FAITH TO SEE AND DREAM

faith begins where the heart of God is revealed

Faith begins where the will of God is known. You can have faith for whatever the Word of God promises. I’ll always remember the first time I began to hear those phrases. It was 1987, and I was just a 19-year-old kid sitting under the ministry of Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin at Rhema Bible College. I had been serving the Lord for barely two years and had come out of a lifestyle of radical sin.

Although I was a young man, I felt that I had crammed more sin, rebellion, and pain into my youth than most people do in their whole lifetime. Just a few years before, I had been in a life-and-death struggle with my uncle while he attempted to murder my parents. My parents lived, but my mother had 18 stab wounds (2 that could have been fatal, save for the intervention of God) and my father had 12 stab wounds. After that I was so full of anger and hatred that I vowed I would kill my uncle one day, and others too, including my own father, for the years of abuse. But now I had forgiven them all and was moved with compassion by a supernatural love for them. I had been born-again, was filled with the Holy Spirit, had enrolled in Bible College, and was hearing, as Brother Hagin would say, “the pure, unadulterated Word of God” for several hours every day—all while preparing for full-time ministry. I had been a very radical sinner, but Jesus had transformed my life—and it was a very radical transformation.

It had all started about two years earlier in 1985. I was an aspiring amateur junior bodybuilder and, while I was training one evening, Jesus walked into the room. I had a Damascus Road type of experience in the gym. At the end of the encounter, I committed my life to Christ, to the call of God on my life for ministry, and was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Consumed With Spiritual Hunger

After that I was consumed with spiritual hunger. I concluded that if I had previously spent 3-5 hours every day in the gym and strictly guarded my diet, then I should approach my spiritual growth in the same way now that I was following Jesus. In the next few months, I read the New Testament 27 times and prayed in other tongues 3-5 hours every day.

My mother was a Christian and had come to Christ in one of Oral Roberts’ miracle crusades in 1967. I asked her if she had ever heard of anyone in modern times that had walked in the power of God like Jesus and the disciples did in the Bible. She told me about the ministry of Oral Roberts and about my cousin, who had been born blind, being healed in a T.L. Osborn crusade. She told me about an English evangelist named Smith Wigglesworth who had raised 21 people from the dead. She also gave me a book called Smith Wigglesworth: The Secret of His Power, by Albert Hibbert, which I devoured in one sitting.

So, my spiritual journey began with a visitation from Jesus, reading the miracles in the Gospels and the book of Acts over and over, hearing about the ministries of Oral Roberts and T.L. Osborn, and reading about Smith Wigglesworth. To me, this was all just normal New Testament Christianity.

I knew God had called me to ministry, and so I asked if anyone knew of a Bible College where you could learn to heal the sick and raise the dead. I was told that Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin ministered to the sick, had raised three people from the dead, and had started a Bible College to equip others to do the same —so off I went to Rhema Bible College in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

Faith For Whatever the Word of God Promises

That’s how I first came to learn that you could have faith for WHATEVER the Word of God promises. However, I’ve noticed over the years that even in circles where faith in God is taught, there are still areas where we have room to grow in placing our faith in the “pure, unadulterated Word of God.”

Now, I don’t want you to get me wrong, I am very grateful for the message of faith. God has used it to bring wholeness to my broken life. I have been to roughly 30 nations preaching faith, been involved in establishing 3 churches that teach faith in God, and for over 20 years was a senior pastor in churches that emphasized faith. I’ve smuggled Bibles and books about faith into 2 different communist countries on 3 different occasions. I’ve literally hidden in caves from the secret police while teaching church leaders the principles of faith in God’s Word. I’ve written many articles about faith, and even written a book that was published by Kenneth Hagin’s ministry —so please understand that I love and appreciate the message of faith. But just because we understand certain principles of faith doesn’t mean we don’t have areas where we could grow and advance further in God.

Seeing Into the Unseen Realm

One of those areas is in the realm of seeing into the realm of the unseen—of seeing visions and dreaming dreams. Many of the leaders who have preached the message of faith in God’s Word have been visionaries—including Smith Wigglesworth, Dr. Oral Roberts, T.L. Osborn, and Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin. Sadly, some relegate these leaders’ visions and dreams to their ministry offices or spiritual giftedness. Inwardly, they feel such experiences are primarily for the clergy—not for every born-again, Spirit-filled Christian.

Some have said, “Well, if it really was the will of God, surely more Christians would be seeing visions and dreaming dreams.” However, while experience may prove valuable, ultimately our faith is not to be founded on the experiences of others or even on our own experience. Faith begins where the will of God is known. The real question is not who is experiencing these things, but does the Word of God promise these things?

Some have also said, “Well, these things can happen, but it’s just as the Spirit wills—it’s not a Bible promise that we can all stand for in faith.” However, the Bible does promise that all Spirit-filled believers, regardless of their ministry call or giftedness, can see visions and dream dreams. Because of that, I believe that the Holy Spirit is much more willing than many have thought or have been taught on this subject.

If you don’t have faith for visions and dreams, it will be much more difficult to see them because you will be peering through a canopy of unbelief.

Where are visions and dreams promised in God’s Word? Acts 2:16-17 in the Amplified Bible says, “…this is [the beginning of] what was spoken through the prophet Joel: And it shall come to pass in the last days, God declares, that I will pour out of My Spirit upon all mankind…your young men shall see visions (divinely granted appearances), and your old men shall dream [divinely suggested] dreams.”

According to the Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon, the Greek word that is translated as “visions” means, “an appearance divinely granted in an ecstasy or dream.”

Liddel-Scott’s Greek English Lexicon says that a dream is, “a thing seen, or a vision, in sleep.” The Louw-Nida Greek-English Lexicon says a God-given dream has the “significance of visions.” In other words, God-given dreams are simply visions while you’re sleeping.

In the Word of God, divinely granted appearances, while in spiritual ecstasy or while sleeping, are promised to all—both young and old.

Throughout the New Testament the Greek word translated as “see” in Acts 2:17 is used to refer to what some have called “seeing in the spirit realm.” In John 1:51 NLT, John uses this word when Jesus promises Nathanael that he will “see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the One Who is the stairway between heaven and earth.”

The same Greek word is used in Mark 9:4 when Elijah and Moses “appeared” to Peter, James, and John while speaking with Jesus. In Luke 1:11 it is used when an angel “appeared” to Zechariah. In Hebrews 11:27 it is used when Moses “endured, as seeing Him Who is invisible.”

Clearly, this Greek word is used to describe seeing visions and dreaming dreams, and it is the type of seeing in Acts 2:16-17 that is promised to everyone upon whom the Holy Spirit comes.

You Can Even See Jesus

What’s more, this same Greek word is used in John 16:16 in a very exciting manner. It not only promises that you can see visions and dream dreams, but that Jesus even wants you to see Him! It says, “A little while, and ye shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me, because I go to the Father.”

This passage uses two different Greek words for “see.” The first “see” refers to natural sight and means, “to be a spectator.” The second “see” refers to spiritual sight and means, “to see with the mind and experience.”

The Passion Translation translates it this way: “Soon you won’t see Me any longer, but then, after a little while, you will see Me in a new way.”

When Jesus went to the Father, He sent the Holy Spirit so that you could SEE JESUS in a new way!  You can now see and experience Him with your spiritual eyes and experience Him with your other spiritual senses.

So continue to feed your faith on the Word of God, especially on His promises that assure you of seeing and dreaming. Repent of anything that would pollute your ability to see in the spirit realm.  Meditate on Matthew 5:8—it uses the same Greek word translated “see” that is described above. Spend time fellowshipping with God being filled and saturated with His Spirit. Then, ask God in faith to see and dream with Him. Ask Him in faith for the wisdom to accurately interpret and apply what He reveals to you.

Until next time, may you have more kingdom reality, the joy-life of fellowshipping in the family of God, and “MAS FUEGO!” (MORE FIRE!”)

Your Apostolic Revivalists & Equippers,

Nathanael & Michelle Wolf

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  • David Johnson

    This is a great article Nathaniel. I believe and teach that we must sanctify and use our God given imaginations to see & hear our God. He can supersede our our minds by giving unsolicited dreams and visions. But if we embrace and exercise our imaginative powers, we can see & hear our Lord & so much more. We can go places and do things, all by faith. When we see ourselves doing supernatural things through the eyes of faith, we are closer to the manifestation of these things.

    • Thank you David! The sanctified imagination is part of our visionary toolkit. One great way for people to start is to ask Holy Spirit to help them picture themselves in one of the gospel stories.