Visions or too much spicy Thai before bed?
The exchange with the 'ex-gay' started me thinking about this issue of visions, prophetic dreams and God speaking directly to people. Now as a Pentecostal, these are very real and very much from God as a person coming from this background. The Bible backs me on this (Acts 2:17).
But all these spiritual manifestations have to jive with the Word of God or they are
n o t h i n g.
There is also a real danger when interacting with the spiritual realm because there is the possibility you may not be dealing with God or his messengers, but the other guy and his ilk. Even Paul said if an angelic being appears to you while you're taking a shower (the first warning bell is someone coming to you while you're in the shower) and tells you something that seems to be contrary to the Word, the visitor is from the other guy who NEVER has your best interest in mind. The fact Paul gives this warning says it can happen, Paul didn't DO hypotheticals.
My Pentecostal side of the denomination isle is a perfect example of those who like to believe they have their toes dipped into the spiritual pool over other types of Christian, but somehow embrace more spiritual heresies at the same time (Latter Rain, Manifest Sons of God, prosperity doctrine are all heresies that stemmed from the Pentecostal movement, not to mention the scary "revival" meetings like the ones in Brownsville and Toronto). My poor Pentecostal brethren, always stretching to hear the voices of Angels while ignoring the cries of men, another danger with have more feet in the spiritual realm than the one of flesh and bone dealing with other beings of flesh and bone.
False dreams and prophesies can do real damage. The assistant Pastor of my Church felt like he had a prophetic calling to start his own church. He did and it failed, miserably. It left him questioning everything. God was not behind this, but from him it was an honest mistake with thinking it was from God and it's an example of how you can really convince yourself God is talking to you. This can go from the greater to the lesser of us. Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz was told by his wife he should run because of a prophetic dream she had from God telling her he'll win, he lost to a demagogue and was almost dragged out of the race by his own party because he thought God couldn't be wrong. You have some like a YouTube "Prophetess" who had a vision from God of California having a major Earthquake because of all the homosexuals being busy with homosexuality in the state. Well guess what? Seismologist who don't get visions from God have been predicting a major Earthquake for years because we haven't had smaller Earthquakes and now it's built into one big one coming to me soon. Of course when it happens this "seer" will see it as her prophesy coming true and people in the Bible belt will be in awe of her while running away from the tornadoes they'll say God didn't send them. From the looks of it, all you have to do is have a YouTube account and you are ripe for all kinds of visions from the Lord. The problem is the visions don't match up or directly contradict visions others have had and that makes many people liars, delusional, or both. The Bible says if a prophet of God is wrong even once, they aren't of God and they are to be killed. There is no wiggle room with this and it shows how lightly so many believers take this subject when God doesn't.
"And the LORD said to me: “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds."
Maybe we should step away from the dreams and prophesies till we're grounded in the Word of God FIRST. I'm talking about really being solid in it to where we can tell these multitudes of self-professed prophets who dream dreams to shut up and sit down with what isn't from God because this has turned into a jumbled mess.
"The life of a man consists not in seeing visions and in dreaming dreams, but in active charity and in willing service."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.