In our generations it is common to hear preachers encouraging their hearers to seek the fantasy of seeing the Lord Jesus Christ in their dreams and visions. Preachers tell their hearers of how the Lord walked into their sitting room last night, and gave them special instructions, and revealed deep mysteries to them; and at the close of the sermons they exhort their hearers: “You as well can have such deep and intimate relationship with Christ. Yes, you can expect to begin to see him walk up to talk with you as openly and physically as you see me talking to you.” And once this seed and expectancy is sown in the heart of the hearers, Satan begins working on their carnal senses, depraved hearts, and imaginations, and they begin to concoct visions of Christ appearing to them. Once this seed has taken roots in their hearts, anyone who brings the true gospel to them is scorned as a heretick, cessationist, and or atheist.
Alas, we are in a generation where preachers seek their own glory. They tell these stories to be held up as “great men of God.” These preachers are preachers of the “new path” and the “broad way that leadeth to destruction” (Mattew 7:13). Are they not rightly called the “Third wave or new wave” ministries?
But what saith the word of the Lord concerning the “old path” and the “new path”?
“Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein” (Jeremiah 6:16).
To find eternal rest for our souls, it thus behooves us to seek out the “old path” and walk therein, leaving the “new path.” It becomes thus expedient that we seek out the old truth as proclaimed by the divines of old – the poor forgotten old Puritans.
The Puritans were men who overthrew the Roman Catholic Church, the Great mother of harlot, and they also fostered true religion in all their generations. One of the Puritans is the well known Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758). I was just reading through one of his written sermons titled “A natural condition is a dreadful condition”. In it Edwards covered so many issues, and as his manner in all his sermons, he begins pressing upon his hearers the need for their seeking God earnestly for the salvation of their own souls. As I approached the last paragraph, I was amazed that the very lies ministers of these days employ in deceiving people and making claims to being a “great man of God” was greatly abhorred and condemned by Edwards. Why preachers these days encourage men that they can see Jesus in visions as did the prophets of old, Edwards admonished his hearers not to buy into such lie, not to ever imagine such! And this truth was preached in a sermon about 257 years ago!
Here is what Edwards said in the closing of his sermon:
“Abound in earnest prayer to God, that he would open your eyes, that you may behold the glorious and rich provision made for sinners in Jesus Christ. The souls of natural men are so blinded that they see no beauty or excellence in Christ. They do not see his sufficiency. They see no beauty in the work of salvation by him; and as long as they remain thus blind, it is impossible that they should close with Christ. The heart will never be drawn to an unknown Saviour. It is impossible that a man should love that, and freely chose that, and rejoice in that, in which he sees no excellency. But if your eyes were opened to see the excellency of Christ, the work would be done. You would immediately believe on him; and you would find your heart going after him. It would be impossible to keep it back. But take heed that you do not entertain a wrong notion of what it is, spiritually to see Christ. If you do, you may seek that which God never bestows. Do not think that spiritually to see Christ, is to have a vision of him as the prophets had, to see him in some bodily shape, to see the features of his countenance. Do not pray or seek for any such thing as this. But what you are to seek is, that you may have a sight of the glorious excellence of Christ, and of the way of salvation through him, in your heart. This is a spiritual sight of Christ. This is that for which you must cry to God day and night. God is the fountain of spiritual light. He opens the eyes of the blind. He commands the light to shine out of darkness. It is easy with God to enlighten the soul, and fill it with these glorious discoveries, though it is beyond the power of men and angels.”
Reader, mark well the caution old Jonathan Edwards gave to his hearers 257 years ago, your life might depend on it! He said to them, “But take heed that you do not entertain a wrong notion of what it is, spiritually to see Christ. If you do, you may seek that which God never bestows. Do not think that spiritually to see Christ, is to have a vision of him as the prophets had, to see him in some bodily shape, to see the features of his countenance. Do not pray or seek for any such thing as this.”
Again, I repeat, if it were the false gospellers of today, “the new path and broad way” preachers like Kenneth Hagin, Billy Graham, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Chris Oyakhilome, E.A. Adeboye, T.B. Joshua, etc., they would urge on you to seek the fantasy experience of seeing the Lord Jesus Christ in a bodily shape or any such thing; but the “old path and narrow way” preacher, Jonathan Edwards, urges you not to belief in such lies and vain fantasies, not even to seek them. He said to his hearers 257 years ago, “If you do, you may seek that which God never bestows”, meaning that God never bestows such hallucinations and visions falsely so called. He further adds, “Do not pray or seek for any such thing as this.”
I urge on you to try laying your hands on the written sermons of Jonathan Edwards by Googling, read them throughly, and get yourself acquainted with the “old path” gospel that the men of old preached. I also urge you to read most of the articles on this site, the testimonies of former Charismatic preachers, the sermons, etc. Peruse the works of the old Puritans, and may the God of heaven give you understanding.
Again, like old Edwards, I say, “Do not pray or seek for any such thing as this. But what you are to seek is, the way of salvation through him, in your heart.”