The Changing Church Part 2 of 8
The second vision echoes the first. It actually says the same thing—separation in the body of Christ—with a different twist. This version tells the reason why we, as the Lord’s Church, are being divided; why the mother and child are torn apart.
Jesus stood upon a rock. Before Him was a seemingly endless line of sheep. As those sheep, representing His people (Psalm 95:7, Isaiah 53:6, John 10:3,4, and Matthew 10:16) came toward Him, the Lord would point either to the right or to the left. He did this with each sheep individually; separating the line. He was very methodical and quite intent while performing this task. I watched the whole process with rapt attention then inquired of Jesus, “What is the difference, Lord?” I could not see as He did, of course! Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart! (I Samuel 16:7)
He answered me briefly and said, “Thorns and briers in their wool.” I was too dumbfounded to ask what He meant by that, but I wondered and searched the Scriptures many months to find the interpretation.
An interpretation finally did come: “But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected” (Hebrews 6:8). Thorns and briers stand for sins and iniquities. The reason for dividing the sheep is sin—sin separates—so does iniquity: “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). Primarily, they separate us from God, but in this and previous other moves of God, we are separated from each other. You will see this more clearly in the following visions.
In this vision, however, we just begin to catch a glimpse of the “why” behind the separation of “mother” and “child” —the old move and the new. The mother refuses to give up her sinful ways. The child will have nothing to do with sin, therefore the inevitable division. What, you say, could assure me that I’ll be in the number without thorns and briers? The answer is simple—endure chastening— “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons: for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” (Hebrews 12:7).
If we do, we will be partakers of His holiness, “For they [human fathers] indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness,” and we will be allowed, by our Lord, to be at His right hand. The sheep that were free of thorns and briers were directed to His right. Those that were not, went to His left. After chastening, we are ready to receive, by the grace of our God, the wonderful gift of repentance: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). This is the gift He is giving us right now. It will bring a radical removal of residual sin. We will be free to love again; to return to our “first love” for Jesus and, correspondingly, unconditional love for the people.
Now, right now, is the time for us to be cleansed. I hope you believe this. The truth of it will indeed set you free—free of entanglement and sickness. You will be that pure child, made clean by your willingness to unashamedly follow our Lord, for these, this company of believers, “. . . are they which follow the Lamb withersoever He goeth” (Revelation 14:4). Amen!