A little time was needed to gain a fuller understanding of my life-changing encounter with Jesus, especially in view of His absolute holiness in contrast to my personal sinful nature. No wonder I was convicted of my sin and expected to die right away!
That encounter used two very personal aspects of my life to grab my attention, thus validating the experience as real, not an imaginary one. Even more amazingly, both are directly related to the 1st and 2nd Advents! So they couldn’t fail to enhance my interest in End-Times that had been kick-started a few years years earlier (mid-1980s) by reading The Invisible Hand and watching tv! (as in About).
The First Advent is when Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea about 2,000 years ago. Hence, the four weeks leading into Christmas are designated in the western church calendar as Advent, and which start the church’s liturgical year.
The Second Advent is coming soon and is expected to commence in Jerusalem – it will be the bodily return of Jesus to rule and reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
My personal encounter featured an element of that, as explained below, and over the next couple of decades I received intriguingly strong confirmations of the encounters reality. I regard them as a ‘triple-validation’; the first of which was as startling as the actual night-vision of 1989.
I inwardly ‘knew’ the heavenly visitor was indeed Jesus, and that the impressive action was a foretaste of his promised return, when He will come in all His power and glory.
The event reminded me of my favourite picture in mother’s Missal, or service book of the Roman Mass. (This gave the content of every Sunday service throughout the year with a diagram symbolising the theme for each service.) As a boy keen on astronomy I’d been fascinated by the picture for First Sunday in Advent. This depicted Jesus standing on the clouds over a burning earth in the midst of sun, moon and falling stars, indicative of events before his Second Advent!
The confirmation of my encounter came almost as unusually. On a healing retreat years later, a minister told me God would show me something after lunch. Indeed, after lunch a stranger who’d been seated at my table confided that the Lord told her to show me something she greatly treasured.
It was a photo taken, it was claimed, from an aircraft over a thunderstorm. When developed, the photo bore an image of Jesus Christ, as though standing within clouds. However, the facial features were hazy, not defined. It was exactly like Jesus in my dream for I had not seen His face. (I recall dark, hazy clouds at the foot of the image. This one is published by Bible Probe.)
Upon seeing this photo my legs gave way – I couldn’t stand but fell into a nearby chair! My companion said I went so white she thought I was going to faint or fall.
Yet, just how did a stranger know to show me this photo? I’d not divulged such a personal dream – she simply said, “It’s the Lord’s doing”.
I was puzzled over the closing element of the dream-event, that is: upon my reaching towards Jesus’ feet to grasp his robe, it turned into the branch of a Christmas tree! So, when I tugged, a Christmas tree toppled over and its fairy fell off and onto the floor.
Weird? Not really, because that spot by the window was where the family Christmas tree used to be erected. So this corner was closely associated with Christmas, and was also where my father’s armchair was located.
As a devout Catholic, my mother had told me about Jesus from an early age. When I painted pictures I would put a blue stripe at the top of outdoor scenes to represent heaven, as children did. But I’d also draw a Christmas tree in heaven as being Jesus.
Why? Not only had I associated all the wonder of Christmas with his birthday but I also heard an actor on TV mention his name whilst looking at a small fir tree. So in my childish way I took the actor at his word and would draw Jesus as a Christmas tree. Hence, the dream changed him to match that image.
At its close, therefore, the dream-event signified the time had come to put away not only childish misconceptions but also all false teachings and replace them with the truth for which I’d been seeking for decades – the one who is the Truth in person.
Truly, the most fantastic Christmas present ever – and a constant encouragement and help in every time of need, no matter how dire. Thank you Lord.
These events started in 1989 and culminated in 1995 with its prime confirmation. Yet more was to come! Sixteen years later upon revisiting this story for the purposes of this blog, I was surprised by a couple more insights that dropped unbidden into mind. One was tantalising: could the street number of my childhood home (212) possibly be significant in pointing toward the coming year? That is, to 2012!
Could that notion be true? Such musing would be confirmed in a fascinating numerical manner at 2012’s first Christian conference we were to attend…Upon our arrival at the venue I was curious about distance driven from home. The car’s odometer read ‘212’ miles!
Once again, timing proves crucial in presenting another objective confirmation! Again, had I not been writing once more about the visitation I would have missed the crucial linkage!
When writing the instalments of My Journey Into Freedom in 2013 I inserted a report on something pertinent that happened concurrently in the United States. This came as a ‘new revelatory word’ from the Lord to Revd John Kilpatrick and began at 2:22am. This too, is interesting on two counts. Numerically, because my birthday falls on a 22nd and, verbally, because that word is directly relevant to my dream visitation in referring to the angelic host as well as in closing with Luke 21:28, namely:
But when these things begin to come to pass, look up, lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand.
My mother’s Missal for the First Sunday of Advent is shown below and notice how the scripture on page 69 links into my personal visitation and what pastor John brought.
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