Deuteronomy 13:1 – 3 says, "If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and gives you a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spoke unto you, saying, Let us go after other gods, which you have not known, and let us serve them; You shall not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proves you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul."
I love to read accounts of people going to Heaven and what they saw there. After reading a few of these stories, however, I began to have doubts about some of the visions. Some things did not ring true. In one vision, the visitor spoke with a departed saint about a minister who was yet living, and they waxed enthusiastic about his teaching. Some of that man's teaching had serious error in it, though.
I had to conclude that either her vision was false, or at least part of it was false. The vision promoted the errors of that false teaching, but it was really subtle because the conversation was just a little detail among a multitude of details about life in Heaven. The devil knows a lot about what goes on in Heaven, having lived there before he was booted out, and he can feed false visions to someone who is willing to receive them.
Maybe most of that vision was from God, but satan sneaked into it so that he could promote that minister and convince people to lower their guard against the errors he was teaching. Would God let the enemy do that? Why not? He says in Deuteronomy that He will let lying signs and wonders occur and prophecies from the lips of deceivers to come to pass, to test our loyalty to Him. Will we reverence His Word, or will we let thrills and things that reflect glory on us have a higher place than Him?
I read in another vision where Yehoshua sat and talked with a woman about it being essential to tithe, which confirmed to her the correctness of those doctrines. She felt such love and peace, etc. I agreed with some of the things she saw in her visions; they lined up with the Scriptures, but there was this teaching about tithing and other errors. I thought, "This can't be right. Jesus wouldn't say anything contrary to His Word. The Bible says that if we base our righteousness on the Law, then we are obliged to keep the whole Law, otherwise we are cursed. And He wouldn't refer to someone as Pastor so and so, because He taught us to not give titles to spiritual leaders."
He apparently said He would not bless people who don't tithe, but there are lots of people who don't tithe who are blessed, and some of them love God fervently. The tithe doctrine is a heresy, but it is not a damnable heresy. Nobody is going to go to Hell if they tithe, unless they base their salvation on tithing.
The basics of salvation are that Yehoshua is the expressed image of God, that He came to Earth in a human body, conceived by a virgin who was of the lineage of King David, lived a sinless life, died on a cross to pay the penalty for our sins, to cleanse us with His Blood, and set us free from sin, and He rose from the dead. Those who believe these things and sincerely repent of their sins, receiving Yehoshua as their Savior, are redeemed.
There are some Christians who tithe, some who don't, some who meet for worship on Sabbath, some on Sunday, some who observe dietary laws, some who don't. God does not condemn those who have weak faith and think that they need to keep Old Testament laws, nor does He condemn those who have a clear conscience about eating any kind of meat or not observing Jewish holy days. Apart from observing the Royal Law of Love (loving God with all their mind, heart, and strength and their neighbour as themselves), the Gentile believers were only instructed to abstain from eating anything strangled, from eating blood, from fornication, and from idols. If God thought that the Gentiles needed to tithe, He sure missed a good opportunity to tell them so when the council of Jerusalem issued their edict.
Why would Yehoshua come to that woman in visions and say that He dresses up in special robes to celebrate His birthday on Christmas Day? He was born sometime in September or October, not on December 25th. That December holiday has its roots in Babylon. Yehoshua has tolerated these things, bearing with people in their ignorance, but He would not reinforce pagan celebrations that should be cleansed from the Church, pride that assigns titles in contravention of His Word, and an ordinance that became obsolete when He went to the cross. I think that the apparition that visited her on these occasions wasn't Yehoshua, but rather a spirit that promotes the Babylonian Mystery religion.
This woman also promoted Sunday as the Lord's Day. In the Bible, Yehoshua stated that He was the Lord of the Sabbath, which was always understood to be what we now call Saturday. Of course, He is the Lord of every day of the week and every moment of every day. But this woman wanted to reinforce Sunday as the correct day to gather in church.
This is in tune with pagan customs. The Emperor Constantine, when he instituted his gnostic brand of Christianity as the state religion, changed the day of worship from the Jewish Sabbath to "the venerable day of the sun". He worshipped Sol Invictis, the Unconquerable Sun, and he didn't make any secret of it. The emblems of this god were incorporated into his monuments.
It seems to me that there is a hidden agenda in the woman's visions to promote the Mystery religion of Babylon, whether she is aware of it or not. She probably is not aware of what how she was serving satan's purposes; just simply making assumptions that the erroneous traditions of western Christianity are Biblically correct.
I wondered what was going on with that woman's vision. Much in her visions seemed to be correct, but that stuff about tithing where it condemned everyone who didn't tithe to Hell was way off the beam. I concluded that satan had managed to infiltrate her visions. Why would God let him do that? To test her and to test those who heard her testimony, to see if they worshipped visions and placed them above their love for Him and their reverence for His Word.
The woman got a lot of support from many pastors after she published her book. They probably loved that stuff about tithing. I know a Canadian pastor who is very resistant to seeing the truth about what the Bible really teaches on that subject, because his ministry is based on teaching the tithe doctrine. It opened doors for him all over the world to go and preach in churches where the pastors wanted people to be convinced to tithe. His popularity gave him a sense of importance and prestige. If he were to stop convincing himself that the tithe doctrine is correct, his invitations to preach in other churches might be drastically reduced. There are a lot of Christian leaders who will get behind someone who promotes their pet doctrines and carnal practices.
I wrote that lady a letter about her errors and told her that I felt that she was suffering from delusions, that all her visions were not from God. I felt sorry for her because I remember how, when I had a nervous breakdown in 1986 after my husband left me, I used to get bloated up with pride when I had delusions. Afterwards, when God showed me my errors, I would kick myself inwardly as I thought, "How could I have believed that? It was absolutely ridiculous, not logical at all!" By not logical, I mean that there were glaring contradictions to Scripture, besides being contrary to common sense.
One of the things this woman said in her book was that Yehoshua told her that she was a perfectly polished vessel. It reminded me of when I was ill and believed that Yehoshua was going to take me Home very soon because I had been perfected. I thought of myself as a dainty, porcelain teacup. Seriously. I believed that I would die soon, before I got chipped by being left too long on this earth.
Perfected! Ha! I was out of my gourd. I was far from perfect and still am. I could see that this lady had some serious low self–esteem issues and was susceptible to deception. Her visions and all the lovely things that Yehoshua said to her, such as how He could trust her implicitly, and how obedient and honest she is, gave her a sense of importance and worth.
She is important, she is of great worth, but the same is true of all God's children. But honest? God desires truth in the inward parts. I doubt that she told any deliberate lies, but I don't think that she was honest with herself.
How can a person who speaks about Yehoshua being the Son of God, born of a virgin, dying on the cross for our sins, and being resurrected from the dead be deceived in visions? She is human; not perfect. In her spirit, she loves God, but in her soul realm, there are some territories that have not yet been fully surrendered to Him.
She knew that a lot of people thought she was a flake, but having visions that ratified systems of control in the Church gratified controlling leaders in the Church, who then gave her their vote of confidence and improved her reputation.
The lady who wrote this book about her vision of Heaven said that she had a nice house and a good car that she was happy with, but Yehoshua told her that He would give her a nicer house and a more luxurious car and she would be happy for the remainder of her time on Earth until the Rapture. I asked her what country she thought she would be living in prior to His return. From what I can tell from reading the Bible, the whole world is going to be a huge mess before Yehoshua returns.
The lady did not receive what I said to her, though I tried to be gentle. She thought I was headed for Hell, and to intercept me on my way, she sent me a similar book by a different author that promoted similar errors, and some CDs.
I was thrilled with the CDs. One had Mary Katherine Baxter's testimony of A Divine Revelation of Hell. I had loaned my Mary Katherine Baxter tapes to someone and they never returned them. Also, Bill Weiss's testimony of his vision of Hell was there, too. Excellent visions; there is nothing in them that I can see that contradicts Scripture, and we all need take a sober view of where people are headed, if they do not sincerely repent of their sins and receive Yehoshua as their Saviour, and continue in faithfulness to Him.
It doesn't matter how many pastors recommend someone's visions or teaching, or how famous those leaders are, if the visions or teaching contradicts the Scriptures. It is idolatry when we let someone's reputation outweigh what the Bible says. Like one of my fridge magnets says, "When forty million people believe in a dumb idea, it's still a dumb idea." Ideas, teachings, and visions should be evaluated through the Bible, not by the worth that others ascribe.
It does not matter who the sister is whose visions I referred to. Be on guard against anybody's visions, unless they are recorded in the Bible.
We should not despise visions any more than we should despise prophecies, regardless that sometimes visions and prophecies are in error, or outright, deliberate lies. We should be thankful for the gifts of visions and prophecies to the Body of the Anointed Lord Yehoshua. He gives them to us to strengthen us, but we need to filter everything through the Word of God to see how it lines up with what the Bible actually teaches, rather than with traditional interpretations of the Bible that have been in error.
Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Copyright © 2010, Lanny Townsend
Page modified by Lanny Townsend on April 20, 2010
Scripture references on this website are closely paraphrased from e–Sword's King James Bible.