This post is a written account of a vision Dave Williams had back in 1985 that profoundly affected him and his ministry at Mount Hope Church.
It was Friday night, May 10, 1985, when unexpectedly a vision came to me. It was unlike anything that had ever happened to me. It was a clear three-fold vision.
I wasn’t anticipating it to happen. I wasn’t praying for it. I wasn’t fasting. And though I wasn’t seeking a vision, I was seeking direction.
I have two concerns sharing this vision:
- You would think I was some spiritual lunatic. I have met quite some unstable people who claim to have “visions” every day, and I didn’t want to be perceived in that sort of light.
- I might prompt people to seek after visions instead of seeking Jesus. People might eat pickles before they go to bed and have dreams, then go around and tell people that they had had a vision. I don’t want to promote that type of behavior.
Every experience that is given, whether a dream, vision, or utterance of some sort, must be tested by the Word of God, and if it is not in perfect harmony with the Word of God, the experience must be rejected and deemed invalid.
Now let me give you some spiritual background concerning visions. I never realized the important role that visions played in the New Testament Church until this happened to me. In Acts 2, Peter quoted the prophet, Joel:
Acts 2:17 (KJV)
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions and your old men shall dream dreams.
I believe it is later than we think. I believe the last days are now upon us. In Acts 1, I found that Stephen, the deacon had a vision.
Acts 7:55 (KJV)
But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.
Stephen saw something in the Spirit.
In Acts 9 Ananias had a vision. In Acts 11 Peter recounted his vision. And, in Acts 16 Paul tells about his vision. Visions play an important role in the New Testament church.
My Astonishing Vision
I was laying on the bed. It was 10:30 p.m. Suddenly, I was caught into another world it seemed. Though I heard nothing verbally, I understood everything clearly through some form of non-verbal commination. I knew everything that was taking place. I could identify things even though nothing was being said to me in my ear.
In a flash, I was caught up off of the bed, and I realized I was in Lansing, Michigan. I saw an evil, hideous, horrible-looking creature hovering over Lansing. It frightened me for a moment. I was startled. It was breathtaking to see this ghastly creature hovering over my city. I noticed that this evil personality (which I somehow recognized as a principality (Ephesians 6:12) holding an enormous fine mesh net, guarding it jealously. It was a bulging, monstrous net that he was holding over Lansing.
I gazed into that net and saw thousands of people squirming around. Some looked like they were trying to get out. They were in the bondage of this evil principality. All the unsaved were there. Some people were not trying to get out of the net. They thought they were out of the net, but unwittingly were in deep bondage.
I lowered my eyes, and I saw our church with an invisible roof. I looked right down into the sanctuary, and it was Sunday morning. We were standing with our hands straight up in spiritual warfare. We had looks of concern on our faces as we made commands to that principality! “Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and by the authority of the Holy Spirit in the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ,” we were commanding him to loose those people!
But he was holding on to this net jealously. He was not going to let those people go. They were his. He was guarding them jealously. Again we said, “In the Name of Jesus Christ and through His shed blood, by the power of the Holy Spirit and the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, loose those people!” And he would shake his freakish head, “NO, NO.” People were squirming around in the net.
I knew he desired to drop the net into the fires of Hell. These people were squirming around in the net, and suddenly I began to realize how important souls are. I had a revelation of how important people are.
We commanded again, “In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, whom we serve, through His shed blood, the principality of darkness over Lansing, loose those people!” The creature wasn’t communicating in words, but I knew he was saying, “I don’t want to.” But swiftly something began to happen to the net. The more we commanded and the more we did warfare against that principality, the net began to break apart. (Now as I think back, it was probably invisible angels cutting the net.)
“In the Name of Jesus, principality of darkness in Lansing, Michigan, loose those people!” We were all using the authority the Holy Spirit has given to the Church of Jesus Christ. And though he tried to fight it, he couldn’t stop his net from crumbling, and people began falling out, one by one. Then by the tens, and then by the hundreds they began falling out of that net. I looked down and saw that they were falling right through the roof of the church.
As I looked down these people were puzzled. They were wandering around like, “What happened?” They were confused. They never knew so much liberty in all their lives. They had been in bondage not realizing it, and now they were loosed and walking around. Many of them were hurt. They needed people like you and me to go and help them and to get them plugged into the church and to love and accept them the way they are.
We face a challenge!
Be a missionary right where you sit. If you see somebody you don’t know, make them feel welcome. Don’t go overboard and hug then if you think it’s going to scare then half out of their wits, but be friendly to them, and give them the help they need.
Now I thought that was the end of the vision, so I rolled over and turned on the light, and I looked at my watch to check the time. It said 10:32 p.m. So I wrote it down and drew a little picture of the vision. I laid back down and was praying in the Spirit when abruptly another vision came. It was like changing the scenes in a play. Read My Astonishing Vision: Part 2 here.
It was 1998 in your church at the alter during district council. The Lord gave me a vision of a twig growing into a mighty tree, as it was growing God told me that I was that twig, that I’m in process growth for what he wanted me to do. I looked and saw the tree planted in a city block with only grass around it and far off was a city landscape. Then hundreds of people came from every direction and came and sat under the tree in concentric circles, legs crossed and facing the tree trunk. God told me that they were being refreshed and ministered to by me. It was so powerful I wept and wept, so embarrassed that I rolled under the front pew and wept and prayed for several hours. We I got up, everyone was gone and the lights were out. But I didn’t know what the vision meant. When I moved to GR in2001, God said this was part of the plan but not all of it. In 2004 I was asked to be national XA’s support raising coach and trainer. It seemed to make sense, but I didn’t hear a confirmation from the Lord. I gave God an ultimatum and the last Wednesday of that month if I didn’t hear from the Lord I was turning the position down. At the end of the service the pastor went on stage and shared a prophetic word, that was identical to a word a traveling evangelist gave me 6 months earlier. As soon as I heard that word, God brought the vision from your church 6 years earlier and told me, this national position is the fulfillment of that vision. Since then I’ve discipled/coached and trained over 100 missionaries from 32 states to full funding and are now placed in career missions in XA. There is actually so much more regarding the impact I’ve seen, and this year it’s going to another level. Check out my new website: gluttingXA.com to see more. All to say, thanks for being obedient to the Lord for you ministry in Lansing!
This is a concrete example of how the forces of darkness show their ability to attack us mankind and try to put people in bondage. We need to constantly remind ourselves that heavenly angels ascending and descending from heaven to earth continue to do the task assigned to them and they are faithful to accomplish the word sent by God, sometimes, as triggered by our scriptural prayers, as we use our faith to ward off negative spirits. I wonder to myself if those people inside the net can still speak or pray spiritual weapons to save themselves, in case some of them, have been once a born-again person before they got into bondage.
Oh by the way, as I was enjoying reading your experience in this vision, I was curious how you got to roll over in bed from a vantage point of being caught up off the bed. How did you translate from being caught up off the bed to laying again on your bed. As I read it, you were still looking down on the church with an invisible roof, and the people were falling out one by one.
God bless you richly with dreams and visions!
Pastor Dave, you retold this vision to us on your weeklong retreat to the UK in June of 1995. It was a Wednesday night – the 4th night of 7 where you poured into us the testimony of how God had used you over and over as you were faithful to follow His instructions to you – especially in the face of opposition.
It was following this testimony of this vision you had that rivited our 10 year old son’s attention. (While raising him, my wife and I had decided that we’d clearly let him know our desire that he follow Christ, but we knew that it had to be his own choice, and if he felt “pushed” he may rebel, instead.) So, we were incredibly delighted when, following your testimony that night, our son got up (not indicating his intention to us in advance) and indicated his decision to receive and follow Christ that night! In this, God gave us – through your obedience – our greatest heart’s desire! He, to this day – in spite of the Devil’s attempts to derail him – still follows Christ and now goes to Mount Hope Church with his three sons. Thank you, Pastor Dave and MaryJo, for your faithful service, sincere love, and earnest prayers (and please join us in praying for his three young sons to also follow Christ, as well).