianity, which the Lord Jesus Himself has already written. The world will know us by our love.
A NEW BREED Of LEADER
The Lord is going to raise up spiritual leaders like Abraham Lincoln. They will be willing to fight a civil war in order to preserve the union. Like Lincoln, under the greatest of pressures, from forces within the church, through what appear to be constant defeats on spiritual battlefields, they, too, will hold their course and not compromise until there is a complete victory. God gave America Abraham Lincoln, and He will do no less for His church.
Abraham Lincoln is now considered one of the most remarkable leaders of all time. After his assassination, Lincoln was almost immediately recognized as one of our greatest presidents. However, before his death he was one of the most despised to ever hold the office. He was not just despised in the South, but even in the Northern States. He was constantly chided and ridiculed. Many of the nation’s best leaders refused to be associated with him, and would not serve his government. Even so, he maintained his resolve, and did the best that he could with what he was given, believing that if the Lord was with him he could not fail. We must be prepared to do the same. The leadership that must lead through what is coming will not be here to win popularity contests. They must do their jobs as unto the Lord, because few men will appreciate them in their own time.
One of Lincoln’s greatest accomplishments was to be able to wage such a bloody conflict without once demonizing his enemy. From the beginning of history, the first strategy of every leader in a war is to demonize his enemy in order to galvanize his support and mobilize his forces. It is possible that Lincoln could have won the war much sooner if he had done this, as the North never did fully mobilize for the war. However, Lincoln kept focused on his ultimate goal, the preservation of the Union, which he knew would be much more difficult, if not impossible, if he were to demonize the South. Until the very end he treated his enemies with the utmost dignity and respect. He even visited Southern troops in hospitals, because he continued to maintain that they were all Americans, even if they had been led astray.
In spite of all of the pressures to succeed in the shortest time, even when facing military defeat after defeat on the battlefields, even when it appeared that he would lose re-election to an advocate of peace at any cost, for Lincoln to keep his vision on the ultimate purpose of unity was an extraordinary grace. This was also a characteristic of one of the greatest leaders in the Bible, King David. David also had to fight a civil war with the house of Saul (see II Samuel 3). However, David revealed the same kind of magnanimity when he insisted on always honoring King Saul, even when Saul sought his own life, even when there was war with the house of Saul, and even after the war was over.
As the spiritual civil war starts to unfold, we, too, must always remember that we are not warring with flesh and blood, but we are actually fighting for the liberation of the very ones we may be in conflict with. Lincoln’s vision of unity included the South as a part of the Union, and to consider them anything other than Americans was to contradict his basic vision of preserving the Union. Regardless of how deceived someone may be, if they have embraced the cross of Jesus Christ, they are our brothers, and the very ones our Savior gave Hi life to save. We are not fighting against people, but the forces that deceive and bind them.
Philip Elston had a vision several years ago in which he saw the Lord standing with His arms outstretched. Soldiers in blue and gray uniforms were marching past Him on either side, and were laying their bloody swords on His arms. The Lord resolutely looked into the eyes of each one, saying,”No one who has their brother’s blood on their sword will be used to build My house. ” We must never use our swords against our brothers, but only against the cords of evil that are binding them.
It is true that there are children of “their father, the devil,” with great influence in the body of Christ, just as there were in Israel when the Lord walked the earth. These must be confronted and exposed, and either converted, or removed from their place of influence in the church. Neither the Lord nor the apostles refrained from confronting them, naming them, and when necessary, removing them from the church. Just as in the first century, these can be distinguished by their attempts to spy out our liberty and yoke the church with bondage, or sow the doctrines that the Scriptures call leaven.
It is also noteworthy that some of the greatest revivals in our nation’s history took place among the Southern troops during the Civil War. Many Southern generals were leaders of the revival. The Lord came to save the rebels, among which we were all found at one time. Let us never forget that we are here to save men, and set them free. The church will soon be singing, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” with much greater understanding.
So what can we do if this is going to happen? First, all the movements that are working to bring about the unity of the church really have been sent by God. These are meant to strengthen our unity for what is coming. I believe we should support every one of them as much as we can. We should also do all that we can to reconcile with those who we have differences with. Some whom we may now think are our enemies will be our best friends in what is coming, and some whom we think may be our best friends, may become enemies. We must do all that we can to strengthen every relationship, and reconcile with those that we can.
We should also do all that we can to strengthen the essential truths of our faith, within ourselves, and any to whom we are called to serve by leading. The true unity of the faith will never have to come at the compromise of our beliefs. We are also called to follow the Lamb, not just an organization. Those who have built their spiritual lives, or positions of leadership, on obeying an organization rather than always seeking to follow the Lord, are in the most serious jeopardy at this time of becoming stumbling blocks.
We are called to overcome evil with good. We cast out darkness with the light. Allow the Lord to search your heart for any way you might be using a control spirit, manipulation, or means other than the Holy Spirit to try to accomplish your purposes. The roots that the enemy has in us through these will cause us much trouble in the times ahead. Let us now judge ourselves, lest we be judged. If we will humble ourselves now, He will lift us up at the proper time.
NOTE: For those who may be wondering, I am a white Southerner, born in North Carolina and raised in Richmond, Virginia. My ancestors were slave owners. I love the South, and believe that where sin did abound, grace will much more abound. In the coming spiritual civil war, the church in the South will be on the right side.
Source: Rick Joyner, Civil War in the Church (Bulletin #16), Morningstar Ministries, https://www.morningstarministries.org/resources/prophetic-bulletins/1996/civil-war-church#.W2uGO_ZuIv8, Published 1996. (Accessed August 07, 2018) [Archived]
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