What is a vision? It is God's way of communicating with His Servants, the Prophets. Naturally speaking Vision is a "sense of sight" but in Scripture it refers to a "supernatural sense of sight" that transcends the "natural" realm, allowing the Prophet "to See" that which is unfolding in a "Spiritual" dimension. In that dimension the Lord may show His servants things in the past, the present or the future. Again, by vision, the Lord may show His servant understanding of some portion of His Word.
A vision is something like a dream, WITH two exceptions - in a dream the individual is "asleep" and what he or she sees, is ALL transpirmg in the realm of the subconscious mind; But the Prophet in his vision DOES NOT go to sleep. He is fully awake and "what he sees" is unfolding before him in another dimension. In some visions, the prophet himself feels as if he is standing in the center of what he is seeing, totally surrounded by the things which God is showing him. In the Scientific realm it might be called "Virtual Reality". Science uses scientific equipment to create this allusion, whereas God does it by His own Supernatural Power.
Visions have always been the major part of most prophetic ministries. One noted exception is that of John the Baptist. Not one his visions are recorded in Holy Writ. But in Numbers 12:6 God said: "If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream." This is God's ordained pattern and order. BUT let's keep in mind that the vision MUST BE according to the Word of God - Always check it with the Word - the original thought and purpose of God. If it's not according to the Word then the vision is a "False vision" and NOT from God.
The first record in Scripture, of God appearing to man in a vision, is found in Genesis 15:1. Here we have the record of "the Word of the Lord coming to Abraham in a vision". Following Abraham, one prophet after another rose on the scene with a ministry of visions showing forth the Word of the Lord. The Bible abounds with numerous examples of visions. One of the most notable is the Book of Revelation. It is a record of one vison after another which God gave to His servant John, the beloved, concerning world events both Jew and Gentile.
The apostle Paul, the Messenger to the first church age experienced visions during his ministry. Therefore, it would not be strange for the ministry of the Messenger to this Seventh and last church age to be accompanied by visions. In fact William Branham's life was a "life of visions". From infancy, he was in touch with the Supernatural realm. In his own words he said: "The first thing I can remember in life is a vision. I was eighteen months old..."
Certainly, everyone who has ever read the life story of Brother Branham has speculated on what it must have been like to spend a lifetime in the realm of visions and angelic visitations. WAS it comforting? WAS it confusing? WAS it an ultimate security, or a crushing responsibility? For Brother Branham, it was at times a crushing responsibility.
The astonshing frequency of the visions that occurred in Brother Branham's life created, at times, a rather unusual predicament for him. When he was under the anointing (which, by his own reckoning, was at least 50% of the time), it was very difficult for him to estimate the number of people present on a given occasion. He couldn't trust his human eyes to differentiate between the two realms he would be seeing at once. He lived in two worlds at the same time - the seen and the unseen.
Just as God revealed to Daniel those things that would take place from then until the end of time, so it was in June of 1933, when Brother Branham was conducting services in the old Masonic Hall on Meggs Avenue in Jeffersonville, that Seven Major events were revealed to him which were to come to pass before the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. On this June morning, just before he was to preach, this series of Visions appeared to him.
He saw in a vision that the dictator of Italy, Benito Mussolini, would invade Ethiopia and according to the voice speaking to him, Ethiopia "would fall at his (Mussolini's) steps". However, the voice continued and prophesied a dread end of the dictator, for he would have a horrible death and his own people would literally spit on him.
The next vision indicated America would be drawn into a world war against Germany which would be headed up by the Austrian, Adolph Hitler. The voice predicted that this terrible war would overthrow Hitler and he would come to a mysterious "end". In this vision he was shown the Siegfried line whereat a great toll of American lives would be exacted, but Hitler would be defeated.
It might be well to mention here that a subsequent vision relative to this war predicted that President Roosevelt would declare war against Germany and in so doing would eventually be elected for a fourth term.
PLEASE NOTE: For many years, the American government denied "the losses" suffered by the American forces at the Seigfried Line. It wasn't until sometime in the early 1960's that German films surfaced, forcing the Americans to admitt what really happened at that line. Off course, it's not the first time that governments attempted to cover up mistakes, failure and losses during a war. (Editor: The William Branham Home Page)
The third part of the vision showed that though there were three ISMS, Fascism, Nazism, Communism in the world: that the first two would come to nothing but that Communism would flourish. The voice admonished him to keep his eyes on "Russia" concerning future involvements, for Fascism and Nazism would end up in Communism.
PLEASE NOTE: In 1933, The Voice admonished him to "Watch RUSSIA". It didn't say, 'Watch the Soviet Union', but rather "Russia". Since 1989, the Soviet Union is no more. (Editor: The William Branham Home Page).
The fourth vision that appeared to him was one in which there was predicted to be tremendous technological advances right after the war. This was symbolized by an egg shaped car with a plastic bubble roof, going down beautiful highways completely under perfect remote control. There was no steering wheel in the car and the occupants of the car appeared to be playing a game like checkers.
PLEASE NOTE: This vehicle is already in existence, and has been for many years, waiting only the systems of highways that can accomadate such a mode of transportation. I have in my files pictures and scientific data concerning this vehicle. (Editor: The William Branham Home Page).
The fifth scene that appeared involved the womanhood of the world. In this scene there appeared the fast moral decay of women. Starting back when she received her so-called liberty to enter into worldly affairs by means of the vote, she soon began to wear clothes that were too revealing. she bobbed her hair and adopted the clothing of men. Finally the vision showed her all but stripped naked and she merely covered herself with a tiny apron about the size and shape of a fig leaf. With her womanhood so little valued a terrible decay of all flesh came upon the earth and with it perversion even as set forth by the Word of God.
Then there arose in the United States a most beautiful woman clothed in splendor, and great power was given to her. She was lovely of feature but there was a hardness about her that defied description. Beautiful as she was, she was yet cruel, wicked and cunning. She dominated the land with her authority, she had complete power over the people. The vision indicated that either such a woman would literally arise or that this woman of the vision was merely a type of an organization which is scripturally characterized by a female. Though the voice did not speak out and reveal who she was, he felt in his heart that this woman represented the rising Roman Catholic Church, and he inserted in parenthesis beside at the end of this vision which he had written out, (perhaps the Catholic church).
The voice bade him look once more. As he turned and beheld, a great explosion rent the entire land, and left the land of America a smoldering, chaotic ruin. As far as the eye could see there was naught but craters, smoking piles of debris, and no humanity in sight.
The vision then faded away.
Some fine scholars of scripture would warn him that his visions were not inspired of God. He was worried many times about this, and earnestly sought God to let this peculiar ministry pass from him. Yet the visions kept breaking before his eyes and ever coming to pass. No one was harmed by them, but on the contrary the children of God prospered because of them. At this point he had not realized that even Jesus was accused of being of the devil. Neither had he seen that his ministry being identified by astrologers was no different from the time that devils identified Jesus and also the ministry of Paul (Matthew 8:28-29; Acts 16:16-17).
It is written in Ezekiel 12:22-23, 27-28:
12:22 Son of man, what [is] that proverb [that] ye have in the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth?
It is written in Habakkuk 2:2-3:
2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make [it] plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.