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12 Types of Heaven-Sent Visions

According to preacher and writer Dr. James W. Goll, there are 12 types of prophetic visions in the Bible. As Dr. Goll says, “Prophetic visions are not just for prophets.” They’re signs and messages from God we still experience today.

Have you experienced something you couldn’t explain? An image that warned you of impending danger? A voice that brought you comfort when you needed it most? You may have experienced a prophetic vision. According to preacher and writer Dr. James W. Goll, there are 12 types of prophetic visions in the Bible. As Dr. Goll says, “Prophetic visions are not just for prophets.” They’re signs and messages from God we still experience today.

Gut feeling

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Spiritual Perception

You may know this type of vision as a “gut feeling.” It can be a sudden urge to do something, or the sense that something is wrong. “These moments can be fleeting and unexpected,” says Dr. Goll. “You don’t have to be praying when they happen. They can even come when you’re driving or doing the laundry.”

Polaroid photo of buildings.

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Pictorial Vision

Like a panoramic vision, an image flashes into your mind. However, this one appears like a snapshot. “I think of these visions as a Polaroid picture,” Dr. Goll says. “There is a split second when the light goes off and an image is printed. That light is a revelation from God.” Dr. Goll recommends studying the image to try to understand what God is telling you.

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Movement on winding stairs.

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Panoramic Vision

This type of vision appears as multiple moving pictures in your mind’s eye. “Think of it as a short movie in your head,” Dr. Goll says. “These visions may last several seconds. They have motion to them, and can also sometimes include words being heard.”




A girl in a hot air balloon dreamscape.

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Did you know that some dreams can be considered a type of vision? According to Dr. Goll, this is because our mind is less resistant to visions when we are asleep. “The soul never truly slumbers and neither does God,” he says. “He speaks where he dwells. If you open yourself up to God when you sleep, he will speak to you.”

A sound bite.

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Audible Voice

Have you ever heard a voice that brought you comfort or saved your life, but you don’t know where it came from? An audible vision “is more than an impression. It is actual words,” says Dr. Goll. “It can be words heard internally or heard externally outside the body.” Some people hear a heavenly voice, while others report hearing a voice that sounds familiar.

Close up of woman's eye.

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An Appearance

This vision is when something God wants us to see appears before us. These visions can seem to come out of thin air. It can happen when your eyes are open and sometimes when they are closed. The appearances are often a person, specifically someone significant to the viewer. “But it’s not just people,” Dr. Goll says. “An appearance can also be an angel or some kind of symbol from Heaven.”

A burning bush plant.

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Divine Sight

When Moses saw the burning bush, he was seeing a physical bush that was on fire yet miraculously intact. Such is an example of a divine sight. It is witnessing something unexplainable in the physical world. “Divine sight is meant to fill us with awe,” Dr. Goll says.


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A heart shaped opening in the sky.

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Open Heaven

This is a vision when an opening appears in the sky and the heavenly realm is exposed. Signs from God come down through this opening and can take various forms. “This is a spiritual activity when Heaven opens up over a person,” Dr. Goll says. “It’s a pipeline between you and heaven. It’s a rending between the two realms, from the natural to the spiritual. When God’s manifest presence comes down, it’s because all resistance to it is removed.”


Woman in trance.

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This vision occurs when a person is deep in worship. They are in their body but in such a rest-like state that their mind becomes susceptible to messages from God. “It is an ecstatic experience,” Dr. Goll says. “Trance is a realm that the Holy Spirit initiates.” When a person is connected to their physical form but deeply rooted in their spiritual self, they receive the revelation that God intends.

A woman having an out of body experience.

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Out-of-Body Experience

This occurs when a living person’s soul separates from their body. They happen with near-death experiences (NDE) but can also occur as a person is deep in prayer. “The person’s spirit can leave the body in order to interact in a spiritual realm,” Dr. Goll says. “It’s important to remember that God is protecting our soul during this time.”

A woman sitting on a bench.

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This is a kind of divine transportation. It’s a physical experience where a person starts in one location and ends up in another, seemingly without explanation. “This happened to a friend of mine,” says Dr. Goll. “He was trying to catch a flight but was running late. He said a quick prayer to God for help. All of a sudden, he was pulling into the airport. He had been thirty minutes late before, but now he was on time, and he had no idea how. Until he remembered his prayer.”

Butterflies at the end of the tunnel.

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Heavenly Visitation

This may occur in a dream, a vision or an NDE. This glimpse of paradise often shares elements like angels, a feeling of peace or the sight of the person or their loved ones restored from earthly injury and ailments. “I had an NDE after a back surgery,” says Dr. Goll. “I visited heaven and saw my parents and my late wife. They looked young and full of life. It was a great comfort to see.”

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