Saturday, November 10, 2012

Uncle Arthur Gets One Wrong

As a child I hated to go to bed and go to sleep. My litte mind was always going. But my mother would read to me from Uncle Arthur. She had bought a set of his bedtime stories. "Just one more, please," I would beg.

The stories had morals to them. I didn't want to be taught so much as to prolong the inevitable, lights out! The stories were expanded into a large set of blue books. You may have seen them, sometimes in doctor's offices.

The illustrations were pretty good. I remember the sleeping king dreaming of the great image in Daniel chapter two.. But I was much older now and tried to be more discerning. I saw the prophet Daniel on his hands and knees. He was seeing the latter days. Knowledge had increased and there was much running to and fro.

Daniel was supposed to be dazzled by it all. Seemed logical. But it was so wrong. The vision being illustrated was from the end of the book of Daniel:

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. Daniel 12:4

Many a preacher has used this passage to prove that we are living in the last days. As the church, we have been living in the last days for a long time. But the reference is to Israel, and her last days are yet future. "But many are running to and fro," some say. "And knowledge certainly has increased."

Such a pitiful attempt to make the Bible fit the times! I learned that the authors of the series teach a gradual fulfillment of prophecy where events will quickly be brought about.

Years went by. The scripture reference remained a mystery. Someone wrote about its true meaning and cleared it up for me. The passage is about Israel's current blindness and its ending some day. A literal reading is:

The eyes of many shall run to and fro over this prophecy. Their knowledge of it shall greatly increase.

This will occur in Israel's latter days. Christ will be revealed to them.

Uncle Arthur put me to sleep many a night, but I am awake now.

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