The Purpose of Dreams, Visions and Heavenly Encounters

In the fall of 1990, I traveled to Nepal. Much happened on that trip; danger and deliverance on so many fronts, which included a quick exit from where we were hanging out one afternoon, to avoid being arrested. It was the Hindu westerners stirring up trouble for us rather than the Nepali people nearby, who actually quite enjoyed the music.

I simply pulled out my guitar and began to lead a small group of friends I was traveling with, in quiet worship of Jesus. We were in a place where you could worship any of three million gods. But apparently, Christ was the one God that couldn’t be worshiped there. I get it though. It’s a spiritual battle.

And for the Nepali Christians, they were enduring persecution themselves. Things were getting better, but over the years, many had been imprisoned, beaten or killed for their faith. I had conversations with a couple of men who had faced great hardship and got to hear their stories first hand. We really don’t know yet in America what it means to truly be persecuted for our faith.

Earlier in that year, violence between police and protesters was escalating. A number of demonstrators marched on the capitol demanding democracy. Police moved in and many were hurt or killed when they opened fire on the crowds.

On my last day there, I and a friend walked around Kathmandu for one last time before we were to catch our flight home that night. We watched a long line of police with rifles in hand, move right by us and continue quickly down the street. For missionary friends living there, it was disconcerting as it began to look like the same situation which had transpired just a few short months prior when those violent demonstrations took place.

There was a reason why police were starting to organize in the streets. The King of Nepal was making a speech that afternoon, to announce his intentions concerning whether or not he would allow a constitution to be the platform for government. Which if not the case, Nepal would remain as a Hindu Kingdom ruled by those guidelines instead. Depending on how this went down, the potential was for mass rioting which most likely meant for me a forced stay, since flights wouldn’t be leaving the country that night.

Late in the afternoon, the announcement was finally made over national radio. The adoption of a constitution was to be the new way forward in the governing of the nation. The majority of the people prevailed, getting what they wanted and the anticipated violence averted. All was a go for my planned departure.

 


 

It was five years later, my wife and I were on the road in California, working with a church. Staying in the home of a family from the congregation, I went to our guest room in the basement to lay down and rest. I wasn’t asleep yet, but my eyes were closed and I became aware of a vision in progress.

I was hovering over the nation of Nepal. Millions of lights were below, as if I were looking down at the lights of a city at night while flying over at 30,000 feet. Except I was seeing them across the entire country and not just a city. As I watched, they were turning off in a slow moving ripple from east to west. It was as if a wave of darkness was sweeping across the land. It continued until every light I could see was no longer lit.

In my mind, I was assuming the darkness wasn’t a good thing. But then a revelation dropped into my spirit. I understood I was seeing a wave of revival instead.

I haven’t thought about that vision for years until this past week. It was when I was talking with a friend who lived and worked there that it came to mind. He and his wife were living in Kathmandu up until as recently as the devastating earthquakes which occurred not even a year ago.

Now back in the States to pursue the next season of their lives, he was telling me of the incredible revival that’s come to Nepal, making it barely recognizable from the place it once was. With that vision in mind, I find it amazing how God reveals to us what he’s doing in the earth.

God wasn’t showing me a vision in 95, so I could have a cool experience or tell a neat story in 2017. He was revealing to me something on his heart for these people. When God lifts us out of ourselves and into the heavens, it’s not for spiritual experience, but to give us an understanding of heaven’s perspective concerning something going on. It could be for a person, a situation or a nation. It could be for ourselves.

This is really the heart and purpose of dreams, visions and mystical encounters.  It’s to know God on a more intimate level. And when we start to recognize Him speaking to us in these ways, it’s so easy to get caught up in awe of the experience. It’s absolutely really cool!

But we must be careful not to let the excitement of these real realities, cause us to miss out on the reason why he gives the revelation in the first place. Jesus told us to seek first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33)…Paul said to desire spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 14:1). Be excited. Go after them even harder. Just keep in mind his intention behind it.

 


 

Let me share one more story with you that highlights what I just said. The year before I was in Nepal, I was in Europe and Russia, covering 14 countries in two months. I arrived in the city of Berlin the day after the people began to tear down the Berlin wall. It was an amazing privilege to be there and witness history in the making.

If you aren’t aware, at that time Berlin was a city situated in the heart of East Germany. Today there is only one united Germany, but back then it was split into separate countries of East and West. The West enjoyed a free democracy and the East was controlled by Communism.

In the same way, Berlin also was divided. The Berlin wall ran through the city cutting it in half. On the communist side was barbed wire, mine fields and machine gun towers at designated check points, to prevent people from escaping from the east to the west. And over the decades leading up to this time, so many lost their lives trying to make that escape. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

We were still en route to Berlin on the train and just entering East Germany. I was sitting at the window looking out at the machine gun towers that were here too. They were all along the border of East and West Germany to prevent escape from this country. As we passed through the border, I was overwhelmed by the reality of what I was seeing. These towers were real and I was looking at them just feet away from me, after hearing about them for so many years.

At that moment, I had an encounter with the Lord where I was overcome with the presence of the Holy Spirit and even though I wasn’t seeing anything in the form of a vision, I had a very clear understanding of God’s anger against this system. That type of discernment is every bit good and powerful as any picture we can see. Both manifestations are Him, lifting us into the heavens where we can understand by the spirit.

I stood in the hallway of the train and pointed my finger out the window. With absolute confidence, assurance and a sense of authority, I spoke out loud to the walls and machine gun towers and the spirits behind it all. I decreed the general sense I had of God’s anger against those dark spiritual forces and was commanding them to be torn down in the name of Jesus.

 


 

Fast forward a few weeks later. I’m now back home in Cleveland, Ohio. It was morning and I was waking up. Climbing out of bed, before my feet hit the floor I became strongly aware of God’s judgement. I didn’t know what it meant, but the sense of it was thick in the atmosphere around me.

I got up, dressed and went out into the living room. No one was around. I poured a bowl of cereal and then turned on the television. The first thing I saw were video feeds being broadcast from Romania.

Military forces were attacking the capitol and fighting against forces still loyal to Nicolae Ceausescu. He was the communist dictator of the country at the time. His regime ruled in absolute brutality against the Romanian people.

As I watched, all of a sudden I understood from a heavenly perspective what was going on and why I had awoken with such a strong sense of God’s judgement. I remember how clearly I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit,

“The battle you’re watching now on T.V. is a reflection of the spiritual battle going on in the heavens over that place.”

Again, with authority and clarity just like I had experienced on the train in East Germany, I stood in my mom’s apartment in northeast Ohio and pointed my finger at the television. I demanded the demonic forces be silent. I declared their judgement and commanded them to yield to God’s governmental decrees decided against them.

Consider this verse, found in John 8: 16. Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me (English Standard Version).

And this one in John 12:49. For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken (New International Version).

I could decree this because I had heard God’s word in my spirit and manifesting as a strong sense of his judgement as I awoke that morning. I was exercising governmental rule from His Kingdom and my judgement was true, because I wasn’t speaking on my own. I was only speaking what I heard the Father say. I was doing it just like Jesus.

Within a couple hours, the fighting had stopped. The news was broadcasting images of Ceausescu and his wife, dead, executed for their crimes against the Romanian people. It wasn’t long after this that the communist rule ended in East Germany too and a  reunited Germany was forged as East and West came back together.

 


 

And there was more going on in other nations. Beijing’s Tienanmen square, another location I had walked only a couple years earlier before being in Europe, was the scene of a brutal attack by the military against thousands of democracy protesters. Many were gunned down by the government.  News feeds showed video footage of a Chinese student standing down a line of military tanks in Beijing (See the article and photo here).

In Bulgaria in 91, my rock band was one of several Christian bands, performing all around the country. Georgian Banov, a native Bulgarian who escaped from his homeland and made it to the United States having been granted asylum, was one of the leaders of our musical entourage. He was known in western Christian music as one of the members of the group Silverwind.

Thousands gathered at these music events across the country, where the bands would play and share Jesus. In one city, someone from the crowd approached one of our team and revealed how for fifty years, the constant message of the government was, there is no God.

“How is it you are here telling us now there is a God?”

I think many heard  during that campaign, probably for the first time, about a relationship with Jesus they could have for themselves. Spiritual walls were coming down. Eventually, Bulgarians were coming to Christ so fast, there wasn’t enough churches and spiritual leaders to deal with the large numbers of new believers.

You must read Georgian’s amazing story!

China, Romania, Germany, Nepal, Bulgaria; God wasn’t forgetting those people who’s heart cry was for freedom. Nor the millions who prayed for decades and others who physically laid down their lives. This moment in world history was marked by an interesting manifestation of movements across unrelated peoples. I know I’m not the only one to have recognized earthly events as shadows of heavenly ones, but I do wonder how many Christians truly understood what was going on from Heaven’s point of view?

As Christians, we must continue to be vigilant in our pursuit of Christ and growing in our intimate and mystical union with him. It’s imperative that we learn how to engage heaven and draw out of there, Godly wisdom and responses suitable for our day. I participated with God in world events, by recognizing the language of my dreams and visions and later by learning how to work with these and other heavenly encounters and actually do something.

Why does God give us these experiences? He does so in order to paint us into the bigger picture of heaven. Through it we get closer to Him as we begin to understand a deeper aspect of his heart.

In John 5:19: Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does” (New International Version).

One day when I arrived home from work, as I stepped from my truck I clearly heard the Holy Spirit say,

“If you can see it, you can have it”.

Once I begin to see him, it results in me being able to do something which leads to me bringing it out of heaven, into the earth. It’s not a formula, but rather a critical life principle. See the Father. Do what I see him do.

It can be as easy to enter into as laying your head down on your pillow, with faith in your heart, determined to pay attention to and learn the language of your dreams. Or taking note of that random thought that appeared in your mind, seemingly out of nowhere as you stepped from your car. Cultivate an awareness of these heavenly cues and ask the Holy Spirit for understanding.

It’s something you don’t even have to have a lot of faith for, just a mustard seed size (Luke 17:6).  These encounters when mingled with whatever level of faith you carry, become your pathway to deeper connection with God. And that’s what it’s all about.

 


 

Here’s a short synopsis from Wikipedia about the unrest in Nepal before and while I was there.  Read the article

For a quick video and article about Ceausescu you can click here.

Read here about a Christian pastor and his congregation who finally took courage and stood up against the Romanian dictator. Their stance is what is credited as starting the revolution which lead to the fall of communism in that country. Read the article

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