XXXI - 12(98) Excerpt
what of the night?”
"The hour has come, the
hour is striking and striking at you,
the hour and the end!" Eze. 7:6 (Moffatt)
SEEING by FAITH
Excerpt from WWN12(98)
Seeing by Faith
In the June/July issue of First Things, a writer borrowing from Mark Noll, on the "scandal of the evangelical mind," writes about "More Scandals of the Evangelical Mind." The author reared as a Southern Baptist tells of his odyssey from the conservative mould of his youth to a more liberal perception of what he once believed. Speaking of his and his wife's present beliefs, he wrote - "We have also concluded that the Pope isn't the Antichrist."
The notation at the end of the article indicated that the author was "a graduate student in history at the University of Ottawa, Canada." I wrote to him in care of the History Department of the University, and included with my letter the tract - "Antichrist - Who Is He?" My letter read in part:
Being a graduate student in history, you can follow the flow of empires from Babylon to Rome. A close comparison with the prophecy of Daniel 7 reveals basic truth and fingers the one-man government of the Roman Church. The enclosed tract offers you the documentation. I would suggest a re-thinking of your conclusion. A close study of history and prophecy provides much light as to the reality of the present, tearing away the facade with which men and nations cover themselves.
My letter finally reached him six weeks later in his new location as a member of the history department of a California State University. He responded in a hand written note: - "Thank you for ... the information sent. I do not find 'Antichrist, Who Is He? convincing, but I do thank you for sending it."
To this I responded - "May I suggest, unless you do not believe in the prophetic Word, that with your background of the flow of history that you give me a more accurate interpretation of this prophecy. I am interested in truth, truth that is pure and unadulterated."
Again he responded and wrote this answer (observe carefully):
I have no alternative interpretation of Daniel 7 to offer you. The main reason why I reject the view that the pope is the antichrist is that I have read much of the current pope's writing and I fellowship often with devout Catholics. I think Catholics are wrong about some important things, but it is impossible for me to think them in the camp of Antichrist. This probably strikes you as naive. At any rate, I wish you all the best.
There are "devout" Roman Catholics. The present Pope has written much, and that which he has written is "studded" with Biblical references. Consider the Apostolic Letter outlining the "new" theology of Rome in regard to Sunday. It contains many Scriptural references even to the acknowledgement of the original Sabbath as the seventh day. But do we judge by our senses, or by faith based in the Word of God?
As Eve stood before the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden, she "saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a pleasure to the eyes." (Gen. 3:6, Heb.) She thought with her senses ignoring the word of God which had been spoken to her. On the other hand the victory that overcomes the world is faith. (I John 5:4) This faith comes by "hearing," and that hearing is to hear what God says in His Word. (Rom. 10:17) Being warned that "Satan himself is [to be] transformed into an angel of light," why should we marvel that "his ministers" should manifest elements of light? In prophetic language, it is the dragon that gives to the beast "his power, and his seat, and great authority." (Rev. 13:2) The language of prophecy is not pleasant language - "dragon," "beast," and "false prophet." But to the student of Scripture it is meaningful; it becomes "a lamp unto (his) feet and a light unto (his) path." (Ps. 119:105) He perceives through the deceptive darkness that covers the earth, the path of truth and with the enlightenment of the Spirit of truth walks therein.
Two questions are asked in The Great Controversy in the chapter, "The Time of Trouble," which need to be an answered, not just verbally but in the reality of an experience now as well as in the forthcoming time of trouble. They read:
Are the people of God now so firmly established upon His word that they would not yield to the evidence of their senses? Would they, in such a crisis, cling to the Bible and the Bible only? (p.625)
You cannot be established upon that which you do not know. Neither can you cling in a crisis to the Bible, and the Bible only, if you have been clinging to something other than the Bible in the present. Videos are an excellent means of communication of events, but as a projection of truth, they have the same effect on the viewer as TV - the mind gets turned off and the viewer is mesmerized by the speaker. Helps, there need to be, but this can be served by audio tapes played on a cassette with a pause button, so that as the Bereans of old, what is said can be checked against the Word of God. Or, there are written study guides available if one wants to avail themselves of such. But you say, "This takes time." True, and it is not as comfortable as sitting back in a recliner and being lulled into a fatal security - a delusion that has cost many viewers unrecoverable thousands of dollars and this is just recent past history. Is it not time, instead of repeating this experience through other "voices" that each determine that he is going to use the Sabbath hours for the study of the Word of God even if it means meeting alone.
With all the siren calls for "unity" which have been made this year by various "independent voices," Is it not time we started walking by faith and not by sight?