Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
The books of Daniel and the Revelation are an integral part of the Holy Bible: Jesus expressly charged us with the duty of "reading" and "understanding" Daniel (Matt. 24:15), and Revelation is obviously the fulfillment of His promise to the disciples that "the [Holy] Spirit of truth ... will tell you things to come" (John 16:13; Rev. 1:1-3).
We need a rock-solid understanding of those prophecies as valid as the original inspiration that gave them to us. Daniel was "sealed" until it was opened when "the time of the end" came at the end of the 1260 years of the Dark Ages (Dan. 7:25; 11:35; 12:4; Rev. 12:6, 14, etc.). That unsealing was a dramatic miracle of awakening that occurred simultaneously in many lands among many Christian churches in the early decades of the 19th century.
Foremost among the early pioneers of prophetic study was a little group who were united in a common hatred of slavery in the United States of America. They risked their lives in publishing their abhorrence of that devilish traffic in the souls of men and women and children; these students of the prophecies were in "at-one-ment" with Jesus Himself, for He too has always hated the slavery cruelty of man to man. They actively opposed the terrible injustice of the Fugitive Slave Law and helped runaway slaves to freedom at the risk of their own lives (would you do that today?).
Several of these noble men were led by the Holy Spirit to pursue a study of all the prophecies of those two inspired books. They may not have had every tiny detail perfectly understood, but they were united in the same basic convictions; people far and wide became convinced that the Spirit of God was leading; it wasn't emotional miracles based on shallow understanding--these were solid, reasonable dissertations on Daniel and Revelation that appealed to and convinced highly intelligent, honorable, reasonable men and women.
The little group developed until they became a leading movement of 19th century Christian reformation that also led the world in health reform, building the finest health institution of the day in Battle Creek, Michigan, to which came kings across the Atlantic.
The point of this little soliloquy: the understanding those pioneers gained from Bible prophecy was taught by God; none was of the "private interpretation" that the apostle decries in 2 Peter 1:19-21. These pioneers were led by a loving fellowship in Christ to lay aside their private views and recognize together the leading of the Lord. The Holy Spirit led the community, and His leading has stood the test of these centuries of time.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: May 3, 2007.
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