May 19 2017 – Click here to listen
A lady wrote concerning my post yesterday and said: “I don’t believe in visions, but we do need to pray for Gods wisdom.”
Hmmm . . .
I believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God. Here is what the Bible states concerning dreams and visions from God to occur in the latter days. The Prophet Joel wrote, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh”, and “your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions” (Joel 2:28).
Dreams and visions are direct manifestations of the gifts of the Holy Spirit as they are listed in the Bible. In 1st Corinthians Paul speaks of the gift of prophecy. We should all recognize that the gift of prophecy is not something new even in the New Testament, but has been exercised throughout the entirety of biblical history.
The Bible states that the gifts of the Spirit are special abilities provided by the Holy Spirit to the body of Christ that enable us to do the work He has assigned the church. Similar lists appear in Ephesians 4:7-13 and Romans 12:3-8.
I would encourage this lady to ask herself who can limit almighty God? Why would He use dreams and visions throughout the Old and the New Testament and suddenly end it? It makes no sense. In the Bible, there are over 100 references to visions alone. Prophecy is men speaking words from God through the anointing of the Holy Spirit and it continues through today.
2 Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has given us everything, (emphasis mine), we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” The gifts of the Holy Spirit are part of the “everything we need” to fulfill His purposes for our lives.
The list of spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 include:
- Discerning of spirits
- Speaking in tongues
- Interpretation of tongues
With that said we must be careful of false prophets. If you or someone you know has claimed to have had a vision or dream from God, Jeremiah the Prophet warns them (and us): – “I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the Lord, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So, they do not profit this people at all, declares the Lord” (Jer 23:32). Today, there are even “prophets” who “are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds” (Jer 14:14).
Nevertheless, Scripture is equally clear that all visions are not from God. Some are from the vain imaginings of individuals and some are clearly demonic. False visions lead people away from God’s will and frequently into idolatry. In Matthew 4:8, we find a rather startling passage, Satan gave Jesus Himself a vision of all the kingdoms of the world: “Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. ‘All this I will give you,’ he said, ‘if you will bow down and worship me.’” We all know the outcome. If Satan can give visions to Jesus of all people he can give one to us.
With the completion of the Bible, God does not have to use dreams and visions as much as He did before. That is not to say that He cannot or does not. For example, there is a huge revival going on in countries like Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Somalia, and other Muslim countries that heavily persecute Christians and possession of a Bible carries a death sentence. Jesus appears to them in dreams and visions and many are becoming Christians as a result. It is well documented in the book Dreams and Visions and I highly encourage you to read it. Visions in the New Testament served to provide information that was unavailable elsewhere and He does so through today. Specifically, God used visions and dreams to identify Jesus and to establish His church.
God is God and He can communicate with us however He chooses. But when we have a decision to make, I would be the first to recommend that our first stop should always be the Bible, not a dream. Any dream or vision should always be placed against the Word to see if it matches God’s purposes and will, and if it doesn’t, it was likely something they ate . . . or it could be from the Enemy.
For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end — it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.
Have a great weekend and go to church this Sunday!