Advocating Truth in an Ungodly World
“Your word is truth.”—JOHN 17:17.
1. (a) When and how did truth become an issue? (b) What grand new truth was stated in Eden?
TRUTH has long been at issue! This issue, as old as the history of mankind, was raised back in Eden when the original Serpent questioned the truthfulness of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. Under temptation, our first parents chose to think independently and to go their own selfish way. They were not integrity-keeping advocates of truth. But God there made known the grandest of new truths, that a Kingdom “seed” would be brought forth to break up the works of the Devil.—Genesis 3:1-6, 14, 15.
2. (a) How was truth assaulted in the pre-Flood world? (b) Why did Noah and his family find favor with Jehovah?
2 Truth was now under assault. The Archdeceiver enlisted the support of other rebellious spirit sons of God to cause ruination of the earth. The immoral pre-Flood generation became so absorbed in ‘doing their own thing’ that they failed to heed God’s warning sounded by Noah. They perished. But Noah and his family survived because of their faultless integrity. As these advocates of truth left the ark of preservation, their first thought was to offer sacrifices of thanksgiving—“a restful odor” to Jehovah.—Genesis 6:4-12; 8:18-21; Luke 17:26, 27; 2 Peter 2:5.
Ravages of Untruth
3. What is Babylon the Great, and how did it get started?
3 Nevertheless, that old Serpent, the Devil, continued his efforts to muddy the waters of truth. No doubt, it was under Satanic direction that ancient Babylon was built. The ‘mysteries of Babylon’ became the foundation for a world empire of false religion, described at Revelation 17:5 as “Babylon the Great, the mother of the harlots and of the disgusting things of the earth.” Its numerous segments, with their conflicting sectarian teachings, have survived to this day as a grand repository of religious error.—Genesis 10:8-10; Jeremiah 51:6.
4. How did Jesus advocate truth, and with what result?
4 When Jesus Christ was on earth, he boldly advocated truth. Addressing the religious hypocrites of his day, he said: “You are from your father the Devil . . . He did not stand fast in the truth, because truth is not in him.” Further, Jesus, the foretold “seed” of promise, emphasized the importance of truth when he told Pontius Pilate: “You yourself are saying that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth.” Jesus gave his human life in the cause of advocating truth—Kingdom truth.—John 8:44; 18:37; Genesis 3:2-5.
5, 6. (a) How did Satan continue his warfare on truth? (b) What contamination resulted, and what untruths stemmed therefrom? (c) Why should we want to be zealous advocates of truth?
5 Untruth goes hand in hand with lawlessness. It is not surprising, therefore, that in Satan’s continuing warfare against truth, he raised up an apostate clergy class, described at 2 Thessalonians 2:3 as “the man of lawlessness.” Following the death of the apostles of Jesus Christ, these lawless apostates exalted themselves above the laity and contaminated pure Christian teaching by fusing it with Babylonian “mysteries” and Greek philosophy, outstandingly Plato’s theory that the human soul is immortal.
6 This untruth has provided the basis for other untruths, such as ‘all good people go to heaven,’ ‘the not-so-good go to purgatory,’ and ‘the bad are roasted forever in a hell of torment.’ Since there is so much erroneous teaching in the realm of Babylonish religion, how happy we can be that Jesus promised: “If you remain in my word, you are really my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”! We should want to be zealous advocates of freedom-giving truth.—John 8:31, 32.
Hatching a Great Untruth
7. (a) What is Satan’s goal, and how does he try to achieve it? (b) What false teaching came to the fore in the 19th century?
7 However, the Devil leaves no stone unturned in opposing truth. He is enraged that anyone should give any credence to God’s Word of truth, the Holy Bible. His goal is to ‘blind the minds of the unbelievers, that they might not know the glorious good news about the Christ.’ The Devil has aimed to discredit truth not only by having Christendom’s “man of lawlessness” try to tack false religious teachings onto the Bible but also by making the claim that the Bible is based on myth and legend. So, during the 19th century, that old Serpent hatched another false and deceptive teaching. It has been called the theory of evolution.—2 Corinthians 4:4.
8. What is Darwin’s theory?
8 In 1859, as the Biblical “time of the end” approached, Charles Darwin published his book entitled On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. (Daniel 12:4) Darwin theorized that living things were not created but, rather, evolved from previous forms of life by “natural selection in consequence of the struggle for existence.” Finally, man evolved from a kind of ape. Darwin claimed that it was a matter of “survival of the fittest.”
9. (a) What Bible truths, as taught by Jesus, would become meaningless if evolution were a fact? (b) How has the hypothetical “survival of the fittest” brought great damage to mankind?
9 This theory amounts to a blatant denial of the Bible account of creation and man’s fall into sin. It would make Jesus’ ransom sacrifice and the Bible’s teachings about the Kingdom, the resurrection, everlasting life, and a paradise earth meaningless. Moreover, the evolution theory, if true, would relieve mankind of any moral responsibility to the Creator.* In proposing “survival of the fittest,” the theory no doubt prepared the ground for Marxism, Fascism, and other ideologies to take root.* The advocates of evolution must bear a heavy responsibility for much of the godlessness and suffering in the world today.—Psalm 14:1-4.
Advocates of Untruth
10. With regard to Darwin, in what ways did the clergy prove to be advocates of untruth?
10 Did the clergy of Darwin’s time fight back against his God-dishonoring theory? Surprisingly, a Cambridge University professor writes: “At first much of the opposition to Darwin’s theory came from scientists on the grounds of evidence, not from the theologians on grounds of scripture.” Another learned doctor adds: “With but few exceptions the leading Christian thinkers in Great Britain and America came to terms quite readily with Darwinism and evolution.” In 1882, Darwin was even buried among kings in Westminster Abbey, by special arrangement with the Anglican dean of that abbey!—Compare Acts 20:30; 2 Timothy 4:3.
11. What expressions have the clergy made about Darwin’s atheistic theory?
11 Darwin’s atheistic theory is now accepted as ‘gospel truth’ by many of the clergy of Christendom. The Archbishop of York, second-ranking prelate in the Church of England, considers the theory of biological evolution to be so well established that it is “the only conceivable basis for modern biology.” Recently, at a Vatican meeting, 12 scholars representing the highest scientific body of the Catholic Church stated: “We are convinced that masses of evidence render the application of the concept of evolution to man and other primates beyond serious dispute.” And to this the New Catholic Encyclopedia adds: “General evolution, even of the body of man, seems the most probable scientific account of origins.” But is it truly scientific? Is evolution supported by reliable scientific proof? Your very life depends on determining the truth of this matter.—John 14:6; 16:13; 17:17.
12. Why must we say that creationism is both unscriptural and unbelievable?
12 In recent times, some fundamentalist religions have put forward creationism as the answer to evolution. But in doing so, they make a claim that is both unscriptural and unbelievable. It is that the heavens, the earth, and everything on the earth were created by God in 6 days of 24 hours each—yes, in just 144 literal hours! This teaching has caused many to ridicule the Bible. But is a “day” in the Bible always 24 hours in length? Genesis 2:4 speaks of “the day that Jehovah God made earth and heaven.” This one day includes all six of the creative ‘days’ of Genesis chapter 1. According to Bible usage, a “day” is simply a measured period of time. A “day” with Jehovah can be a thousand years or several thousand years—as were the creative ‘days.’ On this point, therefore, the Bible account is reasonable and compatible with true science.—2 Peter 3:8.
The Origin of Life
13. (a) How do the advocates of evolution explain life’s origin? (b) Why is it ridiculous to say that the living cell created itself accidentally?
13 How do advocates of evolution explain the actual origin of life? They say that some billions of years ago the ocean surrounding the earth may have become an “organic soup,” though still lifeless. Then, they explain, ‘a particularly remarkable molecule was formed by a most improbable accident.’ Miraculously, this reproduced itself to form other molecules that clustered together to form a living cell. Could anything sound more fantastic? The writer who gave this description stated in his foreword: “This book should be read almost as though it were science fiction.” Yes, fiction, but hardly science! National Geographic has said that the programmed instructions (DNA) in one tiny cell “if written out, would fill a thousand 600-page books.” How ridiculous it is to say that the living cell created itself accidentally in some primeval soup!
14. As advocates of truth, what basic Bible teaching must we uphold?
14 Far more reasonable and understandable is the explanation given by the Bible writer David, who wrote at Psalm 36, verses 5 and 9: “O Jehovah, . . . with you is the source of life.” As advocates of truth, we must support that basic Bible teaching.—See also Psalm 100:3; Isaiah 42:5, 8.
Progressive Evolution—Or Direct Creation?
15. (a) If evolution were true, how would the fossil record support it? (b) What does the record show, giving force to what admission by Darwin?
15 However, could it not be that, given the existence of life, different species of living things might progressively evolve into other species? Well, if that took place, the fossil record of past ages would show this. But does it? Consider the so-called Cambrian period. Here fossils of the major groups of invertebrates first appear together in a spectacular “explosion” of living things. If these vastly differing groups all exploded into life at the one time, how could they possibly have evolved from one another? Darwin himself frankly admitted: “If numerous species . . . have really started into life at once, the fact would be fatal to the theory of evolution.” Fatal indeed!—1 Corinthians 3:19, 20.
16. (a) As to the appearance of life forms, how does the fossil record give the lie to evolution? (b) How is the factual truth stated at Genesis 1:25?
16 The fossil record reveals that different and very complex life forms appeared suddenly and fully developed. As one professor of natural science commented: “Whales, bats, horses, primates, elephants, hares, squirrels, etc., all are as distinct at their first appearance as they are now. There is not a trace of a common ancestor, much less a link with any reptile, the supposed progenitor.” Are there any fossils of giraffes with necks two thirds or three quarters the accepted length? No, there are not. The truth of the matter is as stated at Genesis 1:25: “God proceeded to make the wild beast of the earth according to its kind and the domestic animal according to its kind and every moving animal of the ground according to its kind. And God got to see that it was good.” Yes, very good!
17. What beauteous variety and design is to be seen among living things, and from whom only could this originate?
17 Consider also the exciting variety to be seen among living things here on earth! Did the rose, the butterfly, the hummingbird, the peacock, and a thousand other forms of life acquire their distinctive beauty by chance, in a struggle for survival of the fittest? Or are they the masterful design of a loving God who wants mankind to find delight in his works? When we view the exquisite loveliness found throughout this wondrous earth, surely we must exclaim: “How many your works are, O Jehovah! All of them in wisdom you have made. The earth is full of your productions.”—Psalm 104:24.
18. Why would you say that the platypus could have been designed only by God?
18 Design always calls for an intelligent designer. And there is amazing design in living things. Consider the platypus, which lives in Australia. It is the size of a rabbit, has fur like an otter’s, a beak like a duck’s, spurs like a rooster’s, and webbed feet with claws. It lays eggs like a reptile and suckles its young like a mammal. It is at home on land or under water. From what did the platypus evolve? Since it comes out only at night, the platypus could be called the evolutionist’s nightmare. A Harvard University biologist describes it as “a superbly well-designed creature for a particular, and unusual, mode of life.” Who was the superb Designer? It can only be the God who says: “To me belongs every wild animal of the forest.”—Psalm 50:10.
19. (a) What amazing feat does a tiny warbler perform? (b) How is it able to do this?
19 Further, what of the instinct that is built into so many living things? For example, there is a tiny bird, the blackpoll warbler, weighing only three quarters of an ounce (21 g). It knows how to choose the right autumn weather to fly from Alaska to New England. There it fattens up on good food and awaits a cold front. Then it takes off, flying up to 20,000 feet (6,100 m) and more to catch the jet stream heading out toward Africa, until the warbler is caught by a prevailing wind that sweeps it down to its destination in South America. The warbler’s instinctive know-how is programmed into a brain the size of a pea. Can the evolutionist explain how such instinct came about? He cannot. But the Bible points out that Jehovah is the all-wise “Maker of heaven and earth, of the sea, and of all that is in them,” including those creatures that are “instinctively wise.”—Psalm 146:5, 6; Proverbs 30:24-28.
Are You Thankful?
20. (a) What must be the explanation of the marvels that surround us? (b) How is our Creator’s loving-kindness expressed toward us? (c) As advocates of truth, how should we respond?
20 The truth of the matter is this: There is so much that is lovely, practical, and awe-inspiring in the heavens and on the earth around us that creation by a loving, all-powerful Designer is the only explanation! Under normal conditions, how wonderfully our God-given senses blend in with our natural environment to make life enjoyable! The glorious sunsets that we see, the fragrant flowers that we smell, the delicious fruits that we taste, the soothing breezes that we feel, the music of the forest that we hear—how these express the loving-kindness of our Creator and God! (Psalm 136:1-6, 25, 26) How earnestly we should want to express our gratitude by advocating truth in this godless world! Indeed, God’s “word is truth”!
Karl Marx said: “Darwin’s book is very important and serves me as a basis for the class struggle in history.”
In Advocating Truth, How Would You Answer?
□ How did truth become an issue?
□ How does Bible truth expose Babylonish error?
□ How only may the origin and the various kinds of life be explained?
□ What does the design in living things tell us?
□ How may we thank our Creator?
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Jesus plainly told opposers of truth, “You are from your father the Devil”
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Charles Darwin—advocate of the ape-man theory
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The Church of England enshrined Darwin in Westminster Abbey
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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
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