Dream and Vision Interpretation: A Bibliography

Alexander, Archibald. Thoughts on Religious Experience. Ch. 7. Banner of Truth.

Jackson, John Paul. The Biblical Model of Dream Interpretation (3 CDs).

Jennings, Daniel, ed. The Supernatural Occurrences of John Wesley. Ch. 9. 

Milligan, Ira. Understanding the Dreams You Dream. Destiny Image. Riffel (not bad).

Sandford, John. The Elijah Task. Chs. 12-13. Charisma House. Classic from 1977.

—. Elijah Among Us. Ch. 12. Chosen Books. (Baker)


Kelsey DreamsJungian and New Age views have crept into a lot of charismatic books on dreams and visions through the writings of Morton Kelsey. This is mainly because he was very academic and thorough in his approach; and his word was taken to be unquestionable on the subject of dream interpretation. His influence can be found in John Sanford (Dreams: God’s Forgotten Language, not to be confused with John Loren Sandford, author of The Elijah Task), Herman Riffel (Dream Interpretation: A Biblical Understanding), and John Opmeer (Those Controversial Gifts, ch. 3). Kelsey’s greatest contribution to this area of study was his research on dreams and visions in the writings of the church fathers (God, Dreams, and Revelation, chs 5-6 and Appendix A from Tertullian’s A Treatise on the Soul, chs. 44-49, Appendix D from Augustine’s Letter 9, and Appendix E from Augustine’s Letter 159). What should be ignored, but whom Kelsey unfortunately regarded as orthodox church fathers, are the appendices from Origen and Gregory of Nyssa: both were universalists; Synesius of Cyrene should be brushed aside as well as a heretic, because he rejected the soul, resurrection, and the end of the world, and kept Neoplatonist influences; and Benedict Pererius is out of the question, since he was a Catholic priest from the 1500s. 


Surprised by the Voice of GodJack Deere’s Surprised by the Power of the Spirit is one of the best charismatic books ever written. I believe it will outlast his life, probably for the next 50 years, as a powerful argument against cessationism. His other books are good as well: Surprised by the Voice of God and The Beginner’s Guide to the Gift of Prophecy. But his book Surprised by the Voice of God, which presents great historical information on visions among the Covenanters (ch. 5), and a great Biblically based chapter on dreams and visions (ch. 15), regrettably has a tendency to validate Paul Cain, a prophetic minister who had a horrific fall, and on pages 176-177, prophesied to Deere that he saw a vision of his father in Heaven, even though he had committed suicide. Without Biblical support for the vision, Deere bought into it. He should have rejected that vision based on the testimony of Scripture (Matthew 4:5-7; 27:3-5; John 17:12; Acts 16:27-28). Sadly, it was because of his Baptist “once saved, always saved” view, combined with Cain’s false vision, that led him to believe his once-Christian dad, ended up in Heaven even though he shot himself. Deere’s son later followed suit with suicide, probably misguided by Deere’s false belief. Much to my surprise, this “Christian suicide” belief seems to be floating around Baptist circles, and is supported by the Baptistic site GotQuestions.org; and even Ravi Zacharias suspends his judgment about it, although he has a negative view.

I think Judas Iscariot is the clearest Biblical example of someone who committed a major sin in betraying Jesus, and in a confused state retracted his condemnation of Christ, but then killed himself due to the guilt of it: and Jesus still said he was doomed to Hell (Matthew 27:3-5; John 17:12). No amount of one-time faith in Christ, can protect you from hellfire, if you kill yourself. If Jesus didn’t treat Judas with grace, then why should He show grace to anyone that commits suicide? A heroic act of self-sacrifice, like stepping in front of traffic to save someone else, or a soldier sacrificing his life for 10 other soldiers, is totally different. But suicide for the sake of suicide, is nothing more than self-murder and is against the sixth commandment: “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13). The Catholic Encyclopedia says, “That suicide is unlawful is the teaching of Holy Scripture and of the Church, which condemns the act as a most atrocious crime and, in hatred of the sin and to arouse the horror of its children, denies the suicide Christian burial.” At one point, the Catholic Church refused to conduct Christian funerals for people who committed suicide, lest they give off the false impression that such souls are well and in Heaven.

Book Idea: “Biblical Dream Interpretation”

Part 1: Dreams Through Christian History

1. The Old Testament
2. The New Testament
3. The Early Church
4. The Catholic Saints
5. Reformers and Revivalists

Part 2: Prophetic Ministry

6. Rules for Judging Dreams
7. Biblical Dream Symbolism
8. Prophesying Dreams
9. Dreams Just for You
10. A Warning Against Pride

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