Bet the farm on it!
In 2003 my youngest son Jon called to tell me that he dreamed that he died and went to heaven. He said heaven was terrific fun and he had a blast. One of the highlights was spending time in a water park riding numerous water slides through various tunnels. He also dreamed that he and I had begun our own denomination called the “Evangelists”. Our new ministry’s numbers were larger than the Baptists, Methodists, etc. all put together and we conducted a large service on the beach in Los Angeles; 20,000 people attended, and all were lined up facing four different directions, north, south, east, and west. Huge big screens rolled down from the sky and our special guest speaker was Shaquille O’Neal.
After a period of time God told Jon he could not stay in heaven any longer and prepared to send him back to earth to rejoin his family and then he told him that I would die this coming Thursday. Jon told me, “I hate to tell you dad, but your days are surely numbered.”
I laughingly responded, “That’s okay son, I look forward to dying and entering heaven when it’s my time”.
He laughed and said that he dreamed that I would say that too.
Hmmm . . . What to make of this . . .
I read a book entitled, Babylon Rising, about old King Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel. The king had a dream, and no one could interpret it until Daniel came along and easily did so. I was thinking maybe I needed someone with Daniel’s dream-interpretive skills for Jon’s dream?
Let’s see, Jon died and went to heaven and sampled the water park, he was sent back with a message from God that I would die this coming Thursday; we would establish a very large denomination called the Evangelists and 20,000 worshippers would face four directions on the beach in L.A. at a large event we conducted, and there would be big screens in the sky and Shaq would be speaking . . .
Hmmm . . . What is the significance of the water slides? The Evangelists? The 20,000? Facing the four corners of the earth? Los Angeles? The beach? The big screens? Shaq? Me dying on Thursday – Why not on Sunday whereby I can complete the week?
Where is Daniel when you need him?
Hmmm . . . Do I need Daniel to interpret this dream?
Nope, I already know the essence of this dream.
Indigestion . . . Knowing Jon it was likely caused by too much pizza.
Dreams in the Bible served three purposes of which I’m aware:
- There were times when God used dreams to give warnings
- There were times when God used dreams to encourage
- There were times when God used dreams to reveal prophecy
So, do dreams come from God today?
As for warnings, God used dreams in the Bible, (primarily in the Old Testament), to warn men of sin and wrong, but today we have His completed word, the Holy Bible that will keep us from sin. The same holds true with encouragement. The Bible is full of encouragement and we don’t need dreams to be encouraged; we need only read the Bible to obtain all the encouragement that we will ever need. As for prophecy, dreams were often used by God to reveal prophecy, yet today we have within the word of God the revelation of the future events that God wants to make known to men. We already have everything we need in the Bible.
Hold that thought. Dreams are not over.
I’m writing a novel about the prophecy by Joel and later referred to by Peter when he spoke the following words: In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams (Acts 2:17).
God is speaking to people today through dreams. Consider the myriad of reports that are currently coming in from all over the world about Jesus revealing Himself in dreams to various people primarily in those societies closed to Christians that will not allow Bibles in their countries such as Pakistan, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia which persecute Christians. This is how God is revealing Himself to these people groups.
A very important point to remember about dreams however is that not every dream, vision, or premonition is from God, (even if they show supernatural evidence), and we should not merely assume that God is their source. This can be a very dangerous assumption. In 1 John 4:1 God instructs us to “Try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
I believe some dreams are from Satan and are sent to worry and discourage. One time my father dreamed that I committed suicide. He said it was the most disturbing dream he ever experienced, (which is understandable in light of his having lived through the horror of my only brother Jim’s suicide). I believe that evil dream was sent by Satan and its purpose was to torment this pitiable 92 year old man with worry.
If my son’s dream was sent to worry me about dying, it had just the opposite effect. It didn’t worry or torment me, because I rely upon my faith in God and His promise of allowing me to spend eternity in heaven with Him and others who love Him. I don’t want to leave until my purpose has been fulfilled; however, I relish the thought of heaven, (especially riding those water slides).
Until that wonderful day when it’s my turn to ride the merry-go-round, I’ll keep on trying to spread the good news, (Gospel), to those who want the peace of God that surpasses all understanding through Jesus Christ in their lives.
My favorite dream in the Bible is below! And you can bet the farm that it is the best dream, bar none, that anyone will ever dream.
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.