Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Sabbath School Insights No. 6, Qtr 2-07

Special Insights No. 6

Second Quarter 2007 Adult Sabbath School Lessons

“The Bible for Today”

(Produced by the Editorial Board of the 1888 Message Study Committee)

The Bible and Science



It is no coincidence that Darwin’s theory of evolution was first published in 1859. Look at what was going on in the religious world at the same time. God was attempting to bring to a close the longest time prophecy in the Bible—Daniel 8:14: “then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Recount the events taking place in the years surrounding this date.


1831—William Miller began preaching the message of the second coming of Christ.

1844—The “Great Disappointment” over the misunderstanding of the meaning of the sanctuary.

1863—The founding (organization) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

1888—The beginning of the Loud Cry message of Christ and His righteousness as humanity’s only means of salvation.

1890s—“Social Darwinism” is having an effect teaching that man can remedy sin’s problems by trying harder and moving up the “good behavior” ladder.


Satan always works to counterfeit the work of God. As God was bringing the truth of the closing messages of Revelation 14:6-12 to the world, Satan was working to counterfeit and block that very truth that would destroy him. Satan provided skeptics with what they needed to turn away from the light of truth.


“The philosopher turns aside from the light of salvation, because it puts his proud theories to shame; the worldling refuses to receive it, because it would separate him from his earthly idols. Paul saw that the character of Christ must be understood before men could love Him or view the cross with the eye of faith. Here must begin that study which shall be the science and the song of the redeemed through all eternity. In the light of the cross alone can the true value of the human soul be estimated” (Acts of the Apostles, p. 273).


Sadly, science is often seen as opposing the Bible. In actuality, the study of science reveals the character of God. It naturally follows that when one approaches science without acknowledging God there will be significant results. Usually Christians see those results in the form of autonomy, man takes the authority of God and reorders life as he sees fit. Such an act can cause real problems. I recently was reading E. J. Waggoner’s The Everlasting Covenant, and found a most interesting issue that puts this struggle in a new light.


Exodus 33:14: “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.”


Waggoner wrote, “ Rest was promised, and could be found only in God’s presence, which was to go with His people. ... The rest that was offered to the children of Israel in the desert, is the very same rest that Christ offers to all mankind, rest in God. ...


“God always was and is everywhere present; why then do not all people have rest?—For the simple reason that as a general thing men do not recognize His presence, nor even His existence. Instead of taking God into account in all the affairs of life, most people live as though He did not exist” (The Everlasting Covenant, pp. 283, 284, Glad Tidings ed.).


The problem with science, as it has been studied too often, is that it does not recognize God’s presence or existence. The result of such a course is to cut one’s self off from the rest of God. That rest is what the world is desperately seeking but never finds. Instead, its failure to find God’s rest reveals itself in forms of sleeplessness, stress, addictions, and the spending of money and other resources to the detriment of the majority of the world’s population. How can we laud ourselves as being so successful with all our inventions and achievements when so many in the world have so little?


It is clear that man cannot produce rest or peace on his own. Without recognizing the presence of God, man is left to his own abilities to order for life to produce justice, equity, and fairness. This he has not been able to do. But this truth is not without rebuke to the church. Christianity is no less accountable for recognizing the presence of God. History has too many examples of professed believers that exhibit “Laodicea” (cf. Rev 3:14-21) characteristics that have discouraged many from the gospel.


The challenge facing us today is to seek first the kingdom of God, to learn to recognize His presence. Only knowing Him will bring the peace and rest we all crave. Then science will be seen as one avenue God has given us to understand His creative design and care. Without the self-absorbed approach that seems to plague its study, science will be the witness to God’s marvelous love it was intended to be for each one of us.


“O whom then will you compare Me to, or who is My equal? Says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who has created these things, that brings out their host by number: He calls them all by names by the greatness of His might, for He is strong in power, not one fails” (Isa. 40:25, 26).

Robert Van Ornam


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