Visions of the Night
Let me read you a few verses from the Book of Job:
“For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.
In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man”. Job 33: 15-17
My Sermon today is about DREAMS, and a Revelation that God
may have for you in a “Vision of the night”?
Something new is about to happen. God has promised that the glory of the latter house will exceed the glory of the former. Hag 2:9. The Church will not fade away and be pulled out of this age in a whimper. Instead, the Church is set for the greatest harvest of its history, a great and glorious outpouring of the Spirit of God will refresh, renew and reunite her in these times of what the Bible calls: the Latter Rains,
and God will speak powerfully again.
We Christians have been recreated, or reborn to know the voice of God.
Listen to what Jesus said in John 10:4-5
” And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers” … and in John 10:27
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me”
In this dispensation, the Holy Spirit dwells in you. He is there to
teach you everything you need to know as a Christian…
“But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you,
ye shall abide in him”. 1 John 2:27
Hearing the voice of God is vital not only for your own well-being and direction, but for me also as a Preacher, it is important that I hear from God every week, so that I can speak prophetically, practically and positively into your life. Why do I desire to hear a word from God? Would it not be easier to simply pass on my advise to you from years of experience and ministry? God has not promised to bless my words, nor indeed the words of any preacher, but he has promised to bless his own word!
Listen to what God says:
“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and
it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it”. Isaiah 55:11
God wants us to hear from him so that there might be:
“The perfecting of the Saints, the Edifying of the body
and the unity of the faith in his Church. Eph 4:12
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:” Eph 4:13. This will result in our gaining knowledge of Him, our growing up in the fullness of Christ, and our building of the
House of God. Do you share that dream?
So today as we reflect in this Sermon on Dreams which I’ve entitled
VISIONS OF THE NIGHT let us ask:
How can we tell when it is a Holy Vision and a Word from God and when it is not? For the answer, we need to ask some more questions.
(1) Does it line up with the Word of God? Prophecy you see will never contradict the written Word of God. Luke 21:33 says “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.”
(2) Does the prophesy come to pass? Deuteronomy 18:22 says “When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him”. (3) Is the prophesy meeting the condition? Jonah 1:2 says “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me”. Sometimes there are conditions to be met.
(4) Does it point you to God or to the enemy? Deuteronomy 13:5 says “And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God”
You see, it is a serious thing for someone to attempt to use their prophetic gift, their dreams and visions, to deliberately speak in a way to cause you to go in the wrong direction, do the wrong thing, or be deceived.
Note too that Prophecy can warn you of your sin.
The Lord sent Jonah to Nineveh because of their wickedness. He declared by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that the city would be overthrown in forty days. (Jonah 3:4) “And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown”.
God does speak to His children…Seek Him and you will find Him…
Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
Dreams and visions are one of the ways that God can speak to you…
He speaks to you sometimes whether you are awake or asleep.
Numbers 12:6 reads
“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”. God has been speaking to me and showing me things
in dreams for all of my life since I was a very small child.
Sometimes when we don’t understand what God is telling us in the Bible, or we are too stubborn to listen, God will speak to us in dreams… or He may make things clearer to us in these
visions of the night.
Look again at the words with which I began from Job 33:14-16
” For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.
In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction”
King David had God talking to him in visions…Psalms 89:19 says
“Then thou speaketh in visions to thy holy one, and said, I have
laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen
out of the people”.
You see, from the beginning, God has spoken THROUGH the prophets… but usually He spoke TO the prophets first in dreams and visions.
Some of God’s children, such has Daniel were gifted in knowing how to understand dreams and visions. They were particularly gifted in
that area or called to that gift.
Daniel 1:17 says “God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams“.
Now I know that there are those of you listening, who have told me that you never or seldom dream, and when you do, those dreams are usually
a mish-mash of unintelligible events which bear no resemblance to your life or living. That is true for many, and while God may not speak in dreams and vision to all, he does to many, and the reason is not always obvious: but more about this in a moment.
Sometimes the Lord will reveal to you what the devil has planned for you…So that you can use your authority to do something about it…
Daniel 2:28 reads “But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these“; Nebuchadnezzar was being warned of things to come!
These things were not readily understood from an intellectual or scientific perspective. So when it comes to dealing with things outside the realm of science or human knowledge, it is then that we need Divine Insight, then we need a word from God!
Incidentally you will only remember a dream if you wake out of it.
So what is a dream, and are there different types of dreams?
Here’s what the scholars think. They define dreams in this way:
“A dream is an activity of the human spirit which occurs in the sleep mode of the human body, senses and mind.”
This activity of the human spirit is characterized in two types:
The spirit’s imagination of the inner mind’s activities of the inward man. Now, I’ll explain further to you because the Bible tells us there is an inward man and there is an outward man.
So, the first type of dream is the spirit’s imaginations.
The inward man has imaginations.
And then the second type, is the actual encounters or experiences of the human spirit.
What I call an ordinary dream is that dream that is, more or less, the imaginations of your spirit in sleep, as I have said. But the dream that is more real, more meaningful to you, is when you wake up, it’s like you know that you know (that you know) that you did have this experience. In fact, sometimes, you wake up with the experience continuing with you. There are people who can give you stories of their experiences like this. I know what they are talking about for I too have had many an experience which is carried from the dream into the natural world.
I’ll show such a Biblical example of this in Samuels life in a moment.
This is the kind of dream that belongs in the second class of dreams; and that second class of dreams is the actual experience, the actual encounter of the human spirit. This is where God functions. For example, if God talks to your spirit while you are sleeping, you would know because it’s an actual encounter with God by your spirit; it’s not an imagination. God actually talked to you; He actually gave you a Revelation. You actually had an encounter an experience with him. And so, that experience goes with you— when you wake up, …
you know it because it was an experience of your spirit. And so, these two types of dreams are what we may experience regularly. And the second type, which is the real encounter of the human spirit, is not something that happens all the time. And while it doesn’t happen all the time, when it does happen, it’s very real! Some may ask:-
Does the devil get involved in this? The devil doesn’t get into your dream except you invite him. This is where divination comes in; it is when human beings try to interact with spiritual forces, especially evil spirits, and the Bible tells us not to do this—we must not do such things. I have discovered that the best way to keep the Devil out of your dreams is to ignore any evil or wicked dreams. Don’t ponder them and don’t talk about them, in other words, “don’t give them
the light of day”!
Now, let us move on and ponder instead the calling of Samuel, which we read about earlier in today’s service from 1 Samuel, Chapter 3:
Samuels experience of Gods call, began in a dream, but carried over from the spirit into the natural: – the voice he heard while asleep,
he then heard that same voice while awake.
It is interesting to notice here that at the time of Gods call, Samuel (it says) “did not yet know the Lord”. In Visions and Dreams, God can speak to people who as yet do not know Him, nor know His word. Here is proof! Many a man intoxicated with alcohol on his way home from the Pub has heard the voice of God, when he never heard, or listened to the voice of any Preacher. Some will argue that it was the alcohol talking or the hallucinations of intoxication, but I have personally witnessed the transformation in many lives, who were stopped one day along the dark road of life, by the voice of God, and thus brought
into His marvellous light and liberty by faith in Jesus Christ.
God spoke to Jacob through dreams…called visions of the night…
Genesis 46:2 says:
“God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob,
Jacob. And he said, Here am I”. ( and don’t forget Jacobs wrestling match at Penuel – Gen 32:31)
Time would not allow me to cover the vast expanse of Biblical Narrative concerning Dreams and Visions. You can read for yourself about Habakkuk, Hosea, Abram, Zacharias, Cornelius, Ananias, Paul at Macedonia, Moses at the Burning bush, Nathan the Prophet, Jacob, and his great dreaming son Joseph. (and the list goes on)
God gives his people many visions…many instructions…
Some like Cornelius may see Angels. Acts 10:3 or you may
be aware that Gods Angels are there ministering to your need.
An Angel appeared in a burning bush to Moses…
Exodus 3:2 says “And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
An Angel appeared to Nathan the Prophet, with a word for David…
yet many Christians today pooh-pooh the whole idea of “angels”
If you don’t believe in it, Gods word cannot work for you!
Now Visions and Dream cannot and should not ever be accepted as an alternative to our reading and learning from the Inspired Revelation
of the Word of God – the Bible. But I firmly believe that there ARE things that God needs to reveal to us, especially regarding our present or future circumstances, which are not written in Holy Scripture.
I thank God today, for the life giving and life saving effects of dreams and visions in my own life. Indeed I remember a Presbyterian Minister in County Tyrone tell how on one occasion that he awoke from a dream in which he saw his Church on fire. The dream disturbed him so much that he could not return to sleep. Tossing and turning in his bed, he felt that God was prompting him to go up to the Church and check that it was not actually on fire? So pulling on an overcoat over his pyjamas, he jumped into his car and drove the half mile or so to the nearby Church building. On his arrival he entered the Church by a small vestry door at the back, only to find to his horror that an electric heater had been left on and the carpet around it was already smouldering and smoking, just ready to burst into flames. Could God have shown him that picture in the Bible? NO. Yet in a dream, God opened his eyes and his understanding to prevent a disaster about to happen!
The Holy Spirits work in us, is to help us to anticipate evil and also prepare for good. Let me share with you what has happened in my own life. I have many, many stories of miraculous events which were prompted by dreams and visions, and to single one or two out is difficult for they are all amazing in their own way. Let me tell you about something that has just happened to me. About six weeks ago now, I was praying about a change of car. Unable to afford a brand new one, I had a talk with my Father in Heaven. I said “Father, you know that I need a replacement car, and you know where my new car is: So, Please Lord will you put us together?”
I prayed that prayer and went to bed. That night I had a dream in which I was driving a blue Jaguar. It was not a new car, but looked “like new”. I woke from the dream and remembered the wooden dash interior of the car, and the blue metallic colour. Later that morning remembering my dream, I downloaded from Jaguars Web site, a picture of a Blue Jaguar, and e-mailed or circulated it to some of my family and friends, with the attached note
“This is my new Car” just pray! Many of them jokingly replied “dream on!”
Several weeks passed and my old car was due to go to my Sister as a trade in for her, as I had promised her months ago. My friends asked, “what are you going to do without a car“? To which I replied
“I don’t know, but I am believing God to provide me with a replacement one, before I have to give up my present one“. On the day before I was due to hand over my car to my Sister in Bangor, I found out that a Jaguar car was on sale at a location which was near to her Garage man in Bangor. I thought immediately about my dream and also thought “a look at it won’t hurt,” even though I knew I could not afford to buy it? So I made the phone call to arrange a viewing,
only to discover that the car was not in Bangor, as advertised, but here in Banbridge, and just around the corner from where I live. To cut a long story shorter, that car is now mine, paid for, taxed and insured, and all a gift to me, from the God given prosperity that has flowed through others and to me! Praise God.
Has God been trying to get to you in a Dream or in a Vision to speak to you? If so, it may be really important that you do not ignore Him. Particularly if you have the same dream repeatedly or regularly.
Ask God in prayer to show you clearly what he is trying to reveal to you, God does not want you to be in the dark about His will. It may be that such a response could spare many of us unwelcome and unwanted headaches and heartaches? Some who fight their dreams are finding that they no longer sleep well. You cannot fight God
and win. Nothing beats God and nothing is bigger than God.
NOW THIS FINAL WORD.
Before her death in the German Concentration camp at Ravensbruck
Betsie ten Boom, dreamed of a large house in which she and her sister Corrie could help rehabilitate those who had been the victims of the brutality of the war. Betsie would say, “its such a large house, with tall, tall windows and a winding staircase” Although Betsie had never been to such a house, she spoke of that place as if
IT was the reality and the Prison camp a dream?
Sadly Betsie passed away and never got to realize her dream.
But after the war, her sister Corrie met an influential and wealthy widow, a Mrs Bierens de Haan from a suburb of Haarlem who offered her large house for the project. On the day that Corrie came to view the house she met Mrs de Hann at the end of the long drive.
They slowly walked towards the house admiring the expansive gardens and talking about the things that may be therapeutic – and that recuperating prisoners could do in that lovely setting.
A question formed in Corries mind ….“are there tall windows?” Corrie began, almost afraid to go on, and “is there a long winding staircase in the hallway?”
Looking at her in surprise Mrs de Haan replied: “Oh You’ve been here?” she asked? “No” said Corrie, not sure of what to say next.
“ I heard it from ….” she paused again not sure how to put it,
“from someone who’s been here!” said Mrs de Haan finishing the sentence. “Yes” replied Corrie “from someone who’s been here.”
In a Dream, a vision of the night, God had taken Betsie ten Boom
to that House and shown her that He had a plan for it in the days ahead, long after the war was over.
God may have a plan for you too, and he may show you that plan
in a dream. You should not be surprised if He does.
God Bless You: Amen