Thursday, February 12, 2004

Dail Dialy Bread for 2/12/04

Not quite about Sabbath School, but worth reading.

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread":

A thoughtful person has written: is Islam and “jihad” (holy war)
prominent in Bible prophecy? The Holy Spirit has singled out two books
of the Bible as especially asking for our careful attention: (1) Jesus
says, study Daniel (Matt. 24:15), and (2) a special blessing comes to
the one who studies and understands the book of Revelation (1:1-3). For
hundreds of years some humble-hearted, reverent-minded scholars say
yes, they have seen Islam in a prominent place in the prophecies of
both books--Daniel 11, and Revelation 9. Today Bible scholars are far
from united in their understanding of those prophecies; the most deadly
deception is not to disregard them completely but to misread and
distort what they say.
* That’s why the counsel of Jesus is so needed. He says, of
Daniel, “Whoso readeth, let him understand.” In other words, reading
the book is not good enough. He actually commands us, “understand” it.
And that applies to Revelation as well.
* He wouldn’t say that if it were impossible. Prayerful, careful
thought, plus some reasonable humility, is needed. Beware of
theological smart-alecks. “Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed
lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). The Lord Jesus says He will have to tell
them to their chagrin, “I never knew you” (Matt. 7:23).
* Let’s also remember that going to sleep on the pretext that no
one can understand will also merit His judgment, “I know you not”
(Matt. 25:1-12). In the hour of crisis the five foolish young women had
been absorbed in reading novels (religious ones?), sports, games, TV
fun, and had neglected to search for what Peter says is “the present
truth” (2 Peter 1:12). What’s happening behind the scenes is a wedding.
The parable is clear as sunlight: “they that were ready went in with
[the Bridegroom] in the marriage and the door was shut” (Matt. 25:10).
The ones “ready” are the same as those who “follow the Lamb
whithersoever He goeth” (Rev. 14:4). Just that simple: stay awake; keep
close to Him.
* It’s useless to say “I love Jesus!” unless we love His word,
He says “I am . . . the truth” (John 14:6). The “wise” young women in
the parable are “blessed” in that they “hunger and thirst after
righteousness” (Matt. 5:6; the only kind there is in the universe is
that which is of faith).
* If you are hungry for cotton-candy novels and can’t stand a
serious thought in Daniel and Revelation, ask the Lord to have mercy
and wake you up.
* Islam in Bible prophecy? Step #1--read prayerfully Daniel and
Revelation, and stay alert. And patient.

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