Saturday, February 28, 2015

Dial Daily Bread: Is There such a Thing as Absolute Truth?

Dear friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Is there such a thing as absolute truth? Pilate voiced the hard-hearted attitude of a cold-hearted world that was willing to crucify Christ when he asked in disdain, "What is truth?" (John 18:38). What he meant was, "There is no such thing as truth!"

The Bible is crystal clear that there is indeed something that is genuine truth, and God's eternal kingdom will be made up of people who reverence truth. And further, the Bible teaches genuine truth, which commends itself to every reasonable-minded, honest person. The final issue that the Book of Revelation says will catalyze humanity will be that of truth versus falsehood--the seal of God versus the mark of the beast. Today, every issue we face is related to that final one: are we searching for, accepting, welcoming, truth?

For example, those who argue for Sunday sacredness are employing cleverly stated reasons and logic (illogic?) to support the idea that Sunday is the true Sabbath of God. They reason that the seventh day was the Sabbath of the "old covenant," and Sunday is the Sabbath of the "new covenant." Thus the Bible doctrine of the two covenants is now seen to be integral to the final issue of the mark of the beast versus the seal of God.

What has been thought to be a minor theological squabble turns out to be an issue of tremendous importance. The two covenants are not matters of time or dispensation; they are timeless. There were some people in Old Testament times who were living under the true new covenant; there are people living today who are still living in slavery to the old covenant.

Where you stand depends on your understanding and your belief of "the truth of the gospel" (Gal. 2:5, 14), or your willingness to believe non-truth, that is, the falsehood of a counterfeit, or what Paul said was "a different gospel" (Gal. 1:6, 7). Serious business! One will lead to the seal of God, the other to the mark of the beast.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: August 3, 1998.

Copyright © 2015 by "Dial Daily Bread."

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dial Daily Bread: Why Does God Demand Exclusive Worship?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Why is God alone among "many gods" the holy One? Why does He demand exclusive worship? Is He divinely selfish? Why not share His worship with "lesser gods"? This short message isn't long enough for this topic, but look at Philippians 2:5-8, which is an "X-ray" of agape, the character of God. There are seven steps that the Son of God (who alone can reveal the Father) took in stepping down, lower and lower:

(1) He gave up His "equality with God," (2) "made Himself of no reputation," (3) took upon Himself "the form of a servant," (4) came "in the likeness of [fallen] men," (5) "humbled Himself," (6) "became obedient to death" (the only being in the wide universe of God who has ever become "obedient to death"), and lastly, (7) "even the death of the cross."

That's the death that involves "the curse" of God," the awful condemnation of final conscious ruin, a death infinitely worse than the physical pain involved. (See Galatians 3:13 to learn what is "the death of the cross.") It was the concentrated death of humanity, for He "tasted death for everyone" (Heb. 2:9), the total, final, giving of Himself, the "pouring out of His soul unto death" until there wasn't a drop left. He was "numbered with the transgressors, and bore the sin of" everyone (Isa. 53:12).

If a picture is worth a thousand words, there we have it: this is agape, and "God is agape" (1 John 4:8). No other being in the wide universe of the heavenly or earthly cosmos has ever made such a Sacrifice! Any "other god" is therefore an anti-agape "god." That means, to worship any "lesser god" is to worship Satan himself. No, God, our heavenly Father, our Savior and Redeemer, is not divinely selfish--refusing to share His throne with "lesser gods." He knows that to worship any "other god" means death to us; and He loves us too much to allow that.

The final crisis of earth's history will be a challenge to "worship the Lamb" alone, or to worship Baal. All worship of self which is disguised as the worship of "christ" is Baal-worship. Think about it!

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: November 4, 1998.

Copyright © 2015 by "Dial Daily Bread."

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Dial Daily Bread: The Once-Sealed Book That Is Now Wide Open

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Are you one of those people who hunger and yearn to do some good in the world? You want to build some edifice with "gold, silver, and precious stones" that will endure the fires of the last day. In other words, you want to live in such a way that when your life comes to an end you have accomplished something that will be of eternal value, and not be the "wood, hay, and stubble" that burns up in the fire of eternal judgment (see 1 Cor. 3:12, 13). Worthy desire! Your heavenly Father also wants your life results to be highly honored.

Well here's a suggestion: learn to "understand" the Book of Daniel. Hidden away in what many regard as the most obscure of its twelve chapters is a promise that often eludes us: "And those of the people who understand shall instruct many" (11:33). The idea of "understanding" appears frequently in the Book of Daniel: "None of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand" (12:10); "I heard, [but] I did not understand" (vs. 8); "consider the matter, and understand the vision" (9:23); "make this man understand the vision" (8:16); "understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end" (vs. 17); "I was astonished by the vision, but no one understood it" (vs. 27); "I [the angel] have come to make you understand" (10:14), etc.

Where's the Good News? Here it is! "Those of the people who understand shall instruct many." It's virtually automatic. It means, if you "understand" the Book of Daniel, you will "instruct many." The God of heaven who sent Gabriel to instruct Daniel will open doors for you to communicate to others, maybe to children and teenagers, the truths of Daniel. And what happens when you do that? "Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness [shall shine] like the stars forever and ever" (12:3). That's talking about you "instructing" others, and you sharing in the joy.

Remember, Jesus said to study Daniel (Matt. 24:15). The once-sealed Book is now wide open!

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: March 1, 1999.

Copyright © 2015 by "Dial Daily Bread.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dial Daily Bread: The Story of Barzillai

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

The noun "blessing" means something that gives happiness. The verb "to bless" means to make someone happy. But in Psalm 103 it all seems turned around: we are told to "bless the Lord, O my soul" (vs. 1). How could any of us mere mortals, sinful at that, make the great Lord of heaven and earth happy?

The Psalm tells us how--remember all the wonderful things He constantly does for us: "forget not all His benefits" (vs. 2). We were created in the image of Him; we are created to be like Him, and He is therefore like us in this particular: it makes Him happy when we appreciate Him for what He is.

The story of Barzillai is one of the happiest little narratives in the Bible. King David had sinned and ruined his own security and happiness; Absalom had rebelled against him; and the king had to flee for his life.

Barzillai did all he could to care for King David during this crisis. "Barzillai was a very aged man, 80 years old. And he had provided the king with supplies" while the king was in flight from his enemy. The old man said he could no longer "discern between good and bad" or "taste what I eat or what I drink" nor "hear any longer the voice of singing" (2 Sam. 19:32, 35).

But Barzillai found for himself forever an honorable place in the Holy Bible because he chose to be unselfish and to help "the Lord's anointed" in a time of need. This old man was living under the glorious New Covenant, for God had promised that under it, wherever you go throughout the world, "you shall be a blessing" (Gen. 12:2, 3).

Yes, under the New Covenant, everywhere you go you will leave behind the memory of making people happy (in the eternal sense). That in itself is reward enough for anybody.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: April 8, 2008.

Copyright © 2015 by "Dial Daily Bread."


Dial Daily Bread: The Only Covenant That Has Life in It

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

It's among the more fantastic things that Jesus said about what it means to believe in Him. The statement was made under the heat of His passion just before His crucifixion, as if it were His farewell message to the people at a Feast of Tabernacles:

"On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, 'If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water'" (John 7:37, 38).

The evidence that we truly believe in Him will be seen in the quality of the spiritual food, or refreshing "water of life," that we share with others. We can't help it--that "water" is continually flowing like an artesian well to refresh the people the Lord brings us in contact with. You and I don't need to worry about it, or be anxiously concerned (well, we are of course concerned lest we may muddy the "waters" somehow), but we don't make the water flow from our hearts. That's just the nature of the "water of life," it flows continually.

It's what Paul said is "the truth of the gospel" (Gal. 2:5), which is "the power of God to salvation" (Rom. 1:16). New Covenant truth is explosive "gospel." "Always be ready to give a defense [an answer] to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you ..." (1 Peter 3:15).

A prayer that is according to the will of God (1 John 5:14) and therefore sure to be answered in our behalf is a prayer for understanding of the pure truth of the New Covenant in contrast to the Old; the Old leans toward bondage (Gal. 4:24). For sure, that is not "water of life"! Only the New Covenant has life in it.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: November 9, 2007.

Copyright © 2015 by "Dial Daily Bread."

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Dial Daily Bread: Can Children Understand Righteousness by Faith?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

We want to help children understand the gospel of righteousness by faith. But some Bible words may be too big for them to grasp--"righteousness," "justification," "sanctification." Can they understand "justification by faith"? If we say no, then we may unwittingly teach them a "prejudice." If we avoid teaching them while they are children, it is possible they could carry that "prejudice" all their lives. Could that be a reason why so many grown-ups still can't grasp what justification by faith means?

What does Isaiah 40:11 mean when it says that Jesus "will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom"? Or when Jesus says, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them [get in their way?]; for of such is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 19:14)? Does He actually mean that "little children" can understand "the truth of the gospel" (Gal. 2:5, 14)--this true "gospel of the kingdom [that must] be preached in all the world"? Can they see how it's distinguished from those counterfeit gospels of the "false christs" He also warns us against (Matt. 24:14, 24)?

Should children remain spiritual babies consuming nothing but "milk" (1 Peter 2:2)? Or, as Paul says, should they start to "grow up" (Eph. 4:13-15)? "Everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who ... have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Heb. 5:13, 14). To re-phrase our question: can children actually become "skilled in the word of righteousness"? (They become "skilled" in computer use!)

Let's not look only to the differing "experts" for answers. Some personal fasting with prayer and waiting on the Lord is in order. He will use and bless you and your personality! If you come to Him asking for "bread" to give to others (children), know for sure that your prayer will be heard and answered (see Luke 11:5-13).

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: May 24, 2004.

Copyright © 2015 by "Dial Daily Bread."

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Dial Daily Bread: The Last Soul-winning Ministry of All Time

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

In his chapter 60, Isaiah is overjoyed to write about the time when the earth will be drenched with a special "light" of "the truth of the gospel." He says to God's people, "Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you" (vs. 1). We have usually thought of this as the time when we will have greater media outlets for increased volume, so everybody in the world will at last hear what has been our traditional understanding of the message.

There is an identical "loud voice" in Revelation 14:9 and 18:1-4 that characterizes the last soul-winning ministry of all time. Will it be a greater noise level that will command the world's attention? We have talked, and prayed, and sung about it for generations. Have we assumed it will be a glorious and triumphant success for the church, to validate all our past labors? Millions who have gone to "sleep in Jesus" have dreamed of living in those awe-inspiring days when the earth will be "lighted."

But wait a moment: The Bible is not talking about an increased noise level, but of increased "light." It's to be a clearer grasp of what Paul repeatedly calls "the truth of the gospel" (Gal. 2:5,14). Jesus said "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). Greater light in understanding the gospel of righteousness by faith brings that freedom.

But if someone feels "rich and increased with goods" in his understanding of the message, it could mean he has no "hunger and thirst for righteousness" (see Matt. 5:6). Emotionalism can easily be mistaken for truth. The "glory" spoken of in Isaiah 60:2 and Revelation 18:1-4 will be a clearer grasp of justification by faith. We don't want to be blinded to the light when the Lord sends it as the Jews were blinded to their Messiah when He came. You can "follow" Jesus only if you "take up [your] cross daily" to be "crucified with Him" (Luke 9:23, Gal. 2:20).

Living is serious business now. Be serious in coming to the Lord.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: June 19, 2004.

Copyright © 2015 by "Dial Daily Bread."

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Dial Daily Bread: The Ten Commandments Read With New Covenant Eyes

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

It comes as a shock to many people when they realize that the famous Ten Commandments are primarily ten promises, not ten rigorous, burdensome prohibitions. The secret is understanding what the Prologue means: "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage [slavery]" (Ex. 20:1, 2).

God is telling us, I have already redeemed you; I have already delivered you out of slavery; I have already brought light to you, new hope, new joy. Now, believe that I am your prayer-hearing, prayer-answering God, your Friend, your Savior; and then, says God, I guarantee you will never come under the bondage of breaking this perfect "law of liberty" (see James 2:12). You will sing with David, "I will walk at liberty, for I seek Your precepts" (Psalm 119:45).

The Ten Commandments can be read with the dark glasses of the Old Covenant, complete with the fire, and thunder, and lightning, and earthquake of Mt. Sinai. That's how ancient Israel read them, and look at their history of backsliding, defeat, and finally the destruction of their beautiful temple and of their city Jerusalem. It was all Old Covenant ever since Exodus 19, like a dark day of heavy clouds with only an occasional peek of sunshine.

The Ten Commandments can also be read with the eyes of the New Covenant, and suddenly they come into focus as God's ten grand promises of victory over all temptations. For example, take the seventh: "You shall not commit adultery" (Ex. 20:14). The Old Covenant glasses make it sound like a prohibition that multitudes think is virtually impossible to obey. "Doesn't God want us to have any fun?" Some serious-minded people grit their teeth and clench their fists and determine to obey under fear of hell fire if they transgress. They are living under the Old Covenant; and seriously, the problems they face in their own hearts are so severe that they cannot imagine how they can be obedient, and still be happy.

But there is a Savior, and He belongs to all of us. If we are willing to understand what He has already done for us (not merely what He may offer to do for us if we will take the initiative first and do everything just right), and if we understand how He has taken the initiative to save us, what it cost Him to do so, how "[He] bore [us] on eagles' wings, and brought [us] to Himself" (Ex. 19:4), and if we sense the love that led Christ to His cross, then He says, the promises of the New Covenant will open your blind eyes, warm your cold heart, give you repentance, and transform you into the person that your spouse can fall in love with.

It may sound impossible, but "the gospel ... is the power of God to salvation," here and now; it's not an delusion (Rom. 1:16).

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: January 21, 2000.

Copyright © 2015 by "Dial Daily Bread."

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Dial Daily Bread: Predestined to Be Lost or Saved?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Strict Calvinism says that anyone for whom Christ died has to be saved eternally; Christ cannot fail to accomplish all that He set out to do by means of His sacrifice on His cross; therefore Calvinism's only possible conclusion is that He did not die for those who will eventually be lost. He predestined them to be lost. It's a scary doctrine, and there's a lethal logic to it. It's anything but "good news." In fact, it's bad news if you are not among those blessed people in Ephesians one and two who have been given everything wonderful. Many people worry about who they are and whether they're the favored ones!

But what the Bible says is that God has predestined everyone to be saved; when Christ died "for the world," He paid the price for everyone's sin; His "much more abounding grace" extends to everyone. If you're a human being in this world, Christ is already your Savior whose infinite love is to you personally as if you were the only lost soul on earth. You have freedom of choice and you can despise and reject Him, but that doesn't alter the fact that He gave Himself for you and to you.

The Ephesians gospel "Good News" is explained elsewhere in the Bible: We are all born into the world under a blanket of legal condemnation inherited from our sinful head of the human race, Adam.

But thanks to Jesus Christ, we are also born under a legal "blanket" of vindication in Him. He has become our "last Adam," our new Head of the human race. He has been made to be sin for everyone, has taken everyone's full guilt upon Himself, and has died the death that would have come upon us all "in Adam" (Rom. 5:8-18).

That means, God is sincere and honest in His purpose formed "before the foundation of the world" to save eternally every member of the human race. He has stacked the cards against no one. Ephesians one is right on; you don't have to do something to make Jesus become your Friend and Savior--He already is!

We can choose to live under whichever "blanket" we choose. Live "in Christ" (as you already are in a legal sense), and you are enrolled in the school of Christ where the Holy Spirit becomes your Teacher to teach you to deny the clamors of your fallen, sinful nature inherited from Adam. He actually trains you to "live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age" (Titus 2:11, 12). He convicts you of sin and righteousness and judgment (John 16:7-11), takes you by the hand and leads you all the way into the New Jerusalem (cf. Isa. 41:13). Don't resist Him any longer!

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: February 17, 2007.

Copyright © 2015 by "Dial Daily Bread."

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Dial Daily Bread: The Only Way to Unity

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

How people in a church can truly believe the same thing (unity) is important, because Jesus said that the only way the world can be brought to believe in Him is when His followers "all may be one, ... that the world may believe that You sent Me" (John 17:21). Something He calls "Your truth" is the only thing that will unite them (vs. 17). Paul calls it "the truth of the gospel" (Gal. 2:5, 14). The success or failure of Christ's mission for the world therefore depends on that "truth" bringing His people who profess to "keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus" into one (Rev. 14:12).

For example, how could a group of mathematicians come into unity unless they all believe that 2 + 2 = 4? Suppose some said it equals 5? Is that "truth of the gospel" so simple and clear that it appeals to honest hearts with a similarly powerful logic?

Take the problem of Genesis 1. Christ and His apostles accepted that "the truth of the gospel" required sincere, honest hearts to believe that God created the earth in six literal days. People who insist they are equally sincere understand the idea of six literal days to be ancient mythology; science makes such belief naive, they say.

Then there's the problem of Jesus Himself. When He became incarnate, did He "take" the sinless nature of the unfallen Adam, thus breaking the genetic line of His descent from the real Adam? Or did He accept the working of the great law of heredity and enter the stream of humanity by taking our fallen, sinful nature yet living a sinless life? Here again is disunity; the assumption is that unity is impossible. Or is it?

The kind of faith that "believes in Jesus" is not anti-intellectual, but it is enriched with something called "wisdom that is from above." Such faith can see beyond the limits of science, for it "works." It is "alive" (Gal. 5:6; James 2:17, 18; 3:17).

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: September 10, 2004.

Copyright © 2015 by "Dial Daily Bread."

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Dial Daily Bread: A New Motivation on This Day of Atonement

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Samson (the strong man!) was called by God to be a witness for Christ in the "great controversy" between Christ and Satan. But was his life a success or a failure? To be honest you must answer, "both." As to saving his own soul, it was a success at the end, for he got himself into Hebrews 11 as someone who triumphed "by faith" (vs. 32; he "died with the Philistines," having had time to repent of his folly; Judges 16). Yes, his own soul was saved. But as a witness for Christ, his shameful life was a failure.

How about King David? As a witness for Christ in the great controversy with Satan, was he positive or negative? His affair with the lady Bathsheba put him squarely on Satan's side in that he gave testimony to the world that faith in Christ does not save from sin, only in sin. God had to tell him frankly, "By this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme" (2 Sam. 12:14). Yes, David repented, and his own poor soul was saved after his repentance described in Psalms 32 and 51.

But multitudes have "blasphemed" Christ through the ages because of the false witness David bore as "a man after God's own heart." He virtually proclaimed that Christ is not a Savior capable of saving one from the sin of lust. Many have the idea that the best you can do is to give in to this powerful and alluring temptation and then later weep and grovel and repent. You can have both, the sin and salvation too, is the idea.

How about Joseph in Egypt in Potiphar's house? Thank God for one story in the Bible of victory over alluring temptation! What held Joseph in that awful trial of his faith? He saw himself as a witness for Christ in the great controversy with Satan: "How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" (Gen. 39:9). He was not concerned about saving his own soul! He was thinking of the honor and glory of Christ.

How about us? On this Day of Atonement the Holy Spirit is preparing a people worldwide who will "follow the Lamb wherever He goes," and honor Him. A new motivation has taken over their service for Christ. Read 2 Corinthians 5:14, 15 to find it.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: February 5, 2002.

Copyright © 2015 by "Dial Daily Bread."

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Dial Daily Bread: Did Jesus Ever Get Angry?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Did Jesus have a temper? Did He ever get angry, even a little bit, righteously so, without sin? (We know the Bible is clear, He never sinned; He was always in control.) The answer may be surprising.

Early in His ministry (He was only 30), one day He seemed to the people around Him as so unlike Himself. It was so strange, someone could have asked Him, "What's eating You?" While they watched Him in this uncharacteristic behavior, His disciples remembered that it was written (in Psalm 69:9), "Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up."

What "ate Him up"? His holy concern for the Jews' Temple, which was then the house of His Father "for all people." They were desecrating it with profane, hard hearts. It was His first Passover since beginning His ministry. As He watched the worldly, selfish, commercial bargaining in the holy House itself, the selling of cattle and doves, He was overcome by the horror of this massive hypocrisy at the very headquarters--the heart of the true church of God at that time. All the righteous indignation that will flare forth in the final Day of Judgment blazed in His human eyes (He was "Emmanuel, ... God with us"!).

He "made a whip of cords," with which He never touched a soul physically, but brandishing it "He drove them all out of the temple," and in the process grabbed their tables and turned them upside down, and scattered their money. "Take these things away! Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise!" Strangely, no one could argue or linger; all ran for their lives (John 2:13-21).

A display of temper? Divine temper, yes. You and I don't want to face it--ever, either now or in the last Day. Such holy fear is not sinfully selfish. It's common sense. How can we say we believe in Jesus unless the "zeal of [His] house has eaten [us] up" too? His agape "constrains us" to live not for self but for Him (see 2 Cor. 5:14, 15). Total oneness with Him. Anything short of that is sin to be deeply ashamed of at last. Let's walk softly.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: January 16, 2004.

Copyright © 2015 by "Dial Daily Bread."

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Dial Daily Bread: The Lonely Prophet Who Has Been a Comfort to Forsaken Sufferers

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

The videos of the weekend meetings on "Elijah: Turning Hearts" have now been posted on YouTube. You may access the video links at: We believe you will enjoy the messages that were presented.


Jesus taught us to visit people who are unjustly persecuted and imprisoned (Matt. 25:34-49). But there is no record that He visited His faithful but persecuted forerunner, John the Baptist, whom King Herod had unjustly imprisoned in a dungeon (Mark 6:17).

At this time Jesus was free to travel about Galilee and preach; in fact, he was enjoying tranquil days with crowds following Him. Poor John, whom Christ had designated as the greatest of the prophets (Matt. 11:11), at this time was languishing in his dungeon, alone, virtually living on the meager reports his disciples were able to bring him of the work Jesus was doing. John longed for Jesus to assert His Messiahship. When it should happen of course would also mean John's release and he would join the Messiah in the grand work to be done.

But the weary days dragged by without a visit from Jesus, not even a letter. Was the Messiah oblivious of the lonely suffering of His servant?

No, but John was still cooperating with Jesus, though he didn't realize just how he shared that honor. Jesus thought of the unnumbered believers in Him who in centuries to come would suffer alone in prisons, tempted likewise to think themselves forsaken and hopeless. Surely He thought also of those who would lie on beds of illness, tempted to think that they had been forgotten by Heaven.

The truth was that while Jesus was enjoying those bright days of ministry in Galilee before "the shadow of a cross arose upon a lonely hill," He did think of John suffering in his dungeon; He appreciated his loyalty. The lonely prophet has been a comfort to all the apparently forsaken sufferers ever since. Behold them--Jesus and John standing together in ministry! Now may we accept gladly our fellowship with Him in ministry!

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: May 2, 2005.

Copyright © 2015 by "Dial Daily Bread."

Monday, February 09, 2015

Dial Daily Bread: Must the Triumph of the Gospel Await a Future Generation?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Some day, somewhere, someone, will understand the "everlasting gospel" of Jesus Christ so clearly that "another angel" will come down from heaven "having great power" and will "lighten the earth" with the glory of that full-orbed truth. Multitudes who now sit in darkness will see a great light and will come to it (Rev. 18:1-4; Matt. 4:16).

It won't be only "some one" who understands; there will be many who are in heartfelt union around the world, of "every nation, tribe, tongue, and people" (Rev. 14:6). No more theological squabbles! That unity will be as much a miracle as the insight of that "some one" who will see crystal clear what the gospel is with no contradicting confusion.

That unity will be in fulfillment of the prayer of Jesus in John 17, "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word: that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I [am] in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me" (vss. 20, 21). "The world" will not believe until they see that "one-ness."

Those who will understand the gospel and be in union will receive "the seal of God in their foreheads" (Rev. 7:1-4), obviously a symbol of a heart understanding of truth that has also gripped the understanding of the mind. They will have pondered and studied; and they will believe Jesus' promise, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).

They will graduate out of old covenant living into the bright sunlight of the new. The old covenant will no longer produce "bondage" in them, but they will "stand fast in the liberty by which Christ has made us free" (Gal. 5:1). They will overcome where ancient Israel stumbled and fell. Instead of crucifying Christ "again" and "put[ting] Him to an open shame" (Heb. 6:6), they will surrender self to be "crucified with Christ" (Gal. 2:20).

As soon as they receive "the seal of God" and "follow the Lamb" (the crucified and risen "Savior of the world"), the enemy will launch against them his "mark of the beast" in an attempt to frighten them into submission (Rev. 13:16, 17). But "perfect love" (agape) has at last "cast out fear" (1 John 4:18) and they are seated with Christ on His throne to bring to a triumphant close "the great controversy" with Satan (Rev. 3:21).

But must this glorious triumph of the gospel await a future generation? Are there some out there who long to see the victory come now?

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: June 11, 2007.

Copyright © 2015 by "Dial Daily Bread."

Dial Daily Bread: A Tiny Morsel of Bible Wisdom That Sounds Like a Fairy Tale

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

This tiny morsel of Bible wisdom sounds like a fairy tale, but there is invaluable blessing in it. It has reference to personal relations between people of differing personalities and convictions. Once the friendly peace and harmony that you enjoy has been broken, how can genuine peace be restored? Here's the wisdom:

"Do not curse the king, even in your thought; do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom; for a bird of the air may carry your voice, and a bird in flight may tell the matter" (Eccl. 10:20). Don't literalize it by thinking that real birds will hear you gossip about somebody to your wife or husband in total solitude, and fly off to tell it to the person you don't want to hear it.

But there's 100 percent truth in this statement. Even thinking evil of somebody will cause you to betray your own deepest thoughts in your look or your tone of voice; and letting an unhappy or hateful thought escape your lips in words spoken in secret to the one held close will most surely escape somehow and poison your personal relations with the one you have spoken about.

More efficient than a cell phone, secret evil-talking about someone will make its way. The Bible doesn't tell just how the transmission occurs; but it is sure.

No matter how evil a person may appear to you to be, if you can't control your thoughts about him or her, do control your tongue! To say you love somebody and then harbor evil thoughts about him or her is hypocrisy. Do something else in secret or with your closest loved one "in your bedroom": pray for that person.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: August 18, 2004.

Copyright © 2015 by "Dial Daily Bread."

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Dial Daily Bread: Has God Withheld the Latter Rain?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

For those of you who have tried to access the videos of the seminar this weekend at Valley Center, California, "Elijah: Turning Hearts," we regret that the videos will not be available until the first of the week. "Dial Daily Bread" will let you know when they become available. We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience.


Why must the "Latter Rain" gift of the Holy Spirit come only at the end of history, and why has God withheld that gift all through these more than 2000 years of history?

It's not unwillingness on God's part to give, but it's humanity's unreadiness to receive. Yes, even an unwillingness to receive! Jesus Himself expressed the principle: "I have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now" (John 16:12). Sinfulness has been deeper than "we" have realized. "You ... do not know," says the True Witness (Rev. 3:17).

God's infinite knowledge of mankind's unreadiness to receive the final blessing of the Holy Spirit pervades His prophetic foreknowledge. When the prophecy declares, "For two thousand three hundred days [years]; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed," it means that not until then can it be cleansed (Dan. 8:14). Human history must be allowed to work itself out through the ages. Not until "the time of the end ... [when] knowledge shall increase," can Daniel's prophecy reach fulfillment (12:4).

The sanctuary service of ancient Israel illuminated the principle: only on the final Day of Atonement could the High Priest enter the Most Holy Apartment to "cleanse the sanctuary," because only then would the people in the typical service permit a final cleansing "from all your sins" (see Lev. 16:29, 30). Thus, in the antitypical service in the heavenly sanctuary, our great High Priest has been willing all along to prepare His people for His second coming as "King of kings and Lord of lords."

He loves them and wants them to be with Him, but not until the end of history has that dilatory "Bride" "made herself ready" for the "marriage of the Lamb" (see Rev. 19:7-16).

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: September 18, 2000.

Copyright © 2015 by "Dial Daily Bread."

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Dial Daily Bread: Reading the Ten Commandments With "New Covenant Eyes"

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

If we read the Ten Commandments with "New Covenant eyes," they become ten promises of right living by faith. But how does this transformation take place?

It's not motivated by fear, the popular Old Covenant motivation. Rather, "the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men"; "grace abounded much more" than all the sin Satan could throw at us (Titus 2:11; Rom. 5:20). It teaches us "that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age" ("in this present world," KJV; Titus 2:12). Grace becomes our tutor in the New Covenant school, and actually trains us in total obedience to God's holy law. Plus, the tutelage is a joy all the way.

But how does grace "teach" us? Titus 2 explains: "Our Savior Jesus Christ ... gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed ..." (vss. 13, 14):

Long ago, before the foundation of the world, Christ as the Son of God "gave Himself" in a solemn covenant with the Father that if sin should ever arise on earth His love would constrain Him to give Himself, that is, to die for us.

Laying aside all the advantages and prerogatives of divinity as He became incarnate in the womb of the virgin Mary, Christ grew to manhood as one of us (though still the Son of God "in the likeness of sinful flesh," Rom. 8:3), and now again He prayed to His Father, "Not as I will, but as You will" (Matt. 26:39). That "not as I will" included His human (as well as divine) will to live.

The "death" on His cross was the real thing. No thought of resurrection crossed His mind as He cried out, "My God, why have You forsaken Me?" He "poured out his soul unto death," the second and final, everlasting one. "The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a Conqueror" (The Desire of Ages, p. 753). His emptying Himself was total (cf. Isa. 53:12; Phil. 2:5, 6).

Grace is undeserved favor. When it's of Christ, like love, it constrains to total devotion to Him (2 Cor. 5:14, 15). The old fear is forgotten.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: April 26, 2006.

Copyright © 2015 by "Dial Daily Bread."

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Dial Daily Bread: What Happens When You Are "Constrained" by Love?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

One of the most neglected passages in the Bible explains simply how righteousness by faith works. Yet it's profound.

The topic talks about when you and I will meet Jesus Christ face to face in final judgment, a very real moment of life, the most real ever (2 Cor. 5:10: "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ").

What will ensure our happiness, then? Not what we have done in achievement, but what we have permitted Him to motivate us to be and to do: "The love of Christ constrains us" (vs. 14). The opposite of restrain, that love impels us, pushes us outside of ourselves, makes us do things we never thought we could do. When you've been "constrained" by love to do something, any whiff of merit is denied.

This "constraint" is not mysterious emotion but sober, rational thinking: "because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then [that's equivalent to saying that] all died; and He died for all" (vss. 14, 15). In other words it's a 2 + 2 = 4 phenomenon: what happened on the cross means that when He died, actually you died. And the simple fact is that if He had not died then you would not have survived! "We judge thus," the most profound reality of all human life. You and I owe everything to Him.

From now on, living is simply recognizing the honest obligation that we are in debt eternally and infinitely. It's the most joyous debt you can imagine.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: November 13, 2007.

Copyright © 2015 by "Dial Daily Bread."

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Dial Daily Bread: Seminar Information--S. California


Seminar: February 6 & 7, 2015

Valley Center Seventh-day Adventist Church

14919 Fruitvale Road, Valley Center, California


"Elijah: Turning Hearts"--This promise of sending us Elijah is sure.

Jesus promises, "I will come again," and we believe His promise; that's why we are Seventh-day Adventists. We must believe this promise, too: "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers (Malachi 4:5-6). It's the next great event on His calendar.

Friday, February 6, 2015:

7:30 p.m. "The 1888 Message and Elijah"

Sabbath, February 7, 2015:

9:00-9:45 a.m. "Elijah and Agape" (Mary Magdalene), Paul Penno

9:45-10:40 a.m. Sabbath School Lesson 6: "What You Get Is Not What You See," Arlene Hill

11:00 a.m. Worship "Elijah and the Altar" (What Christ Accomplished on His Cross--Justification), Paul Penno

1:30 p.m. "Elijah and the Everlasting Covenant," Paul Penno

2:30 p.m. Elijah and Jesus: "My Yoke Is Easy," Arlene Hill

3:30 p.m. "Why the Humanity of Christ Means Everything to Us," Paul Penno

4:30 p.m. Questions & Answers

6:30 p.m. "Elijah and the Marriage of the Lamb" (Sanctuary and Corporate Repentance), Paul Penno


Videos of the meetings will be posted on YouTube as they take place

Access to these video links will be found at:

Dial Daily Bread: The "Truth of the Gospel"--Frozen in the 16th Century?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

The Protestant Reformation of the 16th century was the greatest spiritual blessing since the apostles--an unfolding of justification by faith that can never be overthrown until the end of time; it was what Paul said is "the truth of the gospel" (Gal. 2:5). Truth is utterly essential. Jesus said He is "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6); He has always been the "Lord God of truth" (Psalm 31:5). "Truth in love" is vitally important because it's "the power of God unto salvation" (Eph. 4:15; Rom. 1:16). It's the revelation of the very character of God.

But does that mean that our understanding of the "truth of the gospel" was frozen in the 16th century so that no later generation can ever perceive a clearer grasp of it? One thing we know for sure--sin has "abounded" since the time of Luther and the Reformers; has the grace of God been restricted so that sin has developed more than our understanding of the gospel can develop? The gospel is "everlasting," but our understanding of it is finite.

To freeze it would be tragedy. The Bible unfolds a greater development in the great controversy between Christ and Satan, for "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound" (Rom. 5:20). In the 16th century, God was on top of the situation; He still is in this 21st century. "The everlasting gospel" will yet "lighten the earth with glory"--a still clearer grasp of saving truth in these last days (Rev. 14:6; 18:1-4). God assures us that He will not permit Satan to out-think the Holy Spirit, for He has more truth to reveal: "The path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day" (Prov. 4:18).

The great Protestant Reformation of justification by faith has prepared untold numbers of precious souls to die prepared to come up in the "first resurrection" (see Rev. 20:6). They can be happy in the kingdom of God forever. Now we've come to the time when the Holy Spirit will reveal a clearer understanding of truth that prepares people for translation at the second coming of Jesus (see 1 Thess. 4:16, 17)--something to do with the "Elijah message."

This means even deeper, clearer understanding of justification and righteousness by faith.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: January 26, 2005.

Copyright © 2013 by "Dial Daily Bread."