Q. Is it true that God has always shown you your wives in vision before you married them so that you would know whether it was God's will or not for you to marry them?
No, I have not seen visions of all my wives, I don't expect that I will, and I don't feel it is necessary in order to know whom I should marry. The giving and receiving of visions is always in Yahweh's sovereign will and were it an important tool in men and women discovering who their partners should be it would be a more widespread gift. I consider myself to have been particularlly blessed when I have been shown my wives in vision beforehand and whilst they have contributed to my decision in marrying them they have not been the main reason. In fact, I would consider anyone very unwise making so important a decision simply on the basis of a supernaturally projected picture but if received should be used as one piece of 'evidence', as it were.
Most of the women who have approached me for marriage have, in actual fact, not asked me whether or not I have had confirming visions about the 'rightness' of marrying them, and indeed I do my very best to discourage such questions. And the reason I do is that there is a tendency on the part of some people to rely on other people's revelations about them instead of finding out the truth of so important a matter as marriage for themselves. Added to this is the distinct possibility (since no one is perfect and everyone, no matter how experienced a Christian/Messianic they may be) of being deceived.
Visions can have three different sources: Yahweh, man himself, or demons, and discerning between them is not easy for any but the most experienced seers. I also feel it would be wrong of anyone - man or woman - to make known any such revelation that Yahweh has given to them about the choice of a marriage partner if there is the slightest danger that the other partner, who has not as yet received any direct leading of the Holy Spirit, might in some way be influenced by the other's supernatural experience and so abrogate his or her responsibility to find out for him/herself. We only have to look at the history of some cultic movements where visions and revelations have played a major rôle to see how people have been deceived and subverted by the 'experiences' of a self-styled 'prophet' or 'guru' whom they are expected to follow unquestioningly.
This is not saying that we should ignore what Yahweh clearly gives us, nor is it to say that we should not share these things with a potential marriage partner at the right time, but it is most definitely to say that such experiences should not be used as levers to influence an undecided potential partner one way or the other. Rightly or wrongly (as this is my personal decision) I would only ever share such experiences with a potentiel wife after I was 100% sure that she had made her mind up and that I would not thereby be influencing her unfairly.
I have not actually seen visions of all my wives, nor do I think that is necessary. The way all my wives came into our family was different for all of us.
I was not led to my third by a vision. But I knew from the moment I saw her that she was my wife-to-be. She didn't know it was right until several months after I had proposed to her. We have never looked back.
I saw my fourth wife in vision years before we married and joyfully watched it fulfilled in minutest detail. She didn't know Yahweh's will until after I had proposed to her, and I did not share the vision I had had of her until after we were dedicated (engaged).
I have also been shown a person in vision whom I fully believe was ordained to marry me but she chose another instead. Though she subsequently learned that I was interested in her, I never told her the vision. We don't always discern right and we have our free will. In her case, she rebelled against the commandments of Yahweh and so lost the spirit of discernment.
I was told of another woman who was right for me, and the wives obtained a similar witness, but she said no. People don't always discern right and we have our free will.
My second wife heard Yahweh speak directly to her telling her I was to be her husband. I never saw her in vision. But I knew within over a period of time it was right. It wasn't instant 'knowing' either. I proposed, it confirmed what Yahweh had spoken to her orally. Though we have had our ups and down, neither of us has ever doubted the revelation that Yahweh gave to us even if she has since moved away.
My first wife I saw in vision more than once. She never had any direct confirmation but I told her about my vision and other leadings and she had faith in those as well as the prophetic word of a mutual friend confirming my own. She believed in my vision without truly 'knowing' for herself. Our marriage didn't last, in part, because of that, I believe, because we married too fast. And I want to avoid that mistake again. Hence my reluctance now to share such experiences with prospective wives.
I have seen others in vision who have not yet come. Perhaps some never will. We all have our free agency and sometimes we may never get near to the point where we might have, had we made the right choices and which are sometimes disclosed in visions. Many of these visions were seen years ago.
Sometimes Yahweh gives me symbolic visions showing me the nature of a person that I am interested in so that I can come to 'know' by other means. I do not believe that Yahweh does all the ground work for us in our search for a spouse because He wants us to become totally involved in the person (as a brother or sister) first so that we can sense by other faculties He has given us whether they are 'right' or 'wrong'. I am not necessarily saying that even then we will necessarily get it right because our powers of discernment are finite and related to our own spiritual maturity and purity.
There was a time when I felt that 'falling in love' was a dangerous ingredient because of the tendency of the flesh, especially when ignited in passion, to blind the spirit to the truth, but I have in latter years come to accept that such ought to take place in some degree before any betrothal is contracted. This is especially important for a woman who by nature is more feeling-based than a man. I do so, however, maintain that there must be a solid spiritual base first and foremost.
One very fine lady who is currently (2001) investigating the possibility of marriage recently asked me about visions and this is what I shared with her (above). Much as I would personally like to have the 'short-cut' of knowing in vision whether she (or others) are right or wrong, this is a luxury that Yahweh only seems to give me about 50% of the time, for reasons known only to Him. To 'expect' visions or any other kind of supernatural manifestation would be a kind of divination and open me up to counterfeit visions so I never do this. Instead, I ask Yahweh for whatever cocktail of experiences He deems necessary for me to base a sound decision upon.
A more typical experience that I have is that Yahweh shows me in vision what sort of a person I am dealing with and what their motives for marriage are. This I find infinitely more useful than just a simple 'yes/no' answer because it gives me keys to a person's heart. Again, this does not always happen, nor do I expect it to. By far the most common experience I have is the general revelation of the Holy Spirit, a 'knowing' without words, a sense of what is good and what is not.
Let me give an illustration. There is currenly (2001) a woman wondering whether my family is right for her, and we too in our turn are wondering if she is right for us. So far it looks right but we aren't 100% sure. Though I have not known her very long, I have been very impressed by her qualities which are the kind I look for in any marriage. These are early days, to be sure, and experience has taught me not to rush. I have learned to be content in letting questions of marriage 'rest' and for the Lord to show me what He wants to show me.
Then the other morning as I was waking and in prayer (I spontaneously go into prayer as I sleep and wake) and was thinking about this lady, Yahweh showed me a most curious symbolic vision in which the character of this woman was represented. What was particularly valuable about this vision was that it showed me a character trait that I would not have understood at once, and which might well have led me to making the wrong decision about marrying/not marrying her, had I not known about it. It was a very positive and helpful representation, showing me her heart but also a behavioural problem that others might easily misinterpret who didn't know her. Now there are some characteristics about people, caused by painful experiences and hurts in life, that can take marriage partners years to unravel because the one who is hurt may not understand the problems him-/herself. Visions such as this recent one may be said to be of the ministerial sort, enabling me to help her, if she allows me, when that help is needed. But it has also helped me because it has allayed any doubts I may have had about a certain behavioural quality that I have observed. Now I understand her much better even though I don't know her that well still.
I have had experiences like this many times. Before and after I married my third wife I was shown a character trait in another symbolic vision which proved to be right on the mark. This particular vision highlighted a problem that we were able to identify, bring before Yahweh, and solve. I see such visions about myself also.
By way of a concrete illustration, I once met a man whom I thought was very spiritual and gifted of Elohim (God). But when I asked Yahweh about him I was shown a vision of a white rat with razor-sharp teeth. The animal looked pure and cuddly like a pet until it opened its mouth and I saw how fierce and dangerous it actually was. This was the man who seduced my first wife. She left him eventually, finding out the truth the hard way but by then was sufficiently destroyed not to attempt a reconcilliation with me.
On another occasion I was praying about someone and I was shown a vision of a playful and loyal dog. In this simple representation Yahweh was showing me two positive qualities in the person (doggesness and a youthful, innocent disposition). This was of my fourth wife.
In one marriage I was contemplating Yahweh quite early on showed me a vision of lots of red flags when I was in prayer. It was a warning to have nothing to do with the woman. I don't know what subsequently happened to her because I diplomatically broke-off contact and never heard from her again.
Sometimes Yahweh works in unexpected ways, both pleasant and painful. Of the latter I have had one experience which has brought much sobriety into my life and an added fear of the Most High. I was shown in vision after the marriage that the woman was not my wife (in the eternal sense) and that she was a time-bomb ready to go off at any time. Indeed, I saw many visions of her as she was inside, and now realise just how vulnerable we are to making mistakes if we do not invest adequate time into selecting marriage partners. I cannot underscore this enough for it demonstrates that you can never be too careful, no matter how old and 'wise' you may think you are. We are all potentially fools.
Yahweh our Heavenly Father always knows what is best for us. Sometimes two people just 'know' instantly that they are right for one another but if they are wise they will seek confirmation through getting to know each other better as persons. Others can take a long time. That may be either because we are too cautious or because there are personal problems that have to be sorted out before marriage can take place. And I have know cases where Yahweh has said a definite 'no' one day only to give a definite 'yes' some months later - the people in question had to first sort some things out in their lives before they were ready for each other. And sometimes it is the family (in a polygamous situation) who have to first get a few things straightened out.
There is no single set of 'keys' by which one can know whether a marriage liason is right or not, and in a way I'm glad. I'm glad because it means that one can have all the fun of getting to know someone. And if you're doing it in the right way, and marriage doesn't result, then you have the very real blessing of having a lasting friendship and brother-/sisterhood in Christ. Where romance is pursued selfishly and things don't work out, the end result is often estrangement which ought not to be in the fellowship of Christ. If an exploration of marriage ends up in bitterness or unhappiness in any way, then the chances are almost certain that the relationship has been pursued in the wrong way. And if that is the case, then it is most unlikely that Yahweh has been given any real voice in the matchmaking at all.
Whatever the method or methods Yahweh uses to reveal who we are to marry, it is for a purpose tailor-made for our spiritual development. We must not despise His methods. We should not think that because Yahweh has not 'zapped' one or both of us with a fantastic manifestation like a vision that He has not given His approbation to a union, or think that we are somehow 'unworthy'. If He doesn't show a vision, send an angel, or make someone's face glow like a neon lamp then it's because such methods (assuming that He has ever used the latter two!) aren't necessary and might actually be harmful to our spiritual maturation process.
The lady I am befriending at the moment (2001) is someone whom I very much want to know better and I particularly want to know the spiritual direction in which she is moving. Once you know what kind of spiritual life a potential spouse is likely to live then a huge sack of concerns can be discarded and one can more easily ask Yahweh for a direct answer about marriage. That is not so say that such a decision should be made on what a person's current 'spiritual status' is (important though that is) but, much more importantly, it is to find out prophetically how, for example, such a person might flourish (or cop out) under adversity. One of my wives broke when we were persecuted in the early days and the result was not only an interrupted relationship but our son lost many vital years of fathering.
That is not so say that Yahweh is always going to show you what is going to happen in the future. In fact, He rarely does. Typically He places unforseen difficulties in our path in order to test and refine us. He shows me what He wants to show me and no more. I have been shown similar things about my children and about members of our Order (Fellowship). Again, this is for a purpose known only by Him, ultimately.
One thing that we must never forget in courtship is the pleasure of 'finding out' about a potential spouse for oneself. I shall never forget an experience I had with my fourth wife. I taught her a biblical pinciple which she was very resistant to (actually, it was related to a woman submitting in righteousness to her husband) because of the feministic baggage she had brought with her into our marriage. She had great difficulty accepting the truth in faith and wanted a 'revelation' from Yahweh one way or another. I told her that she would not get this so long as she manifested no faith and trust in His Word. So she forced herself to simply accept what Yahweh had said on the matter even though it went against the 'carnal grain', as it were. In time, after much searching and several experiences, she got that revelation directly from Yahweh Himself, and was an active defender and witness of the principle of wifely submission. She freely admitted that she sometimes struggled with the fleshy tendency to rebel and for a while knew exactly where she stood with Yahweh (and me) on the matter, knowing without a shadow of a doubt what she had to do. This is the kind of 'knowing' that comes from obedience in faith. Sadly she never did fully conquer this tendency and one day broke out of the marriage and this time stayed away. I am still (in 2016) waiting for her return.
And I believe that such reactions and experiences can sometimes occur in the courtship situation. I know had I met my wives ten or fifteen years before I did that I probably would have rejected them out of hand as potential wives because I was spiritually blind. I had a set of 'requirements' that was flawed. Though Yahweh sometimes breaks though the 'carnal barrier' to show us what His will is (as he did with Paul on the Damascus Road), more often than not He doesn't - He leaves us to struggle until we have come to a point where He knows we will finally listen ... and hopefully obey.
Getting a 'no' answer when you are in love, or a 'yes' answer when you aren't interested in someone is, I admit, tough. It is my deepest wish that as few people as possible have to go through this though I am bound to say it is becoming increasingly common in our carnal age. Much more dangerous than this (because whatever Yahweh says is always right and for our ultimate happiness) is to stop listening to Yahweh who doesn't give us the answers we want and to start either listening to our own carnal nature or the whispering of devils. Then, if a marriage decision is based on either of these, all hell can break loose. And because I have seen so many ruined marriages, quite apart from having witnessed the trauma of watching several of mine break up, I feel all the more compelled to share what I know of these matters and to hopefully point people down the right path and show them how to avoid the pitfalls.
Sometimes Yahweh doesn't answer our prayers directly with a definite 'yes' or a 'no' answer, and if we try to force Him on the issue we are more than likely going to be deceived. If He doesn't give you the green or red light, then the chances are He wants you to get to know the the person(s) better. If your prayer petition is met with silence then there is a good chance that He simply wants you to go further down the road He has already put you on and to wait on Him to give you guidance further along the way. (If you are consciously in open rebellion against something, however, like willfully disobeying a commandment, then the silence may be for entirely different reasons - never forget that. Other more important things may first have to be dealt with).
And never forget that in all of this we do have genuine free agency. If we are expecting Yahweh to do everything for us then we are opening ourselves up for a much more sinister deception, for where Yahweh will not be forced, demons are more than willing to oblige with their ultimately unhelpful and destructive answers. Searching for the right companion should also be taken as an opportunity for wisdom-building as truly there is no more complex set of questions to be asked, nor a more critical answer to be received, than findout out who you are going to intimately spend the rest of your life with. Courtship is a wonderful exercise in relationship-building that will show, like few other things, our strengths and weaknesses, bringing the differences between carnality and spirituality into sharp focus. The actual finding of a husband or a wife may be one of the greatest spirituality-promoting exercises in your life - don't throw it away for a quick (and maybe cheap and unreliable) answer to a burning question!
May Yahweh-Elohim bless you in your search for truth and happiness and may He bless you to enjoy it as you walk along the Way!