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Dreams & Visions
Everyone Equal?
Feelings & Experiences
Judging Doctrine
Judging Dreams-visions
A Christian Is - Part 2
Ministries, Ministers, Doctrines Examined

Characteristics 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 principals about
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

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Any true experience will eventually show fruit. Either it will ultimately exult scripture or the flesh, the world, or the devil or a combination.

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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.

Notable Related Scriptures

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 majesty.
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 well pleased.
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 experience.)
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 the Word)
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?)


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