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Spiritual Definitions

by August H. Wald, PhD


John A. Sanford's Dreams, God's Forgotten Language and Morton T. Kelsey's God, Dreams, and Revelation present exhaustive coverage of the place of dreams in the Bible. Kelsey further examines the attitudes toward dreams held by the fathers of the church.

Concordances and commentaries, such as John L. McKenzie's Dictionary of the Bible, agree with Sanford and Kelsey that God has indeed spoken to his people through dreams at different times in the past. We recall the dream of Jacob's ladder (Gen. 28:10-15) and the Magi's dream (Matt. 2:12) as two of the better known instances of revelation through dreams. But other biblical personages -- notably Abraham, Joseph, Gideon, Samuel, Saul, Joseph (Mary's husband), Pilate's wife, and Paul -- also experienced significant dreams.

Kelsey points out that biblical accounts of dreams, "visions in the night," prophecies, talking with God face to face, and experiences with angels all express a mode of communication from God that is not subject to ego control. In many of his lectures, tapes, and writings, Kelsey emphasizes the existence of a spiritual universe that underlies our space-time world, the two coming into contact in many places, but especially perceived by us in our unconscious. Dreams, visions, prophecies, and other communications from God are all, according to Kelsey, different ways in which messages from the spiritual realm break into consciousness where they can be comprehended and acted upon. The dream, he concludes, is the most common of these phenomena.

Unfortunately, the Bible is relatively silent when it comes to the art of dream interpretation. "Are not interpretations God's business?" Joseph explained to the Pharaoh's officials (Gen. 40:8). "Unless sent by emissaries from the Most High, do not give them [dreams] a thought," wrote Jesus ben Sirach (Sir. 34:6), reiterating Joseph's position, but leaving the matter quite vague. This problem is further compounded when there appear on the scene certain false prophets with their lying visions and dreams causing such a mistrust of dream content that Elijah, Isaiah, and Jeremiah denounced the dream as a credible mode of communication from the divine (see especially Jer. 23:16-32).

Excessive fear about dream interpretation is uncalled for, however. The most harsh injunctions concerning dreams are found in Old Testament works only. We live in the Pentecostal Age, about which the prophet Joel stated: "I will pour out my Spirit on all humanity; your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men see visions" (3:1). It is almost as though Joel wrote out of frustration over the difficulty in discerning God's voice and looked forward to the day when people would be more intimately aware of the Spirit of God and, consequently, of the Spirit's voice in dreams and visions.

This brief survey of the place of dreams in the Bible provides evidence that God was believed to have spoken to his people through dreams on some occasions. For an understanding of how dreams might be a vehicle for divine communication and of how they might be interpreted, we will find Jungian psychology most helpful.

We strongly encourage you to use our search feature to find relative scriptures and Biblical references to your dreams. A good example of this is the links to our dream definitions for numbers and colors.

Keep in mind that approximately 80% of your dreams symbols have the same meaning. Dream symbols and themes may mean different things to different people, but most have similar meanings. It is most important to do your own research and always pray for your dream meanings.

Christian Dream Symbols & Themes

House - represents the person; their life; one's spiritual state. (Matt. 7:24-27, II Tim. 2:20-21).

House, discovering a new room within - if associated with positive feelings: new area of life or ministry God will open or desires to open if you'll cooperate. If associated with negative feelings: a dark part of one's life the Lord wants to expose and/or heal. Also see  house.

House with a hole in the roof; house with torn or dilapidated shingles - indicates a lack of spiritual covering; having an area of life in which God's protection has been withdrawn due to sin or an upcoming wrong choice.

God, angels or Jesus most definitely indicates a prophetic meaning or the Lord directly communicating with you. One should earnestly pray for understanding if the interpretation is not obvious. After prayer, read the Bible too you may be amazed at what you will discover! Often you will hear the words very distinctly and they will have Biblical references for validation. Also see  God -  Jesus - Angels.

Nakedness - represents intimacy with God. Standing naked before God represents surrender to God; a vision of Jesus naked or disrobing is indicative of God seeking greater intimacy with you; beckoning you. (Gen. 3:8-11). Also see  nudity.

Snakes, serpents - represents the Enemy; demons; a bad omen; danger. (Gen. 3:1, Num. 21:4-9). Also see  snake.

Vehicles - represents the current path or direction of one's life due to decisions made; can also represent the person's life as in the common house symbol (e.g. having difficulty operating the clutch and controls, barely moving: indicative of a state in which one feels out of control and not in charge of their life and current direction. Riding in a white car with a gentle, enjoyable ride: indicative of a season of life in which God is blessing). In ancient times people would dream of chariots.

Vehicles, multi-passenger (buses, trains, etc.) - same as "vehicles" above but involving a group of people such as one's family, church, denomination, etc; (e.g. a bus wreck with injuries: warning that a specific decision or the current course will lead to bad results for the party involved). Also see dream symbols.

Water, rushing or fast flowing - if associated with a positive feeling: indicates the blessing of God; the presence of the Holy Spirit. (Ezek 47:1-9) Also see  water.

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