Rabbi Schneider - The Guiding Principles of Dreams
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So to begin today, we're gonna lay the two foundational Scriptures linking the Old and New Testaments together in this realm of Prophecy, Dreams and Visions by showing you the connection between Joel, chapter 2 in the Hebrew Bible, which we call the Tanakh, and what happed in Acts, chapter 2 at Pentecost. So I'm reading now in Joel, chapter number 2. Hear the Word of God as I begin now in verse number 28: And it will come about after this that I will pour out my Spirit on all mankind.
Now what's gonna happen, Joel tells us is that when God's Spirit is poured out in all mankind the result is gonna be, those whom the Spirit has been poured out on, will walk in the experience of prophecy, dreams and visions. So listen again: And It will come about after this that I will pour out my Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, there's prophesy or prophecy, your old men will dream dreams. We're talking about dreaming dreams at night, God speaking to us communicatively while we're sleeping at night. And your young men will see visions. So there you go, Joel, chapter 2, verse 28, prophecy, dreams and visions, when the Lord pours out his Spirit.
Now I'm turning over to show you the connection now, beloved, with this Scripture that we just looked at, how it's seen in the New Testament in Acts, chapter 2. Hear the Word of God now as I read in Acts, chapter 2, beginning in verse number 16: But this is what was spoken of, Peter says, through the Prophet Joel: And it will be in the last days, says God, that I will pour forth of my Spirit upon all mankind, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. So we see then, that in both the Hebrew Bible and in the New Testament that we call the Brit Chadashah, we find that the experience that we should be walking in, those of us whom the Spirit has been poured out on, is prophecy, dreams and visions.
Now on last week's broadcast I talked briefly about prophecy and dreams. I explained that the Hebrew word for prophecy or prophesy is naba, and it's meaning a bubbling up. And I explained that many times we prophesy without even knowing it. To prophesy simply means to speak by inspiration of the Spirit. I'm not gonna take time to review all that today. You can get the entire series through the contact information at the end of the broadcast. I also spoke last week on the theme of visions. The Hebrew word for visions is chazon. And I explained on last week's broadcast that most of the visions that we have, beloved, are very subtle. They're not like visions that you would think of that would overwhelm you.
Many times when people think about a vision, they think about an experience that's so overwhelming that you couldn't miss it. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Most visions that the Spirit communicates to us are subtle pictures that he places in our mind. You see, the Bible tells us that God most often does not speak in the earthquake. He doesn't speak in the fire. He doesn't speak in the violent or the spectacular, or the dramatic, but rather he speaks, beloved, most often, get it now, in a still, small voice. And so most of you, I would say, let me take that back and say every one of you that's walking with God has had a vision. But the problem is, is that sometimes we miss them. Some of you may have never known that the Lord has been speaking to you through word pictures that are visions, because you're not in tune with the ways of the Holy Spirit.
And I shared with you on last week's broadcast a very simple illustration from my wife's life recently. I could explain many situations in my own life in which the Lord has given me just a simple picture that he's flashed in my mind to communicate a truth to me, because a picture shares a thousand words. And if I wasn't paying attention I would have missed it altogether. I just would have thought nothing of it. I would have not grabbed it when it came. And as a result I would have lost the communication. You see, the Bible says that the Holy Spirit is knocking, but we need to be listening, and, and responding, and answering. And if we're not familiar with the ways of the Holy Spirit, we'll miss them. We'll think because it's not spectacular, because it's not dramatic, because it's not so powerful that it overwhelms us, we'll think it's just our own thought going through our mind.
We need to be, listen beloved, paying attention because to disregard these things is to disregard the voice of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is here with us communicating Jesus's purposes and heart and thoughts, beloved, for our lives. Some of you have heard me share the story of one time how I was sitting, contemplating a decision, and whether I should move forward with this decision. And as I was sitting, thinking about whether I should move forward with this decision, all of a sudden in my mind a picture flashed, and it was a picture of a joint like a knee, a knee ball going into its socket. And the, the knee ball, the ball of the knee fits perfectly into the socket for the knee, the joint, and the Lord, and I mean that was so far out of my normal thinking processes. I mean I'm not a doctor and I, you know, I don't read about those types of things, and haven't been looking at that type of material.
So it came from totally out of, you know, some place other than the origin of my own mind. And when the Lord did that he was showing me, yes, this decision is right for you to make. It fits for your life right now. It's a hand in a glove. But you know what, if I wasn't paying attention, because it wasn't overwhelming, I could have missed it. I could have missed the assurance that I gained by being aware of the ways that the Holy Spirit communicates to us today. And so remember, what did Peter say? What is happening now is that God's Spirit has been poured forth on those that are his, and the result is they'll be able to speak by inspiration of the Spirit, they'll be able to, that's prophesy. They'll be able to have visions which are generally just simple pictures that the Lord flashes in our mind. And he said they will dream dreams.
And I want to concentrate on dreams because the Lord has spoken, not only to me, but he has spoken to the people that wrote the Scripture through dreams at night more often than any other way. I'll challenge you, if you get a Bible concordance, or even go to Biblegateway.com, which is an online concordance, and look up the word dream or dreamed, you will find that the Lord speaks to his people in the Bible more through dreams at night than through any other one other channel. Dreams are very important. You see what happens is that when we're sleeping we're loosed from a lot of the things that we're connected to when we're awake.
In other words, when we're awake, we have a lot of responsibilities that we're thinking of. We have to get up in the morning. If you're a mom, you have to take care of your kids. If you're a wife you have to maybe make meals. If you go to work, I mean there's all these responsibilities that we have as, as, as human beings walking out our practical lifestyles upon the earth. And these, this bond that we have to the material world and the responsibilities connected with that, along with the fact that we've become so connected to what we see with our eyes, and what we hear with our ears, all these binding us to the natural material world. What happens is that when we're sleeping, we're loose from that connection to the material world in a very real way.
In other words, when I'm sleeping I'm not thinking that I gotta leave to get to this appointment in ten minutes. When I'm sleeping, I'm not thinking that I've gotta make the meal it's time to eat in 45 minutes. When I'm sleeping I'm not bound to I've got to complete this project, it's due by 1:00pm. And when I'm sleeping I'm not directly looking something with my, at something with my physical eyes that's binding me to that thing in the material world. When we're sleeping, beloved ones, we are in some measure, get it now, loosed from the material realm. And when we're loosed from that material realm to a, to certain degree while we're sleeping, that's above and beyond that which it is when we're awake. When we're loosed from the material world in our sleep, that is the place that the Lord will often times speak to us in our dreams.
I want to be very careful now to caution you by saying that most dreams are not from God. I want to be real careful because there's a danger in me bringing this message. The danger is, is that people are gonna take this message that God speaks to us in dreams, and they're gonna begin to think that every time they have a dream, it's from the Lord. And that can be extremely dangerous. So I want to be very cautious by saying up front that it's been my own experience, that it's been the experience of, of everyone that is familiar with this, that most of the dreams that we have are not from the Lord. Most dreams that we have are simply the out working of our mental processes of all the different stimuli that we've experienced in life; whether it's things that we've experienced in recent times, that our psyche is still processing. And sometimes we even have dreams about things that happened to us in the past, even when we were children. Our psyche is still processing those things.
So those dreams I'm saying are not directly from the Lord, although those types of dreams can be helpful because they help us to know what's really going on in our life. In other words, if we find our self dreaming about something that's distressing us or disturbing us, we shouldn't block it out of our mind, but we should ask our self, you know, what's really going on. Why am I dreaming about this thing? And then bring it to the Lord, because maybe the Lord wants to do something to bring healing, or maybe he wants you to take some type of action that will bring healing, or release or freedom. So don't disregard those dreams because they're not from God. Pay attention to them, but realize that those types of dreams are not the type of dreams that I'm speaking about right now. I'm wanting to zero in, in a few minutes on the dreams that directly come to us from the Lord.
So number 1, most dreams come from the out working of our own psyche processing the things that we've experienced through our journey in life. Secondly, dreams often times come from the enemy. We do live in a world of darkness, spiritual darkness, and the enemy responds. And as you're moving forward in your journey with God, I'm gonna tell you the enemy is gonna respond to that. And God doesn't protect us from feeling the response of the enemy. He does protect us completely. We are totally protected and secure and safe in Jesus. Yet the Lord also allows us to experience the war to a degree. That's why Paul said our fight, in the Book of Ephesians, is not against flesh and blood, but we wrestle, Paul said, against principalities and forces of spiritual wickedness.
And so when Paul said we wrestle against forces of darkness, if you're wrestling somebody you feel the opponent's strength. And so there is an element in which we are in a wrestling match in this world. And as we're moving forward with the Lord, beloved, the enemy's gonna respond to that. He's gonna try to stop us from moving forward in the Lord. And that disruption that he's gonna try to create, will happen, not only when we're awake, but will also happen when we're asleep. And sometimes, beloved, he will try to attack us in our dreams at night.
Now I hope that nobody's getting afraid. It's just the reality of life. We are in a war. And so some of the dreams that you're gonna have are gonna be the result of the realm of darkness trying to assault you, trying to stop you; the devil's mad. You know, the Bible says in the Book of Revelation that during the tribulation the Scripture says, woe to the earth for the devil was upon the earth with great wrath knowing that he has only a short time left. So the obvious implication is, is that, you know, there's gonna be a war on earth, and God's people and the people upon the earth are gonna be experience the rage of that war. I know I do in my own life, and I know often times when I'm making significant strides forward in the Lord, the enemy comes to me in my life at sleep, and he really tries to bring oppression, and torment, and distress. God allows us to go through the war.
And so sometimes you're gonna have dreams that are gonna be the result of darkness. And be careful because sometimes the devil will also try to bring destruction to you by causing you to think that a dream that you had is from the Lord. This sometimes happens in dreams about relationships. You may have a dream about somebody that you're in a relationship with, in whatever realm that relationship might be in. You might have a dream that, that person is gonna betray you, or that person has evil intentions toward you. Be careful because sometimes the Lord may be giving you revelation to help you to be prepared to live in victory in that relationship.
But sometimes, beloved, it's the enemy wanting you to distrust the person, and wanting to produce fear in you, and wanting you to get into division with that person because the enemy has come to steal, and kill, and destroy. Baruch Atah Adonai Melech Ha-olam Burey Peri Hagofen. Excuse me. And so I have noticed over the years that sometimes I'll have dreams about people that I'm in close relationship with. And I remember one dream about somebody that I had that I'm in close relationship with, and I dreamed that I was laying in the gutter, just completely wiped out and helpless. And I dreamed that this person was like walking above where I was laying and just looked at me and just walked right by, and could care less about me, was just moving on.
And of course, the devil was trying to get me to distrust this person. The devil was trying to get me to think that this person had an ill agenda. But it, it wasn't, if I would have believed it, it would have resulted in division in the relationship. But I recognized, you know what, that dream does not bear witness with everything else that I'm experiencing about this person, and about what I sense about this person's spirit about the history that we have together, and about what's happened since I've had that dream. And so I didn't allow that dream to cause me to become suspicious of this person, which would have created division. And of course that's what the devil wants to do. He wants to divide.
So again, beloved, just the introduction, some dreams come from our own psyche, some dreams come from the enemy, and we need to have discernment and we need to test the dreams. And a lot of times when a dream comes to us, we won't be sure where it's coming from. This is very natural. It's completely common that a lot of times you'll have a dream, you'll say God, I don't know if that dream was from you. I'm not sure if it was from you, if it was from my own psyche, if it was from the enemy; I'm not sure what it was. But what you do is you remember it. You mark it, and you try to not respond too much until the Lord brings witness one way or the other, or it just falls away, and, and, and you forget about it.
So sometimes you won't know. But moving on I want to talk to you, beloved, about the dreams that come to us, hallelujah, from the Lord. The reason that the Lord speaks to us in dreams, beloved, is to reveal mysteries to us. Now a mystery, scripturally, is not truth concealed, but truth that the Lord is revealing. And so when we speak about a mystery, what we're talking about, God revealing something to us that we couldn't know naturally. The Greek word is musterion, musterion, and it speaks to us of the Lord revealing something supernaturally to us that we could not know in the natural.
The Apostle Paul speaks about this in the Book of Ephesians, chapter number 3, verse number 3, when he says: That by revelation, the Book of Ephesians, chapter 3, verse 3, that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery as I wrote it before. He speaks about another place in the Book of Corinthians about the visions that he's had. Paul had dreams that led him on his, on his journeys and completing his assignment from the Lord. So Paul said that there was given to him revelation that was a mystery, truth that was revealed to him through the Holy Spirit that could not have been known in the natural realm. And so we're gonna be looking now as to how the Holy Spirit, and we're gonna look at examples in Scripture where the Holy Spirit has done this in the lives of the Biblical characters. And then we're gonna examine how he does this, beloved, in our lives, hallelujah, today.
And so I want to begin with the fact that sometimes the Lord will prepare us for the future by giving us a dream showing us the future. Now sometimes when the Lord gives us a dream that shows us the future, he's not telling us that, that future will absolutely come true, but he's telling us that if you go that direction this is what you future will be. And so we find that in the Book of Genesis, which we call in Hebrew, Bereshit, in the beginning, chapter number 15, Abraham has a dream. And in the dream the Lord shows him that Israel is going to be taken into bondage in Egypt. And so God gives Abraham a dream about Israel's future. So you know that having a dream about the future, beloved, it is a Biblical concept.
Now we're not talking about psychics, or fortune tellers or you know, we have nothing to do with any of that stuff. But on the other hand we don't want to get afraid. And because we're afraid, we, we allow the counterfeit to stop us from experiencing or from receiving, beloved, that which is authentic and genuine and is from the Lord. And so sometimes the Lord will prepare us for the future by revealing to us the future. You think, for example, of the Apostle Paul in the Book of Acts and how one of the prophets said to him, you know, you're gonna get to Jerusalem and they're gonna bind you there. And that's exactly what happened to Paul. And Paul said you know I'm not afraid of that. I'm not afraid even to lose my own life for the Lord Jesus. But the Bible tells in the Book of Acts that one time after another time the prophets were warning Paul of what was gonna happen to him in the future when he got to Jerusalem. And this was to prepare Paul for it when he got there.
Now I want you to be aware once again that if you have a dream about something bad in the future, don't necessarily accept that from the Lord because if it produces fear, beloved, that's not the fruit of the Holy Spirit. You know sometimes people have premonitions, you know, a premonition that something bad's gonna happen. That's usually not from the Holy Spirit. That's from the enemy trying to put people in a fear. So you need to have a high degree of discernment with this and this is something, beloved, that we grow into.
This is not something that we can have a mastery over and be a hundred percent sure about every experience right off the bat, but it's something that I want to help us to become more aware of; that the Holy Spirit is communicating to us the mysteries that the Holy, that, that the Lord wants to unveil to us to help us walk in his call, grow, grow in his love, and be prepared for life. And he's training us how, how to discern what's from him and what's not from him. So sometimes it will be, beloved, a revelation, hallelujah, of the future. I know the Lord really quickened me to this reality years ago back when I was in Bible School. And in this particular account I, a dog that we had lost, it was gone for months, I had forgotten about the dog, and all of a sudden I have a dream one night that we found my dog.
I wake up and my phone rings, in real life, and some guy calls me, a farmer, he had found my dog. And the point was is that the Lord was, he was quickening me to pay attention to him, that he can speak to me about the future; that he knows the future and to pay attention to my dreams. And the same is true, hallelujah, for you. I want to also explain to you, beloved, that sometimes through our dreams the Lord will bring encouragement to us; a Scriptural foundation for this because remember we're building all this on the firm foundation of the Word of God. Is in the Book of Genesis, chapter number 28, verse 10 through 16, where we have Jacob having a dream. And many of us know the story.
Jacob is running for his life. He's running, you know, really, he, he had lost everything because his brother Esau is gonna kill him. And you know in the day that Jacob lived it wasn't like you could just move to another city and get on the internet and quickly make new friends. I mean, you, you, you were born and died, you know, with the same people, in the same areas. Or if you were in a different area it was because you all traveled together. People didn't just leave their roots and go start a new life in another city. That's not the way that it was in the ancient world.
And so when Jacob in Bereshit, or Genesis, 28, had to leave his family and everybody that he knew and the place that he had grown up with because he was fleeing for his life from his brother Esau, this was extremely traumatic for him. And so he's running, and he's running through the desert, and all alone, I'm sure terrified, lost, lonely, not sure what the future holds. And in exhaustion he goes to sleep and he uses a rock as a pillow. I mean he must have been exhausted if he used a rock as a pillow, right.
And in that state he has a dream. Many of us know the dream. And he sees in the dream a ladder extending from where his head is laid to heaven, and he sees angels ascending up and down on the ladder. And he wakes up and he said surely God's in this place. In other words, God is with me and I didn't know it until I dreamed it. And so Jacob was able to receive the encouragement that God was with him in his journey; that he wasn't alone and everything was gonna be alright. And, beloved, the same thing he did for Jacob he can do for you and he can do for me.