Hi Bear, good subject
Martyrs Mirror :
/OF THE GREATER DANGER THERE IS AT THIS TIME, THAN IN THE BLOODY AND DISTRESSING TIMES OF THE MARTYRS*
These are sad times, in which we live; nay, truly, there is more danger now than in the time of our fathers, who suffered death for the testimony of the Lord. Few will believe this, because the great majority look to that which is external and corporeal, and in this respect it is now better, quieter and more comfortable; few only look to that which is internal and pertains to the soul, and on which everything depends,"for what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Matt. 16:26.
These times are certainly more dangerous; for then Satan came openly, through his servants, even at noon-day, as a roaring lion, so that he could be known, and it now and then was possible to hide from him; besides, his chief design then was to destroy the body: but now he comes as in the night, or in the twilight, in a strange but yet pleasing form, and, in a two-fold way, lies in wait to destroy the soul; partly, to trample under foot, and annihilate entirely, if this were possible, the only saving Christian faith-- partly to destroy the true separated Christian life which is the outgrowth of faith. Ps. 9l:5, 6.
He reveals himself on the one hand as an angel of light, II Cor. 11:14, 15, as a kind, pleasant, yea, even divine messenger, with humble countenance, downcast eyes, plain garb, and living in seclusion from the throng of the worldly-minded, even as the holiest people, yea, the martyrs of God, formerly did. His words are modest, trembling and full of contrition-seemingly coming from deep meditation, inward fear and apprehension, lest he might speak amiss or untruthfully. Meanwhile, and before one is aware of it, he seizes hold and tears like a wolf in sheep's clothing, robbing the innocent lambs of Christ of their precious faith, which, he pretends to be of small importance, but without which faith it is impossible to please God, Heb. 11:6, nay, without which we, according to the words of Christ shall be condemned, Mark 16: 16; for (says Paul), whatsoever is not of faith is sin, Rom. 14:23.
It grieves us to the heart that we must live to see these times, and therefore speak in this wise. O Lord, strengthen our faith! help Thy weak, trusting lambs, that they may not be led into error, nor moved from the foundations of the most holy faith.
On the other hand, through his instigation, the world now reveals itself very beautiful and glori-
* When Israel under Pharaoh, in Egypt, had to burn brick, and to perform other hard labor, for the king, they remembered God, yea, cried unto the Almighty, so that God was moved to compassion Ex. chap. 1, 2, 3, etc.; but when God had delivered them, anti brought them into a goodly land where it went well with them according to the body, they forsook the Lord, and became wanton. Dent. 32:15. This difference is found to exist also between the times of oppression and the times of freedom.
ous, more than at any preceding time, in a threefold pleasing form-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life.* Almost all men run after her, to worship her as a queen supreme; but all are deceived thereby; yea, many who have drunk of the poisoned wine of her lusts from the golden cup of her iniquities and deceptions, die a spiritual death.
As the first design is aimed at the faith, so this is directed against the true Christian life. Here lies great danger. Who shall escape these snares? He that would at no time be taken unawares by it, must indeed be cautious and watchful. But our very flesh seems prone to it. Here must be fasting, watching, praying, and calling upon God for help, otherwise there is no escape.
Many of the ancients who supposed that they had been circumspect and observed their duty, were deceived hereby-; some were lulled into a careless sleep, so that they paid no heed to themselves or to their vocation; others were brought to despair of the divine truth; others were drawn away totally from God; some died a spiritual death; others died both spiritually and bodily; and some have plunged themselves helter-skelter into the abyss of the disfavor of God, to be punished by Him soul and body and forever.
These things which we tell you are no riddles or blind speeches, for we speak the truth, or the Word of God must be false; but as the Word of God cannot lie, what we have said is certain and infallible since God in His Word bears witness of it, yea, declares it emphatically and abundantly. Other histories which make mention of this, we pass by in silence and dismiss them altogether, because we do not hold them in equal estimation with the holy Scriptures. It was the world and its lusts that of old caused all the great calamities of which we have spoken; and not only this, but it has also caused thousands who live in various cities, countries, kingdoms, empires, yea, on the face of the whole earth, to mourn, weep and wail, on account of their natural misery as well as on account of their experiencing the wrath of God in their souls because of the magnitude and enormity of the sins perpetrated by them.
It certainly was through worldly lusts that the old world perished; that Sodom, Gomorrah, Zeboim, and Admah were consumed, overthrown and totally destroyed by fire from Heaven; that in forty years, through serpents, fire, and other plagues, the wanton and lustful people of Israel perished to the number of over six hundred thousand in the wilderness; and that the mighty mari.../
It might be that we are indeed experiencing the greatest test and trial of faith that their is, with our lives of freedom from persecution and luxury.
VOM's Executive Director, Tom White could handle 17 months in a Cuban prison and keep the faith.
but if the allegations and details are actually true, than it would appear that he was incapable of keeping the faith through the freedom from persecution and luxury that we live with.