Thursday, September 29, 2011

Are massive numbers of Muslims coming to Jesus through dreams?

Did you know that there are reports of massive amounts of Muslims coming to Christ without even having heard the Gospel? Yes. The reports say that they dream of Jesus and then they come to Christ. The website 'More Than Dreams,' which has recorded some of these testimonies says, "For decades, a phenomenon has been recurring in the Muslim world. Men and women – without any knowledge of the Gospel and without any contact with Christians – have been forever transformed after experiencing dreams and visions of Jesus Christ." There are many websites saying this, not just one.

Let's take a look at these claims.

First, as in any attempt to discern God's truth from personal claim, we hold the bible up as the absolute barometer. The bible is truth and nothing outside the bible can be said to be truth with the same certainty. Second, keep in mind that these are the end times, a time when the bible says we would be exposed to tremendous amounts of deception (1 Timothy 4:1; Matthew 24:5; Acts 20:29 etc). Third, subjective human experience is always the worst judge of reality. Always.

So let's take a look at Muslims and dreams. In general terms, do they discount them? Accept them? What's the deal here? In his paper, "Dream Encounters in Christian and Islamic Societies and Its Implications for Christian Ministry and Mission," John K., Th.M. wrote

"In Islamic societies, the importance of dreams and visionary experience there has been continuous from the tradition of Muhammad up to the present (Hermansen 1997: 2) Islamic literature lists over five thousand references alone devoted to dream interpretation. No wonder dreams continue to be highly respected as a means of divine communication among folk Muslims. Among Muslims, dreams are thought to warn against impending danger, guide him to a saint, solve judicial problems or interfere with political decisions (Schimmel 1980:123). Many Hadiths also show Muhammads expertise at dream interpretation. Good dreams are attributed to Allah but bad ones to Satan (Parshall 1994:154)."

So from the earliest age, a Muslim adherent is taught to accept dreams.

He continues, "Jesus is always identified as a Muslim prophet and this must be constantly borne in mind, for he is after all, a figure molded in an Islamic environment. ... among folk Muslims, Sufis and certain African societies where dreams are considered superior to reality." Maybe that is why this 'Jesus" is coming to Muslims and not Hindi or Buddhists or Mormons or atheists or Wiccans.

To the Muslim, our true God Jesus is named Isa. But their Isa did not die for sins, was not resurrected, is not a deity, was taken to heaven alive by Allah, and is second in command to the 12th Imam, the final Mahdi who comes to take over the world to present it to Allah for his coming. In their end time eschatology found in the Koran, Isa recants his Christianity and forces all to become Muslim. If they do not, their heads are chopped off. It is written in their book, "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the son of Maryam (`Isa) will shortly descend among you as a just ruler, and will break the cross, kill the pig and abolish the Jizyah." and also "And there is none of the People of the Scripture, but must believe in him, before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection, he will be a witness against them.)'' The Holy Quran, An-Nisa, 4:159So Isa will break the cross and kill the Christians (People of the Scripture.)

In many of these testimonies the Muslim says that it was Isa who came to tell them to repent. Jesus is Jesus and Isa is a false god created within a satanic false system. Just because they share the name does not mean they are the same. Because Jesus cannot lie, He would never identify Himself in any dream as Isa, a false god who recants His own death on the cross, breaks the cross, and kills his children! So any and all of those testimonies can be rejected immediately.

As for the rest, we look at the bible. Romans 1:18-20 says God revealed Himself in creation, so that all are without excuse. This verses mean that His omnipotence, creative power, and exercise of that power are obvious and evident. None who live on this planet will have an excuse to bear on judgment day. As Clarke's Commentary says, "The invisible things of him - His invisible perfections are manifested by his visible works, and may be apprehended by what he has made; ..."

Why would God use dream revelations when He has already made it clear that He exists through His work of creation, so much so, that all are without an excuse? He would not.

Next, the bible says that in these latter days God has spoken to us by His word, (Son). "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe." (Hebrews 1:1-2). Either you believe that or you do not. The Gospel of the holy bible is the only reliable barometer of truth, and yet many of these testimonies say that the Muslims are converting to Jesus worship 'without even having heard the Gospel.'

Matthew Henry Commentary says, "God spake to his ancient people at sundry times, through successive generations, and in divers manners, as he thought proper; sometimes by personal directions, sometimes by dreams, sometimes by visions, sometimes by Divine influences on the minds of the prophets. The gospel revelation is excellent above the former; in that it is a revelation which God has made by his Son."

Third, the bible says the canon is closed. It closed with Revelation 22:18-19. "I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book."

There's nothing more to add, period. Personal visits, dreams, extra revelations are not going to happen, and further, if anyone adds to them by claiming to have had them, they will endure the fury of the Lord. With the close of Revelation, the canon is closed. The gift of prophecy in its new revelatory sense is ended, no more prophets will speak, no more apostles will write, no more words will come from from heaven, no more spiritual visions will be seen. Those who tamper with truth, falsify it, mitigate its message, to alter it or going to feel the vengeance of God. Claiming that 'Isa' came to them and spoke truths lands squarely here in this list with plagues risked being added to you.

Therefore we must ask, "This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11). The verse does not say, "and will come also to Muslims in dreams, and give a tour of heaven to Colton Burpo, and take Mary K. Baker to hell and back..." The canon is closed and personal revelations are ceased. One-on-one visits from Jesus are to be looked upon with skepticism.

Note also that the verse says 'this SAME Jesus." Why? Is there a different Jesus? Yes. We are told that there will be false Jesuses. "For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many." (Mt 24:5). That verse seems tailor-made for the Muslim conversions.

A great many of the reporting agencies stating that the conversions are happening are in themselves false organizations. For example, one report is from Rick Love, formerly Director of the International Frontiers and now working with the Yale Reconciliation Project. The Yale project makes attempts to reconcile Muslims to Christians through their "common bond of their Abrahamic faiths." The writer of the paper I mentioned above called  Dream Encounters in Christian and Islamic Societies and Its Implications for Christian Ministry and Mission is a " Christian Missionary Leader for Muslims." The paper appeared www.global missiology.org. He concluded his paper by proposing that evangelists are missing an opportunity by failing to connect through dreams with Wiccans, New Agers, Muslims, Native Americans etc who rely so heavily on dreams. He called for "anthropological studies combined with missiological strategies" to further investigate.  Just because "missionaries" are reporting this phenomenon does not mean that the missionaries themselves have a true grasp of the Gospel or are even Christians.

Mormons have based their faith on dream and vision appearances from angel Moroni to Joseph Smith. "Smith claimed at the age of 15 to have had a personal visit from God, who introduced him to Christ. Jesus supposedly told him not to join any church because they were "all wrong ... all their creeds were an abomination in His sight, and that those professors (Christians) were all corrupt" (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith, 2:18-19)." Do we accept or reject Smith's dream, and if it is rejected, then why accept the Muslim dreams of Jesus appearing to them? And on what basis is one accepted and one rejected? You see the difficulty of sorting through validating this dream or that dream. Personal experience is no substitute for the bible.

Why do so many people accept personal testimony and not the word of God, especially when the testimony flies in the face of God's word? Why do we believe this method of conversion is true when the bible tells us that deception is rampant? At the end of days many will be deceived. Many will say to Jesus, 'Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in your name and drive out demons and perform miracles?' And He will send them away because they never knew the real Jesus, this SAME Jesus.

I can't say that all conversion dreams are false and I can't say that all visits from Jesus are untrue. But I can point you to the bible and give you verses which tell us things, and give you thoughts to ponder in discernment. All this personal revelation has the unfortunate effect of pointing people away from Scripture. It teaches them to seek truth through subjective ways like in private conversation with God, prophecies, dreams, and visions. It denigrates God’s eternal, inspired Word and causes people to look beyond the Bible for more intimate forms of revelation from God. New revelation, dreams, and visions are considered as binding on the believer’s, and the hearer's, conscience as the book of Acts or the Gospel of Matthew.

Personal experience is always to be looked upon with suspicion, and the bible is always to be held in highest truth. Beyond that, please use caution these days in deciding what to believe when you hear 'Muslims are coming to Christ through dreams."

23 comments :

  1. Wow, I am actually surprised.

    So, if a Muslim who has never read the Bible has a dream where Jesus tells him that He is God, then the Muslim comes to Jesus, gets a Bible, studies it, gets saved, and begins ministering to others, even risking his life--- it was from the devil?

    What I sent you were not people coming to some false Muslim demon named "Isa;" only those who come to our God.

    They are our brothers and sisters in the Lord.

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  2. So apparently you overlooked the whole discernment thing.

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  3. I was thinking about this. I have heard of this happening to buddhists, hindus...etc not just muslims.

    Anyway, I was wondering if someone seeing Jesus in a dream and revealing Himself is something new...to me it sounds like a revelation of what He has already proclaimed Himself to be in His word. I also don't see how the verse about God showing himself in nature and Christ revealing Himself to us means that He will not reveal Himself to humans in other ways....I don't want to argue about it or anything but it's just my thought about it. Only God knows if those dreams were from Him and if the conversions are real. All we can do is pray that people truly know Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit alone.

    Anyway, I really appreciate you even writing about this and hope the discussion provides everyone Godly wisdom into the matter.

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  4. In this New Testament age, He said He has already revealed Himself to us in the ways that He chose. Creation, and His son.

    I can't say that all of these conversions are false, as I said, because I don't know. But when we accept people's testimony of personal revelation through one-on-one visits with Jesus we open a huge can of worms. EXTREME skepticism should be employed because the bible tells us that false Christs will come and deceive many.

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  5. My aunt had a dream back in 1983, the year I was born, of an old man beckoning her to follow him. When she went out of a cave, she saw a field of white cotton. She saw forgiveness and accepted our Lord that year. She's never had a dream like that but I can tell it made a lasting impact on her. Her life has never been the same. Now, she and her family are involved in a mission to a dangerous Muslim country. I think we shouldn't judge too quickly regarding God's revelation. God, in His sovereignty, chooses to reveal Himself in various ways to people.

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  6. I'm really glad your Aunt is saved. Yet I find it amazing that people continue to put aside the bible's words for subjective experience. Yes God chose to reveal Himself in various ways, in the past. In these New Testament times, He said to us that He chose to reveal Himself in creation and through His son. Dreams are to be looked upon with suspicion. Yet people look at the bible with suspicion instead, and blindly accept dream experience as valid.

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  7. I wonder why the Bible says that faith comes by hearing the WORD if all one needs is a vision?

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  8. Good post, and an excellent and important topic that needs to be addressed. I've been disturbed by so many Christians blindly accepting these conversions as true, without testing the stories against Scripture. I have heard stories of Muslims who supposedly were reading the text of "Behold, I stand at the door and knock" (Rev. 3:20), then they hear a knock at their own door, open it, and Jesus is standing there. Really? REALLY?

    These conversion stories also never contain the actual Gospel. They are something to the effect of, "Jesus told me he loved me." Um...did he tell you that you are a sinner who needs to repent and put your full faith and trust in him for salvation? Because that's the Gospel that the real Jesus preached when He walked this earth! Many of these supposed "converted" Muslims also maintain that they are still Muslims, but now they believe in Jesus. Sorry, it doesn't work that way!

    As I said, I'm disturbed by the blind acceptance of these stories, especially be some prominent and influential leaders (for example, Joel Rosenberg has affirmed these some of these dreams and visions as being true). Thank you for addressing - with Scripture - something that we indeed must examine with great discernment. While we most certainly praise God for each and every salvation, we must ensure that they are true salvations, lest we allow these people to be deceived about their eternity.

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  9. I am confused. I looked at the More Than Dreams website that you posted. It said that they became Christians and they believe Jesus is God, not that he is a prophet.

    I am also confused, because I think you are saying that their dreams contradict or add to the Bible. Are you saying that their dreams that led them to a different type of Christianity than the Bible or a cult?

    Then at the end it you seemed to say that it is possible that it could be true that God is speaking to them in dreams, and they are becoming Christians. But we should be careful abot believing dreams are from God because they are not safe like the Bible.

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  10. Thanks for the great comments EBenz and Glenn. I appreciate your sensitive but accurate wisdom.

    Anonymous: It does sound like I am saying a lot, doesn't it? Here is the upshot. I can't say with 100% absolute certainty that 100% of these dreams are false or lead to false conclusions about God or false works in a misguided religion. Why? I don't know what is going on in peoples hearts and minds. Just as I can't say with 100% certainty that any particular saved person is really saved. Only Jesus knows the heart, the motivations, and the source of their faith.

    I am saying that the Word is the only reliable guide for truth and the Gospel is the only convicting method of succumbing to the Spirit.

    I am saying that the bible tells us that personal visits from Jesus have stopped. It tells us that dreams from Jesus have stopped. It tells us that God spoke to us through His creation and His son- who is the Word. (John 1:1-5).

    1 Thess 1:5a says because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also
    with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction..."

    The verse does not say "and with dreams".

    It says 'with conviction'. Conviction of what? Of our sins. Many of the Muslim dream testimonies talk about love and and caves and peace- but not conviction nor about sin. But only the Word is a two-edged sword--

    "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged
    sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (Hebrews 1:12). No dream does that to the same extent the Gospel does, yet many people say they believed on Jesus *without* knowing the Gospel. How is this possible? It isn't.

    Last, the bible does tell us that the end of days would be filled with deception. Just because you have a dream that "impacts" you does not mean it was from Jesus. Satan has a big impact too, and he has access to every unsaved person on earth.

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    1. If someone dreams about Jesus and is led to the Bible and its Eternal Truths, such a conversion is NOT SATANIC.

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    2. Amen, Anonymous Brother/Sister! Many, if not most, of the stories I have read during my research on this recount the dreams as a sort of introduction which then leads these precious children of God to seek out Christians to help them understand. Which leads them to the Bible. Which leads them to salvation. I believe (although I wish it weren't true) that those who are so dead-set against rejoicing at the salvation of these people vastly underestimate the depth of God's mercy in these last days and have set themselves up in their own eyes as being capable of knowing every last detail of his methods. Get over yourselves and rejoice with those who rejoice.

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    3. Both Anonymous commenters above, you might want to read a biblical proof-paper exploring whether these dreams are legitimate or not (not) by Pastor Dennis McBride of Bethany Bible Church in AZ.
      http://www.yoyomaster.com/ministry.file/IsaDreams.pdf

      Also look at the last comment below for a summation of why these dream-conversions originate from a source that is not the Holy Spirit.

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  11. The foundational Muslim doctrine is that there is only one God, and SPECIFICALLY that God has no Son, and SPECIFICALLY that Jesus is not the Son of God.

    I'm not sure about other countries, but in Singapore, if a Muslim was to convert to ANY other religion, he/she is expelled and condemn from the home (by the parents) and the Muslim community.
    I believe that in Middle Eastern countries, the penalty for converting is death or persecution.

    So, why would any Muslim want to risk that unless there is a strong conviction? By identifying Isa/Jesus as God, that is violating their foundational doctrine. It would be crazy for a Muslim to do that. It would be easier for these Muslims to say that dream is from Satan.
    Isa/Jesus/Yeshua, it is simply a translation issue.
    If I'm not wrong, the word "Allah" (meaning God) is found in the ARAB version of the BIBLE.

    Now consider this, why would Satan attempt to deceive the Muslims when just by doing nothing, they are condemned to hell anyway?
    Why would Satan cause these Muslims to have such dreams about Jesus and make the job of some missionaries easier?
    "If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?" (Matthew 12:26)

    In countries where bibles are banned/destroyed, do you think they have anyway to verify anything with the Word?

    You say "...It tells us that dreams from Jesus have stopped..."
    Then whatever happened to Acts 2:17 and Joel 2:28? (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.)

    I just want to say that God STILL send us dreams and visions, but every dream and vision needs to be tested against the Word.
    If you do not believe that God will use dreams and visions, then it will not happen to you. Read Matthew 13:58 (And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.)

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    1. Good one! Makes total sense. Amen.

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    2. God is not sending dreams and visions now. But satan is. God stopped the dreams and visions when He spoke His final word through His Son. Hebrews 1:1.

      Peter, who had the most glorious vision, said we have a MORE sure word (than visions). 2 Peter 1:19

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  12. Anonymous, as for the dreams and visions, I wrote about that here
    http://the-end-time.blogspot.com/2011/09/and-your-sons-and-daughters-will.html

    For the person who responds to the drawing of the Spirit toward Jesus, He finds a way to bring people or bibles to the person who needs them. People in Muslim countries might be in a religious prison of sorts, but God is higher than that and He sends a penitent person what they need in order to convert. He does not leave them bereft, clinging to scraps of dreams and personal experiences to tip them toward Him.

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  13. My belief is that the dreams and personal experiences are triggers/messages/warnings that turns people to God. AND dreams, visions, and personal experiences still do happen to day.

    However, dreams and personal experiences do not provide sufficient foundation for a person's faith. It must always be tested and be in line with the Word.
    Ultimately, a person still need the Bible.

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  14. I agree with every single word you wrote. Thanks for this, it was a very good piece of investigative journalism.

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  15. Ummmm...you seem to be forgetting that the Bible says that in the end times young and old men would have dreams and visions. As long as those visions are pointing TOWARD Christ and His Word, it sounds pretty biblical to me!

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    1. I am not forgetting that. The prophet Joel predicted an outpouring of visions, and this was confirmed by the apostle Peter in Acts chapter 2. That prophecy has already occurred. Then the dreams and visions stopped, as 1 Corinthians 13:8 says. They stopped because the bible is complete and all revelation is given in it. We do not need dreams and visions to tell us what God wants us to know anymore. We can just read the bible.

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  16. Let us not forget that the Bible contains everything God wants us to know, not everything there is to know. It's dangerous territory when you come even close to passing judgement on the salvation of another. That job's already been filled.

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    1. So Jesus is supposedly coming to Muslims in great numbers, in dreams. My first question is why Muslims? Why not Buddhists? Hindus? There are great difficulties in witnessing to those people groups as well, especially in Chinese-occupied Tibet. Does He not care about those people groups too?

      The second thing we need to ask is why at this particular time in redemptive history does Jesus personally intervene, especially when He said that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to draw all men to Him? (John 16:8) Is He now usurping the harmony of the Trinitarian complementariness of God's plan?

      Is Jesus changing the way that men must be saved, when initially He'd outlined the way in Romans 10:14-15 but now He comes to them in dreams, extant the bible??

      No, unfortunately these are extra-biblical experiences that arise from a source other than the Holy Spirit.

      Additionally, in Islam, good dreams come from Allah and bad dreams come from satan. How is a Muslim supposed to view a dream such as one that proposes they become apostate and accept Christianity? Obviously if they are a good muslim, they must view it as a bad dream sent by satan.

      The Prophet said, "A good dream is from Allah, and a bad or evil dream is from Satan; so if anyone of you has a bad dream of which he gets afraid, he should spit on his left side and should seek Refuge with Allah from its evil, for then it will not harm him." Volume 4, Book 54, Number 513: Narrated Abu Qatada:ï'

      So no, Anonymous, we do not pass judgment on a Muslim, that is to say, condemn them, because they are already condemned. As John 3:18 says

      Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

      We also do not believe in mystical experiences that propose a different method of being saved than the one already outlined in the bible. I agree, we do not know all there is to know, but what we should know is in the bible. If the Gospel delivered in dreams (often absent the sin part of the Gospel message) doesn't remain consistent with the bible then the means do not justify the ends. The dreams phenomenon fails the test.

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