What does the Bible say about dreams?
The Bible is full of dreams and visions that God used to guide, encourage, or warn people. But what exactly is a vision? How is it different from a dream? Does God still use dreams today? This article will unpack the answers to these questions and more.
Christian quotes about dreams
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis
“The dream God has for your life is bigger than any dream you’re dreaming.”
“I have convenanted with my Lord that he should not send me visions or dreams or even angels. I am content with this gift of the Scriptures, which teaches and supplies all that is necessary, both for this life and that which is to come.” Martin Luther
“Faith is choosing and believing God’s dream for your life. Nothing starts happening in your life until you start dreaming. God gave you the ability to dream, to create, to imagine.” Rick Warren
“For the Christian, death is not the end of adventure but a doorway from a wold where dreams and adventures shrink, to a world where dreams and adventures forever expand.” Randy Alcorn
“Dream God-Sized dreams.”
What is the difference between visions and dreams?
Dreams happen when a person is asleep. Some dreams are just ordinary dreams with no particular meaning. Sometimes it’s your brain engaged in subconscious processing: sorting out a problem or dealing with emotions. This can be helpful and healing; it’s all part of the amazing way God created us. However, the Bible relates a kind of dream that was a direct message from God. The people remember the dream when they wake up (usually, except one time Daniel had to tell King Nebuchadnezzar what happened in his dream), and they know it has a special meaning from God.
Visions usually happen when a person is awake. In the Bible, people often had visions when they were worshiping or praying. For instance, John was worshiping in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day when he received the vision of the end times (Revelation 1:10). Zechariah was offering incense in the Temple’s sanctuary when he had the vision of the Angel Gabriel (Luke 1:5-25). Daniel was praying and petitioning God when the Angel Gabriel came to him (Daniel 9). Peter was on the rooftop praying when he fell into a trance (Acts 10:9-29).
However, the Bible has several instances when people had a vision at night, when they were in their beds, apparently asleep. This happened to King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:4-10), Daniel (Daniel 7), and Paul (Acts 16:9-10, 18:9-10). Although the Bible has separate words for dreams and visions, they are used interchangeably in these passages, implying it wasn’t just an ordinary dream but a message from God.
1. Daniel 4:4-10 “I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented and prosperous. 5 I had a dream that made me afraid. As I was lying in bed, the images and visions that passed through my mind terrified me. 6 So I commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be brought before me to interpret the dream for me. 7 When the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners came, I told them the dream, but they could not interpret it for me. 8 Finally, Daniel came into my presence and I told him the dream. (He is called Belteshazzar, after the name of my god, and the spirit of the holy gods is in him.) 9 I said, “Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and no mystery is too difficult for you. Here is my dream; interpret it for me. 10 These are the visions I saw while lying in bed: I looked, and there before me stood a tree in the middle of the land. Its height was enormous.”
2. Acts 16:9-10 “During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.”
3. Acts 18:9-10 (NIV) “One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.”
4. Numbers 24:4 (ESV) “the oracle of him who hears the words of God, who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down with his eyes uncovered.”
5. Genesis 15:1 (NKJV) “After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
6. Daniel 8:15-17 “While I, Daniel, was watching the vision and trying to understand it, there before me stood one who looked like a man. 16 And I heard a man’s voice from the Ulai calling, “Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision.” 17 As he came near the place where I was standing, I was terrified and fell prostrate. “Son of man,” he said to me, “understand that the vision concerns the time of the end.”
7. Job 20:8 “He will fly away like a dream and not be found; he will be chased away like a vision of the night.”
8. Revelation 1:10 “On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet.”
How did God use dreams and visions in the Bible?
God used dreams to give specific directions to specific people. For instance, after God knocked Saul (Paul) off his horse and blinded him, he gave a vision to Ananias to go to the house where Saul was and lay hands on him so he could see again. Ananias was hesitant because Saul had a reputation for arresting Christians, but God told Ananias that Saul was His chosen instrument to take the Gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 9:1-19).
God used dreams and visions to reach non-believers. When He knocked Paul off his horse, Jesus introduced Himself to Paul. When Peter had his vision on the rooftop, it was because God wanted him to go witness to Cornelius, and God had already spoken to Cornelius in a vision! (Acts 10:1-8). God gave Paul a vision to take the Gospel to Macedonia (Acts 16:9).
God used dreams and visions to reveal His long-term plans: for individual people, for the nation of Israel, and for the end of the world. He told Abraham he would have a son and possess the land (Genesis 15). He spoke multiple times to the Biblical prophets through visions, telling them what would happen to Israel and to other nations. The Book of Revelation is John’s vision of what would happen in the end times.
God used dreams and visions to warn people. In a vision, God warned Balaam not to curse Israel. When Balaam headed out anyway, his donkey spoke! (Numbers 22) Jesus warned Paul to leave Jerusalem in a vision (Acts 22:18).
God used dreams and visions to comfort and reassure people. He told Abram not to be afraid, for He was his shield and great reward (Genesis 15:1). When Hagar and her son Ishmael were wandering in the desert with no water, God comforted her, telling her that her son would live and father a great nation (Genesis 21:14-21).
9. Acts 16:9 (KJV) “And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.”
10. Genesis 21:14-21 (NLT) “So Abraham got up early the next morning, prepared food and a container of water, and strapped them on Hagar’s shoulders. Then he sent her away with their son, and she wandered aimlessly in the wilderness of Beersheba. 15 When the water was gone, she put the boy in the shade of a bush. 16 Then she went and sat down by herself about a hundred yards away. “I don’t want to watch the boy die,” she said, as she burst into tears. 17 But God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, “Hagar, what’s wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.” 19 Then God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well full of water. She quickly filled her water container and gave the boy a drink. 20 And God was with the boy as he grew up in the wilderness. He became a skillful archer, 21 and he settled in the wilderness of Paran. His mother arranged for him to marry a woman from the land of Egypt.”
11. Acts 22:18 “and saw the Lord speaking to me. ‘Quick!’ he said. ‘Leave Jerusalem immediately, because the people here will not accept your testimony about me.”
12. Habakkuk 2:2 (NASB) “Then the Lord answered me and said, “Write down the vision And inscribe it clearly on tablets, So that one who reads it may run.”
13. Acts 2:17 “And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.”
14. Judges 7:13 “Gideon arrived just as a man was telling a friend his dream. “I had a dream,” he was saying. “A round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed.”
15. Genesis 15:1 “After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”
16. Acts 10:1-8 “At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. 2 He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. 3 One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!” 4 Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. 6 He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.” 7 When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants. 8 He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa.”
17. Job 33:15 “In a dream, in a vision in the night, when deep sleep falls upon men as they slumber on their beds.”
18. Numbers 24:4 “the prophecy of one who hears the words of God, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who falls prostrate, and whose eyes are opened.”
The importance of dreams in the Bible
God used dreams throughout the Old and New Testaments to give people direction, comfort, encouragement, and warnings. Often, the message was for a specific person: usually, the person who experienced the dream or vision. Other times, God gave a dream to a prophet to be relayed to the entire nation of Israel or to the church. Much of the books of Daniel, Ezekiel, and Revelation are the recorded dreams or visions that these men of God had.
God used dreams to convince people to do something they ordinarily wouldn’t have done. He used a dream to direct Peter to take the Gospel to the Gentiles (non-Jewish people) (Acts 10). He used a dream to instruct Joseph to take Mary as his wife when he discovered she was pregnant and he wasn’t the father (Matthew 1:18-25).
19. Matthew 1:18-25 “This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.”
20. 1 Kings 3:12-15 “I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. 13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. 14 And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.” 15 Then Solomon awoke—and he realized it had been a dream. He returned to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the Lord’s covenant and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then he gave a feast for all his court.”
21. 1 Kings 3:5 “At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
22. John 16:13 “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”
What does the Bible say about following your dreams?
First, we must distinguish between “following your dreams” with the idea of having a particular goal and working to achieve it versus the idea that God has given you specific direction.
In the case of following some dream or goal near and dear to your heart, God’s Word is silent. The Bible never says anything like, “Go wherever your heart leads you” or “Following your passion is the path to happiness.” The disconnect is that we’re supposed to follow God’s passion and not focus on ourselves. What is God’s passion? Reaching a lost world for Christ. Each of us has a specific role in fulfilling Jesus’ Great Commission.
We generally don’t need a special dream to tell us how and where to share the Gospel. We each have specific spiritual gifts that God has equipped us with to do the work He has for us to do (1 Corinthians 12). We also have natural abilities and experience to prepare us for specific work. Regarding where to go, generally, it’s where the need is greatest – where people haven’t had a chance to hear the Gospel yet (Mark 13:10). But God might place on your heart a specific person or place.
In the New Testament, God used dreams and visions several times to direct His people to a specific place so that they could share the Gospel with a particular person or group. He directed Philip to meet up with an Ethiopian eunuch in the middle of the desert (Acts 8:27-40). God might give that sort of direction today. But remember, it’s all about God and His purposes, not about you. And it’s got to line up with the Bible.
23. Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
24. Psalm 37:4 “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
25. Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
26. Proverbs 21:2 “All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the LORD weighs the heart.”
27. Proverbs 16:9 (NLV) “The mind of a man plans his way, but the Lord shows him what to do.”
28. 2 Timothy 2:22 “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
29. Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
30. Exodus 20:3 “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
31. Luke 16:15 “He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.”
Does God still use dreams?
This is a controversial topic. Some Christians believe God stopped communicating through dreams and visions when the Scriptures were completed. Other Christians claim to have a “word from the Lord” on a regular basis.
In Acts 2:14-21, immediately after the Holy Spirit filled the believers in the upper room at the Feast of Pentecost and they spoke in tongues, Peter preached a dynamic sermon. He quoted the prophecy from Joel 2,
“And it shall be in the last days, God says, that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and your daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will have dreams.”
Pentecost opened a new chapter of history: the “last days.” Pentecost was the beginning of the last days, and we are still in them until Christ returns.
God used dreams and visions in the Old Covenant and at the very beginning of the New Covenant to communicate continuing revelation. When the Scriptures were completed, that sort of special revelation ended. The Bible contains everything we need to know about God, salvation, morality, what we’re to be doing as believers, and so on. The primary way that God speaks to us today is through the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16).
Does that mean God doesn’t use dreams or visions at all today? Not necessarily, but any dream or vision must align with the Bible. For instance, one woman said she had a vision from God that she should leave her husband and go out to be an evangelist. That “vision” definitely wasn’t from God because it doesn’t line up with God’s Word regarding the marriage covenant.”
Another way to know if a dream or vision comes from God is if it comes true. Many self-identified “prophets” today will share a vision they said they had of what will happen in the near future. For instance, at the presidential elections or the beginning of a new year, lots of these “visions” seem to manifest. If the claimed vision does not come true, we know the person is a false prophet (Deuteronomy 18:21-22). If the vision does come true, it might be from God, or it might just be an educated guess.
God might use dreams to communicate to people who don’t yet have the Bible. Many Islamic people in the Middle East have reported having dreams and visions of Jesus that propelled them to seek Him out, get a Bible, and find a Christian teacher. Missions Frontiers magazine reports that 25% of Muslims who become Christian had a dream of Jesus or of hearing words from the Bible they had never read before.
32. James 1:5 (ESV) “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
33. 2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”
34. Deuteronomy 18:21-22 “You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” 22 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.”
35. Jeremiah 23:16 (NASB) “This is what the Lord of armies says: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility; They tell a vision of their own imagination, Not from the mouth of the Lord.”
36. 1 John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
37. Acts 2:14-21 “Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
38. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”
What does the Bible say about nightmares / bad dreams?
Most people who had bad dreams or nightmares in the Bible were pagans. In Genesis 20, God appeared to King Abimelech of Gerar, telling him, “You are a dead man, for that woman you have taken is already married!”
The woman in question was Sarah, Abraham’s wife. Abraham had told a half-lie, saying Sarah was his sister (she actually was his half-sister), because he was afraid the king would kill him to get his wife. Abimelech told God he was innocent – he didn’t know Sarah was married. Plus, he hadn’t slept with her yet. God told the king that He knew he was innocent, but he had to make things right, which Abimelech did.
Pilate’s wife had a nightmare on the night before Jesus’ crucifixion and told her husband that Jesus was innocent and not to harm a “righteous man.” (Matthew 27:19)
Regarding believers having bad dreams or nightmares today, it’s unlikely that God is using them to communicate to you. It’s more likely that your subconscious brain is working through fears and anxiety you might be experiencing. The Bible doesn’t instruct believers regarding nightmares, but it does have much to say about fear and anxiety.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (1 Timothy 1:7)
“. . . casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
If you’re struggling with nightmares and bad dreams, spend time before going to bed in worship, reading the Scripture, praying, and claiming God’s Word over your mind and emotions. Do the same if you wake up with a nightmare.
39. Philippians 4:6-7 “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
40. 1 Peter 5:7 (HCSB) “casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.”
41. Matthew 27:19 “While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”
42. Proverbs 3:24 “When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.”
43. Ecclesiastes 5:3 “A dream comes when there are many cares, and many words mark the speech of a fool.”
The danger of dreams and visions
We can’t always trust the dreams and visions of others. Deuteronomy 13:1-5 warns explicitly against “prophets” who have dreams of the future with predicted signs and miracles that actually come true. But, once that happens, the prophet leads the people astray to worship other gods. Satan counterfeits God’s work to derail people in their faith with false prophets and visionaries.
God condemned these false prophets who cheated on their wives and deceived people (Jeremiah 23:32-40). Jude 1:8 says, “these dreamers defile their bodies, reject authority, and slander glorious beings.”
Remember, the Bible is complete, and we’re not going to get any “new revelation” about God.
Regarding our dreams, we must test them from God’s Word. God never contradicts Himself, so if you have a dream or vision that seems to be leading you away from what the Bible says, that dream isn’t from God.
Deuteronomy 13:1-5 “If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, 2 and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” 3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. 5 That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. That prophet or dreamer tried to turn you from the way the Lord your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.”
44. Jude 1:8 “In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings.”
45. 2 Corinthians 11:14 “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”
46. Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”
47. Matthew 24:5 “For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.”
48. 1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
How should we feel about Christian dream interpretation?
Some “Christians” – “soul shepherds” – claim that all dreams, even if not prophetic, can lead to greater self-awareness and understanding of God’s wisdom for people’s lives. They say God uses dreams because He wants you to know about yourself. First off, the only thing the Bible says about self-awareness is being aware of sin in our lives. Any “teacher” that emphasizes self rather than God is leading people astray.
These people will teach various steps of dream interpretation, usually based on secular psychology methods. Really?? When Joseph and Daniel interpreted dreams in the Bible, what method did they use? Prayer! They expected God to reveal the meaning to them. They didn’t have to apply some analytical method. And we don’t either.
49. Proverbs 2:6 “For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
50. James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
What is the first dream mentioned in the Bible?
God communicated with Adam, Eve, and Noah, but the Bible doesn’t say how. Did God speak audibly? We don’t know. The first instance where the Bible specifically says “vision” (machazeh in Hebrew) is in Genesis 15:1. God tells Abram (Abraham) that He will protect and reward him, that he would have a son of his own and as many descendants as the stars in the heavens. In the vision, God isn’t the only one doing the talking. Abram asked questions, and God answered. The Bible records God communicating with Abram before this vision (and after) but doesn’t specify how.
The first mention of a dream (chalom in Hebrew) is the story recorded above about King Abimelech in Genesis 20, where Abraham and Sarah deceived him regarding their marital status.
51. Genesis 15:1 “After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
Examples of dreams in the Bible
Dreams dramatically changed the course of events in the life of Abraham’s great-grandson Joseph. Joseph’s older brothers already disliked him because he would inform his father about their bad behaviors. Moreover, Joseph was clearly the favorite son of their father Jacob. When Joseph was seventeen years old, he told his brother about his dream: “We were all out in the field tying up bundles of grain, and your bundles bowed down to mine.”
Joseph’s brothers didn’t need a dream interpreter. “Do you actually think you’ll rule over us?”
Soon after, Joseph shared another dream with his eleven brothers and father, “The sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed low before me!”
Once again, no one needed a dream interpreter. Jacob scolded his son, “Will your mother and I and your brothers bow before you?”
Joseph’s brothers were already antagonistic toward Joseph and jealous. Soon after, they sold him as a slave, telling their father a wild animal had killed him. Joseph ended up in Egypt. Even though a slave, his circumstances went well until his master’s wife falsely accused him of attempted rape, and Joseph landed in prison.
Egypt’s pharaoh was angry with his cupbearer and baker, and they ended up in the same prison as Joseph. They both had a dream on the same night but didn’t understand the meaning. Joseph asked them, “Don’t interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.”
So, they did, and Joseph told them what the dreams meant, and what he said came true. Two years later, Pharoah had two disturbing dreams, but when he called his dream-interpreters (Egypt’s magicians and wise men), no one could tell him what his dreams meant. But then the cupbearer remembered Joseph and told Pharoah about him. So, Joseph was brought to Pharoah, who asked him the meaning of his dream.
“It is beyond my power to do this,” Joseph replied. “But God can tell you what it means and set you at ease.”
So, Joseph told Pharaoh the meaning of his dream and advised him what to do about it. Pharoah made Joseph second in command under him, and Joseph was able to save Egypt and his own family from a devastating famine. (Genesis 37, 39-41)
52. Genesis 31:11 “In that dream the angel of God said to me, ‘Jacob!’ And I replied, ‘Here I am.”
53. Matthew 2:19 “After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt.”
54. Matthew 1:20 “But after he had pondered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to embrace Mary as your wife, for the One conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”
55. Matthew 2:12 “And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.”
56. Genesis 41:10-13 (NASB) “Pharaoh was furious with his servants, and he put me in confinement in the house of the captain of the bodyguard, both me and the chief baker. 11 Then we had a dream one night, he and I; each of us dreamed according to the interpretation of his own dream. 12 Now a Hebrew youth was there with us, a servant of the captain of the bodyguard, and we told him the dreams, and he interpreted our dreams for us. For each man he interpreted according to his own dream. 13 And just as he interpreted for us, so it happened; Pharaoh restored me in my office, but he hanged the chief baker.”
57. Daniel 7:1 “In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying in bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream.”
58. Judges 7:13 “Gideon arrived just as a man was telling a friend his dream. “I had a dream,” he was saying. “A round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed.”
59. Genesis 41:15 “Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”
60. Daniel 2:5-7 “The king replied to the Chaldeans, “The command from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you will be torn limb from limb and your houses will be turned into a rubbish heap. 6 But if you declare the dream and its interpretation, you will receive from me gifts and a reward and great honor; therefore declare to me the dream and its interpretation.” 7 They answered a second time and said, “Let the king tell the dream to his servants, and we will declare the interpretation.”
61. Joel 2:28 “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.”
Does God still use dreams and visions to communicate to people? God is God, and He can do whatever He wants, however He wants.
What God will not do is reveal new revelation about Himself through dreams or visions. The Bible gives us all we need to know. God will also not tell you to do something contrary to the Bible.
But God is not willing for any to perish. He might intervene in the lives of unbelievers like Muslims or Hindus who don’t have the Bible. He might use dreams to influence them to seek out a Bible, a missionary, or a website where they can learn about Jesus. This would be in keeping with how God influenced Cornelius to seek out Peter, so that he and his family and friends could be saved.