Coming Up From The Religious Wilderness

I am afraid that, just as the snake beguiled Eve with his treachery, so might your minds be corrupted and turned away from the simplicity to be found in matters pertaining to the Anointed One. Now if the snake comes and proclaims a Jesus other than the One we proclaimed, or if you take hold of a spirit other than the One you took hold of, or a different Good News from the one you welcomed – well you manage to do that easily enough! 2 Cor. 11:3-6

From “The Source” Translation of the New Testament, Dr. A. Nyland


I received the following vision and accompanying word on 7 December, 2005. I understood from the beginning that this message was not for my own personal consumption alone, but was to be released to the Bride of Christ for her edification, comfort and direction. However, wisdom requires that such weighty words as this should not merely be set out on the table with the milk and the bread, but first digested and allowed to permeate to the very depths by the one delivering it to the table for others to partake.

The vision is in two very distinct parts, followed by a short but firm Word from the Lord Jesus to His Bride. Unless you have begun to take some meat with your bread you will not be able to take this vision in. There are those who will spit it out as grossly distasteful and offensive. Such do not concern me – my calling and ministry is to the beloved Bridal remnant who are daily laying down their lives that they may gain Christ at any cost. You know who you are. This word is for you and my prayer is that the Spirit will bring it to you by whatever means He chooses, wherever you are on the earth, as He is well able to do.

I am not able to speak much into this vision by means of interpretation. Though I personally would like to present many pages of interpretation and explanation, I would be dishonouring the Holy Spirit who is the Revelator. Further, I would merely bore and distract you away from the message I’ve been entrusted to bring. The Lord told me to “keep it simple”, which means I can leave you with the few following signposts and nothing further.

1) The “isms” in the first part of this vision represent religious strongholds of the mind (flesh) prevalent in the Christian church, and are not personally about your local church, your pastor, or any group you have ever been part of. Please avoid the temptation to personalise these scenes or identify any individual or group with them. Let us mature beyond our personal histories into a corporate people expressing an emerging Kingdom that is not of this world.

2)If you find yourself personally offended because you identify closely with one of the camps named in this vision, please be brave enough to do some soul searching and ask yourself what is the name of the banner you are waving. There is only One Name and Identity under which the true followers of the Lamb are to gather – Jehovah Nissi, the Lord is our Banner.

3) Dogs in scripture are symbolic of uncleaness. In this vision they represent unclean, demonic, religious spirits. The religious spirit is anti-christ. Not anti-Jesus, but anti-CHRIST, THE ANOINTING. We need to grow in wisdom and discernment of how deep is the hatred of this spirit for The Anointed One and those He anoints, and how tirelessly it works both in the world and in the church to suppress The Anointing.

4) Most importantly, The Holy Spirit spoke clearly to me that the different camps represented in the first part of this vision are presenting another gospel, another Jesus, and another spirit. Among the religious mindsets represented in this vision, even those who began with a specific gospel truth have perverted it into another gospel. The gospel delivered by the twelve apostles of the Lamb was and has remained “CHRIST IN US”. The purpose of the religious spirit who infiltrates movements and denominations is to draw us away from the simplicity and power of that gospel to one of many diverse strongholds of the mind that are actually “ANTI-CHRIST IN US.” This is not a pleasant or light thing to consider – nevertheless it is a truth that must be confronted by all those who name the Name of Christ. Anything done in His Name that does not issue forth from Christ In Us, which is the Anointing that Abides (1 John 2:27), is done in the strength of antichrist-in-us, the religion of the flesh. When the religious spirit takes on corporate identity by controlling whole denominations, movements and organisations, it is a powerful and dangerous entity that will threaten the very lives of the emerging Bridal company. One way in which the religious spirit works in the corporate institutional church to destroy the Bride is through undermining the mental health of believers, even to the point of emotional breakdown. Another means this spirit uses is deception through counterfeit anointings that issue forth from soul-power and not from the Spirit of God. It is vital we realise the workings of the religious spirit are so subtle and now so well camouflaged in Christian speech and practice that it can ONLY be discerned and exposed by the Anointing within us. For more understanding of this subject please prayerfully study and meditate on 1 John chapter 2.

Finally, let us all be greatly encouraged in the knowledge that He who has begun a good work in us is well able to complete it. Let us continue to yield totally to Him in that process. The Lord truly is faithful, able to both keep and establish all those who are His (1 Thess. 3:3).

Now to Him who is able to keep us from stumbling, and to present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Saviour, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen



7 December, 2005

In prayer I heard the Lord say “many have set up camps in the wilderness.” Then a vision:


I saw a desert wilderness full of people wandering between different camps. Each camp had a very large tent in the centre. The Spirit took me to five different camps with tents, none of which had any signage. At each one He spoke to me the name of the camp.

First Camp: Pentacostalism. In this first camp, a small man stood on a soapbox with a large loudspeaker preaching at a group of people in an open sided tent. He was calling people outside to come in, crying out that everything they needed was in this camp. He said this camp had the revelation of the Holy Spirit and His gifts, programs for the poor, programs for the children, as well as the greatest worship and many other benefits.. Every so often he would turn and warn the people already inside not to venture out of the tent as their safety could be guaranteed only while they were inside, and they would be in grave danger anywhere else. They must stay within the confines of the tent to ensure both their salvation and their safety. And then I watched as the congregation who had been sitting on chairs listening rose up as one. All knelt down on the dirt floor bowing in worship before the man with the loudspeaker.

Second Camp: Denominationalism. I was then taken in the Spirit to a second camp where I saw another man standing in front of all who had gathered in his tent. He spat out accusations at all the other camps, especially the camp the Spirit had called Pentecostalism. He spoke with great conviction about the importance of his camp’s traditions and history, and how God Himself had preserved that history and tradition, frequently interspersing with accusations of ungodliness and excess against every other camp. He told all those gathered that only this camp had the full truth of God’s word. And as I looked away to those seated silently in the tent, to my horror I saw he was preaching to dead and rotting skeletons with pieces of flesh still hanging from their bones, but he either did not know or did not care. Then I saw mangy, mongrel dogs suddenly appear in the tent. The dogs walked freely, unhindered and unnoticed between this camp and the first camp, feeding off the rotting flesh and bones in the second camp and then returning to the first.

Third Camp: Ecumenism. I was taken to a third camp in which a distinguished silver haired man in long robes stood at the opening and warmly welcomed all who came. He smiled and patted each one paternally on the shoulders, telling them they could bring whatever they wished to bring in with them because all would become part of the whole, and together they would all know God. The people came in with all kinds of diseases and sickness and uncleaness, seeking refuge in this tent, and then I saw the dogs enter. They came and licked the weeping sores of some, and then went to others and likewise licked them, so spreading the diseases and uncleaness from one to another. All the people became covered in large festering sores and blisters, but remained unaware of their own state. They sat listlessly in the tent, staring ahead at nothing while the man remained at the door welcoming more and more inside.

Fourth Camp. Humanitarianism. In this fourth tent there was a large line of people queued behind a huge steaming pot. A man stood there with a very big ladle serving out hot soup to each one in the queue. He would then point them to a large selection of holy books on a table nearby, which included a Bible. He told them they could have any book they liked, as long as they kept eating the soup for it was very good for them. He cried out loudly that all would be well in this camp because together they would overcome evil by the strength of their love for one another. I watched then as another man entered the tent. The two men shook hands warmly congratulating one another on their efforts for the people. Then together the two men approached a tall ladder within the tent that reached up into the clouds. One man climbed on the first rung, and the second man then climbed over his shoulders to the next rung, and they kept going up the ladder cooperating in this way until they both reached a cloud, where they sat and rested. I was given to understand that they both believed they had reached heaven, which was their destination. I saw the name of the cloud, which was “deception”. Soon the two men began arguing over who would rule the cloud, and then started to physically fight, each trying to kill the other by pushing him from the cloud to the earth far below. And beneath in the camp, I watched again as the dogs entered the tent and defecated on the people.

Fifth Camp: Catholicism: I was taken to a fifth camp with a very large tent, in which a man sat on a golden throne on a raised platform. He played with a little white pet dog seated comfortably in his lap. Below his throne were other men who welcomed and moved around among the people wandering in from the desert. As each one entered the tent, with one hand these men welcomed them, while with the other hand they would bind that one with heavy chains. And so they kept moving among the people, laying more and more heavy chains on each, as the man on the golden throne sat and patted his pet dog. The dogs I had seen previously entered, and again I watched as they vomited and then licked up their own vomit. The dogs then moved among the people, licking them and their chains affectionately, while the man on the throne smiled benevolently and nodded his approval.



Deeply discouraged by these depressing scenes of hopelessness and filth, I cried out to the Lord for some reason to hope. “Lord, is there no hope for those who are seeking something better, who want to escape the oppression of the camps and the dogs?” I then understood I was being shown these scenes so I would indeed seek His answer.

Then I saw in the Spirit the beginnings of a narrow hidden trail located somewhere in this great desert wilderness, the entrance of which was camouflaged by overgrown bushes. It seemed ancient and well-worn, but I could see no-one else on the trail other than myself. I began to follow the trail which remained narrow but became slightly wider as I progressed. It was quite steep and rough, and as I traversed it I was met at various intervals by angelic beings who ministered life-giving water to me.

At first I could not see where the trail was heading due to its steep slant and the thick bushes and undergrowth surrounding it, but in time I began to see in the distance a very wide, elevated highway shining in the sun. As I approached the highway, I saw that many others had come along the trail before me and found the highway, and they had begun to move as a group along it in one forward motion. I understood through revelation of the Spirit that the highway was Christ, and I gladly joined the crowd.

The highway was quite wide and I noticed some people were dancing along, others would kneel to pray and give thanks, then walk a few steps, then kneel again. Many were walking along briskly, while some were falling prostrate to worship, but all of us without exception were moving forward as one. The people on the highway were of many diverse ages, races and cultures, and the atmosphere was one of very great joy, expectant faith and singleness of purpose. As I walked along in the crowd, I heard an excited little girl, walking hand in hand with her mother, ask “Mother, where is the highway taking us?” The mother replied with great joy and anticipation: “To our Father’s House!”

This mood of deep joy, unity and excited expectation continued to grow stronger as we all moved further along the highway in one direction towards our goal, some walking, some skipping, some dancing, some worshiping, some running. The scene was the total opposite of the previous ones I had witnessed in the desert. Here there was sheer joy, freedom and a sense of purpose with one single, corporate focus. I asked, “Lord, is this the manifestation of the Kingdom?” He simply replied: “The Kingdom is within you.”

Then a strange and unexpected thing began to occur. The highway along which were all moving in various ways began to move of itself beneath us. I looked down and saw that the highway was becoming liquid, and water was beginning to rise rapidly around our feet. Many of the people were taken unawares and did not know how to cope with this new development. Some began to panic and fell, as the water became deeper and they lost their footing. As the water rose, some people started swimming, but the water was becoming a rapidly flowing deep river, rising higher and flowing faster with every moment. The water was rising so fast that at first I too felt helpless and feared I might fall under and drown. As the river picked up momentum even those strong enough to swim got into difficulties as their strength could not match the strength of the water’s flow. I heard the Spirit whisper “Don’t try and keep up with it, and don’t fight it, but let the water carry you – it is the only way! ” I observed others who were obviously hearing the same, and as they relaxed their bodies and surrendered into the flow, doing nothing, they were moved forward in safety and at great speed. Others who could not seem to make this transition of surrendering to the wild river remained splashing, struggling to survive. Some went under the waters and I did not see them emerge again.

Deeply immersed in the Spirit, I waited to see what would happen next. I then came to understand, however, that the vision was ended and the Lord was waiting to speak into it. So I asked “What is the message Lord?”


Understand that it is now My desire to carry My people. There is a coming up from the wilderness, and an entry into the Kingdom at hand for those who have found the Highway of Holiness. But unless you enter into My Rest and abide there you will not find freedom from the old ways, the ways of the flesh. In the place I am taking My Bride, there is no room, no quarter, for the strength of man. All things are to be done in My strength and the power of My Spirit, or not at all. Let Me carry you on My shoulders, even the place of My own divine government, into the place of our dwelling together.

There is a custom on earth among newly married men and women that the groom will lift and carry his bride over the threshold of their home together. I desire to carry My Bride across the Threshold of My Father’s House.

Now comes the time of abiding in Me, when My Bride shall not depart from her Bridegroom’s Rest. Now is the consummation of our ongoing communion that remains. Now shall we go forth to the vineyard together. Now are My arms outstretched towards My Bride that she might enter My Rest and not depart again to her own place and her own work. She will come up from the wilderness only leaning on her Beloved, for no other path will be acceptable to Me or My Father.

Lay down your works by which you strive to please Me . Do you not yet understand no work of the flesh can ever please Me? But the works which are from the foundation, those which are already in Me and in which I now invite My Bride to partake, these works shall we do together.

It has been said by My grace you stand, and indeed it is My grace that has caused you to stand until now. Now, as you yield even further to Me, My grace will carry you, empower you and sustain you, as you surrender all your remaining strength to Me and allow Me to carry you wherever I will. Beloved, I alone will enable you, or you will not be enabled.

I have waited for this day. Come, enter into the fullness of My rest.

Relevant scriptures:

A highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for others. Whoever walks the road, although a fool, shall not go astray. Is. 35:8

There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. Ps. 46: 4

There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Heb. 4:9,10

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Eph. 2:4-10

Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. Rev. 22:14

Cheryl McGrath

February, 2006


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