—A Wonderful Dream! DO 1775 5/84
—The Happy Ending!
1. MY DREAM WAS VERY VERY SHORT. IT WAS JUST A ONE–SCENE‚ ONE-ACT PLAY. I think the Lord sometimes lets you be tested in your dreams to see what you would do under such circumstances. Because it is a pretty realistic test under dream conditions, you know? Because you don't know you're in a dream, you really think it's happening, so your reactions would be very real & genuine, realistic as to what you would do under such circumstances. I haven't any idea why I should have such a dream other than that. And it also, I think, had a good effect on me, I was in a sense encouraged by it in that I felt I had responded the right way & that such a happening is probably not as bad as your fears.
2. AS THE SCRIPTURE SAYS‚ SOME PEOPLE LIVE ALL THEIR LIVES IN FEAR, FEAR OF DEATH! (Heb.2:15) As the old saying goes, "The coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave but one!" And some people live all their lives in fear of death, you know? Yet they only need to die but once, & it may not turn out to be as bad as they feared.
3. I DON'T KNOW IF THERE WAS ANYTHING THAT WENT BEFORE THIS PART OF THE DREAM OR NOT or what led up to it. I've thought & thought back & I can't remember a thing of whether it was part of a larger dream or a longer dream, but I know there wasn't anything that happened afterwards because the moment this happened I instantly woke up! And I was still quite excited‚ you might say, or even thrilled, & you might even say encouraged, even inspired at my recollection of my reaction in the dream! The dream didn't last long at all, it could have been even momentary. There was hardly anything to it except it was extremely realistic & terrifically vivid & sort of shocking!
4. I WOKE VERY SUDDENLY, AS YOU DO SO OFTEN IN A NIGHTMARE! It just hits the crucial point, you know, when maybe you're falling & you suddenly wake up just before you hit bottom or something terrible is about to happen to you & you suddenly wake up & you're so thankful to find you're still in bed & everything is still OK! You know? Or somebody is chasing you & about to catch you, you're trying to scream for help & even wake yourself up by trying to move or yell or something in your sleep, so that the action in the dream is so vivid or violent or scary that it prompts you to some physical reaction & it is so strong emotionally that it actually awakens you, & you're relieved! You know? I'm glad that it wasn't real!
5. JUST A MINUTE‚ SOMETHING IS COMING TO ME! I don't know whether it was another dream or a part of this dream or a part of what led up to the climactic event at the end of the dream. You clicked your tape recorder right then & it sort of knocked it out of my head. Isn't that funny, it was just starting to come. (Maria: Jesus, help it to come back‚ in Jesus' name!) I think maybe it was the first part of the dream, just vague, it was just starting to come & you clicked the recorder.
6. WE WERE FLEEING FROM SOMETHING OR SOMEONE, I don't know what, & we were on foot trying to find our way sort of up this mountain through these woods. We didn't really know our way & pretty soon I figured we must have been lost & I was getting so tired I just didn't think I could drag another step! I can see that yet, this sort of a mountain trail winding up the mountain through these woods & little valleys, it wasn't real steep. We were trying to find our way & we just weren't sure which way we were supposed to go. And I was just so tired I could hardly drag! And I think maybe it was the first part of this climactic dream which I might call "The Execution." I think it was the first part of the dream. Now it's so vague I can't remember it exactly.
7. BUT I REMEMBER THAT WE JUST FINALLY DECIDED WE WERE HOPELESSLY LOST & we didn't know which way we were going, & suddenly our hearts sank‚ especially since we were so exhausted we could hardly drag, because to our dismay it seemed like the people who were chasing us suddenly showed up right in front of us & they had guns! And there was this one tough old guy‚ a real rough-looking egg, with a heavy black beard & a snowcap on, dressed like a trapper or hunter or somebody like you'd see up in the cold North. I remember that's one thing, I was cold!—And it just didn't seem like we could go on any longer, & then suddenly this fellow appeared—I think there were others with him but I only remember him because of the terrific traumatic nature of what happened!
8. HE WAS ONLY ABOUT 15 FEET IN FRONT OF ME, FIVE METERS, & HE RAISED THIS POWERFUL HUNTING RIFLE & HE POINTED IT STRAIGHT AT MY HEAD like he was going to shoot me, threatening to shoot me right between the eyes or right in the middle of my forehead! And I remember I fell to my knees & I clasped my hands & I began to pray‚ & boy I really prayed! And strangely enough, I was praying for him & not to him, I wasn't begging him for mercy or anything but I was begging the Lord for mercy for him, like the Lord said about His killers, the poor dumb Roman soldiers who didn't know what they were doing, because they were just doing their job. "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do!" (Lk.23:34) And I believe that Scripture came to me in that prayer that I was praying, as I recall.
9. BUT I SUDDENLY HAD THE MOST WONDERFUL THRILLING PEACEFUL FEELING, PERFECT CALM, PERFECT PEACE! I GUESS IT'S WHAT YOU'D CALL "DYING GRACE"! It reminds me of that story that I used to tell about Dwight L. Moody: The two old sisters came up to him & asked him after service one night. They said, "Dr. Moody‚ do you have dying grace?" He said, "No, dear sisters, I don't." And they looked shocked! "Why, Dr. Moody! You don't have dying grace?" He said, "No, I'm not dying yet!" That would be a good title for this, "Dying Grace."
10. BUT ALL OF A SUDDEN I JUST HAD PERFECT PEACE! I wasn't worried, I wasn't afraid‚ but I was a little—I remember I was this much concerned that I was praying.—I don't know whether I was praying it with my mouth so I could hear it or just in my heart, but I was praying, "Lord, let it be quick!" And I was wondering what it would be like when the bullet struck!—Would I be instantly killed without pain? I mean his rifle would put a bullet right through my brain!—Or would there be a moment of pain, kind of an explosion inside of my head? I was actually wondering all this. You know how they say when you're facing death suddenly all these things go through your mind in a split second! And I was wondering what it would be like. Would there be a moment of pain? Would there be some terrific feeling of concussion?
11. BUT I HAD PERFECT PEACE ABOUT IT, as though, oh, it's only going to take a moment & it'll all be over & I'll be in the next World & I won't have to worry about it anymore! And I was just praying to myself, not out loud, I don't think I was praying that out loud, but silently, "Lord, let it be quick!"
12. AND THEN I HAD THIS SUDDEN AMAZING LOVE FOR THIS MAN!—Like poor fellow, he doesn't realise what he's doing, that he's killing a Christian, a servant of the Lord, someone who is innocent but whom he thinks is guilty, he doesn't realise what he's doing!—Like the Roman soldiers who crucified Christ. And I was praying this out loud, I was praying for him, & he looked a little sort of hesitant for just a moment like this rather unsettled him, unnerved him, surprised him that I would pray at that moment when he was lifting his rifle ready to shoot me through the head, that I was praying for him in all sincerity, love & mercy, a supernatural thing to do! So there was just a moment's pause while he looked rather almost startled, you know?
13. AND I WAS THINKING TO MYSELF & PRAYING, "LORD, LET IT BE QUICK!" & WONDERING WHAT IT WOULD FEEL LIKE JUST AT THAT SUDDEN MOMENT OF DEATH! It was such a traumatic, hair–raising experience in that split second or whatever it was, just expecting that impact of that bullet on my forehead splitting my skull & my brain & thinking what it was going to feel like when my head is exploding! But, "Lord give me the grace!" I was thinking, "Even if it hurts, it will only be a moment & it will all be over & I will be painless in the next World & with You forever!"—And I woke up! Ha!
14. BUT THE THRILLING, ENCOURAGING THING ABOUT IT WAS, HERE I WAS FACE-TO-FACE WITH DEATH & YET I REALLY WASN'T AFRAID! I was only slightly apprehensive & maybe you might even say just curious as to what it was going to feel like, & praying the Lord would give me the grace to go through this traumatic experience of having a rifle bullet go crashing through my brain in that last moment of life!
15. IN THE CASE OF ST. STEPHEN AS HE WAS DYING, BEING STONED TO DEATH‚ MAYBE THE LORD DIDN'T EVEN HARDLY LET HIM FEEL THE STONES! And they say that some of the Christians who died, who were crucified or hung on the stake or burned at the stake, that they had such serenity & peace & they were singing & praying & praising the Lord so much that the Romans thought maybe some of them didn't even feel the flames!—That the Lord was releasing them without even feeling the pain! Well, certainly Jesus obviously felt pain! He certainly died, it seemed, in agony‚ & no doubt many martyrs did feel pain & died in agony. But I guess a lot depends on what you're able to bear & the Lord will not let you be tempted above that ye are able to bear. (1Cor.10:13)
16. BUT I WAS REALLY, I'D SAY ALMOST THRILLED WHEN I WOKE UP THAT I WAS FACE-TO-FACE WITH DEATH, YET UNAFRAID!—With that gun pointing right there‚ I just somehow knew that bullet was going to strike me in the middle of the forehead! I was just wondering momentarily how it was going to feel & praying for grace to face it & pass through this experience.—And praying at that moment for him!—To think that the Lord gave me such love to pray for my killer! And I was literally on my knees with my hands clasped, my face raised toward Heaven, praying the Lord to have mercy on him & to forgive him‚ that he didn't realise what he was doing! This I was praying out loud as a witness & testimony to him. I thought, "Well, if I am dying, this will be my dying testimony, my last chance to witness!" And it really seemed to have an effect on him‚ an impact, at least momentarily, & he hesitated.
17. BUT IN THAT MOMENT OF HIS HESITATION I WOKE UP! SO I DON'T KNOW IF HE EVER DID SHOOT ME! I never really found out what it was going to be like! But what I did find out is, at that moment I was not afraid! (Maria: That's really encouraging!) I was not frightened, I wasn't terrorised, I didn't faint, I didn't fall apart! But I had a sudden real anointing of peace & of love for him‚ peace of mind & just a wonderful feeling, I can't explain it! I really had a wonderful feeling!—Almost like when you're praying in tongues! I think part of what I was praying too was in tongues. I was just really pouring my heart out to the Lord, praising the Lord‚ & I think I was quoting Scriptures! Because I was really praying to the Lord & also I was definitely praying for him, looking straight at him part of the time & right straight into his eyes, & that's why he looked so startled!—In other words, to see that I was falling down there on my knees & praying to the Lord & unafraid, & just had the greatest peace & grace & no fear! I was really praising the Lord, almost glad it was all over! Really! I was glad it was all over!
18. I WAS REALLY RELIEVED! I WAS ACTUALLY RELIEVED! It seemed that I was relieved that at last the moment of death & the end of it all had come, of this life & all of its hard work & problems & sacrifices & labours & dangers & concerns, etc.—That here it is at last! Thank God! This is the end, it's all over, I don't have to worry about it anymore! I really think I had the feeling like I had worried about it more in the past than I was worrying about it at that moment, that I was actually relieved that in a moment I was going to be released, it was all over! And I was actually in a way happy & praising the Lord & praying for him & thanking the Lord & I was really praying! I remember I clasped my hands at first & then I had both hands up. I'm not sure, but I think maybe I woke up with my hands up still praying & praising the Lord!
19. BUT AT LEAST I HAD THAT FEELING, I HAD THAT GLORIOUS WONDERFUL FEELING, JUST ALMOST LIKE A FLOOD OF JOY THAT "THIS WAS IT! HERE IT IS AT LAST! I get to go!" I wasn't afraid at all! I was relieved‚ I was being released, I had the feeling like, "Ah, at last, thank God! This is my moment!"—Like I was actually glad that it was happening! We'd been through all this agony before of trying to flee & get away & getting lost in the woods & exhausted & could hardly drag, & were cold & hungry & concerned about each other. But here at last, thank God it was all over! It wasn't near as bad as I thought it was going to be, but that it was really a relief!
20. AND THIS GUY POINTING THE RIFLE AT ME WAS REALLY SHOOK UP BECAUSE I SEEMED TO BE SO HAPPY ABOUT GETTING SHOT‚ PRAISING THE LORD & PRAYING! I guess it was just as shocking as it was to the Romans when they were burning Christians, to see them hanging there singing & praying & praising the Lord & acting happy & joyful & rejoicing & praising God instead of screaming in pain & dying in agony! I was happy, literally happy, glad that it was happening, really glad it was happening‚ thanking God it was all over, & I woke up with that same feeling, that same exhilaration, that joy, that gladness, that happiness‚ that wonderful flood of—I guess you'd call it dying grace!—Perfect peace, perfect rest, no worry, no fear!
21. I JUST HAD A SORT OF A WONDER, A LITTLE CURIOSITY ABOUT IT, I WAS WONDERING JUST HOW IT WAS GOING TO FEEL. I just had the feeling it would be like a sudden boom, kind of like an explosion in my brain, but so sudden that in a moment it would all be over & I wouldn't feel any pain anymore, not have to worry anymore, not have to flee anymore, not have to agonise anymore & not worry anymore about what to do or how to do it or how to escape or how to get away, I wouldn't have to feel any more pain or weariness or cold or hunger or concern about the future, ha! The future was there! I was facing the future, the end right there! And I woke up with the most wonderful feeling!
22. I WAS SO PEACEFUL & REALLY THRILLED, GLAD, HAPPY‚ JOYFUL!—Just like it was the most wonderful thing in the World that could happen to you to die! Ha! Isn't that amazing? Now I have never ever had that particular experience before with that special effect on me like that! I've had nightmares, but it wasn't like a nightmare. It was a hard dream in a way & in some ways it resembled a nightmare, but in a nightmare you're really fearful, you're really scared, you're really afraid, you're terrorised! I've always believed that nightmares are really sent by the Devil to really frighten you & scare & bring fear! They're really fearful & you're very fearful in a nightmare!
23. BUT IN THIS, THE ONLY REAL BAD PART ABOUT IT WAS THAT I WAS JUST EXHAUSTED, SO TIRED & SO LOST & IT ALL JUST SEEMED SO HOPELESS, TRYING TO FLEE! We didn't even know where we were or where we were going or how to get there! We were lost & tired & cold & hungry & we just could hardly drag another step & it was almost like a relief, a pleasure, thank God! Here they are, face–to-face‚ the enemies! Now it'll all be over, we won't have to worry about it anymore! We won't have to be afraid of facing them, here we are facing them! We won't have to be fearful about not being able to escape or trying to escape or trying to flee & all the hardships of trying to find our way & being lost & cold & hungry & exhausted! But thank God, this is the end of it! Our worries are over! Our struggle is over, the fight is over! The fears are over! HAL! TYJ!
24. IT SEEMED LIKE IN A SENSE IT WAS ALL BEHIND US NOW & THIS WAS THE END, THIS WAS THE HAPPY ENDING!—The happy ending! Maybe that would be a good title for this, "The Happy Ending!" Ha! What was the other one?—"Dying Grace!" Well, that would be a good title & "The Happy Ending!" could be the subtitle.
25. I WAS ACTUALLY HAPPY THAT IT WAS HAPPENING! I had a slight wonder or curiosity about how it was going to feel when that bullet hit my forehead. I just felt like maybe it was going to feel like my head was splitting in two & my brain was exploding, but that at that moment, after that split-second I would feel no more pain & feel nothing more‚ it would all be over! And I was glad, I was really happy! I really had peace in my heart! And I was praying for this poor guy who was about to shoot me & he looked so amazed, startled, like it was a real testimony to him. He looked more scared than I was!
26. MANY KILLERS OF CHRISTIANS & EXECUTIONERS & PERSECUTORS OF CHRISTIANS HAVE TESTIFIED LATER THAT IT WAS THE WAY THE PERSON DIED OR SUFFERED OR WHATEVER IT WAS, THE GRACE THEY HAD, THE LOVE THEY HAD, THE JOY THEY HAD, THAT WAS SUCH A POWERFUL TESTIMONY TO THEM THAT THEY LATER GOT CONVERTED! It was such a witness to them!—Your last dying witness! This is where we get the Greek word "martyr," the literal translation of it is "witness"! It's your last witness, your last testimony, the way you die!
27. IS YOUR DEATH GOING TO BE A WITNESS? IS IT GOING TO BE A TESTIMONY? Is it going to be with joy, glory on your face & love for your enemies, as it was with Jesus & Stephen‚ praying even for those who were killing them!—Relieved, like my Grandmother was when she was dying from that operation? She just looked up—she took her rings off & handed them to my Grandfather & said—"Earth recedes, Heaven opens, this is my Coronation Day!" And she just looked almost ecstatic, my Mother said! My Mother was there & watched her die! It was a real testimony to my Mother, which she said she could never forget, that her mother died victoriously like she was really seeing Heaven open & almost like she was glad to die, thankful to die, that at last‚ thank God, it was all over, she wouldn't have to fear or worry about it anymore!
28. ISN'T THAT WONDERFUL? THAT WAS SUCH A THRILLING, WONDERFUL COMFORTING DREAM, BELIEVE IT OR NOT! When the moment of death comes, God will give you such grace & such peace & such love, such rest, perfect confidence, perfect faith‚ no fear, all joy, all thankfulness, praising the Lord & thanking God that at last it is all over & this is the end & you won't have to worry about it anymore. Isn't that beautiful?
29. I MEAN, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THAT IS ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL DREAMS I'VE EVER HAD! I mean it could have been really terrifying, frightening, but instead of being terrified or frightened or absolutely scared to death, the Lord just suddenly gave me the most beautiful perfect peace without fear & I was actually thankful! And I would say I really was thankful because I was praising & thanking the Lord! And at the same moment He gave me great love, I was sorry for this poor guy who was shooting me & it looked as though he felt it‚ he knew it! And he was amazed & startled by it, a little unsettled by it‚ you might say, like it caused him to hesitate for a moment as to whether he should kill me or not! Here I was praying for him, showing such love, such peace that he was just absolutely amazed at the witness & startled at the testimony of such love!
30. AND WHO KNOWS?—MAYBE HE DIDN'T SHOOT ME! MAYBE HE GOT SAVED! (Maria: Or maybe he did shoot you & then he got saved.) Yes, maybe through the pressure of his peers he went ahead & shot us, but never forgot that! Maybe he lived with that & maybe it finally brought him to his knees in repentance to ask God to forgive him, & so maybe he finally got saved!—As we've read many stories of persecutors & executioners who have! Look at the Apostle Paul‚ who finally got gloriously saved! No doubt the way the Christians died impressed him! Certainly the way Stephen died must have impressed him! He must have really been kicking against the pricks‚ those convictions of those witnesses, those testimonies, those martyrs & how they died when he killed them! In fact, he was resisting, the Lord says‚ "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks!" (Acts 9:4,5)—In other words the pricks of his conscience, the ox goads that the Lord was using on him to pierce his thick skin with conviction & his conscience with shame & conviction at what he was doing! Yet the way those Christians were dying with dying grace, gloriously, happily, joyfully praising the Lord like Stephen, really got through!
31. SO IT'S NOT SO BAD AFTER ALL! DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT! IN FACT, I BELIEVE IT'S THE HAPPIEST EVENT IN YOUR WHOLE LIFE!—THE END! FINITO!—At last out of this fleshly carnal body with all of its woes & aches & pains & troubles & problems & weariness & sicknesses & disease & concerns, problems‚ hard work & sufferings! It's all over! I mean, it gave me the impression that the happiest moment of your life will be the moment of death for a Christian!—A joyful relief of release, graduation, promotion, school is out & all over & you finally made it! Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Thank You Jesus! Praise the Lord!
32. IT REALLY WAS WONDERFUL! That was a wonderful, beautiful dream & I was so thrilled & inspired by it! And as I woke up I didn't want to be noisy & wake you up, but I woke up just praising the Lord quietly & thanking the Lord & praying, thanking the Lord for the dream, such a wonderful dream! The Lord Himself said, "Fear not them which can kill the body." (Mt.10:28) Fear not! In other words, don't fear death, don't fear being killed. It's not all that bad. In fact, it's the moment of release from pain & from death forever! Once you've died, that's it, you can't die again! You can't die all over again, it's all over! You've done it, you've made it! Thank God! It's behind you. That's it! Never again! Heaven forever! Happiness eternally! Total glory! Sudden death, sudden glory! Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Thank You Jesus!
33. AMEN, LORD, IN Jesus' name. HELP OUR PRECIOUS FAMILY NOT TO FEAR DEATH & NOT TO BE AFRAID, not to worry about what it is going to be like. For death is the end of our agony & our pain & our suffering & our problems & our work. Death is the sweetest moment of all! "O death, where is thy sting, o grave‚ where is thy victory?" (1Cor.15:55) Obviously, Lord, You've made it so it has no sting for us‚ & certainly the grave has no victory because we're going to be with Thee! Thank You Lord! So we don't have to live all our lives with the fear of death as some do.
34. "FEAR NOT THEM WHICH KILL THE BODY BUT HAVE NO MORE THAT THEY CAN DO, BUT RATHER FEAR HIM (YOU, LORD) that can cast both soul & body into Hell!" (Mt.10:28) Thank You Lord that we no longer have that fear because we know we're saved. We already fear Thee. We love Thee, but we have the awe & respect of the fear of Thee, as a child fears its father, at the same time loves & trusts, but is afraid to disobey, afraid not to obey—afraid of the judgements & the punishments & the chastenings, the chastisements, the wrath of the parent if we don't obey. It's a good healthy fear of the One that we love—You, Lord, our Father in Heaven. It's better to fear Thee, Lord, our Saviour, not death, not our enemies, not those who can only kill the body but after that have no more that they can do. But we continue to have a healthy fear of Thee & concern about staying in Thy Will & obeying Thee & accomplishing what we're supposed to do & finishing our work rather than fearing death. Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Thank You Jesus!
35. HELP US TO BE MORE CONCERNED, LORD‚ ABOUT LIVING THAN DYING & LESS CONCERNED ABOUT THE END, Lord, than the present‚ today. You said, "Fret not thyself for tomorrow, sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof, for tomorrow shall take care of the things of itself." (Mt.6:34) Help us not to be encumbered with the burden of the fear of what is going to happen tomorrow, Lord—fear of the end, fear of death, fear of enemies or fear of anything, Lord, except Thee. But we are to be concerned about today & that we are doing Thy Will today, obeying Thee now, accomplishing Thy purpose now & fulfilling our mission now, not worrying about tomorrow.—And certainly not worrying about death or dying, that's the moment of glory, the moment of the end from pain‚ release from sorrow!—No more crying or tears!
36. SO LORD‚ PLEASE HELP OUR PRECIOUS FAMILY NOT TO BE BURDENED WITH SUCH FEARS, such concerns or worries about the future, not even about tomorrow‚ but just to be concerned that we obey & do our job well today, & thankful that we can be of service to Thee, of use to Thee & a blessing to others while it is yet day, "for the night cometh when no man can work." (Jn.9:4) There will only be just a moment of that night for us, Lord, & there will be the glorious morning‚ the dawning of another day, a brighter day than we've ever known, Lord, that will last forever with Thee in that wonderful Heavenly City & the Heavenly Earth forever!—Where we'll wonder why we even worried or were afraid or ever had fear of any kind!
37. LORD, YOU ARE GOING TO TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING! THANK YOU JESUS! Forgive us, Lord, for our doubts, forgive us for fears, forgive us for ever worrying about the future or problems or people or enemies or any kind of concerns—for support, protection or provision—knowing that You love us, Lord, & our Heavenly Father will take care of it all & You'll never let anything happen to us more than we are able to bear, not even death! (1Co.10:13) But You'll give us the grace to bear it with joy & thanksgiving! Dying grace! Glory, actual glory! Sudden death, sudden glory! Praise You Lord! Hallelujah! Thank You Jesus! In Jesus' name, amen. Amen! Praise the Lord!
38. IT'S A WONDERFUL DREAM! I've thought & thought about that since then. I knew I had to have an appropriate time to tell you when I could really be in the Spirit, because I didn't want to tell it unless I could really do it justice. But that was it! And that's all there is to it. It's that easy to die! Praise the Lord! Thank You Jesus!—Don't worry! You'll have dying grace when the time comes!—In Jesus' name, amen!