And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: (Acts 2:17) And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. (Numbers 12:6)
The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:28)there are times in which the dream or vision is not to be disclosed until a time appointed of God, as in the case of the appearance on the mount in which Messiah admonished his disciples: Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead. (Mat 17:9)
THE REVELATION OF MESSIAH GIVEN THROUGH A VISION:
12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man,[d] dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. (The Book of Revelation chapter 1)
The words designating visions in scripture speak with regard to seeing or perceiving. The Old Testament terms for vision (Hebrew verbs raa and haza and their several noun derivatives) mean simply to look at or to see. In the New Testament, horao [ εἶδον , ὁράω ] is one of the Greek verbs for see, observe, or perceive, but its related noun (horama [ ὅραμα ]) is the common term for "vision."
GOD CAN PROVIDE MUCH NEEDED DIRECTION THROUGH DREAMS & VISIONS:
"...as I was among the captives by the River Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God." Ezekiel 1:1
Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” (Acts 9:10-12)
GUIDED BY GOD THROUGH DREAMS & VISION REGARDING EVANGELISM:
"While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, 'Behold, three men are seeking you. Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them.” (Acts 10:19-20) "...a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, 'Come over to Macedonia and help us.' " (Acts 16:9)
Again in the life of Saul of Tarsus, whose name was changed to Paul, is the account of his own conversion. The Damascus Straight Street; or Street Called Straight, (Latin: Via Recta, Arabic: الشارع المستقيم Al-Shāri` al-Mustaqīm) is the Roman street (Decumanus Maximus) that runs from east to west in the old city of Damascus, Syria. It was visited by St. Paul as recorded in the book of Acts and contains several interesting sights from the Roman, Christian and Islamic periods.
Under the Greeks, the old city of Damascus was laid out after the grid pattern designed by Hippodamus. The Roman street, extending 1500 meters, used to be lined with columns and had gates on both ends, houses and shops on both sides. These columns can still be seen today. Today it consists of two main streets in old Damascus; the Avenue of Bab Sharqi and Medhat Pasha Souq, a major Damascus market, named after Midhat Pasha, the Ottoman governor of Damascus who renovated it and ordered its coverage with a lead-shade.
In a vision, God gave his disciple Ananias direction, sending him to this specific street where Saul of Tarsus resided, awaiting healing for blindness. To this very home which the Lord Himself disclosed, Ananias went to lay hands on the man that he might receive his sight. For Messiah himself said: So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. 12 And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.” (Acts 9:10-11)
Saul of Tarsus absolutely believed the vision he received was from God. When it occurred, he tested the spirit, saying: Who are you? And the voice said: I am Yeshua, whom you are persecuting. In recounting the story to King Agrippa, Paul said: "I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. For these reasons the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great...” (Acts 26:19-22)
VISIONS OF HEAVEN & OF THE HOLINESS & THE GLORY OF THE HOLD
HOLY-HOLY-HOLY IS THE LORD: In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. “Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. “And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. “And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
“Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: “And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. “And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. “Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.” (Isaiah 6:1-10).
AND THE LAMB IS THE LAMP THEREOF... 22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 23And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. (Rev 21:22-23)
GOD IS CLEANSING HIS TEMPLE: The vision began with a windstorm coming from the north with a towering thundercloud and flashing lightning. As it got closer, Ezekiel could see four living creatures. (Ezekiel 1:4-9) These creatures had the form of a man but they had four faces and feet like a calf and four wings with hands underneath. They glowed like bronze and the faces were that of an eagle, ox, lion and man. There was a wheel that sparkled and had another intersecting wheel. These wheels were full of eyes on the rim and enabled the creatures to move in all directions as the Spirit moved them. When these creatures with the wheels moved, there was a sound like that of roaring waters, like the voice of God.
As Ezekiel looked he noticed a glowing throne of sapphire and on the throne was a figure like that of a man. He was glowing with fire and brilliant light surrounded Him. This light looked like a rainbow and glowed with radiance! (Ezekiel 1:26-28) This figure had the “likeness of the Glory of God”! When Ezekiel saw him, he fell to the ground in awe, overcome by the likeness of God’s glory!
THE SINFULNESS OF A NATION OR INDIVIDUAL REVEALED BY DREAMS & VISIONS FOR THE PURPOSES OF GOD:
Regarding the sin of the very people of God, the house of UIsrael, and the elders of God's house, the Lord speaks by vision to the Prophet. In the 8th chapter of Ezekiel, the prophet saw the visions of God when he sat in his house with the elders of Judah sitting before him. The hand of the Lord God fell upon him there. The Spirit then asks the prophet to see "greater abominations" at the door of the Temple of the Lord. To the dismay of Ezekiel, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz (a Sumerian god). In the Temple of God, people are supposed to worship the true and living God, and not to worship a god who is dead. The prophet is then asked to watch "between the porch and the altar" (Vs.16). There were about 25 men with their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, and they were worshiping "the sun toward the east". Jehovah tells the prophet, "Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it a trivial thing to the house of Judah to commit the abominations which they commit here? For they have filled the land with violence; then they have returned to provoke Me to anger. Indeed they put the branch to their nose.
Therefore I also will act in fury. My eye will not spare nor will I have pity; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them" (Vs.17-18).
The vision of Isaiah... which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem... Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the Lord has spoken: 'I have nourished and brought up children, And they have rebelled against Me; The ox knows its owner and the donkey its master’s crib; But Israel does not know, My people do not consider.” Alas, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity." Isaiah 1:1-4
In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; (Job 33:15)
And God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said, "Jacob! Jacob!" "Here I am," he replied. (Genesis 46:2)
Acts 18:9 And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent. (Acts 18:9)
And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” (Acts 16:9)
DREAMS CAN SERVE TO PRESERVE OR TO PROTECT LIFE-EVEN IN TIMES OF WAR, PERSECUTION & TERRORISM
Dreams or visions can be used to preserve or to protect one from danger. On three occasions an angel visited Joseph in a vision concerning Jesus (Matt 1:20 ; Matthew 2:13 Matthew 2:19). On the first two occasions the celestial visitor is described as "the angel of the Lord, " which could possibly be a way of describing God himself. On the last visit the heavenly messenger was described simply as "an angel of the Lord." In the end, however, the celestial beings were most probably of the same order, and were fulfilling among humans those duties normally assigned to such angels as Gabriel (Luke 1:19).
9 Then spoke the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not your peace: 10For I am with you, and no man shall set on you to hurt you: for I have much people in this city. 11And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.(Acts 18:9)
And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. (Acts 9:10)
"...the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, 'Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.” (Acts 18:9-10)
INTERPRETING DREAMS & VISIONS:
"As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams." (Daniel 1:17) Daniel actively sought the interpretation through protracted prayer. "...when I, Daniel, had seen the vision and was seeking the meaning, that suddenly there stood before me one having the appearance of a man.” (Daniel 8:15)
In the case of Habakkuk's vision, it was revealed that the closer the vision came to it's fulfillment, the clearer the meaning would become. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. (Habakkuk 2:3)
Daniel 7:7 After this I saw in the night-visions, and, behold, a fourth beast, terrible and powerful, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth; it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. (ASV) Daniel 7:13 I saw in the night-visions, and, behold, there came with the clouds of heaven one like unto a son of man, and he came even to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. (ASV
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. (Daniel 7:13) Daniel 2:19, Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. 7:2, 7,
Micah 3:6, Act 18:9, Gen 46:2, Job 4:13, 20:8, “For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then He openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, That He may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man. He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword.” (Job 33:14- 18) 33:15, Isaiah 29:7
DREAMS & VISIONS:
Word from the Lord came to Nathan the Prophet in the night. (2 Sam. 7:14, 1 Chron 17:3, 15 and to Gideon in Jgs 6:25, 7:9. Isaiah said: My soul years for you in the night, my spirit within me earnestly seeks you. (Is. 26:9 Hosea observes prophets who stumble by night. (Hosea 4:4) So common was it for people to receive word from God in the night that Hosea describes the absence of revelation as a "night without vision." (Micah 3:6)
The prophecies of Zechariah contain a series of eight "night visions" (1:7-6:15). The visions reveal God's will to deliver His people. There is focus upon God's sovereignty, adding the element of His power to perform all His word to these important communications. These visions contain an important prediction of the coming of God's servant, "the Branch" (3:8), a term that in biblical thought became synonymous with "Messiah."
When the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, he relates it this way: In the night I saw...(Zech 1:8) Night was an expected time to hear God's voice or to witness His revelation. The Old Testament also sets the precedent for visions by day accompanied by a deep sleep. (Gen 15:12) The New Testament follows. (Acts 10:10, 22:17.
The brothers of Joseph required to interpreter to discern the significance of his dreams. (Gen 37:8)
DISCERNING THE ORIGIN OF THE DREAMS OR VISION:
"...the Lord said to me, 'The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart. " Jeremiah 14:14
What is the fruit of the dream or the vision? Prophecy edifies or builds up. Does the communication you have received edify, strengthen you or someone else spiritually, provide hope, or reinforce the truth of God's word? Or does it make you feel proud and arrogant, which are sin? Fruit is described in Gal. 5:22: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." James says: 3:17 "But this wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits. without partiality and without hypocrisy." In Habakkuk 2:2 we read God's instructions to the man of God, who was Habakkuk, to share what he has received in a vision by writing it so that the hearers can hear and understand it. And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.