The Dreamer Dreamed (PART ONE)
The Dreamer Dreamed
This is a short story about a young man named Steven who was given dreams
from God that reveal truth God has shown me (the writer) that His Church needs
to hear. Though this is written as fiction, the words spoken by Jesus are actual words
that God showed me. So, this is not just a fictional work. It applies to our current
world and to the Church. I encourage you to seek God about this to find out what He
would show you about this story.
Right click link and select "Open link in new tab.")
Steve, a young man in his early twenties, pulled his blankets over him as he lay in bed. The dim light from a bare light bulb shot through a gap between his basement bedroom door and the concrete floor. His breathing slowed to a restful state and a dream began to form in his mind. An underground base with steel and concrete hallways appeared.
Steve was standing in a steel hallway lined with metal doors that resembled the bulkhead doors in a ship. A lip was raised a couple inches from the floor of each door and all were closed tight. Electric light bulbs, encased in metal cages, hummed and flickered along the hallway. Footsteps were approaching from behind Steve. Turning quickly, he saw a man approaching, carrying a briefcase in his left hand and a pen in the other. The man wore dark sunglasses, a black trench coat, and a black suit.
“You want your God to love you?” he asked Steve.
That was a strange question, Steve thought. Who was this guy?
“I know you do. So, would you like to find out how to get your God to love you more? Would you like Him to satisfy your desires?”
Steve had felt somewhat empty and somewhat distant from God, and he couldn’t tell exactly why he felt that way, but he did. He had been raised as a Christian and had received Jesus as his Savior and Lord when he was a boy. What this stranger was saying was unusual, but the questions strangely drew him to want to know more.
“Yes,” Steve said. “How?”
“I will give you a booklet which will help you to get God to satisfy your desires.”
The stranger pulled out of his briefcase a booklet and handed it to Steve. Taking it in his hands, he felt the pages and the laminated texture. It looked like a small manual. Opening it, Steve perused through the pages.
“How can I trust you?” Steve asked.
“I am a man of my word. I have served your God for many years and He wants you to follow my, I mean, this booklet.”
“But, this isn’t the Bible,” Steve said. “Why should I follow it?”
“Just trust me. You will see as you follow it.”
Steve began to flip through the pages. He didn’t notice footsteps walking away until he heard the sound of a metal door squeak shut.
The stranger had just opened one of the bulkhead doors, and shut it softly behind him, but he had left it cracked ajar as if to invite Steve to follow him. Steve glanced through the booklet and noticed that it seemed very logical and rational. It made sense. This booklet told him the way to have peace, and a sense of well-being, and confidence by way of taking upon oneself to do tasks and assignments. One was praying for everything he could think of, including praying for long periods of time. It included repetitive prayers and praying for everything with meticulous detail and precision.
Another point made by this booklet was to read three chapters of the Bible quickly and with the goal of getting the chapters done within a certain time frame. Also it spoke of community service, such as raking leaves for widows and picking up trash. The goal in mind for these works is to obtain favor and blessings from God and to earn more of God’s love. This sounded good to Steve, but a still, small voice whispered, “Trust Me and don’t trust these works.” But, Steve felt strongly in his heart that he should do these good works to earn favor and blessing. “How else could I feel God’s love?” Steve thought.
He was curious what lay beyond the door. Stepping over to the door, he nudged it with his hand and it felt very cold, but he pushed it open, and it squeaked loudly. Steve cringed at the sound, but curiosity got the better of him, and he stepped through the door, over the rim. Inside, he found himself in a long hallway with a warped floor. Troughs, bumps, and craters distorted the metal surface underneath. As Steve began walking forward, he noticed the hall widening and widening as if it was from an optical illusion. Here and there were people who were staring at hand mirrors and adjusting their hair. On their shirts hung medals and ribbons. But, each ribbon or medal had a distinct quality about it that drew Steve’s curiosity. The ribbons appeared to be made of paper, and the “medals” of shiny plastic.
“Excuse me, young man,” a gentleman with muttonchops and a red military uniform called out.
“Yes?” Steve said.
“Where do you come from?” The gentlemen studied him with piercing eyes that hid under bushy eyebrows.
“I come from Everytown: population thirty-five thousand.”
“I wondered if you had heard of my name, from where you came?” the man asked.
“No, who are you?”
“I am Colonel Chesterton Pride, and surely you must be aware of all the acts of service I did for your community.”
Steve squinted, trying to remember if he had met or heard of the colonel before.
Colonel Pride said with gusto: “I built an orphanage, gave thousands of dollars to widows and the poor. I regularly attended the First Church of Everytown until I moved to Anytown. Not to be proud, but when I was asked to help the pastor fix the roof of the church building, I ignored my back pain and put my skills to use. Some of the other men had to leave early, but not me. I worked until the sun went down, when my eyes couldn’t see the shingles before me. The next day, I gave a widow the best of my wife’s old clothes and I repaired her kitchen sink. I could go on and on about my accomplishments, but I don’t wish to bore you. So, what brings you here?”
“Where are we?” Steve asked, taking in what colonel had said.
“What, you don’t know? We are in the Hall of Works. It is here that you can earn credit with God and it is here that your achievements will be proudly displayed for you and your friends to see.”
Steve thought about what he said for a moment. “Why is the floor warped and bent as if a heavy weight bashed into it?”
“Hah!” the colonel laughed. “That is pure nonsense. This hall is not warped. It is straight as an arrow. You must be mistaken. Anyhow, I have much more work to do for the Lord. I don’t have time to just talk. The more I do for God, the more God will make me a happy man.”
With that, the man walked off to mingle with some other people who were painting a wall blue. Steve noticed people lying face first on prayer rugs and repeatedly bowing and rising. Others were repeating prayers like a mantra. To his surprise, Steve noticed Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Catholics, and many people wearing name cards identifying them as protestants praying repetitively.
“Your God will meet your needs if you do what these people are doing, Steve,” a voice said from behind him.
Steve turned around to see the man dressed in the black trench coat.
“Why are Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, and Catholics here, with protestants?” Steve asked.
With a wry smile, the man said: “They are here to do their thing to reach their gods, but you can do your thing and reach God by your good works.”
“I guess that makes sense,” Steve said. “Maybe, I’ll give it a try.”
“Then, follow me,” the man said, motioning with his hand.
Steve followed him to a door in the side of the hallway and both entered a room. A dim light in the ceiling weakly illuminated a table with a chair. On the walls hung paintings of men and women praying and doing acts of service, such as scrubbing dirty floors and giving wads of cash to the poor. Above these people in each painting, a single, large eye gazed down on them. This eye was surrounded by a triangle from which beams of light shot out in all directions. A little unease crept into Steve, but he brushed it off.
“You have the booklet I gave you. Turn to the section about prayer, and start praying. You will get more of God’s love if you follow these repetitive prayers, and if you make sure to pray every word of these prayers in exactly how it appears from the text.”
The man left the room and closed the door behind him, shutting out the sound from the Hall of Works. Now, left to himself, Steve began reading from the booklet and started praying the prayers exactly how the book said, so that God would supposedly give him more of His love.
Time passed slowly, and Steve prayed as fervently as he could muster. He was watching a clock slowly tick by the time. After it seemed he had prayed for four hours, pacing about the room, and reading from the booklet, Steve looked up at the clock. It was exactly four hours. But, then his heart skipped a beat. Steve was looking at a picture. And in the glass, which covered the painting, he could see a reflection of his face. The youthfulness was gone, and grey hair seemed to appear at his temples. Then, he looked closer at the clock. His heart sank. What appeared to be hour positions were actually indications of decades of time. The four hours were actually four decades. He had been in the room for forty years praying from a booklet, doing what the stranger had told him to do to obtain God’s love.
Alarmed, Steve moved toward the door and tried the handle, but it wouldn’t open. He tried again. It was locked. Fear seized him. There was no way out.
“God, please help me,” cried Steve. “I am trapped and have no hope. I have no hope. I have no hope but you. Come and save me.”
“I am already here,” a loving voice said to Steve’s spirit. It was a calm and gentle voice that felt like a breath of fresh air.
No one was in the room that Steve could see, but he heard the loving voice say again, “Steve, my son, I am right here. I have always been with you. You are dreaming.”
When he heard the words “You are dreaming,” Steve woke up.
He was lying on his bed in his basement bedroom. Morning light streamed through a ground-level window, illuminating a small bookshelf holding various books about the Christian faith. To the left of the bookshelf his wooden dresser stood dutifully holding all his clothes and some odds and ends he had collected since he was a kid, such a baseballs, buttons, baseball cards, and postcards. Above the dresser hung a photo of a painted scene of deer eating grass in a meadow surrounded by pine and maple trees. A gentle stream meandered past a small group of grazing animals. He like that picture. It was serene and made him think of the times he went backpacking as a teen.
“My son,” the gentle, faint voice spoke to Steve’s spirit again.
“Yes, Abba Father,” Steve looked up. He was familiar with that loving voice of God.
“I am with you. I will let you know about the dream, if you want.”
“I am curious. Why was I locked up in that room so long and who was that stranger who gave me the booklet?”
“The stranger was a demon called Self-Righteousness. He was accompanied by invisible demons called Fear and Performance. These creatures have been attacking you for most of your life. They tell you that you need to work for Me in order to be loved and accepted. But, what they say to you is far from the truth. I love you and I don’t want any of your works or your performance for My love and acceptance. Even if you never prayed or read the Bible, I would still love you and accept you because My love and acceptance of you is received by grace and not by works.”
“Wow,” Steve muttered, thinking about what his Abba Father God had just said.
“As for the room you were in, in your dream, it represents the prison of false works, which the devil wants to keep My people locked away in. Some people remain in that prison until just the end of their lives. Others are in and out, but others look to Me and I show them the way out, for I am the Redeemer. I deliver My people from bondage. I delivered Moses and the children of Israel from the bondage of Egypt, and I will deliver you from the bondage of performance. Look to Me, and you will be blessed. And, I the LORD your God and Abba Father have spoken.”
“Daddy, Abba God,” Steve said, “I want to be released. I don’t want to remain in that prison. Help me to rest in your arms and not trust in my own works.”
“I will help you. Just look to Me and rest on My promises. You will do well. I will meet all your needs and never forsake you. Just rest in Me.”
“How do I look to you and rest in you and on your promises?” Steve asked.
“You rest in Me by trusting in what I accomplished for you at the cross, My son, by the shedding of My precious blood to cover all your sins, and to make you whole and clean. I gave you My life so that you may live. Think about this and just let yourself relax in My loving embrace. My promises are for now and not for far off into the future. They are for today and for now. Rest in My promises by meditating on some of them and trusting in Me to work them out in your life. I love you very much. And, I the LORD your GOD and Abba Father have spoken.”
“I will do my best to do these things, Father,” Steve said.
“Rest in Me, My son,” God’s kind voice spoke softly to him, but Steve was not listening closely at that moment. He began to feel fears that to get God’s promises into his heart meant that he would have to read the Bible for several hours a day and really try to understand every single word of it.
Getting a Bible, Steve sat down at a wooden desk and clicked on his reading lamp. He began reading, but his mind was starting to get distracted. Then, he noticed a photo of a smiling face. She was pretty. Her sparkling eyes and warm smile caused Steve to smile briefly as he remembered his friend. They had been somewhat close, but the great distance between them meant that he had to travel for five hours just to reach her parents’ home. After a few short years, they agreed that they couldn’t continue being so close as friends and they would need to just be acquaintances. That was sad to Steve, but he knew it had also deeply affected her. She had not been able to get Steve completely off her mind because from time to time she would send Steve a postcard telling about her visits to Bolivia, then Peru, and then Norway.
Putting the photo down, Steve tucked it away in a drawer and gently slid it shut.
“My son, I will meet that deep need you have for fellowship,” God’s loving voice spoke to him.
“Father God, I will try to believe you. Help me to.”
“Rest in Me and you will believe.”
The Church That Ignored Their Savior
That night, Steve dreamed again. He found himself standing in the same hallway with the bulkhead doors on either side. The same ceiling light bulbs hummed in their steel cages. Now, as Steve began walking down this hallway, he wondered why it felt very familiar. He had forgotten his previous dream. He tried a door to his left and the handle moved. It was unlocked. Curious, Steve opened it and peered inside.
He found himself staring into a church building sanctuary. At the back of the large room stood a raised platform with a pulpit. A man was standing behind the pulpit and speaking to a large congregation of people. The people in the congregation were reading their Bibles, but were oblivious to Steve as he started walking down one of the four aisles. Then, Steve noticed a man in the front of the room, before the steps leading up to the platform. He was lying on the ground and clearly appeared to be in pain. He had a beard and hair that went down to just above his shoulder. He wore an off-white robe and sandals, like someone from ancient Israel or the Middle East might have worn.
Steve approached the man and was struck by how much agony and sadness he wore on his face and by the love and grief that appeared in his eyes. His side was bleeding, and nail scars in his hands gushed out blood, but no one paid any attention to him. The pastor should have been able to see him, but he completely ignored him and continued preaching. Then, it occurred to Steve that this man was Jesus. Running to his side, Steve said, “Lord Jesus, what has happened to you? Why are you bleeding?”
Just as Jesus was about to speak, a firm hand grabbed Steve around his wrist and pulled him away. Another hand seized his other wrist and some strong men led Steve away from the front end, and down an aisle toward an exit. They opened a door to a small room, pulling Steve in, and shut the door behind them.
“Why did you take me away? Why aren’t you helping that poor man?” Steve asked, shocked at their treatment of him.
One of the men frowned at him and said: “You were disrupting our service and we cannot permit that behavior in our church.”
“But, there is a man bleeding to death right before you, and you act like you never noticed him.”
“What man are you talking about?” the other man said.
“There is a man with blood coming from His hands and side. He, He is Jesus. Why hasn’t anyone noticed Him?” Steve said, with tears starting to run down his face. He wiped them away.
“We don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re hallucinating or something.”
“Let’s get him out of here. He must be drunk,” the other man said reaching to grab Steve’s arm. The men shoved Steve through a door, and he suddenly found himself in another location.
He was in a manicured garden with marble walkways, streams, and beautiful, flowering trees. A hand touched his back and gently rubbed him. Looking up, Steve smiled. It was Jesus.
His green eyes looked down at Steve with great love and warmth. Brown hair flowed down to just a couple inches above his shoulders. His skin was of an olive complexion. A white or off-white garment reached down to his ankles where leather sandals kept his feet from touching the path. He wore a golden belt or girdle. Steve was six feet tall, but Jesus appeared to be at least seven feet in height.
“It’s you, dear Jesus,” Steve said, amazed.
“It is I. Be not afraid,” He said warmly.
“I saw you back in that church building. Why were you lying in a pool of blood, and why did no one notice you?”
The sound of buzzing bees and cheerful bird chirps filled the silence until the Lord spoke.
“My son, these people are blind, and cannot see their hands in front of them. They are unable to notice that I am suffering when I see the suffering of the lost souls among them. For, indeed, there are many lost souls suffering in those Churches. They are suffering because the Word is not being preached with power, and with the anointing of the Holy Spirit. And, the pastors are not connecting with My Spirit to present the Gospel and to present the full counsel of My Word. They are giving the people cotton candy and unfulfilling talk. They are teaching things to tickle the ears of the people, while ignoring their deep, spiritual need.”
“What do they need, dear Jesus?”
“They need to be saved from their sins and to know My power and My Name. They don’t know My Name, except for a few. The pastors are afraid that if they teach My full counsel, they will be ridiculed and mocked. And, they are afraid they will lose prestige and money. Sadly, many pastors would rather have the acceptance of men and comfortable lifestyles than to care for the souls of the lost, and of those who do not know My Name.”
“I thought everyone or most people in a church would know your Name, Lord.”
“Sadly, that is not the case in many Churches. There are many people who profess that they know Me, but in works they show that they have rejected My Word, and rejected My call to deny themselves, take up their crosses, and follow Me. Many profess that they love Me, but they live like they despise Me. When I say, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery,’ they say, ‘We can commit adultery, and who can tell us not to? We have the right and liberty to sin. Let us follow our own minds and hearts. God will understand.’ By this, they are foolishly casting their lives away--their eternal lives. For, if they will not repent from their sins, and rebellion, and hardness of heart, I cannot let them enter Heaven. Only those who follow Me and learn to be humble will enter.”
“Dear Jesus, what would happen to a person who struggles with pride? Would that person not enter Heaven?”
“My son, these people, if they repent from pride will certainly enter. But, those who refuse to repent from pride shall not enter because their pride would be their god, and I would just be a word that they speak of without knowing the One behind the word. In other words, they would not know Me, their Creator, personally anymore.”
As Steve and the Lord walked along the path, they came up to a hill and looked out over a large valley spread before them. In this valley below lay a city with high-rise apartments, office buildings, and town houses. Smoke rose up into the air, from the buildings, in black columns which expanded high up in the clouds. The city was all in flames, burning in a fiery inferno. Some buildings began collapsing as the flames gutted out their structures and weakened them to the point of collapse.
“What is happening?” Steve thought to himself. “Why is this city burning? Something must be done to save these people!”
After the shock of seeing the devastation below began to fade a little, Steve looked up to Jesus. “Dear Jesus, why is the city burning?” he asked.
Jesus looked lovingly at Steve and placed his hand on his shoulder. He said:
“My son, the city is burning to show you that your country, the United States of America shall be attacked from many fronts, and it shall collapse into an inferno eventually. But, the attacks will bring in great destruction on many fronts and in many areas of life. The ways of your nation are not hidden from Me. I see all that they do, and they cannot hide their wickedness.
“Indeed, before you can describe to me your fears and tell me all your concerns, I already know what you were going to say. I know you are concerned about your friends and about your family, but trust Me, for I shall call out to all of them. I will not bring down judgment without warning the people. And, I will have you warn your family, and warn your friends, and warn your church. They need to hear the message that judgment is coming, and that now is the time to prepare their hearts, and their lives for the events that will soon come to pass. I love you very much, just as I love all My children. Now, rest, My son, and I will show you more.”
Jesus said: “Come, let us travel to a church building where I will show you some things.”
Suddenly, the grassy hill and the valley vanished from Steve’s vision and new surroundings appeared. The Lord had instantly moved or translated Steve to a new location, similar to what happened with Philip after the Lord took him away from the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-40). They were now standing inside the sanctuary or auditorium of a large church building. But, something was different about the sanctuary than the last church building he had seen.
This one was filled with skeletons. They were sitting in the seats and paying attention to the man speaking from the pulpit. The man was wearing a tie and a suit and walked back and forth on the platform overlooking the crowd. Among the skeletons were regular people wearing modest, white clothing. These people had a normal, healthy appearance. As Steve looked at them, he couldn’t understand why skeletons were sitting right beside them. Then, to his shock, Steve realized that the skeletons were moving as if they had life. But, the shock was short lived, because Steve remembered that he was seeing a vision or a dream.
The pastor or speaker on the platform was speaking and using a computer enhanced presentation. From time to time he would pick up his Bible and speak of a few verses, but he tried to make them more culture friendly and easy to swallow. As he paced back and forth, preaching or teaching, a man or woman would say “amen” or “praise the Lord.” Sometimes, a skeleton would speak the same words. Strangely, the pastor didn’t notice that many of the people in the room were actually skeletons.
“My son,” Jesus said, “what you see here is an example of the modern Church in America. It is neither hot, nor cold, but it is lukewarm. What can I do with such a Church? I plead with them every day and throughout the day, but many will not listen to Me. Even many of those who wear white will not listen to Me when I plead with them.
“Some have turned into skeletons after persistently resisting My Spirit and My convictions. I am grieved over their hearts and over their rebellion against Me. They have forsaken the right way, and turned aside after deception and falsehood. The pastor is teaching scriptural truth, but he is not teaching what I desire him to teach, and he is not telling the people that they must repent and trust only in Me to be saved from their sins. He is not telling them about being born again and knowing My Name.
“He is not preaching that souls can be lost, who are walking after the world, even after they got saved. I speak of this in My Word, in Hebrews chapter 10. I warn the people all the time, but many will not listen. They go on in sin and think that they will somehow enter Heaven, but they are choosing for sin to be their god and master, and they are forsaking Me. Sadly, this is why many will start out in the faith and walking with Me, but they will cease to bear fruit, and will die. These are the bad soils from My parable of the soils, or the parable of the sower. They start out right, but as sin creeps into their hearts, by and by, they are offended by the true Gospel, and forsake it for a false gospel.
“They love the pleasures of the world and the delights of the flesh more than they love Me. They love to walk in the shoes of the world, but refuse to walk in My footprints of humility, and of trusting in My blood, and of trusting in My Word for salvation and for righteous living. You are not saved by your works, but your choices and decisions show who your God is. If you live like the world, your life shows that you love the world more than you love Me.
“Eventually, if such a soul will not repent, I could not let him or her enter My Paradise of Heaven. Such a soul would be cast into outer darkness where shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth. This is a description of the darkness in Hell. I am grieved that so many people in the Church do not live like they know Me, and so many do not even desire to know Me that much. I desire for them to know Me deeply, and much better than they have ever thought they could know Me.
“I desire that they would look only to Me to fulfill their desires and to meet all their emotional, spiritual, and physical needs. If they don’t believe that I will meet their needs, they would be drawn into the ways of the world, which include performing or working to earn credit, and pursuing the flesh. These are harmful to their spiritual condition.
“If they harden their hearts greatly against Me, I could not let them enter Heaven because they would have cast Me out of their lives, and rejected Me, in order to serve their false gods, such as pleasure, in a worldly sense; lusts of the flesh; lusts of the eyes; and the pride of life. All who follow those things shall not enter Heaven. I am pleased that you, Steve, want to follow Me, and obey Me, and know Me more personally. You may pray that My Church will do that too. I am with you. Now, let us go on from here.”