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Wednesday, April 9

Keith's 1st Terrifying Encounter -- with an Angel

From all-consuming FEAR - begging Him to leave my room -
to PEACE that consumed me!

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do His commandments: His praise endures for ever.” (Psalms 111:10)

Today's blog is helping folks achieve at least these 3 things:

1.) Create in you an unquenchable desire to seek God with your whole heart, mind, body, and soul!

2.) Encourage you that, if you have not yet experienced anything like what I am about to share with you today, God will reveal Himself to you in His time and His way!  God shows Himself big to us in various ways, including in the small matters of our lives: 
·     getting a much-needed check in the mail just as a bill comes due;
·     getting an encouraging phone call when we need it most; or
·     hearing His soft and gentle whisper in our spirit that builds our faith like nothing else can.

3.) Tell you why NOT to be afraid of God, as in "earthly fear."  In fact, as a result of the following testimony, I have come to define the fear of the Lord as being, "a personal knowledge of the All- consuming Awesome Power of Almighty God!" 

The encounter that I am talking about took place around 4:00 AM on September 13th, 1985.  That morning I experienced something that, up to that point in my life, I had only heard of or read about, but had never witnessed for myself.  It all started out as a dream that I had that was set in what appeared to be the ruins of an old stucco-style village, like the kind that would have been in Jerusalem during the time that our Lord physically walked the earth.

Appearing before me was the figure of a man whose face I never saw because he had his back to me the whole time and was wearing what seemed to be an oversized, full-length, hooded robe.  From the moment the dream began I heard what sounded like thousands upon thousands of angels singing the song that Jack Hayford wrote entitled “Majesty.” 

As I heard this chorus being sung in awesome beauty, I saw the robed man kneel down at the base of one of the stucco structures next to me.  As he knelt, I leaned over his shoulder and watched him take both of his hands and reach into the wall of the structure, as if it were transparent, and pull out a toy-sized figure of a horse; and on the horse was the figure of a rider.  The horse was about ten inches in length, and the rider on its back seemed to be a small, invisible man made visible only by very loosely-wrapped strips of cotton cloth that were wound around his body. 

During the entire time that I was watching this take place, the consuming praises of God were being sung by voices that, all the while, were growing greater in volume and power.  As I continued looking over the shoulder of the man at the figure of the horse and its rider, the voices of what seemed to be legions upon legions of angels began to suddenly increase in even greater volume and power, like a mighty rushing wind, not harsh to my ears, but with an all-consuming beauty that forced me to look straight up over my head. 

When I looked up, I saw, faster than the human eye can follow, an angel descending down upon me from straight up above.  It seemed as if it was going to land right on top of me but, instead, suddenly stopped and slapped the tips of its wings together, about three inches from my face.  With the clash of its wings together, I awoke from the dream. 

I awoke to find my spirit hovering about two feet over my body, which was laying flat on its back in the bed.  The first thing I realized was that I had been stripped from my will and was totally subject to whatever God wanted to do with me at that point!  The fear I felt cannot be relayed with words! 

Shortly after, I experienced my spirit slowly settling back down into my body.  Once back in my body, I fought to get my hands up over my face in hopes that it would somehow shield or protect me from seeing God, or Jesus Himself, and being consumed like a Kleenex tissue in a raging bonfire. The terrifying fear was indescribable to say the very least! 

By this time, the power of God was so all-consuming, that I could not so much as move or speak.  The only thing that I could think to do was to try to praise God, but by this point I couldn’t even move my hands away from my face, still in fear of what I might see.  The fear was like nothing I had ever experienced, seen, or even heard of before!  It rendered me powerless to move, as if I had been turned to stone.  It was only by the grace of God that I was able to cover my face with my hands.  I was totally subject to whatever God wanted to do with me!  It was also at that time that I learned, much better than I wanted to at that moment, just how frail our physical bodies are in the presence of God.  For example, I was totally amazed that my heart didn’t actually burst.  It sure felt like it was going to. 

After about an hour had passed, the fear began to subside enough to where I started to regain the use of my faculties.  I remember the first thing to come out of my mouth were pleas for Jesus to leave my room!  Even the thought of seeing Him gripped my heart with a fear that can’t be explained with mere words.  As the  horrifying, all-consuming fear continued to subside, I began to notice that it was now being replaced by an all-consuming peace.  The peace was also like nothing that I had ever experienced or even heard of before.  Just like the fear, the peace was indescribable.  Within just a few short hours the Lord had taken me from one extreme to the other.  The peace of God that settled in my room, (since there are no words that can ever come close to describing it) was “like” a dew or mist that fell on everything around me.
“Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong.  And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.” (Daniel 10:18-19) 

As the all-consuming peace of Lord began to subside, I was then and only then, able to sit up in my bed and begin worshipping Him.  Believe me, I worshipped Him with every fiber of my being for, as best as I can recall, abount three hours.  I can vividly remember the muscles in my throat feeling as if they were on fire.  My eyes had run out of tears after just the first thirty minutes or so, and my voice was literally worn out from singing praises. 

It was during that time that I realized that it is only because God enables us that we can even participate in the wonderful privilege of worshipping His Holy Name! 

Another amazing thing I learned, while in His presence, was that there are literally no words that can even begin to describe Him!  As a matter of fact, even the names “King of kings” and “Lords of lords” didn’t come close to describing who He is. 

As His peace continued to settle in my room, I was only then able to ask God what was meant by the dream, and what the significance was of the horse and its rider that He had shown me early in the dream.  He said, “The horse and its rider that I showed you represent satan and his hoards of unclean spirits.  The reason I showed them to you at the size that I did was to relay the insignificance and powerlessness they have against you while you walk in Christ.” 

Then He spoke something that left me speechless yet again.  He asked me, “Remember how you were totally consumed with indescribable fear by what you thought was my presence?  Do you remember how you were terrified beyond measure by what you thought was Jesus himself standing in your room?  Do you recall losing the complete use of your body to what you just knew were legions upon legions of angels?  Keith, the truth is, I never did come anywhere near you; My precious Son never even stepped so much as one foot into your room; and what you thought were legions upon legions of angels was only one angel.” 

Not only was I once again totally amazed, but I also immediately remembered and understood fully the account in Matthew where he records what took place at the tomb just after Jesus rose from the dead.  Matthew writes, In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher.  And behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.  His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow.  And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.” (Matthew 28:1-4) 

Then the Lord said to me, “So, if you were totally consumed by the presence of just one angel, then how much greater things will I do with the legions that I have set at your side (and at the side of all who love Me) to destroy the things that separate My children from Me!” 

He then said, “All of the demons of hell ride a horse named ‘Deception'!”  He concluded by saying, “Get your pen and paper, and document exactly what you have both seen and heard.” 

At that, I reached into my night-stand, grabbed my pen and notepad, and began the difficult task of trying to put into words the things I had seen and heard in the spirit.  And, if I might add, this brief account of what took place does in no way begin to describe the awesomeness of what had taken place.  In that brief period of time in 1985, I received an understanding of "the fear of the Lord" that I had never known before.  It was this new understanding that enabled me to adopt as my own personal definition of the fear of the Lord, “a personal knowledge of the all-consuming, awesome power of almighty God!” 

Although what I experienced that morning was terrifying beyond description, I found it to be something that never turned me against, or drove me away from, God, but one that endeared me to Him in a profound way. 

What took place firmly set my affections on God and established in my heart a love for Him that, until then, I did not think was even possible. 

“In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.  The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.” (Proverbs 14:26-27 ) 

Unlike the damaging “fleshly fear” that is experienced by a child who is exposed to an abusive parent, experiencing the awesome presence of God, hence the fear of the Lord, establishes a reverence and awe of God which opens the doorway to understanding like nothing else can. 

“A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: to understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.  My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.” (Proverbs 1:5-9) 

Where the fear of the Lord is absent in the life of a Christian, lifeless religion will prevail! 

If you desire for the Lord to show Himself to you in a great way, then you must seek Him diligently! 

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6) 

If you noticed, Paul did not say that God is a Rewarder of them who “merely” seek Him.  He said that God is a Rewarder of them that “diligently” seek Him! 

This walk with God is an “all in or all out” endeavor!  God wants nothing more than to draw close to us, but the one thing that hinders Him from doing so is our own lack of desire to first draw close to Him! 

“Draw nigh to God, and (then) he will draw nigh to you.” (James 4:8)

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