An Army of Fire

7 Aug

For the past two and a half months, Jonathan Sanderson has been having the following recurring dream once, and sometimes twice, a week:

I am standing at the front of the congregation as I do with Mike and Sandra on a typical Sunday morning. We are worshiping our Father, and I look around to each and every person in the sanctuary. I can see into their chests, only to see their hearts set ablaze in various states of flame. Some are these great flames are flickering and snapping at their hearts, and others are mere ambers or coals. But to my relief they all have some activity.

We continue to worship and praise our Father in amazing fashion. As we are singing with all our might, we consecutively hear a loud explosion of sorts, or more like a commotion, coming from the parking lot. The music stops… time stands still, it seems, as we all look about. People begin rushing to the glass doors. As we look out to the parking lot there are no longer any vehicles, but instead, before us stand a battalion of flaming pillars of men. They all stand erect and in formation like an army of fire.

Just as we are all taking this sight in, we hear from around the room the screams and agony of some who fall to the ground and writhe in pain on the floors as the once present flame in their hearts is extinguished and they die, turning to no more than saggy canvas on broken frames. Some turn to ash as the fire within burns out and disappears. 

A third of the congregation suffers this fate, while some of the others have a much different result. Instead of the fire within them flickering out or wasting away, the fire rises up and overflows from their hearts. As they are consumed in fire, they resemble those who await us outside.

Although I see that they are not in pain, the sight of the fire amazes and startles me. I feel a fear of burning. As I watch this unfold, I come to realize that I too am being swallowed in flame.

(For weeks I would awake in a cold sweat and full of fear. It was only after the first day of the End Times class that I was able to accept this. Since this understanding has taken place I have completed the dream and have come to see that the flame does not hurt at all but provides more strength than I know how to put into words. It calms and yet gives purpose.)

Now a towering figure of fire, I open the doors with the others and take my place within the moving mass of flames. We set out for another destination I know not of.

Mike’s interpretation:

John the Baptist said there would come One after him who would baptize us with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matt 3:11). In the Bible, fire speaks of purification (Isaiah 6:6-7), judgment (Malachi 4:1), holiness (Ex. 3:2), intense love (Song 8:6), and zeal for God (John 5:35).

For many years we and many others have been praying that the Holy Spirit would fill us with the fire of His holiness, burning away the dross of a divided heart and forging within us hearts of undistracted devotion.

This dream illustrates what it might look like when God visits a church with revival fire. Those who have not taken the time to prepare themselves will not be able to endure Him coming in this way (Joel 2:11; Malachi 3:2). However, those who have prepared themselves have nothing to fear. For them it will be an unspeakably glorious experience, equipping each one to be part of the exceedingly powerful army of God.

When a person has the same dream two or three times, it is often an indication that the dream is from the Lord. Amazingly, Jonathan continues to have this dream once or twice a week.

Such a recurring dream from the Lord is rare and highly significant, indicating that He really wants us to understand the dream and let the truth of it sink deeply in our souls. He doesn’t want us to be awed by the dream and then forget about what we heard, but to meditate upon what we have heard.

None of us can escape the responsibility of preparing for what is coming, crying out to God to do this wonderful work in the earth, and interceding for others so that they are not consumed when it comes (Exodus 24:17; Deut. 4:24; 9:3; Isaiah 29:6; 30:27, 30; Isaiah 33:14; Heb. 12:29).

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