When a prophet of the Lord is among you, I reveal Myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. –Numbers 12:6
I am increasingly coming under the impression that dreams and visions are clearer forms of direct revelation than any other. It is true that God also speaks through the still small voice, coincidences, and impressions–and in extremely rare cases, visitations, open visions, and the audible voice of God. But take a look at what Scripture says in Numbers 12:6: “When a prophet of the Lord is among you, I reveal Myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams.” Notice what God left out of this statement–the still small voice, the audible voice of God, coincidences, impressions, visitations, and open visions. Moses was considered a special prophet, and for this reason God spoke to him by visitation often (Num. 12:7-8). But this is not the prophetic norm. The norm is dreams and visions! And we would be wise to muse on this. Not even the still small voice is considered the norm in God’s statement. At the forefront of His divine mind, when He came down in the pillar of cloud, God wanted the people to know that “when a prophet of the Lord is among you, I reveal Myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams” (Num. 12:6).
This is at the forefront of God’s mind, the first order of revealing His messages to humans–visions and dreams. Not the still small voice, not signs and coincidences, nor subtle impressions that are often uncertain. Jack Deere, the author of The Beginner’s Guide to the Gift of Prophecy, says that impressions are “flimsy” experiences (page 46). But visions and dreams carry a certain level of certainty with them when they are interpreted with a sure understanding. I slowly started to come to this realization as I read Jacobus de Voragine’s The Golden Legend. As I read the miracle stories and prophetic experiences of the saints, I noticed that the medieval Jacobus only considered the dreams, visions, and voices to be of noteworthy value. Little to nothing is said of impressions, signs, or coincidences. Still less of visitations. But not even Numbers 12:6 mentions the voice of God–it only mentions visions and dreams. For this reason, I feel that Christians should lay the emphasis on dreams and visions if they are hungry to experience spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. Every Charismatic person that has failed at prophesying, or made a grevious misinterpretation of a revelation, or has seen an absolutely embarrassing attempt made at prophecy in public–only to see the predictions fail or the supposed secret knowledge to be completely wrong…should feel the same frustration that I do when you hear the naysayers, scoffers, and Cessationists continue their mocking.
In my experience, it has been dreams, mental images (visions), and open visions of angel sparkles (lights) that have always carried the higher level of accuracy in my predictions–especially if confirmed later by coincidences. In my experience, it is impressions or intuitions–as well as mental voices–that I utterly fail at. Some may say that this is because I am a “seer” instead of a “prophet,” but Numbers 12:6 does not make this distinction. A prophet receives dreams and visions, and prophesies accordingly. Every other mode of divine revelation–voices, impressions, and visitations, are considered of secondary occurrence. “Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he used to say, ‘Come, and let us go to the seer’; for he who is called a prophet now was formerly called a seer” and again, “When David arose in the morning, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer” (1 Sam. 9:9; 2 Sam. 24:11). A prophet is a seer–and a seer is a prophet. In the Bible, both words mean the same thing. The verse even says that “the prophet Gad” was “David’s seer.” Same guy! So, the moral of the story is–pay close attention to your dreams and mental images. And especially to those mental images which occur during divine contemplation. But do you want to be a more accurate prophet? Then focus on your dreams, journaling them, interpreting them, and understanding them. Ira Milligan’s Understanding the Dreams You Dream is a great dictionary of dream symbols that can help you interpret your dreams from a Biblical viewpoint.