The following question was received with regards to part 1 of this article:
Q: “What effect did your dream about the pastor that performed witchcraft on his people have?”
A: That’s a good question.
God always gives dreams for a reason. The dream I received was very vivid, and very clear. The pastor – but a dark-skinned (heavily tanned) version of him – was performing witchcraft on people. How I “saw” this was that I saw the power of the witchcraft (or magic) coming out of his fingertips (like beams of light) and going onto (or towards) the people who were lying down. It was definitely witchcraft (or magic). It was not holy. In particular, in the dream, there was at least one person who was his “subject” but the essence was that there was an obvious “audience” around him and he was “performing” as in some type of “stage” performance.
Does this dream refer to the pastor himself, or does it refer to perhaps a disciple of the pastor who has dark skin? Here are two possible interpretations:
1. The pastor being dark-skinned refers not to the pastor himself, but a dark-skinned disciple of the pastor. This interpretation might be given credence because “everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40b). Thus, the Lord may be referring to someone who was trained by the pastor who “looks like” the pastor from a spiritual vantage point, and who had many of the same spiritual characteristics, but who is not the pastor. In other words, a disciple of the pastor. Hum. That also might make you wonder: If the disciple is bad, might that not also mean that the leader is bad, too? For Jesus said – again, quoting the same verse – “everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher”. Thus, the teacher and the disciple might be equally guilty.
2. The second possible interpretation is that the pastor, being dark-skinned, actually refers to the pastor himself in that it refers to the pastor giving an outward APPEARANCE of being someone other than who he really is. This interpretation would mean that the pastor is being hypocritical or “two-faced” in God’s eyes – or worse that he’s an imposter – someone acting as a Christian but not so in his heart. Outwardly, he appears to be someone other than he really is on the inside. This interpretation would seem to make sense from the merely “logical” viewpoint as to why God would show the person but with a different outward appearance (“for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
So both interpretations I think are possible. Both, though, seem to still point to the pastor himself. The question is, which of the two interpretations is the correct one?
There are a few things that are for sure. For sure God gave it. I can’t go into all the reasons, but in short, I have no prejudice against this man that would “cloud” my vision. Second is the fact that when I was driving to school that day to pick my children up, the Lord clearly spoke to me and said THIS DAY you will speak to that man and tell him the dream. And when I pulled into the church parking lot, he was already in his car getting ready to leave, and it just so worked out I could easily stop my car in front of his so as to prevent him from driving any further – so I could give him the word.
So there are at least two witnesses. There are also many more if you count the reactions I received from the numerous people I shared this dream with including at least two pastors who both have indicated that I should not lightly dismiss the possibility that the dream was, in fact, referring to the man himself (one of the pastors is from his own denomination). So I would say without any question, the Lord gave the dream.
The fact that the Lord told me to tell the man “the word” I think is very important. Whether the dream was about the man himself, or a dark-skinned disciple of his, the Lord wanted THE MAN HIMSELF to know that GOD knew about what was happening. And so the vision was revealed to him.
And so, getting back to the question, “What effect did your dream about the pastor that performed witchcraft on his people have?” Well, first, and very importantly, it INFORMED the man that God knew what was going on. Second, it provided a BASE or a STARTING POINT for God to being judging the man, for typically, God will not begin judging a man, until the man has first been warned and alerted to something that needs correcting. Whether the man is directly guilty or not is not the point. The man might not be directly guilty, but he is in such a place of authority that when he hears a word like that, he had better at least give it some very serious thought and not be too quick to want to dismiss it. The point is, something was seriously wrong – we’re talking about witchcraft here, which in the Scriptures is directly associated with rebellion – and God does not like rebellion. In fact, this is the very sin that landed king Saul his judgment, which ended up cutting him off from God’s blessing and ultimately leading to his death. So, if I had been the pastor, and had received a word like that, about someone that looked like the pastor, but was not the pastor (or whom might have been the pastor) and who was practicing witchcraft or magic on people … I think I would have taken it seriously. But then again, if you’re in rebellion yourself, you might not!
The Lord always gives us time to repent, before exacting judgment. This is pretty much straight from the Scriptures: “I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to” (Revelation 2:21a). This is God’s normal way of doing things. You could call it God’s “modus operandi”. When God warns you about something that is wrong, whether through another person, or through a prophetic word, or through a dream, or through an inner witness of the Spirit as you are reading the word of God or listening to the preaching of the word, or through any variety of means, including simply your conscience, which is one of the primary means that God uses, you can never go back and tell him, after the judgment has landed, “Why did you do this,” or, “Why did you allow this to happen to me?”
Here is a time-line of events. You tell me whether or not God was moving in. I think you will find the timeline quite revealing:
1982: The church starts the school.
2002: The Lord gives me the word and says there are problems either with the pastor or a disciple who looks “just like” the pastor. Either way, the pastor has been targeted by the Lord to receive the word, and either interpretation also seems to point towards the pastor (if you use the reasoning that “everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher” – Luke 6:40b). The same day, the Lord says, “Tell the pastor” and so I do. The pastor says to me, at that time, “We’ll see if the dream is from God or not. Time will tell.” Curiously, the pastor shows little, if any, real interest in the fact that I have given him this word, except for his comments, “We’ll see …”.
2002: My wife and I decide to pull our children from the school for providential reasons not relating to the dream and instead enroll them in another school.
2003 (or possibly 2004): Attendance begins to dwindle and finances start to dry up at the school (this comes straight from what the pastor writes in a letter – see below).
2005: The school announces that it will be cutting grades 7-8 out of their curriculum, so they will now only be covering grades K4-6. Lack of resources has now chopped off two grades.
2006: The pastor writes a letter, which is currently still posted on their website, and states, “Over the last three years we’ve expressed our concerns with declining attendance which has affected staffing, class sizes and planning.” In the same letter, he writes, “We were $60,000 behind two years ago and $47,826 last year. What will it be this year?” Something is definitely happening, and by the pastor’s own admission, it all started within a year from when I first gave the word to him, suggesting that God is indeed “moving in” to exact judgment in some form.
Early 2007: The school announces that it will be closing its doors completely. Lack of finances has forced the closure of this long time school that began in 1982. The pastor had said, “Time will tell”. If time is any indicator at all (which it might well be), then the indication is, that the word was actually quite correct and indeed from God. In my estimation, you don’t go from having a Christian school having operated for 20 years, to one that is suddenly chopped in 4 years, without God being involved in the (chopping) process. After all, this is a CHRISTIAN SCHOOL. It is not as though it does not have the ability to stay alive. God himself was watching over it, and many prayers were being offered up for it continually. Thus, the “OK” to chop this school HAD to have been given by God. It’s as simple as that.
And so, getting back to the question, “What effect did your dream about the pastor that performed witchcraft on his people have?” I think the correct answer, in light of all of this, would be:
1. It let the pastor know that God knew there was a problem.
2. It gave the pastor a chance to think about what God might be calling him to do to correct the problem.
3. It prepared the Lord to act should the pastor decide to do nothing or to take the word lightly and not give it the credence it deserved.
4. It left God without excuse so that the pastor could never come back and say, “Why have you done this?” or “Why have you allowed this to happen?”
5. Perhaps the word also acts as a type of warning for us today to make sure that everything we do is “right” before God.
20 Wisdom shouts in the street,
She lifts her voice in the square;
21 At the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings:
22 “How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded?
And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing
And fools hate knowledge?
23 “Turn to my reproof,
Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.
24 “Because I called and you refused,
I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention;
25 And you neglected all my counsel
And did not want my reproof;
26 I will also laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your dread comes,
27 When your dread comes like a storm
And your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently but they will not find me,
29 Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the LORD.
30 “They would not accept my counsel,
They spurned all my reproof.
31 “So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way
And be satiated with their own devices.
32 “For the waywardness of the naive will kill them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them.
33 “But he who listens to me shall live securely
And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”