What is a dream? According to the Cambridge Dictionary, it is “a series of events or images that happen in your mind when you are sleeping”. Does God use these series of events or images to speak to us? The short answer is yes.
Job 33:14-16 “For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. 15 In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; 16 Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction.”
The Bible is very clear, God speaks to us in dreams, however sometimes as humans we don’t even realize it. We just think “that was a weird dream”. There are a few things we need to understand before learning how to interpret our dreams. Firstly, let every word be established with two or three witnesses. Where else does the Bible say God gives us dreams?
Job 7:14 “Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions.”
Joel 2:28 “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:”
God gives dreams to prophets
Numbers 12:6 “And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.” Just because one receives a dream, it doesn’t make them a prophet; however, prophets will receive messages in dreams. Every prophet is a dreamer, but not every dreamer is a prophet.
Numbers 12:6-8 “And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. 7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. 8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?”
God gives dreams to kings
Daniel 2:1 “And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.” We see that the king of Babylon had a terrible dream, which was so terrible that his sleep broke from him. Today we’d consider it a nightmare. Just because the dream is so troubling that we wake up and call it a “nightmare”, doesn’t mean it’s not from God. If anything, it would indicate the dream is very important! How do we know this dream was from God? Daniel 2:45 “…the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” The dream of Nebuchadnezzar still plays a pivotal role in outlining world events even to this day.
God gives dreams to warn leaders or statesmen of things that will happen in their kingdom. Genesis 41:15 “And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it.” Without going into too much detail, the dream Pharaoh had was seven years of plenty were to be given to the land of Egypt to prepare for seven years of great famine. We know God gave him this dream because it says in Genesis 41:25 “And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, the dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do.” Meaning God has his hand fully involved in world events. This ministry is sure that right now as we speak there are statesmen, kings and politicians in high positions who are receiving very troubling dreams with no one to show them the interpretation. God shows these leaders these dreams so that they will know that He is God and to protect his people. One small decision of these people can affect millions of lives; hence God is very active in the high offices of Government. Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I change not…”, there is no doubt that the president of the USA, prime minister of the UK or even the prelates of Rome receive dreams from God to warn them not only of where they’re heading, but of what’s to come. Job 33:15;17 “In a dream … That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.” God doesn’t change, He did this in the past and He will do it till the end of time. In fact, before Jesus was crucified what did Pilate’s wife say? Matthew 27:19 “When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.” God tried to warn them killing Jesus was wrong and Pilate knew it was wrong. Matthew 27:24 “When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.” This was Pilate’s mistake which put him out of heaven. He knew what he was doing was wrong and received a dream right at the last minute to warn him, but he carried on anyway.
God gives dreams to unbelievers
Genesis 40:1-2;5 “And it came to pass after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker had offended their lord the king of Egypt. 2 And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers. 5 And they dreamed a dream both of them, each man his dream in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, which were bound in the prison.” Joseph explains these dreams are from God in Genesis 40:8 “…And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you.” Reading on, you will realize that the chief butler’s dream signified that he would be reinstated in three days, whereas the chief baker was to be hanged in three days. We can then conclude God warns unbelievers in dreams, but can you see a problem? If God gives the interpretation and they don’t read God’s Word, then they will never know what God is trying to say. In fact, they won’t think it’s God. They’ll think “oh it was just a dream”.
This is interesting because in 2020, regardless of the coronavirus, everyone could sense a shift in the world. Believer or unbeliever, everyone knew things won’t be the same. We are heading for the very end and God allowed people to dream many dreams during the lockdowns.
As usual, they try to naturalise it away. We will come to deciphering how to know if the dream is from God or not because, yes, the bible does confirm that not EVERY dream is from God.
God gives dreams to believers
Acts 16:9 “And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.” Sometimes in the Bible, dreams are called “night visions”. Isaiah 29:7 “And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her munition, and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision.”
In summary, God gives dreams to all men. Job 33:14-15 “For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream…”
Is every dream significant?
Ecclesiastes 5:3 “For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool's voice is known by multitude of words”. Sometimes in the busy bustling of life, one may have a troubled mind and it can reflect in your thoughts or in your dreams. Whilst it may not be a direct message from God, it can help to reveal what’s pressing on your mind.
Ecclesiastes 5:7 “For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.” Having repeated dreams is not how God typically works; God will give someone a memorable dream, of which they could even remember the details months or years later. The repeated dreams will usually be forgotten with the details lost. This isn’t to say God can’t repeat a specific dream, for instance as He did with Pharoah (Genesis 41), but multiple repeated dreams is not how He operates.
Can Satan give dreams?
Deuteronomy 13:1-3 “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; 3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” Sometimes in the false prophet’s lust for glory and honour, God will give up the false prophets to lying spirits (fallen angels). This allows the lying spirits to give these false prophets dreams. The humans think it’s from God, but God has given them up to Satan. To illustrate this, let’s look at what happened to king Ahab.
King Ahab wanted to go up to battle and wanted to consult his prophets. Deep down he knew that only Micaiah would tell him the truth as he was the only true prophet. Ahab’s heart was convicting him. Micaiah said he should go to battle, Ahab knew something was off, most likely from the tone of how Micaiah said it, an example: friend A asks B whether something would be a good idea. Friend B thinks it’s such a bad idea that he responds sarcastically “Yeah! That's a great idea!”. Friend A now knows it’s a terrible idea. Whilst this isn’t shown explicitly in the text, it’s clear when Micaiah said, “Go, and prosper: for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king” (1 Kings 22:15). Both Micaiah and Ahab knew he wasn’t being serious, because he said the exact same thing as the other prophets, Ahab can’t read minds. Most likely because of the tone or the body language of Micaiah, it prompted Ahab to press for the real answer, so Ahab knew Micaiah has a message for him. 1 Kings 22:16 “And the king said unto him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou tell me nothing but that which is true in the name of the Lord?” When the king says “how many times”, it gives us a glimpse into the relationship of king Ahab and Micaiah, because it means this isn’t the first time Ahab asks for the truth and Micaiah, knowing how stubborn the king is, replies in a way that they both know Micaiah isn’t being serious. Before this, all the prophets told Ahab that he would win in 1 Kings 22:12 “And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramothgilead, and prosper: for the Lord shall deliver it into the king's hand.” Now Micaiah gets serious and tells him why the prophets lied to him: 1 Kings 22:19-21 “And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. 20 And the Lord said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. 21 And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will persuade him.”
Note here Micaiah is relating a vision he had to king Ahab, a lying spirit (fallen angel) cannot literally go stand in the courts they’ve been banished from. Luke 10:18 “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” God nor the angels of heaven will go and tell Ahab a lie, because it’s impossible for God to lie. There is a dilemma here, God wants to tell Ahab the truth, but Ahab doesn’t want the truth, Ahab desperately wants a lie and God knows that. God needs someone to go and lie to Ahab to give him what he wants, because he desperately desires that. Unfortunately, we are told in Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that he should lie…”. God asks who will then go and lie and obviously this is where Satan is allowed to work. This is what the scriptures mean when one has been delivered to Satan. The person has rejected all truth and wants a lie, but God refuses to give them a lie, the only person who can step in to resolve this disconnect is Satan. Hence as humans we open ourselves up to Satan when we reject God and His truth.
1 Kings 22:22 “And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.”
Here, God just states the plain fact that the false prophecies the lying spirit will give to the prophets will work.
1 Kings 22:23 “Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee.”
The evil the Lord has spoken is what the inevitable result will be of Ahab’s disobedience to the truth; “Thou [lying spirit] shalt persuade him, and prevail also.”
We can conclude false prophets can then receive dreams and they can be inspired by Satan.
Jeremiah 23:32 “Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith 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, saith the Lord.” That’s why God warned not to follow “prophets” because of one sign, why? Because Satan can make educated guesses! If we as humans can predict one thing and sometimes get it right, then what about a super-intelligent being that has studied humans for 6000 years and seen the patterns of how humans behave? Speaking of Satan (symbolically as the prince of Tyrus) God says in Ezekiel 28:3 “Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee.” The difference between God and Satan is that God can predict everything correctly whereas Satan will be wrong, hence usually if a prophet says something that doesn’t come to pass, it’s the easiest way to see that there’s no divine power working in them. Therefore, many false prophets try to stay as vague as possible, it’s too risky to attempt to predict the future. Hence why Satan will inspire his false prophets to make one or two statements, but God makes His true prophets prophesy tens or hundreds of statements in sequence with details.
How do I decipher a dream from God?
Typically, when God gives a dream, it will use the same symbols of the Bible. Let’s take a look at an example dream: Daniel 7:1 “In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream and told the sum of the matters.” We go in-depth as to what this dream means in the study of the little horn. In short, Daniel saw four creatures come out of the sea, each beast represented a kingdom. Hence if you had a dream and you saw beasts walking out of the water, the Lord is trying to tell you about kingdoms arising out of densely populated regions. You’d take your dream back to the Bible and find out what the symbols mean i.e. beasts are nations/kingdoms - Daniel 7:17 “These great beasts, which are four, are four kings.” Waters are densely populated regions - Revelation 17:15 “…The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” The same symbols that make up the books of Revelation, Isaiah, Jeremiah, or any of the prophetic books is how God structures our dreams.
Examples of symbols one may see in a dream:
House - wisdom
Wind/tornado/whirlwind - destruction
Door - Jesus
Fountain of water - eternal life
Fire - the word, destruction
Bees - enemies
Dog - the wicked
Trees - God’s people
Cup - judgement
Flood - judgment/destruction of flesh, armies
Typically, colour is very key in the dream as well:
Red - war/sin
Purple - royalty
Blue - obedience
White - righteousness
Black - death/absence of God
A symbol can have more than one meaning and God will usually use symbols in your dreams. There are much more symbols and definitions which you can search for here, in the prophetic concordance. Attempt to write down the dream to assess whether it be of God or not.
I pray this study has blessed you and allows you to discover the personal messages God has given you but you “perceived it not”. Maranatha!