If you’ve been reading any of my blog articles, you’ll realize that I believe there can be timing clues for future events that our dreams are telling us. You’ll also note that I believe God is the author of these dreams and if He will tell us about things yet to come, then it follows good reasoning that He may, at times, likewise tell us when to expect them. I do not believe we will always get timing clues in our dreams but in some cases, I do have reason to believe there are encoded hints given for us to search out. Here are a few things I’ve learned on the tricky business of timing and personal examples in my own interpretations and prophecies received.
Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.
(Daniel 12:7 NKJV)
Parables and Metaphors
Let me start off by reiterating that God rarely ever speaks to us in plain clear language. Proverbs 25:2 and Jesus’ private discussions with his disciples give the reasons for the concealing of messages. In short, God requires you to get to know Him before He will tell you certain things. Now, in addition to our study of symbology for events and circumstances, we are now adding the time dimension factor for consideration.
To get the proper Biblical foundation for our topic, let’s take a look at the above passage in Daniel 12:7. The phrase, “time, times and half a time” means three and a half years. “Time” equals one year, “times” equals two years, “half a time” equals half of a year. This word “time” in the original Hebrew is “moed” (h4150. מוֹעֵד mô‘êḏ, Strong’s Concordance) and means an appointed time, meeting, season, place sign or signal. This is the same word used for the seven feasts as found in Leviticus 23.
We find this same sort of timing encryption in Genesis 40 where Joseph interprets the dreams of two of his fellow prisoners. In that passage, three branches and three baskets each mean three days. In the next chapter, Genesis 41, we find Joseph interpreting seven cows and seven heads of grain to mean seven years plus seven years. This is the Biblical basis for timing clues in dreams and all other communications inspired by God.
On May 8, 2015, I had a dream about a person whom I have known for many years and I believed it to be a serious warning concerning a possible life and death matter. Without revealing personal details, this person has been dealing with a very long-term case of severe depression. I happen to know in this specific case that there are spiritual issues that are responsible for this and it is not a matter of psychology. In the dream, this person was standing in front of a classroom mostly filled with people and he was singing a song from the American 1800’s called, “Oh! Susana“.
Several things that stood out to me in this dream. First, he had a serious facial expression, which although common for him, it is not normal for this type of scenario. Second, he sang the same verse two or three times repeatedly, “oh Susanna, don’t you cry for me”; he did not sing any other verses that I could remember. Third, in this dream, I sat in either the second or third row of the classroom. When I woke up, I didn’t remember if each of these were either two or three but for reasons you’ll see below, that was close enough.
Days or Weeks?
Based on what I knew of this person, I believed this was a warning and it required a proper response without delay. What really hit this message home was when I looked up the lyrics of the song. The final verse is, “And when I’m dead and buried—Susanna, don’t you cry.” When I saw that, I needed no further confirmation about what was probably going on. Soon after this, a prompt response was made, and no negative event took place. Here’s what I concluded: the number of times the verse was repeated seemed to match the row number I was seated in and that told me there was either that number of days or weeks before this person may have attempted suicide.
But now the difference between days and weeks is a very big deal when dealing with a situation like this. Taking another look at the details, I further narrowed this down to weeks rather than days because of the row of chairs. A row of chairs is like a row of days. One chair equals one day in the same manner as our Biblical example above, this is like saying a “week of chairs”. Therefore, I believed this dream to be a warning two to three weeks in advance.
As a matter of back-briefing, was I able to tell what the exact outcome this dream pointed to? Actually, no, because no negative event happened but, based on a later phone call, I knew this dream had been a valid warning. This situation became an example of a warning that went heeded. If I had ignored this, there is no way to know what might have happened but those are unknowns that I’m happy to live with. If you’d like to see a perfect example of a warning dream that I did not respond to, go back to my WOLF post. That one, although I wrote it vaguely, was a very ugly personal situation for me.
I give credit to one of my friends who made me aware of this next concept from his own experiences. Personal prophetic timing can be the same idea as dream timing but they may appear very differently. Consider word plays: “in two days” or “on the 22nd” could actually mean “on Tuesday” (ie: “two’s-day”). “In eleven days” could mean “on the 11th of the month”. I won’t discuss this fully here but, word plays are found in various Biblical passages which mostly require you to have some understanding of the original Hebrew or Greek texts to fully grasp that. Again, see my WOLF post where a superimposed clock was used to give me a timing clue in a dream. Take these concepts and use that to consider timing in your dreams or any prophetic messages you receive from someone speaking under inspiration from God.
What if There is No Timing?
I’ve had dreams and prophecies given to me that had no apparent timing attached to them. In some cases, a situation hit me off guard that I had seen before hand in a dream. I’m not sure what to do about those because I personally like to have timing clues! In the case of prophecies, I’ve had prophecies spoken to me about my future and no timeline was given at all. This caused me no small degree of confusion.
In the event of a warning dream, if you do not find any timing clue at all, expect that the event you saw will happen within a matter of weeks (not months). This has been the case with me several times concerning warning dreams. Most of the time, if I cannot pick up on any timing, the event shown to me has so far usually been less than four weeks away. If you get a dream that speaks of your personal destiny or calling, this rule does not apply; in that case it is the same as what I will describe next as related to personal prophecies.
In one recent case, I was given a major prophetic message by a very high-level apostolic person but no timeline was given. At first I did not know if I had missed something or what I was supposed to do to make this happen. After seeking some advice from a mature person in my church who has experience with these things, I was told that the timing is in God’s hands and the thing spoken to me will happen at an unknown date and probably in an unexpected way. After praying and fasting about this extensively, I felt this was the confirmation of my answer. In some cases a prophecy may take years before it happens. In my case I really hope not, but in cases where they are delayed, this is not a reason to give up.
I once heard Randy Clark tell how he had been given several huge prophecies about his life and he did not even believe they would happen so he threw them in the trash! One day, to his surprise, they began to manifest in his life and he called up the person who had given him the messages and asked if he still had a copy of them. Never give up on a prophecy! As I was told by the elder at my church, the only way you can thwart a prophecy in your life is by walking away from God or some other equally negative behavior.
- Pay attention to details in dreams that are out-of-place or out of character.
- Note anything in a dream that can be counted, including people, objects, repeated events, etc.
- Expect God to speak in ways that are personal to you while at the same time, extracting you from worldly thinking and transforming you into His way of thinking.
- If no timeline is given in a dream or prophecy, be watchful and alert and do not give up on or forget what you received.
- In some cases, you should not put your entire life on hold waiting for a prophecy to manifest unless you believe you are to do so.