What is the meaning of seeing deceased loved ones in dreams according to the Bible?
Losing a loved one is a heart-wrenching experience that takes years to recover from.
Others hardly recover from it but build coping mechanisms to help them sail through life without those who have left an indelible mark in their hearts.
Many people have confessed to seeing their loved ones in the dream.
This experience has brought lots of questions as it’s met with mixed feelings, including consolation and confusion.
Consolation in the sense that the person they see in the dream is believed to be alive and active in another world and can be seen again in the dreamland.
Confusion in the sense that the Bible says it’s appointed for a man to die once and after that to be judged (Hebrews 9:27).
However, we cannot strike out the reality that people see their dead loved ones in the dream. Therefore, if you are in the category of those who have received a visitation in the dream from the land of the dead or are searching for answers, this article will provide a biblical viewpoint about the loved ones visiting in the dream.
What does it mean when you dream about someone who is already dead?
Many factors can lead to people seeing their loved ones in the dream. But firstly, it is crucial to state that dreaming is a natural ability God has given everyone.
You do not need a supernatural power to see things in your subconscious when sleeping.
God uses dreams to reveal His plans, people’s future, and the state of our lives to us.
Many people dreamed and saw a glimpse of God’s plan and how their lives would turn out.
For example, Joseph, also known as the dreamer, saw in his dreams how God would elevate him to the place of authority and how his sibling and father would bow before him (Genesis 37–50).
His dreams became a reality. He became Egypt’s Prime minister, and his brothers came to him, bowed before him, and sought his help.
Other people who dreamed in the Bible are Daniel, Joseph the Carpenter, and Peter in the New Testament. However, dreaming is not exclusive to believers.
People like Pharoah of Egypt, Pontius Pilate’s wife, Pharoah’s butler, and the baker. Therefore, dreaming is biblical and a natural ability given to man by God to reveal God’s plan and a person’s future.
However, narrowing down the visitation of dead loved ones in the dream, the Bible is silent about it, but it happens based on many reasons listed below.
You are processing grief.
People process grief differently. Some cry their hearts out, while others choose solitude.
Dreaming of a deceased loved one is another way for your mind to process grief and loss.
Thinking about and even dreaming about the person you’ve lost is a natural part of the grieving process.
These dreams may offer a sense of comfort, closure, or a chance to say goodbye, which can be healing. However, it doesn’t mean the person you see is real.
It might just be the figment of your imagination playing out in your dream.
You have unresolved feelings.
Sometimes, dreams about the deceased can indicate unresolved feelings or unfinished business.
Suppose things were left unsaid or undone in your relationship with the person who passed away. In that case, these dreams may be a way for your subconscious to address those issues.
This dream often stems from regret or guilt.
You might dream about you and the deceased having a conversation or reconciling.
This kind of conversation might be your mind purging itself of the burden of pain and healing itself.
Your memory is playing out.
In some cases, a deceased person in a dream might not represent the person themselves but the shared moment you had with them.
For instance, the person might represent a certain trait, memory, or emotion associated with them.
Consider what the person meant to you and what emotions or memories their presence in your dream triggers.
Your dream might directly replicate what you did with them in the past and the best memory you hold about them but not them.
You are undergoing stress and anxiety.
Dreams can also be influenced by your current emotional state. Suppose you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed.
In that case, it’s possible that your dreams may incorporate elements from your past, including people who have passed away.
Seeing a Dead Person Alive in the Dream – Biblical Meaning
The issue of seeing the dead in the dream is a matter that has caused lots of controversies in the Christian faith. Some people believe that deceased loved ones can visit their loved ones in the dream, play, and have conversations with them based on experience and testimonies. However, another school of thought affirms that it’s over once a person is dead.
They cannot appear to their loved ones. They also add that the Bible gives no account of a dead person appearing to their loved ones in the dream.
The Bible says little or nothing about the dead visiting their loved ones in the dream. However, the Bible records angelic visitation in the dream.
For example, Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father, saw an angel in his dream twice. In Matthew 1:20-21, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the dream, telling him not to divorce his betrothed, Mary, who mysteriously became pregnant through the Holy Spirit.
In Matthew 2:13, an angel appeared to Joseph again, instructing him to flee to Egypt with Mary and Jesus to escape the massacre of babies masterminded by Herod, an insecure king, worried about Jesus taking over the rulership of Judea from him when He becomes of age.
On the other hand, Daniel saw four celestial creatures or beasts in his dreams (Daniel 7:1-8).
These two accounts prove that only living beings appeared to people in the Bible and not dead people. It was not recorded in any place in the Bible that a dead person visited a person in the dream.
However, the Bible records a scenario closest to the case of the dead speaking to the living. This happened between the King Saul and the prophet Samuel. According to the Bible, King Saul disobeyed God and was rejected as king. On the other hand, a replacement, David, was anointed.
Other implications of God rejecting Saul included God’s Spirit departing from him, unanswered prayers, and inability to hear from God. The heavens were literally shut against him.
During this time, the Philistines waged war against Israel, and Saul wanted to hear from God concerning the battle as it was the tradition to get strategies and know the outcomes of wars from God. However, he got nothing because God had turned his back on him, and Samuel, the prophet, had died.
So Saul sought an alternative. He visited a medium (1 Samuel 28).
He told the woman to call the spirit of Samuel, who appeared and told him he would lose the battle and he and his sons would die. All these came to pass.
Two things to note about Saul’s visit to a medium is that he was wide awake when the dead, Samuel, spoke to him, and visiting a medium is against God’s command.
The Bible also states that anyone who goes against this command should be killed. Leviticus 20:27 says, “A man or a woman who is a medium, or who has familiar spirits, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones. Their blood shall be upon them.”
Deuteronomy 18:9-11 warns against calling up the dead. Deuteronomy 18:11 says, “Or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.”
Isaiah 8:19 says we should seek God, not a medium and the dead. “And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?”
Therefore, believers should not engage any medium or spiritual agents like witches to see and talk to their dead ones or compel them to appear to them in the dream.
Using these channels is dangerous because those who engage in it open the door for demonic possession and oppression. Those practicing witchcraft do so using demonic powers. Consulting them puts you in grave danger.
You must note that the devil is an illusionist. 2 Corinthians 11:14 says, “No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” He can pry on your desire to see your dead loved ones, disguising his demon or visiting you himself in their likeness.
So, even though losing a dear one can be painful, and you miss them, avoiding seeking ways to see them again is advised. If you strongly desire to see them again, pray to God to allow them to appear to you in the dream. However, while God can answer this type of prayer, note that the enemy might exploit your desire.
Therefore, test whatever message you might have gotten from your loved ones from the dream using the Word of God.
Whatever negates God’s Word is from the devil.
1 John 4:1-3 says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.”
The dead are resting.
Another belief people have about the dead is that their spirits are roaming the face of the earth.
That is why they also believe their spirits can bodily appear to them in the dream.
However, various cases in the Bible state that those dead are sleeping or resting and not walking about or praying for the living.
In Mark 5:35-41, a certain ruler of the synagogue whose daughter died.
When Jesus got to the man’s house and saw people wailing and mourning, He said to them, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.” When Jesus wanted to raise her from the dead all he said was “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.”
Similarly, Jesus referred to Lazarus’ death as sleep and His bringing him back to life as waking him up (John 11:11-14).
John 5:28-29 confirms that those dead are in the grave but will resurrect on the last day to face judgment according to how they lived their lives.
Therefore, believers seeking revelation and information from their dead ones must be careful of familiar spirits capable of taking advantage of their vulnerability and desire to manipulate them.
Everything you need to know about your life is in the Bible.
Pray to God and ask for his direction if you need certain clarification. God is omniscient.
He reveals secrets and mysteries. He is light that distills darkness. Therefore, go to Him for answers.
The Bible is silent about dead loved ones visiting us in the dream. However, dreaming about them is real and can happen for various emotional and psychological reasons.
Believers must not seek any medium to speak or see their loved ones as the Bible is against such practices, and the devil can manipulate us through such means and possess us with his demons.
God is all-knowing, ready to reveal things to us and answer our questions.
We must ask Him for direction and not our dead ones.
Our loved ones are resting, waiting for the day of the Lord, when everyone, dead and living, will stand before the judgment throne and receive commendation and eternal life or condemnation and eternal death.