HOW DO WE STAND?
by Renee Frantz
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HOW DO WE STAND?
By Dax W. and Renee Frantz
I was roused from a dream today; groggy as I was, I could feel a slight nudging at my side. I awoke to the most awesome sight I had ever seen. Standing before me in glory and splendor was an angel. He stated, “Good servant, I have been sent to rouse you from your dream. Now is the time for you to take up arms.”
At first, I was confused. I said to the angel, “I do not even remember going to sleep, and now I’m standing here conversing with you.”
He stated, “Your dream was called Apathy. You have been in it most of your life. You’ve had a relationship with your Lord, the King of Kings, since childhood. But you have been struck with Distraction and forgotten your true calling. I am here to remind you of your calling and to speak on behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Upon saying this, he instructed me to turn around and look at the fate that was to come to our nation and ultimately the nations of the world.
What I saw was a battlefield of carnage, many wounded souls and immediately around me what I thought were the dead although I noticed they were only sleeping. I stated, “Who are these people?”
The angel replied, “Can’t your recognize your brethren? They are still in the dream called Apathy.”
I immediately started to say, “Awake, awake, dear brethren! The Lord has something for us to do.” Some started to come around, many set up, and still others slept.
The angel said to me, “Fear not, as I am here to guide you, other angels are here to minister to those who are not within hearing distance. For the true church must grasp what I am about to show you.”
Upon his statement, I heard a loud roar. The noise of which seemed to come from everywhere. Startled, I said, “What on earth did I just hear?”
The angel replied, “That is the battle cry of the beast.” At that moment, everything went dead silent, the earth shook, and the ground split before us. Out of it came the beast large as a mountain wielding a two-bladed axe. The head of the axe was massive. It covered a quarter of the sky above us. In his other hand, he bore a mighty great shield of bronze. Upon this shield were many spikes twisted and jagged. I could tell by the sight of it alone that it was as much as a weapon as a defense. His horns went up into the sky and around him swirled great blackness of clouds. Had it not been for the angel at my side and the knowledge of my Savior, I would have fled in my next heartbeat. But instead, I looked on in curiosity knowing that I was here to see this for a purpose.
The angel stated, “You have spiritual eyes to see. Look upon the beast and tell me what is written upon his chest, for this is his name.” Upon his chest was written LEGACY OF A FALLEN NATURE. “As awesome as the sight of this beast is,” the angel replied, “he is a high captain of Lucifer’s army, not Lucifer, himself. From the fall of Adam, this captain has gotten stronger with every soul that has been deceived. Satan has given him the task of holding the multitudes of the world in bondage. His weapons are quite suited for gaining and keeping souls. Look upon them now and see their nature.”
I looked upon the great axe in his right hand. It had two large crescent blades; they gleamed in the day’s light. One blade was named Distraction; the other blade was named The Folly of Vanity. In his left hand was the bronze shield with countless spikes. Each spike had one of two different names: Politics and Compromise. This whole time I had been looking at his upper half. As I panned down his massive frame, I saw what was most interesting about this beast, a huge iron belt with rings enough to hold a chain for every soul in the world. Attached to a great many of these rings were heavy chains going down around his feet, I could see multitudes of deceived souls. They came from every walk of life, every culture, every creed, and every social class. All humanity was represented. They went on as far as my eye I could see. I noticed they were all badly scared and marred by cuts.
Knowing my thoughts, the angel stated, “The wounds you see are caused by their master’s axe. However, other weapons are employed against them also. Notice the weapons they carry.” Upon the angel’s request, I looked closer. In each person’s hand was a sword. All of the swords were of the same type, their design were quite unique. They were extremely sharp, double-edged without handles. Merely gripping them caused a great deal of damage to the wielder. The name on each sword was Ignorance and Rebellion. The angel stated, “This is what their master gives them to fight with, and it will ultimately destroy them also.” I was taking in all the pity I felt for the wretched souls standing around this beast.
I asked the angel, “Why would they accept to arm themselves with such a gruesome weapon he’s given them?”
The angel said, “They do not see the true nature of the weapon that they wield nor do they see the true nature of the beast they are bound to. Look upon him now with their eyes and tell me what name they know him by.” I looked again upon the beast’s chest and written over his true name was the deception, and its name was Freedom Without Consequence.
I heard a battle cry and over the horizon from the west charged a great company of warriors. They were finely arrayed; their ranks had order, and looked quite impressive as an army. A standard bearer at the front of the army held a beautiful large banner. The name of the banner was Good Government. They charged swiftly and deliberately toward the beast. Their charge was quite valiant to see. I was feeling confident about seeing some kind of opposition rallied against the beast. They came into melee range with the people bound to the beast. At this point, the beast went into a berserk rage. He commenced to spin about flailing his axe and shield violently in all directions. As he spun, he cursed, blasphemed, and railed against God and against every establishment that opposed his mission. He said many things too numerous to remember. As he gazed in hatred at the incoming army, he said, “Look my fellows, at a narrow-minded, intolerant group of individuals. Do not let them shackle you with their high-minded views and ideals! Aren’t we all created equal? Every man has a right to follow his own conscience. Do not let those who think themselves better than you ever get an upper hand. Are we not the mass? The power is in our hands. We master our own destiny! Who are they to question the morality of us? They are all hypocrites themselves.” I reeled from the stench of his words. My nostrils could bear it no longer, my stomach turned, and my spirit was strongly grieved.
As the Army of Good Government began to close ranks for combat, the beast was already striking the people attached to his chains and the very first combatants of the Army of Good Government. He struck friend and foe alike. “How bizarre,” I said offhandedly within witnessing this moment. “Why should he strike the souls within his own ranks as well as the Army of Good Government?”
The angel replied, “You must remember the weapons that he wields are effective tools to incite a fierce response not only within the opposing army but also within his servants. LEGACY OF A FALLEN NATURE doesn’t care about sides, casualties, the number of combatants, or even the outcome of this particular battle. He has been given the task of retaining souls—it doesn’t matter how battered these souls get. There is no love from him to them anyway, but he must hoard them all until their fate is sealed. This is the commandment from his master. In fact, you shall see some in the ranks of Good Government will fall only to be shackled to him. God has appointed each person within the Army of Good Government. Nothing in this world happens by chance—God is in control. Some in this noble army are saints as you are, and some are unredeemed men.”
As I watched the first few moments of this battle, I paid attention to the army that was arrayed against the beast. Their weapons were swords and spears. The swords were named Policy, and the spears were named True Intent of Our Forefathers. I could tell by their fighting style they knew much about order, and their battle plan had been well thought out. They knew what they wanted to achieve—they wanted to attack the beast directly but this was impossible for the throng of deceived souls encompassing him. As I watched, I saw the first clash between the powers. Good Government used Policy and True Intent of the Forefathers against the mass of people ahead of them. The deceived struck out with Ignorance and Rebellion. The army pierced through several souls, slashing with Policy and striking the heart of many with the True Intent of the Forefathers. Being fully deceived and further wounded, the mass fought back twice as hard. The few of the army of Good Government that could reach the beast struck at him with their swords and hurled spears. He easily deflected all attacks. The weapons of Good Government simply bounced off the shield of Politics and Compromise. I began to feel a great deal of pity for the deceived mass that were anchored hopelessly to the beast. It seemed the only real damage Good Government had done was to further damage the people God had appointed them to govern over.
The beast was doing his fair share of damage to every soul within striking distance. Many in the ranks of Good Government has been hit with the axe of Distraction and Folly of Vanity. They began to argue with the deceived. Sometimes even letting down their own guard. Others in the army were struck—whole rows of warriors were hit with the shield of Politics and Compromise—its jagged spikes were causing great damage to their armor. Some fell, and as they hit the ground, a chain from the beast would bind them. They would stand back up without even realizing what had just happened. They turned, arguing at their own ranks. Good Government was ravaged.
As I saw this, I realized Good Government was powerless against the beast. They were being damaged, but not nearly as bad as the huge mass of souls bound to the beast. Bewildered and confused, I turned to the angel, “If God appointed Good Government, why is this happening?”
He replied, “He indeed appoints men to Good Government; and in their calling, they do well. However, Good Government is natural, not supernatural. It must work within the confines of its nature. The battle you are witnessing is spiritual, and Good Government’s weapons are carnal. Good Government can only govern those who will to be governed by Good Government. If the whole of humanity becomes evil, then they will produce a government of rule that is evil. You see, good servant, the only way to change some of this is with Holy Government. Because it is written on the hearts and in the mind’s of redeemed saints. Good Government has purpose but it cannot fulfill the role of Holy Government in a fallen world.”
“How can we stand against such an army and against so evil a foe as this captain, his master, and a myriad of other demons that roam freely in the land and in the hearts of the people of this world?”
My countenance must have been grim. For the angel smiled and said, “Worry not for your God has equipped you, but having been stricken before by the blade of Distraction, you slipped into the dream called Apathy and have forgotten what your calling is.” At that moment, the angel gestured to the ground at my feet. There laid a sword, a shield, a garment, and a bible. The bible was quite dusty, but I recognized it. It was mine—the one that set on my bookshelf. A while had passed since I had opened the book. I was quite busy living my life paying bills and any spare time I did have was usually spent in the pursuit of relaxation. I knew in my heart I loved the Lord, but also knew that I was giving Him part of my life not all of it. At the realization of my ingratitude towards my salvation, I was overwhelmed with shame.
The angel sensing my emotion said, “Good and faithful servant, replace shame with conviction. Your body is not glorified—you were brought into salvation from sin and until the day that the Lord’s glory is fully realized in you, you shall battle it. Lord God Almighty is a righteous and wrathful God; however, He is perfectly balanced in His mercy. If you will but turn to Him, no matter how backslidden, He will accomplish all He set out in your life. You will be blessed and will bless others for the sake of Jesus Christ, your King and mine also.” Upon hearing his words, indeed my shame was replaced with great wonder and admiration for God, His Son my Savior, and the Holy Ghost, which I knew was in me to do His will.
I humbly asked the angel, “Please show me what I am to do with these things at my feet, explain their purpose, and my mission.”
The angel said, “Pick up the Word of your God and dust it off for it is His breath within its pages and it is alive.”
As I picked up the Word and began to dust this leather-bound book of glory off, something wonderful happened. With every swipe I made to clean it, my hunger for it grew. Something appeared from the binding of this book—a pure gold braided cord so bright that it took a second for my eyes to adjust to its radiance. As I looked at the braiding more closely, the braiding made a loop from the top of the binding to the bottom much like a satchel strap. Woven into the cord of the binding were the words Knowledge of God’s Word. The angel stated, “By study of God’s anointed book, this cord will remain so that you can hang the Word about your neck and it shall rest over your heart. This book is your history because you are a son of God. It is His battle plan and His assurance to you of what He has accomplished in souls just like yours. The men within its binding were not great in themselves in fact many were weak. Their bond and yours was their faith and love toward a faithful and righteous God. He accomplished many things through these earthly vessels in spite of them not because of them. For when you are weak, He is strong.” My head seemed to swim with scripture. Some long forgotten, some that I knew had been read in my not so distant past. With eagerness I placed the cord about my neck and felt the worth of the Word on my heart.
The next item I looked at was the sword. It was a truly grand sword—wonderful in design of the finest craftsmanship and the purest of materials. It looked quite sharp and was encrusted with many precious stones. Upon the blade were the words Fervent Righteous Prayer. I knelt down and picked it up. It was rather heavy, much heavier than I would have first imagined. I was able to pick it up but it took a great deal of my strength. The angel saw me struggling with it and said, “This weapon can be somewhat burdensome for it requires discipline and purpose for which humans in their own strength cannot wield alone.”
I said to the angel, “Then how am I to use it effectively?”
Gesturing to the shield laying at my feet, he said, “This shield must be used with the sword. For picking up the shield alone or the sword alone would make you unbalanced.”
I looked down at the shield. It was rugged looking not near as pretty as the sword. It was made of wood and had nail marks and blood stains on it. Written around the circumference of the shield were the words Obedience to the Conviction of Jesus Christ. My heart melted at the contemplation of exactly what this shield symbolized. I picked it up with holy reverence.
Immediately the sword became lighter; it was still awkward, but I could manage it. The angel stated, “With practice and a tight grip of this shield, you will grow proficient at wielding this sword. If you loosen the grip upon the Obedience to the Conviction of Jesus Christ, you will not have the supernatural strength to wield this sword effectively, and you will not have the protection of the shield. The sword also is quite capable of cleaving great rifts in the beast and of cutting the iron bonds that he has around souls. It was made for this purpose.”
The last item on the ground was the garment. The garment was very beautiful to see—it was all the colors of the rainbow; however, the colors flowed from one color to another intermingling and casting a beautiful glow. The angel picked it up and placed it around my waist. Upon doing so I could feel its warmth and he said, “The name of this sash is Compassion. It is given to you as a defense but is primarily a blessing to deceived men. For you see, compassion can disarm any opponent as long as you keep it on, and the angels of the Lord shall minister to you and to those whom are disarmed by compassion. Lucifer and his minion hate this garment and will try to deceive you to take it off. Keep the Word on your heart, the shield in front of you, and grow proficient at cleaving them with your sword.”
The angel pointed to the tip of his sword toward the beast and said, “Fear not, and charge in wearing the weapons of your warfare. The Holy Spirit will guide you. The love and compassion Jesus has shown upon His crucifixion will be the strength that you shall have in battle. He has given angels like me charge over you and those souls which He shall convict using you, good servant.”
I readied myself for battle, made sure all the items given to me were prepared, and said a prayer of thanksgiving. My heart felt like a song. Many other saints who had been roused from sleep had their weapons at the ready also. As I was about to charge, the angel said, “This is how you win the hearts of men into Holy Government.”
I started running with other saints beside me. The angel had disappeared but I could still feel his presence beside me, and I also realized the other saints had just been through the same lesson I had. A myriad of angelic beings were present—unseen yet present. I closed ranks with the first of the deceived. Many looked as if they were going to attack. I paid them no mind. As I was drawing close to them, the light of compassion shown out brightly. Many stood as I harmlessly slipped past as if they were in awe of the light around me. Those who were thoroughly hardened stuck at me with Ignorance and Rebellion. The sash blinded some, the shield caught the majority of the blows, which explained its haggardness when I first saw it, and those whom the beast had directed with personal intent towards me—even if they slipped past the shield and tried to strike me—their blade could not pierce my heart for the Word covered it. All of my weapons relied one upon the other. I could see the sins of some and could only guess at the sins of others, but my concern wasn’t their sin—it was getting close enough so Righteous Fervent Prayer could sever their chains. I began to realize this is what hurt the beast most. His weapons were no more effective than Ignorance and Rebellion. However I knew it was not my goodness, but my equipment from God that kept me safe. I began to cleave at the chains of many of the people around me. The chains were my enemy—when they were severed—spiritual blindness was lifted for the unsaved and they would drop the gruesome sword of Ignorance and Rebellion, and Righteous Fervent Prayer was the perfect weapon for this task. As I cut a soul free, the sword became lighter. With joy I went to the next soul. I realized that in an earthly situation these weapons were to meet their needs either financially, emotionally, or spiritually for those that God willed to save. The souls who were severed free jumped for joy and immediately ran for the back lines of the battle. They ran through Good Government. I could visibly see angels ministering to them and pushing back the forces and principalities that were trying to drag the souls back to the beast. I also saw angels ministering to those in Good Government which brought about some of these appointed men rallying their units to defend the newly released in Jesus.
The angels voice sounded in my head, “You see, these souls are now released to Holy Government and they will submit to Good Government. Keep up the good fight, remember the weapons of your warfare, trust in Jesus Christ your savior, and when all has been done—STAND!”
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