Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a


Chapter 41—Delusions of Progression

True knowledge has decreased with every successive generation. God is infinite, and the first people upon the earth received their instructions from that infinite God who created the world. Those who received their knowledge direct from infinite wisdom were not deficient in knowledge. 4aSG 154.2

God instructed Noah how to make that immense ark, for the saving of himself and his family. He also instructed Moses how to make the tabernacle, and the embroidery, and skillful work which was to adorn the sanctuary. The women wrought, with great ingenuity the embroidery of silver and gold. Skillful men were not wanting to accomplish the work of making the ark, the tabernacle, and the vessels of solid gold. 4aSG 154.3

God gave David a pattern of the temple which Solomon built. None but the most skillful men of design and art were allowed to have anything to do with the work. Every stone for the temple was prepared to exactly fill its place, before being brought to the temple. And the temple came together without the sound of an axe or a hammer. There is no such building to be found in the world for beauty, richness and splendor. 4aSG 155.1

There are many inventions and improvements, and labor-saving machines now that the ancients did not have. They did not need them. The land has felt the curse, more and more heavily. Before the flood, the first leaf which fell, and was discovered decaying upon the ground, caused those who feared God great sorrow. They mourned over it as we mourn over the loss of a dead friend. In the decaying leaf they could see an evidence of the curse, and of the decay of nature. 4aSG 155.2

The greater the length of time the earth has lain under the curse, the more difficult has it been for man to cultivate it, and make it productive. As the soil has become more barren, and double labor has had to be expended upon it, God has raised up men with inventive faculties to construct implements to lighten labor on the land groaning under the curse. But God has not been in all man's inventions. Satan has controlled the minds of men to a great extent, and has hurried men to new inventions which has led them to forget God. 4aSG 155.3

In strength of intellect, men who now live can bear no comparison to the ancients. There has been more ancient arts lost that the present generation now possess. For skill and art those living in this degenerate age will not compare with the knowledge possessed by strong men who lived near one thousand years. 4aSG 155.4

Men before the flood lived many hundred of years, and when one hundred years old were considered but youths. Those long-lived men had sound minds in sound bodies. Their mental and physical strength was so great that the present feeble generation can bear no comparison to them. Those ancients had nearly one thousand years in which to acquire knowledge. They came upon the stage of action from the ages of sixty to one hundred years, about the time those who now live the longest have acted their part in their little short life time, and have passed off the stage. Those who are deceived, and flattered on in the delusion that the present is an age of real progress, and that the human race has been in ages past progressing in true knowledge, are under the influence of the father of lies, whose work has ever been to turn the truth of God into a lie. 4aSG 156.1