Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Dial Daily Bread: The Only Way the Holy Spirit Can Reach the Heart of the One You Are Praying For

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

When you think of Elijah the prophet, you think of a towering personality bossing King Ahab around like he was a child. The prophet stood alone before a huge crowd on Mount Carmel, and his prayer brought heaven's endorsement in fire flashing from heaven.

But wait a moment. Think also of Elijah's humiliation, his years of apparently unanswered prayers up in the mountains of Tish as he pleaded for Israel's repentance, all apparently in vain. The Lord had given him an understanding of truth, but it brought him pain as he was forced to watch his beloved Israel sink ever deeper in the horrible morass of Baal-worship. It seems that a precious knowledge of God's truth always brings pain to God's servant who must watch his people turn from it.

No one knows how many years Elijah spent in such apparently fruitless prayer, denying himself also in fasting. Finally the Lord invited Elijah to share the "Revelation 3:21" experience: "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne ..." Come Elijah, you have the good of My Israel on your heart. What do yousay we do for them, to save them from utter ruin?

As we study the story, it seems that the 3-1/2 years of drought was Elijah's idea (James 5:17, 18). This drastic step was the only way the nation could be awakened to reality. (Yes, Elijah agreed with what James says when he told King Ahab there would no rain until he himself, unworthy as he may have been, gave the order for heaven to send it, "except at myword"; 1 Kings 17:1.)

As the weary 42 months dragged by and all vegetation gradually dried up, the lone but sorrowful prophet was forced to watch the people suffer and some children die; he survived only by a little water trickling through the Brook Cherith, and food the ravens brought him. And when even that brook dried up, the Lord sent him to the widow of Zarephath in pagan Sidon (giving Jesus a magnificent story to tell the people of Nazareth, Luke 4:25, 26).

You too may have sincere prayers lifted heavenward daily for the good of someone else. Elijah never stopped praying, but he also let the Lord show him what to doto bring about an answer to his prayers.

Yes, pray; but such prayer may not be enough. Ask the Lord to deepen your knowledge of His gospel, especially that "everlasting" one of Revelation 14:6, 7, which is the only way the Holy Spirit can reach the heart of your beloved one you are praying for. Come, sit with the Lord on His throne. It takes more than fasting and prayer--it takes study and understanding to be at-one with Him.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: February 7, 2008.
Copyright © 2018 by "Dial Daily Bread."

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Dial Daily Bread: Moses’ Tragic Mistake—And an Update on Fred Bischoff

Dear Friends of “Dial Daily Bread,”

First, the update: We have received word that Fred is doing very well. A friend talked to him on the phone, and she said he spoke to her like “his old self.” Fred told her that the surgery went well, and an MRI showed that the surgeons removed all the cancer. Fred is now on the road to recovery, and is working with his doctors on a plan of treatment.

Thank you for all your prayers. We believe that this is a blessed example of God’s agape in answering prayer. We will now be able to send your messages to Fred. Thank you again.

___________________________

Moses’ Tragic Mistake

Have you ever lost your temper in a momentary trial of your patience? Well, poor Moses did. And it wasn't when he was a young man. The tragic mistake came in his old age. Now Moses may not have felt "old" like people do today, for we read that at the time of his death at the age of 120 "his eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor abated" (Deut. 34:7).

But it was at the end, not the beginning, of Israel's 40 years of wandering for their unbelief that Moses' patience gave way. Maybe his physical and mental stamina was a bit weakened by then. The "straw that broke the camel's back" in his case was the cynical cry of the rebellious people, blaming him for lack of water. "Hear now, you rebels!" he cried out. "Must we bring water for you out of this rock?” (Num. 20:10). Then in his fit of temper, he struck the rock twice with his rod instead of once, thus destroying the accuracy of the ceremony which symbolized the death of Christ.

What Moses had done was to teach that Christ must die twice for the sins of the world, and he took to himself (Moses did) the glory for producing water out of a dry rock. God loved Moses; the man was very special. But his public sin of losing his temper made it impossible for Moses to lead Israel at last into their Promised Land. "Because you did not believe me, ... you shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them" (vs. 12).

It's not only old people, but young people too have this same test of impatience. It seems severe for the Lord to sentence Moses to die for such an apparently "innocent" sin of momentary impatience. But Moses must be a teacher for succeeding generations as well; no matter how high we have been in the favor of God, a sin of impatience is serious. But the root of their sin was not merely being angry (even God sometimes is angry, and several times Moses experienced "righteous indignation"). The problem, said the Lord, was Moses' unbelief. "Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, ..." the Lord said to both Moses and Aaron.

It is impossible for you and me to lose our temper so long as we believe the word of the Lord! Whatever the trial that tempts you to impatience, a choice to believe the promises of God will every time deliver you from sin.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: July 17, 2000.
Copyright © 2018 by "Dial Daily Bread."

Monday, December 10, 2018

Dial Daily Bread: The Devil Made Me Do It?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Bible prophecy is clear: we have come to Daniel's "time of the end" (11:35; 12:4), to the "last days" Paul describes (2 Tim. 3:1), to when "the end will come" that Jesus speaks of (Matt. 24:14).

Yes, "there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was" (Dan. 12:1). But it will also be a time of lighting "the earth with ... glory" such as has never been because God will prepare a people all over the world to stand at Christ's second coming. It will be the time when God's people shall be delivered from fear. The righteousness of Christ will clothe them, and so clothed, they cannot be afraid any more than Christ was afraid when He was among us and faced the raging tempest (Matt. 8:26), or the wild men of the Gadarenes (vs. 28).

Deliverance from fear "in Christ" will be a glorious blessing; but even now we can learn to receive such deliverance from fear.

This is accomplished through understanding how close Christ is to us, says Hebrews 2:9-15: "We see Jesus, ... that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. ... Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy [paralyze, Greek] ... the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage."

Note: eventually, Christ will destroy Satan; but for now, He paralyzes [Greek, makes ineffective] the one who has "the power of death." We are "the children" who "have partaken of flesh and blood" now; and we do have a mortal enemy; but Christ has "shot" our enemy with a tranquilizer that paralyzes him, so we do not need to be afraid of him.

The common excuse that we give for falling into sin is a false one, "the devil made me do it." The devil cannot force us to do one wrong thing! Temptation to sin may be fierce but the much more abounding grace of Christ is far stronger. The key truth involved here in learning to overcome fear is that in His incarnation Christ " likewise shared in the same ... flesh and blood" that we have received from our fallen "head," Adam. Thus we realize that we are united with Christ; His faith becomes ours; His fearlessness also becomes ours. There is no need to fear a paralyzed enemy!

Over and over the Lord tells us, "Don't be afraid!" In fact (and I speak softly and reverently) it's a sin to be afraid; it implies that there is unbelief buried or woven into our so-called "faith." And unbelief is the sin of the ages, the last sin to be overcome on planet earth.

But we can overcome it! And we must overcome it, and for all those who "follow the Lamb wherever He goes" (cf. Rev. 14:1-6--God will have such a people!) there is that blessed gift of freedom from fear.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: November 27, 2007.
Copyright © 2018 by "Dial Daily Bread."

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Dial Daiy Bread: The Prophetic Drama Is Starkly Simple

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

During the greater part of two centuries there has been a group of Christians who see in the Bible a vast cosmic "controversy" between Christ and Satan--Christ in Daniel is spotlighted as "the Son of man," and in Revelation as "the Lamb." World history is symbolized by seven angels sounding "seven trumpets." Under the sixth, Islam is pictured as a torment and torture to apostate Western Christianity, but not as gaining a final ascendancy over it.

Under the seventh trumpet God's love is highlighted in a final message of mercy and warning for "every nation, tribe, tongue, and people" just before the second coming of "the Son of man." Revelation 14 introduces the final scene as a conflict between the pure, true "everlasting gospel" and a massive counterfeit known as "Babylon." The prophetic drama is starkly simple; even a child can grasp its overall significance. The special enlightenment of the Holy Spirit is what God solemnly promises to anyone who will seek to understand (see Dan. 12:4, 10; Rev. 1:1-3).

The mysterious machinations of Islamic terrorism are seen in Revelation as simple compared with the subtle religious deceptions foisted on the world by "Babylon." It will all end with a final confrontation between "the mark of the beast" and "the seal of God."

But there is great Good News: (a) a "remnant" "follow the Lamb wherever He goes" (Rev. 14:4); (b) their "names [are] ... written in the Book of Life of the Lamb" (13:8); and (c) "those who are with Him [the Lamb, on His side] are called, chosen, and faithful" (17:14).

What does it take to be in that blessed group? You "survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died"; your heart is moved by His agape (He died your second death). As His love motivates you, self is crucified with Him. You can't help but live to His glory.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: October 6, 2001.
Copyright © 2018 by "Dial Daily Bread."

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Dial Daily Bread: The Greatest Election Ever--God Is Voting for You

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

All along the road that leads to death there are pains and penalties, sorrows and disappointments, and warnings not to go on, but God's agapehas made it hard for the heedless and headstrong to destroy themselves. More than this, by the Holy Spirit the Savior is sitting beside each of us as we travel down that Freeway in the wrong direction, constantly nudging us to get into the right lane and take that blessed exit ramp to life eternal. His job is to be a parakletos, "one called to the side of" us and to constantly "convict" us of "sin and righteousness and judgment" (John 16:8, New International Version). He will never tire of His job or leave us to our perverse ways unless we beat Him off.

An old song says something true:

And once again the scene was changed, 
new earth there seemed to be; 
I saw the Holy City beside the tideless sea.

The light of God was on its streets, 
its gates were opened wide, 
And all who would might enter, 
and no one was denied.
--The Holy City, by Fredrick Weatherly, 1892

In other words, God is voting for you.He has elected us all to be saved. Our job is to say, Yes, to believe, to let our hearts be softened by the sweet influence of the Holy Spirit, to show appreciation for the love by which we were redeemed.

Remember, the Lord is a Divine Gentleman. He will not force Himself on anyone who doesn't like Him and doesn't want Him around. He cannot use coercion. If He forced all to be saved, many would be miserable in an environment where the prevailing spirit is heartfelt gratitude to the Lamb for His sacrifice. If by accident one rebel found himself in the City, he would head for the nearest exit.

When you see what happened at the cross, the kind of love that pushed Christ to do what He did, all this talk about it being hard to obey, hard to give all to Him, hard to surrender, hard to persevere, becomes silly. It's only our pathetic blindness in the face of the greatest Light that ever shown in all eternity that makes us imagine for a moment that we are sacrificing anything when we give all for Christ. For one who accepts God's Good News, obedience that once may have seemed impossible becomes now a joyous principle.

Something will be accomplished that has never been done since time began: a people from all over the world will be prepared to be ready for Christ's glorious appearing. There will be no faces downcast with shame in that vast throng. To have let the Lord do something for them,and in them,will be looked upon as their greatest joy.

--Robert J. Wieland

From:The Good News Is Better Than You Think, 2018.
Copyright © 2018 by "Dial Daily Bread."

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Dial Daily Bread: Does the World Know What Christ Accomplished?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

The towering and "wondrous cross" of Christ is the great truth around which all truths mankind can know are clustered. It validates the prophecies of Daniel, which in turn validates the prophecies of Revelation. All that makes any sense in world history finds its focal point in that cross. Its truth is proclaimed in every seed which is cast into the earth and grows: "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. ... This He said, signifying by what death He would die" (John 12:24-33).

By His sacrifice in which "He poured out His soul unto death" (Isa. 53:12) Jesus has won the hearts of honest people everywhere. He has ascended His throne not by military conquest but by the power of love (agape). He did the unthinkable: He died the second death, which "every man" has earned for himself (Heb. 2:9; Phil. 2:5-8; Gal. 3:13).

But does the world know what He accomplished? Two millennia after He demonstrated His love in His life and death, does mankind know and understand? Since "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son," shouldn't people everywhere know the reality of that truth?

Take for example the Muslim world of a billion souls: the faith of Jesus has been distorted and misrepresented to them. The history of the Crusades still rankles in their hearts, and the Crusades were a distortion of that genuine love of Christ. The Hindu world sees the cross of Christ as just another icon to be reverenced and knelt before. And more than a billion professing Christians have yet to "survey that wondrous cross and pour contempt on all their pride," discerning its "width and length and depth and height," an agapethat re-motivates selfish, world-loving human hearts as nothing else can. They all must have a chance!

The human souls distressed by our innate selfishness, longing for deliverance, for freedom to escape the tyranny of self-love and the allurements that plague this world, cannot despair when they "behold the Lamb of God" enduring the "curse of God" so that we might live. "Pour contempt on [our] pride," yes; but let's not pour contempt on that cross and its divine Sufferer. That would be a sin with the dimensions of eternity--unpardonable.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: January 28, 2005.
Copyright © 2018 by "Dial Daily Bread."

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Dial Daily Bread: A Rock-Solid Understanding of the Prophecies of Daniel and Revelation (Part 2)

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Some of the best good news the Bible has for us is found where we read that the Lord wants us to understand that last book of the Bible, and yet many think it's impossible. Here's the promise of God: "Happy is the one who reads this book, and happy are those who listen to the words of this prophetic message and obey [that is, cherish] what is written in this book!" (Rev. 1:3, Good News Bible).

The book of Revelation has never been sealed as was Daniel; and even Daniel was un-sealed as we entered "the time of the end" as defined in 11:35, 12:4, and 7:25. Interest in both Daniel and Revelation was widely aroused in the first half of the 1800s.

But who can we trust as capable and reliable teachers of those key prophecies? Today there is a multitude of voices saying they have the right knowledge, but they disagree with one another. That tells us to look again at what Peter says, "No prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation" (2 Peter 1:19-21). In other words, don't follow any "solo" interpreter; "By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established" (2 Cor. 13:1; Deut. 19:15). Truth will attract more than one supporter! A reliable student of Bible prophecy must be a person in whom self is crucified with Christ, someone who is courageous to stand for Him against the crowd, yet who recognizes that God leads others, too.

At the first church council in Acts 15, the elders spoke of those faithful servants of God "who have risked their lives in the service of our Lord Jesus Christ" (vs. 26, GNB).

Such were those pioneers of the early 1800s who not only championed the fresh message of Daniel and Revelation, but also the dangerous public defense of the slaves in the South. Many listened to these godly men, among whom were J. N. Loughborough, Joseph Bates, J. N. Andrews, and Uriah Smith with his monumental Daniel and the Revelation, a 700+ page book that has become a treasure to many worldwide, and has stood the test of time. It may be written in Victorian English but it is solid truth. This is not to say it's perfection--no book is, aside from the Bible; we need common sense and God gives it.

The dear Lord is leading His peoplein these last days, not just a stray soul here and there. Everything in Daniel and the Revelation points to a corporate body of believers preparing for the second coming of Jesus, a world "church" in unity and harmony in Christ.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: May 4, 2007.
Copyright © 2018 by "Dial Daily Bread."

 

Note to Readers:If you would like a PDF file of Elder Wieland's "50 Ellen G. White Endorsements of Uriah Smith's Daniel and the Revelation and Counsels Regarding Adventist Futurism," reply to this e-mail with "Send Endorsements." We would be pleased to send it to you.

Update on Fred Bischoff

Dear Friends of “Dial Daily Bread,”

This information was received yesterday from the 1888 Message Study Committee:

“Fred Bischoff was transferred from the ICU and spent the Sabbath in a Neuro step-down unit. He was transferred to the Oncology floor yesterday [Sunday].

“He was scheduled for a follow-up visit with the team at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute today [Monday].

“His courage is strong.”

Many of you know that Fred was instrumental in publishing information on the Seventh-day Adventist “pioneers.” You may find much of his work at: https://www.aplib.org

Please continue to keep him in prayer.