Perhaps you've heard the saying, "Seeing is believing," but can we really base our beliefs on what we see? For example, let's look at this amazing chalk drawing by the famous German artist Edgar Mueller.
As we look at the picture, it appears there is a huge glacial drop in the pavement, with a person dangerously teetering on the very edge of the precipice! The picture gives a very real impression!
However, when we look at another picture showing the artist at work it is easier to see that as real as it may seem, the picture is actually on a completely flat surface--only giving the illusion of three dimensions.
How can this be?
Another 3-D artist, Julian Beever from England, explains: "A non-anamorphic drawing (those are the types of paintings and drawings we are used to seeing), is one that is designed to be looked at face-on. An anamorphic drawing (such as the one we just looked at), is different: we don't view it face on, and we are not supposed to. We view it from a particular angle and from one viewpoint only. It is drawn in a stretched form so that from that single viewpoint, these forms, compressed from the effects of perspective, appear correct. This being the case, we can make objects appear to be either standing on the pavement or going into the pavement. You can make things look 3D. They are more challenging to draw because you have to draw all the forms in a distortion so that they look right from your viewpoint."
This is a very interesting statement. For the illusion to work, reality must be distorted so that it "looks right" from the person's viewpoint.
This reminds me of what we are told in Proverbs 14:12: "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death."
How easy it is for us as human beings to think we know what is right, when in reality it may be a distortion of truth.
In Proverbs 9:10 we read this very important instruction: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."
How do we get to know the "Holy One"? How can we know God? The prayer of Jesus, as recorded in John 17 provides valuable insights. We read in verse 3, "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." And then, referring to His disciples, Jesus prays in verse 8, "For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from you; and they have believed that You sent Me."
God's word is an important theme throughout this prayer of Jesus. He continues in verses 14 and 17, "I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. . . . Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth."
And then Jesus prays for us! "I do not pray for these alone," we read in verse 20 and 21 "but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one . . ."
Here we see clearly how to know God--it is through His inspired Word--the Bible. For you see, the Bible is not only inspiring, it is inspired.
In 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 we read: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete thoroughly equipped for every good work."
Friends, we are on the very edge of eternity, and we are warned there will be amazing deceptions. We cannot rely on our senses. Error will be presented as truth, and truth will be condemned as error. How can we be prepared? We are given clear instruction in the Spirit of Prophecy, which always points to the Scripture as God's Word.
In the book The Great Controversy, page 593 we read this solemn warning:
"'To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.' Isaiah 8:20. The people of God are directed to the Scriptures as their safeguard against the influence of false teachers and the delusive power of spirits of darkness. Satan employs every possible device to prevent men from obtaining a knowledge of the Bible; for its plain utterances reveal his deceptions. At every revival of God’s work the prince of evil is aroused to more intense activity; he is now putting forth his utmost efforts for a final struggle against Christ and His followers. The last great delusion is soon to open before us. Antichrist is to perform his marvelous works in our sight. So closely will the counterfeit resemble the true that it will be impossible to distinguish between them except by the Holy Scriptures. By their testimony every statement and every miracle must be tested.
"Those who endeavor to obey all the commandments of God will be opposed and derided. They can stand only in God. In order to endure the trial before them, they must understand the will of God as revealed in His word; they can honor Him only as they have a right conception of His character, government, and purposes, and act in accordance with them. None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict. To every soul will come the searching test: Shall I obey God rather than men? The decisive hour is even now at hand. Are our feet planted on the rock of God’s immutable word? Are we prepared to stand firm in defense of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus?"
Friends, let us build our faith upon God's Word. Let us take time to connect with Him daily through prayer and the reading of the Bible, accepting it as His Word, and being guided by His Spirit.
Let's pray together. Father in heaven, we thank you for the Word of God, for the foundational understanding that it is primary to all of our understanding of you and leads us to a prayer life with you, that guides us through our lives and helps us to understand that truly your word can be believed in every respect. Lord, bless each one who is listening. Bless each one who is viewing. Help each one to know that daily communion with you is so important, because we will not be able to believe our eyes or our ears except as we know what truth is through the Word of God. So help us not to be in any way part of delusion, but help us to stand firmly on God‘s precious, sure word of prophecy. Thank you for hearing us, in Jesus name, amen.