February 25, 2007 ©Homer
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Commentary — From the Margins
What Does a Vision Mean?
A vision differs from a dream by greater intensity and by infrequent occurrence. The prophet Daniel had five recorded visions. The Apostle Peter had one. The Apostle Paul had two or three. The Apostle John had one that he recorded [modern scholarship doubts that John the Revelator was also John, the disciple Jesus loved]. So visions from God occur, but not often. And when they occur, they happen for a reason.
Yesterday, a young woman contacted me and asked if I knew what the vision she just had meant. She said what she was doing was very uncharacteristic of her, that she wasn’t sure she shouldn’t be dismissed as mentally unstable. She found me through a Yahoo internet search of an image within the vision, and she was seeking understanding.
The vision began while she was praying with an oral utterance of some personal information followed by what seemed like a slide show, with one image following another, five images all together. The first image was of the word “rosary” carved in ornate letters on a wood book cover. Next was the Star of David, two triangles, one upright and one upside down. The third image was of a menorah. The fourth was of a dove descending in bright light. The fifth was of the phrase “Son of Man” carved boldly in block letters on a wood book cover.
Any number of conmen [and women] can assign meaning
to these images, selling soft words and an easy grace as if selling the emperor
new clothes. The person offering an interpretation, if trained, will tell the
young woman exactly what she wants to hear. But the images do not suggest an
interpretation that simplifies life, but an interpretation that will complicate
an already complicated life; for the images suggest movement from the fancy
lettering of the word rosary through
a mirror image that represents Israel, with one triangle down and one up as
there is a physically-circumcised nation of Israel and a spiritually
circumcised nation of Israel, both of which are represented in the Star of
David. The movement continues through the menorah, the physical light within
the physical sanctuary of the temple of God [this light also representing the
rest of God on the seventh day], to the dove descending in bright light, a
recognizable symbol for Christ Jesus and for Him receiving the Holy Spirit
[“pneuma hagion” or Breath Holy]. The last image is the wood
book cover with the boldly carved letters in plain, unadorned characters
spelling out Son of
A little background first: Moses was a child of his
parents’ faith, hidden for three months, raised in the household of
Pharaoh as Pharaoh’s daughter’s son; then when forty years old he
slew an Egyptian that was abusing a Hebrew—by faith, Moses identified
with his people rather than continue the masquerade of life as Egyptian
royalty. But for his murder of the Egyptian, he had to flee
In Midian, Moses married and herded the sheep of his
father-in-law, a life every different from that of Egyptian royalty, the life
of a sojourner in a foreign land (Exod 2:22). As Abraham before Moses had dwelt
as a sojourner in the Promised Land, owning no more than the cave in which he
buried Sarah, Moses for the next two parts of his life dwelt as a sojourner,
with no inheritance but that which would be promised by God. And after forty
years of dwelling in Midian, Moses was on the
Where was God during the years of Egyptian
enslavement of the Hebrews and abuse of these slaves? Where was God when
Pharaoh ordered Hebrew male babies thrown into the
God is where He was when
Is watching, waiting the behavior of a loving God? It would not seem to be. It would, to human beings, seem more loving to immediately intervene to end suffering, to stop abuse, to free captives. But it must be understood: the flesh of every person is destined to die. It isn’t the flesh that most concerns God, for the flesh is merely the tent or tabernacle in which born-of-Spirit sons of God dwell while spiritually maturing in a manner foreshadowed by the tents of flesh themselves having physically matured. However, if Satan can inflict harm to the flesh, directly or indirectly, before the person is born-of-Spirit, this harm might be great enough to cause the person, from anger or from bitterness, to rebel against God even after being born from above. Satan would then have destroyed what he really had no power to destroy. He would kill the infant son of God in the same way that his servants, disguised ministers of righteousness (2 Cor 11:15), kill through teaching disciples to transgress the commandments of God, thereby causing the disciple over whom sin has no dominion (Rom 6:14) to become again the bondservant of sin by this disciple willingly presenting his [or her] members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness (vv. 11-13); for a person is the servant of whom the person obeys, “either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to life” (v. 16) . Understand this! When a person is born-of-Spirit, there is no condemnation of the “new self,” the infant son of God (Rom 8:2), for God does through spiritual birth what the law could never do (v. 3). This new self is born free. This new self, unlike the “old man,” is not born consigned to disobedience, but is free to keep the commandments of God. The “old man” was, from birth, consigned to disobedience (again, Rom 11:32), and was utterly unable to keep the commandments. And every person descended from the first Adam however many times removed—prior to the birth of the man Jesus whose father was the Theos of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and not the first Adam—was born in bondage to the prince of this world. This is why Jesus told the Pharisees that none of them kept the law (John 7:19): none of them could keep the law, for they were all still bondservants of Satan. Only when a person is born-of-Spirit [i.e., receives a second birth that is not of this world] can the person escape disobedience. Only when a person is born of the last Adam (1 Cor 15:45) can this person be truly free to keep the commandments. But if Satan can cause this person to return to disobedience, then this son of God, like the angels that followed Satan into rebellion against God, will perish in the lake of fire; for inside of time, even Satan will perish (Ezek 28:18-19). And no person will escape from this physical realm until Jesus gives life to the person as the Father gave life to the person (John 5:21). Both must give life, for all judgment has been given to the Son.
Moses probably wondered where God was during those forty years he herded sheep for his father-in-law, but when it was “time,” God showed Himself as He does now. And after protests by Moses saying that he really did not want to go, with Moses telling God to send someone else, Moses goes to Pharaoh, with Aaron his brother as his spokesman as a type and copy of the Logos delivering the words of the Most High to Israel.
The Pharaoh isn’t about to let
But God’s ways are not human ways: after a
series of disasters that terminate in the death of the firstborns of
God, however, was not done with Pharaoh. He again
hardens Pharaoh’s heart, and Pharaoh changes his mind about letting
Although modern scholarship doubts the numbers
given (600,000+ male Israelites about twenty years of age – Exod 12:37),
the reasons given for doubt also cause the entire exodus story to be labeled as
myth. So if a person believes the exodus occurred, then the person might as
well believe the numbers, for
Joshua remained silent. Caleb urged
And when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God has driven you, and you return to the Lord your God, you and your children, and obey his voice in all that I command you today [the day when this second covenant is made], with all your heart and with all your soul, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you. … And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. (Deu 30:1-3, 6)
The assumption is that
If Israel will turn to God and will love God,
keeping His commandments and all that is written in “this book of the
law,” Deuteronomy (Deu 30:9-10), then God will bring Israel back to the land
of His rest, and will give the nation circumcised hearts, a euphemistic
expression for the equally euphemistic expression of writing the laws of God on
the hearts and minds of Israel (cf.
Heb 8:10; Jer 31:33). Thus, the sequence is
This second covenant [
Now, let’s return to the vision of the young woman:
The spiritual far
land into which God has exiled
God by faith when in this far land requires
· The Star of David represents an Israel below and one above, with the base of the one pointing below being the holiness of the natural nation (Exod 19:5-6) which had made Israel the human cultivar of God, while the base of the one pointing above was initially lower than natural Israel (Rom 9:30-32), as this second Israel that is now the holy nation of God was not before a people (1 Pet 2:9-10) but became a people through spiritual circumcision (Deu 30:6).
by faith to God, He will bring
· The dove descending in bright light is the light of the present temple of God, this light being the Spirit of Christ (Rom 8:9) and the Spirit of the One who raised Jesus from the dead (Rom 8:11), the Holy Spirit that descended upon Christ Jesus (Matt 3:16) and remained on Him.
· The destination that is represented by God’s rest for endtime disciples of Christ Jesus is spiritual Judea, which isn’t a physical land as it was for the natural nation of Israel, but is the mental topography of God’s rest where disciples become the Body of the Son of Man, revealed (Luke 17:30) for all the world to see at the second Passover.
· The journey every disciple must make (until the Body of Christ is empowered by the Holy Spirit) begins with demonstrated love to God through the return to obedience by faith in a far land—and upon demonstrated obedience, God circumcises hearts through the Holy Spirit and causes the person’s name to be written in the Book of Life, which contains the names of all who will constitute the Son of Man, Head and Body.
The model for salvation is modified by God at preset times, with the model changing on that day of Pentecost following Calvary; then changing again with the baptism of Cornelius; and about to change again at the second Passover. It will change one more time after that before Christ Jesus returns. When the Holy Spirit is poured out on all flesh, every person will be born of Spirit and will have the mind and nature of Christ Jesus. Thus, for the last three and a half years before Jesus returns, all any person will have to do to be saved is endure to the end (Matt 24:13), which means not taking the mark of the beast [chi xi stigma].
But God is not a respecter of persons. Enduring during those last three and a half years when Satan is cast into time and comes as a roaring lion to devour whomever he can, will be much more difficult than now enduring for thirty years in the faith, when the Body of the Son of Man is concealed by the garment of Grace.
What message does the young woman’s vision convey? A rescue message, the necessity of leaving the mental richness of the Universal Church’s pomp and ceremony and journeying as a sojourner into the fellowship of Israel, a spiritually circumcised nation, where the Holy Spirit will empower disciples of Christ Jesus, thereby causing their names to be boldly written in the Book of Life.
Is this the message the young woman will take from her visions? I don’t know. She asked what I thought they meant, and I have just given her what I know must happen even if her visions are read differently. But I don’t believe her visions can be read without returning to Scripture, where the word of God resides mostly ignored by Christendom.
As humankind approaches the end of this age, many more people will see visions. Some visions will be of God. Some will be of the Adversary. Can disciples tell which are of whom? This will be a question that remains to be seen, but those who receive visions and fall backwards when doing so might well question whether their vision is of God; for in Scripture, all who have received visions of God fell forward, onto their face if they moved at all. And Scripture records the sending of lying spirits (1 Kings 22:19-23). There will be more lying spirits and many false prophets before the end of this age.
What about the young woman’s vision? It comes just after I completed a book length manuscript e-published as Water & Fire, Vol. 3, in which the argument is made that the Body of Christ is presently dead and will not be resurrected until the second Passover. Jesus’ statement that the gates of hell will not prevail over the Church should not be taken to mean that the Church, crucified with Christ Jesus, will not also die with Christ Jesus, be buried with Christ Jesus, and be resurrected with Christ Jesus. The gates of hell will not prevail because the Body will not remain dead, but will live again as Jesus lived again. So the model for those who would now receive spiritually circumcised hearts is that found in the second covenant, initially made at Moab with the mixed nation of circumcised and uncircumcised Israel, and now made with the Christian who by faith demonstrates obedience by keeping the precepts of the Law (Rom 2:26), and made with the Observant Jew who by faith professes that Jesus is Lord and believes that the Father raised Jesus from the dead (Rom 10:6-9). The young woman’s vision seems to confirm what has come more slowly through the discovery process of writing. Those who will be the resurrected Body of the Son of Man must break down the wall separating them from God.
The danger involved with receiving a vision—the danger now facing this young woman—is disbelief of the sort the prophet Jonah displayed. If God has chosen a person for a task, and if this person does not perform the task, then the person is either cut off from God, or the person is “made” to perform not through receiving other visions but through circumstances over which the person should have control but does not. Usually, the latter occurs, with the hand of God resting very heavy upon the person who runs as Jonah did or protests as Moses did.
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."