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Dreams, Visions, Prophecies, and Supposed Apparitions [podcast]

Remember that Jesus says that His sheep hear His voice (John 10:16). The point of this message is in no way to limit God or foolishly claim He no longer speaks to people in dreams, visions, or the vocal gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:7-10; Hebrews 13:8). Yet, today, most of those claiming to be getting words, visions, dreams, and prophecies, are not grounded in Christ and most of them make it abundantly obvious by their lack of preaching the essential doctrines of the original Gospel such as Christ’s cross, judgment, hell, repentance, the necessity for personal holiness, the return of Christ, and the crucified life – the cross life.

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:” Acts 2:17

IT’S SAD to see how many refer to and base things on their own dreams or things they claim “God showed” them – INSTEAD OF GROUNDING AND FOUNDING THEIR LIVES IN THE “MORE SURE WORD OF PROPHECY” which is the Holy Scriptures (2 Peter 1:12-21).

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:19-21

Yes as we read the words of 2 Peter 1:19-21…. part of it says “no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” When we trust God by learning, devouring, walking in and walking out His “MORE sure word of prophecy”, we are thereby grounded ever more deeply in Christ and will see little need to read prophecies, dreams, vision, words, etc. that come out daily by certain ministries/people (who seem to use this as a device to get people to patronize them). They are not sanctioned by God as are His holy written Word is – which is the “the MORE sure word of prophecy.” The Scriptures are already written saints. “ALL things that pertain unto life and godliness” are already on record in God’s Word (KJB). Beware of the “don’t put God in a box” deceivers.

“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:3-4

Doctrine is more important than gifts. God’s true people hear His voice primarily through His Word, sound doctrine (2 Timothy 3:16).

Beware of the “don’t put God in a box” deceivers. It’s a bunch of witchcraft. Anyone who uses the “put God in a box” deception, is simply looking to define Him anyway THEY wish, outside of what His Word clearly states. They are moral cowards who do not fear the LORD and are full of self while they use His holy name in vain by putting His name on things that violate the final divine authority of His Word. See Psalms 119:105; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21, etc.

The LORD defines Himself in His Word, period. Anyone teaching outside of His Word or contrary to it, is making a god in their own corrupt sinful image.

MANY are willing to give ear to any wolf who comes along with a staged “ministry” who is running their mouth, claims they have a word from God, a revelation, a dream, a vision, a promise, etc.  Beware.

God has given His people dreams since Genesis and still does today (Genesis 37; Acts 2:17, etc.). Yet a dream, in biblical definition, is from the LORD and for His glory and purpose (1 Corinthians 1:29-31). A dream, gift, vision, or prophecy from God is not for the self-serving purposes and agenda of men and women who are not crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20; 1 Peter 4:10-11). Many we see boasting of a dream, gift, or vision today are self-glorying. Beware.

The words “dream” or “dreams” are found nearly 100 times in the Bible and mostly in a positive way. Joseph dreamed. Daniel dreamed. Ezekiel dreamed. New Testament Joseph dreamed. Peter was given a dream/vision. The list goes on.

Self-serving people are lazy and therefore refuse to seek the LORD in His written Word. So, instead, they look for and rely on a “word” or dream, philosophy, or vision from a mere man. They are not “valiant for the truth” and God Himself will send them “strong delusion” and they will be “destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Jeremiah 9:3; Hosea 4:6; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).

ALL who run around looking for or give ear to the pathetic self-appointed, self-proclaimed “prophetic” witches and warlocks who are giving out “words” are not in God’s WORD for themselves and therefore turned over by God Himself to “strong delusion” so they will be “deceived” and ultimately “damned”“because they received not the love of the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).

The LORD tells you to get into HIS Word for yourself!

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

Note above that Paul instructed Timothy to study God’s Word – “You do it.”

“Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail …”   Isaiah 34:16

Are you looking for A WORD or THE WORD? If you aren’t looking for THE WRITTEN WORD, God is personally sending you a “strong delusion” so that you will be “deceived” by those who give “A WORD” and ultimately “damned” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).

“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:” Acts 2:17

WHAT is a dream, by definition? It’s GOD giving someone a vision supernaturally. Yet, today in the apostate modern church world we have self-serving counterfeits using the word “dream” to conjure up and confess all kinds of self-worshiping dreams.

If your foolish self-serving “dream” doesn’t include at it’s center to be crucified with Christ by daily dying, taking up the cross to follow Jesus for real, you are full of the devil and need to repent for real and get saved! (read Luke 9:23-24; 14:33; 17:33; John 12:23-25; 1 Corinthians 2:2 Galatians 2:20; 6:14, etc..)

Sharon Wylie Hagglov writes:

“Closed Bibles account for the famine in the land (Amos 8:11-13). The hunger for God can only be found in His Word ….not through revelations, visions, dreams.”

BEWARE of those who use the Bible for their own self-serving purposes as did Satan when tempting our LORD (Matthew 4:4). Hint: They sprinkle in Bible verses here or there, sometimes out of context, instead of simply preaching the written WORD as their whole message and only SCRIPT – GOD’s message. “You preach this Gospel JUST LIKE it’s written young man, you understand me!”

It’s real simple: Their message is the WORD and the written WORD only or they are false!

Do you remember that Satan used Scripture against Jesus in the temptation in the wilderness? (See Matthew 4.) Using Scripture alone is not an indication of a person of truth. We know this because Paul says MANY corrupt or twist and use Scripture to their own self-serving advantage (2 Corinthians 2:17).

“For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 2:17

Here are some Bible verses where God deals directly with the heart of the wicked imaginations of the un-repentant hearts of many who claim to know Him:

“But have walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them:” Jeremiah 9:14

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets (false leaders) that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth (written Word) of the LORD.” Jeremiah 23:16

“I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;” Jeremiah 23:25-26 

The true disciple is not overly impressed with a word, dream, or vision because he’s soundly grounded in the “MORE sure word of prophecy” (2 Peter 1:19-21).

IF what you call your vision or dream is not 100% biblical, it’s from the devil! Beware of your own deceitful heart! (See Jeremiah 17:9.) Dare we place the holy name of the LORD on our own evil imaginations?

“How long shall this be in the heart of the (false) prophets  that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;” Jeremiah 23:26

“But as for them whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 11:21

“Likewise, thou son of man, set thy face against the daughters of thy people, which prophesy out of their own heart; and prophesy thou against them,” Ezekiel 13:17

“That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.” Ezekiel 14:5

A true New Testament apostle or prophet first and foremost draws men to God’s WRITTEN Word which is the “MORE sure word of prophecy” – Having even more divine authority than the literal audible voice of the Father speaking from Heaven. Peer into that in 2 Peter 1:12-21.

Dreams in Biblical Context

It’s biblical for God to give people dreams, as He has done throughout biblical history. Dreams are biblical and yet, are dreams and visions to be relied on? Is the New Testament disciple to live by dreams and visions?


While we cannot factor out God using dreams, we must be keenly aware of the master counterfeiter, the chief deceiver of mankind.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” 1 Peter 5:8

We must know God’s Word and thereby not be “ignorant of his devices.”

“Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” 2 Corinthians 2:11

SOME who say they had a word or a dream or vision, seek to use those things as a tool to control, to manipulate others. But all dreams, visions, and prophetic words are subjective and must be tested in the Spirit and by the written Word. Beware. from a true Disciple: “Just because you had a dream or a vision, so you claim, changes nothing. I am standing on the Rock of Christ, His Word.”

God still gives visions to His people. Yet it’s for HIS Gospel, divine purpose, to establish His people in His kingdom truth. There is a difference between most visions “from God” claimed today and what we see in God’s Word. Beware. Test everything by the Word.

“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.” Acts 16:9 

“Help us” in this biblical context meant to “come and preach the Word to us.” Most who are claiming visions and dreams and words from God today are not simply preaching and teaching God’s Word because they are utterly false. And this is how we know they are false.

Jesus taught us that those who hear His written Word and obey Him in it, build their house on His rock which will stand forever (Matthew 7:21-29).

“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-34

“For we walk by faith, not by sight:” 2 Corinthians 5:7

It’s clear from Jesus’ interaction with Thomas that God aggrandizes faith.

“Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” John 20:29

Those who seek to live by signs and wonders are weak and foolish and not rooted in Christ by faith, which the LORD says is essential.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

Does faith come from dreams or visions?


“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17

Jesus’ twelve never asked for visions or dreams. Yet they did ask Jesus to increase their faith and for Him to teach them how to pray. Jesus readily answered the prayer requests His disciples asked Him for.

“And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.” Luke 17:5

“Lord, teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1

Those who have a vital relationship with Jesus, live according to His Word. They are grounded in a rich, abiding relationship with the Savior and so are not moved about with every wind of false doctrine that blows through the apostate modern church world (Ephesians 4:14). The words of God in the Bible are their life-giving final authority.

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalms 119:105

God may give dreams at times BUT they and EVERYTHING must be tested against Holy Scripture (Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1, etc.). Dreams are not necessary but the Bible is.

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try (test) the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1

Every doctrine and supposed vision or dream must be compared to what the whole of Scripture teaches:

“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:10-11

There are whole movements today which have manufactured groundless flakes, such as the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) cult. Beware.

BE careful with those who over-emphasize visions, dreams, and supposed appearances of Jesus. Listen closely please:

“Wherefore henceforth (from now on) know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.” 2 Corinthians 5:16

In the above verse, we read that we no longer know Jesus Christ after the flesh.

True disciples of Jesus are grounded in sound doctrine. Every rooted disciple of Christ is a student of the written Word of God which is the absolute final divine authority.

“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:15-17

In the above paramount Bible passage, we observe that God gave us His tangible written Word to teach us His wisdom, sound doctrine, instruction in His righteous ways, and make us thoroughly complete.

If you have a dream and that dream isn’t to see and obey Jesus then you’ve got the wrong dream and lack the Cross of Christ in your personal life to circumcise your heart.

“False Dreams”

ALL dreams are not from God. Yes He gives dreams – we see that from Genesis on. Yet, He says there are “false dreams” which are those which contradict revealed truth – in the written Word. Listen to God’s prophet:

“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.” Jeremiah 23:32

APPARENTLY, people can conjure up their own dreams, based on their own evil imaginations. Listen, especially to the end of this following verse:

“For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed.” Jeremiah 29:8

Dreams are used by wolves to deceive prey.

“I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. 26  How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; 27 Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.” Jeremiah 23:25-27

The written Word, we are told, is more divinely authoritative than the actual voice of the Father speaking audibly from Heaven. You will do well to pour prayerfully over 2 Peter 1:12-21.


“For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.” 2 Peter 2:18

There are lots of “fulfill your destiny” type themes in the modern church world to lure in the gullible… but it’s all self-centered and not Christ-centered. If it were according to the original Gospel, the destiny would be recognized as living a crucified life – consenting to death and burial of self, of the self-life, so Christ alone can reign! Just another cross-less heresy peddled by what Paul calls “enemies of the cross of Christ” (Philippians 3:18-19).

SO, they’re not preaching the cross – the crucified life – and you STILL can’t see they’re false? WOW!

Jesus calls all who will follow Him to die – to lay down your life and your will for His (Luke 9:23-24; John 5:30). This is what we are predestined to!

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son (the crucified Savior), that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:29

So many seek their own vision and destiny. There is NO cross in it. Jesus was fully submitted to His Father whereas most who use these buzz words today are not also preaching the essential cross, the crucified life.

These who chase destiny are missing the cross which is central to the Gospel, friend. Running around trying to fulfill our destiny is not of God. Laying down our lives – death and burial – assures us that GOD, not us, is leading and raising us up to do His will.

Jesus came to die and sent us to die, and if we don’t we are not following Him (Luke 9:23-24). Seeking our own destiny is the antitheses of dying – it’s completely self-serving.

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“Thank you for the article on ‘Dreams and Visions….’ So Good. Especially where you contrast ‘seeking after your destiny’ with ‘seeking to be crucified with Christ and raised with Him.’ Excellent.” Debbie Lord

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