As a child, I remember visiting the “house of mirrors” at the county fair. The brightly tinted shed was filled with row after row of distorted, warped, wild, and cracked mirrors of all shapes and sizes. Each mirror revealed a distorted “me” — stretched pencil thin, bent at right angles, squeezed into an amorphous blob, every feature and body part pressed into garish, surreal shapes. A quick glance in a window glass afterward reassured me that I had been put back together!
The Bible is no house of mirrors — there is nothing fuzzy, fringe, or unfocused about its message, meaning, or directives. Especially in an impending crisis, God has always sent prophets to fix His people’s focus on His priorities — not distractions, distortions, or detractors of Truth. And today, at the cusp of the Lord’s return, it is no different.
The More Sure Word
In his second letter, Peter addressed church members who were distorting with their own ideas some of the pure truths committed to them. He declared: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.”1 Could there be any contrast greater than light shining into darkness?
Peter forcibly asserts that the written prophetic message is “more sure” than his own eyewitness account of Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration! When he was with James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter heard the voice of God and saw Jesus in His soon-to-be glorified state: “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. This voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.”2
If our prophetic message is crystal clear and “more sure” than a visible manifestation of the glorified Christ, we need to diligently guard it from defiling and doubtful theories, speculation, shadowy plots, and “hidden conspiracies” that serve only to confuse, cloud, distract, and taint the precious entrusted “present truth” for this time.
Present Truth — Undiluted, Undistorted
We are called out of that sometimes exciting but ultimately exhausting informational “house of mirrors” into majestic, soul-satisfying, saving truth:
“I saw the necessity of the messengers, especially, watching and checking all fanaticism wherever they might see it rise. Satan is pressing in on every side, and unless we watch for him, and have our eyes open to his devices and snares, and have on the whole armor of God, the fiery darts of the wicked will hit us. There are many precious truths contained in the Word of God, but it is ‘present truth’ that the flock needs now. I have seen the danger of the messengers running off from the important points of present truth, to dwell upon subjects that are not calculated to unite the flock and sanctify the soul. Satan will here take every possible advantage to injure the cause.
But such subjects as the sanctuary, in connection with the 2300 days, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, are perfectly calculated to explain the past Advent movement and show what our present position is, establish the faith of the doubting, and give certainty to the glorious future. These, I have frequently seen, were the principal subjects on which the messengers should dwell.”3
Have You Heard the Latest?
When someone sends you the latest “behind-the-scenes” scoop via video, interview, or book, ask yourself if it meets the following “smell tests” as a teaching for our time:
- Does it distract from our true purpose, mission and message? “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God…that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever.”4 The filthy “cup of abominations” in the hand of the woman of Revelation 17:4 represents real false doctrines, not theories or even facts subsidiary to Bible teachings. These false doctrines attack God, His character, His Law, His grace, His work in the Sanctuary, the soul state, and the final disposition of sin and sinners. “Our people need to understand the oracles of God; they need to have a systematic knowledge of the principles of revealed truth, which will fit them for what is coming upon the earth and prevent them from being carried about by every wind of doctrine.”5
- Does it delve into unfruitful realms of darkness, even if it is true? “What fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness?6 And what communion has light with darkness?” We are prone enough to misjudge our best friend’s motives, let alone the motives and machinations of people we have only read about. Daniel and his friends did not waste time sitting around dissing King Nebuchadnezzar. They were busy studying truth. Their witness won the heart of the king in the end. Daniel was a statesman, not a politician.
- Does it divide individuals into factions that generate disputes, quarrels, and questions over issues that generate more heat than light? Is it Monsanto? GMO? Vaccines? Gluten? Microwave ovens? World take-over by the bad guys? “Avoid foolish disputes [and] contentions…they are unprofitable and useless.”7 Opinions are not doctrines. Paul had it right when he warned young Timothy: “O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge.”8
- Does it darken the pure biblical message with suppositions, speculation, and subterranean plots that really cannot be proved or are not worth pursuing? God calls us to wisdom: “I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say.”9 “Sharing unfounded conspiracies is not a morally neutral act in the same way that gossiping is not morally neutral. Gossip is sinful. What are conspiracy theories but gossip to the next degree?”10
Call to Action: Arise, Shine!
We cannot afford to spend time with mis-and dis-information mirrors that catch, distort, and distract our attention away from our appointed work and ministry for this time.It’s God’s plan to shine the pure light of His truth straight from Heaven, right through us! When we do this, we will reflect His image and message, not our own warped version of either. “Arise, shine, for your light is come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.”11
Unless noted otherwise, scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- 2 Peter 1:19 (KJV)
- Ibid, v. 16,18
- Early Writings, pp. 63,64
- 1 Peter 4:11
- 5 Testimonies, p. 273
- 2 Corinthians 6:14
- Titus 3:9
- 1 Timothy 6:20
- 2 Corinthians 10:15
- God Calls us to Wisdom, Not Conspiracy Theories. Herald-Banner, April 18, 2020
- Isaiah 60:1-3