After the remarkable vision of the Moving Hills, I began to read more about visions in the Bible. There are far too many visions in our Bible to discuss here, since this book is about visions by ordinary people. Those in the Bible are clearly seen and reported by extraordinary people.
Yet, as I moved forward in my visual experiences with God, I began to see some relationships to what I was seeing that helped explain what the ancients saw, and to comment on some of these may help the reader to understand what I saw as well.
. . . he said, “Listen to my words: “When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. Num 12:6 (NIV)
Now don’t take me wrong – I am not a prophet in any way, shape, or form. The purpose of the verse above is to show you how God spoke to the prophets of biblical times. I do not claim any such abilities or special connection with God. I am that ordinary person in the title of this piece.
When He shows us things beyond our comprehension, all we can do is describe them in the context of our present knowledge and culture. To understand what we are seeing today, it may be helpful to look at what the prophets of the Bible have seen and try to draw some comparisons.
Describing the Indescribable.
God very likely showed visions, such as future events, and heaven (paradise) to the prophets of Biblical times in the same way that He shows them to us today. Like the Moving Hills vision, many of the ancient visions were shrouded in symbolic images. When the visions showed events far into the future, the prophets had a very difficult task telling what they had seen in words that others could understand.
Much like Ezekiel, if we were shown things thousands of years in the future, we would tend to try to describe those things that we did not understand in terms of things we did understand. We would put them in our own terms within the context of our present culture and knowledge. We would try to describe the indescribable.
Let’s try a test. Look at the passages below as I comment on them and see if you can visualize the cherubim of Ezekiel 10 as an attempt to describe modern helicopters by a man that lived more than 2500 years ago. Consider the following passages.
The rotors of helicopters are moving wings, and if you have ever been near one landing or taking off, you know that they can be very loud.
The sound of the wings of the cherubim could be heard as far away as the outer court, like the voice of God Almighty when he speaks. Ezek. 10:5 (NIV)
The blades of very large helicopters intersect, much like a wheel intersecting a wheel.
As for their appearance, the four of them looked alike; each was like a wheel intersecting a wheel. Ezek. 10:10 (NIV)
A helicopter can move in any direction without turning. Also, the twin window panels in the various sides of a helicopter could have looked somewhat like faces on each side of the machine to someone 2500 years ago.
As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the cherubim faced; the wheels did not turn about as the cherubim went. The cherubim went in whatever direction the head faced, without turning as they went. Ezek. 10:11 (NIV)
Ezekiel had no words for rotors, but “whirling wheels” would serve very nicely.
I heard the wheels being called “the whirling wheels.” (Ezek. 10:13 NIV)
Helicopters can rise vertically or hover, and the pilots would be in them.
When the cherubim stood still, they also stood still; and when the cherubim rose, they rose with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in them. Ezek. 10:17 (NIV)
In the following passage, visualize the helicopter’s blades rising as the blades begin lifting the wheels from the ground. Watch as it moves across the landing field to the east gate.
While I watched, the cherubim spread their wings and rose from the ground, and as they went, the wheels went with them. They stopped at the entrance to the east gate of the Lord’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them. Ezek. 10:19 (NIV)
The above passages were from a vision that Ezekiel had almost 600 years before Christ was born. If we had seen that vision today, we would likely have thought “helicopters.” We very likely would have actually seen helicopters in our vision, because that would be an easy image to bring to focus for such an unfamiliar object.
The vision was very likely not about helicopters at all, but could have been. Although we do not know what Ezekiel actually saw, the commentary accompanying the scripture tells us that Ezekiel was describing four angels with interlocking wings, and he was depicting God’s glory leaving the temple.
It is our own knowledge and culture that transforms what he described into helicopters when we read it in the context of our own experiences!
In our own words.
By similar fashion, when we see something in a vision that we have never seen before, we have no choice but to describe them in words that we have at our disposal – words we are familiar with, and images that we are familiar with.
Fortunately my own visions have been of modern structures, hills and of images of people, such as Jesus, so my descriptions are accurate and easily visualized by others. Such was not the case in many Biblical Visions. On the other hand, my mind might have converted what I saw into the most familiar things I knew. I’m reporting what I saw and see today when I replay them in my mind.
Biblical visions were often shrouded in symbolic images, perhaps because there were no contemporary scenes that would sufficiently depict the message that God was delivering.
In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying on his bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream. Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea.”
“Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea. The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a man, and the heart of a man was given to it.” Dan 7:1-4 (NIV)
Deciphering the indecipherable.
According to commentary, the lion with eagle’s wings represents Babylon because of its swift conquests.
Although my visions are easily described in modern day language, their interpretation is not at all easy, and leaves much room for doubt. I saw them, and I can rerun them as often as I like, but unless I understand the meaning of the symbolic images, no accurate interpretation can be made.
Sometimes the Biblical prophets had a way around this. Ancient prophets often were able to ask bystanders how to interpret what they saw:
I approached one of those standing there and asked him the true meaning of all this. So he told me and gave me the interpretation of these things: “The four great beasts are four kingdoms that will rise from the earth.” Dan 7:16-17 (NIV)
I had not been fortunate enough to hear spoken words in my visions so I had to ask through prayer, or depend on scripture to enlighten me. As you will see in The Eulogy, later in this book, when I received words, they nearly frightened me to death! (Comment by Oldtimer June 2007 – The Eulogy has already been posted – some of these are out of order)
Sometimes however, angelic answers were cryptic or had ambiguous meanings, especially relating to time. For example, in the passage below, time, times and half a time can mean almost anything from a few years to millennia.
The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, “It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed.” Dan 12:7 (NIV)
Sealed unto the end.
Sometimes the answers were deliberately sealed as in this passage:
I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?” He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end.” Dan 12:8-9 (NIV)
The common theme in visions is that they bring a message directly from God:
“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt; I will make you live in tents again, as in the days of your appointed feasts. I spoke to the prophets, gave them many visions and told parables through them.” Hosea 12:9-10 (NIV)
More to come.
God even tells us that as the End Times approach, He will increase the messages in great numbers.
‘And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. Joel 2:28-31 (NIV)
The next section describes a dream that I experienced just as I was waking up that, at first, seemed to have no relationship to the Vision of The Moving Hills or to healing. As it turned out, it was clearly in keeping with both. I call it The Comic Strip Dream – next.