Growing up, I was the eldest of six children. Being the oldest, most of the time, the lot fell on me for the maintenance of my other siblings. There were times when my sister shared in this responsibility. However, I was the one who was considered the responsible one, so I was the one on whom the brunt of the work fell. Do not get me wrong, we all did our share, because Mama made sure of that. She was the one who did the teaching, spiritual and otherwise. She was the one who did nurtured us, and she also corrected us when needed, if you know what I mean. I do not wish to give the impression that my mother preached to us, although she did teach us at home. No, what I mean to say is that Mama was the one who made sure that we were in church. Not just any church, but a church that she felt taught the TRUTH. My father, on the other hand, just basically worked and took care of the bills and supported wholeheartedly, I might add, what my mother was doing. What she did, for the most part, was “child rearing.” Me, well I was the one who took on the mantle of accountability as far as the children were concerned. So everyone thought that I had a pretty good grip on life, being that I was such a responsible person. It was just the unspoken rule: I was the leader, and that was that. In everyone’s eyes I was a rational, well-balanced person. There was nothing mysterious about me.

We were a dynamic family. I remember that we would always come together for family outings and what not. We were always doing something, not just our immediate family, but all of our family, our aunts and uncles, cousins, young and old. We all lived in close proximity to one another, so we would gather at one another’s house, who ever had something going on, and we would just have a great time sharing each others company. We were a very close-knit family, and remain so even today.  I really did enjoy taking care of my siblings. What I enjoyed even more was going to church. Especially when we packed up and went to the “Feast.”

The “Feast” is where we would congregate and live amongst people from all over the world. Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, you name them, they were there. There was “peace in the valley,” so to speak. No disputes, no police, no “locks on the doors.” It was a virtual “utopia” here on earth. I remember diligently taking notes, some of which I retain today. What I recall from memory though was being taught that the “Feast” was a foretaste of the Milennial reign of Jesus Christ on the Earth.  I never forgot the teaching we received, which was mostly relevant to the future. In theological circles it is called Eschatology, but in the church, it was called “prophecy.” We were taught that nearly one-third of the Bible was prophecy, and that most of that was unfulfilled. We were all taught “the same thing”  as children, but I am the only one who has embraced the teaching on into adulthood. That is, after a short departure from it. After a time in the “cosmos,” I was called out.

I had two sisters and three brothers. Two of my brothers served in the Army. One served as a Military Police, the other was an Airborne Ranger. I  also served in the Air Force. The brother closest to me in age, was also the one closest to my heart. He was the Ranger. I love all my siblings, but it seemed that this brother had more things in common with me. We were so close that I can truthfully say that he was the main reason I joined the service. When he got out, I was stationed in Virginia, and he wanted to come stay with me for a while. He had filed his income tax sometime earlier and was waiting to receive it so that delayed his coming. When he did get it, his plan was to come in two days. The day just before he was coming, he was in an automobile accident. After fighting for his life, tragically, he died. My mother took it very hard. She and my father both have gone on since then. There are now only five of us left.

The death of my brother really shook me up. The closeness I had with him was realized even more when I began having dreams about him. These dreams lasted for about four years before he was killed. In each dream, he was killed in a different way. Two days before he was killed, I had a dream that revealed the exact way he would die – in an auto crash. There is something else you must know about our closeness. The day he was mortally wounded (head trauma) I was at a friend’s house on Bolling Air Force Base. I’ll never forget the call. We were playing cards when suddenly, the phone rang. My friend’s wife answered the phone, and when she did, she looked directly at me. She was speechless. She never spoke a word. When I saw the look on her face, I asked, “It’s about my brother isn’t it?” She nodded her head. I replied, “He’s dead isn’t he.” She looked at me, bewildered, as if to say, “How could you know that?”   She nodded her head “Yes” again. I said to myself, “No more dreams.” How wrong I was. How very wrong.

After my brother died, I took leave (for about three months). I was very distraught.  Life goes on you know? Two or three years after my brother’s death, I began having recurring dreams. In the dreams, it would always start out with the family being gathered in a big house. In one dream, there was no one but my mother, my father, and myself. In the dream, while we were all gathered there in the big house together, somehow my mother, myself, and my father were detached from the crowd, and I found that we were engulfed by water. Lots and lots of water. I could see my mother standing on a high ledge. She was standing there just looking into what seemed like a sea of water. There was water everywhere, and this water was accompanied by a strong gusting wind. It was as if we were in a hurricane or a monsoon or something worse. There was no one else around, just me, my mother, and my father. My father and I were in a car, trying to get to her, because we did not know if she would fall in the water or if it would sweep her away. The water began to rise, so I tried to get out of the car and get to her for fear of her being overcome by the billowing waves of the water, but I thought, “There’s just too much water.” Finally, I got up enough nerves to get out of the car. I opened the door and got out, but I could not get to her as the water was driving me back, so I got back in the car. I can see her standing there in her long flowing white gown which was blowing furiously in the wind. As I tried to get out again, I could see her motioning for me to go back. As we watched in horror, she disappeared beneath the water. Then –  I woke up. I told my mother about the dream, sparing some of the details, but she did not understand it.

In another dream, we were all gathered together at the big house for some sort of family event. Actually, it was more of a big party, because there was loud music, and revelry going on. People were going back and forth, in and out of the huge house where the gathering was. Their faces were unrecognizable, or I should say that I did not recognize any of them because I was concentrating on the bright lights. Everything else was very vivid, however, to my recollection. It was as if I was actually present observing what was going on. I could see bright lights of various colors. There were green and blue, red and yellow, but the majority of them were white and sparkling. They were floating around in the atmosphere, coming down from the sky. As they descended, they were flashing and changing colors and going in different directions. Everybody started coming outside to witness the phenomenon of the bright and iridescent lights. As the party of people moved to the outside, I could see the lights begin moving in a more organized pattern. They began encircling us, as if moving us to a specific area.

Then what happened next just took my breath away. There came upon us a deafening sound. There were rumblings and a tumult in the sky,  with thundering and lightnings. Then all of a sudden, nothing. The noise ceased. There came a time of space when there was nothing, but a sound, such as I had never witnessed before. Nothing but total quietness. The kind of quietness that one desires after they have been awake all night with a newborn baby, and now he’s quietly asleep. As if that was not enough to leave a person awe-struck, with all the lights, the wind, the thundering and lightnings, and now – the gentile quietness. After all of these “sequence of sensations,” you’ll never guess what happened next. This vision took me to another level. I looked up, and as I did, the most awesome display of lights that I had ever seen, or could ever have imagined took center stage. What came next made me weak at the knees at the sight of it. The sky began to roll back as a scroll. As the sky began to unfold, I could see a Figure, sitting on a stately and graceful white horse, whose mane was flowing freely in the wind as they began their descent. As I beheld this luminous Figure, I could see that it (He) was clad in all white and had something in Its (His) hand, which I cannot describe. I shut my eyes because I could not believe what I was seeing. What was I witnessing? As I tried to gain control of my senses I opened my eyes and looked toward the heaven(s) I could see this Figure had with It (Him) an innumerable host of bright lights that resembled stars, twinkling and shimmering amongst the other lights, and the lucent light of this great and awesome Figure. As they began their descent and as they were just about to touch down on Earth, I woke up! Every time in these recurring dreams, I would always wake up, just before the zenith.

I do not understand the meaning of these series of dreams, but my mind keeps telling me that perhaps it is the biblical prophetic teaching that has spurred these dreams. Or could it be that I am a believer. Whatever the case may be, of a certainty, I still remember the Scripture that was taught to me and my siblings. I believe that these Scriptures are relevant:

“Then the seventh angel sounded. And there were loud voices in heaven saying,”The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever. The nation’s were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead that they should be judged. And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints” (Revelation 11:15, 18b, c).

“Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him…” (Revelation 1:7).

“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And He will send the angels with the great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather His elect from the four winds…” (Matthew 24:30-31).

“And have made us kings and priests to our Lord, And we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:10).

“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air [the second heaven; emphasis mine]. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (I Thessalonians 4:15-17).

“And in that day His feet [Jesus’] will stand on the Mount of Olives… Thus the Lord my God will come, And all the saints with You. And the Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day…” (Zechariah 14:4a, 5d, 9 a, b).

This is where I would go right now, if it were possible. It is a cherished desire of mine, to be in that place, and in that day as described above and in THE DREAM. “Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20b).