Most dreams, as you well know, are just that--dreams. Such dreams are either psychological in nature, or they have no apparent meaning and are not rooted in reality at all.
Prophetic dreams, on the other hand, are a rare, supernatural occurrence. For example, I have had only two prophetic dreams in my entire, thirty-seven year walk with the Lord--one, concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, and the other, involving the vestibule of heaven.
Also, prophetic dreams have a profound spiritual significance, rich in symbolism. This experience impacts the individual believer with a deep and abiding sense of conviction, and it is essentially an epiphany.
And so it was with me. My experience with the Lord Jesus Christ, when compared to my dream of the entry-way (vestibule) of heaven, was far more profound.
It is this dream I would like to share with you, the reader, now at this time.
I remember Christ Jesus appearing to me beside a mountain stream, which was just before the rapids.
I will not give a detailed description of the Lord, so as not to promote idolatry in any way. However, I will state that He was definately not a lily-white man, with blond hair and blue eyes. He appeared to me as an average Jew, with darker skin, dark hair, and dark eyes.
He was not tall by our standards, but taller than average, by the standards of His day.
He was dressed in dazzling, white apparel. I was aware that He chose to veil His glory, else I would not be able to abide the brightness of His glory.
I knew in my heart that He was, indeed, the Lord of Glory, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Most High.
I knelt on the grass, at His feet, those nail-scarred feet, the feet of my Lord and Savior.
As I bowed my head, I heard the voice of our Lord, as He placed His hand on my shoulder.
I shall never forget the sound of that kind, gentle, and compassionate voice of our dear sweet Savior. Oh, how my soul does long to hear the sound of that voice again.
There was a slight yearning in His voice, as if He had a very urgent and deeply earnest desire to commune with me.
He spoke authoritatively as He said, "Have fellowship with me, My child. Have fellowship with Me. Have fellowship with Me, and learn to listen to My Voice."
"My Voice," the Lord said, is like the sound of a babbling brook, which is afar off."
"Have fellowship with Me, My child," the Lord said. "Have fellowship with Me!"
Until now, I shared this prophetic dream with very few people. At that time I experienced it, I first shared it with my pastor, who was from Gospel Outreach of Tacoma, and next to one or two other mature and trusted Christians.
Virtually all agreed I had had a genuine spiritual experience.
I thought that perhaps it is the proper time to disclose this prophetic dream to others.
Again, I am checking out my guidance with three other trusted Christians. "Out of the mouth of two or more witnesses, every word be established."--Matthew 18:16.l
It is my hope and earnest desire that I bring encouragement and edification to my fellow believers, in this way.
I see myself first and foremost a teacher. However, quite frequently, I move into the realm of the prophetic and pastoral gifts (the pastoral gift incorporates the counselling gifts).
In my case, the teaching, prophetic, and pastoral gifts all work in concert with each other in order to bring edification, encouragement, (at times) admonishment, and exhortation to fellow believers in the Body of Christ.
Also, so as not to be too blunt or brash, I am trying to learn to temper the prophetic with my teaching and pastoral gifts.
Remember, the Word of God states in Ephesians 4:15 we are to "...speak the truth in love."
The Greek term for "prophet" is "propetes," which literally means "one who forth tells," or to speak forth openly; a proclaimer of divinely inspired and timely messages, messages that are very poignant, pertinent, and appropo. Sometimes, the message is predictive in nature.
Therefore, and especially in my case, there is a great overlapping of many of the spiritual gifts--such as inspired preaching and teaching. Also, there is a great freedom available to the Church of this day, as to the means by which we convey the message which is given to us by the Holy Spirit of God.
The prophetic message can be spoken, written, recorded, sung, in the forms of poetry, allegory, illustrations, as in dreams, visions, et cetera.
Now, just what do I mean when I refer to the phrase, "the heart of a prophet"?
As Revelation 19:10 proclaims, "the testimony of (Christ) Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
In other words, the heart of a prophet, or the spirit of prophecy first and foremost, is to glorify Christ the Son of the living God, in what he or she says or does, and to magnify His Name, so as not to lead others astray.
The prerequisite for the prophet is to consecrate ones self to God, as a living sacrifice, by meditating on the Almighty's Holy Scriptures, the written Word of God the Bible, as a life's work.
Therefore, any and all spiritual experiences must line up with the whole counsel of God; for there is no contradiction with the Lord our God. Once they pass the test of scripture, all spiritual experiences must be confirmed.
Christian meditation consists of reading, studying, memorizing, reflecting, contemplating, etc., on the Word of God and on His nature. Being extremely careful to remember that "...no scripture is of private interpretation."
What other characteristics typify someone who has the "spirit of prophecy" and the "heart of a prophet"?
Scripture has this to say on the topic. I Peter 2:2, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby; if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious." (K.J.V.)
I Timothy 1:5, "Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from a sincere faith..." (N.K.J.V.)
Ephesians 5:8-10, "...walk as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord." (N.A.S.)
2 John 1: 1 & 2, "...not only I, but also all who know the truth, for the sake of the truth which abides in us, and will be with us forever." N.A.S.)
"Behold, thou dost desire truth in the inner being, and in the hidden part Thou wit make me know wisdom.--Psalm 51:6 (N.A.S.)
And may I conclude by interjecting: Though Thy Word be to us 'sweet as honey in the mouth' and 'bitter in the belly,' yet will we seek Thee! For the Lord Jesus said, "...You shall know the truth, and truth shall make you free," and "...the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."
May every student of the Word, and every believer in Christ Jesus, learn to acquire all these attitudes and attributes!
Also, in addition, remember that "We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us."--2 Cor. 4:7 (K.J.V.)
Treasure, in the Greek, is "thesauros," from which we get the term "thesaurus," a reference book of synonyms and antonyms.
At first glance, this may be baffling to the modern reader, but when one realizes that before the advent of the printing press all books and especially sacred scriptures were considered priceless treasures.
Simply put, I think this refers to the living word of God particularly, the glorious gospel of grace in our hearts, emphasizing 'heart knowledge,' not just 'head knowledge.' Amen!