|Elizaeth Prata, Dreams, 2003|
Until about about 100 years ago when the charismatic and experience-driven Azusa Street Revival broke out, these kind of ecstatic experiences never were part of a normal Christian working faith. Since 33 AD or certainly since 94 AD, the normal Christian did the 'boring things' of prayer, service, congregational worship, study, ministry, work, and family building. But why do all that when you can have an experience, hear God personally, and have His 'truth' plopped right down on your head and become famous over it?
The truth is, for 1900 years, dreams were not a part of the normal Christian expectation, and the following verses denounce, diminish and dismiss the experience of having a dream as important at all.
"Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities." (Jude 1:8)
MacArthur explains this verse:
"So what we have here then at best is that false teachers, now follow this, false teachers inevitably have to have a source for their deception. And they have to have a source that's believable. They have to have a source that has some authority, or that is convincing. So they can't just say, "I think..." They can't just say, "I feel..." They can't just say, "We've got a committee in our group and we came up with this deal." The really effective false teachers and apostates will inevitably tell you God communicates to them in secret ways, in their dreams, in their visions. These are revelatory experiences. Apostate false teachers from Joseph Smith to Benny Hinn and everybody in between claim that God speaks to them in their dreams, in their visions. And this, of course, transcends the necessity to be submissive to the Word of God which is not in their hearts anyway. And it gives them the illusion of authority and God gets blamed for all their aberrations. They reject the Word of God."
MacArthur calls those the 'terrorists of the church'.
"[ Paul's Visions and His Thorn ] I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord." (2 Corinthians 12:1)
Paul is telling the Corinthians of his troubles, and had just listed his persecutions. It was an incredible list, so incredible that it had all happened to one person, Paul said that God Himself is witness to it. And though it does no good, Paul said, he must go on telling them of his visions though it was not profitable, because it could tempt him to pride. However, the Corinthians' fascination with the false teachers' false visions and revelations left him little choice to tell what a real apostle who had real dreams and real revelations is all about. The point here is, there is nothing to be gained by telling of visions and dreams.
"Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about
|Gustav Klimt: Music, 1895|
This tells us that visions puff up and that going on about them would disqualify you! All that going on about dreams and visions do is spiritually intimidate the brethren! Don't fall for it!
"And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts," (2 Peter 1:19)
What Peter is saying here is that despite having seen the transfigured Jesus Himself prior to even the resurrection (!) Peter says there is something more sure than a powerful experience like that: the WORD.
"Literally the Greek order is this, "And we have more sure the prophetic word." More sure than what? More sure than experience, even the valid, genuine experience of the Apostles. Peter's reply to anyone who wants to question his experience is that there is a more reliable source, that is the Word of God. ... God Himself has repeatedly emphasized that the Word is a sufficient source of truth, the Word is in inerrant, the Word is in infallible, truth never to be questioned, and never to be helped along or validated, as it were, by experience."
Just because an experience may be credibly supernatural does not mean it came from God.
|Fazzini sculpture "Resurrection" @ Vatican|
Please do not listen to dreamers and people's retelling of visions. Please do not seek after dreams and visions. Do not undergo a trance in order to induce a dream or a vision. If you think you have had a supernatural dream, keep it to yourself, consult the bible to see if it is consistent with the more sure word. If it is, praise the Lord and go on about your business. If it is not, pray to be protected from satanic invasions such as that and then examine yourself to see if you are in the faith. (2 Corinthians 13:5).