You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free
Dreams, Nightmares, Visions, and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
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Can nightmares be from God, does God still speak in dreams and visions, (seeing dreams while awake,) and does the Holy Spirit still manifest His Biblical, supernatural gifts? What can such supernatural things mean to believers, seeing that they have the “all truth" of Scripture, and the Holy Spirit is living in them?
The other side of the dangerous, untested acceptance of every false spiritual manifestation and teaching, (1 Ths.. 5:21-22,) is the strong resistance to all supernatural phenomena such as the Godly interpretation of dreams, nightmares, and visions, and the true manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s miracles and gifts — which is sin against God, (1 Ths. 5:19.) Dreams and visions, as well as the gifts of the Holy Spirit, are soundly recorded throughout the whole Bible and clearly explained in 1 Cor. 12 & 14. It is another fact that Jesus will unceasingly manifest His gifts and miracles until He returns, as He promised in Mt. 16:16-20 and demonstrated throughout the New Covenant. Hence, there is absolutely no Scriptural reference that supports the allegation that His supernatural wonders “ceased when the first apostles died,” (Mt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8-11.) Denominations that reject the miraculous works and voice of the Holy Spirit are way off Scriptural base. If we “despise” the gifts and supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, we “quench” Him so that He will not manifest Himself among believers. If we speak corrupt words against His gifts and power, we “grieve” Him, so that He will not manifest Himself among believers, (1 Hs. 5:19-22; Eph. 4:29-30.)
Just as accepting false teachings and spiritual manifestations, (which is actually accepting the deception of a false god posing as the True God of the Bible,) rejecting the supernatural work and word (or voice) of the Holy Spirit of the Bible is also a great sin, (Eph. 5:21.) In Mark 3:21-30, Jesus strictly warned about rejecting Him as the God of miracles. He entrusted His power, gifts, and miracles to all His believers, who would baptize themselves in water according to His own example and commandment, (Mark 16:16-18; Mt. 28:18-20; 3:13-17.) Jesus’ warning to “not blaspheme against the Holy Spirit,” was not a prohibition on “testing” spiritual manifestations and teachings to see whether it is of God. It was directed at those who would reject the true wonders of the Holy Spirit, (1 Jn. 4:1-4.) If God were without the ongoing, miraculous work and voice of the Holy Spirit, He would not be Jesus, the Christ and God of the Bible, (1 Ths. 5:19-22; Eph. 4:3.)
It is, therefore, no wonder that Satan used the church system, (both Catholicism and her daughter Protestantism,) to replace the true, believing body of Christ with indoctrinated church members. The sincere body of Christ simply cannot function effectively without the real, miraculous gifts and all-knowing leading of the Holy Spirit. “For by One Spirit [all sincere believers] were baptized into one body… For the body [of Christ] is not one member [such as a minister, pastor, priest…] but many… (1 Cor. 12:13-31.) And from these God has appointed apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues… (V. 30,) But do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? (1 Cor. 12:3-11,) For there are diversities of gifts… but the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one [to minister to the whole body.] To one is given a word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge… to another the gift of healings… to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, [not teaching the Word but supernatural revelation, 1 Cor. 14:22-25,] discerning of spirits, different kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills,” (1 Cor. 12:11.)
None of us have all the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit, although, according to necessity, these might overlap in believers. E.g., a pastor can also be a teacher and evangelist, and vice versa, and the Spirit might give such a person the appropriate gifts that pertain to what he or she needs to do in the body of Christ.
It is logical that, due to the gross abuse and deception through false spiritual manifestations that mimic the powerful gifts of the Holy Spirit with the intention to deceive believers and lead them astray, some people choose to reject everything supernatural. Jesus said in Mt. 24:24, “For false christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the [Scripturally born again believers.]”
However, either accepting false, or rejecting real manifestations, is the sin of rejecting God Himself, because the Holy Spirit Is the One and Only True God of the Bible and there is no other. The Life-giving “Water of the Word” or “Logos” is the Word of God, Jesus Himself, Who Is God, (Jn. 1:1-13; 3:3-10; 7:37-39; Eph. 5:26.) But Logos cannot be loosened from the True, Scriptural “spoken Word of God,” (Greek: rhema,) as manifested by the Teacher, or the Holy Spirit of God, Who is God Himself, (Jn. 16:26.)
Ž It is unthinkable to have a so-called “holy” spirit living in believers who ignores his practical, supernatural function – declaring God in doctrine but denying Him in practice. Paul inarguably stated, “If anyone does not have the [Real] Holy Spirit [abiding and living in him,] he does not have God,” (Rom. 8:9.) One can never say one has the Word of God abiding in you if you reject the work and voice of the Spirit Who speaks “rhema” [not church ‘rhema’ but God’s authentic leading in our innermost being or human spirit,] in and through you. Conversely, one cannot say one has the Holy Spirit of Truth living in you if you wilfully accept untested, false dogma, and strange spiritual manifestations. The One God of the Bible is the Inseparable, Ever-present God of both the Old and the New Testament Covenants. His Name is Jesus: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of the whole Bible, (Col. 2:9; Mt. 28:19-20.)
To justify this great sin of rejecting the Miraculous Works and Word of the True Holy Spirit, these “Logos” or so-called Written-Word based people recite verses such as 2 Tim. 3:16-17, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness, that [believers] may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Ž I stand on the truth of 2 Tim. 3:16-17 more than most believers – but I also say that everything in the Bible must be “tested” and interpreted in the entire context of Scriptural Truth, (Ps. 119:160; Eph. 5:21-22,) not according to a verse or two, or even a single passage or chapter.
Ž As seen, it is a great sin to “quench the Spirit [by] despising [the true gifts of the Spirit such as] prophecy.” ‘Prophecy’ in this sense does not mean the preaching of the Word as these Miracle-God deniers allege, but as 1 Cor. 14:3; 24-25 explains, “He who prophesies speaks edification, exhortation and comfort to men… If an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced and convicted by all [as] the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.” The gift of prophecy also pertains to the supernatural prediction of future events, as Jesus declared in Jn. 16:13, “When the Spirit of Truth has come [at Pentecost,] He will guide you into all truth… and tell you things to come,” (Mt. 28:19-20, 1 Jn. 2:20;27, 2 Cor. 1:21-22; Eph. 1:13-14, Jn. 16:13.)
1. This excludes the unnecessary “God told me to dress in blue, and God told me to walk there, sit here,” mumble jumble. It is because of such silly notions about the holy, vital gifts of the Holy Spirit, that some denominations also reject dreams and other ways in which God still speaks supernaturally; citing the truth that all end-time cults, which also drastically deviated from God’s Written Word and even rejected the Scriptural Name and Nature of Jesus, were formed through the dreams, visions, and the direct instructions of an untested, “scripture revealing voice.”
This is why these denominations say that everything we need to know about anything is in the Bible, (the “closed canon of Scripture,”) because God allegedly does not speak through human prophets anymore, as “Jesus is the Last and Final prophet of the New Testament Covenant,” (Heb. 1:1-14.) This is exactly what I say: God will not dictate “new Scripture” or “added revelations of Scripture” to anyone. Jesus really is the Last Prophet and His Word, (all the Scriptures interpreted in context,) is His Final Word. But now, we are NOT talking about the Gospel of Jesus and His New Testament Covenant Truth. We are discussing the Scriptural, personal Gifts, Work, and Voice of the Indwelling Holy Spirit.
Real truth is always in the full context of any situation, and so, Real Truth through the gifts of the Holy Spirit must always be in line with God’s written Word. It is most important to remember God will never give us instructions in dreams and visions that go beyond, or contradict His contextual, written Word and especially, His Moral Law, (Jn. 13:34.)
All dreams, nightmares, and visions are not from the spirit world or from God. Yet, some can pertain to our immediate lives, while others can span over many years. Some dreams and visions are clear and straightforward, while others must be interpreted because it is in symbolic language. Some dreams are straightforward, while others seem like nightmares, while they are actually warnings and revelations from God. But I cannot emphasize this enough: the most important thing to remember when dealing with visions, dreams and nightmares, (and everything else supernatural and of course, teaching too,) is to know which manifestations are from God and which are not. God, for our own protection, commanded us to “test all things, [to see whether it is of God.] Hold fast what is good [but] abstain from every form of evil,” (1 Ths. 5:21-22.) So, we must pray over all distinct dreams, visions and everything supernatural, and ask God to help us understand what if from Him and what is not; what we must do or refuse to do; what we must remember, and what we must simply reject. Acts 5:31 states, “God gives His Holy Spirit [and His supernatural insight, wisdom, and gifts] to those who obey Him.”
On the other hand, because believers are still flesh and blood, living in a complex, fallen world, dreams often dispel our most private thoughts, fears, needs, longings, and personal torments. Visions can pertain to the same things but mostly fall in the criterion of spiritual experiences. Nightmares can simply be demonic harassment, which God allows for a specific reason. Paul experienced re-occurring demonic attacks, which could have related to very real nightmares, (2 Cor. 12:7-10.) Nightmares can also be the devil's playground that simply feed on our needs and emotions to upset us. That is why we must plead the blood of Jesus over our sleep and dreams every night, and ask the Holy Spirit to keep us in His peace and shelter us from demonic attack while sleeping. However, re-occurring dreams or nightmares always signal that something is wrong somewhere, and we must earnestly seek God’s face on such matters.
Usually, if God allows a demonic attack in the form of a nightmare, it is to warn us against danger or to alert us to something we need to repent or abstain from. If demons come to tempt us in our sleep, it is usually some sin, (“the lust of the flesh” or our sinful desires,) we need to deal with. For instance, if we dream someone has called a shaman and they are ritually burning a photo of us in the fire, it may be a warning to pray God’s protection, guidance, and intervention in a certain unresolved relationship or situation – or we might have to petition special protection from God against witchcraft of some sort. If we dream demons are surrounding us in an empty warehouse and we turn into a scared, lost animal howling desperately, or tearing everything to pieces, we probably need to confess (and repent from) participating in some occult game, an unbiblical church ceremony, or something such as visits to a so-called Christian ‘deliverer,’ which will end in disaster if we do not flee to the truth of God.
Dreams, nightmares, and visions from God can be His way to make known some "great and unknown things to us," (Jer. 33:3,) to confirm something we have been praying about, etcetera. It can also be that God is telling us something that is going to affect our lives in the near or far future.
I believe we must get the interpretation of our dreams, nightmares, and visions directly from God. Seeking God’s face for the interpretation of personal dreams and visions also aids us in discerning His voice, and the truth about ourselves, others, and the world we live in. We must avoid ‘expert or professional’ interpreters at all cost because they are most probably occultists disguised as Christians. We may share our dream with others, of course, but we must personally seek God and hear from Him before we believe anything, or act on anything. God is the Only One Who can truly interpret dreams.
And so, it is real and Scriptural that God still speaks in dreams, nightmares, and visions. I have experienced this throughout my whole life and especially during my life in Christ. Even long before I knew Him, He spoke to me in one particular dream that I did not understand at the time, but which came true later in life. I also received testimonies that testify to this reality. Job 33:14-15 explains, “God may speak in one way, or in another… In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men while slumbering on their beds, He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction… to turn man from his deed and conceal pride from him. He keeps back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword.” God can also encourage us, explain puzzles to us, reveal impending evil to us, warn us against danger, and confirm His will like in Acts 18:9, when He spoke to Paul “in the night by a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, but speak…”
Even if a dream or vision confirms something we have prayed about like Paul obviously did, we must still wait on God to move us forward or open a door in His own time, otherwise, it was not from God. We should not be hasty or passively disobedient. For example, if we receive warning about an approaching danger, or someone dies in a dream, etcetera, we must earnestly pray for ourselves, that person, and everyone involved. But because dreams are mostly symbolical, it can also mean that God is telling us the "dying" person is leaving our life in some way, (like moving far away, or it is a spouse ensnared in adultery, a friend turning away from us...) and the person is therefore not literally in danger.
If we have a dream about someone else being in danger of sin, making a bad decision, etcetera, we must, after we prayed about it and the Holy Spirit still lays it on our heart, react in some way – as it will only be confirmation of something God has been telling that person. God always speaks to everyone first hand. If such a "word" is really from God and apparently comes as a big surprise to that person, he or she was either not listening to the Holy Spirit or refuses to admit that the "word" is true. Yet, it would be wise to share the dream with the person in any case – no matter the reaction we receive. We must always be more obedient to God than to man.