Dreams and Visions Interpretation Course Session 3
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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 those of you who do not know, this series is about dreams and visions. In the previous session, we looked at how Daniel recorded his dreams and visions, and how he analyzed and interpreted the different symbols. We also determined that dreams and vision interpretation does not come through revelation or the gifts of the Spirit but rather through understanding. Today, we are going to discuss where dreams come from and we are going to touch on the different types of dreams and visions.
Some dreams are not messages from God but the result of a restoration process that God has built into every human being. God created this mechanism to help people to emotionally deal with circumstances and occurrences in their lives. God’s aim with these dreams is to restore us emotionally. This process keeps us normal and able to deal with life and its challenges. Another type of dream is dreams that originated from obsessive emotions, attitudes or behavior. Such dreams are products from the soul or the mind as affirmed in Scripture:
For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.
Psychologists like to refer to a term called the “subconscious mind” as if it is just an intellectual system which has certain qualities and which functions in a certain way. To most of them, it is just trillions of cells working together to make up this mystical system which they do not understand. They are also aware of our conscience which plays an important role in the decisions we make. To most scientists, this is a natural process which is part of the makeup of every human being.
It is actually a bit more than that. On the one hand, your conscience, which was formed and influenced through moral education, training, and environmental influences, is making your soul aware of certain areas of concern (identified as being wrong and not acceptable) that need to be dealt with in your life. On the other hand, your spirit, who is always in harmony with the Holy Spirit, makes your soul aware of issues in your life which it has identified to be unacceptable. How does your spirit do that? Your spirit compares the condition of your soul with what it has learned from the Holy Spirit and the word of God. Whatever is in your soul that is not from God, your spirit will bring under the attention of your soul. The awareness mechanism also functions through dreams. These type of dreams is generally called, “emotional restoration dreams”
To explain this as simple as possible: Your soul struggles with certain problematic issues which it was exposed to. These bad experiences and challenges put a lot of pressure and stress on the soul. We need to deal with these issues. Some of these issues are identified by your conscience and some by our spirits. While you are emotionally struggling with these issues, your spirit, who is always in perfect harmony with God, helps your soul to deal with these issues. It can do this because it knows how to deal with these issues. Your spirit is enlightened because of the continuous and constant fellowship with the Holy Spirit and with God. Remember, the Holy Spirit is in your spirit and not in your soul. Your spirit knows things that your soul is unaware of. Your spirit brings clarity because it has a very powerful God-given ability to assist your soul. We read about that in the Bible:
The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.
Why is it illuminating all the dark areas and corners of the inner man? Why is it a “lamp” in the innermost areas of the soul? What is it searching for? It looks for areas in our lives that are not in line with God, his word and his will. It brings these areas of concern under the attention of the soul. It then assists the soul to deal with these issues. It is all about submission and alignment. It brings harmony. The spirit is led by the Holy Spirit in this regard. The spirit also helps and teaches the soul to be led by the Holy Spirit. This process improves our lives. This mechanism is a gift from God. We do not understand this mechanism or this process but we are aware of it through the dreams it produces.
It is very important to understand that although one dream is a message from God and the other a natural phenomenon to restore our emotional condition, both can and must be interpreted. Interpretation of all dreams and visions will either reveal a message from God or it will tell us with what we are struggling within our personal lives. Although one type of dream comes automatically and the other triggered by God, both come from God. He created it to fulfill a purpose in our lives.
Both interpretations need to be followed up by actions. God does not communicate unimportant information to us and emotional restoration dreams are designed to help us cope with life. It accurately exposes emotional and problematic issues in our lives. We need to act upon these issues and that is why we need to give attention to both types of dreams. Emotional restoration dreams are not just a way of restoring us emotionally but it is also, on purpose, telling us that we need to take action to sort out or to address certain issues in our lives. We need to interpret these types of dreams so that we can identify problem areas in our faith walk with God. After we have identified these problems we need to submit these individual problems to the word of God and the will of God. We should never ignore any dreams or visions. It is of the utmost importance that we deal with these messages according to God’s word and God’s will.
What exactly is the purpose of receiving messages from God? Why does God communicate with us? Dreams and visions are very exciting. It means this glorious wonderful creature called the living God, the ancient of days, the everlasting Father, the creator of heaven and earth and everything that exists, is directly communicating with us on a one on one basis.
Apart from the written word of God, He still does communicate to us directly. The prophet Joel prophesied that in the last days God will pour out his Spirit on all flesh and that people will dream dreams and see visions. We are living in the last days. The last days started the day the Spirit of the living God was poured out on mankind. The Bible did not say in the early days or the days of Elijah or Biblical days. It says in the last days we will receive the Holy Spirit and we will see visions and dream dreams.
If we have the written word of God available to us, why does God still need to communicate to us? Isn’t everything already written in the word? Of course, everything is already written in the word of God. But this does not mean that we understand everything correctly. It also does not mean that we apply the word correctly. It does not mean that the five-fold ministry is teaching the word correctly. It does not mean that God does not want to supernaturally reveal that word correctly to us. It does not mean that God does not want a personal love relationship with every believer. It does not mean that God does not want to comfort us when He sees us struggling with life’s challenges.
When the five-fold ministry is leading people astray God wants to intervene. He wants to protect his children against false teaching. He wants to improve our lives. He wants to help us grow spiritually. That is when He starts communicating with us.
Dreams and visions come from God. He is the Dream Giver and that includes both types of dreams. It includes divine messages from God and it includes emotional restoration dreams. Satan cannot give us dreams or visions and he has no business with the meanings of symbols. The believe that satan can give us dreams and visions is completely erroneous. We will not discuss this aspect today but we certainly will in the next session. The devil certainly interfered quite a lot in this area of our faith-walk and we certainly need to discuss the role that he plays in this in detail but, rest assured, the devil cannot give us dreams or visions.
So when it comes to dreams and visions, 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.
God provided the symbols, which is the “words” of this language but He also provides the meanings of the 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.
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 mastered or something they own.” Nobody, including you and me or any human being and the devil or even the angels, have the right to give meanings to symbols. Not only do dreams and visions come from God but also the meanings of the symbols do come from Him only.
We can even take it further by saying that we cannot interpret dreams and visions without the help of the Holy Spirit and the Bible. As I mentioned last week, the Bible is truly the first dreams symbols dictionary available to mankind because of the rich and abundant presence of types, shadows, and symbolism in both the old and the new Testaments of the Bible. Truly Bible-based dreams symbols dictionaries are merely a compilation of all the types, shadows and symbols in the Bible. In addition to this, such dictionaries contain the natural characteristics of animals and modern-day technological inventions. There is nothing strange or odd about dreams symbols dictionaries. It is like any other spiritual book written or compiled to assist the body of Christ aimed at developing the saints in this specific area.
Because God created everything that exists, everything belongs to Him. The rainbow is his, the sea is his and the lion is his. People may try to defile God’s property and they may give other meanings to objects but that changes nothing. Even when the enemy tries to defile God’s property by giving demonic meanings to certain objects, that objects and the meanings of these objects still belong to God. It means that God created it and He gave meaning to everything. It means that the meanings that God gave certain objects in dreams and visions are the true meanings and all other meanings are false.
This is exactly why dreams and visions dictionaries created by pagan “religionists” or even psychologist are so full of errors and false meanings. Not only people but also the enemy started to give meanings to objects. It is important to understand that we need to ignore these meanings.
Pagan religions like Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, satanism and people like fortune-tellers, psychics and even psychologists all have no business with dreams, visions or the interpretation thereof. This has nothing to do with them at all! It has everything to do with God, the Church and you, the individual.
We should not be scared of demonic types of symbols and demonic meanings. It is false meanings and these meanings are not legitimate. For example, God gave a certain meaning to the symbol of a rainbow. Satan also started to use the rainbow as a symbol and he gave this symbol another meaning. We should ignore this and embrace God’s symbols and the meanings God gave to these symbols. A rainbow is pure and beautiful and it belongs to God.
God needs to help us “find” the meanings of dreams and visions by revealing certain information to us through prayer and divine revelation. I am referring here to objects or symbols that are not in the Bible. We need a good Bible-based dictionary to help us to understand the meanings of symbols. The real meaning of the dream or the vision will be lost if we do not seek God in prayer for the interpretation of the specific dream or vision but the same is true if we do not utilize a good dictionary.
As I mentioned last week, the interpretation of dreams and visions is not part of the gifts of the Spirit. There are nine gifts and dreams and visions are not part of the nine. Having said that, when we interpret dreams and visions, God sometimes reveals information to the interpreter that is not symbolized in the dream or vision. This part of dreams and visions is part of the gifts. This is the word of knowledge in action. This can even happen in a dream or a vision, not only when the dream or vision is interpreted. So even though the meanings of dreams and visions predominantly come through understanding, the gifts are often active and do manifest in dreams and visions and even during interpretation.
When a non-Christian dream, he or she is receiving a message from God just like a Christian. Just like us, they also have “emotional restoration dreams” But, they need the Holy Spirit and the Word of the living God, which is the Bible, to assist them to interpret the dream or vision. The problem is that they do not have the Holy Spirit and they do not understand the Bible. It is therefore quite difficult for an unbeliever to find the meaning or the interpretation of a dream or a vision. Because of these reasons, unsaved people can’t interpret dreams and visions correctly.
A Biblical example of such a person was Nebuchadnezzar. He searched for a person who could assist him in interpreting the dream that he had. His pagan interpreters could not interpret the dream for him. Fortunately for him, he did find a man of God. He found Daniel and he succeeded in finding the true meaning of his dream. Apart from Nebuchadnezzar, other Biblical heathens like King Abimelech (Gen 20), The Midian Army (Judges 7:13-14), Pharaoh’s butler and baker (Gen.40:5), Pharaoh himself (Gen 41:1,5), Pilot’s Wife (Matthew 27:19) and the Wise Men who visited the baby Jesus (Matthew 2:12) all had divine dreams which needed interpretation.
When people ponder on certain issues in life, God will reveal the truth and his will concerning such issues to them, irrespective whether such people are Christians or not. That is what happened to Nebuchadnezzar and it also happened to Pharaoh. It is still happening today. That is why we must always take note of what we were pondering on the day before the dream or the vision. It is also important to remember what our needs were just before the dream. Sometimes we ponder on a certain need or a certain person or even a certain situation. God reveals many aspects of these things to us. Also, remember the people you had contact with just before the dream or the vision. Sometimes the dream is not about you but about another person that crossed your path. Sometimes God wants you to minister unto such a person. In such a case, it is a message or word from God for such a person or regarding such a person.
Many times this assisted me a lot to correctly interpret the dream or vision that I received from God. Sometimes people speak to God about a certain problem or a certain situation. They forget about this and when God answers them they are confused, just because they forgot praying about or pondering on the problem or situation before the dream or the vision.
Why does God reveal certain things to unbelievers? I do not know. What I do know is that nobody will have any excuse one day when it comes to spiritual things. As nature reveals to us that there is a God, so even dreams and visions reveal to us that there is a God. Even if non-believers pursue the meanings of dreams and visions they will find it, just as Christians do. Our God is a God of grace and mercy. He answers to nobody and He does what He wants. We cannot question Him!
The greatest danger for an unbeliever or a Christian for that matter is to consult a pagan dictionary. Would you go to a fortune teller or a soothsayer to interpret the dreams that God gave you? Nebuchadnezzar attempted to do that without any success:
Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.
Whatever you read in a pagan dictionary will not be anything other than lies. Consulting these dictionaries will lead to deceit.
Sometimes people are dreaming about things purely because their minds are excessively occupied by those things. This is an unhealthy or undesirable situation which causes emotional restoration dreams. People are very emotional when they are obsessive.
For instance, when a person is constantly frightened or scared of something, he may dream about the things that scare him. Some people are so preoccupied with their careers and ambitions resulting in them dreaming about those things. Some people can be so jealous of other people and some can be so suspicious about things resulting in them dreaming exactly what they are jealous of or suspicious about. This can be a bit confusing when interpreting a dream. These are classified as carnal dreams. With the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit, these types of dreams can be identified and dealt with. Preoccupied people and people displaying an unhealthy obsession with certain things and certain people should be counseled in this regard. Recurring dreams of this nature should be identified and dealt with.
This is what John E. Thomas has to say about this kind of fleshly dreams:
A young lady once told me a dream in which her boyfriend proposed to her. I asked her if they had been together for a while and if she thought it was past time for them to be engaged. She confirmed both of these things were true. The source of the dream became apparent to me, and I gently told her she wanted to be married so much that she had caused herself to dream about it.
The most common soul dreams involve a coming marriage, promotion, ministry or season of popularity. When we interpret dreams at film and music festivals, it is amazing how many musicians tell us dreams in which they are finally discovered!
The prophet Jeremiah warned about dreamers who dreamed dreams they caused themselves to dream (Jer. 29:8–9). Not all soul dreams come because someone is a false prophet, like the people Jeremiah was condemning, sometimes we just desire something so strongly that we dream about it.
– John E. Thomas
Dream dictionaries created by psychologist are as unreliable as those created by pagan “religionists” and fortune-tellers. When it comes to the natural characteristics of objects like plants and animals these dictionaries may be partially correct. The fact that God did not stick to natural traits and characteristics causes these dictionaries to be full of error. These people and even psychologists were not appointed by the Dream Giver to interpret dreams and visions. That honor belongs to the church. It belongs to the saints and we are assisted by the Holy Spirit. Yes, the five-fold ministry and other Christians, like Daniel, may be instrumental in teaching and assisting people to interpret dreams and visions correctly but still, the Holy Spirit plays a major part in the interpretation of dreams and visions. As I said, the interpretation of dreams and visions belongs to the church of God. It is part of the work of the ministry. Psychologists have no right to enter this aspect of humanity. This is what Dr. Henry W. Wright, a medical doctor, has to say about this:
I think, and I say this very carefully, God is ticked off at the psychologists being the pastors of America (or any country). If there are any psychologists reading this, I love you man, I love you woman. But I do think you have taken some things away from the pastors that are rightfully theirs to deal with. Under Old-Testament law, if anyone had leprosy, to be considered cured, to whom did they go show themselves? The priest. In the New-Testament, it goes a little further. James say:
Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sin, they shall be forgiven him. (James 4:14-15)
– Dr. Henry W. Wright
What Dr. Wright means is that healing belongs to the church and that includes mental healing. God gave specific instructions on how a person needs to be healed and where such a person should go to receive healing. A psychologist is simply not able to heal emotionally sick or mentally sick people. The methods that they use, from prescription drugs, which they prescribe through a psychiatrist or a medical doctor, to counseling, which includes the interpretation of dreams, are just not effective. It is, in fact, dangerous! Not only do prescription drugs cause sickness and diseases, but it also kills people. Even the counseling and dreams interpretation that they carry out are far from trustworthy and effective.
Even Christian medical doctors believe that true healing is a ministry of the church. This is what Dr. MK Strydom has to say about this:
According to the Word, God is not interested in disease management, He is interested in disease eradication and disease prevention. Where health-care is concerned today, there is really no such thing – they should be calling it disease management. Disease management means, for example, prescribing drugs for a diabetic or a person with high blood pressure for the rest of his or her life. The person is artificially maintained and manipulated by these drugs but the underlying problem that initially caused the disease is not dealt with. I am not saying that it is wrong to take medical drugs, it is sometimes very necessary. For example, if I have a patient come in with a blood pressure of 200/110, I have got to give the person medication to get that blood pressure down before he has a stroke and dies. It is an emergency, there is no time to sit down and deal with the issues in his life that lead to perpetual thoughts of fear, anxiety, stress and worry about the future (which is the cause of high blood pressure).
Similarly, if I have a patient that I diagnose with hyperthyroidism, I’ve got to put him on medication as this condition is potentially life-threatening. But is that the ultimate solution? It is in science. However, that is not scriptural. We think that disease management is a cure – no, if you were cured you wouldn’t need disease management. Disease management is another form of bondage. Disease management means you’re not free – you are not healed of your disease. But the Bible says that he whom the Son sets free is free indeed (John 8 v 36).
I personally will only prescribe medication in the short term to save a person’s life or to get the person into a place of safety so that he or she has time to go and deal with the root of the problem that is causing the disease. Prescribing drugs as a single act is ﬁne but the problem comes in when a person stays on those drugs permanently without the underlying problem behind the disease being dealt with. To those of you who are on chronic medication, I would like to inform you that God does not want you artificially maintained and chemically manipulated by medical drugs for the rest of your life. He wants to heal you and set you free of that disease permanently. But you also have a responsibility before God to get sin out of your life and to line yourself up with his Word and his conditions for healing.
– Dr. MK Strydom
Again, this is what the Bible commands us to do when we are sick:
Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing Psalm. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Even for mental healing, we need to follow God’s instructions. Psychologists just do not have the knowledge or the divine understanding of the fundamentals and principles that dreams, visions and the interpretations of dreams and visions entail. They need the Holy Spirit and they need to know the true and authentic Biblical language of symbols. Then they need to be called by God. That makes them a minister of God. That makes them part of the five-fold ministry. That makes them Christian believers and thus part of the church of God.
Dreams and visions are dealing with the spiritual aspect of the human being. It is not only a psychological aspect. to heal a human being, God, or a minister of God need to address problems within the complex make-up of a human being on a spiritual level. Psychologist deal with man on a psychological level which is completely situated in the soul dimension of man. This is trying to deal with the soul of man by bypassing the spiritual. It simply does not work that way. By applying intellectual knowledge to a spiritual problem is like gluing the broken pieces of a vase together with mud. The absence of the Holy Spirit is devastating in dealing with the emotional, psychological and physical issues and problems of all human beings.
It is very important to emphasize this once again, “Dreams, visions and the interpretation of dreams and visions belong to God and the church.” It is a spiritual thing. Anybody receiving a dream or a vision needs to go to God or to the church (a Christian who is trained in interpreting dreams and visions) to find the correct interpretation of their dreams and visions. Even natural dreams are spiritual. This has nothing to do with pagan “religionists”, fortune tellers and even psychologists.
Under normal circumstances, a natural dream in itself is enough to restore one’s emotional condition to face the challenges that life brings our way. It releases anxiety and emotional tensions in our souls which built up during the day. Disappointments, anger, frustration, undesired occurrences, conflict, anxiety, and fear all take its toll on the human soul. Emotional restoration dreams are an “offloading” process while we are sleeping. This process restores us emotionally.
In more serious cases we need to interpret reoccurring dreams to identify certain problem areas. Sometimes reoccurring dreams indicate that we either did not understand the dream or vision the first time or we did not apply the purpose of the dream and vision in our lives the first time. In such cases, the offloading or the releasing of tension could not restore us completely. Sometimes certain dreams and visions will reoccur until we understand it or until we take the necessary action. We do not need psychologists or anyone else to deal with emotional issues. If we understand the language of symbols we can help ourselves.
We need to learn the Biblical language of dreams and visions the same way we learn any other language. When we have learned this Biblical language, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we know how to interpret dreams and visions.
As soon as we identified problem areas in our faith walk we need to submit these problems or issues to God. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to assist us in dealing with these problems. In very serious cases we need to follow the instructions given us in James 5:12-15. That is when we need a minister of God to pray for us and with us. In more serious cases, we may need a minister of God to counsel us. However, you must go to the right minister. Only a Holy Spirit led, Spirit-filled man or woman of God can counsel you effectively and successfully. Other counselors will counsel you intellectually. This method of counseling is not effective enough. “Professional” counselors counsel people based on their experience or what they have learned in a college or a university. Although there is some value in this type of counseling, it is very limited. True and effective counseling is done by a Spirit-filled worker of God. If he or she also knows how to interpret dreams and visions, this type of counseling will be very effective. This kind of counseling leads to deliverance and restoration.
This is all for today. In the next session, we will look at the origin of dreams and visions, the purpose of dreams and visions and the reasons why God communicates with us through dreams and visions in more detail.
Thanks for listening. I trust that you will have a blessed week. See you next time.