Dreams or Visions are often used interchangeably in Scriptures as mentioned here..."In a dream, a vision of the night..." (Job 33:15) It is a common human experience where our mind sees images and even hears audible sound within the mind during sleep. Although Visions can be experience even during normal awaken moment like that of John's experience when he wrote The Book of Revelations.
The question now would be, does God still send message to us via dreams?
I personally believe that during sleep our subconscious takes over. This is our spiritual self waking up while our physical body rest. This personal aspect is more attune to the Spirit Realm...so here we can directly access the Heavenly dimension. So we can received message from God easier here over the material matrix our conscious self are more aware.
In the Old testament God declared that HE speak through dreams and Visions
And He said, "Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream" (Num. 12:6).
"I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets" (Hos. 12:10).
3. In the New Testament, for our generation, HE affirms sending message by the same means...
"And it shall come to pass in the last days," saith God, "I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams" (Acts 2:17).
Are these dreams therefore specifically for prophets only? Does GOD give advises or counselling in dreams?
I will bless the Lord who has counseled me; Indeed, my mind (inner man) instructs me in the night (Ps. 16:7 NASB).
For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then He openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, That He may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man. He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword (Job 33:14-18, emphasis mine).
6. God does very significant things WITHIN dreams. For example, He established the Abrahamic Covenant in a dream.
And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him....And God said to Abram....In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying... (Gen. 15:12,13,18).
7. God grants supernatural gifts THROUGH dreams.
The LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, "Ask what I shall give thee...."
"Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this Thy so great a people?"
"...Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee...." And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream (I Kings 3:5,9,12,15).
So I think, we should pay more attention to our dreams...GOD gives His instructions, advises, and counsel through dreams.
The gift of understanding dreams have to be learned, or I should say we should ask God for the wisdom to interpret dreams. Would God send as message only to confuse us? No. We can discern these dreams if we focus on it. But there are special people gifted with this talent...to interpret dreams like Joseph.
If we notice Joseph's character, he pay special attention to dreams. He tell others about his dreams...Practice makes him an expert in dreams. Perhaps, this same focus is needed for us to decipher our own dreams. We need to contemplate on our dreams...
God loves a critical thinker. I've notice this how Jesus uses parable to site examples or to answer questions. Before Jesus said the plain message, he employ symbolism or parallel image to stress the point. Parable was used by Jesus to illustrate profound, heavenly things or divine truths. It is like using visual aid to teach his disciple.
God created us in His image, with the same nature of using imaginations or being creative. He liked to stretch our imaginations...
So the Devil may not know
Here is something that I just theorized, the Bible uses symbols for prophesy so that demons will not understand them. Like a secret code He uses in our dreams. Oh this is not a theology I am proposing here, I am just using my imagination too. Only those, that pay special attention to His word will understand...only those that truly love Him will be able to hear.
‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it" (Matthew 13:10-17).
Spiritual Blindness happens to those who continually ignores Jesus words. That same principle is applied to dreams. We wont understand dreams as message if we have no relationship to the Father.
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.-- John 16:13
If The Lord Jesus willing I will be discussing more about dreams and visions. How to interpret this succession of images...
CAUTION ON DREAMS
By the way, there is also a Warning with regards to dreaming. Be careful in listening to another persons dream...
Deuteronomy 13:1 If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, 2 and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” 3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. 5 That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. That prophet or dreamer tried to turn you from the way the LORD your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.
Isn't that prophet Edgar Cayce, the sleeping prophet? Anyway, that is another topic. So far, there are no warning in interpreting personal dreams...but there are many caution given when listening to another dreams.
1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 Mortal, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are prophesying; say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: "Hear the word of the Lord!"3 Thus says the Lord God, Alas for the senseless prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! 4 Your prophets have been like jackals among ruins, O Israel. 5 You have not gone up into the breaches, or repaired a wall for the house of Israel, so that it might stand in battle on the day of the Lord. 6 They have envisioned falsehood and lying divination; they say, "Says the Lord," when the Lord has not sent them, and yet they wait for the fulfillment of their word! 7Have you not seen a false vision or uttered a lying divination, when you have said, "Says the Lord," even though I did not speak? -- Ezekiel 13:1-7
For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was no shepherd.
Jeremiah 27:9Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon:
"'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Acts 2:17