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Archive for the ‘Dreams’ Category

Our cat thinks that I can see in the dark. He can see just fine, so why wouldn’t I be able to do the same thing? He simply cannot see that I can’t see, and he thinks I step on his tail for no reason.

We live in a world of misunderstanding, where no one really knows another person. The King James translation of 1st. Corinthians 13:12 says, “For now we see through a glass, darkly…” We don’t know God, other people, or even ourselves as we should.

I can see both positives and negatives in having all the English translations of the Bible that we have today. One of the negative results is the translation that you use, may word something differently from mine. While your version may focus on a single facet of the meaning, mine may be more broad, or focus on another facet. It makes it harder to say the Bible says a certain thing, and it can even look as if they’re contradictory.

Trying to minimize misunderstanding because of these things, I’ve gotten into the habit of checking a verse in multiple translations. Most modern versions translate 1st. Corinthians 13:12 as if we’re seeing a reflection in a mirror, instead of looking through a dark glass. Modern versions use a different manuscript from the older versions, though most of the differences are trivial.

I checked the Strong’s Bible Concordance to see what the Greek word for “darkly” was, but the Strong’s didn’t list it. That may be an omission from my version of the Strong’s. I then checked a direct translation from the Greek in Green’s Interlinear Bible. Strong’s Concordance, and The Interlinear Bible are monumental works, and it’s no wonder that you might find a trivial error here or there.

The Interlinear Bible has the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, with a direct translation into English, and also a rewording by Green for easier reading. The Greek of the New Testament is treated the same way. Green’s also gives the number of the Greek and the Hebrew words in the Strong’s Dictionary. Green’s direct translation of that portion of 1st Corinthians is, “We see for yet through a mirror in obscureness…” We’re not just looking in a mirror, but trying to see through it.

Green lists a Strong’s number for the word translated “obscureness.” The word is “ainigma,” (enigma) obscureness, or darkness. We are looking through a dark glass, and our own reflection in the darkness of the glass obscures what’s on the other side. This scripture is primarily speaking of our understanding of God, but it applies to other people as well. We can’t know them any better than we know God. We see others through our eyes, and they see us through theirs, and no one can really walk a mile in the other man’s shoes.

I’ve written this because of a problem that has arisen at our church. I’ve mentioned before that my wife and sons play music there, and people seem to be satisfied with our music. Apart from that however, they want just a little more than what we can give. They don’t understand why we can’t do just one more little thing. I don’t think they believe that we’ve prayed, and we’ve tried, and even cried, but we can’t carry just that one more straw. They can easily do it, so they can’t see why we can’t.

It has been one of those issues that just won’t go away, and my wife has given up. I can understand why. The only thing that can overcome many of the enigmas of life is the genuine love that Chapter 13 of 1st Corinthians talks about. I’d love to be proven wrong, but I don’t think it’s going to happen this time.

All human relationships that fail, do so because someone either can’t, or won’t meet the expectations of someone else. I believe in praying, and I believe in trying, but ultimately grace must exist in any relationship if it is to last. I appreciate the prayers of anyone who happens to read this. This church has been a very good thing for my family, and I didn’t want to see it end.

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Hallucinations are probably a lot more common than we might think, and there are all kinds of them. Not all hallucinations are unpleasant, but that doesn’t mean they’re harmless. According to the Bible, there are also such things as visions, which I would classify as extremely rare. Then there are dreams, most are which make little sense, yet some have deep underlying meanings. It can be difficult to tell one from the other.

I believe that God could sometimes use hallucinations to reveal something. I think that’s what happened the time I mixed the pills and alcohol. The drugs caused it, but God found a way to use it. God must work with us in the condition that he finds us. He strives to bring order out of chaos. Hallucinations are by their nature deceptive and dangerous, such as when our driver thought the road curved to the right, when it was actually straight (ref. part 1). Anyone who seeks some sort of revelation through drugs is opening the door to deception.

Even a good dictionary doesn’t always give the actual origin of a word. Sometimes the roots of words are also multi-faceted, and those who study such things may argue over them. It could be either this, that, or the other, or it could be all of them. Webster’s gives a Latin word that means “to dream,” as the origin for “hallucinate,” but it goes farther back than that.

I’ve said before that the word “hell” probably comes from the Hebrew name for the angel (Heylel) who became Satan (see part 2 of “Hell” in my Jan. 2011 archives). Lucifer is the Latin translation of the name Heylel. “Halo” is another member of this word family. The word hallucinate contains the roots of both the Hebrew name, and its Latin translation. I believe those names imply some sort of distortion, or twist of the light, rather than simply meaning “Light Bringer.”

Satan uses hallucinations to deceive, to kill, and sometimes simply to torment. One of my sisters died of cancer in her early thirties. When I dropped by to see her a few weeks before she died, she was holding her little girl very tightly. I could see she was treasuring every moment with her. She was on pain medication pretty heavy by that time, and she was in a state of fear. She thought she had seen demons who told her they were waiting to take her soul when she died. She tried to make her husband agree that he had seen them also. He didn’t argue with her, but I saw that he didn’t know what to say. I knew how the name of Jesus helped me when I had the hallucination back in Detroit. I said to her, “You’ve asked Jesus to be your saviour, and he is. If they come back, don’t be afraid, tell them that Jesus has your soul.”

There haven’t been many people in my life who have taken me at my word as she did. When I saw her a few days later, she was ecstatic. She said, “The demons came back, but I told them that my soul belongs to Jesus, and they just vanished.” Whether what she saw was real or not, it was real to her. She died very peacefully. Mom, Dad, and her husband were with her. One moment she was there, and she was gone in the next.

In the misty state of mind between this world and the next, God only knows exactly what is real. The stories you hear of near death hallucinations often contradict each other. I believe there’s truth and revelation in some of the stories, and deception in others, just as there is in all of life. While evil (Devil) is striving to deceive us, good (God) is working to gain our trust. I didn’t immediately accept Jesus when I had the experience back in Detroit, but I began to investigate the Bible in a more sober and unbiased way.

Mom told us that as her mother was dying, she thought she saw beautiful flowers and her young son who had died a few years before. Dad’s story seems pretty unusual also. His cancer had advanced to the point that he couldn’t sleep. When he would start to fall asleep, he’d begin to smother, and awaken as he struggled to breath. Sitting in an armchair the day before he died, he rested his head against my arms, and actually slept a few minutes. I had braced my arms in such a way that I could hold his head up awhile. Dad never wanted to go anywhere without Mom, and he was very dependent upon her. Sometime that day he told Mom that Jesus had come for him, and he asked her if she was going to go with him. She told him that she wasn’t ready to go just yet, and he said, “Well when he comes back, I’m going with him.” Dad and Mom had both grown closer to the Lord before they left this world.

What is reality? We each experience a different facet of it as it turns and changes. What is the ultimate reality? Jesus is the Word. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us…” (John 1:1 and 1:14). Jesus is real, and he is reality. The world just doesn’t realize it yet.

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Here’s another song I’ve never been able to get the melody right on. I think it’s a good song idea, and I like some of the lyrics. I thought I’d just toss it out on the waters.

The Greatest Revelation

In a way that never was before
And never shall be anymore
The very heart of God has been made known.
When we see him face to face
The glory will not take the place
Of the greatest thing that he has ever done.
He grew stronger in his death than in life.
He never could have held me otherwise,
So he became the sacrifice.

On the cross is the greatest revelation
The very incarnation of the greatest love.
On the cross is the greatest revelation
The very incarnation of the unseen God above.

Only God could dream it up
Come down like rain to fill our cup
Sometimes it’s hard to do the thing you must.
He became a man, a son,
The greatest thing he’s ever done
Though it seems a lowly thing to become dust.
He is high and mighty, high up on a cross
Humbly dying, reaching for the lost.
His dying cry is the cry of God.

On the cross is the greatest revelation
The very incarnation of the greatest love.
On the cross is the greatest revelation
The very incarnation of the unseen God above.

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Hebrews 10:5, “…Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me,” is a quote from Psalm 40:6. This is yet another place where a New Testament writer quotes from the Septuagint. Psalm 40:6 reads a little different in our modern translations; but, this is one of many Old Testament passages foretelling the coming of Christ.

The Old Testament offerings and sacrifices weren’t what God desired; they symbolized what he was going to have to do to save us. Hebrews goes into some detail about these things that I’m going to skip. I want to mention one of the sacrifices that draws our attention to the “Door.” Passover occurred when God freed the Israelites from the Egyptians. Moses had repeatedly given God’s message to Pharaoh, “Let my people go,” but his answer was, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice…” (Exodus 5:2) God told Moses beforehand that Egypt wouldn’t yield until they knew who God was.

If only he had yielded to God, Pharaoh could have prevented the destruction of Egypt. Some believe God gave him no choice, but I disagree. I can see it would have been politically difficult to let all that free labor go. Many times, the right choice isn’t easy, and we miss the opportunity.  I think Pharaoh could have stopped the loss of their crops, and all the suffering that fell on his people. The firstborn of Egypt would not have died, and his army wouldn’t have been destroyed in the Red Sea.

I suppose everyone knows that Jesus was killed the evening just before the Passover observance. That’s why they hurried to take him down from the cross, and buried him so quickly. In Exodus 12:1-14, God told Moses how a lamb was to be killed in the evening. The seventh verse of that chapter tells how they were to “strike” the blood of the lamb upon the doorposts of their homes. These posts, upon which the door was hung, symbolize the cross. The door itself represents Jesus. The only safe place in Egypt that night, was inside a doorway where the blood of the lamb was splattered.

Dreams are very different from a movie. When you’re in a dream, you usually don’t realize that you’re dreaming. You feel like it’s real. One night, I dreamed that my wife and I were at the crucifixion. It seemed like there were other people all around me, but I didn’t actually see them. We were standing in the air about seventy-five  yards from Jesus. It hurt so much to be there, that I couldn’t go any closer. There were two groups of people near Jesus, his family and friends suffering in empathy and his tormentors.

It was a dream of very mixed emotions. I really hated the world at that moment, and I hated myself, yet I knew he was there because he loved us. I knew his suffering was my fault, and our fault. I hated the helplessness that I felt at being able to do absolutely nothing. In my dream, I knew that he was to be resurrected in three days, but that didn’t seem to help much at that moment.

God had to find a way to get through to this world. To save some of us, he made a body for himself, and became one of us. Nailed to a wooden post, as if he were only a piece of wood, Jesus is the door between God and mankind.

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You are the door of your house. Whoever enters your house must do so at your bidding. If you realize that someone would be a danger to your household, they would have to overpower you to get in. Those entering your home would need to abide by your standards. That all makes sense doesn’t it?

Jesus is the door of his house. He said, ( John 10:9) “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved…”  When one of our sons was very small, he asked about this verse, so we played a little game. I think I put some little reward that he wanted in a room, so that he had to come by me to get it. I told him I was the door, and he tried to go around on one side and then the other. After a bit I held my arms out, he gave me a hug, and I let him in. To enter the house of the Lord is to embrace Jesus.

Before I accepted Jesus, I had several re-occurring nightmares. This particular dream was never troubling to begin with; I would be in an empty room with no windows, only a door in each wall. I would open one of the doors to go outside, but it would only lead to a room just like the one I left. No matter which door I opened, I would be in the same empty, dreary room. This dream would go on for what seemed like hours, becoming a nightmare. I would eventually be rushing through the doors as fast as I could, until I finally woke up.

I don’t look for meaning in every dream. Most of them seem to make little sense, but looking back, I can see that dream represented my search for truth and meaning in life. I had that dream dozens of times before I opened my heart to Jesus, but not a single time afterward. It was as if Jesus was the end of a quest. Not all nightmares have disappeared over the years, but every one has changed in some way. (More about dreams later)

I looked up the origin of “door” in the Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate. It  gives an Old English origin, “duru,” which is akin to Old High German “turi,” which sounds to me like “tree.” (Please ref. my post “Truth,” in the March Archive) Webster’s also mentions a connection to the Latin word “fores,” meaning outdoors.

If we want to escape the house of doors to nowhere, we must think outside the box. Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. ” Jesus will not only take us ‘outside’ but into a place that’s out of this world.

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