Posted in Faith, Prophecy

The Faith of Fathers

Jairus

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).

Imperfect fathers

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.

Posted in Destiny, Discernment, Dream Interpretation, Dreams, Parables, Prophecy

Prophetic Dream: From Toilet to Tower

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)

Dream Interpretation

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.

An Invitation

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!

Posted in Discernment, Dream Interpretation, Dreams, Parables, Prayer, Prophecy, Spiritual Warfare

A Dream: Beautiful Feet

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.

Interpretation

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!

Images: Depositphotos.com

Posted in Dream Interpretation, Dreams, Parables, Prayer, Prophecy, Resurrection

Prophetic Dream: 1972 Reawakening

Historic convent of La Merced building, Spain

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.

Charismatic Catholics1,2,3

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

University of Notre Dame campus in South Bend, Indiana.

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.

Jawbone Mischief

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.

Posted in Encounters, Parables, Passover, Prophecy, Spiritual Warfare

Multiplication, Leaven and the Passover

Flowers near sea of Galilee on a sunny spring day (depositphotos.com).

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!

Posted in Dream Interpretation, Dreams, Parables, Prophecy

The Hidden Glory of Love

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 Mefor 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!

Posted in Angels, Discernment, Dream Interpretation, Dreams, Faith, Parables, Prophecy, Spiritual Warfare

Expecting the “unexpected”

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

Posted in Faith, Holiday, Parables, Prophecy

Happy New Year Plus One

changing 2020 to 2021 http://www.depositphotos.com

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!

Posted in Encounters, Holiday, Prophecy

Signs that Make Room For Him

Images from depositphotos.com. Scriptures from NKJV.

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!

Posted in Dream Interpretation, Dreams, Prophecy

Prophetic Perspectives

http://www.depositphotos.com

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.

Source: http://www.cbakken.net/obookshelf/ccimages.html

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).

Posted in Dream Interpretation, Dreams, Parables, Prophecy

Hindsight is 2020: When D comes before C

Tower from alphabet baby building blocks (depositphotos.com)

It was a very strange exam. The question was verbal. I listened then wrote the answer in a short paragraph. Later, my instructor handed me my graded paper. I scanned her lengthy red-inked critique without reading any of it and focused on the large handwritten “C2.” A second C grade for the semester?! My heart sank. When I awakened, I could not remember the question, my answer or the critique; only the big red C2.

This dream was seen several years ago, but I remember it well. After some time, I learned that C2 was not a rating of my performance as a student. The Holy Spirit (the instructor in the dream), in His parabolic style of speaking, was instructing me to “see more.” (2 in this context means multiplication).

It’s often said that “Seeing is believing!” But Jesus says we are blessed if we believe before we see (John 20:29). This requires faith.

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. We walk by faith, not by [natural] sight. Faith is the substance [assurance] of things hoped for, the evidence [certainty] of things not seen. (Romans 10: 17, 2 Corinthians 5:7, Hebrews 11:1, NKJV). Square brackets added for clarity.

To “see more” in the Kingdom of God means to exercise more faith, and faith increases when we “hear” God’s Words. If what we “see” is based on what we “hear” we will want to be sure that we are hearing correctly. Faith will not come to us by listening to the mainstream media or op-eds, which neither reflect the mind of God nor His plans. (God has revealed that at some time in the future, parts of the media will be reshaped to support His agenda; others will become defunct). No one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 2:11b), and we also have His Word.

2020 was prophesied to be a year of clarity and vision (20/20). But in the natural, it’s been difficult to understand. From the tragic losses associated with COVID19, to the devastating wildfires on the West Coast, to the repetitive battering of hurricanes, to the rioting and arson in the streets, or other unexpected challenges; people have complained that this has been quite an extraordinary year.

When we look beyond the natural and what we hear in the news, what does faith “see”? Everything God said this year would be, will be. Faith tells us that God’s promises always supersede whatever difficulties we may experience or see.

A few hours ago, I heard: Hindsight is 20/20 (2020). I think this means that we will look back and “see” (understand) things we did not before.

Holy Spirit also brought to mind another riddle He spoke some years ago, “When D comes before C.” This is an example of God’s dark speech (dark in this context means hidden) Numbers 12:8.

In the English language C is a homonym for “see.” Some Ds that may come before we “see” or understand are: difficulties, delay, disappointment, discouragement, darkness, defeat, distress, denial, disillusionment, destruction, dissatisfaction, depression and the dictionary lists so many more. (Sorry D, such a bum rap! But, you do have destiny and deliverance).

Some Cs that follow Ds are: Contentment, courage, compassion, calling, covenant, commission, creativity, commitment, counsel, conviction, and correction (yes, correction is a very good thing).

depositphotos.com

Then the Lord reminded me about another dream riddle “Joshua in D.” It was a colorful and exciting dream with dancing cheerleaders on roller skates, wearing jersey tops and short skirts. The front of each jersey displayed a single upper case letter.

The cheerleaders assembled and disassembled to spell words. They spelled out the phrase: “JOSHUA IN D”.

This riddle was not like guessing Rumpelstiltskin’s name, but I had to draw on several clues and other dreams to figure out the Lord meant Joshua’s commissioning in Deuteronomy 31:7. Joshua faced real giants and the message of the dream was similar. Be strong and courageous and take the land, regardless of what Ds you encounter! (The full dream is decoded in my book).

Are you experiencing a test in the midst of Ds? Hang in there! When the 20/20 hindsight manifests, the exam will be past and passed. In the meantime, we are to:

(1) Listen to God (not naysayers) and
(2) Do what he tells us to with all our might.

Ds create unprecedented opportunities for God to do amazing things. Joshua defeated the invincible walled city of his day, Jericho. Isaac obeyed God’s instructions to farm in the midst of a famine, and silenced his enemies and critics when his crops yielded a 100-fold increase! (Joshua 5, 6, and Genesis 26:12)

How I love when King David testified of God’s faithfulness through the difficult days. He said:

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord! (Psalm 27: 13-14, NKJV)

How things look to you in the new year will depend on your perspective. Going from 20/20 to 20/25 to 20/30 usually means worsening vision. (The top number is what you can see at 20 feet, and the bottom number means that others can see the same thing from 25 or 30 feet away). But in God’s Kingdom, vision grows sharper and brighter for those who place their trust in God and His Word. We walk by faith even when things look good. As the calendar flips to 2021 and beyond, let’s remember that God acts independently of circumstances and He always keeps His Word.

When D comes first, take heart dear friends, that C will surely follow! Amen.

Posted in Discernment, Dream Interpretation, Dreams, Prophecy

Prophetic Dream: The Transition

Depositphotos.com Big fish can not pass in the ampoule with the castle. 3D Rendering

Dream dated: August 9, 2020

This dream spanned 3 different time periods beginning before the 2020 Presidential elections. I’ve never met anyone I saw in the dream and the dream was in color.

Scene 1: The setting was a large furnished office space with different groups of people working on different projects. To my left, a group of people (including Christians) were discussing a political event. A supervisor from that group had scheduled a large print job and asked for my help to gather the copies from the printers and stack them for her.

Scene 2: It was the end of the work day. Many of us were in the parking lot behind the office building and it was bright and sunny outside. The same supervisor asked for help to carry some printed material to the trunk (boot) of her car. One booklet fell to the ground, but I couldn’t grab it because my hands were full. She picked it up. “Look, you dropped one!” she said. I replied, “Yes, I’m sorry, I saw it fall and I was coming back for it.” She said, “That’s okay.”

I was about to walk to my car with a woman who lived in the same housing community as me (only a mile away from the office). Some people from the office planned to distribute booklets at a local campaign event and asked me to join them. “Can we count on you to help us get out the vote?” I responded, “You know that I am a Christian, right? I cannot vote against the principles of Jesus Christ.”

“Oh c’mon! All things are forgiven by God,” countered one who was supposed to be a Christian. They laughed as if I was being ridiculous. There was no offense given or taken in our exchange. We remained cordial to one another.

Scene 3: As my neighbor and I were exiting the parking lot, the view in front of us was completely dark like midnight (except for street lights). This was shocking, because it was still sunny daylight behind us. Suddenly, a brief rain shower appeared in the darkness, and in the midst of the rain shower, the silhouette of a transparent whirlwind became visible. It seemed surreal, like an animation, and spanned from ground to sky. And just as suddenly, the rain stopped and the whirlwind disappeared.

I froze. “Did you see that?” My neighbor said yes. Suddenly the rain and the whirlwind reappeared for a few seconds, then disappeared again. The whirlwind did not look destructive, but I said, “We’d better get out of here when it disappears again.” When it disappeared the third time, I quickly drove out of the parking lot and made a right turn towards home. I closed my eyes briefly in the darkness. A couple seconds later, I thought to myself, I’d better open my eyes to see where I am going! I did, and saw it was bright and sunny again.

Scene 4: We arrived at our housing development and the first house at the first entrance on the right was a stunning new white multi-story mansion, where my neighbor lived. I had never seen this house before and she had recently moved in. I promised to come and visit her. I drove to my usual entrance, but it was partially blocked because of multiple construction and building projects. Even the road was being resurfaced with new blacktop. I was amazed at all the activity. Somehow I knew it was around Christmas time.

There was a man in the guard booth who could grant me access. He asked for my address then said, “Okay, I’ll make an exception” (instead of routing me to another entrance). After waiting a couple minutes for the heavy equipment to unblock the way, I proceeded. I marveled at all the new construction and said to myself, This is an economic boom! Following behind me was a huge oil tanker. (I woke up.)

Dream Analysis and Interpretation:
Scene 1: Each scene represents a different time period. Scenes 1 and 2 precede the November 2020 US Presidential elections. The printers and booklets are symbolic of the media blitz for the elections that has already started to “get out the vote.”

Scene 2: There was no offense because of different viewpoints. We should never become angry and hateful. God loves people and the Bible instructs us to be submissive and respectful to authorities. Standing for God’s Word will become increasingly unpopular. My co-workers in the dream thought I was stuck in the archaic! Somehow, the campaign booklet seemed to be more important to them, but God’s Word is inerrant and sovereign. Only repentance will bring forgiveness.

Scene 3: The darkness was a vision within the dream and we were seeing what was going on in another dimension. The darkness, like the spiritual darkness that Isaiah saw in Chapter 60 verse 2, was not from God, but as Isaiah prophesies, the Lord will arise over us and prepare us for transition. Rain in the Bible is often associated with blessings from heaven (1Kings 8:35-36) and whirlwinds can signify sudden changes or portals. (Prophet Elijah was taken to heaven in a whirlwind, 2 Kings 2:11).

The rain and whirlwind appeared 3 times in the darkness. The number 3 means Divine confirmation, the perfect witness of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There may also be three associated events or three measures of time – possibly days or months or years. Regardless of whether there is darkness or light, God’s plans for us are always for good. Darkness or light is the same to Him (Psalm 139: 11-12). It will be important to stay focused on what He is doing instead of focusing on works of evil: eyes open and watchful.

Scene 4: The season had suddenly changed (in the space of driving half a mile), it was Christmas time. It was bright and sunny again, but things looked very different. There was much building and construction going on. The woman riding with me likely represents the watchful, attentive church (Bride of Christ) or the Five Wise Virgins in the Parable recorded in Matthew chapter 25:1-13. The mansion and economic boom are symbolic of a prosperity coming with the Kingdom of God and possibly to the natural world. I was granted access through a narrow entrance and the man in the guard booth was probably an angel. The Bible tells us in Matthew 7:14 that the way to Life is narrow and few find it. The resurfaced blacktop road may reflect new opportunities for evangelism, as well as other spiritual gifts (Christmas is associated with gifts). They will be accompanied by an abundant increase in the Anointing of God (the oil tanker). Oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit.

In summary: Though challenging seasons may lay ahead before the end of this year, let us uphold the Word of God, stay the course and not become distracted by the darkness and politics. God is bringing about swift changes that will manifest the beginning of a glorious new era for the outpouring of His Spirit and the advancement of His Kingdom, the likes of which we have never seen. This is a message of hope. Amen!

Posted in Deliverance, Discernment, Dream Interpretation, Dreams, Encounters, Prophecy, Resurrection

Recognizing When Jesus Enters

Cropped image of Jesus walking on sand in desert. depositphotos.com

No sooner had Jesus the Healer stepped out of the boat on the shores of Gennesaret than he was recognized by individuals. Before long, the sick flooded to him and beds lined the streets with those who could not walk, hoping to touch the edge of His garment.

And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole. (Mark 6:56, KJV)

He had visited the other side of the Sea. There He was immediately known as Jesus the Stronger to the legion of demons (perhaps 3,000 to 6,000 in number) before they surrendered their host for a herd of pigs. Once considered to be beyond hope or reach, the liberated man gratefully bore witness to his mighty deliverance and testified throughout the Decapolis of the One who had set him free (Mark 5:1-20).

When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils. (Mark 11:21-22, NKJV, Bolded for emphasis).

Jesus entered the synagogue in His home town Nazareth where He had grown up, well-known to His own people. This time, when Jesus the Preacher declared His mission to fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy, the people could only see the kid they knew, the son of a carpenter. “Is this not Joseph’s son?” they reasoned, before they threw Him out of town! Unfazed by their rejection, Jesus moved on to another synagogue in Capernaum to deliver a man from demons, and from there He continued to preach at different synagogues in Galilee (Luke 4: 16-36, 44).

Jesus frequently entered homes. He visited the home of Simon Peter where Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick in bed. When Jesus the Miracle worker rebuked her fever, it left her immediately! (vs. 38-39) Later, he entered the house of Martha (sister of Mary and Lazarus), and befriended them and enjoyed their company (Luke 10:38). But He was Jesus the Resurrection when He raised up Lazarus from the dead (John 11). Jesus also entered Jairus’ house and raised his dead daughter back to life (Luke 8:41-56).

Sometimes Jesus meets us in unexpected places. Being short in stature, Zacchaeus had climbed up a tree. The most he hoped for was to catch a glimpse of Jesus as He entered Jericho, in the midst of a throng of people. To the chagrin of the crowd, Jesus the Unpredictable looked up to the tree and called out to Zacchaeus that He had come to visit him. Caught by surprise, it is small wonder Zacchaeus did not fall out of the tree! When Jesus entered Zacchaeus’ house, the once stingy hearted and greatly despised tax-collector, suddenly oozed generosity…

Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” (Luke 19: 1-10, NKJV)

Wherever Jesus entered – cities, towns, the country, homes and individual lives – nothing and no one remained the same. The Gospels reveal a God who truly loves and cares for people.

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. (Acts 10:38, NKJV)

Now, do you suppose that Jesus has stopped entering towns and houses and lives? Or is it that we fail to recognize Him?

We are not unlike the Two downcast souls who had left Jerusalem, after Jesus’ crucifixion to walk seven miles to Emmaus. They were surprised that the Stranger who joined their trek was oblivious to the recent events that had shaken both the political world and religious rule. Mile after mile, this pleasant Stranger stoked a fire of hope in their hearts as He shared Scriptures about the Messiah. Only when He blessed and broke bread, did they recognize that it was the Lord! (Luke 24:13-31)

We may not initially recognize Jesus in our dreams. Yet, when we seek Him, we find Him. Dreams from the Holy Spirit bring messages from God, but the Messenger is discerned by what He does or speaks.

I once dreamed of trying to access a building. Every external door was closed and no one responded to my knocks. Suddenly a 6 or 7 year old little boy, who I did not know, walked up to me. It was a beautiful day and he was looking for someone to play with. I didn’t have time to play. “Please wait here by this door, and I will be back soon,” I said. He patiently waited while I knocked at all the doors again, with no success. When I returned to the little boy, the door beside him had opened. He smiled at me and did not speak a word.

I awakened and pondered. Who was the little boy and why was he in my dream? How could he have opened a door that was locked to me?

Suddenly, I recognized Him!

That little boy was You, wasn’t it, Lord?” I said, knowingly. And I discerned the message: He is the one who opens doors and closes them (Revelation 3:7), and child-like faith in Him always proves to be more effective than our very best efforts!

In another dream, I was standing at a checkout counter and the woman behind the counter opened the cash register and started to hand me money, multiple bundles of bills. I was granted special favor simply because she saw my ring. It had a dark blue sapphire set in gold and it was on the ring finger of my left hand.

How puzzling! I thought, because I had neither bought nor sold anything. At first glance the dream resembled a tale told by Scheherazade from One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. But it was not.

In the parabolic language of dreams, a ring (and other round things) represents Covenant, and dark blue is a spiritual color representing Communion with God or Revelation. The ring in my dream, was on the ring finger of my left hand. We could go deeper into symbolism, (such as: the woman in this context represents the Holy Spirit, the stone represents the Rock [Jesus], and the gold signifies His Divinity) or suffice to say, through Covenant relationship with Jesus, we have favor with God.

So Jesus is the One who has enacted a new covenant with a new relationship with God so that those who accept the invitation will receive the eternal inheritance he has promised to his heirs. For he died to release us from the guilt of the violations committed under the first covenant. (Hebrews 9:15-17, The Passion Translation).

As we seek Jesus, we may find Him throughout the Scriptures (as the Passover Lamb in the Book of Exodus, as the Kinsman Redeemer in the Book of Ruth or as the Suffering Servant in the Book of Isaiah), and in every other Book of the Bible. We may hear testimony of a miraculous healing in response to prayer, where no fleshly man ever laid a hand to touch another. Or at times, He may be seen in the kindness of one stopping to give half a sandwich to a hungry soul.

We often find Him in the company of followers of Jesus. But how often have we gathered in His Name, sung gustily songs of praise, listened to an artfully prepared sermon, yet failed to discern the sudden Peace when the Prince of Peace enters a room? He promised:

For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:20, NKJV)

The truth is, Jesus enters our lives every day … let’s be watchful so that we may recognize Him, (whether He enters our church, our home, or our dreams) and welcome Him. Amen!

Posted in Deliverance, Prophecy

The Plague, The Passover and The Priesthood

you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5 NKJV)

Chalice with wine and bread. Cross shadow in the chalice (Depositphotos.com)

It is the Passover and Good Friday. This year, an unprecedented number of people around the world are observing these holy days at home, forbidden to congregate. Though millions have lost either loved ones or livelihood due to the pandemic, God has given to us a High Priest who will bring restoration to many.

On one memorable Passover night many years ago, Jesus “disclosed” he was about to be betrayed by one of the Twelve present (John 6:64, 13:11). Then, Jesus did something He had not done before:

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”

Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom. (Matthew 26:26-29)

The evening grew quite sorrowful with the talk about betrayal, and blood shed, and that He would be leaving them for a while. As the Passover Lamb, He was about to experience great suffering and death to fulfill what Isaiah had prophesied hundreds of years earlier (Ch. 53). The disciples felt saddened by the news. Jesus eagerly desired to share this “Last Supper” with His friends to prepare them for what was to come, and He promised them joy would come again.

What is the Passover? In a nutshell, the first Passover took place over 3,000 years ago while the children of Israel were in bondage in Egypt. A stubborn Pharaoh had denied them freedom and defied God through nine plagues. So, as God had instructed through Moses, each Hebrew family packed up their belongings, they marked the lintels and doorposts of their homes with the blood of a lamb, then they roasted and ate the lamb with unleavened bread. That night, the tenth and final plague (death of the first-born) “passed over” the homes of the children of Israel because of the blood, but struck the Egyptians. What a terrible night it was! There was a great cry throughout the land because in every Egyptian home, someone had died. A defeated Pharaoh relented and released the Hebrew slaves (Exodus 11-12).

After Israel’s miraculous exodus from Egypt, God instituted the Passover (also called the Feast of Unleavened Bread) to be an annual seven-day feast beginning on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Nisan (either March or April each year) in remembrance of that night. God had demonstrated His ability to preserve His people even in the face of death. He was also preparing them for the time in the future that He would provide the Passover Lamb.

Under the Old Covenant, God designated Aaron and his sons and their descendants (from the tribe of Levi) to minister before God as priests in the tabernacle (an earthly temple designed after one in heaven) (Exodus 28:1). Various unblemished animals were sacrificed and meals offered under strict specifications, (and the blood was poured at the base of the altar), for the atonement of the people’s sin (including the priests). Essentially, the sin was transferred from the people to the animals. Once a year, the high priest would carefully and fearfully approach God’s Holy Presence in the most inner chamber of the tabernacle to place blood on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant to atone for the whole nation. Only the High Priest, and certain people in Scriptures who God allowed such as the likes of Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Moses (to name a few), could even come near to His Presence.

These bloody animal sacrifices continued year after year because of a perpetual plague called “sin.” The holiest portions of the offerings were given to God and consumed by His fire, other holy portions were eaten by the priests and still other portions by the people.

Let us return to the Upper Room. When Jesus gave his disciples bread and wine that night, He was offering His own body and blood as the sacrifice. He did not partake of the sacrifice because He was the Sacrifice, the spotless Lamb. He had come for this very purpose, not to cause death, but to defeat death forever!

That same night, before He went to the Cross, we see the loving heart of this Savior as He prays not only for his disciples, but for everyone who would come to know Him in the future (John 17:20-23). Jesus knew of all the fearsome troubles that we would face in this world, but He promised we would never be alone, our lives will never end, and He would give us a supernatural joy that can never be overcome (Deuteronomy 31:6; John 11:25-26; 14:18-20; 16:20-22, Nehemiah 8:10).

God takes no pleasure in human suffering, even though He is often falsely accused of causing it. In times of loss and grief, it is almost impalpable to think of joy. Yet, Jesus is uniquely qualified to handle every kind of sorrow, having experienced all in His own life. We can be assured that every promise of hope and restoration by God can be ours through Jesus.

After His Resurrection from the grave, Jesus, as our sinless High Priest, placed His own blood on the mercy seat of the Ark in the Tabernacle in Heaven. The purpose of this “New” Covenant, long prophesied by Jeremiah, was to fulfill the Old Covenant and eradicate sin (and death) once and for all, forever (Jeremiah 31:31-34; 2 Timothy 1:10).

Jesus was not a Levitical priest. He was from the higher order of the mysterious Melchizedek (a priest of the Most High God and a king from Jerusalem with an unknown genealogy, to whom Abraham, the great grandfather of Levi paid tithes). (See Genesis 14:18-20, Hebrews 7). Melchizedek recognized the priestly role of Abraham as a worshipper of God, blessed him and gave him bread and wine as a reward (Genesis 14:18-19). These elements pointed to the Salvation that Jesus would work for mankind through the Cross, some 2000 years later.

The Scriptures intentionally do not tell us much about Melchizedek (whether he was a man, an angel, or a Theophany), because our focus is Lord Jesus Christ. It was not unheard of for men to have encounters with supernatural beings in the Bible and those encounters are still common today. Melchizedek is mentioned to establish that Jesus’ priesthood was not under the Levitical law He came to fulfill, but an eternal one (Psalm 110:4).

In giving the holy elements, the bread and wine to His disciples in the Upper Room that night, Jesus established his disciples (and all believers after them) as Priests in His Father’s Kingdom under the New Covenant, with the right to approach a Holy God through Him, without fear. When we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior and partake the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ (Holy Communion), we become part of this Priesthood, and Jesus is our High Priest. Apostle Peter explains as follows:

you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus ChristBut you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:5,9 NKJV)

As the Royal Priesthood of God on this earth, commissioned by Lord Jesus, let us offer acceptable spiritual sacrifices and offerings to God with lips of praise and thanksgiving, our love, service, and generosity, our intercession for others (Joel 2:17), and our ministry of the gospel to bring healing and restoration, to destroy works of darkness and to stop plagues (Numbers 16:47-48).

May you experience Communion with the Lamb this Pesach, Good Friday and on Resurrection Day!

Posted in Discernment, Encounters, Parables, Prophecy

Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns freshly baked Depositphotos.com

A strange question juxtaposed my quiet transition from sleep to wake this Friday morning. “What do hot cross buns have to do with the coronavirus?

It was not an audible voice, but a thought. I wondered if something was running interference with my spiritual ears, but “hot cross buns” was not a term I had heard in several years. So, instead of discarding what I heard, my curiosity piqued.

Coronavirus discussions have been saturating the airwaves and the internet for the last few weeks. Arguably, the rate of sharing of information is exceeding the spread of the contagion itself! As I pondered the meaning of hot cross buns, this melodious nursery rhyme emerged from the recesses of my memory:

Hot cross buns, hot cross buns
One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns
Give them to your daughters, give them to your sons
One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns
” (The Countdown Kids)

People sometimes “hear” a sentence, or riddle or “dark” speech or saying (dark means hidden in this context) during the transition period between sleep and wakefulness. These important messages are often discarded as “background noise” from a movie or lyrics from a song recently heard, without the hearer considering that the source may be from God.

God speaks in parables or parabolic language – sometimes audibly through an external voice, inaudibly through our internal thoughts, and often, through dreams and visions and supernatural encounters (Numbers 12: 4-8). To solve a divine riddle, the hearer must be attentive to Revelation given by the Holy Spirit, and have a healthy dose of curiosity.

Why Hot cross buns?
According to Wikipedia and other sources, hot cross buns are common to several Commonwealth nations and the United States, (Jamaicans savor spicy buns eaten with cheese for Easter). They are yeasted spiced buns brandishing a white cross on top, and raisins and currants inside, usually eaten to celebrate the end of Lent (Good Friday), since leaven in the Bible, is symbolic of sin. The white cross represents the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (the Lamb of God), and the spices represent His embalming after His death. In parabolic language, bread (and buns) are symbolic of the Word of God who came from Heaven to redeem men. Jesus stated “I am the bread of life” John 6:35).

Prophet Isaiah in chapter 53 explains to us the significance of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Surely He has borne our griefs [sicknesses, infirmities]
And carried our sorrows [pains];
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
(vs. 4-5, NKJV, [added for clarification])

The riddle of hot cross buns reveals that God wants us to pray with confidence for the healing of all nations from the Coronavirus pandemic, knowing this is God’s will. And, since these buns are common to the end of Lent, the riddle may also offer a clue to when we will begin to see the turnaround from this pandemic.

One a penny, two a penny
There may not be much value attached to a penny (except for add-on items) at today’s inflation rates, but during an earlier period, even 1/4 penny coins (farthings) had worth. Likewise our salvation, protection, healing, and divine wisdom which appear to be “freely” given to us by God’s Grace (meaning, cannot be bought with money or good works) are actually quite costly. The Lord paid not with silver or gold, but with His life, body and blood, and with great suffering for the sins of everyone in the world (1 Peter 1:18-19, Isaiah 53: 10-12). And, unlike money, these gifts never devalue over time!

Give them to your daughters, give them to your sons
This invitation is extended to anyone and everyone, whoever will hear and receive Him. (Joel 2:28, 32. John 3:16-17)

The Passover
As I write this, many of us are voluntarily (or involuntarily) self-quarantined at home or in a facility or following specific protocols as we wait for the Covid-19 pandemic to pass. The guidelines to slow the spread of the virus released by President Trump bear a subtle similarity to that dark night the plague of death-of-the-firstborn passed through ancient Egypt. To be spared from that tragedy, it was important for the children of Israel to heed all of Moses’ instructions: put the blood of the lamb on the lintel of the doorposts, stay at home, and carefully prepare the evening meal according to specification, with unleavened bread. These Passover symbols pointed to Jesus, the coming Lamb and Messiah. As Israel was obedient, the plague of death passed over them. Another interesting fact is that they left Egypt with great wealth!

In these last days God has spoken to through His Son Lord Jesus (Hebrews 1:2). Whether He speaks through His Written Word or chooses to use parables or unusual symbols like hot cross buns, He will always provide instructions to help us to overcome whatever challenges befall us. Let us look to the cross, cast our eyes on Lord Jesus, and figuratively apply the Blood of His Eternal Sacrifice to the doors of our homes and lives. As we embrace His precious promises, we can be assured that no plague will come near our dwelling (Psalm 91:10), and this coronavirus will quickly “pass over.”