Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
In Matthew 24, Jesus speaks extensively about the end of the world and of His second coming (see, for example, verses 12-15, 24, 29-31). Of all the books of the Bible, He selected one which He urged us to "read" and "understand"--Daniel (vs. 15). Yet seldom do pastors or teachers study that book. People may go to church for years and hear no sermon explaining it.
Daniel's key prophecy says that "unto 2300 days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed" (8:14). In Bible prophecy, a day is a year. In the early 19th century Bible-loving Christians awakened as from a centuries-long sleep to realize that those 2300 years would come to their end in 1844, on October 22. The Holy Spirit impressed many with this stupendous conviction; to this day, millions around the world recognize how history and Bible prophecy converge to render that point of time significant in God's plan for salvation.
We are living in the time of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary; in simple language that means we are living in the time when Christ as our great High Priest is preparing a people to be ready for His second coming--a greater work than preparing His people to die and come up in the first resurrection, wonderful as that work has been. It means that His people must live on earth during the cataclysmic last days when they will meet head-on the last temptations of Satan, but will "overcome even as [Christ] overcame." They will honor Him, and share with Him His throne. They will demonstrate His righteousness (Rev. 3:21).
But Revelation also discloses that Christ's last great struggle is with the blindness and lukewarmness of His own people who can't seem to grasp the seriousness of the time in which they live (3:15-19). Urgent as never before, He says, "Watch therefore" (Matt. 24:42).
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: October 20, 2005.
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