I was napping, and I was dreaming. First, I dreamed that someone was trying to teach me how to hunt birds. These certain birds would land in a tree and just stand there, perfectly still for many seconds every time, as if saying, “I dare you to shoot me.” The hunter used a spear and would hit the bird every time. I was dumbfounded, and it crossed my mind that it seemed too perfect, too easy. However, I went along with it. In another scene, the young man was hunting again and asked me to hold this rope that the spear was attached to, and when he gave the word, that I was to release the rope. The first time, I couldn’t un-knot it, so the hunt failed, but the second time, it succeeded. On this occasion the bird was sitting on the branch while flapping its wings, as if it was being held down by the feet. It became clear to me that someone behind the scenes was in some way capturing the feet of the birds, and that an expert marksman was also shooting the birds at the same the young man threw the spear. This made it appear that the young man was a very successful hunter, but it was not as it seemed. Even the young man himself seemed to be unaware of the unseen person manipulating the endeavor. I later protested that it was not right to hunt for sport while holding the animal in a snare.
Hunting reminded me of fishing. Peter and other apostles were fishermen, and Jesus beckoned them to leave their fishing to catch men’s souls for the Kingdom of Heaven. This effort of mine to learn how to hunt birds was representative of my effort to learn how to win souls for Christ. God knows that I have always bemoaned the awful results of this effort in my life (at least the apparent awful results). The birds stood still in the tree because the Holy Spirit makes a person attentive to the Word of God. Without the Holy Spirit, no one would be still long enough to ponder the truth of Scripture, let alone get captured by it. The weapon of a spear was very crude and seemed hopeless, and the attached rope (I assume to be used to reel in the captured bird) seemed to make the spear all the more unstable (being encumbered by the rope). Thus, the actual success of this hunting procedure was nothing short of a miracle. Indeed, it was a miracle, because God by the Holy Spirit was behind the scenes not only making the bird still and attentive to His Word but also capturing him and directing the hunter (the evangelist’s) fumbling and human efforts to succeed against all odds. The rope, which reeled in the catch, represents the sanctification process. Once God has changed the heart and captured the will for His glory, the rest of life is spent being reeled in closer and closer to Christ and holiness. And God uses fumbling Christians like me who feel like those in continual evangelistic training, to help in that sanctification process. In other words, God uses the church. My protest about the method of the hunt seems to indicate some of the protests that are heard among theologians–the idea that it is not right for God to coerce a sinner to come to Him, that therefore, God does not do any such thing–but salvation is entirely up to a person to choose God for Himself. This protest misunderstands the reality: No bird will ever voluntarily get caught. He wants to be his own boss, fly in every territory he deems fit, even if that territory is dangerous. But what if the spear is not meant to kill; what if it is meant to pull the bird out of danger and place him in a reserve that is protected? God is not unjust or unkind to capture lost souls who would never in their own sinful wills choose to follow Him; He is so merciful, to take us out of a world leading us all to damnation, and place us on a path to glory! Yet, the mystery of this reality is that God still does use the human will; He requires everyone to choose God of their own accord; so while the Holy Spirit masterfully woos, the spirit of the person responds, not as a puppet but as an autonomous spirit. What a wonder!
Ephesians 4:11-16: “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
2 Corinthians 4:7: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”
Then I had another dream, which I believe to represent the Satanic antithesis of my first dream. I was dreaming I was about to go visit some very close friends of mine who love Jesus very much. I was on the phone with this friend whose name is Faith, and she was telling me about some very strange things that were happening in her area, so that vegetation was dying. She called where she lived, “our mountain.” I’m not sure why, because in real life they don’t live on a mountain. Then strangely, she started telling me that heaven was coming down to earth and that the very borders of glory were there where they lived, right in the midst of the destruction of the countryside. All we had to do was cross into the region, and we would be immortal. In my dream, I started to feel uneasy. On the one hand she was telling me that great destruction was taking place and living things were dying. On the other hand she was telling me that the borders of heaven were at her doorstep, so to speak, and suffering and death could be avoided if we just crossed over. There was something demonic about what she said, something that appealed to the fleshly desire to get out of suffering. There was something that she said next that had to do with a warning. I don’t remember her exact words but it was something like I should beware, because she and her family might have been affected by the death occurring in her region, and they might be contagious. The next thing I knew, I was no longer on the phone with her but was in the same room sitting on a bed in which she was lying. She beconed me to kiss her. I did so complicitly as if drawn by a spell-like emotion. Strangely (and repulsively), the kiss was not on the cheek but on the lips. Then she said, as if she knew what I was feeling, “Oh no, it must have been the kiss!” At that moment, I was feeling an intense sense that I had just been possessed by some great evil. I started crying out to God, specifically to Jesus to save me, feeling instinctively that if I did not cry out to Him immediately, I would be irreversibly changed and unable and unwilling to cry out to Him. I started commanding forcefully every demonic spirit that was binding me to leave. I also lifted my hands up to God and addressed Him in my most intimate form, calling him Abba in front of my friend, which I never do outside my own closet. It was as if I had thrown off all concern about what she thought of me. I was also aware that my friend did not believe in the casting out of demons or the commanding of demons. Again, in my dream I was so agonized by the situation that that did not seem to matter to me. I began to feel the power of the demonic spell loosen from me. It was at that moment that I proclaimed loudly and with intense determination, “I will suffer, and I will die, and then Jesus will come in his glory!” My friend was at that moment no longer in her reclining position, and I found myself lying on my back on the bed, being straddled by her as she attempted to force herself upon me with a kiss. It was as if she had been possessed and was no longer anything of what she had been as my friend. The look in her eyes was beyond description–so full of evil and hatred and murder. She (or the demon that was possessing her) knew that she had lost the upper hand on me and was attempting to overcome me again forceably. I started thrashing my head back and forth to avoid the kiss. At that moment I woke up. I was breathing extremely heavily when I woke up, and my heart was pounding intensely. I instantly knew that there was a much greater significance to that dream than the peaceful surroundings of my bedroom. Even as I concluded the writing of the dream, I still felt shaken and fearful.
The evil one is about to come upon this Earth with the fullness of his power. He is no one to mess around with, though some Christians today are making light of him as if his power were imaginary. If that were so, why does the Scripture say, “But even Michael, one of the mightiest of the angels, did not dare accuse the devil of blasphemy, but simply said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’ (Jude 1:9, NLT)? You are either of Jesus Christ or you are of the devil. Anyone who is not protected by the Holy Spirit of Christ is vulnerable to the possession of the devil to be used for his final front against the Messiah. After I had woken from my nap, I asked the Lord about my friend in the dream. I could not imagine that she was not a true believer. He replied in my spirit that she is indeed a true believer, as is her family, but that she represents many in the churches who are considered trustworthy Christians and close friends among the saints. These are tares who look just like the wheat but will change as they are winnowed in the judgments. God warns us to beware of even those we trust the most.
Now to discuss the details of the dream. I find it interesting that God used my friend Faith in the dream, considering that her name indicates those who have apparent faith in Jesus. When I have considered the description she gave of the area in which she lived–our mountain–my mind immediately went to the story of the Samaritan woman at the well when she said to Jesus, “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship” (John 4:20). It seems to be the common idea of those who are not truly God’s children that we can worship in the way that we please. But Jesus made clear in His response to the woman that we must worship God according to His truth: “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him” (John 4:22-23). The vegetation on Faith’s mountain in the dream was dying because God was sending plagues of wrath upon those who were not hidden in Christ. God was exposing the unsustainable nature of false religions (even within “Christianity”). I believe that the idea suggested by Faith that we can avoid suffering is a warning against those who claim to be Christians and claim to have faith, yet spend their days looking for the rapture without obeying Christ’s commission to make disciples, and with no anticipation of having to suffer in the judgments or having to give up anything, let alone their lives. My bold declaration that I would suffer and die, and that then Jesus would return in His glory, was a declaration that speaks of many of God’s people in these last days. We are called to tribulation–indeed, for the purpose of shining the light of the gospel and bringing in a great harvest that contradicts the death that we will see around us on the earth. Faith was beckoning me to care nothing for the deliverance of a dying world but only for my own deliverance. This is a satanic doctrine and could be no further from the heart of Yehushua and the Father, whose great desire is to see the salvation of a lost world–and our part in bringing in that harvest in love, even through the shedding of our own blood for that cause.
Matthew 10:21-23: “Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”
Revelation 6:9-11: “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, ‘O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’ Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothersshould be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.”
Revelation 14:9-13: “And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.’
Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.
And I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Blessed indeed,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!'”
When Faith told me that she might be contagious to the death around her, she was warning me of what was to happen to those who had not fully given their hearts to Jesus Christ. As judgments destroy the earth, so also, demonic possession and evil plots will come into full play, and the earthly destruction will manifest as well in many human souls. People who seemed to have light and the residual image of God will be turned into demonic pawns–transformed, as it were, from images of God to images of Satan, hence the awful look in Faith’s eyes when she was trying to force herself upon me. There will be no more courtesy, no more beating around the bush, no more under-the-radar tactics. Satan will be in all-out assault mode against God’s people. If He cannot defeat us by luring us in and by trickery, then He will seek to destroy us through force. Those who are not fully armored by the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20) will be susceptible to the trickery and even assault of people once trusted.