“I will speak with him in a dream.”
The Bible explains that, “…Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard, bought him from the Ishmaelites, who had taken him there.” (Genesis 39:1) Potiphar was an Egyptian military captain who purchased young Joseph to serve him as a slave. The Bible explains, “The Lord was with Joseph….so [he] found favor in Potiphar’s sight and served him.” The military captain then, “…made him overseer of his house and all that he owned he put under his authority.” (Genesis 39:2-4)
With Daniel, not only did King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream have to be interpreted – but first the dream itself had to be revealed by God! Daniel was shown both the King’s lengthy dream and its meaning. The Bible recounts, “…the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.” (Daniel 2:19) He then humbly explained, “…there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days…” (Daniel 2:28)
The king was entrusted with amazing knowledge which extended far into the future. The “stone cut from the mountain without hands…” (Daniel 2:34) related specifically to the very distant future. The Bible declares, “and in the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed; and this kingdom will not be left to other people…it will stand forever.” (Daniel 2:44)
Centuries later, Jesus referred to that same spiritual kingdom when He prayed, “Thy kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” He also explained, “My kingdom is not of this world…” (John 18:36) Yes, beyond any question – God gave Daniel the understanding of a dream that stands alone in history! Over time, everything which he described to King Nebuchadnezzar fully came to pass. Today, in our era when the global message of God’s good news about His eternal kingdom has finally reached the entire world, then the end will come (see Matthew 24:14).
What does the Bible teach us about how God keeps speaking through dreams? Consider this seldom contemplated passage of Scripture, “God does speak to us, in one way or another, though no one perceives it. In a dream, a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on people, while they slumber in their beds, then He opens the ears of people, and horrifies them with warnings.” (Job 33:14-16)
Whenever the Holy Spirit specifically wants to teach, protect, or guide us using dreams remains a clear and very private means of communication. From the past, this is a widely known example, “…behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a Son; and you shall name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’ Now all this took place so that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet would be fulfilled: ‘Behold, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and they shall name Him Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us.’ And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he named Him Jesus.” (Matthew 1:20-23)
Clearly, from Peter’s first sermon delivered after the Lord’s resurrection; anointed dreams remain critical whenever God chooses to speak in that manner (See Acts 2:17). Peter points to Joel 2:28 which says, “It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your old men will have dreams, your young men will see visions.” We have been living in the last days since the birth of our Savior, so dreams are important as always, but they can also be counterfeited!
False teachers have frequently relied on Satanically produced dreams and counterfeit visions. Joseph Smith and the founder of Islam are both well known examples of this, as are the world’s many soothsayers. God clearly speaks about this saying, “‘Behold, I am against those who have prophesied false dreams,’ declares the Lord, ‘and described them leading My people astray by their lies and reckless boasting; yet I did not send them nor command them, nor do they provide this people the slightest benefit.’ declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:32)
By Billie Hanks Jr.