Joel 2:28-30 (NKJV)And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. 29And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
The prophet Joel prophesied a time when The Lord will pour out His Spirit upon "all" flesh! This prophecy would have shaken the very core of the people of Israel at the time; why? How would God accomplish such a feat? Furthermore the prophet makes it explicitly clear of what this would mean! The Spirit reveals through the prophet, that this outpouring, would signify a time when God would reveal Himself to all flesh; very similar to the way God spoke to prophets. What do I mean? Well in the Old Testament God basically spoke in three ways: one, Urim and Thummin, two, prophecy, and three; dreams and visions.
Again; how would God accomplish such a feat? Christ Jesus death and atoning work provided the legal grounds for God to unleash such a magnificent promise. His blood provided an eternal atonement for sin which removed the barrier that prevented man from dealing with a Holy God. Now through Christ we have access by one Spirit to God. As a result the same operative way that He spoke to prophets of old He now speaks to the believer (church). Although in various measures and gifts; the Holy Spirit in this dispensation of grace has legal right,( based upon the finished work) to speak and dwell amongst all of His people. In like manner the Spirit speaks via dreams and visions and prophecy. The distinct difference is the covenant but the operation is the same. Meaning the supernatural prophetic nature of the Holy Spirit is still operative in the church but under a new commandment and covenant; a covenant of grace through Jesus the Lord. In the Old; the Word of the prophet was to confirm the law, while the NT prophet is to confirm the grace of God. An exhortation of Christ Jesus , Rev. 19 says the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy! Even in correction it is a "call" to return to Christ , to walk in the Spirit, to draw nigh to Him. The prophetic nature of God's Spirit has never changed; as a matter of fact , the atoning work of Christ was provided that Father's Spirit could be poured upon all people without barrier or limitation, simply received by Faith in the covenant provided through Christ. This is the mystery of Godliness - ...... It's in this outpouring and revelation of the Spirit,in which God confers Holiness on His people; transforming them by adoption as sons and daughters.
Dreams, Visions, and prophetic utterances are all part of God's divine plan of communication for the N.T. church. This prophecy of Joel was later fulfilled in part when Peter stood up on the day of Pentecost and declared that this is that spoken by the prophet Joel.. Based upon scripture; it is just as "normal" for God to speak by dreams and visions as any other means of His divine communication. This is the fulfilling sign of the prophetic impartation assigned to the "last days" due to the vicarious work of the cross and resurrection of Jesus. Many so called scholars who deny such operation of the Spirit literally (consciously or unconsciously) deny the very essence of being a child of God - Doing the very same thing that the Pharisees did; who believed in heavenly things but denied their operation at the time of Christ; while some, (so called scholars) are like the Saducees who deny every and any inkling of Heavenly or supernatural manifestations. They fail to realize that the "anointing of the Spirit" upon Jesus enabled Him to perform such miracles, in like manner His anointing should be upon and in the church. The church is His body and since the Head is anointed; that anointing is transfered to and through His body. As a result of this "anointing" of the Spirit ( the outpouring mentioned previously) the prophetic communicative nature of the Spirit is released upon and in the believer both individually and corporately; described as prophecy, dreams and visions