Weapons / Joshua the warrior

CombatTrainingUrbanJoshua was a warrior. He spent many years with Moses, serving first as his aide de camp and eventually named by God as Moses’ successor.

Although serving in several roles, Joshua was primarily a soldier. And more than a soldier; a warrior.

During their days in the desert in what today is Jordan, Joshua was training men for the battle ahead. He had to hand-pick the best, teach them how to fight and how to use their weapons. He was well aware that as soon as Israel crossed the Jordan River, they would be in enemy territory.

“About forty thousand armed for battle crossed over before the Lord to the plains of Jericho for war.” (Joshua 4:13 NIV) Joshua’s first major target was to be Jericho, a fiercely guarded walled city.

“Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”

“Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” (Josh. 5:13-14 NIV) The Lord’s commander; captain of the Lord’s hosts, it says in the King James version.

He was there to give Joshua first an intelligence briefing, then his battle orders. (Those instructions may sound a little strange to us, marching around walls, but that’s what they were: battle orders.)

Who was he? An angel? Michael or one of his subordinates? Perhaps Jesus himself? We’re not told. But we are told that war, warriors and warfare were part of his mission on earth.

I was thinking about all this one evening and the fact that the scriptures describe another battle looming in Israel and probably other places in the middle east, in the not too distant future. Who will be trained well enough to fight and win in that war, I wondered? Most of the believers I know certainly aren’t.

The Lord began to answer that question by showing me an activity going on in heaven. Combat training. Arm to arm combat. Physical, mental, emotional – and spiritual – training. Weapons. Armor.

I thought at first I was dead wrong about what I saw. That simply could not be heaven, it had to be some sort of hallucination, a mistake. But it wasn’t. The Holy Spirit took me to several scriptures about the battles ahead, and explained in some detail what I was seeing.

Many believers will still be here on earth when that war needs to be fought. Untrained, ill-equipped believers who don’t know one end of a rifle from the other. They won’t know how to defend themselves, much less fight an enemy soldier. Like the children of Israel facing the Jordan River, most of them aren’t warriors.

But they aren’t called to be.

Out of a million or more men of Israel, only forty thousand were called to be warriors. They were chosen, trained, equipped and ready. And in the coming warfare, God’s warriors will be ready. They will be returning to earth with Jesus, fully trained and equipped. (See Revelation 17:14, 19:19)

Right now they are going through that training period. I watched some of the training. I saw some of the weapons, both material and spiritual. I have never seen anything on earth exactly like them – not in any of those action and adventure and spy movies I’ve watched for years.

The Holy Spirit explained how some of them worked and how some are already working here on earth. Not technically weapons, some are designed to gather information, such as three-dimensional cameras that can see around solid objects. Invisibility cloaks for people and machines. I actually saw a news video about that one several months ago, being tested here on earth.

Not everyone in heaven is assigned to be trained as a fighter. Some are assigned to be designers of weapons, inventors or engineers or scientists. Or writers, composers, artists or musicians. But warriors will certainly be needed, and so some are chosen and taught how to be.

I am understanding more and more what heaven is like, and what it’s for. Worship. Work. And training for warfare.

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A type of Christ, the man Joshua is a fascinating character. His original name, Hoshea, simply meant salvation.  Moses changed it to Jehoshua (Joshua), however, which means Jehovah is salvation (Numbers 13:16). The Greek form of the name Joshua is Jesus.

Follow his unique career from being one of Moses’ “young men,” being with Moses on the mountain when he received the ten commandments, one of twelve tribal leaders sent to spy out the land, serving as Moses’ assistant and then being named his successor — read through the book of Numbers and associated passages. He was one of the two spies who were faithful (Caleb being the other) and because they believed God, only those two of the twelve spies were promised to survive the 40-year trek through the wilderness.

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Dream warnings

I’ve had several prophetic dreams in my life, and I still remember each one vividly, either in part or in whole. The first was many years ago (1970s, I think) and involved the believers of my town being called individually by the Holy Spirit, families instructed to gather in a central location to be collected by the Lord, as the time had come for the final global warfare.

It was incredibly thought-provoking, especially when I learned over the next few days that similar dreams were being reported by many other Christians across the world, one even dreamed by a sister-in-law. The scenarios were different but the interpretations were the same. An increase in evangelism resulted, at least for a time.

A very different end-time dream occurred some years following that one, involving only me, myself, being instantly transported to a recessed doorway half-way up a mountainside on the other side of the world. I went inside to find a fully furnished and comfortable living space with other people already there, only one of which I knew (Diane B.). Down a central hallway were other rooms, including a large nursery full of cribs — no babies as yet, but completely ready to receive any small children that might arrive. Other spaces were workrooms, conference rooms, laboratories, some full of busy people, some mostly empty.

What is happening? Why am I here? I was wondering, when the Holy Spirit spoke a simple sentence to me. “Armageddon is beginning.” This was one of the mountains of the Lord, he explained, just one of many on every continent, fully equipped and furnished. Prepared and waiting for believers from around the world who would be transported here at intervals. Here they would live and work until the conflict was resolved.

I woke up, completely awake and aware in an instant. I wrote down every detail of that dream, not wanting to forget any of it. As if I could… I remember it all very, very well to this day.

A third dream was only a few years ago. That one was so wonderful I wanted to dream it again, over and over. It was a warm weather evening and I was teaching a class at Poynor Adult Education Center. Suddenly my feet left the floor as I was bodily lifted and moved to a tall, open window, then through the window and upwards as though drawn by a magnet. Amazed, I watched tree tops fall away below me. This isn’t real, I was thinking inside the dream, but it wasn’t unpleasant. Just the opposite!

I found myself leaning backwards, encased in a small pod-like vehicle with a glass window at eye level. It was sort of like being inside a small, remote controlled airplane, protected from the cold temperatures at high elevations. I could see lights far below and knew that I was moving quite fast, in a westward direction I thought. The angle of travel gradually changed from mostly vertical to horizontal.

The little craft stopped in the yard of a house somewhere in a small town, many miles away from Florence. A couple of nice people greeted me, seeming to expect my visit. One of them said “You’ll need this” and handed me a soft, thick blanket.

Once again enfolded in this little cocoon-like craft and rising high into the air as before, my journey continued on.

Even knowing as I slept that this was a dream, I was fascinated by it all. After a few moments we were so far up that I could no longer see the lights of cities below. The soft, warm blanket wrapped around me, I fell asleep inside the dream.

Suddenly “awake” again, I found I had been moved from my wonderful space-age aircraft to the passenger seat of an ordinary automobile. It was being driven down a main street in a town not unlike Florence, but certainly not Florence. In the driver’s seat was someone who looked like an ordinary businessman, but instinctively I knew he was an angel.

He was talking to someone else that I didn’t see, apparently continuing a conversation. “Is she up for this?” he was asking. “Are you sure she’s right for this job?” “Oh yes,” was the answer. “She’s ready.”

At that point I woke up for real, and remembered every scene, every moment of this remarkable, wonderful dream. I wrote it all down, and for some time I didn’t share it with anyone, eventually telling only Tim.

I didn’t doubt that this dream had a meaning for me in the physical, real world. Change. Change was coming. Spiritual change, too, but physical, material change was coming.

And it did, over the course of the next number of months and years following that dream. Tim died. And during the next year I was transported across the planet several times, traveling in huge jet planes (not tiny pod-like ones), and I had a job to do. Interviews with people from many other countries, sharing their lives with me as I shared mine with them.

When asked to go, I wasn’t really surprised. I felt not fearful, but prepared for that experience — ready for that dramatic change in my life, which proved to be both a physical and spiritual adventure.

Now I have had another of those remarkable dreams. Not one I want to repeat this time, however. It was the early morning hours of July 7, 2012, before daylight.

Standing in a small meeting room, I was speaking to several men sitting around. They were dressed in business suits and looked sort of like insurance salesmen. Or FBI agents. I was telling them that the signs were there, for people who were looking and listening. Warning signs. The signs were there, as well as information on how to protect yourself and your loved ones.

These signs were scattered around the whole world, on internet sites, blogs, news items and scientific articles, print newspapers and magazines, in many places and from many seemingly unrelated sources. For those who were paying attention, I told them, the signs were obvious and recognizable.

War is coming, and it’s coming to our country, I said.

A couple of the men glanced at each other, as if to say, we know this — but how does she know it? It didn’t seem to worry them that war was coming; it only seemed to puzzle them that I knew it.

I suddenly realized that few people in the general population were paying attention, and although these men knew what was ahead for the country, they weren’t notifying the population. They probably had no plans to do so. That’s when I woke up.

I lay there and thought about it for a few minutes. War is coming, the dream told me. And it may be soon. What kind of war? Invasion? Revolution? Riots? Small pockets of violence? Wide outbreaks? I don’t know, but the warning signs are indeed out there, and the body of Christ needs to pay attention.