God’s Revelation

I have a hypothetical situation/question for my readers:

Let’s talk about you. You are a “good” Christian. You read your Bible every morning and every evening before bed. Your pray before each meal asking God to bless the food. You talk about Jesus to the lost several times a week and try through Jesus to live a holy and pure life. You attend a regular church meeting a few times a week and even find time to minister and disciple people outside of the walls of the building. Your marriage is in great shape, your spouse loves and supports you. Your children are well discipline, get good grades and are all followers of Christ. You pray with your family daily and have weekly bible studies with them and your neighbors.

One night, you go to bed. Before bed you are burdened to pray. You pray extra long this night, making sure to pray for God’s will in your life. You pray for the health of your family, friends, neighbors, and enemies. You talk to God as if he were in front of you and were responding. As you are praying you fall asleep and have the most amazing and vivid dream. In this dream a man, who you recognize as Jesus (but looks nothing like the pictures) is standing before you. He is talking to you but his lips aren’t moving. You wake up the next morning to your alarm and feel completely rested. You are also overjoyed about your dream. Y try to remember everything that Jesus relayed to you but can only remember one thing – he told you that the book of Revelation is not Scripture.

Do you believe the dream? Why or why not?

Comments

  1. No I don’t believe the dream. I don’t believe most dreams that people tell me, nor my own dreams. :) If they’re serious about it, I listen and then if I sense a desire, I seek Father about it. But most of the time I don’t have any reason to believe that what happened in people’s dreams (including my own) are reality.

    I also don’t believe it, because you say it’s hypothetical. ;)

  2. Lew,

    I’ll assume the first 95% of the post is smoke and mirrors and move to the last sentence and the question.;^)

    I will also assume the words you used are critical to the question. For example, if you said he told the dreamer that the book of Revelation wasn’t true, or, it was fictional, then it’s a tougher question. But since you used the word “Scripture”, I can ask: 1.) does the book of Revelation testify of Jesus? Obviously it does. 2.) Was John inspired by God when he wrote it? He consistently claimed that Jesus is Lord in his writings so I have to assume he was indeed inspired by God through the Holy Spirit. 3.) Does the book of Revelation contradict any other Scriptures? I don’t think so. Also, on a side note, does inserting or deleting the book of Revelation from “Scripture” really change anything when looking at the bigger picture? Again, I don’t think so.

    Now that I’m personally confident that the book of Revelation could qualify as “Scripture”, I turn my focus to the dreamer. 1.) What would be the point of “Jesus” sharing this information with him? Bottom line, it really doesn’t change anything except to take away testimony of Jesus. 2.) Did his prophetic dream testify of Jesus? The Spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus. (That one is questionable for a defense because it is from the book in question) 3.) Wouldn’t his prophetic dream be considered a “private interpretation?”

    Weighing the information in hand, my answer is…no, I don’t believe the dream.

    Lew- Do you think there are potentially any additional writings (other than just the bible) recorded by Spirit filled Christians, past, present, and future that could fall under the category of “Scripture?” Personally, after thinking about this I’m not so sure there aren’t. I think their credibility would come into question if they added any faith changing information though.( ie- Mormom, JW, etc.)

  3. Joel B. and Jeff,

    Thanks for having the courage to comment on this post. It’s a hard situation to wrap your mind around, which is why I wrote the post. By the way, I haven’t had this dream – it was really a question I came up with from other conversations I’ve had.

    Because I don’t want to limit how God communicates with me, I cannot throw out dreams as a possible way of communication. In fact, I have had a dream that I believe was from God.

    Jeff,

    Most of the time the words I use are very critical. In this post especially, I wanted to be precise in what I was asking. I wouldn’t say that it is 95% smoke and mirrors, but I wanted to have a context for who was having the dream. For instance, if I said a drug-addict prostitute had this dream, then more people would say they would ignore it. But if it was someone who people see as “godly” or walking with Christ then it would be something they would be forced to consider.

    The reason I picked the book of Revelation, was because of its history. As you may know, this book was contested as to whether or not it would be included in the canon (what we call the Bible.)

    The reason why I said “Scripture” rather than inspired or something else, was because I believe that all Scripture is true. If Jesus said that Revelation wasn’t Scripture, than the content of the book is questionable… a mixture of truths and falsities. Perhaps John didn’t write the book, or the last half of it was added by someone else, etc., etc.

    There are probably several reasons why I asked this question. I think the strongest is because I wanted to find out how people weigh different revelations from God. It seems to me from you two that tradition and history weigh heavier than a dream.

    To answer your last question, Jeff. Yes, I believe that there are potentially additional writings (past,present,future) that could be considered Scripture. Of course, it would be near impossible to get them in the Bible today :).

    Thanks again for commenting, I hope more people comment!

    God Speed,
    Lew

    P.S. I do believe Revelation is Scripture.

  4. A couple scattered thoughts in response. God often spoke through dreams, as recorded in scripture. So I see no reason to believe that he wouldn’t speak through dreams today. In fact, one of the main things pointed out by Peter in Acts 2 (quoting Joel) is dreams and visions. That is referred to as “the last days”, so one would have to say that we are now living AFTER the last days for that not to be valid. Somehow the idea of being after the “last” days seems odd to me!

    All of the criteria Jeff offered for why the book of Revelation is “scripture” could be applied to many, many, many writings. Jeff must have a really big Bible ;) hehe

    Under the circumstances you shared in your hypothetical scenario, I would definitely give the dream a fair amount of consideration and weight. However, the question of why Jesus would be sharing that information with me would be puzzling to me.

  5. Steve,

    I actually had the same thought regarding Jeff’s criteria for why the book is “Scripture”. But then, again, it doesn’t necessarily discount other books from being “Scripture” as well. Shoot, maybe even some of my blog posts :).

    You said, “However, the question of why Jesus would be sharing that information with me would be puzzling to me.” I could name a few biblical characters who had that same question!

    God Speed,
    Lew

  6. Instead of poking fun at my long measuring rod, why don’t you add to my list of criteria?…something other than: some guys in Hippo said so.

  7. Jeff, I wasn’t trying to poke fun at it. I’m actually quite close to the same position. Sorry if you felt like I was poking fun at it.

  8. Jeff, Yes, no poking here… just light-hearted comments.

    BTW, in your criteria, the only one I’d really question is #2. Mainly because there are a number of books out there claiming to be inspired by God :). I think a lot of what testifies to what is and isn’t Scripture is the Holy Spirit acting in our lives.

    Lew

  9. Lew, I wish that were the ONLY standard used by people. My personal opinion is that God didn’t really intend for us to have a “New Testament” canonized, but that he intended for us to all be listening to the Holy Spirit. Amazingly, I can defend that view from the New Testament ;) hehe

  10. Steve, I’ve listened to your heretical podcast about the Bible… which amazingly matches some of my own views. People start to get real antsy when you tell them to rely on God.

    Lew

  11. Lew and Steve,

    I’ve been reading your blogs (and recently listening to you, Steve) for almost a couple years now. I sincerely respect and appreciate what you guys have to say, and who you are as brothers. I was just trying to make you sweat a little. No hard feelings at this end.

    -Jeff

  12. Jeff,

    Please continue reading and commenting… I don’t post as much as I want to. I find that I don’t have the time, and sometimes I don’t have the topics :).

    God Speed,
    Lew