English Standard Version (ESV)
8 Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams...
(Funda-mental-ism is a dream job)
Very shortly after the Tkaches had whittled the Greenville congregation down from about 450 to less than a hundred and I was sent on my way (Thank you Jebus) , I had a dream. A white ball of light burst into three balls of light, which later I realized looked very similar to the Microsoft logo which spun my computer to start, appeared in the sky. The now smaller white one came down to me , elongated in the horizontal and morphed into an Angel. I asked it, "How do you fly?" The Angel said nothing but put a vest it was wearing on me and I took off like a bird soaring over the landscape. Ahead was a huge log structure like the lodge at Yellowstone but bigger. I soared into the rafters and a huge crowd below, having lunch after the morning Feast Service applauded the landing. I slowly descended to the floor to find a seat for lunch and EVERY TIME I approached an empty seat, the person put their hand on it and said "Sorry, this seat is taken.' Exasperated, I flew away. The end.
Dreams, made up by writers, can be useful in persuasion and getting readers to accept foregone conclusions the dreamer has come to. It was convenient to have Pilate's wife dream that Jesus was a good and innocent guy because the need was to portray Jesus as a good and innocent guy in the story. Just who heard this private conversation between Pilate and his wife is never explained. How they got the info on this dream is not known because it is just made up for the sake of the story. It is the same with Jesus agony in garden. It was needful for the story teller to show Jesus in agnony, torn, afraid and just like us but with resolve to die if that's what God wanted. It's how you make a man "fully God and fully human." If all the disciples were sleeping, Jesus is alone and "afar off", then just who wrote down exactly what Jesus said in his head or out loud in the Garden? Immediately after this, in the story, Jesus is arrested. Did he yell, when being led away..."Write this down!!!!" ? Of course not. It is part of the passion story and the drama of the writer.
6 “Hear now My words:Notice that the above says that God will speak to His prophet in a dream. Notice also:
If there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision;
I speak to him in a dream. (Numbers 12:6)
28 The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream (Jeremiah 23:28)"
Answer: The reason the Bible says this is that Bronze Age humans knew nothing about the origins of dreams and assumed a coherent dream must be from the gods. It was not any god but Priests in the captivity that wrote Numbers and I well imagine it was stressful being in exile in Babylon for them.
Please notice that in your Bible God starts out speaking like buddies to Adam and Eve, face to face. Then theological evolution takes place and God speaks in clouds and pillars of fire. God chooses the occasional bush to speak through as well. Convenient for sure as daytime has clouds and night time needs light to see what the God is doing and the Sinai is full of scrub bushes. Later God has to speak only through selected prophets who alone know what is going on and Kings and people just get stuck having to believe them or not. Adam and Eve had no problem believing it was God speaking to them in the story. The Psalms show the disconnect with the oft repeated lament of "why art thou so far from us?" As time went on, it became more difficult to know if it was really God speaking and then we have to deal with vain dreamers and lying prophets as seen by others who don't believe them. I am sure the opposing parties had to find lying prophets in the crowd to make the difference between themselves and them. Finally, God just basically disappears and we are lead to rely only on "Thus said the Lord," or the stories written by men who speak for God. Of course we have oracles at Delphi, casting of bones, Urim and Thummin, divination and the study of goat guts thriving to figure out what God wants or is doing. I am sure any prohibition against such was designed to discourage use of the Bronze Age Internet to find out for oneself what may or may not be going on. Priests and competing prophets are like that! Hebrews tells us that finally all that is done away and now we learn stuff through God's Son. The problem is that God's Son never writes anything himself, only hangs around one to three years depending on which Gospel you read, disappears and never is heard from again until oral traditions and stories are written down and we get all we ever need to know now in what we call The Word of God-The Bible.
Let me Dare to Be a Daniel with Bob dream of his rising star status in COGdom. At least Dave Pack and Ron Weinland didn't inflict their dreams on the members to convince. They just took the titles and beat the brethren down with hour after hour and week after week sermons "proving" that they had every right to declare themselves apostles or witnesses. I guess I'd prefer a dream just to get it over with faster.
One reason that I did not understand it at the time was that I was on relatively close speaking terms with Dr. Meredith then, so that aspect made of the dream made no sense See, it made no sense because I was getting along with him. Being on "speaking terms" means Bob viewed himself as special and an equal. He was no friend to RCM but merely, on speaking terms. "Made no sense" = Bob was not willing to admit outwardly to his inward feelings quite yet. It was going to take an imagined sign from God to do that. . Also, since I had no intentions of leaving Living Church of God then (and certainly no plans to start a separate church), it was not clear what the dream was saying. Another reason I was unsure about the dream then was that I had not had any anointing for the Holy Spirit beyond baptism when I had it. " See, I was not used to thinking about striking out on my own and I did have thoughts about starting my own church along the way. In hind site, now that i have a special anointing that I found because I was looking for one I can say humble stuff like this. He may have had no plans to start a church, but he had subconscious alternatives brewing.
I won't belabor the point which I believe we get. Human being dream for lots of reasons. Dreams can be fun or terrifying. They can make us think about meaning and indeed, when the head is speaking to the heart or the heart to the head internally and processing life for us and our emotions, intents and secret wishes, it can all seem very meaningful. However, the meaning is for the person who dreams and not necessarily or ever something OTHERS have to buy into. Like eclipse conscious Jesuits who tricked Native Americans into believing them by saying if they didn't the moon would swallow the sun tomorrow, dreamers can con both themselves and others into feeling special and on missions from God. They are not special and the missions are suppressed needs in their minds and lives. There is no God "trying to communicate" with them.
Psychoanalytic Theory of Dreams: (About.com Psychology/dreams)
Other Theories of Dreams:
- One theory suggests that dreams are the result of our brains trying to interpret external stimuli during sleep. For example, the sound of the radio may be incorporated into the content of a dream 5.
- Another theory uses a computer metaphor to account for dreams. According to this theory, dreams serve to 'clean up' clutter from the mind, much like clean-up operations in a computer, refreshing the mind to prepare for the next day 6.
- Yet another model proposes that dreams function as a form of psychotherapy. In this theory, the dreamer is able to make connections between different thoughts and emotions in a safe environment 7.
- A contemporary model of dreaming combines some elements of various theories. The activation of the brain creates loose connections between thoughts and ideas, which are then guided by the emotions of the dreamer 8.
I believe with all my heart that Bob Thiel is sincere. He is not being manipulative in this matter. He is being silly, self centered and is ignorant of how his own mind and human nature works because it is all mixed up with Bronze Age Bible ignorance in the classic God-Haunted kind of way common to many fundamentalist and Bible literalists who have no clue as to the origins, politic and original intent of the very scriptures they cherish so much.