Tuesday, March 15, 2016


     The Roman woman cried out in the dream, her hands held out towards the man with the sad brown eyes and thorned crown upon his head. 
  He watched her with ineffable sadness. 
  As she reached out, the skies shimmered into glory behind Him. 
Battalions of angels watched her silently from the irridescent clouds, ranged in formation behind their Emperor. 
  In her dream-vision, the woman from Rome heard the words God spoke to her.
  The thorn-crowned Man was the Son of God, Ruler of All.
Innocent of sin, He was in danger of execution at the hands of her husband. 
  Water ran down the front of the dream, turning a deep red as Pontius washed his hands in a bronze bowl. 
One by one the crystalline drops splashed from his hands,  turning into blood. Uncountable angels, beings of irridiscent light and power, gave voice to anguish which echoed throughout the Universe.
  The man with the fathomless brown eyes looked at her as Pontius began pushing him towards a precipice.   
  The wife screamed as the Son of God tumbled forward into a deep darkness.
  She tried to catch him and screamed in terror as she started falling into the abyss, knowing that a terrible crime had just been perpetrated...

and sat upright, trembling in her room in Jerusalem. 
  Claudia Procula, a high-born woman, wealthy and well-educated, had just woken from a visual dream. 
  Except she knew this dream was no ordinary dream; a woman of faith and devout in attending religious services at the temple, Claudia knew she had received a vision, a portent of warning. 
  Claudia was politically astute and well aware of the affairs of Jerusalem; she knew her husband was exercising his duties as procurator cum porestate [possessing civil, military and criminal jurisdiction].  1  
  Pilate was overseeing the trial of Jesus of Nazareth. 
It is wholly possible that Claudia, heavily veiled, had stolen out of the Praetorium accompanied by a servant to hear the preaching of the Carpenter from Nazareth. 
  Howsoever it happened, Claudia knew who Jesus Christ was. 

  We have no record of Claudia's dream; the above is simply a literary device to give an approximation.
  We do know that after her dream, Claudia accepted the fact she had received a Divine Message, that Christ was an innocent man and no harm was to come to Him.    
  She exercised all her personal influence to save Jesus, sending a message direct to her husband during the trial proceedings; 'Don't have anything to do with with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.' 

  Claudia and her husband were religious people, faithful to the religion of Rome. 
  Dreams were of great significance in the ancient world, and were usually seen as warnings against some danger or as prompts sent by God to persuade a person to take a particular course of action.
  Jesus had prayed in the Garden to God the Father to save Him from the destiny of torture and execution by crucifixion He was facing at the hands of Pilate. 
  An angel had come to strengthen Jesus in His hour of deepest loneliness and fear.  3 
  Reader, it appears that God answered His plea by sending a dream-vision to a high-placed woman with strong political influence to halt the unjust proceedings. 
Claudia, a woman of faith and discernment, recognised the Hand of God in the dream she received and exercised her power to have the trial called off and justice served. 
  This would have led to the freedom of Christ.
  Pilate chose to ignore his wife's intercession and her correct interpretation of her dream's warning. He thereafter executed a Man he knew to be innocent of political ambition.
And by so doing, unintentionally - and frighteningly - caused the death of the Son of the Most High God.
  For that act his name is still internationally known centuries later. 
  Had he listened to his wife - who had felt impelled to act by the bewildering and frightening dream she had received from God - our history would have been very different.
  Some days later Pilate was faced with the ashen-faced Praetorian guard and the mysteriously vanished Body of the condemned.
  Troubling reports of dead rising and greeting people throughout Jerusalem flooded in from all quarters. 
  News of the testimony of the followers of Jesus who would not be silenced came before the procurator. 
Members of the Sanhedrin stood before him, apparently as imperturbable as ever. 
  However, even he could see how their eyes shifted before him, and their hands came out to stroke their beards - subtle signs of stress before his questioning.
Jerusalem had promised political unrest before Jesus' death but was now positively convulsed with turmoil.
  In the privacy of the Temple, even members of the Sanhedrin who had been convinced of the veracity of their actions now paled and bribed praetorian guards to deny the happenings of the Resurrection. 4
  When Pilate met the accusing eyes of his wife who had heard of the prison gang torture the innocent Condemned had undergone before His execution, he must have remembered her words and silently pondered: had he indeed given the order for the unthinkable; the killing of the Son of a God?

Messages in Dreams and Omens
  We do not know what the dream of Claudia Procula actually contained. 
What we do know, however, is that messages in dreams and omens were deeply respected and acted upon by peoples of ancient cultures.
  Around 335 BC the Greek philosopher Aristotle said that human beings are capable of achieving the pure form of wisdom only during sleep, when our minds are liberated.
  The source of the wisdom of the Greeks was the Oracle at Delphi, who had impact on Greece's most important decisions.
Often the Oracle's prophecies were created based on dreams. 
  The father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, regarded dreams as important indicators of physical and mental health. 
  Artemidorus wrote an influential work, Oneirocritica [Interpretation of Dreams] which is still used as a resource today.

In ancient Rome, there was a strong tradition of dream interpretation. 
  It has been said that Augustus, the successor Julius Caesar, believed so strongly in the prophetic nature of dreams that he legislated requiring every citizen who had a dream about the Empire to talk about it in the town market. 5 
  So Claudia followed in a respected tradition when she gave credence to her dream, and linked it as a prophetic utterance straight from the House of God.
  How does this affect us today? Well, as Claudia did, so do we; we all dream.
Some dreams we remember, some we don't. 
  Yet dreams are an important medium through which God speaks to us; sometimes in a startlingly direct way.

Dreams - clearing out the clutter
  Many believe that dreams form a healthy way of destressing and processing information at the end of each waking period.
  Unresolved issues or difficulties can be processed by the unconscious.
Part of this process is the infiltration from the unconscious to the conscious through dreams.
  Dreaming is thus a healthy way of clearing our unconscious of all emotional clutter - almost like putting discarded refuse in a bin at the end of the day.
  The mind clears unnecessary data through dreams; thus keeping the unconscious clean and clear.
  Sleep and dreaming are a way in which our minds naturally clean house and relax.
  Studies show that a good night's rest may literally clear the mind. 
Researchers have shown in a study that the space of the brain cells may increase during sleep, allowing the brain to flush out toxins that build up during waking hours. 6
   This facilitates health; physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual. 
The healthy rested mind is able to make logical, balanced decisions. 
  Rick Nauert PhD writes of a study which suggests that time spent in dream sleep can help to heal old memories. 
  University of California, Berkeley researchers posit that during REM sleep the brain processes emotional experiences and takes the painful edge off difficult memories. 7
  So the ongoing function of sleep and dreaming appears to be to assist humanity to keep excellent psychological health. 
  However, God also uses the medium of dreams for a different purpose - as we have seen in the case of Claudia; in order to get an important message across.

God of Dreams
  There is thus a different type of dream to the usual unremembered dreams, and this is the dream we will now focus on.
  God often uses dreams to say things that He can't get through to us in our conscious hours.
  God also uses the medium of dreams to give us personal messages or tasks for our personal path of life.
  God does speak to us, even at times in our unremembered dreams.
  Sometimes we go to sleep with an unresolved problem in our minds. When awaking time comes, we know exactly what to do.
  God, through the powerful action of His Holy Spirit, has granted us guidance and wisdom leading to personal understanding during the sleeping hours.
  This is where the phrase 'sleep on it' comes from.
  Many people with a crucial decision to make choose to literally take time to sleep before making the final decision.
  God influences all humanity in this way; every man or woman is His human child, and worthy of His attention in the details of daily life.

Dreams in the Old Testament
  The Torah - or Old Testament - documents many instances of God giving revelation to people through dreams.
  Many of the prophets were given revelation through dreams.
God granted special gifts of dream divination to certain people.
  One of them was Joseph, the eleventh son of the Patriarch Jacob. 
Joseph, enslaved for some years following family dispute, had the gift of reading the true meaning of symbols in dreams.
  This ensured his rise to fame and eventual influential position in the court of the ruling Pharaoh of the time.
  Joseph correctly interpreted dreams granted to the ruler Pharaoh by God. 8
By means of God's gracious intervention and Joseph's ability, the Egyptian people and neighbouring countries were saved from certain death by famine.
  God also saved the lineage that would give rise to the Messiah from untimely extinction. 
  [Judah - another of Jacob's sons - was ancestor to Joseph, the earthly protector of the young Jesus].

There are other instances of prophetic dreams, such as the following two examples. 
    God appeared to the Philistine king Abimelek in a dream, and ordered him to release the wife of Abraham from Abimelek's harem. 
  Abimelek was an honourable man who had not known that Sarah was in actual fact married to Abraham. He promptly returned Sarah to her husband.
  God spoke to King Nebuchadnezzar in a dream about future events coming upon the earth, right through to the last days. 
God had gifted the Prophet Daniel with dream divination.
  Daniel was thus able to interpret Nebuchadnezzar's dream, bringing peace of mind to the king and enabling God to place Daniel in a position of great influence.  10
  Reader, the dream that God gave Nebuchadnezzar is still unfolding, as an all time revelation for all people.

Dreams and Visions
  God uses dreams and visions [visions are 'waking dreams'] 11, in order to communicate with people.
Visions were - and are - common.
  The reason God used dreams and visions in the Old Testament was to reveal His Plan, to further His Plan, and to put people in places of influence.
  Here are some examples of God communicating with great figures in our spiritual past through dreams and visions;
  - The great Patriarch Abraham - revered as Father by the great religions - received a vision from God to restate the Abrahamic Covenant and to remind Abraham that he would have a son and be the father of many nations. 12   God's Promise was fulfilled.
  - Patriarch Jacob dreamt of a ladder reaching to heaven on which angels ascended and descended. 
In the dream Jacob received God's Promise that Abraham's blessing would be carried on through him. 13   Here, too, God's Promise was fulfilled.
In honour of the Promise made to him, and of the dream vision he had received, Jacob carried out ritual of honour to God and named the place where he had rested Bethel - which means House of God..
  Landmark of the geographical place where Jacob received his great dream, Bethel became a place of ancient pilgrimage. 
  In troubled times the people went to Bethel to ask counsel of God [Judges 20:18;  Judges 21:2]
  Here the Ark of the Covenant was kept for a long time under the care of Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron[Judges 20:26-28].

 - Joseph, next in line to Pharaoh in Egypt, had dreamt that his family would one day bow to him in respect. 14 
This prophecy was eventually fulfilled.
  Both Pharoah's cupbearer and baker received news about their futures from God, through dreams Joseph correctly interpreted. 15

  - The Prophet Samuel had his first vision as a young boy. 16
  - A soldier of the Midianite and Amalekite armies dreamed of Gideon, and that Israel would win the battle they were all facing - as indeed happened. 17
  God appeared to this humble soldier who faced the terrifying situation of war, and gave him prophecy. 

 -  God appeared to King Solomon in a dream, giving him the offer, 'Ask what you wish me to give you.' 18   Solomon famously chose wisdom.

  It is thus clear that God used dreams as vehicles for His ongoing communication with His human children.  
  What is also clear is that - in the examples above - God appears to earthly kings, young children and people going about their daily duty with equal impartiality. 
  All are worthy of His particular interest.
  The same vibrant use of heavenly conversation continued in the New Testament.
  - Jesus' stepfather Joseph received specific direction from God in four dreams, in at least three of which an angel appeared with a message. 19
  - The wise magi who had travelled from the East to pay homage to the Infant God-King were warned in dream not to return to Herod.  20 
  - The Apostle Paul often heard from God through the medium of dreams.  21

Do you receive dreams?

  Difference between ordinary dreams and God-dreams
It is easy to tell ordinary dreams from God-inspired dreams or visions.
  Dreams from the Lord of All distinguish themselves by being purposeful and striking enough to stay with us - for life.
  They are clearly sent by God, with Voices, Figures or Symbols belonging to either God or His Messengers.
  God-dreams always come with a message, a directive or a warning.
At times God uses symbols in our dreams which have great meaning for us alone.
  Sometimes we can ponder on these symbols for decades afterwards and find ongoing development of meaning as we mature in age and wisdom.
God dreams can address the past. 
  They can bring us a message about our present and our future. 
The dreams are startling vivid, and the sense of being in the presence of Almighty God, or the Son of God, or Christ's Mother, or an angel may be prevalent.
  Sometimes someone who has gone before us and stands in the Presence of the Almighty can be a messenger in our dreams.

  How do we know whether a dream is truly from God?
Discernment of the dreams is the key.

In the next lesson we will explore discernment of dreams and the link with Dreams, Dreamwork and Healing.

1.  Fallen Empires; Archeological Discoveries and the Bible. www.bible-history.com/empires/pilate.html
2.  Matthew 27;19
3.  Luke 22;42
4.  Matthew 28;11-15
5.  Aserokin. 2011. The History and Meaning of Dreams in Ancient Cultures. blog.snoozester.com/history-and-meaning-of-dreams-in-ancient-cultures/
6.  National Institutes for Health. 2013. Brain may flush out toxins during sleep.
7. Nauert, R.Phd. 2011. Dreams Help Heal Painful Memories. PsychCentral.
8. Genesis 41
9.  Genesis 20;1-7
10. Daniel 2
11. Numbers 24;4
12. Genesis 15
13. Genesis 28;10-17
14. Genesis 37;9-11
15. Genesis 40
16. 1 Samuel 3
17. Judges 7;12-15
18. 1 Kings 3; 4-15
19. Matthew 1 and 2
20. Matthew 2;12
21. Acts 16;6-10 / Acts 18;1-17 / Acts 27;22-26

Questions for the Heart and Mind

1.  Why do you think God uses dreams to communicate with people?

2.  Do you think dreams help us to heal?

3.  What is a difference between prophetic dreams and visions? 

4.  Does God still speak through dreams and visions today?

Good Shepherd Church Seminary
Doctor of Healing Ministry Lesson One

Good Shepherd Church Seminary
Doctor of Healing Ministry Lesson Two

Good Shepherd Church Seminary
Doctor of Healing Ministry Lesson Three

Good Shepherd Church Seminary
Doctor of Healing Ministry Lesson Four
Good Shepherd Church Seminary
Doctor of Healing Ministry Lesson Five
Good Shepherd Church Seminary
Doctor of Healing Ministry Lesson Six
Good Shepherd Church Seminary
Doctor of Healing Ministry Lesson Seven
Rev Catherine
Use freely for any worthy purpose
Disclaimer; The information on this post is meant for information only. The information is not meant to replace your Doctor or Health professional or Herbalist care.

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