Editor's note: This message picks up on some of the things discussed in the previous post, though we'll start with a different (but related) subject. To view the previous message go here .
If you made a list of the most controversial topics in the present church scene, reports of “gold dust” showing up on people might be at the top of the list. In this article, I’ll do my best to de-bunk some misconceptions, explain what this phenomenon really is, and share my own experiences.
In order to address misconceptions about the appearances of “gold dust” let me first share a couple of illustrations.
Most prescription medications have side effects. Some of those side effects are allergic reactions, organ damage and in rare cases, death. Yet if these reactions are rare enough and the therapeutic effects are consistent enough in the general population, such medications are approved for use.
Approval is based on the fact that a large number of people will benefit from the drug's use. The positive effects experienced by the majority outweigh the negative effects experienced by a few.
Most nations in the world use some type of currency for trade. The use of currency has many benefits, but it has a few drawbacks. One of the drawbacks is counterfeiting. There will always be people looking to cheat the system for their own selfish reasons. Some people are obsessed with accumulating money. Their love of money leads them to live bizarre lifestyles.
In spite of these problems, we haven’t done away with the use of currency. The fact that a few people practice counterfeiting or that some develop unhealthy obsessions over it, doesn't negate the legitimate use of currency.
I used these illustrations to highlight some problems in the way many of us look at things like the appearance of gold dust, manna, gemstones falling, clouds of God’s glory and other unusual manifestations. Some of us have heard reports that people act strangely around these phenomena – even bizarrely. Some have accused people of coming under the influence of evil spirits. Others have heard that heavenly gemstones were fraudulently placed or that people tried to fake the appearance of gold dust.
In evaluating these things, a number of questions should be asked:
Going back to our first two illustrations, we can apply the same logic. The fact that some frauds exist, doesn’t mean the real thing doesn't. The fact that some react strangely to a phenomenon doesn’t mean everyone will, nor does it disqualify the possibility that people can receive great benefit from it. If we set our emotions and personal agendas aside, we could evaluate these things rationally and come to the bottom of things in quick order.
I’ve always approached the supernatural from the view of a skeptic. I was an atheist most of my life and even after becoming a believer, I was still skeptical about the supernatural. I didn’t believe in divine healing until a few years ago and my suspicion about these manifestations has only recently begun to change. That change came when I decided to investigate them for myself.
A year ago, my wife and I came to Phoenix. We were planning to move here and our visit gave us a chance to check out the area. It also gave us the opportunity to check out some of these manifestations.
Patricia King was hosting an event called “The Ladder” conference. The guest speakers included Joshua Mills, Georgian and Winnie Banov, Todd White and Bobby Connor. We decided to go, but weren’t sure what to expect. The night before we left I had a dream.
In the dream, I traveled to Arizona to attend a conference, where I learned a great deal about the supernatural lifestyle of the kingdom of God. I came home and wrote about what I’d experienced and learned. Those who read the things I wrote were transformed by it.
The following day, we flew to Phoenix and attended the first day of the conference. The night before Todd White spoke, I had another dream. In the dream, Todd and I were on a large wooden floor. There were railings and barriers that had been set up in a large circle, that we were inside of. We tore down, pushed over and dragged away all the barriers that had been put up until the floor was completely free of them
In the first dream, God was confirming that I would learn and experience a lot of valuable things at the conference and that He wanted me to share them with you. In the second dream, God was illustrating the idea that we need to remove the barriers and restrictions we’ve placed on what God can do in our lives. The barriers have been put up by well-meaning people who feel that we need to be protected. God didn't erect these barriers - men did. God wants them removed so he has freedom to take into the depths of His kingdom.
While at the conference we listened to Joshua Mills lead worship and encourage us to enter into a deeper relationship with the Lord. Not long after he began speaking, gold dust began to appear on him. It started as just a few specks, noticeable in the bright lights of the platform, but after a while, it was more than just a few specks; it was a heavy dusting of a glittery gold substance.
Some have suggested that these gold dust appearances are a fraud. They believe there are people nearby with containers of a gold dust like substance, introducing it into the air to make it appear like a sudden manifestation of gold dust. That thought occurred to me as well, so I checked out the room and the crews.
The room we were in was about 50 feet long and 30 feet wide; an average size conference room with a flat ceiling about 18 – 20 feet high. There were no rafters, trusses, curtains, beams, ductwork or any sort of structures above the floor that would allow someone to spread gold dust from overhead. There were no fans or blowers in the room or anywhere nearby. I couldn’t really see any ventilation ducts. The lights were pendants, hanging from the ceiling on heavy chains and these were the only things attached to the ceiling. I checked out every possible way that someone could have faked the gold dust and didn’t find any plausible way it could have been done.
But there’s more.
My wife is in charge of our checkbook. On this occasion, she heard God speaking to her about making a larger than usual donation. So when the offering bucket came around, she wrote out a check and dropped it in.
We were almost done with the session so we began to talk about where we would go for lunch. That’s when I noticed a few specks of gold dust on my wife’s face. Instinctively, we checked our hands and sure enough, tiny, almost invisible flecks of gold started to appear on her hands. We checked with those around us, but no one else had any.
We wanted to take pictures of it, so we walked outside to our car and got the camera. As we stood outside, it became obvious that the covering of gold dust was increasing. And now it was showing up on my hands, too. We took pictures and laughed at the fact that once again, God was demonstrating something….just…..wonderful.
So let me answer a few more questions some readers might have before we continue.
First, let me point out that if the gold dust phenomenon was a fake, the dust should have been more abundant inside, near the source of it and less abundant outside. But we experienced exactly the opposite. Very little dust appeared on her hands inside, but when she came outside, more of it gradually appeared over the next fifteen minutes. I had none on me until we were outside for a few minutes.
Second, is the way in which ‘gold dust’ dissipates. I don’t know of anyone who’s been able to collect any. The appearance of this substance is gradual, but once it’s reached it maximum, a few minutes later it begins to disappear gradually until it isn't visible any longer.
It’s almost ‘wave-like’ in how it comes and goes.
If the dust were some type of glitter or other man –made substance, it would be visible until it was removed and even then, you’d find it on the floor. But that isn’t the case with heavenly ‘gold dust’. In every case I’ve seen and read about, after just a few minutes it vanishes.
I have an explanation for why this happens and if you read the previous message, perhaps you're starting to see the connection and we'll get to it shortly.
Many people wonder what the purpose is for the appearance of gold dust. I don’t blame them for asking. I only hope they’ll seriously consider the answer.
In the previous message we read about the fascinating experience Tom Calkins had a few years ago. Tom went into a trance for about 5 hours one night. His body became as stiff as a board. Physically, he didn’t respond the entire time. During these 5 hours, he went into the spirit dimension and reveled in God’s presence. He flew, floated and danced in a fine, gold substance that appeared exactly like the gold dust we’re talking about.
The particles of gold came over him in ever- increasing and then decreasing waves. The amount of particles was never constant; it was always increasing or decreasing, much like waves of the ocean at the beach. There was always movement. As the particles became more abundant, with an increasing wave, his joy also increased. As the particles decreased, his joy decreased. But the most important thing Tom felt while in the waves of gold particles was the all-consuming, indescribable, passionate love that God has toward him. It was like nothing he’d ever experienced or imagined.
At one point, Tom saw a large being appear beside him. The being encouraged him to play and have fun in the waves of gold particles. The being himself seemed to become more brilliant when the particles did and dimmed somewhat as the number of particles decreased.
As the particles decreased, almost to the point that there were none, Tom became frightened. In a desperate reaction, he wrapped his arms around the being standing beside him and the two of them began to move. They moved to a place where the wave of particles was increasing again.
In a revelation that came about a year later, God explained the experience to Tom. While sleeping one night, God took him up into a heavenly perspective of the experience. He saw it the way God saw it and the Lord explained it to him.
The particles that he saw were the presence of God. His presence (or glory if you prefer) looks like particles of gold. The waves of particles are due to the fact that God’s presence is always moving. He told Tom that His presence is always moving and so is all of creation. All the particles of the universe are in constant motion. God’s glory moves in endless waves and always has since the beginning of time. It’s His nature. I'm not a physicist, but I would imagine this fact is consistent with what we know about particle theory and the properties of photons.
Tom’s joy was because of the increase of God’s presence upon him. That’s how His presence works on our spirit – it brings increasing joy. When His presence decreases, so does our joy.
The being that appeared beside Tom was the Holy Spirit. In the spirit realm every spirit has substance. They only lack substance in the natural realm. Tom’s reaction to fear was to hold on to the spirit of God, which is always the right move. When the wave of glory decreased, the Holy Spirit moved him to a place where it was on the increase and once again, his joy increased.
God’s presence, because it moves in waves, is always increasing somewhere and always decreasing somewhere. God told Tom, “If you really want to experience my presence, find out where my presence is increasing and meet me there.”
Some of my friends are fond of saying, “I’m not waiting for a move of God, because God isn’t stuck.” If they only knew how true that was. God isn’t stuck and he never has been.. He’s always moving somewhere.
So what is the purpose of “gold dust?”
Well first, it isn’t really gold dust so maybe we should stop calling it that. Its God’s manifested presence, which happens to resemble particles of gold.
What’s the purpose for it?
What purpose does God have in making His presence come near to us? To bring us joy, peace, love, healing and revelation. Perhaps a lot more, but that’s enough for me. With all the war, hatred, addiction, anger and pain in the world, imagine what it would be like if the glory of the Lord covered the earth and its inhabitants reveled in His love, if only for a day.
Its part of God’s nature to move, just as we move. “In Him, we live and move and have our being.” He goes places to meet people who want to meet with Him. One thing God told Tom was that it was his response to the heat on his arm that made the experience happen. Tom's response was, "Is that you, Lord?" Sensing God's presence coming near and desiring to meet with Him is what opened the door to the encounter. God is looking for us to respond to His prompting. He loves us deeply and allowing us to be in His presence is how He shows us love.
Normally I would have ended the story here, but there's more I'd like to share.
While Tom was observing himself from God's perspective, he saw himself floating and flying in the wind of God's glory. Then he saw something truly amazing. He noticed a pair of wings protruding from his back.
"Lord...are those wings?"
"Yes Tom, they are."
"Lord, I didn't know I had wings."
"In the spirit, everyone has wings. You are made in My image and I have wings."
"Lord, you have wings, too?"
"Of course I do. Look in the bible for all the verses that speak about the wings of God."
And now we'll bring our adventure to an end. I hope you've enjoyed the journey. I'm taking a break from Facebook for a while, but you can still find me here. The book project is going well.
Here's a video featuring Joshua Mills all covered with gold dus....I mean..... GLORY!!!
(It's high resolution so you can view it full screen if you'd like)