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    NIGHT VISION

    “God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night.” Genesis 46:2. The dream of Nebuchadnezzar was “revealed unto Daniel in a night vision.” Daniel 2:19. So also Daniel himself had a view, “in the night visions,” of Christ coming to the Father to receive His kingdom. Daniel 7:13. On another occasion he was taken in vision in the midst of Chaldeans. Had they remained, they might have seen him in the vision (an open vision); but, instead, “a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.” Daniel 10:7.PGGC 7.1

    On turning to the New Testament we find that in Paul’s experience a vision appeared to him in the night. Acts 16:9. And again it was in the night season that he received that valuable instruction in reference to the shipwreck at Melita. Acts 27:23, 24. He was also encouraged in a night vision at Corinth. Acts 18:9. So also in a night vision the Lord showed him that he must bear witness for Him in Rome. Acts 23:11. In Ezekiel 8:1-3 is a record of one of Ezekiel’s visions, before the elders—an open vision. The vision of Cornelius (Acts 10:3, Revised Version) was “a vision openly.” It occurred “the ninth hour”—“the hour of prayer” (Acts 3:1), when his family were assembled for prayer. From the above texts it will be observed that these night visions are treated in the Scriptures as of the same force and origin as the “open visions.”PGGC 8.1

    The following statement in reference to dreams and night visions is found in the book of Job: “For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; then He openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, that He may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.” Chapter 33:14-17. See also Job 4:13-17.PGGC 8.2

    This mode of communication by prophets was not a matter of rare occurrence in those olden times, for the Lord said of it, “I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.” Hosea 12:10. He thus testified to them “by all the prophets.” 2 Kings 17:13. This He did “betimes” (“continually and carefully,” margin). 2 Chronicles 36:15. Through these prophets He pleaded with the people to flee from idolatry, saying, “Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate.” Jeremiah 44:4. The masses, with their rulers, continued in their wickedness, “belied the Lord,” and their prophets became wind. Jeremiah 5:12, 13. “They set up their ensigns for signs,” and there was “no more any prophet.” Psalm 74:4, 9. Then they sought “a vision” from the Lord, but they found none, because the law perished from the priest. Ezekiel 7:26. When the people were thus left without a prophet it was a source of great loss to them, as shown by the words of Azariah, the son of Oded, to Asa, king of Judah, when he said: “Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law. But when they in their trouble did turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found of them.” 2 Chronicles 15:3, 4.PGGC 9.1

    While Uzziah, king of Judah, gave heed to the word of the Lord by His prophets, prosperity attended him. The record says: “He sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.” “But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the Lord his God, and went into the temple of the Lord to burn incense.” “And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death.” 2 Chronicles 26:5, 16, 21.PGGC 9.2

    Notwithstanding all these tokens of God’s favor, this people fell again into idolatry, and the Lord testified to them by the prophet Jeremiah: “If ye will not harken to Me, to walk in My law, which I have set before you, to harken to the words of My servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending them, but ye have not harkened; then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.” Jeremiah 26:4-6.PGGC 10.1

    Disregarding the admonition of the Lord, the people were brought into a position at last where they could see the force of the words of Solomon, when he said, “Where there is no vision, the people perish [cast off restraint, R. V.]: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Proverbs 29:18. Still, however, they persisted in following their own way, walking in the imaginations of their own hearts, until their city was laid in ruins. Then came the lamentation of the prophet Jeremiah: “Her gates are sunk into the ground; ... the law is no more; her prophets also find no vision from the Lord.” Lamentations 2:9.PGGC 10.2

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