Friday, December 24, 2010

Creation or Evolution? Which?

So after months of hearing about this chapter I finally looked it up and read it.  This is absolutely amazing.  For a long time I was prejudiced against A.T. Jones because of the way his materials had been presented to me.  What a tragedy!  If you fit in the same category, think again.  This is powerful!  With all the debate going on over evolution being taught in our schools I think it is time we started teaching creation aggressively. 

 Creation or Evolution, Which?
Alonzo T. Jones

I AM going to speak this afternoon on the subject of Evolution. I want you to pay close attention, and find out for yourselves whether or not you are evolutionists. First of all, I will read to you what evolution is; then as we follow along, you can see whether or not you are an evolutionist. These statements are all copied from a treatise on evolution, written by one of the chief evolutionists; therefore they are all correct, so far as they go, as definitions:—
"Evolution is the theory that represents the course of the world as a gradual transition from the indeterminate to the determinate, from the uniform to the varied, and which assumes the cause of these processes to be immanent in the world itself that is to be thus transformed."
"Evolution is thus almost synonymous with progress. It is a transition from the lower to the higher, from the worse to the better. Thus progress points to an increased value in existence, as judged by our feelings."
Now notice the particular points in these three sentences: evolution represents the course of the world as a gradual transition from the lower to the higher, from the worse to the better; and assumes that this process is immanent in the world itself thus to be transformed. That is to say, the thing gets better of itself; and that which causes it to get better is itself. And this progress marks "an increased value in existence, as judged by our feelings." That is to say, you know you are better, because you feel better. You know there has been progress, because you feet it. Your feelings regulate your standing. Your knowledge of your feelings regulates your progress from worse to better.
Now in this matter of progress from worse to better, have your feelings anything to do with it? If they have, what are you? Every one here this afternoon who measures his progress, the value of his experience, by his feelings, is an evolutionist: I care not if he has been a Seventh-day Adventist for forty years, he is an evolutionist just the same. And all his Christianity, all his religion, is a mere profession without the fact, simply a form without the power.
Now I read what evolution is, in another way; so that you can see that it is infidelity. Then, if you find yourself an evolutionist, you know at once that you are an infidel: "The hypothesis of evolution aims at answering a number of questions respecting the beginning, or genesis, of things." It "helps to restore the ancient sentiment toward nature as our parent, and the source of our life."
One of the branches of this sort of science, that has done most toward the establishment of the doctrine of evolution, is the new science of geology, which has instituted the conception of vast and unimaginable periods of time in the past history of our globe. These vast and unimaginable periods, as another one of the chief writers on this subject—the author of it indeed—says, "is the indispensable basis for understanding man's origin" in the process of evolution. So that the progress that has been made, has been through countless ages. Yet this progress has not been steady and straight forward from its inception until its present condition. It has been through many ups and downs. There have been many times of great beauty and symmetry; then there would come a cataclysm, or an eruption, and all would go to pieces, as it were. Again the process would start from that condition of things, and build up again. Many, many times this process has been gone through; and that is the process of evolution,—the transition from the lower to a higher, from the worse to the better.
Now, what has been the process of your progress from the worse to the better? Has it been through "many ups and downs"? Has your acquiring of the power to do the good—the good works which are of God—been through a long process of ups and downs from the time of your first profession of Christianity until now? Has it appeared sometimes that you had apparently made great progress, that you were doing well, and that everything was nice and pleasant; and then, without a moment's warning there would come a cataclysm, or an eruption, and all be spoiled? Nevertheless, in spite of all the ups and downs, you start in for another effort: and so through this process, long-continued, you have come to where you are to-day; and in "looking back" over it all, you can mark some progress, you think, as judged by your feelings,—is that your experience? Is that the way you have made progress?
In other words, are you an evolutionist? Don't judge; confess the honest truth; for I want to get you out of evolutionism this afternoon. There is a way to get out of it: and every one who came into this house an evolutionist can go out a Christian. So if, when I am describing an evolutionist, so plainly that you see yourself, just say so,—admit that it is yourself,—and then follow along the steps that God will give you, and that will bring you out of it all. But I say plainly to you that, if that which I have described has been your experience, if that has been the kind of progress that you have made in your Christian life, then you are an evolutionist, whether you admit it or not. The best way, however, is to admit it, then quit it, and be a Christian.
Another phase of it: "Evolution, so far as it goes, looks upon matter as eternal." And "by assuming" this, "the notion of creation is eliminated from those regions of existence to which it is applied." Now if you look to yourself for the principle which would assure that progress that must be made in you as certainly as ever you reach the kingdom of God; if you suppose that that is immanent in yourself, and that if you could get it rightly to work, and superintend it properly when it had been thus got to work, it would come out all right;—if thus you have been expecting, watching, and marking your progress, you are an evolutionist. For I read further what evolution is: "It is clear that the doctrine of evolution is directly antagonistic to that of creation. . . . The idea of evolution, as applied to the formation of the world as a whole, is opposed to that of a direct creative volition."
That is evolution, as defined by those who made it,—that the world came, and all there is of it, of itself; and that the principle that has brought it to the condition in which it is, is immanent in itself, and is adequate to produce all that is. This being so, in the nature of things "evolution is directly antagonistic to creation."
Now as to the world and all there is of it, you do not believe that it all came of itself. You know that you are not an evolutionist as to that; because you believe that God created all things. Every one of you here this afternoon would say that you believe that God created all things,—the world and all there is in it. Evolution does not admit that: it has no place for creation.
There is, however, another phase of evolution that professedly is not absolutely antagonistic to creation. Those who made this evolution that I have read to you did not pretend to be anything but infidels,—men without faith,—for an infidel simply is a man without faith. Even though a person pretends to have faith, and does not actually have it, he is an infidel. Of course the word "infidel" is more narrowly confined than that nowadays. The men who made this evolution that I have read to you were that kind of men; but when they spread that kind of doctrine abroad, there were a great number of people who professed to be Christians, who professed to be men of faith, who professed to believe the word of God, which teaches creation. These men, not knowing the word of God for themselves, not knowing it to be the word of God, but their faith being a mere form of faith without the power—these men, I say, being charmed with this new thing that had sprung up, and wanting to be popular along with the new science, and really not wanting to forsake altogether the word of God and the ways of faith, were not ready to say that they could get along without God, without creation somewhere, so they formed a sort of evolution with the Creator in it. That phase of it is called theistic evolution; that is, God started the thing, whenever that was; but since that, it has been going on of itself. He started it, and after that it was able to itself to accomplish all that has been done. This, however, is but a makeshift,—a contrivance to save appearances,—and is plainly declared by the true evolutionists to be but "a phase of transition from the creational to the evolutional hypothesis." It is evolution only; because there is no half-way ground between creation and evolution.
Whether you are one of this kind or not, there are many of them, even among Seventh-day Adventists,—not so many as there used to be, thank the Lord!—who believe that we must have God forgive our sins, and so start us on the way all right; but after that we are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Accordingly, they do fear, and they do tremble, all the time; but they do not work out any salvation, because they do not have God constantly working in them, "both to will and to do of his good pleasure." Phil. 2:12, 13.
Now in Heb. 11:3 it is recorded that it is through faith that we understand that the worlds were framed—put together, arranged, built—"by the word of God; so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." The earth which we have was not make of rocks; men were not made of monkeys, apes, and "the missing link;" and apes and monkeys and "the missing link;" were not made of tadpoles; and tadpoles were not made of protoplasm originally away back at the beginning. No! "the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."
Now why is it that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear?—Simply because the things of which these are made did not appear. And the reason those things did not appear is because they were not at all. They did not exist. The worlds were framed by the word of God; and the word of God is of that quality, it has that property about it, which, when the word is spoken, not only causes the thing to be, but causes to exist the material out of which the thing is made, and of which the thing consists.
You know also the other scripture, that "by the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth; . . . for he spake, and it was." Ps. 33:6-9. Upon this I will ask you a question: How long after he spoke, before the things were? How much time passed, after he spoke, before the thing was? [Voice: "No time."] Not a week?—No. Not six long periods of time?—No. Evolution, even that which recognizes a Creator, holds that indefinite countless ages, or "six long, indefinite periods of time," passed in the formation of the things which are seen, after he spoke. But that is evolution, not creation: evolution is by long processes. Creation is by the word spoken.
When God, by speaking the word, had created the worlds, for this one he said, "Let there be light." Now how much time passed between the words, "Let there be light," and the time when the light came? I want you to understand this matter aright, so that you can find out whether you are an evolutionist or a creationist. Let me ask this again. Were there not six long periods of time between the time when the word was spoken and the accomplishment of the fact? You say No. Was it not a week?—No. Not a day?—No. Not an hour?—No. Not a minute?—No. Nor even a second?—No, indeed. There was not a second between the time when God said, "Let there be light," and the existence of the light. [Voice: "Just as soon as the word was spoken, the light was."] Yes, that is the way it was. I go over it thus minutely, so as to get it firmly fixed in your mind, for fear you will let it go presently, when I ask you something further. Now is it settled that when God said, "Let there be light," there was not a second of time between that and the shining of the light? [Voice: "Yes."] All right. Then the man who allows that any time at all passed between God's speaking and the appearing of the thing, is an evolutionist. If he makes it countless ages upon countless ages, he is simply more of an evolutionist than the one who thinks it took a day; he is the same thing, but more of it.
Next, God said, "Let there be a firmament." And what then?—It was so. Then from the time that God spoke, "Let there be a firmament, . . . and let it divide the waters from the waters," how long before a firmament was there? Was that done instantly:--Yes. Then the man who holds that there was an indefinite, a very long, period of time between the speaking of the word and the existence of the fact,—what is he?—An evolutionist. If he allows that there was a day, or an hour, or a minute, between the speaking of the word, and the existence of the thing itself, that man does not recognize creation.

WHEN the Lord said, "Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear;" also when he said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit-tree yielding fruit, . . . it was so." Then God set two great lights in the heavens, and made the stars also; and when he spoke the word, "it was so." He said, "Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, the fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament;" and it was so. When God said, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, the beast of the earth after his kind," it was so. When he spoke, it was always so. That is creation.
You see, then, that it is perfectly logical, and reasonable enough, too, for evolutionists to set aside the word of God, and have no faith in it; for evolution itself is antagonistic to creation. When evolution is antagonistic to creation, and creation is by the word of God, then evolution is antagonistic to the word of God. Of course the genuine, or original, sound evolutionist did not have any place for that word, nor for the half-and-half evolutionists,—those who bring in creation and the word of God to start things. It takes so long a time, such indefinite and indeterminate ages, for evolution to accomplish anything, that it does away with creation.
The genuine evolutionist recognizes that creation must be immediate; but he does not believe in immediate action, and therefore does not believe in creation. Do not forget that creation is immediate, or else it is not creation: if not immediate, it is evolution. So touching again the creation at the beginning, when God speaks, there is in his word the creative energy to produce the thing which that word pronounces. That is creation; and that word of God is the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever; it lives and abides forever; it has everlasting life in it. The word of God is a living thing. The life that is in it is the life of God—eternal life. Therefore it is the word of eternal life, as the Lord Jesus said; and in the nature of things it abides and remains forever. Forever it is the word of God; forever it has creative energy in it.
So when Jesus was here, he said, "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." The words that Jesus spoke are the words of God. They are imbued with the life of God. They are eternal life, they abide forever; and in them is the creative energy to produce the thing spoken.
This is illustrated by many incidents in the life of Christ, as narrated in the New Testament. I do not need to cite them all; but I will refer to one or two, so you can get hold of this principle. You remember that after the sermon on the mount, Jesus came down, and there met him a centurion, saying, "My servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him." The centurion said: "I am not worthy that thou shoudest come under my roof; but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed." Jesus turned to those standing about, and said, "I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel."
Israel had the Bible; they knew the word of God. They boasted of being the people of the Book, the people of God. They read it; they preached in their synagogues, "My word. . . shall accomplish that which I please." They said, when they read that word: That is all right; the thing ought to be done. We see the necessity of it, and will do it. We will accomplish what it says. Then they did their best to accomplish it. It took them a long while, so long indeed, that they never did it. Their real doing of the word was so far away that the greatest of them were led to exclaim, "If but one person could only for one day keep the whole law, and not offend in one point—,nay, if but one person could but keep that one point of the law which affected in the due observance of the Sabbath,—then the troubles of Israel would be ended, and the Messiah at last would come." So, though they started in to do what the word said, it took them so long that they never got to it. What were they?
There was the word of God, which said, "It shall accomplish that which I please." It was spoken thus of the creative power. And though they professed to recognize the creative energy of the word of God, yet in their own lives they left that all out, and said, We will do it. They looked to themselves for the process which would bring themselves to the point where that word and themselves would agree. What were they? Are you afraid to say, for fear you have been there yourself? Do not be afraid to say that they were evolutionists; for that is what they were, and that is what a good many of your are. Their course was antagonistic to creation; there was not creation about it. They were not made new creatures; no new life was formed within them; the thing was not accomplished by the power of God; it was all of themselves; and so far were they from believing in creation that they rejected the Creator, and crucified him out of the world. That is what evolution always does; for do not forget that "evolution is directly antagonistic to creation."
Now these were the people upon whom Jesus looked when he made this statement about faith in Israel. Here was a man who was a Roman, who had grown up among the people who were Jews, and who set at naught the teachings of Jesus. That centurion had been around where Jesus was, had seen him talking, had heard his words and had seen the effect of them, until he himself said, Whatever that man speaks is so; when he says a thing, it is done. Now I am going to have the advantage of it. So he went to Jesus, and said what is written. Jesus knew perfectly well that the man had his mind upon the power of his word to do that thing; and he replied, Very well, I will come and heal your servant. O no, my Lord, you do not need to come. You see this man was testing the matter, to see whether or not there was any power in the word. Therefore he said, "Speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed." Jesus replied, "As thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed." When that word went forth, "so be it done unto thee," how long before the man was healed? Twenty years"—No. Didn't he have to go through many ups and downs before he was certainly healed? Honest, now?—No, no! When the word was spoken, the word did the things that was spoken; and it did it at once.
Another day Jesus was walking along, and a leper some distance from him saw and recognized him. He, too, had got hold of the blessed truth of the creative energy of the word of God. He said to Jesus, "If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." Jesus stopped, and said, "I will; be thou clean. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed." Mark 1:41, 42. We are not allowed to put a moment of time between the speaking of the word and the accomplished fact: "immediately" the leper was cleansed.
Now you see that the word of God at the beginning of creation had in it the creative energy to produce that thing which the word pronounced. You see that when Jesus came into the world to show men the way of life, to save them from their sins, he demonstrated, over and over again, here and there and everywhere, to all people and for all time, that that same word of God has that same creative energy in it yet; so that when that word is spoken, the creative energy is there to produce the thing.
Now are you an evolutionist, or are you a creationist? That word speaks to you. You have read it, you profess to believe it. You believe in creation, as against the other evolutionists; now will you believe in creation, as against yourself? Will you put yourself upon that platform to-day where you will allow nothing to come between you and the creative energy of that word—no period of time whatever?
Jesus said to a certain person, "Thy sins are forgiven." How long before it was so?—There was no length of time whatever between the word "forgiven" and the thing. That same word, "Thy sins are forgiven," is spoken to you to-day. Why do you let any time pass between this word, which is spoken to you, and the accomplishment of the thing? You said a while ago, that anybody who let a minute, or even a second, pass between the speaking of the word of God and the producing of the thing, is an evolutionist. Very good; that is so. Stick to it. Now I ask you, Why is it that when he speaks forgiveness to you, you let whole days pass before forgiveness gets to you, before it is true in you? You said the other man is an evolutionist. What are you, I want to know? Are you going to stop being evolutionists and become creationists?
This day will be one of special importance to many here, because it is a time when many will decide this question one way or the other. If you go out of this house an evolutionist, you are in danger. It is to you a matter of life or death just now. You said that evolution is infidelity, and that is so; therefore if you go out of this house an evolutionist, where do you stand? What is your choice? And if you go out of this house without the forgiveness of sins, you are an evolutionist, because you allow time to pass between the speaking of the word and the accomplishment of the fact.
From what I have read, you see that whoever lets any time time pass between the word spoken and the thing done, is an evolutionist. The word of God to you is, Man, "thy sins are forgiven thee." Woman "thy sins are forgiven thee." [Elder Corliss: "Didn't it say, Thy sins shall be forgiven?"] No, sir; "thy sins are forgiven thee,"—present tense, with an emphasis,—"Thy sins are forgiven." I thank God this is so, because the creative energy is in the word "forgiven" to take away all sin, and create the man a new creature. I believe in creation. Do you? Do you believe in the creative energy that is in the word "forgiven" spoken to you? Or are you an evolutionist, and do you say, I can not see how that can be, because I am so bad? I have been trying to do right, but I have made many failures; I have had many ups and downs, and have been down a good many more times than up. If that is what you say, you are an evolutionist; for that is evolution.
MANY people have been longing and longing for a clean heart. They say: "I believe in the forgiveness of sin and all that, and I would take it all, if I was sure that I could hold out; but there is so much evil in my heart, and so many things to overcome, that I do not have any confidence." But there stands the word, "Create in me a clean heart." A clean heart comes by creation, and by no other means; and that creation is wrought by the word of God. For he says, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you." Are you a creationist now, or are you an evolutionist? Will you go out of this house with an evil heart, or with a new heart, created by the word of God, which has in it creative energy to produce a new heart? It speaks to you a new heart. To every one it speaks just that way; and if you allow a moment to pass between the speaking of the word and the new heart, you are an evolutionist. When you allow any time to pass between the word spoken and the fulfilment of that thing in your experience, then you are an evolutionist. There are those in this house who have said: Yes, I want it, I am going to have it, I believe the word will accomplish it; but they have lengthened out the time until the next meeting, and on and on, passing over years; and so they are just this much evolutionists. "While so many are hovering about the mystery of faith and godliness, they could have solved the matter by proclaiming [speaking abroad, telling it out], 'I know that Jesus Christ is my portion forever.'" The power to produce this is in the word of God; and when this is accepted, the creative energy is there producing the thing that is spoken. So you can settle the whole matter of the mystery of faith and godliness by proclaiming that you know that Christ is your portion forever.
There is a mystery in how God can be manifest in such sinful flesh as yours. But, mind you, the question is not now about the mystery: the question is, Is there such a thing as creation? is there such a thing as a Creator, who can create in you a clean heart? Just now, and among Seventh-day Adventists, the question from this day until the end of the world must be, D you believe in the Creator? And when you believe in the Creator, how is it that he creates?—Of course you say, It is by the word of God. Very good. Now, does he create things for you by his word? Are you a creationist for the other evolutionists, and then an evolutionist for the other creationists? How is it?
Another thing. The word says, "Be ye clean." He said, back yonder, "Let there be light; and there was light." He said to the leper, "Be thou clean;" and "immediately" he was clean. He says now to you, "be ye clean," and what now? Every one of you—what do you say? [Voice: "It is so."] Then for your soul's sake put yourself upon that creative word. Recognize the creative energy in the word of God which comes to you in the Bible; for this word of God in the Bible is the same here to you to-day that it was when it spoke into space the worlds on high, and brought light out of darkness, and cleansing to the leper. That word spoken to you to-day, if received, creates you new in Christ Jesus, that word, spoken into the dark waste and void space of your heart, if received, produces there the light of God; that word spoken to-day to you, afflicted with the leprosy of sin, if received, immediately cleanses you. Let it. Let it.
How shall I be clean?—By the creative energy of that word, "Be ye clean." Therefore it is written, "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you." John 15:3. Are you? Will you from this moment be a creationist? or will you go on being an evolutionist?
See what a blessed thing this is. When you read the word, receive the word, and think upon the word, what is it to you all the time? O, it is creation! The creative energy is in you producing the things which the word speaks; and you are living in the very presence of the power of creation. Creation is going on in your life. God is creating, in you, righteousness, holiness, truth, faithfulness,—every good and gracious thing.
And when this is so, your Sabbath-keeping will amount to something, because the Sabbath is a memorial of creation,—the sign that he who observes it knows the Creator, and is acquainted with the process of creation. But as certainly as you are an evolutionist, your Sabbath-keeping is a fraud.
Unless you recognize the word of God day by day as a creative energy in your life, your Sabbath-keeping is a fraud; because the Sabbath is a memorial of creation. It is "a sign between me and you, that [by which] ye may know that I am the Lord your God," the Creator of all things.
In the second chapter of Ephesians, eighth to tenth verses, we read: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
You need not expect to get any good works out of yourself. You have been trying. The evolutionist tries, and is always trying, without accomplishing it. Why go about trying to do good works, when you know you fail? Listen: there will never be any good thing in you, of any kind whatever, from now till the world's end, except it is created there by the Creator himself, by his word, which has in it the creative energy. Do no forget that. Do you want to walk in good works when you go out of this house? It can be done only by being created in Jesus Christ unto those good works. Stop trying. Look to the Creator, and receive his creative word. "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly;" then those good works will appear; you will be a Christian. Then, because you live with the Creator, and are in the presence of the creative energy, you will have that pleasant, quiet peace, and genuine strength and building up, that belong to a Christian. {March 7, 1899 ATJ, ARSH 148.9}
When he tells you that "we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath ordained that we should walk in them," then recognize the Creator,—recognize only the good works that are created in you, paying no attention whatever to any work that is not created there, because there is nothing good but what is created by the Lord. {March 7, 1899 ATJ, ARSH 148.10}
Now you are created new in Christ Jesus. He says so. Thank him that it is so. What! will you be an evolutionist on that verse? That is the present tense, "We are his workmanship," we are created in Christ Jesus unto good works. Are you? The word is spoken. It is the creative word. How much time are you going to allow between that word of God, and your being created new? Of the creation in the beginning, you said that any man who allows even a minute to pass between the word and the thing, is an evolutionist. What are now as to this word of God, which creates men in Christ Jesus unto good works? Are you an evolutionist here? Come, let us all be creationists. {March 7, 1899 ATJ, ARSH 148.11}
Do you not see that in this way it will not require a long, tedious, wearing process to be made ready to meet the Lord in glory? So many people are looking at themselves. They know that, in the nature of things, it must take them an exceedingly long time to get fully ready to meet him. If it is done by evolution, it will never be done. But when it is done by creation, it will be both surely and quickly done. That word I have before referred to it the word every one here may take to himself: "While so many are hovering about the mystery of faith and godliness, they could solve the matter by proclaiming abroad [by telling it out], 'Jesus Christ is my portion forever.'" {March 7, 1899 ATJ, ARSH 148.12}
Do you see how much we have been evolutionists? Shall we quite? Come now, let us be creationists, and be done with it. Let us be Sabbath-keepers truly. Let us believe the Lord. He speaks forgiveness. He speaks a clean heart. He speaks holiness, he creates it. Let him create it in you. Stop being an evolutionist, and let that creative word work for you, let that creative energy work in you, that which the word pronounces; and before you leave this house, God can get you ready to meet him. Indeed, in that very thing you do meet him. And when you have thus met him, and do thus meet him every day, are you not then ready to meet him? Do you believe that? You believe he made the worlds when he spoke, that light came by his word when he spoke, and that the leper was "immediately" cleansed when he spoke; but with yourself you think considerable time must elapse between the time when the word is spoken and the fact is accomplished. O, why will you be an evolutionist? Creation, creation,—that is the thing.
You and I are to call people to the supper; we are to say to all people, "Come; for all things are now ready." How can I call to a man that all things are now ready, when I myself am not ready? It is a falsehood to start with. My words will not reach him: they are but an empty sound. But O, when there is in that call the creative energy of the word that has made us ready, that has cleansed us fromn sin, that has created us unto good works, that holds us as the sun is held in the course which God has marked out—then when we go forth, and say to the world lying in wickedness, "Come; for all things are now ready," they will hear. They will hear in the call the tones of the voice of the Good Shepherd, and will be cheered to come to him for creative energy for themselves, to make them new creatures, and prepare them for the supper to which they have been called.
This is where we are in this world's history. God's mark is being set upon the people. But remember, he will never set his mark upon one who is not cleansed from every defilement. God will not set his seal to something that is not true, that is not good. Would you ask him to set his seal to righteousness that is altogether unrighteousness?—You would not have the face to do that. You know that he is too righteous to do such a thing. Then he must cleanse you, so that he can put his seal to his own work. He can not put his seal to your work. His seal belongs only to a document which he himself has approved. Let him write his character upon your heart, and then he can set his seal there; he can write his seal of approval upon your heart, only when his creative word has accomplished its purpose in your heart.
You can see in what a Presence we are; you can see in a measure how long it would take half to exhaust such a subject as this. But, brethren, when we do stop, let us stop in the presence of creation. Let us be no more evolutionists. Let not a moment pass between the word spoken to you, and the accomplishment of the thing in you. Thus, living in the presence of creation, walking with the Creator, upheld by creative power, inspired by the creative energy—why, with a people such as that, God can move the world in a little while.
If at the beginning you thought this was a queer subject for such an occasion as to-day [it was the closing service of the week of prayer], you can now see that it is a strictly present truth. There are only the two ways. There is no half-way ground. Every man and woman in the world is either a creationist or an evolutionist. Evolution is infidelity, it is death. Creation is Christianity, it is life. Choose Creation, Christianity, and Life, that you may live. Let us be creationists only, and creationists forever. And let all the people say, Amen.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Positive Expectations of Students

I am currently reading Harry Wong's "The First Days of School."  (Thank the OHC education department.)  In  the first section Wong highlights three qualities of "the effective teacher."  On is that the effective teacher has positive expectation for students.   These positive expectations are important because students will rarely rise above the teacher’s expectations of them.  Too many students have been left behind by teachers who don't think that they are capable of reaching a higher standard. 
   I think that as a Christian teacher this is even more important and takes another dimension.  For the worldly teacher these positive expectations come from a belief in the basic goodness of man.  To the effective worldly teacher, the student can succeed because of an inner resilience or smartness that he must be inspired to access.  The Christian teacher realizes that merely helping the student look within for an inner genius is counterproductive.  She believes that the student is dependent on Jesus for any true success.  She also knows that God has given the student abilities capable of vast improvement and that the goals that God has for the student are higher than the highest human thought can reach.  The student can be inspired with the thought that they may reach a high standard by taking hold of the strength of Jesus. 
As this standard is higher than the worlds standard, and the student is not limited to human power to achieve it, the Christian teacher must have even higher expectations of her students than the worldly teacher.   
 Consider the following statements.   
“In the common walks of life there is many a toiler patiently treading the round of his daily tasks, unconscious of latent powers that, roused to action, would place him among the world's great leaders. The touch of a skillful hand is needed to arouse and develop those dormant faculties. It was such men whom Jesus connected with Himself, and He gave them the advantages of three years' training under His own care. No course of study in the schools of the rabbis or the halls of philosophy could have equaled this in value”.  Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students p. 511 
“Many who are qualified to do excellent work accomplish little because they attempt little. Thousands pass through life as if they had no great object for which to live, no high standard to reach. One reason for this is the low estimate which they place upon themselves. Christ paid an infinite price for us, and according to the price paid He desires us to value ourselves.   Be not satisfied with reaching a low standard. We are not what we might be, or what it is God's will that we should be. God has given us reasoning powers, not to remain inactive, or to be perverted to earthly and sordid pursuits, but that they may be developed to the utmost, refined, sanctified, ennobled, and used in advancing the interests of His kingdom."  Ministry of Healing p. 498
I pray that my students will know that I believe in God and in His plan for them.  I pray that not one will be left to feel that their case is hopeless, but will recognize that they can not only be a better English student, but an effective and powerful worker for Jesus.  

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


We had four precious Sabbaths together and a few hours in the middle of one week.  During those moments I learned to love this sweet, brown-eyed three-year-old, with the quick laugh, and enough pep to provide green energy to an moderate sized city.  Landon was a foster child; he had a few weeks to spend away from home while caring people attempted to find a place where he could safely and happily spend the rest of his growing up years.  He was a part of my Sabbath School for a few weeks.  I didn't have him long.  Only long enough to see the longing he had for Jesus.  Only long enough to hear his cute clever sayings.  Only long enough to have him recognize me and call my name excitedly when he arrived at church.  Only long enough to feel his soft arms around neck and his small head lean trustingly on my shoulder.  Only long enough to love him. 

It wasn't long enough to teach him all the little songs that would have brightened his life and the life of the daddy he went home to.  It wasn't long enough to teach him the ins and outs of the plan of salvation.  It wasn't long enough to make him into the man I hope he will someday be.  But it was what I had.

Now he is gone and I am left with memories, an empty chair in Cradle Roll, a mind full of questions, and a heart full of wishes. 

What will he remember?  Will he remember the love he had for the sanctuary felt on the board?  Will he ever come to understand it's significance?  Will remember the stories he learned?  Will he remember the lessons in reverence and obedience I tried to instill?  Perhaps not.  I hope he remembers that someone named Jesus loves him.  I hope he associates words like "heaven," "Sabbath," "Jesus," and "salvation"with warm smiles, walks in the field, and the love I tried to communicate to him.  Maybe that all I could do. 

I don't have answers.  Perhaps it isn't worth loving and teaching when there is so little that can really be done.  I think it is.  That's why I do it.  If it is just for a moment, I will love a child for Jesus.  Maybe it won't be enough.  Maybe the world will claim Landon as it's own.  That will not change that for a few weeks of his life someone tried to show him Jesus. 

O Friend of little children,  You who have given and loved so much,  You understand what I am trying to say.  You know longing I have to see this little boy know You.  Please, put your arms around him.  Lead him to you.  Take these few seeds that his foster parents and his church have planted and let them bear fruit. 

Goodbye Landon,  I hope to play with you in the perfect land very soon. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What is Faith?

This is a definition of faith for those of you who use your right brain.  It is an example, an image, a snapshot of faith.  Not just faith, in fact, but great faith.  It's found in Matthew 8:6-10.

Jesus says faith is what the centurion had who sent word that his servant was sick.  Jesus was on His way when the centurion came and asked Jesus not to come to His house but, "speak the word only and my servant will be made whole."  Jesus calls this great faith.  The centurion doesn't need a demonstration.  He doesn't need some feeling of assurance of the presence of Jesus.  He doesn't need a feeling.  His confidence is in the Word ONLY.  

Jesus calls this faith.

Based on an article by A.T. Jones in Review and Herald, December 6, 1898.  Rewritten by me so it will stick in my long term memory. 


Monday, December 13, 2010

Consider the Lilies

"Consider the lilies. . . Just spent how many minutes trying to decide what to wear tonight? Too many options and nothing to wear. I decided God knew what He was doing when He gave the lilies only one gorgeous option. Oh to be "much more clothed" tonight. . . with the one gorgeous option in Jesus's closet that was especially made to fit me: His righteousness. Hear this sisters, (and brothers) Laodicean styles are out! And I don't mean our wardrobe (although. . . ) I mean our own righteousness, the too many options we wear and still are naked. All this when the most beautiful garment in the world is ours for the asking and accepting. O little faith! I must go get dressed. . ."


I posted this as my Facebook status on Friday evening.