Dreams and Visions Interpretation Course Session 2
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My name is Basie Martins. I trust that you are all well and I want to thank you again for listening to this series. For you who do not know, this post is a series of teachings about dreams and visions. In the previous session, we looked at what the Bible reveals to us about dreams and visions. We looked at a few Scriptures and we discussed a few important observations that we have made about dreams and visions in the Bible. The most important observation for me is that symbols are in fact a language with valid rules and principles that govern this language. In this sense, it does not differ from any other language. A question was asked if anyone in the Bible did analyze the symbols in dreams and visions like many dreams and visions interpreters do today.
So in essence people wants to know if dreams symbols analysis and the use of a dreams symbols dictionary are Biblical. Many feel that it is not about analysis but rather revelation through the Holy Spirit. Others feel that it is all about understanding the meanings of the symbols. They usually refer to the Bible itself as the first written dreams symbols dictionary mankind was introduced to. The reason they make this statement is because of the presence of a rich and abundant list of symbols that have been identified within Biblical parables, types, symbols and shadows in both the Old and the New Testaments. Even structural rules and principles about dreams and visions and interpretation have been identified in the Bible that does support this view.
We kick off today’s discussion by investigating this aspect. The best way to this is to look at dreams in the Bible and at the people who interpreted those dreams.
For instance, let us take the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, the one about the great image that was destroyed by the stone that came loose from the mountain. Now when we look at this dream, please notice how Daniel focused on every symbol in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. It was not just a case of describing the image in general. Daniel was describing the image and the different symbols in the dream in great detail. Let’s read Daniel 2:31-35:
Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.
This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,
His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.
Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.
Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
So Daniel started the dream interpretation process by focusing on the symbols. He analyzed the different symbols by listing it and he made sure that every symbol was mentioned and brought into consideration.
The reason why Daniel followed this method is explained in another Scripture. Daniel himself said the following about dreams and symbol analysis as recorded in Daniel 7:1 which says,
In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream and told the sum of the matters.
Two very important aspects of this Scripture are very significant. The first one is that he wrote the dream down and the second one is that he told the sum of the matters.
Let us read it again: In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream and told the sum of the matters.
The reason for Daniel to record his dreams and visions is to prevent the omission of some of the symbols which would result in him not interpreting the sum of the matters. This makes sense. Every symbol is important. Just by omitting one or two symbols, the meaning of a dream or vision can change completely and when that happens, it will result in an incorrect or unsuccessful interpretation. It is common knowledge among dreams and visions interpreters that dreams and visions need to be recorded immediately after a person received it. People tend to forget dreams and visions very quickly and therefore we need to record the symbols and the events that we observed in a dream or vision very soon after we received it.
Habakkuk 2:2 confirms this:
And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
So the Scriptures that I just mentioned do make it very clear that Old Testament people recorded and analyzed the symbols in dreams and visions so that they could interpret the complete dream or vision. They made sure that they do not omit any information. If they did they could not tell the sum of the matters.
This is the reason why Daniel could give Nebuchadnezzar a true account of the dream he had. This is also why Daniel could interpret the dream successfully.
This was how he interpreted that dream:
This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.
Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.
And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.
And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.
And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.
And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
When we look at all the information that the Bible reveals through this incident, the following facts are quite clear:
Daniel did not ignore or disregard any of the symbols.
He exactly knew what every symbol represented. He knew that the different body parts of the image that Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream represented a particular kingdom.
This implies that Daniel carefully analyzed all the symbols in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.
He knew that the image symbolized different exceptionally powerful kingdoms because that is what he told Nebuchadnezzar (he said….a great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible). He knew that one kingdom came after the other.
He knew that the subsequent or successive kingdom would conquer the previous kingdom.
He knew that the rock coming down from the mountain would destroy all these other kingdoms (…and brake them to pieces).
He knew that each subsequent kingdom would be inferior to the previous because of the value and the strength of the precious metals that symbolized these kingdoms.
He knew that the last kingdom (the stone) would conquer all the other kingdoms forever (the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth).
When we carefully look at the way that Daniel addressed the king we can see that he gave the king a list of the different symbols and then He gave the king an analysis of the different symbols. He then concluded the interpretation of the dream using a summary of the symbols and the meanings of those symbols. I am sure that if Daniel lived today, he would interpret dreams and visions the same way that I and many others have been doing it. There is no other way. Every symbol is important, all symbols in a dream or a vision, including the symbols that are not so obvious, all symbolize something in dreams.
Daniel 7:1 clearly shows that Daniel regarded every symbol and its meaning.
That is why he wrote the dream down and told the sum of the matters.
Daniel followed this method so that he can cover all the symbols and bring all the different aspects into consideration. Daniel knew that the legs and feet which are lower than the belly and thighs symbolized something. He knew that “lower” symbolizes “inferior to whatever is higher” in dreams. The inferiority was not only relating to strength in terms of warfare but to the fact that the inferior kingdoms could not function as a unity as symbolized by the feet of clay mixed with iron. These kingdoms were impure because of different nations making up the specific kingdom or being a part of the kingdom. These different nations could not function as a closely-knit unity because they could not really mix. This situation subsequently led to the fall and destruction of all these kingdoms.
But this is not where the similarities stop. Just like us today, although Daniel knew that the different body parts of the image represented different kingdoms, he did not always know specific details. In this case, apart from the head of gold (which is the Babylonian empire), he did not know which kingdoms the other parts of the image represented. When you read through my dream analysis as recorded in the weekly “Dreams Analysis Reports”, you will often see this aspect of dreams analysis. Because of this lack of knowledge, we give people a few alternative meanings of certain symbols and the meanings of their dreams or visions. Sometimes we just do not know exactly which of the different meanings the symbol represents.
A very important aspect of dreams interpretation is to identify the incident or event that triggered the dream or the vision. As soon as we successfully identified the trigger that caused a dream, we are immediately in a very good position to interpret the dream or vision successfully. This is the golden key that I often refer to when I teach on dreams and visions interpretation.
A dream or vision does not come automatically out of the blue. It is always triggered by something. When we as dreams or visions interpreters know what a person pondered upon or asked God before a dream, then we can interpret such a dream quite easily and successfully. If we do not have such information then we are obliged to interpret a dream or a vision in a spiritual sense or a general sense. It is for this reason that people feel that their dreams are sometimes misinterpreted. They cannot relate to the specific interpretation because it does not make any sense to them. Sometimes people withhold important information on purpose because they might feel a bit exposed or reluctant to reveal their thoughts or certain issues or private aspects in their lives.
This is a huge problem because that makes it very difficult to interpret such dreams. As I said, in such cases dream interpreters have no other choice but to interpret the dream in a general or a spiritual sense resulting in the dream being interpreted incorrectly.
To come back to the dream that Daniel interpreted for Nebuchadnezzar, this fact was a big problem for Daniel also when he was told that he needed to interpret the dream of the king if he wants the king to spare his life and those of his friends and the lives of the king’s false astrologers. When Daniel asked his friends to pray with him about this dream, it was important for Daniel to determine why Nebuchadnezzar had this dream. Yes, what made this incident even more unique was the fact that Daniel did not even know what the king dreamed in the first place. Daniel prayed to God to reveal to him what the King dreamed about but that is not all. Daniel needed to know what triggered the dream. The “why” or the reason Nebuchadnezzar had this dream would lead to the correct interpretation. This crucial information is exactly what God did reveal to Daniel:
Daniel 2:29 says the following:
As Your Majesty was lying there, your mind turned to things to come, and the revealer of mysteries showed you what is going to happen.
This is the key that unlocked the interpretation of the dream. Nebuchadnezzar was pondering on future events regarding his kingdom and the kingdoms of the world. His mind was troubled over these things as we see elsewhere in Daniel 2. He was probably worried about the fact that his neighbors, the Medes and the Persians were getting more powerful by the day. This knowledge enabled Daniel to interpret the dream correctly. Nebuchadnezzar was told that his kingdom is safe but only until after his death. After that, another nation will come and subdue it. We know that the Babylonian empire did fall to the Medians and Persians a few years after the death of Nebuchadnezzar.
So this is the golden key about dreams and visions interpretation. It is always a factor that needs to be dealt with. Although many dreams can be interpreted without this information, most cannot. Dreams with symbols which are easily understood and dreams and visions which did not originate from a person’s mind but which are direct messages from God can be interpreted successfully and quite easily without identifying the trigger. However, dreams that originate from the mind because of questions and concerns and pondering and physical events in the lives of people are a lot more difficult to interpret. With those dreams, we need to know why a person had such a dream. What was he pondering on before he received the dream? What troubled him before he had the dream? Was he concerned about something just before the dream? Did he ask God for something specific before he had the dream? Without identifying the trigger, these types of dreams are virtually impossible to interpret successfully. This aspect will be discussed in detail in another session as this is the most important aspect of dreams and visions interpretation that needs to be dealt with correctly to ensure correct dreams and visions interpretation.
Through the years of interpreting dreams and visions for people, I have identified and developed a few steps or strategies that enabled me to interpret dreams and visions very effectively. When I started to apply these strategies, I soon realized that I was on the right path. Many people have confirmed that I am “spot-on” whenever I followed these steps. I decided to test and to develop these steps until I was able to present it to people as a safe and proven way of interpreting dreams and visions successfully.
Make no mistake, it is difficult enough to interpret one’s own dreams and visions, let alone those of other people. With your own dreams, at least you have some background knowledge of what you are dealing with in your life at the time of the dream. With other people, you just do not have any clue about anything in their lives and that makes dreams and visions interpretation very difficult.
In the early days, it was often a matter of trial and error but I persisted in seeking ways and means of interpreting dreams and visions successfully. I do want to give God all the glory and honor for the success that I achieved in these efforts. He was so full of grace and so helpful in this regard.
If He did not intervene by helping me to understand the principles that govern dreams and visions and the interpretation thereof, I would not have been able to host this program today. I can remember the days when He gave me a dream about a specific symbol and then asked me in the dream if I know what the symbol means. How wonderful it was for me to hear him “explaining” the meanings of the symbols in the dream. This is how I came to understand the meaning of symbols like torn veins and damaged organs in dreams and visions. This was pure grace in action. I did not deserve this special treatment that He gave me and I still don’t. I felt and still feel so humbled because of this divine assistance in my life when it comes to the understanding of dreams and visions. Again, I give God the glory and the honor for this gift.
With this teaching, I intend to explain the steps and the methods that I use to interpret dreams and visions. Some parts of the program will be very technical and some parts will be explanations of the fundamental aspects and the principles that govern dreams and visions interpretation. Through the years, many people have asked me quite a lot of questions concerning the technical and practical aspects of dreams and visions interpretation. My aim, with this program, is to answer all those questions. Please take note that this program is aimed at assisting and helping you to understand how dreams and visions function and to help you to interpret dreams and visions effectively.
Let me introduce you to one of the most important principles of dreams interpretation. This principle is true for everything that we experience in the kingdom of God. I understood that nothing in the kingdom of God operates or functions randomly. There is always order and there is always consistency. No matter what aspects of spiritual matters or what areas of our faith-walk in Christ we are dealing with. There is always order and there is always consistency. Everything in the kingdom of God is guaranteed and it works always and every time. It is like Newton’s law of gravity. To put it as simple as I possibly can; gravity means that if you throw an object up into the air that it will always fall back to the ground. That law is cast in stone. The object will never hang in the air, it will fall. The principles and laws in the kingdom of God are the same. It always works without any deviation whatsoever.
For this reason, I knew that if I identify and learn and understand the laws or principles that govern the language of symbols, that I will be able to interpret dreams and visions successfully, every time. This is guaranteed.
I understood that dreams cannot be interpreted randomly without following a structure or a method of some kind. With dreams, we cannot randomly shoot into the dark with the hope to hit something. I knew that there will be a divine method and that the God-given method will work every time. This proved to be true when I finally found this method. I tested it numerous times and the feedback from people was very positive and that confirmed that my strategy or the method that I use was spot on.
It is not just a case of seeking God’s face and pray and hope that He will give you a word of knowledge or a word of wisdom every time that you need to interpret a dream or a vision. It is not a matter of revelation but a matter of understanding. It is a matter of learning and understanding the language of symbols. It is a matter of understanding the principles that govern dreams and visions interpretation. Yes, we do need the Holy Spirit and He does help us but, essentially, dreams and visions interpretation does not come by revelation but by understanding.
Some dreams and visions are about knowledge or wisdom or the direct leading of the Holy Spirit. Other dreams are all about insight into the will and the ways of God. Yet other dreams are all about divine “impartation” into our spiritual lives. For these reasons we always need to understand that we cannot be led by dreams but rather by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit often uses dreams and visions to lead us but that is not the only way He leads us. He also leads us through various other ways like a whisper in our spiritual ears, a cellphone message from a friend, a word in Scripture that He emphasizes in our hearts, a telephone call from a stranger or a friend with a word of confirmation, good advice from a respective person in the body of Christ, a piece of literature from a book or a song, supernatural inner peace and assurance, inner experiences when we seek His face in prayer, etc.
I cannot tell you how many dreams and visions I received over the past 35 years. I have written them all down. These books (my personal dreams and visions recording books) that I have written contain all my dreams and visions that I received from God through the years. These dreams and visions are precious gifts from God. When I read through these books and I often do, I can see the plans, the purposes, the will, and the aspirations God had for me and still has for my life. I can look back and see the warnings that saved me from many dangerous situations and dangerous people. I can see where He gave direction. I can see where He corrected wrong doctrines. I can see where He exhorted me and where He comforted me. I can see how every dream and vision worked together to form me. I can see how it caused me to grow spiritually. I can see how it caused me to mature in Christ.
Some of these dreams and visions were prophetic. God showed me what was to happen in my life and regarding my ministry. These dreams and visions were and still are precious to me. It prepared me for the work of the ministry. It helped me to stay focused and it helped me to persevere. These dreams and visions all fit together like a puzzle. It completes us in Christ. Not only do dreams and visions bring individual clarity on individual situations or aspects but together it serves to bring clarity on many spiritual aspects as a combined unit. And yes, these dreams and visions all conform to the written word of God, one hundred percent. It is always in line with God’s word.
The most important advice that I give people about dreams and visions is to write them all down immediately when you wake up or immediately after you received the vision. Some people have a pen and their dreams recording book at their bedsides. The longer you wait to write them down the less you will remember. Your intellect and your soul immediately start breaking down the dream or vision in your mind. That is why you cannot delay writing them down. Every minute counts!
Please note that when you record dreams and visions that it is important to write down every symbol in the dream or the vision. The shape of each object, the color of each object, the quantity of the different objects, the direction facing and/or the direction of movement of each object, the words spoken, the actions performed, the emotions experienced with each occurrence in the dream, or vision, the place the dream was physically located, the geographical area, background circumstances, the context of time and history, certain information that you supernaturally knew in the dream and vision all need to be written down exactly as God gave it to you.
The gifts of discernment, knowledge, and wisdom do sometimes manifest in dreams and visions. You need to write information obtained this way down as well. The more accurate you record all these information the more successful you will be with the interpretation of the dream or vision. Remember that every symbol and every detail in the dream, and vision need to be analyzed. We need to do this systematically to bring the total sum of all possible aspects and meanings into the equation. If we do not analyze all symbols and all meanings we might lose vital information and we might end up not interpreting the dream or vision completely correctly.
Dreams and visions come from God. He is the Dream Giver and that includes both types of dreams. We need to go to God and the Holy Spirit for more clarity on dreams and visions. We need to go to God for the interpretation of specific symbols that we identified in dreams and visions. God created mankind. He created us according to his image. We were born of his Spirit. We are like Him. He knows us inside out.
Now it is very important to understand the following, “Nobody has the right to regard dreams and visions or the interpretation of dreams and visions as something that they own.” Not only do dreams and visions come from God but also the meanings of the symbols come from Him.
God provides the meanings of different symbols. Most symbols and the meanings of these symbols are found in Scripture. It is understandable that if dreams and visions come from God, that the meanings of the symbols in these dreams and visions will be found in his word. The language of symbols belongs to God. He created it. Almost all symbols and meanings of these symbols come from the Bible. I mentioned that the Bible is, in fact, the first dreams symbols dictionary. It laid the foundation for other dreams symbols dictionaries to be built upon. The angels started this off by explaining the meanings of certain symbols to Daniel and other prophets in the Bible. Later on, people started to realize that the Scriptures contained a lot more revelations about the meanings of symbols than those directly explained by God and the angels. The Old Testament types and shadows also played a big part in identifying symbols in the Bible.
Some symbols that people often observe in dreams and visions are modern equivalents of Biblical symbols. For this reason, a “sword” and an “arrow”, which come from the Bible, have the same meaning as a “pistol” or a “rifle” which are modern equivalents of these Biblical symbols. The same with a “horse” and a “motor vehicle.” In some cases, God gave the meanings of the different symbols and in other cases, God used the natural characteristics of the object to be representative in terms of the meaning of the specific object. Some objects may have both a God-given meaning and also a meaning based on the natural characteristics of the specific object. Some symbols cannot be found in the Bible and we need to seek God’s face for the meanings of these symbols. This makes the interpretation of dreams and visions more complex. For this reason, we cannot use a dictionary only but we need to seek God in prayer to determine exactly what God wants to tell us. So although Daniel and others in the Bible interpreted dreams exactly how we do it today, they had limited resources. Old Testament people and even the early Christians of the New Testament had only parts of the Bible. However, it was enough for them to identify the meanings of the symbols. I think in this area they also received a lot of grace and assistance from God. In those days He spoke to them, in visions or dreams without using symbols but by speaking to them directly. It still happens today but a lot less. Today, we are in a much better position to successfully interpret dreams and visions because of the abundant access to resources.
This is all for today. In the next session, we will look at the origins of dreams and visions.
Thanks for listening. I trust that you will have a blessed and pleasant week in Christ. See you next time.