As the Apostle Paul was beginning his 2nd missionary journey, he had decided to revisit those churches founded on his first missionary journey.  This took him through the regions of Galatia and Phrygia.  Having accomplished his purpose, he began to look for new places to preach the gospel and sought to go south into the region of Asia Minor.  According to Acts 16:6, by some means, the Holy Spirit would not permit Paul & Silas to do so.  With north being the only direction they thought they could travel, the two tried to go into the region of Bithynia and again by some means, the Holy Spirit restrained them from going there.  Paul was bewildered concerning where it was that God would have them to go.  It was then that he was given a vision from God of a man in Macedonia seeking their help.  Finally, Paul knew with certainty the will of God for him and off he and Silas went.

Unfortunately, not everyone who has had a dream or a vision has had a dream or vision from God. But believing they did, they sought to accomplish a lot of crazy things in the name of God that were never in His will.  Mormonism is based on a supposed vison that Joseph Smith received and Mormon doctrine is anything but biblically accurate.  And unfortunately, there are still many people advocating that the will of God can be determined solely through the means of dreams and visions.

A study of dreams in Scripture reveals that those who were given a dream from God were either unsaved or relatively spiritually immature when they received it. Those who had visions from God were generally spiritually mature.  Certainly, that was the case with Paul in Acts 16.  But what is true of both dreams and visions, is that what each person received pertained to them personally and was not meant to be the “norm” for all believers.  For example, when the Magi went to see the infant Jesus in Bethlehem, they were warned by God in a dream to return home by a different route than the one in which they came.  If that dream became the “norm” for all believers, then anyone who goes to Bethlehem must return home by a different route.  Obviously, that is not the case.

While God did communicate His will by the use of dreams and visions, He also communicated that both dreams and visions could be corrupted. Deuteronomy 13:1-5 states that a person could encourage others to depart from serving the Lord on the basis of a dream and even seemingly validate their message by performing a miracle, yet the dream was not from God if it violated His revealed will.  Such a person was to be put to death.  Jeremiah records that the false prophets of his day said they had dreams and visions, but they were simply the imaginations of their wicked hearts.  He then states that the difference between a dream and the revealed Word of God is like chaff to wheat (Jeremiah 23:28).

It is interesting to note that once the church age began in Acts 2 and the Holy Spirit had come permanently to indwell believers, not one person received a dream from God. However, there are a couple of occurrences of a believer receiving a vision from God.  Paul & Ananias received simultaneous visions in Acts 9.  Peter received a vision in Acts 10 and Paul received visions in Acts 16 (noted above) and lastly in Acts 18.  No other visions are recorded after Acts 18.  What is significant about this is that as of the time of Acts 18, little, if any of the New Testament had been written.  But beginning at about this time, the New Testament would come into existence.  As the availability of the Word of God increased, the necessity for visions from God diminished.  People often ask whether God can still direct a believer through the use of a vision today.   A better question to ask is this: If the believer has everything pertaining to life and godliness given to them through the means of biblical revelation (2 Peter 1:3), does God need to provide a vision?

Who We Are:

The Salina Bible Church is an independent, Bible-teaching church, located approximately 6 miles south of Apollo, PA at the intersection of routes 819 and 981.

Contact Us                                                 GPS Directions 

(724) 697-5357

Mailing Address:
       Box 275
       Salina, PA 15680

Physical Location:

4132 Route 819
Avonmore, PA 15618

Do NOT use this address
for mailing purposes.