Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream last night, and no one here can tell me what it means. But I have heard that when you hear about a dream you can interpret it.” “It is beyond my power to do this,” Joseph replied. “But God can tell you what it means and set you at ease.” (Genesis 41:15-16 NLT)
Lately, we have had quite a few requests from readers asking for help with interpreting dreams. So, in this week's message, we will briefly write on this topic. We also are sharing a new vision from the Lord warning us against worldly dressing.
There are many teachings out there about dreams and visions in general, and some authors even attempt to provide interpretations and the purpose of today’s article is not to provide exhaustive information about this topic but to share from the Bible along with testimonies based on some of our experiences. The Lord Jesus Christ encourages us to exercise our faith when judging dreams and visions that are from Him; the content of some visions will always lead us to the Bible, and some visions are given in answer to our prayers.
From the Bible, we find some of the reasons the Lord God gives dreams and visions:
- To tell us of future events and reveal mysteries (Genesis 15:12-16; 39:7; 41:1-19; Daniel 2:29-45).
- To expose our sin and release us from captivity or bondage (Lamentations 2:14; Luke 4:18).
- To guide (Matthew 2:19-20).
- To rebuke (Genesis 20:3-7; Revelation 3:19).
- To give correction in truth (Acts 10:9-16; 34; 44-48).
- To warn (Matthew 2:12; 13) or caution (Genesis 31:24).
- To encourage and bless (1 Kings 3:5-15).
- To encourage (Genesis 31:10-13; Acts 18:9).
- To instruct and send for ministry work (Acts 9:10-18).
Worldly Dreams Vs Godly Dreams
Some Christian teachers have set themselves up as experts in dream interpretation. They have authored several books and charts with symbols, colors, numbers and their meanings, dream dictionaries for reference, etc. Unfortunately, many of these teachers have a tendency to share messages that “tickle ears”, and from our experience, trusting such teachers can open doors to receiving false dreams, especially in these last days (2 Timothy 4:3-4). We need to state that the Bible does use certain colors to communicate a message to us, but dreams and visions does not have a literal interpretation but spiritually. The bible is rich in using symbolic language and often dreams and visions are of a symbolic nature we must therefore pray earnestly to ask for the meaning of our dreams and not be tempted to go to others to give us a literal interpretation.
In the Bible, the people who are mentioned as having gifts in dream interpretation, for example, Joseph and Daniel, never claimed to interpret on their own authority or power, but they gave glory to God as the one who gives meanings to dreams. When King Nebuchadnezzar had a disturbing dream, he called magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers to interpret his dream (Daniel 2:2-3). He had required them to also first tell him what he dreamt first, so as to be sure that the interpretation he was getting was the true meaning (Daniel 2:6;9). When they refused and confessed they could not do what the king had asked, the king became very angry and put out a decree to kill all the wise men of Babylon (Daniel 2:11-13). When Daniel and his friends heard of the decree, they offered to help by praying to God and trusting Him to reveal the secret (Daniel 2:14-23). The Lord faithfully revealed the secret, and when the king asked Daniel if he was able to interpret the dream, Daniel responded by saying “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries…. ” (Daniel 2:25-28). Therefore, as Christians, the best way to receive the meaning of vision or dream is by looking to God for answers through faith and prayer.
As a ministry, we have collectively received countless dreams and visions from the Lord, and as we have shared previously, when the Lord does something the devil also wants to imitate and deceive (Exodus 7:11-12; 22). In February, 2010, about a month after the Lord first appeared to Charis, the Lord promised Brother Glenn a job and revealed the date on which be would be hired. Shortly after vision, one of Brother Glenn's daughters received a dream that he was going to die soon. Brother Glenn took the matter to the Lord, and after prayer, he discerned that the dream was not from the Lord as it was contrary to the Word the Lord had given earlier. Brother Glenn rebuked the devil in Jesus name and rejected the dream. About a week later, the Lord's vision and words regarding Brother Glenn's job were fulfilled, just as the Lord had revealed. Like the Egyptian magicians (Exodus 7:22), the devil wanted to display his power too, creating fear and doubt.
About a year prior to the Lord first appearing to the family, and when their walk with the Lord was still very lukewarm, Brother Glenn had many dreams promising him various jobs but none materialized, leaving him endlessly frustrated with the Lord. We can truthfully testify that prior to the encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ, back then our prayer lives and Bible reading were reduced to being occasional, and even our witnessing life was not according to God's purpose. The dreams we had prior to our experiences with the Lord were from the devil. Some of those dreams encouraged doing wrong things, lacked conviction and correction, and were meant to make us feel good without a godly direction. We strongly encourage you to measure the content of your dreams and visions based on your experiences and relationship with the Lord. If you are faithful in heart, prayer and conduct, you will experience and enjoy a great fellowship with God (Genesis 5:24). In addition, most dreams and visions we had were given to us just after prayers. Therefore, the more time you spend in the presence of the Lord and being obedient, the more you are likely to be used by the Lord. Many Christians lack discernment and are unable to distinguish which dreams are from the Lord, or from their own desires, or from the devil. Like we alluded above, godly dreams have a Scriptural connection and are given as an answer to prayers (Daniel 9:22-23). Additionally, some dreams and visions from the Lord will always be original, even if it is a confirmation on a certain matter.
A few years ago (in 2012 and 2013), as some of you might recall, there were lots of false prophets appearing, predicting mayhem and giving confirmations and agreement on some dreams that others had. As it turned out, they were all false dreams given by false prophets who were bent on complementing one another's 'revelations' (Jeremiah 23:30). Even though there are many false dreams and visions, we should pray for discernment. The Lord warns us not to treat godly prophecies (including dreams and visions) with contempt, but to test them, as these are ministry resource that reveal deep truths about the spiritual world and the will of God (1 Thessalonians 5:20-22).
False Dreams and Visions
Some dreams are meaningless and come because of what we are preoccupied in watching, reading, and talking about (Ecclesiastes 5:3; 5:7). You may be a person who keeps having a similar kind of dream over and over again, and you don’t know why. We need to pray for deliverance from demonic dreams, visions, and thoughts.
Some dreams are from Satan, and he intends to deceive, manipulate, and confuse the children of God (Jeremiah 23:13; 23:32). As a warning, there are many believers nowadays who prefer only to read and listen to prophetic dreams, visions, books, sermons and others testimonies. Although some are helpful and a source of encouragement, we must never neglect to build our houses on the Rock by making time to read the Bible daily (Matthew 4:4; Joshua 1:8). The Word of God is our anchor and the plumb line to use in testing all other literature, teachings, dreams and visions (1 Thessalonians 5:21; Luke 6:48; Acts 17:11). It is also a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path on which we must rely upon (Psalm 59:17; 119:105).
We had a sister who inquired of the Lord Jesus regarding a dream she thought was from Him and the Lord responded by saying the dream was not from Him but from Satan. The Lord taught us to pray for discernment that we may be able to discern truth from error. Another sister had learnt and was in a habit of demanding and begging daily in prayer for visions of Jesus Christ and disappointingly making comments such "I am having a dry season of not getting visions". This kind of attitude will earn you powerful delusions from Satan. When she inquired of the Lord through Charis regarding whether her dreams were from Him, the Lord said some of her dreams were from Satan. She was shocked and very embarrassed after having believed and shared some of those dreams with family and friends, but she humbly prayed and the Lord helped her test her dreams with Scripture. She realized she had been receiving various dreams of false Christs who would cunningly and smoothly say false things but also hug her, hold her hand, and show false love. Satan’s motive in such dreams is to deceive you into thinking you are pure and ready for the rapture. This was very disturbing and it is happening with many well-meaning children of God who are ignorantly sinning, including being engaged in the sin of idolatry (Exodus 20:4)! The enemy has given some brethren a false “Christ” of their imagination, whom they fellowship with in their dreams and imagine when they wake up and during prayer (Matthew 24:24). If this is you, please repent and fear the Lord God that you may escape Hell and divine embarrassment (2 Thessalonian 2:10-12; Jeremiah 10:14). The Lord Jesus Christ of the Bible will speak and appear according to His will and not according to ours.
Furthermore, please do not demand dreams and visions from the Lord, otherwise, you will set yourself up for deception from Satan.A certain man of God approached this ministry to inquire of the Lord by demanding visions. The Lord sharply rebuked him that he must not be demanding! Remember that we are saved by grace, through faith—and this is not from ourselves, it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8). We should therefore not base our faith on dreams and visions, but we should be encouraged to keep seeking and trusting the Lord by faith, remembering His promise that “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).
The Lord powerfully reveals Himself through His Word and in the Being Respectful article, we wrote about Honoring the Lord and showed from Scripture that the Lord is not a certain race (black, white, brown, etc.) but is now glorified and seated at the right hand of God (1 Corinthians 15:42-49; Acts 9:3; Revelation 1:12-16). If we are faithful, we will be changed into His likeness (1 Corinthians 15:49). Furthermore, the Lord is able to forgive you of your sins and He truly loves His children! He said “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” and if you overcome, you will be among those who behold Him in His awesome beauty (Isaiah 33:14-17)!
In conclusion, the Lord God uses dreams and visions for our good and interpretation comes from Him. However, the enemy is using them in an attempt to deceive and manipulate children of God. Let us, therefore, pray for discernment, use our faith is judging dreams from the Lord, and look to Him and His Word to help us learn the meaning. To receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, please start by praying this
Remain Steadfast in Your Faith!
Brother Abes, Sister Janet, and Brother Glenn van Rooyen.