This Prophetic allegory by Robert Burnell since it was first unveiled to the Body of Christ in 1980, has only gained in intensity of vision and impact for Eternity in each of our lives. Please read Parts I and II in sequence first, since it gains spiritual momentum in its deeply profound implications.
Reaching the outer extremity of the Wilderness of Prayer, the traveler in my dream is taking in his first clear view of his destination. In the far distance, radiant with a holy splendor, is the City of God. Visibly overcome with emotion, his step quickens. Suddenly he encounters a terrible stench of smoke and decaying bodies. Now there are corpses everywhere. Forms with life left are moaning for help.
A woman doubled up with pain begs the traveler, “Please, please do something for me. I can’t tolerate this pain anymore!”
“I’m powerless,” he tells her. “What do you think I could do for you?”
“A little water is all I need. Please bring me some water!”
“Where am I going to find water in the desert?”
“How long do you think YOU’LL last,” she replies, “unless you find water for yourself? Please find some and bring it to me.”
As the travelers scans the desert in bewilderment, his mysterious companion returns and guides him to a spring surrounded by thousands of empty flasks.
“Drink some yourself,” she suggests, “and then fill a flask for the woman.”
After drinking this water, the travelers is immediately strengthened and brings some to the woman. By the time she has finished drinking, her health is restored. Immediately she takes the flask, runs to the spring and begins helping her neighbors. There are men with deep wounds, children lying on their backs with faint, rapid breathing, and elderly people with dirty bandages around their worn faces. Some victims are screaming with pain and others are weeping silently to themselves. Some are revived with a single flask of water. Others need much more. I see other travelers engaged in this same effort. As victims are healed, they also participate in the labor of raising up others. As they carry water from the spring, the traveler shares this passage from the Gospel of John with another man:
“Meanwhile the disciples besought Him saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him food?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work.”
“I guess we’re learning what this means,” added the traveler.
He spends many days in that place involved in the work of revival. One evening as he rests by the spring his companion returns and sits down beside him.
“I don’t suppose we’ll be able to go on to the City of God until we’re finished here?” the traveler asks her.
“That is true,” she replies.
“But will they wait for us?”
“Don’t worry. Just keep reviving these people until they’re all on their feet. Then the gates of the City of God will be open and the inhabitants will escorts you in. Bear this in mind:
“Do not say, there are yet four months, then comes the harvest. I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see the fields are white for harvest. He who reaps received wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here in the saying holds true, “One sows and another reaps.” I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.'”
“But these needs are so staggering that I’m beginning to feel overwhelmed. The joy of seeing restoration take place before my eyes is offset to some degree by the vastness of this sea of despair. Is there an end to it?”
“Brother,” replies his companion, “just as you had to lose yourself in God’s forgiveness, and in worship and prayer, you are now losing yourself in the harvest. It is one thing to dabble in the harvest. It’s quite another to be lost in it.”
“But will I have the strength to keep on working among people with such great needs?”
“Isn’t that what Jesus did?”
And as He sat at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when He heard it, He said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but the sinners.”
“It must have become discouraging for Him, though.”
“Jesus wept over religious Jerusalem for its hardness of heart. Obviously, His greatest encouragement on the human side came from these repenting sinners. Of these He never tired. You can confidently abandon yourself to this harvest without danger of being engulfed by it, provided you keep your vision of the City, and provided you do your work here with a whole heart. The Spirit of the Lord will sustain you if you will, be careful to listen to these people as Jesus listened to the woman at the well, to the lepers, the lame, the blind, the father of the demon-possessed boy. Don’t be in a hurry. Take time to listen and ask the right questions. Find out where people really hurt, what they really need. Also, you must tell them about Jesus as you go about with your flask. The water in the flask and this message of yours are identical. These dying people are thirsting for Jesus, not theories about Jesus, but Jesus Himself. The message of Jesus is a drink of refreshing water, which brings them back to life. Remember the verse, ‘Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleansed the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.’ Don’t be satisfied until the mercy of God has raised them to their feet.”
“Until the mercy of God has raised them ALL to their feet?”
“Yes. Think about this passage in [the book of] Revelation:
“And I saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her Husband; and I heard a great voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them; He will will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, for the former things have passed away.'”
“As you first experience the labor of the harvest and discover you are actually able to raise these perishing ones to their feet by giving them living water from the divine spring, Jesus, you have tremendous joy. The wilderness experiences of forgiveness, worship of God, and prayer have issued in the power to heal the sick in the name of Jesus.”
“He who believes in me will also do the works that I do. And greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father.’ The challenge is to endure.”
When I next see the traveler in my dream, he has begun to complain, “How long is this going to go on? I would’ve thought that by now the work would be finished and we could go on. I’m sorry, but I’m tired. I’m going over by that boulder to rest in the shade for a couple of days.”
Later another traveler passes the boulder and finds him lying there almost dead. Running to the spring he fills two flasks, returns and pours the precious water down his throat.
“Drink, brother, drink!”
“Thank you! Oh, thank you! I was almost done for,” says the traveler between gulps. “But how did I come to this? What went wrong?”
His mysterious companion joins him again. “Brother,” she says, “you lost your strength, because you lost your vision. The City of God over there is still your destination. it is your home, the dwelling place of our God. While you work, be sure to take time daily, hourly, to pause and look at the City of God. If you fail to look up in the midst of your labors and see the City of God, fail to stop and hear its music, neglect to breathe the atmosphere it sends forth to you, or to drink from that stream which flows out from beneath its gates, you will be exhausted. You must remember that sustaining power comes from the City.”
The traveler resumes his work in the Harvest with fresh vigor. But at nightfall he is overcome by weariness. He goes to the spring; approaching it is a woman who looks to be quite elderly, yet doesn’t appear the least bit tired.
“What is your secret?” asks the traveler. “You look so youthful and vigorous, while I have no strength left.”
“I have taken my cue from Daniel,” she tells him. “Daniel must’ve been a busy man, yet in the midst of the daily pressures. He continued to return to his upper chamber where the windows opened westward. There, looking toward Jerusalem hundreds of miles away, he prayed and gave thanks to God. Even though it meant the lion’s den, Daniel refused to neglect his prayers. Daniel kept his vision alive by making the City of God his focus.
And that’s what I do. The more problems I had to contend with here in the Harvest, the more time seems to press in on me, the more firmly I fixed my eyes on the City of God. I make sure to keep looking up. Every time I eat bread and drink wine I do so in anticipation as well as in remembrance. This is the food of the City, you know. It keeps my eyes AND my heart there.”
When the traveler left the old woman, he seemed to be consciously attempting to keep his vision before him. In a low voice, he was singing the words of Revelation:
“And I saw the Holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a great voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them; He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away!'”
When I last see the traveler, his mysterious companion had returned with a final admonition for him: “KEEP looking to that City, He will renew your strength so that you will mount up on wings as the eagles, you will run and not be weary, you will walk and not faint.”
At this point I was swept away from the scene of the traveler’s journey to the top of a high cliff. I found there a stone tablet inscribed with these words from Revelation 19:
“Then I saw Heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a Name inscribed which no one knows but Himself. He is clad in a robe dipped in blood, and the Name by which He is called is The Word of God. And the armies of Heaven, arrayed in fine linen, light and pure, followed Him on white horses. From His mouth issues a sharp sword with which to smite the nations and He will rule them with a rod of iron; He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On His robe and on His thigh He has a Name inscribed, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”
Looking up from the tablet, I saw beneath me two revivals simultaneously in progress. Christian City was experiencing a revival which manifested itself in massive and rapid growth. Within a very short amount of time the population had increased tenfold. Building was going on everywhere. New homes sprawled up and down the surrounding hills. But the most dramatic aspect of this growth in Christian City was the appearance of magnificent new church structures towering over the countryside. One cathedral was being completed, which had a spire 70 stories high, housing the world’s most powerful transmitter. Another church was taking shape in the form of a giant glass dome with a revolving stage and wraparound sound systems. The most unusual one looked like an upright cross with 15 elevators taking people up to the sanctuary housed in the south arm and a Christian restaurant housed in the north arm. There were Christian educational facilities for every age group from pre-kindergarten to graduate school; and group sponsored scenic retreat centers in the style of Swiss chalets with vast seminar halls.
There was a feeling in Christian City that this growth was a sign of the world’s last days. Books on the end of the age were up near the top of the Christian best-seller lists, second only to Christian sex manuals. Reporters came from all over the world to do articles on the booming conditions there. The inhabitants of Christian City were claiming that when the End came, they would be caught away to the City of God, before chaos erupted.
At the same time, I saw across the desert far distant from Christian City a very different revival taking place with none of the accoutrements of successful religion. Dying men and women were being raised to their feet. Like the dry bones Ezekiel saw. They were being delivered from their diseases, their sins, and their spiritual prisons, merely by drinking the living water from a holy spring. Those who tasted the life-giving water shared it with others, bringing healing to them. As by a spreading fire or a surging flood, the sick ones were being swept to their feet. Laborers there, who’d spent years seeing limited results, found that now it was taking no more than a single drop of water on a parched tongue to raise the dying to life. And each day the process was accelerating.
Finally I saw the last prone body raised to life. What once appeared as a battlefield of defeat had become the camp of a mighty army. Suddenly an earthquake shook the ground beneath my feet. The Sky darkened and a sound of war rolled in from the east.
Then I saw Christian City being invaded and destroyed. The magnificent cathedrals, the world’s largest cross, retreat centers and seminar halls were splintered apart and flattened by deafening explosions. Dead bodies of the inhabitants who had thought they would escape this holocaust filled the streets. The armies of destruction now pressed on into the desert toward the scene of the second revival. Soon this seemingly indestructible horde was engulfing the Wilderness of Forgiveness, the Wilderness of Worship, and the Wilderness of Prayer. When the City of God came into its view, a single roar like that of a wounded beast filled the air. The horde drove on toward its goal, appearing about to storm the City of God.
But near the walls of the City, the army of revived ones waited poised and ready. When the enemy came within range, the gates of the City burst open. Out marched the Army of Light led by a King of such splendor that the enemy horde had to shield its eyes. The revived ones emerged with the Army of Light and joined the battle with the enemy. 3 1/2 days later the war was over. The enemy was destroyed and the triumphant ones entered the City of God for which they had been chosen before the foundation of the world.
Again I was swept away to read another large tablet engraved with further words from Revelation:
“Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly in mid-heaven, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.’ And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against Him who sits upon the horse and against His army. And the beast was captured, and with the false prophet who in its presence had worked the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the Lake of Fire that burns with brimstone. And the rest were slain by the sword of Him who sits upon the horse, the sword that issues from His mouth; and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.
“Then I saw an angel coming down from Heaven, holding in his hand the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the Dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be loosed for a little while. Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom judgment was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God, and who has not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life, and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”
When I finished reading this, as abruptly as my dream had come to me it ended, leaving me with a deep sense of awe, in new awareness of the undercurrents in my own life, and a renewed desire to seek to know God in spirit and truth.
Never has it been more clear to me that two revivals are in progress on the earth. One is the revival of the Spirit of God by which dead men and women are freed from their sins by the blood of the Lamb and raised to a life which is the life of the sons of God, a life which bears God’s nature, and manifests God’s mercy. The other revival is a revival of religious flesh, a revival which is so appealing and gathers such multitudes and wields such power in this world, because it offers all the comforts of religion, while allowing you to keep your ego and all rights to your self.
Surely each of us has to decide which revival he is going to be a part of. Am I going to invest my life in some enterprise in the booming Christian City? Or am I going to lose my life in the pursuit of God’s will and mercy? Am I going to concentrate on building something that will cause the citizens of Christian City to sit up and take notice? Or am I going to spend my life bringing the poor and the maimed and the halt and the blind to the Master’s table? [the end]
For deeper insight into how GOD the Father sees His children; to better understand the elementary principles of Christ (Hebrews 6:1-3); the ‘mysteries’ of Christ’s Kingdom; and our individual and corporate calling, commission, and empowerment- please review my first published book and the Table of Contents on the Amazon website linked here via Book Title: “Thy Kingdom Come- Here and Now!”
Grace Like Rain- Todd Agnew