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DREAMS AND VISIONS

"And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all
flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your
old men shall dream dreams" (Acts 2:17)
Dreams and visions are a Biblical way that God communicates with His people. In this
passage we learn that one of the results of being filled with the Holy Spirit would be visions
and dreams. In fact, this passage makes it clear that dreams and visions would increase "in
the last days.
That visions is a Biblical experience cannot be denied. We read about the visions of such
Old Testament saints as Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, and many others (Genesis 15:1;
46:2;Exodus 3:2-3; 1 Samuel 3:2-15; 7:4, 17; Isaiah 6:1-8; Ezekiel 1:4-14; Daniel 2:19).
But visions did not stop in the Old Testament, but continued in the New Testament. The
apostles Peter, John, and Paul all received visions (Acts 10:9-17; Revelation 1:12; Acts 9:312).
But visions were not limited to just the apostles, ordinary Christians such as Ananias
received them (Acts 9:10-11). Even a devout Gentile was given a vision by God (Acts
10:3).
The early church after the apostles also continued to experience visions. Polycarp was
given a vision that indicated that he was going to be burned alive.
Visions are supernatural perceptions of something naturally invisible to humans. It is
something seen by other than normal sight. The Biblical words for vision signify that which
is seen. It is supernatural sight. In the Bible visions were for the most part given to
individuals, their companions not being privy to the vision. Although visions can be a mode
of revelation, they are not necessarily so.
They are revelations only when they disclose hidden truths.

The purposes for which God sends visions and dreams are many.
He sends them to restrain one from evil (Genesis 20:3).
He sends them to guide people and reveal His will to them (Genesis 28:1122; 46:2
5;Psalm 89:19; Acts 16:9, 10).
He sends them to encourage and comfort people (Judges 7:1315; Acts 18:9, 10). He
sends them to reveal future events (Genesis 37:510).
He sends them to warn and to instruct (Matthew. 1:20; Is. 21:26; 1 Sam. 3:1518).

We can classify visions in a number of ways. These classifications help us


better understand the nature of visions, they help us better interpret them, and they help us
better determine their source.

Awake visions are visions seen when one is awake and conscious of one's
surroundings. In other words, an awake vision is one that is received while one is not asleep
or in a trance. In one sense awake visions could be considered normal visions, for they are
visions experienced in a normal state of mind (Numbers 24:4, 16; Acts 10:17).

Night visions are visions received while one is asleep. The Bible also refers to them as
dreams. But the Bible clearly teaches that dreams are nothing more than vision received
while asleep (Genesis 46:2; Job 4:13; 20:8; 33:15; Isaiah 29:7; Daniel 2:19, 28; 4:4, 9; 7:2,
7, 13; Acts 18:9).
Night visions are also called dreams. But not all dreams are visions. This is because
not all dreams have spiritual significance. Night visions have a basis in spiritual reality,
regular dreams do not. Just because you have a dream does not mean that it is a vision.
The dream must have spiritual significance in order for it to be considered a vision. I have
had several visions in dreams, the one characteristic of them all is that immediately after I
have them I have an inward certainty of their significance. I know that they were not just
ordinary dreams.

Trance visions are spiritual visions, which we will discuss later, received while in a
trance. The word trance occurs three times in the New Testament (Acts 10:10; 11:5;
22:17).
The Greek word literally means to stand outside yourself or to be put outside of one's
normal state of mind. A trance takes place when one's physical senses are suspended.
There is a sense of detachment from the physical surroundings. This detachment can have
different levels. During a trance one is more conscious of spiritual things than of physical
things.
Smith's Bible Dictionary states that, a trance "is the state in which a man has passed out of
the usual order of his life, beyond the usual limits of consciousness and volition, being rapt
in visions of distant or future things.

Spiritual visions are visions that are seen with the eyes of one's spirit instead of the
physical eyes. In these visions the eyes are closed and the vision is seen with the mind's
eye. This is the kind of vision Paul experienced on the road to Damascus. Notice what the
passage says, "Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw
no one" (Acts 9:8). When Paul saw the light he closed his eyes and did not open them until
after the vision passed. Then he opened his eyes, but could not see, because he was now
blind.

Corporeal visions are visions that seem to be seen with the physical eyes. That is, the
eyes are open and one is aware of and sees one's surroundings. The senses perceive
some real object that is naturally invisible to humans. They are also called apparitions. The
transfiguration is a good example of this kind of vision.
Here three of the apostles see Moses and Elijiah talking with Jesus. All three appear to the
apostles to be quite real and tangible. But Jesus tells them that what they have just seen is
a "vision" (Matthew 17:8).

Intellectual visions are visions in which the mind perceives a spiritual truth without the
aid of sensible impressions. These visions happen either through ideas already acquired by
which are now modified or quickened by God, or through newly revealed ideas which better
represent spiritual reality. This is what it means to have "the eyes of your understanding
being enlightened" (Ephesians 1:18). We can classify visions by the content of the vision,
whether plain, vocal, pictorial, or symbolic.

Plain visions are visions that need little or no interpretation, the interpretation being so
clear that it would be hard to misunderstand the vision. The vision Paul received to go to
Macedonia would fall into this category. He did not receive an interpretation from the Lord,
but rather simply "concluded" that the Lord wanted him to go to Macedonia (Acts 16:9-10).

Vocal visions are visions primarily of an angel or Christ telling one information of some
kind. The primary purpose is to convey verbal communication. The message is heard more
than seen. There are many examples of this. "Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a
vision" (Acts 18:9). Again, "the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision" (Genesis 15:1).

Pictorial visions are visions that are primarily of pictures and images, rather than of
vocal communications. The message is seen more than heard. The visions of John in the
Book of Revelation and the visions of Ezekiel are good examples. They saw things in
pictures.

Divine visions are visions given by God. They are "visions of God" (2 Chronicles
26:5;Ezekiel 1:1; 8:3). If they are from God they ought to be accepted and obeyed.

Demonic visions are visions given by demonic powers. We are warned that Satan can
"transform himself into an angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14). We know that he has indeed
done this many times in history, appearing as Moroni to Joseph Smith, and birthing the cult
known as Mormonism. We should not be naive and think that we are beyond deception. We
must discern all visions and hold them up to Scriptural examination and submit them to
godly counsel. If they are not clearly of God we are duty bound to reject and renounce
them, no matter how pleasant the experience. Since visions may come from other sources
than God, they must be tested (1 Thessalonians 5:21). There are several ways to test
visions. We must use great wisdom and spiritual discernment lest we be led astray. The
Bible continually warns us that we can "err in vision" (Isaiah 28:7). Some visions are from
God and are true, but there are also "false visions" (Ezekiel 21:29; 22:28; Jeremiah
14:14;Ezekiel 12:24). A false vision is a "futile vision" (Ezekiel 13:7). That is it is "a vision
without substance" (BBE).

We must pray and seek godly counsel concerning any vision of significance. We
must pray that God may grant us or others spiritual discernment. Knowing the source and
meaning of visions is primarily a spiritual gifting. We may, however, ask God for wisdom
and spiritual understanding. We must be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit (Romans
8:14).
He distributes spiritual gifts "to each one individually as He wills" (1 Corinthians 12:11).

Any vision in opposition to the teachings of the Bible is false.


The Bible is our all sufficient standard of faith and practice, being the absolutely
authoritative rule by which we must judge all visions and dreams
(1 Thessalonians 2:13; John 12:47-49; 2 Timothy 3:16; Psalm 19:7-9; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter
1:21).
Any vision that contradicts the Bible must be rejected as humanly inspired at best, demonic
at worst. We must also reject any vision or dream that is immoral or indecent

Demonic visions, on the contrary, produce joy, soon to be followed by uneasiness, sadness,
and discouragement.
True visions strengthen a person's spiritual life, producing humility, obedience, patience,
and a deep surrender to the Divine will.
False visions, on the other hand, produce pride, presumption and disobedience.
If the vision gives us greater love, strength, and humility, it is likely of God. The vision
should, if it be of God, leave us spiritually, mentally, and emotionally better than we were
before we had it. A vision may reveal truth to the person. The revelation may be true in the
main and yet contain some incidental errors. God's aim is one's spiritual welfare, not to
satisfy one's intellectual curiosity. Some errors may creep in to a revelation because the
person might unwittingly unite human activity with the supernatural action.

The truth is, "None of these things, however comforting and pleasing, constitute true
contemplation. Although good, they are unimportant, and are secondary to the spiritual
virtues and to the pursuit of virtue and the knowledge and love of God; for in the knowledge
and love of God there can be no deception.
Because dreams and visions lack the importance that is often ascribed to them, and
because they are easily counterfeited by the devil, the spiritual masters advise us to never
seek or even desire them.
Teresa of Avila list several reasons why desiring and seeking visions is dangerous.
"In the first place, it shows a lack of humility to desire what you have never deserved. So I
believe that whoever desires such experiences shows little humility. . . . I am certain that
they will never be bestowed except on those who are humble in heart. For before the Lord
bestows these favors, He gives us a true knowledge of ourselves. . . .

"Second, such a person is very likely to be deceived, or is in great danger of it, since the
devil requires no more than to find one small door open in order to lead us into a thousand
deceits.
"Third, when the desire is strong, and the imagination is vivid, it makes one think that he
sees and hears what he wants to. Such stimulation happens to those who in the daytime
think upon it very earnestly and will dream of it during the night.
"Fourth, it is very presumptuous for you to desire to choose a way for yourselves when you
do not know what is best for you. Rather, you should refer the whole matter to our Lord Who
knows you best, in order that He may lead you in the way that He thinks fit.
"Fifth, the resultant troubles are not as few as you can imagine. Rather, they are
innumerable and of various kinds which such souls endure. How do you know whether you
will be able then to endure them?
"Sixth, it may happen that you might lose what you thought you had gained by this very
experience.
Conclusion:
Dreams and visions have their place, but they must not be esteemed more highly than they
ought.
HEBREWS 1:1-3 READ AND GIVE COMMENT

Therefore the safest course of action is to hold visions in light esteem, honestly seek the
Lord concerning their origin and meaning, and turn to godly men and women with
discernment to know the truth concerning such. And then have the teachableness and
humility to accept the counsel of others. If you find yourself unwilling or unable to cast away
any dream or vision, be sure that the enemy has now a stronghold within your own heart.
My opinion from this lesson:
Let's got back to the bible before we rely on dreams, revelations and visions!
Like the bible says in 1 John 4: 1-6 (KJV)
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many
false prophets are gone out into the world Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit
that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:And every spirit that
confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of
antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the
world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is
in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world,
and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not
of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
If we got the visions, dreams, revelations etc, let other people judge:

1Co 14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.
Don't let the evil spirit gives a wrong teaching / false doctrine.
Jeremiah 23 :32 (KJV)
32Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, says the LORD, and do tell them,
and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor
commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, says the LORD.
Zechariah 10 : 2 (KJV)

For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false
dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled,
because there was no shepherd.