A FAMILY sits tensely in front of the television set watching the blast-off of a rocket. After some moments of suspension that lead up to the announcement that a successful orbit has been achieved, everyone relaxes, and someone is heard to exclaim, "Isn't science wonderful!"
A harassed business executive ponders the heavy schedule of work for the day and wonders how he can encompass it all. He lifts the telephone and dials directly to another party across the nation. After a number of such calls and the successful completion of a significant portion of the scheduled work, he pauses momentarily to relax, and thinks how marvelous are the inventions of modern technology.
The children troop into the house, clothes soiled and wet. Mother quickly changes them and throws the dirty garments into the washer. Some time later they come out of the dryer, clean, unshrunk, unfaded, and still pressed. Mother praises the new permanent press synthetic fabrics and appreciates the research that has developed them.
Astronomers predict the reappearance of a comet over a certain part of the night sky. Newspapers print this information and readers make mental note to watch for this sight. When the time arrives the comet appears as predicted, and many people have their confidence increased in the wisdom and skill of scientists.
Some of the same men who have brought about these modern technological developments, which can be seen, felt, and verified, make pronouncements concerning the age of the earth, the development of life, and the future of mankind. Masses listen with interest and accept these statements with great confidence. Have these men not already demonstrated their great knowledge and scientific shrewdness?
Satan Gladly "Uses" Science
Because science and its methods of operation are so convincing, Satan has not hesitated to use it in his attempts to bring discredit upon the Creator and turn man away from a proper interpretation of nature.
A look back through Biblical history reveals Satan's use of science to accomplish his ends. When Eve wandered away from the Garden, Satan used a very tangible and convincing method to draw her attention and to convince her of the truthfulness of his lies. The serpent was a respected creature, and its ability to speak arrested Eve's activity and aroused her curiosity. The serpent was real; she could see it. The speech was real; she could hear it. When the beautiful creature ate the attractive fruit, she could see that nothing adverse happened. To take and hold the fruit was only the next step in a series of realities that appealed to her senses.
Putting Nature Above the God of Nature
Centuries later the wickedness of man became so great that God felt compelled to remove him from the earth, except for eight faithful believers. Many more could have been saved if they had not been misled by the false science of that time. "They reasoned, as many reason now, that nature is above the God of nature, and that her laws are so firmly established that God Himself could not change them. Reasoning that if the message of Noah were correct, nature would be turned out of her course, they made that message, in the minds of the world, a delusion—a grand deception." —Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 97.
On another occasion, another crisis in the history of the earth, Satan again attempted to thwart the plan of the Creator. Moses and Aaron were before the proud Pharaoh to request release of the Hebrew slaves for the worship of their God in the wilderness. Pharaoh desired proof of their calling from these strange messengers. In anticipation of such a request God had instructed Moses and his brother what to do. The rod that was in Aaron's hand was thrown down upon the pavement of the palace. It became a serpent, gliding and coiling at their feet. God was using the method of science to appeal directly through Pharaoh's senses, but he was hardened, and unable to perceive God speaking to him. He called for the magicians, the wise men and scientists of that day, to explain and respond to this unusual demonstration. Moses and Aaron must have been at least momentarily dismayed to see the canes of these men apparently turn to snakes also! The devouring of all these creatures by Moses and Aaron's serpent should have been highly suggestive to Pharaoh, but he was satisfied that he had nothing to fear from these two men, and refused to grant their request.
The serpents produced by the magicians no doubt looked completely real and authentic. "The magicians did not really cause their rods to become serpents; but by magic, aided by the great deceiver, they were able to produce this appearance. It was beyond the power of Satan to change the rods to living serpents."—Ibid., p. 264. Yet, though these creatures were not living, it would have been exceedingly difficult to distinguish them from the one that was living. The senses of sight, sound, and perhaps touch all testified to their being living reptiles. Thus it is not always safe to trust completely to the senses. By this means—appeal through the senses—Satan succeeded in holding Pharaoh in an attitude of stubbornness and defiance of the living God. He was hoping thus to block God's plan for His chosen people.
Satan succeeded in his diabolical work on Pharaoh, but God overruled in performing a spectacular deliverance that was of great encouragement to God's people and symbolized to future generations the deliverance from sin that would come through Jesus Christ. But Satan was not through. He was to continue to stimulate the senses with false science.
Sadducees and Science
In Christ's time the Sadducees had succeeded in building up an elaborate argument based on science that there could be no resurrection and that life ended with death. Although they had opposed Christ's mission, it did not assume bitter proportions until the raising of Lazarus. This marvelous miracle conclusively proved by one clearly observable act that they were wrong, but they were more eager to preserve the theory and their own reputations than to find truth.
Satan succeeded in blinding the eyes of many others with whom Jesus associated. The apostle John records one tragic instance where misinterpretation of the facts observed through the senses caused unbelief and rejection. After the feeding of the five thousand, the people were eager to find Jesus again. When they found Him in Capernaum, they asked Him how He had gotten there, since they thought He had not traveled with the disciples in the boat during the night. Realizing that their real reason for seeking Him was because of the food they ate the previous day, He said, "Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life" (John 6:27). In answer to further questions He declares: "I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. . . . For I came down from heaven" (verses 35-38).
At this statement some of the people were offended. How could He say He was the bread that came down from heaven? "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know?" (verse 42). They knew His birthplace, they had seen and talked to His parents, they probably knew some of His brothers and sisters. You can't argue against this kind of proof. This is scientific evidence. He could not have come down from heaven. This seemingly valid reasoning based on such concrete evidence swayed many of His followers, and as a result, they "walked no more with him" (verse 66).
In our modern world Satan has increased his use of science because it has become so dominant a part of the modern scene and is held in so high esteem by most of the world's population. How much of the scientific brain power of the civilized world is occupied in the production of better and more destructive weapons of war? To what degree has the originator of evil used the technological developments such as television, the motion picture, the printing press, and easily available drugs to accomplish the physical, mental, and moral breakdown of the population? Can the damage to Christian faith and belief in the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures resulting from theories within the respected sciences of biology and geology ever be calculated?
Will Science Create Life?
The increase of false science and its influence on the populations of the world will be especially noticeable as the time of the end approaches. Miracles of healing which can be demonstrated to be valid and authentic but which will not be the work of the Spirit of God will become more commonplace. Claims that the creation of life has been accomplished by man in the laboratory may become more insistent. It may become as difficult to tell the genuine from the false as it was to distinguish between the serpents in Pharaoh's court. Science will be used to prepare the people for the last almost overpowering delusion—the imitation of the coming of Christ by Satan.
How could Eve have been able to determine that the fruit from the forbidden tree which was offered to her was not desirable for food? She could not tell through her eyes; it was beautiful and attractive fruit. How could the people of Noah's day know that there was going to be a flood to destroy the earth? They had never seen a drop of rain fall from the sky. By what means could Moses and Aaron know which snake was genuine? They all looked very much alive. How can the Jews of Jesus' day be blamed for turning away from His claim that He was the living bread that came down from heaven? They knew His parents and the location of His humble, earthly home.
Here's the Answer
There is one simple answer to all these questions, an answer that should burn itself into our minds so that we will never lose sight of it, an answer that will provide us with the information necessary to sort out the true from the false in the science of today, an answer that will spare us from being trapped in the terrible deceptions yet to come. Study diligently and believe sincerely God's inspired instructions to man. It may be necessary for the Christian believer sooner or later actually to deny the evidence of his senses, but so startling a procedure can never safely be taken unless the mind first receives correct instructions from the sources of truth.
Millions Swept Away
Have there been some within the church who have been strongly influenced by science? This is completely understandable. Science is impressive, it is convincing. Have the pronouncements in biology, geology, or astronomy that are contrary to the inspired Word of God disturbed some and raised doubts in their minds? There is only one way to resolve these problems: go to the sources of truth and accept their simple and authoritative statements as God's word for you. The day is coming, if it is not already here, when evidences for an age of billions of years of life upon the earth will seem sufficient to constitute proof, when a glob of synthesized matter in a test tube will appear to have all the characteristics of life, when the evolutionary assent of man is seemingly undeniable. The day is coming soon when sights in the heavens and on earth will sweep away millions in deception and doom. But he who searches and believes God's inspired messages to man will be saved now and forever. True science, which comes from God and leads to God, may then constitute our study throughout eternity.