Evidence and History or Claims and Wonders
In my blog last week, The Imminent Collapse of the United States: Lessons from the History of Empires (And More Evidence that Jesus Is Coming Soon) we examined the historical lessons from the rise and fall of empires.
It is well known that:
- ‚ÄúThose that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒWinston Churchill
- ‚ÄúThe best prophet of the future is the past.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒLord Byron
As the blog last week described, the great empires of history rise, progress, and fall in a repeating pattern, because human nature doesn‚Äôt change; humans continually repeat the same patterns of behavior that lead to the destruction of their societies, and these patterns of behavior are rooted in sinfulness, selfishness, greed, pride, and arrogance‚ÄĒin the rejection of God and His design laws for life.
- ‚ÄúWhoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒNiccol√≤ Machiavelli
- ‚ÄúMankind are so much the same, in all times and places, that history informs us of nothing new or strange in this particular. Its chief use is only to discover the constant and universal principles of human nature.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒDavid Hume
- ‚ÄúWhat has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒSolomon (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
We don‚Äôt learn from history because human nature deceives itself:
The human mind is more deceitful than anything else. It is incurably bad. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9 New English Translation).
The unconverted human mind wants to deny the truth of our sinful condition and the inevitable self-destruction that will occur without Jesus. The corruption of human nature and the fallen propensity to deny truth have been understood by many deep thinkers throughout history:
- ‚ÄúWe learn from history that we don‚Äôt learn from history!‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒDesmond Tutu
- ‚ÄúThat men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒAldous Huxley
One of the purposes of the Bible is to connect us to history, to reality‚ÄĒthe reality of our origins, created in the image of God, of the fall into sin, of the terrible results of fear and selfishness (sinfulness), of God‚Äôs plan of salvation, and how when God‚Äôs Spirit is not transforming our hearts, the sinful traits of the me-first drives of survival of the fittest take control and people repeat the same patterns of self-destruction over and over again. But when we remember history, remember our Creator, His methods, principles, and eternal design laws for life, and are surrendered to Him, then we have nothing to fear for the future because we are living out the reality God has designed for us.
We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history (Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, p. 196).
But the godless, those who are controlled by the satanic spirit of selfishness, want to divert our minds away from reality, away from history, away from evidence and facts and onto authority‚ÄĒto believe because someone in power says so‚ÄĒor onto signs and wonders, onto things that incite strong emotions, that wow us. Both tactics are designed to disconnect the mind from objective truth and disempower the individual from being able to make their own informed choices, thus making them vulnerable to the control of others. God has warned against this:
If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, ‚ÄúLet us follow other gods‚ÄĚ (gods you have not known) ‚Äúand let us worship them,‚ÄĚ you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer (Deuteronomy 13:1‚Äď3 NIV84).
Signs and wonders, technology, fantasy, false science that claims there is no God, the goddess of reason, the god of evolution, the new green earth worshipers, the gods of money, power, and control‚ÄĒall of these false gods thrive on turning the minds away from God‚Äôs truth, away from reasoning and thinking, and inciting strong emotions‚ÄĒparticularly fear.
The people of God are not to base our beliefs upon the claims of powerful people nor upon wonders or signs, but upon evidence, truth, and historical facts‚ÄĒthe inspired Word of God, which records the history of humanity and God‚Äôs plan of salvation. But Satan wants to turn our minds away from truth, evidence, facts, and history. Recently, I observed two events that revealed ungodly forces working to divert minds away from reality and onto either signs and wonders or the authority of office.
The first event was when I was visiting various Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. I typed ‚ÄúMuseum of Natural History‚ÄĚ into Google maps, but the app listed the site as the Smithsonian National Museum of‚Ä¶ Renowned Collection of Natural Wonders. However, the official name posted at the entry is the National Museum of Natural History. (See images below.)
I don‚Äôt know the motivation for this name used in Google maps. I am not alleging that this is a conscious plot; it may very well be the unconscious result of the impact of godlessness and the move away from objective reality being taught in our schools, social media, and society in general. But that is the point. History requires us to study objective facts, evidence, scientific measures, and real people who did real things. But signs and wonders are designed to wow, to impress, to cause a sense of stunned silence and a willingness to comply without thinking. Does calling the museum by this different name subtly move minds away from ‚Äúhistory‚ÄĚ and toward ‚Äúwonders‚ÄĚ?
One of the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist church, supporting God‚Äôs directions in the passage from Deuteronomy cited above, warned about moving away from solid evidences of God‚Äôs Word:
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. The genuine working of the Holy Spirit on human hearts is promised, to give efficiency through the Word. ‚Ä¶ the Bible will never be superseded by miraculous manifestations. ‚Ä¶ We shall encounter false claims; false prophets will arise; there will be false dreams and false visions; but preach the Word, be not drawn away from the voice of God in His Word. Let nothing divert the mind. The wonderful, the marvelous, will be represented and presented. Through satanic delusions, wonderful miracles, the claims of human agents will be urged. Beware of all this. ‚Ä¶ We must not trust the claims of men. ‚Ä¶ Nor can we trust impressions. ‚Ä¶ The man who makes the working of miracles the test of his faith will find that Satan can, through a species of deceptions, perform wonders that will appear to be genuine miracles. ‚Ä¶ If we accept not the truth in the love of it, we may be among the number who will see the miracles wrought by Satan in these last days, and believe them (Manuscript 43, 1907).
God never asks us to believe, without giving sufficient evidence upon which to base our faith. His existence, His character, the truthfulness of His Word, are all established by testimony that appeals to our reason; and this testimony is abundant. Yet God has never removed the possibility of doubt. Our faith must rest upon evidence, not demonstration. Those who wish to doubt will have opportunity; while those who really desire to know the truth, will find plenty of evidence on which to rest their faith (Steps to Christ, p. 105).
We are to examine evidence, reason out facts, and understand the history of human events, especially those recorded in Scripture. But Satan wants us to disregard facts, evidence, and history, and he has multiple strategies to do this.
The second event I recently noted, which exposes another method to divert minds away from evidence, was when a professor at the University of Pittsburg told his students that there is no difference between the skeletal structure of human males and females. When the students laughed at the statement, he was shocked. An article reporting on the event says:
The professor then responded to the laughter with shock, wondering how he could be doubted when he was ‚Äúthe expert in the room.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúHave any of you been to anthropological sites? Have any of you studied biological anthropology? I‚Äôm just saying, I‚Äôve got over 150 years of data, I‚Äôm just curious as to why I‚Äôm being laughed at,‚ÄĚ he said before later declaring, ‚ÄúI have a PhD!‚ÄĚ 
The professor is advancing the idea that beliefs should be based on the authority of the speaker, their credentials, the office they hold, or the power of their dynamic presence, and not on objective facts or evidence. This same method is behind the entire transgender movement‚ÄĒthe claim of those in some office that there is no male or female. Understand clearly, the primary purpose of the transgender movement is not human rights; it is an assault on human minds, a strategy to get people to accept voices of authority over objective reality. After all, if the most basic and obvious natural truth that is observable by everyone (male and female) is denied, then there is no objective truth that an individual can ever cite to hold people in power accountable. They will always be right because they are the ‚Äúexpert‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúoffice holder‚ÄĚ or have ‚Äúpower.‚ÄĚ
But this unhealthy methodology is not restricted to secular academia; it also manifests in the church. I once experienced the same thing about 13 years ago when, after disagreeing with the senior pastor of my church over certain theological ideas, one of the associate pastors told me that I had no right to question the senior pastor because he was the ‚ÄúLord‚Äôs anointed.‚ÄĚ In other words, I was to believe based on the authority of his office, not because he had truth on his side. But the Bible says that we are to ‚Äútest everything. Hold on to the good‚ÄĚ (1 Thessalonians 5:21 NIV84). And that ‚Äúa fool will believe anything; sensible people watch their step‚ÄĚ (Proverbs 14:15 GNT).
We are living in the very last days before Christ returns, and it is essential that every person develop the ability to discern for themselves the right from the wrong (Hebrews 5:14). It is essential we become thinkers, people who know truth, know history, evaluate evidence in light of God‚Äôs Word, and do not believe others based on their office, authority, or charisma and signs and wonder.
So I encourage you to always think for yourself, ask questions, and require evidence‚ÄĒand that evidence should appeal to your reason and be consistent with the history that God has revealed in His Word.