How Readest Thou?

How Readest Thou?

Creationists and evolutionists can look at the same scientific evidence, and almost always draw different conclusions. They can be standing in the same place and looking at the same thing, and have widely varying views on what it means.

For example: Scientists debate back and forth over the discovery of bacteria in salt crystals retrieved from an underground source, which is dated to 250 million years ago. The bacteria, which was dormant in the salt deposit sample, was brought back to life by the researchers who discovered it. The problem, raised by other scientists after reading their published findings, is that bacteria just can’t survive that long. DNA decays to an irreparable state after no more than 100,000 years. Others focused on their expectation that the bacteria found would present significant differences to modern bacteria. In fact, it does not—it is virtually identical to a modern strain—which flies in the face of the supposition that over those millions of years, genetic variation (evolution in action) would have produced very different bacteria. The scientists that argue this have concluded that the discovery team were in fact misled by contamination by modern bacteria in the salt samples they were testing. However, that original team disputes this. So the argument continues. But creationists would say that all of them are correct: Noah’s flood laid down salt deposits laden with bacteria only a few thousand years ago, which have survived until this day, and of course are identical to their modern relatives because in the intervening time, the bacteria simply continued reproducing after its kind, as God commanded in the beginning. How we interpret the evidence makes all the difference! (References: “Salty Saga,” Creation magazine, vol. 23, issue 4, online at https://answersingenesis.org/biology/microbiology/salty-saga/; and “Row over ancient bacteria,” BBC News, 7 June, 2001, online at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/1375505.stm)

What is the important principle that we can learn here?

25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?” Luke 10:25, 26.

Different conclusions can be reached by different people looking at the same evidence.

How are we to know the truth?

“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” 2 Peter 1:20.

Hearing God’s voice

What evidence has always spoken about God?

1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.” Psalm 19:1-4.

What other methods does God employ?

God speaks to us through His providential workings and through the influence of His Spirit upon the heart. In our circumstances and surroundings, in the changes daily taking place around us, we may find precious lessons if our hearts are but open to discern them..” Steps to Christ, p. 87:2.

Summary:

“Through nature and revelation, through His providence, and by the influence of His Spirit, God speaks to us.” Steps to Christ, p. 93:1.

What did Jesus appeal to as the most important?

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4.

On the road to Emmaus, what source of authority did He appeal to?

“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” Luke 24:27.

Which is primary?

“Another way in which God’s voice is heard is through the appeals of His Holy Spirit, making impressions upon the heart, which will be wrought out in the character. If you are in doubt upon any subject you must first consult the Scriptures.” Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 512:2.

Are circumstances an evidence that we are right?

Let none cherish the idea that special providences or miraculous manifestations are to be the proof of the genuineness of their work or of the ideas they advocate. If we keep these things before the people, they will produce an evil effect, an unhealthful emotion.” Selected Messages, bk. 2, p. 48:1.

Is it possible to hear a wrong voice?

9 That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: 10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: 11 Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.” Isaiah 30:9-11.

You may find what you are looking for.

11 But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. 12 So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: andthey walked in their own counsels.” Psalm 81:11, 12.

So be careful how you look!

What is the danger which we face?

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9.

Beware how you follow impulse, calling it the Holy Spirit.” The Review and Herald, March 3, 1904, par. 10.

What is to be done with our own ideas?

“Our only safety is to believe that which is truth because it is true, not because it harmonizes with our preconceived opinions and it is pleasant and agreeable to believe that which we want to believe because it harmonizes with our ideas.” Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p. 886:1.

God’s Word to You

How is the Word of God preserved?

6 The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” Psalm 12:6, 7.

The Bible is the most ancient and the most comprehensive history that men possess. It came fresh from the fountain of eternal truth, and throughout the ages a divine hand has preserved its purity. It lights up the far-distant past, where human research in vain seeks to penetrate. In God’s word only do we behold the power that laid the foundations of the earth and that stretched out the heavens. Here only do we find an authentic account of the origin of nations. Here only is given a history of our race unsullied by human pride or prejudice.” Education, p. 173:1.

Truth is inspired and guarded by God; and it will triumph over all opposition.” Acts of the Apostles, p. 11:3.

How has God spoken to the last-day church?

“And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 12:17.

A line of truth extending from that time to the time when we shall enter the city of God, was made plain to me, and I gave to others the instruction that the Lord had given me.” The Review and Herald, May 25, 1905, par. 24.

For whom did the prophets minister?

“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” 1 Corinthians 10:11.

Who was their message primarily for?

Each of the ancient prophets spoke less for their own time than for ours, so that their prophesying is in force for us.” Selected Messages, bk. 3, p. 338:1.

How does Scripture speak to each individual?

15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:15-17.

“It is not enough merely to assent to the truthfulness of God’s word, but we must search the Scriptures to learn what they contain. Do we receive the Bible as the ‘oracle of God’? It is as really a divine communication as though its words came to us in an audible voice.” Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 533:3.

What assistance do we actually need in order to understand Scripture?

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” John 16:13.

We can attain to an understanding of God’s word only through the illumination of that Spirit by which the word was given.” Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 703:2.

Handling the Evidence

How do we weigh up the evidence that we find?

9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” Isaiah 28:9, 10.

Must look at all evidence.

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4.

Many times we take something that we want to believe, and we don’t bother to check out any other references.

Because we want to believe this point and we have something to prove it with.

“In order to sustain erroneous doctrines or unchristian practices, some will seize upon passages of Scripture separated from the context, perhaps quoting half of a single verse as proving their point, when the remaining portion would show the meaning to be quite the opposite.” The Great Controversy, p. 520, 521.

The same goes for the Testimonies.

“It will be found that those who bear false messages will not have a high sense of honor and integrity. They will deceive the people, and mix up with their error the Testimonies of Sister White, and use her name to give influence to their work. They make such selections from the Testimonies as they think they can twist to support their positions, and place them in a setting of falsehood, so that their error may have weight and be accepted by the people.” Testimonies to Ministers, p. 42.

Does God always answer every question?

God does not propose to remove all occasion for unbelief. He gives evidence, which must be carefully investigated with a humble mind and a teachable spirit, and all should decide from the weight of evidence.” Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 255:1.

With All Your Heart

How did Jesus say people would know if He was true?

“If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” John 7:17.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7.

Spiritual discernment.

13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:13-14.

Being willing means what else?

22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” James 1:22-25.

In order to be fully willing and obedience, what type of dedication does it require?

“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13.

25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. 26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. 27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:25-27.

Follow every ray of light that you see, and that which is shadowy will be made clear to your understanding as you walk in the light.” Signs of the Times, January 24, 1895, par. 5.

Will there be a day when God’s voice will not be heard?

11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.” Amos 8:11, 12.

What shall we do with the light we have?

35 Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. 36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.” John 12:35, 36.

Do you desire to become a follower of Christ, yet know not how to begin? Are you in darkness and know not how to find the light? Follow the light you have. Set your heart to obey what you do know of the word of God. His power, His very life, dwells in His word. As you receive the word in faith, it will give you power to obey. As you give heed to the light you have, greater light will come. You are building on God’s word, and your character will be builded after the similitude of the character of Christ.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 150:1.

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