Dreams and visions are, among other ways of communication, a very important method that God uses to communicate with people.
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.
He does not only communicate with Christians but also with unbelievers through dreams and visions. Although dreams and visions differ from each other it is fundamentally the same. The same principles and the same meanings are applicable to both dreams and visions. The only difference is that with the one the receiver of the message is asleep and with the other he or she is awake.
Very important though, we need to ask God to communicate with us. We need to seek his face for wisdom, knowledge, and truth.
Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
God speaks to people through dreams and visions but as you could see in the Scripture above that it takes some effort from our side. We need to seek God for wisdom and knowledge and we need to pay attention to our dreams and visions. Dreams and visions are compared to treasures as it is the word of God. When we humbly submit ourselves to God and his leading, He will speak to us. He is alive and well and He loves to communicate with his children. The Biblical language of symbols is a universal language created by God.
Some dreams are not messages from God but in fact 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. Such dreams are products from the soul (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 really understand. They are also aware of our conscience which plays an important role in the decisions we make. To most scientists, this is only 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 by means of 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 functions by means of dreams. I call these dreams “emotional restoration dreams”
To put it 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 totally 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 aware of it by means of the dreams it produces.
It is very important to understand that although one dream is a message from God and the other a natural method 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.
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 your life. We actually 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 type 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 to 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 really directly communicating with us personally.
Apart from the written word of God, He definitely 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 actually started the day the Spirit of the living God was poured out on mankind. The Bible did not say in the early days or in the days of Elijah or in 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 to you, his beloved son or daughter.
So what exactly does God communicate with us in dreams and visions?
He 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 (Protection).
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 by means of a dream or a vision. In the dream, or vision, He shows us what He wants us to do and what gifts He gave us. That instant we also receive the anointing to carry out what He empowered us to do.
He sometimes exhorts us and He comforts us, in a dream or a vision, when the going gets tough.
He sometimes delivers us from bondage in a dream.
He sometimes gives direction, in a dream or a vision. This usually happens when we pray for the leading of the Holy Spirit.
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.
He sometimes shows us how to address these issues.
He sometimes gives us strategies for success.
We have seen in Job 33:14-18 that God speaks to us in dreams and visions to withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man. He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword. The bullet list above ensures that Job 33 is a reality in your life. It helps 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.
Some dreams 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” in 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 the soft 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, a song, supernatural inner peace and assurance, inner experiences when we seek his face in prayer, etc.
I cannot tell you how many of the above examples of dreams and visions I received over the past 35 years. I have written them all down. These books (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 today (I often do), I can see the plans, purposes, will, and 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 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 in nature. God showed me what was to happen in my life and in my personal 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 you 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!
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.
And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
The above-mentioned Scripture about Daniel’s dreams and visions shows that he did write down his dreams and visions. He did it so that he can cover all the symbols and bring all the different aspects into consideration during the interpretation of the dreams and visions. 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, history and certain information that you supernaturally knew in the dream, and vision 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 each and every symbol and each 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 correctly.
From where do dreams originate from?
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 mastered or something they own.” Not only do dreams and visions come from God but also the meanings of the symbols come from Him. We can even take it further by saying that we cannot really interpret dreams and visions without the help of the Holy Spirit. God needs to help us “find” the meanings of dreams and visions by revealing it to us through prayer and through divine revelation. For this reason, a mere dreams and visions dictionary alone will be of little use to us. It will put our attention on some meanings and we might have an indication of what God wants to communicate to us but that’s all. 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.
God also 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.
Some symbols are in fact 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 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.
Because God created everything that exists, everything belongs to Him. The rainbow is his, the sea is his and the lion is his. Anybody may try to defile God’s property and he 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 first. 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, satanists 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! It has everything to do with God, the Church and you, the individual.
We should not be scared to demonic types of symbols and demonic meanings. It is actually 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.
Please take note, in order to learn the Biblical language of symbols, you need to read this information: How to interpret dreams and visions symbols correctly
Click on the following letters of the alphabet for the relevant symbol that you are looking for:
Directions, movement and positions in dreams and visions
Substitution in dreams and visions
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