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Dreams Versus Night Visions - Jeremy Caris

Dreams Versus Night Visions


While the Bible talks of both dreams and night visions, it doesn’t clearly explain the difference. I’ve heard the theory that one is more symbolic while the other is more literal. I’ve also heard that there is virtually no difference at all. However, there are distinct differences between dreams and night visions, and between visions and trances as well. The difference lies not so much in the nature of the revelation as in the physical state that you are in when you receive the revelation.

“What one has not experienced, one will never understand in print.” – Isadora Duncan


Let’s start with what a vision is. A vision is a sight, something you see in your spirit when you are awake. You could say it’s something you see “in your mind’s eye” when you are awake. But to be technical, everything you see, whether from the spiritual realm or the natural realm is seen in your mind’s eye. Your mind processes and filters all the information it receives and then it constructs a picture. That picture is what you “see.” But that’s a deeper teaching for another day.

Night Vision

A night vision is simply a vision that you have when half asleep or half awake. In other words, it’s revelation you see when you have some physical awareness. Some refer to this as the twilight state. It’s the state you’re in early in the morning when you’re just beginning to wake up or at night when you’re just beginning to fall asleep. You are aware that you are sleeping and dreaming, but you are fully aware nonetheless. Visions that you have in this state are what the Bible refers to as night visions.


A dream is more commonly understood. A dream is something you see when you have little to no physical awareness. There are various categories and types of dreams. Some dreams are from God and some are not, but everyone dreams—whether they realize or remember it or not. In fact, everyone has both dreams and night visions, but not everyone has visions and trances.


Trances are not only okay, but they are Biblical and God-given (Dan. 10; Act. 10-11, 22:17). A trance is no different than a vision, night vision, or dream in regards to the revelation. The difference lies only in your physical state. A trance is like a dream in the sense that you have no physical awareness. The difference is that it comes on you suddenly. You are awake and then you suddenly fall into a deep sleep-like state, you see a vision, and then you are suddenly fully awake again. The reason that the Gospel was openly spread to the world was because of a vision that Peter had while God put him into a trance (Act. 10-11).

Visions, night visions, dreams, and trances all refer to visions received while in various physical states.

Jeremy Caris

Jeremy Caris is the founder and president of Caris Ministries. Since he is called as a prophet and gifted as a teacher, much of his focus involves equipping believers to hear, know, and follow God in their own daily experience. He teaches the foundational truth of the Word with simple clarity, while revealing deep things of the spirit in practical ways. He has the unique ability to demystify the supernatural side of real relationship with a living God and make it an embraceable and accessible reality for all believers. Jeremy has been married to his best friend, Mandy Caris, for eighteen years, and is the proud father of two boys.

6 Responses to "Dreams Versus Night Visions"
  1. Hi Jeremy,

    I switched from atheism to Jesus three years ago after my brain was turned upside down by a prophetic lady. Shortly after this experience I had a dream where a female angel (I’m assuming angel but can’t tell for certain) asked me if I was good at math. I said yes and she asked if I could add 9 & 7. I said yes it is 16 and she said “ahh you are 111”. Then she brought me to a rotating machine that looked like a carousel and had the number 111 stamped on it. She took my body and moved it in and out of the machine saying something along the lines of “when you go in forwards it heals this and then when you go in backwards it heals that”. As I came out of the machine some sort of energy came into my chest and I woke up with a shock. Not a bad shock, just a ‘wow what was that’ shock. I knew the numbers were significant but of course 16 & 111 can mean an enormous variety of things. Since then I have married a Christian wife who often receives accurate interpretations for the dreams I have, but God has not revealed the meaning of this dream to her. If you have time to pray over this and if you feel the Lord gives you an interpretation, I would be open to hearing it.

    Appreciate your time and may God continue to bless you.


    • I do not believe this is a “God” dream. It is a good example of why we need to learn to understand our dreams, because not all of the dreams we have are messages from God that need an interpretation. There are many other types of dreams as well. I hope to publicly release more training for understanding your dreams in the future with more of an explanation, but unfortunately for now it’s too much to explain in one reply.

  2. Sir, I am Pastor Daniel Samuel. I have been experiencing recurring dream for 17yrs now. It just stopped last month. I saw the Man of God on whirlwind like Elijah to heaven. And since then I have not seen him again. I do see him every week in my dream. He want me to succeed him as Head Pasttor of his church, I always say no, bec I too have a covenant of a mega church. In 2013, I told him I have accepted in my dream. I wrote letter to him, no reply in the physical before the dream stopped.
    Please, explain to me sir.

    Pst Daniel Samuel

    • Recurring dreams usually continue as long as the dream is relevant and until they are fulfilled, no longer possible, or out of your control. In other words, they may continue until the dream has come to pass or accomplished its purpose in you, until you make choices that change the course of your life so that it no longer leads to the fulfillment of that dream, or until you take action that takes the next move toward the fulfillment out of your hands. In this case, there is no longer anything for you to do to cooperate with the dream at this time. It is no longer in your hands.

    • I am grateful for the interpretation, but it did not come in full page for me to read all. I couldn’t figure your explanation well. I really want it in full. You can sent it to my Email address: [email protected].
      I want to bless God for the gift of Interpretation of dreams; and the way you explained the differences between Biblical Visions, Night Visions, Trances and Dreams. You are excellent on that, because I do have them too.
      Grater Grace and more Anointing upon you sir.
      Pst Daniel from Nigeria.

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