Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Did the apostle Paul preach the prophecies of Daniel? Did Jesus do so in His ministry? We know that the angel told Daniel to "shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end" (Dan. 12:4). Why then did Jesus tell His disciples to "read" the prophecies of Daniel and "understand" them (Matt. 24:15) if the book was "sealed"?
And why did Paul remind the believers in Thessalonica of Daniel's prophecies about the great apostasy ("falling away") and the coming of "the man of sin, ... the son of perdition" (2 Thess. 2:3), the "little horn" power of Daniel 7, 8?
Although the full understanding of Daniel's prophecies could not be known until these last days in which we now live, it is clear that the apostolic church understood that Christ's second coming could not take place until Daniel's prophecies of the great "falling away" came first. Jesus knew, and Paul knew, that the church needed that information!
Although Jesus picked out of the Bible the prophecies of that one book of Daniel and emphasized them for Christians to "read" and "understand," most priests, pastors, and teachers never preach or teach about them. The promise that the Lord has made in Daniel 12 is that in the time of the end, "many" will heed the Lord's command and will ponder those prophecies, and will "increase" the "knowledge" of them before the world (vs. 4).
And now to every one living in this tumultuous world comes Jesus' solemn command: "Read, understand!" the prophecies of Daniel. That means, "Study! Read!" Let a hunger and thirst for righteousness crowd out any obsession with this evil world's amusements (cf. Matt. 5:6).
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: October 2, 2005.
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