Deception Through Science

Satan can gladly use science

H.G. Coffen, Director, GeoSciene Institute

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.

Authentic-looking Snakes

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.


Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus

H.G. Coffen, Director, GeoSciene Institute

August 1967

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

How do you Study?

On bible study--part 1

Biblical Myths for Racial Segregation

The support for segregation is unscriptural.

Medical Evangelism in Developing Countries

Adapting to different settings and conditions.

Training Pastoral Assistants

Training college prepared workers

The Challenge of a Finished Work (Part 1)

The keynote address, Ministerial Council on Field School Evangelism, Andrews University, March 7, 1967.

An Evangelistic First for Japan Missionary College

The first campus-wide evangelistic crusade.

The Final Focus of Freedom's Flight

Tyranny's Last Stand--Part 5

Victory in Egypt

A recent evangelistic crusade in Cairo

The Contrast

The Humility of Christ

From Sovereign to Saint (Conclusion)

The story of Nebuchadnezzar

Working with Committees and Groups

Learning to work with people.

Viewpoint: Degrees a Must!

All items under this heading reflect the per¬sonal views of the respective writers and not necessarily those of this journal or the denomination at large.—Editors

Students Too Can Win Souls

Students win nine new members


by the Ministry Staff

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - Southern Adv Univ 180x150 - Animated

Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - NAD Stewardship (160x600)