Is there a scriptural basis for the widespread practice of sharing dreams?
I want to insert a disclaimer at the very beginning of this message, because, as I have in other articles, I am going to step on some toes, including my own. The grace of God covers us, and the Lord continues to intercede for us until we stand, perfected, in His presence. The remnant of the Church spread across America (and probably the world over) has been tricked into following some practices that open the door to deception and distraction from the work that the Lord is calling us to do in this hour.
There is nothing new under the sun, and something that amounts to a brand of divination has taken root among believers – that being the widespread sharing of dreams represented as messages from God about the coming Rapture. Some may indeed be genuine, but who can say? And what if they are not? I daresay many of us have been involved in this, and so are forgiven. I write this with condemnation for no one. People that I love, respect, and regard as my siblings in Christ have embraced these dreams of doubtful origin, and my purpose is to redirect them, and myself, and help to guide us all into the perfect will of God.
As we watch earnestly for our Lord’s soon return, many of us have felt transient encouragement as various ministries have shared their dreams in YouTube videos. The more encouraging the dream though, the greater the sense of disappointment and frustration when the indicated time frame passes and nothing happens. This practice is one that demands a high level of carefulness by both the dreamer and the recipients because every dream comes from one of three sources:
- A normal function of the human brain, which some studies have indicated contributes to healthy mental function.
- A word from almighty God or a message delivered by one of His messengers. Woo hoo!
- A message planted by the enemy to deceive, distract, or misdirect into a wrong focus: A lie.
Unless someone is delivering a word from God, the broadcasting of dreams is a pointless waste of time for the hearers, or worse, a nefarious message planted by the enemy; designed to deceive the very people that we desire to be blessed. What guidance can we find in scripture regarding the sharing of dreams?
“For the teraphim have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie; and they have told false dreams. They comfort in vain. Therefore they go their way like sheep. They are oppressed, because there is no shepherd.” Zech 10:2 WEB (Emphasis added)
The “teraphim” mentioned here were little household idols used in Zechariah’s day for predicting the future and providing comfort. Today’s functional equivalent is probably the smart phone in your hand, keeping the lies of social media ever before your eyes.
I selected this verse because I believe it gets to the heart of why these dream ministries can be so perilous for unbelievers, depriving or diverting them away from the Gospel of Grace; and such a dead-end for believers, leading them to focus on the date of the Rapture rather than on the Lord Himself. The key here is that “they are oppressed because there is no shepherd.”
Few, if any, of the self-appointed “watchmen” on the internet exercise their particular gift in submission to a shepherd, a pastor who is a bona fide man of God, or a group of elders. The apostate church, lured by the Nicolaitans, has strayed far from the order that God ordained for the Church, and discarded the five-fold ministries that were given by Christ at His ascension as gifts to men, to bring us up to the full stature of the man of Christ. The following passage explains exactly why this is so crucial:
“But to each one of us was the grace given according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Therefore he says, “When he ascended on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.”
“9 Now this, “He ascended,” what is it but that he also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things. 11 He gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, shepherds and teachers; 12 for the perfecting of the saints, to the work of serving, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a full grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we may no longer be children, tossed back and forth and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error; 15 but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, Christ; 16 from whom all the body, being fitted and knit together through that which every joint supplies, according to the working in measure of each individual part, makes the body increase to the building up of itself in love.” Eph 4:7-16 WEB (Emphasis added)
There it is, in black and green. This is the provision that Jesus made for the protection and growth of His Body. There isn’t a word there that doesn’t deserve to be in bold-face, or even burning 3D characters with fireworks shooting out of them, but this message is about protection from dreams of doubtful origin. At best, the main ministries that have survived from that list are shepherds and teachers.
I have seen a few evangelists ministering by the power of the Holy Spirit, but way too few, given the task before us. I don’t know of any apostles or prophets currently laboring in the Lord’s service, but if we need them and have faith, He will provide them. There is no scriptural authority for declaring that the five-fold ministries are obsolete or have otherwise been tossed out by the Lord.
What safeguards are now in place to ensure that we are getting a word from God and not a message from somewhere else? What is the scriptural authority, or example that legitimizes these dream ministries? What is the value of these dream ministries, and are the risks justified by the benefits?
As far as safeguards, I know of none. To my knowledge (and I am far from omniscient), none of the existing dream ministries exercise their gift in submission to a body of ministries that can confirm truths or detect errors. Most include a warning at the end of their presentation to advise the listener to use their discernment, but the majority of these dream recitals demonstrate little, if any, discernment exercised by the speaker.
This procedure is tantamount to someone passing out cookies and saying ‘You may get food poisoning from these, but remember, if you become deathly ill, I warned you’.
The result is akin to reading your daily horoscope, picking out things you like or think apply to you and ignoring stuff that doesn’t fit. So far, every prediction of the Rapture has been wrong. Were any of the dreams recorded in scripture ever wrong?
What about scriptural authority? What gifts are to be exercised within the Body? The issue is this: Are these dreams coming from the Holy Spirit?
“Now there are various kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are various kinds of service, and the same Lord. 6 There are various kinds of workings, but the same God, who works all things in all. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the profit of all. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom, and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit; 9 to another faith, by the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healings, by the same Spirit; 10 and to another workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discerning of spirits; to another different kinds of languages; and to another the interpretation of languages. 11 But the one and the same Spirit works all of these, distributing to each one separately as he desires.” 1 Cor 12:4-11 WEB (Emphasis added)
Let’s list those gifts:
Wow look at that: nine items! And those gifts are for the “manifestation of the Holy Spirit for the profit of all.” Is there any passage of scripture that says, ‘OK, forget about those gifts, the Holy Spirit has decided they’re no longer of value’? I can’t seem to find it anywhere. Even so, there are plenty of religious folks that will tell you the gifts of the Holy Spirit no longer exist or they’re just for those embarrassingly whacky, fallin’-on-the-floor Pentecostals.
Now, what is missing from that list? Hmmm, I don’t see dreams listed there… How about the New Testament? Do any of the Apostles record any of their dreams or the dreams of anyone in the churches? Or the whole Bible for that matter; dreams are mentioned but rarely, and they all have major prophetic significance or specific instruction for an individual or group.
Just where do the dreamers fit on that list? Are dreamers prophets? Whoa! Now we’re getting into some dangerous territory because the scriptures detail some heinous penalties for false prophets. Face it: Dreams originating from a source other than the Holy Spirit are nothing but an ego trip or divination, another condemned practice. King Saul lost his kingdom and his life when he sought to speak to the spirit of Samuel through a spirit medium, who was in the same neighborhood as the dream diviners.
Daniel dreamed, Jacob dreamed, Joseph dreamed; anyone else? Anyone in the New Testament dispensation? Mary’s Joseph was reassured of her virginity by an angel in a dream. Jesus’ parents were warned to flee with Him to Egypt. Peter dreamed about God’s acceptance of Gentiles (though they were not Kosher). Paul had a dream of a man calling him to come over to Macedonia. All these dreamers, and others not mentioned were given dreams from God for specific purposes, all of which promoted the will of God. Any personal benefits were secondary.
By contrast, the YouTube ministries of the past few years have tended to focus on the time of our escape from Earth. They have offered words of comfort, promising us release from the trials that God has ordained for us to walk through, though not in so many words. The fruit has been frustration, disappointment, and stunted spiritual growth. Instead of spreading the word of the wonderful free gift of salvation to unbelievers or refuting the liars promoting “another gospel,” most (not all) of them have supported believers in vain pursuits and selfish interests.
There have been some wonderful exceptions. One dear brother, who continues to focus on dreams and signs in what I suspect to be a futile effort to recapture the exciting days surrounding the Revelation 12 sign fervor, was the ministry through whom my wife and I learned the truth of eternal salvation: Once saved, always saved. His ministry sparks to life anytime he gets into sharing the Gospel, but those gems are now hidden among hours of pointless Rapture watching, which includes his dreams, some of which have been proven to be inaccurate. Sadly, he is squandering the platform which God gave him to speak the word of truth. No one is fed; no one is saved.
The YouTube dreams of recent years tended to confirm each other in disturbing ways. I’m back to treading on toes here, forgive me. At one point, after the Great Disappointment of September 23rd, 2017, people began dreaming about lemons, and then someone discovered that lemons were traditionally eaten in conjunction with one of the Jewish Feasts, and poof! You had a word from God, confirmed by two or three witnesses, that the Rapture was coming up during that approaching feast! That is the kind of echo chamber that Satan can create to deceive the saints when there are no shepherds.
Has Satan ever lied to you? Well, he lies to me all the time. He can lie to you in dreams as well. If he tells the same lie to multiple people in dreams, he has created an echo chamber where the deceptions reinforce each other. His purpose in that is to wear out the saints and get their focus off Jesus. That is the danger you encounter any time you stray from practices established in the word of God.
We have been told that every member has a gift from God that they can use to build up the Body, protect its members, and bring them to maturity. Some of these YouTube ‘dreamers’ have demonstrated the power of the Holy Spirit when they stop talking about their dreams and turn to scripture, speaking words of truth, spreading the Good News of salvation and the grace of God.
Is it possible that the dreams you receive from the Lord are just for you and your encouragement? I would say a resounding yes! The Lord knows our every need, and He cares for us in thoughtful and detailed ways that we can’t even grasp. When we need it, He sends us a glorious limpid blue sky or a spectacular golden sunrise. He shows off for us through His creation. He speaks words of encouragement to our hearts, though we hear no audible voice, and He can renew our strength through a dream. I have had dreams like that, but such dreams are likely not intended for publication.
Our wisest course lies in returning to the bedrock of scripture by embracing and submitting to the five-fold ministries given us by Christ and exercising whichever of the seven gifts granted to you by the Holy Spirit in submission to those ministries. The Lord will show you how to do this. The time of the fullness of the Gentiles approaches very quickly. That time will arrive soon when every Gentile destined to become a part of the Church has had the opportunity to either choose Jesus and His gift of salvation or to reject Him. God is speeding up the process.
Contrary to popular teaching, a massive revival among those who have rejected the Gospel of Grace will likely not ensue following the Rapture. The scriptures say that God will send a strong delusion so that if possible, the very elect might be deceived. People who have resisted God’s repeated calls to salvation will likely harden their hearts, not see the error of their ways. Time is running out.
We are leaving soon (praise God!) and we’re taking the Holy Spirit with us. The Holy Spirit is sealed in us, and together we constitute the restraining influence that is keeping Satan from launching his imitation of the coming Kingdom. Time is running out!
We have been irrevocably saved and the Holy Spirit is doing the perfecting work of sanctification within us. One of God’s primary purposes in this is to prepare us to serve Him and to serve His Body. It is our job to spread the Good News of salvation to those who have yet to hear it.
The Lord is looking for workers for the harvest. Instead, many believers sit idly at the departure gate, their bags packed, watching the departure screen to see when they will be taken. These dream “ministries” foster and support this tragically misplaced focus. Almost invariably, they operate without submission to any spiritual authority, a pastor or group of elders, and thus are a law unto themselves, having no spiritual covering or protection. The dissemination of dreams by such a channel, unguarded by any authority in the Body of Christ, is not only almost certainly a waste of time, but a likely target to relay messages from the enemy.
I do not condemn these brothers and sisters, but in love and with gentleness beg them to redirect their energies into sharing the Gospel of Salvation through Jesus Christ. Teach those new in the faith of the wondrous transformative power of the work of sanctification that is being done in them by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Assure them of their death with Christ and also their new life in Him.
Let people know what Jesus has done in your life! An ounce of testimony is worth a ton of preaching. It is His love that drew us to Him and your testimony about that love will be irresistible to those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. Keep your dreams to yourself and those close to you. Let’s focus on the Lord Jesus Christ! He is coming quickly!
- Adapted from #91237724/Jankovoy-adobe stock.com
- #190313860/Kevin Carden-adobe stock.com
- Adapted from #99533073/md3d-adobe stock.com
- Adapted from #99533044/md3d-adobe stock.com
- Don’t Mess With Israel by Greg Lauer @alittlestrength.com