Visions and Dreams-3

Posted By on Friday, April 27, 2018

Not all who claim to have God-given dreams can be trusted, however. The Bible warns against those who dream dreams and use them to turn us to other gods or false worship (Deuteronomy 13:1–3). The same passage shows that the dreams the Holy Spirit gives will cause us to love God and follow and obey Him. We can also apply what the Bible says about the congregation judging or weighing carefully manifestations of the gift of prophecy. That means seeing how they line up with Scripture as well as thinking about what God wants us to do about them. If they are truly God-given dreams, we should not treat them as if they are mere entertainment.

Vision (Hebrew, chazon) is derived from chazah, "to perceive, to foresee." It is sometimes a synonym for "dream." The corresponding Greek word in Acts, horaseis, means supernatural visions, usually meant to give a message to the public. Sometimes these bring symbolic pictures of the future, such as in Daniel’s dreams and visions in chapters 7–12, and Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones, where the dry bones represented the scattered people of Israel whom God would restore to their land, forgive, and put His Spirit in them (Ezekiel 37:1–14). These visions needed God-given interpretations. Joseph’s interpretation of the dreams of the cupbearer, baker, and Pharaoh (Genesis 40:9–41:30) were given him by God (Genesis 40:8; 41:16), as Joseph said, "Do not interpretations belong to God?" (Genesis 40:8). Daniel’s interpretations also came from God (Daniel 2:20–23), though sometimes God used the angel Gabriel to give him the meaning (Daniel 8:15–17; 9:21–23).

The same word for vision, chazon, is also used of God’s revelation in a whole book of the Bible, as in Isaiah 1:1; Obadiah 1; and Nahum 1. The word emphasizes that the entirety of the prophecy was a God-given, Spirit-inspired revelation. This is another indication that dreams and visions from God will always be in line with His Holy Word.