We all have dreams, and some of us have had visions. Science tells us that during our dream state, the brain is basically filing away the happenings of the day, categorizing everything – similar to the defrag and disk clean up function of our computers. But scripture indicates there are also other reasons for dreams and visions. From the book of Genesis, all the way through to Revelation, the Bible is full of references of dreams and visions used by God to communicate with mankind.
In the Old Testament, beginning with the patriarchs of Genesis, God often times gave His promises, and revealed the future of the descendants of Abraham, through dreams and visions. And think of all the prophets of the Old Testament who received instructions or prophecy through dreams and visions, of things happening not only in their day, but future events. Joseph was given a dream (Genesis 37:5) concerning a future time when his brothers would bow down to him. The king of Egypt was given a dream, which God interpreted through Joseph concerning a famine to last 7 years. Because of this dream, actions were taken to store up enough food to feed Egypt and surrounding nations during that horrific famine. In the book of Daniel (Dan. 1:17 – 2:45), Daniel was given understanding of all visions and dreams. He was used by God to interprets the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar. This dream reveals the succession of kingdoms that would reign from the Babylonian kingdom to when “the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed….” Dreams and visions are referenced throughout the Old Testament, but the New Testament also contains many such references.
The New Testament starts off in the book of Matthew with dreams given multiple times in relation to the birth of Jesus, and then to show Joseph what to do to protect the baby from those wishing to kill him. Look at the vision given to Peter, James, and John when Jesus took them up into a high mountain and was transfigured before them (Mark 9:2). Jesus told them to tell the vision to no one until after His resurrection. In addition to the time period when Jesus walked the earth, dreams and visions are referenced many times after His death, beginning in the book of Acts and continuing through the book of Revelation.
In Acts 2:17, Peter quoted the prophet Joel in explaining the miraculous events the people were witnessing – the powerful work of the Holy Spirit. “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. And on My servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” Peter reinterates what the prophets of old said – In the last days the Holy Spirit would be poured out on God’s servants. They will see dreams and visions.
Jesus told us part of what the Holy Spirit’s role in our lives would be. In John 14:26, Jesus said, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” In John 15:12-15, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth…..and he will tell you what is yet to come.” So the Holy Spirit will teach us all things, remind us of what Jesus said, guide us into all truth, and tell us what is yet to come! And Peter’s explaination to the crowd, that what they were witnessing on the day of Pentecost, was the move of the Holy Spirit, letting everyone know that in the last days, when the Holy Spirit is poured out – they should expect miraculous events like dreams and visions, correlates exactly with what Jesus foretold.
The Bible clearly shows God communicates with us through His Word, and sometimes that communication is through dreams and visions. From what scripture says, the move of the Holy Spirit in these last days will produce mighty signs and wonders, and His people will dream dreams and see visions. God is so good and merciful. He will not let His people be caught unaware – but the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth and show us things to come.
To Him Be the Glory!