Saturday, January 28, 2017

Dial Daily Bread: Can We Understand the Gospel Without Daniel and Revelation?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Is it possible to understand the gospel for today and at the same time ignore the books of Daniel and Revelation? Some say these books have created confusion in the world. There are many similar symbols in both books, so why not forget them and just concentrate on "the gospel"? Why not by-pass the confusion and everybody sing, "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so"? What more do we need?

Well, that same Jesus who "loves you so" urges you to study Daniel (Matt. 24:15). It's the only book He singled out thus. And Revelation strongly urges us to "read" what it says, and even if we can't read, to "hear" its superlatively important message which came directly from God (1:1-3).

In the very heart of the chapters about the "great controversy between Christ and Antichrist" we find a special proclamation of "the everlasting gospel" for these last days (14:6). This is an understanding of the gospel that relates specifically to "those who dwell on the earth" in our last-days context. Chapters 12-15 make clear that no one can prepare for the final events of world history ("the mark of the beast," for example) unless he receives and believes that "everlasting gospel."

God never sends us unnecessary messages! He gave us the Book of Revelation because He loves us. It's an eye-opener. And its great themes of prophecy are easy to understand if we simply let the Bible explain the symbols. Its prophecies were not fulfilled back in the days of the pagan Roman Empire (preterism), nor are its fulfillments all in the future (futurism); they meet their fulfillment throughout history (historicism).

History itself is the "revelation" of Christ; He alone makes sense of it. If you ask Him for a piece of bread, He will not give you a stone. Do what the first three verses tell you: "read," "hear," and "keep" every bit of truth you find therein. Jesus promised that if you simply be fair with Him, He will go on teaching you daily all through your lifetime (see His promise in John 7:17).

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: November 10, 1999.
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