cross, discerning the spirits, dreams, exhortation, experience, false prophets, fear of the Lord, following Jesus, forgiveness of sins, God's love, Jesus Christ, Jonah, prophets, Satan, spiritual power, the fear of God, visions, walking by the spirit, Walking in the Light
Just yesterday during my prayer time I had a short vision of Jesus Christ I want to share with you. To start off with, I know that there are false visions and dreams of which we might think they were from God, yet they were not. The enemy is able to produce all kinds of misleading stuff that might seem to have come from God and Jesus Christ. However, if God really shares a message with us, it won’t leave us unaffected, to say the least. From reading the prophets of the Old Testament, we might have realized that they did not always like it at first when the Lord had told them to speak up for Him. Sometimes it was even the contrary! If we think of Jonah, for instance, he actually ran away from the presence of the Lord.
We might remember that one of the reasons why Jonah tried to hide before God was that he thought that God was “a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.” (Jonah 4:2 ESV) Looking at our own experiences with Him, we might understand why Jonah who had to announce disaster coming on Nineveh refused to pass on God’s warning. If we have come to know God’s love, we know that He has a forgiving nature. Especially when we look at Jesus Christ, we know that God forgave the sins of the whole world in Him who died on the cross for us. But knowing this forgiving nature of God must not lead to the false conclusion that God might have ever changed because ”Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. “ (Heb 13:8 ESV) Therefore God, still, just as it was in Jonah’s time, does neither approve of sin nor of false spirits or of any false messages being spread among His people. As a warning we should heed, I want to refer you to what John the Baptist said,
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” (Jn 3:36 ESV)
Coming back to Jonah, we see that due to his initial refusal to obey, God taught him a bitter but wholesome lesson. Allowing Jonah to be thrown overboard of the ship into the stormy sea and being swallowed by a fish (or rather, a whale), being forced to stay there for even three days in the darkness, I assume everyone would deem this a frightening experience. I do not want to expound here on Jonah being a type of Christ who spent three days in Hades after His death on the cross. Instead, I want to make clear that God’s Word, both written and being received by Him at any given time, is nothing to be taken lightly.
Recently I have found myself increasingly awe-struck with the fear of God, in particular, with the fear of our Lord Jesus Christ. If someone has not come to know this fear yet, it is not necessarily so that you want to run away from Him. You still know He loves you (like all human beings), however, you sense your own smallness and apparent ‘unimportance’ confronted with this awesome and great God. You admire and worship Him with much fear and trembling, but you know, too, you have to obey Him as to whatever He tells you to do. Although you might want to do His will, you are very cautious to neither add nor to take away anything as to this message He has given you. With these thoughts in mind, I am going to share with you now what I saw yesterday.
I was praying in the afternoon as I needed some spiritual rest, having experienced an exhausting onslaught by the enemy that had lasted for a few days. My eyes were closed as I increasingly enjoyed Christ’s holy and breathtaking presence which put my soul to rest. Suddenly I got aware that ‘something’ was happening before my mind’s eye. I could not clearly focus in on it, but I saw Jesus Christ standing at an elevated position on the right side, only a few meters (about 16 ft) away from me. I could not discern his legs nor his feet as this vision remained dimly lit until the spotlight was turned on his chest and arms. At that moment you could see that He was taller and stronger than any man you might have seen before.
Behind and around Him everything was plunged into in a dark gray, almost black, and shadowy darkness. I still had a hard time to discern His facial expression although His features appeared to be chiseled, sharp, and bold. However, I observed Him opening His mouth, uttering one word only, a word consisting of two or three syllables. Strangely enough, I could not understand what He was saying! I only sensed that the word was not directed toward me. Instead, His word’s target seemed to be situated elsewhere to my right. Besides that, I did not recognize the language, nor the word itself, I only heard the sound of the word and somehow ‘saw’ IT flashing by on my right. (That might sound peculiar at first as we normally cannot ‘see’ words although we might find them uplifting, disgusting, or hurtful at times.) Finally, what I could clearly discern was the end of this vision. In fact, as this word had reached its goal, which was located deeper than the Lord, somehow on a level beneath His feet, I saw numerous pieces of shiny iron flying around. It appeared to me that this particular word Jesus had spoken had smashed a former radiant block of iron. The word that immediately came to my mind as I saw these iron pieces having been blasted away was ‘stronghold’.
I do not want to offer a deeper interpretation of this vision on here now. What came to mind, though, was that Jesus who is the Word of God as depicted in the Book of Revelation (see Rev 19:13) through His word will destroy any stronghold of the enemy (cf. also Heb 4:12). As we might know from Scripture, our Lord “must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.” (1 Cor 15:25 ESV) No false spirit will be able to deceive His children as long as they submit to Him and His guidance. God said that His word “that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Is 55:11 ESV)
Seeing Jesus Christ as the Son of God has changed my view of Him immensely. I know that I could never approach Him on my own unless He tells me to. It is the fear of displeasing Him that holds me back to get closer. What is more, I want to respect His plan and His timing of all things. In conclusion I want to share the Scriptures I was reminded of after I had seen this vision.
Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord. I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’
How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal?
Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the Lord. Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who steal my words from one another. Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares the Lord.’
Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the Lord, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the Lord.” (Jer 23:24-32 ESV)
All images © Susanne Schuberth 2021