God Is The God Of The Unknown

We certainly live in interesting times.  Technology, knowledge and scientific advancements are surging ahead in leaps and bounds.  They call this the “Information Age” with computer technology, data streams, wireless everything, etc.  They even have the forerunners of independent robots and they say we are on the verge of creating artificial intelligence.

Yet for all this advancement of technology, there is an upsurge in spirituality and exploration of the paranormal.  Questions are still being asked regarding the “consciousness of man”.  And the search for the meaning of life is bringing along with that the quest to know if there really is life after death.

I wish that I was able to explore all these fascinating topics more in depth, but I recognize my own limitations and that I am not really qualified to speak authoritatively on them.  Except that in a way, being a strong believer in the Bible as the Word of God, I can say some things about the unknown and the “Great Beyond”.  In this article, I want to touch briefly on the topic of “Dreams & Visions”.

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There are a couple things that prompt me to want to write about this topic.  The first is rather humorous, while the second carries more importance.  The humorous side of this has little to do with my Bible translation ministry, except for the lifestyle and the pace that I keep.  I have been so focused on my translation work for these past months, and along with the fatigue of my muscle condition, I find that I am often taking at least two naps each day to get through the day.

That being the case, I have the possibility of having a dream up to three times a day.  Add to that the fact that I seem to travel to some other part of the world every few months and it would be easy to see that I can both literally and metaphysically find myself “somewhere else”.  I can recall a handful of times now in these past few years where I have woken up from a dream and laid on the bed and stared at the walls and around the room for up to 20 minutes and wondered, “Where am I?”

What is really interesting is what has happened since I have seen the movie “Inception” with Leonardo DiCaprio.  In that movie, the characters go inside the dream of someone else, but inside that dream you can go another layer down by going into the dream of a dream character.  I now can say that I have a number of times “woken up” in a dream, and then realized that I am still in a dream and need to go up one or even two more layers of dreams to come back to reality.

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But that brings us to the question of “So what is Reality?”  Is it this world of flesh and blood that we live in?  Most people would say so, unless you are one of those strange philosophers who question everything.  But as I started at the beginning, we are seeing that millions of people that used to limit reality to just this physical world are now starting to ask about spiritual realities, and the question of life beyond death.

What makes it so difficult for us is that there is no one who has died, crossed the boundary from this life to next, and come back to tell us about it.  (Except that as Christians we hold to the belief that Jesus was in fact raised back from the dead and validated His claim to being the Son of God.)  But let us ask the question of whether anyone can “see” across that boundary line and obtain knowledge of the unknown and the spiritual.

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There are countless numbers of people who “claim” to be psychics and can reach the spiritual realm.  The Bible claims that there are people who can do this in the name of God.  They are called prophets.  What is the difference between a prophet of God and a psychic or “Medium” as we would call them? It’s very simple.  Deuteronomy 18:20-22 states that if someone makes a prophecy (or prediction) and it does not happen, then that person was not a true prophet.  In other words, a true prophet of God gets their predictions right 100% of the time.

So now on a more serious note, why am I bringing up this topic right now?  It is because I am doing my preparation work on the book of Daniel so that I can do the consultant check on the translation of it into a PNG language next week.  And Daniel is really loaded with prophetic visions.  In more than one occasion, when the Babylonian king had an alarming dream or vision, none of the “soothsayers, magicians or astrologers” was able to interpret the dream or vision.

Not so with Daniel.  He is able to interpret correctly every time whatever the message or meaning was of the vision that God had sent to the king.  What I find most interesting is the response that Daniel gives when the king asks him if he could interpret his dream for him.  In Daniel 2:27-28 he says:

“Your Majesty, there is no wizard, magician, fortuneteller, or astrologer who can tell you that.  But there is a God in heaven, who reveals mysteries.”

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So what is my point in this article?  Dreams can be fascinating; visions and prophetic utterances are real and have happened and can happen to people.  But we must not look to human resources or human reasoning to understand what they are all about.  If we really want to reach out to the spiritual realm and understand it, we must look to God for this kind of help.  Anything else is either false or demonic.  There are no other options.

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