I had four warning dreams over two days that we would do well to respond to.
I’ve been talking to God recently about my desire to hear more clearly from him. It seems that I’ve been in one of those seasons where I’m left to respond to the revelation that has been communicated to me over the previous months and years instead of fresh, hot off the press news.
I’ve learned over the years that some seasons are ripe for prophetic revelation while others are meant to steward what has already been given. I’ve also learned that I’ll develop a yearning for the voice of God in a fairly intense way just prior to being given the pictures, words, mandates, dreams and visions that will propel me into the coming months.
That yearning resulted in a set of dreams I had over the past two nights.
At first glance, the dreams I had weren’t something I was going to share, but after careful, prayerful review I felt it was important to get the message out there.
Jeremiah 23:28: “Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully” (ESV).
As you read, keep in mind that God will often use family members and friends in my prophetic dreams to represent a certain type of person. Their roles in these particular dreams seem to be more significant than usual.
Dream #1—The Tour
My dad, who went on to be with Jesus several years ago, was the key player in my first dream. I believe my dad represented someone we all desire to trust deeply. My dad certainly was that type of person, and in real life, he was the one to lead many right into the presence of Jesus. He lived a remarkable life and there are countless people in relationship with Jesus today because of him.
In the dream, my dad represented a trusted fatherly figure who was leading a tour, or a journey, into a very dangerous Islamic region. I was terribly unsettled and concerned for all of our lives, but there was absolutely no concern whatsoever from my dad or any of the others who were on the tour with us. Nobody realized we were being led as curious, careless tourists to the slaughter.
The atmosphere was dark and foreboding, yet I was the only one who was alerted and discerning. I was struggling significantly to understand why nobody else saw the clear and present danger. Could someone I trusted so completely like my dad actually be deceived? Yes.
Fathers, leaders of our nation are doing this very thing right now. They don’t understand the death that will result from an alliance with terrorists. The current Iran debacle is an excellent example.
Also, don’t be surprised when people very close to us follow our nations leaders right into trouble. How many Christians are supporting politicians who are pro-homosexual, pro-abortion? They are being led by fathers into deception.
This truth applies to local situations as well. People we admire and consider to be fathers in the faith can fall. Will that devastate us? Will we follow them into destruction? When pastors fall into sin, many people become disillusioned and fall away. This is a very real risk and something we must consider. Love and honor people, but understand they are fallible. God alone is truly our Father and we must learn to follow his leadership. He can always be trusted.
Matthew 23:9 “And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven” (ESV).
Dream #2—The Accusation
My wonderful, amazing wife was the key figure in my second dream. It’s a bit difficult to include my family members (especially my wife!) in a negative scenario because I know in reality they are nothing like the person they represent in the dream. I do have to trust God’s wisdom, and it does make sense to me why He chose to communicate this way.
In my second dream, I was contending for revival and was investing passionately in the prayer movement and a resulting massive outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
My wife had a very casual, natural disposition as she was going about her daily duties at home. She looked at me and said, “You’re just a Gnostic. You’er into Gnosticism.”
I was heartbroken. I wept as I was dismayed at my wife’s dismissal of legitimate encounters with Jesus as illegitimate whims. I cried out to her and said, “I know I can feel God! I know God. What about the peace that passes understanding? What about joy unspeakable and full of glory?”
The accusation was clear: I was being led astray by intuition and feelings and that I needed to come back to the real, natural world. I was wrecked. My heart longed for my wife to understand the wonder and awe of encountering God in a very real way. I earnestly desired her affirmation. Her rejection of my most passionate pursuit was heart wrenching.
However, I knew that I couldn’t force my views on her. I could only pray. No amount of discussion or teaching would suffice. She needed an encounter and a revelation of God’s tangible working.
Prepare your heart. Don’t be surprised when your passion for Jesus is rebuked or dismissed by even your most valued family and friends.
1 Samuel 1:14-15 (ESV) “And Eli said to her, ‘How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.’ But Hannah answered, ‘No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the LORD'” (ESV).
Dream #3—The Betrayal
A very good, lifelong friend was the key player in this dream. My friend is a legitimate servant of Christ and has given his entire life to powerful, impactful ministry. In fact, he was a key, early mentor for me in my walk with the Lord.
In the dream, he and I and a few of his friends were hanging out. Everything seemed to be quite normal until there was an incident (that I wasn’t a witness of). My friend immediately rose up and started violently beating someone nearby. The remaining friends joined in and aggressively attacked.
I was suddenly confused and disoriented. Why was such a good friend and such a godly man doing this?
The threat of assault and even death was all around. I crouched low and made my way to safety.
My friend started tracking me as I fled. After some time, we ultimately met and he was a different person. He turned on me and rejected me as a friend because I didn’t join in his battle. He hurled insults and accusations my direction. His betrayal was fierce, hurtful and shocking.
Will the betrayals and failures of those we admire and consider to be mentors and close friends be enough to derail us?
Psalm 55:12-14 “For it is not an enemy who taunts me—then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me—then I could hide from him. But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. We used to take sweet counsel together; within God’s house we walked in the throng” (ESV).
Dream #4—The Capture
Family and friends were in this dream as well, but they were minor participants. I was the primary focus this time.
We were in a large house when terrorists invaded and were capturing people as they went from room to room.
I had a high powered gun and I felt strong and empowered to move from room to room myself and take out the terrorists one by one. I felt as if I had ventured into a divine assignment and the grace to complete it was very powerful.
I somehow knew that the terrorists would be easy targets. My weapon was so precise and powerful that it had no match.
As I began moving through the house I entered the kitchen. Nobody was in there and I was very hungry. I saw the most delicious yellow cake with yellow frosting on the table. My cravings were intense!
I knew that I absolutely should not stop to eat. I also knew somehow that eating the cake would enrage the terrorist. I didn’t know why, but I knew.
I was so confident in my gun however that I decided to grab a piece of cake and continue moving through the house.
Then, all of a sudden, with a messy piece of cake in my right hand a terrorist came around the corner. I struggled to get the gun back into my right hand and my cake into my left hand. It was too late. I was captured. All hope was lost.
Isaiah 47:8-9 “Now therefore hear this, you lover of pleasures, who sit securely, who say in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one besides me; I shall not sit as a widow or know the loss of children’: These two things shall come to you in a moment, in one day; the loss of children and widowhood shall come upon you in full measure … ” (ESV).
The theme throughout the four dreams is improper trust.
The pressure to follow those we consider to be faithful fathers into unrighteous, dangerous spiritual situations will be intense.
Those we consider to be very close to us very well may choose not to affirm the callings on our lives. Some may betray us. Many will accuse us.
Even an overreaching trust in the power and grace of God can lead us into a casual, carefree state that gives the enemy a foothold. God will give us the assignment, the gun and the firepower but we must be alert and ready to pull the trigger. In the fourth dream I wasn’t ready. God did all he needed to do and I was casual, focused on worldly desires.
There will be a great falling away and it’s very hard to consider that many who fall away may be fathers, spouses, friends or even ourselves.
The pressure to follow those who are close to us, to follow comforts, to be casual will be extreme. What will you do when those you hold dear bow at the feet of the idol? Will you value your relationship with them more than your relationship and devotion to God?
Micah 7:5-7 “Put no trust in a neighbor; have no confidence in a friend; guard the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your arms; for the son treats the father with contempt, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house. But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me” (ESV).
John Burton has been developing and leading ministries for over 20 years and is a sought-after teacher, prophetic messenger and revivalist. He has authored nine books, has appeared on Christian television and radio and directed one of the primary internships at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City. Additionally, he planted two churches, has initiated two city prayer movements and is currently directing a prayer- and revival-focused ministry school in Detroit called theLab University. John also has a web- and graphic-design business and is continually developing new and exciting ventures. He and his beautiful wife, Amy, have five children and live in the Detroit area. He can be reached via his website at johnburton.net.