VISIONS ON CHRISTIAN UNITY
We are in or very near to the period described by Jesus as ‘The Beginning of Sorrows’ (Matthew 24:8; Mark 13:8). Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, crime, corruption, conflicts, both international and domestic and the moral slide from God’s standards are rampant and overtaking the world. It is depressing to watch international news that highlights the plight of displaced refugees in ever increasing numbers. What the prophets have foretold is unfolding before our eyes. In churches there is betrayal on every side. Christian division and lack of unity is the order of the day. What is our vision on Christian unity? Surely the foundation ought to be belief in the same doctrines yet the diversity of doctrines is what divides the church. How can we say that we are one in the Spirit when we all believe different things? That is not Christian unity. Where does the fault lie?
When I was water baptized, in April or May 1976, I received my first vision from God, in technicolor. It was about the coming unity among Christians. Much later, in 2012, I received a related vision for Christendom. In love, the Lord rebukes presumptuous and career professionals in churches throughout the world, no matter what denomination they call themselves, who, through their self-imposed isolation and self-righteousness are hindering unity and trust. Such have brought shame and ridicule upon the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Here are the visions and their interpretation.
THE 1976 VISION
Whilst in prayer with about 20 others, a few days after my baptism, I received this vision.
I saw a panorama of a black landscape with men, women and children outlined as black silhouettes against a dimly lit grey background. It was a silent scene with no movement. I scanned the panorama slowly from left to right giving me the sense that this represented the masses of people in the whole world. They were all looking towards a glowing, but shallow volcanic cone whose rim was near ground level. Yellow and red flames were licking the craggy edges with the outline of people in black in the foreground. My view slowly moved towards the crater revealing a hypnotic scene of slowly churning lava. A pulsating glow emanated from the crater lighting up the black figures momentarily. The whole world was facing hell.
Then my eyes were lifted up into a blue starlit sky. A glistening white object, like a small handkerchief, floated down from high up and grew larger and larger settling upon the whole scene blotting hell from view. The shapes of people where they stood were evident from the top of the finely woven blanket, which covered everything.
The blanket glistened as if stardust and tiny diamonds were woven together in a fine linen network. It represented the message and person of the Holy Spirit covering all, merging people one with another. The shapes of individual people disappeared merging into a continuous surface, which became a shimmering sea in a gentle wave motion. A flood of serenity and joy overwhelmed me as the vision ended. Joy, because I had never experienced a vision before.
The vision was about people slowly sliding into hell because they were indifferent and had no vision for the future. They were dull of hearing and depressed. They were just going to let fate take its course.
The small scroll that became a shining blanket represented God’s mercy that would come through the gospel of Jesus Christ by His messengers. ‘For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea’ (Habakkuk 2:14, KJV).
• Christians are to display fervent love to all no matter what Christ-centred church they may attend
• God Himself will demonstrate His indignant anger by escalating disasters for people to come to repentance (and don’t we see that now in 2019 on our television screens?).
• God is Holy and will not compromise His holy standards.
THE 2012 VISION
I dreamt that I was feeling useless and wanted a job. I badly desired to get back into the workforce. I went to a professor who was giving classes in an exciting new venture. I wanted to be retrained. From a distance I saw him showing me what the course was about, but then didn’t want me included. I was disappointed. In the vision I never found out what the course was about.
Then my dream switched to the entrance of a dark coal mine. I saw a rail track and wagons of the type that would normally take miners or tourists below. I saw a number of cars linked together in the dim light and sensed men sitting in them, but then the view slowly swung around to the back of the last wagon. In the last wagon, I saw men sitting five to six abreast with their backs towards me as indicated in the sketch.
There were two to three rows of men, also chained down, towards the front of the wagon. The chains ran around their shoulders and wrists, and were attached to the inverted gold crowns tight around their necks, pressing into their flesh.
There was no sound or movement, but there was a sense of silent acknowledgment of guilt. Everybody’s head was down. Then the wagons began to glide silently down into the darkness.
INTERPRETATION Of THE TWO VISIONS – FIRST, THE GOOD NEWS
The first vision reminded me of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream,
‘You continued until a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were together broken to pieces, and they became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors. And the wind carried them away so that no place was found for them. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth’ (Daniel 2:34-35).
Daniel explained to the King how the kingdom of God, starting with a small seed (Christ), would grow into a great mountain that would strike down all the kingdoms of this world so that the Lord would rule over them. In my vision the small handkerchief represents a scroll floating down with a message from heaven upon a dark and corrupt world. The message grows larger and larger covering humanity. People become absorbed by the message and become the message itself, individuals pictured as stardust and diamonds in a network of total unity and harmony. Hell is no longer threatening those under the message and is blocked from view. The glory of the Lord covers all.
The stars in the deep blue sky represented sons of God that first bring the message, as the Lord had pictured them to Abraham, ‘blessing I will bless you and multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand, which is on the shore of the sea. And your Seed shall possess the gate of His enemies’ (Genesis 22:17).
The one Seed in this verse is Christ Himself. The stars are messengers of Christ who are seated in heavenly places with Christ especially those filled with the Spirit (Acts Chapter 2, Ephesians 2:5-6). The messengers begin in a small way, all carrying the same message, but then grow into a multitude covering the whole Earth. Salvation comes to all who choose to believe. They all become truly one in Christ that the world can no longer ignore. ‘For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea’ (Habakkuk 2:14, KJV).
NOW FOR THE BAD NEWS – INTERPRETATION OF THE SECOND VISION
The second vision pertains to what is hindering or delaying Christian unity. Nobody, but nobody would want to be in their shoes on judgment day! I thought the second vision particularly serious. I bring it with trepidation because it addresses all of us in the kingdom of God.
To summarize, Jesus taught that in the kingdom, the catch includes bad and good fishes, and that in the church there will be tares and wheat. They may look alike, but these are all to be sorted out towards the end, the goats to the left and the sheep to the right. The chaff will be burnt up.
The people in the coal cars are Christians who once might have been vibrant and beloved leaders, but whose actions to safeguard their own ministry career at the expense of the flock brought many to ruin including themselves. Like Balaam they rush to feather their own nest and have trampled upon the flock.
There are powerful church administrative systems and boards, and groups that close ranks and turn a deaf ear to the cries of their flock. They have become the abode of demons. However, among them are many, many faithful men and women of God. ‘Woe to them because they went the way of Cain and gave themselves up to the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the speaking against of Korah! These are sunken rocks in your love feasts, feasting together with you,……’ (Jude 1:11-13).
In faithful churches, leaderships are called to be gentle, godly, compassionate and to be filled with the wisdom God is granting them, but not to be as righteous Solomon who grew into a hard taskmaster over time. Leaders are to examine their own hearts and to repent; otherwise, the vision will come upon them (Ephesians 6:4). In misplaced zeal, we may all have played our part in this!
Descending into a dark coal mine represents losing favour with God. They are dumbfounded, without excuse, finding themselves on the pathway to hell. Their inverted crowns indicate that there was a time when they exercised the glory of the Lord with authority. Now they feel the pain of their corrupt deeds with their own crowns pressing into them. The flowing robes and long hair represent their past authority and glory.
Their predicament can be compared with the initial fall of Samson who presumed upon the anointing and put Israel to shame before the Philistines. Such ministries, individual or collective, have been making the church a stink. Christians distrust each other because the church leadership is failing them.
But God is love, ever faithful, ever compassionate and forgiving without partiality. Thanks be to God. May such men and women in authority repent and recover dramatically as did Samson eventually, ‘And Samson called to Jehovah and said, O, Lord Jehovah, remember me, I pray You, and strengthen me, I pray You only this once, O God, so that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes’. (Judges 16:28). In saying this, Samson acknowledged that he had been blind.
TARES IN THE CHURCH
The Israelites sowed cereals other than wheat and barley at the edges of their fields (Isaiah 28:5). Some Bibles translate it as spelt, inferior ancient wheat, whereas the Jubilee Bible identifies it as rye. Tares are a species of ryegrass (Lolium) that can be confused with wheat until the ear appears. Human poisoning from rye seeds infected with the fungus ergot was common in the Middle Ages. Tares grow plentifully in Syria and Palestine. The narcotic causes sleepiness, hallucinations, severe pain in limbs, gangrene and loss of limbs. Jesus made use of its known properties to illustrate that such people can infect the church, but the Lord won’t remove them until their evil deeds mature in the end.
Scroll down further to see the difference between true unity and man’s version of unity
STEPS THAT NEED TO BE TAKEN
My photo of these happy sporting friends going to enjoy a game illustrates a willingness to agree to disagree. Yet, surely each wants their own team to win. Church ministries have done the same. They attend minister’s conferences, but go back to their comfortable home ground. Their doctrines and guernseys remain largely unchanged. Their billboard out front says so. I believe it is fair to say that most people are willing to compromise who they back, as long as peace and an artificial unity is maintained. [With thanks to the lovely boys in Richmond who posed for the photo. May God bless them whoever they were].
My other photo shows a happy and welcoming family of three generations all wearing the same jackets of the one football club. That is what God wants from us!
Diverse doctrines, church cultures and mutual suspicions rule the numerous denominations, whatever they may call themselves. Financial structures and properties divide. It would almost be better for the churches to have nothing, except that God wants us to prosper in the midst of strife in the world. We need facilities and meeting places – as one body of people in every city – that does not mean at the same geographical location! That would be impossible for reasons of space and transport. With so many home, school and work responsibilities convenience to families must always remain a consideration.
Disputed and varying doctrines have to be lovingly discussed and listened to. Everything must line up with the Word of God. Jesus is coming to wrap up that which is His. He will accept no other. This was also the mindset of the Berean Jews in what is now Greek Macedonia, northern Greece. ‘And the brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. They, when they arrived, went into the synagogue of the Jews. And these were nobler than those of Thessalonica in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind and searched the Scriptures daily to see if those things were so. Therefore, many of them believed and quite a few of honourable, Greek women and men‘ (Acts 17:10-12).
‘Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him with sincerity and in truth’ (Joshua 24:14, KJV)
THE POWER OF UNITY
Recently a horrible thing burst out on the sole of my left foot – red lumpy mounds which were very itchy and painful. The more I massaged or stroked my sole the worse it became. For several days it woke me up between 2 and 3 am when it was at its’ worst. The doctor said it was eczema and prescribed a cream. The inflammation became better, but it was still bad. My own prayers did nothing.
Eventually I called up the couple who come to our regular ‘Seniors Lifegroup’ in our home. The lady used to be a nurse, but that is not why I called her. She and her husband, a carpenter and teacher, were missionaries in an isolated coastal village mission in Arnhem Land in the far north of Australia. They occasionally prayed for people there, and later conducted healing meetings at church. Just prior to their arrival a friend from our old church rang up and I told him that a senior’s couple was coming to pray for me. He said he would pray too as soon as he hung up.
The couple arrived at 2.30 to pray for me. I explained my woes and took my sock off. After replacing my sock they began to pray for me. I left my sock on for the rest of the day. About two hours later an old friend called up whose daughter was very ill with multiple cancers. To encourage him I had in mind to testify to him about my healing. However, I wasn’t sure whether I was healed or not because I had immersed myself into a book and had forgotten to check my foot. To be on guard before I blurted out anything stupid I decided to remove my sock and check because, up to this point, I didn’t feel anything.
To my surprise the eczema, the lumps and soreness and redness were all gone. I was therefore able to confidently share with him that God had healed me. That night there was a residual itch because of the dry skin. I resisted putting the ointment on just to make sure that God had really healed me. Instead, I massaged moisturizer into my sole and prayed for the itch to go away altogether. And it has. So there you are. It was team work that rid me of it. Before they prayed for me they told me to remember to thank and praise Jesus even if I did not immediately feel an improvement. I actually felt nothing, neither during the prayer or afterwards. But when I took my sock off a couple of hours later there was nothing there. To celebrate my healing I sent an email around to my relative, with my assessment that teamwork can accomplish the job. I can’t tell you whose prayer was effective except to say, when we work together in unison, God will do mighty things. God demonstrated power in unity. Jesus is looking forward to having unity in Christendom (John Chapter 17). Satan is doing everything in his power to prevent that from ever coming to pass.
MY OWN MANDATE
What is my own mandate? It is The Creation. Doctrines concerning The Creation must be cleaned up. They must line up with the Word of God, the whole Word of God, and nothing but the Word of God. God will bring unity through the Word, not through science. Science is supplementary. Honest science will confirm the truth and expose the lies and deceit that have imprisoned minds for centuries.
Whilst creationists spend their time on detailed scientific endeavours to evangelize and build faith their research will always remain open to conjecture and well-intended theories and calculations will change over time. Creationist organizations have been very helpful and have brought many to Christ, but they have also entrenched Christians into holding narrow views that may be incorrect.
We acknowledge that the Word of God clearly declares a Young Earth. Anyone challenging that, presupposing millions of years, fails to believe in the divine inspiration of the Bible. Christian unity on the doctrine of Creation must come from the word itself, not just from Genesis Chapters 1 & 2, but from the whole of Scripture. We caution believers in 24-hours per day for each of the days of creation because, as early as Genesis 2:4, the Word itself casts doubt upon such a superficial view. Why has this been willingly ignored, especially in Australia and in the United States???
Much more important is the fact that the whole of Scripture does not support what main-stream creationist scientists believe, as will be shown in the progressive series of articles on the Age of the Earth (https://www.creation6000.com/blog).
Hopefully, you may recognize that this is a huge issue that causes division and distrust among young-Earth believers. It is no trivial matter because, as every Bible-student knows, the book of Genesis is the seed source for all New Testament doctrines including for the time frame of end-time events.
There is one area of human scientific endeavour that God particularly blesses because God uses that line of approach Himself. That is the approach we have mainly used on this website ourselves. It’s the evidence for the existence of God from the things that have been made. Even His eternal power and triune being can be understood from them. God is light and the human eye receives only three primary colours through their three-unique type of cone cells in the retina. This was a deliberate act of God when He designed physics and biology.
In Romans 1:20 the Word says that anyone who rejects the glaring evidence for the existence of God through the things that have been made will have no excuse on the day of judgement.