Introduction

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

 

The everlasting gospel is the good news that God is and that His character is love. God’s love is manifested in what He does. In order to understand what God is doing, and how this is evidence of His love, it is necessary to understand several things:

1. What we believe changes us. My picture of God affects me profoundly. We each act out our picture of God. "It makes no difference what you believe" is a lie with respect to yourself! What you believe changes you! The point is—study carefully and choose what you believe with discrimination. We are told by God through His messenger, Ellen White,

"Through belief in Satan’s misrepresentation of God, man’s character and

 

 

 

1~ THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL IN DANIEL AND REVELATION

were changed, but if men will believe in the Word of God, they will be transformed in mind and character, and fitted for eternal life. To believe that "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16), will change the heart, and reproduce in man the image of God." {1SM 346.1}

2. Things are not what they appear to be. God did not create things as they appear today. God created Lucifer an angel of light. Through the exercise of his freedom of choice, with which he was created, he chose to conceive and believe a lie about God. Lucifer has become transformed by his belief into the devil—Satan—the enemy of God and mankind.

3. There is a great controversy between Christ and Satan. This great controversy vitally affects us. How this great controversy affects us, is our choice. What we believe and how we relate to the great controversy, over which we have no control, is what determines how it affects us. God does everything in His power to inform and enlighten us about the issues of the great controversy. Satan does everything in his power to put his spin on the issues of the great controversy to his perceived advantage. What we choose to believe affects us every day and determines our ultimate destiny.

4. In the books of Daniel and Revelation in the Bible, God has revealed the issues and the outcomes of the great controversy in stories, types and symbols. The purpose of studying and knowing the issues is to make an informed decision about what we choose to believe.

5. The philosophical issues of the great controversy involve the law of God, the government of God, the kingdom of God, the character and motives of God, and the Son of God. It is all about God! The visible, apparent issues revolve around Jesus Christ. Who is Jesus? Is He the Son of God as God says, or does God tell lies as Satan affirms? The great question of

 

INTRODUCTION ~ 13

the ages was asked by Pilate, the Roman governor: "What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews?" (Mark 15:12.) "What will I do with Jesus?" is the question that determines my destiny. What I will do with Jesus is determined by what I believe about Jesus. The books of Daniel and Revelation focus on Jesus. The great purpose of God in giving us the books of Daniel and Revelation is twofold:

a) That we may come to know Jesus and believe who and what He is, that we may be changed into His character as a result of believing and beholding Him.

b) That we may know what is going on in life and in the governments of this world so that we can glorify God in our responses to what is happening and what is going to happen in the future.

6. Finally, it is important to know that there is much, much more to the books of Daniel and Revelation than is presented here. It is my desire to keep the length of this presentation as short as the text of the books of Daniel and Revelation! My goal is that Jesus may be seen, who He is, that you may believe and glorify God in these tremendous times in which we live.

In the book of Daniel, God illustrates the issues of the great controversy in the lives of four Hebrew teenagers that were taken captive from their homes in Palestine and educated in Babylon for royal service. Following these stories the prophecies of world events to the end of time are given. Those portions of the prophecies in the book of Daniel that deal with our time were sealed until these last days, the time foretold in the book of Revelation. The books of Daniel and Revelation are a unit. One is a book sealed until unsealed by the other. In the book of Revelation it is revealed that the corporate church illustrates the issues of the great controversy. The prophecies of Daniel are revealed, explained and enlarged with more detail in the setting of

 

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the Judgment. These stories illustrate that God is faithful and is able to do all that He promises to do. God takes full responsibility for creating beings in His physical image and with His character-likeness—the chief attributes of which are the power of loving, independent thought, decision, choice, and action. God solves the rebellion of Lucifer by illustrating all the answers to all the issues with the creation of this planet earth and its inhabitants. With Adam, the first created man who was God’s designated representative on earth, all the answers to the questions of the great controversy could have been answered by sinless people in a sinless world. However when Adam joined the rebellion of Satan against God, the everlasting gospel was now needed. Now both good and evil would be given a chance to fully reveal their principles. The everlasting gospel was first revealed in types and symbols in the Garden of Eden. This gospel reveals Jesus Christ and includes the good news of a judgment in which all the questions that every intelligent created being has, will be fully and finally answered. We are now living in this time of the investigative phase of the judgment. Although there is no reason for sin, it will be fully and completely dealt with in the judgment. This is part of what is shown in the book of Revelation.

John 20:31 "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name."

"When the books of Daniel and Revelation are better understood, believers will have an entirely different religious experience. They will be given such glimpses of the open gates of heaven that heart and mind will be impressed with the character that all must develop in order to realize the blessedness which is to be the reward of the pure in heart. The Lord will bless all who will seek humbly and meekly to understand that which is revealed in the Revelation. This book contains so much that is large with immortality and full of glory that all who read and search it earnestly receive the blessing to those "that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein." One thing will certainly be understood from the study of Revelation—that the connection between God and His people is close and decided." (FLB 345.3) {TM 114.3}