Category Archives: Holy Spirit

Is your ticket to heaven already punched?

Heaven’s Ticket –

Has your conductor punched it yet?

Punched or Consumed?

Punched or Consumed?

I’ve heard a lot of Christians say that since they have accepted Jesus as their Savior and been baptized, they are assured a place in Heaven.   Is that true?  Can you take that one step and get a golden ticket to heaven?   No matter what you do later, no matter how much heartbreak or whatever laws you break?   Is that ticket to heaven still good?   Was it punched when you were baptized or were you simply issued a ticket that still needs to be collected, scrutinized by the conductor and punched before the train leaves the station?   Who stays on that railroad to heaven and who is put off? 

A common question is this:  “What about Hitler?”   He was a baptized Christian.  Is he in heaven now?   What about the priests that have admitted or been caught molesting children in their charge?   What about the ministers that even today are being accused of adultery with the wives of their congregation or even with a brother’s wife?

What about those in prison for murder that were baptized as children, or those that were highly regarded church-going citizens of the community before they did some heinous crime.   How about the murderer who was baptized a few days before his execution and appeared to be sincere about accepting Jesus?  What about those within the church that simply show up at Christmas and otherwise do nothing for Christ the rest of the year?   What about those who show up every Sunday and tithe and even teach Sunday School but then gossip to their neighbors about someone they know?  Do you know where the line is drawn between a punched paid-for ticket and a tattered wortless one that will be consumed along with its holder?

Most of us would say that Hitler, probably anyone that murders or molests children would certainly be put off the train and left behind.  Others will still cry out, even shout, that the only requirement is to accept Christ and be baptized.  Once in, forever in!  So what do you think?  Here are some thoughts to consider before you make up your mind.  It may be a hard lesson.

Receiving the Holy Spirit: The Samarians

You do receive a ticket good for boarding the train when you are baptized in the name of the Lord, but whether it is accepted depends on your heart and life – whether you are walking in the footsteps of Christ or not.  It is not prepaid and it is not punched for the final destination.   Why do I say that?  Read on before you reject it.

There is a prepaid, punched ticket:  It is issued by the Holy Spirit by a separate baptism.  There is the baptism by water which you can receive in church or in a nearby stream.  It is a formal baptism, but it may not be enough.  There is a second baptism that comes only through receipt of the Holy Spirit.  

For example, see Acts 8:12-24 in which Philip had already baptized a number of Samaritans into the name of the Lord, meaning they had declared an acceptance of Christ and been dunked in the water.   They had their ticket, however they had not received the Holy Spirit.  When Peter and John prayed that they would receive the Holy Spirit, they were so filled.  At that moment their ticket was punched.  

On the other hand, Simon had also been baptized by Phillip but did not receive the Holy Spirit.  He offered money to Peter and John, a bribe for them to also punch his ticket by the giving of the Holy Spirit.   Peter and John rebuked him by telling him that he had no part with God and told him “may your money perish with you.” 

Clearly, if Philip had issued the ticket to Simon by baptism with water and he had accepted the Lord, most of us would say he had a good and lasting ticket to Heaven.   But Peter said he would perish anyway.   Peter and John recognized by his actions, that he had not been baptized by the Holy Spirit.  The lesson here is that baptism by water and declaration of acceptance of Jesus is not enough to assure safe passage!  There is a place in the heart, a place in the soul that needs special attention.  Simon’s ticket needed further validation, one by the infilling given only by the Holy Spirit.

Can you be baptized by the Holy Spirit without baptism by water?

Well, yes.   Again, I think most of us would have said no!   But in hearing the message, the Good News, many become believers and receive the Holy Spirit at that moment.   Baptism by water may come later.  Read Acts 10:44-48.  The gentiles at Caesarea heard Peter’s message and were filled with the Holy Spirit and soon after were baptized in water by Peter.

Is the infilling of the Holy Spirit the same as baptism by the Holy Spirit? 

Yes.   Prior to Jesus first coming however, the Holy Spirit was vested only on certain special people, and, in fact, was sometimes removed.   But Jesus told his disciples that he would ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit to baptise them.   See John 14:26, then see Acts 1:4-5.  

What did Jesus Say about the need for the baptism by the Holy Spirit?  

The Holy Spirit was involved in the virgin birth of Jesus. See Luke 1:35.   The Holy Spirit baptized Jesus after John baptized him with water.  See Luke 3:21-22.   Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born again with the Holy Spirit.  John 3:5-6.

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

There you go!   Baptism by both the water and the Spirit.   From the lips of Jesus.  Your ticket is issued upon receiving your baptism by water.  But it is worthless if you do not receive Baptism by the Holy Spirit, an infilling that lasts a lifetime.   Those that are baptized with water in the name of Jesus that later turn to crime or do not follow and actually serve God are subject to the judgement that may result in confiscation of their ticket and a toss off the train into the lake of fire.   Their hearts were never right, their souls were never filled with the right ingredient.  The Holy Spirit had not validated their ticket.   

The Holy Spirit baptism lasts a lifetime and is not given lightly and cannot be abused.  It is my guess that someone that has claimed to have been “born again” or appeared to have received the Holy Spirit and later committed some crime was somehow fooling us and even themselves.   I don’t believe the Holy Spirit makes those kinds of mistakes. 

How do you know you have received this infilling of the Holy Spirit?  

You probably will not know until you meet the conductor and receive His judgement.   There is a certain peace that prevails and many people obviously have received it.   However, although I think I’ve received it, and I’ve even spoken in tongues (only once),  I cannot say for sure – did I just will it on myself?  Fooling myself?  

I am not my own judge.  I’m afraid I don’t measure up.   I know I do the wrong things, say hurtful things, make judgements, do selfish things and things to make people notice me.  I know I don’t pray enough, don’t read the bible enough and sometimes make up excuses to not go to church when I should.   I gossip and tell white lies, and do things I’m not proud of.   So I don’t know whether I’ll be “up there” with you or not.  Pray for me.

 Whatever the verdict, I accept it.  Only God holds the keys to the kingdom.  He is Sovern. It is His call, not mine.   I’m doing the best I can and if that is not good enough, I deserve to burn with the worst of them.

Thank God for God’s gift of Grace and for His Son, sent to teach us His ways and to give us the gift of salvation through his death and through the Holy Spirit.  

Are you doing the best you can?  What have you done for God lately?  What is the condition of your ticket?   Will Jesus  open the book,  look at you, check your ticket and declare “I don’t know you!”, or will your life since baptism prove good enough?  Let’s pray it is the latter.   If you are afraid you don’t measure up, please don’t panic.  Go to your church and ask for guidence on how to get on the path God wants you to be on.

Grace and Peace,

Oldtimer

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What to Pray for in God’s Will

Key to Successful Prayer

What is the key to successful prayer? You must understand that when you pray and believe, then your prayer and belief must be scriptural (2 Peter 1:20,21). Ask and believe and receive what God has clearly promised in his word!  Those who have faith can have whatever they ask for without doubting, when it is in agreement with God’s will and plan for them.

What is God’s will? To discover God’s will in prayer, accept his revealed will through scripture! Where God has made his will clear through His Word, you can accept it. Where he has not made his will clear, then pray like Christ: “Not my will but thine be done.”

Nine things you can pray for that are scripturally in God’s will:

1) Pray to receive the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13)
2) Pray for believers to spread the Gospel (Luke 10:2)
3) Pray for other believers (Luke 22:32, John 17:20)
4) Pray for church officials (Acts 12:5)
5) Pray for those in authority (1 Timothy 2:2)
6) Pray for forgiveness of others (Matthew 5:44)
7) Pray that you will be judged worthy (Luke 21:36)
8 ) Pray for unity of all believers (John 17:21)
9) Pray for sick to be healed (James 5:16, Mark 16:15-18)

These are a few of the scriptural messages that are clearly in God’s will. There are many others. God promised you power to move mountains (Mark 11:23-25), but you must be sure to move the ones he wants moved. You will know what he wants moved if scriptural or if God’s words abide in you (John 15:7). God doesn’t give demonstrations just for our special entertainment!

1 John 5:14,15 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of him.

Vision of The Holy Spirit?

The Anointing

 

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. 

2 Cor 1:21-22 (NIV) 

 

It was early Sunday, May 18, 1997.  It was shortly after midnight when I finished my goodnight prayer.   Later  today would be our church=s day which we celebrate as Pentecost Sunday.   

I was praying for the healing service and for several people on my prayer list.  I had started down our church=s prayer covenant which covers the objectives of the church, the pastors, other leaders and their families.   It was a prayer covenant that we had developed for the church.  A member in our healing group had suggested that we needed one to combat spiritual warfare.  He was concerned that our rapid growth would draw the attention of Satan and we would begin to be harassed by him.  The vision started with Jesus.

 

Jesus had been standing there, but now He reached forward with both hands with his arms outstretched and with palms down but with the fingers tipped upward so that I could see his palms.  There were two people kneeling before him with their backs to me.

 

He placed his hands on the two heads.  I could only see their heads from the back and slightly from their right side.  His fingers were together as he rested them on the heads, but cupped slightly over the heads.

 

I then began to see several other people, one at a time, but only from just below the mouth downward, and only as low as the lower part of the neck.   I don’t know who they were or why I only saw part of them, but I have the remembrance of more detail and also of flesh tones so this portion was in color. 

 

One was a woman, who appeared to be older, and another I decided was a man.  I decided these were people that were being healed.   The vision ended after several people came forward for healing.

 

I took this vision as a very positive sign.   Now we were going into a healing service with the very power of Jesus blessing us! 


Tongues from the Holy Spirit 

The vision was very short and I began to pray again.  Suddenly, I began to pray out loud and I no longer knew what I was saying!  It started as only a new syllable and then a word, and a few seconds later there was a stream of words that were in an unknown language!

 

As I continued to pray, I noticed a slightly blue silhouette of a figure clearly outlined in front of me, facing the same way that I was.  This figure was like a representation you see in a medical encyclopedia – a depiction of the nervous system.  No clothes, no hair, no apparent skin, but a man anyway outlined by ribbons of blue fire along the lines of the nervous system.

 

He was on his knees with arms stretched up to the Heavens, as if pleading to God.   Could the Holy Spirit in me be the very wiring of my nervous system?   A vast array of electrical networks that fire up my body?  I suspect that it was not; this was simply how the Holy Spirit chose to show Himself to me.

 

I don=t know any more about this figure, as I never saw Him again, but my guess was that I was speaking in tongues with the help of the Holy Spirit.   I never spoke in tounges again, and I’ve never seen the Holy Spirit represented to me again.

 

As I prepare this text for this Extraordianary Visions article, I’ve decided to begin a small series on the Holy Spirit as depicted in God’s word, the  Bible.   Maybe we can find out a little more about Him.  As the third person of God, He deserves more respect than most of us have given to date.

 

Oldtimer

 

The Comic Strip Dream

The Comic Strip Dream

Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the LORD, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. Num 11:1 (NIV)

I classify the following as a dream, although it had many of the characteristics of a vision, and could be claimed as such. In particular, it had no spoken words, and I did not interact with it in any way.

Like the Moving Hills vision, I was strictly an observer. In this case, I had definitely been asleep, and it apparently occurred just before I woke up. If it was a vision, it occurred as I was still half asleep as I was beginning to wake up from a good night’s sleep.

Like a vision, the scenes in the event are still with me today, and I can recall it in detail at any time. It is reported because of its unusual connection with scripture and the healing message it imparted to me.

When the dream started, I was standing about 40 or 50 feet from a group of about 10 men that were lined up loosely left to right. All but two of the men were facing a house, which was more like a one room hut.

The hut had a grass or reed-topped roof which had been clearly on fire. It was still smoldering. It was night, and I could see stars shining above the horizon. The two men on the right were facing each other and also turned partially toward me. It was dark and I couldn’t see their faces, but I could make out how they were dressed, and the colors of their clothes.

The men which were facing the house were agitated and moving around excitedly. All the characters in the dream were dressed like biblical characters, with cloaks, and/or furs, and one man had on a turban like headdress.

As I looked at each one, left to right, a bubble with words appeared over their head, like in a comic strip. As I finished reading each bubble, the bubble disappeared, and as I moved to the next one, a new bubble appeared.

The words were clearly readable as if I had perfect vision or as if I was reading a regular comic strip. However, the people were moving about and waving their arms throughout. The third man from the left was clearly the owner of the house and he was exclaiming that he had barely escaped.

I don’t remember the exact words in any of the bubbles, except for the last two, those that were facing me. Their words are as clear today as when the dream/vision occurred.

The question.

Of these two men, the man to the left was wearing the turban and robes, and the man to the right was wearing a shaggy animal-skin coat. They spoke in the bubble, not out loud.

The man with the turban spoke first: “How can I get through to them Lord?”

The man in the animal skin answered: “I don’t know Hobab, they are too busy talking!”

At that moment I woke up. I told my wife that I had just been told a joke in a dream, but it didn’t seem funny. I know that I didn’t laugh in the dream.

She didn’t think it was funny either, and I wondered if there was a deeper meaning, since it was not a funny joke.

The answer.

After breakfast I looked in the Bible to see if there was a Hobab listed in the Bible. His name was not in the index of my Life Application Bible (Tyndale) which is a New International Version (NIV) but I found the name “Heber.”

I looked up Heber in Judges 4:11 thinking that I might have misread the bubble. As it turned out, I had not misread it.

Now Heber the Kenite had left the other Kenites, the descendants of Hobab, Moses’ brother-in-law, and pitched his tent by the great tree in Zaanannim near Kedesh.
Judg. 4:11 (NIV)

If that was just a coincidence, it was a remarkable one. The only reasonably short name anywhere close to the one that I was searching for in my index led me to the word I was actually looking for!

The side notes in this verse led me to Numbers 10:29, and the verses that I found are exerted here:

Now Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We are setting out for the place about which the LORD said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us and we will treat you well, for the LORD has promised good things to Israel.” He answered, “No, I will not go; I am going back to my own land and my own people.”

But Moses said, “Please do not leave us. You know where we should camp in the desert, and you can be our eyes. If you come with us, we will share with you whatever good things the LORD gives us.” So they set out from the mountain of the LORD and traveled for three days. The ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them during those three days to find them a place to rest. Num. 10:29-33 (NIV)

Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the LORD, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.

When the people cried out to Moses, he prayed to the LORD and the fire died down. So that place was called Taberah, because fire from the LORD had burned among them.
Num. 11:1-3 (NIV
)

I found that Hobab was the brother-in-law of Moses in Numbers 10:29. In verses 10:30-32, he first refused to go with Moses to the promised land, but Moses persisted, and he decided to go. Moses told Hobab that he would help find campsites and “you can be our eyes.” Moses would also share all good things the Lord gives to them with Hobab.

In verse 10:33, they set out from the mountain of the Lord and traveled for three days with the arc of the covenant before them, and the cloud of the Lord was over them by day.

In verse 11:1-3, the people began to complain about their hardships and when the Lord heard them he became angry and sent fire which destroyed some of the outskirts of the camp.

When the people cried out to Moses, he prayed to the Lord and the fire died down.  Moses named that place Taberah, because of the fire. The name means “burning” and in this case, God’s “burning anger” because of the complaining Israelites.

The solution to Hobab’s question was in Moses’ prayer. Prayer is the answer for getting through to them.  Prayer!

There could possibly be a cross-link to the Moving Hills vision in this dream and the passages from scripture, but any such link is tenuous at best. In the Moving Hills vision, I was looking out from a mountain when I was seeing a clear path across the plains and through the hills ahead.

In the scripture, Hobab was to have the eyes that looked out from the mountain of the Lord across the plains of the desert for campsites. Did I see with Hobab’s eyes? Was he talking to Moses?

God’s burning message.

In any event, I began to deliver God’s burning message as the Holy Spirit began to move me.

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.” John 16:13-14 (NIV)

What I have found is that the Holy Spirit will have you say what He wants you to say whether you want to or not. He is not too embarrassed or too shy to put words in your mouth to defend what He wants defended. He is never sleeping.

“The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”  Rom. 13:12 (NIV)

NEXT:  the End Times Hymn 

Vision of The Fruit on The Cross

The Fruit

Most Christians have read the fruit and the vine passage by Jesus.  This vision was very brief and somewhat mysterious.  I think it relates to the fruit of the cross, for it is the cross that we most often use as a symbol of our faith.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.   John 15:5 (NIV) 

Wednesday July 8, 1998

I had a brief vision that night, the first in about 6 months.  I saw a well-formed cross with shadows on the edges as if highlighted from the front, and seen from about a 45 degree view.   There was a very healthy, very thick vine growing around it with what appeared to be very large fruit hanging on my side of the cross.

If there were leaves, they were behind the fruit or behind the cross, as I did not see any.  I did see the vine quite clearly, from the thick roots at the base to the even thicker trunk looped over the cross arm. 

The thick vine was looped around the back, over the left arm of the cross, then draped across the front toward the right and then toward me on the right, and finally ended in the fruit. 

The fruit appeared to be a huge bunch of grapes, all in one large bunch, shaped somewhat like a large hornet’s nest.   Grapes?  Perhaps by suggestion only, as the idea seemed to be the the fruit was bountiful, pure and perfect in form.  Fruit in any event.

If these were grapes, they were either enormous grapes or the cross was small.  I did not have a good reference for dimensions, but the fruit stretched from just below the cross arm to about 80 percent of the way to the ground.  

There was one point later in the vision where the cross seemed to be much taller and thinner and there was something going on behind it, and the vertical part of the cross was brighter, almost shining, but I couldn’t see it in any kind of detail as the fruit remained the same size in my view and obscured much of what was behind it.

The vision only lasted a few moments, and then was gone.  I wish that I could have seen what was happening on the other side of the cross.  Perhaps I was only viewing the backside of it and Jesus was on the other or perhaps it was simply someone attending to the fruit that I was not allowed to see.  It is one of the mysteries of these visions that sometimes I’m only allowed to see a portion of it and most often they are accompanied by silence.   I am grateful for those few things God has chosen to reveal to me.   I’m not complaining.

There are many references to the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and this vision seemed to relate the fruit to the Cross.  Perhaps the fruit of the Cross is the Holy Spirit who was God’s gift as promised by Jesus.

I started receiving these visions after a “Clear Warning” that I was going to die.  It was an earnest prayer within God’s will that seemed to save my life.   I started relating these visions to you, gentle reader, some ten years later.  I did not start with the first visions that I had received in fear that you would think this is fantasy or fiction.  It is neither.  However, for the next few days I will go back to the first two visions I received.   There are a number of others that are end-time related and I’ve saved them for last.  

So next I will tell about the vision of The Monk and the Dark People.   It is a sort of an examination and is the very first vision that I received after the Clear Warning, and for that matter, the first ever for me.

Vision of Crossing Over – Timeless Heaven

Crossing Over

This vision had the most profound meaning to me of any vision I’ve had.  It was the final seal for me that heaven not only exists, but it is indeed populated with our ancestors.  There was a suprise though in one major area – it showed me who else is already there.

But about the resurrection of the dead‑‑have you not read what God said to you, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’ ? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.  Matthew 22:31‑33 (NIV) 

Thursday, November 25, 1999, Thanksgiving Day.  It was the day after my Father died.  I was trying to take a nap, but not successfully.   I kept telling Dad, and God as well, how much I loved them.  Also Mother.  

I had a brief vision, followed by an understanding that seemed to come from God about the “hereafter”.  But first the vision:

I saw Dad lying back on the chair that I found him in, he had his mouth partially open and immediately a wispy breath emerged but grew into the figure of a white angel carrying what I knew was his spirit, who was also wispy and white.  The angel had Dad around his waist from behind and both were facing forward as they sped skyward.  Although Dad was still in the chair in a closed house when I found him, they were now speeding away into the open blue sky.

They were both looking to heaven and speeding away so rapidly that the entire vision took only a second to complete. 

The angel’s wings were initially folded back sharply to form a long trail that came from Dad’s mouth, and as they came out, they were immediately the same size as the figure of Dad – it happened so fast that when I first realized what I was looking at, they were full size, and Dad’s head was about even with the Angel’s, and both were looking straight up as they sped away.

Then I had an understanding or word of comfort that seemed to be a truth that only God could have given me.

The words I heard said,

“Take comfort!  The Spirit and Heaven, like God, are timeless and have no beginning and no end.  Your father has not gone to the present Heaven, but to the future Heaven!   You and your descendants, as well as your ancestors, are all there to greet him!”

Those are the only words that I heard, but the understanding goes deeper.  I can’t find the words to describe the terminology of Heaven in the context of time.  The best that I can hope to do is to say that when we die, we don’t go to the present Heaven, meaning one that exists right now, even though one exists right now – Heaven is in a different time dimension than we can perceive!   Heaven wasn’t one age when Moses died and an older one when Dad died.   Heaven is both ageless and timeless.  So is the spirit, even yours and mine.  God has known us from the beginning of time.

In a sense, there is no such thing as a “present Heaven,” unless you say “the ever-present Heaven”, because Heaven, like God, is timeless.  When we die, our spirits are timeless, in the same sense that God is timeless, but of course, our spirits have limitations that He does not have.  We don’t become gods. 

We actually cross over into a timeless world, not a  present heaven where a person dies and arrives in Heaven that day and many years later one of their great great grandchildren dies and he or she arrives at that later time.  Instead, we arrive all at once, best described by my feeble mind as the future one.   I say that because   from what I was told, not only are our ancestors present, but our descendants too!   In my thinking, I can only perceive that as the future Heaven, though I know that is not good terminology.

I don’t know how it works, but what I understand is that when we arrive in Heaven, we are greeted by loved ones who have preceded us and loved ones who die later, and soon, all descendants.  All of us arrive at the great awakening as soon as we cross over, with no apparent lapse of time, but when we first arrive, it is in that future time as we would perceive it on earth.  I would guess that this happens in the end times as described by Revelations.  

So we meet our parents, grandparents and our children and grand children, nieces, and nephews generations far into this “natural” world’s future and far into the past as well. 

I would guess that we don’t necessarily see or meet them all at once, but being timeless, we may meet a future descendant or perhaps an ancestor and visit with them, and even travel back or forward with them and observe their life at the times they wish us to see, and show our own lives as well.   Our spirits are timeless so we can move back and forth through time at will. 

I am speculating at this point, so feel free to discount this part, but as I see it, it is in those travels, when we, as spirits, could conceivably  visit our own “natural” lives, which may be (as we perceive time in this natural world) some time in our distant past or some time in our future.   In any event, those who find comfort in thinking their departed loved one is nearby or watching over them can take heart in knowing that they may well be doing exactly that in God’s timeless Heaven.

Do you suppose it is possible that, on those occasions, we sometimes, perhaps only with God’s permission, give ourselves a word of knowledge or wisdom that we may recognize as coming from God or we might attribute to a premonition or to deja vu?

In any event, the really neat thing about Heaven, the part that I get a firm grasp on, is this:  When we die we are instantly with loving ancestors, loving descendants, and with a loving God.   Everything that we have worried about has already happened and these happy spirits that we meet in Heaven when we arrive are unconcerned about long past events. 

I can’t see why there would be any reason to visit or observe those we left behind, since we are together in Heaven, but perhaps sometimes we may choose to do so.  Dad, although he preceded me in death, is already with me in Heaven.  He has no reason to look over me in the life he left behind.  He already knows the outcome.  

If we were to choose to go back and look at some significant event that is part of my or his life, we might have an option to give a word of knowledge that comes in our own voice, in our own head, so it may or may not be recognizable as coming from our Spirit.  Have you ever, if you are like me, occasionally had things come to you “out of the blue” a sudden thought,  and it suddenly makes a difference in your life? 

In any event, I have come to  realize that all those trials and tribulations, all those successes and failures have little meaning except as to how we look in the eyes of God.   Pain and sorrow, despair and death, all fade away when we show our lives to our loved ones in the light of God’s plan, and see how it all fits in.  I imagine that we couldn’t be happier, or freer to worship and praise God with that knowledge and freedom.                   

For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. {22} For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. {23} But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. {24} Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.  1 Corinthians 15:21‑24 (NIV) 

This vision, like the many that preceded it, are all true and accurately described using notes from my journal at the time.  However, it is well to note that these visions have never faded.   Not at all like dreams which fade even before you finish getting up.  Once God gives you a vision, you have it forever.  You can call it up at anytime.   I’ve not always recalled the exact words I saw or heard, but the visual parts are fixed like a movie playing in my mind.   The words are accurate because they came from my journal, usually written within moments of the end of a vision.

They have been generally in the order received, but I’ve gotten out of order here to put my Dad’s death next to Mother’s.  Now I have to figure out how to put these in order again and can’t.  They are at least all accurately dated. 

Because it is related to the end times and/or ascending to heaven, I will tell you about The Children next.

Vision of The Grave

  The Grave

This vision of a grave that had an open door taught me some things about the various doors in our life and that death is just one of them.  The opening of this door is the most dramatic to us, the living, since it appears to be final.  It is not, as you will see. 

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.  John 5:24 (NIV) 

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.  Acts 2:26-27 (NIV)

This short vision opened with a nighttime view of a tombstone.  It was of the type with straight sides running into a rounded top.   The tombstone was not ornate and did not have any carvings or readable engravings that I could see from where I was standing, fifteen to twenty feet away.  The tombstone was softly lighted in the moonlight and behind it was a dark hill or large mound, completely black. 

I moved closer to see if I could read the inscription, but somehow I was not afraid that it was mine, or anyone that I knew. 

As I approached the stone marker, it grew in size, much faster than the perspective change I would get just by drawing nearer.  Suddenly, I realized that the marker was now really a doorway into the dark hill behind it.  

As I watched, it opened to reveal a brightly lighted opening, but I could not see inside.  The vision ended at that point.    I’m sorry, but I can only relate what I saw in the vision and then only speculate at what it might mean.

I had the strong impression later that the vision was to show me that death was only a doorway to a new life in the light of the Lord.   I expect that the well-lighted room beyond was a better place than within this broken world.

Open doors.

Consider a butterfly when it is still in a cocoon.  Consider a baby still in the womb.  Consider a chicken still in the egg.  Do they know what is on the other side of their veil?  Can they imagine what is ahead?  Similarly, we are born more than once in this world. 

The first door: 

We are born once when we are conceived. 

That is the first door that opens for us.  Life become a reality in the womb as a place to prepare for a new world.  During the time of our stay in the womb, we have no concept of the world outside, although we hear sounds and feel things moving, the world that awaits is a total mystery, and we come out crying and fearful at what is the death of one life and the rebirth of another. 

The second door: 

Our second birth is our entry into the earthly world.

A second door is opened, and a second birth, now into the light of Man’s world.  We come out kicking and screaming and fearful at what is the death of one life and the rebirth of another. 

The third door:

We are born again in the Spirt

We are born again in the Spirit when we are baptized by the Holy Spirit.  We are regenerated into a new person.  The old one is dead, a new one is born as a child of Christ.  A third door is opened, as we greet the light of Christ and our salvation and prepare for yet another world.

The fourth door:

Death as we know it.

We are born a final time when worldly death overtakes us and we are born into the light of God.  This final door is an eternal one, and we greet the glorious light of God in that final world of paradise.

Mother’s birthday connection.

I don’t know if this is a true connection, but this vision occurred the day before my Mother’s birthday.  She had died the year before of lung cancer after a period of silent suffering.  Perhaps I was thinking of my Mother and the Holy Spirit decided to share with me an insight about death that would comfort me.

I had long ago decided that she had gone to heaven, and I would join her there someday.  I miss her so much, and I want to tell her how much I love her.  I’ve already told you something about heaven that I gleaned from a vision. 

Since I’ve told you about a vision connected to my mom’s death, I’ll next tell you about my dad’s death which came years later.   It has a profound revelation about the nature of Heaven and when we arrive!   Next:  Crossing Over.