Do People See Visions Anymore?
Unless God has changed the way he does things it would seem that he has kept the lines open to men and women as usual. Should there be any doubt let me tell you a true story of a sequence of events in my own life. No one had more trouble believing these events than me; in fact I wouldn't tell even my closest friends for over a year. Now I think so very differently.
Not only do I tell this story but I realize it is part of the reason the events took place, I am supposed to tell of it. Telling it is my very calling in life.
As a young man I spent many years wandering around the country. I can truthfully say there is but one state that I have not been in and that is Alaska. In the early sixties I landed in New Orleans where I went to work and hung out with a crowd of pretty wild young people. In the'City That Care Forgot,' it was indeed easy to forget just about anything other than partying and having a good time. I imbibed in alcohol, psychedelic drugs, marijuana and a lot of foolish behavior. As the playing deepened to the stage where it seemed more like work I was growing increasingly restless and exasperated. At the height of my partying I was experiencing a depth of despair. The best parties have to end.
I met a girl named Fran who lived near me in the wild and famous French Quarter of New Orleans. I only checked in with Fran when I was at my lowest or coming off a major drunk or high. I was drawn to her quiet sense of stability. She was the only moral girl I knew in the quarter and while I would have preferred she wasn't moral I knew it kept her head clearer than most all the other girls I knew at the time. On one occasion I asked her why she was so different, so calm and so kind to me. Her reply was'I'm a Christian and it is Jesus Christ that makes me different.' I scoffed at that. Nothing could have been more meaningless to me at that time, but Fran's influence continued. One day she said I am going to have my church pray for you Michael because you are so troubled and you need the Lord. I cursed a bit and told her I could care less whether her church prayed or not. I told her I didn't believe in God, the church or prayer. I kept partying as she and her church began praying. The result of those prayers went far beyond my wildest imagination.
Shortly after Fran and church began praying I found my life began getting hard for me. I was still partying, boozing and drugging but it was less exiciting. It seemed that now something was pricking my conscience and I started asking myself what the point of all this nonsense was. I felt heavy and dissatisfied with myself. I wouldn't know for a long time that this is what the Bible calls, coming under the conviction of Gods Holy Spirit. I hated the fact that as I partied I couldn't keep from questioning. I hated it because when I engaged my sense of right and wrong something kept telling me I was living wrong. I thought it would pass but it was relentless. In a fledgling attempt to deal with it all, I moved out of the quarter to the uptown section of the city and started to slow down going out and fun seeking. One day while alone in my new garden district apartment I began to deeply ponder my life, my direction or more like the lack of it. It was during this deep moment of examination and reflection that I experienced something that was so powerful that I was afraid to share it with anyone for almost one full year. Since that time I have shared it with thousands of people in many places and it is part of a book I wrote about these events and other subjects.
On that day I wandered from room to room asking myself some very pointed questions. I pondered my path, why was I living the way I was, and where would I end up. The more I asked these kinds of questions the more I found myself hungering for some real answers. At some point I sat on the edge of my bed and asked three very serious questions. When I got to the third question I was thrust into an experience that I almost could not believe myself. I don't argue with anyone about its veracity I just tell it. There is no argument to it, and I could no more deny what happened than I could deny that my name is Michael. It wasn't for years to come that I found a saying that I took to heart although I still do not know where it originated. 'A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.'
The first question I asked was, 'are we all just the product of our environment and our upbringing.' I quickly dismissed this as being any sort of real answer because I knew that I had a free will. I knew people who were raised in ghettos and worse, that went on to live useful and productive lives. This wasn't the answer.
The second question was, 'are we only the product of our genes, must we cow to Mendel's Law of The Third Generation.' If granddad was suicidal wouldn't I be also? Must I follow a path designed by a mere combination of biological material? Again I knew this was not the answer because free volition and the ability to choose could overcome even these influences. Environment and genetics were influences but not answers and I knew some people were using both as mere excuses for every degenerate activity they could conjure. Here then I arrived at a very positive negative.
For my third question I asked, 'is there really a God, could my brother have been wrong when he told me in no uncertain terms as a boy that parents only tell us of God so we will be good?' Could there really be an ultimate being, the very creator of all things? At the very second I asked this question I felt a powerful presence enter the room. Everything stood still but this presence was as real and apparent as it would be if an old friend or my mother had entered. In a moment of time I had a hundred images of my past fly before me. I remembered the times I was cruising down the street trying to tune in some rock and roll on the radio but instead coming across Billy Graham speaking of how Christ had died for the sins of the world. I remembered the person who slipped a gospel tract into my hand as I sauntered down the street. I looked at it for a moment crumbled it up and threw it away. I remembered as a boy when the catholic priest would open his bible before he preached and read some of the words of Christ. It all struck me as one single message, a message I had chosen to deny, thinking it had no meaning. It always seemed far fetched over simplified and pointless to me as I carried on in my real life like everyone else. Religion I was sure was for just a few old ladies, and children who couldn't think for themselves as yet. At that moment I knew I had been wrong.
In what I guess was a prayer I lifted my eyes toward the ceiling and said these words very slowly not just once but three times. 'God, I'm sorry I have ignored you all of these years and I believe that Jesus Christ is your Son.' As I spoke those words two things happened in consecutive order. The first thing that happened was that I felt that presence all around me in the room, was now entering me. It flowed in like a powerful but gentle stream of cool clear water; it literally took my breath away. The second thing that occurred simultaneously was that as I spoke those words ever so slowly, peering up at the ceiling the face of Jesus Christ appeared to me. It was not a fading image but a clear brilliant and living face. It glowed with a light I still do not know how best to describe; it was beaming with uncreated light like nothing I have ever seen on this earth. I fell to the floor and wept like a baby. I felt that I had been in the dark all my life and some kind soul just stepped in and said, hey, don't you know there is a light switch here, and then switched it on.
Most all of my life, I have believed that visions and apparitions were for ancient saints, liars and religious nuts. That being one of the reasons I chose not to tell anyone of the vision for a very long time. I did not want my friends calling me a nut, mush less a religious nut. But it was far from over.
Shortly after that experience I started to have dreams. I had three in one night at the very beginning. I saw the past in one dream the present in the next and the future in the third. Eight days after, the things I saw in the third dream happened to the letter. Since then I have had hundreds of dreams some of the immediate future, some more long range but none that have ever been false. In over thirty years since, not one dream or vision has ever been wrong.
Do people see visions anymore? Yes, and they will with increasing frequency. It is promised in the Bible that as we approach the second coming of Christ that men and women alike will begin to see and hear from God in a renewed fashion. There will be more dreams and visons than in any other generation in history. The Prophet Joel describes this in Joel 2:28. And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dreams, your young men shall see visions:
Rev Bresciani is the leader of a non-denominational ministry in the New Orleans area. He has written many articles over the past thirty years in such periodicals as Guideposts and Catholic Digest. He is the author of two books available on Amazon.com, Alibris, Barnes and Noble and many other places. Rev Bresciani wrote, Hook Line and Sinker or What has Your Church Been Teaching You, published by PublishAmerica of Baltimore MD. He also wrote a book about to be released by Xulon Press entitled An American Prophet and His Message, Questions and Answers on the Second Coming of Christ. Rev Bresciani has his own website at http://americanprophet.org
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