You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Heavenly Experiences’ category.

plumbline

I apologise for this article being a bit longer but it’s length is necessary to do justice to the subject matter involved.

In light of recent events that have happened in Christendom, people have asked me about some of the things happening to people in revelatory encounters and whether they are real, valid and scriptural; and how we know.

Revelatory encounters are certainly on the increase in the Body of Christ and many people are having and are claiming to have had Throne room encounters, heavenly encounters with angels and people, revelations regarding the revealing of the sons of God, courtroom of Heaven encounters, and more. Many of those experiences are legal, real and valid but some are not and we must learn how to distinguish between the two types.

I want in this article to drop a plumbline for judging the validity of the revelatory experiences we may have. (For those that don’t know, a plumbline is a cord weighted with lead that is used in building to check that vertical structures are true. It is used symbolically to refer to the divine standard against which God, the builder of his people, tests and judges them. It also symbolises the standards by which God will rebuild his people. Zech 1:16; Zech 4:9-10 1)

The base plumblines for assessing our revelations are these –

  • The nature and character of the Godhead – God is love, is good, His mercy triumphs over his judgement; He is faithful, kind, holy, righteous and much more.
  • What scripture shows us about God, His ways and His plans for mankind.
  • The finished work of the Cross and what that resulted in as shown in Scripture – Gods plans for the restoration of mankind to his original status and into the image of Christ, the healing, wholeness, righteousness, holiness etc that the work of the Cross accomplished.
  • What scripture shows us about the way we should walk out our salvation and life in Christ.
  • What scripture shows us are acceptable experiences and what aren’t.
  • Love – receiving it, becoming it and living it out – if our revelations do not include this work in us then we are nothing, have nothing and do no lasting good (1 Cor 13:2,3).

The things listed below are an important part of the process of assessing revelatory encounters based on the plumblines above.

  1. Any revelation that denies the Godhead as being who they are, denies that Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, or denies that He is above all other principalities and powers is a deceptive one. Jesus is not simply a man, a prophet, a healer, a man of light and goodness. He is the embodiment and full revelation of the Godhead. He and the Father are one and He is one with Holy Spirit, not less than or subservient to either nor they to Him. They operate in the fullness of oneness, honouring each other and their different functional roles within that.
  1. Realise that all people’s encounters are subjective (every time) – that is, how we see them and understand them is influenced by personal feelings, tastes, opinions and perceptions, our backgrounds and woundedness from life experiences, our knowledge of the true nature of God, the finished work of the Cross, our knowledge and correct understanding of scripture and more.
  1. Realise our knowledge is at best incomplete – “For we know in part and prophesy in part”…1 Cor 13:9 – 12. None of us can claim full knowledge or understanding, so we must be willing to submit our experiences for weighing and assessment. On our very best days and in our most deep revelations we still only know in part and we will sometimes get our interpretations wrong – no individual knows all truth; they are not God. We do not stand alone as islands of revelation – our revelations together should build toward a truer picture of who God is and who we are in Christ like jigsaw pieces do towards the full revelation of the big picture.
  1. We are told in Scripture to judge or weigh prophecy and (by inference) prophetic revelation (1 Cor 14:29). That judging or assessing is done by others; not just by ourself. On our own we cannot have anything but a subjective opinion of what something means because of the life lenses we look through. We must therefore be willing to submit our revelations to others who are mature believers and leaders and be willing to be called to account for them. Prov 11:14 says “Where there is no counsel people fail, but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.”
  1. We are called to walk in love and it is ultimately by our love that we are distinguished from all others (John 13:34,35) not by our experiences. Others will sometimes disagree with our interpretations of our revelations and sometimes we will disagree with their interpretations; that’s life and that’s different people looking at the same thing through different lenses. But even if we disagree we are called to not break relationship but to continue to live in love (1 John 2: 9-11). Breaking relationship and love is never the right way to deal with something. This does not mean you have to still be buddy buddy besties, but love is a heart stance that refuses to let go of God’s best dreams for the other person and continues to act and speak in an honouring way to them and about them.
  1. We are to test the spirits (1 John 4:1-3). Not all revelation comes from God; not even all the good-looking, good feeling stuff. The demonic are well able to disguise themselves as being good and give us deceptively good experiences (2 Cor 11:14-15). Just because you supposedly talked to a historical figure or saint does not mean it was that person or that the experience was a valid experience from God, although it very well may have been. (God took Jesus into an experience where He talked to two men who had passed into eternity – Moses and Elijah, so it can happen – Matt 17:1-6) Can those you meet in an experience call Jesus their Lord? Do they inspire deep reverence and worship for themselves (warning bell) or do they actively dissuade you from that and turn you to worshipping Jesus? Do they invite you to continue accessing them for revelation or do they turn you to Christ in the way they speak and act? Does what you’re experiencing line up with what is revealed in scripture about God and the Kingdom?
  1. True revelation from God brings humility and pruning into our lives. In Scripture we see that true Heavenly experiences brought humility into the persons life who had them; and that also while having them they saw aspects of their nature that needed to be corrected. (Is 6:1-5; Acts 22:6-10; 2 Cor 12:1-10) We cannot come face to face with the goodness, mercy, grace, purity, righteousness and holiness of the King and His kingdom without seeing areas of our lives and mindsets that need adjustment. That doesn’t mean it needs to be a serious, or joy lacking experience, even a fun-filled true Kingdom experience will have the effect of working in us humility and pruning us as we see where our lives and thought patterns do not align with the Lord and His kingdom.
  1. True revelation should bring fruit that is measureable and lasts. An experience may be real but if it has no measurable fruit in our life or the lives of others it is either an invalid or wasted experience. The experiences we have should bear good Kingdom fruit in our lives – things like causing us to worship and love the Godhead in a greater way, to be in awe of them – their nature, character, love etc. Those experiences should set us free in areas, from bondages, and wrong mindsets. They should increase our love for other people, our respect for scripture etc. They should end up with us walking in a greater release of Kingdom realities on earth, e.g. healing the sick etc. Experiences without measureable fruit become self-focused at best and narcissistic deceptions at worst. It is not all about you and your experience; it never was and never is. The Lord’s plan for your experiences in Him is way bigger than you, even though you will be blessed beyond measure in them.
  1. Your experiences say nothing about your spirituality, character or your maturity. They are not commendations and recommendations of you to others. They are not to promote you in your ministry. They simply say you had an experience and that you have a good Father who loves His children to experience revelation about Him and His kingdom.
  1. Too many of us take literally what is often symbolic. We must turn to Holy Spirit for the right interpretations of our experiences; it is part of his role to lead us into truth. All through scripture we see that very few of the visual revelations people experienced were literal in their meaning, they were mostly symbolic. They are given like this because we have been invited into a walk of dependency on the Holy Spirit not on our mind and intellect. So we must ask the Lord for understanding and for His wisdom; our own understanding will in most cases translate our experiences wrongly because we think from a human perspective with human and often worldly or carnal thinking. All too often I meet people who have wrongly interpreted their revelations and have come to believe something that is not consistent with what scripture shows us or consistent with the nature and character of the Godhead.
  1. We are called to be led by the Holy Spirit in all areas and that includes accessing revelation – even though we are called to access the things of the Kingdom by faith (rather than from just a sovereign download of revelation and experience) we should still be asking Holy Spirit if this is what He has for us to access at this time. Even in the midst of an experience we need to be led by Him not just by our desires and wants. Often in the midst of an experience I will see something and want to investigate it yet on asking Him He has said something like “not this time, that’s not what you’re here for at the moment”. Some might be tempted to think that is staying in a place of immaturity but it is not immaturity, it is staying in a place of dependency and that is far different. Immaturity is doing your own thing, your own way, irrespective of others and how it affects them.
  1. God can move extra biblically – in other words show us things that aren’t in scripture. Throughout scripture we see many firsts and new things being revealed. God often shows things and then gives understanding later but that doesn’t mean all new revelation is from Him. And we cannot afford to blindly think it is. Even the elect can be deceived (Mar 13:22; 2 Tim 3) All revelations must be weighed and assessed by the things outlined above especially by the overall counsel of Scripture, whether it lines up with the work of the Cross, and judged by mature New Covenant Apostles, Prophets and Theologians. Sometimes that can take time to work out and the theology regarding new things can take years to form. Even in Scripture wisdom was applied when they said in Acts 5:37-39 …”if this counsel or work is of men it will come to nothing. But if it is of God you cannot overthrow it, you may even find yourself fighting against God”. So we should not be quick to jump to judgment and call something heresy (after all we all have some wrong beliefs about the Lord and his kingdom to some degree). But when God does release new revelation into the Body of Christ we must be willing also to move forward in it if it is proved a true revelation from Him; not to pull back and kick out because it doesn’t fit our preconceived ideas of how God does things.
  1. We are called to grow up into maturity in Christ, into His image, not just into ethereal experience. Jesus is our example and what we are to be becoming like. He was both incredibly heavenly minded and intensely practical – He was not some Christian mystic lost in some esoteric experience that was wasted on himself alone. His experiences had measurable fruit that lasted in his life and others. We may have experiences and even teach from them but if they do not have the effect of changing us into the image of Christ then they are invalid and wasted experiences.

Experience is a vital part of growing and all life is based on both experience and understanding; but if our experiences take the place of what Scripture tells us are part of Gods will for our lives then we are out of line. If they do not lead to us releasing the Kingdom into earth in tangible measureable ways – living a greater outworking of love, honouring our brothers and sisters in Christ, feeding the poor, helping the widows and broken, bringing healing to those who are wounded physically and emotionally, discipling nations etc. then they become self absorbed experiences that do nothing except to heighten knowledge and possibly foster a feeling of spiritual superiority.

God is calling us to grow up into maturity, to be those who rightly divide the word of truth, to rightly interpret our experiences, and to become mature believers who walk in true revelation and understanding that leads to the establishing of His kingdom in the earth. And we are, albeit slowly; around the world there are people having genuine heavenly encounters that are resulting in lives and communities being radically changed. Let’s continue to move forward in that. Let’s hold up the plumbline of Truth to our encounters and then move forward into all God is releasing with confidence because our revelations have been weighed and tested and proved true.

  1. Plumbline – https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/dictionary-of-bible-themes/7254-plumb-line

The Hui

Last week I attended a Prophets Hui (gathering) made up of Prophets from various parts of our nation (New Zealand). During that day there was a very strong sense of the manifested presence of God present amongst us and also that the times we’re in are momentous times for our nation.

Throughout the day we worshipped and prayed and talked about what God was doing in the nation. There were many things brought out during that time some of which I’ll share in the days ahead.

One of the most encouraging and powerful words that came out of the day was when the Lord said “Stop asking for me to come, I have already come!” There was more to the word but that was the crux of it. Sometimes we can miss the actual time of release because we are so caught up in the” praying for” or because it comes in a different form than what we were expecting. As a result of what the Lord said we should now begin to change our petitioning for revival into thansksgiving and prophetically release decrees of God’s will and intention into our towns, cities and nation.

That which we have been praying for has been released! It is here now – God is moving powerfully throughout the nation. There is a groundswell of Kingdom release that is building in power and being released on a nationwide scale. This move of God is not a sudden revival type move located in one place – it is an awakening that is taking place in all parts of the nation simultaneously, that is why many have missed it. People are stepping out in the power and love of God in numbers that are increasing daily. Miracles and healings are becoming common occurrences as the church is awakening to who she really is and who Christ is in her.

Back to the Hui – I want to share a vision I saw as we worshipped.

A child called Hope

In the vision I saw a young girl. She had fallen asleep in a forest, curled up under a tree. The darkness of the forest covering had caused a false sense of night, of slumber. When I asked the Lord about her I was told her name was Hope. Her name was Hope but Hope was asleep! I heard someone call her name and the call woke her – it was a call to wake up, to begin to walk again, follow the call; to follow the voice and walk out into the light again. I saw an understanding, a flame begin to flicker in her heart as she began to walk – following the voice. In the voice was love and kindness and she realized she had heard the voice before many times but it had somehow become clouded in her hearing. As she continued to walk she saw light ahead and the flame flickered brighter and her heart began to beat stronger.

As I asked the Lord about what I saw I felt the forest was a prevailing atmosphere over our nation – the feeling that darkness has the upper hand. I felt him say that for many in our nation hope had faded (it was like their hope had gone to sleep because they had succumbed to the darkness). They hadn’t lost it altogether; it was just not functioning at a fully awakened level. I believe the Lord is awakening hope within his people in this time. They are beginning to hear the call to follow and trust in a new way and are responding. The nation is awakening to hope again, awakening to the call to walk into the future guided by God’s Spirit and His Voice. We have been in the place of unnatural darkness to the point where many have been lulled into a sleep state. It is time to awake and walk out into the light again. We are children of light destined to bring light into darkness not to let darkness overtake us!

What is the call on our nation?

This was a question we asked that day at the Hui? We asked it because – if the church in our nation (New Zealand) does not know their identity and call then we will wander aimlessly and every man will follow his own personal vision and desires. While it is not wrong to have personal and church visions we need to know how our vision fits in with the Lord’s desire for us as a nation. We are all individually and as churches a part of a bigger whole and just as the Lord has plans for each person and church he also has a plan and destiny for us as a nation. For too long we’ve not been aware of or functioned from that fact and so have been a fragmented body of individualists who don’t know how to work together. It is time for that to end and for us to recognize the strengths in each other and how we can function together while still keeping our individual personalities as churches.

Today I’ll share some of what was said at the Hui re our nations call and then over the next few weeks I’ll release other prophetic words and declarations from that day as well.

We are as a nation…

So what is the collective call on the church of New Zealand – in some ways it is many stranded but one of the significant parts of it is that our nation is to be a forerunner nation many of whom have apostolic & prophetic mantles.  We are known worldwide as ones who carry a very strong prophetic mantle and are also an apostolic release nation, a nation of sent ones – of evangelists & missionaries that plant, build and disciple nations.  As such we are a people destined to move in signs, wonders and miracles, with a strong healing emphasis, to proclaim and release the reality of Heaven into Earth.

We are a proclaiming people – releasing the heart of God through prophetic proclamation that calls into being that which is not yet reality in the earthly realm,  again – releasing Heaven into Earth. This is done mainly through teaching, prophetic release, music and media.

We are a nation called to release hope amongst many things into the nation and into the nations, to call them into their destiny and fullest expression. That is why hope has been under attack in our nation – to stop us from being who we were created to be. If hope can be stifled then we will not walk in our apostolic and prophetic destiny and because of that others will miss out.

The above-mentioned giftings and call are a very significant part of who we are as a nation. I’ll share more about the call on our nation and from the Prophets Hui over this coming month in the belief that when you write the vision (and speak it) people can hear it and run with it (Hab 2:2,3). Please pass the posts along to others (individuals and Pastors) as the more that read, the more that will recognize themselves and begin to walk in their true identity.

Part 4 –  Training for reigning & Protocols for accessing heavenly places

 

Part of what the Lord has for us is to do with the ‘here and now’ – taking dominion and releasing Heaven into earth. To do so we need to be able to see and understand what God wants released into the earth. Jesus walked and lived like this – accessing the Heavenly realm, seeing what the Father was doing and releasing that into earth. We, too, need to be able to see and access the Heavenly realms in order to live like He did. Some of what He has for us to do in releasing Heaven into earth is contained in scripture – like healing the sick, cleansing lepers, setting free the captives, raising the dead and more; and some is revealed by way of revelation. Whichever way the revelation comes it is given to cause us to grow in working out our kingly reign and dominion here on earth.

There is also the aspect of ruling with Christ throughout eternity. Part of the training for that takes place now here on earth, but a part of it also takes place in the Heavenly places now. In the Heavenly places Jesus, angelic beings, and those who have gone before us tutor us. Most of us don’t think about that because we have our ‘hands full’ putting into practice the things Jesus has already revealed that we should do, so ‘Heavenly things’ are often rather low on our priority list. Yet this tutoring is a part of the Lord’s plan in this season and more and more people are now experiencing it.

For example, a friend of mine sits in the Heavenly places daily with ‘Wisdom’ and learns from her. A young girl I know goes to Heaven each night as she sleeps and is taught by Jesus and others. There are also other people that I know who are being taught by Jesus and others in the Heavenly realm, including myself. This is not a new thing. It has been happening since the Church began and we will find that it happens more as the days go by and as more Christians learn to walk in their inheritance.

When Jesus leads you into situations where He introduces you to people in Heaven and allows you to speak to them, that is not New Age or witchcraft and it is not calling up the spirits of the dead. It is simply a function of the Kingdom. It even has a scriptural foundation – Jesus, as man, before He died, conversed with Moses and Elijah at the time of his transfiguration. Moreover Peter, James and John were present with Him when it happened (Mark 9:2-8).

Right of Access to the Heavenly Realm

In the New Covenant our right of access into the realities of Heaven is through Jesus and His work on the cross, not through our works.

My first experience in the Throne Room

In my first experience in the Throne Room, as I stood before the Throne I was asked a question, “How did you come here?” As I thought about the question I realized that it was asking about my right of access, not a transport question, asking how I had travelled there. The answer was a simple one. It was not dependent on anything I did but on what the Lord Jesus did. I came there in confidence, knowing that I had a right to do so because of the work Jesus did on the cross in making a way open for me to come boldly into the presence of God (Heb 9:24, 10:19-22).

That is the only right of access for the Throne Room and the Heavenly realm. You access it by faith, by the new and living way Jesus opened for us – through the finished work of the cross. You cannot access it any other way except through the shed blood of Jesus. You don’t go there timidly or unsure as to whether you have a right to be there; you go in confidence, knowing that an invitation has already been extended to you and the way has been opened for you. You can access the Throne Room, and Heaven itself anytime because of the invitation that came through Jesus’ finished work on the Cross. Also scripture tells us that the Throne of Grace is a very real place that we can go anytime to receive help and strategy in times of need (Heb 4:16).

Right of Access questions

As I shared above, sometimes the Lord or an angel will ask you a question regarding your right to do something. These are not usually trick questions nor are they asked because the Lord needs to know the answer. From my experience they are usually asked in order to see what our understanding is and because the Lord is inviting you to dialogue with him and to question him on it so that He can teach you something. Often it’s not until we are asked to explain something that we find out what we actually believe.

If we don’t understand why He is asking a question, we may end up misunderstanding the question completely. It is always better to ask the Lord to explain what He means by a question than to make assumptions. He won’t be offended by your questions. He is the Daddy who never gets fed up with his kids asking “Daddy, why?” or “Daddy, what?” And, of course, we should always weigh up what we hear in light of scripture.

Access for Other Places

We are all on a journey of maturing; that maturing happens as we continue to get to know the Lord in a deeper way and as we learn the ways of his Kingdom through faith, understanding of our experiences, and scripture. It is possible that some places or experiences in the heavenly realm may only become accessible as a result of maturing in faith, understanding, experience and obedience. It also is very likely that there may be requirements to gain access to places in the heavenly realms that we are presently unaware of, and we may discover those as we continue to access Heaven’s realities.

From my experience we can access any of the public places anytime by faith and by following the Holy Spirit’s leading. There are a multitude of different places that we can explore at our leisure. There is the Throne Room, libraries, gardens, teaching rooms, fun places, the river and its surroundings and much more. Have fun exploring them; they were created for your pleasure and learning.

There are many books now that chronicle peoples’ adventures in the Heavenly realms and they tell of many different places. Be aware as you read them that their experiences may or may not be literal in their meaning, even though they were very real experiences for those that had them. For more understanding on the difference between literal and symbolic meanings in visions and experiences, read article 2 in this series.

In the heavenly realms there are also council chambers, courts, strategy rooms and other formal rooms and buildings. From my experience some of these places seem to be accessible in the first instance only by invitation.

Where the doors or gates to a place are shut then the safest thing to do is ask Holy Spirit if you can access it, and if there is anything that needs to be done in order to access it. Remember, though, that it is ultimately not our works that gain us access to anything – it is because of what Jesus has done, and because we are now in Christ, that we can have access. I have had times where He has said “Not today”, because accessing a certain place wasn’t part of what He wanted me to do at that time. I have, however, been allowed to enter that same room or place at another time. My thoughts are that it is always better to ask Holy Spirit if you may do something instead of just assuming that you can. I don’t think you can go far wrong then. He may say “You don’t need to always be asking for permission to do something”, in which case that is your open invitation to access at any time.

There may be times when the Lord will take you somewhere sovereignly but He may or may not tell you that you can come back there anytime. If He does then that is your invitation to do so and He expects that you will follow up on that invitation. If He does not, then ask him if you can access it at other times and see what He says.

If places are closed to us, they are closed for a reason. Just accept that and know that when the time is right you will be granted access. In the meantime enjoy exploring the vast array of things that you can access in the Heavenly realm.

Protocols

We are still learning about the way the Kingdom of Heaven operates and we will spend all eternity discovering that. The Kingdom of Heaven consists of many things – government, values, vision, relationships, culture – music, art etc. assignments, creation, education, travel, pleasures, fun and laughter, times of state and ceremony and much, much more. Each of these situations will, of course, call for different responses and behavior. Just as we are not one-dimensional, one-response beings here on Earth, we likewise will not be one-dimensional in our responses and behavior in the Heavenly realm.

While Jesus’ work on the cross enables our access into the Heavenly realm are there protocols to follow once we are there? Let’s look at what the word ‘protocol’ means, to be sure that we understand what we are talking about.

Protocol 1

  1. Forms of ceremony and etiquette observed by diplomats and heads of state.
  2. Code of correct conduct; e.g.”safety protocols”; “academic protocol”.

So the word ‘protocol’ relates to proper conduct, ettiquette or ceremony.

Our heart attitude should always be one of reverence and gratitude but our conduct may vary depending on how the Lord is relating to us. Some people think that any encounter with the Lord in the Heavenly realm will be somber, full of awe and reverence and weighty, causing you to act in a somber, awed way, and that any other way to act is inappropriate. Yet scripture tells us that not only is He holy but in his presence is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore (Psa 16:11). While that reverence and awe is never lost, and we don’t come into his presence with brashness and arrogance, we must realize that God has more aspects to who He is than just being Holy.

For example scripture reveals Him as Father, the Good Shepherd, Bridegroom, Commander of the armies of Heaven, Wise Counselor and much more. So He will relate to us in different ways as He reveals himself to us, depending on what aspect of his nature He is revealing. How He wants to reveal himself to us will determine the correct form of behavior in his presence. For example, if He reveals himself as Father it may be entirely appropriate for us to call him Daddy (Abba) and to maybe snuggle close to him, as a child does. If He reveals himself as Commander it is probably not appropriate behaviour to treat him that same way. How He reveals himself will dictate our way of conducting ourselves, but in every instance we know that we have a right to be interacting with him in relationship.

My present understanding of protocols in the Heavenly realm is growing, but still limited. Some of you may have greater understanding than me on this subject and I would love to hear from you regarding it.

In the natural realm, when you come into the presence of a King or dignitary there is often ceremony to observe or protocol to follow. From what I have experienced in Heaven so far there are some aspects where that is also true of that realm. Again it will often relate to what aspect of himself God is revealing to you, or where you go. For example, there are times in the Throne Room when you are there on serious business and these times require different behavior than at other times. There are times when the only appropriate response is to bow before him or prostrate yourself, giving him the reverence and respect He deserves.

Yet the Throne Room is not all serious business. Times of celebration happen there where everyone is dancing and shouting and playing with the freedom that only comes with knowing Christ and being set free from earth’s limitations. There are other times where I and others have sat leaning against Daddy’s knee in rest or danced with Jesus on the sea of glass.

Many people have experienced playing with Jesus in the river that flows from the Throne, laughing and splashing each other as they do so. In this instance it would be inappropriate to stand on the bank saying “No, Jesus, You don’t do that sort of thing.” The only appropriate response is to jump in and play.

Heaven is a wonderful place full of adventure, life, fun, laughter, reverence, holiness and much more. Enjoy discovering it and the reality of a Kingdom full of culture that is rich beyond compare.

This series of articles is a very basic understanding of things we need to know in order to wisely steward our visions and experiences, but I hope it’s enough to help you begin to operate with some understanding in the Heavenly places.

Thanks for taking the time to read these articles. Please pass them on to those you know who are having visions and experiences. We all need to walk in those experiences in wisdom and steward them well. In fact I believe it will become more critical than ever in the days ahead to know how to wisely steward our visions and experiences as the amount of revelation being released increases.

1 – Websters online dictionary http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/definitions/protocol

 

 

 

Part 3 – Stewarding Trance Visions & Visitations

In this article we are going to look at trances and extended periods of revelation. I was also going to cover protocols for entering the Throne Room and heavenly places but decided that it would be better handled in a separate article, so I’ll look at that in the next one.

Things like trance visions and heavenly experiences are being talked about much more today than they ever have been. Are there more instances of these things happening or are people just feeling freer to talk about their experiences? I believe both to be the case. But with the increase in these things it becomes all the more important that people are taught how to understand and steward their visions and experiences. In the last article I looked at the different components of revelation – the revelation itself, the interpretation, the application, and whether what we are seeing is literal or symbolic. If you haven’t read that article (or the previous ones in this series) please do so, as it is foundational to what we’ll look at now in this article.

Trance Visions

I want to talk about trances for a minute because of all the ways that God gives us revelation, they are the most prone to being called ‘New Age’. We need to realize that nothing was created by the Devil. Everything was created by God (John 1:3; Col 1:16; Rev 4:11) and is a part of how his Kingdom functions, including the different ways people receive revelation. All the devil can do is twist and distort something that was created for God’s purposes.

I think the aspect about trances that freaks people out is the state of being ‘out of control’. As I said earlier, trances are happening more frequently and I know people who experience them often. For some of them the idea of ‘not knowing what was happening to them’ was freaky at first, but knowing that God is with you and is leading you is a great source of assurance and comfort. Yet not all trances have this component, as we’ll see later.

This aspect of being ‘out of control’ doesn’t seem proper or right to many of us. We believe that God is the ultimate gentleman who will only empower us, never overpower us. Yet when we look at scripture we find that in most trance states, some of peoples’ natural faculties seemed unable to function – like physical movement or ability to see the natural realm. In other words God took them over to some degree or another. This also happens when a person gets ‘the shakes’ in the Holy Spirit – their body is taken over by the power of God. Some examples of this are as follows.

  • Peter on the rooftop (Acts10:10)  – one of the most well known trances in scripture. In this trance state Peter was able to interact by speech with God.
  • Saul before he became King – he was changed into another man (1 Sam 10:6), although this is not officially a trance, as Saul was still conscious, this was an overtaking of Saul’s person by God, according to Browns-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Definitions.
  • Paul in Acts 22:17 went into a trance where God communicated with him and told him to leave Jerusalem quickly because of danger.
  • John in the book of Revelation Rev 1:17 “I fell at his feet as though dead”, this is a trance like state – Thayers Greek Definitions says this means destitute of force or power, inactive, inoperative.

So what does a trance look like? To an observer it may seem like the person has ‘spaced out’ and is unresponsive. In trance vision states often the Lord and your spirit will supersede your body functions.  You may be unaware that you are in this state, as you will be caught up into the vision or experience. Your body functions will often slow down or cease to be an issue during this time, especially in extended trance times. Hunger and thirst become non-issues and bodily functions relating to eating and drinking often don’t happen. I know a lady who has had many trance visions. Her first one lasted approximately 24 hours, during which time she didn’t move or even blink, let alone eat, drink or need a bathroom break. She was caught up into the heavenly realm, seeing visions and having experiences with the Lord there. This trance was witnessed by at least three others for this whole period of time.

 Stewarding Trance Visions

How do we steward a trance vision.

  • If it is happening to you then you will probably be unaware that it is even happening, so you won’t be able to do much. Some people have a physical or Holy Spirit given warning that it is about to happen so that they can sit down somewhere comfortable first.
  • If you observe it happening to someone else then, if possible, stay with the person and stop others from interfering, poking and prodding them etc. People try to do that to ‘prove’ whether the experience is real or not.
  • Try and make them comfortable, maybe cover them with a blanket to keep them warm if the building is cold. If they need to be moved for safety sake then do so, otherwise disturb them as little as possible. Often they will be stiff as a board so laying them on the floor or a mattress is the safest thing to do. Pray for them during this time, covering them as they are experiencing this encounter.
  • When the person comes out of it don’t pepper them with hundreds of questions. Allow them space and time to come to terms with what just happened. Later on, get them to write down as much as they can remember of what they saw and heard. They will then be able to go back to it later and process it through with the Lord. If it has been an extended time then maybe offer them a drink and some light nourishment, as they may well need it.

Stewarding extended times of revelation

How do we steward extended periods of visitation – over weeks or even months? When we are going through a season of visitation it’s important to understand how we deal with that. The following are suggestions, not a  formula. Most of them are intensely practical, but are still a part of stewarding wisely our revelations.

  • Realize that if the Lord takes you into an extended period of revelation that He will look after you during this time. Don’t be afraid to surrender yourself to Him. Many people pull back from going into revelation because of fears relating to the ‘unknowns’ involved.
  • Don’t tell everyone what is happening to you – it may not be God’s time to reveal things; in fact you may never get to reveal some things. Some things will be shown to you so that you can simply cooperate in prayer with the Father over them. Pride can also become a factor here – remember your experiences say nothing about how spiritual or mature you are, they just say that you are being blessed with revelation at this point in time.
  • Remember to ask the Lord for help in distinguishing between what is ‘literal’ and what’s ‘symbolic’ in your visions and experiences. This is important, as it will all feel real. In the same vision there may be both literal and symbolic things. Asking for the interpretation and application is also important (See article 2 in this series for teaching on these).
  • Have someone you are accountable to and can share with. We all only see partly (1 Cor 13:12) so it’s good to have someone trustworthy that we can double check our experiences with who can help us measure them against scripture, God’s nature, His character and His heart for mankind.
  • Have trustworthy people who can support you in prayer during this time if possible.
  • Have notebooks and pens ready and accessible – journaling what you see and experience is important for a variety of reasons. It is easy to forget details, especially when you are in extended times of visitation and seeing lots. Also it helps with accountability.
  • Make sure that you look at rearranging your schedule if need be – drop non-necessary activities in order to free yourself up to spend the extra time in the Lord’s presence. If that’s not a possibility then stay in the place of faith for strength and staying power.
  • Make sure that you are getting regular meals, plenty of water etc. Sometimes your body works hard during these times, especially if there are manifestations of shaking, burning etc.
  •  Realize that the Lord will look after you – physically, emotionally and spiritually during these times.

I hope this has given you a little more understanding on trance visions and extended times of visitation. We need to learn how to steward these as they are happening more frequently and may very well happen to you or someone you know in the days ahead.

Please fell free to pass this series of articles on to others to read, too, as the more who understand how to wisely steward their revelations the better.

The next article in this series will be the last and I am going to look at protocols for entering the Throne Room and other heavenly places. I hope you’ll join me again for that one.