Then He said, “Hear now My words; if there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream (Numbers 12:6, emphasis added). The Holy Spirit shares sometimes His omniscience with us in the form of visions. Visions are one of many ways in which the Holy Spirit reveals the will of the Father to us. In revealing His will to us, God purposed to bring us forth into the image of His Son. A vision is a visual revelation, which the Holy Spirit imparts into our spirits which then filters through to our minds, concerning past, present or future events or circumstances: knowledge and/or wisdom otherwise unknown. Occasional it includes audible communication. Eagle and the ostrich Why do I want to tell you about the eagle and the ostrich? It is the best way for me to explain to you how to see visions. This morning I said to the God, “Lord I see the arrogance of my flesh.” He said to me, “My Son has nailed that to the cross. Come up here and behold what I behold.” I said Lord, “What do you see?” I could here Him say, “An army of worshippers marching to war; singing the praises of God. In their mouth is a two-edged sword and in their hearts is a song. Song of triumph; song of victory; song of Jehovah who rules and reigns.” You know what? I believe it. All I ever wanted to do was to please God. I only need to have faith in Him to bring Him joy and fulfillment.
Without a vision you will perish. The eagle soars in the heavens and with its sharp vision it can spot its prey far off. It can soar above the mountains and have horizons vaster then any other animal on earth. It is the bird with the least parasites because parasites do not survive high altitude where the air is thin. Yet, if you caged an eagle it attracts more parasites then any other bird. The eagle builds its nest on high places. Though you make your nest as high as the eagle… (Jeremiah 49 16b). This symbolizes one that dwells in the spirit. This is the place where the mighty prophets of God and faith heroes dwell. The eagle is depicted in the Old Testament as a bird caring for her young and as one teaches them how to fly. As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over its young, spreading out its wings, taking them up, carrying them on its wings (Deuteronomy 32:11). She will take her young up in the sky and dropped them. This is how she teaches them to fly. Before the young eagle will hit the ground she will scoop underneath it and catches it. She will repeat this process until the young eagle can fly. I had an eagle when I was a child. This eagle only ate life birds that I gave him. It would not touch any dead meet, it did not matter how fresh it was. When I put his cage outside, he would turn his head to the side and gaze intently into the blue sky where he knew he belonged. One day my father told me to let him free. I did so and for some time, every day, I could see him, at certain times of the day, sitting in a huge acacia tree, about 150 yards from our farm house. One day he was gone and I never saw him again. He discovered his newfound freedom and took off. The Ostrich is a bird of the earth because it cannot fly. It beholds only that which is earthy but the eagle beholds the sky, the higher things of God. The ostrich is depicted in the
Old Testament as among the wild desert beast that dwells in desolation of wastelands. Therefore the wild desert beasts shall dwell there with the jackals, and the ostriches shall dwell in it. It shall be inhabited no more forever, nor shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation (Jeremiah 50:39). The ostrich is illustrated as proud, unkind and stupid. The wings of the ostrich wave proudly, but are her wings and pinions like the kindly stork’s? For she leaves her eggs on the ground, and warms them in the dust; she forgets that a foot may crush them. She treats her young harshly, as though they were not hers; her labor is in vain, without concern because God deprived her of wisdom, and did not endow her with understanding (Job 39:13-17). Ostrich chickens are difficult to rear because they die easily. Today they may seem fine but tomorrow they may die mysteriously seemingly without reason. In South Africa there are quite a number of ostrich farmers. They have the following standard joke about ostrich chickens: an ostrich chicken may get up one morning look out of the window and say to the rest, “Hi guys, it is a fine morning to die. Let’s die.” Then mysteriously most of them die. The Ostrich loves to peck shiny objects and even diamonds were found in the gizzards of some of these birds. The Ostrich symbolizes those that live an earthy life after the dictates of the old nature. They experience the desolation of the wasteland they live in. They see the cares of this world, getting excited about side issues (shiny objects) and live a life void of faith. They cannot please God and they do not reveal much glory of the Son of God. They only exist as mere men. The love of Christ does not dwell in them but true love belongs to the realm of heaven where Christ dwells, where the eagle carries it young on its wings.
The earthy level is a level void of deep perception and revelation of spiritual matters. It is void of the fruit of the Spirit where mercy, grace and the love of God dwell. The glory of God is not to be found in the desolation of wasteland and marshes of religious flesh. It is a place where vision has ceased and the cry for godly understanding and insight is replaced with the garlic, unions and leaks of a place called Religious City. This is the level where the pointing of the finger and sitting in the chair of Moses dominates. This is the place where the clouds of condemnation wear the people down. True freedom is to be like the eagle that dwells on high. Although you may hear the word of God preached by a man of God you need to hunt for your own fresh revelation. Just like the eagle that only catches life prey. You need to have your spirit open to God if you want to see visions. When I pray much I saw visions, almost everyday. If I am not praying much I do not see much visions. This is not a law but part of the fruit of my love unto the Lord. I just tell you my experience. It is not performing prayers or other works that cause you to see visions but the focus of your faith and the openness of your spirit in love to God. You have received the Spirit by faith and not by works. You see visions also through faith. Sometimes God intervenes but mostly you see visions through faith. When Ezekiel was among the captives in Babylon, at the River Chebar, he saw visions of God. The captives were not in a frame of my mind to sing joyful songs because they remembered Jerusalem and Zion. They wished at the time to hang up their harps on willow trees. But Ezekiel was of a different spirit, not like them which were captives of the ostrich spirit. He soared up like an eagle in his spirit and saw visions of God. In the vision he was taken into the land of Israel and set on a very high mountain. Although
he lived with the rest of the captives as a captive at the River Chebar in Babylon he was free in his spirit because his focus was on God since he served with all of his heart. John was exiled to Patmos, a small rocky island in the Aegean Sea, because he refused to stop preaching the gospel. So, one day while he was with all other exiles on the island Patmos he was in the Spirit and he saw visions of the Son of God. Where was his body? His body was with the rest of the captives. Where were his focus and spirit? His spirit was in the presence of God. When Abraham was called to a place, which he would receive as an inheritance he went out but did not know where he was going. He lived, through faith, in the Promised Land, as in a foreign country, living in tents, with Isaac and Jacob the heirs of the same promise. He was in the Promised Land, so, what was he actually doing? Abraham was actually looking for a city, which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Because God has placed eternity in him, something deep inside of him said this could not be all. So he set his focus on God to receive something much greater and glorious. How do you see visions? Visions are visual revelation that originates in the realm of the Spirit or heaven where God dwells. Visions can also occur in the realm of the soul, as psychics also see visions but its source is the soul power of man or demonic spirits. These occur in the psychic or soulish realm. I will concentrate on visions that are visual revelation from the Holy Spirit, which came from heaven even the heart of God. All spiritual revelation, including spiritual dreams and divine visions are gifts from heaven that is in the realm of Spirit where God dwells. If you want to experience a
certain place on earth, say Greece, you will travel to Greece and do as the Greeks do to have the ultimate Greek experience. The spiritual was not first but the natural. So, if you wish to experience heaven, you as an earth dweller, need to dwell with your spirit in heaven to experience heaven. Heaven or the realm of Spirit is where one normally experience divine visions and revelation and spiritual dreams. The price to pay is to dwell in the Spirit. I do not say you will never see visions if you do not dwell in the Spirit. God is gracious and his patience with us is great. When do you see visions? John said, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day…” (Revelation 1:10a). John was with the other exiles on the island Patmos but his spirit was in heaven seeing visions of God. What about Ezekiel? The word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the River Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was upon him there (Ezekiel 1:3). Ezekiel was with his kinsmen at the river Chebar but his spirit was in heaven. You behold the things where you dwell with your heart and spirit. If you live like the ostrich, your dwelling place is the earth. If you dwell with your mind and heart in heaven like the eagle you see the heavens opened. It is not about performing certain activities but where your heart is there is your treasure. You will not trick God in showing you visions. You either set your heart to love God and to dwell in His presence or you do not. To live in the Spirit is a healthy habit of practicing His presence all the time. It takes much dedication, patience and perseverance. The focus of your heart is not about seeing visions but to dwell in His presence and to abide in the shadow of the Almighty. It is much, much more than beautiful words; it is a reality. It is much, much more than religious exercises; it is true godliness. It is the way of Enoch and Elijah.
You begin to present your body, which is dead to God because of sin, as if it is alive to Him. That is your reasonable service to Him. Your body is the servant of your mind. By faith you present your mind that is enmity against God a living sacrifice as if it is alive to God by bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, in hope that all disobedience will be punished when your obedience is fulfilled. You do it by meditating only on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtues and praiseworthy that you may be renewed in the spirit of your mind. The focus of your heart is to worship God by knowing Him in all your ways. You may say I am working and must focus on my work. Well, it is a very good opportunity to discuss your work with the Lord; make Him the senior partner in everything you do. Do not live an independent life from Him, which is death; share His life with Him and discover how easy life really is. Then your whole life has become worship unto the Lord. This is the introduction to see visions. You can only see the environment that you dwell in. I will teach you more things of the Spirit in the chapter titled, “Living in the Spirit.” It is so easy if you believe God. When you pray you must be relaxed and pray with expectation and focus on God. God has placed eternity in your spirit, so something deep in you reaches out to God. When you are tensed you do not see visions. You must have a relaxed focus on God. Sometimes I do not want to pray with my understanding but I will rather pray in tongues. Do not worry if you fall a sleep. I have seen the most awesome visions being in a state between being awake and sleeping. When I wait on the Lord I will wait with expectation yet in a relaxed manner. I will pray in tongues because my mind
is unfruitful but not blank. I will keep my mind on God. I always see Him as a bright light or experience Him as the wind. Sometimes I envisage Jesus as I have seen Him in a vision or a dream. Find your own Biblical examples. You can see Him as the cliff of the rock, chief cornerstone, or lie on His breast like John did or any Biblical thing that works for you. Never blank out your mind, it is dangerous. Sometimes I see visions and sometimes not. Visions are not important to me but to abide in God’s presence is the passion of my life. You must look with expectation with the eyes of your heart. The believing eyes shall see visions of heaven and dream divinely inspired dreams. It will take time to condition your spirit. It will not happen overnight so be patient and persevere in faith. Also, remind the Lord all the time that dreams and visions is according to His promise in Joel 2, confirmed in Acts 2 to you and your children. Visions can be experienced at various levels. Normal visions Normal visions are those visions that you see with the eyes of faith. It is a peaceful visual impression, sometimes in color but often in black and white. I normally experience this level of vision when worshipping the Lord or during personal prayer time. Sometimes the Holy Spirit teaches me certain things. To illustrate, while I was praying sometime ago, I saw a vision of a mature prophetess teaching a young prophetess how to see visions. So the Holy Spirit taught me how to teach others to see visions.
Clear-vision There is a deeper level of vision, which I call clear-vision which occur normally in color and often needs no interpretation. I do not experience clear-vision very often. It can happen anytime but I normally experience it when I am praying or waiting on the Lord. Then I am calm, peaceful and just enjoying the Lord. Sometime ago, one set of our house’s keys, went missing for about two days and we could not find it. As I was waiting on the Lord, I asked Him where the keys were. Then I saw in a clear-vision my son’s trousers in his bathroom and I knew that the keys were in the right-hand pocket of his trousers. And so it was. Open-vision The Holy Spirit occasionally imparts revelation through an open-vision experience. Open-vision occurs when the Holy Spirit imparts revelation through a vision while one’s eyes are opened and is busy with normal daily activity. An example of this type of vision is where Saul was on his way to Damascus and then saw a light that was so intense that he was blinded. The experience also included a conversation between the Lord and Saul. The Lord asked Saul why he was persecuting Him. After the conversation was concluded the men that were with him only heard the voice without observing anybody. It is not clear from the Scriptures if they saw the light but from their reaction it seems doubtful (Acts 9:1-9). I belief this vision was so forceful that a great deal of spiritual impartation took place. For example, he received the Spirit of Christ and his heart was also immediately changed. More examples include, Elisha who prayed to the Lord, to open his servant’s eyes so that he may also see what he saw (2 King 6:8-17) and Belshazzar, king of Babylon, who
saw a part of a man’s hand that wrote a message on the wall of the king’s palace (Daniel 5:5). I had numerous open-vision experiences. The one that is standing out the most was an occasion when a man visited us. We sat at the kitchen table and we shared the gospel of Jesus’ saving grace with this fellow. This man started to pretend he knew God. I looked at my refrigerator and saw a vision of an African Green parrot in a cage on top of it. When the parrot saw me it fled away with a distinct noise through the bars of the cage and hid behind the refrigerator. The experience was so real that the natural and spiritual surroundings were blended into the one world of Christ. The natural and spiritual environments became one, heaven and earth was one at that moment in time. I got up to look for the parrot behind the refrigerator. It is needless to say that it was not there. In the vision I discerned that the man was in bondage (the cage) and that he was just repeating what he heard in the past (like a parrot) from his mind (color green). The Holy Spirit showed me that he was pretending. Trance A trance is a deep level of receiving visions from God. The Greek word ekstasis is translated as trance in some English Bible translations. Ekstasis means amazement, astonishment, and trance. The New Thayer’s GreekEnglish Lexicon (1981, 199) describes a trance as, “A throwing of the mind out of its normal state” or “alienation of the mind” or “A man who by some sudden emotion is transported as it were out of himself, so that in this rapt condition, although he is awake, his mind is so drawn of from all surrounding objects and wholly fixed on things divine that he sees nothing but the forms and images lying within, and thinks he perceives with his bodily eyes and ears realities shown him by God.”
Some of Ezekiel’s visions fell into this category so would John’s revelation on the Isle of Patmos. A good biblical example of a directive revelation is Peter’s trance where he saw in a vision a sheet filled with unclean animals (Acts 10). Peter being a Jew had a natural resistance to eat anything unclean or to enter into the house of a Gentile. The Holy Spirit imparted this revelation into his spirit to equip him to overcome the stumbling blocks of the Law and to visit the household of Cornelius who was a Gentile. This vision was also given to make it clear that the Lord was given as a covenant to the people and as a light to the Gentiles (Isaiah 42:6). Paul was in a trance when the Lord warned him to get out of Jerusalem (Acts 22:17-21). Balaam fell into a trance when he saw visions concerning his third and fourth prophecies. He hath said, which heard the words of God, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open… He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open (Numbers 24:4,16). The Hebrew text indicates that it was rather a falling to the ground than falling into a trance. So we cannot say with certainty that it was trances. That could have been open-vision experiences with him lying on the ground and with open eyes. On three occasions in my lifetime I have experienced trances. I can describe a trance as being carried away in my conscious where I find myself as in a dream, seeing an audiovisual vision, not being aware of my physical surroundings similar to when I am asleep. After these experiences I was wide-awake and supernaturally refreshed in my whole being. I do not say this is the only description of a trance. I have only related to you my personal experience of falling into trances.
When I have experienced a trance for the first time in my life I pulled myself out of the trance in the beginning of the vision because I was fearful of what was happening to me. As I relaxed again I found myself in the same vision again. It proved that the spirit of the seer is subject to the seer (1 Corinthians 14:32). Man can also go astray in vision. Have you not seen a futile vision, and have you not spoken false divination? You say, “The Lord says,” but I have not spoken (Ezekiel 13:7). A person may see a vision in the church and relates it to the congregation. I may see a grass green color around the person’s head and I know that it is a product of the human imagination. I may discern the source of revelation through a word of knowledge or I might discern it through signs in my body. The Holy Spirit may also choose not to reveal it to me. I will not get up in front of the congregation and make my discovery known. I will not even get in secret and tell it to the seer or to somebody else. I will rather talk to the seer about waiting on the Lord, prayer or how to see visions. I will also encourage the person to exercise his or her gift. Making a mistake in prophecy or in vision is no disaster, as we must all learn. Learning how to focus on the Lord in a relaxed manner will reduce visions from your own imagination. To live closely to the Holy Spirit is a sure way to keep your spirit open for revelation. He will lead and guide you in all truth. The Holy Spirit can easily be offended through thoughtless living. A constant deep underlying joy and peace of the Holy Spirit is a witness that you are pleasing to God. Practicing the presence of the Lord, waiting upon the Lord (prayer of listening), meditating on the word of God and prayer is no legalism but the fruit of a love relationship with God. Talking as often as you can in tongues is also
spiritually beneficial. This is to have prayer of unlimited faith because your mind becomes unfruitful while you praying according to the will of God. This must become second nature to you. True love is to love God for who He is and not what you can gain from Him. Love positions you to be led by the Spirit of God. A walk with God requires a life of faith in God. It will cause conflict between spirit and flesh. However, the Lord comforts us by saying that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11: 29-30). Just remember the Lord has provided everything for you on the cross, even to see visions. So appropriate it by faith. All things, even visions that you receive from God are with the aim to testify and to declare His mighty works in the earth. His mighty works are all done in Christ. Jesus has fulfilled all things that pertain to life and godliness. You can never behold His works and tell of His awesome deeds by not looking at the cross. Jesus Christ is the alpha and omega of our faith, the beginning and the end of our freedom. For this reason I am determined not to know anything among you but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. To illustrate the above let me relate the following dream that my sister had: My sister stood outside of her house not properly dressed. She saw children running and played on the lawn of her garden. While playing and running these children were declaring the mighty works and deeds of Almighty God. Close to the children stood a man with a beard. My sister walked closer to the children and said to them, “I heard you declared the mighty deeds and wondrous works of God.” Than the man with the beard approached my sister and they walk and sit some place outside the house. He asked her, “Do you know why God often not answering the prayers of the saints the first time.” She said, “No.” He answered and said, “If God would answer prayers the first time people will cease
communicating with God after the answering of their prayers.” Then she started to cry uncontrollably because of this hurt that people cause God. Then they walk into the house and she gave the man a Bible. He opened the Bible on a page with a cross printed across the page. He told her, “You must always behold the cross.” Then she looked for a similar Bible with a cross inside but could not find one. Then she woke up. This dream needs little interpretation therefore I leave it to your own interpretation.