TRANCES, VISIONS, AND DREAMS
Acts 2:17 “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,Your young men shall see visions,Your old men shall dream dreams.”
Acts 10:9-11 The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth.
The modern day average Christian experience hardly resembles first century Christianity. The two scriptures quoted above indicate that trances, visions, and dreams were intended to be part of the Christian experience. Peter experienced a trance and a vision as the Lord prepared him for an important event, the beginning of the evangelization of the gentiles. As Peter received guidance from the Lord through a vision, which was confirmed by events that day, He was led to preach at a gentile’s house, this marked a major turn in the direction of the church. We live in unusual times today. More than any time in history, we need supernatural guidance today in our lives. Why should the occult be blamed for supernatural experiences, after all, the enemy can only imitate the real? Jonathan Edwards addressed this issue in his book “The Distinguishing Marks of a True Move of the Spirit of God”.
“It is no argument that a work is not of the Spirit of God, that some who are the subjects of it have been in a kind of ecstasy, wherein they have been carried beyond themselves, and have had their minds transported into a train of strong and pleasing imaginations, and a kind of visions, as though they were rapt up even to heaven, and visions, as though they were rapt up even to heaven, and there saw glorious sights. I have been acquainted with some such instances, and I see no need of bringing in the help of the devil into the account that we give of these things, nor yet of supposing them to be of the same nature with the visions of the prophets, or St. Paul’s rapture into paradise. Human nature, under these intense exercises and affections, is all that need be brought into the account. If it may be well accounted for, that persons under a true sense of the glorious and wonderful greatness and excellency of divine things, and soul-ravishing views of the beauty and love of Christ, should have the strength of nature overpowered, as I have already shown that it may; then I think it is not at all strange, that amongst great numbers that are thus affected and overborne, there should be some persons of particular constitutions that should have their imaginations thus affected.”
Many times I have fallen into what Luke called a trance during times of soaking in the anointing of the Holy Spirit. If it was good enough for Peter, why should we shrink back from true spiritual encounters? In those times of intimate communication with the Lord He has spoken to me many times. Just like the heavenly language bypasses our conscience mind, thsee visions and dreams are one way the Lord speaks to our inner man. It goes without saying, everything has to be within the confines of the written Word. As we move into these perilous times at the end of the age, we need to launch out into the deep in His anointing and in His written Word.