Category Archives: Jesus

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

Don’t be afraid of God’s Will

One of the things I hear most often when I suggest that someone pray about something of concern to them is “What if it isn’t God’s Will?”  What they are really saying is that they are afraid that God will not answer their prayer and then they will lose some of their faith.  They don’t want to take a chance of being turned down or at least being disappointed by the results of their prayer.

It is a tough problem to overcome.   A child afraid to ask their parent for some little thing because they are afraid their mom or dad will say “No.”   Now as an adult that won’t ask their Father God for some major thing that affects their lives because they are afraid of the answer.  Perhaps they have seen a few too many “No” answers in their lives already – either to themselves, to friends or other family members.    A single disappointment can override a lifetime of “Yes” answers they did not pay a lot of attention to.  There are some truths that this person needs to know.

Truths You Need to Know 

Here are the truths you need to know:

Jesus told us how to pray

Pray in God’s revealed will

God loves you

God cares for you

God hears you

Don’t make statements of unbelief

Wait

Be Persistant

Don’t blame yourself

Don’t blame God

What about predestination?

Jesus told us how to pray. Matthew 6:9,10 This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Pray in God’s revealed will.  In my previous post, I gave 10 specific things that the Bible tells us is in God’s Will.   Since the most often prayed for thing is healing, I’ll tell you that Jesus gave the gift of healing to all believers (Mark 16:17-18). He also said we could move our mountains (Mark 11:23-25). These are in God’s revealed will. You can safely pray for anything in God’s revealed will, including healing, and not be afraid!

God loves you. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

God cares for you, so don’t worry. God is actually and truly your Father in Heaven (Matthew 6:9-13) who loves and cares for you. Matthew 6:25-34 Therefore do not worry about your life…Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?…and your heavenly Father knows that you need them (certain necessities). But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

God hears you. God has good hearing! 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.

Don’t make statements of unbelief. “If it is God’s will, I will be healed” is a statement of unbelief because he has already said that it is in his will. Believe him, God does not lie. (The “if” word is a no-no.) You can safely pray that “your will, not mine be done”, and expect that God’s will for your healing will be done because he loves and cares for you, his earthly child.

Wait – What if healing doesn’t happen (immediately)? Above all, don’t lose faith! Healing has begun, but you don’t see it yet, and you don’t understand God’s plan for your healing! Don’t expect an instantaneous cure, even though we acknowledge that with God, all things are possible.  Remember I said that God seems to like “quiet miracles“.

You must understand that some problems take time to resolve because even diseases are required to work within the rules set up by God for both living and dying. Various diseases do work within God’s will, but fortunately diseases do not have our privilege to pray and to praise God, and, in addition, God has given us dominion over all creatures (Genesis 1:28). His promise to heal is in agreement with his gift to us of dominion over all creatures (including disease). Healing does begin when you pray in faith.

Be Persistant.  God’s plan and timetable are not always our plan and timetable, and are not always within our understanding. Be persistent (Luke 11:8 , also 18:1-8) and always be faithful to God. He heard you the first time, but don’t be discouraged! Be persistent, be remindful, be thankful, and know that without prayer, your condition at this moment might well have been much worse!

What if God’s final answer is “No”?

Don’t blame yourself  Don’t blame yourself if the answer is No.   You have done nothing wrong by praying.  It was not a selfish act to ask for God’s will to be done or to make promises He knows you can’t keep or to ask for personal or family healing – He expects you to.  Nothing you did or didn’t do could affect the outcome if God’s final answer is no. 

Dont blame God either.  Although I always assert that “God is in Control,” I don’t ever blame God.  I accept His will.  Always.  Time will come soon enough for all of us to reach the understanding as to Why God’s will was not the same as ours.  God is in Control, but it does not mean that He chose to hurt you or chose to allow a family member to die without some underlying reason.   I like to think of it this way:   Our life on earth is very very short compared to the infinity that lies ahead.   Christians went to their deaths willingly in those early days with the full faith that they would be joining God soon.   We all die and the few years, as we see them cut short, is nothing – zero, compared to infinity.   There is another comforting factor that came from my visions – we are already with God in a timeless heaven.  Not just us but our ancestors and our descendants as well.

What about predestination? Predestination is a theology that says that God finished His creation in one week and every wheel and every atom and every thought was conceived and planned out to the most infinate detail during that time, forever into the future.  My own church, Presbyterian, believes in predestination, and will bring up double and triple predestianation if necessary to explain things.  To say that is to say that God is an absentee from our current world and is incapable of making changes that He has already predetermined.   Hogwash.  God can do whatever He chooses at any time.    Rewrite history, rewrite present, rewrite future – easy for the creator of the entire universe.  If He chose the future, He can certainly change it.  God is always in control.

I can certify that through my own experience that predestination is a Theology invented by theologians, not God.  The theologian’s job is to build a belief system. God sent the Holy Spirit to help us overcome that burden in our life.   God can change His mind whenever He wants to.  It is the reason that prayer works.

Thank you, God. 

Oldtimer

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

 

Are you and I already in heaven?

There is reason for me to believe that we live in a parallel universe right now.   Yes, one of those universes that the scientists talk about in purely scientific terms.  We exist there now with our same memories and personalities (although possibly much more mellow), but in a timeless place where we are free to move back and forth in what to us is time.   In that place everything that has already happened, or will ever happen in our present or natural universe is available to all the inhabitants of the other universe.  

The inhabitants of that other universe just don’t have the same ability that we have to change anything in our universe (the one we live in now) as they go along.  But they can visit our past, our present, and our future at will.   That place is called Heaven by us, and the only “catch” as we would characterize it is that everyone is already dead, risen again and with the Father.   You, I, everyone we know, all our individual ancestors and all our children, and all their descendants are already there.   And we are still stuck here.  Thankfully, it is temporary and we will then cross over the veil into that other universe – to Heaven.

This concept is all based on one of the most interesting visions I’ve had, a revelation on the nature of Heaven and of our spirits.  It is the brief one the evening after my father died.   I called it the Vision of Crossing Over – Timeless Heaven. In it a voice, presumably from an angel, told me this about my father who had died earlier in the day:

“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!”

Do you understand what that really means?   Most of us can fathom the concept that “God is timeless” – capable of moving back and forth in time, that “He knew us from the beginning” and planned and “created us from the first day of creation”.   In other words, timelessness is a special attribute that we associate with God.   Yet when we hear that God has known us from the beginning of creation, we just take it for granted that He is able to do that.   He planned us and when we would be born, live and die.   Now the timeless spirit word from the angel tells us that we were actually present at the beginning too – the spirit is “timeless and have no beginning and no end” – confirmation of what we have been told.

The voice told me that our spirit and the Heaven that we go to are both timeless.   A timeless heaven and a timeless spirit (our spirit) resolves the conflict between the idea of Revelations 20 whereby we are all resurrected together and the idea that we hope is true – that we are taken immediately to Heaven.  If Heaven and our spirits are timeless, then we both go immediately (one at a time) and at the same instant arrive together.   Jesus told the criminal on the cross: 

…”Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” Luke 23:43

This criminal went straight to Heaven, but we thought perhaps it was a special case.  This timeless Heaven, timeless spirit revelation resolves the quandary I hear all the time.   “I’m sure that my Mother is in heaven, but I’ve also been told that we rise together at the end of 1000 years – at the end times.   When do we go?  Is she there already or not?”

They both are true, because in Heaven all times are the same time.   She dies well before you, rises immediately (at the instant of death) at the end times and is greeted by you and all your ancestors and your descendants who also arise at that same instant.   She can look down on you at any time she chooses, and so can you. 

What a concept!  What a revelation!    Heaven’s inhabitants can visit any of our natural times at any time their spiritual bodies wish.   We arrive together but it is instantaneous upon our death, which may be many years apart as we measure it, but is the same instant as God, Heaven, and the Spirit measure it.

In this parallel universe of a timeless Heaven, we can move back and forth in time, visit with ancestors and visit situations with our descendants.  We likely won’t be concerned with what is happening because we already know the outcome and are already with whoever we were visiting with.   I can’t see any reason for this visiting except as a chance to smile and say:  “Now look how worried you were!  And now you know it was all for nothing!” or just to review and witness how our families developed.

Ever had a déjà vu moment?  The experience of déjà vu seems to be very common; in formal studies 70% of people report having experienced it at least once.   Déjà vu has been described as “remembering the future.”   Perhaps our own spirit, already in Heaven, has given us a quick glimpse of this moment and we did not realize it.   Ever had an inspiration that seemed to come out of the blue?   An idea, a solution, a thought that you did not understand how it popped into your head?   Perhaps an ancestor, descendant, or self was present.

Parallel universe – or Heaven!  What do you think?  I think Heaven is all around us, not just “up there”!

For the scientists and physicists:

Those of you with a scientific curiosity and mind may want to check out how I’ve presented this timeless concept to the physics world:   Does time exist?  What I’m really talking about there is the realm of photons – light.  It was inspired by the vision mentioned above.   God is the light, Jesus is the light of the world.   If this parallel universe we call Heaven is timeless, perhaps it exists in the same universe that photons – light – does.   It makes sense to me.  It tells me where Heaven really is, not necessarily up there, but all around us – we just can’t see it – yet!  This other presentation is purely scientific.  You and I know the rest of the story.

Yes, science and religion can co-exist.  

Oldtimer

Vision of The Train

The Train

The following is a vision that is undated in my journal. It occurred near the beginning of November 1997, sometime after the End Times Hymn. This vision seems to be an End Time Vision of a different type than those in the Bible.  I suddenly found myself in an old steam-driven train, riding in the first passener car behind the engine.

After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast–terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns. Dan 7:7 (NIV)

It was set in the future, but not too very far. I say that because the train I was on did not look much different than those of today. In fact it was an old train by today’s standards, except it seemed unusually wide, even huge.

This train was traveling on rough rails in the dark. The entire interior was poorly lighted, and I was making my way from the back of a car toward the engine.

I had to use my hands to hold onto the seats on each side of me. When I approached the engine, I could see through a rectangular metal window and view the inside. It was pitch black except for the glow of coals showing in the firebox door, illuminating the walls, almost evil looking. The entire train had an evil feel to it and I was concerned as to where it was taking me.

I decided that I did not want to go into the engine compartment, so I went to a side door to the left, and as I did, the train stopped. I got off and noticed that there was a group of people standing in a small crowd in front of the engine on my side of the tracks.

They were praying. One of the women seemed familiar, but she was not someone that I recognized from the church. She seemed to be almost holy in appearance, she was praying so fervently. Everyone was dressed in black as if going to a funeral.

I looked across the tracks and I could see what looked like a narrow-gage rail track extending along a ridge running up a hillside that ran perpendicular to the track our train was on. The lower end of the side track terminated in a sort of overhead platform on which was setting a small cart on rails.

A very tall, shirtless man was standing on the platform above us and using a rope to attach to scrolls and books in the cart. The rope was hauling them upward and out of sight.

The hillside was glowing in places as if there were fires there, but otherwise the hillside was very dark. I began to notice large boxes being unloaded from the train and being brought forward to where we were standing.

The boxes were labeled as various books of the bible, and as they were opened, it was apparent that many of these were very ancient. Most of them were scrolls, but others were hardbound in wooden covers or thick leather. Some were ornately engraved.

“Mark”, “Luke,” “John,” “In His Own Hand.”

I suddenly realized that these people were destroying all the works of scripture and all the bibles in the world. There were boxes and crates full of bibles everywhere I looked.

I began to cry and I was deeply grieving the loss. I didn’t want to be a part of this.

The instant I realized this truth, and began to grieve, the woman that had seemed so holy turned on me and transformed into something hideous and wicked as I watched.

I realized then that she was a false witness to the proceedings and belonged to the enemy that was bent on destroying the books. These “worshipers” had been praying as a token gesture to a false god. I had the impression that the woman wanted to see my number. She kept peering at my forehead.

He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.

This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.   Rev 13:16-18 (NIV)

I didn’t see any other passengers, so I may have been the last one. I know I did not have their mark; I did not have the number and she was furious. They all were.

And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.

This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus. Rev 14:11-12 (NIV)

The vision then ended. I do not know how to interpret this dreamlike vision. I can only call it another signal to be prepared, the end is near! Earlier in this vision I used an passage from Daniel that brings forth an image of a train.  In the same vision of Daniel is this passage:

In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern-faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise. He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people.
Dan 8:23-24 (NIV)

The vision of the train appeared to be about the destruction of all references to our religion as we know it. Where they found the very old manuscripts, I don’t know. My sense was that they were destroying everything in an effort to wipe out Christianity. It was the End Times – nearer every day, as it was explained to Daniel in his vision:

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.” 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. Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand. Dan 12:7-10 (NIV)

Next “The Battle”

Vision of The End Times Hymn

The End Times Hymn

And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders.   No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.  Rev 14:3 (NIV)

In mid October 1997, I finished a book by Billy Graham titled “Storm Warning” published by Word Publishing. It is a book that casts current events as storm warnings to the storm of the Apocalypse.

Throughout his book I picked up a theme of the four horsemen of the book of Revelations and how they relate to the current events of 1992. I was impressed that many of the events that Billy Graham used in his book as signals for the end times were surpassed since then by even more powerful signals of the same kind.

The four horsemen of the apocalypse:

“I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.” Rev 6:2 (NIV)

“Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.” Rev 6:4 (NIV)

“When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand.”   Rev 6:5 (NIV)

“I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.”  Rev 6:8 (NIV)

These were the horsemen of the end times as seen in a vision by John and recorded in Revelations.

The first horseman was bent on conquest, and although on a white horse and wearing a crown, was not Christ as so many think, but was the great deceiver instead. The Christ Horseman is found in Revelations 19:

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war.” Rev 19:11 (NIV)

A few weeks later I was reading an unrelated book with the title “Experiencing God” which is a work/study book designed to help you know and do the will of God. It is published by Lifeway Press.

The book was one that my wife had picked up for me because she had been studying it as part of a women’s study class at our church, and she thought I would like it. I did. It was great.

I began to read the book and work through the exercises. After a couple of hours of reading and study, I suddenly began to hear a beautiful hymn in my head.

Angels singing.

It was as beautiful a hymn as I had ever heard. The words were almost angelic and accompanied by wonderful music. The verses were about the horsemen as they stormed the earth.

The horsemen of scripture in Revelations 6 are terrifying in their work, deceiving man, bringing war, famine and death. Yet the End Times Hymn was a hymn of praise for the horsemen’s work and to God!

It was a hymn of praise for God’s work in purifying the earth through the horsemen. It was praise for God’s sending of the horsemen as his final warnings to all of mankind about the end times.

It was also a praise for their signal for the second coming of Christ, the horseman of Revelations 19.    Each verse praised a new horseman and how he did God’s work in preparation for the great tribulation to come.

Sealed to the End Time.

Could it have been the song of Revelations 14?

And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder.

The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders.

No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.
Rev 14:2-3 (NIV)

I wish I could relay the verses to you. As beautiful as they were, I have lost them! Not a single verse, not even two words put together seem to match what I heard. Yet I am still struck by the beauty of what I heard – it was euphoric to listen to the hymn.   I know the theme of the verses, but not the words.  

I blame the loss on not getting up immediately and writing them down. I thought that something that beautiful would stick to me forever, much like my visions. It did not. Perhaps God has sealed it from me. Maybe they will emerge again as I pray.

I told my pastor about the hymn, and I have since tried to recover the words. I cannot. Nothing fits. Yet the words send me a message that I cannot ignore – the end is near. That theme rides in the back of my head everywhere I go. I need to warn my family and friends, and somehow reach as many of you as I can to tell you to be prepared.

That is part of the reason this work is dedicated to my family as well as to the church. My family was given draft copies as part of their Christmas gifts that year!

I want them to understand and be prepared. I want them to go with me when Jesus calls. I want you, gentle reader to be ready also.

Accept Jesus now. We don’t know how long we have. Don’t wait another moment. Kneel and accept. Repent and turn to Christ. Welcome the Holy Spirit’s call. It is more than being baptized with water; it is a need to be baptized by the Holy Spirit and be regenerated by Him.

Don’t hesitate to give yourself completely to God.  He will not likely send you on a mission that you won’t want to do.  He is good and HE LOVES YOU.  Trust Him completely.

The end times theme continues with my next vision:  The Train.

 

The Vision of the Moving Hills

The “Monk and the Dark People” was my first vision.  It was followed soon after by a vision I call “The Vision of the Moving Hills.”  It was to have one of the most dramatic openings for a vision that I have ever had.  It was also the beginning of a series of scripturally based and prophetic visions that began to come true.

Moving Hills

A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the LORD ; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.  Isa 40:3 (NIV) 

I was one of the invited attendees to an after-church meeting called by our pastor that was simply titled “healing meeting.”

My interest in healing had developed only after the Clear Warning, but I had developed an uncommon interest in healing, as if I had discovered Jesus’ healing ministry on my own.  

That night I prayed to God for the guidance to do His will, and His will only, about the healing ministry, that it would be a means to bring glory to God.   I generally stay up late, so it was after midnight when I finished praying, and now Monday morning.   (Comment as of 2007 – healing was not my calling unless you consider working to heal the homeless situation a healing ministry).

Dramatic opening.

After laying down, but still awake, I felt a very intense rapid vibration, somewhat like what you feel when you hold an electric alarm clock that is buzzing before you turn it off, but without the sound.

My whole body was shaking, but it was not an internal shaking, instead, it was more like the entire bed was being driven by some large motor.  The vibration quit immediately when the vision began.

I began to see a white sky filled with many, many silver musical instruments that all looked like they might be reed or flute type instruments (with tubes running side by side). 

Some were much bigger than others, but all had reeds.  A few had a tube that circled the outside of the reed part and ended in a very small bell, like a trumpet with a small opening. 

All were silver in color, but they were generally oriented in different directions, meaning some had the reeds running top to bottom, but others were rotated or turned, one-way or another while laying flat on an invisible surface that was slightly tilted. 

These instruments were all in one plane, and they were moving as if sliding down a pane of glass, appearing out of the sky at the upper left, and sliding out of sight below me at the bottom right.  I was not standing on anything, and the instruments were all in front of me.  

There was no sound from the musical instruments during this vision, or any other sounds at any time, except external sounds such as that of the putter of the furnace in the basement below our bed when it came on during the vision.    Also I was aware that I was awake because I noticed the furnace come on while I was listening for the music, and thought “I’m not asleep.”

The plane the instruments were sliding down was not visible, but it was obvious the instruments were all lined up and evenly spaced, although different sizes, and turned in different directions.

As I watched, the angle of the plane shifted slightly and the whole thing started moving toward me.  In a few moments, the base of the plane reached me and began passing through me, instruments and all. It swept through me starting at my feet and soon was passing over my head.

The command.

When they had gone by, three large written words appeared quickly on the lower left of the horizon, aligned all in a plane at the same angle as the instruments had been originally. 

The words were outlined in silver, both the words and the outside of the words, like a rounded frame drawn around it. 

The words had started high up to the front and to the left of me and quickly slid down. As they did, the words left “skid marks” until they hit the bottom, which didn’t look like the ground, but was clearly the bottom of that frame.  

The skid marks were much like the afterglow of lightning and quickly faded away. These words were spoken in my voice just as they hit bottom:  “Find another church.” 

The words I heard were only in my mind, not out loud.  This is another characteristic of my visions.  Much of the time I am just an observer, watching what is happening.  At certain events or points in the vision, my mental wonderment at the scene or action before me changes into a solid statement of reality or of fact that is spoken in declarative form in my mind. 

The words are spoken  in the same “voice” that I normally think in.  The words are not so much a command, but a declaration of an indisputable fact.

I know that my thoughts, at that time of the vision, were “Please, I don’t want to do that.”  Also, when I woke up the next morning, this part of the vision was the only part I didn’t remember until later, and I had to struggle to remember the words.   (Comment as of 2007 – I did not “find another church” and so if that is what God commanded, I am a disobediant sinner.  My hope is that He respected my desire to stick with the church I was a founding member of.)

The hills.

Immediately upon thinking “I don’t want to do that” an entirely new situation appeared!

Paved Plain and HillsThere was a long paved plain ahead of me stretching out ahead and to the left and right.  The paved area had groove marks spaced widely apart like paving.   It was light gray, like cement, and perfectly flat.  The groove marks were all aligned in one direction, straight ahead, converging to one point, with none crossing another.  

The paving extended into some beautiful rolling hills that were very green like new grass, but had no trees.  It was obvious that they were small, smooth, and rounded, and all the hills were about the same size.   Behind the hills was a grey background.

I was looking from high above the ground, so I could see over the hills, which were in front of me.  Once the hills started, there were hills behind them as far as you could see until the grey, which could have been mountains, or grey sky behind them.  

It was as if I were stationed on the side of a moderately high mountain, and I was looking across a paved perfectly-flat area at a series of rolling hills.  Each hill was nestled up against the next one, and more hills were stationed behind the gaps in the hills in front.  However, I had no sensation that I was actually standing on anything.

The grooves in the  pavement extended into the hills like roads, perfectly straight, and where they converged, the hills were separated to let it through. 

Path made straight.

The rest of the plain extended into the base of the hills, but disappeared quickly as other hills fit closely behind each gap.  Soon the perspective became more head-on, but I was still high enough to see over the first hills.

HillsI began to look at the hills from the left to the right and then back and forth and wherever I looked, the hills parted so that a straight path could be seen exactly where I was looking, but the paths in the peripheral vision were always blocked by other hills between and behind.  

begin road/valleyThe hills parted in a fluid motion, melting down and simply rising up next to the new path, squeezing against the other hills to make a straight path with a groove down the middle. 

The ones directly in my line-of-sight did not move aside, but simply melted down on one side and reappeared on the other, rising to their original height as my gaze moved on.  There was no sound.

valleyIf I shifted my gaze to look directly at a hill, it split, not like an axe cut, but simply began to be depressed in the middle, and the depression deepened smoothly until it reached the path level.

It then split apart and moved out of the way to clear a way for a path with a groove down the middle, as if paved all the way to the end.

Soon after I realized that wherever I looked the hills were actually moving out of my way, the vision ended.  This was after only a few sweeps back and fourth.  I had, however, an impression that there was another portion of the vision that has been wiped clean, as I cannot remember any part of it.  There is a definite feeling that there was more.

The instrument vision and the hills vision portions are so vivid that I can remember every detail and play them back anytime I want, even though it occurred just as I was going to sleep.  I can also clearly see the word frame, but the words themselves are no longer readable. 

The word frame seemed to outline the tops of the words, being higher on the left and tapering to the right.  The bottom of the word frame was flat.  I can still see the streaks that followed it to the bottom and see them fade. 

I believe that the instruments were there to get my attention that this was no ordinary vision.  It certainly did that!  Although there were no sounds coming from the instruments, there is no mistaking their symbolism as an opening announcement for a major event.  Throughout history, events have been announced with trumpets, and horns of all types.

The grooves seemed to symbolize a road or straight path, the shortest path to whatever was at the end of the road.  The mountains were moved out of the way and the path cleared wherever I looked.

I have called what I saw hills instead of mountains because there were so many of them, and because of the perspective I had in looking over them.

Disobedient Sinner.

Whenever I am reminded of this vision, I pray again to God to show me what He allowed me to forget if it was a command that I should obey.  I do not want to be disobedient, sinner though I am.

Stated supply blessing.

Our church had just received  a “stated supply” minister, John, which means that he was provided to temporarily fill a need for an associate minister (although technically that is a different title) with the understanding that he would move on some day. 

I shared a trust with John, and he asked me where I got my passion for God.  Thus I shared with him the Clear Warning and the Moving Hills vision.  I was not ready to share the other vision. 

Moving Hills – Preparing a path.

John pointed me to Isaiah which has similar imagery to the moving hills vision.  When I got home, I began reading Isaiah as if for the first time.  Eventually I found what he was referring to:  

A voice of one calling:  “In the desert prepare the way for our God.  Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; The rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.  And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it.  For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”   Isaiah 40:3-5 (NIV)

“I will turn all my mountains into roads, and my highways will be raised up.”   Isaiah 49:11 (NIV)

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,”  say the Lord, who has compassion on you.   (Isaiah 54:10 NIV)

These verses bring a different meaning to the Moving Hills vision other than that of healing, but healing seems to want to stick in my mind.  The several circumstances related to healing that occurred around the Moving Hills vision seem to point to healing as well. 

However, it is important not to try to read into a vision or a dream more than was intended by God.  There are numerous warnings about self-interpretation and false prophecies in the Word.

Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation.  For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.   2 Pet 1:20-21 (NIV) 

It is my opinion that any vision from God will be scripturally based, or certainly not conflict with scripture, and will always serve some purpose that promotes God’s glory.  It will never be self-serving.  

I believe that the Moving Hills vision has a scriptural basis and does not conflict with scripture.  To me, it has both a healing meaning and a messenger meaning. 

I feel strongly that this all promotes God’s glory, as it has affected me in so many positive ways in my relationship with Him, and in my relationship with the world around me.

After this 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.

I have more visions that I will share with you, but first I’d like to talk a little about Biblical Visions.