Paul tells Timothy “that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!”—2 Timothy 3:1-5, New Living Translation
Perhaps Paul is looking back to Proverbs Chapter 29 and verse 18 where Solomon is writing prophetically saying “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is one who keeps the Law.” When we include verse 16 with verse 18, we get a clear vison and timing of what Paul calls the last days: “When the wicked are in authority, sin flourishes, but the godly will live to see their downfall. When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful.”—NLT
According to Strong’s Concordance, the Hebrew word in Prov. 29:18 translated “vision” is H2372 châzôn (khaw-zone’) and means “a sight mentally, revelation, dream, or oracle.” The meaning of vision here in Proverbs is a prophecy and all Biblical prophecy is from God.
With the vision so clearly stated, why doesn’t mankind recognize their sin-sick condition, repent and turn to the Lord? We are told by our Lord Jesus that at this time, the deep things of God are meant for those in relationship with Jehovah. Jesus told his disciples, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. … This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that says, ‘When you hear what I say, you will not understand. When you see what I do, you will not comprehend. For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes—so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.’” (Matthew 13:11,14-15 NLT) Here, Jesus was quoting from Isaiah 6:9-10. Just think of how far the hearts of the Israelites were from God when while expecting the Messiah, they could not recognize Jesus as he walked among them. How much worse is the condition of the people in our day!
When Jesus was asked for a sign, he told the scribes and Pharisees that they were an “evil generation.” (Luke 11:29) He added that in the days of his return or the last days, it would be like in the days of Noah and Sodom. Mankind will be drinking, taking in marriage and doing all sorts of immoral acts and they will not see their destruction or repent of their ways. (Luke 17:26-33). Daniel adds, “the wicked will not understand the vision but the wise will understand.”—Daniel 12:10
Thus, to all those who would desire to be of the wise class spoken of by Daniel, and to understand the vision or prophecy of these last days, you must come into covenant relationship with the Heavenly Father, be found desiring to understand God’s word, striving to develop a Christ-like character and following the law of Love. These will be able to observe, through the calamity, the signs of the establishment of Christ’s kingdom here on earth and have great joy.—Psalm 50:5; 2 Timothy 2:15; Philippians 2:5; Romans 13:1
Image copyright: timonko / 123RF Stock Photo
For more information please see related booklets and videos listed below: