of Valid Dreams, Visions, Manifestations
Although it may be impossible to know initially
whether a manifestation is consistent
with the word of God, or is of God, God’s word does establish some
those manifestations so they may be judged.
They are never to be held up as an example of spirituality or an
experience to seek
after. Paul had a great experience but NEVER encouraged anyone to seek
the same. The
experience cost him a “thorn in the flesh” see
Dreams & Visions
Though the manifestation may not be immediately
discernable, how it affects the recipient surely is. Does it lead them
to a more holy walk. Do they fear God and tremble at His word. Do they
have a meek and quiet spirit? Do they exult their experience, or does
the experience cause them to speak only of Jesus Christ and Him
crucified? Is there experience given in great detail while neglecting
the focus on Him?
A valid experience will cause a walk and
confession that is biblical, though a parallel example for the
experience may not be found in the bible.
While a genuine experience is meant to be appreciated by the recipient,
it is never to be RE-sought as a continuing experience -- this NEVER
happened in scripture (Jesus did not want them to build 3 tents on the
mount of transfiguration and the brass serpent eventually had to be
destroyed becaused they began worhipping the deliverance it
represented.) Don't "camp " on any experience.
Though we are told that prophesy, dreams and
visions would occur, it is very significant that reports about them and
their content are almost non existent in the Bible. Agabus is the one
exception I can think of -- and Paul confirmed his word but ignored it.
Significant experiences happened infrequently
during a person’s lifetime. Paul tells of only one. Peter tells of one.
Peter's vision came to open up his heart and mind to the scriptural
truth that the Gentiles were to be offered the gospel sent to the Jews.
There is no record where the same private
experience happened on a group level or was meant to. Group experiences
(the day of Pentecost) was immediately shown to be fulfillment of
scripture, not some event isolated from scripture.
Where is the evidence that God has ever used ANY
experinece to prove anything, or to save someone or even to draw
someone to Himself. Jesus openly criticized followers for their
interest in His miracles.
When people have sought a manifestation, or a
sign they were often deceived. The Pharisees sought a sign and missed
the Messiah. Church and cult history is replete with examples of those
who had a manisfestation and left the path of truth. To my knowledge,
there is NO record of anyone in scripture or history that has ever
deviated from scripture prospered spiritually.
Jesus spent his private time with God, most of
the normal hours of the day he was
walking out God’s plan -- discipling, ministering. He never focused on
the signs that followed Him or said to seek them. He discouraged
looking at the signs and criticized followers for their miracle and
sign seeking -- he said it was a characteristic of the Gentiles and not
followers of God.
Any true experience will eventually show fruit.
Either it will ultimately exult scripture or the flesh, the world, or
the devil or a combination.
Peter says that he heard the voice from heaven
declaring Jesus to be the beloved son.
Then he says that he also has a more sure word -- the scripture because
it came from God.
Peter places a valid experience, in secondary place to the scripture.
1 Peter 1
16 ¶ For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made
known unto you power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were
eyewitnesses of his
17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there
came such a voice
to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am
18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with
him in the
holy mount. (This was surely some
great experience and privelage. But listen what to what he says about
it compared to scripture in verse 19)
19 ¶ We have also a more sure word of prophecy;
whereunto ye do well that ye take
heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn,
and the day star
arise in your hearts: (It is the
scripture -- the sure word of prophecy -- that is the light, not the
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any
private interpretation. (There is
no place for revelation knowlege. One man cannot cannot have an
interpretation of the word which is in contrast to any of the rest of
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy
men of God spake
as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
(Only after much testing and debate did the present cannon of scripture
come to be accepted as God's very words. This after hundreds of years
of watching the fruit it produced. Why are we so anxious to accept
every new "revelation" or twist of interpretation?)