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God is Using Dreams

In June 2014, I was in the United Kingdom and had the rare opportunity to sit down with a well-known British pastor who is ordained with the Church of England. He has had a lot of experience with international outreach with both charismatic and conservative church movements. Today he is the director of a ministry focused on sharing the Gospel message with Muslims.

“You know,” I said, excited to have an opportunity to be talking with him, “I have been working a lot lately with Iranian Christians and . . .” I paused for a moment. I didn’t know how to quite say that many of them have been coming to Christ through dreams. Though he is no longer an officer in the Royal Artillery as he once was, he still has a very commanding presence about him. I felt a bit foolish suggesting that dreams were a dominant reason for Iranians coming to Christ. I almost wanted to whisper it across the table.

But I really wanted to hear his opinion on the phenomenon. He works with Muslims on a regular basis and travels in completely different circles from me. I was really eager to know if I was working in a microcosm, or if he too had been exposed to Muslim believers who had come to Christ through a dream.

“Well … many of them—many of them claim—that they are coming to Christ through dreams.” I watched his face for a response to my statement.

Dreams were a dominant reason for Iranians coming to Christ.

I was very surprised at his reaction. “Oh yes. It is true.”

“Wow. So you have been seeing this too?” I responded, feeling more confident now.

“I would say 100 percent of all of the Iranians that we are working with in Oxford have come to Christ either directly or indirectly because of a dream.”

I was astonished. One hundred percent is an extraordinary claim, but again and again, it was being confirmed that Iranians were being impacted through their dreams.

This was all new to me, but the truth is, the ancient world of Iran and the biblical culture of the Jews embraced dreams. They found meaning and direction from the mysterious open doors of dreams that occur during the vulnerability of the night. These dreams open up fantastic windows of fleeting reality that are very different from the world that they attempt to manage during the day.

During the day, we toil and labor to maintain control and exert our authority and dominion over the world around us. Insurance companies make billions of dollars providing for our insatiable desire for control and protection from unforeseen future disasters in attempts to be less vulnerable.

Unfortunately for those who seek control, sleep awaits us all. No insurance plan or amount of planning can keep any one of us from the same vulnerability that was encountered by the ancient world. The world we manage when we are awake will not submit when we slumber. We have experiences that we do not initiate and events that we cannot control. In our dreams, we are not as restricted as we are during the day. Even if we are aged or handicapped, in our dreams, we can run, fall, fight, and climb. We fall in love, lust, and sometimes we unleash such unbridled rage unleashed on even our most loved ones that we feel the guilt of when we awake. Helplessness, loss, and even death visit more frequently than they do in the work fields of daylight.

The ancients put more value on the meaning of dreams than we do today. Dreams invaded the sleep of the mighty and powerful Pharaoh. His guards could not protect him or keep the dreams at bay. Joseph, the imprisoned slave, was allowed to interpret the dreams.

When Iranian Muslims have dreams about Jesus, many of them are able to recognize Him as the Isa of the Koran.

Likewise, the laws of Islam that are keeping Christian missionaries and biblical literature out of Iran are defenseless against dreams. Because of the Koran, the Iranian people are aware of Jesus. The Koran mentions the name of Jesus, or Isa, as He is called, several times. In fact, the Koran mentions the name of Jesus more times than it does the name of Muhammad. Also, several Koranic Surahs refer to Jesus as Jesus Christ.

Christ was not Jesus’ last name. It was His title!

The Koran also mentions the virgin birth and that Jesus, the son of Mary, was sent by God.

So when Iranian Muslims have dreams about Jesus, many of them are able to recognize Him as the Isa of the Koran.

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Category: Spirit, Spring 2019

About the Author: Eugene Bach is a pseudonym for a member of the Chinese underground church who does not wish to be identified. He was trained in U.S. military special operations and served two tours in the Persian Gulf and Asia–Pacific region, serving primarily as a member of a rapid response team focusing on targeted threat elimination, counterterrorism, and security. He has been working with the underground church in China for about twenty years, helping them to establish forward mission bases in closed countries around the world, including Iraq and Syria. Eugene leads the Chinese mission movement called Back to Jerusalem, which provides essential support for Chinese missionaries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. He is the author or co-author of I Stand with Christ: The Courageous Life of a Chinese Christian (2015), The Underground Church (2014), Leaving Buddha: A Tibetan Monk's Encounter With the Living God (2019), Jesus In Iran (2015), and other books about the underground church in places like China, North Korea, and Iran.

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