Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
With the enormous amount of information Google can search, our computers have become a university at our fingertips.
It's a moot question among Bible students what Daniel means in 12:4: "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" (the King James Version is a simple, direct translation).
It's obvious that the "increase of knowledge" comes in "the time of the end" when the book is unsealed; so the question is, is it knowledge of what the book of Daniel means, or is it secular Google-indexed knowledge in general?
It's also obvious that it was the Lord's intention that people who witnessed the ushering in of "the time of the end" should also witness the "all things" of Matthew 24:33, which means that the second coming of Jesus "is near, even at the doors."
We also believe that the Lord is faithful: "God is love" (1 John 4:8), which means He does not deceive or abuse His people who reverence His word. He won't tease and torment them with constant exhortations, "it's near, even at the doors," when He Himself has no intention that it should be. It would be cruel for Him to keep His own private dictionary that defines "near" in a way opposite to all of human language.
In other words, the language of Daniel 12:4 (and 11:33-35) and Matthew 24 is straightforward and honest: "near" does not mean that century after century there should be no "end of the world" that the disciples asked Jesus about. His second "coming" and "the end of the world" are synonymous (Matt. 24:3), and He devotes whole chapters in the Gospels to telling about it.
Daniel in his "unsealed" "open" state is not hard to understand; God never intended it to be a trap of futility. Jesus plainly said that anyone who "reads" it can "understand" it (Matt. 24:15). The constant explosion of "knowledge" includes much supposedly "new light" in understanding Daniel and Revelation; but beware. Much of it may be clever ideas that appear plausible, but in the end deny basic truth. Hang on to the "more sure word of prophecy," the only "light that shines in a dark place" (2 Peter 1:19).
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: April 17, 2007.
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