The Changing Church


What a wonderful God we have Who will let us know when He is about to make a major change in His Church. Because of His great love for us all, He wants us to know this particular imminent change He is effecting.

Exactly forty years ago, it was this the Lord spoke to me: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak. . .” (Habakkuk 2:2,3). Forty is God’s number of “probation, testing, ending in victory or defeat.” Taken from the book, Interpreting the Symbols and Types by Kevin J. Conner.

This revelation series is for the body of Christ. It is not for an elect group who are “superior” to the rest, for we are all important to Him. It is simply targeted at a small, forerunning band of isolated believers who are wondering, “Are there others who are hearing in the manner and context as I am?” May you be comforted to know that you are not alone. He cares. I care. Eventually, you will be enabled to bless the rest of the church!

Forty years ago, the Lord also began by revelation throughout His Word—in visions and dreams—to put together in my heart and mind that which would later make up the contents of this revelation series. Please enjoy what has taken me four decades to understand. May you grow quickly in the movement of God that I am simply calling The Changing Church.

-Penny David Sheahan

Table of Contents

1. Vision of the Man-Child

2. Vision of the Separation of Sheep

3. Vision of the Camp of the Lord

4. Vision of the Muddy River

5. Vision of the Wave

6. Vision of the Donkey

7. Vision of the Maidens

8. Vision of the Birth of the Child

The Vision of the Man-Child

Do you know the Church is pregnant? Have you heard? The Church is with child! As in the coming birth of John the Baptist, those around the hill country of Judea exclaimed: “What manner of child shall this be?!” (Luke 1:66).

Questions flooded my mind 40 years ago when the Lord showed me an amazing vision, but no one understood! Some were indignant and asked, “Why would God do such a thing? I do not believe it is of God.” So, I searched the Scriptures and found in Revelation exactly what I had seen: “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: and she being with child cried, travailing at birth, and pained to be delivered” (Revelation 12:1,2).

There was more revelation—separation within the body of Christ. I received vision after vision; eight in all, and then Scripture after Scripture. No one believed or understood what God was saying – “There is a new move coming in the Church and it will be different than the present move; entirely different!”

There are several interpretations to the Scripture used in this vision. Certainly we see Israel bringing forth the Messiah Yeshua. We see end time foreshadowing of Israel bringing forth the Jewish believer. The interpretation God gave to me, however, is that of His church; the child representing the overcoming church; the woman representing the compromising church.

Theologically, there is a principle that allows for sequential fulfillment of the same Scripture. This is called “progressive, prophetic fulfillment.” What indicates to us, though, that one of the interpretations of the woman spoken of in Revelation 12 could be the Church at all? There are several clues. In the first place, the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is referred to as a woman throughout the Scriptures. She is the “bride adorned for her husband” in Revelation 21;2, and a wife to Christ as explained in Ephesians 5. If indeed, the woman is the Church, in this interpretation, who is the man child she bears? Why is it separate from the main body of believers?

We learn about a man-child in two places in the Bible. The first is in Revelation 12:5: “And she (the Church in our interpretation) brought forth a man-child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up into God, and to His throne.”

The second place a man-child is mentioned is Isaiah 66:7,8: “Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.”

The book of Hebrews refers not only to Israel, but also to the Church as being part of Zion: “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn . . .”

So there we have the church established….but what in the world is a man child? The properties of a child are quite different from that of a man. A man is stable, rational, mature. A child, however, is caught up with spontaneous activity, thirst for knowledge and exploration, sense of wonder, risk, and trust” (Excerpt from Personhood, Leo F. Buscaglia, Ph.D.).

Can these seemingly diverse properties be “integrated into one harmonious personality? The answer is YES. Recently, I was trying to communicate this idea of integration to another minister. The reply was, “It’s not scriptural!” I responded, “Yes it is—yes it is!”

Jesus would never admonish adults to become as a little child if it were not possible! In fact He said we must do so to enter His Kingdom! “Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it ‘“ (Mark 10:13-15). A man child, a trusting, mature Christ-like person is just what God wants!

So, as the woman travails and brings forth, all eyes focus on this magnificent child. Who is this child? I have heard from God that this is His new move in the Church.

Revelation 12:5 and 6 continue: She bore a man child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her child was caught up to God and His throne.”

This man child was lifted to the THRONE of GOD; the overcoming place of ruling and reigning with Christ. This man-child from his position of authority will, in fact, usher in a greater power; a greater degree of demonstration of the Kingdom of God on this earth. It will be a new man with a new way of living; a Christ way of living, functioning in amazing authority and oneness with Him who sits on the Throne!

Vision of the Separation of Sheep

Some have not received this second vision, Vision of the Separation of Sheep, so we are sending it again. Sorry if you’re receiving a repeat copy. Please read the addendum, a continuation of this vision given in 1976. The new part of this vision was received today. It’s very important!

This second vision echoes the first. It actually says the same thing — separation in the body of Christ — with a different twist. This version tells the reason why we, as the Lord’s Church, are being divided; why the mother and child of Revelation 12 are torn apart (see Vision One; Vision of the Man-Child).

The Vision

Jesus stood upon a rock. Before Him were a seemingly endless line of sheep. As those sheep, representing His people (Psalm 95:7, Isaiah 53.6, John 10:3,4, and Matthew 10:16) came toward Him, the Lord would point either to the right or to the left. He did this with each sheep individually — separating the line. He was very methodical and quite intent while performing this task. I watched the whole process with rapt attention then inquired of Jesus: “What is the difference, Lord?” I could not see as He did, of course! Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart! (I Samuel 16:7).

He answered me briefly and said, “Thorns and briers in their wool.” I was too dumbfounded to ask what He meant by that, but I wondered and searched the Scriptures many months to find the interpretation.

An interpretation finally did come: “But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected” (Hebrews 6:8). Thorns and briers stand for sins and iniquities. The reason for dividing the sheep is sin — sin separates — so does iniquity: “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). Primarily, they separate us from God, but in this and previous other moves of God, we are separated from each other. You will see this more clearly in the following visions.

In this vision, however, we just begin to catch a glimpse of the “why” behind the separation of “mother” and “child” — the old move and the new. The mother refuses to give up her sinful ways. The child will have nothing to do with sin, therefore the inevitable division. What, you say, could assure me that I’ll be in the number without thorns and briers? The answer is simple — endure chastening — “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons: for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” (Hebrews 12:7).

If we do, we will be partakers of His holiness, “For they [human fathers] indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness,” and we will be allowed, by our Lord, to be at His right hand. The sheep that were free of thorns and briers were directed to His right. Those that were not, went to His left. After chastening, we are ready to receive, by the grace of our God, the wonderful gift of repentance – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). This is the gift He is giving us right now. It will bring a radical removal of residual sin. We will be free to love again; to return to our “first love” for Jesus and, correspondingly, unconditional love for the people.

Now, right now, is the time for us to be cleansed. I hope you believe this and the truth of it will indeed set you free — free of entanglement and sickness — that you will be that pure child, made clean by your willingness to unashamedly follow our Lord — for these, this company of believers, “. . . are they which follow the Lamb withersoever He goeth” (Revelation 14:4). Amen!


There are some of God’s people who have been marked for the Kingdom who will not let go of their “thorns and briers.” They are desperately holding onto these. I saw the Lord, the Good Shepherd of the sheep, take each one in their sinful condition, hold them down and shear off all the sin-infested wool. These people are that loved and that important for the Kingdom of God on this earth. All of these chosen ones were like Jesus, * “. . . as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth” during this process. There was no complaining. * (Isaiah 53:7, KJV).

After the shearing, each naked sheep was mercifully directed to the right and to the Way of Holiness. What a gracious God we have!

I don’t know specifically what is ahead for all these sheep directed to Jesus’ right hand, except that He will be there in all His loving presence. Those who continue on with the Lord will know Him in a Great and Grand way; personally, more than we could imagine. We will learn of His kingdom and His ways. We will know His heart and have glimpses into what life is truly about. Because we have decided to follow on to know the Lord, we will know His plans and purposes way beyond what man alone could comprehend. It will be more than we could ask or think. Praise God!

Vision of the Camp of the Lord, 1976

Now, forty years later, we are approaching the time spoken of in this vision, too! Of course no one knows exactly when these events will occur but, we are getting closer! I do hope this third in a series of visions will help all understand a bit more of what our God has planned for those who love Him; you and me!

Here is what I saw:

Spread upon a large succession of rolling hills lay a myriad of God’s people. Some were in tents; some outside in simple bedding. The scene reminded me of an army camp sprawled on the battlefield under a dark night sky. This, I heard, is the army of the Lord. Joel 2 expresses that “his camp is very great. . .” (NKJV).

I was seeing part of the Day of the Lord; that dark day after which the Lord Himself will lead His army to victory over this world’s system and establish His Kingdom rule on the earth.

As I watched, I saw the beginning of Jesus’ strategy for this, His end time victory. It began at the darkest point; for in the sky above the army camp there was no light; no moon, no stars… an eerie blackness hung over the entire camp. Great oppression fell on the people. This oppression caused the army to fall into a deep, troubled sleep. Even while sleeping, though, the people cried out in their hearts to our God, “What are we doing here under this oppression; under this very dark sky? Are we even on the right track?” Jesus answered: “You are waiting for change.”

While these were really wanting external, circumstantial change, God was working on the interior… changing us into the image and likeness of Christ. The character of Christ must be formed in His people. This new move will demand it. So we wait.

Suddenly, into this total blackness flashed a blinding light. The Lord Jesus Christ, Messiah Yeshua, descended upon His army. With His appearance there was an immediate change. Shafts of light pierced the blackened sky. Radiant, heavenly beams targeted a small number of His people dispersed among the camp. This piercing, glorious light rested on only these few. But even though now bathed in the glory of the Lord, these chosen people did not awaken. The whole army was still deeply asleep. Quickly, Jesus began to move through the camp. He strode with focused determination; approaching each marked by His glorious light. He then laid His hand on each head. Immediately these people, and only these, awakened. Among them were men and women, Jew and Gentile Believers from the nations on earth.

As the vision continued, I saw Yeshua gather together those who awoke and form them into a tight circle. A distinctive number of groups were gathered. There were exactly 12. These 12 groups of people were to represent and function as part of His delegated governmental authority on earth. They had much to learn. Jesus now stepped into their midst and began an intense, intimate time of teaching and training. End of vision.

I hope this vision will bring you comfort in the fact that change is coming, that darkness and oppression are normal tribulation pressures, that we will emerge from this time as a beautiful Image of our Lord. Many are in this exact spot. Our Lord is pleased with us.

May you be abundantly blessed,

Scripture confirmation:
Matthew 24:29 (KJV): “Immediately after the tribulation of those days: The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from Heaven…”
Joel 3:15 (KJV): “The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining…”
Joel 2:11 (KJV): “The LORD utters his voice before his army, for His camp is exceedingly great…”

Vision of the Muddy River, 1976

“There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High” (Psalm 46:4, NKJV).

My vision was a river; a river of people super saturated with silt and soil; so muddy it was unfit to drink. It flowed slowly, wallowing on its banks. As it continued in its course, however, it reached a place of divergence. This divergence was caused by a mammoth rock (or mountain). At the rock, the river was split; the muddy part went in one direction carrying all the silt and soil with it. Another smaller part split in the other direction. It emerged as a crystal clean, unpolluted, bubbling stream. The stream was full of joy – sparking, leaping, dancing as it traveled on its course. While the large muddy part of the river traveled downhill, the beautiful stream ascended — upward toward the Holy Throne of God. What joy this caused in Heaven!

As in the Vision of the Separation of Sheep, the muddy river we see is once again the Church coming toward the Rock, Yeshua; once again splitting into two. One side is pure and clean; the other muddy and polluted. Scripture speaks of a similar situation in the lives of David and King Saul. In 1 Samuel 23:26,28, (NKJV), we read:
“Then Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain. . .Saul returned from pursuing David. . .so they called that place the Rock of Escape..”

Here I see the new move of God portrayed by David, God’s chosen king of Israel to replace Saul, the present king of Israel. As I have studied previous moves of God, the old will persecute the new. This is because the “new” move means loss of power, wealth, prestige, etc., to the “old.” God provided a way of escape from persecution for David by division. He will also provide a way of escape by division for the new, pure move of God; His people who are ascending, flowing upward to Him. Scripture tells us who these ascending people will be:
“Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the LORD, And righteousness from the God of his salvation” (Psalm 24:3-5, NKJV).

These “ascending saints” are not only pure, blessed people, they are necessary people for God’s end-time purposes for the Church and Israel. Once separated and lifted, these will be ministers to the King and work with the King; exercising His greater Kingdom Rule over sickness, death, and the wiles of the enemy. Hallelujah!

Vision of the Wave, 1976

The sea looked calm, but gray and ominous. There was a feeling of rising, pent up anger just waiting to surface. Something was about to happen–to explode–as the Holy Spirit seemed to brood over the waters as He did in the beginning: “. . . and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2, KJV).

I descended down into the sea until I stood upon the ocean floor. Then there started a great shaking; a seismic upheaval on the ocean floor; one of proportions I had never seen.

“. . . Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain” (Hebrews 12:26,27).

An unusually large wave formed on the surface and moved toward the shore — “. . . and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land” (Haggai 2:6). Interestingly, the sea is mentioned in combination with the shaking process. God confirmed this, and all other visions in this series, with His Word. Only then, along with “signs following,” can we know what we have seen is truly of Him! The signs for this vision confirming the Word were unusual. My husband and I were standing on the floor in my office. All of a sudden, the wooden floor beneath us began to crack. This crack continued from one wall to the other. I said by the Spirit of God, “There is going to be an earthquake.” Sure enough, only days later there was a seismic upheaval near Thailand. A tsunami formed and flooded many lands.

Also, what do these Scripture verses tell us? For one thing, the method of separation becomes clear. We will be divided by shaking (Refer to the preceding Vision 2, “Separation of the Sheep” and Vision 4, “Vision of the Muddy River”). First of all, everything that is not rooted in God within us will be shaken out of us. It will be a quick work; again a corporate work–one wave emerging to become, in type, God’s new Kingdom Movement. I have called this “The Changing Church.”

The Lord spoke to me as I watched this mound of water emerging, swelling, beginning to move toward the shore. “Quit looking for the new wave. You (the people who have experienced the shaking) are the new wave.” Simply said, we will find the new move of God within us–as the Kingdom always is (Luke 17:21).

After the shaking, I sensed a very quiet, holy movement in the hearts of His chosen. None may know what has been worked into you, but our Lord will know His *holy child as you are made one with all those chosen as the remnant of God.

We will, then as one, flood the nations with His Presence, His Grace, and His Glory. This, in turn, will begin anew, and I believe the last Great Revival on the earth before the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, Yeshua Ha Mashiach, as He descends with a shout to take His faithful home. Even so, come Lord Jesus!

* See Vision 1, “Vision of the Man-Child”

Vision of the Donkey, 1976

This is the first of several visions the Lord gave me 40 years ago on the topic of the new move in the Body of Christ. While straining, pressing in to focus on the scene before me, I marveled at this wondrous way God speaks to us. It was, unbeknownst to me, to become the way I live, minister, endure, and overcome. Coupled with the Word of God, visions can lead and guide us into His truth very easily; very quickly – “I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions…” (Joel 2:28).

Peering, then, grasping at fragments, the picture began to come into focus. It is a donkey! The Lord is riding a donkey! But my moment of elation faded as the donkey sat down and Jesus dismounted. Somehow this was not happy. I looked at our Lord. His face was extremely sad, forlorn, even a bit dejected as He gazed at the donkey; now stubbornly refusing to move.

A marvelous thing then happened. People dressed all in white began to pour out of the midst of the donkey and came to Jesus. After He had gathered all these representing the ones who would follow Him, He turned, sorrowfully away – taking with Him the small band He had collected.

The interpretation was this: “The donkey is the Church. Those who followed Me were My people who were willing to pay the price! They will enter a new dimension, walking closely with Me. They are few in number and this saddens Me. The stubborn donkey represents my people who are unwilling to go further with Me. It saddens Me that they are unwilling to pay for the Pearl of great price which I Am.”

Vision of the Maidens, 1976

An ordinary day, I thought, certainly nothing to be extremely excited about. What seems to be the onset of a hum-drum day, however, becomes extraordinary when touched by the Spirit of the living God. That day He touched me to again see into His supernatural world. This time the vision coincided with my own personal life.

In this vision, I could see before me a panoramic view of grassy, lush hills accompanied by the sweet odor of Spring. I was walking with our Lord. What could be more delightful than this? Appearing, almost as an answer to this question, came a group of young maidens all clad in white robes. They were bounding, singing joyously, talking back and forth; enthralled with the fellowship they were obviously loving. Fascinated, I watched as they came to a flat piece of ground. There stood a white pole festooned with brightly colored ribbons. It looks like a May-pole, I mused, as each maiden picked up a ribbon and began to do a synchronized-like dance in great merriment around the pole. They seemed delighted with their unity, the perfect sun-kissed day, and their joy-filled-to-the-brim existence. This happy camaraderie looked attractive to me at a time in my life when I had little fellowship, hardly any joy, and few friends.

I turned to go after the group with anticipation! Something I had not experienced since becoming a Christian – acceptance – especially acceptance by a group was available to me. How brutal it is for many of us to go from a life of popularity to a life of persecution. I, for one, like popularity better! Don’t you?

Often, though, the Lord gives us a choice between the two. He did that here. Looking longingly after these maidens, my heart began to stir. Something was wrong! Wrong was an understatement! Consciously averting my eyes from the happy scene, I saw something I never want to see again. The Lord had left my side! He was walking slowly away from me up a hill. “Choose, choose this day whom ye will serve,” He seemed to say. I turned, somewhat regretfully that I could not have both—acceptance from the group and fellowship with the Lord. He is a jealous God and requires our all: “. . .for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exodus 34:14, NKJV). I turned from the maidens to follow, once again, Jesus Christ my Lord.

You may say, “This is not good news. I thought we were to preach good news!” It is WONDERFUL NEWS in the end. Eternal life. No sorrow or crying. Golden streets! However, it is a little tough getting there. John 16:33 says, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” The great promise is that through it all, He will be with us if we will only follow —“I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5b).

So, we can “give it all up,” knowing He will “. . .be all in all” (I Corinthians 15:28). Undue reliance on anything or anyone except Him will be stripped away if we choose to go the way of the new move of God.

“So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:33, (NKJV).

Vision of the Birth of the Child

The culminating vision takes place at the time of delivery spoken of in Revelations 12. The “mother church” is in travail as a woman in child birth. I saw her in the delivery room now giving birth to the child she had carried 40 long years (1976 – 2016).

In attendance was the Lord Jesus, Yeshua Hamashiach. His countenance was beautiful like the sun shining in its strength. He was excitedly awaiting the birth; proud of the mother church as she groaned in pain. It was not an easy delivery, but soon the child’s head emerged. What was this? This was a most extraordinary birth to be sure!

The head and the shoulders now appeared. She’s clothed in white! A beautiful veil over her lovely face. She’s not an infant, either. She’s fully mature; made up of God’s children both male and female; not only feminine, but also a true “son of God” fully clothed in The Lord’s righteousness. In another instant, the birth was complete. The mother watched in amazement as her “child” stood up and took the arm of her Beloved Jesus. “Could this be?” the mother wondered, “she looks like a bride.”

Indeed that was what she was—gloriously arrayed for her Bridegroom in radiant splendor. Exceeding joy unspeakable, the couple was whisked away; caught up to the King’s throne; caught up to rule and reign together during a very turbulent time.

For this was the time of the greatest tribulation known to man. Soon, the “compromising” mother church (see Vision 2 and Vision 4) would have to flee to the wilderness. In doing so, she would turn from her child — the Remnant Bride — the overcoming part of the church; wondering still at the beauty and strangeness of the child she had birthed.

See Revelation 12:1-5 and explanation in “Vision of the Man-Child” and “Introduction to the Changing Church.”

PS: Whether or not this is the actual “catching up” in the clouds spoken of in I Thessalonians 4:16,17, I don’t know. It is, however, an elevation of Kingdom authority prefiguring Revelation 3:21 – “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

The Beautiful Gate
The beautiful gate is the gate of the Bride
She will be asked to step inside
To a place of union, a place of delight
A place of honor, a place of might

Her Bridegroom waits for her to appear
He’ll come to her to carry her near
To show to her all His desire
Piercing her heart with holy fire

Two hearts aflame with first love’s glow
Will show the world the Way to go
They’ll uproot false doctrine, shatter man’s fame
Rule fairly and justly; reprove unjust gain

The tables will turn; all will be known
As Bride and Groom ascend to the throne

Penny David Sheahan

For this and more on “The Overcoming Bride,” click here

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