PART 4: THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION
The "Abomination of Desolation!" The term itself is enough
to make one feel very uncomfortable. It conveys a sense of uneasy anxiousness.
There is an aura of grim restlessness about the phrase and all that
it portends; a sense of apprehension and uncertainty; a premonition
of impending doom. But how? Why? It all seems so ambiguous and ethereal.
But this much we can say with certainty: the evil impact of this event
will be directed against the "Temple of God," and will plainly
divide the first half of the Seventieth Week from the second half. Indeed,
it will be the special cause of all the supernatural activity of this
period - the Great Tribulation. Specifically, II Thessalonians 2 indicates
that the act of desecration will be the entering of Satan into the "Temple
of God," wherein he will sit down [or inhabit the Temple], declaring
himself to be God:
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not
come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin
be revealed, the son of perdition;
"Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called
God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple
of God, showing himself that he is God." (2 Thess. 2:3-4)
That such an event will clearly take place, and that it will be directed
against the "Temple of God," there can be no doubt. However,
a number of things mitigate against the thought that this act of desecration
will be directed merely against a rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem - though
there can be little doubt that after Israel regains total control over
Jerusalem (and the Temple Mount) following the Gog / Magog War, they
will probably attempt to rebuild the Temple and reinstitute Temple Worship
together with animal sacrifice as depicted in the book of Leviticus,
etc. - and that, therefore, there is reason to believe that the Abomination
of Desolation will be played out against this backdrop. But there are
much greater reasons to believe that the desecration of the Temple will
reach out far beyond the desecration of a rebuilt Jewish sanctuary.
First, from a scriptural standpoint, the whole tenor surrounding the
Biblical term, "Abomination of Desolation," suggests something
much more than the mere desecration of a temple made of stone and mud.
If this is all that is meant, then Antiochus Epiphanes [the Greek (not
Syrian) king of Sulussia], who desecrated the old Jewish Temple in Jerusalem
in 173 B.C. [by sacrificing a pig], did as much, if not more, than anything
the Antichrist could do. Also, surely Titus desecrated the Temple in
70 A.D. when he took Jerusalem and burned the Temple to the ground.
One would think that these acts, which parallel in most every respect
the act of desecration most evangelicals believe the Antichrist will
commit, would bring on the same retribution that God will pour out on
Antichrist. Yet both Antiochus and Titus died quietly in their sleep
- Antiochus in Tabae in 165 B.C., and Titus in Rome towards the close
of the First Century A.D.
Second, how could the stopping of animal sacrifices in a rebuilt Jewish
Temple constitute an abomination to God? After all, the old animal sacrifices
merely pointed to the sacrifice of Christ. After Christ was sacrificed
on the cross for the sins of the world, the old animal sacrifices became
meaningless - and this was indicated by the rending of the veil in the
temple after Christ's death on the cross:
"And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.
"And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top
to the bottom." (Mark 15:37-38)
AND THE REBUILT TEMPLE
Israel's blindness with regard to Christ is not destined to
be fully removed until the second advent [i.e., the coming of
Christ in glory]:
"And I will pour out on the house of David and on the
inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication,
so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they
will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they
will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over
"In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem,
like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo.
"And the land will mourn, every family by itself; the
family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by
themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and
their wives by themselves;
"The family of the house of Levi by itself, and their
wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself,
and their wives by themselves;
"All the families that remain, every family by itself,
and their wives by themselves.
"In that day a fountain will be opened for the house
of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and
for impurity. (Zech. 12:14-19)
Thus, if Israel's blindness is not to be removed until the
second advent of Christ, then animal sacrifices would of necessity
have to be a part of any renewed Temple service. Why? - because
the Jews as yet would not recognize the sacrifice of Christ
as the "Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world,"
and sacrifice was at the very heart of all Temple service. Indeed,
it could fairly be said that without sacrifice, the Temple would
be reduced to the status of a synagogue, a grand and imposing
one, no doubt, but a synagogue nevertheless, even if it were
built on the site of the old Temple itself.
THE GRAMMATICAL MEANING
Then to what does the term "Abomination of Desolation" really
have reference? It must surely mean more than the mere desecration of
a temple made with human hands.
The word "abomination" means something extremely disgusting
or hateful - something worthy of or causing loathing. The adjective
"desolate" means abandoned, devoid of habitation, deserted,
forsaken, lonely, showing the effects of abandonment. The verb "to
desolate" means to make desolate, to lay waste, to forsake. The
word "desolation" means the action of desolating, the condition
of being desolate - a barren wasteland implying grief, sadness, and
loneliness. Thus, it could be fairly stated that from a grammatical
standpoint, the term "Abomination of Desolation," taken in
conjunction with the "Temple of God," means the "loathsome
and hateful action which causes the abandonment by God of the "Temple
of God," making it void of His habitation and [in conjunction with
II Thess. 2] possessed by Satan.
In its scriptural context, what then is the meaning of the term "Abomination
of Desolation?" The scriptural link that some Biblical scholars
make between a rebuilt Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and the "Abomination
of Desolation" is highly tenuous and largely the result of certain
evangelicals [very strict dispensationalists] who contend that the Old
Testament - and even, as astonishing as it might seem, certain books
of the New Testament - were written specifically to the Jews and do
not concern Christians at all. Hence, according to this kind
of teaching, since the "Abomination of Desolation" mentioned
in Daniel 9:26-27 is made in the Old Testament, the passage must have
reference only to the Jewish Temple, since the Old Testament is a Jewish
[Of course, the "Abomination of Desolation" is mentioned
in several books of the New Testament - in all the Gospels except John,
II Thessalonians, etc. - which would make these books, we suppose, Jewish
books, at least according to this kind of thinking; but such thinking
is so ridiculous, that it hardly bears refutation - nonetheless, this
is the precise origin of the kind of thinking which connects the "Abomination
of Desolation" simply with a Jewish Temple.]
Moreover, there is a great difference to be remarked on between the
glory which will flow out from the Millennial Temple as opposed to any
glory which will attend a rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem prior to the Millennium
- again, the fact of the matter is God is forever through with "temples
made with hands." [And in this connection, it should be noted that
the Millennial Temple which is described in the Book of Ezekiel will
evidently not be made by human hands - the context seems to indicate
that it will be solely a work of God.]
Please see Ezekiel 40:1-46:24 for a full description of the
Millennial Temple. Please also consult Dwight Pentecost, Things
To Come, pg. 512-531. The main purpose of the Millennial
Temple will be to commemorate and honor the sacrifice of Christ.
There will be no animal sacrifices in the Millennial Temple.
Ezekiel had seen the Shechinah [the glory and presence of God]
leave the Temple of Solomon prior to the Babylonian sack of Jerusalem,
NEVER TO RETURN. No Shechinah ever filled the Second Temple
[the Temple which existed at the time of Christ].
Moreover, the Millennial Temple will differ from the old Jewish Temple
to the extent that the sun differs from the moon. Why? Because the Millennial
Temple will contain the glory of Christ which no rebuilt Jewish Temple
ever could. There will be no need for animal sacrifice in this Temple
either, for the sacrifice of Christ will be fully honored, Christ Himself
being the High Priest - and there will be no human High Priest in the
Millennial Temple. Finally, a stream of healing water will flow forth
from the Temple for the healing of the nations. Can anyone reasonably
assume that such a stream will flow forth from a rebuilt Jewish Temple
destined to be desecrated by the Antichrist?
Certainly, no rebuilt Jewish Temple in Jerusalem could match such a
It seems, then, that we are once again faced with a dilemma - a desecration
directed against a Temple which doesn't seem to exist; unless, of course,
we've been looking in the wrong place.
Let's admit that such might indeed be the case and reconsider the whole
question in the light of the New Testament, if only because it's impossible
to get anywhere by just examining the issue exclusively in light of
the Old Testament. The fact of the matter is that while Daniel 9:26-27
does make mention of an event known as the "Abomination of Desolation,"
we can get no real clue from these verses as to what the term really
means. It is not until the New Testament that a firm connection is made
between the "Abomination of Desolation" and the "Temple
of God." Interestingly enough, it is made by Jesus Himself in an
entirely "New Testament setting" just prior to His crucifixion
(cf. Matt. 24 and II Thess. 2:3-4). The context in which the connection
is made occurs when Jesus had finished telling the Pharisees that He
would tear down the Temple and in three days raise it up again. The
Pharisees thought that Jesus was referring to the old Jewish Temple;
but of course, He was not. He was making reference to His own body:
"Jesus answered and said to them, 'Destroy this temple, and
in three days I will raise it up'.
"The Jews therefore said, 'It took forty-six years to build
this temple, and will You raise it up in three days'?"
"But he was speaking of the temple of His body." (John
Thus, when the connection between the "Abomination of Desolation"
and the "Temple of God" is first made, it is made essentially
at the same time when Jesus described the "Temple of God"
as man, and not as a temple made of stone and mud. The old Jewish Temple
[and we speak here not of the Millennial Temple] was forever put away
after the crucifixion of Christ; whatever glory was left the old temple
departed from it [which was signified by the rending of the veil in
the old temple] and instead was deposited forever in man on the day
Paul himself reminds us of this when he tells us that God no long dwells
within the cold, dead stones of temples made with hands, when he says:
"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy
Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God ..." (I Cor. 6:19)
Isaiah also prophesied that the true house of God would be a house
of prayer for all nations (Isa. 56:7; Mk. 11:17) and in fulfillment
of that prophecy, believers of every nation are today, as living stones,
being built up into a spiritual house (I Peter 2:5), "an habitation
of God through the Spirit." (Eph. 2:22)
Finally, it is of interest to note in this respect that when Paul referred
to believers as the temple (I Cor. 3:16, 17; 6:19; II Cor. 6:16; Eph.
2:20-22), he used the Greek word NAOS. But when he referred
to the physical temple in Jerusalem (Acts 22:17; 24:12, 18; 25:8; I
Cor. 9:13), he used the Greek word Hieron. NAOS is the
word Paul used for temple in II Thessalonians 2:4 when he spoke of the
"Temple of God" in connection with the "Abomination of
"... so that he [Satan] as God sitteth [dwells] in the temple[NAOS]
of God, showing himself that he is God." (II Thess. 2:4)
Therefore, it is obvious that Paul did not mean that Antichrist was
simply going to sit down [dwell or make his home] in a physical temple
made of stone and mud [Hieron].
THE OLD JEWISH TEMPLE AND MAN
Like the old Jewish Temple, man is a three part entity - body, soul,
and spirit, each corresponding to the three parts of the Jewish Temple
- the Outer Court [the body], the Inner Court [the soul], and the Holiest
of All [the spirit]. [Please see G.H. Pember, Earth's Earliest Ages,
chapter 4, "The Creation of Man," for a thorough but concise
treatment of this subject.] It was in the Holiest of All in the old
Jewish Temple that the glory of God [the Shechinah] dwelt. No
one was ever permitted access to this part of the Temple except the
High Priest, and that but once a year on the day of Atonement, when
he entered it to sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice on the "Mercy
Seat" for the sins of the people. The Holiest of All was the dwelling
place of God; it was reserved for Him alone.
So also with man. The spirit of man is the dwelling place of God. It
is our spirit that the Holy Spirit enters and inhabits when we receive
Jesus at the time of our new birth. The old Jewish Temple was
but a type of this present reality - a symbolical representation of
God's true dwelling - man. And while the entire old Temple symbolized
the dwelling place of God, it was, nevertheless, in the Holy of Holies
where God actually dwelt, with the Holy Place [the Inner Court] and
the Outer Court standing for those spheres of divine activity which
were in accordance with His divine presence. Thus answering truly to
this typology, God's Spirit dwells in our spirit, which is the reality
in our time of the Holy of Holies.
Moreover, by asserting that man is today the "Temple of God,"
we are not spiritualizing the Word of God at all, for such is
the clear testimony of God. Jesus said:
"... if a man loves me, he will keep my words: and my Father
will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode [home,
lit. - Temple or Tabernacle] with him." (John 14:23)
Furthermore, in Ephesians 2:19-22, Paul speaks of regenerated man as
the building or "Temple of God:"
"... in whom all the building, fitly framed together, groweth
into an HOLY TEMPLE in the Lord; in whom ye also are builded
together for an HABITATION of God through the Spirit."
THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION
IN LIGHT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
If we once grasp the fact that the true "Temple of God" is
man and not a temple made of mud and stone, then the difficulties which
we encountered above dissolve. And, in all of this we can begin to see
that the "Abomination of Desolation" is a crime much more
heinous than we had at first thought - and one that portends a threat
against man far greater than has ever been previously imagined - a threat
against his very humanity?
Man is a human being precisely and only because he is a three part
being - because he possesses in addition to his body and soul, a spirit.
It is man's possession of a spirit which sets him apart from the beasts,
not his mind. Through his spirit, man was meant to commune or have fellowship
with God; the beasts were never meant to have such fellowship; and,
thus, do not possess a spirit, only a body and a soul. The "Abomination
of Desolation" is an attack against man's very humanity, and in
this connection, it should be noted that after the occurrence of this
evil act, the Antichrist is no longer referred to as a man, but as a
BEAST!! - no more a human being, but a beast possessing no longer
any possibility of ever again touching God, his spirit forever deadened
and given over to another, HIS HUMANITY FOREVER LOST.
How? It is not all that difficult to ascertain. While Satan has corrupted
man's body [making it "flesh"], and through it, he has contaminated
man's mind (his soul), he has never had access to the spirit of man.
Man's spirit, like the Holiest of All in the Old Jewish Temple, was
reserved for God and Him alone. It was to be the seat of God, His throne,
His ultimate place of habitation and dwelling. Satan has never occupied
this part of man. Man's spirit has been wholly protected by the "RESTRAINING
power" of God. (II Thess. 2:7 - see RV or LB)
THE RESTRAINER & MAN'S SPIRIT
The "Restrainer" of II Thess. 2:7 must be the Holy
Spirit. There simply is no other explanation that suffices.
The explanations which make of him human government, law, the
visible church, etc. simply fall short. Pentecost agrees. He
says, "... it would seem that the only One who could
do such a restraining ministry would be the Holy Spirit."
[Please see Things To Come, by J. Dwight Pentecost,
pg. 205.] And once it is agreed that the real temple of God
is man, and that the "Restrainer" is the Holy Spirit,
then it must be that what the "Restrainer" (i.e.,
the Holy Spirit) is protecting is the spirit of man, the "Holy
of Holies" within man. That man is the REAL temple of God
is, of course, made abundantly clear by any one of a number
of Scriptures. For example, John 14:23 when Jesus says: "If
anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love
him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode (i.e., we will
tabernacle) with him; or Ephesians 2:19-22 when Paul says:
"So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but
you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household,
having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets,
Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole
building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple
in the Lord; in whom you also are being built together into
a dwelling (i.e., a tabernacle) of God in the Spirit; or
I Cor. 3:16 when Paul says: "Know ye not that ye are
the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"
Only once - in a very limited and isolated case - has this restraining
power ever been lifted. This instance involved Judas, the "Son
of Perdition." At the time of the Last Supper, the Scripture says
that Satan "entered into Judas:"
"... And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot
the son of Simon.
"And after the sop Satan entered into him." (John 13:26-27)
What could this possibly mean? We are aware today that Satan has great
influence over man's fallen nature - the works of the flesh and the
fiery darts of the wicked one which assault man's mind [soul] attest
to man's vulnerability. There could be no reason for Satan to seek further
expression of his personality through man's fallen nature [i.e., man's
body and soul]. With regard to Judas, Satan evidently took FULL
possession of him. He entered into a part of Judas that he apparently
had never before had access - his human spirit. This probably accounts
for the name that the Scripture has given to Judas - the "Son of
Perdition." The term perdition is derived form the Greek word apoleia
and means utter and eternal SPIRITUAL destruction or loss or
damnation [please see note #684 in the Strong's Greek Concordance].
Now, we know that when God enters a man's spirit, man receives ETERNAL
LIFE; so, no doubt, when Satan enters man's spirit, man receives
eternal perdition or damnation. In the first act, man becomes a son
of God; in the second act, man becomes eternally a "son of Satan"
or the demons. It is probably this one sin, this final act of desecration,
that Paul refers to as the unforgivable sin. Since that which
is eternal remains eternal eternally, whether it be for good or whether
it by for evil, there certainly could be no turning back from this particular
In the light of all this, we must conclude that the "Abomination
of Desolation" is nothing less than the final and COMPLETE
desecration of man's being, the true "Temple of God" (II Thess.
2:7). As he did with Judas, Satan will enter the Antichrist's spirit,
and as with Judas, this accounts for the new title the Antichrist receives
- the "Son of Perdition." (Please see II Thess. 2:3-8)
G.H. Pember, writing in 1876, fully grasped this concept when he wrote:
"Now while evil angels and demons are doubtless appointed for
the ordinary work of influencing mankind, yet we can easily imagine
that, whenever there is any transcendentally mighty issue at stake,
their great leader, who excels them all in wisdom and power, would
himself undertake the more arduous labour. And accordingly, at our
Lord's first advent, when the hour of the Prince of Darkness had come,
Satan himself entered into Judas, and directed him to his fearful
crime (John 13:27). So when the last great masterpiece of the Adversary
shall appear, the Antichrist, whose coming, as Paul tells us, is after
the working of Satan (II Thess. 2:9), and to whom the Dragon shall
give his power, and his throne, and great authority (Rev. 13:2), it
is but reasonable to suppose that he will be possessed and energized
by the Devil in person. And thus, he will be a COMPOUND BEING,
PARTLY HUMAN, PARTLY SUPER-HUMAN."
And what is even more terrible, there is reason to believe that the
desecration of man's spirit will not simply be limited to the Antichrist,
but that it will spread to all unregenerated men through the agency
of the demons and the fallen angels which are let loose upon man after
the "Abomination of Desolation" and during the Seven trumpets)
- at least to all those who receive the "mark of the beast"
THE SEALING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
CONTRASTED WITH THE MARK OF THE BEAST
Thus, the antithesis of the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit
is the desolating work of Satan. Whereas, in the first case,
one becomes the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit and thereby a "son
of God," in the second case, one becomes a dwelling place of the
agents of Hell, and thereby a "son of perdition." For as the
believer is sealed or marked out by the Holy Spirit (II Cor.
1:22; Eph. 1:13; 4:30), the antithesis of this is the mark of the
beast, which effectually seals or marks out those who are ultimately
destined for eternal perdition (see Revelation 16:2; 19:20-21; 14:9-11).
The antithesis of man being created in the image of God to be indwelt
by the Spirit of God (Romans 8) and thus being brought into fellowship
and/or relationship with God and fulfilling God's original design for
the spirit of man, is the Satanic union through the "Abomination
of Desolation" and the mark of the beast whereby man's spirit
is desecrated and left void of any possibility of fellowship
with God. Thus, the "sons of perdition" who have received
the mark of the beast are contrasted to the "sons"
or "children of God" who have been marked out by the Holy
Spirit. The sealing of the Holy Spirit is the antithesis of the
mark of the beast.
It is through the terrible impact of the "Abomination of Desolation"
that all the events of the second half of the Seventieth Week [the Seven
Trumpets] are made possible and through which Satan and his hosts gain
direct and unhindered power for the first time over man, and through
man, the earth.
PART 5: THE SEVEN TRUMPETS - THE SECOND
HALF OF THE SEVENTIETH WEEK
THE SEVEN TRUMPETS
And now a new and much more fearful period is ushered in, a period
which will differ from that of the Seven Seals in as much as light differs
from darkness - for with the Seven Trumpets, the supernatural events
of the Seventieth Week will commence.
THE EXPECTATION OF EXTRATERRESTRIALS
One of the most fascinating discoveries that anyone who has investigated
the supernatural eventually makes, is the fact that there exists today
- even in well educated circles - a belief that our world is receiving
communications from higher intelligences - intelligences which are readying
mankind for an extraterrestrial visitation. It is absolutely incredible
how the stories concerning UFOs seem to coincide on this point. The
emergence of hundreds of UFO cult groups within the last few decades,
all preaching a similar message, along with the appearance of such films
as Close Encounters, Independence Day, The Arrival, Fire in the Sky
and films of a similar nature are evidence of a growing belief, or at
least interest, in the inevitability of a soon-to-come contact with
beings not of this earth - of spiritual beings who are soon to descend
on our world in great numbers. For how else can it be explained that
so many different groups in so many different parts of the world - entirely
unknown to each other - claim to have heard essentially the same message?
We are left to consider seriously the possibility that intelligences
of great power beyond our earth have a selfish interest and purpose
in preparing our world to accept personages they would like to install
as our world rulers.*
And herein lies the awful meaning behind the Seven Trumpets! This is
their terrible secret!
THE PARABLE OF THE SIXTH
SEAL AND THE RED DRAGON
unveiling of this horrible mystery, parable, or cipher actually begins
with the Sixth Seal.
"And I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a
great earthquake ...
"and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree
casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind." (Rev. 6:12-13)
Once again, we are confronted with a riddle, a parable, for it cannot
possibly be assumed that LITERAL stars will fall on the earth
- if only because the earth would immediately cease to exist. The key
to the riddle must lie in the use of the word, "stars." It
is a code word. But what could it possibly mean? Again, the answer is
not all that difficult and is rendered somewhat more intelligible when
compared to certain other verses in Revelation chapter 12:
"And another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red
dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven
"And his tail swept away a THIRD of the STARS of heaven,
AND THREW THEM TO THE EARTH. ...
"And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging
war with the dragon. And the dragon and his angels waged war,
"And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who
is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was
thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
"And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the
salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority
of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been
thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night.
"For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them.
[BUT] WOE TO THE EARTH AND THE SEA, BECAUSE THE DEVIL HAS COME
DOWN TO YOU, HAVING GREAT WRATH, KNOWING THAT HE HAS ONLY A SHORT
TIME." (Rev 12:1-13)
What does all this mean? Simply on the face of it, these verses are
frightening indeed. The use of the word "stars" in Revelation
12 obviously is made in reference to angelic beings. This is substantiated
by Job 38:1-7:
"Then the Lord answered Job [from] out of the whirlwind and
"Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
"Now gird up your loins like a man, and I will ask you, and
you instruct Me!
"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell
Me, if you have understanding,
"Who set its measurements, since you (claim to) know? Or who
stretched the line on it?
"On where were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone,
"When the morning STARS sang together, and all the sons
of God shouted for joy?" (Job 38:1-7)
A better translation of the term, sons of God, is sons of Elohim,
and means literally angels of God; and finally, the term "angels
of God" is here equated with morning STARS. This exact same
expression occurs four other times in the Old Testament, and in each
instance it means "angels of God." Thus, the verses above
lend a certain dreadful credibility to the assertions of the UFO cultists,
for it cannot possibly be assumed that the sightings referred to above
are of God's angels, but rather of Satan's.
A fuller explanation requires a brief digression into some of the darkest
secrets of the Bible - and it is perhaps necessary that we make such
a digression at this point.
MAN THE CENTER OF ALL THINGS
We live today in a world dominated by science and technology. Reason
and progress - these are the passwords of the Twentieth Century. Rationalism,
positivism, and materialism have become the pillars of our society.
Indeed, it is perhaps not too much to say that the vitality of Western
Civilization itself rests in its magnificent scientific and technological
advances. This progress can be seen everywhere: in our architecture;
in our schools; in our vast, new, high-tech industries; in our accomplishments
in space, etc. A scientific and skeptical attitude towards the supernatural
seemingly predominates. What cannot be seen, touched, and scientifically
verified is cast off as superstition and "old wives fables."
Man has become the center of all things in today's science: he has
replaced God. The thinking of our Twentieth Century science is almost
totally man-centered: it is egotistical and selfish as the titanic arrogance
of men like astronomer Carl Sagan so clearly attests. However, despite
all of its claims to modernity, this kind of thinking is really not
new and was reflected long ago by another people equally renowned for
their achievements in the Ancient World - people who today lie wasted
in the ruins of their once glorious civilizations - the Greeks. The
Greek Sophocles wrote in Antigone:
"What a thing is man! Among all wonders, the wonder of the
world is man himself ... Man the Contriver! Man the Mastermind."
The thought that there might exist principalities and powers greater
than man is not entertained by today's science. The mere mention of
the supernatural is often received with a smile of incredulous contempt.
And there are not a few professing Christians of the liberal persuasion
who manifest a great anxiety to explain away the supernatural and to
limit as far as possible its recurrence in the present time, though
they do not totally deny its reality. But that Satan can work wonders,
they will never allow, and in many cases they seek even to deny his
THE WORLD BEYOND OUR WORLD
today's science - i.e., rationalism - is merely a flickering candle
when compared to another reality - a reality, though obscured and half-hidden,
is as true, nonetheless, as is the seen reality of science and technology.
And when compared to this other reality, reason and science are but
the tip of an iceberg that shows above the water, while submerged down
below is the great mass of that which is true and real. Deny as we will
the existence of this other reality, we are, nonetheless, reminded of
it constantly. At night it comes to us when we are alone. Perhaps we
are visited by its presence during the day in a solitary walk on the
beach or in the forest. Sometimes it comes to us in day-dreams when
at work; but, somehow, it is always there - and we know it! Hollywood
knows it, too. Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas know it as well. Our
young people know it. Movies such as Gremlins, Ghostbuster, The Shinning,
E.T., Star Wars, Amityville Horror, The Exorcist, Independence Day,
The Arrival, Fire in the Sky and The Omen openly declare the reality
of this other world.
And despite all the protestations to the contrary, the so-called secular
world is also deeply involved today with the supernatural. Even our
institutions of higher learning acknowledge the presence of this other
reality. Indeed, the psychology departments of many of our finest colleges
and universities have, in recent years, become nothing more than "fronts"
for the investigation of para-psychology - that is to say, clairvoyance,
astrology, etc. - and scholastic credit is offered in these subjects.
Our best police departments openly consult and even employ [often quite
successfully] psychics in the investigation of crimes.