My Visions

A lot of people report religious visions and expect others to believe them. 
People also report being kidnapped by aliens. 
Even so, both the Old Testament and New Testament contains visions and God expects us to believe them. 
I do not necessarily believe visions outside of those reported in the Bible, even if many claim to have witnessed it. 
The “I saw it too” syndrome can just be someone’s way of trying to feel special, or the result of coercion. 
That being said, I believe I have had two visions and will share them here. 
Not to see if you approve of them, or to coerce you, but simply to share them. 

Vision #1: Shortly after I became ‘born-again’ in 1984, while standing in a certain place, a part of me left and went to heaven. Though I had not yet read the Book of Revelations, I saw a man sitting on a white throne, (which reminds me of the seat in Lincoln’s Memorial), with a marble ‘sidewalk’ up to the throne with one or two steps at a place between He and I. On either side of the sidewalk was glass. I don’t remember exactly how or who I interpreted this being to be, but I knew He was holy. He didn’t speak to me, and I sure wasn’t going to start the conversation. Looking back, it seems he was Jesus. He glowed. Look at a florescent bulb with the light off. You can see the shape of the bulb. Turn on the switch, you can’t tell the exact shape of the bulb because of the light it emits. Jesus shone a florescent bulb. End of vision. 

Vision #2: In February of 1991, my wife miscarried. We believed the baby was a female, and named her Olivia Anne. (With each pregnancy, we would talk about boy and girl names. Whatever name we could agree on turned out to be the sex of the child.) A couple of days after the miscarriage, I was at work, and again, a part of me left and went to heaven. I was on a street, and saw a group of college-age girls walking by. I looked at one of them and said to myself “That’s Olivia.” She looked at me and said, “Hi, Dad!” I said, “Hello, Olivia. How are you.” (a dumb question to ask someone in heaven). End of vision. I went back to my body and continued working.  

Eric J. Rose

Bible Confusion

Sorting out God can be confusing. There are many religions, and in each religion, so many sects or denominations. 
Some people aren’t sure what they should believe. 

Let’s clear out some of the junk. 
How many religious leaders have risen from the dead, other than Jesus? None.
How many books speak authoritatively about Jesus? 
The Old Testament foretells about Him, The New Testament chronicles His life on earth. 
That’s it. 

“But the Bible gets so confusing.” Been there, wrestled with that. It took me a long time to reconcile, for example, the differences between the Old Testament and the New Testament, both supposedly about the same God. 
Here’s the scoop: The Old Testament was the previous contract; the New Testament is the current contract. 
Even so, the Old Testament is a treasure, rich in accounts of God and His Magnificence and mercy. 

There are many culture and language differences between the Jewish Jesus of 30 AD and 21st century Americans. 
Though the New Testament is the official baseline, here are a few books to help understand the language and the culture that went onto writing the Old and New Testaments. 
They are not supplements or replacements to the New Testament, but help clear up translation and cultural difficulties. 

*Evidence that Demands a Verdict (McDowell, Josh & Sean. 2017, orig, 1972, Thomas Nelson Publishers). 
*The Verdict of History (Habermas, G. 1988, Thomas Nelson Publishers). 
*The Hard Sayings of Jesus (Bruce, F.F., 1983, Intervarsity Press). 
*Hard Sayings of Paul (Brauch, M.T., 1989, Intervarsity Press). 
*Hard Sayings of the Old Testament (Kaiser, Jr., W.C., 1988, Intervarsity Press).) 


Another snag in Christian Theology is the concept of ‘predestination’; the notion that God decided who goes to heaven and who goes to hell before any of us were ever born, and we can do nothing about it. 

Romans 8: 28:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. 

While it kinda-sorta sounds like predestination, to accurately interpret the verse, one must understand God’s foreknowledge; that He knows all things before they happen. 
I choose the following interpretation: God knows who will accept Him and who will reject Him, and even though Christians may goof-up, if we become born-again, He protects us and guides us through life to our final heavenly destination.