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The Vision Delusion

Steve Thompson (Midnight In America) recently forwarded to me this account of an experience a lady had which she included on her web page:


GLORY! GLORY! GLORY!

"For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea…" Isaiah 11:9b

Yesterday (5.5.5) whilst swimming I had an extra- ordinary experience with the Lord. I saw the light of his glory dancing on the water. Almost in unbelief I swam back and forth to see if it was just the light of the pool that was catching my eyes. But to my great delight I discovered it was not a man-made light but the light of the glory of Christ Jesus! When I reached the point where the water seemed to be alive with light and motion there were no spotlights and neither was the outside light penetrating that particular part of the pool!


Silent Prophetic Prayers For The Unsaved

Interestingly, just before the Lord allowed me to witness this visual miracle, I had been silently asking the Lord about my fellow swimmers (all of whom were unknown to me). Lovingly, the Lord spoke to me about a mother and her son who were swimming in the pool, showing me areas to pray for in their lives. As this dialogue with the Lord continued in my heart I became more and more aware of a marked increase of the Lord's manifest presence and glory. My silent prayers were "Lord, heal and save these precious souls."


Show Us Your Glory Lord!

Five years ago I had a phenomenal revelatory experience during which I saw the Lord literally appear before my eyes as a pillar of cloud/smoke on a placid Scottish loch. The pillar hovered over the waters, full of the presence of the Lord. I was travelling from Fort William to Skye with a group of children and young people on a Holy Spirit praise and prayer mission. At that time, I had been praying, "Lord, I will not go if your glory does not go with us". The Lord graciously granted a sign to confirm my petition and to answer that He was with us by revealing himself in a theophany*.

(*Theophany – a temporary, visible manifestation of the presence and glory of the Lord, which may be in natural phenomena such as cloud or fire, in human form or in prophetic visionary experience)

At other times when I have seen the glory of the Lord it has appeared as the consistency of a dense cloud, sometimes filled with iridescent glowing particles. In a recent conference in France, whilst my colleague and Messianic believer A was teaching, the glory of the Lord was so thick that I could barely see A's face.

Yesterday, I watched in awe as the spiritual DNA of God's glory danced before my eyes on the water. God's glory sparked and bounced off the water and then burst into a shimmer of light. It was like watching a miniature firework display as the water cascaded with the glory of God. Other bathers may have wondered why I just stood (almost with my mouth wide open) and marvelled at the water. I wondered if anyone else could see it? Isn't it wonderful when God does something new [underlining, Editor's] and opens our eyes to see something in a way we have never seen before! It is a work of Grace, and glory and grace go hand in hand.


Swimming In The Glory

Having stood at the edge of the pool rejoicing in God's glory for what seemed like an age, I decided to swim into the glory I could see on the water. As I swam in the waters, my physical body experienced the touch of God's glory and as the water touched my skin it was like I was bombarded with the rush of a million tiny bubbles. A glory spa! Wow! I experienced immediate joy in my spirit and also a release of Gods' healing power. I had to drag myself out of the water. I could have sat all day and watched the miracle before my eyes.


See My Glory, Says The Lord

"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me before the creation of the world." John 17:24

God wants us to experience his glory in every area of our lives. The Lord's desire is that we will see him in his glory. God dwells in the glory. The glory is a shade and a shelter. Miracles happen in the glory.

The waters are often a symbolic image of mankind. This prophetic revelatory experience speaks to me of the outpouring of God's glory that is about to be released in the nations – to call men, women and children to salvation, healings, deliverances, baptisms and resurrections. "And the Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." Matt 25:14.


A Prayer

"Father in the name of Jesus, I ask that you open our eyes to see your glory because when we see You as You really are, then we will worship You and surrender our lives. Give us yielded hearts to pray and reach out with tenderness and compassion to those who do not yet know You and also to bless your Bride. We ask for faith for creative miracles because the whole earth is full of Your creative, miracle working power. We declare the earth is full of your glory! Give us hearts that are hungry to reach out in Your love with the spiritual DNA of your glory.

"We bless you Father for your holy presence in our lives. Conform us to your image by your Holy Spirit to the glory of your name. Amen."


The Delusion

There is a problem with the above account. I am not doubting the sincerity and devotion of the recipient, nor the authenticity of the experience. But there is a delusion that can result from such experiences.

What is the effect on the gullible, or naive? Won't they be impressed? When I was still 'green' I was very impressed by things prophetic or visionary. After I learned more, I learned not to be impressed by experiences, nor by people who have had them, but by the words and truth of God.

When you are impressed by what someone has received from God, you elevate that person in your mind instead of elevating the truth of God. That reverence for something other than God and His truth becomes a form of idolatry. It is very subtle, mind you. And that's one of the dangers.

Then there is another trap that awaits you – thinking that you should seek the Lord for experiences like this. You shouldn't, because it is easy to get drawn into seeking the experience for its own sake, which can be degraded to a fleshly experience.

We should walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7). Pure faith does not rely upon visual manifestations. If they come, fine. But they are very much secondary.

Jesus condemned the Jews for seeking after visual signs (Matt 12:38.39) as did Paul by inference (1 Cor 1:22).

The lady in question may not be seeking a sign, but she is giving the impression to readers that she is more delighted with the sign than with the truth which she needs more than the manifestation. People can be easily misled, without it being intentional.

As Art Katz explained so cogently in Testing The Spirits (pp 68-73)[1] the subtlety of Satan is unseen in the approach of people who are drawn to the power of God. When that happens, even though the spiritual manifestations are genuinely from God, they have been brought to the very ground of deception itself. They don't realise they are seeking something else in place of the righteousness of God.

Notice the words underlined:

?                Isn't it wonderful when God does something new?

What about the new thing God wants to do in the arena of restoring His truth to the Bride? People don't want that. They don't think that's so wonderful! Because they are more physically minded. They are actually Laodicean when it comes to the acceptance of further truth from God!

If Jesus were to have spoken to her in that shimmer of light and said "My dear child, I want you to keep My Sabbaths and holy days which I gave Israel, and to put aside all the pagan substitutes that you have accepted in their place such as Christmas and Easter, etc., and stop elevating people in My Church who blaspheme My name" she would have thought the Being was not Jesus, but Satan telling her lies. Her faith could have been seriously undermined.

?                The outpouring of God's glory that is about to be released in the nations – to call men, women and children to salvation, healings, deliverances, baptisms and resurrections.

She knows about that, but does she think that this will come in the area where she ministers, and with others to whom she is attached in ministry, so that they are central in some way to this outpouring? Probably.

That is a delusion. When this outpouring comes (we are very close) it is to elevate and draw attention to God's further truth. She still needs that.

Many seek revival with deluded notions. They think it will come with a mere extension of their present programmes. They are looking at the outside of the cup and dish. But true revival only comes from radical transformation within. Revival follows a call to repent, and that comes in the wake of humbling and the presentation of soul-searching truth!

Too many are merely looking for manifestations as if they were the evidence of the substance. They can be, but they can also be a delusion if the true substance is not there.

What is most important is not outward things that you may see or feel. What you need is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

?                Father... I ask that you open our eyes to see your glory because when we see You as You really are, then we will worship You and surrender our lives.

That is not true. We surrender to God and worship Him first, and as we do that, we come to know Him more. He reveals Himself progressively, but only to those who are prepared to obey Him. That's when you receive the Holy Spirit, and without His Spirit you cannot come to know Him.

"Trust and obey" is the formula that precedes blessing. As you trust and obey Him, His Spirit takes up residence within you, and that brings revelation of God into your life. It's not the other way around. (67 in The Bible Speaks Vol 3 goes into this matter also.)

Millions of Israelites saw God in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. They also heard ear splitting thunder from Sinai, as God manifested some of His stupendous power, but they didn't surrender their lives to Him. So, "seeing His glory" does not incline people to truly worship Him and yield their lives.

This is a fallacy.

Hebrews 11 contains a list of some faithful saints and patriarchs, but many of them did not see God's glory. They died without experiencing any physical or visual manifestations of God.

Didn't Jesus give a higher principle to us when He said to Thomas:

Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed (Jn 20:29).


Two Dreams From God

After Steve forwarded that account to me, that night God gave both Helena and me dreams about it. It's not that the lady in question is more wayward than others. In attitude she is far from that! God does not want to make a spectacle of her, which is why I have not revealed her name. She has a very devout heart. But the delusions which 'her branch' of the Church suffer from are very great!

These were the dreams:

8th May 2005. M. The bright dandelions
I saw a patch of dandelions. (We have dandelions flowering here at the moment. They are deeply rooted wild plants about six inches high, and are so hard to dig out because the roots are so deep. Also, if you leave one bit of root in, it grows again.) But the flowers were not the usual yellow, they were an intense dark yellow or orange. [Depicts how they display a very intense radiance of the Spirit.]
These plants were all closely packed together and made a very bright display of colour. But they were growing (as dandelions often do, in wild places and waste ground) on ground that had been well trodden on and worn (like a gateway), so that nothing else could grow there in between them. [This could depict an exclusivist mindset; one which thinks it has no need to learn from others with different Christian beliefs. They are self-contained, insular.]
Meaning: The dream depicts the Christians with whom this lady associates. While they are radiant in their expression of the Spirit within them, they are not open to input from outside and don't welcome others with different beliefs. They would not accept us, because we keep the 7th day Sabbath and the festivals which God first gave to Israel, which were meant for the whole Church. They would think us 'legalists'.

8th May 2005. H. The discarded coat
Helena had a dream about a dark blue coat left on one side and discarded. It was a very handsome coat with lots of precious berries or 'buttons' on it. But people left it on one side and didn't make use of it.
Meaning: This represents what we bring, the truths from God that the Church as a whole disregards and does not want to accept or incorporate into its theology and practice.
Jesus is urgent that His Bride get ready for His return (Rev 19:7). "To her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright" (Rev 19:8), but what if she refuses it and discards it?! How insulting!
He goes on to say that "the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints" (Rev 19:8). And observing the commanded assemblies – His holy convocations, which are His appointed times for His people to communally meet with Him – these are part of the righteousness which He wants us to have.

In the mouth of two witnesses every word is established (Matt 18:16). In the above two dreams, God is confirming the accuracy of this criticism which many would otherwise think unfounded and harsh.

Malcolm B Heap
 

[1]   Testing The Spirits (£6.00) from Midnight Ministries.
 


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