Penn Valley SDA Church
If there’s one thing about Prophecy I can’t stand, it’s the tendency some of us have to use it like spiritual caffeine. The books of Daniel and Revelation can be used in a very spiritually destructive manner. They can be used to motivate and create a level of religious excitement that, once it’s worn off, leaves us more spiritually lethargic than we started. And the withdrawals are worse than a spiritual hangover.
I do believe the books of Daniel and Revelation have a divinely desired purpose, though. Not to get us all worked up with “end time” excitement, but rather to accomplish something much deeper.
“So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.”— 2 Peter 1:19
Prophecy is for the purpose of enabling light (the truth regarding God’s character, 2 Corinthians 4:6) to illuminate the darkness (believed lies about God’s character) in our hearts, by pointing us to Jesus and allowing Him to function in our hearts, much the same way the sun, at dawn, dispels the darkness of the night. Prophecy points us to Jesus, and Jesus reveals to us the truth about the Father, which radically transforms our lives from the inside out. It’s a much more spiritually healthy process than merely sparking curiosity about the latest end time conspiracy theory.
It is with the aim of allowing the books of Daniel and Revelation to show us the character of the Father, as the final climax of the age-long controversy which began in heaven and has ensued ever since, that Renewed Heart Ministries is presenting its new series on prophecy (The Revealing).
This May it was my privilege to share four presentations from this series in the Penn Valley church. Jesus said quite clearly, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself” (John 12.32). Surely we experienced this in a very marked way this long weekend as we looked, honestly and openly, at the book of Revelation and the message it has been proclaiming throughout the centuries.
Truly Jesus is about to return, but it’s not simply this that Revelation shares. It is the beauty of a God whose character is about to be revealed as never before, whose Glory is about to once again “lighten the earth” (Revelation 18:1) as the last message of mercy to a dying world.
“The shortness of time is frequently urged as an incentive for seeking righteousness and making Christ our friend. This should not be the great motive with us; for it savors of selfishness. Is it necessary that the terrors of the day of God should be held before us, that we may be compelled to right action through fear? It ought not to be so. Jesus is attractive. He is full of love, mercy, and compassion. He proposes to be our friend, to walk with us through all the rough pathways of life” (White, Bible Echo, June 25, 1894 par. 7).