“‘And it shall come to pass in the last days,’ says God, ‘That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.’” Acts 2:17
Several years ago I told my pastor about an incredible book I’d read; 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese. Wiese fell asleep one evening just after noticing the time. He woke up in hell. God was there with him. God’s purpose in taking him to hell was to show him just how bad it really is and to take that message back to earth. Warn the people! You need to put a little “fire & brimstone” back in the preaching!
When the episode was over, he woke up, screaming in terror over what he’d just been through. His wife came running from the bedroom. As he calmed down, he noticed the clock; 23 minutes had passed. It took him a while to finally start talking and writing about his experience. When he began opening up about it, he found himself to be part of a community of people who have had the same experience. All have been charged with getting out the message that hell is real and is waiting for those not saved through Christ.
My pastor responded that he thought this and all of the near-death stories can’t be true. God doesn’t need to come to us this way anymore, he explained. We have His Word in the Bible. God worked like that in biblical times. No longer.
I’m not buying that for a second. God can good and well do whatever He thinks needs to be done. His Creation, His rules. From where I sit, I think my pastor’s seminary training biased him against the possibility of God sending modern day prophets to the world. If it wasn’t part of the seminary curriculum, he wasn’t buying. I’m not saying that everyone who has been through seminary necessarily has this bias, but I think that risk is there.
But we ARE living in biblical times in more ways than one. Daniel, Isaiah, Jesus’ Olivet discourse, and Revelations, to name a few, describe what end times will look like and events that will lead to those days. The Bible described “biblical times” yet to come.
Beyond near-death experiences and visits to hell by His chosen prophets is the appearance of Jesus among Muslims in the Middle East. It is a real phenomenon that has been happening for some years now. Muslims who are not sold on their own religion and seeking the truth don’t know where else to look. There are no bibles within easy reach. Jesus, in His endless mercy, comes t them in dreams and tells them He is the One they seek. These dreams are causing many conversions among Muslims.
You might recall hearing about a protestant pastor being held in Iran (I think) for preaching the Gospel. I listened to a radio interview of his wife. She related how both of them were visited by Christ in their dreams. They didn’t wake up suddenly Christian, but that was the start of their coming to faith in Jesus.
So think on it! Just as He came to the Old Testament prophets, the Apostles, and more, Jesus is making Himself known to those who seek Him or to those He simply chooses. Not unlike Saul/Paul.
“Killing Christians” by Tom Doyle with Greg Webster is a collection of accounts of persecution, torture, and martyrdom among Christians in the Middle East. Most all of them are Muslims called by Christ Himself through dreams. The book is not gory; it does relate horrible things, but it offers no gruesome detail, no nightmare-inducing descriptions.
What is remarkable is how Christ is calling Muslims, and in one nail-biting event, directs the escape of a mother and her children to the safety of a refugee camp. Their bravery and commitment to Jesus, some suffering torture and martyrdom, are awe-inspiring. I can only hope that, if I am called to suffer for Christ, I can receive the same strength they did.
You can simply Google the phrase “Jesus Appearing to Muslims” and be awash in links to stories. Go to YouTube, make the same search, and see all of the videos that pop up with one testimonial after another. Here’s a sample link to an article:
Is Jesus Christ Reaching Out to Muslims Through Their Dreams?
From the article:
“Tom Doyle, author of the upcoming book ‘Dreams and Visions: Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World,’ and a staffer with e3 Ministries, says he’s seen this phenomenon before.
“We’re seeing that all around. We’re hearing about people that have never even thought about Jesus as savior,” Doyle told Charisma News. ‘They’re content Muslims and they’re having dreams over and over.’
“Doyle believes that ‘our God is a fair God’ and that many Muslims are seeking and that they don’t know where to go. So, rather than a more overt conversion, he claims that Jesus is coming to them in their sleep.”
Just so happened he was in the first link I tried, but there are many more!
Are we living in biblical times? Oh, yeah! Are we living in End Times? Well, I’m just not sure. It feels like it when stacked up against the Olivet Discourse, Matthew 24. There are many things happening that sure feel like they are of “biblical proportions.” Jesus exhorted us to WATCH! In modern parlance, keep your head on a swivel! See as much as you can. Share what you see and learn with other Christians. Sharpen yourselves against each other.
Because there are now young men seeing visions!