The greatest weapon against ignorance
There is hardly a greater recipe for degradation than ignorance. Ignorance leads to slavery, poverty, wickedness and destruction. When people believe a lie they don’t have to be overpowered. They will defeat themselves. The greatest weapon against ignorance is truth. Truth is authentic knowledge.
Some people may say that a ball is white because they see only the side that is white while others may say that the ball is black because they only see the side that is black. Both sides may argue indefinitely that the ball is only the colour that they see. If the ball is half black and half white, the people with authentic knowledge may simply turn the ball so that both sides can see the other side.
Knowledge is power. For those who want authentic knowledge, the pursuit is endless. For those who want to subjugate others, the most effective tool is to keep them ignorant. In the dark ages, the priests kept the word of God in Latin and forbade anyone to translate it into the language of the common people. By so doing, the people were forced to believe only what the priests told them. The Scribes and Pharisees did a similar thing in the time of Jesus.
But light broke out because Jesus, His disciples and later on, the Reformers, were brave enough to endure ridicule, persecution and even death to bring the truth to the people. The leaders of the Protestant churches, in the days of the Seventh-day Adventist pioneers, forgot how their various movements got started and put these early pioneers out of their churches because the pioneers told others about the Second Coming of Christ.
Truth and not suppression
How different the history of the world might have been if religious leaders over the years would simply use truth to combat error rather than resort to suppression. But no, the enemy of truth would not allow that. The most potent weapon against truth is suppression. If truth is known, it vindicates itself. There is no fear for error in the face of truth. No one will be sealed, that is, be settled into the truth both spiritually and intellectually so that they cannot be moved, simply by their not being exposed to error. The fear of exposure comes only from the side of ignorance or error.
The Bereans were commended for not only receiving the truth but having received it, went and searched it out whether those things were so. The Bible says of them:
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” – Acts 17:11.
Love and religious liberty
As the world approaches the final crisis, God’s people will once again face persecution as efforts will be made to silence them. For us, who have a message that will be unpopular to the world, we must pave the way for people to hear the message by preaching and practicing religious liberty. If we practice intolerance towards those who differ from us we will have nothing to say when the same is meted out to us when we seek to preach our unpopular message in a hostile world. By our love and patience, we must let others know that we have the spirit of Christ.
In the final analysis, only truth can combat error – both the error that we seek to dispel as well as the error that we ourselves might unwittingly have. The Jews were God’s chosen people and they had the truth but not all of it. And God does not always choose the established Rabbis or teachers as the persons to use as the foremost ones to advance further light. Jesus was not taught by the Rabbis and He did not seek their permission to teach the truth. Paul, after his conversion, went straightway and started to preach the truth. He said he did not confer with anyone to get permission. He said:
“But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me” – Gal. 1:15-17.
“And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. And they glorified God in me.” – Gal. 1:22-24.
When the church saw the work that Paul was doing, they simply acknowledged that God was leading him. They did not judge his authenticity by whether or not he had gotten their permission. They judged it by the authenticity of the truth that he preached. Let us, by God’s grace seek the truth as for hidden treasures and recognize that truth is the greatest weapon against darkness and ignorance.
“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matt. 11:15).
- Zerubbabel (Zech. 4:6)
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