“I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet.”The phrase “in the Spirit” is often used to describe being in a supernatural experience through the Holy Spirit. In these experiences, the spiritual realm becomes more real than the natural realm. This happened to Elisha’s servant in II Kings 6 when the prophet prayed that his “eyes would be opened so that he can see” (see II Kings 6:17). His servant then saw the angelic forces of heaven that were with them.
These experiences should be common to all Christians. When we are born again of the Spirit, we are a “new creation”—or literally, a new species. As one of the ancients wrote, “We are not called to be natural beings who have occasional supernatural experiences, but we are called to be spiritual beings who have occasional natural experiences.” The nature of the new creation is to be more at home in the spiritual realm than in the natural. That is normal new covenant Christianity.
This Book of Revelation came to John in such an experience. Having this kind of experience makes it easier to understand, and this is available to all Christians. Acts 2:17-18 says that as we get closer to the end of this age, these experiences will increase. At the end of this age, we will need this kind of direct, specific guidance that comes with these dreams, visions, and prophecies. We are told these will come to the young and old, male and female, which obviously includes every one of God’s people.
How do we have these experiences? Ask the Lord for them. A false teaching says that if you pursue spiritual experiences, the devil will deceive you with false experiences. The Lord contradicted such a notion when He promised that if we ask Him for a fish, He will not give us a serpent (see Matthew 7:10). Some people have more faith in the devil to deceive them than they do in the Lord to lead them into all truth. Such are already living in deception, being deprived of much of their inheritance in Christ by their fears.
Some are afraid to ask for these experiences because they think they will be frightening, and they can be. John was terrified by some of the things that he saw in Revelation. However, there is both good fear and bad fear. The fear of the Lord is good fear. The fear experienced in the spiritual realm can be intense but wonderful at the same time. More importantly, it can help us live more in the reality of the One we serve.
We must live by faith, not fear, and certainly not the fear of being frightened. The fear that will come upon those unprepared for the times will be much worse. If we are unable to receive prophetic revelation, we will be in an increasingly dangerous place. Walking with the Lord in the Spirit will make these times some of the most wonderful and exciting that any who walked the earth have been blessed to experience.