7 min 1 mth

Lesson 4. Standing for the Truth
Steadfast in Darkness: Courage, Renewal, and the Radiance of Faith
In a world that is constantly changing, where different opinions and values often clash, standing up for truth becomes an increasingly important task for Christians. The history of Christianity is rich with examples of brave men and women who were willing to suffer and even sacrifice their lives for their beliefs. This lesson leads us into a deep exploration of the meaning, value, and challenges of standing up for truth.
Starting with the concept of “progressive light” in divine revelation, we explore why God reveals truth progressively and how these principles can be applied to today’s church. We also consider the dynamic between new discoveries of truth and the previous teachings that the people of God understood, emphasizing why new light should never contradict old light.
The challenges we face in our culture can sometimes lead to conflicts with biblical teachings. Therefore, we discuss strategies and approaches to remain good citizens while resisting the distorted values of our culture.
Finally, we delve deep into the inspiring letter of Jan Hus, reflecting on how his courageous example and teachings can still influence and challenge us today. This lesson challenges us to examine our beliefs, to be courageous, and to stand up for truth, even when faced with challenges and resistance.

4.1 Persecuted Yet Triumphant
Persecution and Victory: God’s People in Prophetic Times
Read Daniel 7:23–25 and Revelation 12:6,14. To which prophetic time periods do these verses refer?
The mentioned verses from Daniel 7:23–25 and Revelation 12:6,14 refer to prophetic time periods often described as 1260 days or “a time, times, and half a time.” These time spans are symbolic and represent an extended period in Christian history.
  1. Daniel 7:23-25: In this section, Daniel describes a vision of four beasts representing different kingdoms or dominions. The fourth beast is depicted as particularly powerful and destructive. Verse 25 states that it will “speak words against the Most High” and “oppress the saints of the Most High.” This time of oppression is depicted as 1260 days or a time, times, and half a time.
  2. Revelation 12:6,14: In Revelation, a woman is portrayed giving birth to a child and being pursued by a dragon. The woman flees to the wilderness where she is protected for “a time, times, and half a time” (verse 14). This also corresponds to the 1260 days or 3½ years of persecution.
Both passages employ the day-year principle, where a prophetic day corresponds to a literal year. This principle is based on other biblical texts like Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6 and has been applied by many Bible scholars and historians throughout history.
The mentioned historical events, such as the Ostrogoths’ departure from Rome in AD 538 and the Pope’s deposition by Napoleon’s General Berthier in AD 1798, are interpreted as the beginning and end of this 1260-year period of persecution and spiritual darkness. During this time, many Christians were persecuted and killed for their faith, yet they remained steadfast in their beliefs, seeing their victory in Christ.
It is important to note that this is a specific interpretation of the mentioned biblical texts and is not shared by all Christians. There are various theological views and interpretations of these and other prophetic texts in the Bible.
How has fulfilled biblical prophecy strengthened your faith?
For many people, especially devout Christians, fulfilled biblical prophecies can be a source of strength and affirmation of their faith. When they see certain prophecies made in the Bible actually come to pass in history, it can bolster their confidence in the reliability and authenticity of the Holy Scriptures.
The fulfillment of prophecies can be seen as evidence of the divine inspiration of the Bible and God’s sovereignty. It demonstrates that God sees beyond time and that His Word is true and reliable. For many believers, this serves as a powerful testament to God’s faithfulness and reliability in their lives.
However, it is important to emphasize that the interpretation and application of biblical prophecies often spark discussions and debates within the Christian community. There are different views and theories about how specific prophecies should be understood and applied.

The connection between fulfilled biblical prophecies and our everyday life in faith can be diverse and profound. Here are some possible ways this connection might look:
  1. Trust and Hope: Recognizing that God has fulfilled His promises and prophecies in the past strengthens trust in Him and provides hope for the future. In challenging times, believers can recall God’s faithfulness and trust that He is working in their current situation.
  2. Confirmation of Faith: Fulfilled prophecies can serve as confirmation of faith. They demonstrate that the Bible is not just a historical document or a book of moral teachings but contains divine wisdom and insight that are relevant and true in the real world.
  3. Motivation for Faithfulness: The stories of Christians who remained steadfast in their faith despite persecution and suffering can serve as inspiration. They encourage believers to remain steadfast in their faith even when faced with challenges.
  4. Eternal Perspective: Knowing that God sees beyond time and that His plans unfold despite human contradictions and difficulties can help believers adopt an eternal perspective. It reminds them that current hardships and sufferings are temporary, while God’s promises and eternal life in Christ are of lasting value.
  5. Community and Sharing of Faith: Understanding and acknowledging fulfilled prophecies can also help strengthen faith within the community. Believers can share these insights to encourage others to grow in faith and trust God in their own lives.
However, it is important to stress that the interpretation of biblical prophecies and their application in everyday life can be a personal and sometimes controversial matter. Not all Christians agree on their interpretations, and it is essential to approach differing views with humility and respect. The most important thing is that fulfilled prophecies can help strengthen faith and deepen the relationship with God by testifying to His faithfulness and sovereignty.

Even in the greatest darkness, God’s people find refuge and victory through His unwavering love and care.

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