Today I want to look at a difficult subject. There are many ex-Muslims who say they are coming to Christ because they have had a dream or a vision. It is not hundreds, but thousands! The dreams seem to be very similar. They see a white man in a white robe, and he seems to be calling them to find him. They instinctively know this man as Jesus Christ. It sets them on a journey to find the truth about Jesus Christ.
In our ministry we have seen about 85 Muslims come to Christ and thus far, not one of them has said anything about a dream or a vision. I am still a bit skeptical on this issue, it doesn’t fit in our Baptist way of thinking. I want to look at Scripture on this subject. These things seem to be happening, and I am not denying them. When people ask me about them I tell them that I have limited experience with this type of thing. This is why I am doing some research on the subject.
Tomorrow I will play an interview I recorded earlier with Tom Doyle. He is a missionary in the Middle East, and is the author of a book called “Dreams and Visions.” He has a number of stories of Muslims coming to Christ as a result of these dreams and visions.
I don’t want to be like Peter, where God had to deal with him in a dream concerning calling Gentiles unclean. I do, however, have some problems with this subject and I want to share them with you.
LAST DAYS —- there will be Visions and Dreams.
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: (Acts 2:17)
I don’t have an answer to this verse. This is not limited to Christians and saved people, it is all flesh. Dreams and visions are going to occur in the last days. This may be what is happening in the Muslim world. Remember, many of them cannot read or write. They don’t have access to the Scriptures because of this.
There are three things by which I am measuring these dreams and vision.
First, when someone says they have a vision from God, it must square up with the Scriptures. God will not give a revelation that contradicts Scripture.
Second, the dream or vision must cause them to seek truth from the Scriptures.
Third, there must be fruits of repentance. The Bible says “ye shall know them by their fruits.” If they become obedient to the Scriptures, if they submit to scriptural baptism, then it will lead me to think there is some truth to this.
The Scriptures are the highest authority for everything.
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: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 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. (2 Peter 1:19-21)
The written Word of God is more sure than any prophecy. The Scriptures came to us through prophecy as holy men of God were moved by the Holy Ghost. If anyone gets a revelation from God it will agree with what He has already revealed to us in His Word.
God did give the gift of special revelation to some in the beginning days of this age because the Scriptures were not yet completed. In 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 we are told that these gifts will cease.
….but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. (1 Corinthians 13:8-10)
Some say that this is talking about the return of Christ, but the Greek word for perfect is “teleon,” which means to grow to completion or maturity. Jesus is not growing into perfection or maturity, He is already perfect. At the time of the writing of 1 Corinthians the, Word of God was still growing toward completion. When the Word of God was completed, the partial gifts were no longer needed.
God closed his scriptural revelation to man in about 95 AD when He gave the Book of Revelation to the Apostle John, the son of Zebedee.
Warning not to add to the Revealed Word
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:18-19)
Everything that claims to come from God must be compared and measured by the Word that God has given us. If it does not agree, it is not from God.
Does God continue to speak with the close of the New Testament Canon?
Yes, He does! Individually does he not “Nudge” us “Prompt” us. “Convict” us. “Guide” us. Do we not use words like I felt led by God, or by the Holy Spirit, or similar terms? It is not in an audible voice, but it is something within the heart, something in our conscience, a thought, or a still small voice.
This happened to Elijah in I Kings 19:
And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. (1 Kings 19:11-12)
Those who are Christ’s hear His voice:
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: (John 10:27)
God’s leading is most often through the His Word. For example, God used His Word in the naming of our ministry. He used Jeremiah 6:27:
I have set thee for a tower and a fortress among my people, that thou mayest know and try their way. (Jeremiah 6:27)
When I was talking with the station manager of our home station, he came up with the name Fortress of Faith, and it rang in my heart because I had just read this passage in my devotions. God used this verse to confirm the name of our ministry.
Does God Speak to the lost?
Yes He does! Here are some examples:
Abimelech not to touch Sarah
Pharaoh – hardened his heart
Saul in Acts 9 – “Hard to kick against the pricks”
Is Heb 11:6 only valid for the saved? It says God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Warning – Visions and Dreams open the door for ERROR!!!
There are some denominations out there who are very big about “receiving a word from the Lord.” They tend to talk a lot about their visions and dreams. Many people are being taken in by false prophets. We were warned about this in 1 John:
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)
We are to test all spirits by the Word of God. Many are being deceived by wolves in sheep’s clothing. Many will stand before the Lord and claim to have been His disciples, and He will say He never knew them.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:21-23)
There are a lot of what I call “wide gate” converts. They have been converted to the glitter of religion, but not to Christ. Those who are given to this “I have a word from God” philosophy are often fooled. They will say, I felt that this was right, but feelings are often deceptive. Everything must be confirmed by the Word of God.
I suppose that because I am a Baptist I am very skeptical of those who claim dreams and visions from God. If these visions square up with Scripture, and if they cause the lost to seek the truth from Scripture, I am willing to admit the possibility that they are true.
I have not personally heard a Muslim say that he went to bed, had a vision, and woke up the next day a believer in Christ. I am not saying there are none that claim this, I am saying I have not personally heard it. If that was the way it happened I would whole heartedly reject it. Those I know of who have had these visions say that it caused them to go to the Scriptures and seek the truth about Jesus. They have found a Christian who explained the truth to them.
Another important consequence of these cases is, they show fruits of repentance. They have put their lives at risk by being openly baptized. They have openly renounced Islam as a false ideology. They are willing to put their lives in danger for Christ. I often wonder about Christians in America who won’t even risk going to church in the snow.
I am not sure if we should dismiss this. Tomorrow I will share an interview with Tom Doyle on this subject. I think you will find what he has to say on this subject very interesting.
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