The Bible is filled with accounts of dream experiences. Both the old testament and the new testament tell stories about biblical figures experiencing vivid and lifelike dreams. In many of these dream experiences the characters involved seem to be fully conscious and just as aware as they are in the waking world, in much the same way people experience lucid dreams today. So are lucid dreams biblical?
Although lucid dreaming is not mentioned explicitly in the Bible there are accounts of people experiencing what can only be described as lucid dreams. We see in the Bible how God speaks to people through vivid dreams. S0 it is safe to say that lucid dreaming is biblical.
- Why I can feel confident speaking about lucid dreams and the Bible
- The role of dreams in the Bible
- Biblical astral projection, out of body experiences or lucid dreaming?
- Biblical dreams that are foretold but are yet to happen
- What it all means – are lucid dreams biblical?
Why I can feel confident speaking about lucid dreams and the Bible
Who am I and why do I feel I have the right to speak on this topic?
Well, before I continue I should state clearly that I am a Christian. I was raised Roman Catholic but have since drifted from the teachings of the Catholic Church and instead rely much more on the Bible as my source of God’s teachings. I have given my life to Christ. I accept him as the son of God and saviour of mankind and I consider myself to be born again – but I am not a born again christian (which is a religion).
As a christian I consistently try to deepen my understanding of scripture. I therefore have a good working knowledge of the Bible having read a hard copy, and listened to 2 different audible versions, dozens of times.
Although I am certainly not a biblical scholar I do have a firm understanding of the Bible. As a lucid dreamer as well, I believe that I am in a much better position to comment on the biblical stance of lucid dreams than many people, who also comment on it but, who have limited experience of both or only experience of one and no experience of the other.
I tell you these things to give you a basic understanding of ,y experience with both the bible and lucid dreaming so you can determine for yourself if the information I give is worth listening to.
So, let’s begin with how dreams play an important role in the Bible to see why lucid dreaming is biblical.
The role of dreams in the Bible
The Bible is littered with stories about dreams. In the old testament dreams were a major vehicle through which the God of Abraham, Jacob and Isaac spoke to his chosen people.
Dreams are extremely important in the Bible as you will soon see. Not only are they used by God as a way to communicate important messages to us but he also uses them for emebing prophetic visions and also to give us our instructions.
21 Biblical accounts of important dreams
Here are 21 documented dreams that occured in the Bible:
- Genesis 20:3: Abimelech is told in a dream by God that he is in serious trouble and is as good as dead because he has taken Abraham’s wife Sarah.
- Genesis 28:12: Jacob dreams of a ladder to heaven (Jacob’s Ladder).
- Genesis 31:10–13: Jacob again is contacted by God in a dream. This time he must make his way home.
- Genesis 31:24: Laban is told in a dream not to say anything to Jacob.
- Genesis 37:5-7: Jacob has a prophetic dream that upset his brothers and led them to plot his downfall.
- Genesis 37:9: Jacob has a second prophetic dream that upsets his father.
- Genesis 40:9–15: Joseph deciphers for the first time a prophetic dream.
- Genesis 40:16–19: Joseph deciphers the baker’s vivid dream.
- Genesis 41:1-4: Pharaoh’s Dream. The 7 healthy cows and 7 unhealthy ones predicting the 7 years of abundance and 7 years of famine.
- Genesis 41:5-7: Pharaoh’s second Dream. The 7 healthy corns stalks and 7 unhealthy ones are used to reinforce the first predictive dream.
- Judges 7:13–14: The dream of the round loaf of barley bread as told to Gideon.
- 1 Kings 3:5–15: God comes to Solomon in a dream. Solomon asks only for judgement and so God gives him it along with great wealth.
- Daniel 2:1-3: Nebuchadnezzar has vivid and troubling dreams.
- Daniel 4:4-19: Nebuchadnezzar has a vivid dream of a tree that Daniel must decipher.
- Daniel 7:1-2: Daniel has a dream combined with visions about beasts coming from the sea.
- Matthew 1:20: Joseph is visited by an angel in a dream telling him to take Mary as his wife.
- Matthew 2:12: The Magi are warned to take another route home to avoid Herod.
- Matthew 2:13: An angel comes to Joseph in a dream and told to flee to Egypt.
- Matthew 2:19-20: Joseph is once again given instructions by an angel via a dream. This time he must go into the land of Israel.
- Matthew 2:22: God warns Joseph in a dream to withdraw to Galilee.
- Matthew 27:19: Pilot’s wife has a troubled dream and warns her husband against having anything to do with Jesus.
As you can see the bible shows us that God has used dreams to communicate with mankind. If you read the full text of each of the dreams you will see that they are often used to teach us some very important lessons. Thousands of years after these dreams were experienced, 21st Century Christians are still learning lessons from them as they help us to discover the nature of God as we see his holy hand at work.
If God thinks dreams are so valuable then why should we think any differently?
Does this importance also apply to lucid dreaming?
Lucid dreaming is no different from ordinary dreaming except we have the ability to become conscious within the dream and interact with it like we do with the everyday world. Lucid dreams may feel real but they are still just dreams.
What’s more, when you read many of the accounts of the dream experiences in the bible, and some visions, they sound very like lucid dreams in texture and feel. Many of the dreams that biblical characters experienced were uncontrolled lucid dreams (more on this later).
Biblical astral projection, out of body experiences or lucid dreaming?
Although there are 21 dreams that have been recorded in the bible there are other times when writers in the scriptures have stated that they were unsure if what was happening was physical or in the spirit. An example can be seen in 2 Corinthians 12:2 where it states, “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.”
This confusion about not knowing whether the experience was physical or in the spirit could be an indication that the person had actually experienced a lucid dream. Of course it could just as easily indicate actually being taken in the spirit by God as he is supernatural and capable of doing anything but it is worth noting that many of these experiences very strongly resemble lucid dreams. And, as we will see through biblical teachings God has no problem with us having vivid lifelike dreams, and in fact induces them deliberately many times to communicate with us.
So, considering the aforementioned experiences to possibly be lucid dreams is in no way sacreligious nor is it a stretch of the imagination.
I chose 2 Corinthians 12:2 to highlight the above points quite deliberately because there are some who claim that this is an account of astral projection. I disagree with this assessment as astral projection is suppose to be very much an out of body experience where you 100% know that you have left your body whereas there seems to be some confusion about what actually happened in the biblical account.
So, we can assume that if astral projection were at work then the person who experienced this event would have clearly known that he was taken out of his body to the third heaven. Of course it may be that the person whom this happened to just did not share that detail with St. Paul, but personally I think it is more likely that this event took place in either a dream or a vision as these are the two most common vehicles through which God speaks to his subjects as we are told throughout the Bible.
Biblical dreams that are foretold but are yet to happen
The Bible also mentions dreams having an important role in our spiritual lives without always telling us about specific dreams. For example, Daniel 1:17 (see below) is a perfect example.
The Bible also foretells of future generations that will have vivid dreams and how these dreams will be used by God for communication and for prophetic purposes.
Here are some more references to the use of dreams in the Bible:
Acts 2:17: In the last days sons and daughters will prophesy, young men will see visions and old men will have vivid dreams.
Daniel 1:17: Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.
Ecclesiastes 5:7: Tell us that most dreams are meaningless. *This this demonstrates that dreams are neither good nor bad so you don’t have to worry about trying lucid dreaming.
Genesis 42:9: Joseph is protected when he remembers dreaming that the people he encounters are actually spies.
Jeremiah 23:32: God warns about prophesying false dreams.
Numbers 12:6: God tells us that he speaks through dreams.
Zechariah 10:2: Speaks of idols who tell dreams that are false. *This reinforces the importance of dreams to God.
Joel 2:28: We are again told that in the last days old men will have important dreams.
Isaiah 29:7-8: This verse shows us that dreams have no real substance. You can eat in a dream but you will still awaken hungry. Although there is a more spiritual meaning to this passage, it does clearly show us that our dreams have no real cause in the waking world. *Again we can use this as evidence that lucid dreaming will have little effect on us spiritually in the real world.
Deuteronomy 13:1-3: In this passage God warns against listening to false prophets and false dreamers.He talks about testing a person’s faith and obedience to God by sending false dreams to evil prophets. *Note it is not the dream that is evil but the intent of the dreamer to use it to lead God’s people astray. This is more evidence that dreams are not good or bad.
Job 33:14-18: This is arguably the most famous passage in the bible about how God uses dreams. It states that “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”. *Again we see the importance of dreams spiritually but also see that the dream itself has no effect, it is only used as a conduit to communicate instructions for what we are to do in the wakening world.
You should bear in mind that biblical dreams seem to be very vivid. Vivid dreams by their very natural are lucid dreams. It is just that these biblical lucid dreams seem to be uncontrolled lucid dreams rather than the more commonly known controlled lucid dreams – read more about that here.
What it all means – are lucid dreams biblical?
As you have seen, dreams are extremely important things to God. He gave us the ability to dream for a reason and he often uses our dreams to communicate with us, send us prophetic visions and top give us instructions. But what about lucid dreams?
The Bible is filled with accounts of vivid lifelike dreams, where the dreamer is consciously aware and “awake” – lucid dreams. There are also many accounts of visions that sound very much like lucid dreams.
The Bible may not clearly speak about lucid dreams in an outright fashion but it does give us clear evidence that they occurred in biblical times and that they are foretold to continue to occur in our current time and in the last days (if we aren’t already in them).
Lucid Dreaming, we can therefore determine, is biblical.
You may also be interested in reading the article is lucid dreaming evil which delves into the subject matter further.
If you are interested in learning how to lucid dream be sure to check out this amazing course that is also connected to a community of other lucid dreamers, some of whom are Christians. You will get a lot of great support and learn how to use your lucid dreams for fun and even for spiritual growth.