Does God Give Dreams and Visions Today?

“For I am the LORD, I change not.” (Malachi 3:6a)

There is a teaching in the church, promoted by “cessationists” (those who believe that God no longer performs miracles today, or speaks today via dreams and visions) that all the guidance that a Christian requires can be found in the pages of Scripture. For example, a certain well respected theologian writes concerning Jack Deere, a man who believes in miracles and dreams and visions: “Deere asserts (1) miracles are used in Scripture to provide guidance to believers and (2) God is guiding today. Therefore, God is guiding today, as in the past, with the same kinds of miracles. He errs by assuming that God must continue to guide through a new set of contemporary miracles rather than through the faithfully recorded history of biblical miracles.” ++

Notice what the author says. He writes that Deere “errs by assuming that God must continue to guide through a new set of contemporary miracles rather than through the faithfully recorded history of biblical miracles.” In other words, he believes that miracles (including God speaking through dreams and visions) are not required today — indeed, God does not even do them today — because the provision, or benefit, that is gained through them is already faithfully recorded in the pages of Scripture. Therefore, what possible need is there for God to do something “new” and “contemporary”? To the author, what happened in the past is entirely sufficient. After all, God has spoken, has he not? Why should he speak again? If it happened once, it’s good enough. It does not need to happen again. We can always turn to the pages of Scripture in order to find out what happened.

This reminds me of the fairly well known joke about the wife who was beginning to feel a little insecure, because she had not once heard her husband say “I love you” since their wedding day ten years prior. When one day she ventured to ask her husband about this, he responded by saying, “Why honey, I already told you I loved you on the day that we got married!” Clearly, however, the husband in our story is missing something. While his logic is acceptable from a strictly rationalistic standpoint — after all, he did tell his wife that he loved her on their wedding day — yet he comes up desperately short in one very critical area of his relationship with his wife — that of intimacy.

Sadly, the author errs in this very same way when he argues for the cessation of miracles on the basis of their having once been recorded. Perhaps we should ask this man about all of those miracles that were never recorded in the pages of Scripture — that simply never made it in, because there were too many of them, as the apostle John writes: “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen” (John 21:25)

The point is this. The author says that we can always find guidance through the “faithfully recorded history of biblical miracles”. Therefore, there is no need for God to “interfere” by providing new and contemporary guidance today. But my question is this: What about those many miracles that, as John says in John 21:25, were never even recorded? What about them? How can we reference them and “find guidance” through that which is not even recorded for us? Obviously, we cannot. Which brings me to my next point: Why were these miracles even done, if not for the sake of others who could benefit by them by reading the Scriptures? To which we must come to the conclusion that God does not always do miracles — today or in the past — for the sake of the larger (reading) audience, as the author clearly suggests! No, but rather, He is an intimate, personal, God, who desires to relate intimately with his children — in the past, and today, as well.

But no! God is an intimate God, yesterday, today, and forever! And He does not change! He did not, and does not, merely give miracles for the sake of the larger listening audience! Not all of the miracles, and healings, and dreams and visions that occured in the past were done for the sake of providing instruction and guidance for those who would later read of these accounts in Scripture. But rather, God is an intimate God. And He desires to relate with you and me today, through dreams and visions.

“For I am the LORD, I change not.” (Malachi 3:6a)

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++ The source of this quote is being withheld to protect the name of the author, for I do not wish to expose his name in the hopes that he might be led to repentance through other means than public exposure.