August 10, 2020
Visions are of the Spirit. They are artistic. They are communicators of descriptions and information. They have the ability to teach when we give contemplation to them. And visions come with guarantees. Here are just a few. They will be incomplete, they will be partially developed, and they will be cryptic in nature. They require communication with God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit within our spirit to understand. And when we understand them by the Holy Spirit, we can be assured that there will be even more to understand. They are fun. They can be daunting. They can give warnings. They can give hope, direction, and declare a state of being. They are good.
Father, may You give us understanding and the knowledge of visions. Thank you for visions. May the King of all kings be glorified, Jesus, who is higher than the heavens (Hebrews 7:26). And may we handle all things from Your hand with care and honour. Thank you, in the name of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.
This article focuses on understanding and describing visions, whom visions are given to, and how we are to utilize them unto the Lord.
A vision is a spiritual snapshot that we see. They can be like a running video, but most often they are a single picture or a panoramic view. They will be full of information. And just like when we stop the car to see a particular view, we will see in part of what we are looking at. Sometimes visions are given to us as an album where we see one snapshot and then another of the same subject matter but varied in its presentation. Put in another way, we see the vision as in the early morning or the night or midday; we can or cannot see the wildlife or vegetation depending on the distance. We will see the vision or visions at the time, magnification, and degree of glorification setting that the Lord desires for us to see them in. There are many different lenses that God uses in visions that He gives us to look through; and He tailors visions to the purposes of His will.
In preparing for writing this article, I sought the Lord in how He desired to have visions defined and described. And in doing so, He gave a vision. He spoke and said: “This is a vision,” and He presented a 2D photograph. He spoke that this is the spiritual depth that we see what He is showing to us in visions. This concept is important to keep in mind when thinking about visions because we are not to make more of them than what they are, and we are not to make less of them than what they are.
10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions [chazown], and used similitudes, by the ministry [hand] of the prophets. (Hosea 12:10)
The prophetic hand includes dreams, seeing in the Spirit (being a seer), hearing in the Spirit, being in the Spirit (Ezekiel 37:1, The Revelation 1:10), prophesying, visions, utilizing similitudes, being taken to locations in the spirit realm, being shown things in the Spirit, and providing the spiritual vehicle for labouring in spiritual warfare. Visions can be accompanied by audio communication. The communication can be audible or given directly into our thoughts, which is like a shorthand that bypasses the ear. Mathematical numbers, Bible verses, and colors can also be given to us in visions. Dreams, prophecies, and visions are labours of the Holy Spirit that are different from one another but are worked by the prophetic hand, which is the left hand. They work initially in spiritual darkness. They are then passed to the right hand to operate in diligent apostolic rulership after the vision, the picture, is manifested (Laodicea), which is the point when the vision is seen. Visions are labours of God’s grace in Jesus Christ. Recall that man’s definition of grace is very different than what grace is (Romans 12:6-8, Ephesians 3:7, Titus 2:11, The Revelation 22:21). All ministries are rich in God’s grace because all of the ministries require God’s grace to operate. Growth, development, and maturing are accomplished by and in the grace cycle.
Visions operate by the Holy Spirit and in the grace cycle (Romans 12:6-8) as follows: 1) The prophetic seed of a vision is conceived in a person by the Holy Spirit. 2) The vision stays in our womb as it grows and is nurtured by the pastoral ministry. The pastoral ministry nurtures the prophetic seed (vision) in conjunction with the next two steps until the vision is birthed, until the vision is seen in step 5 Laodicea. 3) The teaching ministry teaches the prophetic vision to differentiate and provide a function outside of the womb. 4) The birth pangs announce that the vision is going to be seen soon. This is the igniting of Philadelphia as He calls to us and we echo back His call of exhortation. We know that we need more of something; and we know from whom our help, information, and comfort come. This is a time of yearning to know more of Him. We want to see the baby, the vision, that has been growing in us while it and we have been prepared simultaneously by God to see it. 5) The vision is seen by us (Laodicea) and we identify and acknowledge that we saw something in the spirit. The vision can range from being simple and brief to magnificent and long in duration. 6) The vision must then be ruled diligently by the apostolic ministry as a new thing that is more developed. Jesus Christ is the foundation; and our rulership must continue to develop in Him as we are given more by Him. We utilize more developed laws when we use the transportation of a bicycle than when we used the transportation of crawling or walking. Algebra requires a new set of laws that are more developed than addition and subtraction. We are aware of different requirements while we operate in a more developed and mature manner. 7) If we have diligently ruled the vision, the vision will produce spiritually good fruit for ourselves to eat and for others to eat in the mercy of evangelistic cheerfulness as we go from strength (army) to strength (army) (Psalm 84:7). We will then start the cycle again with a new prophetic seed (vision).
We do not see the vision in steps 1–4. And most times we are unaware of it growing in us because stages 1–4 are worked in God’s darkness by the Holy Spirit (Psalm 18:11). The vision can be aborted at any time before its birth (Laodicea glory). This can be done by a person denying that visions are possible, denying that they are a part of His works for us and in us, or being a gatekeeper who shuts the door to them for themselves and others. Visions can be utilized as signs, and as with signs, they are good but we are not to become so enmeshed with them that they become more important than the relationship, the walk, that we have in God. Visions, signs, prophecies, and dreams are modes of God’s communication. Not one of these is to take the place as the answer, the finale, a life’s commission, or the beginning or end of anything. Once a vision is birthed, seen, in steps 5–7, it can be perverted because of lack of godly apostolic rulership. It can be utilized for the temporal as a one hit (vision) wonder where the eternal wealth of the vision is lost, even though the vision is about spiritual things. It does not produce good eternal fruit. This happens no matter how magnificent, how grand, how intense, or how marvelous the vision was. However, once we commit all things, including visions, into the Kingdom of God, He then shows us how to rule well the new thing that He has given to us.
A vision is a picture given to us by the Holy Spirit. And as mentioned earlier, they are given in a particular view and in the perspective that God desires to give them to us. We see this exemplified in the Bible with the various ways that Ezekiel and then John depict the Holy City and the Kingdom of God. The vision itself is not the beginning (seed) or the mechanism of how or if the vision will be manifested. The vision is not the seed that grows and later manifests into what the vision was a picture of. The vision is a picture, likeness, of the thing. A tangible way to help understand this is to be shown a vision, a picture, of a person. The picture is not the person, nor is the picture going to develop into the person. The “thing” that the vision depicts does not come out of the vision or the picture. And the vision seed is the seed of the vision, not a seed for what the vision depicts. There are visions, for example in Daniel and Habakkuk, where it is told that the vision(s) are for a certain time to come, but this does not mean that the vision was the beginning of making those things come. Nor was it, or is it, the individual’s hope in the visions that made or make them manifested. Visions produce like kinds of fruit. The more we operate in visions well, the more easily they come to us and the more good fruit from them we produce. They become part of our prophetic repertoire as we run our race. And they become feathered in with dreams and prophecies and organized in our life for what they are. As we grow in the Lord operating in and with visions, they become free to move in and out of our life as the Lord directs them. They do not mean more than what they mean, but they also are not to be dismissed as insignificant. They are a tool that the Holy Spirit gives to us. They are not alongside or above Jesus Christ (Hebrews 7:26).
Because visions are a work of the Holy Spirit, they will come and go as the wind (John 3:8). Sometimes they will be vivid, sometimes they are subtle. They can come during meditation in His Word or while carrying out daily activities and chores. They can come after we have asked a question to God. They can come during fasts, after fasts, without fasting. Visions can include seeing things and men in their glorified state or seeing their end. Visions are given when we are awake. Sometimes God will wake us from sleep and give us a vision. Sometimes they are given while we are in prayer by ourselves or with others. Visions can be a big part of a person’s life, occur intermittently depending on growth spurts in a person’s life, rarely occur, or may even be nonexistent.
Kinds of visions
We can learn about the characteristics of visions by a word study in Scripture. There are many words that are translated as “vision(s)”. The handful of words that are used for “vision(s)” are grouped in a basket that involve seeing things that are spiritual in nature where some people see and some people do not see. So, to understand what kind of vision a person had is determined by the context of where and how the word “vision” is used. All visions are information imparters. There are two general categories of visions, one is communication focused, with or without verbal speech, and the other is activity focused.
The first time we see “vision” in the Bible is in Genesis 15:1. It uses the masculine noun “machazeh”, which is given just 4 times in Scripture and is part of the first general category of visions that are communication oriented. The Word of the LORD came in a vision.
1 After these things the word [dabar] of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision [machazeh], saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. 2 And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? 3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. (Genesis 15:1-3)
Audio is the primary mode of communication that extends out from this vision. Communication is back and forth between Jehovah and the person receiving the vision. In the above Genesis 15 passage, they are talking about the problem of Abram not having an heir, a seed. Communication continues with Jehovah then leading Abram outside to literally “look” at the stars. Abram is not yet Abraham. He is a young man spiritually.
4 And, behold, the word [dabar] of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. 5 And He brought him forth abroad [took him outside], and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and He said unto him, So shall thy seed be. 6 And he believed in the LORD; and He counted it to him for righteousness. (Genesis 15:4-6)
The next two times we find vision “machazeh” are in Numbers 24:4 and 24:16. They were spoken of in two different oracles by Balaam. Balaam was speaking of seeing “machazeh” visions of the Almighty in the introduction to both of the oracles. The oracles were prophecies about Jacob proper in Numbers 24:2-9 and declaring Jesus Christ’s coming out of Jacob in Numbers 24:15-19. Below are just the beginning parts of both of the prophecies showing how “machazeh” is used. Notice that the Spirit of God came upon him in verse 2.
2 And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the Spirit of God came upon him. 3 And he took up his parable [oracle], and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said: 4 he hath said, which heard the words of God, which saw [chazah] the vision [machazeh] of the Almighty, falling
into a trance [prostrate] but having his eyes open: 5 How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel! (Numbers 24:2-5)
15 And he took up his parable [oracle], and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said: 16 he hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the most High, which saw [chazah] the vision [machazeh] of the Almighty, falling
into a trance [prostrate], but having his eyes open: 17 I shall see Him, but not now: I shall behold Him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite [through] the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. (Numbers 24:15-17)
“Machazeh” comes from the verb “chazah”, which means to see, to behold, perceive. It is used together with “machazeh” in the above verses in Numbers 24:4 and 24:16. Balaam was saying that he “saw” visions. It would be like saying, “I heard sounds.” God also spoke to Balaam in Numbers 22 & 23, the female ass spoke to Balaam (Numbers 22:28-30), and God also opened Balaam’s eyes to see the angel of the Lord that the ass could see (Numbers 22:27-31). The spiritual communication methods given to Balaam were abundant as he unhesitatingly listed and described when opening his oracles spoken above.
Ezekiel 13:7 is the last time that Scripture uses “machazeh” for vision. It is a rebuke against the prophets of Israel who were prophesying out of their own imaginations and followed their own spirit when they had seen nothing and when God had not spoken (Ezekiel 13:2-9).
7 Have ye not seen [chazah] a vain vision [machazeh], and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The LORD saith it; albeit I have not spoken? 8 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen [chazah] lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord GOD. 9 And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD. (Ezekiel 13:7-9)
The above 4 uses of “machazeh” displays the pattern of how man did and still utilizes visions today. One fourth of the time they operate unto the Lord, half of the time they are utilized by man after the error (wrong opinion) by the spirit of Balaam (Jude vs.11), and one fourth of the time they are used to work vain (empty and meaningless) destruction. Let us take heed in our own desires for seeking visions, in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.
The following word study of “vision(s)” is not exhaustive, but they are the words that are most commonly given for “vision(s)” in Scripture. The first group of words (1a predominantly Hebrew, 1b the Greek) belongs to the first subdivision of visions that are weighted on communication; and the second group of words (2a Hebrew, 2b Greek) are visions that are weighted on action and appearances.
1a. Hebrew masculine noun “machazeh”, is found 4 times and given above as the word of the Lord coming to Abram in a vision (Genesis 15:1), Balaam speaking of seeing (Numbers 24:4,16), and as prophets seeing false visions (Ezekiel 13:7); proper feminine plural noun “Machaziy'owth”, as Mahazioth (found 2 times) meaning “visions”, one of Heman’s sons who served to prophesy with harp, psaltery, and cymbals (I Chronicles 25:4,30); masculine noun “chizzayown” (found 9 times) is used when Nathan was given visions and words about the eternal house and kingdom to tell David (II Samuel 7:17), talking about characteristics of visions (Job 4:13, 7:14, 20:8, 33:15), as a location of “valley of vision” (Isaiah 22:1,5), as young men will see (Joel 2:28), and of a time when prophets are ashamed of their vision (Zechariah 13:4); proper masculine noun “Chezyown”, as Hezion (found once), who was a king of Syria (I Kings 15:18); the masculine noun “chazown” describes the substance and content of visions and is the word most often used for “vision” (given 35 times) when talking about a time when no visions were breaking forth (I Samuel 3:1), when Nathan was given a vision about the future of Israel and God’s eternal house (I Chronicles 17:15), as acts of Hezekiah written in the vision of Isaiah (II Chronicles 32:32), as God speaking in a vision to His holy one (Psalm 89:19), where there is no vision (Proverbs 29:18), used in the introduction of the book of Isaiah, Obadiah, Nahum and their visions (Isaiah 1:1, Obadiah 1:1, Nahum 1:1), enemies of Ariel will pass as dream of a night vision (Isaiah 29:7), false visions of prophets (Jeremiah14:14), speaking from own heart and not God’s mouth (Jeremiah 23:16), the prophets find no vision (Lamentations 2:9), explanation of whom the vision applies to (Ezekiel 7:13), people seeking a vision from prophet (Ezekiel 7:26), proverb saying visions fail but God says Israel not to use proverb because visions will stand (Ezekiel 12:22,23), no more vain visions (Ezekiel 12:24), vision is for many days to come (Ezekiel 12:27), prophets see peace for Jerusalem when there is no peace (Ezekiel 13:16), Daniel had understanding in all visions (Daniel 1:17), visions appearing, seen, and seeking their meanings by Daniel (Daniel 8:1,2,15), holy ones seen and heard asking questions about vision (Daniel 8:13), understanding given to Daniel (Daniel 8:17), told to seal up (Daniel 8:26), specific time given to seal up (Daniel 9:24), vision for a time yet to come (Daniel 8:26, 10:14), Gabriel seen (Daniel 9:21), robbers exalting themselves to make vision stand but will fail (Daniel 11:14), God multiplying visions (Hosea 12:10), no visions given because of prophets who make people err (Micah 3:5-6), and told to write vision down but it is yet for an appointed time (Habakkuk 2:2-3); Aramaic masculine noun “chezev” (found 12 times) given in Daniel describing mysteries revealed in night visions (Daniel 2:19), visions “of thy head” in or upon my bed (Daniel 2:28, 4:10,13, 7:1), visions that trouble (Daniel 4:5, 7:15), Nebuchadnezzar seeking to know the visions of his dream (Daniel 4:9), saw vision by night (Daniel 7:2,7,13), and used as describing the ‘appearance’ of a horn (Daniel 7:20); masculine proper noun “Chazow”, as Hazo (found once), nephew of Abraham (Genesis 22:22); feminine noun “chazowth”(found once) seen by the seer Iddo against Jeroboam (II Chronicles 9:29); feminine noun “chazuwth” (found 5 times) as harsh vision (Isaiah 21:2), vision as sealed in a scroll to the disobedient (Isaiah 29:11), is connected with a covenant that will not stand (Isaiah 28:18), and is also used as ‘conspicuous’ or ‘notable’ (Daniel 8:5,8).
The above words used for vision(s): machazeh, Machaziy'owth, chizzayown, Chezyown, chazown, chezev (Aramaic), Chazow, chazowth, and chazuwth come from the verbs “chazah” (given 51 times) and Aramaic “chaza'” (given 31 times), which mean to see or to behold. They have the connotation of light, window, bringing lightning and rain clouds, arrows of the prophetic, and also to put light against light.
1b. The Greek neuter noun “horama” is seen 12 times in Scripture used by Jesus to not speak of the “vision” that occurred when He was transfigured and met with Moses and Elijah (Matthew 17:9), recounting of Moses seeing angel of the Lord in the burning bush (Acts 7:31), the Lord talking to Ananias in vision (Acts 9:10), Saul given vision of Ananias coming to him to heal him (Acts 9:12), Cornelius given vision of instruction by angel of God (Acts 10:3-5), Peter seeing vision of instruction (Acts 10:17,19), Peter recounting vision (Acts 11:5), Peter delivered from prison but initially thought it was a vision (Acts 12:9), Paul given vision of man seeking him to come to Macedonia (Acts 16:9,10), and the Lord speaking to Paul in night vision (Acts 18:9); feminine noun “horasis” (found 4 times) is used as the last days young men shall see visions (Acts 2:17), used twice of John describing what stones looked like (The Revelation 4:3), and John seeing horses in vision (The Revelation 9:17).
The words “horama” and “horasis” come from the verb “horaō” given 59 times, which means to see with the mind or eyes, to attend to, take heed, and also has the connotation of discerning clearly what is being seen.
To sum up lists 1a and 1b, these are describing visions that are prophetic laden, heavy in communication with the Lord, and are instruction oriented. They have the nature of the eagle face (prophetic ministry) and the man face (pastor/teacher) working together (Ezekiel 1:10, Ephesians 4:11). And although there are visitations, appearances, that occur with some of these visions their primary focus is on communication. This was the kind of vision that started the ball rolling for this post. It was the Lord giving the vision and then talking about it. He was teaching how He wanted visions presented and to what degree of emphasis they are in the bigger picture, which is Him. These are visions that the Holy Spirit operates in through the eagle face (prophetic) and the man face (pastor/teacher) working together.
As mentioned above in part 1a, the Hebrew masculine noun “chazown” is the most often used word for “vision” in Scripture. The first time “chazown” is given is in I Samuel 3:1 when describing a time when no vision “chazown” was breaking open and when the “Word [dabar] of the Lord was precious.”
1 And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word [dabar] of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open [breaking forth] vision [chazown]. (I Samuel 3:1)
“Chazown” is also used in Hosea 12:10, given as the first quote of this article and again below, describing that God has multiplied visions. These are examples, like “machazeh” in 1a, of the visions that operate in the eagle face and man face that are prophetic, communication with the Lord, and instruction oriented.
10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions [chazown], and used similitudes, by the ministry [hand] of the prophets. (Hosea 12:10)
The second category of words translated as vision(s), given below in 2a and 2b, is used to describe spiritual visitations “appearances”. The words are translated as seeing a “vision” because the person saw something that is spiritual in nature and form. For example, in I Samuel 3:10-15, Samuel had a visitation, appearance, from the Lord (verse 10) that was then later described and translated as a vision “mar'ah” (verse 15). “Mar'ah” is the Hebrew feminine form for sight or appearance that means to look or see with our eyes.
10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth. 11 And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. (I Samuel 3:10-11)
15 And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision [mar'ah] (I Samuel 3:15).
This can be exemplified again in many other passages. Acts 10:3-8, for instance, tells of Cornelius’s visitation. The Greek neuter noun “horama” is used in a similar way that the Hebrew “mar'ah” is used when people are said to have seen a vision when describing a visitation.
3 He saw in a vision [horama]
evidently [clearly] about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. (Acts 10:3)
Later we have clarification from Cornelius as he recounts the event as a visitation, appearance:
30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, 31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. (Acts 10:30-31)
2a. The feminine noun “mar'ah” (given 12 times) is used of God speaking unto Israel in visions of the night to Jacob giving instructions (Genesis 46:2), as looking glasses (Exodus 38:8), as the LORD making Himself known unto prophets (Numbers 12:6) and to Samuel (I Samuel 3:15 quoted above), as extensive visions given to Ezekiel as the heavens were opened (Ezekiel 1:1) and being moved to different locations (Ezekiel 8:3, 40:2, 43:1-3), great vision seen by Daniel but not by others (Daniel 10:7,8), and Daniel was overcome with anguish because of vision (Daniel 10:16); masculine noun “mar'eh” (found 103 times in Scripture, translated as “vision” 11 times) is used when visions include seeing God’s glory (Ezekiel 8:4, 43:3-4), being brought by the Spirit to see vision and vision going up from Ezekiel (Ezekiel 11:24), Gabriel instructed to give understanding of vision (Daniel 8:16, 9:23), visions of mornings and evenings declared as true (Daniel 8:26), confounded by vision and none understood (Daniel 8:27), Daniel had understanding of vision (Daniel 10:1), and is translated as “appearance” 35 times in passages that are describing what things looked like in a vision; masculine noun “ro'eh” (found once) is used as prophets of Ephraim stagger from strong drink when seeing visions (Isaiah 28:7); and masculine proper noun “Ro'eh”, as Haroeh (found once), a man in the lineage of Judah (I Chronicles 2:52).
The above words used for vision(s): mar'ah, mar'eh, ro'eh, and Ro'eh come from the verb “ra'ah”, which means to see, to look at, to appear. It is found 1,313 times in Scripture and is most often used to simply mean to see or to look at something. “Ra'ah” is also used for appearances (visitations) and has the connotation of seeing and understanding what is being seen. It is spoken of prior to “visions”, and was used in the context of God appearing to people and talking to them like Abram (Genesis 12:7) and Jacob (Genesis 35:9). It is also used to describe what things look like, or appear like, when seeing visions (Ezekiel 1:27-28, Ezekiel 43:3, Daniel 8:15, to list a few).
2b. The Greek feminine noun “optasia” is given 4 times and used when people perceived Zacharias to have seen a vision after Gabriel spoke to him (Luke 1:22), in recount of women seeing vision of angels at the tomb (Luke 24:23), Paul not disobedient to heavenly vision given to him (Acts 26:19), Paul talking about visions and revelations from the Lord and being caught up to heaven (II Corinthians 12:1-2).
The word “optasia” is from the verb “optanomai”, which means to look at, behold. It is found in Scripture 58 times, out of which 17 times it is translated as “appeared” seen in just the handful of the following examples: when Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus, Peter, James, and John (Matthew 17:3, Mark 9:4), when an angel appeared to strengthen Jesus while praying (Luke 22:43), to describe seeing Jesus when He appears (Matthew 26:64, Luke 21:27, I John 3:2), and when the tongues of fire appeared (Acts 2:3).
To sum up the visions described in lists 2a and 2b, they are movement, action, and glory oriented. They are the cherub face and the man face (pastor/teacher ministry) working together (Ezekiel 10:14). The cherub face is an angel and/or a holy man working as an angel in the evangelistic ministry (Hebrews 13:2). The visions come about by the two kinds of faces, operations, working together by the Holy Spirit. They are information and instruction giving visions that are action packed, which often include movement in the spirit realm, visitations, interactions, and seeing things of great glory and magnitude. A better translation for these types of visions could be “appearances”, but the use of “visions” is used because the person is “seeing” in the Spirit spiritual things with the additional focus of imparting knowledge.
The first type of visions, described in 1a and 1b, operate when a person is still or in little movement, and involves communication and teaching from the Lord, verbally or within our spirit. The second type of vision described in Scripture includes the person being in motion. Sometimes there is interaction with angels and holy men. Sometimes a person is an active participant in the vision, which we see much with Ezekiel as he followed instructions and laboured in the vision. This is a way of knowing that visions are an operation of the Holy Ghost. They are as dissimilar as the people and the work that they are given to do. Both types of visions, described in 1a & 1b and 2a & 2b above, have two common factors and describe all visions: they involve seeing spiritually and involve information transactions. Simply put, a vision imparts information while seeing with spiritual eyes.
Whew! Juice, tea, or coffee anyone?
The last days
28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions [chizzayown]: 29 And also the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out My Spirit. (Joel 2:28-29)
13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. 14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions [horasis], and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy: (Acts 2:13-18)
We are in the last days. And we are given the understanding of when the last days began by the above passages. The last days began when the Holy Spirit was manifested after Jesus Christ had ascended. This is further described in the three page folded pamphlet in more detail. Seminary dissertations have been written and religious denominations have been founded on discussing and taking a stand on when the last days “exactly” are. This is an attempt to unravel the work that Jesus Christ did on earth; and to unravel and question others who followed after Him who dared to act as He did in the Holy Spirit, as though things became a fog and mystery when there was and is no mystery to be had.
When the subject is focused on “when” exactly the last days are, even though God clearly tells us, it becomes a bait-and-switch so that the activities of the Holy Spirit in man are pushed out of the way. Those things are put back on the top shelf so that they are not discussed; or even better, placed in the questionable category where only those who really know Scripture can examine them further, later on, after they have their first question answered about when the last days are. Have you noticed that people still look for it, the last days, as though a specific thing will confirm in their minds that it is “bad enough” to declare that the last days have really begun?
But something quite the opposite opened the “last days.” And it was very specific, a time that we can pinpoint. And it was recorded in Scripture. It was what Jesus and God’s prophets had spoken of. It was something that was magnificent. It was something powerful. It was something uncontained. It was Life giving, Life breathing, after death. It extended way beyond the gift of diverse tongues that we tend to read as part of the bigger list of gifts and then pass quickly over. It was something that brought men together and then pulled them apart to then spread across this earth. It was beautiful. It brought more questions. It was unexpected. It was too simple. Man needs something big. Something really big that makes sense in how they would do it; how they would be if they were God. No way, no way. First it was God in the flesh that was supposed to be some great king that just ended up dying, and now this? Some fire that comes down from the sky that just allows a man to speak the things of God in a different language? No. This passage is too short. The translators missed this passage when they worked over the others that we rely so heavily on. A person needs seminary, approval by the elders and a committee. Yes, a committee, preferably from Britain, you know, The Pilgrims Society and shaped by the Tavistock Institute. It just can’t come out of anyone. We need confirmation from somewhere! What if somebody says or does something wrong that they think is from the Holy Spirit? We, I mean God, could never recover from anyone speaking misinformation or causing confusion. Information pollution! There is no way that He would trust anyone but us, I mean, those who have been approved, to act like they know things about things. What’s that? Children speak of God? Oh, I know, aren’t they cute when they talk all knowing and everything. We will keep an eye on them; contact tracing will be the best way I think. They may amount to something that we can raise up to be our pastors after we teach them a little respect and discipline. Uh-oh, could you turn the mic off? And then to add prophesying, visions, and dreams (Acts 2:17, Joel 2:28) with all the pouring out talk. This is going to be a disaster. Yes, yes, that’s the plan. We can go back and work the dead Jesus thing a little harder. We have to focus, unfortunately, on Him. But we can make Him a bit more subdued, don’t you think? Really crank up the image of Him talking like a kindergarten teacher to everyone. Let’s get those energy sapping, mind occupying holidays hyped up. And let’s start pumping the ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’ campaign again. People swallowed that one whole. Worked like a “charm-er” (the perversion of the gift of tongues) to keep’m numb and in stalemate. Yeah, it put a stop to thinking about what it means to love in knowledge and discernment (I Philippians 1:9-10). Yep, nothing like a little catchy propaganda to stifle thinking and common sense. ♫Jesus paid it all, all to everyone you owe♫. We can keep activities like being moved in the spirit and tongue talking limited to Wednesday and Sunday evenings when they go to their churches, you know, the ones that keep our rules of passivism. We can do it! We can snuff out that Holy Spirit! Ohhhh!!! I feel the power of it all! Praise!!…hmm. Yes! praise to the flaccid pastors and teachers who teach to submit and obey the hierarchy inside and outside of their churches! We will say that there is nothing going on, at all, and that nothing will happen until the “real” last days come. Hey, we can put it off for however long we want to. Let’s keep everyone waiting for us to tell them exactly when the last days are. We have done it so far.
It was a stirring. It was an exposing of men’s thoughts and hearts. It communicated to people so that they could hear the wonderful works of God in their own language; so that they could know that God’s people were among every nation. It brought communication of the Holy Spirit. It brought a unified message of communication about God and His works…
It was just the opposite of something that sounds familiar. It was the opposite and the inverse, the negative reciprocal, of something that sounds very familiar. And it happened 340 years after the flood when Noah was 940 years old [Rabbi Yoel Spotts, jewishanswers.org]. It followed the judgement flood of water by only 340 years. It was the unified act that man thought to build a city and a tower. It was Babylon.
1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. 3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. 4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. 5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel [Babylon]; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. (Genesis 11:1-9)
The tower of Babel, when men used their common language to build to reach the heavens as a unified force minus God. Noah, whose name means “rest”, died 10 years later (Genesis 9:29).
Jesus Christ brought judgement fire into this world (John 9:39). There is no need to wait for it because it has already come. It was in the mouth, actions, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And it came as the fire on the tongues of men by the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1).
16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: 17 Whose
fan [winnowing fork] is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and will gather the wheat into His garner; but the chaff He will burn with fire unquenchable. (Luke 3:16-17)
49 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? (Luke 12:49)
But Peter. Acts 2:14 quoted at the beginning of this section, starts with “But Peter.” Those “buts” are the turn, the twist, the evangelistic voice coming in with the bulldozer, the wrecking ball, the sledge hammer, the axe. He had warmed himself with the comfort of the Holy Spirit fire initially, the way the corrupt religious systems do today; how they use the Holy Spirit to comfort them in a contained manner when and how they choose to.
54 And Peter followed Him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire. (Mark 14:54)
But no longer. He grew up. He expanded. He became: “But Peter,” who lead, recognized, and saw what was going on. Who spoke by the Holy Spirit in knowledge and understanding. He grew in the Lord, and continued to grow in the Lord. Let us read again the event. Let us read it in the power of the evangelistic voice, the beating timbrel drum). Let us read it as it was on that day. Let us read it with God’s breath passing through and filling each Word. Let it pound into our chests and penetrate into our hearts. It was a gathering. It was a stirring. Anticipation was high. Men were full of mixed emotions having suffered the loss of Jesus, yet they had the awareness that things were not the same. They had walked and talked with the Lord. They could not go back. They saw too much. They had been exposed to too much. They followed the command of their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ:
4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of Me. 5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. (Acts 1:4-5)
It was God in the Spirit. And He came as a mighty, violent, rushing Wind. It was the Holy Spirit, the expression of God alive in us. Let us consider this once again: It was/is the Holy Spirit, the expression and manifestation of God working and alive in us through Jesus Christ. When we read and hear the account given, may we participate in those moments, may we understand. May the Holy Spirit not be dry in our soul or spirit. In the name of Jesus, the man who died and is now alive and is made higher than the heavens (Hebrews 7:26). May all who read be saturated and dipped in Your Glory. In the Holy Spirit.
1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” 13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.” 14 Then [But] Peter… (Acts 2:1-14a, NIV translation)
When the “last days” began on Pentecost, with the manifestation of God in the Spirit operating in man, the responsibility of man to function in Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit on earth was given. Acts 1:1 speaks of “all that Jesus began both to do and teach”:
1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 Until the day in which He was taken up, after that He through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom He had chosen: 3 To whom also He shewed Himself alive after His passion [suffering] by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: (Acts 1:1-3)
The word that was translated as “began” above is the Greek word “archomai”, which means to be the first to do, to be chief, leader, ruler, to make a beginning.
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy: (Acts 2:14-18)
Visions, prophesying, dreaming, speaking in tongues, and all of the gifts and ministries are given for man to operate through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit labours. Man is to operate as Jesus Christ on earth. There has been no variation in our commission. It is the flood of fire on earth, Luke 3:16-17 and Luke 12:49, given above. The flood of judgement fire. All of the things that are to happen in the last days have been happening, beginning with the Holy Spirit’s descension.
5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. (The Revelation 11:5)
Man, without submission to the Holy Spirit, works in the opposite inverse of what the Holy Spirit does. And man will always work oppression with the removal of freedom. The Holy Spirit uses a large variety of languages, tongues, even our facial expressions to communicate. Not only are there different dialects and languages among cultures, but there are languages of disciplines like maths, physics, music, carpentry, cooking, and so many others. There are also celestial tongues (I Corinthians 13:1), but all tongues are given and purposed for one goal, to “hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God” (Acts 2:11). God chose different “kinds of tongues” (I Corinthians 12:10) to introduce the manifestation of the Holy Spirit because that is how we operate in the Holy Spirit the most, by communication. And in order to communicate the wonderful works of God, the Holy Spirit must be working not only in the midst of the conversation, but within the listeners and the speakers. It was to reveal that communication of God and about God will also be applied to all things created by God. And it is to be transferred in the mouth of man to man, teaching one another shoulder to shoulder, face to face, eyes to text, of those who see and have written and write by the Holy Spirit. The opposite inverse of the Holy Spirit’s work is the tower of Babel. The Holy Spirit penetrates into all languages, and not only preserves those languages, but expands all languages. This spreads out the understanding of God in all of His creation and helps us to display and understand Him and His creation. It is the negative reciprocal of being unified in one language of thought to build one tower to reach the heavens and to consolidate power without God. It is a dispensing and dispersing out of Himself among man, and into all aspects and disciplines of life. It was the expression of God’s desire to impart to us Himself, for in Him we live, and move, and have our being (Acts 17:28).
Following “But Peter” in Acts 2:14-36, Peter kept on speaking. He spoke in the rhythm of the Holy Spirit and to the heartbeat of our Father. The tide had changed. While Jesus Christ the Lord was no longer in their presence, man spoke in the power of the Holy Spirit by and in Jesus. Peter spoke to communicate the wonderful works of God. He spoke of Jesus Christ and His work on earth and where He is now. He spoke and it “pricked, pierced” the hearts of those listening, stirring them to ask, “What shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). And Peter continued to give instruction. The Holy Spirit brings action and life. The Holy Spirit is the Life of God in us. And this is Jesus Christ the Lord, the Word of life (I John 1:1) here by us. The end was not the prophecy of The Revelation of Jesus Christ written by John (The Revelation 22:7,10). The Revelation was the high Olympic ski jump for us to push off from.
1That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2 (For the Life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. (I John 1:1-3)
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. (I Corinthians 13:8-12, NIV translation)
The above passage explains to us the incompleteness of prophetic work. And this is one reason why the Lord gave the vision of a 2D picture to describe what a vision is. Visions can be held in our thinking; we can write down what was seen, spoken, and done; and we can also evaluate them. But they are not the “thing”, nor are they pictures of completeness of what they represent. For example, the Kingdom of God and the Holy City are described by visions, similitudes, parables spoken by Jesus Christ, revelations, measured in the spirit (Ezekiel 40-42), and are further described in many prophecies throughout Scripture. They all are describing parts of the characteristics of the Kingdom of God. Not one of them is the Kingdom of God. We can be given a vision of the meat of a hamburger that allows us to understand the seasonings and the cooking time required, but we would not say that we had the awareness of the entire hamburger.
When completeness comes, meaning the thing that the prophecy represents comes, and in this case we are talking about what the vision represents comes, we no longer need the 2D photo. The knowledge we had was partial knowledge. But if we have taken in the prophecies (or in this case the vision because visions are a work from the prophetic hand) with our own understanding, with little or no interpretation from God of what the vision is, a childlike distortion of the vision then ensues. And when the thing comes that the visions and/or prophecies represent, as God in the flesh or the Holy Ghost working in man, a grave disappointment sets in, even to the point of rejecting the “thing”. This happens because man’s own wisdom takes control and the person puts their own life, their own imagination, into the vision to the parts that are not given and how they want them to be expressed.
21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (I Corinthians 1:21-24, NIV translation)
The vision becomes more important than God and it becomes a rejection of His ways (Psalm 103:7). The hope and reason for the vision is snuffed out and the light that it once gave brings darkness and confusion.
5 And the LORD [Jehovah] came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. 6 And He said, Hear now My words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD [Jehovah] will make Myself known unto him in a vision [mar'ah], and will speak unto him in a dream. 7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. 8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? (Numbers 12:5-8)
The passage above reveals that the Lord supersedes visions. He came down and spoke to Aaron and Miriam. Just like how He superseded some of the prophecies about himself when He came in the flesh as a man, and how the Holy Spirit was/is manifested within man. The visions and prophecies are Truth, but they are given in part for the particular purposes that God has chosen for them. We receive them knowing that they will be in part. When we are given a vision, we do not take them and run with them in our minds and emotions. We receive them, commit them unto the Lord and deposit them into the Kingdom of God. Then we seek the meaning of the vision from God. What are you telling me Father, in this vision? He is faithful to unfold their meanings to us. Sometimes we are able to understand quickly, and sometimes it takes a long time. But He will answer these requests.
We use the same format for understanding prophecies and dreams. We want what He thinks, not what we think they mean. And in doing this, and resting in this, our soul, our spirit, and our mind will be able to absorb their purpose in His giving them to us. And we can be thankful for prophecies, visions, and dreams for what they are: wonderful ways that God uses to communicate to us and with us.
The Holy Spirit is to be the interpreter of visions. And the interpretation will be alive and it will be in part of what the fullness of God’s, Jesus Christ’s, and the Holy Spirit’s operations are.
28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions [chizzayown]: (Joel 2:28)
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions [horasis], and your old men shall dream dreams: (Acts 2:17)
The above passages and those that follow them are beautiful. We put aside our own understanding to receive what they are saying. And as with all things of God, He is so much richer, so much more thorough, so much more giving than we can absorb. Let us pray that we do absorb His ways and the meaning of His priceless Words. The Word that is alive. And may He be alive in us. Thank you Father, for pouring out Your Spirit upon all flesh, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Visions are given to young men. At first glance we may think that this means we are mature enough in the Lord to receive visions. But this is not what the verses are saying. God is speaking something quite different. These things: shall prophesy, see visions, and dream dreams are describing how each one of those things are to be received, taken in, by us in order to reap their spiritual value.
Below are very brief synopses of the three categories. The three do not progress from one to the next; and a person can operate in one, two, or all three at the same time. We do not have one state that we stay in if we are constantly learning in the Lord. The verses tell us what results from the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon all flesh and then describes the way prophesying, visions, and dreams are to be taken in, processed, and then given out from us. In Scripture, males often spiritually refer to the spirit of man, and females often refer to the soul of man.
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy: Prophecies are worked in the spirit and the soul. It requires the spirit within us and the soul within us to receive them by faith as sons and daughters. We are sons and daughters when we take in and give out prophesying because we have had our sins forgiven by the blood of Jesus Christ (I John 1:7) and have known the Father (I John 2:12,13c). And because we have accepted Jesus Christ, we did so having our future changed in eternity because His death brought us His Life. Prophesying can also be received as spirit laden or soul laden; both when done in the Lord are good. They are given to sons and daughters because it is operating in the same Holy Spirit unctions that were followed when we are brought to salvation. Prophesying is sustained, filled, and poured out by the Holy Spirit. Sons and daughters are builders of fresh faith and new oil as we operate as His children in faith. We receive by faith in our spirit and soul to make available to the brethren things that are known. This is the operation of the Holy Spirit within us as a green horse rider to make room and to give room by sacrifice of ourselves out of God’s love for the brethren that they may flourish in the Life of the Holy Spirit unto the Lord. Prophesying as sons and daughters are the training ground for becoming priests unto the Lord.
Your young men shall see visions: Young men are given visions. Young men are strong, have the Word of God living in them, and have been able to overcome the wicked one (I John 2:14b). This means that they have been able to hang onto those things that have been sown into their hearts without the enemy taking it from them (Matthew 13:19). These are black horse riders who are aware of the spiritual value of what they are receiving.
Visions communicate directly to our spirit, and they are to be received by the spirit and hung onto by our spirit. They are often given to us to answer questions that our spirit is seeking and is now mature enough to hear. These are those who have received of God’s Laodicean glory impartation enough times that they have moved and practiced in things of the Spirit. Young men have grown enough in the Lord to understand God’s rhythm, working in Him, and seeing how He gives us more to become responsible for and accountable to Him for. Visions have the value and power of knowing more and seeing more of the Lord Jesus Christ. Visions give us His truth.
Your old men shall dream dreams: The value of dreams is given to old men. Dreams are to be received in a strengthened spirit (Luke 1:80, Luke 2:40, Ephesians 3:16) and also a spirit that is ruled well (Proverbs 16:32, 25:28), otherwise dreams will not be understood and their value lost. They are received by old men who “have known Him who is from the beginning” (I John 2:13a). Dreams are predominantly corrective and instructional in nature (Job 33:14-17) and sometimes, like visions, they can be scary and terrifying (Job 7:13-15). And because dreams are often unsettling, our soul and an unexercised spirit can become ruffled, just as was the case with Job to the point of talking about dying because of how bad things were for him. Old men in the Lord know God in a more mature and exercised manner and no longer receive things of God by defining them as “good” or “bad” and then making conclusions on their own of what is “good” and “bad” in their own understanding. They have incorporated into their thinking and actions that God does appropriate evil, harsh, good, and very good things to try the hearts of man. God’s will and His purposes take the precedent, and old men recognize this. Old men, fathers, know that they have not attained and watch for the ways of God that He requires of them (Habakkuk 2:1). They acknowledge their lack, their need, and their desire to learn and know more of Him and His ways. And they know that He is a giver of sweet sleep (Proverbs 3:24), and sweet sleep includes dreams of His communication to us even when they are startling or even frightening.
When we have a dream, we ask God for the meaning of the dream that He gave to us. We know of God’s nature enough to trust Him and how He chooses to expose things to us. We are willing to move in or out of friction, depending on His will for us. We break away from the pack to grow as old men, to strengthen and rule our own spirit and our house. When we are old men who dream dreams we become red horse riders who break away from an unruled or weak spirit. We have already turned away from the confines of the corrupt religious systems. This is red horse work within us by the Holy Spirit. We no longer fight against God and His ways, because dreams teach us the knowledge of God and His ways. Dreaming dreams are the training ground to become kings unto the Lord rather than kings unto our own kingdom.
There is an interesting change of order for dreams and visions given from Joel 2:28 to Acts 2:17, quoted above. Prophesying was given first in both passages because the subject of working by the Life and pouring out of the Holy Spirit is the subject of both of the texts. Children have had their sins forgiven in the name of Jesus and have known the Father (I John 2:12,13c). And all of the things described following both passages are operations of the Life giving Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ. Prophecies are concerned with working in us the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. The change happens when dreaming dreams are given first in Joel followed by seeing visions; and in Acts, seeing visions are given before dreaming dreams. Recall that God the Father was manifested the most prior to Jesus Christ’s manifestation. Dreams are focused teachings and instructions of the Ways and the manifestations of God the Father, which is why fathers in I John are described as knowing Him who was from the beginning (I John 2:13a,14a). Visions are most involved with shaping of man into what is true, by the Truth of Jesus Christ in the flesh (I John 5:20). And since Jesus Christ came in the flesh, it is now listed second on the list as an operation of the Holy Spirit.
10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions [chazown], and used similitudes, by the ministry [hand] of the prophets. (Hosea 12:10)
The kind of visions spoken of in Hosea 12:10 visions [chazown], Joel 2:28 visions [chizzayown], and Acts 2:17 visions [horasis] are from lists 1a and 1b described in “Kinds of visions” earlier in this article. They are the eagle (prophetic) face and the man (pastor/teacher) face working together. And they are the ones that are heavy in prophetic communications and instruction given to us by the Lord.
Falling in love with a vision
18 Where there is no vision [chazown], the people perish (para`) [to let loose, to become unbridled, lawless]: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (Proverbs 29:18)
The first part of the verse above is usually quoted to threaten and wave the consequences of purposelessness that sets in a group of people or within a person. And it is often quoted to mean that a vision is a direction or course of life, like, without direction the people perish, with the idea that direction or purpose gives us something to live for. This is often done at the same time while dismissing the prophetic hand of eternal things, eternal vision, and becomes doing something, going somewhere, or achieving something in the temporal. It is a Girgashite perverted teaching ministry and thinking, used to enforce the need to have a goal and purpose in life to keep busy and to “stay out of trouble.” Of course the direction and potential goal has to make sense to the Girgashite spirit and the declared direction, goal, is often used as a shield so that others know we are “doing something” with our life that is of value, particularly nothing too weird, and can earn a reasonable income. The word used for vision is the masculine noun “chazown” that is used most often in Scripture when talking about visions and is the same word in Hosea 12:10 given at the first of this article and in the prior “Young men” section. It is referring to the kind of vision of list 1a that describes prophetic communication and instructions given by and with the Lord.
The word used for “perish” in Proverbs 29:18 above is “para`” and it is not talking about physical death; it is talking of being unbridled, naked, to let loose, or become lawless. Proverbs 29:18 is telling us that when we have no vision “chazown”, when we are not receiving from the prophetic hand, the communication and fellowship with the Lord, we start to become lawless. Lawlessness leads to spiritual death, just as lawlessness in the temporal leads to physical death in a people or person. But this verse is directed more specifically on the point that without a prophetic vision, people become lawless. What is the prophetic vision? It is growth and fellowship in Jesus Christ. This is not just a folding back into the previous understanding of the apostolic foundation; it is the prophetic that is folded back into the apostolic, if and only if the apostolic understanding has expanded. Recall the new apostolic laws that come when we go from one mode of transportation to another. We take on different and more advanced rules (laws and statutes) used for driving a car than when we walked or crawled. This is not changing our foundation of Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and for ever. It is a vision that expands the width of our grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ (II Peter 3:18). Proverbs 29:18 is saying, where there is no prophetic vision, no prophetic communication and instruction with the Lord, the person or the people become unbridled and lawless. This is why the verse is quickly followed by “but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Happiness comes to us when we are operating diligently in the new information, the new prophetic knowledge, that we were given by God. Remember all of the feelings that came with the freedoms and new responsibilities of getting our driver’s license to be able to drive? When a person or people stop their communication with God and do not apply any new laws, people do not just become unbridled, but they also misuse what they do have and do know of the Lord. This is what happened to the Israelites in Exodus 32:25 with the same word “para`” used in Proverbs 29:18 and translated below as running wild, out of control, or naked.
25 Moses saw that the people were running wild [para`] and that Aaron had let them get out of control [para`] and so become a laughingstock to their enemies. (Exodus 32:25, NIV translation)
25 And when Moses saw that the people were naked [para`]; (for Aaron had made them naked [para`] unto their shame among their enemies:) (Exodus 32:25, KJV)
The children of Israel had no vision for God, for growth of a new thing that was being worked in them. They were resistant to looking at God in a different way and form. They wanted the same lens to always look at God through. When people have no vision, they become undone and naked before not only God, but to their enemies. And when people have no spiritual vision, no prophetic vision, they fold into themselves and are oblivious to God’s work in their lives, have no spiritual sight, and no anticipation. They are those who have mastered crawling, with nothing left in their sight but to take pleasure while they crawl and serve another god with all ages being welcome. The calf that was made by them was made of valuable gold, their prophetic seeds (The Revelation 3:18), that were cast into the fire (the Holy Spirit) to fashion gods who would lead them (Exodus 32:23-24). The male calf that they made is a depiction of discounting gifts of eternal healings that God had started to work in them after being delivered. But they desired only temporal gifts of healings, deliverances, from gods whom they desired to lead them (Exodus 32:23).
Visions are simply given to our spirits, young men, when that particular information can be digested by us at that particular time in our growth. Because visions can be magnificent and can also reveal the glory of the Lord or things in their glorified state, they can be of great temptation to run off with in our minds. Visions are a “good” thing that God will bring into our lives to test and uncover what is in our hearts (Psalm 139:23-24). And young men can fall in love with the vision, the 2D photo, instead of staying In Love with God. Once this occurs, they become unable to relate to the purpose of the vision. This is similar to what happens with those who have been given over to pornography, as they do so at the loss of being able to relate to women in the flesh. With people who have fallen in love with their vision they have been given over in their lust for knowledge. The vision becomes “my vision” even if they acknowledge the vision being from the Lord. Recall the breakdown of what happens to half of the visions, they are worked Balaam style and taken in for their spiritual value into the temporal. They are those who “run greedily after the error, wrong opinion, of Balaam for reward” (Jude verse 11). It is the reward of knowledge that is most coveted. It is an awareness of being shown how things are, could be, or will be. This is having a piece of information, knowledge, and running with it in our mind when the soul is lifted up and no longer living by faithfulness to God (Habakkuk 2:4). Faith is then put into the vision that they saw instead of looking for His understanding and His instruction of the vision’s purpose. It is keeping the vision on earth and under our own care and in our own understanding. It then builds a kingdom, theme park, unto itself.
How this plays out is that a person’s spirit is seeking and asking. They are given a vision, and interestingly, they are often related to pulling away and out of the corrupted religious systems when the person has awareness that what they are witnessing from the corrupt churches do not seem quite right, is inadequate, or does not make sense. The person is given a vision, which can also include words of knowledge, and instead of staying course with the Giver of the vision that gave the word of knowledge, they take the vision as a life commission that they believe they are going to implement and bring into its manifestation. Ellen Gould White (Seventh-day Adventist Church), Joseph Smith (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mormonism), Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu better known as Mother Teresa (taught submission to the corrupted teaching ministry) are just a few that began their life’s work by seeing a vision(s) that started off with a legitimate seeking. Once the vision becomes a person’s mission statement in their own understanding, they run greedily in the wrong opinion and seek its reward, its glorified state. The person becomes a wizard and they are given over to their visions after the desires of their own heart. They create a theme park that is not based in God’s Truth or in His Life. A new kingdom is created that began with a vision taken in Balaam style.
Unfortunately, there are many beginnings of organizations, religions, and clubs that start this way that lead followers astray who believe in the founders’ visions to work great destruction as one quarter of them do like Mormonism (Moroni), Buddha, and Mohammad (Islam), to list a few. Once the break is made from God’s purpose, specific demons are given the opportunity to sustain and feed the desires of their mind. This reveals the power of visions when used for man’s own reward or destruction. It is using the initial knowledge of the Lord as though it is complete and fully developed with the person, the wizard, believing they are the chosen one to bring the vision into its manifestation. As the heart hardens, the person is then given more visions and signs according to their own desires and they become bad fruit bearers. This work is completed by God in order to expose what the organization is and the heart of the person who founded it. This also gives the opportunity for those on the outside and those on the inside of the organization to give pause, to reject it, and to judge it in God’s light.
When the spirit of Balaam is in our heart, being off by 1° looks insignificant on a small scale, but when it expands, the error of thinking becomes immense when seen and developed in its larger scale. They are slow burners that expand to destruction. It is not as though these organizations and religions happen suddenly or as though God has not given warning after warning in very clear ways.
26 Mischief shall come upon mischief, and rumour shall be upon rumour; then shall they seek a vision [chazown] of the prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients. (Ezekiel 7:26)
9 Her gates are sunk into the ground; He hath destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes are among the
Gentiles [nations]: the law is no more; her prophets also find no vision [chazown] from the LORD. (Lamentations 2:9)
Let us not put a vision above the Lord our God.
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. (Matthew 22:37-38)
Below is a passage given to us in the book of Habakkuk. It explains the way we are to receive visions.
1 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the
tower [rampart], and will watch to see what He will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved [corrected, rebuked]. 2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision [chazown], and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. 3 For the vision [chazown] is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it and will not tarry. 4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith [faithfulness]. (Habakkuk 2:1-4)
Visions are to be held loosely by us without letting them go, “Hold On Loosely” by 38 Special (released 1981) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yEn3_Ka1oU. The positive meaning of the number 38 is coming to a choice of change that extends into abundant eternal rest.
A practical good thing
Visions are practical workings from and of the Lord. Prophesying, visions, and dreams have the common denominator of providing man with needed perspective shifts on how to look at things. They are mind expanders at the minimum, just like maths, music, art, and literature are. And they are communicators from the Lord at their maximum. God communicates and teaches us in the manner He desires and in the form that we can best receive of their value.
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: (Acts 2:17)
Prophecies, visions, and dreams help us to receive from the Holy Spirit. They give us a different perspective to look at things in a new way with different textures and different backdrops so that we consider a new concept, take note of an upcoming change, see our condition or things in a clearer way, and take in His instruction or correction. The lenses magnify one small area, or they can zoom out for the panoramic view. They help us to not perceive things in the exact same manner day after day so that we are more pliable to His molding hands. They help us to not hang on so tightly to the familiar when God expects us to grow in Him. Man on his own has limited creativity, and when the Holy Spirit is quenched the result is rigidity and repulsion for things that are unfamiliar to man’s natural eyes and thoughts. We do not have to seek the unusual, because God is both the usual and the unusual.
We can always know that something in our life is an operation of the Holy Spirit when it is removed or missing. Life without prophecies, visions, or dreams is a dull life with little color. Growth is limited to surviving the day. No new questions are asked or desired because that is what prophesies, visions, and dreams do – they open discourse with God. They are conversation starters that require our response to them by apostolic diligent ruling in the new thing seen or heard that can then produce good evangelistic fruit to feed ourselves and others in the Lord. May we be young men who receive visions in abundance. May we commit them back to God in the Kingdom of God first. May the understanding of those visions be given to us by Him. And may the joy of Him be full in our labours unto the Lord, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is above all visions. Amen.
The nature of God’s embrace
Have you ever had a hug that could stick with you? They are the ones where a person’s love is felt long past the time of embrace. It is love that goes beyond knowing in our mind the reassuring words of affirmation. It is love that surpasses a vow of commitment. It goes to a richer place than being willing to die for a righteous man or even a good man (Romans 5:7). And it abides after, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). It is the love that gives us a place to rest our head and our heart after we have said the words, after we have acted on love even to death unto the Lord, and after the point of having lost our physical strength and comeliness. It is the love that we need when we have given all and see within ourselves that there appears to be nothing left in us. It is the love that transitions into deep relationship that follows the greatest love. It is when we are called His friend (John 15:14-17). For those who have this need today, may you receive it in Him as you keep His commandments (The Revelation 22:14) and do whatsoever He commands you to do (John 15:10,14).
With God’s love, simplicity is its strength. It is a love that not only meets needs, but it creates needs within us. When we have been embraced by Him, we need it again. We want it again. When He speaks to us, we need Him to speak to us again. He also in turn has pleasure in us. We talk differently back to Him because He is not far off. We return His embrace. When we return His love it creates interest on the principal, and then He returns it all back to us with the increase. It grows and is infinite.
“Love is Alive”, written by Kent Marshall Robbins (1947-1997), contains anointed lyrics describing God’s living love. It requires Life. It requires the reciprocal response. And the result is a soul that is content and it is happy (Proverbs 29:18b above). The anointed lyrics are given in the following video and are worth the read. May your love in the LORD be alive, not just to know but to feel His lingering embrace and return it. The Judds from their “Why Not Me” album, released May 1985: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-jOXLlFH4c.