The Bible preceded the Church. In fact, if there were no Bible, there would be no church! -that is, no true church. In fact, it is the teachings of Scripture which distinguish the true church from the false.

How thankful we can be for the Holy Scriptures! They are given for "doctrine," or correcting false religious creeds. "All Scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct injustice."-2 Timothy 3:16.

In Monsignor Knox's New Testament, the above verse is translated this way:

"Everything in the scripture has been divinely inspired, and has its uses: to instruct us, to expose our errors, to correct our faults, to educate us in holy living."-2 Timothy 3:16. Knox translation.

A thousand years before it happened, the Bible foretold the part that Judas was to act in the betrayal of our Lord and Savior, and the result. Here in Acts 1:16-20, St. Peter is preaching a sermon. Notice all the Old Testament Scriptures which he mentioned or quoted! St. Peter knew the Bible well, and we should also. (He referred to Psalm 41:9 and Zecharias 11:12-13.).

"Men, brethren, the Scripture must needs be fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was the leader of them that apprehended Jesus: Who was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.

"And he indeed hath possessed a field of the reward of iniquity, and being hanged, burst asunder in the midst: and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the same field was called in their tongue, Haceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.

"For it is written in the book of Psalms: Let their habitation become desolate, and let there be none to dwell therein. And his bishopric let another take."-Acts 1: 1620.

Later, on the day of Pentecost, St. Peter gave another sermon. This one was based on the prophecies of Joel and David. The result of that Bible-based sermon was the conversion of three thousand people! The New Testament church was founded on the Old Testament Scriptures:

"But Peter standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and spoke to them: Yemen of Judea, and all you that dwell in Jerusalem, be this known to you, and with your ears receive my words. .

"But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel: And it shall come to pass, in the last days, (saith the Lord) I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, arid your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. And upon My servants indeed, and upon My handmaids will I pour out in those days of My spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will shew wonders in the heaven above, and signs on the earth beneath: blood and fire, and vapour of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and manifest day of the Lord come. Arid it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved. . For David saith concerning him: r foresaw the Lord before my face: because He is at my right hand, that t may not be moved. . They therefore that received his word, were baptized; and there were added in that day about three thousand souls." -Acts 2:14,16-21.25.41.

Jesus our Saviour said that, in order to be in the kingdom of heaven, one must be born anew (St. John 3:3). St. Peter wrote that conversion, or the new birth, is the result of the study of the Sacred Scriptures.

"Being born again not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, by the Word of God who liveth and remaineth for ever."-1 St. Peter 1:23.

St. Peter preached the Word, which "endureth forever"; and by that preaching, many came to their Saviour. He and all the Apostles taught that it was the Word of God-the Bible-which was enduring and infallible; it was not the traditions of men or the dogmas of a general council.

"But the Word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the Word which by the gospel hath been preached unto you."-1 St. Peter 1:25.

St. Paul, when he preached, taught from the Scriptures. In this passage, it resulted in the founding of the Thessalonian church. "And Paul, according to his custom, went in unto them; and for three Sabbath days he reasoned with them out of the Scriptures."-Acts 17:2.

When St. Paul arrived in the city of Berea, he taught his hearers from the Bible. He also commended the Bereans for the way they carefully studied the Bible each day, in order to test his words by the Scriptures. We today should test the preachers by God's Word, not the other way around! If the doctrines which are taught us do not harmonize with a "Thus saith the Lord," then we must remain with the Bible, not with the words and theories of men.

"But the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea. Who, when they were come thither, went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, who received the Word with all eagerness, daily searching the Scriptures, whether these things were so."-Acts 17:10-11.

There was opposition to St. Paul as he preached from the Bible. Some people today still try to stir up trouble to hinder the preaching of the Word.

"And when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the Word of God was also preached by Paul at Berea, they came thither also, stirring up and troubling the multitude."-Acts 17:13.

St Paul says that it is the gospel, based upon the Scriptures and prophets, which must be made known to all nations.

"Now to him that is able to establish you, according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret from eternity; (which now is made manifest by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the precept of the eternal God, for the obedience of faith,) known among all nations."-Romans 16:25-26.

The writings of the Old Testament Scriptures brought learning, comfort, and hope to the Church of Rome and to the aged apostle. The Bible will do the same for us today, as we read it. The power of God, to change and purify our hearts, is in His Written Word.

"For what things soever were written, were written for our learning: that through patience and the comfort of the Scriptures, we might have hope."-Romans 15:4.

St. Paul said that TImothy's sincere faith was due to the earnest teaching of his mother and grandmother.

"To Timothy my dearly beloved son, grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from Christ Jesus our Lord. . Calling to mind that faith which is in thee unfeigned, which also dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and in thy mother Eunice, and I am certain that in thee also."-2 Timothy 1:2,5.

How was it that those two women helped young Timothy develop such a godly, dedicated life? They did it by teaching him from the Bible. He had come to know it well. "And because from thy infancy thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which can instruct thee to salvation, by the faith which is in Christ Jesus."-2 Timothy 3: 15.

St. Paul solemnly charged Timothy, now a young pastor, to not preach men's ideas--but to preach the Word!

"I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by His coming, and His kingdom: Preach the Word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine."-2 Timothy 4:1-2.

St. Paul predicted that, instead of the Scriptures, "fables" and false doctrine would later be taught and received by many.

"For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers; having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables."-2 Timothy 4:3-4.

Christ's burial and resurrection occurred in accordance with the Scripture, therefore He is the true Messiah.

"For I delivered unto you first of all, which I also received: how that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures: And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures." 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.

The fulfillment of Bible prophecy establishes faith in the Scriptures. "And now I have told you before it come to pass: that when it shall come to pass, you may believe."-St. John 14:29.

Both St. Peter and St. Paul provided many examples of the fulfillment of such prophecies.


The Old Testament provides us with many vivid pictures of our Saviour, from His birth to His crucifixion. Mathematicians tell us that the fulfillment of all those Bible predictions could never have occurred by chance.

In addition, Christ's resurrection and intercessory work as our High Priest in the Sanctuary in heaven are depicted by shadows and types.

It is essential for each of us to study the Sacred Scriptures in order to understand the great truths found in them. Listed below are but a few of the many Old Testament prophecies which were exactly fulfilled to the letter in the earthly life of Christ

If the disciples had accepted what the Old Testament said about the Messiah, they never would have, forsaken Him. And St. Peter would not have denied Him in that crucial hour. Christ's loving heart yearned for the support and sympathy of the men He had chosen to be His followers. But; because they did not cherish and obey the Word of God, the record says, "then the disciples all leaving Him, fled" (St. Matthew 26:56).

The following list compares the Old Testament prophesies with their fulfillment in the New Testament. Look up the passages yourself, and see how solid is the accuracy and authenticity of the Bible. It is God's Inspired book to mankind! Only one person —our blessed Lord-fulfilled all the specifications of those prophecies!

Verse numbers sometimes vary in the Psalms. In the list below, those variations are listed in this way: The Rheims-Douai Version reference is given, and then, in parenthesis, the reference of many other versions (including the King James). Most of the Psalms were written nearly a thousand years before the time of Christ.

Old Testament Prophecy       New Testament Fulfillment

Isa 7:14 (742 B.C.)    Born of a Virgin St. Matt 1:18

Mic 5:2                         Will come out of Bethlehem St. Matt 2:1-6

Zech 11:12(487 BC.)     Sold for 30 pieces of silver  St. Matt 26:15-16

Zech 11:13 (487 BC.) Betrayal money cast into potter's field  St. Matt 27:5-7,10

Isa 53:7 (712 B.C.) Dumb before His accusers St. Matt 27:12-14

Isa 50:6 (712 B.C.) Smitten and spat upon St. Matt 27:30

Isa 53:5 (712 B.C.) Wounded and bruised St. Matt 27:26-29

Ps 21:17 (22:16) Hands and feet pierced St. John 20:25-27

Isa 53:12 (712 BC.) Crucified with thieves St. Mark 15:27-28

Ps 108:25 (109:25) Shaked their heads   St. Matt 27:39

Ps 21:8-9 (22:7-8) Ridiculed by leaders            St. Matt 27:41-43

Ps 21:19(22:18) Parted His garments                     St.John 19:23-24

Ps 21:2 (22: 1) His forsaken cry to God'            St. Matt 27:46

Ps 33:21 (34:20) Bones not broken             St.John 19:33,36

Zech 12:10(487 B.C.) His side pierced            St.John 19:34,37

lsa 53:9(712 B.C.) Buried in rich man's tomb St. Matt 27:57-60

 It is clear that there is a very close relationship of the Old Testament with the New Testament. They go together.

The prophecies of the Old Testament were fulfilled. Were it not for those prophecies, we could never be certain of the true identity of Christ. He fulfilled every specification of what was written in the Old Testament Scriptures, many centuries earlier. He Himself established His Messiahship by pointing to the Scriptures. Will He not rebuke us, as He rebuked His disciples, if we do not believe all that the prophets have spoken?


  The question often arises, Where did sin come from? How did it begin? Who is responsible for the entrance of evil into our world?

Another important question is asked, Why did God not destroy Satan when he first introduced sin into the universe? Without the Holy Scriptures, these and other questions could not be explained with certainty.

Our Lord has suffered ever since the time that sin began. In this study, we shall see how, because of His deep love for mankind, God found a way to offer us salvation through Christ.

Instead of blotting mankind out of existence, God sent His Son to die in His stead. What wonderful love is this! We are all recipients of this great salvation, which our blessed Lord made possible by His humility in taking our nature, and then suffering and dying in our behalf. Who was the originator of evil? Sin started with the devil. There was no wickedness in the universe until he introduced it. "He that committeth sin is of the devil, for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God appeared, that He might destroy the works of the devil."-1 St. John 3:8.

Satan committed the first murder. He spoke the first lie. It is "our Lord and Saviour who charged him with being a murderer and liar. Christ knew, for He was well-acquainted with Satan's rebellion in heaven. The devil abode not in the truth. This indicates that, at an earlier time, he had been in the truth.

"You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he stood not in the truth; because truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof."-St. John 8:44.

What kind of being was this fallen angel? The Bible record says that he was perfect until iniquity was found in him. He made a devil out of himself. God is not responsible for Satan's action. The devil was a free moral agent, as we are, with the power of choice. He could choose to obey God's commandments or he could choose to disobey and take the consequences.

"Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day of thy creation, until iniquity was found in thee."- Ezechiel 28: 15.

How did Satan sin? We are told that he thought too much of himself. He took the beauty and intellect which God gave him and became proud and self-exalted.

"And thy heart was lifted UP with thy beauty: thou hast lost thy wisdom in thy beauty, I have cast thee to the ground: I have set thee before the face of kings, that they might behold thee."-Ezechiel 28: 17.

Lucifer was once a beautiful angel who fell so far!

"How are thou fallen from heaven, 0 Lucifer, who didst rise in the morning? how art thou fallen to the earth, that didst wound the nations?" -Isaias 14: 12.

Thinking he could become greater than God, Satan talked himself into deception. He rose higher and higher in his selfish ambitions. There seemed to be no limit, in his thinking, to what he would be able to do.

"And thou saidst in thy heart: I will ascend into heaven, 1 will exalt my throne above th_;stars of God, lwill sit in the mountain of the covenant, in the sides of the north..

"I will ascend above the height of the clouds, I will be like the most High."-Isaias 14:13-14.

Satan had once been a beautiful being. One translation of the following passage says he was "the anointed cherub," above all the angelic host.

"Thou a cherub stretched out, and protecting, and I set thee in the holy mountain of God, thou hast walked in the midst of the stones of fire."-Ezechiel 28:11

Satan was cast out of heaven, but he was not immediately destroyed because the good angels and the inhabitants of other worlds would question the justice of God. So it was necessary for the results of sin to be fully seen. You and I in our world today see those results continually. Time had to be given to demonstrate the evil and destructiveness of Satan's character, methods, and plans.

"By the multitude of thy merchandise, thy inner parts were filled with iniquity, and thou hast sinned: and I cast thee out from the mountain of God, and destroyed thee, 0 covering cherub, out of the midst of the stones of fire."-EzechieI 28:16.

Then God created our world, and told Adam and Eve to have dominion over it. Their life and happiness depended on obedience to their Maker.

"And God blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth."-Genesis 1:28.

In His deep love, God made a beautiful garden in which our first parents could live. God supplied their every need. "And the Lord God had planted a paradise of pleasure from the beginning: wherein He placed man whom He had formed:.

"And the Lord God brought forth of the ground all manner of trees, fair to behold, and pleasant to eat of: the tree of life also in the midst of paradise: and the tree of knowledge of good and evil."-Genesis 2:8-9.

But there was one prohibition: Adam and Eve were not to eat the fruit of only one tree. As long as they obeyed, they acknowledged God as their ruler.

"And He commanded him, saying: Of every tree of paradise thou shalt eat:

"But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat. For in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death."-Genesis 2:16-17.

Satan determined to cause them to fall. He used a serpent in the forbidden tree as a medium to speak to Eve. He told her, "Why did God tell you this?"-Implying that God was not a nice Person, but was keeping something very good from them. Today, the devil is still casting doubt on the words of God! Through men Satan says that the Bible, the Word of God, cannot be trusted and should not be obeyed.

"Now the serpent was more subtle than any of the beasts of the earth which the Lord God had made. And He said to the woman: Why hath God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree of paradise?"-Genesis 3:1.

Eve should have run away from the tempter, but she stopped to talk with him. By doing so, she was overcome. When you are tempted, run to Christ your Saviour! Do not pause to dally with sin.

"And the woman answered him, saying: Of the fruit of the trees that are in paradise we do eat:

"But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of paradise, God hath commanded us that we should not eat; and that we should not touch it, lest perhaps we die." Genesis 3:2-3.

Satan contradicted God. He said. "You will not die by disobeying; you will actually be more alive than before!”

" And the serpent said to the woman: No, you shall not die the death. "For God doth know that in what day soever, you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened: and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” -Genesis 3:4-5.

After all that God had done for them, Eve believed Satan's lie! Then she enticed her husband to also eat of the forbidden fruit. Adam sold his dominion to Satan and became subject to him.

"And the woman saw that the tree was good to eat. and fair to the eyes, and delightful to behold: and she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave to her husband who did eat."-Genesis 3:6.

God in His great mercy made known .the plan of redemption to Adam and Eve.. Through the grace of God they could be redeemed from the power of the devil. The "seed," our Saviour, would bruise the head of Satan, Thus was foretold the battle which would occur when Christ came to earth. Satan would, as it were, bruise Christ's heel, by causing Him great suffering. But Christ would conquer the devil-and, by faith in Christ, we can share in that victory! Only through Christ can we be saved!

"I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."-Genesis 3: 15, R.S. V.

God made coats of skin and clothed them. This covering cost the life of an innocent animal. Blood had to be shed. This typified the death of the innocent Lamb of God who was to shed His blood in behalf of the human family; and, with His perfect life, He would clothe us, that is, credit to our account, -His own righteousness. Thank: God every day for what He has provided! Salvation in Jesus Christ, our Lord and only Saviour. All that was lost in the fall would be bought back by Christ.

"And the Lord God made for Adam and his wife garments of skins, and clothed them."-Genesis 3:21.

All about us, in newspapers and news reports, we witness the effects of what Satan is doing in our world. The devil is the "prince of this world"; yet, by clinging to Christ, we can overcome him!

"I will not now speak many things with you. For the prince of this world cometh, and in Me he hath not any thing."-St. John 14:30.

Satan is also called "the prince of the power of the air." As far as God permits, the devil controls the elements -and causes terrible storms and other tragedies. Were it not for the restraining hand of God, Satan would destroy everything and everyone. He is only evil continually.

"Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of this air, of the spirit that now worketh on the children of unbelief. " –Ephesians 2:2.

God sent His Son to "seek and to save that which was lost." He is seeking His lost children today. We must come to Him that we might be saved, and help bring others to Him.

"For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."-St. Luke 19:10.

Satan tempted Christ, in the hope of causing Him to doubt God's care, as Eve had been led to doubt it. "And the devil led Him into a high mountain, and shewed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.

"And he said to Him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them.

"If Thou therefore wilt adore before me, all shall be Thine." -St. Luke 4:5-7.

Had Christ yielded to the suggestions of Satan, all would have been lost. But, thank God, our Saviour withstood the enemy. Notice that, instead of arguing with the devil, Christ answered him with Bible commands and promises.

"And Jesus answering said to him: It is written: thou shalt adore the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve." St. Luke 4:8.

Christ paid the ransom for our souls; by dying in our place. We are twice His. Christ made us and then He bought us back What more could He do to show us how much He loves us? We are precious to Him, and He should be precious to us.

"And His sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground."-St. Luke 22:44.

The, "tower of the flock" is Christ; and to Him, will come the "first power," that is, the purchased possession, the whole earth.

"And thou, 0 cloudy tower of the flock, of the daughter of Sion; unto thee shall it come: yea the first power shall come, the kingdom to the daughter of Jerusalem." Micheas 4:8.

Soon Christ will return, and we will be with Him forever.

"And the seventh angel sounded the trumpet and there were great voices in heaven, saying: The kingdom of this world is become our Lord's and His Christ's and He shall reign for ever and ever. Amen." -The Apocalypse 11: 15.



The prophecy of Daniel 2 was given by the God of heaven, to call our attention to the events leading up to the close of this world's history. This prophecy, relating to world empires, has been confirmed by historians.

The historian Gibbon wrote this:

"The images of gold, or silver, or brass, that might serve to represent the nations and their kings, were successively broken by the iron monarchy of Rome." Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 3, p.634.

St. Peter explains how God gave Bible prophecy to us. It did not come by the will of man, but by the Holy Spirit taking control of the prophet, who then wrote as the Holy Spirit guided.

"For prophecy came not by the will of man at any time: but the holy men of God spoke, inspired by the Holy Ghost!'-2 St. Peter 1:21.

Only God can reveal the end from the beginning. "Remember the former age, for I am God, and there is no God beside, neither is there the like to Me: "Who shew from the beginning the things that shall be at last, and from ancient times the things that as yet are not done, saying: My counsel shall stand, and all My will shall be done."-lsaias 46:9-10."

The Lord reveals future events by His prophets. We should study what the prophets have written in order to know what the future holds for us. If we refuse to investigate the prophecies, we are ignoring what God in His love gave to prepare us for coming events."

"For the Lord God doth nothing without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets.” –Amos 3:7.

Our Lord recognized Daniel as a prophet According to Christ, we can understand prophecy if we read the Book of Daniel. How few are heeding the injunction which our Lord gave, to read and understand the prophecies of Daniel. Satan wants to keep us in ignorance regarding the future.

"When therefore you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet; standing in the holy place: he that readeth let him understand" St. Matthew 24:15.

The king had a dream which troubled him. He was aware that it involved him as a world ruler.

"In the second year of the reign of Nabuchodonosor [Nebuchadnezzar], Nabuchodonosor had a dream, and his spirit was terrified, and his dream went out of his mind." –Daniel 2:1.

The so-called wise men had professed to foretell the mystery of the future, and now they are to be put to the test.

"Then the king commanded to call together the diviners and the wise men, and the magicians, and the Chaldeans: to declare to the king his dreams: so they came and stood before the king.

"And the king said to them: I saw a dream, and being troubled in mind I know not what I saw.” -Daniel 2:2-3.

Had the king remembered the dream and made it known to the astrologers, they would have evoked by some magic incantation an interpretation, which would have been false. God withheld the dream so that no false meaning would be applied by the professed wise men.

"And the Chaldeans answered the king in Syriac: 0 king, live forever: tell to thy servants thy dream, and we will declare the interpretation thereof."'-Daniel 2:4. The king was about to take drastic measures because he had been deceived by these pseudo-scientists. They claimed to read the stars, tell their influences upon human affairs, and predict what would happen.

"And the king answering said to the Chaldeans: The thing is gone out of my mind: unless you tell me the dream, and the meaning thereof, you shall be put death, and your houses shall be confiscated.

"But if you tell the dream, and the meaning of it, you shall receive of me rewards, and gifts, and great honour: therefore tell me the dream, and the interpretation thereof."-Daniel 2:5-6.

They again asked the king to tell them the forgotten dream, and they promised that the interpretation would be forthcoming. .

"They answered again and said: Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will declare the interpretation of it."-Daniel 2:7.

The king said if they would only tell him the dream, he would have confidence in their interpretation.

"The king answered, and said: I know for certain that you seek to gain time, since you know that the thing is gone from me.

"If therefore you tell me not the dream, there is one sentence concerning you, that you have also framed a lying interpretation, and full of deceit, to speak before me till the time pass away. Tell me therefore the dream, that I may know that you also give a true interpretation thereof."-Daniel 2:8-9.

Only "the gods, whose conversation is not with men," can tell the dream, said the magicians.

"Then the Chaldeans answered before the king, and said: There is no man upon earth, that can accomplish thy word, 0 king, neither doth any king, though great and mighty, ask such a thing of any diviner, or wise man, or Chaldean.

"For the thing that thou askest, 0 king, is difficult; nor can anyone be found that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose conversation is not with men. "Daniel 2:10-11.

A death decree which included Daniel and his companions went forth.

"Upon hearing this, the king in fury, and in great wrath, commanded that all the wise men of Babylon should be put to death.

"And the decree being gone forth, the wise men were slain: and Daniel and his companions were sought for, to be put to death."-Daniel 2:13.

Daniel learned for the first time What he faced

“Then Daniel inquired concerning the law and the sentence, of Arioch the general of the king's army, who was gone forth to kill the wise men of Babylon.

“And he asked him that had received the orders of the king, why so cruel a sentence was gone forth from the face of the king. And . . Arioch had told the matter to Daniel.” –Daniel 2:14-15.

It took courage to appear before such an infuriated ruler. Daniel was a captive from Judea who believed in the true God, the One who alone could reveal the future.

"Daniel went in and desired of the king, that he would I give him time to resolve the question and declare it to the king."- Daniel 2:16.

Daniel and his three companions had a prayer meeting in which they implored God to reveal the dream and its interpretation.

"And he went into his house, and told the matter to Ananias, and Misael, and Azarias his companions: "To the end that they should ask mercy at the face of the God of heaven concerning this secret, and that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon." –Daniel 2:17-18.

The answer to their united prayers came. God will do the same for us today if we seek Him for wisdom and an understanding of the prophecies of His Word.

"Then Was the mystery revealed to Daniel by a vision in the night: and Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

"And speaking he said: Blessed be the name of the Lord from eternity and for evermore: for wisdom and fortitude are His.

"And He changeth times and ages: taketh away kingdoms and establisheth them, giveth Wisdom to the wise; and knowledge to them that have understanding.

"He revealeth deep and hidden things, and knoweth what is in darkness: and light is with Him.

 "To thee, 0 God of our fathers, I give thanks, and I praise Thee: because Thou hast given me wisdom and strength: and now Thou hast shewn me what we desired of Thee, for Thou hast made known to us, the king's discourse."-Daniel 2:19-23.

Arioch took the credit for finding a man who would make known to the king his lost dream and its meaning.

"After this Daniel went in to Arioch, to whom the king had given orders to destroy the wise men of Babylon, and he spoke thus to him: Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before, the king and I will tell the solution to the king.

"Then Arioch in haste brought in Daniel to the king and said to him: I have found a man of the children of the captivity of Juda, that will resolve the question to the king."-Daniel 2:24-25.

"Art thou able?" The professed wise men had failed. Could Daniel reveal the dream?

"The king answered, and said to Daniel, whose name was Baltassar [Belteshazzar]: Thinkest thou indeed that thou canst tell me the dream that I saw, and the interpretation thereof?

"And Daniel made answer before the king, and said: The secret that the king desireth to know, none of the wise men, or the philosophers, or the diviners, or the sooth-sayers can declare to the king."-Daniel 2:26-27.

Daniel even told the king what he was thinking before he had the dream. He was wondering what would happen to his kingdom and what the future held in store for him.

"Thou, 0 king, didst begin to think in thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and He that revealeth mysteries, shewed thee what shall come to pass." -Daniel 2:29.

Note Daniel's humility.

"To me also this secret is revealed, not by any wisdom that I have more than all men alive: but that the interpretation might be made manifest to the king, and thou mightest know the thoughts of thy mind."-Daniel 2:30.

The king must have listened with rapt attention as Daniel unfolded the dream to him; it was no wonder he was troubled regarding it. He was eager to know what it implied.

"Thou, 0 king, sawest, and behold there was as it were a great statue: this statue, which was great and high, tall of stature, stood before thee, and the look thereof was terrible.

"The head of this statue was of fine gold, but the breast and the arms of silver, and the belly and the thighs of brass:

"And the legs of iron, the feet part of iron and part of clay.

"Thus thou sawest, till a stone was cut out of a mountain-without hands: and it struck the statue upon the feet thereof that were of iron and of clay, and broke them in pieces.

"Then was the iron, the clay, the brass; the silver, and the gold broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of a summer's thrashing floor, and they were carried away by the wind: and there was no place found for them: but the stone that struck the statue, became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth." -Daniel- 2:31-35.

Daniel did not ask the king if this was what he had dreamed. That would have cast reflection upon the validity of what God had revealed to him. "This is the dream," he said. Daniel spoke with total certainty.

"This is the dream: we will also tell the interpretation thereof before thee, 0 king."-Daniel 2:36.

The king was an idolater. He worshiped images. The metallic image in his dream, therefore, made a profound impression. His kingdom represented the head of this image, which was gold. Imagine his reaction when he realized the image was not all gold, which would indicate that his kingdom would not last forever.

"Thou art a king of kings: and the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, and strength, and power, and glory: "And all places wherein the children of men; and the beasts of the field do dwell: He hath also given the birds of the air into thy hand, and hath put all things under thy power. Thou therefore art the head of gold." -Daniel 2:37-38.

Later Nebuchadnezzar made an image all of gold, in defiance of the word of prophecy, and commanded every one, under penalty of death, to bow down and reverence the image he had made.

"King Nabuchodonosor [Nebuchadnezzar] made a statue of gold, of sixty cubits high, and six cubits broad, and be set it up in the plain of Dura, of the province of Babylon.

"Then Nabuchodonosor the king sent to call together the nobles, the magistrates, and the judges, the captains, the rulers, and governors, to come to the dedication of the statue which king Nabuchodonosor had set up.

"Then the nobles, the magistrates, and the judges, the captains, and rulers, and the great men that were placed in authority, and all the princes of the provinces, were gathered together to come to the dedication of the statue, which king Nabuchodonosor had set up. And they stood before the statue which king Nabuchodonosor had set up. "Then a herald cried with a strong voice: To you it is commanded, O nations, tribes, and languages:

"That in. the hour that you shall hear the sound of the trumpet, and of the flute, and of the harp, of the sackbut, and of the psaltery, and of the symphony, and of all kind of music; ye fall down and adore the golden statue which king Nabuchodonosor hath set up." –Daniel 3:1-5.

Three young men refused. They believed in God's Ten Commandments. They would rather die than violate them; and bowing to this golden image would be breaking the first and second commandments.

Their love for their Lord surpassed their love for life in this world. This is true Christianity. We, too, should choose to die rather than bow to an image.

"And presently at that very time some Chaldeans came and accused the Jews. "And said to the king Nabuchodonosor: 0 king, live for ever: "Thou, 0 king, hast made a decree that every man that shall hear the sound of the trumpet, the flute, and the harp, of the sackbut, and the psaltery, of the symphony, and of all kind of music, shall prostrate himself, and adore the golden statue: And that if any man shall not fall down and adore, he should be cast into a furnace of burning fire.

"Now there are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the works of the province of Babylon, Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago: these men, 0 king, have slighted thy decree: they worship not thy gods, nor do they adore the golden statue which thou hast setup.

"Then Nabuchodonosor in fury, and. in wrath, commanded that Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago should be brought: who immediately were brought before the king. "And Nabuchodonosor the king spoke to them, and said: Is it true, 0 Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago [Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego], that you do not worship my gods, nor adore the golden statue that I have set up?

"Now therefore if you be ready at what hour soever you shall hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, harp, sackbut, and psaltery, and symphony; and of all kind of music, prostrate yourselves, and adore the statue which I have made: but if you do not adore, you shall be cast the same hour into the furnace of burning fire: and who is the God that shall deliver you out of my hand?"-Daniel 3:8-15. .

But the young men were faithful to the God of heaven. They knew that they dared not bow down to statues, even though not doing so might cost them their lives.

"Sidrach, Mesach, and Abdenago answered and said to king Nabuchodonosor: We have no occasion to answer thee concerning this matter.

"For behold our God, whom we worship, is able to save us from the furnace of burning fire, and to deliver us out of thy hands, 0 king.

"But if He will not, be it known to thee, 0 king, that we will not worship thy gods, nor adore the golden statue which thou hast set up."-Daniel 3:16-18.

Nebuchadnezzar (605-539 B.C.) reigned over one of the greatest of kingdoms, which was represented by the golden head of this image. In 605 B.C. Babylon became a universal power. Its capital, regarded as one of the wonders of the world, was laid out in a perfect square, 15 miles on each side. It had a wall 350 feet high and 86 feet thick. The city had 50 streets, each 150 feet in width, and 150 gates of solid brass. The river Euphrates flowed through the city. Never has there been a city like it. Isaias, the prophet, writing about Babylon, expresses it thus: "Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency."

Such was Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom of Babylon. In this city with its impregnable walls, Daniel witnessed for the true God. He was a captive, yet he maintained his integrity to his Lord. He lived to see the fulfillment of the king's dream in the overthrow of Babylon by the Medes and Persians. The golden kingdom perished, and another took its place.

"Thou art a king of kings: and the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, and strength, and power, and glory: "And all places wherein the children of men, and the beasts of the field do dwell: He hath also given the birds of the air into thy hand, and hath put all things under thy power: thou therefore art the head of gold."-Daniel 2:37-38.

An "inferior" kingdom, as silver is inferior to gold, so the Medo-Persian Empire (539-331 B.C.) was inferior to Babylon.

"And after thee shall rise up another kingdom, inferior to thee, of silver: and another third kingdom of brass, which shall rule over all the world."-Daniel 2:39.

The Lord called Cyrus by name 113 years before he was born, and told how he was to take the impregnable city of Babylon.

"Thus saith the Lord to My anointed Cyrus, whose right hand I have taken hold of, to subdue nations before his face, and to turn the backs of kings, and to open the doors before him, and the gates shall not be shut.

"For the sake of My servant Jacob, and Israel My elect, I have even called thee by thy name: 1 have made a likeness of thee, and thou hast not known Me;"-Isaias 45:1. 4.

The gates of brass were not to be shut. Had they been, Cyrus could never have taken the city: God went before Cyrus, for the time had come when the wickedness of Babylon had reached its summit.

"I will go before thee, and will humble the great ones of the earth: I Will break in pieces the gates of brass, and will burst the bars of iron.

"And l will give thee hidden treasures, and the concealed riches of secret places: that thou mayest know that I am the Lord who call thee by thy name, the God of Israel."-Isaias 45:2-3.

This chapter tells the story of why the God of heaven could no longer bear with this kingdom. (See Jeremias 50:24, 25.) During Beltasar's feast, marked by drunkenness and unholy revelry, Cyrus made his attack. The massive gates were not shut, for the sentries were insensible to the impending danger because of the gala season.

"Baltasar the king made a great feast for a thousand of his nobles: and every one drank according to his age.

"And being now drunk he commanded that they should bring the vessels of gold and silver which Nabuchodonosor his father had brought away out of the temple, that was in Jerusalem, that the king and his nobles, and his wives and his concubines, might drink in them.

"Then were the golden and silver vessels brought, which he had brought away out of the temple that was in Jerusalem: and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines, drank in them.

"They drank wine, and praised their gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, and of wood, and of stone.

"In the same hour there appeared fingers, as it were of the hand of a man, writing over against the candle stick upon the surface of the wall of the king's palace: and the king beheld the joints of the hand that wrote. "Then was the king's countenance changed, and his thoughts troubled him and the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees struck one against the other.

"And the king cried out aloud to bring in the wise men, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spoke, and said to the wise men of Babylon: Whosoever shall read this writing, and shall make known to me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with purple, and shall have a golden chain on his neck, and shall be the third man in my kingdom.

"Then came in all the king's wise men, but they could neither read the writing, nor declare the interpretation to the king.

"Wherewith king Baltasar was much troubled, and his countenance was changed: and his nobles also were troubled."-Daniel 5:1-9.

But the queen mother remembered Daniel, and she told the young king that there was a man of God, in the realm, who could read the ominous writing on the wall.

"Then the queen, on occasion of what had happened to the king, and his nobles, came into the banquet house: and she spoke and said: 0 king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, neither let thy countenance be changed.

"There is a man in thy kingdom that hath the spirit of the holy gods in him: and in the days of thy father knowledge and wisdom were found in him: for king Nabuchodonosor thy father appointed him prince of the wise men, enchanters, Chaldeans, and soothsayers, thy father, I say, 0 king:

"Because a greater spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, and interpretation of dreams, and shewing of secrets, and resolving of difficult things, were found in him, that is, in Daniel: whom the king named Baltassar. Now therefore let Daniel be called for, and he will tell the interpretation.

"Then Daniel was brought' in before the king. And the king spoke, and said to him: Art thou Daniel of the children of the captivity of Juda, whom my father the king brought out of Judea?

"I have heard of thee, that thou hast the spirit of the gods, and excellent knowledge, and understanding, and wisdom are found in thee.

"And now the wise men the magicians have come in before me, to read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof: and they could not declare to me the meaning of this writing.

"But I have heard of thee, that thou canst interpret obscure things, and resolve difficult things: now if thou art able to read the writing, and to shew me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with purple, and shalt have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third prince in my kingdom.

"To which Daniel made answer, and said before the king: Thy rewards be to thyself, and the gifts of thy house give to another: but the writing I will read to thee, 0 king, and shew thee the interpretation thereof."-Daniel 5:10-17.

Daniel, the faithful servant of God, was the only man in the kingdom who could read the writing on the wall.

"0 king, the most high God gave to Nabuchodonosor thy father a kingdom, and greatness, and glory, and honour.

"And for the greatness that He gave to him, all people, tribes, and languages trembled, and were afraid of him: whom he would, he slew: and whom he would, he destroyed: and whom he would, he set up: and whom he would, he brought down.

"But when his heart was lifted up, and his spirit hardened unto pride, he was put down from the throne of his kingdom, and his glory was taken away.

"And he was driven out from the sons of men, and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses, and he did eat grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven: till he knew that the most High ruled in the kingdom of men, and that He will set over it whomsoever it shall please Him.

"Thou also his son, 0 Baltasar, hast not humbled thy heart, whereas thou knewest all these things:

"But hast lifted thyself up against the Lord of heaven: and the vessels of His house have been brought before thee: and thou, and thy nobles, and thy wives, and thy concubines have drunk wine in them: and thou hast praised'

the gods of silver, and of gold, and of brass, of iron, and of wood, and of stone, that neither see, nor hear, nor feel: but the God who hath thy breath in His hand, and all thy ways, thou hast not glorified."- Daniel 5:18-23.

Daniel read the handwriting which spelled the doom of that once-great empire. "And this is the writing that is written: MANE, THECEL, PHARES.

"And this is the interpretation of the word. MANE: God hath numbered thy kingdom, and hath finished it.

"THECEL: thou art weighed in the balance, and art found wanting.

"PHARES: thy kingdom is divided, and is given to the Medes and Persians.

"Then by the king's command Daniel was clothed with purple, and a chain of gold was put about his neck: and it was proclaimed of him that he had power as the third man in the kingdom." Daniel 5:25-29.

The young profligate king was slain, and the kingdom went into the hands of the Medes. The unrivaled Babylonian Empire, the master of western Asia, was shattered, never to be restored.

"The same night Baltasar the Chaldean king was slain. And Darius the Mede succeeded to the kingdom, being threescore and two years old."-Daniel 5:0-31.

The Medo-Persian kingdom bore sway over the world from 539 to 331 B.C. It was inferior in wealth, luxury, and magnificence, but not in power or extent. The silver breast and arms of the image extended from the Aegean Sea to the River Indus, the most extensive empire which had ever existed up to that time.

"And after thee shall rise up another kingdom, inferior to thee, of silver."-Daniel 2:39.

A third kingdom of brass was to supplant the Persian kingdom, namely, Greece (331-168 B.C.). Alexander the Great, the formidable foe at the Battle of Arbela in 331 B.C., was victorious over the Persians. But prophecy further states that the Grecian Empire was not to stand forever.

"And another third kingdom of brass, which shall rule over all the world."-Daniel 2:39.

What kingdom succeeded Grecia? The legs of iron denote the strength of the fourth and last world empire. Rome conquered Grecia in the Battle of Pydna, June 22, 168 B.C. The whole empire of Grecia fell to the Roman power. The Roman Empire (168 B.C.-AD. 476) extended throughout Europe, with possessions in Asia and Africa. It conquered everything; and its laws, in many instances just, were felt throughout the world. But even this universal kingdom, according to prophecy, was not to stand forever. It was to be divided into ten parts.

"And the fourth kingdom shall be as iron. As iron breaketh into pieces, and subdueth all things, so shall that break and destroy all these."-Daniel 2:40.

In the next two verses is depicted the dividing of the Roman Empire- ten toes, ten divisions. This division was accomplished between AD. 351 and 476. These ten independent kingdoms were Alemanni, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Franks, Vandals, Suevi, Burgundiam, Heruli,Anglo-Saxons, and Lombards. The connection between these nations and the nations of modem Europe can be easily discerned by such names as England (the Anglo-Saxons), Franks (the French), and Alemanni (which suggests the name of Germany). The European nations today are "partly strong and partly broken," just as the prophecy states.

"And whereas thou sawest the feet, and the toes, part of potter's clay, and part of iron: the kingdom shall be divided, but yet it shall take its origin from the iron, according as thou sawest the iron mixed with the miry clay.'  

"And as the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of clay, the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken."-Daniel 2:4142.

"They shall not cleave one to another." Men have dreamed of uniting Europe, men such as Charlemagne, Charles V, Louis XIV, Napoleon, Kaiser Wilhelm, and Hitler. But all have failed. Rome was to be the last universal kingdom until God's kingdom is set up. Prophecy cannot be broken. Force, intrigue, and diplomacy thus far have failed to weld together the fragments of the old Roman Empire. "The Scripture cannot be broken" (St. John 10:35).

"They shall mingle themselves with the seed of men." Through intermarriage of royal families, alliances, intrigues, and high-level conferences, governments have tried to consolidate their power for the purpose of uniting these divided nations. But all such human endeavors have failed, as the prophecy has declared. Iron and clay cannot mix.

"And whereas thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay, they shall be mingled indeed together with the seed of man, but they shall not stick fast one to another, as iron cannot be mixed with clay."-Daniel 2:43.

"In the days of these kings" God is going to take over. No man or body of men can find a lasting solution to world problems. All attempts thus far have been futile. The United Nations has not yet solved the vexing situation confronting the world. In this text, we reach the glorious end of this stupendous prophecy, the end of human history and human rulership.

"But in the days of those kingdoms the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, and His kingdom shall not be delivered up to another people, and it shall break in pieces and shall consume all these kingdoms, and itself shall stand for ever." -Daniel 2: 44. Only one universal kingdom can be established- the kingdom of God.

"According as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and broke in pieces, the clay, and the iron, and the brass, and the silver, and the gold, the great God hath shewn the king what shall come to pass hereafter, and the dream is true, and the interpretation thereof is faithful." -Daniel 2:45.'

"The kingdoms of this World are to become the kingdoms of our Lord." We are still praying the Lord's prayer "Thy kingdom come." This kingdom is soon to be set up. "And the seventh angel sounded the trumpet: and there were great voices in heaven, saying: The kingdom of this world is become our Lord's and His Christ's, and He shall reign for ever and ever. Amen." -The Apocalypse 11: 15.

The stone that strikes the image on the feet is Christ. 1 St. Peter declares that our blessed Lord is the stone. He is the "Rock of Ages" who paid the infinite price not only for man, but for the whole earth. He bought back this earth by shedding His blood on Calvary.

"If so be you have tasted that the Lord is sweet.

"Unto whom coming, as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen and made honourable by God." 1 St. Peter 2:3-4.

This is the coming kingdom. This should be the all absorbing thought of our lives. We want to participate in the glories and blessings of our Lord's everlasting kingdom. And He wants us with Him.

"Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver and the gold broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of a summer's thrashing floor, and. they were carried away by the wind: and there was no place found for them: but the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth."-Daniel 2:35.



How the God of heaven regards image worship is clearly revealed in Holy Scripture. The fundamental principle of love is what we find in the Ten Commandments. We are to love God with all the heart, soul, strength, and mind. "He answering said: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind: and thy neighbour as thyself."-St. Luke 10:27.

God had the same standard down through the ages. His plan for mankind has never changed.

"Hear 0 Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole strength." Deuteronomy 6:4-5.

God alone is entitled to supreme reverence and worship. This commandment forbids man to give worship to another, saint or angel, his affections or his service. Whatsoever we adore that interferes with our love for God, of that we make a god.

"And the Lord spoke all these words: I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me."-Exodus 20:1-3.

Images or similitudes are forbidden by this second commandment. The heathen claims that his images are only symbols by which his god is worshiped. Some may claim  that we have the image only to remind us of God and the saints. But God says not to "make. . any graven image." Any attempt to represent our blessed Lord by material objects would lower man’s perception of Him.

"Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth."-Exodus 20:4.

"Thou shalt not adore them" -images, carvings, or pictures. Since God gave this commandment, He expects His people to obey by putting aside all material objects of worship. For more than four hundred years a controversy was waged over images being placed in the church. This practice eventually led to their being accepted as objects of worship. But all the general council decrees, can never change, what God spoke and also wrote on tables of stone.

"I the Lord thy God, mighty, jealous." The sacred relation of God to His people is here revealed. The displeasure of God against images being made and adored is fitly called jealousy.

"Thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them: I am the Lord thy God, mighty, jealous, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me."-Exodus 20:5.

"Our God is in heaven." He is neither on a cross nor in the arms of His mother. "But our God is in heaven: He hath done all things whatsoever He would."-Psalm 113:3 [Psalm 115:3].

Idols are. ."the works of the hands of men."

The idols of the Gentiles are silver and gold, the works of the hands of men."-Psalm 113:4 [Psalm 115:4].

Looking at images turns the mind away from the infinite perfection of God and attracts it to the creature rather than to the Creator. "They have mouths and speak not: they have eyes and see not. They have ears and hear not: they have noses and smell not. They have hands and feel not: they have feet and walk not: neither shall they cry out through their throat."-Psalm 113:5-7 (Psalm 115:5-7)

Truth can be exchanged for error, and the creature can be worshiped and served more than the Creator. Unfortunately, more prayers are frequently offered to beatified and canonized saints than to God Himself.

"Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever."-Romans 1:25.

A woe is pronounced upon those who worship graven images.

“What doth the graven thing avail because the maker thereof hath graven it, a molten, and a false image? because the forger there of hath trusted in a thing of his own forging, to make dumb idols.

"Woe to him that saith to wood: Awake: to the dumb stone: Arise: can it teach? Behold, it is laid over with gold, and silver, and there is no spirit in the bowels thereof."Habacuc 2:19.

"By beholding we become changed." Our character is formed by what we look at in our religious exercises. If we gaze upon that which is formed by human hands; the conception of the eternal God becomes obscure, and as a consequence the character becomes defective.

"Every man is become foolish by his knowledge: every founder is confounded by his idol, for what he hath cast is a lie, and there is no breath in them.

"They are vain works, and worthy to be laughed at, in the time of their visitation they shall perish."- Jeremias 51:17-18.  

The Lord did not allow His people to see any "similitude," form, or resemblance of Himself when He was on Mount Sinai.

"Keep therefore your souls carefully. You saw not any similitude in the day that the Lord God spoke to you in Horeb from the midst of the fire."-Deuteronomy 4:15.

Had they seen God's "similitude," they would have been inclined to corrupt themselves by forming an image like a male or female. His attitude is the same today toward images.

"Lest perhaps being deceived you might make you a graven similitude, or image of male or female." Deuteronomy 4:16.

God declares He is the Eternal. He is the One and only One.

"Thus saith the Lord the king of Israel, and His redeemer the Lord of hosts: I am the first, and I am the last, and besides Me there is no God.

"Fear ye not, neither, be ye troubled from that time I have made thee to hear, and have declared: you are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me, a Maker, whom I have not known?"-Isaias 44:6,8.

Images are “profitable for nothing," God declares. Why should we have in our worship that which is of no benefit? "Who hath formed a god, and made a graven thing that is profitable for nothing?"-Isaias 44:10.

We are told that the ones who form the images are only "men." Should we fall down before something a man made? "Behold, all the partakers thereof shall be confounded: for the makers are men: they shall all assemble together, they shall stand and fear, and shall be confounded together."-Isaias 44:11.

The "tongs," "coals," and "hammers" are used in the formation of idols. Workmen use their strength and skill to fashion them. The artisan gets hungry and has to be revived by food and water. How futile to put faith in any object made by human hands!

"The smith hath wrought with his file, with coals, and with hammers he hath formed it, and hath wrought with the strength of his arm: he shall hunger and faint, he shall drink no water, and shall be weary."-Isaias 44: 1 2..

The skilled carpenter is employed to use his technique in fashioning the "figure of a man," to be set up in the house for the devout to venerate.

"The carpenter has stretched out his rule, he hath formed it with a plane:- he hath made-it with corners, and hath fashioned it round with the compass: and he hath made the image of a man as it were a beautiful man dwelling in a house."-Isaias 44: 1 3.

What can more graphically portray the utter futility of idol making and idol worship than is recorded in these few texts! To give obeisance to that which is made by the hands of man is an insult to our blessed Lord.

"He hath cut down cedars, taken the holm, and the oak that stood among the trees of the forest: he hath planted the pine tree, which the rain hath nourished.

"And it hath served men for fuel: he took thereof, and warmed himself: and he kindled it, and baked bread: but of the rest he made a god, and adored it: he made a graven thing, and bowed down before it.

"Part of it he burnt with fire, and with part of it he dressed his meat: he boiled pottage, and was filled, and was warmed, and said: Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire.

"But the residue thereof he made a god, and a graven thing for himself: he boweth down before it, and adoreth it, and prayeth unto it, saying: Deliver me, for thou art my God."-Isaias 44:14-17.

Thinking about image worship, someone has written:

"But how very foolish is the practice of idolatry: For life man prays to that which is dead. For health he prays to that which has no health or strength. For a good journey he prays to that which cannot move a foot. For skill and good success he prays to that which cannot do anything. For wisdom and guidance and blessing, he commits himself to a senseless piece of wood or stone."

The Lord, through His Holy Word, will open our eyes and give us an understanding of the awful danger in disregarding the second commandment of the Decalogue.

"They have not known, nor understood: for their eyes are covered that they may not see, and that they may not understand with their heart."-Isaias 44:18.

It is just as clear in another Church-authorized version:

"All who make idols are nothing, and things they delight in do not profit; their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. Who fashions a god or casts an image, that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all his fellows shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are but men. . They shall be put to shame together. .

"He cuts down cedars. . He makes a god and worships it He makes it a graven image--and falls down before it! . . The rest of it he makes into a god, his idol; and falls down to it and worships it He prays to it and says, Deliver me, for thou art my god!"-Isaias 44:9-11, 14-17, R.S.V.

According to the above Scripture, idolaterers cannot be saved, unless they turn from their ways.

"And he that spoke with me, had a measure of a reed of gold, to measure the city and the gates thereof, and the wall."-The Apocalypse 21:15.

May God help us to give, from the heart, the adoration which is due to God alone.

"Then Jesus saith to him: Begone, Satan: for it is written, The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve."-St. Matthew 4:10.

"Be gone, Satan: for it is written: Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve." -Matthew 4: 1 0, R.S.V.

Continue- Part 7 Chapter 7