This vision occurred shortly after a season when I was quite discouraged at the ‘religious wars’, kingdom building, etc. that I perceived was going on in the body of Christ. Most of my relationships with other ministers were not reciprocal—they always depended on me taking the initiative, going to their homes or churches, financially supporting their ministries and lifestyle.

It got to the point where I was out golfing with a very integritable pastor one day, unburdening my heart, and as I stood in the fairway on the 11th hole and hit ball after ball into the woods on purpose, he kept encouraging me. I never finished the round but that day birthed a hope, that would soon become faith that has never died.

Within a few weeks I had a vision of a most beautiful woman. She was radiant with the Glory of God. She was the Bride of Christ, mature, without spot or blemish, awaiting her Marriage Celebration to the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus the Messiah. In an instant the discouragement had vanished from my heart, being replaced by an unshakable knowing that His Word would come to pass, in my life, and in the Church.

Since that day, I have suffered many things and have tasted some of the fellowship of sufferings, but…

More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained. Philippians 3:8-16

The revelation of Jesus through this vision ‘burned’ these scriptures in my heart:

“And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude and as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. And he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.” Revelation 19:6-9

“that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.” Ephesians 5:27

My life was changed. I knew that I would one day be prepared as His Bride and that His Church would be prepared, “holy and blameless,” for His return. The scripture will be fulfilled! His Church will be a blessing to Him and His creation.

The first time that I shared this vision in its completeness, many of the believers present slid out of their chairs, so taken by His Presence and His Truth. Many have received a Hope that has allowed them to live radically (please read as: normal New Testament lives) for Him “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:13-14). Many have also taken offense—it comes with the territory.

Don’t lose heart looking at all the denominations, ‘streams,’ ‘kingdom building,’ hypocrisy, and persecution that you have observed and received. Look at Him instead and “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus…but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant” Philippians 2:5&7.

If you have strayed from Jesus, return to your first love and become once again devoted to Him! The Holy Spirit knew the snares of looking ‘horizontally’ and exhorted us, through Paul’s recording of the scripture:

“But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3