Vision of Rick Joyner
Suddenly, I was standing on a high mountain overlooking a great plain. Before me, there was an army marching on a wide front. There were 12 divisions in the vanguard that stood out sharply from the great multitude of soldiers who followed behind them. These divisions were further divided into what I assumed to be regiments, battalions, companies and squads. The divisions were distinguished by their banners, and the regiments were distinguished by their different colored uniforms.
Battalions, companies and squads were distinguished by such things as sashes or epaulets that each different group wore. All wore armor that was polished silver, shields that appeared to be pure gold, and weapons that were both silver and gold. The banners were huge, 30 to 40 feet long. As the soldiers marched, their armor and weapons flashed in the sun like lightening, and the flapping of the banners and the tread of their feet sounded like rolling thunder. I did not think that the earth had ever witnessed anything like this before.
Then I was close enough to see their faces—male and female, old and young from every race. There was a fierce resolution on their faces, yet they did not seem tense. War was in the air, but in the ranks I could sense such a profound peace that I knew that not a single one feared the battle to which they were marching. The spiritual atmosphere that I felt when close to them was as awesome as their appearance.
I looked at their uniforms. The colors were brilliant. Every soldier also wore rank insignias and medals. The generals and other higher ranking officers marched in the ranks with the others. Although it was obvious that those with higher rank were in charge, no one seemed overly sensitive to their rank. From the highest ranking officer to the lowest, they all seemed to be close friends. It was an army of what seemed to be unprecedented discipline, yet it also seemed to be just one big family.
As I studied them, they seemed selfless—not because they lacked identity, but because they were all so sure of who they were and what they were doing. They were not consumed with themselves or seeking recognition. I could not detect ambition or pride anywhere in the ranks. It was stunning to see so many who were so unique, yet in such harmony and marching in perfect step. I was sure that there had never been an army on earth like this.
Then I was behind the front divisions looking at a much larger group that was composed of hundreds of divisions. Each of these was a different size, with the smallest numbering about two thousand and the largest in the hundreds of thousands. Although this group was not as sharp and colorful as the first one, this also was an awesome army simply because of its size. This group also had banners, but they were not nearly as large and impressive as those of the first group’s. They all had uniforms and ranks, but I was surprised that many of these did not even have on a full set of armor, and many did not have weapons. The armor and weapons that they did have were not nearly as polished and bright as those of the first group.
As I looked more closely at those in these ranks, I could see that they were all determined and had purpose, but they did not have nearly the focus of the first group. These seemed much more aware of their own rank and the rank of those around them. I felt that this was a distraction hindering their focus. I could also sense ambition and jealousy in the ranks, which unquestionably was a further distraction. Even so, I felt that this second division still had a higher level of devotion and purpose than any army on earth. This, too, was a very powerful force. Behind this second army, there was a third one which marched so far behind the first two armies that I was not sure they could even see the groups ahead of them. This group was many times larger than the first and second armies combined, seemingly composed of millions and millions. As I watched from a distance, this army would move in different directions like a great flock of birds, sweeping first one way and then the next, never moving in a straight direction for very long. Because of this erratic movement, it was drifting farther and farther from the first two groups.
As I came closer, I saw that these soldiers had on tattered, dull gray uniforms which were neither pressed nor clean. Almost everyone was bloody and wounded. a few were attempting to march, but most just walked in the general direction in which the others were headed. Fights were constantly breaking out in the ranks causing many of the wounds. Some of the soldiers were trying to stay close to the frayed banners scattered throughout their ranks. Even so, not even those near the banners had a clear identity because they were constantly drifting from one banner to another.
In this third army, I was surprised that there were only two ranks—generals and privates. Only a few had a piece of armor on, and I did not see any weapons except dummy weapons which were carried by the generals. The generals flaunted these dummy weapons as if having them made the officers special, but even those in the ranks could tell that the weapons were not real. This was sad because it was obvious that those in the ranks desperately wanted to find someone who was real whom they could follow.
There did not seem to be any ambition except among the generals. This was not because of selflessness as in the first army, but because there was so little caring. I thought that at least the ambition present in the second group would be much better than the confusion that prevailed in this group. The generals here seemed to be more intent on talking about themselves and fighting with one another, which the little groups around the banners were constantly doing. I could then see that the battles within the ranks were the cause of the great sweeping, erratic changes of directions that this group would make from time to time.
As I looked at the millions in the last group, I felt that even with their great numbers, they did not actually add strength to the army, but rather weakened it. In a real battle, they would be much more of a liability than an asset. Just sustaining them with food and protection would cost more in resources than any value they could add to the army’s ability to fight. I thought that a private in the first or second group would be worth more than many generals from the third. I could not understand why the first groups even allowed this group to tag along behind them. They obviously were not true soldiers.
The Wisdom of Zipporah
I was suddenly on a mountain where I could see the entire army. As I watched, I noticed that the plain was dry and dusty before the army, but immediately after the first twelve divisions passed, the earth was dark green, with trees giving shade and bearing fruit and pure streams flowing throughout the land. This army was restoring the earth. I thought of how different this was from what would happen when one of the world’s armies would pass through a land. They would plunder and forage until the land was utterly stripped wherever they had marched.
I watched as the second divisions passed over the same ground. They left bridges and many buildings, but the ground was not left in as good of shape as before they had passed. The grass was not as green, the streams were somewhat muddied, and much of the fruit had been taken.
Then I saw what happened as the third group passed over the same ground. The grass was either gone or so trampled into the earth that it could not be seen. The few trees that remained were stripped. The streams were polluted. The bridges were broken down and impassable. The buildings were left in shambles. It seemed that this group had undone all of the good that the first two had done. As I watched them, anger welled up inside of me.
I felt Wisdom standing beside me. He did not say anything for a long time, but I could sense that He also was angry.
“Selfishness destroys,” He finally said. “I came to give life and to give it abundantly. Even when My army has matured, there will be many who call on My name and follow those who follow Me, but they do not know Me or walk in My ways. These destroy the fruit of those who follow Me. Because of this, the world does not know whether to consider My people a blessing or a curse.”
As Wisdom said this, I felt immense heat coming from Him, intensifying until it was so painful that it was hard for me to concentrate on what He was saying. Even so, I knew that I was feeling what He was feeling and that it was an important part of the message which He was conveying to me. The pain was a combination of compassion for the earth and anger at the selfishness in this army. Both feelings were so strong that I felt as though they were being branded into me.
As the anger of the Lord continued to rise, I felt that He might destroy the entire army. Then I remembered how the Lord had met Moses when he was on his way to Egypt in obedience to the Lord. The Lord sought to put him to death until his wife, Zipporah, circumcised their son. I had never understood this until now. Because circumcision speaks of the removal of the fleshly, or carnal nature, the incident with Moses was like a prophetic foreshadowing of the sin of Eli, the priest, who had brought a curse upon himself and defeat to Israel because he had failed to discipline his sons.
“Lord, raise up those with the wisdom of Zipporah!” I cried out.
The burning continued and a deep determination came over me to go to the leaders of this great army and tell them the story of Zipporah and that everyone in the Lord’s army had to be circumcised in their hearts. The carnal nature had to be cut away. I knew that if they marched any farther before this was done, the entire army was in danger of being destroyed by the Lord Himself, just as He had almost killed Moses when he was returning to Egypt.
Then I was standing in the Hall of Judgment before the Judgment Seat. The Lord still appeared as Wisdom, but I had never seen Him more fierce, nor His words come with more weight.
“You have already seen this army in your heart many times. The leaders I am commissioning now will lead this army. I am sending you to many of these leaders. What will you say to them?”
“Lord, this is a great army, but I am still grieved about the condition of the third group. I do not understand why they are even allowed to pretend to be a part of Your army. I would like to say that before they went any farther, the first and second armies should turn and drive away this third group. They were really very little more than a huge mob.”
“What you saw today is still in the future. The ministries lam about to release will gather this army and equip them to be all that you saw. At this time, almost My entire army is in the condition of the third group. How can I let them be driven away?”
I was stunned by this, although I knew that I had never seen any of the Lord’s people who were in as good shape as even the second group of this army.
“Lord, I know I felt Your anger at this group. If almost Your entire army is now in that condition, I am just thankful that You have not destroyed all of us. When I was looking at this third group, I felt that their deplorable condition was due to a lack of training, equipping and vision, as well as a failure to embrace the cross that circumcises the heart. I believe I must go to them with the message about Zipporah, but they also need drill sergeants and officers who will train them.”
Wisdom continued, “Remember the first army that you saw before the mountain. They, too, were unprepared for the battle, and when the battle began, those who were not prepared fled. However, many returned with their armor on and their delusions replaced with truth. The first two groups in this army were also changed by battles that woke them up to their true condition. Then they cried out to Me and I sent them shepherds after My own heart. “All of My shepherds are like King David. They are not hirelings who seek their own place or position, but they will lay down their lives for My people. They are also fearless in warfare against My enemies and pure in their worship of Me. I am about to send these shepherds forth. You must return with the message of Zipporah. The time is coming soon when I will not abide those who seek to be counted with My people who do not circumcise their hearts. You must warn them of My wrath.
“I am also sending you back to walk with the prophets I am sending forth as Samuels to pour oil upon My true shepherds. Many of these are now considered the least of their brethren, but you will find them serving as faithful shepherds of their little flocks, faithful laborers in whatever I have given them to do. These are My faithful ones who are called to be kings. These I will trust with My authority. They will prepare My people for the great battle at the end.”
I then wondered in my heart, If we are now in the condition of the third group, what was to be done with the generals who did not seem to be real generals at all?
“You are right, they are not real generals,” the Lord answered. “I did not appoint them, but they appointed themselves. Even so, some of them will be changed and I will make them generals. Others will become useful officers. However, most will flee at the first sight of battle, and you will not see them again.
“Remember this: At one time everyone in the first two groups was a part of the last one. When you go with the message of Zipporah declaring that I will no longer tolerate the carnality of My people, those whom I have truly called and are devoted to obeying Me will not run from My circumcision but will stand against the carnality in the camp so that I will not have to bring judgment upon them. My shepherds are responsible for the condition of My sheep. My generals are responsible for the condition of My soldiers. Those whom I have called will take this responsibility because they love Me, they love My people, and they love righteousness.”
Captain of the Host
Then I was no longer before the Judgment Seat, but on the mountain overlooking the army again. Wisdom was standing beside me. He was resolute, but I no longer felt the pain and anger that I did before.
“I have allowed you see a little into the future,” Wisdom began. “I am sending you to those who are called to prepare My army and lead it. These are the ones who have been fighting the battle on the mountain. These are the ones who have met the army of the accuser and remained faithful. These are the ones who have watched over My people and protected them at the risk of their own lives. They are called to be leaders in My army who will fight in the great battle at the end and will stand without fear against all of the powers of darkness.
“As you can see, this army is marching, but there will be times when it camps. The camping is as important as the marching. It is the time for planning, training and sharpening skills and weapons. It is also time for those in the first group to walk among the second and for the leaders of the second group to walk among the third group, finding those who can be called to the next level. Do this while you can, for the time is near when Revelation 11:1-2 will be fulfilled, and those who want to be called by My name but do not walk in My ways will be trodden underfoot. Before the last great battle, My army will be holy, even as I AM holy. I will remove those who are not circumcised of heart and the leaders who do not uphold My righteousness. When the last battle is fought, there will be no third group as you see here.
“Until now when My army has camped, most of the time has been wasted. Just as I only lead My people forward with a clear objective, so it is that when I call My army to camp, there is a purpose. The strength of the army that marches will be determined by the quality of its camp. When it is time to stop and camp for a season, it is to teach My people My ways. An army is an army whether it is in battle or at peace. You must learn how to camp, how to march, and how to fight. You will not do any one of these well unless you do them all well.
“My army must be ready to do each of these in season and out of season. You may think that it is time to march, but I will direct you to camp because I see things that you can never see, even from this place of vision. If you follow me, you will always be doing the right thing at the right time, even though it may not seem right to you. Remember, I am the Captain of the Host.
“An army’s resolve will be determined by the nobility of their mission, how well they are prepared for their mission, and how well they are led. This army will march with the most noble mission that has ever been given to man. However, few of My people are being equipped for their mission, and those who are now leading My people follow their own desires. I will now raise up leaders who will train and equip My people. These will always follow Me because I am the Captain of the Host.
“Many armies experience both victories and defeats. My army has been marching for many centuries. It, too, has had many victories and many defeats. My army has lost many battles because it attacked the enemy when I did not give the command. Others were defeated because they attacked the enemy with untrained people. Most of these leaders have done this because they were seeking their own glory. As Paul wrote of those in his own time, ‘They all seek after their own interests.’
“Other leaders have had My interests at heart and sincerely sought a victory over evil for My name’s sake, but they did not train their people well; they did not walk with Me as their Wisdom. That will now change. I will be the Captain of the Host. Do not be discouraged by the way My people now appear, but remember what they will become. I will now raise up leaders who will only march when I give the orders. When My army follows Me, it will win every battle. When they camp, they will know My presence, and they will grow strong in My ways.
“You will come to a time in the future when you see My army exactly as it is now. At that time, you will feel My burning anger. Know that I will no longer abide those who remain in the condition of the third group. Then I will stop the march of the entire army until those in this group have been disciplined to become soldiers or dispersed. I will discipline those in the second group to cast off their evil ambitions and live for Me and My Truth. Then My army will march forth, not to destroy, but to give life. I will be in the midst of them to tread My enemies under this army’s feet. lam coming to be the Captain of the Host!”
From "The Call" by Rick Joyner