Rabbi Schneider - Prophetic Gifts of the Spirit
I have found over the forty plus years that I've been walking with the Lord, that the people that seem to be most excited about Yeshua, about Jesus, in their walk with God, are people that are experiencing God's activity, His presence, His supernatural, in their lives even now. You know David said if he didn't believe that he could experience the goodness of the Lord, listen, in the land of the living, meaning in his present life, he would have fainted. Some people think that all we can do in his life is you know study the Bible and go to church and we just have to wait to die and go to heaven to really experience God. But nothing could be further than the truth. God is here and He's now and He communicates with His people. And one of the primary ways, beloved, that He communicates with us that know him are through our dreams at night.
I want to take you now to the Hebrew prophet Joel and we're gonna look now at Joel chapter 2. I'm gonna be reading there beginning in verse number 27. I want you to listen carefully, because Peter is gonna quote this same passage of scripture in Acts chapter 2 when he talks about what took place when the Spirit of God fell at Pentecost, or we say in Hebrew Shavout. Hear the Word of God. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of the Lord abides forever. Beginning once again, Joel 2 verse 27. "Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and there is no other; and my people will never be put to shame. It will come about after this that I will pour forth My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days".
So the Lord is prophesying here through Joel about what He's gonna do in a last days movement by His Spirit. Now let's keep that in mind as we turn to the New Testament and we're going here to the book of Acts chapter number 2, the Brit Chadashah, the New Testament, Acts chapter 2. I'm gonna begin reading in verse 1. "When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place". I want to pause, because when we think of Pentecost, we think of the giving of God's Spirit that took place two thousand years ago as the believers were gathered together there in Jerusalem. But understand that these first believers, when they were gathered they didn't first think about the giving of the Spirit. They were thinking about what happened at Mount Sinai fifteen hundred years earlier, on this exact day.
In Judaism, in Hebrew, we refer to it as Shavout. The New Testament was written in Greek and so the Greek word for Shavout, the equivalent of it is Pentecost. Shavout meant weeks, because in the Torah there was a special day that took place seven weeks and a day after Passover. We simply say in the Greek Pentecost, which means fifty. In other words, seven weeks plus a day equal fifty. Well Pentecost equals fifty. I'm trying to make the point that often times Christians think that Pentecost is a New Testament holiday, when in fact Pentecost was rooted in the Torah.
So these new believers were gathered together in Jerusalem as they had been doing now for 1500 years, ever since this law, this holiday was given to them. And they were thinking as they were in Jerusalem, Acts chapter 2, they were thinking how 1500 years earlier the Lord had revealed Himself in glory on top of Mount Sinai and then He wrote His law on the tablets of stone. So while they are gathered thinking about this memory that happened 1500 years earlier, suddenly the same God that appeared at Mount Sinai writing His law on the tablets of stone, He manifest Himself again in glory, but this time He does it in tongues of fire and He writes His law in their hearts.
Now the reason I'm gonna continue to read here in a moment from Acts 2 and the reason we're going over Acts chapter 2, because in Acts 2 after the Spirit had fallen in the way that I just described, people didn't know what was going on. They had never seen anything like this before. The power of God's glory was so strong that people, it almost seemed like they were drunk the way they were moving around. They weren't standing up straight. They were so overwhelmed by what happened. Even as the priest couldn't stand when the glory of God filled the first temple, because of the weight of it. So the same type of phenomenon was happening here. People were like walking around like this, because of the weight. And some began to laugh at them and mock them and say, "Look at these guys, look like they're drunk". And then Peter stood up and he said, "These men are not drunk". "What you're seeing," Peter explained, "is what Joel prophesied in Joel chapter 2".
And then Peter quoted the scripture that I just got done reading for you from Joel chapter 2. So with that introduction let's continue to read now Acts chapter 2. I'm gonna begin again in verse number 1. "When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came a noise like a violent rushing wind, and filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit," the Ruach Hakodesh, as we say in Hebrew. The Ruach, the breath, the holy breath of life. "They were all filled with the Ruach Hakodesh and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, 'Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? How is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born?'"
And then the text continues in verse 12. "They all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, 'What does this mean?'" Listen now, "But others were mocking and saying, 'They are full of sweet wine'". Now listen what Peter does. "But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: 'Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for this is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of,'" get this now, "'through the prophet Joel'". And what Peter's gonna do now, is he's gonna quote from Joel chapter 2, as I got done stating and quoting earlier in the broadcast today. Hear it once again. Peter quotes it, verse 17. "'And it shall be in the last days,' God says, 'That I will pour fourth of My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men will dream dreams; even on My bondslaves, both men and women I will pour in those days forth of My Spirit".
And so the point that I'm making here is that both Peter and Joel said the same thing that relates to the topic of our message today, which is on dreams. What they both stated, Peter and Joel, is this, that when God's Spirit comes upon us one of the manifestations and the blessings that will come to us as believers for possessing God's Spirit is that we will dream dreams. Your old men will dream dreams. Now it's just not old men that dream dreams. Peter is speaking of all classes of people. All peoples will have the experience of being able to prophesy, which is simply to be able to speak by inspiration of the Spirit. I'll talk about that further. We'll be able to see in the Spirit. I'm gonna explain that, to see visions. And we will have dreams at night that will come from God that will direct us in life. And I'm gonna primarily be focusing in this series on dreams that we have at night. Once again, your old men will dream dreams.
Now I'm not talking here, just to be very explicit, I'm not talking about having a dream for your life. I'm not talking about someone says, "This is my dream. I want to go to this place on vacation" or "My dream job is this". We're not talking about those types of dreams. We're talking about supernatural presentations that come to us in the night by the Holy Spirit when we're sleeping, that reveal to us the things of God. Now before I get heavily into dreams I want to briefly cover the other two phenomenon that both Peter and Joel mention we will experience, because of the Spirit being poured out on our life. The three manifestations of the Spirit being poured on our life are prophesy, dreams, and visions. Right? Your young and old will prophesy, they'll speak by inspiration of the Spirit.
The Hebrew word for prophesy is naba. And the most elementary definition of this Hebrew word is simply, listen, to speak by inspiration of the Spirit. It doesn't have to be, "Thus sayeth the Lord". It doesn't have to be you know presented in such a mysterious way all the time. To speak by inspiration of the Lord can be something as profoundly simple as you're driving in your car and suddenly you feel this inspiration in your heart that you're supposed to reach out and call your mother and just ask her how she's doing, or you just feel this inspiration in your heart that you're supposed to reach out and call a friend and tell them that you love them or pray for them. Sometimes that inspiration is actually coming from the Spirit. So when you simply pick up the phone, because you feel inspired to. You dial the number of that person that you felt inspired to call and you just say, "I just felt like inspired to call you. I just want to tell you I love you. I want to find out how you're doing. I want to pray for you".
That my friend is prophesy in the most simple form. You're speaking by inspiration of the Spirit. You're calling somebody. You're saying, "I just wanted to reach out and tell you I love you. I was thinking about you". And you did that because the Holy Spirit inspired you to reach out and say that to that person.
Now obviously there are many different levels of prophesy. Prophesy can get very deep in terms of God giving you information about secrets in somebody's life and knowing those secrets and being able to speak to somebody about secrets in their life. We've heard of those types of things happening, that someone comes to somebody and shares with them something that no one knew about them but the Lord, but God gave them the Spirit of prophesy to be able to see that hidden mystery and then to speak to that person about that. And the result is, is that person that has been spoken to realized that God knows them and loves them and their heart is open up to receive God's love and to believe Him. In other words, if somebody calls me. Let me give you an example of a prophesy that came to me one time.
Years ago when my daughters first started driving I got panic stricken with fear every time they got in the car. What really set it off was my daughters got in two accidents. One daughter got in an accident and then she got in another accident a few days later. And those two accidents that happened, one which could have been very, very, serious, really put me in a state of fear whenever they got in the car driving. It got so bad. I was so paralyzed by this fear, that literally one day when my daughters went out the door together with my daughter driving. You know she's a young driver, just starting out, 16 years old. I was so afraid for their life. I didn't know what to do. I went to sleep in the middle of the afternoon, which is so unlike me. In my sleep I see myself, I'm dreaming now, but I see myself crying out to the congregation that I pastored at the time. And in my sleep I'm crying out to my congregation. I said, "Pray for me. I need you to pray for me". Then I wake up.
As soon as I wake up, now this is real life. I'm awake. My phone rings. It's somebody in my congregation and she says, "Rabbi," she left me a voice mail. She called me when I was sleeping; while I was in my sleep praying, crying out rather, while I was in my sleep crying out to my congregation, "Pray for me. I need your prayers". While I was sleeping somebody in my congregation in real life calls me, leaves me a voice message. She left me the voice message, because I didn't answer my phone, because I was sleeping. And she says to me, "Rabbi". She says, "I don't know what's going on, but I want you to know the Lord just put you right in front of my face". And she said, "I'm praying for you".
That was prophesy. She knew to pray for me and then she literally called me and said, "Rabbi I'm praying for you". At the same time right after probably in my sleep, in my dreams, I was calling out to my congregation, "I need you to pray for me". Speaking by inspiration of the Spirit. That woman called me and spoke to me by the inspiration of the Spirit. And so one of the effects of having God's Spirit poured out on us is that we speak by the inspiration of the Spirit. Sometimes you're speaking by inspiration of the Spirit, you're prophesying, you don't even know it. Again, there are other levels of prophesy. It has to do sometimes with being able to prophesy about the future. But I'm keeping things in a simple form right now. We all prophesy.
And then we find that the second characteristic, or the second benefit and blessing that we experience because God's Spirit has been poured out on us, is listen now, we see visions. And so the scripture says here, "That your young men shall see visions". Now when we think of seeing visions from God, we think for example of Isaiah and Isaiah chapter 6 where he was caught up to see in the spirit world. And he saw the Lord on His throne and it was so overwhelming to Isaiah that Isaiah fell to the ground and he cried out, "Woe is me". When we think of those visions for example, we think of some of the visions of Ezekiel, or we think about John in the book of Revelation where he's called up. In chapter 4 he sees the Lamb on the throne and he sees the incense and in chapters 4 and 5 and all these things going on there. And he's overwhelmed by it.
But I want you to know, beloved, most visions that God gives His people are very subtle. They're not visions that blow you over. They're visions that are subtle, that if you're not paying attention you'll miss them. You see generally God speaks not in an earthquake or a violent fire, but generally He speaks with the gentle wind. And so for example, you'll see a simple picture in your mind. A picture tells a 1,000 words.
Many years ago I was leading a prayer meeting and there was a man sitting across from me in the prayer meeting and all of a sudden I just saw a simple picture in my mind. It was so gentle. If I wasn't conscious and aware, I would have missed it. And I saw a hammer coming down on this guys head that was sitting across form me. And I said to him, I said, "Barry I don't know if this means anything, but I just saw a picture in my mind and the picture in my mind was I saw a hammer coming down on your head". And he said, "Rabbi I just found out today that I was getting sued". A hammer was coming down on his head. So when I said that to him he knew God must care. God must love me. God is with me in this. He sees what's going on. Because I was able to communicate that to him, he knew that God was fond of him, that God knew exactly what was going on in his life and God was with him through what he was going through.
So prophesy, dreams and visions. We've talked today a little bit about visions and about prophesy. But what I really want to center on, beloved one, in this series are receiving communication from the Lord through our dreams at night. Whether you know it or not you dream. I believe that by you sitting under the teaching in this series God is gonna open you up to better receive from Him in your sleep. He's gonna knock off your life what's preventing you from hearing Him speak to you in your sleep. And as a result you're gonna be guided in your life and directed by the Holy Spirit in a greater way. You don't want to miss this series, take notes, gather with friends to watch together. This is Rabbi Schneider saying I love you and until next time shalom.