In order for us to be the Ezekiel’s of today who have an open heaven and see visions of God, we need the kind of prayer that brings us into a trance and that brings a heavenly vision to us, and we need to hear the Lord’s express words accompanied by His hand.
Ezekiel saw visions of God – he was in spirit, he contacted God and sought Him in spirit, and the heavens were opened to him, and he saw divine, spiritual, heavenly visions. He set his heart on what God showed him; he looked with his eyes, heard with his ears, and set his heart on God’s word, and the result was that he spoke to the house of Israel all that God showed him in a vision.
We need to be those who have God’s visions today, His revelations which enable us to see divine, spiritual, and heavenly things, and what we present to the saints as God’s children will be visions of God.
As believers in Christ we are people of visions, people in spirit; we need to exercise our spirit and be fully open to the Lord to see visions of God under the opened heavens through our contact with Him. Such visions are not for the building up of our individual spirituality but they are for the building up of the church, so that God would have a corporate expression among His people.
It is of utmost importance for us all who serve the Lord in spirit to see visions of God; without vision, the people casts off restraint and even perishes (Prov. 29:18). The Apostle Paul was not disobedient to the heavenly vision (Acts 26:19) but allowed this vision to govern him, control him, and keep him on the path of God’s economy for the building up of the church.
When we come to the word of God to contact the Lord under His revelation, with His light, and with our eyes enlightened, we have visions of God; these visions govern us, restrict us, control us, and give us the boldness to go on.
The visions of God we see in our personal time with Him and in our time in spirit with the saints preserve us in God’s way, revolutionize our entire being, and keep us in the genuine oneness.
When we are under the visions from God, we are directed toward God’s destination, and our life is controlled according to God’s economy.
Having the Prayer that Brings us into a Trance and brings a Heavenly Vision to us
One of the reasons Ezekiel saw the visions of God was that he was in spirit – he was not in himself but in a trance, outside of himself, so that God could reveal to him what was on His heart. We need to have the kind of prayer that brings us into a trance and that brings a heavenly vision to us.
A trance, in Greek, is ekstasis, meaning to stand outside of oneself, to be removed elsewhere. We need to be in ecstasy, that is, we need to be outside our self and in the spirit to see visions of God.
In Acts 10:9-16 (and confirmed in Acts 22:17-21), Peter was very hungry and, while waiting for the food to be prepared, he prayed himself into a trance, a transcendent realm outside of himself, where he saw a vision of God.
If he were passive or irritated with the slowness of the cooking of the meal, Peter would just be in himself; but he was in spirit, praying!
We need to begin where we are, and we need to pray ourselves into the spirit; we need to require our whole being to be quiet, subdued, and calm, and just exercise our spirit to contact the life-giving Spirit! We need this kind of prayer, and we should ask for this kind of prayer.
A trance means that we have been brought out of our self; many times we are imprisoned in the self – the self is a prison, keeping us locked in prison, but we need to pray ourselves out of that imprisonment.
It is sad to see a believer living in the self. In the prison of the self we are not in solitary confinement: the soul-life and Satan are the cell-mates (see Matt. 16).
We need to get out of the realm of the self by first admitting that this is the self, and denying the self, applying the cross, and exercising to be in spirit, the realm of the divine life and of God!
To be in a trance is to be out of our self, and in that trance we receive visions from God.
We can’t make the visions to come – this is of God’s sovereignty; what we can do is exercise ourselves to pray out of the prison of the self into another realm, a realm outside of the self and in the spirit.
It is here, in the realm of the mingled spirit where the life-giving Spirit is, that we can see something tremendous from God.
We have spent too much time in our self: may this year be a year of ecstasy, a year of living in a trance, a year living in the mingled spirit where we se visions of God!
May we learn to contact the Lord every morning in spirit, praying ourselves out of the self and into God, so that we may be close to God, living in His presence, and there receive visions from God.
Lord Jesus, we have spent too much time in our self: we choose to turn to our spirit and live in the realm of the mingled spirit so that we may see visions of God! Lord, we admit that we may be in the self right now, but we say NO, we won’t stay here! We deny the self, apply the cross to the self, and we choose to be in the mingled spirit right now! Lord, we want to learn to pray ourselves out of the self and into a trance so that we may be and live in the realm of the mingled spirit where we can see visions of God!
Seeing God’s Visions with our eyes and Hearing God’s Express Words with our Ears
God wanted Ezekiel not only to behold with his eyes and see the visions of God, but He wanted him to hear with his ears; therefore, God gave Ezekiel His words along with His visions (Ezek. 40:4).
Visions are God’s revelations, causing us to see something, and God’s words are the “subtitles”, His explanations of what we see, causing us to hear something. The words that God gave Ezekiel were not common or ordinary words; they were special words, and the word of God came to Him expressly.
The words God gave Ezekiel are different from what He gave to Moses, Isaiah, or Jeremiah, and different from any others in the Bible.
We need to hear special, fresh, and vivid words from God that interpret and explain the visions He gives to us. We need to be those who are in close contact with God to receive His express word.
God’s express words are not from a book – they are not from any spiritual books but from our personal time with the Lord, intimately with Him, where the heavens are opened, we see the visions of God, and the word of God comes expressly.
If we want to avoid becoming a denomination or like the Brethren, we need to receive, know, and speak God’s express words.
The vision from God is communicated to us by words taught by the Spirit, which words are fresh and instant, words that come from the Spirit to match what the Lord is speaking now.
Such words don’t come from our intelligence or eloquence but from God, and such words are for the building up of the Body; the Body rejects what is of the natural man (with natural words) but recognizes and receives the words that come from God.
We need to have an express word from the Lord (John 6:63). God wants to give us special, fresh, and vivid words that convey His divine visions (see 1 Cor. 2:13; 1 Pet. 4:11), so we need to ask Him for words that will enable us to understand the visions He shows us.
Furthermore, if we genuinely receive and speak the express words of God, His hand will follow His words (Ezek. 1:3). First, we have the open heavens, then we see visions from God, then the word of God comes to us expressly, and finally the hand of God accompanies His word.
Whatever God says, He will do; if we genuinely receive visions from God with His express words, He will accompany this by doing what He said.
If we minister many things to others and nothing happens, this means we’re not speaking one with God; but if God’s hand accompanies our speaking of the words of God to convey visions of God, then God has a way to speak through us and work out what He speaks.
We need to see God’s visions with our eyes and hear His express words with our ears, and the hand of God will follow.
Lord Jesus, open the heavens to us to see the heavenly visions, and give us God’s express words to be able to understand the visions. Lord, we need Your fresh, living, instant words, Your special words that would match the visions You show us. We love Your speaking, and we want to gain an understanding of Your visions so that we may be able to proclaim and explain what we have seen. Oh Lord, may all the local churches in Your recovery fully receive God’s words, see God’s visions, and fully submit to Your hand to carry out what You have spoken!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother Ron K. for this week, and portions from, Life-study of Ezekiel, msg. 2 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Ezekiel (1), msg. 1 (week 1), Visions of God and the Unveiling of God’s Purpose and the Desire of His Heart.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Then John…. saw the vision of the New Jerusalem, / Well, it’s God…. dispensed and God built into men, / We need a vision so we open to the Lord, / Seeking revelation in the Holy Word, / Turning to the spirit for the building of the church, / The church is the fullness of the One. (Song on seeing a vision)
# Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart; / Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art; / Thou my best thought, by day or by night; / Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light. / Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true Word; / I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord; / Thou my great Father and I, Thy true son; / Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one. (Song on having a vision and word from God)
# I would inhale Thee, Lord, e’en as I breathe, / And eat and drink Thee as my life supply. / A deeper fellowship with Thee bequeath / That Thou express Thyself through me thereby. (Hymns #764)