James 2:13 New King James Version (NKJV) 13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.



Recently, on Facebook, I was defending a popular Christian minister. I’m not saying his name because this Chapter is NOT about him. Regardless, I ended up receiving quite the recoil from Christians who don’t care for him or his ministry. I wondered, where does all of this hostility come from? Once again I was reminded of the most incredible, and down right terrifying, experience I ever had. I lost 15 lbs in a week because of it… It was mid- day, Wednesday April 19th 1995 and I was driving my truck and praying for a couple of ministers I knew. I had carried an offense toward the two of them for the 10 years I had been a prodigal son. I had just said, “I want to stand in the gap for them” and began to pray when I clearly heard, “So, you want to stand in the gap?” Yes sir, I do….As I prayed the Holy Spirit came upon me. It was wonderful and easy to pray in love for these two ministers…But the anointing increased and, in fact, did not stop increasing. I had to pull off the road because I could no longer drive my truck…I parked in between two cleaners with a road narrows sign in front of me. These sort of things mean things to me personally…It’s been 22 years since this happened but here goes my description of the occurrence. As I said, the Holy Spirit was touching me so heavily I had to stop driving…As I parked, even though it was a clear sunny day, it suddenly got 10 times brighter around me and I was afraid to look up…He then began to speak to me and I listened with my head down in absolute terror…When He finished speaking I suddenly found myself inside a church sanctuary. There was a man I recognize from TV standing behind the pulpit preaching. As I watched him preach something in my peripheral vision to my left caught me eye. I looked to my left and an Angel as tall as a telephone pole, as bright as lightening, walked toward the minister. He had a sword in his hand and as he stepped closer he swung that sword…and cut that minister down. As I continued to watch another minister was behind the pulpit and the Angel took him out with the sword as well…Then another minister and whack!…and another…whack!. It sped up until the sword was being swung so fast it reminded me of a helicopter blade…Out of the depths of my belly I screamed, “MERCY!!! LORD, HAVE MERCY!!!” As I did the bloodbath stopped… and I was suddenly back in my truck as the Holy Spirit, starting in my finger tips, up through my hands and arms and in the my belly began to electrocute me… It was not goose bumps or a warm loving hug…It was electricity and I screamed again thinking it might kill me. As suddenly as it all started it stopped. I have spent an entire career standing in the gap between life and death but nothing prepared me for this experience.

Ezekiel had an encounter with God in Ezekiel 3 that left him speechless. He sat by the river Chebar for 7 days “astonished”. In Isaiah 6 when Isaiah encountered the Lord he said, I am “disintegrating.” Many others fell on their faces “like a dead man”. I found many more verses that jumped out to me. In chapter 42, after complaining to God for the better part of the book, Job said, “my ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. I abhor myself and I repent in dust and ashes.” When God appeared at mount Sinai the people told Moses to go talk to God and tell them what He said. They didn’t want that much of God again. Moses said,”The Lord has come near you to put the fear of Him in you that you might not sin.” Peter kind of freaked out on the Mount of Transfiguration when he saw Jesus in His glorified state…Saul of Tarsus said,”who are you, Lord?” as he was struck blind. Do I dare compare myself to people in the bible? Of course I do. That’s what we SHOULD do! I lost 15 pounds that week and was ruined for quite some time. I sat by the river Chatahoochee astonished on more than one occasion. There’s just something soothing about the flow of water. Seeing my sudden weight loss, people asked me what happened to you? I didn’t know what to say. When I got my sense of humor back I called it a fat offering! I finally shared this experience publicly 20 years later to the day while teaching on overcoming offense.

So, why did this happen to me? I have asked that many times for 22 years now because what was said to me is sealed. I couldn’t remember what He had said to me ten minutes later… and still don’t. I do remember whatever it was being awesome beyond my wildest dreams… completely surreal. A few days after this experience I was reading in Ezekiel and found, “The sword of the Lord strikes like lightening.” and one of the men I was “standing in the gap” for was struck by lightening that very week and LIVED…A friend who did not know I had prayed, “I want to stand in the gap” told me I was electrocuted as I stood in the gap for the man struck by lightening. That was his explanation to me just a couple of years ago. 20 years to gain that much understanding… And a few years after this experience the first minister I saw killed by the Angel was preaching on TV and shared a story about a large sheet of glass falling off the truck in front of him and as it came right at him he said, “it looked like a helicopter blade coming at my wind shield but when I cried out to the Lord…at the last instant it went up and over my car.” A helicopter blade…Yeah.

The main message of this experience can be found in the book of James. James 2:13 NKJV says “For Judgement is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy Triumphs over judgement.” So, As I saw judgement I cried out for mercy…and judgement was stopped. Back in the 80’s when I discovered my roommate at the University of Alabama was doing cocaine I was kicking him out of my apartment. But for some reason, even though it seemed like the obvious thing to do, I just didn’t have a peace about it. As I left the gym one night there in Tuscaloosa I was looking up at the stars asking, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” I was not really expecting to hear anything but I did…”Show him mercy” He said….So, I went to my apartment and shared the whole story with him and told him he could stay. I ended up praying for this guy off and on for 30 years. What has happened to him? I know he is still alive and more humble now but That’s about all I know at this point.

The gift of mercy is not one of the most attractive gifts to have. If you are in a situation where you need to show mercy you probably have suffered an injustice. Joseph suffered several injustices but at the end of the day he was able to say to his brothers who betrayed him, “you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” And if you will give Him a chance and purpose in your heart to not get offended or STAY offended then you will discover another incredible truth, “All things work together for Good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose” and maybe the Lord will call you to stand in the gap for that person who did you harm and you can watch Him show them mercy because you asked Him to….Because He had shown you mercy all those times you did not deserve it either. Let God be good to everyone, especially your enemies and you will be a true son/daughter of God. Jesus had the ultimate gift of mercy as He was being crucified, “forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” As He is so are we in this world…

9 thoughts on “Mercy Triumphs over Judgement

  1. Hey Bill, Thanks for your vulnerability, as it ministers greatly to me. So good to be connected again after so many years, and in much deeper ways! Love you bro! Keep on keepin’ on!

  2. So impactful to me. It is humbling as in squirming ouch Lord to stand in the gap for a sinner. It is not fun. But if God calls me to it I know he will help me grow though it. It’s not about me…

  3. Well what a timely message for me! Thank you Bill.

  4. Great testimony and a great word.

    Well done, Newman.

  5. Perfect timing on this one my friend. I might have to go apologize to a neighbor. :/

  6. Amazing how time plays into our relationship with God. Over 20 years is a long time for this knowledge and experience to lie in wait… I can’t imagine the incredible things that God will do through you!
    Mercy and forgiveness. I had 3 relationships that needed mending. I have tried to be obedient and I have worked on these this year. They are in 3 different phases. It is fun to see God work in your life if you allow him too!
    Once upon a dream, I stepped out of my comfort zone to share what I had seen. It was a lesson for me. Have faith, step out and experience God first hand in your life!! God Bless you Bill

  7. That was an awesome read and so true! I have found that showing mercy and offering forgiveness only makes me stronger and more at peace with myself! We are all human and none of us are without fault. Most people would change themselves if they had the strength to do so.

    1. I would change a LOT about me and ASAP, lol

  8. What an amazing experience! I do not care to have my reply published because it’s probably too edgy but I would like to comment.

    I would say the sword in your dream is the word of God, especially enlight of Matthew 7:21-23, which was my first memory verse years ago and scared me a lot. I never have really attended church but the last time I went, last year, the pastor confessed that he pastored the church for ten years without knowing the Lord. The congregation was shocked and cried a lot. Thankfully he is saved now. However, his confession is likely that of many ministers and preachers, teachers and the like.

    As far as showing mercy, once we understand the righteousness of God and that there is not one person righteous among us as demonstrated in Romans 10 and Ephesians 2: 8 and 9, you can’t help but be merciful. It is also helpful to know that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6: 12.

    Sometimes, the Lord calls us to stand up and fight. However, it is usually His fight and he uses the weapons used against you to slew your enemies as demonstrated with David and Goliath.

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