DREAMS AND VISIONS
By Capazin Thornton
Joel prophesied that God would pour out His Spirit in the last days on all flesh [not just prophets, priests, and kings]. “Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.” (Joel 2:28)
On the Day of Pentecost, approximately A.D. 30, suddenly a sound came from heaven like a mighty rushing wind. The Holy Spirit descended upon about 120 disciples in the upper room in Jerusalem. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in other tongues or languages and prophesied the marvelous works of God. On that day, the apostle Peter stood up and proclaimed, “this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel.” (Acts 2:1-15)
This advent of the Holy Spirit signified (1) the last days and (2) the beginning of an era when sons and daughters would prophesy, older people would dream dreams, and young people would see visions. We are in this era until Christ returns.
Dreams are like motion pictures (or commercials) we gaze at while we sleep. Sometimes we star in them. Joel’s prophecy, however, was not talking about ordinary dreams we all have induced by outward stimuli or activity of one’s soul.
Joel spoke of dreams from God. These dreams disclose something God wants to red flag for our attention—a warning, an instruction, a revelation, something about ourselves, someone else, or some part of God’s plan and purpose.
A vision is a supernatural sight that conveys a revelation of truth. One can be awake or asleep. And there are different kinds.
(1) An open eye vision. Here, one gazes with open eyes into the spirit realm. Here are two examples of being awake.
One time I was lying face down in my bedroom when the room suddenly filled with loud, angry evil spirits. It was so loud I thought my eardrums would burst. I kept saying “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” until the room emptied. I learned that calling on JESUS in times of trouble is more than enough.
(2) A trance. A trance is a state of suspended animation, where one is conscious but unaware of activity in the natural realm while seeing something unique in the spirit realm.
In Acts 10:9-10, Peter fell into a trance (Greek ekstasis, e’k-stä-sēs) from which we get the word ecstasy. It speaks of a state of amazement or astonishment. Peter later said, “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance, I saw a vision . . .” (Acts 11:5
In 1982, I went to the Museum of the Holocaust in Jerusalem. As I stood in front of a photograph of a concentration camp, I fell into a trance. It was as though my spirit had left my body and went inside the concentration camp in the picture. Just as supernaturally, about 45 minutes later, I found myself back in the Museum, standing next to Candice, my roommate, who had a similar experience during the tour. To this day, I have an unfailing love and compassion for the Jewish people and the nation of Israel.
God gives dreams and visions (revelations of truth) to comfort, build up, encourage, inspire, and motivate us to fulfill His will for our lives and generation.
What truth has God conveyed to you through a dream or vision? Please feel free to post your comments or questions.