Many people, if not all of them, undoubtedly have had dreams and visions in their lives. Dreaming is very natural, while visions are not familiar to all. I have never had a vision, but I have had dreams.
Some dreams can be about day-to-day life, but others are very weird, frightening, and breathtaking, and others are even hard to grasp what they are about. Some people claim all dreams have meanings. I believe that not all but some dreams have had meanings in the Bible. Maybe you had your dream or your vision recently; was it from God?
Unless you are new to Christianity, you might have heard of people receiving visions and dreams which they claim they received from God. Tales of travels to heaven and hell abound everywhere from these people getting dreams and visions. Others say they get visits from angels or Jesus himself. Are we being left out? We shall consider three things about this subject;
- Is God still speaking through dreams and visions?
- Are dreams and visions important?
- Bible or Dreams? Which one should I follow?
Is God still speaking through dreams and visions?
Hebrews 1:1-2 ESV
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
In the past, it is beyond doubt that God spoke with people through dreams and visions, as one of the many ways the above verse mentions. God did speak to Abimelek in Genesis 20, warning him that Sarah was a married woman. Joseph was a dreamer, and God gave him the ability to interpret dreams. In Mathew 2:13, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. John and Ezekiel had visions in their lives. It is evident that in the past did speak through dreams and visions. What then happened?
The Bible, the true and immutable word of God, which can never and will never be broken, tells us that was long ago. It tells us explicitly that in these last days (as we are in), God has spoken to us by His Son. This means that whatever God wanted to say, he has said it in the Bible. The above verse implies that God will not speak to us again through dreams and visions.
But someone may tell me the same Bible talks of young men will receive visions in the last times. Well, that does not mean you and me. It talks of the same time when God was to outpour His Holy Spirit upon the sons of men.
We know some gifts of the Holy Spirit, like working miracles and speaking in tongues, have ceased from the church. Likewise, in the same way, we should understand from the clear word of God that God is not speaking to us through dreams and visions. If God gives you a vision, then it is God’s word, and it deserves to be added to Bible.
Are dreams and visions important?
Some people think every dream they have must have a meaning. It is not so. In the past, God did speak through dreams and visions. Those dreams recorded in the Holy Scriptures are not only those people’s dreams in their lives. Only those dreams were unique; their weight was so huge. This is not your case.
You may tell me Bible tells us not to despise prophesyings. It is true. When was that written? To who was that written? Paul wrote that to the Thessalonian church, and by then, not all New Testament books had been written. The book of John, which is more of a prophetic book, had not been penned down then; thus, it makes sense what Paul meant. To us, it means that we should not despise the Bible, which is a more sure word of prophecy.
Many people today claim they had dreams and visions, yet their supposed dreams and visions contradict God’s word. Are those words from the Lord? Judge for yourselves if God is the author of confusion. God is not speaking through dreams and visions. Only in His word. His word- the Bible is a sure word of prophecy. You will be surprised that the new trend of getting visions and dreams started in the 19th century. For centuries, it had not been.
Our dreams and visions are then not important. Since God has spoken in His Holy word, we should depend on the scripture. Things always go south whenever people start turning to dreams and visions to get their knowledge about God.
What does Muhammed, Ellen G White, Charles Russel, etc., all have in common? They claimed that they got special revelations from God. Sadly, no matter how sincere they were, they contradicted the scripture.
Bible or Dreams? Which one should I follow?
Do not build your faith on dreams; build on the written word of God. As a beloved Puritan says, If your private revelations agree with scripture, they are not needful, for we already have what God has said. If they disagree, they are false. Follow scripture, not dreams and visions, whose meaning is very doubtful.
I hold to the cessationism view that some gifts of the Holy Ghost have ceased and are no longer in the church.