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Are People Saved or Is Salvation Confirmed, Through Dreams and Visions?

Updated: Mar 28

As a Mennonite by heritage, this author has been frequently exposed to Mennonite folks imploring that someone’s dreams or visions or voices and such signs was a manifestation or confirmation of someone’s salvation and certain affirmation of their heavenly eternal abode, preceding their passing into eternity. What someone had said or done or dreamt in the day(s) preceding their death is explored by these sign seekers to perceive whether God had somehow enlightened his or her mind that their days were quickly numbered, or He had revealed this as a sign to those around him. Even the manner of their countenance at death is sometimes noted as a sign. 'He had a peaceful countenance so he must've had time to make peace with God.' These sort of signs or dreams are presented as a confirmation that they must’ve somehow subconsciously known their end was near, whether hours or days or even weeks beforehand, and thus had sufficient time to repent of any known sins to God or someone they had transgressed against at some point of their life and thus prepare themselves for their exit out of this universe and sojourn to Heaven. This is tied to the works-salvation they embrace, which requires repentance of any known sin in this life and even reconciliation with individuals transgressed against or at odds with, prior to death, or you end up in hell — thus the signs of dreams or visions are a necessary tool in this reconciliation process and departing this earthly abode, if they have any chance of earning the heavenly abode.

There are also many Charismatic Mennonites such as the apostate John Abrams who describes visions and voices that steered him in the right direction allegedly, bringing him to the point of such demonic deception that he fully believes he has the same power as an apostle and as Christ to resurrect people from the dead, in spite of never actually been able to do that! (source). This is pure demonic deception.

Does the Bible teach we are to look for signs such as dreams and visions, and is it reflective of Biblical salvation?

Absolutely not. It is in fact tantamount to superstition and witchcraft. God’s Word is rejected for something else along the lines of extraBiblical revelation or experience. It is actually absolutely wicked. One could liken this rebellious, evil behaviour to what the prophet Samuel said to king Saul, merely changing the word “king” with “professing believer,” since the truth remains the same:

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” (1 Sam 15:23).

I have also heard or read numerous accounts of Moslems allegedly coming to faith in Jesus Christ through dreams and visions of Jesus. The following article for instance by the Roman Catholic Dinesh Daouza, is a recent reflection of this: Moslems Converting to Christ after Having Dreams and Visions of Jesus Christ. Charismatic sources also agree with this, as does the heretical Southern Baptist Convention (SBC — and yes, it is not only “bad theology” but it is heresy and reflective of the massive apostasy in the SBC). All to often I read unscriptural testimonies of alleged “salvations” where someone came in contact with a vision "Jesus" or an angel and through such means became followers of Christ. A nurse in America had an out of body experience during an anaphylactic attack, and claims she met God and learned the purpose of life, and then subsequently returned to share the truth (source). This is a very common tale dreamt up by attention and money seeking heretics, such as Choo Thomas. It is a blatant lie, no person has ever seen God, and the purpose of life is not being exclaimed extrabiblically, that is outside of Gods Word. She is demonically deceived and met a demonic unclean spirit, NOT God.

The Errors Tied to Believing in Visions and Dreams

In order to achieve the desired doctrine of visions and dreams of Jesus Christ saving people or confirming their salvation, those who embrace and purvey this sort of teaching must embrace any number of unscriptural points as the following:

1. They must believe that continuationism is true and cessationism is false. That means God is continuing to work through signs and wonders, giving revelatory dreams and visions today. Many Mennonites, Charismatics, Mozlems and others have given testimony concerning this, and apparently someones personal testimony (I.e. experience) can never be wrong.

The Bible however teaches cessationism, not continuationism. Signs and wonders stopped with the death of the last apostle, which is why no one has actually ever been able to recreate any of the signs and wonders since the first century. Soon however signs and wonders will come back on the world stage, but not by everybody or anybody. It is Satan himself who will deceive the whole world, including simple-minded "Christians" (which are unsaved false professors),

"And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." (2 Th 2:8-12)

2. Their experience must interpret scripture, not scripture interpreting their experiences. This is what is referred to as eisegesis, which is forcing or pushing ones presupposed beliefs into scripture, which is both dishonouring to God and ungodly, not the manner of interpretation of those who are genuinely converted but of rebels who actually oppose God's authority and thus Word. Any passages of Scripture that seem to teach the cessation of revelation with the completion of the canon must be reinterpreted in light of the overwhelming proof from the dreams and visions. In that philosophy, experience trumps the Word of God.

3. Rather than fulfilling the great commission of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ (Matt 28:18-19; Mk 16:15; Lk 24:44-48), which is the only means whereby we are saved (that is, through the preaching of the gospel, 1 Cor 1:21; Rom 10:14-17), and rather than truly repenting and believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, surrendering themselves to Him, people are relying on or seeking after extraBiblical revelations such as signs, wonders, and dreams, to take the place of the great commission and true, personal conversion. Unbeknownst many times to the perpetrator is that this misplaced affection reveals plain proof of an unconverted estate, of feigned faith.

Scripture however is the sole authority for the believer’s faith and practice (2 Tim 3:15-17). Scripture is a more sure word than any experience–even more sure than hearing the audible voice of God Himself (2 Pet 1:16-21). Scripture, therefore, must never have its teaching ignored, altered, undermined, overlooked, or changed because of what someone claims he experienced. Indeed, even if everyone in the whole world said something was true, but Scripture said otherwise, the Bible would be right and everyone would be wrong:

“Let God be true, but every man a liar” (Rom 3:4).

Scripture Teaches Cessationism, Not Continuationism

Scripture teaches cessationism, the ending of revelatory and sign-gifts, as the following report linked here clearly demonstrates. There are no Apostles today or apostolic gifts (Eph 2:20). The canonization of God’s Word is complete (1 Cor 13:8-13), and Scripture is God's completed revelatory speech.

We know that the Bible teaches cessationism because healings and wonders could only be done by apostles, and were their special authenticating signs. In 2 Cor 12:12 Paul says:

"Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds."

To those at Corinth who challenged Paul’s apostleship, he defended himself by drawing attention to his gift of healing and of working other miraculous signs, stating that only the apostles could do such things. The book of Acts says specifically that healings and wonders were exclusive to the apostles (Ac 2:43; 5:12), who all passed away by the early 2nd century. Heb 2.3-4 makes it clear that the sign gifts were firmly linked to the apostles. An apostle was someone who had accompanied the Lord, seen him after his resurrection, and been personally commissioned by him. As a special witness of the resurrection and extension of Christ's work, he was given power to heal. People who did not belong to the band of apostles (which included two named assistants) could not do these things, and if they had been able to do, there would have been uncertainty as to who were the true apostles. Paul was a special apostle, not the 12th, by virtue of having seen the risen Lord, and having been directly commissioned by him. His lack of direct training by Christ was overcome by his receiving special and unique revelations. He states that he was "one born out of due time" (1 Cor 15:8), indicating that he was the only apostle outside the original twelve and therefore the last apostle. Modern claims to apostleship match NO biblical qualifications, and are heretics and false teachers, as specifically stated in 2 Cor 11:12 and other places.

Peter famously healed Æneas and raised Dorcas from the dead, in Lydda and Joppa, and the entire communities were astonished, because none of the other believers in such places could do these things. When a lad fell out of a window in Troas, there was only one person present who could raise him up, and that was Paul the Apostle. The charismatic idea that healings were performed by numerous Christians is simply not to be found in the NT. Only the apostles are recorded as having healed, together with two apostolic assistants or delegates, Stephen and Philip, and possibly Barnabas. The only time someone outside of this group performed miraculous signs was when the Lord had Ananias heal Paul. There is no other healing apart from these in the churches of the NT. The Pentecostal/Charismatic idea that healings took place constantly by Christians at large is not taught in the Bible. The infallible record of Scripture shows the entire approach to healing to be contrary to Scripture and based on a myth. The record proves that the healings and mighty deeds were restricted to a class of people who have passed away.

Revelation is Complete

The Bible plainly teaches that the revelation of God is fully complete. There can be no new revelation after the time of the apostles. Rev 22:18-19 finishes off the Bible with a warning to anyone who adds or omits or changes the Word of God. The Lord Jesus Christ says twice, Jn 14:26 and 16:13, to the disciples that the Holy Spirit, when he comes, will lead them into all truth. They would be the penman of NT books, and the authenticators of inspired NT books not from their own pens. Soon all truth would be revealed, and after the apostolic era there would be no more revelation of Scripture. The Scriptures would be complete.

The Bible is indeed complete. No more Bible is being written — Ju 1:3 says that “the faith . . . was once [and for all] delivered [completed action] unto the saints” and Rev 22:18-19 promises a curse upon anyone who adds or takes away from God's completed revelation. This clearly applies to the whole Bible, not just the last book. We know this because the warning closely echoes the one given by Moses in the first book of the Bible (the first five were originally one book), namely De 4:2,

"Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it."

Repeated by Moses in De 12:32 and penman of Pr 30:6.

What about Joel's prophecy, quoted by Peter on the day of Pentecost (Ac 2), saying that when the Spirit is poured out, all believers will prophesy, of all ages and both genders? Is it not implied that this will go on literally until the Lord’s return? No, because our understanding of this prophecy must agree with the incorruptible teaching of the Bible that revelation was soon completed, and then ceased. It is this completed revelation (especially the Gospel) that will be the witness of true born again believers of all ages through all the world, until the end.

Since revelation was complete in the time of the apostles, the canonization of Scripture finished, we see that the task of apostles and prophets is over. And if the gifts of revelation are ended, then so are the authenticating signs of inspired penmen. "Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in . . . signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds" (2 Cor 12.12).

Scripture shows that the apostolic sign gifts were in the process of being withdrawn even during the NT times. Paul, for instance, who possessed apostolic power to do signs and wonders and mighty deeds, could not, in the course of time, heal Timothy or Trophimus or Epaphroditus. Jam 5 is another example of the withdrawing of the healing gifts, where James gives instructions about praying for the sick and the elders laying hands upon the bedridden and anointing with oil, which isn't spiritual anointing, but a different Greek word used, "aleipho," a very practical word implying the rubbing down with oil. It is obvious in this passage that there is no gifted healer in sight, only elders, who pray. What matters most is prayer.

Scripture is More Than Sufficient and Reliable

Scripture teaches that “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom 10:17); conversion comes through Scripture (Jn 15:3). Men are “born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1 Pet 1:23). So nobody has been born again because of a dream or sign or special revelation. The Holy Spirit produces the new birth as sinners, enabled by grace, respond to the gospel recorded in the Word of God. This is “thus saith the Lord.” I don’t care what someone says happened in his dream. God’s Word is infinitely more reliable than someone’s dream, and Scripture teaches that people are born again through hearing the gospel, not having dreams and visions.

So What is the Explanation Behind the Visions or Dreams?

I don’t need to explain people’s visions or dreams. The Bible tells me to live by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matt 4:4), but it never tells me that I need to explain what others claim to have seen in a dream or vision. I don’t need to explain dreams of people who say they left Islam and rejected Allah and the Quran for Christianity. Nor do I need to explain the demonic dreams of demonically deceived people who say they left Christianity for Islam after having a dream. How is a person supposed to know what is going on in someone else’s head when they are sleeping? The vast majority of the time I can’t even remember my own dreams.

1. First of all, experiences may deceive. Unsaved people tend toward being deceived, since, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jer 17:9), so you cannot depend on how you feel because “there is a way which seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Pr 14:12). Satan often deceives by means of experiences. He presents himself as “an angel of light” and “it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness” (2 Cor 11:14-15). The people said of Simon the sorcerer, “This man is the great power of God … and to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries” (Ac 8:8-11). The experience proved to deceive many people, who fell under his bondage, until such a time the glorious gospel opened their eyes.

The Lord Jesus warned of the dangers of experiences,

“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matt 24:24)

2. Secondly, the Bible is sufficient and reliable for testing truthfulness, but experiences are characteristically unreliable. The Bible is truth (Jn 17:17) and is sufficient for every good work (2 Tim 3:16-17). God is pleased only by faith (Heb 11:6) and faith comes from God’s Word (Rom 10:17; Jn 20:30, 31). Experiences (“sight”) and faith are mutually exclusive (2 Cor 5:7).

Seeking experiences is ungodly and unfaithful. The Lord Jesus said that those seeking signs—tongues, healings, miracles—are evil and spiritual adulterers, both of which indicate an unregenerate nature:

“An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it” (Matt 12:39).

Experiences should be rejected as non-authoritative competition with the evidence of God’s Word. The Bible is complete. No more Bible is being written— Ju 1:3 says that “the faith . . . was once [and for all] delivered [completed action] unto the saints” and Rev 22:18-19 promises a curse upon anyone who adds or takes away from God's completed revelation:

"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."

Even good, valid experiences are less sure than the Bible. The Apostle Peter wrote that his experience on the Mount of Transfiguration is less sure than the written Word of God (2 Pet 1:16-21). The most incredible and amazing experiences still fall far short of the Bible. According to the Lord Jesus, Abraham said to the rich man in hell, “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead” (Lk 16:31). The great miracle of resurrection from the dead is not what brings about faith; faith is wrought through the Scriptures alone.

Man will be judged based on God’s Words, not on experiences:

“He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my [the Lord's] words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I [the Lord] have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (Jn 12:48).

God rejects unscriptural worship because worship of God must be in truth (Jn 4:23-24). Truly saved people worship the Father in spirit and in truth:

"But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."

Those who would please God, will and must test every belief, practice, and experience using the Word of God (1 Cor 2:15; Ac 17:11; 1 Th 5:21; etc), and this is "Judg[ing] righteous judgment." (Jn 7:24)

The Danger of False Prophets of Dreams and Visions

I would tend to think even false prophets have “some” truth in their teaching, but the bigger issue is the danger of their teachings (“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” 1 Cor 15:33) and then the biggest issue is not loving God by not separating from them and their false teachings. Many passages speak of that; it’s a truth found everywhere in scripture including in De 13:1-4; Rom 16:17-18; 1 Cor 15:33; 2 Cor 11:3-4, 12-15; Gal 2:4-5; Eph 5:11; Phil 3:17-19; 1 Tim 6:3-5; 2 Tim 2:15-20; 3:5-9; 4:1-4; 2 Jn 1:9-11; 3 Jn 1:9-11; Rev 2:2; etc.

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Eph 5:11)

Those promoting visions and dreams are false teachers who must be sharply reproved, whose mouths must be stopped (Ti 1:11-13). The truly saved must be exceedingly careful lest they be misled and fall from their steadfastness, by these unstable teachers, whose error of corrupting God's words is an "error of the wicked" (2 Pet 3:16-17).

"As also in all [Paul's] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness." (2 Pet 3:16-17)

The True Need of Sign Seekers: Salvation

“An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.” (Matt 12:39-41).

Jesus gave this sharp reproof to an unsaved religious people. Thats what sign-seekers are. Unsaved and religious. Their desperate need is true Biblical repentance, like the Ninevites, and thus the new birth, and then signs are no longer sought after. For that, please read here: Metamorphosis of a Sinner — How You Can Be Saved and Have Eternal Life


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