"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."(1) This well known verse has
probably come under as many varied interpretations as any other Old Testament 'prophetic' scripture. The key words in
this scripture are no vision, people perish and the law. The law here refers to God's instruction(s) given to keep the
faithful on His path of righteous and holy living; vision here refers to a prophetic revelation from God to keep the people
from 'falling away' from His commandments and statutes; and perish here refers to "be let loose, or to become
unrestrained", i.e., "without prophetic revelation from God, people are unrestrained and fall under judgment."(2)
As the Apostle Peter began his 'Pentecost' sermon he made a profound proclamation: "But this is that which was spoken
by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream
dreams: And on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall
prophesy".(3) It is imperative one understand which 'generation" the prophet Joel was referencing to for this endtime
outpouring - Orthodox Jewry clearly sees this as depicting latter-day tribulation period Jews. Guard yourself carefully to
not be co-opted into the heresy of Replacement Theology.
Many mature and anointed Christians believe that we have entered into the 'last days' and that God's Spirit is increasing
His annunciation of prophetic revelation and giving accompanying visions. It even appears to some that the Church may
well be left in place during the early days of the Tribulation period ... for if the Church is not raptured (1 Thes. 4:17)
immediately following the great falling-away (2 Thes. 2:3) and/or the confirming of the 'false peace' agreement (Dan. 9:27) ...
then many have been seduced by a Pre-Rapture Myth -- and subsequently have been appointed to "God's time of wrath".
Joel's prophecy clearly implies that in the 'last days' visions, prophecy and prophetic revelation will not be limited to a
'priestly class' or just to senior mentors and traditional leadership. The antecedent to Joel 2:28, begins with Joel 2:12, i.e.,
"A Call to Repentance". The trumpet blown in Zion in Joel 2:15, is a call to repentance by all people, elders and children
alike. The repentance spoken of here is firstly, a turning away from all aspects of unrighteousness(4) and secondly, a
turning (trusting in) to the promises and Covenant given by God. Both of these actions are required for true repentance
to be accomplished and established in our life. Vision in the last days will be given to those who are committed to God's
preconditions for righteousness, holiness and faithful obedience to His precepts and statutes. If another's 'spiritual
sightedness' does not go beyond the obvious and common place happenings of the day, we should be heedful and
circumspect of its prophetic value. We should always study a 'vision' that does not ultimately lead to an increase in the
Kingdom of God, encourage furtherance of the gospel, hold to scriptural principles for admonishment and/or impart the
revelation of Christ Jesus as the Son of the Living God. Well articulated 'sightedness' can often masquerade as 'inspired
vision', yet the fruit (spiritual) of such 'sightedness' determines its anointed authenticity.
In the book of Habakkuk we read, "Then the Lord answered me and said: Write the vision and make it plain on tablets,
that he may run who reads it."(5) The instruction here is to those who receive a vision to 'dash and sprint' with it clearly
displayed so that all who have read it (or heard) may proclaim it to others. An unshared vision is like an unpicked fruit ...
it will eventually wither and be cast from the vine and be of no value for the intended audience. To share a vision or
prophecy can be a daunting experience, especially if the faith of those able to receive such a word is less than sufficient
to embrace the message and/or accept the messenger(6). God resources those He calls, e.g., "equip you with everything
good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ ..."(7) God will supply what
ever is required for a vision He has given to be brought to fruition. Trepidation to present a given vision almost always
involves a 'shaky faith' concerning whether God will actually back it up with "the word of His power"(8) and secondly,
lurking uncertainty as to the willingness of those intended to receive, to 'accept the messenger' irrespective the message.
Vision must go beyond sight and not be hindered by our limited discernment of God's end-time workings, our concerns
for acceptance and/or our understanding of His omnipotent means for 'performing His word'.(9) What are the 'prophets'
you listen to today receiving from God's trove of visionary revelation? God is surely speaking, are we listening and
seeing beyond our natural sight? One of our most daunting challenges in the near coming days will be our Holy Spirit
imparted acumen to separate and discern the counterfeit from the Truth; especially, when it comes to prophetic
utterances, inspired revelations and spiritual pronouncements being made by present-day religious bellwethers ... for they
are already casting their eschatological seeds far and wide, especially through the television medium and published works.
This truly is a day where one should greatly reflect on where we plant our 'faith seeds', i.e., into good ground of fruitful
ministries and not into one of the quasi-popular or pop-genre ministry movements flourishing in many a corner today !
(1) [Prov. 29:18] (2) [Ryrie note] (3) [Acts 2:17-18] (4) [1 Thes. 5:22] (5) [Hab. 2:2] (6) [Matt 13:57] (7) [Heb. 13:21] (8) [Heb. 1:3] (9) [Isa.