Education in Arts and Sciences

Education in Arts and Sciences

Scripture: Psalms 19:1
Date: 12/05/2020  Lesson: 10
This week we will look at some principles involved in how we can teach the arts and sciences from the Christian perspective and worldview.

Is There Anything Left You Can Trust? - Paper or Digital Download

Is There Anything Left You Can Trust? - Paper or Digital Download
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Rodney Thompson: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to the "Sabbath School Study Hour." I'm Pastor Rod Thompson. I'm going to be leading you in this study today. I want to welcome all of you that are watching here in the local area of Granite Bay, California, and those watching across the United States and around the world. Today, we're going to be continuing in our topic on the quarterly of "Education," and today we're looking at Lesson Number 10, "Education in the Arts and the Sciences."

But before we get into that I want to present to you our free offering today. This is going to be a study called "Is There Anything Left You Can Trust?" and this is free offering Number 103. You can call 866-788-3966, and you can get that study guide. That's 866-Study-More, or you can get a digital download of that by texting the code "SH043," to number 40544. Again, that is "Is There Anything Left That You Can Trust?"

Well, let's begin our study this morning with a word of prayer. Oh, loving Father, we want to thank You for the Sabbath Day. We want to thank You that You desire to commune with us, and, Lord, we want to draw near to You, and so we pray that You would speak to our hearts. Show us what You would have us do. And, Lord, help us to surrender our will to You and allow You to do those things in us that we can't do in ourselves. And we pray and ask it all in Jesus's name, amen.

I want to start off this morning by reading to you a quote from the book "Education," page 13. Notice, it says, "Our ideas of education take too narrow and too low a range. There is need of a broader scope, a higher aim. True education means more than the pursual of a certain course of study. It means more than a preparation for the life that now is. It has to do with the whole being, and with the whole period of existence possible to man. It is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers. It prepares the student for the joy of service in this world and for the higher joy of wider service in the world to come."

I want you to notice there in that quote that it is telling us that true education is more than just studying various disciplines and lessons and objects. It's even more than bringing in Bible verses that go along with that object of study, but true education involves this life and the life to come. It involves our whole being, the mental, the physical, the emotional, the spiritual, and it is all designed to bring joy in service to God and to service to others.

That's real--that's what true education is really all about. And this week, we are going to see how true education involves the arts and the sciences but, more importantly than that, that the arts and the sciences must be taught from a biblical perspective. Only in this way can true education accomplish its goal, and if you were watching last week, you heard Pastor Shawn talk about the goal of true education. If you were watching the week before, you heard Pastor Luccas talk about the goal of true education. What is that goal? The goal of true education is to provide for redemption and salvation. That is the goal of all true education, to introduce us to the Creator, to introduce us to our Savior, and to show us what we need to do and what God is doing on our behalf for our salvation.

I really like what it says in Sabbath afternoon's lesson. If you have your study guide, why don't you grab that and look with me in the second paragraph. I want you to notice what it says. It says, "For such an education--" what kind of an education? A true education, right? "For such an education truly to function, we need God's Word to inform the teaching of every discipline, from humanities to molecular biology. Without it, we can lose sight of God's enormity, His sovereignty as Creator and Sustainer of our world. In learning to see how God views His creation as organic and purpose-filled, we come closer to understanding how certain disciplines could and should be taught."

In other words, if we are going to truly understand the science behind how this world works and the laws of nature that God has put in place, then we need to first, at the very beginning, at the very basic level, we must have at least a basic understanding and a belief that there is a Creator who has put everything into existence.

Now, let me ask you a question: What is faith? What is faith? Is faith believing in something that you can't see? I think that's probably a pretty good definition, right? Faith is believing in something that you can't see.

Okay, so let me ask you a second question, and that is, what is "blind faith"? You see, that's also believing in something that we can't see, but there's a difference. You see, God doesn't just say, "Believe in Me because I said so," but, rather, God gives us evidence on which we can hang our faith. He gives us evidence if we are willing to accept it that He exists, that He is our Creator, that He is wanting to recreate His image in us, that He loves us, and that He wants a relationship with us. He wants the very best for us.

I want you to notice, again, in that book "Education," this time in chapter 10, notice what it says, "Upon all created things is seen the impress of the Deity. Nature testifies of God. The susceptible mind, brought in contact with the miracle and the mystery of the universe, cannot but recognize the working of infinite power. Not by its own inherent energy does the earth produce its bounties, and year by year continue its motion around the sun. An unseen hand guides the planets in their circuit of the heavens. A mysterious life pervades all nature--a life that sustains the unnumbered worlds throughout immensity, that lives in the insect atom which floats in the summer breeze, that wings the flight of the swallow and feeds the young ravens which cry, that brings the bud to blossom and the flower to fruit.

The same power that upholds nature, is working also in man. The same great laws that guide alike the star and the atom control human life. The laws that govern the heart's action, regulating the flow of the current of life to the body, are the laws of the mighty Intelligence that has the jurisdiction of the soul. From Him all life proceeds. Only in harmony with Him can be found its true sphere of action. For all the objects of His creation the condition is the same--a life sustained by receiving the life of God, a life exercised in harmony with the Creator's will. To transgress His law, physical, mental, or moral, is to place one's self out of harmony with the universe, to introduce discord, anarchy, ruin.

To him who learns thus to interpret its teachings, all nature becomes illuminated. The world is a lesson book, life a school. The unity of man with nature and with God, the universal dominion of law, the results of transgression, cannot fail of impressing the mind and molding the character."

What this is telling us here is that God is working through nature. He's working through science to give us faith that we can hang on, that we can say God is real, that God is in charge of all things. And that's why Paul says in Romans chapter 1, verse 20, "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse." Here we see that Paul is telling us that all of the things in the world are those visible representations that God is giving to us to show us that He is real.

I remember, many years ago, probably about 25 years ago, I was a new baby Christian, and I was living in California, and I went home to Michigan to visit my parents, and I was talking to my dad, sharing my new faith with him and talking to him about his need for a Savior, and I'll never forget what he said to me. He said, "I won't believe in God unless I see it for myself." And I remember thinking to myself, "Are you kidding?" I said to him, "Dad, you--" you know, my dad, he was an outdoorsman. He loved to hunt. He loved to fish.

I grew up doing those things with him. I loved to do those things too, and he was always out in nature, and I said to him, God-- "Dad, you've got to look around. Look at what you're seeing. You love to be out in nature. Why is that? Because there's so much here to identify to us that there is an intelligent design behind it all, that there is a God who has created all of these things. And you look at the animals that we see and how intricately they are made. We look at the human body and how wonderfully God has made us." And I said, "Dad, you are going to be without excuse on the day of judgment when you stand before God. There is enough evidence there to show us that God is real."

Why don't you turn in your Bibles with me to Psalm 19. Psalm 19. And I want you to notice what it says here, starting in verse 1. The Bible says, "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices like a strong man to run its race. Its rising is from one end of heaven, and its circuit to the other end, and there is nothing hidden from its heat."

Here we see that the Scripture is telling us that the heavens declare the glory of God. They reveal to us--the creation reveals to us that there is an intelligent design behind it, and there must be a Creator. And, friends, if we are honest with ourselves, we can see enough evidence in our world so that, by faith, we can not only believe in the existence of a Creator, but that He wants to recreate in us His image, and He wants to have a relationship with us because God is love. In fact, there is so much evidence that Paul says that you will be without excuse in the judgment because enough about Him can be seen in all that is made. You're very familiar with the passage of John chapter 1, starting in verse 1. It says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God, and all things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made."

Obviously, this is talking about Jesus, the creative part of the Godhead, and we can take that "Word" out of that passage, and we can put "Jesus" in there because Jesus was the Word. Jesus is the one who spoke the world into existence. And if we do that, it would say, "In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God, and Jesus is God. He was in the beginning with God, and all things were made through Him, and without Him, nothing was made that was made."

And so, if we are going to truly receive an education and if we are going to rightly understand the arts and the sciences, we must believe in a Creator, and the science and the arts have to be taught from the laws of nature that God has put in place because, if we don't do that, then we are going to fall into the same trap as the rest of the world, who worshiped the creation rather than the Creator. And in the end, any ideologies, philosophies, presumptions, presuppositions, or teachings that deny or exclude God and His Word are only going to lead to error.

And so let's look at Monday's lesson, and it's called "The Beauty of Holiness." Psalm 96, verse 9, says, "Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." Well, that, friends, should really beg of us the question, what does it mean to worship God in the beauty of holiness? And how should that impact what we teach about art and the beauty that is often associated with it? Because nature is God's 24-hour-a-day, 3D-multimedia, stereophonic revelation of Himself, and the arts should do that as well. To the degree that they reflect the beauty and/or the truth, they can be a source of seeing God and reflecting his character.

In other words, looking at the arts, looking at the beauty of the Creation of God, that should bring us to looking to God and bring us to a place where we can reflect the character of God. And so art, in the proper context, can and should lead us to God. It should lead us to developing the character, His character, which is beautiful, and worshiping Him in true holiness in spite of our sinful nature.

I want you to think about this for a minute. Our world has been marred and decimated by sin, and, yet even in this condition, there are beautiful things in nature and beautiful things in art that can draw us to God. I remember, years ago, my wife and I were going to visit the Niagara Falls, and we came up over the hill, and we got up to the top, and just as we started coming over the hill, "bam," there was the Niagara Falls, right there in front of us. It was literally a "wow" moment. It was exciting. It was beautiful, and I just remember it immediately brought my attention to the Lord, and I just started praising God, "Oh, Lord, You are so amazing. You created this beautiful tapestry, if you will, of this waterfall." And then, you know, I realized that all of that was created through destruction.

You see, friends, we are living in a world that has been marred and decimated by sin, and, yet even in the midst of that, there's still these beautiful things that God uses to draw us to Himself. You know, my wife and I, we lived in Michigan for the last 19 years, and we had the four seasons, and every fall, you would see those trees. The leaves start to turn beautiful colors, and there are people that come from all over the place to go on a color tour to look at the beautiful colors of the trees, and, yet we realize that all of that is happening because of death, that those trees are going dormant for the winter, and, yet even in all of that there is a beauty that God has provided.

I want you to notice in the book "Steps to Christ," what it says: "God would have His children appreciate His works and delight in the simple, quiet beauty with which He has adorned our earthly home. He's a lover of beauty, and above all that is outwardly attractive He loves beauty of character. He would have us cultivate purity and simplicity, the quiet graces of the flowers." I want you to notice there that it's telling us that our God loves beauty, and I can't help but think of that verse where Jesus was talking about Solomon, and he said, "And even in all of his splendor, Solomon's dress couldn't compare to that of the flowers." And God has given us that beauty so that we can be attracted to Him.

And even more importantly than outward beauty, God desires that we would have inward beauty. He desires that we would have that meek and quiet spirit and emulate our Lord Jesus Christ, that we would have His character, that we would have His beauty, not that outward beauty, but that inward beauty of God. And that's why Paul tells us in Philippians, chapter 4, verse 8 and 9, he says, "Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there's any virtue, if there's anything praiseworthy," He says, "meditate on these things," those things that are going to draw us to God, not those things that are going to pull us away.

And so there's another lesson that we need to learn from beauty and from the arts. You see, not everything that is beautiful is holy. Think about that for a minute. Not everything that is beautiful is holy. We don't have to go very far to figure this out. We can go back to Genesis chapter 3, verse 6, which says, "So the woman saw the tree, that it was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and it was a tree desirable to make one wise, and so she took of the fruit, and she ate it." And so it looked good, it was beautiful, it was pleasing to the eyes, and, yet it was not good, right?

I want you to notice the last paragraph on Monday's lesson. It says, "As with everything God has done, we have an enemy who distorts and exploits it. It shouldn't be surprising, then, that beauty and concepts of beauty can be used against us, as well. Thus, especially in the arts, Christian education, guided by Scripture, must help us learn to be careful in understanding that not all that is beautiful is necessarily good or holy." It's simply saying that we need to make sure that just because it's beautiful doesn't mean that we are attracted to it, that we're going to follow those things because, friends, we know--don't we?--from firsthand experience, that much of the art, much of the philosophy, the teachings of this world, do not honor God.

I can't help but think of that description of Lucifer in Isaiah chapter 14, and it talks about him and, of course, he gained that title for himself of Satan, but it says in chapter 14, verse 12, "You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty." He's a beautiful creature, and, of course, we know that the Scripture says that he can transform himself into a being of light, and so we need to be very careful because then it goes on in verse 13, and it talks about the workmanship of his timbrels and his pipes and how they were prepared for him on the day that he was created. I don't know about you, friends, but when I read that verse, I can't help but think that Lucifer had an orchestra built right into his body.

I remember, years ago, went to a musical, and I was sitting there, and the person that was singing, oh, they had such a beautiful voice, and the person that was sitting next to me, when the song ended, they said, "Wow, what a great set of pipes," right? You ever heard someone say that in talking about someone being able to sing? You know, he had these pipes and these timbrels, this orchestra built right in him. He was the leader of the worship of God but, of course, we know that he has taken that, and he has twisted it.

And there are some great DVDs that are out there on this topic. I can think of Christian Berdahl, I can think of Scott Ritsema, who have done topics on this and how Satan has twisted it. In fact, Scott Ritsema's DVD called "The Media Mind," we have that in the Amazing Facts website. You can just go to AmazingFacts.org, and you can click on the bookstore and type in "The Media Mind," and that will pull that up. Scott goes into how the media, how movies, and how music has been twisted by Satan. He's used men to take that music which God intended to draw us near to Him, and they've used it to twist it and to pull us away from God rather than to Him. And so we have to be very careful that our study of art and music draws us closer to God and doesn't lead us into the ways of the enemy.

Friends, you know, the melody of praise is the atmosphere of heaven. And when heaven comes in touch with the earth, there is music, and there is song. Isaiah 51, verse 3, talks about "thanksgiving and the voice of melody." Job, chapter 38, verse 7, is talking about the creation of the world, and it says, "The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy." You know, the earliest song recorded in the Bible is when Israel came out of Egypt, and they went through the Red Sea, and when they came out the other side, there was this glorious outburst of thanksgiving by the host of Israel, and they were singing songs and praising God.

You know, we could talk about poetry of the words of Moses that he used in describing that conversation that God had with Job. You know, in the original language, it was very poetic, and then there's a little bit of that missing when you translate from the Hebrew to the English language, but God said to him, "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Who determined its measurements? Who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Who laid its cornerstone?" In other words, God was pointing Job back to Creation. He was pointing him back to all that God has done for us. And how Job respond to that? Job, chapter 42, verse 5, he said, "I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes see you." In other words, Job is saying, "I've heard of you. I've, you know, had this experience, but now I see you. When I look at Creation, I can see that there's an intelligent design. I can see that there is a God." And so, like Job, our human hearts in sympathy with heaven, have responded to God's goodness, and we do that in notes of praise, whether it's music or hymns or meditation, and all of that, the arts, all those things that are designed to draw us to God.

So let's talk now a little bit about science. I remember, years ago, my wife and I went and visited the Grand Canyon, and I have to say that it was awe-inspiring. It was truly majestic. And it's interesting: If you look at a topographical map and you go from the Grand Canyon, all the way up through Arizona and into Utah, you discover on that topographical map, you discover what's called the Grand Staircase. It is an immense sequence of sedimentary rock layers that stretch from the Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, down through Zion National Park in Arizona, and down into the Grand Canyon. And in the 1870s, geologist Clarence Dutton first conceptualized this region as a huge staircase.

In looking at it, he saw that, descending from the Bryce Canyon National Park, up in Utah, down in through Arizona, and down into the Grand Canyon, he showed a giant staircase that was formed, and he goes into that, and if you look at this from a biblical perspective and you study the geomorphology, that is, the physical features of the landforms from Utah, all the way down into Arizona, and down into the Grand Canyon, and you look at places like Devils Tower National Monument, you discover that all of these landforms actually provide physical evidence of a global flood. It shows how the water must've come down and how it created that Grand Canyon.

I remember, back in 2017, my wife and I had taken a call to pastor in the middle of Michigan in Midland and Mount Pleasant, and we were up there looking for a house to purchase, and they had just had a storm that had come through that lasted several days, and they had a lot of rain. And as we were driving around, trying to find some houses that we wanted to look at, we went by this one place that just caused me to stop, right in the middle of the road, and I looked at it, and you could see where there was a river about 20 feet below the road, and then there was this house, and then the landscape went up a little bit higher, but you could see how the rain ran down through this yard, and it tore away large pieces of ground, and, fortunately, it missed the house, but it went right across their driveway, right across their front yard, and down into the river, and we literally saw a miniature version of the Grand Canyon, and that was just from a very small local flood.

And so, as my wife and I were visiting the Grand Canyon, we walked down into the canyon, and that was a lot of fun. We enjoyed that. We rode mules on the rim of the canyon, and we had a lot of fun doing that, and then we went into the Museum of Natural History there in the Grand Canyon National Park, and what do you suppose they did? They described how it took millions and billions of years to form the Grand Canyon, right? And I remember thinking to myself, "Oh, foolish man."

You see, brothers and sisters, whenever we leave God out of the equation, when we remove the Creator and the Word of God from the science and the study of the earth, we become experts in error. I want you to notice in that book "Education," again, this time in chapter 14, notice what it says: "Inferences erroneously drawn from facts observed in nature have, however, led to supposed conflict between science and revelation, and in the effort to restore harmony, interpretations of Scripture have been adopted that undermine and destroy the force of the word of God.

Geology has been thought to contradict the literal interpretation of the Mosaic record of the Creation. Millions of years, it is claimed, were required for the evolution of the earth from chaos, and in order to accommodate the Bible to this supposed revelation of science, the days of Creation are assumed to have been vast, indefinite periods, covering thousands or even millions of years."

Here we see that what it's saying is that, unfortunately, many Christians have tried to harmonize the theory of evolution with the story of Creation and blend the two of them together, and when you do that, rather than taking Scripture at face value and literally viewing Creation as happening in six literal 24-hour days, we say it took thousands of years.

And in contrast to that, I want you to notice in that book, "Education," back there in chapter 14, page 128, it said, "Since the book of nature and the book of Revelation bear the impress of the same master mind, they cannot but speak in harmony. By different methods, and in different languages, they witness to the same truths. Science is ever discovering new wonders, but she brings from her research nothing that, rightly understood, conflicts with divine revelation. The book of nature and the written word shed light upon each other. They make us acquainted with God by teaching us something of the laws through which He works."

And in that quote, we see there that nature and science should be in agreement with the Scriptures. Proverbs chapter 1, verse 7, says, "Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction." Psalm 33, verse 9, says, "He spoke, and it was done. He commanded, and it stood fast." Nehemiah chapter 9, verse 6, says, "You alone are the Lord. You have made the heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all of their host, the earth and everything on it, the seas and all that is in them."

You go back to that book, "Education," chapter 14, this time on page 133, it says, "He who studies most deeply into the mysteries of nature will realize most fully his own ignorance and weakness. He will realize that there are depths and heights which he cannot reach, secrets which he cannot penetrate, vast fields of truth lying before him unentered."

Friends, here we see that, when we look at Creation and we think about a Creator and an infinite God, and we try to understand the infinite in our finite minds, we are always going to come up short. There are going to be some things that we are just going to have to take by faith. You know, in our study here, there's a quote by Sir Isaac Newton, who once said, "I seem to myself to have been like a child on the seashore, finding pebbles and shells, while the great ocean of truth lay undiscovered before me." Here we see that, in our finite minds and trying to grasp all that God has done, friends, it's going to take us all of eternity to figure out God and His creative power and who He is. And, you know, I imagine that, just about the time where we think we've got God figured out, Jesus is going to say, "Hey, come on with me. I want to take you, and I want to show you something," and he's just going to blow our minds, right?

You see, the deepest students of science are constrained to recognize in nature the working of infinite power. And so, when we leave God and we leave the Word of God out of education and we go by man's unaided reason, nature's teaching seem to be contrary and contradictory and disappointing. And so, when we look at nature, when we look at the Grand Canyon, when we look at the sciences, and we look at the Word of God, rather than trying to bring harmony between these two opposing views, these two views that have nothing in common, we need to realize that it doesn't work. It is only in the light of revelation that we can read and understand the sciences correctly. Hebrews, chapter 11, verse 3, says, "Through faith we understand." You see, friends, both the atheist and the Christian have to live by faith.

Now, I want to pause for a moment, and I want to just let that sink in. Let me say it again: Both the atheist and the Christian live by faith. You see, by faith, one says there is no God, that all things came from chaos and evolved over millions and billions of years, and you are here by chance. And then the other says by faith that there is a Creator God, and all that was made, was made through Him, that there is order, that there is purpose in everything, and that He loves you. He wants to have a relationship with you. He wants to commune with you, and He has a plan for your life. I love that verse that says that God has a plan for you and that it is for good and not for evil. You see, true education involves the arts and the sciences, but it's about much more than that.

I want you to notice that in Friday's lesson here, it says two reasons exist why science, which gets so many things right, gets origins so wrong. First, science, which studies the natural world, must look only to the natural world for answers. Second, science assumes that the law of nature must remain constant, yet both of these are wrong when it comes to origins. If we leave the Word of God out of the equation, if we leave a Creator out of the equation, then it's going to lead us to error.

True education involves the arts and the sciences, but it's about much more than that. Friends, what did we read in the beginning of our lesson today from the book of "Education"? It said, "True education means more than pursual of certain courses of study." It's important to get a good education. It's important to go to school. It's important that we study certain topics and that, if we can, that we become an expert in one of those and provide for ourselves and for our family.

But true education is far more than just a certain course of study, and it even said there that it was more than adding Scripture to our course of study, and it's even more than a preparation for the life that now is. It has to do with the whole being. It has to do with the whole period of existence that is possible to man. It is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, the emotional, the spiritual powers, and all of those things are designed to prepare us for the joy of service to God and service to each other, and if we are looking to that next world, if we are looking to heaven, we see that that's what heaven's going to be all about. It's going to be about our service to others, and if we are going to gain a true education, then we have got to put it into the proper context. We have got to put it into view that there is a Creator, and whether you believe that there is no God or whether you believe that there is, both are going by faith, and ultimately, faith has to have a play in all of this.

I remember, years ago, there were some presidential candidates who were having a debate, and I remember one of them, they were talking about their faith, right? And I remember one of them saying, "I have faith, but it doesn't dictate what I do." And I remember thinking to myself, "That's insane. I've never heard of such a thing." Your faith will always dictate what you do. And so you either have faith that there is no God, or you have faith that there is, and depending on which side of the equation you're on is going to determine what you do.

And if we are going to truly understand science, if we're going to truly understand the arts, if we are going to make sense of it all as we look at that grand staircase coming down, as we look at the geomorphology--you know, you go out in the deserts of Arizona and up into Utah, and you see, you know, those giant rock formations sticking up, and it's incredible. If you go up onto the top of those, you find stones, giant boulders, that are up there that don't belong in that area. You know, where did they come from? And the science can't always give an answer to that if you take Creation out of that, if you take the flood out of that.

And so if we are going to look at the sciences and we are going to look at the arts and we are going to truly understand them, then we have to have a correct interpretation. There has to be an element of faith. You see, it's only when the arts and the sciences are taught from a biblical perspective that they can rightly be understood. And, friends, I don't know about you, but I really appreciated this study this week in talking about how the arts and the sciences should rightly lead us to God because God doesn't expect us to just have blind faith. He doesn't expect us to just take His word that He is Creator, but, rather, He has given us the evidence that we need that He not only exists, but that He loves us and that He wants to call us out of the world and set us apart for His good purpose. He has a plan for your life.

There is a purpose to your life, and He is leading and guiding each and every one of us as far as, and as much as, we allow Him to do that. And as we surrender our hearts to Him and as we allow Him to do those things in us that we can't do in ourselves, He can transform us and give us that beautiful character that He is looking for. Yes, He loves the outward beauty, but more than that, He is looking for that inward beauty that He, and He alone, can develop in you. And if we take that out of the picture, if we take that away from our understanding of the sciences and the arts, we are going to always be going down a path of error.

So, friends, I hope that you were blessed by our study today. I really appreciated this week's study. I hope that you were able to get those things out of there and hopefully much more than that, and you can see that God is there. And just looking at creation itself, just looking at the things around us, there is evidence in a God.

I'm going to close today by reminding you of our free offering today, and it's this book, "Is There Anything Left That You Can Trust?" That's offering Number 103, and once again, you can dial 866-788-3966, and you can ask them for offering Number 103, or you can get a digital download, and you can just text "SH043" to number 40544. Well, brothers and sisters, God bless you. I hope that you have a great Sabbath today.

Let me close with a word of prayer. Oh, loving Father, Lord, as we look at the things around us, even though our world has been marred and decimated by sin, Lord, there is clearly evidence of a Creator of an intelligent design behind it all. And, Father, we are just so grateful and thankful that You don't just say: Just trust Me and believe," but, rather, You have given us the evidence that we need to hang our faith on, that we can trust and believe that there is a Creator, God, that You love us, Lord, and that You have a plan for us. And You have gone to prepare a place for us, yes, and You are desiring to come back to this world, and I believe very soon that, Lord, You want to come, and You want to take us home so that we can be with You.

And, Lord, we long for that day when You would come and wake the dead and transform the living in the twinkling of an eye, that, Lord, we could come and be with You. We long to see You re-create the world, and we pray that You would help us to become a part of it, and we ask for it in Jesus's name, amen. God bless you, everyone. Have a great day.

Announcer: Don't forget to request today's life-changing free resource. Not only can you receive this free gift in the mail, you can download a digital copy straight to your computer or mobile device. To get your digital copy of today's free gift, simply text the key word on your screen to 40544, or visit the web address shown on your screen, and be sure to select the digital download option on the request page. It's now easier than ever for you to study God's Word with Amazing Facts wherever and whenever you want and, most important, to share it with others.

Announcer: Amazing Facts changed lives.

Diamond Garcia: Hi, my name is Diamond Garcia, and I am from the beautiful islands of Hawaii. I was raised in a very dysfunctional family, like most families. Being in that environment, I would lie, cheat, steal, rob houses, cheat in school on tests and lie to teachers and getting into fights, and all kinds of stuff. One day, I was asked to take this little box of something. I had to walk down the road and give it to someone, and they would give me money, and I would walk back home, and I later realized that I was dealing drugs.

Growing up in that environment, I thought that, you know, being an adult was a life of drinking and smoking and partying, and that's just what adults did. When I looked at my family and saw the road that they were going down, getting arrested, getting beaten up, coming home drunk and puking all over the floor, I just didn't want that for myself.

Growing up, I had a grandma who was baptized as a Christian in her 20s, but then she wasn't ever a practicing Christian. And so, one day, I was at her house, and there was a box of various books, and I went to the bottom of that box and found a book called "The Great Controversy," and I picked it up, and I said, "This is interesting." And I opened to the first page of that book, and it said, "If thou hadst known--" I had no clue what it meant. And so I said, "You know what? Forget this." I put the book down. I just walked away. I did my thing.

But then something told me, "You know, Diamond, go back to that book." And so I went back to the book, picked it up, went to the last two chapters, and I read it, and I said to my grandmother, I said, "What church is this from? I want to go to that church." So she brought me down to the local church, and then I walk in through the back door, and the piano is off-key, the people are off-key. It's like, man, this is really, kind of--I don't want to be here. And I got to the front of the church, and I sat down. I was listening to the sermon, and the whole service, it was so boring to me, but then someone gives me this set of DVDs, and it was called "The Prophecy Code."

It was through watching Doug Batchelor explain the truths found in the Bible that really brought me to Christ and brought me to realize that, you know what? There is a life better than my family's life. My second week at church on Sabbath, there was one person there. He basically told me, "Hey, Diamond, do you want to make some money?" And I said, "Sure." I said, "What do you do?" He says, "Well, I'm a colporteur. We go door-to-door, and we sell Christian books." I said, "Oh, okay, well, that sounds interesting. I do want to make some money too." And so he said, "Okay, well, why don't you come with me."

We drove out to the neighborhood, parked the car, and that night was just raining. It was pouring and pouring. It could not stop raining. He prayed. He said, "God, this is Diamond's first night. If it's Your will, stop the rain so we can go knocking on doors." And as soon as he said, "Amen," the rain just stopped. I was just thinking in my head, "Is this guy a prophet, or what?" I mean, he just prayed and asked God, and it happened. And so I was so happy. I grabbed the books, and I went to the first door, and the first door I went to, the person gave me 50 bucks.

That night was actually a big night for me because it was where I saw God's power work in stopping the rain, and people were actually giving me lots of money. I then became a colporteur, or a canvasser, and I received money to pay for my way through academy, and when my church began to see how God was using me, they immediately recognized that it was God's Word moving, and they put me, you know, preaching and teaching and sharing my faith. And I've been engaged in ministry for the past six or seven years now, and God has taken me all over the world on multiple continents, sharing my testimony how God has brought me out of darkness into his marvelous light. That's just total contrast as to how I was before, and now, you know, it's a total contrast. My name is Diamond, and Amazing Facts has helped to change my life.

Doug Batchelor: Friends, have you ever heard of the bowhead whale? This enormous Leviathan is the second largest creature in the world. Dark and stocky, it roams the fertile Arctic northern waters. These massive creatures can be more than 65 feet long and weigh more than 75 tons. That's heavier than the space shuttle. Yet in spite of their titanic size, they're able to leap entirely out of the water. Can you say, "belly flop"?

The bowhead whale gets its name from its bow-shaped skull, and they've got one ginormous noggin. Matter of fact, their heads are about 40% of their body size, which comes in handy when you find out how they use their heads. They've got very thick skulls. Sometimes they get trapped under the surface, and they use their heads to ram the ice. They can break a breathing hole in the ice that is a foot and a half thick. Friends, you have to just imagine what it would be like to be walking around on the Arctic ice and, all of a sudden, have the ground beneath you crack and split and rise as one of these sea monsters pushes its head up to breathe for the first time in 90 minutes.

Because bowheads make their home in the coldest part of our world, they have the thickest blubber of any whale, but this plus their friendly and curious nature made them prime targets when the European whalers discovered the bowheads. They hunted them nearly to extinction. Fortunately, because of conservation efforts, we've slowly seen their numbers begin to increase since the '60s.

One of the most amazing facts about the bowhead whale is its longevity. Scientists have discovered by evaluating harpoon tips found in their skull and examining their eye tissue, there are bowhead whales out there that are probably over 200 years old. You realize that means there are bowhead whales swimming the oceans right now that were alive before Abraham Lincoln was elected President. Can you imagine that?

Among the other amazing mega-facts about the bowhead whale is its mega-mouth. They have the largest mouth of any in the animal kingdom, and when they open their piehole, full extended, it's large enough to park a medium-sized SUV inside. Yet in spite of the fact they've got such big mounds, they survive by eating the very smallest creatures in the ocean, plankton, krill, and other microscopic animals.

Friends, I'm always amazed by the creatures God has made. This bowhead whale is able to dive to the deepest oceans. They can break through the ice and move mountains with their head and completely leave the water and fly through the air, and, yet they do all that by gaining strength from almost microscopic organisms. Helps us remember that we survive through the little promises in God's Word. Jesus, when tempted by the devil, He quoted just a few little verses, and He sent the enemy running. You can also have that same durability and long life as the bowhead whale by trusting in God's Word and His promises.

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