In recent postings we’ve been looking at the nature of supernatural experiences such as dreams, visions and prophetic encounters. We’ve discussed how the time element is bypassed or lifted off at those times so that we may easily step from past to present to future. We have studied those in the Word of God who travelled back and forth from the natural earth realm into Heavenly realms – Enoch, Moses, Elijah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Daniel, Paul, John and others. And we know and understand that these experiences are supposed to be natural for every believer in Christ. Now let’s look at some of the locations these experiences can take us to.
God can easily pick you up and transport you into Heaven just as He did with John in the book of Revelation. He can also take you to another location here on earth to reveal things to you, to pray over that location or even to minister to people there. (See postings on prophetic intercession)
There are other realms of the Spirit where a picture is worth a thousand words and your understading can be illuminated to see and understand His mysteries in a moment. He can suddenly take you away with Him – somewhere. These are often teaching times. They may be intimate times with the Lord or times of communication with His angels or those in the ‘great cloud of witnesses’ who have gone on before us. (Heb. 12:1) In Rev.19:10 and 22:9 John wants to worship the ‘angel’ who stops him by saying, “No! I am your fellow servant and of your brethren. Worship God”. Although we are not to worship angels either, the Greek word for ‘angel’ here can also be translated ‘messenger.’ In this case John seems to be talking to one of the redeemed who has died and gone to Heaven.
We may be taken to known places on earth or somewhere in a prophetic realm. In these instances I’m not sure if the place I’m in is temporal or eternal. (2 Cor. 4:18) Sometimes it seems like a place the Lord has created just for me, for that moment, to reveal His mysteries to me.
Several times the Lord has carried me away to a place I’ve come to call the great high mountain at the edge of eternity. The wind of the Spirit is always blowing in this place, whipping our hair and our robes. It is a fresh wild wind filled with creative purpose and destiny. At times one can look down from here and view eagles soaring above the clouds. Gazing even further, far away below, there may be a glimpse of tiny forests and mountains and oceans. At other times the view reveals another realm, quite unknown. It seems to be a place where God can reveal whatever He chooses, whether past, present or future, in this realm or beyond.
The possibilities are limitless. After all, your Heavenly Father is the creator of all there is in this realm and beyond, of things both seen and unseen.
What does it really look like to be able to operate in the earth realm and also in the Heavenly realms of God? There are some earthly creatures that are just as much at home in the water as they are on land. They are created to be able to operate in two realms. So are we.
Remember the story of Elisha and his servant who were surrounded by an enemy army? ( II Kings 6:15-17) The servant was terrified but Elisha prayed “Lord, open his eyes”. Then he saw that the mountains around them were filled with horses and chariots of fire. There was no need to be afraid since the army of God was fighting for them. There are two realms. God wants us to not only see, but operate comfortably in both the spiritual and the natural realms.
Since God is eternal and ‘outside of time’, the time element is often bypassed and that restriction is lifted off in the experiences He gives to us. It’s an eternity thing – something like Narnia. The children had been in Narnia for years but when they fell out of the wardrobe back into England it was the same moment they left! Though The Chronicles of Narnia are fiction, they are highly prophetic and C.S. Lewis got that part right.
God is able to take us into the past to show us things that happened there and give us understanding. This is a common occurance for intercessors with prophetic ability, showing them events that occurred and what needs to be done in prayer. It is quite likely that Moses received revelation of this sort on the mountain in God’s presence. How else could he have written about creation in such detailed language and with such understanding unless God had allowed him to go back and view it himself?
The Lord can take us into other places now, in the present, to give us strategic information. This may mean geographical locations or present situations. This can give us a better, fuller picture of how things really are since we only see one side of it now. Elisha had such precise information about the King of Syria and his plans against Israel that it was said of him, “The prophet Elisha tells the King of Israel what you say, even in the privacy of your own bedroom!” (II Kings 6:8-12)
God can also take you into the future – whether the near future or further ahead. This can be right where you are now geographically or to other locations on earth. He may also take you away somewhere in the Spirit into Heavenly realms to reveal things to come. This happened to several of the prophets in the Bible. John’s encounter in the book of Revelation is only one of them.
Several years ago we returned from the mission field in Africa, back to Ontario, Canada where we had lived before. It was only a transition for the summer, then we moved again cross country to British Columbia. That summer was a rather surreal experience. I seemed to be re-living the past – driving by the house we used to live in, going back to my friend’s cottage and staying temporarily with friends in town. At the same time I was praying for direction and trying to picture myself in a future location. Some days I felt my worlds were colliding as I encountered my past, felt confused about the present and prayed into the future. This was a natural experience, not spiritual. But it served to show me once again how easily we can step from past to present to future in the Spirit. We can step from realm to realm that easily because we were created to do that.
In the next posting we will continue to explore some of the characteristics of prophetic experiences. Until then, my prayer is for God to open our eyes and make us more sensitive to His realm.
These are historic times when God touches those who are prepared and launches them into areas that are virtually uncharted. Heavenly realms are waiting to be discovered.
Let’s look at the purpose of supernatural experiences such as dreams, visions and prophetic encounters. Did you ever ask “Why would God show me that?” The purpose of these things is first of all personal and individual. They are royal gifts for you from your Heavenly Father. They are meant to draw you closer to the Lord, to show you things to come, to give you hope and motivation. Because you are His friend, He shares things with you. Some of these things will be very personal and for your eyes only. Other times, what you are seeing is not for you alone but meant to be shared with others. As you pray into these things He will help you sort them out. This is supposed to be a normal lifestyle. He created us to go back and forth into His realm to be with Him, receive the things He freely gives to us and bring them back to this realm.
We have already looked at scriptural evidence of this in previous postings. There were many in the Bible who went back and forth into Heavenly realms – Enoch, Moses, Elijah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Zechariah, Daniel, Paul, John. These and others set a precedent and a pattern to show us that dreams, visions and prophetic encounters with angels and the Lord Himself are not only possible but normal in our relationship with the Lord.
These are days when God is revealing mysteries. Prov. 25:2 says “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing but the honor of Kings is to search out a matter.” Sometimes He hides things for us (not from us) to find. Other mysteries in the scriptures were only revealed at specific times, when the fullness of time came.
Remember in the book of Acts when Peter fell into a trance and the Lord told him to go to the Gentiles? (Acts 10) This was against all he had been taught. There was no proof-text for this. The only Bible they had at that point consisted of what we know as the Old Testament – the writings of Moses and the prophets, the Psalms and the books of history. What we know as the New Testament was literally being written by Peter and the others though they did not realize it at the time. Going to the Gentiles was not un-scriptural. It was simply one of those mysteries that was hidden in scripture and not yet revealed until that moment on the roof when the fullness of time came for Peter and the Lord opened his understanding.
Consider the visions of the prophet Daniel. A careful reading shows that they were very extreme and sometimes he had trouble dealing with them. Then the angel told him to seal up the book and put it away because it wasn’t even for that time but a future time! There were some things he was not even allowed to speak of. The things in that sealed-up book have been reserved for us, for this generation. There is wisdom and revelation there that has been reserved for us because we are desperately in need of it now. In these days God is breaking the seals, opening the book and pouring out the things we need for today. Don’t ever assume that it’s all been revealed and there’s no more to know. We will spend eternity constantly finding out new dimensions of the character of God and His mysteries. He is limitless and far beyond our understanding. And He delights in surprising us with the wonders of Who He is and who we are in Him.
Prepare our hearts, Oh God, as we listen for Your voice through the open door of Revelation 4 saying “Come up here”!