Friday, November 16, 2007

David and Bathsheba: Adultery and After

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread":

The Bible has two very special books which are often neglected in both Roman Catholic and Protestant churches.

They meant much to the Protestant Reformers of the 16thCentury who saw in them the story of Roman Catholic supremacy and political power in the Dark ages.

To Daniel, this political-religious power symbolized the “little Horn” of Daniel 7, and also of chapter 8. The symbolism is so precise and simple to understand, that serious people have recognized it for hundreds of years.

In Daniel 8 it is seen as lifting itself up arrogantly against the “Prince of princes,” which of course is Christ. It lifted up “the continual” in vss. 11-13, which some thoughtful Bible students believe is the paganism that has flourished in the Roman Catholic church in its history and in its doctrines (for example, Sunday keeping in place of biblical Sabbath keeping).

In chapter 7, the little horn exercises political-religious power for “a time, times and a half of time,” meaning 3-1/2 years prophetic time, but 1260 years literal time. This time period is easily identified as being 538 A.D. to 1798 A.D. when Berthier, the French general, arrested and imprisoned the pope of Rome, and ended its political power, ostensibly.

But Revelation, which fits with Daniel superbly, declares that this “deadly wound” was to be healed. Thoughtful scholars believe that this describes the phenomenal resurgence of popularity and influence that the papacy has achieved in recent decades. After 1798, people thought the papacy was dead forever, including Thomas Carlyle of England.

The prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation are unique in Scripture because Jesus singled out Daniel, of all the Old Testament books, as worthy of our attention: “Whoso readeth, let him understand” (Matt. 24:15), and likewise Revelation, because Jesus pronounces a special blessing on the person who either reads the book, or if he can’t read, who “hears” it (1:1-3).

The common theme of both precious books is the identity of Jesus Christ as the true Messiah, the true Son of God.

We must not allow the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception to influence how we view Jesus, whether He took the sinless nature of the sinless Adam or if He was “sent in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, [who] condemned sin in the flesh” (Rom. 8:3), One is the true Christ of the Bible; the other cannot be.

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