Rabbi Schneider - Understanding Your Dreams
Shalom alechem, peace to you. There's a great song, perhaps some of you have heard it before. The English meaning of it is bring you peace. It goes like this, Hevenu shalom alechem. Hevenu shalom alechem. Hevenu shalom alechem. Hevenu shalom, shalom, shalom alechem. Hevenu shalom alechem. We had close to 100 thousand Nigerians singing that with me on Hanukkah, it was an incredible, surreal experience. We bring you peace today from Discovering the Jewish Jesus. Baruch Hashem, blessed be the name of the Lord. I'm in the middle of a series that I'm calling, "Prophesy, Dreams, and Visions".
Father we ask You to come and to speak to us by Your Spirit, draw us to Yourself. One of the most important things that we can consider as we're walking with God, is that God is speaking to His people every day. We don't have to wait to go to heaven to hear from God. God is always speaking. That's why the Holy Spirit came in Acts chapter 2, He came as a tongue of fire. Why when the Holy Spirit came did He manifest Himself as a tongue? What's a tongue? A tongue, beloved ones, is a speaking oracle. When Father sent us the Spirit and manifested Him as a tongue of fire, what Father was saying to us was, "Now that Jesus has died for you there's no longer any barrier between us and I am speaking to you now by My Spirit in love". So we have to have ears to hear. This is why Yeshua said in the book of Revelation, "He that has ears to hear let him hear".
God speaks to His people. He speaks by divine intuition, by simply being sensitive to the Holy Spirit within us we can feel it, it's intuitive. He speaks to us of course by the Word of God, as the Spirit of God places weight on the Word and manifest it or imparts it into our soul. He can speak to us through other people. He can speak to us through nature. But beloved, the Lord speaks to us powerfully also, through prophesy, dreams, and visions. Now last week I talked about prophesy and visions. I don't want to go over that today, because the primary focus of this series is on dreams. But I would encourage you, go back and get the first episode, because I explained what prophesy is in it's most basic form and show you how everybody that's born again prophecy's whether they know it or not.
And then I also talked last time about visions. Peter said that when the Spirit of God was poured out in Acts chapter 2, the result is that God's people whom the Spirit is poured out on, is that they will experience prophecy, dreams, and visions. He was quoting from Joel. Joel said in Joel chapter 2, that when the Spirit is poured out God's people will prophecy, they'll have dreams, and they'll see in the Spirit. They'll have visions. Then Peter quoted Joel chapter 2 in Acts 2 when the Spirit was poured out. So Peter said, "The time is here. The Spirit's been poured out. God is now speaking to His people. He's come as a tongue of fire and we'll experience Him now, because He is speaking to us through prophecy, dreams, and visions". So please I urge you, go back. You can go on YouTube, watch last week's episode.
I'm continuing on now, beloved ones, to focus specifically on dreams. I'm not talking about having a dream of what you want to accomplish in your life. I'm talking about God speaking to us when we're sleeping at night. Do you know when you do a survey through scripture, you will find that one of the most common ways from the very beginning of the Bible all the way through the New Testament, the Brit Chadashah, is that the Lord speaks to His people through their dreams at night; One of the most common ways in scripture that God speaks. If He did it then, is He still not doing it today? Of course He's doing it today, because God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. In fact we should even expect Him to be speaking more to us today through our dreams, because it's one of the giftings that we receive when we receive the Holy Spirit.
Again, according to Acts chapter 2. So what do we mean when we speak about having dreams at night. To have a dream at night from the Lord is when God comes to us in our sleep and He communicates to us through circumstances, through relationships, through other imagery, He communicates to us His will for our lives. Dreams can warn us, dreams can encourage us, dreams can talk to us about the future. We're gonna go through the various types of dreams that we see illustrated in scripture, then I'm gonna give some personal illustrations of how I have had dreams in these different areas, just to encourage you that you also can hear from God through your dreams at night. Now the Hebrew word for dream is chalom, chalom. And again, it's one of the most common ways we find from the very beginning, that the Lord has communicated to His people. They're sometimes called visions of the night. A dream is sometimes called in scripture, a vision of the night.
Let me give you an example of that from the book of Acts chapter 16 verse 9. "A vision appeared to Paul in the night". Notice, "A vision appeared to Paul in the night". And then we see in Acts 18:9, "And the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision". So visions, generally when we see the words, someone had a vision, when we see the word vision standing by itself, it's God communicating to someone while they're awake. But a vision of the night is a dream. It's when God comes to somebody in their sleep, presents Himself to them through different imagery in order to communicate to them.
I remember years ago while I was pastoring, just to give you an example of how this operates. I went to sleep one night and in my sleep I had a dream. And in the dream there was some people, they were in a circle and they had a ball and they were throwing the ball to each other. In other words, I had the ball in the dream and I threw it to this person. Someone else had the ball in the dream, they through it to this person somewhere else in the circle. So in the dream I see these people in a circle playing this ball game. Then I go up. I come into the circle and as soon as I come into the circle, bam! Immediately in the dream the ball came to me. But I didn't know what game they were playing. I didn't understand what the end game of the game was and I didn't understand what the rules were. So when I entered into the circle in the dream and immediately the ball came to me, I didn't know what to do with the ball.
So I looked to the person on the left and go, "What am I supposed to do? I don't know how to play this game". They wouldn't say anything to me. Then I looked to the person to the right of me. "I don't understand what I'm supposed to do with the ball. I've got the ball, but I don't know what to do with it". They wouldn't tell me. I got so frustrated that I put the ball down, in the dream, walked out of the circle and then the dream changed to the next scene. And in the next scene I'm in a mall, like a shopping mall. I'm still completely self absorbed and frustrated in my mind, in the dream, about what happened in this game where I didn't know how to play it and no one would tell me. I'm walking down the mall self absorbed and frustrated about the whole thing.
And as I'm walking down the mall I see somebody that I know. So I go up to this person that I knew and I said in my frustration, "I just was in this situation where they were playing this game". And I explained to them what had just happened to me. And the person said to me, "If you would have felt what was going on with the rest of the people in the circle you would have known what to do with the ball". So he was revealing to me, "You would have known what to do with the ball when you entered the circle and the ball came to you, if you would have been aware to feel what was going on with the rest of the people in the circle with you. And if you were aware of what was going on with the rest of the people in the circle with you, you would have known who to throw the ball to and when". And all of a sudden I woke up and it really disturbed me, in the sense I knew that the Lord had spoken to me, but I didn't understand it.
Well as I continued to pray about it, "Lord I believe that was You that spoke to me. What does that mean? What did it mean"? Then slowly the Holy Spirit began to intuitively cause me to understand the dream. And what He said to me was this, I intuitively knew. He said, "I was showing you how I want you to conduct the services where you are pastoring. I don't want you to go in and have such a rigid format of the way the service is gonna go, that you don't leave room for me to speak to you. Rather then being so rigid in the way you're orchestrating the service," the Holy Spirit was saying to me, "I want you to feel what's going on with everybody in the sanctuary. I want you to feel," He was saying to me, "What I'm doing with the people and then you'll know what to do with the ball. You'll know how to lead the services better. You'll be more in tune with what I'm doing in the present moment, rather than missing what I'm doing in the present moment, because you're so formatted on having this agenda that you do this and then you do this and this lasts this long and this lasts this long". It really changed the way I ministered. It completely changed the way I ministered. God speaks to us through, beloved, our dreams.
Not all dreams are from God. I've said this on Discovering the Jewish Jesus many times. When I first began to experience the supernatural in my life, whether it be dreams or some other type of supernatural phenomenon that I began to walk into over 30 years ago. I've known the Lord for 40 years, but about 30 years ago I really started entering in to a deeper experience with the supernatural presence of God in my life. What I had to learn was, not everything that's supernatural is from the Lord. In other words, the mistake that I made early on was, because I knew I was experiencing God supernaturally, I made the mistake of thinking that everything that was supernatural that was going on in my life was the Lord. And because of that I fell on my face. The Lord had to train me, discern me, help me to have discernment.
And so the same is true, beloved ones, when it speaks of dreams. The enemy also speaks in dreams. He gives us dreams about people that would want, his agenda is to try to divide us from people. I've had dreams about the most important people in my life and in the dream they're betraying me, there's suspicion that would arise because of the dream I had about the person. I realized that the enemy was wanting to sow division between me and the most important people in my life. So I had to be aware that just because I had a dream about such and such a person, it doesn't mean that the dream that I had about that person was from the Lord. And so I'm simply making the point that, we're gonna be studying dreams and how God speaks to us in our dreams. But I want you to be careful and understand that not every dream is from the Lord. And we need discernment and we need to be trained by the Holy Spirit, so that we can understand what dreams are from the Spirit of God and which dreams are not.
And the more experience we get and the more mature we become, the better we're able to discern which dreams are from the Lord, which dreams are from Hashem, which is just a Hebrew way of referring to God; which dreams are from the Lord, which dreams are from the devil, that cause fear, anxiety, division, suspicion, accusation, etc. Which dreams are from the enemy and which dreams, beloved ones, are just from the natural? In other words, our mind is faced with all types of stimulation in life and the mind continues to process these experiences. A lot of the dreams we have at night are just the mind still processing things that we experienced simply as a result of being human beings.
I would say in my own life, that most of the dreams that I have are just simply my natural mind processing. Some of the dreams are from the enemy. The smallest portion perhaps are from the Lord and yet I dream dreams from the Lord quite often. And I'm gonna share with you how you can hear God speaking in the night to you, how to capture what He's saying and how to alter your walk with him and align your steps so that you're living in tune with what He's speaking to you. Let me read you a scripture from the book of Job. Job chapter 33 verse 14-18. This is from Elihu. Elihu is speaking here in the book of Job. Elihu was the one couselor of Job's that was not rebuked.
Listen what Elihu said in Job chapter 33 verse 14-18. "Indeed God speaks once, or twice, yet no one notices it. In a dream". So what is he saying? God is speaking once, twice, but people aren't noticing. When is God speaking? Elihu says it's in their dreams. God's speaking to us in our dreams, but because we're not paying attention to our dreams, because we're not trying to capture the dreams, because we don't even have an awareness that God speaks to us in dreams, we don't notice. Listen again, "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, that He may turn man aside from his conduct, and keep man from pride; He keeps back his soul from the pit, and his life from passing over into Sheol".
God is speaking, but in order for us to benefit we have to know He speaks to us in our dreams, not miss it, not notice it as Elihu was describing; people aren't noticing. We need to listen, capture it, write it down, pray about it, ask our maker for the meaning of it, why He showed it to us, then come into alignment with it. And so doing we're gonna be blessed and our walk with Him, beloved ones, is going to be accelerated, because we'll be taking advantage of all that He's giving us, rather than missing it, as Elihu described. David said in Psalm number 16:7, "I will bless the Lord who has counseled me, indeed my mind instructs me in the night". David knew that God counseled him in the night.
Let me give you an example. Over several years I was focusing on doing ministry in a particular nation in Africa. We were experiencing crowds anywhere from 30 to a 100 thousand people per night. So I go into a city. It was the last city that I went to in this nation. As we entered the city for the first time, there were so many people on the streets waiting for us, it was surreal. I'm talking about thousands and thousands of people lining the streets waiting for my arrival. There was a military band. It was such a huge welcome. I said to myself, "If the amount of people that turned out at the actual crusade, which began the next day, is anywhere representative of how many people came to meet us and welcome us into the city; This is gonna be the biggest outreach we've done in this nation yet".
After the reception I have dinner, I go to the hotel, go to sleep. Right before I woke up the next morning, which was the morning before the first actual night of the evangelism outreach. Right before I woke up I had a dream. I saw in my dream a river. As I looked down the river there was this huge houseboat that had been grounded in the river. The river had become so shallow it could no longer support the weight of the houseboat and I saw that the houseboat was somehow mine. I looked this way down the river to see if I could somehow get free going that way. There was a waterfall. Then I looked back the direction of the way it came from. I saw there were big boulders. I didn't even know how the houseboat could have made it down the river so far with all these big boulders. Then I woke up and the dream was over.
Shortly after that my prayer minister came to my door and I'm awake now. And I said, "I just had this dream". I said, "I think God spoke to me and it has to do somehow with our outreach even there". So because the dream wasn't positive in the sense that the boats grounded, he began to rebuke it and prophesied that we were gonna have great meetings. Well we go to the first meeting. Only about 5 thousand people turned out. Remember we're used to seeing crowds of 30 to 100 thousand people a night. Next night we came, same thing, 5 thousand people. I said, "Well maybe on Saturday the crowds gonna really blow up, it's gonna be the weekend". What happened? Saturday crowd was about the same size. On my way to the crusade on Sunday the Holy Spirit spoke to me. He said to me, "That dream that I showed you". He said, "That boat that was grounded, what I was showing you is that your ministry has gone down this country as far as it can go. Your ministry can go no further in this country right now. It's stuck here. The country can no longer support your ministry. I'm opening up a door now for you in another country".
And I realized as a result of the dream and then what I saw by the size of the crowds that confirmed the dream, that God was directing me to focus some place else for the next year. The point was, just like Psalm 16:7, God instructed me in the night what to do. He will do the same for you. God will literally direct your paths and one of the ways, beloved one, He will do it is through your dreams at night. Pay attention. In Yeshua's name I command your ears to be open that you will receive more and be led in a greater way then ever before.