EVIDENTLY these words of the Apostle were a prophesy concerning the present harvest time. Doubtless they apply primarily to the Church and will later apply also to Babylon and the unregenerate world. “Judgment must begin at the house of God.”
St. Paul does not specify what lies will be believed and which truths will be unappreciated. We might particularize to some extent, but we believe that a disloyal condition of heart may be meant which would apply to every form of truth and correspondingly apply to various lies.
Is it not a fact, that a mind may become generally indifferent to principles of honesty in respect to thoughts and reasonings? And would not such a mind be very open to erroneous conclusions? Would not this apply to all the affairs of life, so that unkind, uncharitable thoughts would be entertained without an honest endeavor to sift them and to give the one accused the benefit of every doubt? Is not this generally the case amongst men and women to-day?
We believe that such injustice lies at the bottom of nearly all the troubles of the Church and the world. Few but the saintly are just – not to say merciful and generous in their interpretations of the words and deeds of others.
And now according to this prophesy we are come to the time when God will test all – or allow Satan to test the whole world with a “frenzy of delusion”! What may we not expect in the way of hasty and irrational conduct inspired by these delusions! Some may be so exercised in respect to the Truth – new and old; others may be influenced thus in respect to their personal, social and political affairs.
It is this frenzy that is precipitating trouble, religious, financial and social, and leading on to the anarchy which is shortly, according to the Bible, to envelop and swallow our civilization in the indescribable time of trouble which will precede the reign of righteousness.
The saints, the consecrated, will not escape from this testing. Who will be able to stand? Some seem to be under the strain already. Let us pity them and do all in our power to succor them. But our chief concern should be ourself – that we may each maintain and increase our “spirit of a sound mind.”
We should not only square our every act and word with strictest justice, but beyond this we should scrutinize our every thought and “bring every thought into subjection to the will of God” as expressed in Christ. Love, do you say? Yes! in its proper order, “Love is the principal thing.” But Justice must come first to be in line with the Divine precepts. “Just before generous” is an old and a very true adage. After learning to think justly of the words and acts of others we are prepared with a proper mental foundation to think generously – lovingly.
The Scriptures say not in vain that “A false balance is an abomination unto the Lord.” (Prov. 11:1.) And this balancing applies as truly to mental as to physical dealings with others. Whoever does not love righteousness; yea, whoever does not hate inequity, is surely in danger of being frenzied by delusions in this evil day. Surely Satan and the fallen angels under him are being granted extraordinary power to tempt God’s people and later on the world, to cut loose from all moderation in a frenzy of error on one subject or another with one person or another. Let us be forewarned and “watch and pray lest we enter into temptation.”