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Page 11 The Magnificent Tree

The last parts of Stars of thr Lid the refinement of their decline.

The Magnificent Tree

 What follows is the most extraordinary dream I have ever had. On Sunday July 10th of this year (2011), I was at Asbury Church sunday service and Pastor Dave caught my attention by telling people about the gifts of the Holy Spirit and asking how many had received this gift. This caught my attention as I had long felt that our congregation needed to be more Spirit filled. He was mainly if not exclusively talking about the gift of speaking in tongues. He talked about people being too scholastic in their beliefs and not experiential versus someone who is too mystic and not grounded in knowledge. He preached about the importance of both scholastic knowledge of God's word and mystic experience of the Holy Spirit.
 At the end of the service he told everyone who wanted to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit to come forward and to pray at the altar. I did so but only 5 or six other people also came up. I happened to be the first to arrive at the altar. Until now I had never had this gift and had always wondered if something was wrong with me. I prayed for this as honestly as I could but nothing happened that I could tell.
 The next day I woke up with such a phenomenal improvement in my lower back that I wondered if I had been miraculously healed. The work I did that day on masonry was extremely brutal and involved holding a gas-powered diamond saw at above chest level while sawing rock-hard concrete out of an old stone house. Yet I still felt fine at the end of the day. When I drove home I had a flat tire at around 7 pm with no spare. I asked God to stand by me for assistance. Momentarily, an older man jogging past told me to go a short ways up the road for AAA service, though suggesting he was probably closed by now. I did so on foot and although he closed at 5 pm, the owner was still there. He came and jacked up my truck, took my wheel, put a good used tire on it, and put it back on my truck for little money within an hour. I told him he was doing God's work and went on my way.
 That night at home, I thanked God for watching over me perhaps more so than I normally do and went to sleep. It was a quiet and moonlit night.
 Then, sometime during the night- when I don't know- I had a vivid dream. I saw a magnificent enormous tree which spread much farther that its height. It was a bit like a Live Oak of the American south but was glorious looking beyond compare. The sky around the tree was reaching sunset - especially so in the direction that the tree was moving. I say moving because remarkably, the tree itself was rooted in a beautiful silvery stream which was like mercury. It had gold reflections all throughout it. The tree and the stream were moving together slowly in unison. I immediately understood that the flow of the stream was time. Its rate was slow yet constant and flawless like a juggernaut, and the stream itself was life- the life that we're all given and travel through together at the same rate. Its great beauty symbolized just that. Life is very beautiful on the whole and a great gift from God. The whole scene was one of great pervasive beauty.
 As I got closer to this immense and majestic tree, I could see that the entire tree was made up of people all linked together in three dimensions by their hands holding on to one anothers forearms, hands and limbs. They weren't
on the tree or around its branches, they were the tree. The whole tree was made up entirely of people. It was humanity itself- seemingly the whole world's people as near as I could tell, minus the children. I saw vast incredible numbers in exquisite detail. I realized I was witnessing the amazing- all humanity's life on this earth in all it's fabulous glory and beauty. I immediately realized the truth of the thing as I floated there above it. God made humanity and as Pastor Dave has said , he does not make junk. So it may come as a surprise to some to read how beautiful all of humanity is and how precious to God. That we are all linked to one another all across the earth bore in with equal clarity on my mind as the truth. No one on this earth lacks a connection with somebody else. We are all connected to one another right across the whole world in myriad ways.
 Everybody in this scene was bathed in a beautiful glow of golden- almost honey-like gleaming substance which seemed to be collected in everyones nooks and crannies on the tree. This literally gave off light, and I realized what it was. This was God's overabundant blessing's which he poured onto everyone constantly it seemed.
 This was beyond what most would be prepared to comprehend- but I could see the truth of its lavishness. Do you realize how incredibly rich God's daily minute by minute blessings are on our lives? We get up from our comfy beds in our climate controlled 1500 plus sq. ft homes, drink hot fresh coffee from from an automatic machine, drive our comfy cars to work or shop across our lush scenery of farms and woods as we listen to music or news, passing stores of every description filled with abundant bounties of all kinds, and we think nothing about any of it except our own minor concerns and dissatisfactions with this or that little part of our lives.
 Everywhere on this majestic scene, everyone in the whole world was doing exactly the same thing. They were all working to improve their position in the tree and their grip on their little part of it (I could see this as people physically struggling), and then relaxing and enjoying themselves. They did not turn towards God - not anyone that I could see. Everyone, everywhere was acknowledging only their work, their circumstances, those around them, and basking in their enjoyment as if these were all that mattered. But they could not see what I could see which was that all their enjoyment was God-given blessings poured out by him onto them all. What it says it James 1:17 is more true that we are capable of knowing. "
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows"
 I saw it in all its vast and detailed spectacle- -all these countless scores of people -all so lively and animated and precious in exquisite detail- all struggling, then relaxing and enjoying themselves - not just at the end of the day - but frequently throughout the day - all throughout the world. I was filled with a great sense of clarity at what I was seeing, and knew that it was exactly what the whole earth does indeed do. We all work most days and we frequently relax at little rest pauses throughout the day, engaging in far more leisure time than we ever realize - even poor and laboring people. I could see that this was in fact one of the biggest blessings that God has carefully lavished on us all.
 Some places seemed brighter and more lavishly blessed than others. I could see Lansing and a man in the heart of Lansing who was in his early 40's perhaps wearing a shirt and tie and I could see him working to improve his position, and then I could see him relaxing and smiling and looking up and chatting with others around him. They were all obviously enjoying themselves and visiting. I could see that he was bright, amiable, sociable and he and those around him presented such a pleasant scene. I could see that there was a generous amount of golden substance- which was God's poured out blessings all around them. In fact everyone in the whole Lansing area were fairly bathed in it. Lansing itself was one of the brighter areas where God had especially poured out his blessings. I believe that this is not due to us so much as it is from God's promise to bless the offspring of our Christian forefathers and mothers. I could see that this man and his friends and co-workers were representative of people here.
 I could see some people who looked like people I know in church who are very upright members and I understood that they seemed to represent to me the best Christians in this area. I could see a man who looked like Pastor Dave and his area was well lit by blessings. He seemed to be linked to more people in a somewhat more hub-like effect and his arms were linked to somewhat more people I seem to recall. He too seemed as busy as everybody else.
 But no matter where I looked- everybody was doing the same thing - struggling to improve their position , then relaxing and enjoying themselves. I could not see any clearly visible exceptions of people who were turned squarely towards God and were living for him. I even saw people in one place where the vast spreading tree hung quite low, who were dragging half off the tree and were struggling with those around them to get back on. I realized that these were the poorest people of the world who live in places like Bangladesh. Their poverty was extreme enough that they were imperiled. Yet even here , I was amazed at how how quickly they got back on the tree, relaxed and amiably- even fun-lovingly enjoyed themselves and basked in God's blessings. It was impossible not to admire their joi de vivre and I marveled at this scene -all these poor people so animatedly engaged in this life struggle with all these others around them engaged in theirs with equal animated complexity. And many seemed to be helping each other back on the tree like it was fun -the way pioneers in our country helped one another and enjoyed their shared struggles, though it surprised me and was not what I expected.
 Yet in retrospect everything God showed me is accurate. If you have ever visited any of those squalidly poor countries -which I have- there is misery, yes. But its amazing how placid and contented people behave toward each other at the end of a busy day- and in fact are even about as happy we are. Yet they were all day to day oblivious of the Lord or his blessings and love of them all.
 I'm going to tell you something even more odd. Do you think the Lord admires this? Or admires what even people who don't believe in him do? Remarkably, I sensed that he does delight in our good traits, including these poor people who were a delightful scene at the edges of this whole panorama.
 The whole scene was all so beautiful and intricate, finely wrought, and crafted with so much care devoted to all these people, yet it was as if they were all autistic without any interaction with or awareness of their father hovering right over them just waiting for some tiny bit of their attention. I realized then that God's forbearance is huge. I could see the magnitude of the thing and its seriousness and its irrefutable truth. I began to feel a sorrow for it all.
 It was the most amazing and profound spectacle that I have ever witnessed. It was the most timeless and awesome scene that a human eye could imagine. The greatest earthly treasure like King Tut's tomb and its contents that were first beheld by Howard Carter's eyes, or Macchu Pichu when discovered high in the Andes mountains by Roger Bingham- not any of these things compared to the staggering, timeless spectacle I beheld. All across the earth alive as the finest, most peerless tree ever beheld by human eyes in a scene no artist could approach, was a thousand little charming scenes, dramas, actions, happiness, struggles, and sheer busyness by the untold score throughout its myriad limbs and lush canopies of matchless beauty, all bathed in glowing golden light- the whole looming spectacularly out of a velvety sky as saturated with sunset colors as the tree itself was saturated with heart rendingly beautiful gleaming gold. We're all beautiful, finely cared -for, loved and adored little beings all enjoying ourselves and having our tiny dramas completely oblivious of our creator and guardian with no regard for him at all- living entirely for ourselves. I could not see any obvious difference between believers and everyone else. Believers may have been different in their thoughts, but
their actions were the same as the rest the world's!

 As I hovered over this whole scene, I began to see something quite unusual. The glorious silvery stream of life had a very sharp bend in it coming immediately ahead. The distance to this abrupt change of direction seemed very short and looming. The whole scene at that juncture was bathed in sunset glow. At that point it went at approximately 90 degrees to its course which I understood meant such a profound change as to mean an entirely new life. For a brief moment I could see the stream well beyond this point into a brightly lit great distance, but no details could I see other than it was profoundly beautiful, and the light and color fairly glowed with sheer majestic glory. I mainly didn't look too long because of what I could see was about to happen immediately in front of me and below. The tree I could tell would not make it through the bend. It was just too vast and spreading. The bend had a narrow oxbow at this point. I confess its difficult to describe to a listener how this could be but I could sense its certainty nonetheless. It was as if even the sky and space itself were too closed-in at that place.

 My attention and concern now increased at a rapid rate. I came very close to the trees upper limbs and people and I looked down over at the 'leading edge' of the tree, then back across its other branches sensing something serious and searching for an answer of some kind. The tree was now at the bend itself and I looked at the leading edge with some urgency to see what would happen- just like people did aboard the Titanic who actually stood at the forward starboard rail watching as the ship sideswiped the towering iceberg. The inexorable flow of the stream did not stop nor the tree's motion with it. Momentarily it looked as though the limbs closest to the bend began to bend downward as if the entire tree were beginning to wrack from the unstoppable strain. There was at that moment a sudden sense of vertigo as for the first time the sheer towering height and size of the tree were threatening a great disaster. I could see the full depth of this scene and the sheer power gathering like a storm of epic proportions and grave danger. In my concern, I looked quickly back across the crown to my rear. Just as I was looking back at Lansing's lovely part, looking for my friends to see if they could see the problem like I could, the way you would quickly look to your more competent friends if all of you were confronted together with a serious impending emergency, looking to make eye contact with them, to be people of action, to
do something. But as I looked at those happy, busy, life-absorbed people, as oblivious and casual as they have ever been, something terrible suddenly happened- and happened without the slightest advance warning of any kind. There was a fire!

 I didn't see where it occurred first precisely or from what direction it came. But it spread incredibly fast - worse than disastrous fires which we have read about that spread through crowded theaters. The fires quickly engulfed almost everyone that I could see. I could see men and women everywhere bursting into flames screaming, and in this sudden horror I could see something that was seared into my mind.

 While more people burned up faster than I could see, I had time to look down at one woman in particular, and she looked directly up for help in that brief horrible moment before she was drawn down to nothing into a dwindling flame from below. She had suddenly looked to God I believe, but far too late. The very last thing I saw of her was her face only, completely ringed by the furiously burning flames, her eyes wide open and her mouth also, the most desperate hollow look of terror mingled with an unspoken cry for help I ever saw. And then, she was gone.

 I could in those brief moments -as if my mind raced so quickly I could record five things at once- see Christians that I knew recoil in shock as the person whose hand they had held burned as quickly and terrifyingly as all the others, the fires flaming brightly and furiously right around every in-and-out of each finger in their hand that they were holding their neighbor. The speed that it burned was so fast that they were scarcely able to pull their hand away in time, as if their own hand had scarcely escaped being burned. I could see my alarmed friends' eyes darting around in shock as they were able to witness the people consumed by fires in their surroundings.

 I could see briefly, people towards what I understood to be the east burning in vast numbers. These were possibly people in our country, or possibly foreign countries. But they were all gone before I could see even a fraction of them.

 The speed of my horror and concern could not keep up with the events that I had just witnessed and I found my emotions quickly rising after it was all over and of no use. The sheer magnitude of what had happened and the enormity of the loss was so great, and the sorrow filling me mingled with the sense of rising urgency in me that I could not control fast enough now that it was too late. This produced in me disbelief and awful sorrow. That all these precious souls were gone so suddenly and irretrievably was too much for me to bear. It was like watching your children suddenly being incinerated in front of you before you had time to react.

 If these feelings were what the Lord experienced, then it was terrible from beginning to end. Terrible that we all pay no attention to him though he loves us so much. Even worse that we do this to the point of our own destruction, throwing our lives away when all we needed to do was the simplest change for the better.

 The very last thing I saw was a shockingly small number of Christians saved from all this, looking around completely stunned and as absolutely aware of what had just happened around them as I was. It seemed as if only a small minority of even Christians had been saved. I could easily tell this at a glance. Not even the majority of people who were Christians remained.

  The tree was no longer too big to fit through the bend. I could feel myself withdrawing upward and away from the scene at a high rate of speed propelled as if by the power of my sorrow. And I awoke and immediately sat up in bed where I was stunned and sat there realizing that it had been a dream. But I knew almost immediately that it was from the Lord. I had known I believe, since I first began to look across the glorious tree itself. And I sat there in the silent darkness staring down in reveille still able to see in my mind the last scenes of awful burning and the disbelieving, darting, shaken-to-the-core looks of those few who remained. I was filled with the thoughts of one who had seen the wonder of the ages, although you may find this a strange feeling for something you may think is not wonder-filled at all or perhaps too peculiar for your thinking. But I assure you that I too was not prepared for this whole scene- this whole spectacular, beautiful, awful, glorious, delightful, disturbing, majestic, ethereal, precisely detailed scene. And utterly filled with wonder I was.

What was it do you suppose that made King Nebuchadnezzar ask for help in interpreting his dream of the awesome statue? What about Pharaoh's dream of seven sleek cows being eaten by seven lean cows? We all have odd or surreal dreams and even nightmares all the time. We dismiss them as just that when we wake up and rarely remember them for long, almost never feeling the need to tell others much less ask for an interpretation, or ponder their meaning imagining they're in any way prophetic. So why did King Nebuchadnezzar and Pharaoh become so emotionally disturbed by theirs and go to extreme lengths to get others to tell them these dreams' meanings- even threatening death to those who failed to do so? Do you know the answer? Have you ever pondered this? You who have had countless dreams of all sorts which you have also dismissed? I know the answer. Do you?
 Think about it. We read the Bible's various stories rather blandly most of the time and assign little accurate meaning or forensic thought to the circumstances the people were in at the time. We aren't hungry or cold out in the desert night or thirsty and exhausted watching Egyptian armies come after us as we reach a dead end at the sea. Instead we say "Cluck cluck! Those Israelites of such little faith!", like a bunch of fat comfy hens. But its different if you recently experienced something similar. A lot different.

 So I will tell you the reason. Actually its two reasons- two overlapping reasons. Its the twin forces of powerful realism and an overwhelming sense of importance which causes your full attention on the matter with all your mind's intuition and powers of observation brought to bear. The exact reason for its great importance maybe unknown at the time but its powerful nonetheless.

 There is one big difference however. Although these men knew their dream was important, in fact very important, they did not know the meaning. They urgently needed someone to tell them. But
I knew both the dream's importance and its meaning. I think that perhaps because my dream was given in latter days that God is more richly pouring out his spirit than the time of the bible, although the majority of today's more lifeless congregations foolishly believe the exact opposite. But Joel 2, v. 28-29 says:

And afterward,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.
29 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days

(see also Acts 2, v 17 which repeats it)
What we have is whole churches of Pastors and churchgoers who believe this passage superficially to be true because the Bible says so, they just merely deny these events every time they're confronted with an example of it- which fortunately for their comfort level is quite rare due to their lifeless congregations. Many don't even believe the holy spirit does any of this at all despite that pesky Bible verse. For those of you in that camp who think that all that sort of thing ended when the bible was completed, explain this verse from Acts 1 v. 8:

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. You will be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth."

Clearly we can all agree that uttermost means far or remote. So I ask you- Is Hawaii and the various Pacific Islands remote from Jerusalem? Southern Chile and Northern Greenland? How about the central highlands of New Guinea? Obviously yes in all these and many other cases. Were these penetrated by missionaries before the bible was completed? I'll give you a hint- NO. In the case of New Guinea, not until the 1970's in many spots and some other regions not yet still since a recent 2011 aerial survey of the Amazon jungle filmed whole undiscovered villages seen for the first time. So how can they be witnesses to him to these uttermost places using the power of the Holy Spirit if it is withdrawn long before they can ever get there? It would not be a faithful promise would it? When Jesus said "you" will receive the holy spirit and "you" will be witnesses to me to the uttermost parts of the earth, he meant any and all who do these things right up until today including
you who read his words. Any missionaries who go to these places today will have Jesus' faithful promise of the holy spirit if they seek after it today. But perhaps so many churches deny something so biblical and instead insist on something so unbiblical is to fulfill this prophecy :

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear." (2nd Timothy 4:3)

So when I tell you that the same One who gave a dream to Peter to kill and eat the animals and not call them unclean, the same One who gave Joseph his dreams and his interpretations of others, and Daniel his dreams and interpretations, gave me a dream on that night. And I am not the only one. The number of people who have recently been given dreams of the second coming is considerable, and nearly all have talked about an urgency. I also felt a sense of great looming monumentalism and a shortness of time- that this scene was going to be happening soon. I don't know precisely when soon is, but I prefer to assume it will be
soon and be wrong than to assume otherwise and be wrong. I suggest you do the same.

The dream foretold the great and terrible Day of the Lord.  I realized that the sunset backdrop of the scene was telling of the end of day. The Day of the Lord is spoken of in scriptures as the End of Days.  The burning is precisely the final judgement's dominant geophysical characteristic, as 2 Peter 3:10 tells:

"The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare"

The day of the Lord comprises not just fire but clouds of darkness covering the globe from its smoke blotting out the sun, stars, and moon which will be blood red from it and what appears to be the stars falling from the sky due in my opinion to ejecta from the falling star which causes the global fires.  (Revelation 8:7-9:2) Jesus refers to this day in Matthew 24:29-31 and He is referring to the same prophecies found in Isaiah 13:9-10, Isaiah 34:4, Joel 2:1-3, Joel 2:30-31, Joel 3:14-16, Ezekiel 32:7-9, and Revelation 6:12-14 among others. It is also referenced in more scriptures than any other in the whole Bible. One thousand eight hundred forty-five  verses and counting. In the the New Testament alone 1 out of 5 verses concerns the Day of the Lord. The cross itself points to the Day of the Lord! 'How?' you ask. Note: At the moment of Jesus death, it was during a time of unnatural darkness, the earth shook, the rocks split, and the graves of the dead were opened, which Jesus himself assures us in John 6:40 will happen "at the last day". And look at Jesus' last words on the way to the cross in Luke 23:28-31 about a future time when they would mourn yet again:

"they will say to the mountains "Fall on us!" and to the hills, "Cover us!"

Revelation 6:15-17 confirms this same prophecy as the Day of the Lord. And Jesus spoke it on the way to the cross. The cross, my friend, is how you may be able to stand on the Day of the Lord.

After I had this dream, I was reading the bible and came across an astonishing passage which was:

"The axe is already at the root of the trees and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire." (Matthew 3:10) See also Matthew 7:17

Reading more I came across others. I did not realize how remarkably many references there were in the bible to people or humanity symbolized as a tree or how many times as a plant which may be burned. Here are a sampling of them.

The Lord once called you ‘a green olive tree, beautiful with good fruit.’ But with the roar of a great tempest he will set fire to it, and its branches will be consumed. (Jeremiah 11:16)

"The kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches" (Luke 13:19)

"A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, 'For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down. Why should it use up the soil?'
'Sir,' the man replied, 'Leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.'
(Luke 13:6)

Clearly the tree represents people like us and the fertilizer is knowledge of God's word and preaching.

The Light of Israel will become a fire,
their Holy One a flame;
in a single day it will burn and consume
his thorns and his briers.
The splendor of his forests and fertile fields
it will completely destroy,
as when a sick person wastes away.
And the remaining trees of his forests will be so few
that a child could write them down.
(A prophecy of Isaiah 10:17-19)

-Also regarding the small number I saw remaining:

Yet some gleanings will remain,
as when an olive tree is beaten,
leaving two or three olives on the topmost branches,
four or five on the fruitful boughs,”
declares the LORD, the God of Israel.
(Isaiah 17:6)

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose trust is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

(Jeremiah 17:7-8)

This next one is particularly relevant:

The visions of my head as I lay in bed were these: I saw, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was great. The tree grew and became strong, and its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth. Its leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it, and the birds of the heavens lived in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it.
“I saw in the visions of my head as I lay in bed, and behold, a watcher, a holy one, came down from heaven. He proclaimed aloud and said thus: ‘Chop down the tree and lop off its branches, strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the beasts flee from under it and the birds from its branches.
(Daniel 4:10-14) This was an excerpt from King Nebuchadnezzar's dream as told to Daniel. Here is one from the book of Judges:

The trees once went out to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us.’ But the olive tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my abundance, by which gods and men are honored, and go hold sway over the trees?’ And the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come and reign over us.’ But the fig tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruit and go hold sway over the trees?’ And the trees said to the vine, ‘You come and reign over us.’ But the vine said to them, ‘Shall I leave my wine that cheers God and men and go hold sway over the trees?’ Finally all the trees said to the thornbush, ‘You come and reign over us.’ And the thornbush said to the trees, ‘If in good faith you are anointing me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade, but if not, let fire come out of the thornbush and devour the cedars of Lebanon.’
(Judges 9:8-15)

But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, (the Jews)neither will he spare you. Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in His kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.
(Romans 11:17-24)

There were also a number of passages which warned of people destined for fire.

"His winnowing fork is in his hand and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire". (Matthew 3:12 & Luke 3:17)

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
(Matthew 25:40-43)

“Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the LORD Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them." (Malachi 4:1-3)

But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. (Hebrews 6:8)

But evil men are all to be cast aside like thorns,
which are not gathered with the hand.
7 Whoever touches thorns
uses a tool of iron or the shaft of a spear;
they are burned up where they lie.”
(2 Samuel 23:7)

While no plant metaphor is used, this next one also from Hebrews:

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
(Hebrews 10:26-27)

This prophecy of the Day of the Lord given to Isaiah is one of many:

See, the LORD is going to lay waste the earth
and devastate it;
he will ruin its face
and scatter its inhabitants—
2 it will be the same
for priest as for people,
for the master as for his servant,
for the mistress as for her servant,
for seller as for buyer,
for borrower as for lender,
for debtor as for creditor.
3 The earth will be completely laid waste
and totally plundered.
The LORD has spoken this word.
4 The earth dries up and withers,
the world languishes and withers,
the heavens languish with the earth.
5 The earth is defiled by its people;
they have disobeyed the laws,
violated the statutes
and broken the everlasting covenant.
6 Therefore a curse consumes the earth;
its people must bear their guilt.
Therefore earth’s inhabitants are burned up,
and very few are left.
(Isaiah 24: 1-6)

He concludes it in verse 13:  

13 So will it be on the earth
and among the nations,
as when an olive tree is beaten,
or as when gleanings are left after the grape harvest.

Jesus told a parable of the weeds and when asked its meaning He answered,
“The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear."
(Matthew 13:37-43)

The Day of the Lord comes at the end of the age, a time that is very near for all. What is the remedy to this circumstance shown in this dream? How can we all live for God first and ourselves second? This passage in my view says it better than all the others and it was spoken by Jesus himself:

4 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its
(Matthew 6: 24-34)

Jesus told of certain things for us to look for:
Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened". (Matthew 24:33-34)

"This generation" meaning the generation that "sees all these things". What things? He made clear what things:

"For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. "
(Matthew 24: 5-7)
"At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." (Matthew 24 :10-14)

So much for those who claim some great end-time church revival.

What do you think? Are there false Messiahs today? Wikipedia lists 24 from the dawn of the 20th century alone, not counting those who claimed in the late 19th century into the 20th, all those who are claimed to be the Messiah by others, or 3 Islamic claimants to be the Messiah (Mahdi) and a Rabbi now deceased who is claimed by followers as the Messiah. This is versus only 13 listed from the 1st century AD all the way up to the end of the 19th century.

As to the increase in wars, how many wars are there today? According to a Wikipedia list of wars, the 19th century-1800 to 1900- lists approx. 313 major and minor wars. From 1900 to 2011, a period of 111 years, there were over 458 major and minor wars, with half of those occurring after 1982 even though the midpoint falls in 1956. This represents a significant increase in the rate at which wars are occurring.

How about famines? According to Wikipedia lists, all the famines from the fall of the Roman Empire to the beginning of the 20th century is about 100. Just since then it lists over 52. Even if you doubled or even tripled the number of pre- 20th century famines, it still cannot compare to the recent increased rate.

What about earthquakes? According to the Advanced Nation Seismic Survey, there were 109 earthquakes worldwide over magnitude 6 on the Richter scale in 1976- a magnitude as easily detected back then as now. Thirty five years later, 2011 saw 224 such events. A two-fold increase in only the past 35 years.

There is a time before the Day of the Lord called the Great Tribulation. This "
increase in wickedness" in which "many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other" alludes to this time of tribulation most of all. Jesus in Luke 21:20 says that,

When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near"

This time of tribulation is 3-1/2 years long and is concluded at the Day of the Lord which is worse in magnitude. Jesus in Matthew 24:29-31 makes this clear when He said:

Immediately after the tribulation of those days
the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky and the heavenly bodies will
be shaken.
Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming
on the clouds of Heaven, with power and great glory. And He will send his angels with a loud trumpet call , and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

Despite all the long description I gave of the vision and the detailed Bible quotes, I want to say that the Lord wasn't giving me Bible quotes or long visions. The whole thing lasted only a short while- I saw it in all its glory and it ended in sudden horrific judgement. I awoke filled with apprehension and amazement at what I had just experienced. It takes longer to describe it all than it took to witness it.
 One thing that the vision gave me was a surprising sense of how we should pray- like Jesus did - looking skyward right up to God. I know that of course God will hear us if we look down and mumble and He even hears our thoughts. And I know that many of you are incredulous about this, but if we turn our faces up to him when we pray like Jesus did, its different. Jesus prayed looking up towards God several times in the bible. (John 11:41 and 17:41, and Mathew 14:19, repeated in Mark 6:41 and Luke 9:16) Jesus never did anything for nothing. He did it for a reason. You can do it in private though he did it in public. Can a mumbling half-hearted prayer result from that? Try it right now and see what happens when you at least turn your face directly to God. How can you not say at least something true and meaningful? Tell God you love Him and thank Him for all He is doing for you right now in your life. Confess to Him what a lousy follower you've been and deeply apologize. I know
I have been a lousy follower. He will be so pleased with you and will want to bless you so much. You have no idea what a blessing that simple act is to Him.
 Many of you will question my dream asking "Why isn't the whole church saved?" I tell you that Jesus was very clear about this:
"But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, 'Raca,' is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell." (Mathew 5:22-23)
Are you forgiving of people who offend you? He further said:
"But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
Are you innocent of this? Or do you confess it when it happens and ask God for forgiveness? Do you constantly guard against it? Are you lying without asking God for forgiveness and not repenting? The bible says "But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)
  There are many who think they can get a pass in these and other areas if they are devout otherwise. But Jesus said, "Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’" (Matthew 7:22-23)
 Even those doing such things as Jesus did must obey God. Is the whole church doing that today? Few are even performing any miracles in Jesus' name.
 Do you watch countless hours of secular television? If so, you're the same as the rest of the world. Would Jesus sit down and watch all this stuff? Why would you who claim he is in you? Jesus even warned: 'For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
  Perhaps you are like many who attend church and feel you are fulfilling some duty to God, but in Ezekiel it says that people say to each other ‘Come and hear the message that has come from the LORD.’ 31 My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for gain. (Ezekiel 33:30-31)

 Jesus knew that few would listen well enough or guard their hearts enough to be saved. He told us, "..For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Mathew 7:13-14)
 By the way, I believe that the narrowness of the bend in the stream which did not admit passage of the whole tree was this same 'small gate and narrow road' that Jesus supernaturally knew about and warned of.
Even if you are repenting, James 2:14 asks: What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?   I think we all know the obvious answer.

 I say don't work for yourself and tithe 10% to God but work for God and spare what is needed for yourself. How do you live for God? There must be big ideas you once had or ideals for doing something for God that you have forgotten about. Or there are things which you wish you could do but gave up on or hold little hope for. I say, do those things. If you think like us all about your own needs first, this will never end. But if you would focus on the sufferings of another, it will be easier to forget your own. Flee from the wrath that is to come by fleeing from yourself. Pray for your enemies. This by far is one of the most glaring deficiencies in the church today. Jesus said:
 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?  And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Mathew 5:44-48)

 God sending sunshine and rain on everybody shows he loves everybody - he's perfect.
  If you also see no difference between those who fear the lord and those who don't or you see unbelieving people grow rich or people who who even challenge God prospering, this complaint also occurred in Malachi's time. "....Certainly evildoers prosper, and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it.’Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name. “On the day when I act,” says the LORD Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not. Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the LORD Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them. 2 But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves. 3 Then you will trample on the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I act,” says the LORD Almighty. (Malachi 3:14- 4:3)

 And now for a strange postscript to this story. Do you remember my description of how I had a healed back , followed by a flat tire rescue, followed by the prophetic dream all in the same day? In my life I had one earlier prophetic dream. Except I was an atheist at the time so forget about theories that God only gives them to righteous men! In it I saw a strange black metal building interior with a carnival inside its lower level, and my best friend's two young sons in there without him. I was filled with an overpowering sense that there was something very wrong and that I had to get them out of there. I tried to do this, had difficulty finding the one boy, and more difficulty trying to find the way out. I could not find the doorway and filled with a sense of fate, I awoke.
 This disturbed me so much that I phoned my friend, but discovered all was well. Months later I was with the boys at Niagara Falls, Ontario (their Dad was too busy and stayed home), and the big tourist tower/Imax theater had a lower level with a carnival in it. We saw this as we left the theater having gone the wrong way to exit. I saw the identical stairs, window, no obvious way out, and immediately knew what it was and where I had seen it before. The boys rushed to the door of the carnival and I stopped them and tried to find a way out of that place while trying to herd two boys who wanted to run in and look. ( I must admit that I too was extremely curious but the overpowering sense of dread from the dream prevailed.) Filled with a sense of fate, I finally succeeded in getting outdoors by an obscure back door. The rest of the day went very well. But this later caused me to question how on earth all this could have occurred.
 The future doesn't exist, and even if it does, it can't send signals back through time into the present. Even if it could, it couldn't know the meaning of events to send them to a specific person concerned. And even if it somehow could, I have no way to receive such signals.... its all so astronomically beyond plausibility in the extreme. There was no practical answer anywhere that I could imagine to this event within the bounds of logic. But I took a crack at it anyways.
 The only thing that could possibly answer it was that there was an intelligence involved... one that is somehow outside of time itself.... an intelligence that cared about my future personally.... which had the means to communicate directly to my mind's innermost thoughts while I slept.....
(I must tell you that this began to demolish my carefully constructed house of cards atheist philosophy.)
   Later on, I had changed jobs and was low on money at that time. My truck had a bald tire and I knew I would not get paid for 2 weeks. So I tested God to see if he was real. I simply said regarding my tire each day, 'Stand by me, God'. One day on the way home it blew in the middle of nowhere and two young boys immediately came up to me and said their father up the road had a tire he could sell me. Except that my tire was the old split rim type which few could change anymore. Plus I had no jack or wrench. Plus I had only $40. ....Hopeless. But off I went on foot with them. I arrived at their house and out of the piles of junk on his shelves so bad that you could not even see it, he pulled down a tire on its own rim. But it would have to be an 8 hole 16" Chevy rim. .....It was.     But I had no jack or wrench.' He had those too and the boys would help me change it. '
"How much would you like?", I asked. "Thirty", he said like he was driving some hard bargain. I gave him $35 and was on my way faster than if I had broke down in front of a tire repair shop which I could not afford. Plus I now had a spare rim.
 I thanked God that afternoon for the first time in memory. Maybe God did exist but I wasn't sure about Jesus. Then a Christian friend at my new workplace invited me to a night service at Agape Church to hear a traveling evangelist from Australia. I must have been really bored to accept an invite like that but ok, off I went thinking maybe they would at least have some good food! When I got there the evangelist, Doug Stanton insisted on healing every last person in the whole place. He supernaturally knew I had back problems and after I laid on the floor, I felt a great painless tension in my back and the feeling of being pressed to the floor. Afterward, I had no back pain for as long as I could remember.
 These three events, the dream, the flat tire rescue and the back healing had stood out in my mind for years. But they returned to my mind like a thunderstroke when it occurred to me that these same three events had happened to me again 12 years later-
but in reverse order! Moreover, they happened in a single day, as opposed to over the span of a year the first time. There had been a span of about 12 years in between and I immediately understood what all this meant and why God did this. The two identical sets of events in reverse order like mirror images were bookends. They symbolized God completing something in this dream. And its harder to imagine anything more final than the outcome of this dream! Also I'm sure, some work completed in me.
I also immediately understood the meaning of the one day duration of the most recent trio of events versus those mirroring it years ago. This was also symbolized in the age of the messengers sent to rescue me during the flat tire episode- barely teen the first time, versus a man in his late 60's in the recent event. It meant time is
much shorter! He who has ears let him hear. Moreover, I later recalled the sunset sky of the whole dream and realized its end of time meaning.
  Lastly, you may recall that I mentioned that I had thought something was wrong with me as I never had had the gift of tongues. At that time (July 2011), I was engaged in reading through the bible in one year. I had not yet come upon these verses:

Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. (1 Corinthians 12:30-31)

He continues:

Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. 2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. 3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. 4 Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.
(1 Corinthians 14:1-5)
Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is not for unbelievers but for believers. (1 Corinthians 14:22)

The last thing that I can tell you in closing is to deeply consider this sobering warning by Jesus who said,
“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.
“It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.
“It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed."
(Luke 17:26-30)

I tell you with all my heart that this is true and actually happened to me July 10-12, 2011.

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