This is an interesting question, for the Bible clearly teaches us that God HAS spoken to many in dreams. The first record of this is in Genesis 20:3 where we read, “But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, ‘Indeed you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for SHE IS A MAN’S WIFE.” In this case it was an unsaved king who had the dream and the purpose of the dream was to reveal to him that Sarah (who he was interested in) was actually married to Abraham. It seems clear that Abimelech knew this was “not just a dream,” but a “warning from God.”

One of the most well-known dreams from God was to Joseph in Genesis 37:1-5-8. It reads, “Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more. So he said to them, ‘Please hear this dream which I have dreamed: There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.’ And his brothers said to him, ‘Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?’” This was a “prophetic dream” where it was revealed to Joseph that he would reign over his brothers. I believe Joseph knew this was a dream from God, even though his brothers questioned it.

There are other significant dreams recorded in the Old Testament, such as Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel chapter 2. We read in verse 1, “Now in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was so troubled that his sleep left him.” In this case, he couldn’t even remember the dream so he called all his “wise men” to reveal it to him! The story goes on to inform us that eventually Daniel the prophet was called and he not only told Nebuchadnezzar the dream that he had, but he also interpreted it for him (verses 25-45).

In these examples we learn that it was not extraordinary for God to speak to men (even unsaved men) in dreams in Old Testament Times. In the New Testament we have but ONE EXAMPLE: “While he (Pilate) was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, ‘Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him’” (Matthew 27:19). In this case too God was using a dream to issue a “warning” to Pilate not to condemn Jesus to death. It’s obvious that Pilate’s wife believed the dream was from God, though one wonders if Pilate believed it.

There is only one other New Testament passage which mentions God giving dreams. In Acts 2:17 Peter, on the Day of Pentecost, quotes these words from the prophet Joel, “And it shall come to pass IN THE LAST DAYS, says God, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS.” I believe “the last days” refer to the days just prior to the Second Coming of Christ, for in verse 20 Peter states emphatically that this will occur (along with other signs in the heavens…see verses 19-20a), “Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.” In other words, it will occur AFTER the church age.

In light of the fact that there is not one instance (in Scripture) of God speaking to men through dreams during the present “church age” (from the Day of Pentecost to the Rapture of the church), I conclude we should not expect God to speak to us through dreams. I’m NOT saying that “God can’t speak to us through dreams,” but that His normal way to communicate to us in the present age is through His Word and by the Holy Spirit (see Romans 10:17; 1st Corinthians 2:9-13 and 2nd Timothy 3:16-17).  (348.5)  (DO)