Part one of this post discusses my uncommon experiences with fragrances or “seeing with the nose,” and also how the sense of smell can remain active during dreams and help us to discern our spiritual environments. Scripture supports this because the Apostle John, a seer, exercised all his senses during his open visions and revelations of Jesus (he smelled the incense in Revelation 5:8, 8:4).
Additionally, I shared my dream about fragrances: I could not decide which to choose, so I bought samples of every fragrance from a perfumer and each sample was from a different nation. The entire set cost $120. Later, in the same dream, l was surprised that a woman sitting right beside me could not smell the fragrance I was wearing.
First, I will continue with a brief discussion about what dreams and the nations mean to me, then interpret the dream using symbols and similitudes, and finally share how this dream relates to all Believers in Christ.
A Juan in a Million Dreamers
When God granted my request for spiritual dreams, my walk became really exciting and complicated. Moreover, there were real lessons to be learned besides how to interpret dreams.
Although I diligently searched dream and Bible dictionaries, listened to teachings, connected with very helpful mentoring, and like a sponge absorbed all I could, the process became too “scripted” and many interpretations lacked the inner witness of the Spirit. On the inside I knew something (Someone) was missing. Thankfully, God intervened.
Suddenly the supernatural God invaded my world and took charge; He gained my full attention. Everything shifted. He became my Mentor, taught me His language through Scriptures, the Parables, similitudes, and teaching dreams. I watched Him perform miracles. I learned to discern His Voice, His Fragrance, His signs, and He truly became my Resource and Friend.
Key takeaways: Never underestimate the “inner witness” of the Holy Spirit. And definitely expect God to test your obedience in unusual ways.
In fact, God will always pour out His Spirit wherever He finds a captive audience, even if it’s an audience of one (remember young Samuel?). He wants to be our first and our last Resource, and He requires our obedience.
Why not trust God and become that attentive Juan-in-a million? You will not find a better Teacher and He brings gifts as unique as our DNA and thumbprints.
To receive more dreams and more encounters with God: Be diligent. Be attentive. Be obedient.
The Nations! The Nations!
Seeing dreams about nations seemed like a natural progression in life. By the age of four while living in London, (but born in the Caribbean) my two best friends were from Australia and India. Together, we covered four countries and four different continents!
Another friend from Finland invited me to church to learn about Jesus, and I later exchanged letters for years with other teenage pen friends in Africa, the Far East and Europe.
Granted, I never know when or where the Holy Spirit will take me, and without an airline ticket, passport, or visa. For example, during the past three weeks, without prior knowledge of (or interest in) the locations, I “met” some super nice people in the Derbyshire Dales and Brighton UK (my guess is that they are Intercessors).
Assuredly, my strongest connection to the nations is discerning God’s heart for the persecuted and suffering saints around the world. He brings (infrequently) a burden of intercession with tears for complete strangers! This next verse validates the myrrh with frankincense encounters.
Your royal robes release the scent of suffering [myrrh] love for your bride; the odor of aromatic incense is upon you. (Psalms 45:8, TPT)
I have shared all of this chiefly to say, dreams give insight into your destiny… and your destinations. But certain symbols will have deeper meaning only to you, and which only the Holy Spirit can interpret for you.
Dream Interpretation by Symbols
Now if we interpret the dream by the symbols:
The Perfumer is the Lord because He often appears in spiritual dreams.
The Fragrances are the “intercession” God has granted me for different nations (including His persecuted Bride).
Paying $120 means sacrificing my flesh, to begin life in the Spirit (Genesis 6:3, Acts 1:15).
The woman represents the spirit of this world which cannot discern the Fragrance of His Knowledge (2 Corinthians 2:14).
Interpretation: To intercede for nations, I must be willing to make the sacrifice to walk in the Spirit. I will intercede for many until I discern which nations I have been called to, because the world does not know and cannot discern the Lord.
Dream Interpretation by Similitudes
Question: Why did the Perfumer offer me samples of all nations for $120 instead of choosing one or two for me?
Have you watched the movie or read the book The Shack? When Sophia, the Spirit of Wisdom, asked Mackenzie to choose one of his children that he would be willing to sacrifice, he replied, That’s impossible!
Similarly, as seen in the Parable about the Kingdom of Heaven, the Man secretly re-buried the treasure He found in the field, then bought the whole field (Matthew 13:44). The field represents the world, redeemed with the Blood of Jesus. The treasure trove represents the nations (the souls) in the world who will accept Jesus. Whoever owns the field where treasure is found automatically becomes the Owner of the treasure.
The nations are groups of people (not countries) and God the Father does not choose one above another. Because He loves all, equally, the Perfumer could not choose one nation for me, He gave me all. Likewise, Jesus came to offer salvation to every nation in the world. (John 3:16)
These are examples of similitudes. We will often find these “similarities” between our lives, our dreams, and the Scriptures.
The House of the Perfumer
In the earthly Tabernacle, the Levitical priests (family of Levi) tended to the duties in the Tabernacle, but only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies. Offerings were received. Animals were sacrificed to atone for the sins of the people. The air was saturated with the smell of burning animal flesh and grains, fresh bread, and incense which had to be specifically measured and mixed to please God’s nostrils. Lamps were trimmed, and the oil replenished to keep them burning. Obviously, the Tabernacle was a busy and fragrant place.
In Heaven’s Tabernacle, Melchizedek, priest of God whose Order is higher than Levi’s, receives offerings. And Jesus Our High Priest offered Himself as sacrifice for us. He placed His own Blood on the Mercy Seat once and for all, then sat down. By this, Jesus opened the way for every Believer to enter the Holy of Holies through His Blood (Hebrews 7:1-17, 10:10-21).
The Service of the Royal Priesthood
Every Believer is part of a Royal Priesthood, called to minister before the Lord, offering spiritual sacrifices through Jesus (2 Peter 2: 5-9).
If we are only ministering to people, then we may be overlooking our service in the Tabernacle. Our primary ministry should always be unto God.
Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations. (Isaiah 56:7)
According to Revelations 8:1-4, all of Heaven was reverentially silenced for thirty minutes before an angel offered a censer with all the prayers of the saints before God; it was fragrant and pleasing.
Whatever we desire to offer to God must first come from Him in order to be pleasing to Him.
Offerings from others source are like “strange fire,” unacceptable and malodorous (Leviticus 10: 1-3). Consequently, whether we offer Worship, Intercession, Love, Faith, Forgiveness, the Tithe, all must originate from Him. Even Jesus only offered ministry that He saw the Father doing.
So then, in the Heavenly Tabernacle some of my pleasing offerings are the Fragrances (intercession) I received from the Perfumer. My dream destinations and encounters identify the source nations (towns, individuals, universities, politicians etc.).
Question: How can you identify your pleasing service and offerings to the Lord?
Every believer has a unique ministry unto the Lord (not usually your hobby) and your dreams will reveal exactly what God desires most from you. (Solomon offered an exceptional offering and prayed for wisdom because God had first instructed him in a dream, 1 Kings 3:9-11).
The Fragrance of Suffering
I believe the woman in the dream represents the spirit of the world which cannot discern spiritual things. This world requires more of our time, our attention, our clicks, our compliance, our productivity, and it offers little of spiritual or eternal value.
Is it any wonder that Jesus would tell His disciples, come away by yourselves and rest? (Mark 6:31) We too must periodically disconnect and unplug to avoid becoming a worldly distracted Bride.
Disruptions will come. Unexpected pain, a tragedy or loss demand answers to difficult questions. God, why would you let this happen?
Yet, there is something about brokenness and penitence (from a surrendered heart) that releases a very precious aroma to God. He cannot resist a broken spirit or contrite heart. When we cry, He suffers too. He bottles our tears! (Psalms 51:17; 56:8)
So, He often warns us when we are running headlong into heartbreak or disaster through – a dream or vision in the night, an audible voice, or even – an unusual fragrance, to help us break free.
We can be grateful for God’s interruptions. Why not take a second whiff, or turn aside to inspect the burning bush, or respond to that tugging inner voice?
One Final Word
Is it any coincidence that in the year of vision (2020), during the pandemic, that so many peoples and nations lost their ability to “see with the nose”? In parabolic language, a stuffy nose or loss of smell means discernment is hindered.
Declaration Prayer: May the Lord restore health and discernment to the Nations, and spread the sweet Fragrance of His Knowledge in every place! Amen.
Canine scientists tout that a dog’s sense of smell is up to 100,000 times more acute than humans’; however, not much is known about the ability to smell during sleep. My Norwegian Elkhound (a breed that excels in tracking scents) could sleep undisturbed through television noise, but the minute I unwrapped something fragrant that he liked, such as baked chicken, he was up faster than a recoiled spring!
A Dog Really Knows (Nose)
Dogs can be trained to detect and warn their humans of epilepsy (they also sense fear, cancer, and changes in blood sugars). According to Dr. Cattet, an expert in this field, canine neuroscientists recently discovered that even untrained dogs can sense epileptic events before they occur. This led to the discovery that the dogs detect changes in “scents” (something I long suspected to be true). Cheers to man’s favorite pet! (No offense intended to you cat-lovers).
Since the Bible speaks of spirits of epilepsy, fear, and infirmity, could science be demonstrating that the dogs are actually smelling the spirits behind these conditions? (Matthew 17:15-17, 2 Timothy 1:7, Luke 13:11)
Seeing with the Nose
While images and sounds are known to be forms of light waves, most people do not think of fragrances as light. The accepted physiology of smell is that odor molecules stimulate chemical changes in olfactory neurons in the back of the nose which send electrical impulses to the brain. Our brains then interpret these impulses as scents and maintain a database so that we can memorize fragrances.
Yet, how we smell is not really known. In a 2020 published study, scientists were able to incept smell in mice by stimulating the olfactory bulb of the brain with light.
John 1:3-9 tells us: “All things were made through Him…In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it… [He is] the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.” (Square brackets added for clarity).
In other words, though we are made of light that came from the Light (the Lord), we reject what we do not comprehend until God reveals it to us. Since the Bible describes Believers as the light of the world, the salt of the earth, and the fragrance of Christ, is it telling us (in coded language) that we were created to be able to see, taste, and smell this light? (Matthew 5:13, 14; 2 Cor 2:15)
While the ability to smell in the spirit (to “see” with the nose), is one of several gifts the Holy Spirit gives to help us to “discern” our spiritual environments, Isaiah 29:10 suggests that seers use all the senses. And whatever is pleasing to God (the aroma of Christ) will smell pleasant in the spirit. (Ephesians 5:2, Philippians 4:18)
The Fragrance of Nations
There were many different bottles of perfume on display in all shapes and sizes, and I did not know which one to choose. The kind store owner (perfumer) noticed my dilemma and set down a tray full of little glass vials in front of me; each vial was a sample poured from a larger bottle. He suggested that I buy all the samples for $120, try them out, and then come back to get more of the ones that I liked. He included a little booklet containing a description of each fragrance and its source nation. A perfect solution!
Later, at a small group meeting, I asked a lady sitting nearby if she could smell my perfume. Surprisingly, she said no, she smelled nothing at all!
The last scene of this dream has reoccurred in real life more times than I can remember; someone can be right beside me yet is unable to smell what I can (More about this dream in Part Two).
Encountering Scent Clouds
In Parables, Dreams & Encounters, I described how I came to understand this gift, which I have had since childhood, and how helpful it is for discerning spirits in dreams and supernatural encounters.
To be clear, I am not psychic and cannot turn the gift on and off at will. A key difference is, Christian seers do not entertain the paranormal. Instead, we “encounter” the supernatural – the Kingdom of Heaven (Light) versus the kingdom of darkness – in the course of pursuing the Giver of the gift (not the gift itself). I need to stay closely connected and sensitive to the Holy Spirit to be able to discern what He is drawing to my attention.
Fragrances of Life and Death
Who is this coming out of the wilderness Like pillars of smoke, Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, With all the merchant’s fragrant powders? (Song of Solomon 3:6)
At unexpected times and in unusual places, I began to encounter recurring “scent clouds” of what quickly became my favorite fragrance, a mixture of frankincense and myrrh, and other pleasant scents that I learned to associate with the Lord. Sometimes others near me would smell the fragrances too, reassuring evidence of the Lord’s Presence! (Matthew 18:20)
Later, God allowed me to have encounters with the kingdom of darkness. There is no other way to describe these scents. They truly stink, far more putrid and disgusting than any unpleasant body odor (BO) I have ever experienced as a clinician. Perhaps this is because death and decay are the polar opposite to Light and Life (God).
The Fragrance of the Knowledge of Christ
Second Corinthians 2:14 -16 reveals that: through us in Christ, God diffuses the Fragrance of His knowledge in every place. We are to God the Fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.
The Knowledge of God is a spirit (Isaiah 11:2) that has a Fragrance. I believe that many people will be drawn to the Fragrance of Christ, even those who may have initially rejected Him because of some tragedy or trauma or abuse inflicted by others. In contrast, to those who have made a conscious decision to worship Satan and the darkness, the Fragrance of Christ will be repulsive (the aroma of death).
Training My Nose
Approximately eleven years after the Lord prophesied through a dream that He would train me to discern spirits, He used a friend to introduce me to a church where spiritual gifts, spiritual warfare and deliverance ministry are exercised. And the location is not even close to home, almost 100 highway miles round trip!
(Have you noticed that God’s schooling can take years and is not always convenient? It seems we each have to embrace and pass the test of patience on our individual prophetic journeys.)
When deliverance ministry is in progress, I sometimes “smell” evil or unclean spirits before they manifest; they have an acutely intolerable stench. I have detected them in other places too.
For example, three months ago while in the Emergency Room with my Mom, something invisible that reeked entered her room. When she told me she could not smell it, I realized what it was and rebuked it in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. It vanished almost immediately.
Can you imagine how many of its kind hang around places where there is sickness and death? Personally, I can hardly wait for the day of God’s Power when the saints walk down the hallways of hospitals and every person is raised up off their sickbed completely healed in Jesus’ Name. That day is coming!
(Continued in Part Two).
Jairus was a synagogue leader in the Galilee area. He understood the protocols for running a synagogue, the worship and the reading of the scrolls. He may have heard how much the synagogue in Nazareth detested Jesus, and the deliverance performed in Capernaum was the news of the day (Luke 4: 16-37). Not much is known about Jairus’ vocation, but he is remembered in history as a father.
On a certain day when Jesus was walking through Galilee surrounded by a crowd, Jairus had no concern for his reputation. He was a desperate father and nothing mattered more to him than his 12 year old daughter who lay dying at home. Jairus knew Jesus could perform miracles. So, he fell at the feet of Jesus and begged Him to come and heal his child.
Jairus’ faith was tested
He knew there was a risk. The Teacher (Jesus) could have associated him with the rest of the synagogue staff and completely ignored him. (Jesus knew they weren’t exactly fans!)
Just as Jesus was about to respond to Jairus’ petition, a woman who was ritually unclean (she had an issue of blood) pressed through the crowd. She touched the edge of Jesus’ garment and He turned in her direction. She had stolen the Healer’s attention!
Even while Jesus was declaring this woman healed because of her faith, someone came from Jairus’ house to tell him it was too late.
“Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.” But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.” (Luke 8: 49-50, NKJV).
Jairus probably hoped Jesus was right. A little hope is better than no hope, right? Perhaps the report was as mistake, so he brought Jesus to his house to see his daughter. Whatever hope Jairus had evaporated when they were greeted by mourners who confirmed the child was truly dead and ready for burial. Even worse, the mourners ridiculed Jesus for declaring the child was only asleep! Jesus immediately put them and their unbelieving hearts out of the house.
Faith can be a lonely place indeed!
Jesus permitted only the child’s parents, and Peter, James and John to see the astonishing miracle of the girl’s resurrection. (Luke 8:40-56). Faith placed in God is always rewarded (Hebrews 11:6).
Not unlike the challenges faced by fathers today, the Scriptures are filled with examples of different kinds of fathers and how they were tested. Jephthah had to be heartbroken when he realized that the vow he thoughtlessly made to God had to be paid with the life of his only child (Judges 11:30-40). The patriarch Jacob was inconsolable when he heard that “his favorite” son, Joseph was dead (Genesis 37:35). Also, when Abraham was asked by God to offer his promised son and heir as a sacrifice, he set out to obey God knowing in his heart that God had the power to raise the dead (Hebrews 11:17-19). He did not know that God does not approve of child sacrifice and that God intended to sacrifice Himself for every child ever born.
Honoring our parents is a commandment from God. As we honor fathers around the world, including fathers of the faith, whether they are still alive or have already left the earth, some people may find this difficult to do. They may never have known the love of a father, or perhaps they were raised without a father, or by a father who set a poor example or was abusive. God understands all of this and has made provision for every circumstance.
The Father-heart of Jesus
Isaiah prophesied that one of the Names of the Messiah would be “Everlasting Father” (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus taught that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him, He is the only way to the Father, and anyone who had seen and known Him (Jesus) had also seen and known the Father. When He broke the news to His disciples that He would be leaving them soon, He comforted His disciples with the promise that He would not to leave them as “orphans,” but would send the Holy Spirit. (John 14:6, 7-11, 18, NKJV).
These Scriptures reflect the father heart of Jesus, and Isaiah actually speaks of Jesus’ seed (His offspring).
He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. And they made His grave with the wicked— But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. (Isaiah 53:8-10, NKJV, bolded for emphasis).
When we receive Jesus’ own soul as an offering for sin, as the Lamb of God, He gets to see His seed. In other words, He becomes a Father to us. Through Jesus’ selfless sacrifice we become children of the Heavenly Father who is perfect in all His Ways. We discover God’s agape love – a selfless forgiving love that rises above every circumstance.
Unlike earthly fathers who are often far from perfect, our Heavenly Father loves us unconditionally. He forgives us every time we repent of our sins. He provides for us, protects us, avenges us, and helps us to develop emotionally, spiritually and with the gifts and talents necessary to fulfill our destinies on this earth. Not only that, we are assigned as heirs to His Kingdom! With such a rich heritage freely given to us, we will want to celebrate our Heavenly Father not once per year, but every day! Amen.
This repost is in honor of Father’s Day.
This dream, journaled seven years ago, recently recaptured my attention because it speaks wisdom for these times. At the end of this post, I extend an invitation to those who are curious or motivated to look deeper.
Remove the Old Toilet!
The town and its manicured green spaces looked postcard perfect from the apartment that I shared with some family members. Our sky unit, housed in one of three towers, had floor-to-ceiling clear glass windows and doors on every side, as well as a wrap around balcony.
This was no ordinary high-rise because the lone access to the ground level was through a doorway to the balcony. There was no staircase or safety railing, only an overhead handle (for the left hand) suspended in mid air. The handle was the entire elevator, and it accommodated only one person at a time. My Brother rode it down first. When my turn came, the height was initially overwhelming. However, the handle felt totally secure and my feet touched down in no time.
Scene 2: We were at a retail store in town in what seemed to be a depressed inner-city area. The spacious store had huge glass windows, overhead lighting, and was vacant. Some people arrived and took a keen interest in the space, but my Brother said He already had plans for it, and would begin with some renovations. Suddenly, a couple of policemen arrived and carried out an old toilet. (End)
Disclosure: This dream is not about me; I am a participant in a “family” of Believers, and the Lord sometimes appears in my dreams as my Brother. I have never lived in a high-rise; the location is unknown.
Analysis and Tips
An apartment is usually a place of transition, and the tower location means being “positioned to see” visions, dreams and to receive revelation (Ephesians 2:6). The more elevated or the more floors there are, the more heavenly the perspective.
There were 3 towers. The number three means the Perfect Witness (Divine confirmation), but it can also symbolize time or collaboration (Genesis 40:18, Ecclesiastes 4:12). You may download free tables with numbers and colors in English and Spanish at www.chozehconnections.com)
Seeing through a glass or open window (or door) is often seeing a vision-inside-the-dream. These kinds of visions help us to interpret the dream because God expresses Himself very clearly in visions (no interpretation is needed). On the other hand, dreams are parabolic and must be interpreted (Numbers 12:6).
No railing at the balcony means: Stay in God’s timing and protection, because walking in presumption (blindfolded) could be dangerous.
Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling… (Jude 24).
Worship (reaching overhead) activates the supernatural “elevator.” (Also, anything gas fueled, electric or battery powered in a dream, moves with spiritual power).
In context for this dream, left is what we need faith to accomplish; right is what we can do through our gifts and talents.
The Handle may represent God’s Right Hand as He securely holds our left hand: His strength perfected in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9, Psalm 18:35). So, God invites us to partner with Him (hand to Hand) by faith.
A change of scenes in a spiritual dream means some unknown amount of time will elapse. In Acts 1:7, [Jesus] said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.” Therefore, we cannot know the future unless God speaks a specific date, for example 1972, or He enables us to discern time from numbers, distance, or Scripture.
The brighter the ambient light, the clearer the vision and the purer the spiritual atmosphere (as at the tower). But even the tiniest of lights will shine brightly in a dark place. God is Light (1John1:5).
Others came to the retail space because the Holy Spirit will draw those He has given similar “visions” to work with Him.
Was the retail space in disuse and disrepair because a previous opportunity “went down the toilet?”
In dreams, bathroom fixtures are associated with cleansing, repentance or deliverance from spiritual toxins.
Why remove the old toilet? If the vision (view from the tower) decodes the dream, then the reason must be the “view.”
Where we “sit” influences what we “see.” Porcelain thrones (toilets) focus on repentance through learned routines and rules. So, the two policemen angels (law-men), removed our “religious” focus.
In contrast, true transformation requires a new location and perspective: the Tower (Heaven).
Firstly, because this is where we are “seated” in Jesus Christ and grow to understand the absolute goodness of God, forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus, and the assurance of Peace through His Blood (Ephesians 2:6, Romans 5:1, Colossians 1:20).
Secondly, if Jesus did only what He “saw” the Father doing, shouldn’t we do the same? (John 5:19)
So then, the blueprints for God-approved work “on the ground” must originate from the Tower and be executed by the Lord Himself!
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth… and He will tell you things to come. (John 16:13)
God has plans “in store” to shift our focus from religious routines to revelations (dreams, visions and the supernatural) to bring transformation. Thus, He is drawing seer worshippers in His Family, who He has equipped with His visions for marketplaces (or local communities or governments), to partner with Him by faith and to follow His directions.
There’s much more. Can you discern other hidden pearls and metaphors in this dream? If you can, or if you have seen similar dreams and visions, (or are just curious) I would love to hear from you! (Please use Contact in the top menu).
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
Let’s “join hands with His” in what He is doing. Amen!
Springtime in South Florida is brief and lovely. In contrast, the rainy season can bring very high temperatures, ear-splitting thunderstorms and a risk of hurricanes. Last week, and right up to Pentecost Sunday, the weather was noticeably balmy and breezy for several days and nights, with gusts of 35 mph.
The sound of the wind through the trees made me think about Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus:
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8, NKJV)
Like Wind and Like Fire
One hundred and Twenty faithful souls waited in the Upper Room at the first Pentecost, fifty days after Jesus’ Resurrection. They heard the Holy Spirit first as a sound that came from Heaven as of a rushing mighty wind. Then He manifested as divided tongues of Fire over each disciple as He gloriously baptized them.
The Spirit of Jesus continues to baptize those whose sins have been remitted by His Blood and who seek Him (His Presence), not necessarily those who seek something from Him (His Power). He is fiercely watchful over the body of Christ as He holds all members accountable.
Before going to bed one night last week, I asked the Lord to please show me anything I may have overlooked. He heard and answered me that night.
May 19, 2021 Dream: Beautiful Feet
Scene 1 (Daytime, in color) I was one of three women Intercessors sitting in a living room adjacent to a bedroom. A man (a stranger) entered the house unexpectedly and walked past us to the bedroom. He killed the young woman who was in bed. From the living room we could see her feet sticking out from under bright white bed linen. She had beautiful feet and there were faint traces of blood on them.
Scene 2 (Daytime, in color) The man called us into the bedroom and tried to get us to help him dump the body. He was already making plans for a day trip, as if nothing had happened. I never saw the young lady’s face in the dream, only her feet. The incident left me quite disturbed, and I did not touch anything.
Scene 3 (Nighttime, in color) I was alone in my house sitting and still thinking about the earlier events, and I had a cold. The same man came to the backdoor, but found it locked. I did not let him in. I did not trust him and considered calling the police so they could arrest him.
Scene 4 (Nighttime, in color) Government officials had found the deceased young lady and made everyone who lived in the vicinity line up to get their hands tested. I was concerned that her blood would be found on our hands, though we (Intercessors) had not touched the young woman. I “overheard” the officials secretly making sinister plans to use the event to cover up a scheme. One said, Yeah, Massachusetts is coming down.
Analysis of Symbols
This is a spiritual dream with an important message. For the sake of brevity, I will not be able to interpret every symbol here.
Feet that bring the gospel of Peace are described as beautiful [Isaiah 52:7, Romans 10:15], the bed represents intimacy with the Lord, and the brightness of the white bed linen symbolizes purity and righteousness. As explained in another post, light is an important symbol for interpreting dreams. Therefore, the young lady in bed symbolizes the Bride of Christ.
Unlike a vision, when someone dies in a dream, it rarely means a physical death unless you see a lot of blood (life is in the blood). Death in a dream often means something is coming to an end or is being wounded. (The Bride cannot die, though some Christians do lose their earthly lives).
The stranger was like a thief who breaks in when no one is watching. In the dream, he did not appear as a dark figure (evil). So, he could represent false shepherds that do not care about the sheep (Luke 12:39; Jeremiah 23:1, 12:10; John 10:13).
Locked doors hinder intruders, and if you have knowledge of spiritual warfare, the term “open doors” will be familiar to you. Having open doors means being vulnerable to spiritual attacks.
Jesus said, in Luke 12:39, But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.
The stranger entered through the front door during the daytime and passed by us, but when he tried to sneak in through my back door at night, he found it locked. Even with limited discernment (having a cold lessens the ability to smell), I knew he was evil. Calling the police in this context means releasing spiritual warfare prayers (angels do battle on our behalf).
As the ambient lighting shifted from day to nighttime, I discerned hidden things: the character of the stranger and the officials who were secretly conspiring, though they pretended to be concerned about the Bride.
I sense the Holy Spirit communicating that some of us are unaware of the persecution against His Body. We are watchful over our own houses (lives, ministries) even with limited discernment, but we do not do well when it comes to watching and praying for His persecuted Body. (His Body includes Israel) (Ephesians 2:11-18).
This may sound harsh, but for Intercessors, blood on our hands means that we failed to keep watch. God states in Ezekiel 33:6
But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’
While the Body is being persecuted, politicians and government officials will take advantage of every opportunity to advance their own agendas. (I do not know yet why Massachusetts was mentioned.)
The Bold and the Beautiful
Not long after the tongues “like fire” appeared, the Disciples became bold witnesses for Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and persecution followed. (Just two chapters after the Holy Spirit arrived in Acts 2, the arrests began in Acts 4.) We should not be surprised by opposition from the kingdom of darkness as God reawakens His people.
The dream also echoes two recent stories involving Christian persecution that almost went unnoticed, and both demonstrate a boldness in the Spirit: a church’s legal battle in California, and a pastor’s struggle in Canada and there are others.
A Total Body Response
Have you ever bumped your toe on a piece of furniture? Oh the pain! But have you noticed how the body reacts, as if on autopilot? The opposite foot immediately shifts weight from the injured foot. Our eyes scan for other obstacles as we limp to find a seat. Hands cradle and protect the entire foot from further injury, eyes inspect and assess the injury, ears tune out everything else to listen to the groans and gasps from our lips. Yes, the whole body responds to that precious toe.
In the same way, Christ is our Head, and the Holy Spirit (our brain) coordinates the roles that we perform for the well being of the rest of the Body. Some of us are helpful hands, some are seer eyes and ears, some prophesy and speak with boldness, others bring understanding, and those who are noses sniff out deception a mile away. Joints connect other parts to one another. Some members adorn with grace and beauty (not the cosmetic kind), some make us chuckle, and still others are gifted to finance the work of the Kingdom on earth. The body of Christ functions a lot like our natural bodies when we have the same (Holy) Spirit.
It displeases the Father when “Christians” use their anointed lips to join with the accuser against other Christians. Assailing our fellow members is like using our index finger to poke our own eye! The Father has appointed one Head (Lord Jesus) and one body of Christ. It matters not whether an injury affects Christians in our town, in another State or in another continent on the other side of the world.
His Beautiful Feet
If you have ever read the Gospels with a Bible map open, you will notice that Jesus walked through many different parts of Israel during His ministry.
Feet that bring the Gospel of Peace may never bear the title of apostle or evangelist, and they may never venture further than down the street to share the Good News with a neighbor, nevertheless, they are especially beautiful to the Lord. They are His Feet, and He walks through this earth as His Bride.
Let us faithfully watch and pray for members of His Body, wherever they may be, but especially for His Beautiful Feet. Amen!
Dream April 20, 2021
Scene 1: I was on the upper level of a cloister (definition) watching a meeting in progress in the quadrangle (ground level). After the meeting, I followed the balcony to the other side of the building where I met some Catholics.
I accessed one of the rooms from the balcony and was amazed to see many pictures of Catholic Saints hanging on the walls. Even more surprising was the strong anointing I sensed, and said, “I do not know why, but I feel the Presence of the Lord in this place!”
Later, a dead body was found hanging from a balcony. It was identified as a young man who had gone missing since 1972. The story was, he was involved in some kind of mischief before he vanished. The body was brought to the room where we were, and unexpectedly the young man suddenly came to life!
Scene 2 (a vision): I “saw” the same young man walking outside, very much alive, smiling and wearing sunglasses. He was in the company of some priests wearing black cassocks. I wondered if he was up to some kind of “mischief” again. (END)
Resurrection dreams are rare for me. I may have seen as many as five in over twenty years, so my interest was piqued. At first I thought about the Jesus People Movement that started on the West Coast (California) in the 1960s and attracted huge gatherings in 1972. However, the dream symbols (cloister, saints, meeting Catholics, priests in cassocks) point to the Catholic Church. Thus, I began to research the topic.
At a weekend retreat, two Catholics from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, a graduate student (Ralph Keifer) and a history professor (William Storey), became acquainted with modern day accounts that mirrored the Book of Acts. Six months later, in February 1967, the two men attended a charismatic Episcopalian prayer meeting where they were Baptized in the Holy Spirit. (Please click here for Smith Wigglesworth’s testimony of his own Baptism experience).
Through the laying on of hands, Keifer and Storey were used to spread the Baptism to others at Duquesne, then to the University of Notre Dame (South Bend, Indiana) where they had previously been students.2 With the manifestation of speaking with other tongues, healings and other spiritual gifts, the spread continued to Michigan, other states and Canada. Prayer and worship covenant communities formed, including People of Praise in South Bend, and the Word of God in Ann Arbor. (These events ran concurrently with the Jesus People Movement in progress on the West Coast and were also influenced by Pentecostalism and the Charismatic Movement of the late 19th Century and mid-20th Century respectively)3.
Charismatic Catholics from Michigan and Notre Dame gathered together for fellowship in what would become the first of many annual conferences at Notre Dame. By the third annual conference (1969), a Communications Center was formed as an information hub for prayer meetings and the theological foundation for what was later called the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR). According to Ciciliot, the North American movement was viewed with suspicion by some traditional Catholics, especially priests. At one time, Ann Arbor was even labelled the “charismatic Vatican.”1
In 1972, as the renewal continued to spread, the International Communication Office (ICO) was established to manage a worldwide administration with benchmarks for all charismatic prayer groups and communities in the Church.1 (The Jesus People Movement was also in full swing with meetings and concerts drawing huge gatherings in 1972). By the early Spring of 1973, high-ranking Cardinal Suenens from Belgium (sort of the equivalent of a Chief Operating Officer at the Vatican) curious about the CCR, came undercover as a regular priest. Pleased with what he found, he made his true identity known. Cardinal Suenens became a mediator between the CCR and the Vatican. He participated in establishing guidelines for the Movement before it became organized under the Pope. “The ICO was relocated to Belgium in 1976 where Cardinal Suenens renamed it to the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Office (ICCRO) in 1978; this office was transferred to Rome in 1981 and eventually to the Vatican in 1985.” (Ciciliot)1
Despite its reorganization within the Catholic Church, Charismatic Catholicism continues to this day, quieter, but with an army of 160 million strong.3 For a deeper understanding of these events, please access the links to the source articles placed at the end of this post.
Dream Symbols and Interpretation
A cloister, often the setting of a monastery or convent, symbolizes a covenant or spiritual community. Pictures of saints remind us of past holy lives marked by notable signs and miracles, now a part of the “cloud of witnesses.” The young man in this dream is symbolic of a Movement “left hanging” (an idiom for unfinished business). The corpse was not decayed; he was merely asleep and was resurrected by the Holy Spirit. The sunglasses signify brightness.
Interpretation: God intends to bring a glorious reawakening to a “grounded” (genuine) Move of God that became restricted after 1972 by benchmarks and guidelines, and was left unfinished.
For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. (Habakkuk 2:14)
I also sense that instead of seeing how to fit Charismatic Catholics into the Catholic Church, it will be said, “Look how the Catholic Church is being transformed by the Holy Spirit!” The reawakening will be broader than the former, to reach college campuses, priests and local churches, and cloistered communities. Even non-Catholics, such as myself, will participate because this will not be a Catholic revival, but a Holy Spirit revival. Still, we can anticipate that mischief will also arise.
While writing this post, I recalled a randomly watched video of Dr. Myles Munroe (a greatly respected Bahamian evangelist and author) with a profound message. The next day, while I was still meditating on the wisdom of his words, the tragic news came of his death in a plane crash! Dr. Munroe spoke about how Samson annihilated 1,000 Philistines with a donkey jawbone (see Judges 15:15-17), but “he did not file a patent for the jawbone or trade it (trad-ition) to others as an effective military weapon. He simply threw it away.”6
By today’s standards, Samson did not write a book about his Jawbone strategy or establish Jawbone University or host a Jawbone Victory Crusade. Samson recognized the source of his victory as the Power of God, not the jawbone. Similarly, Moves of God are fueled by prayer and worship, and not by excessive organizing and planning.
1972: A Dark Year
Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. (Isaiah 60:1-2)
While God’s Light was shining brightly, history records many events in 1972 that were quite dark. Eleven Israeli athletes were murdered at the Munich Olympics by an Arab gunman who was part of a group named Black September. The Irish Republican Army clashed with the British in a bombing blitz called Black Friday. Terror may erupt unexpectedly, but Jesus is the Prince of Peace.
To date, 1972 has the worst crash record and was the deadliest year in aviation history: 2,429 deaths.7 (Not good. Plane crashes can symbolize the disintegration of large corporations and large ministries.)
The Watergate investigation was launched in May 1972. Then President Nixon was impeached and removed from office in 1974 after evidence emerged that he had knowledge of the break in of the DNC offices in January 1972, and tried to obstruct the ensuing investigation. Will we see another political scandal of similar magnitude?
A convention against the use of Bioweapons was signed in 1972.
After the Tuskegee medical scandal was exposed in 1972, U.S. health officials admitted that African-Americans had been unethically “used as guinea pigs in the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male.” Many lives were lost. Will other unethical medical practices be uncovered?
In 1972 there were thousands of lives lost in natural and man made disasters. What a year! For a full list of events (see 1972 – Wikipedia)
Grab Your Flashlight and Sunglasses
Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 sums things up wisely: That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us.
If the darkness increases beyond 1972, do not distracted. Be ready and be encouraged dear friends. It means God’s Glory will be unleashed. Nothing will stop it. Let us, therefore, hold on to our flashlights (the Word of God) until we can don our sunglasses! Amen.
Images courtesy of DepositPhotos.com
I AM the Good Shepherd. There are many in My Fold. You are My Beloved. I call you by Name as I lead you in and out. Hear My Voice and follow Me for I watch over you and care for you. Is there anything you lack for life and for godliness? Do not forage like wild goats which sample everything they see. Instead, Come to Me and rest. Wait for Me to feed you revelations of My Love and from My Kingdom. Meditate and ruminate on all My Words, for they are Spirit and give Life. Though I speak through Prophecy, Parables and Dreams, I give to you the Spirit of Wisdom and the Spirit of Understanding. For You, Dear Ones, have been chosen to comprehend mysteries from God.
O Lord, distractions make it difficult for me to hear Your Voice. Like rushing brooks, they dazzle and captivate for a season but they eventually run dry. You hear my thoughts and sense my disquiet from afar, even before I can utter a word! Please lead me to Your Peace where I can drink deeply of Your Presence once again. There, Joy is restored, my strength is renewed and I am satisfied.
Beloved, when you stray or wander be assured that I will neither leave you nor forsake you. I AM He who lay down His Life for you. Dear Ones, I know every path you will ever take and every choice you will ever make long before you make them.
It is the Father who draws you by His Spirit so that your pathways lead to Me. I call you by My Name because I AM the Way. I AM YHWH Tsidkenu: The LORD Your Righteousness. Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.
The Darkness may summon Death and clandestine followers to your Fold. But in Your Light, imposters are exposed for the wolves that they are and Death fleets as a shadow. Your Right Hand holds mine securely while Your Fire purifies my Soul. Your Blood testifies that I am blameless before You and defends me from my Accuser. Look how the Darkness trembles at Your Word: “Touch not my anointed, and do my prophets no harm!”
Beloved, when you run ahead of Me or forsake My Counsel, you may stumble. Still, I remain faithful. I wait for every opportunity to be gracious to you. My Hands contain healing, and the Power and Might to free you from every distress. Return to Me. My Voice and My Eyes will guide you to safety. Look to My Word to light your Path and remember to invite others to join us.
Lord, those who hate You also hate me. How offended they are at the Gifts and Anointing You have prepared for me! The Knowledge of the Holy One and the Fear of the Lord route my escape from their evil snares, while Your Truth frees my heart to worship You. When I ponder it, I feel overwhelmed by the matchless outpouring of Your Love and Generosity!
My Beloved, remember Me and partake of Me. Remain in Me and keep My Words in you. Believe in Me and see. Ask of Me and receive. Seek and find your destiny in Me. You will not be denied. Have Faith in God, do not doubt and what you speak shall happen. When you set your love upon Me, I will answer your call. When you keep My Commands, you shall remain in My Love, and I will manifest to you. When you hide yourself in Me, you shall be revealed by My Father.
Lord, without question, Your Goodness and Mercy are unending. Never will they cease towards me for as long as I live! For I dwell in Christ Jesus, my Shepherd, Who is preparing for me an Eternal Home with God.
Inspired by Psalm 23, Psalm 139, John 10, John 15, Isaiah 11, 53, and other Fold favorites.
Green grass. It was a strange clue, but such is the parabolic language of the Holy Spirit. Last weekend, as I pondered and visualized the miraculous multiplication of bread and fish documented in Mark chapters 6 and 8, the Lord drew my attention to the grass. First the grass, then the groupings, and suddenly… a message behind the mystery!
Five Barley Loaves fed Five Thousand (Mark 6: 33-43, NKJV)
Picture the scene: A sunny grassy deserted place near the Sea of Galilee. Five barley loaves were blessed to feed 5,000. Since barley was usually harvested in March around the time of Passover it was the beginning of Spring.
Then He [Jesus] commanded them to make them all sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in ranks, in hundreds and in fifties (vs. 39-40).
Symbols and analysis: Green = life, growth, prosperity. Springtime= fruitfulness, growth. Bread (The loaves) = The Word. Five (5) = Grace. Twelve (12)= the divine Government of God, apostolic authority, the Kingdom of God. Fifty (50) = Jubilee, a celebration of liberty, releasing of debt and returning property to original owners. Together, these elements paint a perfect picture of Redemption. He makes me to lie down in green pastures (Psalm 23: 2).
One Hundred = a generation (see Genesis 15: 13,16). Generation can also refer to a collective group of people (Mark 8:12)
The 5,000 people sat in groups of 100s and 50s. Five Thousand (5,000)= 100 x 50 = the generation of the Redeemed.
The Word of Grace (5 loaves) and 2 fish fed 5,000 (the generation of the Redeemed), and 12 baskets remained (spiritual authority, the government of God).
Interpretation: “God’s Word of Grace brings Kingdom authority to the Redeemed!”
Seven Loaves Fed Four Thousand (Mark 8: 1-9 NKJV)
Picture the scene: A barren wilderness place. (No grass is mentioned. The people sat on the ground).
(Jesus said)“I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way; for some of them have come from afar.” Then His disciples answered Him, “How can one satisfy these people with bread here in the wilderness?” He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven.” So He commanded the multitude to sit on the ground.” (vs. 2-6a).
The people stayed in the wilderness with Jesus for three days! Often a barren area or symbolic of a season of transition, the wilderness is a place where God makes provision for His people, as discussed in my previous post.
In Exodus 16:32 Moses said, referring to the manna that God fed to Israel in the wilderness, “This is the thing which the Lord has commanded: ‘Fill an omer with it, to be kept for your generations, that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’ ”
Symbols and analysis: Three (3) = a perfect number, the perfect witness of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Seven (7) = covenant, perfection, completion. Forty (40) = the wilderness; a place of testing (to determine if we will continue with the Lord or quit) or a place of transition from bondage (Egypt) to the Promises of God.
Four Thousand (4000) = 40 x 100= the Wilderness Generation (those under covenant but not yet walking in the promise).
God’s covenant word (7 loaves) and a few fish fed 4,000 (the wilderness generation) who tarried with the Lord, and 7 baskets (perfection/completion) remained.
Interpretation: “God’s Covenant Word brings perfection or completion (an end to the process) to those in the “wilderness” who continue with the Lord. “
A MESSAGE BEHIND THE MULTIPLICATION: These amazing miracles demonstrate the power of God’s Words. Whether we find ourselves in a fruitful place (grassy slopes) or in a barren wilderness waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promises for our lives, God’s Word will sustain, protect and perfect us, and bring an increase of spiritual authority.
The Mystery of Leaven
Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat. Then He (Jesus) charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have no bread.” (Mark 8: 14-16)
Leaven is the hidden ingredient that makes the dough in bread, cakes and biscuits rise. In reminding His disciples about the multiplication of the loaves, Jesus was making it clear that He was speaking of a different kind of leaven: spiritual leaven (the Holy Spirit).
Jesus said in John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
“The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.” (Matthew 13:33)
What was the “leaven of the Pharisees”? After Jesus had ministered to the people, the Pharisees came to fuss with Him at Dalmanutha insisting that He give them a sign to validate Himself. They presented themselves as experts on religious matters, promoted the “traditions of men”, yet failed to recognize the Son of God standing right in front of them. Jesus sighed. No sign would be given to “this generation” (their religious population) (Mark 7:1-13, 8:11-12).
The “leaven of the Pharisees” may very well have been a religious spirit. (II Timothy 3:5a having a form of godliness but denying its power.) This kind of spirit frequents churches and religious gatherings, hence its name. It does not quit challenging and testing, and can bring weariness. Jesus left Dalmanutha again because of the Pharisees!
What was “the leaven of Herod”? Herod is a title, not the name of one individual. We see in Mark chapter 6 that Herod had married his brother’s wife (not widow), an adulterous act under the Law. He idolized his niece (his step daughter), and killed John the Baptist to satisfy a prideful vow. The earlier King Herod had murdered all baby boys in Bethlehem aged two and younger because he was jealous of the newborn King. What a “killer” resumé!
Herod’s spirit appears to be a corrupt and idolatrous authority that works to destroy anyone it views as a threat with little consideration of the collateral damage. This kind of spirit operates through oppressive leaders or governments.
WARNING! A Tag-Team of Evil: The religious spirit and Herod’s spirit opposed Jesus and later, His Disciples. Throughout Scripture, we see how this evil tag-team of governmental leaders and the religious elite work against God’s servants – John the Baptist, Jeremiah, Micaiah (1 Kings 22) , Daniel, Elijah, and many others. These two spirits continue even to this day to oppose the Holy Spirit and especially the Lord’s prophets!
Two fish or a few fish?
The fish also multiplied. Fish symbolize souls and evangelism, since Jesus introduced the concept of “fishers of men.”
“By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.” (2 Corinthians 13:1).
Jesus sent his Disciples out in teams of two (two fish) to proclaim the Kingdom, heal, cleanse, deliver from demons and resurrect the dead. Only two fish with five loaves were necessary to feed 5,000.
GRACE! GRACE! The Word of Grace will reach more people by the Spirit than by effort. Perhaps more evangelism (a few fish) is needed in the wilderness because of spiritual warfare (there live the wild beasts) (Isaiah 34:14, Mark 1:13). However, Jesus has demonstrated, through His own wilderness experience that we may overcome the schemes of Satan and his surrogates by declaring the Word of God!
Unleavened Bread and the Blood
This is Passover week, and we remember how Israel ate unleavened bread in haste to prepare to leave Egypt (bondage). They sprinkled blood from unblemished lambs on the lintels and doorposts of their homes.
That night, the Angel of Death passed over the homes of the children of Israel because it saw the blood. On the contrary, death struck the first born Egyptians because their homes were not protected by the blood.
We have passed from death to life and can be forgiven of our sins because of the One who is our Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ. In fact, the Apostle Paul reminds us that unleavened bread is a symbol of our separation from sin.
Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. (1 Cor 5: 6b- 7)
CLEANSED AND DELIVERED BY THE BLOOD: As we think about the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God whose Blood was shed for the sins of the whole world, we are thankful for His suffering, death and intercession for us. Perhaps there is no better time than the present to ask the Lord to rid us from any “old” leaven: any worldly spirit or even “traditions of men” that oppose the Holy Spirit!
Dear friends, thanks for joining me on this journey of discovery. Have a Blessed Pesach and Easter weekend!
In the course of life most of us will encounter varying seasons and types of terrains similar to those found in nature: mountains, valleys, refreshing streams, wildernesses, and deserts to name a few. From the lifeless Valley of the Dry Bones to the smoking and quaking Mount Horeb, the Bible is filled with scenic places and stories of wanderers we can relate to.
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, a wilderness is a tract or region uncultivated, uninhabited and undisturbed by human activity. We often encounter a wilderness at a time for spiritual renewal. Sometimes it interrupts excessive busyness and forces us to refocus. In other situations, a wilderness may be a hiding place from physical or emotional stress, or a place of testing or preparing for promotion. Living through a “wilderness” season is not always easy, but each season serves a purpose and eventually comes to an end. (Read: Year 2021)
Moses: Twice commissioned to the wilderness.
Moses’ self-imposed exile from Egypt, after he intervened in a fight and killed an Egyptian, began at the age of 40 and lasted for 40 years. He made a new life for himself as a shepherd, and forgot about his former glories.
When God commissioned Moses to return Egypt to lead Israel out of slavery, he was not exactly thrilled at the prospect and made his feelings known: “I am not eloquent in speech… Please send someone else.” (Exodus 4) Moses did not realize how exceptionally qualified he was. Raised a prince (adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter), he understood the culture and spiritual terrain of Egypt and no other leader could better endure the 40 years of wilderness it would take to disentangle Israel’s heart from bondage.
Wilderness seclusion with God: Fruitfulness.
The Scriptures tell us that Jesus often went alone to the mountains or deserted places (Luke 5:16, John 6:15, Matthew 14:13). He had many private encounters with the Father besides the one witnessed by his disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9). Similarly, the Apostle Paul “did not immediately confer with flesh and blood” nor did he meet with any other apostle for three whole years after his extraordinary conversion. He was greatly used by God to grow the Gentile church (Galatians 1:15-19, 2:7 NKJV). Time with God always produces fruit.
The Wilderness: One hidden step away from promotion.
David, before he became king, was hunted by a jealous King Saul. He hid himself in wilderness caves and conducted himself wisely, drawing on his training as a shepherd and warrior to survive the rough terrain with its dangerous predators. Joseph, the favored son of Jacob, endured thirteen years of injustice as a slave and prisoner before his sudden promotion to the position of vice – president of Egypt! While in prison, he faithfully stewarded his gift of interpreting dreams and it unlocked doors for him.
Prophetic Dream: The Winter Wilderness Pass
I was driving through a large shady forest. The trees looked tall and stately as they competed for sunlight. A few scattered rays lanced the leafy canopies and dimly illuminated the underbrush.
Everything brightened as the road emerged from the woods and ascended a gentle gradient. Trees became sparse and grassy green slopes transitioned to patchy snow. I finally crested at a snowy mountain pass to enter a breathtakingly beautiful winter white wilderness framed by a vista of mountains and glaciers. In the brilliant sunshine and crisp mountain air, everything looked pristine and unspoiled. My ride was exhilarating as I navigated the undulating ridges, dips and bends.
The beautiful scenes replayed in my mind as I awakened. In dream language, a car represents one’s career or spiritual calling because it takes you places. The dream revealed I would experience a change in my competitive corporate life (trees in this dream symbolize leaders contending to achieve goals) and in my calling, specifically the way I am guided by revelation. An underbrush receives “filtered” light (revelation) through the canopies of towering trees. The new season would bring a spiritual renewal (elevated snowy terrain) fostering clearer, unfiltered spiritual revelation (full sunlight). Navigating the new terrain would be unpredictable (ridges, dips and bends), but stimulating. (Note: This dream began to be fulfilled 3-4 years later.)
Elijah’s Mountain Showdown, Wilderness Meltdown
Prophet Elijah’s showdown with the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel was nothing short of spectacular. He publicly mocked the “four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table” before ordering their execution for Baal worship. Then a vengeful Queen Jezebel sent a “messenger” (possibly a spirit of fear) to threaten Elijah’s life. (1 Kings 18-19:2, NKJV)
The once fearless servant of God suffered a meltdown and ran as fast and as far as he could to the point of exhaustion. Fear caused him to doubt God’s ability to continue to hide and protect him as he thought he was the only servant of God left alive. Elijah saw his miscalculation when God told him there were still seven thousand righteous ones safely hidden in Israel! (1Kings 19)
Satan’s Wilderness Failures
Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness are a fascinating illustration of spiritual warfare (Matthew chapter 4). He was led there by the Spirit for an encounter with the supreme leader of the kingdom of darkness. To up the ante, Jesus the Second Adam had fasted for forty days and was hungry. Satan found the first Adam easy enough to entice, but Jesus proved to be a challenge.
Simply stated, Satan failed. He still wonders if Jesus was really a man. How do we know this? The Antichrist spirit falsely claims that Jesus did not really defeat him as a flesh and blood man (1 John 4:2-3; 2 John 1:7).
Did Satan speak through Jesus’ thoughts or did he come in a hooded cloak or as a slithering serpent as depicted in movies? It makes no difference. Agents of darkness sometimes appear as dark-lit or disfigured people, or strange-looking creatures or insects in dreams. The higher ranking ones usually have wings or the ability to fly.
Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ (Matthew4: 3-4, NKJV).
Satan wanted Jesus to demonstrate His power as God, but Jesus defeated him as man, wielding only the Word of God. Jesus did only what He saw His Father doing. Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord. (John 5:19, Zechariah 4:6) Like Jesus, we must restrain our natural strengths and abilities and defer to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Take note that “If you are the Son of God” received no response from Jesus. He did not take the bait. The people may not have known who Jesus was, but the kingdom of darkness certainly did. Demons frequently cried out to Jesus: We know who You are...!
Jesus’ encounters with Satan teach us just how powerful and effective the Word of God is. The Word (the sword of the Spirit) is both an offensive and defensive weapon. The rest of our spiritual armor is protective. We put on our armor as we “put on Christ,” by following His example, dwelling in Him, and keeping His Word in us. (Galatians 3:27, Ephesians 6: 11-24)
Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple …the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. (Matthew 4:5, 8)
How Satan “took” Jesus is not known. Since there is no mountain from which to view “all the kingdoms of the world and their glory,” the location was most likely a spiritual place. Satan’s government operates from the second heavens to influence much of what happens in kingdoms and nations on the earth (Ephesians 6:12, Colossians 1:13).
Angels: Wilderness ministers
Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him (Matthew 4:11).
Angels fight in the heavens on our behalf as we battle in prayer, and they minister to us when we need to be strengthened. Jesus received angelic ministry as did Elijah (after he fled Jezebel), and the Angel of the Lord was with Moses and the children of Israel in the wilderness. We receive the same support as children of God.
Friends, our God is God! His Words are Spirit and Life. Whether on the mountain or in a canyon or cave, He is with us in every terrain and season. He has promised to bring restoration to barren places and make them bloom and teem with life (Isaiah 35). As we embrace His Words we will conquer every enemy, even through our dreams. Amen!
As I read through the Gospel of John over the weekend, my favorite New Testament book, I remembered a dream I saw on Friday morning. The dream seemed to focus on a small footbridge that spanned a canal. The unending canal ran adjacent and parallel to an unending road. The scenery was beautiful, a lot of vibrant greenery, lawns and shrubs. President Trump and his family were in a house across the road and there were some other people on the canal side. The Holy Spirit never fails to amaze in His ability to communicate through two seemingly unrelated activities: a dream and a random selection of Scripture. However, the “parallels” in my dream became clearer as I read the Gospel and revisited Israel in the time of Jesus.
Censorship and Cancel Culture?
The Pharisees were annoyed that Jesus had gained quite a following. They would have preferred that He disappear quietly into the night because all their efforts to entrap Jesus with trick questions or to discredit Him in the eyes of the people had failed.
When Jesus healed a man who had been born blind, a miracle previously unheard of, the Pharisees became even more unsettled (John 9). Who did Jesus think He was? Healing people was not allowed on the Sabbath! Not to mention, His work was notable. The “religious” elite could not heal a gnat!
The Pharisees interrogated the man who eyes Jesus had healed, but they doubted the man’s testimony. So, they questioned the man’s parents whether it was true that their son had been born blind. “Yes,” the parents confirmed, but carefully added, “we don’t know how it is that he can see or who opened his eyes. He is old enough, why don’t you ask him?” (paraphrased).
His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ he would be put out of the synagogue. (John 9:22) Censorship and cancel culture?
The man gave glory to God and got himself kicked out of the synagogue. He was labeled as “false” by the Pharisees, but in today’s parallel, he may have been canceled by social media.
After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, news of the astonishing miracle witnessed by many reached even foreigners (the Greeks chapter 12:20), but the religious Jewish leaders’ hatred towards Jesus only grew stronger. Yet, not all of them hated Jesus.
Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. (John 12:42-43)
Beyond censorship, cancel culture, and betrayal among friends (Jesus was betrayed by his disciple Judas Iscariot in exchange for money), there was also a perceived hiddenness that garnered unanswered questions.
What was God saying and doing? Wasn’t Messiah supposed to deliver Israel from Roman oppression? Was He truly the Messiah?
The Mystery of Hiddenness
Jesus explained: Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. (John 12:24)
Not only was Jesus foretelling His death, He was explaining that fruitfulness in God’s Kingdom would not come through the fame, recognition or the reality show that the Pharisees sought. Fruitfulness would come only through hiddenness – denying oneself, pleasing God rather than men, losing one’s life and reputation to gain it, and picking up our cross and following Him.
When Jesus requested, ”Father, glorify Your name,” a Voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.” (John 12:28). Some nearby only heard thunder. Others said an angel had spoken! The Voice of the Father was hidden from them.
This inability to understand God’s glory was seen and prophesied by Isaiah, about 700 years earlier, when he saw His [Jesus’] glory and spoke of Him (John 12: 41). The people witnessed signs and miracles but they could not understand the glory.
At the famous Last Supper, after Judas departed to conspire against Lord, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him. (John 13:31) Perhaps quite an odd thing to say when faced with betrayal, torture, and the cross. Again, the meaning of this kind of glory is hidden from our natural minds.
When Jesus was glorified, He became the sacrificial Lamb of God and surrendered His life through total love. The glory “hid” His lordship and the Disciples immediately abandoned Him. Suddenly, they forgot that He was the same One who had calmed the storm, walked on water, opened blind eyes and raised Lazarus from the dead.
And they were not the only ones struck with amnesia. The people who had waved palm branches and paraded Jesus through the streets of Jerusalem suddenly turned against Jesus and cried out crucify Him! Had cancel culture triumphed? Not so fast, read on.
Though Jesus had done many miracles they (the people) still did not believe in Him (12:37), not unlike Ancient Israel’s response to God’s tremendous miracles in Egypt and in the wilderness. Signs and miracles will captivate people’s attention, but they will not transform the human heart.
Glory made manifest
So if the glory is hidden, and miracles and signs do not transform hearts, how will the earth see God’s glory during the great revival that is coming to usher in a harvest of souls for the Kingdom?
The prophet Habakkuk prophesied, For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord (Habakkuk 2:1).
Jesus knew that there was something that the world would not be able to resist after signs and miracles have ceased. So, in those final moments in the Upper Room, He said to His Disciples – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another (John 13:34). Why? The glory is made manifest through love!
“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. (John 17:24, emphasis mine)
Love is the only thing the world cannot deny when they see it. Not the human kind of love which does not empower us to like, much less love, our enemies or those who spitefully abuse us or those who offend us. The kind of love Jesus spoke about comes only through the in dwelling power of Holy Spirit to a life (a seed) willingly surrendered (put into the ground alone). God’s Love is the true fruit (the evidence) that grows from the glory. It bridges every divide. It cannot be censored, and it will never be cancelled. It never fails!
It’s the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search a matter out. (Proverbs 25:2)
Kings in the Kingdom of Heaven seek to understand the Love of God in Christ Jesus. The world will see (have knowledge) of the glory of God when they witness and encounter the glory of His Love!
What is His Love like? It is strong, consuming like fire, and unrelenting (as expressed in Song of Solomon), and patient, kind, selfless and truthful (as described in 1 Corinthians 13). When you encounter it, you become afraid to do anything to lose it (the Fear of the Lord) because it is irreplaceable. Every one who earnestly seeks the Lord will encounter it.
Since parallel lines never meet, what has been, will be again. But towards the end of my dream, one by one, people “found” that little Love Bridge and started to walk it. May each of us find it. Amen!
When God does not do things the way we expect, it is natural for us to ask why. We may be silent, but He reads our thoughts and He always responds.
In Matthew chapter 9, Jesus was confronted because He did things differently. The scribes accused Him of blasphemy. Then the Pharisees became quite offended because Jesus ate with “sinners”, a practice which their customs did not allow.
“Why is your Master eating with publicans and sinners?” they asked Jesus’ Disciples. Jesus responded to all their questions even though they were at odds with Him. Next came the followers of John (the Baptist):
This was quite an unusual answer to a straightforward question – a bridegroom, sewing, and wine skins all seem unrelated to fasting. But, parabolic language is not meant to be easily understood. I sense Jesus was saying:
“Wherever I am at work, I do all things new! Expect the unexpected and celebrate Me. Don’t be surprised if when I (the bridegroom) have departed, you see these who follow me now return to their old customs and old way of thinking.
Trying to fit my Ways into your old designs works no better than sewing a patch of new fabric to mend an old garment. What initially looks constructive, soon unravels.
My anointing (New Wine), cannot be contained by traditions (old wine skins), or expectations. If you try this, my anointing will be wasted (New Wine spilled) and you will only create confusion or disappointment within yourselves (old wine skins will be ruined). To benefit from my anointing, leave behind what makes sense or what you are accustomed to and fully embrace my Joy (put my New Wine into new wine skins).”
Desiring the familiar.
Our human nature feels more comfortable with the familiar over anything new. The religious resume their pious acts, while the bored or disenchanted turn back to their previous activities. After the Resurrection, the Disciples knew that Jesus was alive. But since “the bridegroom was taken away from them” they decided to go back to fishing, their custom before they met Jesus (John 21:3).
Dreaming of an old love, someone you felt comfortable with in the past (even though you may not have thought about the person for several years), or dreaming of your old childhood home, could mean you are desiring to go back to something from your past or something unresolved. That “something” may be as insidious as an old way of thinking (harboring doubt or unbelief), or resuming an old habit, addiction, or behavior.
God shatters our mold of expectation every time He does the unexpected. Consider this example of the unusual way God answered Deborah’s prayers (Judges 4-5).
Rain, an unexpected battle axe.
On the one hand, Deborah the prophetess and mother of children, was accompanied by Barak, the reluctant leader of Israel’s foot soldiers. On the other, there was Sisera, the seasoned war general from Canaan. His mighty armored battalion seemed to hold the clear advantage to win the battle. At least, that’s what Sisera assumed.
God made it rain buckets. An invincible enemy was tamed. Neither horse nor chariot wheel could run through the mud. The sharpshooters (the archers) missed their targets in the deluge as the torrent swept them away. Then God used another woman named Jael, from the family of Moses’ father-in-law, to execute an exhausted Sisera while he rested in her tent. She did not even have a sword, just a common household item – a tent peg.
God alone had the wisdom and foresight to know that a good gully washer of a rainstorm would balance out the scales and allow Israel’s swordsmen to defeat an armored battalion.
But what happened in the natural was only a part of the battle. The real action was the spiritual warfare going on in the heavens at the same time.
Spiritual Warfare and Bad Weather.
They fought from the heavens; The stars from their courses fought against Sisera, and the angel of the Lord was a part of the action (Judges 5:20-23). The Kingdom of Light fought against the darkness that had empowered Sisera to prevail against other nations in his previous battles.
Scriptures reveal that God responds in thunders and lightning against the enemy when His children cry out to Him for help. There are other links between spiritual warfare and bad weather. For example, Job experienced tragic weather as a direct result of Satan’s (angelic) interference (Job 1:12, 16, 18-19).
When Jesus said to his Disciples, “Let’s go to the other side of the lake” to the Gerasenes, a storm arose to try to stop them – most likely the principalities and powers that ruled over that region. Jesus was on His way to deliver a man (a future evangelist) from the legion of demons that kept him captive (Luke 8:23-29). Later, the Apostle Paul, en route to Rome, was shipwrecked by a violent storm and after several days, an angel appeared to him to assure him he would survive and stand before Caesar (Acts 27:14-24).
This dream, seen a few years ago, illustrates that there is often more going on than we can see.
Interpretation: The ripped out wing was a clue that the angelic battle in progress was related to the forecast. I do not know much about meteorology but a V-shaped jet stream so far south would cause really bad weather as cool air collides with warm tropical air.
Deborah’s prophetic word.
Take notice of what the prophetess Deborah said to Barak. She said that God would use a woman to defeat Sisera (Judges 4:9). Deborah did not explain how it would happen and God fulfilled His Word. It would have been easy to presume that the woman God meant was the only one who was going to the battle (Deborah), but God used a completely different woman who was no where near the battle field. Further, the Word was fulfilled after Sisera had left the battlefield, not during the battle as one would expect. God’s timelines are often different from ours, because His Way of doing things are higher than the heavens are above the earth. And this is the answer to the next question.
So, did all the prophets get it wrong?
No. The Prophet Habakkuk complained that God was not doing enough to curb the evil in the land, but wisely said (my own paraphrase)- I know I’ve said too much. I am going to hush now and let God respond. He is always right, and He will probably correct me again. Then when Habakkuk “saw” God’s response, His majesty and how much He despised the wickedness, the prophet was astonished. He trembled and prayed for mercy! (Chapters 1-3).
Prophets sometimes speak under the unction of Holy Spirit with little forethought as to what they will say from sentence to sentence and what they speak may be a parable. Seers receive revelation a little differently. They “see” (as John Paul Jackson used to describe) the co-existing spiritual realm (other dimensions) and the activities of angels and demons through dreams, visions and encounters. Many prophets are seers and vice versa. However, since there is no time in the spiritual realm, the timeline when a revelation will be fulfilled usually remains a gray area.
Zebras, in parabolic language, are associated with discernment – black and white (not gray). We can receive a 100% accurate word from the Lord, but be wrong in interpreting God’s strategy and timing, in the same way we might easily have misinterpreted Deborah’s word. God intentionally makes it that way (like coloring the zebras) to keep us dependent on Him.
It’s the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to seek a matter out. Meaning, it is “kingly” (a true honor) to seek God for answers (Proverbs 25:2).
God is pleased when we are seeking Him.
Since there is glory in His Presence while seeking for a word from Him, let us not be too quick to stone His prophets as they did in ancient Israel. Many prophets truly wait to hear from God, though others may still be growing in their gifts. At the same time, let us not go back to doubt and unbelief by throwing away God’s awesome Promises simply because we are not sure how or when He will fulfill His Word; especially Words that have already been confirmed through the mouths of more than two or three witnesses!
God purposely speaks in riddles and parables to hide revelation in plain sight. He does not divulge the future because He wants to protect us from our invisible enemies as well as from ourselves and our unbelieving hearts. Though Satan and his principalities have a long history of hindering the prayers of the saints to discredit God and to test our faith, God remains unmatched as a strategist (1 Thessalonians 2:18, Daniel 10:12-13).
Friends, we can be encouraged to know that God keeps His Word and responds in unexpected ways. Since our prayers directly influence what goes on in the heavens, and what manifests on earth, we should never quit praying nor return to old ways. Doing that displeases God. Let’s continue leaning in, trusting and believing God above our limited understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6) and do so with expectancy; especially when things do not go as anticipated. He is righteous, just, and always fulfills His Word. Amen!
*Images courtesy of depositphotos.com
The modern glass mirrors that we find in homes, public spaces, purses and cars, have been around for about two hundred years. (Exclude “smart” mirrors, the talking ones in Snow White and the portals in Alice Through the Looking Glass). Mirrors help us to see ourselves as we are seen, and make fascinating dream symbols. Though rarely mentioned in Bible translations, several Scriptures possess similar “reflective” qualities. For example:
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:23-25 NKJV)
And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise (Luke 6:31, NKJV)
For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. (Matthew 7:2, NKJV)
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul (Psalm 19:7a, NKJV)
Spiritual dreams about mirrors invite us to look deeper so that our souls (thoughts, opinions, desires and feelings) may become aligned to the Word of God. I will share two different mirror themed dreams in this post.
A few years ago, the Lord connected me to a small group of women Intercessors. We met weekly to pray for whatever He revealed about nations around the world. Our assignments were guided by research, revelation, dreams and visions. Sometimes the Holy Spirit would change direction and lead us to pray for more immediate needs, such as someone’s healing. One night, we were praying for the relative of one of the Intercessors when I felt led to share a dream I had seen a few days prior.
Dream Scene: THE WOMAN IN THE MIRROR
In this colorful dream, I was facing a full-length wood framed mirror in a bedroom, but the person looking back at me was a complete stranger. She was a petite blonde with long hair. I looked around the room and somehow knew I was in an upstairs bedroom of a beautiful home. The magenta pink walls had scuff marks and needed to be repainted (end of scene).
From my description, the Intercessor whose relative we were praying for recognized the person and the room, even though the person had aged and become a brunette. By sheer coincidence (a God-incidence), I had dreamed of the same person we were praying for that night! We prayed for inner healing, particularly for a cleansing of her emotions. (To understand the symbolism of repainting a wall, please read this post (Overwriting the old with the new).
Time went by and I forgot the dream. Almost ten years later, the same woman was unexpectedly hospitalized. Sadly, she succumbed to her illness. I attended her funeral service and watched as old photos scrolled on the overhead video monitor. How surprised I was to see the same face with the long blonde hair!
Interpretation: Mirrors (as do windows and doors), sometimes “frame” mini visions within a dream. The wall color magenta gave a clue that there was an issue with the emotions (soul), the image in the mirror. The physical body ages, but the soul and spirit are ageless and those who belong to Christ are promised new non-decaying bodies in the Resurrection (see 1 Corinthians 15). Our souls look like younger versions of us, and our spirits are light. God gives these kinds of dreams to demonstrate how deeply He cares for all His children and He sends help when needed.
Things (and people) are not always as they appear on the surface. We have to look deeper, with spiritual eyes.
For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7b, NKJV)
Every dreamer acquires his or her own dream “vocabulary” over time, so we must rely on the Holy Spirit to “see” symbols in context and arrive at the correct interpretation. For example, my dreams of Pastor Benny Hinn usually have something to do with learning about the Holy Spirit or healing gifts. But another dreamer might associate this symbol with the name Benjamin.
Several years ago, I dreamed that a small group of us (volunteers at the Healing Rooms) were students traveling to different locations with Pastor Benny. The dream had multiple scenes, and years passed before I understood this scene. (Here is a tip: Multi-scene dreams are usually fulfilled over a period of time).
Dream Scene: THE MAN IN THE MIRROR
Pastor Benny led us from a classroom to a small pedestal sink with a mirrored medicine chest (cabinet) on the wall above it. He asked me to turn my back to the medicine chest then he handed me a small hand-mirror.
“Look in the hand mirror, tell me what you see” He directed.
“Myself,” I responded and wondered if it was a trick question.
“But what do you see in the mirror behind you?” He asked. I saw a reflection of me holding the hand mirror, but suspected that was not what he was after. I was clueless.
“Can you see your face? Look carefully” he persisted. I slowly rotated the angle of the hand mirror until my face appeared within the image of the hand mirror reflected from the medicine chest behind me.
Suddenly, a man’s face replaced mine. I bolted!
Pastor Benny was not amused. He sighed impatiently then led another student through the same exercise.
She too was surprised to see the man’s face, but correctly identified him as the One who had been standing at the front of the classroom while Pastor Benny taught our group a few minutes earlier. I agreed with her. Pastor Benny nodded and smiled without giving us an explanation (end of scene).
Interpretation: As mentioned in earlier posts, Lord Jesus sometimes appears in our dreams. He was the “Man” in the mirror. Not only is He with us, He is IN us. In fact, we are one with Him as the Bible tells us (1 Corinthians 6:17). When the Father looks at us, He sees us in His Son and this “transformation” happens through the power of the Holy Spirit. This dream was telling me that Jesus is the Healer (“medicine” chest) working through me.
When we look into the Word of God (the mirror) we initially see ourselves. We see that we fall short and recognize bad habits that need to go, but we are not quite sure how to accomplish this. The Apostle Paul describes this dilemma quite well in Romans 7. However, when we look deeper into the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit enables us to see our Lord Jesus Christ and to recognize ourselves in His likeness.
Smoke and Mirrors
Each time Ancient Israel looked into the mirror of God’s Law, they soon forgot what they saw, then looked to other nations to imitate. For example, in 1 Samuel 8, Israel wanted a king because other nations had kings. They pestered poor Samuel until they ended up with King Saul. That did not end well!
Hundreds of years later, Lord Jesus rebuked some “Woe to you” cities for not repenting and receiving His message. He invited them to look into the mirror called “history” and to learn from the past.
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you. (Matthew 11:21-23, NKJV)
Perhaps the reason history repeats is because we forget past mistakes, our own and those of other people, cities and nations. Satan creates smoke screens to distract us, but the Word of God gives Christians the ability to “see” past the illusions.
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. (Romans 15:4, NKJV)
Seeing the Word
Walking away unchanged from the “mirror” of the Word is like applying makeup which makes us look and feel good, temporarily. Real change comes when we begin to behold Jesus. Some of these changes include:
Obedience (we follow the Lord even if we must do so alone), Restraint (we are slow to accuse or hold others to standards we ourselves have not attained),
Truth (with discernment), Courage (Power arises within), Spiritual judgements (with understanding), Humility (without self-promotion).
We gain wisdom, show honor, and demonstrate fruitfulness. We receive the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord!
Whenever we become confused or anxious, peace is restored when we refocus on the Word of God. The more we “see” the “Man” in the mirror (Jesus), the clearer things become. The smoke dissipates to reveal things as they truly are.
2 Corinthians 3:18 states: But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord (NKJV). So let it be. Amen!
As I lay in bed early in the New Year, I remembered that in the hours before New Year’s Eve, I had heard about three different 41-year-old men who had died unexpectedly. The incidents were unrelated and I did not know them personally. Nevertheless, I was saddened by the tragedies their families experienced.
All three were 41. Was this a coincidence or was there a symbolic meaning? I asked the Lord. That’s when I heard: “Year forty plus One.” I had not previously considered that 2021 is 40 +1.
I quickly recalled the meaning of those numbers. One (1) is the number for God. Forty (40) means the period in a wilderness, or the end of a generational issue or testing.
Jesus spent 40 days being tested in the wilderness because of His obedience. On the contrary, Israel spent 40 years in the wilderness where a generation passed away because of their unbelief. They simply did not believe they could take the land from the giants. Only Joshua and Caleb were left alive and the children from the previous generation (Numbers 13-14).
I think the “symbolic” meaning is that the season of 40 will end when there is a Plus One. No matter the kind of wilderness we may be experiencing, we can be assured that God is greater than the giants and trials. We can trust in His Word that He will never leave us. Wilderness seasons will eventually end when it’s time to enter into the Promises of God.
Let’s encourage one another to be strong and courageous in faith and obedience. Happy New Year Plus One!
I asked the Lord, “What would you like for your Birthday?” Ultimately, Christmas is His gift to all the earth.
In the moments that passed, I thought about things that please Him: The gospel is preached and souls are saved. We willingly obey His commandments to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbors as ourselves. We fight the good fight of faith against doubt, and wholly believe Him.
“Make room for Me.” His quiet response made me pause.
It was not what I expected to hear, but He is so honest, and we are often… presumptuous?
Mankind had been eagerly anticipating the arrival of Messiah for hundreds of years and when He arrived, they neither recognized nor made room for Him at the inn!
His words still provoke thought. How much do we allow Him to participate in the wonderful ways we serve Him? Is He allowed to voice His wishes when we gather in His Name? Is there room for His priorities in our bless me, give me, fix me, bless them, fix them prayers?
Through Scripture, His still small voice, insightful conversations and dreams, there are many ways He finds room in our lives. Sometimes, He uses signs… and they are not always celestial.
Following is an excerpt from the Introduction of Parables, Dreams & Encounters1 discussing some “signs” observed during the First Christmas (the Nativity):
What began as any ordinary night long ago easily became one of the most frightening for a group of shepherds watching their flock. They should have fainted when an angel clothed in light appeared right in front of them, but there is no such account. The celestial visitor cheerfully announced that a Savior was born that day in the City of David!
He added, “And this will be the sign to you: You will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12).
The vision grew even more spectacular: “Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’” (Luke 2:13-15).
When the angels went away up into the heavens, the curious shepherds hastened to Bethlehem. No random, insignificant event would cause shepherds to walk off their jobs (leaving their valuable sheep alone). They were driven by curiosity to see, for themselves, this baby “lying in a manger.”
Over in Bethlehem, Mary’s baby was born with perfect timing. She had believed the prophetic word given to her by Gabriel, the angel. God had chosen her. From a virgin and “low estate…handmaiden” to the mother of the Son of God and future King of her people (Luke 1:48).
It was wonderful to be honored in this way, but her life was immediately endangered. She had not considered the penalty for an out-of-wedlock pregnancy: death by stoning!
Even her betrothed, Joseph, did not buy her story. But God intervened. He assured Joseph, through a dream, the baby was truly God’s doing.
Things still did not go as Mary expected. First, she and Joseph had to make an arduous journey of 80 miles (129 kilometers) from Nazareth to Bethlehem for a census. When they arrived in Bethlehem, exhausted and aching, there was nowhere to stay except a stable!
Mary trusted God and did not complain, but she had to wonder, How could the King and Savior of Israel have a manger for a crib?
Just then, some agitated shepherds arrived, delivering the most fascinating breaking eyewitness news anyone had heard in hundreds of years! They became overnight sensations (bona fide evangelists) as they excitedly shared their story with everyone.
When they mentioned the “sign” they sought was a baby “lying in a manger,” I can only imagine how Mary’s eyes widened and her face lit up and reassurance soundlessly flooded her being.
The stable was not an unforeseen inconvenience, after all; God was in full control! Luke 2:19 states, “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
God places “signs” to let us know that He cares about the things that concern us, if we take notice!
After Jesus was born, the family made the six-mile (9.6-kilometer) journey to Jerusalem twice. First for Jesus’ circumcision at eight days of age, and the second after Mary’s 40-day purification. According to the Law, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord” (Luke 2:23).
As they gave their sacrificial offering (two turtledoves or two pigeons) to redeem their firstborn son, they were unaware of other unfolding events.
God told an elder named Simeon he would not die until he saw the Christ. Despite the heavy foot traffic at the Temple, by coincidence, Simeon arrived there at the very same time as Mary and Joseph. As soon as he laid eyes on the baby, he just knew “by the Spirit,” this was the Christ. Joseph and Mary “marveled” at the blessing Simeon spoke (v. 33).
Just a short time later, Anna, the prophetess also “found” baby Jesus. “She gave thanks to the Lord and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem” (vs. 38).
God does not always tell us when to expect “signs.” He sends them periodically to remind us of His promises and to assure us we are in the right place at the right time! (end of excerpt) ©
1Robinson, J. (2019). Parables, dreams & encounters: Understanding God’s language and symbols for your discernment, deliverance and destiny. Author.
This has certainly been an eventful year for many people. As a healthcare professional, I have encountered many families directly or indirectly affected by the coronavirus – loss of life, loss of livelihood, grief and sorrow, and I keep them in my prayers. On the other hand, there have been wonderful testimonies of thankfulness, perseverance and even unexpected blessings!
Whatever season you find yourself in (and seasons eventually change no matter how long they last), be assured that God has a firm hold on you and nothing escapes His watchful eyes. God is with you! Emmanuel. Hope comes when we recognize God’s supernatural signs and “coincidences” and know He is always in control.
This Christmas and beyond, let us purposefully make room for Him in our hearts and homes. Isn’t that what He is doing for us?
In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:2-3)
I pray that you enjoy and be exceedingly blessed this Christmas!
God has been speaking to Prophets and Intercessors about current events. As we wrap up 2020, it’s interesting that God is once again releasing prophetic perspectives in this year of “vision.” This post contains three recent and relevant dreams.
Perspectives on Politics
A Dream seen 11/30/2020 Legislative Optics: A few people, including myself, watched as installers worked on the window of a “government” building next door. The square pane of glass was removed and replaced with another square concave (curved inwards) meniscus-shaped glass. A man in our group announced that the new window would help the people inside “see out” during a storm. I knew the building housed lawmakers and the weather outside looked clear.
Analysis: The announcer was the Lord (who often makes appearances in spiritual dreams). Our building housed the “watchful” (intercessors). The installers were angels. A storm (not weather related) creates a muddle of confusing issues. “Square” things are rigid, such as laws and statutes, whereas round and circular things are unending or infinite, such as covenants and constitutions. A concave lens enables a close up or focused look at something that is too big or too far away. The graphic below, borrowed from www.cbakken.net, illustrates how an image is seen when looking out.
The dome side of the negative meniscus shaped window was on the inside of the building. Interestingly, in architectural design, domes and arches are made to withstand great pressure. Could this mean that the elected lawmakers feel more pressure from the inside, among themselves, than the issues of the people who elected them?
Dream Interpretation: As we watch and pray, God is releasing angels to help our lawmakers to see clearly through the political/legal muddle and focus on the issues.
Prayer Points: Let’s pray that lawmakers will not only see clearly, but that they will withstand peer pressure, and focus on the law and constitution to make righteous and just decisions for the people they represent.
Perspectives on a Nation
When God asked Jeremiah, “What do you see?” the question was more than a vision test. God was educating the young prophet on the politics of that day.
Things may have looked normal as people went about their everyday lives, but calamity was about to break loose because of the level of ungodliness and wickedness in the land. This next verse summarizes the state of affairs:
The priests did not say, ‘Where is the Lord?’ And those who handle the law did not know Me; The rulers also transgressed against Me; The prophets prophesied by Baal, And walked after things that do not profit (Jeremiah 2:8, NKJV)
Baal (which translates to lord) is a Canaanite deity known by different names, and is associated with child sacrifice. In ancient Israel, evil leaders such as Queen Jezebel and King Ahab made Baal worship legal. They promoted Baal prophets and priests and brought pollution to the nation. Subsequently, the people embraced idolatry and child sacrifice as a normal way of life, and they forgot about God.
When people forget God and disobey His Laws, they lose “vision” (God’s guidance) and they also lose awareness of right from wrong:
When there is no clear prophetic vision, people quickly wander astray.
But when you follow the revelation of the word, heaven’s bliss fills your soul.
(Proverbs 29:18, The Passion Translation)
Some are quick to pronounce that God is bringing judgment, but if we look carefully at Jeremiah 2:19, we see the source of judgement was the same spirit of Baal.
Your own wickedness will correct you, And your backslidings will rebuke you. Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing That you have forsaken the Lord your God, And the fear of Me is not in you,” Says the Lord God of hosts. (NKJV)
Distorted vision needs to be corrected.
God used both the prophetic anointing (Prophets Elijah and Elisha were guided by God) and the kingly anointing (Jehu was a fearless ruler) to free His people from the influence of Baal. The true prophetic cancels the false prophetic and godly leaders are raised up to replace the corrupt.
Perspectives on the Media
A Dream seen 8/29/2020 FOX becomes FOY: From an aerial view, I saw a complex of buildings that was suddenly and totally obliterated. “Something” invisible fell from the heavens with a flash of fire and flattened it. Before I could mentally process what I had seen, a different image appeared before my eyes. It was a huge logo for FOX (the cable network). Suddenly, the right leg of the X in the logo disintegrated and disappeared so the X became a Y. FOX became FOY.
Dream Analysis and Interpretation: The invisible force that flattened the building look like a powerful sonic pulse. I rarely watch TV and the only Foy I had ever heard of was the actress (Claire Foy) who I know nothing about. I did not understand the dream. A few days later, I thought to look up the meaning of the word Foy.
Foy is both a Scottish and French word. According to theFreedictionary.com FOY means a farewell feast or gift such as at a wedding. FOY as a name, means faith.
I knew the dream was revealing a correction. Later, I understood the problem was not the media, but rather their “message.” Just as the Baal prophets were voices of influence in Israel, the loudest sound bites today come from the mainstream media and big tech which dominate the airwaves and control the flow of information around the world. While they freely promote their own opinions, they marginalize opinions that differ from theirs including God’s call for righteousness and truth and justice. They shift cultures and turn the hearts of people from God.
Some media personnel and journalists have been immersed in their environment for so long they are unaware of how far their messaging has drifted away from God’s Laws. Others are fully aware. This is how subtly and insidiously the spirit of Baal operates.
Prayer Points: Let’s pray that God will release a prophetic anointing and a kingly anointing to transform the media into a FOY (a gift), a force for righteousness and truth.
Perspectives on the Revelation of the Bride of Christ
A Dream seen 11/29/2020 The Bride Appears: There was to be a wedding. I was to play Pachelbel’s Canon in D on an organ, and another lady sat at a piano nearby. The bride was getting ready in a dressing room next door. Someone called me to speak about something. As I turned to this person, the bride suddenly emerged from the dressing room. I hurried back to the organ, and thankfully, the pianist had started playing on time. I did not see the groom or the wedding.
The next scene of the dream showed a formal reception for the bride, with food, but again, I did not see the groom.
Analysis: I knew no one in the dream. I have never studied the organ (I play some piano), and never played that particular piece, so there is some symbolism. A canon is a church decree or the accepted Books in Scripture. In the parabolic language of dreams, an organ (like a piano) represents prophecy and has “keys.” The instruments were played in synchrony. I knew the bride represented the Bride of Christ, but wondered if Canon in D was related to “Joshua in D” from my earlier post. The next morning the first video that caught my eye on YouTube was Mike Bickle’s “Bridal Revelation and Spiritual Warfare” that had been posted a month earlier.
Dream interpretation: While Christians eagerly await the revelation of the Bride of Christ, we are not really sure how or when it will happen. One sign may be the synchronization of prophetic intercession and decrees during a season of spiritual warfare. This is actually happening right now. (Note to self: Do not become distracted!)
Prayer Points: Let’s pray that all prophetic intercession and decrees will be in the unity of the Holy Spirit and we will “Be ready!” for the revelation of the Bride (Revelation 19:7). If the Bride is being revealed, the Groom will surely come! Come, Lord Jesus.
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is (1 John 3:2).