Mark Finley’s Understanding Daniel and Revelation has just been released from Pacific Press Publishing Association. Finley has conducted evangelistic meetings around the world — and on just about every continent for the past 50 years. He has taught and preached on the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, and applied these books to everyday real life. This chapter-by-chapter commentary is written to show our day in the light of Bible prophecy. It is a sharing commentary! Recently Dale Galusha, president of Pacific Press, had the opportunity to interview Finley about this new book.
Seventh-day Adventists have been studying and writing on the Bible books of Daniel and Revelation for many, many years. What new or needed contributions do you see this book bringing to the conversation?
As I have shared the Christ-centered, hope-filled message of Daniel and Revelation with audiences around the world, I have witnessed lives changed by the power of the gospel embedded in these prophetic books. The uniqueness of Understanding Daniel and Revelation is that it blends a careful analysis of the last day prophecies with practical life-changing lessons in an easy to understand way so the average person can not only grasp the significance of the prophecies, but also apply the lessons they teach to their lives today.
How has your experience as an evangelist affected the insights you bring to these two books?
In preparing this material I had the sense of God’s nearness and special guidance. The single fact that jumped out at me more powerfully than ever before is the reality that Jesus is the center of all prophecy and the purpose of prophecy is to clearly demonstrate that He is never caught by surprise and will be victorious in the battle between good and evil.
So often we become caught up in dates, history, and identifying symbols when we look at these books. These things are important. But are there “practical” lessons for Christian living today that we can glean from the study of Daniel and Revelation?
Understanding the prophetic symbols and the timeline of history is extremely important. These prophetic timelines enable us to face the future with greater confidence. But there is much more in the books of Daniel and Revelation than mystic symbols and strange beasts. These books speak of deeper faith, more earnest prayer, and stalwart courage. They reveal a Jesus who loves us so much that He would go to any length to redeem us and one who is coming again soon to take us home.
How important are these two books for Adventists today who are looking for the soon return of Jesus?
The books of Daniel and Revelation are at the very heart of Adventism. We are a prophetic movement. These books help to define who we are and where we are in the light of history. They reveal our origin, our purpose, our reason for existence, and our ultimate destiny. They are essential to really understand Adventist identity. One of my great concerns about the Adventist church is this sense of a loss of identity. My prayer is that this volume will help to restore that sense of prophetic identity and reaffirm that we are a movement divinely raised up by God.
What do you see as key take-aways from the books of Daniel and Revelation?
The key take away for me from this volume is that Jesus longs for each one of us to be in His eternal kingdom and is coming soon to take us home. My prayer is that this book will lead us to our knees to seek to be more like Jesus each day and live in the abundant grace He provides as we look forward to eternity.
Understanding Daniel and Revelation is not just for Seventh-day Adventists to read. How can church members and pastors use this book in sharing their faith?
I have written this volume in a way that Adventists can feel confident in sharing it with their friends that may be seeking a deeper understanding of the times we live in and looking to know from the Word of God what the future holds.