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Friday, 23 December 2016

Dream: The Fortress and the Tree

It began with cold water at my feet... about mid-calf... all around.

I was walking through it, the gentle swooshing sound with each step.  The water was so crystal clear... and then a word: "pristine".  It was as though the water had come from a glacier or mass of ice... a purity from long ago.  The view spanned out and it appeared as though I was in a valley yet high up somewhere... like the mouth of a volcano?  Or a valley within a mountain?  As I walked, there were others also walking towards a concealed fortress built within the rocky mountain halfway up one of its peaks.  It was so brilliantly built into the rock that one could have easily missed it.

But to my amazement as I walked, there in the middle of this valley to behold was the tree!  Never in my life have I seen such a majestic tree!  Its height was immeasurable.  I could not see its top.  One would think it grew to the height of heaven!  Its trunk was so thick and wide, it must have spanned meters upon meters... it took some time to walk past it.  It was dripping with water as though the tree had been hidden within ice all this time and was finally recently exposed.  And then its leaves... oh dear me, the leaves fully established glistened like little mirrors, an illustrious hidden treasure, as though they themselves bore a silver-lining.  The tree bore no fruit in its newness, but one could only imagine when it would!  Everyone who walked by it towards the fortress walked in complete silence and awe.  All that could be heard was the drip of water and the swooshing of gently walking through it.

Once arrived at the fortress, half-way up just prior to entering it, I looked back at the beautiful tree and smiled in awe.  It stood there almost as if it was a faithful witness to the rock fortress!  Inside the fortress, the masses were being "sorted" and assigned into rooms.  I began to feel a bit afraid like something really big was going on and the dark cool "gothic" feel of the fortress was not comforting.  I was brought to a door I was to go through and once I did, it opened up at the top of a large hall.  The span of the space was easily assessed and I choked back my shock as I realized I was in a room with murderers, thieves, convicts... prisoners.  The murmuring of the room stopped as everyone looked to the newest addition.  Was this my spiritual "classification"?  Despite trying to live as a servant of God, has my blindness prevented me from seeing that I am a murderer, a thief, a convict?  What was the fate of these men?  What was mine?  Heartbroken, I looked at the stairs that would bring me down to join them, but before I could take my first step, I awoke.

I don't remember how many years ago I had that dream, but sometime in the last seven.  With the key words made known, I looked up their definition:
Pristine (adjective): belonging to the earliest period or state; in perfect condition, completely clean, fresh; not changed by people, left in its natural state; not spoiled, corrupted or polluted; fresh and clean as if new.
Could this mean the tree came from and was preserved in something from long, long ago?
Illustrious (adj): notably or brilliantly outstanding because of dignity or achievements or actions. 
Silver lining (noun): something good that can be found in a bad situation, a consoling or hopeful prospect.
Could this mean that something about the leaves refers to the tree's deeds/actions which somehow shine a light of consolation and hope?
Gothic: style of writing that describes strange or frightening events that take place in mysterious places; or style of architecture in Europe between 12-16th century.
Could this mean the rock fortress is a mysterious place?  Is it a spiritual place because it was not easily perceived?

A few years later, I watched the movie "The Book of Daniel" (one of my favourite movies!!).  In the movie, King Nebuchadnezzar also had a dream about a tree.  I nearly jumped out of my chair as he described it:
"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..."  (Daniel 4:10)  

WOW!!!  So I decided to do a word search on tree and fruit throughout the scriptures and was in awe of the following verses.  Here, the prophet Ezekiel has been describing the third temple that is to be in place in the end times and note what is seen:
"Then he brought me back to the door of the temple, and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple towards the east (for the temple faced east).  The water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar.  Then he brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate that faces toward the east; and behold, the water was trickling out on the south side.  Going eastward with a measuring line in his hand, the man measured a thousand cubits and then led me through the water, and it was ankle-deep.  Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was knee-deep.  Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was waist-deep.  Again he measured a thousand, and it was a river that I could not pass through, for the water had risen.  It was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be passed through.  And he said to me, "Son of man, have you seen this?"  Then he led me back to the bank of the river.  As I went back, I saw on the bank of the river very many trees on the one side and on the other... And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food.  Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary.  Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing."  (Ezekiel 47:1-12 Water Flowing from the Temple)
Compare that with the vision John had in the last book of the bible, Revelation:
"Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city, also on either side of the river was the Tree of Life with its twelve kinds of fruits, yielding its fruit each month.  The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."  (Revelation 22:1-2 The River of Life)
What I saw in those leaves was not an emitting of its own light (self glorifying), but little mirrors that testified to the validity of the True Light.  This was the consolation and hope!

Yeshua spoke about the Salt of the Covenant (Lev 2:13, 2 Chr 13:5, Num 18:19) referenced from Torah (Law of Moses) on several occasions.  In fact, He said that if we weren't the walking evidence or saltiness of that covenant, we were no longer good for anything.  Makes sense doesn't it?  If we aren't living out lives of faith that declare and proclaim that every single word that has proceeded from the mouth of God (including His law) is truth, how can we be the salt of His covenant?  Yeshua then compared this very saltiness (covenant faithfulness) as a light and concluded with this:
Let your light (covenant faithfulness) shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deed (covenant faithfulness in action) and moral excellence and glorify your Father who is in heaven.   (Matthew 5:16)
This is immediately followed by Yeshua validating the truth of the Law and Prophets!  And He warns that anyone who relaxes the least of the law will equally be considered least in the kingdom!  He then confirms that anyone who DOES the law and prophets (covenant faithfulness in action) and TEACHES the Law and Prophets will be called great.  These have remained "salty."  Their obedience from the heart to the Father:
a) imitates/reflects Yeshua's own obedience from His heart to the Father, which
b) becomes the evidence of Yeshua and His righteousness within us
This faith in God's covenant faithfulness becomes a hope... a brightness!  But not a light that is their own... one that humbly and faithfully reflects (points back) to the True Light that is eternal and unchanging.  A brightness/faith that causes its seers to believe and to seek out its source... the Father!  This is the healing of the nations!!!
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.  (Psalms 1:1-2)
And so I am left with only one of those dreams I rarely get that become imprinted... it does not leave my spirit.  I wake up wondering why it stands apart.  Perhaps for no reason at all, but for this dream to come prior to my reading the scriptures, seems too strangely similar!  Who is the tree?  When will it bear fruit?  Who were those prisoners?  Was I there among them because that was where I belonged or were all of them waiting for something?

So I did a word search on "prisoner" and was surprised to find that Paul and some of the Apostles referred to themselves as "prisoner for Christ" and/or "prisoner in Christ."
"Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God..."  (2 Timothy 1:8)
"For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey..."  (1 Peter 3:18-20)
"Some [souls] sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in affliction and in irons, for they had rebelled against the words of God, and spurned the counsel of the Most High... Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress."  (Psalms 107:10-11 & 13)
"I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness."  (Isaiah 42:6-7)
"For the LORD hears the needy and does not despise his own people who are prisoners."  (Psalms 69:33)
"the LORD looked at the earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die."  (Psalms 102:19-20)

So there you have it, my dear brothers and sisters.  Either a good story, an intriguing mental processing of my brain while sleeping, or something from the LORD.  Thankfully, He is the God who reveals mysteries where there is one to be revealed.  For now, may we all look forward to the living water promised to flow from His heart and the healing of the nations from the Tree of Life!  God bless you all!!

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