Audio Version Of This Web Page
My name is Basie Martins. I trust that you are all well and I want to thank you for listening to this series. What a privilege it is for us to be able to hear and to listen to the word of God on the internet, on the radio and television. I am so excited about the opportunity to host this program. I am excited because it gives me such pleasure to talk about dreams and visions and the interpretation of dreams and visions. Yes, you heard correctly, on this program we are going to talk about dreams and visions and the role it plays in our everyday lives. We are going to discuss how this gift functions and how we should deal with dreams and visions.
We kick this series off today and the program will run for quite a few weeks. It will be divided into two parts. The first part will be a theoretical explanation that covers the principles and the divine rules and regulations that govern the language of symbols. It will be all about the things that you need to know to understand the symbols and the methods of interpreting dreams and visions successfully.
We will not be able to understand the symbols in dreams and visions if we do not understand the principles that govern the Biblical language of symbols. So the first part of this program is really important. It lays the foundation and it forms the basis on which the second part of this series is based. So, do not skip the first part of the series. You need this foundation to be able to interpret dreams and visions successfully and correctly.
The second part of the series about dreams and visions is all about the symbols and the meanings of the symbols. The meanings of all the different symbols will be explained in detail. This will enable you to understand and to learn and to master the Biblical language of symbols. The language of symbols is very similar to other languages. When we hear people speak in a specific language, we understand what they say to each other if we know that specific language. The same is true for the biblical language of symbols. When we know the language of symbols we know the meanings of dreams and visions. It is as easy as that.
Dreams and visions and the interpretation of dreams and visions play such an important role in the lives of Christians, even in the lives of unsaved people. Yet, the church is almost silent about this topic. People just do not regard this aspect of their faith-walk to be important or something that they should give attention to. For most people dreams and visions and the interpretation of dreams and visions is something that they have seen in the Bible but they do not think that it is still applicable or appropriate today.
Let me ask you a very interesting question, Have you ever wished that you could interpret your dreams and visions? Have you ever wished that you could interpret it correctly, for your family and friends? With no mistakes and no guessing? But you being one hundred percent sure that you did interpret the dream or the vision correctly?
This question will certainly trigger different responses among Christians. Many people do not think that dreams can be interpreted but that it is more a case of God giving his children a word of wisdom or a word of knowledge which enables them to understand the meaning of the dream or the vision. To them, it is not about the symbols or interpretation but divine knowledge obtained through the Spirit of God. Such people usually believe that dreams symbols dictionaries are not Biblical or legitimate because they do not see anybody in the Bible making use of dreams symbols dictionaries. Many people believe that the symbols in dreams and visions have certain meanings and that people know what a dream is all about just because they know the meanings of the symbols. Many people believe that dreams and visions are something of the past. To them, dreams are just a natural result of a person’s emotional condition with no or insignificant meaning. With this radio program, we want to get to the bottom of this.
I think a good starting point for our discussion, is to make a few statements regarding dreams and visions and the interpretation thereof. So I am going, to begin with, a few statements about dreams and visions and the interpretation thereof. These statements will reflect what I have learned about this subject during the past 35 years that I have been involved with it.
The use of symbols and parables in the Bible or dreams and visions is more than just isolated attempts by God to explain something or to communicate with specific people. It is more than just a good idea to get the meaning of something over to another person by using a symbol or a parable or an illustration of some sort. The reality is that “the use of symbols” is a language. One person can communicate with another person using symbols if both of them know the meaning of the symbols. But that is not enough, both of them need to know the specific rules and the specific principles which give structure and order to this language. Symbolism with specific rules and principles is a language. It is a proper and valid language because it has words (the symbols) and valid rules and valid principles that govern this language. It is called the Biblical language of parables and symbols or the God-given language of symbols. The moment that we realize that symbolism is a language, we immediately understand that it has to be learned to be understood and we need to deal with it as we do with any other language. Now, this immediately makes a symbols dictionary a reality. I mean, any language should have a dictionary and in fact, they all do. Many people would be surprised to hear that Daniel and others in the Bible did, in fact, analyze all the symbols in a dream or visions and they did make use of a symbols dictionary, but more on that later in today’s discussion.
God said that in the last days, people will receive dreams and they will see visions. take note here that the Bible says, in the last days. People see visions and they dream for a purpose. The Bible is full of examples of how God spoke to people through dreams and visions. He spoke to them through dreams and visions because dreams and visions are part of a divine language. He communicates this way because it is a language. It is a language that needs to be learned and needs to be understood.
We are going to look at specific Scriptures and the methods of specific people in the Bible to confirm these statements that I am making here.
Let us take a look at what Peter said about this:
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judæa, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy…
So God confirmed that in the last days’ people will dream dreams and they will see visions. When is “the last days”? Peter said to the people on that day. What you are hearing and seeing today is what the prophet Joel prophesied will happen in the last days. So what Peter actually said in Acts 2, is that that specific day, ushered in, the last days. But do not forget that people had dreams and they saw visions right through the existence of mankind. So dreams and visions are an integral part of mankind and God promised it even to those who live in the last days. It is an important part of human beings.
So why does God speak to people through dreams and visions? What is the purpose of dreams and visions? I am going to give you a list of the reasons for dreams and visions that I identified through the past 35 years:
God sometimes gives us clarity on certain doctrinal issues. He teaches us through dreams and visions.
He sometimes warns people against other people or specific situations like He did with Joseph against Herod who wanted to kill the baby Jesus.
He sometimes warns people about certain strategies and tactics that the enemy is orchestrating against them. He does this to protect us against evil.
He sometimes leads us to perform certain tasks or work of the ministry like evangelistic work at specific places.
He sometimes imparts supernatural abilities to us through a dream or a vision. In such a dream or vision, He shows us what He wants us to do and what gifts He gave us. That instant in the dream or vision we also receive the anointing to carry out what He empowered us to do. So God even gives us dreams and visions to anoint us.
He sometimes, when the going gets tough, exhorts us and He comforts us, in a dream or a vision.
He sometimes delivers us from bondage in a dream or a vision.
He sometimes gives direction, in a dream or a vision. This usually happens when we pray for the leading of the Holy Spirit. In my life, I received many dreams and visions from God after I prayed for wisdom.
He sometimes equips us in terms of knowledge and regarding the ways of God. This helps us to live the way He wants us to live.
He sometimes shows us that we need to address certain issues in our lives.
He sometimes convicts us of sin in a dream or a vision.
He sometimes shows us how to address specific issues in our lives.
He sometimes gives us strategies for success.
I also want to mention a specific Scripture in the book of Job about the reasons for dreams and visions. This is what Job 33:14-20 says about the reasons why God speaks through dreams and visions:
14 For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.
15 In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumbering upon the bed;
16 Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,
17 That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.
18 He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword.
19 He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain:
20 So that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat.
So God speaks to people in dreams and visions to withdraw them from their purpose, and hide pride from them. He keeps back his soul from the pit and his life from perishing by the sword. So dreams and visions help us live in the fear of the Lord. It helps us live a life that pleases God. It also helps us to be more effective in ministry. It is there for the benefit of the gospel of Jesus Christ and also for the promotion of the kingdom of God. So what I have identified through the years conforms with what Job is saying in this Scripture.
We know that God spoke a lot through dreams and visions. Let us look at a few Scriptures about this:
He spoke to people like Abraham, Jacob, Pharaoh, Moses, Gideon, Nathan, Eli, Samuel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Joseph, Amos, Zechariah, The wise men who came to witness Jesus’ birth, Joseph and Mary, Pilate’s wife, Paul, Ananias, Cornelius, Peter, John and many more.
In these dreams and visions, God used symbols and certain meanings of these symbols to communicate with these people. The angels often asked those people the following words: “What do you see?” When these people identified these symbols, the angels often gave them the specific meanings of these symbols. I just want to briefly put your attention on just a few of these dreams and visions that we find in the Bible:
After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great”
God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob” And he said, “Here I am”
Now it happened at the end of two full years that Pharaoh had a dream, and behold, he was standing by the Nile.
“If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream.”
When Gideon came, behold, a man was relating a dream to his friend. And he said, “Behold, I had a dream; a loaf of barley bread was tumbling into the camp of Midian, and it came to the tent and struck it so that it fell, and turned it upside down so that the tent lay flat”
So in this case, just like with Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar, a gentile received a message from God.
As I looked, behold, a storm wind was coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing forth continually and a bright light around it, and in its midst something like glowing metal in the midst of the fire.
So Ezekiel saw a vision as described by this Scripture.
Then I looked, and behold, a likeness as the appearance of a man; from his loins and downward there was the appearance of fire, and from his loins and upward the appearance of brightness, like the appearance of glowing metal.
The hand of the LORD was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones.
However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days This was your dream and the visions in your mind while on your bed.
I saw a dream and it made me fearful; and these fantasies as I lay on my bed and the visions in my mind kept alarming me.
There is an interesting observation in this Scripture by the way: Nebuchadnezzar refers to his dream as something that troubled him and that made him afraid. So this dream was from God and it scared him. This is contrary to what people preach about dreams and visions. Many believe that when a dream scares you that it is from the devil, which is not true. But let us go on to the next Scripture.
Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven;
Thus the Lord GOD showed me, and behold, there was a basket of summer fruit.
So God showed a person a symbol of a basket with fruit. Why a basket with fruit. A basket with fruit symbolizes provisions. And then God told Amos a few things about provision referring to Israel. If you read Amos 1 you will see that in this case, it was all about negative circumstances about provision.
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him.
And he said to me, “What do you see?” And I answered, “I see a flying scroll; its length is twenty cubits and its width ten cubits”
Now I lifted up my eyes again and looked, and behold, four chariots were coming forth from between the two mountains; and the mountains were bronze mountains.
So the mountains in this vision were not made of dirt and rock but made of bronze. This is very typical for dreams and visions. The reason the mountain was made of bronze was to communicate a message. Bronze symbolizes the judgment of God over sin and unrighteousness. It symbolizes the harsh, unapproachable, strength and endurance of irrevocable judgment. In a negative sense, mountains symbolize obstacles that need to be conquered. Usually, when climbing such a mountain a lot of hindrances and hardships are symbolized by loose rocks falling from the top, difficult areas to reach or steep rock faces and other difficult areas to overcome. So God is communicating here that his judgment will be a great hindrance that will not be able to overcome or bypassed.
And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.
Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Take the Child and his mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him”
While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, “Have nothing to do with that righteous Man; for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him”
A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us”
And the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent;
And I saw Him saying to me, ‘Make haste, and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about Me.’
2 Corinthians 12:1-4
Boasting is necessary, though it is not profitable; but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.
Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias” And he said, “Here I am, Lord”
About the ninth hour of the day he clearly saw in a vision an angel of God who had just come in and said to him, “Cornelius!”
Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lamp-stands.
There are just too many examples of God speaking to his people and his children through dreams and visions in the Bible. The few examples that I have read today is enough to prove that dreams and visions and the purpose of dreams and visions and the interpretation of dreams and visions are very realistic, even today.
The problem is that we cannot analyze the symbols in dreams and visions if we do not know the language of symbols. We need to master this language. This is exactly what I started doing thirty-five years ago. I learned the symbols and I learned the principles that govern the language of symbols.
I usually call it the Biblical language because this is where and how mankind was introduced to this language. We find it in the Bible. We saw the interpretation of symbols in the Bible. People from every walk of life in the Bible had dreams and saw visions and had it interpreted. This happened from Genesis to Revelations and it is still happening today.
There are examples in the Bible of people analyzing the symbols and then interpreting the dreams and visions by applying the meanings of these symbols in the correct context. The mere fact that we read something in the Bible and then see the Bible implying that we should not understand what we see or dream literally but that we should understand that it is just a symbol representing something else, is an indisputable fact that there is a language of symbols in the Bible. When we take the time and try to identify all the symbols in the Bible we find thousands of symbols. Let us read a few Scriptures which will prove the fact that symbols or dreams or visions need to be interpreted:
I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth…
..and so in this Scripture, we read how the angel helped Daniel to interpret the different symbols in his dream.
He said to me, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see, and behold, a lamp-stand all of gold with its bowl on the top of it, and its seven lamps on it with seven spouts belonging to each of the lamps which are on the top of it.
And he said to me, “What do you see?” And I answered, “I see a flying scroll; its length is twenty cubits and its width ten cubits”
So according to these Scriptures, all these symbols represented something else and that it needed to be interpreted. So these Scriptures proof the validity of the term called “interpretation” concerning dreams and visions and symbols.
And then there was the confirmation according to the prophet Joel, that not only the Old Testament people but also the New Testament people and people right through the ages and even those living in the last days will dream and will see visions and that they will interpret their dreams and their visions. This was proven by countless documented incidents of dreams and visions right through the history of mankind from Adam until today. All the statements that I made here are not only true for dreams and visions, it is also true for the analysis of symbols and the interpretation of dreams and visions.
People are very ignorant when it comes to the interpretation of dreams and visions. When people ask me how I interpret dreams and visions, some of them just cannot believe that this aspect of our faith-walk in Christ is a reality. To them, it is something that is in the Bible and they admit that they do not really know much about it. Almost all of them had no idea that even Daniel and Joseph analyzed dreams and visions and interpreted dreams and visions just as we do it today.
You may ask, exactly how did Daniel interpret dreams and visions? Did he just identify the simplest meaning or message of a dream, as some dream interpreters suggest or did he analyze all the symbols, and did he interpret all the symbols?
My answer to this question is the following: Not only Daniel but also other prominent people in the Bible like Joseph and others did suggest that all the symbols in a dream or vision need to be properly analyzed before the meaning of the dream or vision can be properly and successfully interpreted.
Joseph also analyzed his dreams. He knew that the sun and the moon and the eleven stars symbolized his father and mother and his eleven brothers. He knew that his bunch of grain symbolized him and the eleven bunches of grain symbolized his eleven brothers. He understood that they were all going to bow down before him one day. As I said earlier, even the angels of God revealed dreams to God’s people by analyzing the symbols. They often asked people, “What do you see?” and then, when people name the specific or the different objects (symbols), the angels gave the people the meanings of those symbols. Dream symbols analysis is not only Biblical but in fact, the only way or method to interpret dreams and visions correctly.
I mentioned these facts about physical prove of dreams symbols analysis because I know that there are people out there who do not believe in dreams and visions and the analysis of the symbols of a dream or a vision. You may rest assure that dream symbols analysis is Biblical and it is from God.
So God introduced mankind to the divine language of symbols in the Bible. For some reason, God decided that He will speak to people through extraordinary methods. Many people would have wanted God to speak to them directly. But God decided to speak to people through prophecy, through a word of wisdom, through a word of knowledge, through the interpretation of tongues, through the interpretation of dreams and the interpretation of visions. This is the will of God. This is what he decided.
With prophecy and with a word of wisdom or a word of knowledge and with the interpretation of tongues, the revelation is flowing directly from the Holy Spirit. So the revelation or the interpretation comes through the Holy Spirit. This is because this is the gifts of the Spirit. The Spirit of God reveals what God is saying to the church. On the other hand, the interpretation of dreams and visions do not come through the Spirit of God in the same sense as the gifts. Dreams and visions are not part of the gifts of the Spirit. That is why it is not mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12. 1 Corinthians 12 is all about the gifts of the Spirit and dreams and visions are not part of it. It is also clear in the Scriptures that the Old Testament people were very intensely focused on understanding the meanings of the symbols in their dreams and they did pray about it. God did reveal the meanings of symbols either directly or through his angels, and so by recording this in the Bible, the Bible itself became the first dreams and symbols dictionary.
With the gifts of the Spirit, understanding is not the focus as it is with dreams and visions and the symbolic language associated with it. Daniel and Joseph and even Nebuchadnezzar and others wanted to understand what the symbols in their dreams and visions mean. With the gifts of the Spirit, it is either God speaking directly through a prophecy or by the Spirit of God revealing what God says by a word of wisdom or knowledge or by the Spirit of God revealing what the message from God is after a person spoke in tongues. So with the gifts, no symbolism is involved. With dreams and visions, it is all about symbols and the analysis of symbols and the interpretation of symbols.
In the next session, we will look at how Daniel and Joseph analyzed and interpreted dreams and visions. The Bible gives us some surprisingly clear insight into how they did it. Why do we need to investigate this? Because whatever they did will help us to do the same. This will give us the foundation on which dreams analysis and dream interpretation are built.
Thanks for listening. I trust that you will have a blessed week and that you will stay close to Him, Jesus Christ, our beloved Savior, and Lord. See you next time.