A Biblical Foundation
Interpreting Dreams
praying for who is battling cancer.  As I listened, the conversation centered on the fact
God had been speaking to her through her dreams but I didn’t because most
Christians don’t think of dream interpretation as a biblical and fundamental function of
communication with God.   If I had cancer I would know what God had planned for my
life and I’d find out by looking to see what He was speaking to me through my
dreams.  I expect Him to tell me because God has taught me that He will speak to me
in any and every situation that requires a word of comfort from Him.

It is an incredible blessing to depend on hearing from God whenever there is a need.  
Imagine hearing that there will be a layoff at work next week and not knowing if you
will be one of them.  Most people would feel some sort of stress simply from facing
the unknown.  Hearing from God eliminates the unknown because He will show you in
advance answers to your future.  Not only is hearing from God possible, it is God’s
will.  In every stressful or scary situation, we can and should be hearing straight from
God.

The purpose of our ministry is to help make Acts 2:17 a reality in the lives of every
believer, through teaching the biblical truths of dream interpretation, by giving
practical, grounded advice for hearing from God through dreams and visions, and by
encouraging the Body of Christ to receive the personal messages that God has for
each individual.  Hearing from God through dreams is not a wacky fad that has just
recently come into being.  God created and ordained the plan to communicate with
us through dreams.  It is His plan for each of us to personally hear from Him during
times of need.  Without hearing from Him through dreams, we are missing out on the
greatest blessing bestowed on humanity: The gift of individual communion with God,
through the Holy Spirit, The Comforter.

Jesus said that He would not leave us comfortless.  Instead, He promised to send the
Holy Spirit whom He described as the Comforter (John 14, 15, 16).    After He was
crucified, He told the disciples to tarry in Jerusalem until they received the promise of
the Holy Spirit.  When they did, they were filled with the spirit and with power, and
Peter explained:

    Acts 2:14 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.

    “‘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.
    Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
    and they will prophesy.

Through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, or The Comforter, God has poured out
dreams and visions.  The last days that began with Jesus death and resurrection are
still happening today.  These are the last days and The Comforter who was promised
was sent and He is sending dreams and visions.  Typical of one called The
Comforter, the majority of dreams from God are dreams meant to comfort us when
we need comfort.   When we begin receiving from God through dreams and visions
we begin to see how intimately God is involved with our lives and how much He cares
about the things that affect us.  

God will speak to anyone through a dream because He loves us all.  Acts 2 (above)
is evidence that it is God's will to give dreams to all men, in this present time, through
the Holy Spirit; just as He did in many situations in the Old Testament.  God gives
dreams to everyone, the saved and the unsaved, the Jew and the Gentile.  He gave
dreams to His chosen people; like Joseph, Daniel, Jacob, and others, and He gave
dreams to Gentiles; like Pharaoh, the baker, and the butler.  Today, it is still his
prerogative to give dreams to whomever He chooses, and He does - His Word says
so.

I believe, with all of my heart, that everything we do as Christians should have its
precedence set in the Word of God.  If we don't see it done plainly there, we might be
wise to steer clear of it.  If we stick to what was done properly in the bible, we can
never go wrong.  As early as Genesis, we find a biblical basis for dream
interpretation and throughout the bible, including the New Testament, the bible is
filled with examples of dreamers and interpreters.  Everything taught in this ministry is
based on the examples found in the Word of God.   We don't use vague scriptures
that can be twisted any which way.  We do our best to use scripture along with very
strong biblical examples which will be illustrated for the principles we teach.

The first principle that we teach is that it truly is God who often sends us messages
within dreams  meant to help us, guide us, protect us, comfort us, and to warn us.  
Unfortunately today, unlike in bible times, people are very confused about the source
of dreams, and when it comes to understanding their dreams.

    Job 33:13Why do you complain to him
    that he answers none of man’s words?
    14For God does speak—now one way, now another—
    though man may not perceive it.
    15In a dream, in a vision of the night,
    when deep sleep falls on men
    as they slumber in their beds,
    16he may speak in their ears
    and terrify them with warnings,
    17to turn man from wrongdoing
    and keep him from pride,
    18to preserve his soul from the pit,
    his life from perishing by the sword.

The author of the above chapter makes it very clear that God's method of responding
to people is through dreams.   This scripture also perfectly exemplifies why God
gives dreams to the unsaved: To save people from the pit (Hell), especially in the
closed Muslim world where preaching the Gospel is forbidden and where Christian
conversion carries the death penalty.   God gives us dreams simply to help with our
daily lives; to direct us, to comfort and encourage us, and, oftentimes, to let us know
the outcome of future events which are weighing heavily upon us.       God gives
dreams to whomever He will and uses dreams for many reasons but most importantly
the purpose is for our benefit because He loves us.  He speaks warnings, direction,
and now one way, now another; even though man does not understand it.   He speaks
to men to correct them and to save them.  This scripture coupled with the scripture
from Acts, along with all the examples of dreams we will show you which clearly
evidence the practice of hearing from God through dreams, should clear up any
doubt and/or confusion with regard to whether or not dreams are from God and
whether or not it's His will for us to give heed to them.  

Are Dream Interpreters Necessary?

Biblically speaking, there are two situations that a person would need help with an
interpretation; a.) If they were not one of God's people, b.) If the dream were a
prophetic dream that was for the future and God didn't want the understanding
revealed to the dreamer.   

Gentiles who needed help with an interpretation

  •       Pharaoh did not understand the symbolic messages in his dream about
    the cows and the corn (Genesis 41).
  •      The baker and the butler did not understand their dreams (Genesis 40).
  •      King Nebuchadnezzar did not understand his dreams (Daniel 2 and
    Daniel 4).

God's People Who Understood Their Symbolic Dreams

  •      Joseph, his brother's and their father (Genesis 37)
  •      Joseph (Matthew 2)

Dreams in which the Lord or an Angel Spoke Plainly

  •      Genesis 28 - The Lord speaks to Jacob in a dream.
  •      Genesis 31 - Both Laban and Jacob have plain dreams from the Lord
  •      Genesis 20 - Abimelech is warned not to touch Sarah.
  •      I Kings 3 - The Lord speaks to Solomon in a dream and gives him gifts.
  •      Matthew 2 - The wise men are warned by God to take another route home.
  •      Matthew 1 - The Lord tells Joseph to take Mary as his wife.
  •      Matthew 2 - Several times the Lord directs Joseph to save Jesus' life.

Dreams which were not easily understood by God's People

  •    Daniel 7 - Daniel needed to fast and pray for an interpretation.

Sticking to the bible records above, it is evident that there were people who
understood their dreams without the help of others, and then there were people who
needed an interpretation from God.    Overall, the people that needed help were
Gentiles and the people who did not receive outside help were God's people.

We are meant to understand dreams from God, without the help of another.  The
bible examples show us that there are many instances when a person in the bible
understood their dreams without the help of another, but they were usually always
God's people. Still today, in my experience, the majority of the dreams that God gives
His people can be easily understood by the dreamer without the help of
another when the dream is a message from God.  We are meant to understand God,
without outside
help, once we understand a few important principles.  

However, even with that said, sometimes God directs us to others for confirmation of
our dreams because we are all a part of one body.  We are meant to help each
other.  A good biblical example of this principle is in the account of Gideon.  The
dreamer told his dream to another average person, who wasn't identified as a
prophet, who then gave an accurate interpretation:

    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.”

    14 His friend responded, “This can be nothing other than the sword of Gideon
    son of Joash, the Israelite. God has given the Midianites and the whole camp
    into his hands.”

    15  When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped God.

The bible clearly shows us through Daniel and Joseph that the ability to interpret
dreams comes from Him. Joseph interpreted a dream which the Lord sent and used
to save the world from starvation, but both men were called before their rulers to
interpret dreams of incredible significance, and they both gave the credit to God.

    Joseph said to Pharaoh,“I cannot do it but God will give Pharaoh the answer
    he desires.”  Genesis 41:16

    Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to
    the king the mystery he has asked about, 28 but there is a God in heaven
    who reveals mysteries.  Daniel 2:27-28

It also shows us that the biblical thing to do when you have a dream is to seek an
interpretation either solely with God's help or if He directs through the help of others.  
The accounts of dreams in the bible demonstrate that the dreamer immediately
sought an interpretation to his dream and it also demonstrates the importance the
dreamer placed on the validity of dream interpretation - Gideon went bravely to war
based partly on the interpretation of a dream!

There are many examples of people sharing their dreams with others and/or acting
on them. Jacob moved his family away from his father-in-law based on a dream.  
Joseph immediately told his family his dream upon awakening.  King
Nebachadnezzar immediately sought an interpretation to his dream and Daniel
interpreted it.  Joseph interpreted Pharaoh's dream.   Joseph interprets the dreams
of his fellow prisoners.  Gideon leads the army into war based on a dream and
interpretation which he overheard.

This ministry is a present day witness that the Lord is still very active in giving dreams
and dream
interpretation.  The Lord has given me many dreams of national or world significance,
which were posted very publicly in advance, which then came true in accordance with
the dream.

Each year our
Spiritual Life Forum helps thousands of visitors and members
understand what the Lord is saying to them.  When the Lord gives our ministry team
an interpretation oftentimes the dreamer says, "WOW!  That's exactly what's going on
in my life right now!"  Some of the
testimonies on this site are perfect examples of
revelation knowledge in dream interpretation.  We have never met any of the people
whom have left testimonies, we know virtually nothing about them or their lives, but the
Lord knows!  And through His power He gives an interpretation that leaves the
dreamer rejoicing because they have heard from God.

Dreams with Prophetic Detail

Oftentimes our dreams and interpretations come with knowledge of the future.  The
bible says that God tells us of things that are to come before they happen so that we
will give Him the credit and not chalk it up to idols.  

    Isaiah 48

    1 "Listen to this, O house of Jacob,
    you who are called by the name of Israel
    and come from the line of Judah,
    you who take oaths in the name of the LORD
    and invoke the God of Israel—
    but not in truth or righteousness-
    2 you who call yourselves citizens of the holy city
    and rely on the God of Israel—
    the LORD Almighty is his name:
    3 I foretold the former things long ago,
    my mouth announced them and I made them known;
    then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.
    4 For I knew how stubborn you were;
    the sinews of your neck were iron,
    your forehead was bronze.
    5 Therefore I told you these things long ago;
    before they happened I announced them to you
    so that you could not say,
    'My idols did them;
    my wooden image and metal god ordained them.'
    6 You have heard these things; look at them all.
    Will you not admit them?
    "From now on I will tell you of new things,
    of hidden things unknown to you.
    7 They are created now, and not long ago;
    you have not heard of them before today.
    So you cannot say,
    'Yes, I knew of them.'

Oftentimes, a dream from God will contain small details of future events.   When we
have a dream that contains prophetic details we can trust in the dream and know it's
from the Lord because His Word says that only He knows the future before it
happens.  When a dream contains details of specific future events before they
happen, the dream was from the Lord.  The devil doesn't know the future, only God
does, so we can trust in the messages from our dreams when they contain prophetic
knowledge of the future.

Here is a good example of what I mean:

I wanted to buy the house I was living in.  I was in the negotiation process and just
wanted to know how the thing was going to end.

I had a dream that I was moving.  I remember dreaming there were bees
everywhere.

I was not thrilled when I woke up from this dream.  That same day, I get a letter from
the attorney for the seller asking for some ridiculous clause to the sale contract.  As I
was showing this letter to a dear friend of mine he very calmly said, "There's a bee on
your hand."

So, I absentmindedly flicked it off while continuing to talk about the letter.

Then, he said, "There's a bee on your hat."

Then, it dawned on me.  I had a dream about moving and about bees.  While I was
reading this letter wondering what was going to happen, and if I was going to end up
moving again or not, for the first time in my life land on me simultaneously and then
my business is swarmed by bees all day.

The bees were God's way of showing me the answer with an indisputable prophetic
sign.   I'm sure a skeptic could say it was a coincidence but I know better.  Things like
this happen all the time and are irrefutable because they are always right on the
money.  The bees were an example of a small prophetic detail of a future event that
confirms that a message is from God.

Warnings in Seeking Dream Interpretations from Others

Yes.  And no.   While biblical dream  interpretation is, well...... Biblical, we want to
share with you the biblical cautions related to dreams and their interpretation.  

One plain warning cautions us not to heed the dreams of others is when their dreams
would lead you to go after other gods (Deuteronomy 13:1-5, Jeremiah 14:14; 23:
16,25-27,32; Ezekiel 13:1,7; 12:24,  
Zechariah 10:2).  

Jesus also warned us that false prophets would abound.  Dream interpretation
through revelation knowledge is a prophetic gift.  Those who receive a divine
interpretation from God are operating in revelation knowledge, and when revelation
knowledge is delivered to the intended recipient it becomes prophecy.  Therefore,
the interpretations fall under the mantle of the prophetic.  

When people ask us what they should take into consideration when receiving dream
interpretations by an interpreter, or when receiving prophetic utterances, we always
encourage people to heed the Lord's warning to know them by their fruit.  It is hard to
judge the fruit of a person that you do not know, so in those cases - especially through
the Internet, exercise extreme caution!  As our Lord Jesus said, "Watch out."

Matthew 7 - A Tree and Its Fruit

15"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly
they are ferocious wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick
grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise every good tree bears
good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a
bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut
down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

Mark 13

22For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles
to deceive the elect—if that were possible. 23So be on your guard; I have told you
everything ahead of time.


Confirmation and Safety in a Multitude of Counselors

Our emotions and desires get in the way of interpreting our own dreams.  I have often
gone to interpret my own dreams and my mind refused to acknowledge the truth -
sometimes it has happened because I didn't want to face an upcoming trial that the
Lord was warning me about in advance...or I did not get a correct interpretation
because my heart wanted a specific answer.  Instead of seeing the truth, my mind
wanted to make the symbols in my dream fit what I wanted them to mean.  We are
human and therefore subject to human weaknesses.  Because we have weaknesses
the Lord has made the body of Christ to fit together and to work together to benefit
one another.  We need each other.  

The bible makes it clear, there is safety in a multitude of counselors.  EVEN WHEN
you can interpret your own dreams it is very wise to submit to a minimum of two or
three other established dream interpreters to confirm what God is speaking to your
heart. I make it a practice to submit my dreams for confirmation to the moderators at
our ministry before I act on them. Confirmation cannot be overrated and, when it
comes, it is a blessing from God.  It is so very important to submit our dreams to
Spirit-filled people we trust to keep us from error.  People are prone to imperfection.  
We all make mistakes.  By submitting our dreams to each other for confirmation and
interpretation, we will reduce the chance of error in acting on them.

                         Copyright 2005 - Today Mia Sherwood Ministries