Do not boast about tomorrow,
For you do not know what a day may bring forth.
Plant in faith in the morning and do not be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether morning or evening sowing will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good. If no one knows what will happen, who can tell him when it will happen? Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
Take therefore NO thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the morrow is the evil in today.
The Lord knows the indispensability of time, hence the warning to man to redeem the time because the days are evil. Each day witnessed in life is a gift from God. Therefore, it behoves every believer to manage time wisely in order to maximise opportunities. I will be totally frank and honest! Almost a decade ago, after a motor vehicle accident and drowning, I had an experience that cannot be defined/described/explained in huMan terms! To very quickly disseminate the ‘experience’, I was not aware of what was occurring to my body in the physical! I was ME, nothing else! I was all I had! My memories, thoughts, emotions…
Don’t fear the unknown; don’t lose sleep over what doesn’t make sense. God has equipped you, empowered you, and anointed you. You’ve been raised up for such a time as this. No weapon formed against you will prosper. Keep walking in faith, trusting when you don’t understand, and you’re going to walk into blessings, favor, healing, freedom, abundance, victory like you’ve never seen.
I have shared my experience in past shares. A key fact weighs on my spirit. A narcotic influenced ‘dream’ would not be recollected with such clarity! Even attempts to re-dream are not huManly possible. I admit that I have not once ‘revisited’ my dream (if that is what it is/was.) Over the years, I have shared my experience unwavering/unchanging it is my memory. I am a fellowship-trained General Surgeon; a Physician and have tried to explain it from a medical standpoint. I have been unable to do so.
Narcotic induced hallucination/Opioid-induced hallucination is an uncommon yet significant adverse effect of opioid treatment. The practitioner may encounter patient reluctance to volunteer the occurrence of this phenomenon because of fears of being judged mentally unsound.
Mentally unsound? Truly, I laugh! In the Bible, The dreams of Joseph, the butler and the baker, and then Pharaoh, constitute the Bible’s most prominent dream series. There are three sets of two dreams each. Joseph’s second dream essentially repeats his first, and Pharaoh’s dreams are identical to each other.
My times are in Your hands Heavenly Father, Amen. At the right time, God will provide your need. At the right time, God will deliver you. At the right time, God will rescue you.
Have you ever been through a crisis? Maybe you’re going through one now.
There are three important lessons we can learn in John 11 about how to hang on in times of crisis. Jesus gets word that his friend Lazarus is critically ill. Much to his disciple’s astonishment, Jesus doesn’t run to heal him, but stays for two days before leaving. When Jesus arrived in Bethany, home of Lazarus and his two sisters, He learns that Lazarus died four days earlier. God’s time is not our time.
God used dreams and visions (visions are “waking dreams”; see Numbers 24:4) several times in the Bible to communicate with people. Visions seem to have been common enough that their lack was sorely noted. An absence of visions was due at times to a dearth of prophets (1 Samuel 3:1) and other times due to the disobedience of God’s people (1 Samuel 28:6).
Old Testament Dreams and Visions
God used visions in the Old Testament to reveal His plan, to further His plan, and to put His people in places of influence.
Abimelech (Genesis 20:1-7): Abraham’s wife, Sarah, was beautiful—so beautiful that when Abraham came into a new area he occasionally feared that the local ruler would kill him and take Sarah for himself. Abraham told Abimelech king of Gerar that Sarah was his sister (she was his half-sister). Abimelech took Sarah into his harem, but God sent him a dream telling him not to touch Sarah because she was Abraham’s wife. The king returned Sarah to her husband the next morning; the dream had protected Sarah and safeguarded God’s plan for Sarah to be the mother of His chosen people.
Jacob (Genesis 28:10-17): Jacob, with his mother’s help, stole Esau’s firstborn inheritance. Jacob then fled Esau’s anger, and on his journey he had his famous dream of a ladder reaching to heaven on which angels ascended and descended. In this dream Jacob received God’s promise that Abraham’s blessing would be carried on through him.
Joseph (Genesis 37:1-11): Joseph is one of the most famous dreamers, and one of the most famous dream-interpreters, in the Bible. His first recorded dreams are found in Genesis 37. They showed through easily deciphered symbols that Joseph’s family would one day bow to him in respect. His brothers didn’t appreciate the dream and in their hatred sold Joseph into slavery. Eventually, Joseph ended up in prison in Egypt.
Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker (Genesis 40): While in prison Joseph interpreted some dreams of Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker. With God’s guidance, he explained that the cupbearer would return to Pharaoh’s service, but the baker would be killed.
Pharaoh (Genesis 41): Two years later, Pharaoh himself had a dream which Joseph interpreted. God’s purpose was to raise Joseph to second-in-command over Egypt and to save the Egyptians and the Israelites from a horrible famine.
Samuel (1 Samuel 3): Samuel had his first vision as a young boy. God told him that judgment was coming upon the sons of Samuel’s mentor, Eli. The young Samuel was faithful to relay the information, and God continued to speak to Samuel through the rest of his life.
The Midianite and Amalekite armies (Judges 7:12-15): The pagan enemies of Israel had a divinely inspired dream. God told Gideon to sneak into the enemy camp at night, and there in the outposts of the camp, Gideon overheard an enemy soldier relate a dream he had just had. The interpretation, from another enemy soldier, mentioned Gideon by name and predicted that Israel would win the battle. Gideon was greatly encouraged by this revelation.
Solomon (1 Kings 3:5): It was in a dream that God gave Solomon the famous offer: “Ask what you wish Me to give you.” Solomon chose wisdom.
Daniel (Daniel 2; 4): As He had done for Joseph, God placed Daniel in a position of power and influence by allowing him to interpret a foreign ruler’s dream. This is consistent with God’s propensity to use miracles to identify His messengers. Daniel himself had many dreams and visions, mostly related to future kingdoms of the world and the nation of Israel.
New Testament Dreams and Visions
Visions in the New Testament also served to provide information that was unavailable elsewhere. Specifically, God used visions and dreams to identify Jesus and to establish His church.
Zacharias (Luke 1:5-23): God used a vision to tell Zacharias, an old priest, that he would soon have an important son. Not long after, Zacharias and his wife, Elizabeth, had John the Baptist.
Joseph (Matthew 1:20; 2:13): Joseph would have divorced Mary when he found out she was pregnant, but God sent an angel to him in a dream, convincing him that the pregnancy was of God. Joseph went ahead with the marriage. After Jesus was born, God sent two more dreams, one to tell Joseph to take his family to Egypt so Herod could not kill Jesus and another to tell him Herod was dead and that he could return home.
Pilate’s wife (Matthew 27:19): During Jesus’ trial, Pilate’s wife sent an urgent message to the governor encouraging him to free Jesus. Her message was prompted by a dream she had—a nightmare, really—that convinced her that Jesus was innocent and that Pilate should have nothing to do with His case.
Ananias (Acts 9:10): It would have taken nothing less than a vision from God to convince Ananias, a Christian in Damascus, to visit Paul, the persecutor of Christians. But because Ananias was obedient to God’s leading, Paul regained his sight and found the truth about those he was trying to kill.
Cornelius (Acts 10:1-6): God spoke to an Italian centurion named Cornelius who feared the God of the Jews. In his vision, Cornelius saw an angel who told him where to find Simon Peter and to send for him and listen to his message. Cornelius obeyed the vision, Peter came and preached, and Cornelius and his household full of Gentiles were saved by the grace of God.
Peter (Acts 10:9-15): While Peter was praying on the rooftop of a house in Joppa, God gave him a vision of animals lowered in something like a sheet. A voice from heaven told Peter to kill the animals (some of which were unclean) and eat them. The vision served to show that Christians are not bound by kosher law and that God had pronounced Gentiles “clean”; that is, heaven is open to all who follow Jesus.
Paul: Paul had several visions in his missionary career. One sent him to preach in Macedonia (Acts 16:9-10). Another encouraged him to keep preaching in Corinth (Acts 18:9-11). God also gave him a vision of heaven (2 Corinthians 12:1-6).
John (Revelation): Nearly the entire book of Revelation is a vision John had while exiled on the island of Patmos. John’s vision explains in more detail some of the events that God had shown Daniel.
Today’s Dreams and Visions
With the completion of the Bible, God does not have to use dreams and visions as much as He did before. That is not to say that He cannot or does not; God can communicate with us however He chooses. But when we have a decision to make, our first stop should always be the Bible, not a dream.
Even if my experience was just a ‘dream’, I am blessed to remember my dream. In it, I dreamt that I spoke to an Essence. As shared, I saw my children and millions of other individuals whom I did not know and have not seen a single one in the intervening time to present! Furthermore, I have shared occurrences which are ineplixable; what awake Gere on Earth are jewels were like stones in my dream. I had no desire to pla e a pebble in my pocket (thinking of it, I do not remember having any pockets! I was ME pure and simple.) In describing those around me; I dreamt thar all were facing one direction, none was/were sitting. Gender had no place; I do not recall knowing a male from a female…
In Galatians 3:28, Paul makes a startling statement: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (NKJV). The emphasis of this passage is that believers are one in Christ. When we are saved, we are all equal in Christ. No matter our race, status, or sex, we all stand on the same footing in Christ.
This passage is not altering or removing male and female distinctions, nor can it be used to invalidate gender roles in the church. “Neither male nor female” solely refers to the matter at hand: salvation. In the previous verse, Paul says, “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith” (Galatians 3:27, emphasis added). In verse 29, the same message is reiterated: “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29). The context makes it clear that “neither male nor female” refers to our salvation status. All people, whether male or female, must be saved the same way, through faith in Christ, and once they are saved, they have the same rights and privileges of salvation, being equal members of the family of God.
Genesis 1:27 tells us that “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Clearly, God had purpose in creating human beings as either male or female, and both were created in His image. Jesus reaffirms this distinction (Matthew 19:4), and the New Testament spends a good amount of space describing male and female roles in the church, in the family, and in society (Ephesians 5:21—6:9; Colossians 3:18—4:1). Saying that there is “neither male nor female” does not mean that there are no differences between the two sexes or that there are not different roles. The distinctions between men and women remain, but once we are saved, our individual differences are not what define us. Our unity in Christ removes all favoritism and bias in the church. In the matter of salvation, the playing field has been leveled, and we are all on equal footing.
Yes! Here on Earth, we each have our gender defined roles. Home in Heaven we shall have a different role from what we have at this present time.
The closest thing Scripture says to there being different levels of Heaven is found in 2 Corinthians 12:2, “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows.” Some interpret this as indicating that there are three different levels of heaven: a level for “super-committed Christians” or Christians who have obtained a high level of spirituality, a level for “ordinary” Christians, and a level for Christians who did not serve God faithfully. This view has no basis in Scripture.
Paul is not saying that there are three heavens or even three levels of heaven. In many ancient cultures, people used the term heaven to describe three different “realms”—the sky, outer space, and then a spiritual heaven. Paul was saying that God took him to the “spiritual” heaven—the realm beyond the physical universe where God dwells. The concept of different levels of heaven may have come in part from Dante’s The Divine Comedy in which the poet describes both heaven and hell as having nine different levels. The Divine Comedy, however, is a fictional work. The idea of different levels of heaven is foreign to Scripture.
Scripture does speak of different rewards in heaven. Jesus said regarding rewards, “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done” (Revelation 22:12). Since Jesus will be distributing rewards on the basis of what we have done, we can safely say that there will be a time of reward for believers and that the rewards will differ somewhat from person to person.
Only those works that survive God’s refining fire have eternal value and will be worthy of reward. Those valuable works are referred to as “gold, silver, and costly stones” (1 Corinthians 3:12) and are those things that are built upon the foundation of faith in Christ. Those works that will not be rewarded are called “wood, hay, and stubble”; these are not evil deeds but shallow activities with no eternal value. Rewards will be distributed at the “judgment seat of Christ,” a place where believers’ lives will be evaluated for the purpose of rewards. “Judgment” of believers never refers to punishment for sin. Jesus Christ was punished for our sin when He died on the cross, and God said about us: “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12). What a glorious thought! The Christian need never fear punishment, but can look forward to crowns of reward that he can cast at the feet of the Savior. In conclusion, there are not different levels of heaven, but there are different levels of reward in Heaven.