Is a revelation during a coma, a dream, a vision or something else?
Throughout the Bible, God spoke to people in many ways, each unique and wonderful, including visions and dreams. Many people use these two words interchangeably, and they are similar. Both involve our Lord giving direct revelation. However, one of the main differences is that dreams come to us during sleep, while visions occur when we are awake. But what if a revelation comes to someone during a coma? Is this a dream, a vision or something unique?
Some will say that God uses dreams primarily to speak to us
, reveal His plans, enable Spirit-directed communication, warn of impending trouble, and establish prophetic revelation. And that He uses visions to reveal Himself and His glory. If these are the only two options, then my friend Matthew experienced both or perhaps a combination of the two. He will tell you his experience and you can ponder the answer. But first a little more depth on visions and how we should respond to them.
Characteristics of a God-given Vision
Each of us goes through life-changing moments when a new vision is given, but questions often arise. Before the interpretation or meaning of a vision is provided, the receiver can experience confusion and begins to seek God’s interpretation of what was seen. These are the primary ways a believer can accept that the vision is from God:
• A God-given vision reveals His holiness, glory, and power
• A God-given vision exposes your own humanness and frailty.
• A God-given vision will leave you astonished and sometimes even numb for days.
• A God-given vision will always be followed by its interpretation.
Four Steps to Turning a Vision into Reality
It’s one thing to receive a vision. It’s another thing when you don’t understand it or know what to do with what you’ve received. Thankfully, the prophet Habakkuk revealed what you must do to bring your “waking dream” to fruition:
Prayer is the key to dreams, visions, revelations, interpretation, and knowledge. Pray and ask God to reveal the meaning of your “waking dream” to you.
2. Write the vision down
Time can dim your memory.
3. Act upon the vision
Step out in faith and act upon what God has shown you. The instant you begin to act upon what you have seen, you begin cooperating with God to bring it into being.
4. Wait for it
This may sound contradictory to acting upon the vision but waiting is an important part of making the vision a reality. In the videos and conversation below, Mathew will tell you how parts of his vision have been revealed but not all at this point. Even as you step out in faith, we must realize that God’s timing is crucial: For the vision is set for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it delays, wait for it. (Habakkuk 2:3
) It will always be fulfilled.
Let’s look at a few select visions mentioned in the New Testament.
Jesus may have had numerous visions. Was it a vision that told Him where the colt was that He was to ride into Jerusalem before His final Passover there? Was it a vision that showed him the man the disciples were to follow to discover the location for the last supper? Perhaps, or maybe, being fully anointed with God’s Spirit, He just knew. However, the Bible clearly says that He saw Nathaniel under a fig tree before He met him.
Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.
“Come and see,” said Philip.
When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”
“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”
Jesus said, “You believe[ because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (John 1:45-51)
Through his vision, God told Peter that the Gentiles were to be accepted into the Kingdom of Heaven. Represented as food that was forbidden under Jewish law, he was told that they were not to be considered unclean.
About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds.
Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”
“Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”
The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate. They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there.
While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.”
Peter went down and said to the men, “I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come?”
The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.”
Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests.
The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the believers from Joppa went along. (Acts 10:9-23)
Paul experienced many visions in his lifetime. (2Corinthians 12:1) He had a vision of Ananias coming to him to restore his eyesight (Acts 9:12) and a vision or a dream of a Macedonian man beseeching him to come to his region with the Gospel. (Acts 16:9,10) Following is another example of a vision he had.
“When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance and saw the Lord speaking to me. ‘Quick!’ he said. ‘Leave Jerusalem immediately, because the people here will not accept your testimony about me.’
“‘Lord,’ I replied, ‘these people know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you. And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’
“Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’ ” (Acts 22:17-21)
You will find an extensive list of Biblical visions in the Relevant Scripture section below.
In many parts of the world, God seems to be using visions and dreams extensively. In areas where there is little or no gospel message available, and where people do not have Bibles, God is taking His message to people directly through dreams and visions. This is entirely consistent with the biblical example of visions frequently used by God to reveal His truth to people in the early days of Christianity. If God desires to communicate His message to a person, He can use whatever means He finds necessary—a missionary, an angel, a vision, or a dream. Of course, God also can give visions in areas where the gospel message is already readily available. There is no limit to what God can do.
Matthew’s Spellbinding Vision
Matthew was 26 when he suddenly became seriously ill. To allow his body to have a better chance of survival, doctors put him into a coma, during which he nearly died. The doctors were unable to safely bring Matthew out of his unconsciousness after one to two weeks as initially planned.
He remained in the coma for 28 days during which he experienced a nonstop vision that continued each time he fell asleep after he came out of the coma. What he saw was truly amazing and the lengthiest vision I have ever heard or read about outside of Revelation.
Many near-death experiences
include the soul walking toward a bright light and this is included in one part of Matthews vision, not regarding himself, but watching someone else walk toward that light. He describes this in the second video below.
Matthew’s vision elevated his soul into a starry universe, sometimes referred to as the Second Heaven, where he saw other souls moving along a pathway of stars that led into infinity. And Jesus was his tutor.
In this home video Matthew provides an excellently detailed description of what he experienced. You will be mesmerized.
After watching Matthew’s video, I had a couple of questions for him.
Me: Have you ever wondered if your illness/coma was INTENDED to provide the vision?
Matthew: “YES! I tell everyone that God brought it upon me on purpose. I was in a place in my “salvation” where God could not really speak to me. (Prideful and focused on earthly things.) He had to slap me out of it. I call the experience “my walk in the wilderness”.
I believe we experience tribulation and hard times to refine us in Christ. They are sometimes out of chastisement to correct us, and sometimes to just open our eyes. ALWAYS for correction of some type. (Or in some cases as example to others also). But I don’t think I would have payed as much attention if it was just a dream. This experience got my attention BIG TIME and still has my attention 20 years later.
Daniel 11:35 And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.”
Me: What do you think was God’s purpose for your vision? What was He trying to tell you? Is this something you have discovered or is it still to be discovered?
Matthew: ”I grew tremendously closer to the Lord through that event. I no longer fear tribulation and death. (I still don’t like them though… LOL) But I also believe God was preparing me for the end times ministry he has set up for me, whatever that should be. Much of what I was shown 20 years ago is starting to happen now… Soooo… It really has me looking back at what I was shown and re-looking at it.
I have been shown answers to some, but other parts are still being revealed. I was shown a lot. We’re talking near a month of a continuous vision, then continued visions for weeks after I awoke. That’s a lot of information to process.”
As an example of something that has been revealed to him, Matthew sent to me this video regarding death and the importance of intercessory prayer.
According to Catholic documents, most people have their visions early in life and move into greater spiritual communion with God after that. In that sense the vision achieved its purpose, boosting one along the spiritual path to something richer.
However, we must be careful when it comes to visions and the interpretation of visions. We shouldn’t measure ourselves against these experiences or pursue them as they are clearly not prerequisites to grace and are meant only for those God chooses.
We must keep in mind that the Bible is finished, and it tells us everything we need to know. The key truth is that if God were to give a vision, it would agree completely with what He has already revealed in His Word. Visions should never be given equal or greater authority than the Word of God. God’s Word is our ultimate authority for Christian faith and practice.
If you believe you have had a vision and feel that perhaps God gave it to you, prayerfully examine the Word of God and make sure your vision agrees with Scripture. Then prayerfully consider what God would have you do in response to the vision (James 1:5
). God would not give a vision to a person and then keep the meaning of the vision hidden. In Scripture, whenever a person asked God for the meaning of a vision, God made sure it was explained to the them. (Daniel 8:15-17
In the last days, God says, I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. (Acts 2:17)
The Most High God covenanted with Abraham in a vision. (Genesis 15:1-21)
God spoke to Jacob in either a dream or a night vision. (Genesis 46:2-4)
Balaam experienced a vision of the Almighty. (Numbers 24:1-19)
Samuel experienced a vision as a child. (1Samuel 3:1-21)
Nathan experienced a night vision concerning King David. (2Samuel 7:4-17; 1Chronicles 17:1-15)
Iddo, the seer, received multiple visions concerning Jeroboam. Exactly what his visions and writings were concerning is not stated in the Bible. He did write genealogies and kept records of some of Israel’s Kings. (2Chronicles 9:29; 12:15)
Job experienced both visions and dreams. (Job 7:14)
Isaiah experienced a vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem. (Isaiah 1:1)
Isaiah also saw the Lord sitting upon a Throne in His Temple. (Isaiah 6:1-4)
Ezekiel experienced multiple visions. (Ezekiel 7:13; 8:1-4; 11:24)
Daniel apparently received both dreams and visions of the Lord. (Daniel 2:19; 8:1-27; 9:21-24)
Obadiah received a vision concerning Edom. (Obadiah 1:1-21)
Nahum received a vision of the destruction of Ninevah approximately one hundred years after Jonah preached there. Apparently, they had backslidden again, and it was “time to pay the piper.” (Nahum 1:1-3:19)
Peter, James and John had a vision (The Transfiguration) of Moses and Elisha while on the Mountain with Jesus. (Matthew 17:1-13)
Zacharias had a vision of the Angel of the Lord. (Luke 1:11-22)
Ananias had a vision of the Lord concerning Saul of Tarsus. (Acts 9:10-12)
Saul of Tarsus had a vision of Ananias coming to him to restore his eyesight. (Acts 9:12)
Cornelius had a vision of an Angel coming to him to reveal how he could hear the Gospel preached. (Acts 10:1-48)
Peter had a symbolic vision of the Gentiles being accepted into the Kingdom of God. (Acts 10:9-48)
Paul had either a vision or a dream of a Macedonian man beseeching him to come with the Gospel. (Acts 16:9,10)
The Lord appeared to Paul in either a dream or a vision bringing him encouragement and guidance. (Acts 18:9,10)
Paul experienced many visions in his lifetime. (2Corinthians 12:1)