Rabbi Schneider - Where Do Dreams Come From?
Jesus said, "my sheep hear my voice". Beloved, the experience of the heroes of faith that we celebrate, Peter, Paul, James, John, all the Biblical patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the prophets of the Hebrew Bible from Daniel to Amos, and we could go on, all of them, beloved, had a relationship with the Lord that was a reality for them. They were experiencing God in their life in a very real and in a very personal way. Although David studied the Scriptures and loved the Scriptures, he said Lord, I love thy Word. David kept on saying Lord, I love thy Word. But in addition to David studying the Scriptures, he also had an experiential relationship with God. Jesus was a reality to him.
And so beloved, David wrote the Psalm, for example, that said the LORD said to my Lord. David had a real experience where he was encountering God, as did all the heroes of faith that we read about in Scripture. What that says to us is that the Lord doesn't want us just to read about other people's experiences in Scripture. He wants you and I to experience Him in a very real and personal way for ourselves. One of the ways, beloved, that we can experience God personally, individually, on this earth is by paying attention to our dreams at night, because Scripture reveals to us that the Lord speaks to us in our dreams at night.
In Acts chapter 2 when the Holy Spirit fell, Peter, Kephas, stood up and said what you're witnessing is that the Holy Spirit of God that was prophesied by Joel that would be poured forth on all flesh has been poured out, and Peter said that one of the manifestations of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that God's people would experience would be that they would dream dreams at night. Peter quoted Joel in Acts 2 when he said the Spirit of God's poured as Joel has prophesied. He's been poured out on all flesh. And as a result, Peter said, your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. And he was talking about all classes of people. In other words, everyone whom the Spirit of God had been poured out upon would be seeing in the Spirit. I talked about that last broadcast, seeing in the Spirit, seeing visions. I talked about prophesying on one of the earlier broadcasts.
Today I'm going to be talking, beloved, about dreams. When I speak about a dream, I'm not speaking about having a dream or a goal of accomplishing something. I'm talking about the Lord speaking to you in your sleep. As I mentioned on an earlier broadcast, when we're sleeping, we are loosed to a degree from some of the things that we're connected to in the material world during the daytime. And it's in the state of sleep, this mystical state of sleep when we're loosed from some of the responsibilities of the material world, it's in this state of sleep that the Lord will oftentimes speak to us. One of the ways we know this is because when we do a survey through Scripture, we find that one of the most common ways that the Lord has communicated with his sons and daughters and servants from the very beginning, from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Daniel, we could go on to the New Testament, Joseph, Paul, we could go on, one of the most common ways and vehicles that the Lord speaks to his people through, beloved, is through dreams.
Now, let me say before we do a survey through the Scriptures showing many instances in which the Lord spoke to one of his children through a dream explaining the reason that he did and what was revealed in the dream and then taking application for those experiences that the Biblical patriarchs and those New Testament figures had and bring relevancy to our own lives, before we do that, I want to make it very clear that all dreams are not from God. I want to be very clear about this, because I don't want someone to think that just because they dream something, that it's from God. So I'm going to talk about the different ways in which dreams come to us. In other words, the different things that produce dreams.
I want to start out, beloved, with the most common reason that we dream. And the most common process of dreaming is simply the result of our mind processing information and experiences that we've had throughout our lives. And so when we sleep, we'll oftentimes be dreaming about things that we've experienced during the daytime. And not only things that we've experienced in the last 24 hours, but sometimes we're still having dreams about things that happened to us even when we were young children, things that we're still working through, things that produced some type of turmoil in our life, things that maybe produced some strong emotion in our life. So these experiences that we go through life are still being out worked within us through our dreams at night.
It's the natural process of the way God designed our bodies to function. And we need to be careful in discerning to realize that just because we dream something, it's not necessarily from the Lord. It may just be the natural processing of stimuli that we've picked up as we've journeyed through this life. I remember years ago when I wrestled all through high school. I was a high school wrestler. And oftentimes, the night before the wrestling match, the wrestling matches were usually on Friday night. But oftentimes on Thursday night I would dream that I lost the match the next day. Now, I could have thought, well, that's a prophetic dream, I'm going to lose. But the reality was usually I didn't lose. Usually by the grace of God I won. So that wasn't a prophetic dream. It was just a dream of my psyche processing the things that I was thinking about and processing my fears.
I remember years ago, my wife used to be an administrator of a nursing home, and the work was never done, and she felt like she could never catch up. And she would constantly be having dreams of all this work and her not being able to complete it and her being out of control. It wasn't a prophetic dream, beloved, children of God. It was just her mind processing and dealing with all the information that she was dealing with during her journey through life. So number one, most dreams that we have are simply the processing of information. These dreams, although they're not prophetic, are still valuable, because oftentimes they give us insight into what's going on in our life.
Sometimes our conscious mind won't allow us to think about what may really be troubling us or something that we need to deal with that for whatever reason we're trying to avoid dealing with. And through paying attention to our dreams, we'll oftentimes gain insight into what is really going on in our life. So I think it's important to pay attention to all our dreams. As I'm going to talk about at the end of this section, I think it's important to keep a dream journal and journal our dreams each day. I know that some of you think that you don't dream. Everybody dreams. And at the end of the broadcast, either this week or as I conclude this series, I'm going to talk about how to become more apt at recalling your dreams. But just simply through journaling your dreams, even if they're not prophetic, but just the processing of information, there's still value in that because you can learn, you know what?
I didn't realize I was struggling with this. I didn't realize this was an issue for me. I didn't realize I was afraid of this. And as a result of that, you can begin to face it, you can begin to pray to the Lord about it, and you can make adjustments in your life and grow and overcome through the process. So number one, first type of dreams, most common, simply the processing of information that we pick up through our journey in life. The second source that dreams come from, beloved, is the realm of the demonic. We live in a world of darkness. Some people say they believe in God, but they don't believe in the devil. Beloved, that's foolishness. Jesus, the first thing that happened to him when we came out of the Jordan River after the Spirit of God descended on him like a dove and he heard the voice and John the Baptist heard the voice, this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, the first thing the Spirit of God did was lead him into the wilderness, where he engaged in combat with the devil for forty days and forty nights.
The Scripture says that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. The Bible says that before Judas betrayed Jesus, the devil entered into him. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 6:12 our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and forces of spiritual wickedness. So we are dealing, beloved, with the demonic. We live in a world that's surrounded by darkness. And because of that, we are going to feel the influence of the darkness and the demonic realm that surrounds our life on this earth. We read that when Yeshua was born into the world in the book of Revelation that a dragon tried to swallow him up. There's an enemy of the people of God in this world. And beloved, we will feel the effect of that. That's why the Bible says we need to overcome. That's why Ephesians 6 tells us we need to put on our armor to resist the power and the assault of Satan. The devil, beloved, he will afflict God's people with demonic dreams.
Now, this is nothing to be afraid of. The reality of the devil is nothing to be afraid of. The realization, beloved, that he's going to try to inflict punishment on us or harm on us is nothing to be afraid of. Remember the Psalmist said, Psalm 23, lo, even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for the Lord is with me. We are in a battle. And as a result of that, our enemy, beloved, is going to sometimes be permitted to give us dreams of violence or foulness at night. And some of you can attest to the fact that you've had nightmares, you've had dreams at night. You know they weren't from God. You know they weren't even from your own psyche. They were too vile or too violent or too foul even to be from your own psyche. They were from the devil himself. And I have found in my own life, sometimes when I'm really making the most progress in my walk with God, sometimes when I've really taken some type of significant step of deeper sanctification by the grace of the Lord in my walk with him, it's sometimes during those seasons that I'll be assaulted most heavily by demonic forces at night.
I remember years ago, I was out ministering in a little church, and I remember I drove several hours to get to this little church. And I got there, there was, beloved, probably 20 people there. And I just said Lord, I just want to be here and serve these people, Father God. It's not about how many people are here. I just want to be a servant. And I poured my heart into this little flock. I ministered in the morning and then I ministered in the evening. I was just a servant of the Lord. Nothing in it for me. On the way back home as I was driving back to my home several hours away late that night after ministering in that Sunday evening service, I just felt peace in my heart just from simply being a servant. And beloved, that night when I got home and went to sleep, I had such demonic attacks all night long, one dream after another dream, just being attacked.
I remember one of the dreams, I literally saw these beings shooting at me, and I saw the shotgun pellets as I was dreaming going into my flesh, tearing my flesh out. It was just one harassment after another harassment, just a violent, demonic attack that went on all night long. It was clearly, beloved, the result of demons being upset with the building of God's kingdom. Even as once again they tried to swallow Jesus up when he was born, but couldn't do it, hallelujah, but they tried, so also, beloved, demon spirits will try to stop the servants of God. And I want you to know, sometimes people can get in agreement with demons, and as a result of that, the demons can be released from those people onto other human beings.
I remember years ago, and I don't say this proudly, but I remember years ago, back in the '80's I was pastoring this little church. And I went over to this one girl's house that was part of this church, this one lady's house. And my wife and I went over there. And this house, beloved, I mean, we're not the neatest people in the world. We've got kids, we've got a dog. We don't claim to be the most neatest people in the world. But this particular person's home was just excessively, it was so filled with junk. I mean, literally, you couldn't even find a place to sit down. I mean, the entire couch, all the chairs were stuffed with magazines and just debris, and literally it was so cluttered there wasn't even hardly place to move in this home. I mean, it was like way, way, way, way over the top, something really wrong. So that if somebody walked in the home that was an unbeliever and this person tried to witness to those people, that unbeliever would say there's no way I want what you have because I don't want what you've got. It was such a bad witness. The home was in total chaos.
So I said to this person, this individual, this lady as we were leaving her home, and I realize this isn't a Bible Scripture, and I probably wouldn't do it again, but I said to her, cleanliness is next to godliness. Well, I didn't think anything of it. I mean, I tried to say it in a gentle way. I was trying to encourage her to clean her home. And I went home without thinking anything of it. That night, I went to sleep. I was violently attacked by dreams one after another, violent dreams. Just attacked, just a violent, hostile, demonic attack on me as I was sleeping, one after another, just constant harassment. It was really, really powerful.
I woke up the next morning after this night of just total torment in the spirit, and when I woke up the next morning, as soon as I woke up, the phone rang. And what it was, was somebody in the congregation was calling me, telling me that this woman who I had made this comment to, cleanliness is next to godliness, she had called everybody in the congregation and was telling all these just outrageous lies about me, just total filth, not even an ounce of truth in them. But obviously, beloved, the demonic torment that I was going through that night was a result of demon spirits that were launched at me towards this woman's outrage. So I believe, beloved, that not only can we be attacked simply in the spiritual realm by demonic forces without the agency of any human being involved, I also believe that we can be attacked if somebody is in agreement with demons and their hostility is focused towards us, they become a conduit for demonic spirits to attack us.
Now, I want to say again that this is nothing to be afraid of, because greater is he that's in us than he that is in the world. But it is a reality we're in a war. So reviewing once again, we're talking about the Father speaking to us by his Spirit through dreams. We talked about, beloved, that we need to be careful, that just because you've had a dream, it doesn't mean it's from God. Maybe it was from your own psyche. Maybe it was from the demonic realm. But sometimes, beloved, and this is where I wanted to get to, the dreams that we have at night are actually from the Lord. And we need to be paying attention to this, because if we don't, beloved, we may miss, hallelujah, what the Lord is saying to us. And some of the most outstanding experiences I've had with the Lord, beloved, have been through experiences I've had with him as he's revealed himself to me in the night. And I'll be sharing some of those experiences over the next several broadcasts.
Some of you may have heard of a Christian doctor by the name of Ben Carson. Ben Carson is one of the most renowned surgeons in the world. He's a neurosurgeon. And in his book called Gifted Hands, Ben Carson tells a story. He was in med school. He was about to take an exam the next day. He was so overwhelmed and so behind in his studies, beloved, that he fell asleep while he was studying without even being able to get through the material so that he could be prepared to take the exam the next day. As he was sleeping that night, he had a dream. And in the dream, he saw the exam that he was about to take the next day. And not only that, in the dream he saw the answers. He saw the test and the answers of the exam he was going to take the next day in the classroom. He was astounded when he went to the classroom the next day, they put the test in front of him, and the same test that he saw in his dream the night before was what the professor literally put on his desk as he was taking the test.
And not only that, Ben Carson remembered the answers to the test from his dream the night before. And today he's one of the most respected neurosurgeons in the world. You can read about it in his book called Gifted Hands. You see, what the Lord does through dreams, beloved, is he reveals mysteries to us that we don't know by the natural, but he makes known to us through divine revelation. A mystery in the Biblical sense, beloved, is not something being concealed, but rather it is truth, hallelujah, being revealed. And so the Lord oftentimes, beloved, because he's a God of revelation, he will reveal those things to us that he wants us as his sons and daughters to perceive, and he'll do it oftentimes at night when we are most susceptible and most able to absorb that which he's wanting to reveal to us. And so what I'd like to do right now is to read you a Scripture from the book of Job.
Now, this is from the counselor called Elihu. He was the one counselor in Job's life that wasn't rebuked by the Lord. Remember, the Lord rebuked some of Job's counselors that was giving him bad advice. But not so with Elihu. Listen what the Lord says concerning Elihu. I'm reading now from the book of Job, chapter number 33. I'm going to be reading verses number 14 through verse number 18. Think about this now as it relates to your life. I'm going to begin in verse 14. He says indeed, God speaks once or twice, yet no one notices it, in a dream, a vision of the night.
Now, notice that Elihu calls a dream a vision of the night. Because you're going to see in Paul's life that the Lord also spoke to Paul in a dream. Paul calls it a vision of the night. A vision of the night is the same thing. Dreams and visions, beloved, are when the Lord opens up our supernatural senses to perceive something supernaturally that we would otherwise be unable to perceive. So a dream in Scripture is also called a vision of the night. So notice once again, verse 14, indeed, God speaks once or twice, yet no one notices it, in a dream, a vision of the night, when sound sleep falls on men, while they slumber in their beds. Then he opens the ears of men and seals their instruction.
And so what we're going to do is we're going to be going through several different incidences in Scripture where the Lord has spoken to his prophets, his servants, his sons and daughters in dreams. We're going to be looking at the different things that the Lord has revealed while people are sleeping, and then we're going to make application to the experience of the patriarchs, the prophets of old, and the figures of the New Testament. We're going to make application from the dreams that God has revealed to them to our own lives today, showing you that the Lord wants to reveal himself to you in your dreams the same way he revealed himself to the prophets, the patriarchs, and the figures of the New Testament of old.
So join me next week, beloved, as we go on a journey from Genesis all the way through the New Testament Scriptures examining how the Lord revealed himself to Abraham and Daniel and Joseph and Paul and Jacob, all of them in dreams, and the tremendous benefit that came to each one of these Biblical figures as they were able to perceive that the Lord had spoken to them in a dream, as they were able to receive it, beloved, and then act on it. Now, some of you are thinking, you know what? The Lord has never spoken to me in a dream.
Let's ask the Father right now, beloved, to begin to speak to you in greater ways than ever before through your dreams at night. Beloved, dreams are not just for a select few. They're for all God's children, because the purpose of dreams, beloved, is communication. And the Lord wants to communicate with all his sons and daughters. That's why the Holy Spirit revealed himself as a tongue of fire in Acts chapter 2, because now God is speaking to us individually and personally through his Holy Spirit.
So Father God, as we continue to press forward in the weeks ahead examining dreams, I pray, Father, that it will be broken bread for your children, that perhaps, Father, those that have never experienced, Father, a dream at night before that they knew was from you, for the first time they'll have a dream, Father, that they know is from you. A dream, Father, that might encourage, a dream that might warn them, a dream that might direct them, a dream that might reveal to them how much you love them, but that, Father God, your children would learn in a greater way than ever before how present you are, how real you are, how near you are, and that you're speaking to us today, Father God, the same way that you did, Father God, with Moses, face to face. God bless you, beloved. I want you to know the Father loves you, Yeshua loves you. Shalom.