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Figuring Out The Symbolism of Dreams

Before anyone knew how to interpret a dream, or even to teach others to interpret, we all depended on God to give us the right interpretation. The best way to learn how to rightly and accurately interpret a dream is to spend time reading the bible, digging into his word and researching the depths of words he chose to use in scripture, spend time praying, spend time with God learning to hear his voice by listening and testing each thing that you hear.

Despite what some may say, a person can learn to interpret dreams even if it wasn’t a gift that they were born with. If gifts from God are simply something that you are born with, or are not, then we have no right to accept the salvation of Jesus Christ, because hey, “You’re born saved or you aren’t saved, right?” Wrong (although some denominations seem to embrace that unbiblical stand-point). No one was born saved. Even Jesus was born and had to be tempted and tried just like we are.

Ephesians 2:8 tells us that salvation is a gift from God. As we already learned, being able to interpret a dream is a gift from God. I believe it is the gift of interpreting tongues because each person has a unique dialect of love language that God speaks to us through.

Every symbol has both a positive meaning and a negative meaning. The meaning will be determined by the Context of the dream you had. By establishing whether or not the dream is a God dream, soul dream, or enemy dream will help you determine the context of the symbol. You could be in a very dark dream, has bad people chasing you, or is just a nightmare in general; in these types of dreams, you would be safe to assume that most symbols of the dream are negative.

You will be able to determine the context and source of a dream by the way you feel, the brightness of the dream, if it produced fruit of the flesh, or if it produced the fruit of the spirit. If it has dulled muted colors then it was a dream from your soul telling you about a condition of your soul that needs work. If it was a dark dream it was an enemy dream because the enemy of God is in Darkness and all his colors are dark and devoid of brightness. God dreams will be very bright, full of colors, and very vivid. The theory behind this originates from God’s use of symbolism all throughout the bible. How he describes himself as the father of lights, how his angels appear in their full glory etc.

They are always noted as being brighter than the sun. The enemy is described as having three levels of darkness; outer darkness, deep darkness, and gross darkness. The soul is a combination of our spirit, and of humanity’s sin nature therefore this is why soul dreams are dull and not as bright, or dark as other dreams.

Many will cite that the Holy Spirit is your only teacher, and you can learn all things from him with no need for any other teacher. Some may even go so far as to say that interpreting dreams is only for the Holy Spirit to do and no man should or can teach it. In Ephesians 4:11 it speaks of the five-fold ministry. One of the aspects of the five-fold ministry is to be a teacher. I believe that it would be safe to deduce that Paul wasn’t telling people that God gave us the five-fold ministry so that we could learn about earthly things or earthly revelations alone. If God only wanted us to listen to the Holy Spirit to be able to learn, then there would be no need for teachers, preachers, or prophets. God gives us all gifts so that we may be able to hear him more clearly and teach others how they may hear him more clearly as well.

Joseph said in the prison, “"Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams." Genesis 40:8. Joseph was 100% correct. Dream interpretations belong to God. That is why it is so crucial to have personal time with the lord, and to get to know his voice.

It is key to remember that a symbol in a dream may not mean the same thing to one person as it does to another person. Symbols will vary based on the meaning of something to one person, or based on the culture of a person, or even just based on the personal language that God speaks to each of us individually.

Most symbols will easily be found in the Bible with a little research for the Hebraic or Greek meaning of the word. I must emphasize that the bible is the universal language for interpreting dreams. If you don’t use the bible as your standard for interpreting you will not get the right meaning for the dream.

Your father may have a nickname for you that only he calls you by. This could represent a personal way for God to let you know that he, your Father, is speaking to you on a personal, and intimate level. A monkey may mean a mocking spirit to one person, but to one of my friends, it is the nickname that his nieces, and nephews gave him as a term of endearment. To one person, A hobbit may represent a person that doesn’t want to do much in life or even a person that is adventurous, brave and many other things. However, to me, the hobbit is the nickname that I acquired as a child.

As I stated previously symbols are contextual. The very first thing that you need to do when you are interpreting a symbol is to figure out what was the context of the dream? This will be deduced by a few aspects. Dark dreams will typically be dreams from the enemy because he is in darkness and has no light. Soul dreams will be muted and dim, and God dreams will be bright. Also, you want to look to see what type of fruit is being produced by the dream. Does the dream give you hope or make you feel hopeless? Does it line up with the word of God? scour the Bible for bible verses or parables that are similar to what is happening in the dream.

For instance, if you have a dream that someone is planting seeds you may refer to the parables where Jesus speaks of the wheat and the weeds, the parable of the sower sowing seeds, the kingdom of heaven being like a mustard seed. You may also lookup the word for seed in both Greek and Hebrew in the Strong’s concordance.

It’s important to look at dreams through the perspective of, what is God trying to tell me? If you have a dream that you are in bed with someone married that doesn’t mean you are supposed to be married to that person. That type of interpretation would be a soul lead interpretation based on the desires of your heart and not the desires of God. It is contrary to the word of God. God does not condone adultery and will not tell you that you are supposed to have someone else’s spouse as yours.

I recommend that you do not go to google and simply type in, “what does this symbol mean?” You will find a plethora of symbols that are Freudian based or Jungian based. Those types of interpretations are soul lead and will never lead you to the same conclusion of the meaning of a dream. If you were to take the psychological standpoint of dream symbols and try to interpret any dream, vision, or parable from the Bible you will find that their interpretation doesn’t line up with what God said the parable, dream, or vision meant.

If you want to use google, I recommend that you only use it to look things such as the meaning of a name because names can represent areas of your heart that God is working on, things God is doing, or other aspects of what God is trying to say in a dream. For instance, the name Anne means grace. This could represent God saying his grace is working with you, for you, etc.

If you’re having a hard time finding a symbol in the bible, then look up the nature, characteristics, or origin of the symbol. Look up the positive attributes of the symbol and the negative aspects. The nature of an animal can help you determine why God used that particular symbol in your dream.

Take note of symbols that sound like other words. God likes to use words that sound like other words to convey a message. For instance, he shows you a dream with a seal in it. This could be indicating that he has sealed an issue. You may have a dream with a dolphin in it; dolphins are porpoises, this is a play on words for a purpose or purposes. John the Baptist, in his dialect of Aramaic, spoke God turning stones into children. The Hebraic word for stone is eben, and the word for son is bene.

Here are a few symbols from the Dream dictionary we created to help people discover the meaning of their dreams. With there being so many options out there we wanted to give people a great guide that is accurate and useful. People who have purchased it have told us how they use it almost every day to interpret.

The middle finger is evangelism (It is the third in succession, and stands between the prophet, and the pastor) Third mentioned in the description of the five-fold ministry. The longest finger that reaches out to the world, and works closely with the prophet, and the pastor.

Mountain- Place of encountering God; Mountain of God; stability; spiritual obstacle; something blocking progress; Challenge; Kingdom; Nation; Protection provided by God; Idolatry; Name of the mountain may indicate the type of obstacle or encounter you are facing.

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