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People have, over the years–following the completed Word of God, with its 66 books–made predictions based upon dreams and, less frequently, upon visions. Despite all of the twisting of logic and rewriting of historical record, both recent and of the past that is far removed from the present, the non-biblical dreams and visions have proved to be non-events.
Oh, people can find things supposedly fulfilled within the quatrains written by the French “seer” Nostradamus. His and others’ “prophesies” are declared by many as having come to pass, as demonstrated by the rise of Adolf Hitler and the advent of other “foretold” regimes and events.
I have heard stories of blazing fires in the major cities of the U.S., “prophesied” by both well-known and lesser-known preachers of various stripes. America was going to be judged and destroyed by God’s mighty hand in the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. Now there are predictions –and I get them constantly through e-mail–of the most horrendous fate imaginable for the United States, based upon dreams of the most detailed variety. As one example, dream date-setters missed January 23, 2006, on just such a prediction. A married couple saw at the time all of the things we’ve been warned about –American cities aflame, getting exactly what she deserves. They saw the dreams that were almost identical, so the story goes. January 23 of that year was to be America’s judgment day. Defenders of the couples missing the target proclaimed at the time that their appeals for prayers that the Lord would spare the nation and give America another chance were likely the reason the dreams didn’t become reality.
Now, folks, may I say this as gently as possible? What sort of fodder does such dream stuff –which is always claimed to emanate from the very throne of God—give Satan’s army in this fallen world that he so effectively rules already? Is it not time to stop disseminating these bad cases of nocturnal indigestion during somnolence –or whatever is prompting such utter nonsense? Do we never learn that these are not from the Lord our God, after every single one of the “prophecy–dreams” have failed to produce a single proof of their validity?
I get them every week. If every one I’ve been sent just since January 1 of this year came true within the time allotted, you wouldn’t be reading this. But, I wouldn’t be writing it, either! We would all be finished! A bit of prayerful and well-studied speculation is within the realm of being good “watchmen,” as Jesus exhorted in Mark 13: 37 and Luke 21: 28.
We are sometimes given insights –even “visions” that validate a Bible prophecy yet future, I’ve come to understand since my own near-death experience of Good Friday, April 22, 2011. In that case, the Holy Spirit has reinforced my understanding from the Bible that the Pre-Trib Rapture is the Truth regarding God’s future Plans for His Son’s Bride, the Church. (My book HeavenVision: Glimpses into Glory, details that fully-documented event in my life. Click here to view on Amazon.
But dreams and visions that are extra-biblical –that give some “prophetic utterance,” not found in the Bible, are not right to either issue or receive. They are either bad spaghetti, absolute falsehoods, or “dreams and visions” that emanate from somewhere other than from the throne room of God.
God’s “dreams and visions,” you see, ALWAYS COME TRUE! They do so through God’s Omniscient Foreknowledge and timing, not man’s!
My apologies for seeming to scream at you in this cyber text, but we’ve got to realize that dreams and visions that are not already in God’s Word–the Bible—are, well, not from His Son, Jesus Christ, the Living Word. His prophecy ALWAYS comes true –every time, without exception. And that prophecy is based upon the consistent principles laid out plainly in the Word He left us in the form of God’s great love letter, the Holy Bible.
“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: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 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. But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction” (2 Pet. 1: 19-2: 1).
I know the cry that will be forthcoming. “That same Bible says: ‘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).
Agreed. Very strong proof text that these dreams will again be in effect, following the Bible’s completion, when the last prophet wrote the last prophecy.
But, to understand Acts 2:17, we must also understand that the following, in this New Testament passage, is taken from the Old Testament, which puts it in proper context.
“And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: “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” (Joel 2:28).
This is what is meant by the above Scripture, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” Scripture must be interpreted by Scripture. Scripture must be looked at in total context; it cannot be dissected and used any way the user wishes.
So what does this earlier passage in Joel say, to give context to the latter in Acts? The key is given by the words: “And it shall come to pass afterward…” Specifically, the operative word is “afterward.”
The Word of God plainly teaches in the preceding 27 passages and before that the day of the Lord–the tribulation–must first have taken place. These wondrous “dreams and visions” for a time yet future are for the glorious days of the millennium!
Still, I realize I will get all kinds of arguments about this. So, let me just ask those who would do the rock throwing: “Where are your dreams and visions that have come 100 percent–or even 10 percent–true, by Bible standards, God’s standards?”
These exercises in hyperbole and sensationalism must stop, for the sake of the Gospel of Christ. Let us simply watch and try to determine the times and seasons we are in, so far as God’s prophetic timeline is concerned. But, let us do so through God’s microscope of Bible truth. Let’s not try to build personal reputations upon false prognostications –or bad pizza.